Meal Planning: Week of February 6

Monday: Pizza (Charlotte’s favorite – in celebration of her birthday!)

Tuesday: Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

Wednesday: Cheesy Taco Skillet

Thursday: Pork chops and zucchini fritters

Friday: Date Night

Saturday: Chicken and Rice Bake, Roasted Broccoli and Salad

Sunday: Texas Trash Bean Dip with Tortilla Chips

28 Weeks

Charlotte is changing so much every day. It’s a joy to watch her explore and discover new things. Here’s a little bit of what she’s been up to.

At 28 weeks, Charlotte…

  • Continues to suck on her 2 left fingers, but now likes to use her right hand to tug on her hair. It’s like she just discovered she has her own hair to pull! Now if only that meant she pulled my hair less…
  • Scoots and army crawls like crazy.
  • Shows NO interest whatsoever in sitting up.
  • Loves to explore – particularly things that are bright and make noises like computers and cell phones. I walked away from my computer for less than a minute only to come back and find Charlotte looking intently at the screen, fingers poised over the keys and a LOT of windows up on my screen!
  • Seems to have another tooth or two coming in soon.
  • Wiggled her way out of her clothes last night while sleeping.  I guess this means one piece sleepers ONLY for her from now on!
  • Cries between bites of food because it’s just not fast enough for her. We think she’s exerting a lot of energy with all her moving around, making her extra hungry. We’re settling into a good routine of having solids twice a day now. Usually fruit mixed with cereal in the morning, and veggies for dinner.
  • Loves the sound of her voice. She is constantly talking, squawking, cooing and making happy noises.





21 Weeks


21 Weeks and not very interested in smiling for the camera

At 21 weeks, Charlotte…

Loves grabbing her feet – she can’t get enough of them. I’m just waiting for the day when her feet find their way to her mouth…or should I say her mouth finds it’s way to her feet!

Can often be found sleeping on her side. I’m not sure if she’s trying to roll over and only makes it half way or what, but she seems comfy.


Stayed with the nanny for a few hours alone while Mom and Dad went on their first date since she’s been born. She’s stayed with family here and there for a few minutes while we’ve done errands, etc. Good times were had by all!



Continues to love her toys and books. This week she’s especially interested in a little drum that makes music when you tap it and chewing on her “indestructible book.”




The Indestructible Book – it can be bent, chewed, drooled on, and even go through the washing machine!

Has been a total sleepyhead! Maybe she’s growing or not feeling 100% or getting teeth. All I know is she has been SO tired. The longer naps are definitely nice for us though!

Met Grandma Veltman last weekend!



Is looking forward to celebrating the 4th of July tomorrow! We’ll see if she still loves fireworks as much as she did a couple of months ago.


14 Weeks

It’s not often you hear about a baby who is “14 weeks.” At this point, most people (including us) talk about age months. I must admit, I like thinking about it in weeks. Little Charlotte has only been in this world for 14 weeks. A quick calculation tells me I’ve been in this world for 1643 weeks (whoa – and if you know my birthday, please don’t double check my math!). Thinking in weeks helps me to capture more of the little moments. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a week goes by – and if I didn’t take some intentional time to pause and think about the moments of the week, before I know it, one month, two months, three months (that’s an entire QUARTER of a year!) would be gone!

At 14 weeks, Charlotte…

  • Was dedicated at church. A wonderful time to remember God’s covenant and promises and to verbally recognize our commitment in front out many friends and our church family to raise Charlotte in a home where Christ is honored, Scriptures are followed and to do all we can to help her come to know Jesus as Savior and follow Him as Lord.
  • Celebrated our first Mother’s Day. I think she had a bit of help from Daddy and it was a very special day!
  • Slept with her arms unswaddled for the first time.
  • Has been super cuddly and a total sleepyhead. I think she might just be coming out of a growth spurt.
  • Discovered the power of the pouty lip. I don’t know where she learned to stick her lower lip out like she does, but oh my!
  • Joins us for dinner at the table in her high chair. I think she loves the new view, being up so high.
  • Has nearly switched from the paci to 2 fingers on her left hand.
  • Is becoming an expert greeter at the Sunday Community meal.
  • Visited Advanced Bionics, the headquarters where Daddy’s cochlear implants are made.

We are all in for a big adjustment when I go back to work next week. I think I’m ready though – I know the time has come and I’m ready to figure out our new routine! Let’s just hope I still have time to take plenty of photos to share with you on our blog!

