Friday, August 27, 2010

Books, Games & Pregnancy Updates

I am currently 27 weeks far along. Still a long way to go but everything has been great so far. We went to the doctor today. I had another sugar routine check, I believe this has been the third time that they took out some blood sample to check for sugar in my bloodstream. All came back normal so everything has been cool so far. In 3 weeks, I think I'm going to have a glucose tolerance test. I believe that's when they give you something sweet to drink, wait for an hour or so then take some blood sample to determine how quickly it is cleared from the blood. I've been hearing not so good things about that test but if it's something I need to go through, then so be it, but I'm definitely not looking forward to it, lol. Anyway, the doctor said baby's heartbeat sounded great. I've been feeling some mild occasional cramps at nights but he said it's quite normal as long as there's no fluid or blood discharge. He advised me to take plenty of water though since dehydration could also cause more cramping. The most exciting update for me is feeling the baby move. I started feeling it since week 24. The first kick freaked me out at first, haha! But I have gotten used to it after a while. It worries me sometimes when I feel him less on some days. It puts a smile on my face or makes me giggle whenever I feel him move around. I can't believe there's actually somebody growing inside of me and actually moving. It's just an amazing feeling.

On a different note, I've been inefficient dealing with time lately. I mean I understand I'm already physically limited to do stuff around the house but it makes me feel kinda' bored at times. Hubby understands and sympathizes with me so as what he always does, he's quick to respond to my needs, hehe. He would always take me out for dinner, drive me to shopping stores on weekends, buy me some plants from nurseries that I've enjoyed watering everyday, hehe, and just recently he got me some video games from Amazon for my WII and DS and also some books for us to read together at night. We've started reading "The Baby Book" together and it's kinda neat to learn stuff together about having a baby. On the other hand, I've been keeping myself busy on weekdays by playing WII. I love Rune Factory: Frontier. It's my first time to try simulation/role playing video game and I enjoyed the stuff you can do in that game. You can grow crops and then sell them, defeat and befriend monsters in dungeons and turn them into pets if you wish to, mine for metals and minerals, go fishing, spend money and material to buy a variety of upgrades for the house, weapons, and tools or even meet somebody that you can start a family with. It's a cool and unique game and I find myself easily spend hours playing it. It's better than sleeping all the time which was what I have done in the past.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Closet space dilemma

Shopping for clothes is one of the things that I enjoy doing. I’m more into comfortable, good quality and a little trendy but not out of this world type of outfits. I don’t own urban clothing anymore. I used to wear those back in the PI when I was so much younger but I don’t think I can pull off an outfit like that anymore. As much as possible, I try to be reasonable and low key with my choice of clothing. When you live in the U.S., you have to dress according to the weather, so we have at least 2 sets of clothing for the warm and cold season, which eventually leads to the problem of limited closet space. We have 2 decent-sized closets and a big dresser/chest drawer in the house but I’ve used all of the available space there is to separate our summer and winter outfits. Now that we are expecting a little guy to join the family, I think I might need more closet space. I might have to go through our clothes and see if there are some that we don’t really need and just ship it to the Philippines to free up some space. Gosh, I wish we have a huge walk-in closet!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What is his name for the week?

In a way, it frustrates me that until now we haven't come up with a final name for our baby boy. Sometimes I would take it against Jeff that we don't have a name yet, hehe! Like it's his fault that we couldn't agree on one. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones or something, haha! I have a long list of names to consider so Jeff suggested that we should use one name for a few days or weeks and see if it grows on us. So we started using Timmy (Timothy) for weeks, but it hadn't really grown on me, especially when my family in the Philippines wasn't wild about it either. Then I thought it's time to try a different name after that. We've tried Mickie (Michael) for a few days, but I inadvertently kept on reverting back to using Timmy because I couldn't get used to saying it. I know I had to try another one this time. I fell in love with the name Dominic for a while. I thought I'd nicknamed him Nico, but I got discouraged when some people said it can be a girl's name. Whaat! I thought Dominique is the girl version of the name. Then there's the fact that Jeff doesn't like it very much either because he couldn't pronounced it well, haha! For some reason, he pronounced it more like "Domi-neek" instead of Domi-nik". So I told him just call him Nico, but he said he wants to be able to say his full name with authority when he's in trouble or something, and definitely he doesn't like to stutter during these moments, lol! (which I understand) I completely lost interest in it when my sister in the PI pointed out that he could be teased in school by calling him Domino, huhu! So I moved on to another one on my list. My mom suggested Nathan, Noah and Laurence among other names but I'm sorry, no offense meant to people with these names but it just didn't click on me. Then we've tried Liam, Ronan, Evan, Cole and Finley for days. It's funny because we had used so many names that sometimes we forget what's his name for the week so we just call him "boy", lol! Today, on our way home from the furniture store, Jeff got inspired from a song he heard over the radio and he went, "What about Jeremy?" Hmm, I paused for a second, then I thought it's not a bad idea at all. So for this week until further notice, hehe, we'd be using Jeremy. I don't know for how long this name will last, but I sure do hope before he pops out, we'd have a definite name by then. (*sigh) The joy of first time parents!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Preparation is the key

