Friday, March 30, 2012
So J and I (and the puppy dog) take a ridiculous amount of walks. Spencer gets 3 LONG walks a day and on the weekends, we typically take her to the park or hiking or some other outdoor activity. So we knew that we needed a stroller to fit into our lifestyle - something all terrain that could handle bumpy paths, grass, etc. Every.single.one of our friends with kids recommended the Bob Revolution. I don't know if I could name a family we know that doesn't own that stroller. It's also all over the internet as the Cadillac of strollers. So that's what we got, right? Wrong! We bucked the trend and got the Baby Jogger City Elite.
The Car Seat:
Again, a lot of research went into deciding on the car seat. We had it narrowed down to the Graco Snugride 30 and the Chicco KeyFit 30 and ultimately went with the Chicco because it seemed like most people really loved theirs. The #1 thing we heard about this seat is how easy it goes in and out of the base in the car. We got the "Adventure" color and it's a really pretty (and gender neutral for any future kiddos) green color. So far we love it!
The Baby Carrier:
I became obsessed with my research of baby carriers. I really want to wear the little dude as much as possible and again, putting him in a carrier seems to fit in with our lifestyle of being active if we ever don't feel like bringing the stroller out for walks. There's so much information out there about what is best for baby, best for the parents, etc. in terms of carriers. We actually registered for 2 carriers after determining that a wrap was probably best for the newborn stage and then we could move him into a more traditional front/back carrier when he's bigger and has better neck control. Again, people swear by the Moby wrap. That thing scares and intimidates me, so we registered for the Baby K'Tan.
There is less wrapping/tying that goes with the K'Tan and it seems generally easier to put on yourself. One of my good friends pretty much wears her baby all the time and she swears by this one over the Moby. I was able to try hers out and fell in love. So that's what the little man will be snoozing in when he's a wee thing.
As far as the traditional carrier, we went with the Beco Gemini
Oh boy - the debacle of the changing pad! I had seen the BabySmart Cooshee Changing pad all over the blogosphere.
It seemed like the most amazing thing ever - no cloth changing pad covers to deal with having to change and wash constantly when it gets poop, pee, barf or any other bodily fluid I don't even know about yet on it. It gets rave reviews everywhere, which is probably why it was completely sold out world-wide. Trust me, I searched and searched for any sort of sketchy website in India I could get one of these. No dice. I was about to give up and just get the traditional changing pad with the cover but I couldn't accept defeat yet.
So I did what any hormonal crazy pregnant person does - I started stalking Ebay. And lo and behold, one finally popped up. And then I got into a bidding war on a random Thursday afternoon, which resulted in me becoming the WINNER of said auction in the last 3 seconds! And yes, I totally fist pumped and danced around my living room when I realized I won it. And I actually got it for about $25 cheaper than it retails for, even though I was totally willing to spend several hundred dollars on this sucker. So it now holds the spot as my #1 most favorite baby item that we will ever own. Also, baby boy will be staying in diapers until he's 7 so that I can continue to use it (totally kidding!!)
The Diaper Bag:
I hate diaper bags that look like a diaper bag - what grown woman wants to carry a bag with Winnie the Pooh on it? Well maybe some do, but I do not. I wanted something that looked like a purse/bag that I would carry in my "non mom" life. I fell in love with the Skip Hop Versa
We've heard that video monitors are really worth the extra money, just so that you are able to look in on the baby without constantly getting up to check on him. Anything that allows me a few extra minutes of sleep seems like a good idea to me. We decided on the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor, with the 2.8" screen
It gets great reviews everywhere so I have a feeling we will love it. I'm really tempted to try it out by putting it in our living room and see what Spencer is up to at night!
The Nosefrida - super gross, but I'm SO excited to suck some snot out of my newborns nose!
The Miracle Blanket - we got 2 because I've heard these seriously live up to their "miracle" name and we won't want to be without it if one is in the wash.
The Ultimate Crib Sheet - I'm a fan of easy sheet changes in the middle of the night when the little man pees or barfs everywhere.
Fisher Price EZ Clean High Chair - I like that it has the word "clean" in the name, which is not something you normally hear when thinking about feeding a baby. My BFF swears by this as being easy to clean, compact and nice neutral prints so it may actually match your dining room decor!
Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets - Every single mom I know says these are the most amazing blankets ever. So of course, I need to have it! And my wonderful mom found the CUTEST print ones at this baby boutique in my town, so baby boy will have puppy dogs on his A&A blankets!
