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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Pancakes fill a special, special place in my heart. It’s soft, pillowy, much like the pillows I sleep on at night. Except better. Plus these ones carry extra flavors of lemon, ricotta, and blueberries. I’ve cooked traditional pancakes before, but ricotta pancakes make for an even softer, more moist and delicate texture. As for the blueberry compote, I had extra so I saved it to spread over toast the next morning. The trick to getting those web marks on pancake tops? Lots, and lots of butter. Oh, and best to eat these cake-style.

Servings: 6 pancakes

INGREDIENTS
Pancakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 egg yolks
¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder

Blueberry Compote
2 cups blueberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

 PREPARATION
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg yolk, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth, then add flour and baking powder. Mix this until fully combined.
2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until very white and foamy, then gradually add sugar. Continue beating on high speed until hard peaks form.
3. Gently fold ¼ of the egg whites into the lemon ricotta mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Be careful not to deflate the eggs!
4. Butter up a nonstick pan and pour in about ¼ cup worth of batter for each pancake.
5. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown on the edges.
6. In a pot or pan, cook blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the compote reaches a thick consistency. (Compote will thicken once it cools, so to loosen it up just add a touch of hot water.)
7. Serve hot compote over stack of pancakes and dust with powdered sugar.

10 Surprising Things About Being A New Mom

When Brielle goes down for a nap and I have a moment to myself, I would sometimes think about life before she came along. There wasn’t a specific point in time when we decided to have kids; we just knew we didn’t want to wait too long. The excitement of finding out I was pregnant was unlike any other. And while the warm feeling of carrying a little human inside me never left, pregnancy and childbirth are not without their own woes. But after actually giving birth and discovering there’s a tiny person who’s convinced she’s a koala and constantly needs to tag on to her mama, I realized pregnancy was in fact the easy part. From the day this baby popped out of me, I am forever a mother. No matter how old she or I turn. Without a doubt, becoming a mom has been the biggest thing that’s happened in my life and I’ve been reflecting on what has surprised me the most.

1. It’s more exhausting than I ever imagined.
Everyone always warns about sleepless nights. And it’s all so true. And more. Even when it was to be expected, living it turned out to be even more exhausting. Days turned into nights that turned into days and it’s all a blur. Life is suddenly a seemingly endless cycle of eat, poo, sleep, wash, change, day in day out.

2. But it’s also so much more fun.
While I expected that having a baby around would be fun, I didn’t expect it to be this fun. The little monkey, with her little nose, little toes, little laughs, and all her littleness, makes it all worth it.

3. Doing it yourself is very doable.
Before B was born, there was a time we considered hiring a nanny, because it seemed like the conventional thing to do. But after thinking about it, I decided I wanted to take care of the baby on my own, and see how it goes. If things got too overwhelming, I would reconsider hiring someone. I figured, it’s my child, I’d better know how to take care of her. Of course things get crazy on a daily basis, and some days are more trying than others. But with the help of R who is quite hands-on (when I tell him what to do) and occasionally my mom, I’m managing fine. And I wouldn’t do it any other way.

4. How much weight your body can hold.
I consider myself weak in body strength. Brielle was born at 3.2kg, and now at 10 months, she is 10.4kg. Big for her age, she is almost one-fourth of my weight! And this little lady is sure she is a koala, so her favorite place is me. Which means I get to carry her most of the time and I don’t even know how. I guess my body automatically takes on a you-do-what-you-gotta-do mindset.

5. Tiredness fades?
After a while, my tired body self-adjusted to being normal. As in being tired is normal. Which means even though I probably feel tired, my body is telling me that it’s normal. In that sense, I suppose I no longer think I feel tired. It’s just a state. A state of being a mom.

6. The number of days I can go without shampoo.
I used to wash my hair every day. And now I think, how redundant.

7. The snuggle is real.
Before actually becoming a mom, sometimes I would imagine the kind of parent I’d be: disciplinarian and tough. If there was to be a good cop/bad cop situation, I’d surely be the bad cop. But since B’s arrival, I’ve never been able to be apart from her. I spend literally all of my hours and days, with her. I don’t mind that I haven’t been able to do the things I did on a regular basis before B came along, like say going to the movies. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Granted she’s only a baby, but I think I’m turning out to be the opposite of bad cop.