Have you thought about getting into law school? Well, I know it’s not for everyone but if you think you’re interested, it might be helpful to know that one has to pass a standardized admission test which basically covers reading and verbal reasoning skills before you’re even allowed to take up law. Pre-Law students often report that lsat prep is one of the most stressful experiences in their academic lives. However, it’s not something to fear, but rather a stepping stone that will get you into law school you’ve been hoping for. Plenty of valuable resources will help you prepare for the test. As a matter of fact, lsat prep courses are now offered online to best cater to the changing needs of many individuals today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A mom could dream

If I had not been pregnant, we would have gone to Florida in October to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. But I wasn’t heartbroken in the least, because having our first little angel is truly a blessing. It will be a wonderful anniversary gift for both of us. I’ll just have to set aside my desire to visit Florida temporarily. The reason I wanted to see Florida is because of its beautiful white sand beaches. However, since we have a little boy to look forward to, it’s tempting to check out Disney vacation packages as early as now. I know it's going to be expensive but we still have a few years to save up for that. At least even just once in our little boy's lifetime, he was able to visit Disney World.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean better

Jeff has been using Progressive for our auto insurance for years. But when we bought the car, I thought of looking into some other companies that offer discount auto insurance policies. It's not because we are dissatisfied with Progressive, but I just thought maybe there are better offers out there, so I asked for quotes from 4 other insurance companies. To my surprise, all of the other 4 companies offer cheaper insurance premium than what we've been paying for currently. But we're reluctant to switch for a number of reasons. There's no assurance that they are better than our present policy. We try to read customer service reviews and not a lot of people have good things to say with those companies. Jeff never had problems in the past with Progressive as far as accident claims are concerned. So we decided to stay with our present insurance company.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eyeing for a great glider

We have been using our new king-sized bed and mattress for almost a month now. I love how comfortable and huge it is. Although hubby finds it too big for just the two of us, I just told him when our little boy comes along, he can sleep with us on the bed, hehe. Anyway, because of its size, I was able to use my body pillow, one memory foam pillow on my back, and 2 king-sized pillows to support my head and neck without having to worry whether hubby still has room on his side of the bed. Literally, I’ve been surrounded with pillows, lol! The downside of it is I have to toss away one or two of them so I could scoot down the bed during bathroom trips, hehe. But other than that, I’ve been feeling comfortable and heavenly in our new bed. I’m not quite sure if I can still say this when I’ll be on my 8th and 9th month of pregnancy though. When the tummy grows that big, I have a feeling, no comfortable bed would ever make one feel comfortable and restful at nights.

Thanks to my sister who gave us lots of necessary things for the baby, we crashed out the crib, mattress, play pen, dresser/changing table, car seat, stroller, walker, bath tub, bouncy chair from our "To Buy" list. That saved us a lot of money. I still need one furniture though so this weekend, we’re going to look for another piece of furniture for our baby’s room. We were thinking of getting a nice glider for baby feeding times. I enjoy looking around at furniture stores even if we don’t necessarily buy anything right away. I love to look at contemporary furniture displays, though I must admit I’m still into traditional and casual designs. I saw some gliders at Walmart but hubby doesn't trust the quality of furnitures at this store. He said he'd rather spend a couple of hundreds more to ensure we'll get a furniture that would last much longer than spend a little over one hundred dollars and get something that would break after a few months. I agree with him so we're thinking of getting it at the same furniture store where we got our bed from.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My family in Illinois

To all my friends and fellow bloggers who have been wanting to see a preggy photo of me, here it is. I have posted a few on Facebook but I figured not all of my blogging friends are on my FB friends' list so if you're interested to see a preggy Jenn, just read on...

