Wow, where has time gone? I'm writing this exactly 10 days since I've entered my third trimester and 104 days since my last blog post (which was also my first blog post). My second trimester was super busy and super eventful (which isn't a surprise for the type of person that I am) that I barely found time to blog while I was in it. But I figured I'd do it sooner than later while everything's still fresh in my mind. So let's get recapping!
DECEMBER (MONTH 4)
Christmas is my next busiest season as a calligrapher, after weddings. Although I didn't go as ham on marketing my stuff this year (for obvious reasons.. um first trimester fatigue hit me hard right when I'd be prepping for Christmas advertising), I still found myself busy with tons of ornament orders. Praise Jesus of course! But on top of managing the custom orders, Mitchell and I were busy writing our P. Eng application. We dreaded that whole process SO MUCH, but it had to be done. So we spent most weeknights and weekends typing our hearts out, trying to prove to APEGA that we are competent professionals worthy of an Engineer seal. The moment we hit "Submit" on that thing, we felt a heightened sense of freedom lol!
We also researched doulas this month. We interviewed two and ended up hiring the first doula we met with! She bought us treats from the cafe she owns with her sister and I swear we were hooked the moment we took a bite out of the protein balls she brought lol. She spoke with so much enthusiasm and confidence over her work as a doula and her why and we felt at peace the whole time she was with us. Oh, we also sent out our first ever Christmas postcard! I figured we're probably gonna end up sending Christmas cards when baby comes, so why not start one with baby in da bump?
Just before our trip to Cali for Christmas, Mitchell and I both finally submitted our P. Eng application! The second we hit SUBMIT on that application, a huge boulder was lifted off my chest and I finally felt like I could breathe. It brought me back to writing finals around Christmas time and waiting until you were done finals to start Christmas shopping.
And lastly, baby bump made its first international flight to San Francisco with the whole Graza fam for a Ruiz Christmas! The last time we were down in Cali for Christmas was in 2000! Also it was the first time all seven of us in my family had flown together! I thoroughly enjoyed flexing my bump at this point, since it's gotten more visible since our pregnancy announcement photoshoot. It was also low-key nice to visit family in the States preggers since the question we get the most from family is, "When are you guys gonna have kids?" lol. Anyways, the fam Christmas party was a typical Ruiz/Graza gathering - we played bingo, the Titas gave out money, and my fam and I showed up proud in our red plaid shirts lol. On our last night with family, before heading to San Francisco, we were spoiled with one of the most epic boodle feasts I've ever seen in my life. Click HERE if you don't know what a boodle feast is.
JANUARY (MONTH 5)
After coming back from our Christmas vacay, Mitchell and I took a much needed 3-day Sabbath at home where all we did was sleep in, snuggle in bed for hours, and move slowly because we know that in 4 month's time, such luxuries would no longer be available to us. Well we didn't just live the retired life; we also started studying for our NPPE Exam which was scheduled for February 4th, and this was our life every weeknight - wake up, go to work, work out, have dinner, study, sleep, repeat. On a few free weekends in Red Deer, we treated ourselves to a trip to Home Depot where we bought stacks on stacks of totes and shelves and purged and organized our basement! Talk about Adulting 101. We also started moving my studio to the basement where Mitchell's office is (yay office neighbours!) and we started turning my studio into a nursery, one Amazon purchase at a time lol. And by "WE", I mean Mitchell because my short torso and growing belly made it real hard for me to carry anything big.
The main event of our January 2020 was our gender reveal! We had the 20-week anatomy scan 4 days after we got back from Cali and it was so surreal seeing our baby's features, especially since the last time we saw him/her were at 7 weeks! And at that point, baby was just a cute little blob! Now he/she's an actual fetus with a head and feet and hands! It was also really nerve-wracking to look at the ultrasound screen and not catch a glimpse of baby's genitals since we wanted the ultrasound tech to keep the gender a secret from us and write it on an envelope instead so we could give it to our friends, Joy and Chilton. Anyways, as soon as we got in the car after the scan, both Mitchell and I *TRIED* peeking through the envelope to see if we could read what the sheet said. We both thought we saw a penis on the ultrasound screen and we both thought the sheet inside the envelope said "boy", but at this point anything was possible.