IMG_6814 Happy baby – all smiles for Daddy!IMG_6835 A serious moment…IMG_6848 Setting a new hairstyle trend.IMG_6908 A little blurry, but I just can’t resist her joyful face!P1110878  Dedication at Lake Avenue Church.P1110884 P1110892 Thankful for many friends who were there to stand beside us.P1110897 P1110909Don’t be deceived – Charlotte is not as chunky as she looks in this photo!P1110913 A couple of Mother-Daughter pictures on Mother’s Day.P1110919 P1110920 Charlotte wasn’t thrilled to do a selfie…P1110927 Big girl!! No food yet, but the tray is perfect to set her toys on!P1110944 Going vintage – wearing one of Mommy’s baby dresses.P1110969 14 Weeks – Charlotte’s weekly photo.P1110981

11 Weeks

Hello from Indiana!

Charlotte and I arrived after a red-eye flight bright and early Thursday morning to spend some time with family and friends! Charlotte did a great job on the flight and I hope I can say the same about the trip home. She slept most of the way and was definitely quieter than the lady snoring like crazy behind us. The best part was that we had the whole row to ourselves! 

In addition to Charlotte’s first plane ride and trip to Indiana, here are some other highlights at 11 weeks:

  • Attended part of a mission conference.
  • First play date at the park.
  • Spits her paci incredibly far out of her crib.
  • Woke up in different place in the crib than where she started.  She used to stay quite still in one place!
  • Loves comfy beds – particularly Mom/Dad or Grandma/Grandpa’s beds.

More on our trip to Indiana in next week’s blog when I can download photos from my camera. We are having a great time but are missing Daddy! 











13 Weeks Down, 27 To Go!

Between all the apps and websites and cute pins on Pinterest, there’s certainly no shortage of information about pregnancy and babies out there. I’m pretty sure by the time this baby is born I’ll have a love/hate relationship with the internet (actually, maybe I already do…). There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but a lot of unnecessary, senseless worry that can result if you have a runaway imagination like me.

It’s easy for week after week to go by without really embracing the miracle that is happening. One bit of advice I read (on one of those websites or apps) was about slowing down and enjoying the journey.  One way I plan to do that is by keeping a weekly progress report on the blog (thanks for the idea, Pinterest!) of how things are going with my pregnancy. It probably won’t be of much interest to anyone but me and maybe a few friends and family members, but I look forward to documenting the progress along the way. So here we go – Week 13 – a few days later than planned. Oh, and if you make it to the bottom of the post there will be a few belly pictures waiting for you.  That will either compel you to read more, or immediately close this window.  It’s ok – I’ll never know!

How far along? 13 weeks
Total weight gain: -2 pounds (yes, negative – I’m pretty sure that’s about to change though!)
Maternity clothes? Nope, not yet. My looser clothes are totally fine and I’m just wearing the belly band with pants that were already tight to begin with.
Sleep: LOTS of it! I can barely keep my eyes open past 9:30 pm – but with my 6 am alarm that’s probably not a bad thing. Oh…and I can pretty much make the trip from the bed to the bathroom with my eyes closed at this point!
Best moment this week: Telling friends and family that Baby Veltman is coming!
Miss Anything? Not so much… Thankful for decaf coffee or that would definitely be on my list!
Movement: Not yet – we’ve got a ways to go before we feel him/her move.
Food cravings: Cantaloupe and ice cream! Not together.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of the garbage truck … ewww!! Oh, and bad breath. Mint, anyone??
Have you started to show yet: Depends on the day. Some days I look like I have the start of a bump more than other days. If you didn’t know I was pregnant you’d probably just think I ate too many sweets this summer or something. 
Gender: For weeks I thought boy but now I’m starting to think girl…
Labor Signs: Thankfully, no. That would be bad.
Belly Button in or out? In (I really can’t imagine it popping out – but we shall see!)
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly Happy. (Than might have a different answer.)
Looking forward to: Finding out if we’re having a boy or a girl!

And here you have it – the start of the belly… So far it seems the differences are all about how I’m standing, camera angles, and whether or not we took the photo before or after lunch!

Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12Week 13

Summer Vacation 2014

Summer vacation is coming to an end. I am on week 3 of travel and look forward to returning home on Saturday! Sadly I haven’t had 3 weeks of vacation, but rather a week of vacation sandwiched between 2 work trips! But 3 weeks of vacation sure does sound nice….!

I started out with a week in Chicago strategizing with the Marketing team I am a part of. Being part of a team where we all work remotely works well overall but it’s always nice to have some time face to face. It was refreshing to spend time with people rather than just with my laptop which is how I spend the majority of my days.

From Chicago I met up with Than in Indiana where we spent some time with my family and some high school friends for a couple of days and attended my cousin’s wedding.