8. How much babies need you.
I always figured yes, of course babies need their mothers. But I didn’t realize just how much. I’m almost never with B, and even though I have the option to let my mom babysit, I’d really rather be with her. There was one (seriously the only one time) time I went out to dinner with some friends, and in about two hours’ time my mom was calling. In the background I could hear B crying inconsolably to the point she was gasping to catch her breath. It made me especially uneasy because she is usually very comfortable and content with my mom. I rushed back home and when I got to the front door I could still hear crying. But the moment I picked her up, it stopped instantaneously. At that point I realized it didn’t matter how many toys or people surrounded her, she needed me.

9. Nothing else really matters.
The baby is truly the center of my universe. In everything I do or don’t do, I think about how things may affect her. And the rest of the everything else going on in the world? They just don’t matter all that much.

10. Where have you been all my life?
I can’t imagine my life without Brielle. It’s like she’s always been with us all this time. And I can now relate to every cliché I hear about being a parent and having a kid. You think your life is content and fulfilled, until this little person comes along. Suddenly there are parts of you in thoughts, feelings, and aspirations you never knew you had. All because of this one tiny person.

Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt

One of the most frequent after-dinner desserts we as a family grab is frozen yogurt. For those times ice cream and pancakes feel a tad much, we opt for this supposed healthy and guilt-free treat. Although I still consider store-bought frozen yogurt a treat because hey, there are few things that taste that good I’d label as “guilt-free.” But this homemade strawberry banana sweet might just be one! And it is positively healthy because it only calls for strawberries, banana, and plain yogurt. Most of the sweetness is owed to the bananas, and the combination of sweet and sour makes for a refreshing (and colorful) goody. I love it as an afternoon snack, but even more for those late-night nibbling. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS
3 cups frozen strawberries
3 frozen bananas
2/3 cup plain yogurt
Chopped fresh strawberries (optional)

PREPARATION
1. Combine frozen fruit and yogurt in a food processor, blend until smooth.
2. Spread mixture onto an glass baking dish, and sprinkle on fresh strawberries.
3. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours.  

Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

Eggs are easily my favorite everyday go-to protein food, especially on those days I have no time to put together a proper meal. While on a regular day I would do the usual scramble or boil, I’d been wanting to put my colorful ramekins to good use. This recipe is straightforward, versatile, and can be made with an endless choice of ingredients and served for any time of day. Even better, it requires no chopping! I used frozen spinach (so great to have on-hand) and with white button mushrooms, I easily broke them into chunks with my fingers. The rest is a matter of layering the mushroom, spinach, and eggs. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper layer by layer. And to top it off, I used wax paper to cover the top surface to allow for steaming. We had this for last Sunday’s brunch for four and the only complaint I got was that I didn’t make enough. And my personal regret? Cheese. How did I not remember to put cheese?

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 box (10 ounces) chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
8 large eggs
Coarse salt and ground pepper

PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Prepare four 24-inch-long pieces of parchment according to classic method. Place two pieces on each of two rimmed baking sheets. Brush half of each heart with oil. Place spinach and mushrooms on oiled halves of parchment. Crack 2 eggs over each and drizzle them with 1 teaspoon oil each. Season with salt and pepper. Fold each packet into a classic shape.
2. Bake until egg whites are set, 6 to 9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Serve immediately.

16 Things Every New Parent Needs

Months before Brielle’s birth, we had frequented many baby shops. From the start, I was cautious not to go overboard and to buy only the essentials, with the exception of too-cute-to-pass-up socks, mittens, onesies, dresses, headbands, and actually anything borderline cute. Which was most everything. Obviously, I bended. Most times I couldn’t resist and always justified every non-essential purchase with the thought that this was our first. But among the things we have for Brielle, I’ve rounded up sixteen of ones I use on an everyday or almost everyday basis and have proven to work well for us. Here’s a list of the items new parents may find useful.

1. Medela Freestyle Pump
This double-pump has truly been my best friend, only second to the baby. While it’s considerably pricey compared to other pumps, it’s totally worth it since I’ve gotten so much use out of it day in day out.

2. PumpEase Pumping Bra
To go with the pump, I use this wrap-around bra so I can pump hands-free, easily move about and get things done around the house.

