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. 😉 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. 🙂 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. 😉 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. 🙂 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. 😉 (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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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”. 😀 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. 🙂 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. 😉 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. 😉

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? 😉 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!

Pin Theft

As many women using the world wide web, I likes me some Pinterest. (Sorry, guys – I have yet to see a single non-chick using it. Feel free to Friend me if you’re a fan of it, too!) I’m not addicted to it, but I can see how a person could easily jump into that territory. There’s just so much inspirational material out there on the web; how could we NOT love a tool that helps us “save” ideas for later and share with friends?!

The funny thing is that part of my job is learning and educating about the responsible use of information – ie plagiarism, intellectual property, etc. Every time I pin something, I think about where it’s coming from, if the individual who originally posted it to the internet CARES that it may get pinned (and the original source in the process) dozens of times, and whether it’s legal. But, I do it, anyway.

I know that a lot of the stuff on Pinterest is actually originally shared by bloggers, who love knowing that people may try their idea (a craft, recipe, DIY project, etc) or find inspiration to do their own thing. Heck, lots of blogs ENCOURAGE us to pin their ideas. So, that’s what I’m telling myself every time I decide to repin for my own purposes. However, the items that I’m sharing here today are from the original sites (not the reproductions that I’ve been inspired to create)…just to be clear. Now, for the fun, hee hee.

For me, Pinterest has been valuable for planning my nursery. Talk about inspiration! Beyond the fact that I have actual proof that a nursery can be blue and NOT shout “It’s a Boy!” loudly (remember, we’re not finding out the sex…and we’re stickin’ to it ;-)), there are a kazillion ideas for nursery art. It’s to the point where Dave jokingly says that we’ll run out of room…and it just occurred to me that I should just keep pinning since, one day, we might just have a playroom (in a different house). 😉 Mwahahaha, he’s not safe!

So, here are some of my favorite nursery pins (the images are linked to their original sources)

While there’s a tad more green to the wall color, this gave me some great inspiration for our room. Sure, there’s lots about it that we won’t be doing; we’ve got a dark wood antique rocker to use, our floors ain’t that purdy (we’ve got a large neutral rug that I’d like to layer a couple of throw rugs with), and we’ll have a lot more color. But, I LOVE the combination of blue and yellow, plus the embroidery hoop-with-patterend-fabric wall art.

While the orange isn’t a definite, the brightness and combination of fun color are definitely an inspiration for our space. I also love the mix of old and modern. By the way, I’d like to complete about 90% of the nursery, then if it’s a boy throw in some orange accents and if it’s a girl use some deep plum…but, hey, I could always throw both in. What other room could you do that without being put into a padded facility?

I know, this is an unimpressive picture, but the link provides you with some DIY crib skirt ideas. I’ve already purchased a $2 sheet that seems to be an antique (but who minds cutting an antique sheet when it cost $2?!) which will hopefully work for this project. It’ll add some of the classic, ruffly baby softness to the space.
This is another unimpressive picture, but it’s close to an accent color I’d like to use, specifically to paint a free dresser we’ve got (luckily, it’s not as big as this…although I’m starting to wonder whether it’ll be big ENOUGH, eep!) that will double as a changing table.
Aaaaand here’s the art! Yes, it’s the alphabet twice…see anything else? 😉
I’ve recreated this using a blue instead of gray and a neat stamped font.
Here’s another theft on my part. My version uses the same colors, but a different font and a small, horizontal layout. My mother sang this to me as a child, so I HAD to have it in the room somehow.
How cheeky is this?!
I used the inspiration from this piece, but it looks quite different – with a green background and another cool stamped font. I LOVE this one.
The inspiration from this nursery was the idea of some of the accessories, but more importantly the large glass jar used as storage. See the jar at upper left housing the old alphabet blocks? Why I think that’s neat, I have no idea. I just do.
So, that’s just a handful of nursery inspiration I found on Pinterest. Whatchya think? Disjointed and hard to picture? Or neat ideas that’ll create a fun, creative space? Feel free to share an opinion.

