Monday, December 29, 2008

Letter to Shiloh #5


A few weeks ago, Daddy and I hung up a star for you at Light Up A Life. Your star was the most beautiful- we put your photo on the front; ah, how gorgeous you are.

It was so hard to contain our emotions, so we let the pain wash over us. Crying, of course, came naturally and was a welcomed release. We still cannot believe that you are gone forever, Shiloh. It’s so damn final and I hate that we can do nothing but accept it.

It has been a tormenting 9 weeks and the pain does not seem to subside. For every week that passes I think about how old you would be and what you would be doing by now. You would be lifting your head, looking at me, smiling, cooing… doing cute baby things.

The apartment feels so empty without you. Even though you never came home with us after you were born, we are surrounded by your belongings and consumed by the memories of when you were alive, inside of me. Those memories are still so vivid and I cherish each and every one of them. And I promise you Shiloh, you will always be remembered, not only by me and by daddy, but also by family, friends and even strangers. Your brief life has touched so many other lives and we are so very proud of you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Light up a Life

On Dec 7th, Andreas and I hung a star in memory of Shiloh at Light up a Life hosted by SB Hospice. A memorial tree at the Labero Theater was illuminated with hundreds of sparkling lights, each symbolizing a tribute to a loved one, as well as a donation to Hospice in memory or in honor of that loved one. It was an extremely sad moment for us. We still cannot believe Shiloh is gone forever.

We also hung a star in honor of my father who has pancreatic cancer at the young age of 63. Life is so cruel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Letter to Shiloh #4


My grief continues to devour me. Everyday is such a struggle- to get out of bed in the morning, to force myself to eat at mealtime, to watch the hours drag by, and then to go back to bed in the evening, without you. My body and mind are programmed to mother you, but I can’t. I’m being denied of motherhood. I don’t know a worse tragedy to befall a person.

I feel like I’m going in circles with my grief; I have days when I feel like I am regressing. The numbness and shock are phased in and out of the realization and anger. I’m trying to separate out these feelings, to label them, so I can understand why I’m feeling certain emotions at certain times, but nothing seems to make sense. I’m starting to believe that there really is no sense in such tragedies.

I’m not sure where I should go from here, Shiloh. I’m so confused, so unfulfilled. The things that I wanted before you were born no longer interest me. I’m sick of this small, dark apartment, of going nowhere in my PhD, of daddy’s unhappiness with his job, of living in this materialistic country…. But, our routine is sadly the same- nothing has changed, but everything has changed. You were going to fix a lot of things for your daddy and me. We were going to take all these other complaints with a grain of salt because we were just so, so happy to have you. So what do we do now that you aren’t here with us? There is no moving on… but giving up is not an option either.

I have so many unanswered questions. Will I be able to find meaning in life now that sorrow has found a home in me? Will joy be part of my life again? Will there ever be a time when I can smile again, unreservedly? When will I feel life inside me again? Will I be able to safely bring your future siblings into this world? Have we been punished enough or will we contend with more tragedy in the future? In time, there will be answers to these questions, but for now, I linger in the dark, thinking only of you and what our life together should have been like.

You will always be a newborn baby in my mind, but in my heart- an inquisitive toddler, a blooming child, a rebellious adolescent, and a beautiful woman. I love you endlessly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

All we have left...

Some of our amazing memories of Shiloh.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Imagine


Imagine trying to desperately remember the last time your baby moved.
Imagine willing your baby to move, talking to her, playing her music.
Imagine racing to the emergency room with the fear that something terrible has happened to your baby.
Imagine being told that your baby no longer has a beating heart, but not knowing why.
Imagine being in the hospital, knowing that you are going to give birth to a baby that will never take its first breath, all the while hearing the first cries of other babies- live babies- just in the next room.
Imagine hearing a dad yell to his son, “Quick the baby is coming”, while being wheeled in a wheelchair through the labor and delivery ward after 12 hours of fruitless labor.
Imagine returning to your car with the new baby seat still installed in the back.
Imagine going to the hospital pregnant and coming home from the hospital empty-handed.
Imagine returning home full of dread and walking into the cold, empty nursery.
Imagine putting all of the newly assembled baby paraphernalia back into their boxes.
Imagine having a distended belly and feeling the kicks of a baby who is no longer in your womb.
Imagine your milk coming in, but having no baby to nourish.
I don’t have to imagine. This is my nightmare.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Letter to Shiloh #3

Shiloh, my sweet baby, I miss you so terribly much. You are constantly on my mind. Not a day goes by where I don’t envision the smooth lines of your jaw, the texture of your skin, the magnificence of your face. Sometimes I even feel like I am still pregnant with you. I think I feel your rapid heartbeat and your eager kicks. But eventually I wake up to reality- the depth of my sorrow and the ugliness of life. G-d, I feel so mortal.

