Bumpdate: 23 Weeks

The holiday season is the best time to be pregnant! Thanksgiving dinner is a million times better when you're eating for two! 

Max and I got to spend our Turkey Day (and week) in Dallas. What fun times! 

In other baby news, the bean has found my bladder. Yes, I will get random kicks right on my bladder. It definitely makes me jump. I've been battling some nausea this week, too, plus a fainting episode! I've also started to wake up during the night with bad leg cramps. I'm crossing my fingers that it all goes away soon.

Max has been able to feel lil' one kick more and more and we both saw movement while we were in Texas! Baby had been kicking and we looked down and saw it right through my shirt! So much fun!

Studio Movie Grill, I Heart You

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part Two opened last Thursday night with 10pm showings. I usually avoid even opening weekends of movies - standing in line for hours is not fun, and rushing in to get a good seat is just gives me anxiety! However, I found the perfect solution: Studio Movie Grill! I'd been to the SMG in Scottsdale a few times before; I hear that it's similar to iPic theatres in that you get a big cushy seat and can have snacks and beverages delivered right to you. iPic tickets are pretty pricey though, and Studio Movie Grill offers tickets for the regular theatre rate. In fact, they discount tickets for weekday nights after 10pm so when I went online to buy Twilight premiere tickets for me and two friends, the tickets cost only $5.50 each! I haven't paid $5.50 to see a movie since maybe junior high. 

The best part, however, was that I got to select our seats when I purchased the tickets. So on the big night, we walked in five minutes before the movie started (just enough time to order popcorn and sweet potato fries) and our smack-dab-in-the-middle seats were open and waiting for us! I felt like I was cheating, seeing Twilight on opening night without having to jump through any of the normal premiere-viewing hoops. 10pm is normally when I'd be in bed, though, and it's normally when Baby Klein likes to move around so baby was going crazy during the whole movie! We joked that perhaps baby is already a Twilight fan ;)

Bumpdate: 22 Weeks

At 22 Weeks, Baby is loving Baskin Robbins Rainbow Sherbet on sugar cones. Delicious! Baby is also kicking up a storm every night! Max has been able to feel it a bit, and we've even tried listening for the baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope (yes, my crazy husband just has a stethoscope lying around!). 

The average sized baby weighs one pound at this point, though at my last doctor's appointment the bean was measuring a whole week ahead. So it's fair to say Baby Klein has passed the one pound mark by now! 

A Beast of a Banister

When we moved into our house 2 1/2 years ago, we inherited light colored pergo floors and a white-washed banister. The banister had a bit of a pinkish hue to it, all the rage I'm sure in 1992 when the house was built, but we always planned to update it. Before even moving in, we had new dark walnut floors installed but the banister proved to be more of a challenge. We figured the painters could just stain it for us while they were painting the rest of the house. Unfortunately, it was too big of a task for them and they said they couldn't even attempt it (that's what we get for going with someone called "Fast Eddie" ; ) So we moved into the house with the banister looking like this, figuring we'd get to it soon. But it's a beast of a banister. Seriously. 

Our goal is to have something similar to this house, dark stain on the top and bottom and white painted spindles. 

It's taken until now though for us to start the project (and by "us" I mean "Max" since staining involves nasty fumes I shouldn't be around being preggers and all). Before anything can be stained, it must be sanded and then wiped down with a tacky cloth. This part I can help with (but seriously 99.99% of all the work has been my incredible husband who started the whole project when I was out of town).  

This is the stain Max chose, which is working out quite well!

The below pic was taken earlier today. You can see the handrail is now complete - check out the close-up in the bottom right. Beautiful, no? (And ignore my barefoot which is resting precariously close to the tack strip- eeek! Going barefoot is a total home improvement no-no.)

When I wasn't holed up in our room avoiding the fumes, I ventured out for another action shot: 

And this is where the banister is right now! The bottom needs another coat of stain which will make it darker, and then all we Max will have left is to paint the spindles white!

Yay for home improvement! 

Babymoon to the BVIs - A Review of Frenchmans

When Max asked me what I wanted to do for my 30th birthday, I said I wanted to spend it snorkeling on a tropical island. I was half joking, as this was a wild "if I could do anything in the world I'd want to do this" wish. My incredible husband, however, started researching top snorkeling destinations! We decided upon a Babymoon in the Caribbean and I came across a tiny boutique hotel called Frenchmans, located on the British Virgin Island of Tortola. It had great reviews on Tripadvisor and Frommers, so we decided to give it a go and explore someplace new! 

Frenchmans is located on Frenchmans Cay at the far end of Tortola. The entire resort consists of just nine villas and a restaurant with a private beach (you can spot the nine villas in the arial view below). 

We weren't sure what to expect when we got there (as online reviews can sometimes be off) but we couldn't have been happier with our choice! Here are the villas all nestled in their tropical foliage glory. The photo does not do the place justice - it was gorgeous! 

Our villa was Star Fruit : )

It had a full kitchen and sitting area downstairs, and a bed and bath upstairs (bigger than my old California bachelorette cottage!). 

