ETC: Week 37

Hi friends,

I hope everyone’s week is going well!

This week, was a milestone week as we have now technically reached *full term*! I cannot believe we are so close to meeting our little girl! In an effort to keep my weekly post promise as we wind down, here is my week 37 update!

One of many amazing flamingo walls in Chicago to match my pink shirt and the safari/jungle theme of Naomi’s room. This flamingo wall is in Humboldt park. 

Unfortunately, this week I was SICK! On Monday’s I always have my weekly check ups at the doctor. Well, last Monday, I woke up and went to the gym just like every other Monday. When I got there I stood on the elliptical and just thought to myself “nope.” Something was off. I walked on the treadmill for about 40 minutes then got ready for the day.

I was going through my normal Monday job tasks and I just felt terrible; nauseous, FREEZING but my body was warm, tired, just completely not myself. I made it through the day (barely) and met Te after work to head to the appointment.

Once we got to the doctor, I told them I felt awful and they checked my temperature. Sure enough, 100.5 – low grade fever. Due to my fever, the baby’s heart rate was elevated so we had to stay in the office for 30 minutes while they hooked me up to a non-stress test monitor and checked to see if over the span of time, Naomi’s heart rate went down. 30 minutes later, it did not. We were sent down to labor and delivery so I could get some IV fluids in me and be continuously monitored for a longer period of time to make sure baby was ok. 

4 hours, 3 tubes of blood drawn, 2 bags of IV fluid and one other miscellaneous test, I was re-hydrated, Naomi’s heart rate went down and we were stable enough to be discharged. Woof. It was 11 pm and Te and I were both exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally, but we were super thankful that both baby and I were doing better.

Luckily, my fever did not follow me throughout the week but I did battle a virus all week long. I finally felt better on Saturday. Luckily my hubby took great care of me all week and allowed me to rest and recover.

Being sick was my first real scary moment as a parent. There was nothing I could do but rest and recover as this virus passed through my system. It was awful. I’m so thankful God protected me and Naomi through it all. Ever since, she’s been moving around like crazy in preparation for her big debut (very soon, I hope!). It’s so bizarre that Te and I never EVER get sick (knock on wood) but of course this year we both got hit. It was definitely tough but again, I’m so thankful we all pulled through! 

Looking ahead to week 38, I’m very excited! We are so close and with each day that passes, we are getting ready to celebrate the birthday of our first human baby (because, Pumbaa is our first baby.. 😻). I’m so READY – we both are. Hopefully next week, I will have a more positive update for you all, sans any illnesses. I may even have a baby announcement! Stay tuned friends!

Until next time..

ETC: T-30 days


We are so close! In less than 30 days we will be Bates, party of 3!

Looking ahead, since we aren’t sure when our little girl will make her grand appearance, I’m going to try and give an update every week. Don’t hold me to it, but I’ll try my best 🙂

For this post, join me as I take a look at back at our 8th month of pregnancy.



Warning, this was a crazy busy week for us! For our 1 year anniversary, Te bought me tickets to a bread baking class. I was super excited because I’ve always wanted to go to a couple’s cooking class! We learned how to make sourdough bread and once everything came out of the oven, the instructor pointed out a loaf that was ‘perfect’. Low and behold, it was Te’s 🙂 It was also pretty ‘punny’ that we had our bread bun in the oven while I also have a ‘bun in the oven’ 🙂

Next on our list, we drove to Milwaukee to pick up a stroller. Also, I met with my long time friend Jenny and my sister for brunch. It was so nice to catch up!

Another thing we did was attend a home buying class! Redfin hosted a free class where they provided dinner and some tips for first time buyers. It was eye opening and left us feeling optimistic about *someday* buying our own humble abode.

Also this week, we went to our first Chicago Blackhawks game! It was magical 🙂 We have now been to every major Chicago sporting event (yes, including the Chicago Fire and the Chicago Wolves). The atmosphere at the Blackhawks game was unreal – I think it’s my new favorite type of event! We saw some friends at the game and were able to catch up with them a bit, which added to the excitement of the evening!

Believe it or not, we ALSO had a baby shower this week [I warned you, it was a very busy this week!]. Te’s Shred co-workers-turned-family threw us the cutest shower. We got our first diaper cake and Naomi got her first pair of (gold) Nike’s!! We are so thankful for the Shred team who has truly become family for us.