The past 6 weeks have been unbearable. I’m so tired and I feel that my life has turned into one big cliché… “just breathe”, “one day at a time”, “one foot in front of the other”, “there are no words”…. I know that everyone wants to help us get through your loss, but I don’t know that I want to get through it. I want to hurt, I want to yearn for you. You should be here on earth, with us, but you’re not.

I was the happiest woman on this planet the entire 40 weeks of being pregnant with you. I read so many books, checked weekly on how you were developing, ate well, took prenatal vitamins, exercised- everything a good mom should do. Towards the end of the pregnancy, I even started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to wrap you properly in your sling or receiving blanket, to breastfeed you, or to remember all the words to the nursery rhymes, but I never once worried about losing you. The thought was inconceivable. Little did I know….

There is this misconception that, after the first trimester of pregnancy, losing a child never happens. How untrue. I am so angry with my doctor for telling me that your death was a freak accident, that the chances of it happening a second time are almost nil. Again, entirely untrue. It has been shown that women that have an umbilical cord accident in one pregnancy have a 5-fold chance of having another cord accident in a subsequent pregnancy. Why do doctors think that they know everything? Why do they not keep up with current research when it can save innocent lives? Didn’t they go into obstetrics because they like to welcome lives into this world…?

Since you’ve passed away, I’ve been beyond distraught and hungry to hear about other women’s losses, to feel like we hadn’t been singled out, like we hadn’t done something to deserve this terrible fate. I wanted any and all information I could find on cord accidents, and have searched endlessly for the last 6 weeks. I was instantly directed to the Pregnancy Institute headed by Dr. Collins in Louisiana. Dr. Collins is the only doctor that I know of that has been researching cord accidents- he has done so for that last 25 years. Luckily he gave his contact information on the website, so I emailed him for some answers and asked him how I go about being a part of his study in the future, so I can be sure that your younger brothers and sisters-to-be come safely into this world. He called the next day and talked to me about you for almost 2 hours. He tried to assure me that there was nothing that I could have done differently to save you, short of being constantly monitored by a doctor before the critical time. Nevertheless, this does not make me feel any better. You are still gone, and this, most unfortunately, will never change.

So I’ve gone from being the happiest woman in the world, to being the most miserable and bitter. It is now such a slap in the face when I see a pregnant woman or a woman with a baby. And all of the sudden, there are pregnant women and babies everywhere! Before, I loved seeing families because I was well on my well to having my own, and I loved seeing pregnant women because I knew that they could relate to my joy, that we had an unspoken bond of sorts. But now I’m just broken-hearted and empty-handed, making wishes on fallen eyelashes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A letter about your mommy


The day we found out that we were pregnant with you, your mommy started reading tons of books to make sure she could do everything possible to bring you into this world happy and healthy. She stopped eating food she liked because it was not good for you, she got lots of rest to make sure you had enough energy to grow, and still she managed to work, study and take care of other people around her. Yes, your mommy is the most loving, loyal, focused, and caring person I know in the whole world.

She wanted to meet you so badly, and so did I; so badly that we could not stop talking and dreaming about you. I know you know all this because you were with her for an incredible nine months. I know how happy you must have been inside of her, hearing her voice, experiencing her moves, and feeling her warmth. She was certainly the happiest person on earth, and I would do anything to bring this happiness back into her life.

All she wanted was to take care of you, to watch you grow up with us, and to be a mommy to you. But she can only do that in her heart now. Shiloh, your mommy is such a fighter. Even when she was told that you fell asleep inside of her, she wanted to give you the birth that you deserved. I have never seen a stronger person in my life. She loves you so much, that she would have done anything not to hurt you.

You would be 6 weeks old today, and everyday without you breaks your mommy’s heart. She doesn’t want to live without you, but she knows daddy needs her so much. Yes Shiloh, your mommy is a fighter. She will not give up and you can be so proud of her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Letter to Shiloh #2

I watch the bricks and mortar fall away from each other, piece by piece. I feel like my world is crumbling around me and I can’t do anything but watch. My hands are tied. My feelings are no longer mine to control. I’m trapped on this rollercoaster of emotions, being thrown side to side, upside down, into loops, all the while feeling sick to my stomach.

