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I’m Pregnant

I am 20 weeks pregnant. That’s roughly halfway through my pregnancy. It’s officially been 17 weeks (but who’s counting?) since Mike and I were witness to one, two…seven positive pregnancy tests. Totally incredulous; I just kept peeing on sticks. Little life is about the size of a mango and weighing in at 10 ounces – or the heft of a Coke can. Between week zero and 20, there have been approximately 62 bags of Salt and Vinegar chips, 9 pints of chocolate sorbet, 4 gallons of lemonade, 6 boxes of Trader Joe’s “Gone Bananas!” Chocolate covered bananas, and countless worries.

Although we immediately told close family, and could rely on them for support, the time prior to the 12-week mark is completely nerve-wrecking. Every small hiccup, every bit of nauseousness, each stomach-grumbling, each muscle ache — all are cause for small panic attacks. Everything is new; and nothing feels normal! My body, although very much my own, and doing what it biologically knows to do, is also on auto-pilot. It’s in flight without input from a co-pilot and navigator. Cravings? They seem not my own. Brain? Fuzzy, not the one to which I’m used. Sleep habits? Those of a newborn kitten.

My mom, mother of three, and sister, mother of two, are like having a built in cabal of maternal wisdom and obstetrics knowledge. However, there are certain feelings you have that are so crazy, so strange, and so personal that sometimes it’s better to reach for a book. I learned that using Google as your midwife is unsafe.  There is so much misinformation regarding healthy habits, gestation, diet and childcare on the internet. Everyone has their on absurd theory on what is “safe” during pregnancy. Imagine weird tales of herbal teas and the dangers of tight pants. Somehow everyone, regardless of degree or experience, believes they are an expert.

Hearing about how much I was “over-googling,” my mom bought me What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The series is relatable and non-sensationalist. The book has now had a record-breaking 600+ weeks on New York Times Bestseller list. Meaning, at 40 weeks full gestation, the title itself could have had 15 children during that timeframe!

Baby Veisblatt Toledano Waves Hello

Baby Veisblatt Toledano Waves Hello with His/Her left hand!

My favorite part of the series is that, in general, I tend to always convince myself that my pains and pangs are abnormal. The books helped me to realize that during pregnancy, “normal” is a very large net. Furthermore, it’s been super fun following along week-by-week as to what’s happening inside all of that distant amniotic fluid. Some weeks the baby is practicing swallowing for the first time and in other weeks the eyelids are forming! I even remember consulting the book for advice on something as banal as “safe bath temperatures”.

In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for favorite nursery decor, photos of “the bump,” and my upcoming Babymoon to Portugal. Uh oh. Does this make me a mommy blogger? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique

Featured by The Walkup

Name:  Tenae Stewart
Location: Middletown, California (Just north of California's Wine Country)
Occupation:  Art history student raised in the family floral business. 
Now, shop owner of Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique.

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Based on the West Coast, Tenae Stewart of Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique sells vintage (mostly leather-bound) books & handmade sundries for the discerning bibliophile. She supports the timeless experience of immersing oneself in a good book again and again (not everything is better digitally). Remember the feeling of crisp paper between your fingertips? The satisfaction of dog-earing a page? The heft and subsequent weight loss when a large volume is completed? If you, like Tenae and the great Thomas Jefferson agree that you “…cannot live without books” – then meander over to Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique.

Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique

Featured by The Walkup

Featured by The Walkup

A hardcover copy of Cabbages and Kings, a collection of short stories by O. Henry. This copy was printed by Doubleday, Page & Company, in 1917. This book features numerous short stories involving a small American town and the lives of the people who live there. 

Tenae’s  inspiration to start the shop came from her longtime love of books (both reading and writing.) Some of her favorites include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Night Circus, all of Sherlock Holmes and My Gun is Quick. One of Tenae’s favorite parts of the job is “book hunting” at library sales, book fairs and hole-in-the-wall used bookstores! She’s basically a book detective.

Featured by The Walkup

Image by Wonderland Photography.
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Featured by The Walkup

A hardcover copy of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, written in 1895. This particular copy was printed by Reader’s Digest in 1984.

Books are not just rewarding to read (quotes, new words, novel plots and ideas!!) – they are also great additions to a bookshelf as double duty, home decor.  The shop is the first step towards the owner’s  dream of creating a book and gift shop on the Pacific coast; Tenae hopes to expand into a brick-and-mortar location in the future.

The owner divides her time between classes, running her Etsy shop, volunteering as an art teacher at a local private school and working at my family’s flower and gift shop where she is a manager, buyer and display coordinator. How does this girl have time for a social life?

Featured by The Walkup

A stunning antique copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated into English by Edward Fitzgerald.

Featured by The Walkup

This is a beautiful burgundy and slate hardcover copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It features gold lettering and designs on the cover and spine and an attached burgundy ribbon bookmark. 

 Tenae has graciously offered one of The Walkup blog’s audience members an “Antique Reader’s Set” which includes One (1) Vintage Book and One (1) Handmade Bookmark. Enter below and good-luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.” ― Voltaire, Candide

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Father’s Day Gift Guide 2013

Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Dodd’s fathers was a Civil War veteran who was a single parent who raised his six children there.

The holiday is now celebrated in over 8o countries.

Whoever does not have a good father should procure one. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Fathers Day Gift Guide for The Geek Dad

1 – Printed Textured-Leather iPhone Case by Pierre Hardy // 2 – The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun // 3 –  Fish Eye Lens for iPhone // 4 – Letterpress You Blow Me Away Father’s Day Greeting Card // 5 – Jawbone Bluetooth Big Jambox // 6 – Star Wars Death Star Blue Print Cufflinks in Silver

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I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. ― Umberto Eco

Know a dad that loves alcohol, beer, whiskey and a full-stocked bar?

1 – Jack Spade Beer Mug Silk Classic Tie // 2 – Whiskey Stones – On The Rocks Granite Drink Chillers in Hardwood Tray // 3 – Keg Works Triple Tap Brass Draft Beer Kegerator Tower // 4 – Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide: 75th Anniversary Edition// 5 – MALIN+GOETZ Candle, 60 Hours – Dark Rum

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I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. ― Sigmund Freud

Gifts for the father who loves pocket squares, shoe horns, reading, money clips, watches and shaving.

1 – Hardcover Set of Three: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Colonel Roosevelt // 2 – Silver Street “Nest Egg” Money Clip by Kate Spade New York // 3 – Jack Spade ‘Buckner’ Leather Strap Watch // 4 – Drake’s Bauble-Print Silk Pocket Square // 5 – The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ – Sandalwood // 6 – Chrome Shoe Horn with Raw Hide Strap and Wooden Handle 

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Shop the post for the guy you love: