Sisters Get Pregnant Together

by Thao on 07.23.2012

I am going through something pretty cool. My little sister and I are both expecting! AND we’re both having boys! Based on the expected due dates, they’d be 6 weeks apart. You already know you’ll have a family support system when you get knocked up, but this gives ‘support’ a whole new meaning. I think we share the joys and pains daily.

Last weekend, Donny and I went to Old Town Lansing to have a mini maternity photo session with her and her boyfriend. Donny did a great job being the lead photographer this time!

sisters going through pregnancy together - mini maternity session

We played off the UofM – MSU rivalry since dads-to-be are on opposing sides. We actually purchased them the MSU onsies and they bought us the UofM onsies. We ended up switching, of course. Donny would never blaspheme his alma mater and put our baby in maize and blue. Check out more pictures from our mini session at

We got back from our UK vacation and BAM, I am officially in my third trimester. Scary. It goes by fast! Now that the distractions of planning an international vacation are over, we’re in full swing baby-mode. The week we got back, we registered for baby things. Good geezus, that is overwhelming. We didn’t register for our wedding, so it was doubly overwhelming. We’re both type A and like to research everything, but that was difficult to do while we were busy planning and throwing the Gender Reveal Party and galavanting in Europe.

For the most part, we’re done with the registering. I hope. I don’t care if the gun is fun. The baby stores are full of pushy, opinionated mom-sellers who tried to sell us their opinions as facts. "NO! We don’t want the most expensive item you sell!"


“Bruce’s” Coming Out Party

by Thao on 07.12.2012

We’re home from the UK now and I am just getting around to posting about our party.

Our baby’s (code-named "Dragon Baby Bruce" or "Bruce" for short) gender has been revealed. We found out during a gender reveal party that we hosted a few weekends ago for close friends and family.

I planned a style board first, of course. It was like the wedding all over again, except no escort cards and handcrafted invitations.

style board designed to plan the gender reveal party

I did design the invitations, but had them professionally printed. No Epson + cardstock nightmares this time around so I think I made the right choice.

DIY gender reveal party invitations

Based on the style board, we went with a modern geometric grey backdrop to be blinged out by turquoise mustaches and lavender lips for ‘lipstick’ as the two male-female ‘rights of passage’ a young woman or man may go through. Here’s how the party setup looked:

table setup for gender reveal party

gender reveal turquoise mustache and lavender lip cake pops on DIY styrofoam cake base

gender reveal party table setting with grey, turquoise, and purple -

turquoise and purple striped straws in cleaned Starbucks frappuccino bottles -

chevron zig zag table setting for guests to eat at gender reveal party -

closeup of food choices made by pregnant me -

delicious Vietnamese egg rolls and meat pies made by the moms for the party -

DIY tissue poms to hang on ceiling for party decoration -

fresh blue and purple flowers from Horrocks for gender reveal party -

delicious purple dessert for the GIRL guesses -

a delicious BLUE dessert for the BOY guesses -

overall picture of the dessert and cold foods table for the gender reveal party -

blue suckers or lollipops for some more BOY touches to the gender reveal party -

hydrangea and carnation flower arrangement to get more blue and purple in the decor for gender reveal party -

I purchased the grey chevron fabric from Carousel Designs online. It was a PERFECT as the modern, gender neutral base for the party. From that fabric, I was able to make a tablecloth and cover the Gender Reveal wives tales game board to match.

The table was decorated with the lavender napkins we used at our wedding. I wanted to display a purple dessert and a blue dessert to represent both sexes at our party. For the blue dessert, I just changed the Jell-o pack I normally use in my whipped fruit recipe. For the purple dessert, blueberry pie filling did the trick.

Some of the foods laid out on the table were my cravings. I had a lot of sour cravings in the beginning, which eventually transformed into sweet cravings for the bulk of the pregnancy so far. The kid apparently likes everything. I also looked up a purple punch recipe that included Ginger Ale, something that I had to drink to help ease the slight sickness. Even though the punch wasn’t really purple… it was very good! Since our nickname, DonThao, came from our signature drink at our wedding, we had to come up with an equally-as-clever name for the punch. Behold… DonThao ‘BRU’. If you don’t get it, I can’t help you.

As favors, I put lemonheads (a first trimester necessity for me) in baby food jars adorned with the grey chevron fabric and purple and turquoise ribbon.

We had one activity after eating and that was to read through some Old Wives’ Tales and see if the wise wives before us knew what the hell they were talking about. Everyone gathered in our family room and I projected slides onto our TV with some wives tales.

some of the guests gathered around the TV for the gender reveal wives tales game

wives tale game for gender reveal party slides

some of the guests gathered around the TV for the gender reveal wives tales game -

pinning answers to the board as guests look on for the wives tales game -

parents getting into the wives tales game action -

some of the guests gathered around the TV for the gender reveal wives tales game -

In the end, the Wives’ Tales directed all signs to a BOY. (Notice the Lee or Lynn on the board. Since we’ve been code-naming this kid ‘Bruce’, I made the board say BRUCE Lee or Lynn to keep the joke going.) See how I made this fabric corkboard quickly before the party.

gender reveal wives tale game board: they think it's a boy!