This week, the city of Chicago celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by dyeing the river green! I’ve never gone to see the green river so we decided this year was the year we would go check it out! I couldn’t believe how truly green it was!

Unfortunately, after our many festivities of week 33, Te came down with the flu during week 34. It was a very tough week because he was VERY sick so I was trying my best to care for him while not getting sick myself.

On top of Te being sick, we scheduled a vet appointment for Pumbaa. It. Was. Awful. Our cat HATES the vet. It’s truly the worst time of year when we have to take him. He gets angry and hisses and is very mean. I understand he’s scared, but jeeze!!! At any rate, we got his shots so he’s ready for baby. However, Te had to clean poop and pee off of Pumbaa’s butt when we got home because they kept him in the kennel to administer the shot, he got scared and let loose. I felt terrible because I couldn’t help since I have to avoid cat poop while pregnant. UGH! What a day it was. We both took a long nap after that event.

After an entire week under the weather (poor babe 😦 ) and an awful vet appointment, we were able to get out of the house that weekend and turn our frowns upside down. We went to see Beauty and the Beast! I’ve been dying to see the movie and for Valentine’s Day, Te ordered tickets for us to go. It was amazing. I cried at least 5 times in the theatre and twice when we left. I also indulged on delicious movie theatre popcorn which was incredible.

All in all, it was a happy ending to a very tough week.



This week was much easier. Slower pace and no illness! We always wanted to take a photo at this adorable coffee shop and of course, try their coffee. Well when we arrived, unfortunately the coffee shop was closed. 😦 We still took the picture then went back to our car. Before we left, we stopped in to Goddess & the Baker to get a latte and a scone. To our surprise, as we were waiting for our order, a ginormous (tall) guy walked in and right away, Te knew who he was [Paul Zipser from the Bulls]. Te went up to him and showed him a photo that Te took of him while at the Bulls game. They talked briefly and we let him get on his way. I would have had NO idea this guy played for the Bulls but thanks to hubby, we got to briefly meet him.



9 months pregnant. Woah. In the next 4 weeks (or 5-6.. but hopefully 4 :)) we will meet our little girl! This week was ALL about nesting. We got the changing table we’d been eyeing up and were able to organize everything in Naomi’s space. We gave our apartment a mini makeover and a deep clean since we aren’t sure when we will have time to do that again.

On the way to take our bump pic this week, we decided to stop at Cafe Tola to get an empanada snack. They had chicken mole empanadas which, if you know me, you know I LOVE mole. It was absolutely delicious! We decided to scrap our original photo plan and take our bump pic on the side of the Cafe Tola building because, well.. Hey Kanye! 👋🏽🤣

Also this week, Jaime & Tiffany came to Chicago and spent the day with us! It was so fun seeing them. They brought Naomi some of the most adorable gifts. She’s so blessed to have such thoughtful family! During their visit, we went to HopLeaf because it’s been on our “to-do” list forever. After a couple of drinks for the boys, we went to DMK for dinner and completely indulged in some of the city’s best burgers and fries. We don’t have much planned for the rest of the week so I’m excited for another slow, uneventful couple of days.

We are very close to meeting our princess. I may or may not have a “bumpdate” for you next week – I could possibly have a baby update!

Stay tuned!

Until next time..

ETC: Oh Baby!

Hello friends!

I can’t remember the last time I wrote but since then, I’ve had some extremely, incredibly blessed moments happen. I completed the Chicago marathon, Te and I celebrated 6 months of marriage, we road tripped to NYC and most importantly, we found out we are expecting a baby girl come April 2017!

Our initial reaction was shock. We always knew we wanted children… eventually. God chuckled and sent us our angel much earlier than we had planned. We are feeling extremely blessed and excited for this experience.