The Boppy - I don't think this really needs an explanation. We got 2 covers at the recommendation of everyone.
Things we didn't register for because we got as hand me downs:
A Bouncy Chair
A Pack N Play
So that's our list right now - I'll probably do an update at 3 months and maybe again at 6 months to see how we are liking all our gear!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So when looking at these pictures, keep in mind that the other side of the room looks like a bomb went off. We still have a full size mattress propped up against the wall and all the shower gifts are stacked up, waiting to be organized and put away. Just keeping it real!This was actually before we set the crib up. But that's our wonderful rocker (From WALMART of all places - $200!) and the ottoman pouf I found on Joss and Main for cheap. We plan on painting that side table white.And there's our crib (and my big 31 week belly). Ok, so obviously I still need to make the bedding (details, details!) and we need to hang the monogrammed fabric panels that I made over the crib. But at least the crib is put together!
Testing out the rocker - LOVE it! I seriously go into the nursery once or twice a day, sit in the rocker and just think about how crazy it will be when we actually have a tiny person living there.
So that's what things are looking like in baby updates right now. My first shower was AMAZING and I have another one this weekend, so that's exciting. This baby is already super spoiled and loved!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Anyways, as I was stalking Old Navy online for some cheap and cute deals for the little man, I came across these IN THE BABY BOY SECTION and I think that the colored jean trend may have been taken a bit too far...
Really? I'm supposed to put my 2 month old son in bright pink jeans? The green isn't horrible, but I'm still not sure that the little dude would be rocking these either. I think J would DIE if I came home with these for the baby and there's no way in hell he would let him leave the house wearing them.
The weirdest part to me is that Old Navy doesn't have any colored jeans for baby girls! Apparently they think that only boys should be wearing this latest trend? But I guess if you have a baby girl, you can always get the fun pink ones and put her in them anyways - that's what I would do at least! But you just might have to look in the boy section to find them!
Friday, March 23, 2012
- 1/2 cup ripe banana (about 1 small banana)
- 3/4 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (I used plain Chobani yogurt) *I actually used nonfat Chobani and they came out fine*
- 3/4 cup oats (use gluten free if sensitive to gluten)
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Designer Whey, or you could use any flavor you would like!) *I could not find protein powder at my grocery store and I didn't feel like chasing for it, so I left it out. I think next time I will trek out to Whole Foods to get some, just to pump up the protein of these muffins*
- 12-14 packets stevia (or 1/2 cup sweetener of choice)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line with silicone or foil liners, (spray liners if using). 2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, (or food processor), and blend until mixture is smooth. 3. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
This is an adaptation of the recipe found here, the Dashing Dish, and my changes are in red. The biggest change I made was to double the entire recipe and make 24 muffins. I froze half to have on hand after little man makes his arrival because I think they will be perfect to grab at 2:00am while I'm up feeding/changing/rocking.
The thing I loved most about these is that you just dump all your ingredients into the blender, blend and then pour into the muffin tins. Super easy and no clean up except for putting the blender into the dishwasher - my kind of recipe!! Also, they are really healthy with having no gluten or sugar, which is another bonus! And they taste like delicious banana bread! Definitely a must try!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Don't forget - Rita's Italian Ice is giving away free regular size Italian Ice's today to celebrate spring - you can bet this preggo will be walking up to our Rita's this evening for some strawberry italian ice!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Due Date: May 27, 2012
How Big is Baby: The baby is the size of a head of cabbage. We had an ultrasound on Friday and they estimate the little man is weighing in around 3 pounds, 5 ounces. Wowza!
Symptoms: I don't really have symptoms per se. When I started the 3rd trimester a few weeks ago all the sudden, I started getting a little bit more uncomfortable than I have been. My fingers a slightly swollen (goodbye wedding rings!) and I'm having to take more breaks throughout the day. But overall I still feel really really good!
Cravings: Not really anything
Sleep: Sucks - this is the one thing that's been horrible for the entire pregnancy and it's worse now. I'm getting up 2 times a night to pee, plus I have pregnancy insomnia, so it's hard to fall back asleep. There's definitely been some nights where I get up at 3am and watch TV for a few hours.
I Can't Live Without: pillows to prop my feet up when I'm on the couch, my ginormous water bottle and maternity yoga pants.