3. Nursing Cover
I nurse whenever, wherever, and I’m not apologetic. The nursing cover is always something I carry with me when I’m out with baby (which is always).

4. BABYBJÖRN Carrier One
We first tried this on when Brielle was still quite little and she didn’t seem comfortable in it. But as she got older, being carried in it has been such a treat for her since she got to be close to one of us, and still be able to peruse her surroundings.

5. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
If you’re buying a stroller for its looks, this one is not for you. But if you’re looking for one that’s smooth, practical, lightweight, easily maneuvered, convenient (snaps and folds with one hand), then you’d love the City Mini. What I love most about it is that I can carry baby in one hand and push the stroller with the other with total ease. The seat reclines almost flat so baby can sleep comfortably as if she were on a bed, and the canopy closes almost the whole way.

6. Pigeon Breast Pads
I haven’t taken a break from wearing breast pads since baby’s birth and for good reason. Every. Nursing. Mom. Needs. These. For. Real.

7. MyBabyPouch Baby Carrier
I honestly got this because they had such adorable patterns (and they were so inexpensive too). I was looking for a simpler baby carrier that would also fit in Brielle’s diaper bag. When I first got it I had no idea it would be life-changing. Brielle isn’t much of a sleeper, but when I carry her around in this pouch, she would fall asleep much more quickly and that was A-AWESOME. What’s more, it’s so easy and quick to put on.

8. Nursing Pillow
In the first few months, I spent most days at home and was nursing Brielle every 2-3 hours. And as I continue to nurse her today, this pillow has served me well since I can just lay her on the pillow to nurse while I work on the computer or watch TV and feel secure.

9. Totesavvy Diaper Bag Compartmentalizer
The Totesavvy claims to transform any bag into a diaper bag, and it does! With its multiple inserts and slots, this caddy helps me categorize items into order so I can easily grab what I need when I need them (especially helpful during moments of emergency!). See how I organize Brielle’s diaper bag.

10. Chicco Bottle Warmer
We have just this one bottle warmer and it works just fine. Similar to most bottle warmers, a ring goes off when the bottle is ready and it has several settings depending on how warm you want to heat the milk.

11. Philips Avent Bottle Sterilizer
I use this religiously every single day to sterilize pump parts, bottles, and other items like pacifiers. Bonuses: it’s got a sleek and minimalist design, doesn’t take up much space on the kitchen counter, and isn’t an eyesore.

12. Joie Car Seat
We sat Brielle on her car seat the day we brought her back from the hospital. It’s one of those things we really wanted to commit ourselves to doing every time we take her in the car. Doesn’t happen every single time but we try our best.

13. Infant Tub
We got a generic baby tub with no built-in back rest. At first I wish I had gotten one with a built-in back rest for baby to lie on when she was a newborn up until about 4-5 months. But now that she can sit up on her own, I’m glad we got one without the back rest. Our tub works fine and is spacious enough to fill with her gang of little rubber duckies.

14. MamyPoko Diaper
Among the several other diaper brands we’ve sampled, we definitely like MamyPoko best. It isn’t the most expensive brand out there, but it lives up to its claims. There are times we would forget to change Brielle for many hours (oops), or days she would wet the diaper more than usual, and we would find the diaper drenched and oh so heavy. But time and again there’s no spill, transfer, or excess moisture. Her bum is left dry. We are sticking with this one.

15. Swaddles
We stopped swaddling Brielle at 3 months, but when we did up until then, it really helped her sleep better, especially during her day naps. The only tip I have for swaddle-buying: the bigger, the better.

16. Baby Oil
I’ve always loved the smell of babies (I guess I’m like most normal people) and baby oil, in particular minyak telon. There’s just something about its scent that takes me back, and leaves a calming and endearing feeling in me. I even use it on myself sometimes. I massage a generous amount on Brielle after her bath, all over her chest, belly, legs, and feet. And then she is perfect for cuddling with!

What’s in My Diaper Bag

Before becoming a mom, I’ve always thought diaper bags symbolized the unglamorous face of motherhood. Now that I am a mom, I still think diaper bags are a bit of a torment. Just a bit. Especially when you leave for the day and forget them at home! But hey, they are essential to caring for the little one. Even though they are likely bulky, massive, and messy.