We started a series of bump pics and now that baby girl is halfway to her due date, I would like to take this special 20 week moment to reflect on the beautiful changes my body is experiencing and all of the amazing things Te and I have experienced and accomplished since becoming a family of 3 🙂



September 9, 2016

We found out at 5 weeks, but started taking pictures at 7 weeks. Well,… we actually took 5 and 6 week photos indoors but the quality was awful so we took it outside! We started near our home and were planning to shoot in this same spot each week. We thought as the seasons changed, the background would change and it would be great. Then Te came up with a great idea to explore Chicago through our photos, so that’s what we did…


September 10, 2016

This day we were on our way to a bags tournament fundraiser event for one of Te’s co-workers. We played in the tournament and made it to the final four before being booted, although, we should have won 😉 This photo is outside the big school near our house. It’s such a pretty landmark in our neighborhood and, it’s right near the bus stop we waited at to go to the bags tourney 🙂


September 17, 2016

Will’s Northwoods Inn is a well known Wisconsin bar in Chicago. We ate fish fry at Will’s once, but still have yet to make it to a Packer or Badger game at the bar. Although it’s much more ‘northwoods’ Wisconsin vibe compared to Waukesha or Delavan, it’s a nice reminder that Packer fans are everywhere and that the Bears still (and always will) suck 🙂


September 24, 2016

This year we made two appearances at Sox stadium. The first time was earlier in the season to watch the Cleveland Indians play the Sox. The second time was for Chance the Rapper’s Magic Coloring Day concert, pictured here. It was such an incredible show (insert epic surprise appearance by Kanye here) and I’m so happy we had beautiful weather and the opportunity to attend. Baby’s first concert,.. check.


October 1, 2016

Since my hubby is an artist, he knows of the guy who pained this character behind me (Hebru Brantley). I was trying to pull my dress as tight as I could to my belly in this photo; I could not wait to start really showing!:)



October 8, 2016

Ahh, marathon week. Honestly, I was going to not attend. I thought, it’s too risky, it’s not worth it, I was nervous as all heck and I just didn’t think I wanted to even go. I raised money for a charity, Girls on the Run, so I figured, if I didn’t go at least the charity would still get the donation and it wouldn’t be a total loss. After some encouraging words from my hubby and an inspiring expo, I decided to show up and do what I could. I ended up running 11 miles straight, then I ran/walked for the next two miles and I walked the remaining 13. At every rest stop to grab at least 1 water and 1 Gatorade cup to stay hydrated, I made several bathroom break stops and  I had snacks with me to fuel me along the way. Te did the marathon with us too 🙂 He rode his bike around the entire course, tracking me along the way.  We met up every 2-3 miles where he would also have snacks for me, take some great pictures and kept asking how I was doing/encouraging me to listen to my body and do what I could. Just over 6 hours after we started, baby girl and I crossed the finish line of our very first (Chicago) marathon. My legs hurt so bad, but the feeling of accomplishment was incredible. I cannot wait to tell her this story when she gets older and tell her WE are marathoners!! I hope one day we can run a marathon together!


October 15, 2016

The very next week after the marathon,  we traveled to NYC for an event hosted by Shred415. Te and I drove all of the decks for the event to NYC. Yes, we drove to NYC, from Chicago. Woof. Well, I should clarify. Te drove, I navigated, DJ’d, kept track of all the different license plates we saw (33 was the final count), made sure we had plenty of bathroom breaks and was the accountant who kept track of all the receipts along the way. Our journey included a drive through on of my favorite states, Ohio 🙂 and the mountains of Pennsylvania. We stopped at the creepiest most old school hotel in Pennsylvania. We checked in, sat on the bed and ate our subway dinner, then 5 minutes later checked out and went across the parking lot to the ‘holiday inn express’ which was incredible and felt like 5 stars compared to the days inn we had just left. Quite an unforgettable experience. 🙂

In NYC we walked to Brooklyn, got lost, found our way to the Rainbow bagel (pretty good, not worth the 2 hour walk + getting lost.. next time, I’d take an Uber :)), we went to the Empire State Building, World Trade Center, financial district, battery park and had the best $8 ice cream cone with the best sprinkles ever (it was just soft serve, but it was incredible) and we learned how to take the subway! True city slickers, we are 🙂

The main reason we went though, was for an awesome event Shred415 was a part of at spring studios. Shred415 filled up each class and whipped some of NYC’s finest in to great shape! Baby’s first road trip was a doozy, but papa and I are very thankful to God for getting us across the country and back safely.


