Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Registries & My Baby Shower

I have FINALLY finished registering for all of my items but it doesn't mean I won't continuously be going back to add, delete, re-add, re-delete and question all of my choices.

Isn't that normal?

I love hearing suggestions on what people have tried and what others cannot live without. In my opinion, a personal review is the best marketing tool.


* kick *

* squirm *

Baby must know I'm talking about baby things. I can tell that this baby is already more hip to what's going on than I am and you know what? I'm ok with that!

Isn't that the unspoken hazing that goes on during pregnancy and officially initiated at birth?

I've also JUST emailed off my guest list and registry sites to my best good friend who has graciously accepted my bullish assumption that she would (of course) be planning my shower. It's just that I'm that lucky to have the sister I always wished I had in her.

Somehow I thought it would be a lot easier to compile this list and send it off. In reality, it took me several weeks to consolidate all of my addresses from my address book (a regular, non-electronic address book), my Outlook contacts, my Blackberry and finally my email contact list. I never realized that I had names and addresses scattered all over the place until trying to get together the baby shower guest list.

So not only did I finish the one of the few duties of my baby shower that I'm allowed, I also organized my contacts. This made me feel more accomplished than it should. Small victories are celebrated.

My next project is to dust off my sewing machine and start the baby crib quilt. I had bought all these fabrics last year but had tucked them away out of sight for a little while. Now, these fabrics have magically resurfaced to remind me to waste not, want not. I also signed up for a machine quilting course in November.

When I retire some many years from now, I'd love to craft and quilt all day in my own little cottage shop.

Who says you need a lot?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Baby Items

Alright, I had previously resisted purchasing any baby related items because I didn't want to jinx things. I admit it! I was a little more than slightly paranoid but I gave in to an expectant mother's normal level of excitement and let myself ENJOY the entire experience (albeit a bit late).

So ... what did I get, you ask?

Coach Baby Bag

Ok, this isn't a recent purchase. Ken purchased this for me as a surprise a few months ago. It had a lot more meaning than just a plain old diaper bag. I had said after losing our first baby and during treatment for this current one that if I was ever to get pregnant and have a healthy baby, I deserve a Coach Baby Bag (cause I am a yuppie fan of Coach - I can admit it without shame).

Ken giving me this bag only a few months into a new pregnancy was his way of saying that "It was going to be ok" and to allow myself to be more excited than anxious about being pregnant.

This bag is PURDY and I LOVE it but the symbolism it represents to me is worth more than both of those things.

Chicco Cortina KeyFit Travel System
Babies R Us was offering a great trade in offer at their stores this past weekend. You trade in your old baby item for a 25% coupon towards a new item. The caveat was that it had to be used the same day.

We had several of Emma's old things she had long outgrown and hadn't gotten around to throwing out. We traded in her old stroller and VOILA! Here we have a brand new travel system.

I did a lot of searching and this was rated the most easiest to use.

Personally, it had to pass the idiot test first.
Namely, me.

I opened and closed the stroller by myself. The car seat was light and easy to maneuver. I was able to put it in and out of the stroller without too much trouble. The stroller itself has great mobility and the upper shades were removable and able to close both frontwards and backwards.

Bottomline: Ease of use outweighs any points lost for lack of aesthetics.

Graco Duo Dinner Highchair
In searching for a highchair, it was important to find something I could use for at least a few years.

Hey, what can I say? I'm a gal who likes to get my money's worth!

We also bought this little gem at 25% off. It was the clear winner out of the highchairs available at Babies R Us. I didn't care about being matchy-matchy with my stroller, playpen and whatever else is supposed to match. No one ever rarely sees these things all together to comment if they DON'T match!! Another marketing ploy!!!

But I digress.

This highchair starts out as a normal highchair and then converts into a toddler booster seat. It seems to hold infant in snugly and reclines for comfort (I had to resist asking a woman with a baby to try this out in the store). There is a footrest and I played around with the model in the store to test out the wheels. It's not built for rough terrain but all kitchen floors will love the smooth operator, Duo Dinner.