Then, after the game, we asked our guests to make their guesses. They could either follow what the Wives’ Tales said or go against the grain and choose girl. Originally, they were going to be asked to grab the cake pop in the shape/color of their guess. However, the mustache cake pops broke and had to be hidden from the guests. Long story… the cake vendor made a poor design with a stress riser directly in the middle of the pop. They eventually broke, but luckily not all of the guests saw the color inside.

We took a picture with each group of guessers. Donny and I deliberately chose the opposite gender so that we could each be in one of the group photos… even though we’ve been guessing all along that it was a boy.

gender reveal party: they think it's a boy so they held up paper mustaches

gender reveal party: they think it's a girl so they held up lip cake pops

Now… it was time for the moment of truth. Is it a boy?! Is it a girl?!

about to bite into a cake pop to reveal the gender of the baby with the colored cake inside

gender reveal party: it's a BOY!!!!

Drumroll please…


celebrating at the gender reveal party that it's going to be a boy!

gender reveal party: it's a BOY!!!!

celebrating at the gender reveal party that it's going to be a boy!

celebrating at the gender reveal party that it's going to be a boy!

It was a good time, even though the mustache cake pops were ruined. We did end up getting our money back for those… after a lot of back and forth with the baker. We really enjoyed having our friends and family over for an intimate gathering. We are even more thrilled that we’re having a little boy, but now… how the hell do we get everyone to drop calling him ‘Bruce’ after all this?!

With one of my girlfriends who is also expecting

gender reveal party: it's a BOY!!!!

Thanks for sharing this with us!

I’ll post some DIY tutorials for some of these items later.


{DIY} Custom Fabric Corkboard

by Thao on 06.17.2012

This one is too easy not to share. You’d probably do the same thing if you were going to make one, but I felt like writing a DIY post anyway. I originally did this for our Gender Reveal Party to pin mustaches or lips for the Old Wives Tale Game, but will be retrofitting it to work with the baby’s room. It would look great in any office too!

diy fabric covered corkboard

All you’ll need is

  • fabric in the pattern of your choice – I got my grey chevron fabric from Carousel Designs.
  • scissors
  • corkboard – purchased mine from JoAnn Fabrics
  • staple gun – I tried using a conventional stapler… that was dumb
  • iron and ironing board

First, lay the corkboard on your material and size it up. (Wrap the fabric around the edge to make sure you have plenty of material to curl around the edges.) Also, make sure you align the pattern so that it’s not offset of crooked.

Then, cut away! I ironed the fabric after cutting.

diy fabric covered corkboard

Move to an area where you don’t mind it if a staple from your gun went through. I am so glad I avoided our new hardwood in favor of the craft room downstairs. There is definitely a staple, or two, going through our carpet square. On that note, check to make sure you know which end the staples will be shot out at and you’ll avoid the whole staple-through-your-carpet-square fiasco.

Align your fabric to the corkboard and staple around the perimeter. Keep the fabric taut!

diy fabric covered corkboard


diy fabric covered corkboard

Like the fabric? Carousel Designs has a ton of adorable prints if you like!

diy fabric covered corkboard


Gender Revealed

by Thao on 06.11.2012

Have you heard yet?

{Bruce} is actually going to be a {Bruce}! We’re having a BOY!

proud parents-to-be holding up cake pops that reveal gender

That’s us holding up the lipstick cake pops that were blue inside! Long story about why we were both holding the ‘girl guesses’, but that will be in the next post.

I’ll have to come back with details of the Gender Reveal Party later. I am frantically trying to get our Eurotrip planned!

(The baby’s name still is not {Bruce}… though, now that it’s a boy, it is going to be hard to refer to him as his real name. His nickname will probably always be {Bruce}.)


Mini Don or Mini Thao?

by Thao on 06.03.2012

Almost 23 weeks now… here I am at the 5 month (20 week) mark

creative way to show growing pregnancy belly, 5 months

We had the ultrasound last week that told us if the baby is healthy and if it was a boy or girl. BUT. We still don’t know what the baby is!

Confused? We decided not to find out in the doctor’s office. The technician wrote it down in a card that I frantically bought on the way to the office. She slipped the card with ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ written on it and also slipped in the ultrasound that identifies if it’s a boy or girl. We decided to follow that growing trend on having a ‘Gender Reveal Party’. Since this is the first grandchild for both families, wouldn’t it be more fun to invite the families over with our closest friends and find out all together? Much more intimate than in a dark doctor’s office where the tech has done this baby thing hundreds of times and has no enthusiasm about your baby. Sorry, you’re not that special.