I organized Brielle’s first diaper bag several weeks before she was born. Since then, I’ve gone through several bags, and reorganized over and over until I was satisfied with the arrangement. For now. This crucial tote now carries Brielle’s essentials, as well as mine since I’ve almost given up on carrying an extra handbag because I have exactly two hands. And while diaper bags can be a headache to pack, it doesn’t have to be an eyesore.

To start, I chose a sizeable bag that I already own and one that I actually like, the large Longchamp Le Pliage tote. I also use a product that I just recently got and have been loving—the Life in Play diaper compartmentalizer—to help sort different things in separate sections for easy reach. With this organizer, I can turn any bag into a diaper bag by simply removing and inserting the organizer from bag to bag. I carry only the very essentials, and several trinkets that are extra or for emergency use. I like to keep it light and practical. Here are a few million things inside my diaper bag.

7

2

CHANGING STATION

3

  1. Diapers – I bring at least 5 diapers for a day out, and refill them right when we return home so there’s always a full stock in the bag (especially convenient for those running-late days).
  2. Wet tissue – I make sure to use fragrance-free and a known baby brand. We like the generic Pigeon one so far.
  3. Dry tissue – I get a special super soft tissue meant for babies and they really make a difference.
  4. Changing mat – When we are out and about, R and I change Brielle whenever and wherever she needs a diaper change, and this changing mat is great as a makeshift changing station.
  5. Small plastic bags – For throwing out dirty diapers.
  6. Diaper cream – I use the Sebamed diaper cream sporadically, just when I feel baby needs it.

CLOTHING

4

  1. Onesies – One short-sleeve and one long-sleeve.
  2. Long pants – For in case it gets cold or to ward off mosquitoes.
  3. Socks – A couple of them, just in case.
  4. Bib – For when baby bottle-feeds.

NURSING/SLEEPING

5

  1. Bottle – When baby is drinking right away. I keep my cooler bag and ice packs in my separate pumping bag.
  2. Nursing cover – An absolute necessity!
  3. Carrier/pouch – I just recently got this baby carrier/pouch by MyBabyPouch, an uber simple pouch that wraps baby when I carry and rock her. Brielle has always had trouble falling asleep and this has been a lifesaver!
  4. Blanket – A lightweight one since we live in a hot climate, to keep her legs warm while she sits in the stroller.
  5. Book – A tiny quick read.
  6. Sound toy – A distraction for baby and something she can hold.
  7. Pacifier – For real emergencies, which we almost never use.

EXTRAS

6

  1. Food and mouth wipes – These are great for a quick wipe for all over baby.
  2. Pacifier and toy wipes – Don’t know that we need a specific kind of wipes just for pacifier and toys, but since we have them…
  3. Hand sanitizer – Especially for R, and anyone and everyone who gets close! Ha!
  4. Baby oil – To soothe baby and because I love the scent.
  5. Detergent – Something we use quite frequently because when baby poops, she really
  6. Cotton buds – Because sometimes boogers appear out of nowhere!
  7. Mask – For me or R or anyone around baby who may have a cold.
  8. Snacks – for me or R.
  9. Little pouch – I have this little bag for myself to store Band-Aids, emergency pads, hair clips, lip balm, and hand lotion.

8

Brielle’s Birth Story

On Friday September 2nd, twelve days before my due date, I woke up noticing a little blood discharge when I went to pee. I didn’t think much of it and went about my day as I normally did. R had been working from home for the past week to stay with me so we would be ready to drive to the hospital whenever baby decided to pop. In the afternoon I started feeling some cramps here and there, but still did groceries and went for my 30-minute walk which I had started every day since entering 37 weeks. That night I went to bed like any other night, except I was awakened every hour by a piercing sensation in my anus, a feeling like I kept needing to poop. While I pooped a little, the rest of the night was just me going back and forth to sit at the toilet and breathing through what I later realized were in fact contractions! I didn’t wake R because I didn’t want to alarm him and since we were scheduled to see the doctor the next morning, I thought I’d wait it out.