Bottomline: Cost is low given the length of use one would get from this combination highchair and booster seat.

We also bought our first outfit and all I'll say is that it does have a professional sports affiliation (of course).

Any expectant or current moms out there, send me your recommendations and suggestions! If you're anything like me, reading reviews, consumer reports and recalls eats up a lot of my free time at home these days. Any positive experiences with products are much appreciated!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moby Wraps and Baby Bjorn

I've been slowly building my registry and came across baby carriers. I hadn't really given them all that much thought but wondered if it might be something that I would enjoy or if parents think it really is a must have.

There are two that especially pique my interest.

Moby Wrap

Baby Bjorn

I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on baby carriers, personal experiences and if you'd recommend them or not. If so, which brand? If not, why?

The only thing that makes me wary is this article lurking in the back of my mind taken from (March 24, 2010):

Grieving Mothers Blame Baby Slings for Infant Deaths
It wasn't a long walk to Lisa Cochran's car in the Costco parking lot, but by the time she got there her infant son was near death.

Cochran and her grandmother had just enjoyed a hot dog at the Salem, Oregon, wholesale outlet.
She had 7-day-old Derrik out of his baby carrier as she ate and people at nearby tables asked about the infant's age and expressed amazement that Cochran was already out and about after the pregnancy.

She put Derrik back in his Infantino "SlingRider" and headed out to the parking lot, but something was amiss when she reached the car, she said.

"He was not the right color. He was yellow. He had purple spots from where the sling rubbed marks on his face," said Cochran, 27.
Cochran called 911. Her fiancé, Jerrid Fowler, administered CPR. An ambulance arrived and paramedics also tried to revive the infant.

"By the time I got to the hospital, they told me they weren't able to save him," she said.
Cochran filed a lawsuit in January, asking for millions of dollars in damages and alleging that Infantino was negligent and liable for her son's May 7, 2009, death.
The death certificate cited compression asphyxia/suffocation as Derrik's cause of death, Cochran said.

Infantino issued a recall Wednesday of two baby slings, the "SlingRider" and the "Wendy Bellissimo," offering customers replacement slings.
The San Diego, California-based company said consumers should stop using the recalled slings immediately but did not take responsibility for any deaths.

"Our company is comprised of moms, dads, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents and we care deeply about the quality and safety of our products," President Jack Vresics said in a statement. "All of our products go through rigorous testing and we work closely with governmental agencies as well as other third-party testing organizations continually to ensure the safety of our products."
Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the use of certain baby slings, saying it had identified 14 deaths with sling-style carriers, most of them in children younger than 4 months. On Tuesday, Health Canada issued a joint statement with the agency, saying three of the deaths appeared to occur in one of Infantino's slings.

About 1 million of the slings were recalled in the United States, and about 15,000 were affected in Canada, according to the joint release. Around 14,000 of the slings have been recalled in Europe.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

As Promised!

Below are ultrasound pictures from Friday's appointment. You realize that of course you will only be seeing the non-gender incriminating shot ;)

18 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
This is baby's side profile headshot. You can see the spine trailing down ... and honestly, there would have been more but since baby's hands were covering the face AND constantly moving, there weren't too many good shots to be had.

The ultrasound technician asked,"This is what you ordered, isn't it? Uncooperative and busy baby?"

Umm ... I hope that doesn't mean colicky and up all night kind of uncooperative but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

By the way, Ken's most noteworthy contribution to the conversation there was: "Man, look at that melon!"

Yes, I married a poet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


...ultrasound photos from yesterday's appointment are here but not yet scanned in. I hope to get them in and up by tomorrow. Otherwise, the appointment went well. We listened to the heartbeat and saw the little one jiggling all around in there!

Tomorrow, I'll officially be 19 weeks. Tick-tock, tick-tock - how many more weeks are left?
Taken from The Bump and Baby Zone: Baby is now the size of a mango!

Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil, and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby's skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. Picture yourself after a 9 month bath and the need for protection makes sense. Baby is moving frequently and by now should be feeling those movements.