October 22, 2016

Friday, October 23, 2015 Te and I got engaged at Gallery 19. Saturday, October 22, 2016 we took our 14 week baby bump photo outside of the gallery. Awwww 🙂


October 29, 2016

I’d just like to point out that this photo was taken at the end of October and I was still not wearing a coat. Also, this angle makes me look huge, I swear we didn’t take these photos out of order 🙂 We took this photo at the park near our house. The park where I typically always beat Te in tennis ( 😉 ), where we have memorial day cook outs with friends and where we watch the most intense neighborhood firework show ever. Welcome to the ‘hood, baby girl ❤


November 5, 2016

2016. The year the Cubs won the world series. WUT! Let’s confirm one thing: No, I’m not a Cubs fan. However, I do think it was pretty awesome for the city. Everyone was so friendly and happy during this time. The drought is over. Obviously, baby girl is a good luck charm 🙂


November 12, 2016

I’ve been wanting to go to this honeycomb looking structure forever! Finally, we made it. In all of the photos I’ve seen it looked so beautiful and cool, when we got there, I was not impressed (haha)! The structure is much more yellow in person and it’s just.. well, it’s just not like the pictures. I felt as though I was cat-fished or something! haha At least the backdrop is gorgeous and at any rate, I’m glad I finally saw it! After this photo, Te and I walked around the Lincoln Park Zoo!


November 19, 2016

We’ve been in Chicago for nearly 4 years and have never been to the Field Museum. Seriously slacking on our ‘tourist in your own city game’, I know. SO, I planned a date for us because the Field Museum had the tattoo exhibit going on. We got the full access pass so we saw the 3D Galapagos movie (we were able to go to Ecuador without physically going, kind of cool! & no Zika!), the Terracotta warriors, China, under the soil exhibit, Sue! and the Tattoo exhibit where a live tattoo was happening! We saw a bunch of other small exhibits too. It was a fun filled day with so much walking and exploring. I was completed exhausted at the end of the day, but it was so fun and I’m so happy we knocked out at least one of the big museums in the city.


November 26, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2011 Te and I had our first date. I came to Chicago to hang out with him. The plan was to go to the National Museum of Mexican Art. After that we went to Hot Woks, Cool Sushi, walked around downtown and then watched The Dark Knight. 5 years later, we’re married, have had LOTS of sushi dates (non in the last 19 weeks) and Te has watched a LOT of movies (meanwhile, I’ve fallen asleep during most all of them) and now we’re expecting a little girl. We went back to the museum on our 5-year first date anniversary to capture our 19 week bump pic!

Side Note: It was during this week, we found out we are having a little girl. I thought for sure it was a boy because I have been craving salty foods, I didn’t get very sick, I have extremely dry skin and I’m always freezing. But God knew giving me a daughter would give me the mother-daughter relationship I’ve always dreamed of and I could not be more thankful. I am SO excited to tell baby girl that we ran the marathon for a charity that benefits girls (Girls on the Run), I also cannot wait to take her roller skating, ceramic painting, on walks and jogs, help her learn Spanish, and raise her to fear God, be kind to people and most importantly, LOVE herself. A boy would have been fun, but girls are way awesome 🙂


December 3, 2016

Halfway! We made it halfway! I am feeling great and extra thankful that everything seems to be going quite well so far. I’m trying to stay healthy by eating (mostly) healthy and staying active. We just started our Bradley Method class which is class that teaches natural childbirth techniques. If you have any natural childbirth labor stories (that aren’t terrifying! 🙂 ) please leave me a note in the comments. Words of encouragement are fine too 🙂 Also, I’m trying to remember to write in my journal a bit more to document my thoughts and feelings as the weeks go by. I’m so happy to see you growing as the size of my belly continues to grow. Yesterday (12/3) as I was getting ready for the day, I felt you kick! I asked papa if he could feel you and he said no. But you were dancing around like crazy in the morning. I was laughing because it was such an incredible feeling. I can’t wait for more feels 🙂

In the coming weeks hubby and I are taking a babymoon! 🙂 We’ve also got Christmas and the New Year on deck. Te and I will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary in February and next thing we know, April will be here! I cannot wait (but, I can because you need to stay in there and grow baby girl! 🙂 )

Thank you to God for this incredible blessing. Te and I are anxiously, yet patiently, awaiting your arrival baby Naomi. You are already so loved ❤

Until next time..