Same and Different

Since I shared some insight toย our pregnancy last weekย and how things are going, I’ve been excited to chat about some of the things that we hope to do raising Baby #2. Some are repeats that worked well (and we hope, with crossed fingers, that they do the second time around); some are things that either didn’t work the first time or that we simply didn’t try.


Babywearing (Different)ย – It could’ve been our baby’s large size. It could’ve been because he wasn’t really into it. It could’ve been the fact that I simply didn’t stick with it very well. Whatever it was, I want to give it another go.
Considering we’re still in “NO, Hadley! Don’t go near the road!!” chasing-a-kid-around mode, it feels like babywearing will be a big benefit to our family in so many ways. It’ll leave me/Dave hands-free to hold the little man’s hand or tend to him however he needs while getting some uber-important bonding time with the little one. I already have an Ergo carrier and a Moby wrap (unless my sister’s using them, in which case I’ll try new ones!), so I just have to get used to the actual carrying of a baby. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Breastfeeding (Same)ย – While we had some definite low points, I can proudly say that we successfully breastfed Hadman for about a year and a half, maybe longer (it got down to one feeding at the end, so my memory’s foggy). I’m determined to make it work again with this next child. (Watch them have a tongue tie or not be as willing to help. ;-))
I think that the two biggest reasons for our success in this area are:ย 1)ย a super big, super hungry babyย (he latched immediately in the hospital, after a bottle in the nursery(!), ‘cuz he was *Chris Farley voice* STAAARVIIIING!!!; even if we had a few issues later on, it gave me the confidence to continue) andย 2)ย a super awesomely supportive husbandย (who actually called the lactation specialist, who intimidated the crap out of me, several times and would advocate for me to people who weren’t very understanding at times).ย 
Possible C-Section (Same, Maybe)ย – *sigh* This is one that has me scared to talk about publicly because it’s pretty emotional for me and there are LOTS of opinions floating around…that I don’t need/want to hear. Anyway, here it goes.

We LOVE our group of doctors. LOVE THEM. But, their policy, due to insurance, is “once you have a C-section, that’s whatchya get.” (Paraphrased.) In our area, there are few to no options (aside from a home birth, which we’re just not made for) for aย VBAC. We recently heard that there IS at least one practitioner who attempts them, but I’m gun-shy about changing our doctors, especially if Hadley was a 10+ pound kid. If I’m destined for another huge kid and another C-section, I’d like to be with doctors I’m already comfortable with.

I’m getting my head wrapped around this, and I know one day I’ll be able to write a post entitled “Why I’m Okay with My Scheduled C-Section” (since that’s the way I’m leaning). I’m just not there yet. Just let me sit and eat my mint chocolate chip ice cream and think. And think. And mull. And think some more.

Cloth Diapers (Different)ย – This is one area that I failed miserably at the first time around. I bought a bunch of BumGenius all-in-one diapers (which you can simply toss into your diaper container/bag and wash within 2-3 days, no stuffing/unstuffing/pinning/folding) for Hadley since I’d seen awesome reviews for them. I’m not sure if they need more cleaning or a full-on stripping, but they were a bit leaky when we tried them and bulky.

So, this time, this is the one area I MUST DO. I hope to include the BGs in my stash (maybe sell a handful) but also to grab some trimmer pocket dipes while I’m at it. The AIOs had snaps rather than Velcro, so I’m wondering if I should try some with the sticky stuff to compare more with the disposables. Given that I’m active in the “green community”, I’ve felt horribly that this didn’t work (and not to mention that I feel guilty that I may have another non-natural birth, blah), but it was overwhelming with his colic/gas/newness. I think the second time around, I’m already worrying less, but also optimistic that *maybe, just maybe* this’ll go a bit better. ย 

Bassinet-to-Crib (Same)ย – The first month or two, we’re planning on keeping the little one as close as possible to our bedside at night. However, we will eventually switch him over to the same crib Hadley’s been using. (If we’re in a new house, that’ll be time for the big boy bed!!! If we’re not, we’ll be rearranging rooms!!! All very exciting and terrifying.)

Stuff Glut (Same…and Different?)ย – So, yeah. Since we don’t find out our little ones’ genders before their arrivals, we’ve got plenty of gender neutral clothes to work with. Plus, we’ve got boy clothes from Hadman and girl clothes to borrow from my sister, so we’re set on clothes. As far as all the other “stuff”, we’ve either got it or realized…we never needed it.

We live by the Pack ‘n Play, given that we’re in a two-level home, so we’re glad to have that. I’d like to try a swing out, but by that point we may have one “floating around” within the family (if not, it’ll probably be one of our only purchases — aside from the cloth dipes, which are a beast all their own). Can I just say what a relief it is that I don’t have to have a shower and glut of more stuff?? (The generosity was so sweet the first time around, but it’s just a huge “aaahhhh” moment.)

Our House (???) – This is one area we’re working on. If we can find and move into a new house during this pregnancy, awesome! If not…we’ll deal. We’d rather have more space in an area that’s more conducive to our familial needs, but we don’t want to rush into something we don’t love. So this may be a same…may be a different. Who knows?

What about you? Any huge changes from one child to another? ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Pregnancy #2 Q&A

We’ve received such a rush of sweet congratulatory messages and well wishes since making our special announcement. If you were one of them, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts! Seriously. It means the world.ย 

As I did with our first, I’m answering some questions I’ve had (and some questions I just feel like answering to clear things up a bit) about pregnancy and our family and all that good stuff. There are a few answers I don’t know yet, so I’ll leave those questions out for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰



Will you be finding out the baby’s gender?

As with Hadman, nope, we won’t be finding out the baby’s gender in advance. It’s such a fun surprise to have! Plus, we’re super lucky that a) the first 0-6 months we’ve already got lots of gender neutral clothing and b) we have TONS of boy clothes and, since my sister’s first was a girl, lots of girl clothes to borrow, as well. So, we’re fine not knowing.ย 

What are some names you have picked out? (See also: Did Hadley have any other names you were considering? What were you going to name Hadley if he was a girl? *fill in the blank* is a wonderful name!)