Once the families are over, we’ll have an intimate gathering and eventually open the card to reveal how I am going to decorate the nursery. I mean, what our little bundle and joy will be!

Anyway, we got home and took pictures, of course.

proud dad-to-be holding up ultrasound pictures

proud dad-to-be holding up the gender reveal card

proud dad-to-be holding up the gender reveal card

Yup, that’s the card. We sent it off to the person who will make the revealing suprise. You’ll have to wait and see how we find out when the party comes in June. Here’s a hint though. This is the invitation:

gender reveal party invitation with mustaches and lips / lipstick

We do know that the baby is healthy… and very squirmy. I don’t think ‘Bruce’ likes spoiled Mocha Frappucino. Apparently, leaving a bottle of Starbucks Mocha Frappucino out in your car all day while you’re inside air conditioning is not good – for the bottle of mocha-deliciousness, not you. You’re good in AC when you’re knocked up as it turns out. Anyway, ‘Bruce’ had the little fists up around his/her face the entire time. We got video of the baby… check it out if you know his last name and my last name (that’s the password).


Documenting Maternity {Week 21}

by Thao on 05.30.2012

documenting maternity in an album page, week 21

This week, I didn’t expect the exciting news that I got: I’m going to be an Auntie (real, legitimate – not because my best girlfriends were having babies)! My baby sister who is not really a baby (she’s 21 months younger), is also having a baby!!

And she already knows it’s going to be a boy. I am ecstatic! Our family is growing like crazy this year :).

Oh, and we went to a wedding. I felt very pregnant in my non-maternity dress. I don’t plan on buying much true maternity wear since there are so many stretchy, cotton options in fashion today. This was a dress from Express that I thought made a perfect dress for midway through the pregnancy. The only thing you have to check is the length since big tummies use up a lot more material. I was at the "maybe this is too short" threshold, but I think it turned out OK.

At the rate my stomach is expanding, I am getting nervous at how big I’ll be at Week 40.

See Documenting Maternity {Week 20}.


Small Camera, Big Case

by Thao on 05.22.2012

preggo brain

I have preggo brain. I purchased that camera case above for the camera in the same picture. If you can’t tell what’s wrong here, you might have preggo brain too.


Documenting Maternity {Week 20}

by Thao on 05.21.2012

documenting maternity in an album page, week 20

The middle of the pregnancy marks a special time since that is typically when couples ind out the gender of the little one. We debated, surprisingly. Donny isn’t as rigid as I think he is sometimes. He wanted to find out on the baby’s birth date. My anxiety about being limited to a gender-neutral nursery told me to fight with him on this one. Even though, I knew I could do it, being a first-time parent has enough surprises, so I fought.

We met in the middle and decided not to find out in the little, sterile ultrasound room with a stranger. Instead, she put the sonogram with the indicator in a card that we intend to give to someone to help tell us what our baby is. This way, we’re surprised (like he wants) AND I get to design and execute a nursery among other things (like I want).

Looking forward to this gender-reveal… whatever we end up doing for it!

See Documenting Maternity {Week 19}.

ETA: Here’s how the actual gender reveal party went down.


Documenting Maternity {Week 19}

by Thao on 05.14.2012

documenting maternity in an album page, week 19

I could eat breakfast for a snack, lunch, dinner, you name it. The greasier and runnier the yolk of a sunny-side up egg on top of sausage gravy and fried potatoes of some form – the better. It was the perfect Mother’s Day before being a ‘real mom’, but still considered a mom-mom since I’ve been hauling around a sizeable belly for 19 weeks now. Whatever, I’m a mom.

The unfortunate part about my wonderful experience mowing down on a calorie-dense skillet, is that I rubbed the belly against the table edge where I inadvertently left some runny egg drizzle. What’s even more sad, is that I didn’t realize it until AFTER I already walked past the long wait line on my way out of the establishment. *Sigh* This is where I would Twitter hastag MomProbs, i.e. #momprobs.

See Documenting Maternity {Week 18}.


Documenting Maternity {Week 18}

by Thao on 05.07.2012

documenting maternity in an album page, week 18

Week 18 marked a monumental occasion – I felt {Bruce} move around in my tummy during a networking mixer break in the middle of a conference I attended in Indianapolis. I’m pretty sure my coworkers caught my blank stare and growing smile when I realized what I was feeling.

On our way back from the conference, I rode in the absolute back of a van… with the luggage, and enjoyed the fact that the baby has been relatively nice to me as far as pain goes. I still feel wonderful and thoroughly enjoy pregnancy.

ETA: That picture I used is not actually from when I was 18 weeks pregnant. I substituted in pictures from our DIY maternity session since it was a great illustration. Obviously, I didn’t hand my coworkers a camera and ask them to take glamour shots of me.

See Documenting Maternity {Week 15 through 17}.

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