Despite having barely slept, I awoke fresh in the morning, got dressed, put a face on, and headed for the hospital. And while I didn’t know what was in store for us that day, I decided we should bring our packed hospital bag in the car, just in case. We got to the hospital at around 9:30am and the nurse checked my weight and blood pressure like always. But when I told her I had noticed a little blood discharge the day before, she immediately got me on the cardiotocography (CTG) machine to check for baby’s heart beat and labor contractions. I lay on the bed for 30 minutes while snacking on Nutella toasts that R had prepared earlier.

I continued feeling and breathing through the contractions which were becoming more and more palpable. But the results showed that the contractions were still irregular. At around 11 when we saw the doctor, the ultrasound showed that baby’s head had made its way very deep down into my vaginal opening—a good thing of course. I figured we’d probably still be waiting for at least another day or maybe even two. I suppose the doctor had his suspicions so he checked for my dilation. The next moment he told us we couldn’t go home anymore because I was in fact already 7cm dilated! We were in disbelief. I asked the doctor if we were really getting the baby out that day to which he responded, do you not want to get baby out now? The world knows how much I wanted her out! R immediately called my mom who was out of town and I was directed to the delivery room. It’s funny because in fact we were supposed to meet up with some friends right after the appointment, but of course that wasn’t happening.

Dilated at 7cm, I was still able to chit chat with the midwives and nurses entering and exiting the room, reply to messages, and eat. But whenever a contraction came, I focused on breathing deep in and out and letting it pass. My mom arrived within 2 hours after getting R’s call. Thankfully, she was already there when the contractions grew more and more intense. Lying on the bed made it worse, so I had to sit at the toilet. I held on to my mom and R while I just sat there struggling in pain incomparable to anything. My head was spinning, my body shaking, I felt like I was blacking out. I forced myself to keep my eyes open so I wouldn’t faint. I squeeze-hugged my mom so tight her belly was pressing against my face. I remember thinking to ask doctor to cut me open already.

My mom saw how much pain I was in and called the nurse in. At that point I was 8cm dilated. Between dilation 8 to 10, I just remembered feeling the need to poop an entire mountain. But nothing was coming out. Finally I was on the bed, at which point my doctor entered the room. That was a relief because that meant he was pulling baby out very soon. Things were moving so fast between dilation 8 to 10 that I remembered hearing the doctor asking the midwife if she had given me an induction, which she hadn’t. R was told to stand further back from the bed while two of the midwives held and led me through each push.

With my first push, I heard R saying he could already see baby’s hair! One push was followed by another, then another, and with my very last and strongest one, baby popped out and I felt her little toes trickling past my opening. There was no relief like the one I felt at that very moment. The doctor cut off the umbilical cord and pulled out the placenta which was shockingly huge. And he went on to stitching down there. I felt no pain, nothing. After delivering a baby I was sure I was immune to any other pain. Soon after being checked on and measured, baby was wrapped in a bright canary hooded towel and laid on my chest.

Nothing like the feeling of holding this little creature close to me, she needing me as much I needed her. Those first two hours went by so fast and soon it was time for baby’s bath. The midwives helped me clean up, and told me I was very calm throughout labor and that I had a very high pain tolerance. She even told me I broke the hospital record of being in labor for just 15 minutes! At 3:10pm, baby Brielle was born at 3.2kg and 49cm. I couldn’t be more grateful that everything somehow worked out perfectly. I was able to have a completely all-natural birth as I had hoped. Baby is healthy and happy (smiling in her first photo).

Brielle's Birth Story

Brielle's Birth Story

Brielle's Birth Story

What’s in My Hospital Bag

We’re just 12 days away from baby’s due date. At 38 weeks and 2 days today, she could decide to pop at any time now. Whoa! Things are starting to get very real. The sleepless nights, toilet runs, and worries aside, I’m feeling ecstatic about welcoming baby to this world, and to our growing little family. Spending time in the nursery and putting together baby’s things makes me feel close to baby. Feeling baby’s movements inside of me keeps me entertained and lets me know baby is well. It’s funny that I always used to feel cold and get the chills, but now it’s the opposite. And I have this tiny human inside of me to thank for keeping me warm.

Now, onto serious business. I know it may be premature, but I’m not an advocate of anything last-minute—unless it’s something yummy like ice cream or crepes. So to avoid havoc, I’m packing our hospital bag so it’s ready to grab to go with us on the big day. Here’s a list of things (which I’ve tried to keep to a minimal) for baby, R, and me.