Most days I feel like I can’t go on without you. Other times, I have a tiny glimmer of hope where I feel like I can pull through this, that this will make me a stronger, more compassionate person. But these times are few and far between. Mostly, I’m directionless, blindly walking through this ominous pit of darkness, thinking that I’ll never see the light on the other side.

I honestly can’t say where I am finding the energy and the courage to get through the days in the face of such darkness. But having your daddy as my rock, to cry to, to cry with, to lean on, is invaluable to me. The only good that has come out of this tragedy is the renewed intensity of our love for each other. Together, united, we wade through this endless journey of grief and healing.

But I’m re-evaluating life now that you are not here. What seemed so important to me before you left us is so unimportant now that you are gone. My focus has shifted from trying to zealously plan the future, to living for every single moment in the present. Your departure from this world, even before you were able to breathe your first breath, has made me painfully aware of just how fragile and unjust life is.

To be a childless mother is above agonizing. To say it is agonizing, miserable, painful- these are vast understatements. These words are so tangible, so minimizing… the feelings I have are indescribable, no words can do them justice. But all I can ask for is that, over time, the dominance of these feelings wanes so life without you, here on earth, is more livable.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Shiloh


We are in awe of your raw beauty.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Letter to Shiloh

Today is Thanksgiving. You would be one month and two days old. I had a little Thanksgiving onesie for you to wear. It has a turkey on it and it says, “My first Thanksgiving”. But it sits here in front of me, unwashed and unworn. We were supposed to go to San Diego to see the family, to see everyone so they could ooh and aah over you, to be thankful for your presence. Well, I’ve got nothing to be thankful for. Instead of the joy and togetherness I’m meant to feel, I’m just sad, alone, angry. These feelings deepen as the days go by.

People say that it’s supposed to get less difficult over time, but it seems like it’s getting harder. Realization is setting in. It’s so permanent. I’ll never ever be able to hold you again. I’m getting crushed under the weight of this realization. I’m lost in this labyrinth of emotions. I can’t seem to do much of anything lately. My heart is not in it; it’s with you.

Daddy and I have been walking along the beach a lot since you’ve gone away. Some days we talk about you the entire time, some days we remain quiet but think about nothing but you. We listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the birds circling above, the solitude. The energy there is powerful. Are you there with us? Do you feel this energy? Do you feel our love? Fingers entwined, we separately soul search, but ask the same questions. Why did this happen to us? What did you do to deserve this? Why are we being punished? We are kind, caring people with so much love to give…

Occasionally, when I muster up the strength, I open your beautiful memory box. I smell the hat I put on you right after birth. I trace my finger over the shape of your footprints, the lifelines in your handprints, the soft lock of your brown baby hair. These, and your photos, are the remnants I have of you, the proof of your existence.

Your ultrasound photos continue to hang on our wall downstairs. I just don’t have the strength to take them down; it feels all wrong. Besides, I love looking at you. I drink in every detail of you, right down to the length of your little baby fingernails. I have you memorized and I can’t get over how perfect, how beautiful you are in every way. And because of this, amidst my immeasurable agony and utter loss, are feelings of intense pride.

I can’t bring myself to clean out your nursery either. Even though not a thing has been slept in, laid on, or put on, these are all of your things. I often stand in your room with my eyes shut tight and I try to visualize your little body in your crib, on your changing table, in your new pink cardigan. You would have loved your room. Daddy and I spent weeks painting it. It is pink and brown and has trees with leaves blowing in the wind and little birds in the trees. Perhaps one day you would have become a biologist like mommy and wondered what species the trees and the birds were. I think about these sorts of things all the time. But I’ll never know the answers to any of these things I wonder about.