Noooo ya don’t! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sneaky folks, trying to figure out what types of names we’re mulling over (and suggesting your own…usually, literally, your own). Hee hee. We don’t divulge our secrets, clearly. But, really, at first we were thinking of going back to the drawing board and searching the entire baby naming book we used the first time, but after going over our original picks (we narrowed it down to 2-4 names for each gender, along with possible middle names), we decided we still liked them. So, we’re kind of ready to go in with that list in hand and see what matches the baby. (And, no, we won’t share any before the time comes.) ย ย 

Is this pregnancy different at all? (See also: Are you sicker? Any bad symptoms?)ย 
One reason I’m talking about this is because when I discovered we were expecting, I had forgotten the symptoms I had the first time (and hadn’t really talked about them much on the blog back then). I started the whole thing off coming down with some sort of virus or cold, so those always seem to be my first pregnancy symptoms – days, sometimes weeks, of an illness I can’t take medicine (or even echinacea tea) for! I had a teensy bit of nausea here and there and still get a small amount of heartburn, but for the most part it’s just a bit of exhaustion mixed with complete normalcy. Knock on wood. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a very lucky pregnant lady.


Oh, and the complete lack of motivation thing sucks. It’s one reason I’ve done less posting (although I AM spending quality family time in the meantime) and am not spring cleaning up a storm like I should be. Yeah. Time to get on that.

Any cravings?ย 
The funny thing is that instead of nausea, I’ve had a complete lack of appetite. Like, I know I need to eat, and if I let it get too long I get Hulk-style hangry, but I have zero appetite. So, the whole cooking for the family thing when you don’t want to eat ANYTHING is kinda weird. Even light stuff like salads or a wrap or anything sounds disgusting.


That said, I’ve had the occasional junk food craving, including some fast food. The closest I’ve come is a couple of sweet onion chicken teriyaki subs from Subway (still crap, but at least it’s not McDonald’s) and a couple of stops by a convenient store for a not-great-bag-o’-something. I remember having a fast food craving with H-man, too, and I allowed myself one meal from each restaurant (so, yes, a McDonald’s meal, a Taco Bell meal, an Arby’s meal, a Subway meal…no Burger King, as I recall), but I haven’t had THAT big of an urge. If I do, I’ll confess to Dave and ask my penance, then move on with my life. It is what it is. Everything else in our house is natural/GMO-free/organic so I really can’t sweat the small stuff. ย 

How did you tell Dave? When did you find out?

Well, let’s see. I found out when I was home sick (see above, had a cold or some such crud) on, of all days, St. Patrick’s Day. (I’m of Irish descent, so yeah. Perfection.) Poor Dave had to pick up the little guy, rush home, head to a rehearsal for a show he was doing at the time, rush home, and get other stuff done. That night, after he got home and was working on finding dinner and making tea, I grabbed the nearest kitty (Winston, good sport) and shoved one of the positive pregnancy tests into his collar (similar to the first time I told him). It took him FOREVER to realize something was in Wee-Wee’s collar, let alone what it was, but when he found out he was ecstatic. It was kind of neat because we’d found out about Hadley on Halloween and this little one on St. Patrick’s Day. All about the holidays!

How’s Hadley handling it?

Um, like an almost-3-year-old. He knows the news and was/is excited about it, but he forgets (which is fine at this stage). He’s also confused about all the different babies in the family (like when I told him my sister had a little boy last week, he asked “Where’s our baby?” and gets my sister-in-law’s baby, Parker, who’s due in July mixed up with ours and Mary’s). All totally understandable, but he’s been positive about it all. Plus, he had been talking about having a sibling for awhile and not caring whether it was a girl or boy; we also had explained IN LENGTH several times what being a big brother would be like and he was totally on-board with it all. So, I’m not too worried right now.

The cats have not voiced any concern, either. Yet.

Is this why you’re searching for a new house?

You got it. Well, kind of. We’ve talked for endless hours about if/when to buy a new house, namely in a safe, family-friendly area. If we don’t find an awesome, larger house by the time the baby comes, it’s fine. We can make our 1,000 sq. foot house work if we need to, especially for fear of buying the money pit (LOVED that movie as a kid!) of our nightmares out of a fear that we won’t find anything. Ever. Not much luck yet, to the point where we’re discussing “How do you feel about a more rural setting?” but we feel calm about it all. ย  ย  ย ย 

***************************************

So, that’s it for now! I’m hoping to share the things that are the same/different the second time around and some do-overs I’m hoping for. Now that the news is “out in the open”, it’s nice to kind of switch and focus on “normal” stuff again – like planning Hadman’s birthday party. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and if you think I missed anything, leave a question in the comments and I’ll update accordingly!

Let’s Get Physical, Physical


It’s our last weekend for “Don’t Talk to the Actors,” folks! If you’re in the area and in the mood for some PG-13ish entertainment in a quaint historical setting, hit us up at 8 tonight…or 8 tomorrow night…or 2 on Sunday. Please and thanks! You won’t regret it, and neither will I!!

Yeah, no. I can’t do this.
It pains me to look.

Okay, on with the main event. (Thought y’all could use a non-theater post for one day. Happy Friday to YOU!)

I’ve mentioned a few times lately the fact that I’m going to physical therapy. Long story short, it seems that I had some extra wear-and-tear on my knees while pregnant (um, baby was big) and I did a lot more than I probably should have. When you have pregnancy pains, you tend to assume they’re just that — pregnancy pains — rather than an actual “thing.” I also didn’t adjust properly to walking/moving “normally” post-pregnancy.

So, I’ve got a couple of Baker’s cysts, which are just minute tears ([not min-it teers, but my-noot tares] in this case, on the back of both of my knees — nothing you can SEE, but you could feel them if you crawled into my achy body) that fill with the fluid that’s supposed to help my knee caps do their thang. There are a couple of other issues, but that’s generally the idea of the thing. I’ve been sore, and at times it’s been super difficult to move or squat, let alone shelve books at work.

The ultimate goal is to build up my thighs to support my knees better, as well as build up the strength again in my knees. Just call me “Thunder Thighs!!!” Not sure if those tears will ever heal on their own, but it’d be nice.

I’m going to a local place, Fitness Forum, which has been good for the most part. However, my biggest challenges are the facts that —

a) I just had a different doctor last week (filling in for my usual physical therapist) who gave me a completely different regiment of exercises,

b) I’m awkward as heck in “gym” situations, so I always feel like I’m doing it wrong (or just when I think I’m doing it right, the p/t tells me I’m not…embarrassing), and

c) I’ve had a very hard time finding the TIME to do my home exercises — the biggest challenge.