Prenatal Yoga

I’ve mentioned wanting to try yoga, and most recently prenatal yoga, a few times. My reasons have ranged from exercise to improving my mood to helping in the birthing process — ohhh, there are lots of reasons. So, after work last Friday, I ran home to change into something comfortable and headed to Universal Yoga Center in New Hartford. (That’s about 30 minutes away, for the record. And, no, there’s nothing even similar any closer to home. Boo.) On this particular day, I was lucky enough to have Dave in tow for a post-yoga date.

So, he dropped me off and headed out to kill time while I got my stretch on. I was the first to arrive (I’d been told to come early to fill out a short form), and nervously got myself situated. There were approximately 7 other ladies there (plus the incredible instructor), all ranging from 17 to 36 weeks pregnant.

I don’t remember everything about the experience since I was focusing on learning new stretches and feeling the connection with my body and with the baby. I was definitely the “newest”, so the instructor seemed to pay some extra attention to me at more challenging points. The yoga itself was all about modification — especially focusing on the fact that, being pregnant, we may want to try some moves differently than even other women in the room, and definitely differently than how certain types of yoga might be taught.

What I don’t recall as far as the technicalities of the yoga itself, my memory makes up for with experiences and ambiance. The low lighting (there’s a lot to be said for Christmas lights – it’s the first time I’ve seen lighting like that that wasn’t reminiscent of a college dorm) and Eastern instrumental music were instantly calming. The instructor’s calm sweetness was inviting and caring – and perfect for a bunch of pregnant ladies! The stretching and moving wasn’t altogether too challenging (although there were a couple that proved to me that I need some more balance practice) but just “uncomfortable” enough to provide a mild workout while giving options for relaxation and other needs during labor or as the pregnancy continues. I honestly can’t say enough good about the experience.

The breathing techniques and little “tips” that the instructor provided (such as trying one stretch, in a modified way, to help with sciatica issues — my mom was jealous about that one since apparently I gave her such troubles when she was pregnant with me) were awesome. While the baby stayed pretty much motionless, it started moving during something called the “puppy pose” (an upside-down pose). I like to think the little one enjoyed it, but it just occurred to me that the opposite might have been true, hee hee. At the end of the session, after a long, deep breathing exercise, we made lotus blossoms with our hands and gave up a wish/intention for the baby up and into the universe (or to God, depending on what you believe). THAT was powerful.

The best part of the whole thing (other than that I didn’t realize my first session was free – score!) was when I met Dave at the car. I was throwing my bags in the backseat and getting myself situated while he blabbered on – “How was it? Did you like it? Were they nice? Did something happen? Was it okay? Do you hurt?” I think that he had hopes as high as I did about it, and a quiet Meg is a very rare thing. After I had strapped myself into the passenger seat, I finally said, “I’m relaxed.” “Oh! Good!!” I got to the business of explaining things shortly thereafter, but his excitement (and apparent nervousness) about it all had him bouncing off the walls. Can’t complain about that!

Oh, and for the record, that night he read the children’s book he had purchased (while I was at yoga ;-)) to my belly and got to feel it kick for the first time. Overall, it was a very special evening. Throw in a farmers’ market trip the next morning, and it was one of the best weekends we’ve had in awhile.

So, will I be going back? Let’s just say that there isn’t a session this week, so I’ll be returning for their next class. I enjoyed the process so much that I can foresee trying the “mommy and me” yoga (or even just “regular” yoga classes) in the future. The exercises speak to me in their timing (not too quick/extreme, not too slow/boring), with their focus on breathing, relaxation, and inner focus, and the underlying calmness from the instructor’s tone and the music (a variation of which I listened to on my Sirius satellite radio the next day – seriously).

Random Pregnancy Post

By “random” I mean some random pregnancy thoughts, all rolled into one post. 🙂 Just to clarify.

– Yes, I’ve finally got “a bump”. Strangely enough, I haven’t had any strangers comment on it yet, nor anyone who didn’t already know I was pregnant. A few students are looking at me strangely or whisper to each other, but that’s not really different from any other day. 😉 I figure strangers aren’t mentioning it because it still looks a bit like a lady who ate a huge Thanksgiving dinner rather than “there’s something growing in there” belly. Bought a pair of jeans the next size up from Goodwill (they were brand new, thankyouverymuch), but think I’ll need to do a tad more shopping to get me through this “in between” phase. Going to try out a few consignment shops in the area. Oh, and I’ve definitely got some stuff for when I get BIG.