I hope to see you again one day, my sweet baby. It may be a very long time from now, but I will never ever forget you Shiloh. I love you so incredibly much and as much as I don’t like to think about you not being here with me, I know that you are safe in heaven in the arms of your great grandparents. Please watch over us, and if possible, let us know that you are here with us at least in spirit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jagged edges

At first I was scared, but now I’m addicted.
I’m addicted to looking at your photos.
I can’t seem to get them out of my mind.
The plumpness of your cheeks, the shape of your nose, the color of your lips.
I try to imagine you awake, alive, but I can’t. It’s so unfair.
I want to look into your eyes, I want to feel your heart beat; I want to do all the things I’ll never have a chance to do.
I’ve yet to go a night without crying over you, for you, for me.
My body wracks with sobs, my arms ache for you.
I’ve forgone smiling, laughter, happiness.
I’m afraid to face friends, afraid of my emotions, the complexity of my thoughts.
So I’ve pushed away everyone but daddy.
They just can’t understand how I feel, the many levels of my pain.
My innocence, my naïveté, taken away.
How do I compartmentalize my agony?
I can’t.
So life goes on around me, without me.
Everything has changed.
It’s not just enduring the loss of my daughter, but the loss of myself, the loss of my future, the change in the way people look at me, the way they respond to me, the way I respond to them.
I’ve been cast into the wrong movie, hearing words I don’t understand.
Will I ever be able to make small talk again, to listen to other’s problems, no matter how insignificant?
But I need people. I can’t, I shouldn’t, isolate myself.
I need strong people, someone strong enough to see me cry, to cry with me, to find the right words when there aren’t any, to know that they don’t know.
But for now I remain alone, because I don’t have the strength.
You’ve been stolen from me, a piece of me ripped away.
Jagged edges don’t heal smoothly. Once torn, forever weakened.
Nine months with you was endlessly generous, but life without you is equally cruel.
I know I’ll never be whole again.

-your mommy, Rachel Simon

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No, not without you Shiloh

No bringing you home from the hospital in your new car seat
No cuddling up with you, no feeling your heat.

No driving you around when you're cranky and can't sleep
No cooing, no crying, no, you'll not make a peep.

No smiling, no crawling, no other milestones
No beach, no ocean, no together skipping stones.

No wrapping you in your blankets, no soothing your cries
No rocking you in your rocking chair, no changing your diaper, no singing lullabies.

No trimming your fine hair or your little baby nails
No Cinderella, no Snow White, no, no fairy tales.

No sleeping with you on our bed, nor on my chest
No spitting up, no burping, no putting you to breast.

No kissing your soft cheeks, your tiny nose, your gorgeous face
No changing your nursery because that was meant to be your place.

No putting you in your crib, your bouncer, your swing
No running errands with you in your new baby sling.

No wearing of onesies, undershirts or dresses
No washing your small clothes, no cleaning up your messes.

No Thanksgiving, no Chanukah, and no New Year
No visiting San Diego for your grandparents, aunt and uncles to be near.

No taking you on walks, no showing you off to friends
No more filling out your baby book, to my pain is there no end?

No sitting you on my lap to put on your socks and tie your shoes
Oh g-d, I'd give anything right now to have the true baby blues.

My life has changed for the worse now that you are no longer here
No hope, no purpose, no direction, no cheer.

No, without you Shiloh, our family is just not complete
Living without you is already proving to be no easy feat.

- your mommy, Rachel Simon


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shiloh's website


Andreas and I created this website in Shiloh's memory (http://thenewsimons.com) not only for ourselves and for our families, but especially for those of you that never met Shiloh. We want you to put a face to her name. We want for everyone to remember her, to see how beautiful and perfect she was, and to know how empty our lives are without her. We also want to educate people about umbilical cord accidents (UCAs).

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words and prayers. It is going to be a long healing process, one which we will never be completely over, but are learning to work through day by day, and knowing that we have support from family and friends is invaluable to us.