I’m trying to stay positive, but I’ve never been a super active person. Maybe that’s one reason my legs are so “surprisingly” tight for a “girl my age.” (Love that. Not.)

In high school, I played tennis and enjoyed it greatly (and attempted short stints with basketball and volleyball — not so great). Oh, and as a senior, I tried bowling, but that was a way to connect with my dad’s hobby and I wasn’t even close to good. I disliked gym; I was a music-English-history girl. Heck, I would’ve stayed with volleyball if my JV coach hadn’t been borderline abusive (verbally and physically pushing me to the point of throwing up every day; not the whole team) about not belonging there — she had gone to school with my siblings, who were band geeks like myself.

See? A bit of emotional soreness over athletics. Blah.

But, this is something else. This is to allow me to do my work again the way it needs to be done. This is to allow me to crawl around with my son and change his diaper and play with him without groaning in pain every time. This is to give me my energy and feeling of normalcy back.

It’ll be worth it, I know. I just have to jump some mental hurdles first — my own issues. Here’s how I hope to handle them:

a) Check in with my regular physical therapist to ensure that I’m doing the proper exercises…’cuz, yeah, they’re 100% different than what I was doing. (I have since done this, and while I have a million exercises, I’m adapting them to my needs. ie Not doing them all everyday.)

b) Get the heck over it. There are a TON of high school athletes around me doing exercises (and knowing full well how to do them) and a BUTTLOAD of older folks (dressed in Dockers and belts…? Here I was worried about my ratty sweatpants on the first day. I HAVE amended this situation that I blend in well enough, thanks to new sweats and new sneakers.), so I’m a rare creature. As with most things in life, I’ll just do my best and listen to what they tell me to do and deal with it. After all, it’s not forever. Just like gym class.

c) Um, yeah. This part sucks. I’m supposed to do them 2 times a day (they had mentioned 2-3, but we all know that ain’t happenin’). It seems that every time I go, the amount of exercises double — either in duration or just by changing what I’m doing — so it’s been confusing to LEARN the exercises as well as dig out the time to do them. (An assistant there that I LOVE has recently told me that once a day, especially with the busy life I’ve got goin’ on, is just fine. I love her.) SO, my attempt at a strategy here is to do them in the bedroom, when possible.

Wait, what? Yes, in the bedroom. If I get up early (5:30, people!!!! NO!), turn on the news, and do them while I don’t have any distractions (ahem, baby crawling on my stomach thinking it’s hysterical to sit on Mommy’s belly while she’s doing bridges, and, ahem, husband who doesn’t realize how much focus a grown woman needs to count to 20), I think I’m more apt to do them. Er, at least most of them. There are a couple of the exercises I’ve cut out on my own (probably breaking a cardinal rule, but…) because they’re painful. Like, direct knee contact that seems to be causing more issues than doing good type of stuff. (Don’t worry; I talk to my PT about it and we figure stuff out.)

Oh, and the same thing goes for the evenings (when I’m not into doing the 5:30 thing). When it’s time to chill out for the night, it seems that having one “zone” to do these exercises is half the battle. Plus, Dave zones out with his graphic novels (he is the Dorky Daddy, after all) and we can throw on The Big Bang Theory (or whatever, I’m not choosy…man, we are dorky) and I get the job done.

*sigh* I’ll get through it. And, y’know what? When I do, I hope to be pain-free enough to sign back up for some weekly yoga. Plus, when spring *finally* arrives (we have snow in the forecast…as long as that’s sitting on the 7-day outlook, it ain’t spring), we’ll be able to do family walking after work on a few days thanks to the hubby’s “new and improved” schedule.

See? Always a silver lining. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m Sorry! I Didn’t Do It On Purpose

This may be a controversial post (or you might peruse it and go “feh” then move onto red vs. blue arguments; to each his own ;-)), but I’d just like to address something. And, sure, offer an apology.

Okay, here goes: I didn’t lose my baby weight on purpose. I didn’t go out of my way to shed the pounds. I don’t exercise in an intentional way, and I don’t watch what I eat (beyond the usual, “don’t gorge yourself to the point of embarrassment” thought process).

And to those of you who may feel uncomfortable that I lost the weight so quickly (and that I seem to have kept it off), I apologize. While I’ve never been overweight (um, aside from, y’know…pregnancy), myself, I’ve fluctuated over time and remember “pudgy” times; I also have some very close friends and family who have struggled with their weight since I can remember, and have always felt deeply for them — and every other woman who deals with this issue. Seriously, I just saw an episode of “Super Fun Night” and, while the star is a great comedienne and deserves a voice for her humor, I found myself growing angrier and angrier that the overweight individual isn’t shown as a NORMAL person in regular (read: non-comedic) positions.

Oops, jumping off the soapbox. Anyhoo, I am genuinely sorry to anyone who may feel uncomfortable (or, perhaps, jealous…hate to use that term), but I thought I’d explain exactly how I inadvertently lost not just the “baby weight”, but that “extra 10” or so that has always followed me around.

#1: Breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. Back when we first had Hadley, between the exhaustion and constancy of parenting a newborn, and the super regular feedings, the weight seemed to literally disappear within a week or so. I was ravenously hungry (because HE was ravenously hungry) and couldn’t seem to get enough calories, no matter how hard I tried. (And, boy, I tried.) So, that was a kickstarter to the whole thing.

Today, we still breastfeed, but we’re tapering off to 2-3 times a day, far far far less in each feeding. I’m getting emotionally used to it. My mother always warned me to expect the weight to come back in full force when this happened, but so far, I think I’ve just adjusted. It is what it is. Of course, I’m not eating as much because my body doesn’t call for as much, but I still eat…like…lots. (Healthy snacks all day sort of stuff.)

#2: That sweet little helpless newborn grew the hell up…seemingly overnight. How doย they DO that?! Anyhoo, with that baby-to-crazy-little-boy growth came running…and getting into EVERYTHING. Which means lots and lots of chasing for Mama (and Papa, who also seems to be whittling down his waist an ounce at a time). Who needs a gym membership?