For Baby

1. Car seat
2. Onesies (3)
3. Mittens (2 pairs)
4. Socks (2 pairs)
5. Hats (2)
6. Swaddles
7. Headbands
8. Going home outfit
9. Wipes
10. Diapers
11. Milk bottles, sterilized (2)
12. Baby oil

For Mom

1. Book
2. Bathroom flip flops
3. Slippers
4. Pajamas (3)
5. Robe
6. Underwear
7. Nursing bra (2)
8. Going home outfit
9. Socks (2 pairs)
10. Towel
11. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash, shampoo, lotion)
12. Makeup
13. Belly cream
14. Nipple cream
15. Hair dryer
16. Glasses + case
17. Breast pads
18. Maternity pads
19. Nursing cover
20. Breast pump

For Dad

1. Camera + charger
2. Laptop + charger
3. Headset
4. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash, shampoo, shaver)
5. Bathroom flip flops
6. Outfits (3)
7. Underwear
8. Pajamas (2)
9. Towel
10. Laundry bag

Pregnancy Post: One-Month Countdown

When we found out we were expecting back in January, the idea that we would be welcoming a child into our family felt a long ways away. I was focused on me, my well-being, and my newly pregnant situation. Now looking back, the first trimester is a distant memory—a blurry few months of nausea, lethargy, and unproductivity, all looped in a cycle of a confused jetlag. And now that it’s less than a month away from baby’s birth, I’m all about baby and everything I can think of that she’ll need.

So far I’ve gained 10 kilograms, while baby is measured at 2.8, which according to the doctor is whopper! And that worries me a whole lot. I’ve always known I wanted to go the natural route and have been watching (for the most part) my food intake to avoid baby from gaining too much. Clearly this little one is a big eater. And now hearing and reading about how labor pain is pretty high up there on the pain index, trumping breaking one’s bones (yep!), I’m trying my best to prepare for a smooth of a delivery as possible.

While there’s no such thing as painless delivery (or is there?), I’d like to think I’m making a difference doing my Kegels and going to birthing class. And cutting down on carbs. Which is the absolute most miserable thing. And it drives me crazy that I never really used to watch what I ate, and now I’m having to eat less. But on the bright side, just one more month and I’ll get to eat absolutely anything and everything. I should start putting together a list.

My (lack of) sleep patterns continue to throw me off, and I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep in weeks. Among the bizarre dreams, baby’s boxing, heartburn, finding a comfortable position, and having to pee in the middle of the night, I have yet to crack the secret behind a proper shut-eye.

But good news—baby’s position is already head-down, and everything is looking normal and healthy. I’m hoping the doctor would soon be able to approximate baby’s true due date so we can really, really be prepared. Our hospital bag is all packed, and I think we have everything we need until the delivery. Except maybe the one very crucial item: a name. This is by far the question we get asked the most. And everyone thinks we are keeping it a secret but in truth we really haven’t settled on one we both really love and agree on. So, I guess that’s next on our to-do list.

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t pregnant. I’d watch in envy women in body-hugging dresses and skirts and be reminded of my own collection that I haven’t been able to touch for months now. And probably won’t for the many months to come. And now that I’m nearing the end of my third trimester, with an ever sprouting bump, I find myself wearing the same few pieces over and over. Just because nothing else fits comfortably anymore. And being a size petite, I won’t lie this freaks me out a little bit. But I pat myself on the back for having gone this far without buying any maternity clothing.

People I meet would always comment how “small” I am, surprised to hear that I’m this far into my pregnancy, and how I have a “belly-only pregnancy.” I suppose my belly is still relatively manageable, despite bumping into the fridge door on a daily basis. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and I’m grateful for a relatively smooth ride so far. No serious cravings, impulses, mood swings, or drama to brag about.

And hey, even though I can’t slip into just any dress these days, I completely embrace my pregnant body and I dig the bump! Which is why I wanted something to remember it by. So we did a photoshoot with my brother in my thirty-second week. The whole thing was ultra-simple, and we even took some of the photos right at home. And I absolutely loved how they came out! Here are some of my favorites:

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First