Oh and we did find out the gender but it will be kept a surprise until the baby shower. Only my fabulous shower organizer extraordinaire knows and has been sworn to secrecy! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Incredible Edible

I'd like to spout off here a moment about food. It seems like such a simple part of our daily lives.

Not so, ladies and gentlemen, when one is pregnant!!

You have cravings, upsets, aversions, reflux, heartburn, retention, release, cramping, bloating and shall I go on? Unfortunately, it is one of the most well known of all symptoms from expectant ladies.

In my first few months, I didn't have many cravings except one:

Atomic Fireballs.

And not any imitation would do. It had to be the original nostalgic favorite introduced to the masses in the 50s. If you know me at all, you'd know I don't like fireballs. I don't even normally like heavy artificially flavored cinnamon confectioneries (reference Aftershock Incident).

However, I could eat no meat. Meat in all it's glorious types made me turn about face and wrinkle my nose in disgust. It was a challenge to find alternative sources of protein but it was possible for someone as desperate as me. Ken suffered the worst as he is a meat man and here he just became husband to a meatless wife. It was not pretty, folks.

These days, I'm back to eating meat (thankfully). No quirky cravings yet. I have since stopped craving Fireballs. Now I have terrible heartburn and must be reminded to eat every 2 hours. How? I've gotten a digital watch with a timer that beeps and glows indiglo when it's time.

I'm 18 weeks and 3 days today. Since I posted the wrong information last time, here's a little about baby (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone).
Baby is now the size of a sweet potato and becoming amazingly mobile (compared to me, at least), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing.

I've been feeling movement now for the past few weeks. Not Body Snatchers like but more akin to internal cuddling ... there doesn't seem to be any good description to completely capture how it feels physically or what a woman feels emotionally each time. It's an oozing effervescent radiance enjoyed in unexpected moments. These moments also help heal part of the soul that no parent should ever have injured.

Only 2 more days until Friday's long awaited appointment to check if baby will let us know if she's a she or if he's a he :)  Stay tuned for updated ultrasound pics!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I realized today that I originally posted that I was 17 weeks pregnant but as I was going over some appointments, I am really 18 weeks and 1 day (today). If anyone did the math with my due date, it would have been blatantly obvious.

You've heard of pregger brains before, right? I think I might be bringing it to a whole new level with my daily antics (sometimes shared and sometimes not). Let's just say that the things I'm willing to admit (oh, like wearing shirts inside out, putting on intimate garments inside out (or twisted - don't ask) and getting dates confused) is child's play to the things I won't own up to publicly.

I'll look back on this next year and laugh about it ... or it will be as others have said ... post pregger brains being a lot more hilarious than pregger brains.

Pray for me, folks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ultrasound Pictures ... FINALLY!

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry these took so long to scan, upload and post!

It's no longer a real secret anywhere that we're expecting now since my stomach resembles more of a beach ball with neighboring casabas.

Ladies: if you've never been pregnant before, I don't want to tell you the scary things your body and it's functions are capable of while it is busy creating a miracle. Don't misunderstand. I'm definitely not complaining but I am fully acknowledging (and remembering) once again the uniqueness pregnancy brings to a woman's body.

Below are ultrasounds from 5 weeks and 5 days to 13 weeks and 2 days (based on my current due date of February 13, 2011) shown from oldest to newest.

5 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of an appleseed! My embryo, which doesn't look like much more than a tadpole right now, is actually starting to form major organs (heart, kidney, liver, stomach) and systems (nervous, circulatory, digestive). Baby's presence in your uterus triggers production of HCG (hormone detected by pregnancy tests), which triggers the production of other hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which triggers all those great symptoms I've been noticing!

This week, the baby begins to form a "C" shape - with the beginnings of a head on top curving into what will become legs later. A tube visibly outlines the "C". This tube will eventually become part of the baby's brain and spinal cord. In the middle of the "C" the beginnings of my baby's heart are taking shape.

The embryo is about 1/10 of an inch or 1.5 to 3 mm.

6 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
Fun Facts (taken from The Bump & Baby Zone):
Baby's now the size of a blueberry! Baby's brain - both hemispheres! 0 is growing fast, generating about one hundred new cells every minute. Arms and legs are emerging as joints start to form and a permanent set of kidneys (baby's third!) is now is place.