#3: Did I mention he’s a hungry boy? Hadley’s officially a gourmet connoisseur. This means he not only wants the food he’s getting…he wants what I’m getting, too. Whether I like it or not (hint: I don’t), he’s in the habit of begging for food off of MY plate every time we sit down for a meal. If we eat at the exact same time, SOMETIMES I’m able to get most of my food down my gullet. It never fails, though; his attention diverts to my plate and it’s meltdown city until he has at least a few bites.

And don’t get me started on my ‘nilla ice cream.

#4: Water. I’ve gotten into the habit of consuming tons more water than I used to; I can’t even make it through the night without downing an entire full glass. I do believe that these not only keeps me feeling healthier, but makes me feel a tad fuller when I do sit down to eat. And, for the record, while we do our best to eat “real food” and organic, I doubt it has anything to do with my weight loss; we by no means go without, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

Hopefully this doesn’t come off as sounding rude or even defensive; it’s not meant as such! But, when I hear folks, 15 months after having the baby, sneering “You’re SOOOO skinny!!!” “Megan! You’re TOO skinny.” or any variation regarding having a baby and “tininess” (dude, I ain’t tiny! I’m a tall lady!!), my feathers get a little ruffled. The tone is generally a mixture of disdain and disgust (I kid you not). Most of the time, these folks aren’t my friends, so I try to brush it off, but nary a week goes by that a comparable phrase doesn’t grace my ears.

So, I say, “Sorry.” Really. Maybe we’ll all feel better when baby #2 (SOME DAY!) comes along and I’m unable to bounce back to my pre-baby weight.

Fourth of July Miscellany

What did y’all do to celebrate Independence Day? I’ll give you a little Instagram (the hubs’ iPhone) hint as to how we spent ours…
Since there’s (still) no new baby in our lives yet, and my parents came to help us play around with a shaky ceiling fan (well, the boys did that), we agreed that it might be nice to achieve one or two longstanding to-do’s on our list. Enter: table and chair set purchased around Christmas, stage right. (And that picture above? The view of our credenza/sideboard has been obstructed by the HUGE box the table was living in, which got daily clawings from Beardslee and chewings from Jasper. Chewings – that’s a word, right? Regardless, Dave hasn’t been this excited about house stuff in awhile…and, y’know what? I’m excited to have a put-together space for the baby to come home to.)
What better way to celebrate the birth of our nation (and distract us from the birth of OUR little one) than to accomplish some procrastinated projects? In this case, one of the biggest jobs was clearing out the space prior to setting up the table. Sorry, I don’t seem to have a before picture of the disaster we were dealing with. Let’s just say that we couldn’t invite friends over (even those close friends who gladly ignore clutter) to entertain for low these 6 months. Or so. I’ll remember this bad-hair-day-picture of Dave setting up the table (by far the easiest part – chairs, fine but lengthy process) the next time we’re sitting enjoying a meal or getting our arses handed to us over a game of Scattegories.

I-n’t he cute? And handy, too. Again, I don’t have pictures of us working on the chairs, but we only purchased four – mostly because of the minimal space we’re working with here. The plan down the road is to get a couple of parson’s chairs (or something else possibly upholstered) for the ends of the table. For now, we’re absolutely smitten.

Oh, and I did lots of hanging! (“We must hang together or we will most assuredly hang separately” — wow, we really DID celebrate the Fourth in style!) Here’s one example – and they’re not crooked in real life. They’re black-rimmed mirrors that came as a set of 3 for $9.99 from The Christmas Tree Shop; the third is elsewhere (and has a different frame style). The other neat thing about this picture? That’s the Boston Massacre print that we got for Dave during our last Boston trip (we got it a rustic frame, it’s pretty darn cool). Oh, and you can see the colors I’m considering for the dining room. Needless to say, I HATE THE RED. Hopefully I can “get the red out” before six months pass…again. Which also means I’ll be hunting for a fun new rug for the space, too – or switching the living room one in (quite the neutral) and finding a new one for THAT space. Decisions, decisions.

I also hung the nursery art (it’s damn near 99% finished, canyabelieveit?!) and switched out the wall hangings (my Katharine Hepburn autograph, a print on handmade paper replicating a 1683 publication entitled “The English House-Wife”, a bulletin board) and the third black-framed mirror into the office. Lots o’ hammering…and, yet, none of it seemed to “loosen” that baby! Dang it.

But, the holiday wasn’t all household chores and “why did it take us that long to do that?” funness. It was a tad too humid (pregnant lady + a guy who prefers 50 with rain = don’t fare too well in humidity) to grill like I’d intended, so I used my brand new (another Christmas gift, holy crap! I wanted the other one to bite the dust first) eco-friendly grill pan to grill up some organic hotdogs from the farmers’ market, and for lack of corn-on-the-cob, we made do with frozen corn and salads. Throw in some “John Adams” (if you have never seen this mini-series, put it on your bucket list…seriously, it’s THAT GOOD) and it made for a nice, relaxing-yet-productive day! Nevermind the disappointment of not watching “Yankee Doodle Dandy”…or delivering our own…. We make our own happiness sometimes.

Best Laid Plans

So, I wish I could post everyday. I really do. That’s one of those “best laid plans” moments floating through my mind lately. But, what’s been on our minds more than anything? That’s right. Of course. The baby – who still hasn’t made his/her appearance yet.

That’s okay, though. He/she isn’t due until the 3rd…or 7th…although our doctors seemed to think that it’d be a tad early. Let’s just say it’s measuring bigger than expected. To look at me, though, we’re guessing it’ll be an average size. I’m all belly, and after our sono last week folks are asking “Where the heck are you hiding an 8lb., 13oz. baby?!” Luckily, sonograms tend to “over measure.” The latest news here is that IF he/she decides to stay comfy, they’ll probably be to big to deliver via inducement. What’s this mean? Possibly C-section. Which I hate. But, again, “best laid plans”….

Y’know what just occurred to me? The fact that I’m Strep B positive. It’s not a huge deal, just need an IV of medication when I get to the hospital. HOWEVER, it JUST hit me that some of my comforting yoga moves may be challenging, if not impossible, with an IV running from the moment I get admitted. Crap. Luckily, there are other positives from yoga that I can try to implement…but, still. Can I just say “AW, MAN!!!!!” please? Or, perhaps, something a tad stronger? *grumbles*

In general, I’ve learned how to be flexible. How can one not when a tiny being has taken over one’s body and, in many ways, life? (Although, admittedly, this has been a VERY easy pregnancy!) I’m hoping that, when the time comes, this flexibility works for us – and, of course, that things AREN’T complicated and run smoothly.