– Speaking of clothes, my sister was awesome enough to give us a huge Tupperware container full of her newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months (and even beyond!) clothes from her current little bundle of joy. (When I say “bundle of joy”, I really mean it. She’s awesome.) Most of the clothes are neutral since they didn’t learn the sex of her baby prior, either. I know some folks are dying to buy clothes, but I’m happy with what we currently have. We’re still clinging tight to the “simplify, simplify, simplify” motto.

– Movement is a-happenin’. Not a whole lot, but it’s there. It’s not so much a “flutter” as folks have described it, since it’s not that ticklish or butterfly-like, but it’s definitely not quite yet a “kick”. Mind you, if I was the over-sharing type to post an ultrasound picture, you’d see in one of the latest that this kid’s got McCoy legs — like long frog legs. So, I figure sooner than later it’ll start to feel more like a soccer game in “mah bellay.” (Fat Bastard? Anyone? Sorry, the hubs and I have a small connection to Austin Powers.)

– It was cool to search for a food question and actually receive a resounding “Yes, you CAN eat that – actually, eat MORE of it!” rather than the usual “Ruh roh. Don’t do that.” (It was like landing on “Go to Jail” in Monopoly. Wop wop.) I’ve been eating a little less healthily lately, for whatever reason (mostly exhaustion and laziness), but always with a piece of fruit or yogurt or glass of milk, so I’m clearly still in the game. But, when I went shopping for my usual large container of Chobani at Hannaford the other day, my frustration grew even further – they had done away with my strawberry. Consider my cheese MOVED. Don’t move a pregnant lady’s cheese.

Out of spite and a bad mood (and presumably to prove a point…to whom, I have no idea ;-)), I purchased one of the over-priced regular-sized Chobanis and a 4-pack of Stonyfield Farm’s Organic Probiotic Strawberry Yogurt. A sudden buyer’s remorse swirled in my head – “Wait. Those probiotic thingies are alive. Am I allowed to have this?” Clearly, I can, and I look forward to seeing if it helps any of the stomach “issues” I’ve been having since becoming pregnant – and have even read that doctors have advised that kids who may be a little “off” in that area should eat the stuff. Neat! Putting that in my back pocket for now.

– Not sure if it’s hormones or just environmental/exterior factors, but I’ve been a tad bummed lately. Trying to control it, since I’d rather send nothing but positive vibes to the little one, but it’s been a challenge. Working on it. (See the bottom bullet to find out how I’m working on it. ;-))

– I couldn’t be happier that the weekend is upon us (and that a week-long vacation starts a week from today). The pregnancy exhaustion has hit me again, and there’s just so much we’d like to get done…but I wish just a little that I could accomplish those tasks without it taking the wind out of my sails completely. It can be tough to take it all in stride, but I wish I could. Trying! And hoping that a couple of the “sit in sweats and use the computer” assignments on my to-do list can get accomplished, at least. 😉

– Apparently, the baby can officially hear what’s happening in the outside world. If this is the case, he/she has been learning how to politely say “no thank you” (or “our budget was cut…”) to a kazillion book vendors on the phone today. I’m sure this talent will serve him/her well one day.

– I can’t wait to create a “mood board” to post about the nursery. I’d like to share more about our home goings-on (since, hey, most of the blogs I love and one of my new, favorite distractions is design, DIY and purdy stuff) – plus, it’s fun to see what folks think. When they’re nice. *wink* We’ve already got two of the colors down (plus white and wood – do those count as colors? *double wink*) and I just have to nail down the third. Hint: It’s yellow…just not sure whether it’s a softer, buttery yellow or a fun, bright yellow. And, yes, there will be a fourth color — after the little nugget arrives on good ol’ Planet Earth.

– Oh, yes, I finally touched base with the Universal Yoga Center in New Hartford about some prenatal yoga classes. (Sarah, are you proud?!?!) I’m also grabbing a prenatal yoga DVD to see how I feel about it. Either way, feeling proactive about my health and the baby’s well-being (and forcing myself to get off of my butt and DO something for myself) has to be a good thing. 😉 My doctors have asked if I’ve been exercising, and my “are you kidding? Does laundry count?” response doesn’t seem valid anymore.