Love, 
Rachel and Andreas
~~~~~~~~~~~
Andreas und ich haben eine Internetseite in Shiloh's Gedenken gestaltet (http://thenewsimons.com), nicht nur fuer uns und unsere Familien, sondern insbesondere fuer alle die Shiloh leider nicht kennen lernen konnten. Wir moechten das ihr ein Gesicht mit ihrem Namen verbinden koennt, seht wie wunderschoen und einzigartig sie war, und wie lehr unser Leben ohne sie ist. Wir moechten das sie nievergessen wird, und das sie nicht ohne Grund von uns gegangen ist. Daher haben wir auch Information an Nabelschnurkomplikationen auf der Seite beigefuegt.

Danke fuer Eure lieben Worte und Gebete. Es wird lange dauern zu heilen, und die Wunden werden nie ganz verschwinden, aber jeden Tag bewegen wir uns ein kleines Stueck vorwaerts. Eure Unterstuetzung bedeutet uns sehr viel in dieser schweren Zeit.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You are always in our hearts


In loving memory of our beautiful daughter, Shiloh Jayden Simon, born still on October 28, 2008 due to an umbilical cord accident. You will be forever missed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preggers unite!


Meet Sonja (German), one half of one of the couples we met in our childbirth classes. She is 37 weeks and due Nov 9th, but I reckon she's gonna go before me! Check out our bellies! We also have the same OBGYN and were sharing stories over dinner (my first experience with Raclette) at their place on Tuesday night. We've started walking and spending babe-free time together (while we have it!) as well. It's good fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

39 weeks and counting


It's officially been 39 weeks, and I had my weekly appointment with the OBGYN today. I'm still not effaced or dilated and rarely have contractions, but the baby's head is continuing to descend (I thought her head was already down all the way?!). I'm in no rush to have the baby though. The doc tells me that the hospital has been crazy busy with multiple births everyday, as has she! I think I'd rather give birth when the hospital isn't completely chockers. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yey for lemons


This afternoon, Andreas and I went with a few friends to the CA Lemon Festival in Goleta. It was mostly for kids, but we throughly enjoyed the cornucopia of lemon and non-lemon food and festivities. Andreas had a very tasty bratwurst (made by real Germans nonetheless) with lemon ale in a fancy schmancy lemon festival mason jar. Some of the other lemon foods we enjoyed were fresh lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon ice cream, lemon pound cake, lemon cookies, etc etc. Twas a lemon-filled, yummy day.

UCSB's Grad Formal(er)

Stephen, Courtney, Andreas and I attended Grad Formal(er) last night. It's basically a night for graduate students and their partners to be whipped back in time to the high school days where formal and/or prom was the talk of the last half of junior and senior year. Unfortunately for them, this formal wasn't as fun or as memorable. But that's OK because it was nice to get out of the house on a Saturday night (even though we were on campus and had to pay $10 to be there!), dress up a little bit (I couldn't find anyone to lend me a moo moo), meet up with friends and attempt to dance to the lame music they played (a horrendous synthesis of 70's, 80's, and 90's, right in the middle of a single song!). We also had our caricatures done, which -again- I wasn't so pleased with (I mean, come on, LOOK AT MY FREAKING HONKER OF A CHIN)! Maybe I'm just getting more critical in my older age.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New camera experimentation


Tonight we tested out our new digital camera. It takes great photos! 

Also, this is the belly at 38 weeks. I had doctors appointment this morning and evidently I am not yet ready to give birth (not effaced = thick, not dilated = closed) for the second week in a row, although the baby is engaged and is very anterior (which are supposedly good things). I have a weird feeling I am going to be two weeks late...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nursery

The nursery is finally finished- furniture and all. Check it out!



Saturday, October 4, 2008

Santa Barbara Baby Shower



It really is coming down to the nitty-gritty now. Today was not only truly my last baby class (PEP baby basics- where the best part was a mom showing us how to bathe her REAL 5 week old son!), but also my second and my last baby shower. And it really was a shower because it actually rained in SB... nothing short of a miracle. Courtney, Sara and Sarah hosted a fantastic shower- complete with entertaining baby/pregnancy games, adorable presents, healthy finger foods and delicious homemade cupcakes and caramel/chocolate covered pretzels. What good friends they are. We had so much fun. Hopefully I can spend a bit more "child-free" time with them in the coming weeks.

Speaking of which, I have now reached 37 weeks, or will have on Tues coming. I could give birth any day now and it would be considered term (37-41.5 weeks is term). It's also only 26 days until my due date of Oct 30th. This is such a trip, but we are over the moon! Stay tuned for photos/video of the finished nursery...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I prepared for childbirth now?


Today was our last class in the prepared childbirth series. I must say, I'm a bit sad that I won't see most of those women on a weekly basis anymore. They were all very keen on learning about the birthing process as well as how to take care of their newborns. I guess they wouldn't have been there otherwise. We did make a few friends though, and we hope to hang out with them postpartum. We even met a German woman (with an American husband) who works at UCSB, and who, like us, would like to raise her child bilingual. Hopefully we can help each other along! So, all in all it was a successful class. Although, am I really prepared for childbirth now? Well, let's just say I'm a little more prepared...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baby clothing smorgasbord