The sitting are opened up to an outdoor patio that overlooked the ocean. Here it is with my 19 week belly, just for fun: 

Frenchmans offered a complimentary breakfast in the outdoor restaurant each morning. It was an incredible way to start each day! This was also the only time we saw any of the other guests. When we arrived, just one of the other villas was occupied (with an attorney from the U.K. who was off on business the whole time) so it literally felt like we had the entire resort to ourselves. It was amazing! By the time we left, two other couples had checked in, but it still felt like it was just me and Max all alone : ) I loved it! 

Here's the path that led from the villas down to the restaurant, pool, tennis court and private beach: 

Frenchmans had a small pier that we used to enter the water for snorkeling. We found it to be the best snorkeling on the island! The first day we were out we saw tons of sea life including Lion Fish, Sea Stars and Parrot Fish. We also spotted Jelly Fish, which freaked me out a bit! They had very short tentacles instead of long ones, and were a purple iridescent color. I was stung last year in Cayman by a tiny jelly the size of a dime, and I remember my arm hurt for some hours afterward. I did not want to see what these grapefruit-sized jellies could do! 

We later found out (from our nice Frenchmans staff) that what we saw were Moon Jellies, and they were semi-harmless and had just a mild sting. In fact, by the end of the trip Max was picking them up and taking them out of the water for a better view! I had always thought that Jelly Fish were hollow, however when we felt them we realized their bodies are actually firm and solid. They reminded me of those gel shoe inserts. 

We always had the beach area to ourselves! I had to laugh one day as Max was off climbing on the rocks (being such the boy) and I was at the shore looking for seashells (totally being a girl!). 

There were also great spots to relax after being in the water: 

While we loved Frenchmans, we realized that it (and Tortola) isn't for everyone. Frenchmans was pretty isolated - there was a small marina with a market, shops and a restaurant that was a five minute walk away, and that was it. We found Tortola as an island also to be pretty remote. The resort itself was not a hopping place either - it's definitely the type of place where you go to escape everything and just enjoy the company you're with (making it the perfect Babymoon destination for us!). 

If you're looking for large resort type amenities, this also isn't the place. The pool was pretty small (which again for us was fine because we never had to share it and we only used it for rinsing off after the ocean anyway), and there was no room service. In fact, being on "island time" the hotel restaurant was closed for dinner twice a week and didn't serve lunch (this also wasn't a problem for us as we took advantage of our villa's kitchen a couple times and cooked for ourselves, and had a car to drive elsewhere to meals). 

The hotel's front desk wasn't staffed through the night, something that's a given at larger hotels. Upon our 10pm arrival on the island, we were picked up at the airport by a taxi driver who works for the resort. We had a 45 minute drive across Tortola, then he led us through the windy path that to our villa, collected the key from the drop box and let us in. There was a welcome letter from the resort with in-case-of-emergency numbers, but we didn't actually meet any hotel staff until the next morning. 

So, if you're in search of a loud and crazy place with tons of entertainment, Frenchmans is not it. If you're like us, however, and in search of a gorgeous, totally private and isolated destination, your own villa, and great snorkeling, Frenchmans is the place for you! 


5 Years Ago Today...

Five years ago today, I woke up in my tiny Los Gatos, California, cottage, taught a full day of fourth grade in Campbell, and went back home and changed into a first date outfit. I then drove back to Campbell to Michi Sushi where I was meeting Max Klein for a semi-blind date that we had arranged on match.com. I didn't know a lot about this Max Klein character going into the date (we had spoken on the phone just once). From his online photos I had the impression he was an oceanographer (he was in fact an electrical engineer and had just been working with marine type equipment). 

We sat across from each other at dinner at an enormously long table that only seemed to taunt the fact that yes, it was a first date. I remember listening to Max's dive stories and thinking I would never SCUBA dive! That sounds sooo dangerous! I remember being impressed that he was taking an EMT course at night "just for fun" while also working on a Ph.D. during the day. And I remember that it was the restaurant owner's birthday, which meant a round of beer for everyone on the house. 

Had I known at the time that this date was with my future husband, I would have written down every little detail and saved something from the night to remember it by. Chopsticks perhaps? Although, taking a memento from a first date might have sent up red flags signaling crazy girl so perhaps it's best that I didn't ; )

Max walked me to my car at the end of the date (lots of bonus points there) and a few short months later I was head-over-heels in love! Exactly one year after that first date, Max walked into my Campbell, California classroom (the same city where we had met and had our first date) and asked me to marry him : ) I had never been more surprised, or more happy. 

Max has given me the opportunity to be a Mrs. and now a soon-to-be mommy, two titles that mean the world to me : ) I'm so grateful to have such an amazing partner in life, one I admire and respect, and of whom I'm often just in awe. I've had the best five years, and am so excited for our next chapter: Parenthood! 

Max, Mande and Baby Klein at 19 Weeks

Babymoon to the BVIs - Birthdaymoon Edition

Max and I traveled to a brand new (for us) location for our babymoon: the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands! Their high season doesn't start until mid December, so in addition to lower rates, we also enjoyed a gorgeous, almost empty island! 