So, those are the random thoughts that have been bopping around my head. Oh, and that I’ve GOTTA call Shauna to chat about cloth diapers, making laundry detergent, and even finances when my energy finds me again. 🙂 Feel free to share any random thoughts you’ve been having lately – or comment on how silly mine are!

Post-Pregnancy Bucket List

I’m lucky. SUPER lucky. (That’s even more than “uber”, in case you didn’t know.) I got pregnant easily — almost too easily, I know I’ll be jinxed in the future. Things are going incredibly smoothly. The only nausea I get anymore is something I’d deal with normally, thanks to a healthy dose of GIRD in my life. We keep hearing the heartbeat, and get to see the occasional wave (and McCoy legs and crazy well-developed spine…and possibly Daddy’s nose), which, some days, I worry about. I don’t FEEL very pregnant…so, AM I STILL?!?! It’s enough to drive a woman mad. So, yeah. Things are good.

While being so lucky, I’m also inclined to feel…mmm…a tad…left out. There is a lot of stuff preggers ladies are told that they can’t or shouldn’t do. I’m pretty strict about most of it. Even the crazy “I never heard that” stuff, like avoid pineapples (and I believe mangoes and coconut, but pineapples are much more a part of my regular diet). Seriously, my poor mother cut up an entire pineapple for me to snack on and I couldn’t!

So, without further ado, I shall indulge in my totally well-meaning, in no way whiny bitch-fest…(Warning: Numerous food items mentioned are neither all-natural nor organic…nor healthy. It is what it is, I make no excuses other than — the baby did it!)

– A bologna sandwich…on white or wheat (SOFT, please)…with yellow mustard. May or may not contain American cheese. I’ve wanted this as long as I’ve been pregnant. I’m hoping someone will meet me at the hospital with one. I’d do unspeakable things for one.

– Wine. More specifically, New York State wine. It’s sweeter (and some would say suckier) than the “good stuff”. Oh, and Fly Creek Cider Mill’s special flavored wines. Yep.

– On the boozy subject (and not to sound like a complete lush), a) amaretto sour, b) strawberry daiquiri, c) anything else involving rum and fruit.

– Why do I want to go skiing so badly?

– The same goes for hiking.

– And canoeing.

– And camping, in general. While I adore camping (be it the “don’t bathe for days and live in a tent” kind or the “rent a heated facility on the lake” kind), Dave’s not a huge fan and it’s just not something we’ve contemplated for vacationing. Well, I’ve dreamed about it, but particularly one day when we’d have kids (and nieces and nephews) along for the fun.

– Sleep any gosh darn way I please. Strangely enough, it’s not just that I “shouldn’t” sleep on my belly or back, but this whole “sleep on the left side, it’s best for the baby” thing just FEELS better. Of course, I’m a toss-‘n-turner, so I can’t break that habit…and while the belly isn’t very big yet, it’s definitely a maneuver to shiiiiiift all the weight from one side to another. It’ll only get worse, and the cats seem to know when the “harass Mommy and Daddy” hour (ie feed us, 5am MUST be breakfast time, right?) is. Ah, I suppose that’s all training for the baby, too.

– Will I EVER get a normal tinkle schedule again?! That is all.

– Paintin’ stuff…carryin’ stuff…generally being that “I can get it” type of lady. Given the chilly (albeit mild) winter weather we’ve got, I don’t feel comfortable painting stuff inside. I’ll be using some low-VOC primer and paint for a project we’re undertaking this weekend, but y’know. I couldn’t even help the hubs with his Drylok project in the basement. And, I know my mother was painting stuff pretty much up until I was born, but who says I want the kid turning out like me? 😉

– Oh, yeah. Pineapple. (Mmm. I foresee living on fruit salad when we bring the newborn home. With the occasional bologna sandwich. ;-D)

I’m sure there’s a kazillion more things that I’m missing, but in case you didn’t know, I’m pregnant, and pregnancy brain is definitely not a myth. My normally forgetful non-pregnant brain is bad enough.

Is there anything you’re itching to do, eat, or experience? Do tell!