I Miss: Sushi and not having to be the DD every time we go out.
I am Looking Forward to: My baby showers! One is this coming weekend and the other is the weekend after that!
Milestones: Making tons of nursery progress, getting into the "30's" and still feeling generally great overall!
Exercise: Still working out, pretty much every day. I'm actually still running, but definitely going sloooow. It's also funny because I can't make it 30 minutes on the elliptical without having to get off to go pee at least once.
Diet: Luckily, this boy loves SALADS! And veggies. And fruit. I'm still hitting up the Whole Foods Salad bar once a week. While it's an expensive craving, I'm glad it's healthier than McDonalds! No sweet tooth at all - hopefully that stays away after he's born!
Movement: Baby Boy moves a ton. He has his active times a day - normally around 9am after I eat breakfast, again around 4pm and then usually from 9pm - 11pm. I am curious to see if these are his active times when he gets out.
Labor Signs- No, thank god! At our ultrasound, the doctor was very excited to tell me that I'm "Long and Closed" which is good for 30 weeks. Let's just hope we don't get that same report at 40 weeks!
Gender: It's a boy!I had J take a full body shot as well, because if my ankles start swelling up in the next few weeks, I wanted to look back and remember what it was like to have small ankles and be able to see my ankle bones! Ha! (PS - wearing heels to that wedding was not smart for a 30 week preggo!)
Friday, March 16, 2012
It really wasn't hard to find the right shade of navy blue paint - basically because there was only 1 paint swatch in all of Home Depot called "True Navy". Everything else was too royal, too bright, too dark, etc. I wanted navy and we got navy! We went with a paint in primer in one and I was pleasantly surprised to find that we only needed to do two coats of the blue, I was thinking it would take at least 3 to get good coverage.
I read about a million tutorials online on how to paint stripes. I won't try to give you my crappy tutorial, but the best one I found was Centsational Girls tutorial, where she talks about "sealing" the tape with your lighter base color before painting the darker color. Her post explains it a lot better than I can, so if you are doing stripes, I would use that tutorial as your guide. Young House Love also has a good tutorial on how to measure to find the thickness of stripes that will work on your wall size.
Anyways, after we figured out that we needed to make our stripes 11.6" each, we got busy with measuring and taping off. Let's just say, this was quite a test of our marriage. I think every couple should have to paint a striped wall as part of pre-marital counseling - it was seriously a lesson in patience, teamwork and hormones! But we survived and got everything measured and taped off in about 1.5 hours. Here's the pictures of our progress:J measuring and leveling everything out. We used Frog Tape and I would highly recommend it!After all the tape lines were up, we marked the stripes that were staying white with little piece of tape. I would highly recommend doing this, especially for high contrast stripes like ours, because I would have cried if we accidentally painted a stripe blue that was supposed to stay white after all that hard work of taping off. This is a gross picture, but I wanted proof that I actually did help! We went over each tape line with a credit card to really make sure it was sealed well. And this picture reminds me that it's time to call my hairdresser for a highlight touch-up! Yikes!And here's J "sealing" the tape with the white paint - basically he painted the stripes that were going to be blue with white first to make sure if there was any bleeding, it would be white on white and not navy on white. I truly believe this is what got our stripes to come out so crisp with no leakage or dripage at all! Then we painted our 2 coats of navy blue and peeled the tape pretty much immediately. You are supposed to peel the tape while the paint is still wet/damp so that it doesn't bleed. I do not have any pictures of the tape peeling process because I was literally going back and forth between covering my eyes because I was scared and jumping up and down with excitement.
Here's the wonderful after shots!
This is immediately after we peeled the tape and we admired our handiwork! You can tell the paint is still drying here. We're really happy with how they came out and even J admits he loves the wall and he's happy we did it. Success!! This is the corner where the rocker will go. Close up of the insanely crisp lines - it's crazy to me how straight and smooth they came out. No touch up required!Here's the full completed wall. It really makes a big impact and I'm so freaking happy with it!And this is the corner where the crib will go - which will actually be set up TOMORROW! Tons of progress going on these days!
So that's the story of our stripes and how our baby boy will have a very bold accent wall to stare at as he's (hopefully) drifting off to sleep. Next step - we get our rocker and actually start hanging things on the wall!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The spare bedroom served as a office/guest room for the first 2.5 years we lived here. It was plenty big for my big antique rolltop desk, a large bookshelf, plus a double guest bed, nightstands and a large bench at the end of the bed. When I got pregnant, we tossed around the idea of turning that bedroom into two bedrooms, since it was so large, plus with the placement of the windows and closets, each new room would have a closet and a window and they would each end up being pretty good size rooms.