For now, while there are a million little projects I’d LIKE to finish or work on, they’re not important. We’re essentially ready for the baby to come home anytime. I seem to be getting Braxton Hicks contractions for now, so we’re all guessing it’ll happen this week – but, then again, “best laid plans.” Can’t wait to share nursery pics, our “belly progression” pics, and even the garden that we found time to plant!

The Latest

I thought it’d be fun (fun? I’m a strange human being) to do a quick check-in with regards to life around here lately.

– We’re at 36+ weeks, meaning we’re due in about a month (give or take). I’m not sure if I simply can’t wrap my head around that idea or I’ve just got so much to do yet I’d rather focus on that stuff. I can’t BELIEVE how far we’ve come since I gave Dave the news quickly before a rehearsal last Halloween, both literally (time truly flies) and figuratively (he is SO in “Daddy mode,” and it’s awesome).

– We’ve taken the classes – child birth/parenting, breastfeeding, infant CPR, yoga – and even contacted some possible babysitters, and know who our pediatrician will be. There’s still a buttload to do, though, like decorating the nursery, making some purchases (*cough* stroller-to-replace-the-one-that-came-RUSTED* cough), packing our hospital bag(s), downloading songs, making the crib skirt, bringing in some furniture (can’t breastfeed on the floor! Or, at least, not comfortably), and probably a thousand other things.

I only wish my energy would match all we’ve left to do. Let’s just say that my nesting instinct hasn’t kicked in yet. I’ve seen glimpses of it over the past month or so, but I keep falling back into “whoa, tired” mode.

– I still have a wacky idea that the “perfect” name will come to me, and my husband will agree joyously (note that I said “joyously”), and the clouds will part and harps will play. But, I need no suggestions. We’ve been through a lengthy book, and have determined a handful (each!) of girl and boy names that hopefully will ring a bell when we see the little one’s face. But, honestly, when we hear suggestions, at this point, we grow weary and downright cranky about it. (Plus, if a name we really liked is on the list, and we get cranky, odds are we’ll veto it…we’re a stubborn couple of jerks that way.) Not that anyone reading has made suggestions. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, for that, I thank you! But, we’ve at least discussed our feelings and realized that we’re completely on the same page about this – it’s a huge decision (yes, Mom, we ARE aware of this fact!) and we’d prefer to have a unique yet realistic name in the end.

– My last yoga class was supposed to be last Friday. The trek out to New Hartford at the end of long weeks has proven daunting, but the yoga, positivity and experience overall are generally worth it. I was thinking “How nice it’ll just be nice to have a few weeks of Fridays to decompress with my husband, and perhaps try out more of the positions and breathing at home.” But, when I mentioned it to my instructor, she mentioned that I actually have two additional weeks coming to me because of a billing scheduling mix-up. (Two free weeks? Nice!) SO, if I FEEL up to it, I’ll continue. ๐Ÿ™‚ And, needless to say, Dave was gung-ho about my continuing.

– Our cats are still a huge part of our lives. For some reason, we’re just thoroughly enjoying spending time with them (when we’re able to be home) lately. I think, like when we were going to bring a new “one of them” home, we’re just being aware of the *general* peacefulness of the family and hoping that we can maintain most of it (at least after initial “GAH! WHAT’S THAT?!?! IT’S NOISY AND SMELLY AND CAN’T DO A DARN THING FOR ITSELF!!! I shall hide now.” reactions).

We know that Beardslee is quite mellow, and has dealt quite well with his brothers coming home in the past, AND simply naps when my sister’s little one is around, so hopefully his transition will be smooth. We predict that Jasper will (eventually, at least) be the little one’s “buddy”…especially since he has slept next to the belly almost every night lately. But, he’s a bit spazzy, so that may take time. Eventually, he’s sure to be a toddler’s best friend, though.

Winston, however, is the wild card. He’s currently “the baby.” A very sensitive little guy who has a wicked mean streak (Jasper and occasionally Beardslee get their butts KICKED every morning, usually starting around 3 or 4 am; which I’ve learned must be handled with patience rather than screaming and a squirt gun…parenting tip #1) and is a downright bully at times…but when the others aren’t around, or he gets “in the proper mood,” he’s the cuddliest, sweetest little guy in the house. He’ll simply have to adapt, but I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the little guy. (Although he does think that several of the baby’s toys are his, already…along with other spots in the nursery, LOL.)

– I’m enjoying observing Dave’s major transition from regular ol’ Dave to Daddy Dave. (Sounds like a superhero, hee hee.) He’s incredible. One of the few men in our breastfeeding seminar (and not batting an eye about it…although I’m not sure he ever needs to see a boob for the rest of his life, now…hell, I don’t need to). Focusing on what needs to be done. Scoopin’ kitty litter like a trooper. Showing no fear for future poopy diapers. His mind’s IN it. I just hope mine is just as much!- The school year is winding down, and you know what that means. Wait. Maybe you don’t. Alrighty, well what it means in my world is INVENTORY. I’ve still got some classes with the little ones, but they’re sporadic thanks to the end-of-the-year fun (trips, field days, etc). In all honesty, I’m excited to have it all done and be able to focus on baby stuff; it’s been hard enough to drag myself out of “baby brain”, although I’ve been downright lucky with how “easy” my pregnancy’s been, and how work’s gone.

– I’ve contributed, once again, to the awesome online magazine, Kaia! Check it out if you’d like to brush up on your 3 R’s (and I don’t mean readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic).

Be it ever so humble (and boring/dull), that’s the latest in our world. I’ve wanted to post much more regularly, but my brain has turned to Jell-O. Mmm. Jell-O. See? Hard to stay focused. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyhoo, I’m hoping to post more, but either way – thanks for reading!

Consider Me Showered

Nope, this isn’t a post about reducing your water usage by showering less (although, admittedly, I do this…don’t worry, lots of quick “washing up” going on). Rather, this is about all the awesomely rad stuff I was able to acquire at my baby shower, thrown by my incredibly generous family and attended by some of the sweetest friends and relatives I know.