These were taken during my sister's visit from Illinois. As I've mentioned before, they brought a lot of baby stuff for our future lil boy. It's been 6 months since we've seen each other back in the PI at my wedding and it feels good to see them again. It sure was a long drive for them and I was so grateful they made it all the way to Lakeview safe and sound. They didn't stay very long though for she has work but we were able to bond a little bit. My nephew Bren has grown more and has been sweeter and gentler with me for we told him I have a small baby in my tummy, hehe.

Me with Bren

My sis Jingle

Preggo Me (6 months far along)

Me with my younger sister

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Check out's weekly deals

Have you ever heard of the site Well, I came across with it while I was helping my friend find great netbook deals online. They seem to have great selection of gadgets and other stuff at a discounted price. They even have weekly deals that cover pretty much everything, from books, office supplies, jewelries, make-up, clothing, toys, electronics, and even computers. Though they don't seem to be as popular as Amazon but it sure looks like it works like Amazon. You might want to check it out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An afternoon chit-chat

I got a surprise visit from my Filipina neighbor and friend the other day. She brought me some apples, green beans, tomato and peaches from her garden. And oh, she also got me some pork sinigang, too. Yum, yum! It’s been a while since we last talked. We talked a lot about baby stuff and her medical condition. She’s already on her 60’s, though I must say she doesn’t look that old to me. She takes really good care of herself. She’s trying to live a healthy lifestyle as well. For the past year or so, she’s enrolled in a special diet program quite similar to HCG weight loss Austin. Unfortunately, she recently hurt her back so she had to limit her physical activity and could not exercise very often like she used to, and I think she was advised to quit the program temporarily since diet without exercise won’t be that effective. Too bad!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Serves its purpose

Our first and still functioning Canon camera is a Power Shot S2 IS. Jeff bought it 4 years ago before he went over to the Philippines to visit me the first time. As a young bachelor that moves out a lot, he didn’t use to own much stuff including a camera. But he invested on one when we decided to meet in person because we want to have souvenirs and photo memories from our dates. He had no idea which camera to buy. But after some research, he was convinced of the durability and functionality of the zoom Canon camera. It's nothing fancy actually, it’s not even a DSLR which I’d like to own someday, but I love our old camera. It has excellent zooming quality and takes clear and crisp photos. It has never let me down so far. I always get compliments on how nice our camera is whenever I take it out to family and friends’ gatherings. And the most important thing, I love the quality of the photos our old Canon takes. If we need to upgrade in the near future, we're thinking to stick to Canon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

U-hauled their way to Lakeview

My sister in Illinois with her family paid us a visit last week. The drive from Bradley, IL to our place was supposed to be 8 hours but they had to stop in St. Louis, Missouri to spend the night in a hotel. Unfortunately, there was a sporting event held in St. Louis that day, so all the decent places to stay in the area were occupied. They drove a little further down and found a vacant room but according to my sister, it’s the worst place she’s ever stayed. The first thing that I’d always make sure whenever we stay in hotels is to check whether the doors have secured and safety locks. She said the deadbolt locks in that room was not even working. She had to set her alarm every 2 hours, just to be sure they won’t sleep soundly, that way they’ll stay alert and vigilant for suspicious sounds or people. I could imagine it had been stressful for her. But anyway, they survived and made it all the way to Arkansas safely. We’re thankful for they brought with them Bren’s stuff that our future baby boy could use like crib, dresser, mattress, bedding sets, playpen, walker, stroller, car seat, bouncy chair, baby tub, few toys, and plenty of still very nice hand-me-down baby clothing. My sister was very good in keeping these stuff in good condition because we had anticipated that sooner or later I’m gonna be a mom too and it’s a big help to have these things available to us for free. Newborns grow fast and I'm glad I don't have to buy much newborn clothing that our baby will just outgrow in weeks time. However, even with all those things she gave us, I still need so much more for the nursery. I made a list of the things we still need and approximately, it would still cost us hundreds or even thousands (if I'm not careful) to buy these things. Surely, it's expensive to have a baby but I would imagine the joy our little boy would bring to our lives when he comes out soon. We have started setting up the baby's room and we're very excited to have everything ready before the little angel comes along.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Capture, save them and show them off!