Anyways, back to our gender reveal. I seriously have the best and the most extra family ever! We rented the Panorama Community Hall to fit around 30+ people for our gender reveal. Everything that went into our gender reveal was a fruit of my family's love for Mitchell, myself and Baby Lee. We had a beautiful balloon arch, coffee from Monogram, a 12-foot grazing table, custom sugar cookies, my mom's famous Oreo cheesecake, and pins with mine and Mitchell's baby faces for guests to guess the gender.
Best part of the night? Finding out that Baby Lee is a BOY!!!!!! I get to have my own mini-Mitchell!!!!! Our hunch after the ultrasound was right, even though we didn't explicitly see a penis on the ultrasound and the writing on the sheet inside the envelope was so faint, the only way you'd be able to read it is if you actually unfolded the sheet. This was such insane news considering that ever since getting pregnant, I've had vivid dreams about having a baby girl AND my gut feeling was that I was having a baby girl! Talk about the opposite lol!
It was also around this time that I started getting carpal tunnel syndrome on my right hand. MY RIGHT HAND! MY MONEY-MAKING HAND! I was writing on a card for a friend's wedding when I started feeling numbness after 3 words! It was painful and I was confused. I started getting it checked by my Physio and I also bought a brace to wear at night.
We also started our baby gear shopping and first stop was buybuyBABY to check out 2 strollers. You see, Mitchell and I have a foot in height difference, so we wanted to make sure that whatever stroller we end up getting fits both of our heights comfortably. And we also wanted to make sure that the stroller we get is travel-friendly since we plan on travelling a lot with baby! I initially wanted to check out the Babyzen YOYO in person since I had my heart set on it after seeing multiple petite bloggers rave about it, but after seeing other options in person, i.e. the UPPABABY VISTA, I was then convinced that I wasn't the right person to be researching strollers. So I then gave the honour of picking a stroller and carseat to Mitchell who was more suited for that kind of research and objective decision than I was.
FEBRUARY (MONTH 6)
Alright, now we're in February. Although February is the shortest month of the year, this February felt like it dragged on forevaaaa. First we had to drive to Calgary to write our NPPE exam and I swear, I felt like a huge boulder was taken off of my chest the moment I walked out of that exam room. It felt so sooooo good to be done with APEGA lol.
Two days after the exam, we were on our way to Tokyo for our babymoon amidst the news of the Coronavirus spreading to Japan. Mitchell started hearing about this virus on his site visit in early January, and since then we've followed it on the news since the place where it all started (Wuhan, China) is pretty close to Japan. We thought about cancelling our Tokyo babymoon and possibly going some place else since little was known about the virus and how it could affect me or the baby at that time, but after much consideration (and a whole lot of mask and hand sanitizer searching), we decided to still go to Tokyo.
The photo on the right side above was taken at the Vancouver airport before we boarded the plane. I'd say about 30% of people were wearing masks at this point, and Mitchell and I kept our masks on to ensure we weren't touching our faces. Anyways, Japan was a blast as it was when we went in 2017 for our honeymoon! Back then, we made it our goal to visit as many places in Japan, so we did. We even flew all the way to the island of Hokkaido (where Sapporo is), where a lot of tourists don't go. Anyhow, this time around we wanted to just stay in Tokyo and explore the city a little deeper. Of course I enjoyed eating all the Japanese food I can eat without feeling guilty of the calories!
I did end up flying home 4 days early because of a pregnancy-related health condition. I've journaled about it already, I just don't know if I'll ever share to the public. IDK, maybe one of these days I will. Anyways, the rest of February was a little more cheerful post-Japan. My parents gifted us with the crib (GOD BLESS THEIR GENEROUS HEARTS) and we were able to take it home after Japan and actually start turning the nursery into a nursery. I also took my gestational diabetes test this month, where I had to sit at DynaLife for an hour after drinking this mini bottle of over concentrated sugar (it looked like Fanta). I wasn't expecting to get a phone call from my OB about gestational diabetes since I haven't really craved sweets since getting preggers. And I didn't get a phone call so that's good news. After coming back from our Tokyo vacay, I also requested to start working 30 hours a week. At this point, the residual symptoms from the condition I developed from our Tokyo trip plus my carpal tunnel that seemed to be getting worse by the day just wasn't letting me function the same way, so I thought it was fair to start asking for reduced hours.
Aaaaaanyways, that's it for my second trimester recap! Not gonna lie, I started this blog post on March 8th at 10:29 PM and I'm ending this on April 1st at 9:14 PM lol. Talk about hella delay! I blame it on the carpal tunnel and the world crisis that's going on right now which I'll most likely blog about after this!