We set off for Waterloo, Ontario to meet up with some of Than’s siblings for a few days. It was a relaxing time – lots of World Cup soccer on TV, walks, games, chatting, Canada day celebrations and swimming. And of course enjoying some of our sweet nieces and nephews.

On our way back to Indiana we had a chance to see my friend Sara and her husband Chad. Sara was my roommate when I taught English in China and lives with her husband and 2 little girls near Amish country in Ohio. We don’t get to see one another very often and so her husband connected with me to see if we were coming out this way at all this summer. We made secret plans to meet up with them on our way back to Indiana. We managed to keep it a secret all this time. You should have seen the look on her face when she saw us!!! I wish we had a photo or video. She was absolutely shocked and it was great to catch up with them, even just for a couple of hours!

We got back just in time for some 4th of July festivities here in Indiana. We had a big cookout with my family, played some volleyball and then went to hear an outdoor concert and watch the fireworks. Unlike typical July weather in Indiana where you are sweaty from the humidity and constantly swatting away the mosquitos, it was actually a beautiful day with a high in the 70s and chilly enough at night that you needed a sweater! We enjoyed the rest of the weekend with a trip to the zoo, watching the House Hunters International Marathon (such a treat since we don’t have cable) and just relaxing. I think we all needed it!

Than is on his way back to California (actually he is sitting on the tarmac delayed by bad weather waiting for his flight to take off) and I am spending one more night at my parents house before setting off for Washington DC tomorrow morning for a social media conference. It has been a great couple of weeks but I am looking forward to going home!

Start of Summer

We’re settling in well at our new apartment. I am still loving the fact that I have a space to call an office and more room for when visitors come! Summer is shaping up to be a busy time! We’ve joined a new small group for the summer – we’re doing a study in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s great to get to know some new people and we are enjoying digging into this familiar passage in Matthew at a new depth.

Than’s Dad recently came for a visit.  It’s always fun when visitors come because it’s the perfect excuse to explore and do touristy things that we don’t make time for in the typical week.  We showed him around Pasadena, volunteered him to help at the Sunday Community meal with us (if you ever come to visit on a Sunday, you too can be volunteered to help!), enjoyed the beautiful Huntington Gardens (see photos below) and took him to a Dodgers game for Father’s Day.

Next on our agenda is the beginning of our summer travel! Next week I am heading to Chicago for work for a week, then meeting up with Than in Indiana to spend time with my family, take a trip to Waterloo to visit with some of his family, then back to Indiana for 4th of July weekend! I’m looking forward to some time away to relax and see family. The length my trip kept growing as I added on a conference in Washington DC the week after our vacation, as well  as a wedding in Chicago on my way home. It’s going to be a busy few weeks. My goal is to pack everything I need in a carry-on!  We’ll see if I am successful… It’s kind of a fun challenge!


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There’s a First Time for Everything – Yoga

Tonight I went to a yoga class with my friend Pam.  It was my first time doing yoga and it was quite an experience! I wish I could have live tweeted the “event” – I was cracking myself up!

1. Despite all the wonderful relaxation benefits of yoga, it’s likely you will get sweaty.  Perhaps even during the warm up (ok, maybe that was just me and not the rest of the class). And all that sweat might possibly make your yoga mat a tiny bit slippery. Just an FYI. Oh, and in spite of black being a good color to sweat in (you know, unlike gray or something that shows horrible sweat marks), sweat spots do in fact come through. My husband was quick to point this out – thanks, honey. And let’s hope those sweat spots made anyone else checking out my backside look away very quickly.

2. It’s a terrible idea to chop and mince fresh garlic within a few hours prior to going to yoga.  It doesn’t matter how many times you wash your hands, the smell lingers.  And thanks to the sweat (see point 1) and the proximity of your face to your hands at times…well, it’s rather unpleasant.

3. It looks like I’m going to have to go to yoga more than once to experience that “yoga magic” our instructor kept referring to.  I’d tell you more, but I just don’t really get it yet. However I am pretty sure that whatever I’m feeling tomorrow will be anything but “yoga magic”.

4.  If yoga is your second workout of the day (insert pat on back here) your legs very well might shake like the earthquakes we’ve been having here in Southern California while doing yoga. This is a good time to take the instructor’s advice and only do what you can do, lest you topple over. (Thankfully I heeded her advice and avoided a minor disaster and potential of embarrassing Pam and having to attend all future classes at the gym alone).

5. The best part of yoga is most definitely the child’s pose and that part at the end of class where you get to lay on the floor and breathe. Now that’s my kind of yoga!

Believe it or not, after all that I definitely hope to go back. At least that’s what I’m saying tonight.  We’ll see tomorrow when muscles I didn’t know I had are screaming at me.