I love taking pictures. I didn’t use to like being photographed before. But that changed when I met hubby back in 2005. Ever since we met in person, he always makes me feel like I’m worth photographing for, lol! I’m his favorite subject, so he’d say, hehe. Cheesy, huh! But yeah, he had turned me into a camera addict, lol. I’d like to capture every place and event in our lives through photos. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who loves to take pictures of just about everything in their lives. I mean it’s a great way to save wonderful memories and look back at them and share them with your friends and loved ones. I don’t print them often enough to put it in an album though. Most of our photos are stored in our computer’s hard drive, disk, USB, social networking sites and my own personal blog. Sometimes I find it hard to share everything because of bandwidth and album capacity limits so I’d usually make a slide show and share it on my personal sites. A lot of websites allow you to customize your slide show with fancy backgrounds and cute animations and stuff. When I feel bored, I take the time to view them again and it reminds me a lot of wonderful memories when those photos were taken.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My First Car a used 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE. We bought this 2 months ago as the need for a second vehicle arises. Jeff owns a Chevy S10 truck and with our little Timmy on the way, we thought it would be necessary to own another vehicle that we can put a car seat on. We went to several used car dealers in the area and this was my top choice. It has a powerful V6 engine, upscale interior and catchy "Four-Door Sports Car" feel. I liked it right away when I had first set my eyes on it. Then we did some "test driving" and Jeff thought it's an awesome car. It runs so smooth that makes cruising on the highway so effortless and has some very interesting features. It has great gas mileage which matters to us. We both particularly like the cruise control feature which we didn't have with our old truck. I love to listen to music while on the road so the 6-cd player/cassette player/AM/FM station with (8) speakers & illuminated steering wheel audio controls was sweet. It may not be the top of the line vehicle but I love my first car. It is just what I need. Since I'm pregnant and out of work, I don't use it everyday, but whenever I feel like going out to breathe in some fresh air, do some shopping or even just enjoy sight-seeing, I take it out on the road and just bask in the exhilaration of the independent feeling of having to drive my own car alone. I have here some photos to share. It was drizzling when I took these photos so the car's exterior may look grainy and wet.



At a different angle

Driver's and Passenger's Seats

Little LCD display

Pretty Sky-view Roof

Spacious and comfortable rear bucket seats

Roomy cargo hold

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To walk or not to walk

My friends have been telling me that I should get some exercise now that I’m pregnant. I agree with them but I just couldn’t decide whether to walk around the neighborhood or use the treadmill. I must admit I’m not really a morning person so going for walks early in the morning is next to impossible. On the other hand, it gets too hot to go outside the house in the afternoon so I’m seriously thinking of just walking on the treadmill. I know I’d have to be very careful not to fall or go outbalanced so I wouldn’t go beyond my comfortable walking speed. Actually, I’m happy with the kind of treadmill we have. We bought this two years ago. We did some good research on treadmills over the internet and we specifically had our eyes on folding treadmills for we didn’t have much room in our place and we need something that saves us space. Although SOLE F-85 is huge and bulky, it folds as shown in the photo and I really love that feature.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Financial security for your family

Nothing is certain in life. That is why we worry too much on what the future holds. Most people want to secure a future for their family especially if they have kids. Saving for the future is never a bad idea to begin with. Some people would venture on affordable life insurance and make sure their other half and the kids would get something in case something bad happens to them. I have an aunt in the PI who used to sell life insurance back when I was still working in the PI. I remember I have no concept of insuring for the future at that time since I was still young, single and unattached. So no matter how much she tried to convince me to get an insurance policy, I had always said no. But now that I think about it, getting a life insurance policy is not a bad idea after all. I guess you just have to find an affordable plan that works for you.

When I moved in the U.S., I realized how necessary it is to have a great accident and illness insurance coverage. In as much as we'd like to stay healthy and strong and away from accidents all the time, getting sick has always been a part of life. Accidents on the other hand happen when we least expect it. So it's important to be prepared all the time. A couple of months ago, Jeff injured his left index finger while he's at work. He had a deep cut from a metal grinder. I was shocked of course when he called me in the hospital's emergency room. It was not that serious though, they just had to stitch the skin back on. He has a great company accident insurance policy at his work so it was good that we never worry a thing nor did we spend a single cent for the bills and pain pills. As for my doctor's visit and other prenatal needs, our health insurance basically takes care of everything as well.

In our family, I had experienced deaths of close relatives. My grandmother on my mom's side, grandfather on my dad's side and recently an uncle of mine died of diabetes complications. In all cases, money for the funeral service had always been an issue. The immediate family members of the dead relatives always had problems with burying expenses. I could not be certain whether there's a cheap funeral insurance offered in the PI, but I know one can never be too prepared for such an unexpected thing. It's just sad that grandchildren, nephews and nieces had to contribute before the dead relative can be buried. But it's a reality of life back in my country.