Our second full day there was also my birthday! My husband was so sweet and woke me up to see the sunrise over the ocean (we actually just peeked at it from bed, then went back to sleep!). After breakfast at the hotel, we headed out to look for Smuggler's Cove beach. My view from the passenger seat leaving the hotel: 

Riding/Driving in Tortola was a bit of an adventure. In addition to driving on the left, the roads are super steep, super windy, and oh yes, they have no names. Max kept singing the U2 song Where the Streets Have No Name. We lost our way to Smuggler's Cove, but just-so-happened upon another beach called Long Bay, a mile-ish long stretch of sand that was pretty much empty. It was the perfect birthday find! 

Here's Long Bay from the road: 

See those rocks in the ocean way to the right of the picture above? Well, when we spotted them my husband suggested that we snorkel out to them. I replied "No, thank you" as they seemed really far out. Somehow, though, Max got me out there! 

We saw tons of sea life including Parrot Fish, Sea Urchins and Blue Tangs along the way. 

We also spotted huge schools of tiny fish and ginormous three and four foot long Tarpin when we got close to the rock. 

For a teensy second I thought the Tarpin were sharks as they are quite large and had dorsal fins. I wrapped my arms and fingers around myself which is what I did when we dove with sharks in Bora Bora (you don't want anything flailing about that can be bitten), but since they weren't sharks Max was confused and thought I was cold. 

Tortola definitely had character. Here's one of our favorite finds: a local beach bar! (Yes, it's literally that hut under the tree.)

We had gorgeous weather for my birthday! (And actually every other day we were there, too!)

This was my attempt to write "Babymoon" in the sand... the waves came in right when Max was going to take the picture (signal my surprised face). 

We found a little beach restaurant called Islands down the road for birthday lunch. Conch fritters and fried fish = a happy preggers! 

Plus, I had the best company in the whole entire world: 

We spent the birthday afternoon exploring our darling hotel (more to come on this "boutique resort" later!). Then it was off to birthday dinner at The Sugar Mill! I was super excited for this because 1. The Sugar Mill was one of the top restaurants on the island and also named most romantic in the Caribbean, and 2. The restaurant was actually inside a 370+ year old Sugar Mill! (Bonus points that my nickname from my sweet high school friends is Sugar!)

In our villa before heading out: 

Here's an image of the candlelit restaurant from their website

And my personal birthday menu! 

The food was delicious:

And the whole restaurant sang when they brought out homemade ice cream with a birthday candle!

I kept telling Max over and over that it was the best birthday, ever! I couldn't have imagined a better, more special or more perfect way to kick off my 30's! 

5 Months Pregnant with the Bean!

Five Months Update

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +16 (OMGee!)

Maternity Clothes: Lots of new clothes/maternity gift cards from my birthday, yay!

Cravings: Starburst candy (thank you Halloween) and JalapeƱo Kettle Chips

Movement: Finally feeling kicks from the outside! It’s the most amazingly bizarre sensation!

Aversions: Hard tacos and sweet things in the morning

Wedding Rings: Slowly migrating off. They get pretty tight by the end of the day so Max is encouraging me to just not wear them (to avoid getting them really stuck). This is so sad because I love, love, love my wedding rings! Fortunately, Max gifted me with the sweetest silver bean bracelet for my birthday in honor of the bean, so that's definitely helping :) 

What I Miss: Drinking wine while cooking dinner. Max is usually still at work while I'm working in the kitchen, and I'm missing how nice it was to have a glass of wine to accompany me! 

Best Moment: Hitting the halfway mark and getting my first prenatal massage – heaven!

What I'm Looking Forward To: The holidays! ‘Tis the season to be pregnant!

And, just for fun...

Bumpdate: 21 Weeks

I can't believe we are in the downward slope of this pregnancy! 19 weeks and counting! I feel so fantastic- just a bit of nausea when I need to eat and enough of a belly now to make it known that I'm clearly pregnant!

Little one finally decided to make his or her presence known on the outside this week! Max had been patiently waiting to feel baby, holding his hands on my bump every day trying to feel something. So when did baby do its first real big kick? When daddy was away on business! Being crazy pregnant, I started crying that Max was missing it. He assured me that it will happen again soon (after all, baby is growing like crazy in there which should make the movements easier and easier to feel). 

Election Day!

Working at a school, everything is a big deal. Holidays, changing seasons, and of course, Election Day! I was able to help count the votes in the kinder mock-election; they were so excited to cast their ballots! I got into the spirit by donning my maternity red, white and blue: 

I actually cast my vote some time ago. For years (since California) I've done absentee ballots. I can't say enough good things about this way to vote! I got to spread out all my documents and sit at the kitchen counter with a snack while I filled out the ballot (had I not been pregnant, the snack would have been replaced with a glass of wine!). And while I felt a teensy bit jealous this morning when my husband drove off to his polling location (he got to experience all the election day hustle and bustle and excitement), I was glad to stay in my pajamas and watch the Today show while eating my Cheerios on the couch. Happy voting! 
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