Just gonna start by saying that, while it wasn’t the perfect day (I was battling a sinus infection…and can we say “Target, you SUCK!” – 3 pack ‘n plays!?!?), but it was memorable and funny, a few folks worked their tails off on it, and the baby’s got some great people watching out for him/her – so it was totally all worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And, really, isn’t it all about the baby, anyway? Damn straight.

Now, on to the GOOD stuff. The BABY stuff!

I never would have admitted that I wanted a diaper cake. As a matter of fact, the words “I hope I don’t get a diaper cake…” were uttered to my husband shortly before the shower. Man, was I wrong. I ended up getting two diaper cakes; one, simply made by my mom (which helped add to a ducky decor – I thought it was adorable!) and another, elaborately made by a former student/now friend, Jolene. The fact that the diapers were either cloth (which I’ll use as burp cloths OR may try my hand at the good ol’ fashioned pre-fold — she gave me Snappis, after all!!!! Either way, wicked versatile) and the rest that made up the body of the cake included well over 60 eco-friendly disposables (in size 1, the girl thought of EVERYTHING; if the baby’s anything like me, it may never need newborn sizes ;-D). I was overwhelmed at how much work she put into making this, and with all the fun goodies that were hiding inside. And the cats enjoyed batting at it for a few days before I finally, sadly, deconstructed it. I think Winston was as devastated as was I.

Of course, the pack ‘n play fiasco. These puppies ain’t cheap. They’re also a huge life-saver when you’ve got an old 2-story house and a touch of OCD about carrying a newborn up and down the stairs for a million diaper changes a day. It can be a place for them to nap or get changed or just to give you a couple of free hands for the moment – and can be packed away when traveling. We had registered for one…ONE of these…and we ended up with three. Whether someone didn’t beep the registry when it was purchased (I’m pretty sure I know at least two of the gift-givers DID this, though!) or what, we ended up with three. Regardless, we’ll be returning at least one (depends on if our future sitter will need one; both sets of grandparents already own one), which we can put towards some of the items we didn’t get…so, no harm. But, man was it embarrassing and uncomfortable for a) the folks who pitched in and gave such a nice gift and b) ME, the mommy, unopening them and knowing full well what was in each box. Regardless, it was an AWESOME gift and we’re lucky to have it. Er, them.

This thing intimidates me, but I’m over-the-moon excited at the same time. I pondered signing up for this Moby as well as a more “stable” carrier, but read such great things about it that I just went for it. And, it turns out, my incredible aunt who gifted it to me has a son who ADORES using his with his new little one (side note: the mini-cousin also gave us one of the coolest onesies ever). Glowing reviews tend to suck the intimidation out of it…a tad.

Here’s a shot of all the wonderful eco-friendly/natural toiletry products the baby got. This is about half of what we actually got. Seriously, I don’t foresee needing to buy anymore until the kid’s…well, using OUR soap. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (And the ducky has a blue belly that helps you with water temperatures – which you’d think would be self-explanatory, but I really don’t trust how hot our water gets.) And here I was worrying folks wouldn’t get the “they don’t buy the traditional Johnson’s & Johnson’s” memo! It makes you feel loved when folks care that much to know who you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was ecstatic to receive this gift from my long-time friend, Kelly. It’s supposed to be one of the tools that has brought cloth diapering into the 21st century (although I’m not sure how long it’s technically been around, hee hee). Pretty self-explanatory, it’s attached to the potty area and is used to spray cloth diapers before throwing them in a receptacle to eventually launder. Why in the heck did I get so excited about it? I have no clue. Perhaps I need to get a life. Maybe I’ve just read so much about the darn thing that I couldn’t help but squeal like a 16-year-old getting a set of keys for her birthday. Or, it could just be the fact that I LOVE that Kelly knows me well enough to get it. Bingo, yep. That’s the one. ๐Ÿ™‚

This lil’ guy makes me cry…mostly because he’s a gift from his soon-to-be owner’s soon-to-be cousin (my sister’s baby girl). Plus, giraffes are apparently “our animal.” And, no, that doesn’t mean our nursery has a theme. Oh, and the BIGGER version of this (from my sister, herself) has a good ol’ musical wind-up mechanism in it that REALLY makes me bawl. She used to have a unicorn a a lot like it that our dad bought her. We played the crap outta that thing.

How about a nice representation of all the hand-made goodies we received? (This, again, is just a sampling!) One reason I picked these ones is because the light blue sweater (which came with a hat) and afghan were made by my mom…and the other sweater (along with its “apple” hat) just SCREAMS “let’s go to Cooperstown Farmers’ Market then feed some ducks at Fly Creek Cider Mill this fall”. ๐Ÿ˜€ We received more blankets and even our traditional hankie-turned-bonnet (for the christening…and for the child to use at his/her wedding one day), too, but I couldn’t show everything. Besides, as far as the beautiful ribboned hankie, “The cat won’t leave it alone!!!” (Reference, anyone?? :-))

Okay, we got several INCREDIBLE gifts from B+B (I’ve mentioned them countless times here…and still haven’t gotten around to asking them if I should divulge their names…why are they the ONLY people I make the executive decision to just say, “Let’s call them B+B.” Perhaps the mysteriousness gets across how downright cool these cats are.), so why’d I pick this over the vintage/antique (can’t tell which, but either way, AWESOMENESS) baby eating utensils? Because it’s just so. Darn. Cool. It’s a rattle of sorts. Made out of organic wood. For teething. I mean, if it was just a cool little owl toy, I’d love it. But the fact that it makes neat noises AND is organic AND is great for soothing sore gums makes it the best multi-tasker gift EVER. Plus, you guys can buy one online if you like. (I haven’t checked out the web site, mostly because I don’t care too know how much it costs. It’s priceless to us.)

Talking about gifts from best friends and I honestly could’ve done an entire post just on the jam-packed BOX o’ goodies that my BFF Beth (along with her grandmother and mother – yep, 3 generations of generosity!) brought along. (Not to mention the IKEA trip she made for us!!!) Seriously. Why’d I pick these (although she got ORGANIC blankies and other must-haves off my registry)? To give you an idea of our diaper situation. These are “wet bags.” They’re, tentatively, where we’ll be throwing wet cloth diapers (after sprayed; or, when on the go, just thrown on in there without dunking or spraying) before laundering. If we need a larger solution, sobeit, but for now these (two travel ones on the left, one awesome zippered one on the right) will work great for our needs. Besides, I figure these bags would work great for a other applications, too, if need be.