Today we washed the layette. It doesn't get any cuter than this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Santa Barbara Baby Fair- for all things baby!


Today we went to the Santa Barbara Baby Fair at Goleta Cottage Hospital and got lots of free stuff ranging from hefty literature on starting a college fund (ALREADY!), to little, red heart outlet covers, to canvas bags, to a little baby t-shirt that says "I eat at Mom's." Adorable. It was fun being around loads of other moms and moms-to-be. I was even approached for maternity modeling!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pregnancy update


Well, things are certainly moving along rather quickly. I'm already 34 weeks tomorrow and am getting ever bigger! My total weight gain to date is 28 pounds on the dot... not too bad, although I still have at least 4, if not 6, full weeks to go. Keep the poundage comin'!

Symptoms (I've omitted the ones you probably don't want to know about!): 
Luckily I am not feeling as tired as I was in my first trimester, but have a little fatigue
Fainty feeling in the morning for about an hour (probably due to my body trying to catch up from having not eaten in 8-10 hours- protein seems to work for this)
Little bit of hip/back pain from waddling everywhere (I guess my hips are spreading?!)
Trouble taking deep breaths (this sucks when it comes time for beddy-by)

We've been attending a prepared childbirth series over the last month and have a few more classes to go. We are also attending a child CPR class and a baby basics class to learn how to hold, bathe, dress the baby, etc. Andreas went to a three hour "Dad's Bootcamp" on Saturday and learned all about fatherhood. In addition, we've chosen a doula to attend the birth as I'd like to try and go as naturally as possible, and feel like she could help mediate between Andreas/me and the nurses/doctor (who sometimes do whatever they want to your body without first notifying you). If you aren't familiar with the work of doulas, they greatly benefit the mom in her birthing experience both psychologically and physically.

The nursery is almost finished. We ordered a mattress, but of course it was defective, so we are waiting on the new one. The crib, dresser and changing table have all been replaced (long story) and are set up in their respective spots with tiny clothes already ubiquitous. We've hung a shelf for baby books, have a clothes giraffe, and got a little toy chest for the closet. Now we just have to wash all the clothes and bedding and put the carseat in the car and I think we're set. I'll take video/photos of the finished product in a few weeks. We are going to be parents soon... it's still so surreal. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My birthday!


Today was my 28th birthday (gawd I'm getting up there...). It was fun, for the most part. Andreas and I got up early to have a nice brekky at Sambos downtown. We walked around a bit afterwards, as Andreas was very eager to buy me a little birthday something. He kept saying how extremely generous he was feeling, as I continually kept rejecting the idea of a birthday present (no, I am not insane thank you- the reason being we still have lots of baby stuff to get and have already spent a small fortune!). However, I got a surprise. We came back to the car to find a birthday parking ticket in our window (this was the not-so-fun part, if you haven't deduced- I also had to work for 4 hours, which didn't help!). So, if I didn't want a birthday present before, I REALLY don't want one now! I can't think of a bigger waste of $41. Anyhow, I couldn't tear Andreas's thoughts away from at least treating me to a nice dinner; so we went back to our favourite steak house- Ruth Chris. Again, if you haven't been- please do the world a favour, and go! It's yummy. They also gave me an amazing chocolate explosion cake for birthday dessert, loaded with vanilla ice cream, injected with oozing chocolate ganache and drizzled in caramel. Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here, then gone,... and back again!


I have an incredible story to tell. So here goes: my bike was stolen Sunday morning around 8am, from in front of our apartment about three weeks ago. While laying in bed, I actually heard the person riding away with the second love of my life (this bike is really comfortable and rides well, despite its age). Needless to say, I was devastated. But you have to understand, bike theft is extremely commonplace at UCSB because it is the most widely used source of transportation for most everyone in Santa Barbara. I almost feel like if you haven't gotten a bike stolen during your time in SB, you can't really say that you ever lived the UCSB life. Anyway, I digress. So ever since that fateful day, I have determinedly been searching campus for my little blue bike. And yesterday, coming back from a hard days work at the library, I found it. It was in front of the engineering building, looking exactly as I had left it (with a bit more lube on the chain of course!). I was ecstatic and couldn't believe it. This is no easy feat- I'm talking about a campus with like 50,000 bikes. Andreas and I tried to figure out how to get it back in one piece (it was locked really well with a kryptonite lock)- we asked construction workers, facilities management, Campus Security and finally went to the police. In the meantime, we took every unlocked/available piece of the bike (right down to the pin that holds the wheels to the frame!) we could so the culprit couldn't just ride it away while we searched for a solution. Finally, we persuaded a cop to follow us to the site and had Campus Security cut the lock off with heavy duty bolt cutters. We put that baby in our car with such a sense of accomplishment. It was a great feeling! I just wish we could have staked out to see the look on the poor tool's face that had his stolen bike stolen back!!! HA! Serves you right culprit... stealing from a pregnant woman...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Aussie in Cali