Baby has been busy this week! The brain is continuing to develop. The circulatory system becomes more complex as lungs begin to form.

Face is taking shape with eyes showing some pigmentation, visible ear holes, minuscule nostrils and an indentation where the mouth will appear. The digestive system and stomach are starting to form. Arms and legs are growing but fingers and toes have not yet developed.

12 WEEKS and 1 DAY
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of a plum! As I move into the second trimester, baby shifts into the growth and maturation stage. After weeks in the critical development stage, almost all of baby's systems are fully formed.

The end of the first trimester marks an important step for baby. All of the major body systems are in place. In the digestive system, the small intestine is no longer entwined with the umbilical cord but instead is neatly tucked within the abdomen. The nervous system continues to develop and the brain's structure is fully formed.

Many of the organs are starting to work on their own too. For instance, the thyroid begins to secrete hormones. Next week, baby will no longer be considered an embryo but instead graduates into a fetus. Baby even has tiny fingernails.

At 12 weeks, baby weighs in around 1.5 ounces and measures about 3 inches in length from crown to rump. 

Baby's genitals will start showing signs of being either male or female soon. Baby may also be sucking as early as this week and his/her kidneys may even be producing urine.

Around this time, I invested in a maternity/pregnancy pillow as sleeping through the night already started to become a thing of the past. Originally, I used the Snoogle but now that I've been accustomed to using my Tempurpedic Neck Pillow (this isn't an infomercial), the Snoogle is now out. However, I discovered that trying to find a decent pillow for back and belly was extremely challenging. I eventually settled on something I don't even now currently use. I've ended up using regular standard pillows to create a midsection bumper.

13 WEEKS and 2 DAYS
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of a peach! Baby is forming teeth and vocal cords...savor this, their nonfunctional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions with the head now only one third the size of the body. The intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby's tummy - much more convenient.

Week 13 marks the beginning of the 2nd trimester! It is widely recognized as pregnancy's most comfortable and enjoyable (it's all relative).

Hooray! Say goodbye to morning sickness! Second trimester brings relief and reality.

This week marks a milestone for baby. Developmentally speaking, the baby is no longer an embryo but a fetus. The baby appears to be resting because the eyelids have formed and are fused together but the arms and legs move and twitch. Baby can suck their thumb too!

Look at these pictures ... already looks like this baby has thumb sucking down!

Baby is about .5 to .7 ounces and is getting longer at about 3 inches long from crown to rump.

Fingerprints have formed on baby's tiny fingertips, veins and organs are clearly visible through the still-thin skin and the body is starting to catch up with the head.

If this is a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries.

I have another appointment next Friday that will hopefully reveal the gender!

Yes, we're definitely finding out!! But we're keeping the news a surprise until our shower :) so we're anxious to know if you think it will be a boy or a girl. Ken flip flops in his attempt to win our bet (foot rub if I win ... probably Korean BBQ if he wins - GAH!).

TODAY, I am 16 weeks and 6 days (officially 17 weeks tomorrow).
According to The Bump, baby is now the size of an onion. The skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger.

Around this time, baby's ears pop from the head and can now sense sounds. After all, baby has plenty to listen to in utero! The baby is accustomed to the strong beating of my heart, blood rushing through my veins and my stomach grumbling. The baby can also discern sounds outside the uterus like my voice and music.

This week, the little one weighs in at about 5 ounces and stretches to just over 5 inches crown to rump.

I'm assuming at this point, most of my co-workers have either guessed or assume that I'm pregnant. I've made no formal announcement to anyone other than my boss. In any case, if not being able to fit into ANY of my pre-pregger pants isn't a clue that I'm showing more now, then I should be accused of being in denial! Last week, I finally broke down and bought a few maternity pieces that should hopefully last.

New ultrasound photos to be posted next week! Stay tuned!!

In the meantime, we're curious to hear your gender guesses and suggestions for baby registry (yes, I've already begun thinking about that).