After bragging about only a handful of the awesome gifts we received, I must say that we appreciated absolutely everything we got. While the hubs was slightly overwhelmed (okay, maybe more than slightly) by the sheer numbers of everything, I found it to be just the right amount of goodies. There are still items to be bought, but none are emergency things – and it’s to the point where Mommy and Daddy want to invest in some of their own stuff. We don’t have to rely on friends and family for everything. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re uber-lucky, as is the baby, to have folks who are so willing to get us stuff – but, as I’ve learned from my mom, a vast majority of the stuff you simply don’t need. At least, not right away.

Baby, Baby…

Okay, before I start chatting about random baby stuff, I’ve just gotta share a quick gripe: I’m not lovin’ the new Blogger setup.

Okay. Enough of that. Maybe I’ll get used to it. Or maybe I’ll get inspired to switch the whole shebang over to WordPress. Either way, you don’t need to hear me whine about it.

Since some general feedback to my second blogiversary questions tells me that folks WANT to hear about my soon-to-be-baby (I know, it’s a baby now…but it’s not a baby I need to “feed” or “change” or care for in any other way than simply eating and “being” wisely). I hate to disappoint, but I’m still not sure how much I’ll be sharing. Privacy for myself is one thing. Privacy for a baby (a much more desirable product, stealing-wise…if you catch my drift) is another.

But, my experiences? Sure. We’re uncharacteristically private (well, I am…Dave’s USUALLY a private person) when it comes to baby stuff, but you’ll probably be all up in mah biznizz when the event actually happens (ie I’ll probably share the birth story, if I’m able to REMEMBER it). Otherwise…names? Nope, secret. Can you put your hands on the belly? Heck no. (I will remove your hands. Don’t be offended. I’m just not cool with it.) Girl or boy? We’re not even finding out, so NO there’s not a nurse you can call to find out. (I kid you not. It was a baby pool-related question, but still. Wow.)

By no means are we being private to be meanies. It’s just a side perk. Ha! Totally kidding. We really don’t ever intend rudeness towards anyone, baby-related or not. But, as it is, we’re new to this bumpy (at times very exciting!) ride, ourselves, and need to get our footing without hearing a million opinions or suggestions. And, in all honesty, has anyone noticed how possessive, nosy, and inappropriate people can get when a baby’s involved?? They’ll do anything to see, feel, hear, smell, or kiss your child, no matter how close you are with them. They want to get the best present. They want to be the favorite. They offer to babysit, but you’re pretty sure they’d just sit around staring at it rather than changing its diaper or feeding it. (And, honestly, if we don’t trust ya with our cats…odds are….) Seriously, folks get baby caaraaaazeeeyyy, and it makes me uneasy.

So, anyhoo, here are some recent thoughts I’ve had in the midst of mad rushes of pregnancy hormones…

Cloth diapers are awesome…but terrifying. I’m not freaking out over much these days (no, really, I’m not), but the diapering situation…yep. I thought I’d finally landed on getting BumGenius All-in-Ones (having finally seen them IN REAL LIFE!), but after seeing Charlie Bananas on Target.com, I’m up in the air. My mind is currently saying “get some of both and see how it goes” but it’s not like you can return these puppies. Not sure why this all matters so much, but it does to me. *shrugs* In the end, I know I’ll find what does work for me and I’ll find myself laughing at how ridiculous I sounded. Y’know. When I’m too busy chasing around a toddler, or getting into a fight with a teenager to worry about what’s on their hiney. Heh. But, clearly I’m horrible at making decisions. And I married a guy who’s pretty much the same way.

I’m trying to remain as positive and calm as possible about my boobies (and the baby’s ability to USE them properly). I’ve read some real nightmare stories, stupidly, about months of ever-two-hour feedings with kids who won’t bottle feed pumped milk and leave bleeding nipples. It’s as terrifying as, well, cloth diapers can be. I have almost no one in my life with any nursing experience (thanks, in advance, to those who do!!!), other than “it wasn’t done in our time” and “it didn’t work for me”. I guess, ultimately, I’m staying positive and sending positive vibes to the little kicker in there – for once in my life maintaining an optimistic attitude about something (!) – in hopes that I may be one of the success stories I hear so little about. I dunno. I’ve got gusto. And I MUST have these none-too-small ta-tas for a reason. Maybe it’ll work.

We’ve got our first parenting/birthing class tonight. Sorry, I’m not sure what to call it – which AM I learning how to do, again?? Regardless, I must admit that I’ve got a bit of trepidation over it all. I’ve been quite cool and collected thus far (I’d say “laid back” to the extreme, and probably to the chagrin of any grandmas in the audience) and figure that I won’t worry ’til I have to. This is where that whole “knowledge is a beeotch” thing comes into play. Claiming ignorance won’t work anymore. But, at least the classes will help with the rare-but-vivid dreams of unknown child labor incidents. Right?? AND, perhaps it’ll inspire us to have more discussions (we’ve been doing better, though) and actually decide on some possible names. Perhaps.By the way, the current situation with l’enfant is the fact that it’s currently breech. (Oh, and I was low on iron, so I’m on supplements for that…but that’s no big.) From what I’ve heard and read, anywhere from 1/5 to 1/3 of babies are in this position at this stage in the game. So let’s not worry, m’kay? On the bright side, not much “kick you in the ribs, Mama!” moments, ha! My favorite part about the whole breech thing is the doctor’s office visit that accompanied it: Dave, visibly worried, asked what this MEANS. The doctor, visibly cool-as-a-cucumber said, “It means that if it doesn’t flip over, she’ll be having a C-section,” nonchalantly. I guess the C-section thing worries me more than anything else (drugs, I’m 50/50 on and would be okay if I have ’em…a C-section, however….) and the ease with which my doc said this freaked me out a bit. Luckily, I’m not using “just” one doctor (it’s a group of ’em) and I ultimately trust them all…but, yeah. Gonna have to advocate when the time comes.