Seeing Xavier Rudd in concert is truly an incredible experience. He's such a talented musician- he plays guitars, Yidaki (didgeridoos), Weissborn slide guitars, stomp box, harmonica, percussion AND sings!!! Karen, Oleg, Andreas and I rocked out to Xavier last night at the 4th and B in San Diego. I almost felt like we were back in Oz... well, for a few minutes at least.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

SD Baby Shower

The San Diego baby shower and baby shower BBQ were a hit! We all had so much fun, and got awesome AND practical baby gifts! Kudos to Mom, Jenn, Karen and Sari for putting on such a wonderful celebration for girly baby Simon and thanks so much to all of those that came for the thoughtful presents. Now we just have to fit them all in our tiny apartment! I'm certainly looking forward to that "nesting" instinct kicking in in a few weeks!!!

For more baby shower photos, please go to the our Picasa Album.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Music to my ears

Stephen, Courtney, Andreas and I went to the Jack Johnson concert tonight at UCSB's Harder Stadium. It was great fun. The baby seemed to enjoy it as well! Here's a short video of him singing (he was pretty good live) and a little bit of my terrible singing for your viewing pleasure. 

video

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kick the people you love- it's a new sign of affection

The baby's kicking has gotten more and more intense over the past few months (sometimes it actually hurts!) and I wanted to document it. Every night before we go to sleep, she gets real rowdy, especially at her favourite hang out spot, the very right side of my abdomen. So last night, as I was laying on my left side in bed, I made a little video of her. Watch the right side of the frame for some action. I wonder if this is an indicator of things to come...!
video

Friday, August 22, 2008

The belly is taking over

30 weeks and 3 days! Do you think I can still fit into Abercrombie and Fitch clothes?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm in stroller heaven!

Yey!!! We've finally chosen a stroller/pram after months and months of research. Yes, believe me, 'months and months of research' is really necessary when buying travel equipment for a child- ask any parent or parent-to-be. It is seriously like buying a car. We ended up with the Bugaboo Bee in dark khaki... a great, neutral lighter-weight stroller that one can also use for newborns with the addition of a 'nest/cocoon'. It's oh so purty.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Go the Gold and Green!

After only being here for a few short days, Johno was so sad to go, and we were sad to see him leave... rather we'd have loved to go back to Brissy with him!!! But, he'll be back in January to visit again, and most likely we'll go back to Oz in July 2009 if all goes as planned. Here we are, the three musketeers, sporting Aussie colours. Advance Australia Fair!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aussie mates

Our friend John has been visiting us from good ole' Brisbane, Australia and what do we do...? Well, we put him to work building our new shed of course, make him earn his keep! ...Such a good bloke that John...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do I look bigger?


I feel like I'm busting out of my clothes and I still have 3 months to go! AH! This is me at 27 weeks and 5 days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nursery painting- the finished product

Well, we have finally finished painting the nursery after two long weeks of daily effort. But as you can see, it was well worth all of the hard work. We are quite pleased with how it turned out. The next task is to build up our crib and dresser/changing table (once we get a shed so we can move our shoes, road bikes, etc. out of that room!). Having babies is so much fun!
video

Friday, July 25, 2008

In between painting the nursery...

I got short hair cut #3!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wrapping up the nursery

We've finally made it to the stencils (that's what I'm cutting out in the first photo!) and the last of the stripes (with painting tape still attached!). It's finally looking good and was definitely worth all of the hard work.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby gut continued


This is the baby gut at week 26. I've already gained 20 pounds! One more week and I am in trimester three. Scary!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Musicals


We spent the day in LA with our friends Stephen and Courtney and saw the musical The Drowsy Chaperone at the Ahmanson Theater. Very amusing! Last month, Andreas and I saw another musical called A Chorus Line. Sometimes it's not a curse living so close to LA!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My moment of glory


Andreas let me paint two of the small brown stripes in the nursery, but he made me wear a face mask! This was indeed my two minutes of glory- at least I can say I participated in the painting!