Oh, and symptoms? Other than occasionally feeling rundown and getting unexpected heartburn (I’m usually used to it and, non-pregnant, take meds for it…but yeah….), my left ear gets WICKED loud. Like a speaker’s going out, but instead gets uber loud. I can hear my heartbeat at times, or myself eating (I’m disgusting…I can’t stand that sound), or myself trying desperately hard to focus on reading a book to students (of course, it’s muffled so I also can’t hear questions, etc). It’s nuts! And, I looked it up to see if it was, in fact, a pregnancy symptom and, sure enough, it can happen when fluid’s building up like crazy (apparently it’s not hitting my ankles much or any other place…but my frickin’ EAR CANAL?!). Can’t wait for it to stop. There are days when I have zero rest from it. And those nights are usually the ones I need the pillow between my knees and ankles to stop my back from hurting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, seriously, things have been so easy thus far, I feel guilty complaining about anything.

And that’s really all there is to tell about Baby D. and Mommy D. and Daddy D. at the moment. Good times, good times.

Eco-Baby

As you know, we’re all about making our best attempts at going green and live sustainably around here. Sometimes it works great and we’re able to change our habits completely (hooray for cloth napkins!!!), and other times we fall off the wagon (boo when the “baby” craves McDonald’s – yep, there’s a correlation between McDonald’s and non-sustainability – for 100 points, tell me what it is :-D). Heck, at times our CATS do way better than we do – after all, their lives are pretty much “eat, play, potty, sleep.” Not TOO complicated. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, of course, when it comes to the future Baby D (still no nickname, and the “D” isn’t a hint as it its possible first name ;-)), it’s not like we’re suddenly going to throw caution to the wind and suddenly raise the kid in an eco-less life. We feel too responsible for the future of our planet, especially now that we’ll be worrying about the future generations that will be using it. Plus, so much of living a “greener” lifestyle is also about maintaining one’s own health – it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

As far as how we’re going about our green baby journey, it’s probably easiest to simply break it down for ya:

Cloth diapers. While I read an article last night stating that cloth diapers AREN’T more eco-friendly (from a magazine riddled with disposable diaper ads…hmmm, coincidence?), I’m still fighting the cloth diaper battle. I’m still trying to decide between a million different options, and am finally to the point of asking myself, “Do I just want to go simple and purchase all one kind and brand, damn the consequences? Or should I pick a few different styles and brands (as well as price points) to see what works best?” It’s hard to determine how your kid will respond/react to each type, and I haven’t heard 100% positives from ANY one given diaper. Of course not! Kids. All. Poop. Differently. I just hope I don’t regret my final decision. Regardless, we’re doin’ this.
Cloth wipes. Depending on how challenging cloth diapering is, I’m planning on using cloth (reusable) wipes for their tushies. If it was good enough for my mom to use on my bum… Oh, and if we’re traveling or visiting someone’s house (y’know, the grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends, etc), we’ve got eco-friendly wipes.
Reusing Clothes. I’ve already got a bin of newborn-to-6 month, gender-neutral clothes, courtesy by incredibly generous sis, who also didn’t find out the sex of her daughter prior to her being born last September. Anything else I get will be icing, as far as I’m concerned. Although, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I can’t wait to find out (when he/she finally comes) whether I’ll be shopping for the modern bright pinks and chartreuse greens for a girl or finding part-quirky/part-hippie/part-preppy (think sweater vest; like Daddy, like Son) for a boy.
Decor. Okay, not only is it a huge cost savings, but finding thrifted items or repurposing old family treasures really adds massive personality to the nursery. We’re nowhere close to done, of course, but some of the ways that we’re saving AND “greening” up the place include using an antique rocker that my mother passed down to me (from my grandfather’s house – man, does this thing have personality! And I’ve already have blankets/cushions to comfy it up), putting art in cheap (yet mostly wood!) frames from Goodwill, painting a hand-me-down dresser to use for storage and as a changing table, using toys/books that we grew up with (which serve multiple purposes), and I’ve even got something up my sleeve for a sheet that has an awesome antique-looking edge (which happened to cost $2…yes, I said $2). All this is stuff that wasn’t created new just for our little space – although we’ll, of course, have to buy a handful of new items.

Cute AND politically incorrect? Sign me up!
Mmm…scallopy…

Breastfeeding. I’m by no means a praying person, but “LORD, JESUS, PLEASE HEAR MY PLEA TO HAVE A RELATIVELY UNCHALLENGED TIME AT BREASTFEEDING THIS LITTLE ONE WHEN THE TIME COMES!!!!” *whew* Seriously, though, what’s “greener” than breastfeeding? ๐Ÿ˜‰ While we’re at it, I’ve registered for the manual pump, although there wasn’t really a green reason for it; if breastfeeding DOESN’T work out, for whatever reason, I don’t want to try to resell a $200+ double-boob-electric-monster. Ain’t happenin’. The eco-friendliness just happens to be perk. Oh, and when I pump (or if BF doesn’t work out), we’re hoping to get BPA-free GLASS bottles.
Toiletries. We’re trying to be “ASAP” – As Simple As Possible. We’ve done enough purging (still more to go) that simply adding to the chaos is silly. So, taking a cue from some blogger parents I’ve read, we’re going pretty darn basic with toiletries. Here’s what we picked up one day (because the prices were pretty good); I’d like to eventually keep it down to one item for washing (shampoo and wash in one), sunblock, and if we absolutely need it, lotion and baby powder; oh, and have the products as eco-friendly as possible.

Toys. We’re in love with Melissa & Doug toys (mostly wood) and other non-plastic options out there, but a lot of this depends on what we’re gifted, too. (See our little choo-choo above that belonged to my hubby’s family.)

I’m positive I’m forgetting some other eco-stuff we’re doing, but we’ll just blame that on pregnancy brain. Fun! If I wasn’t already air-headed enough… (And, yes, I realize that “Mom Brain” or “Parent Brain” or whatever it’s called hangs on for good. Oh, goody.)

There are some areas that I’m sure we could do better on, I’m sure, but it can sometimes be an uphill battle. We’re incredibly blessed to have family members who are aching to help out – so if that means not purchasing a certain item secondhand, sobeit. And there are a few convenience items (a travel-sized swing or breast pump, for example) that I just want new. But, as with everything, we try to do our best, and I’m looking forward to keeping things relatively simple around here — because things are sure to get complicated enough pretty quickly!