Well then the pregnancy hormones came out and I realized I didn't want to be undergoing a huge renovation to our bedrooms while I was pregnant. I didn't want to have to wait until all the construction was done to begin decorating and building the nursery. I didn't want to have drywall and molding take over our entire upstairs. But our issue was this - I NEED a separate office space since I work from home. But without building a 3rd bedroom, where could my office go?
Several ideas were thrown around - maybe we could put my office in the living room? Not ideal. Turn my walk in closet into my office? Umm no thanks! None of these ideas were thrilling me, so I turned to Pinterest (obviously!) to search for office space ideas. Then I found it:We have a regular sized closet at the bottom of the stairs in our basement. It's mainly a catch all for everything that doesn't go anywhere else and it was in desperate need of being cleaned out anyways. As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I wanted to turn that closet into my office. It was perfect - out of the way, quiet, large enough to have all my office stuff fit. J wasn't so convinced (he didn't think I would like sitting in an closet all day) but once I found more and more pictures of closets being turned into offices, he got on board.
We spent a weekend purging the crap from that closet and moving what we did want to keep into other places. Once the closet was 100% empty, we realized it was actually a really deep, big closet! I decided I wanted to paint the closet a fun color to make it more like a room and less like a closet - we ended up painting it the same sage green color as the guest room, since we had the leftover paint. Then we headed to IKEA (the small storage experts!) to find a small desk, shelving and organization supplies so that we could turn a blank slate into an organized and functional work space. In addition to my office, this "room" is also where we will store all our files/paperwork, so it sort of has to do double duty.
So here's my NEW wonderful, organized, cheerful and private office! I've been using it over over a month now and I'm still obsessed with it every time I open the closet doors.Here's what you see when you walk down our basement stairs - the closed closet doors. But there's an office behind those doors!Ta-Da! My new office! Tons of storage and organization - and it's cute!
Another view from the other side. Yes, my printer has to sit on the floor, but that doesn't really bother me because I barely use it. I love that we were able to hang my bulletin board on one side and do the shelves for storage on the other side. Plus the main shelf at the top provides so much storage! That's where all our house files and my book collections (i.e. trashy romance and vampire books). Close up of the shelves. They are functional, but I also tried to find storage options that were also cute, hence the chevron basket from Target that holds all of our computer cords, cables and plugs, etc. And Jake was able to wire the closet in the corner for electricity, internet and a phone line! So the office is seriously fully functional, which is great and the wires stay hidden on the side of the desk.
It really is like we gained an entire room with adding this closet office. It was also good because it required us to go through all our paperwork to get rid of the junk and file everything away properly. Having everything fit into this tiny little space forces us to stay organized, which I love!
We also wanted to spend as little as possible on this new little office and I think we were pretty successful. Here's a budget breakdown:
Desk (Ikea): $69.00 (It's the Micke desk)
Shelving (Ikea): $15 (we got the most basic brackets they had, which came in at $1.99 each, plus 2 of their basic shelves)
Magazine files (Ikea): $3.99
Storage Boxes with lids (Ikea): $9.99 for 2
Assorted storage bins (Target): $35
Lamp (Target): $19.99
Desk Chair: Free (my parents had an old chair that they gave us)
Faux Plant and Holder (Ikea): $5.99
Everything else we already owned, so that's a really accurate budget total. So we gained an office and the babies room got cleared out for $160. Now that the nursery is pretty much empty, the fun part of decorating can begin!!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
(I am not a medical professional, nor a Chinese medicine expert. The following diet/herbal regime were created for me by my acu based on my individual body and cycles. I don't recommend starting any sort of diet like this without consulting with a doctor or trained acupuncturist)
My first acupuncture appointment was June 23, 2011. My acu told me that generally, it takes an average of 3 months for your body to make any significant changes. Well I have to say, I saw immediate changes in my body pretty much immediately after starting the acupuncture.
One thing that my acu focused on was the fact that I have poor circulation - my hands and feet are pretty much always cold. Within 4-5 sessions, I noticed that my feet weren't cold anymore and I generally felt much warmer and less sluggish. J even noticed at night, when I normally used to get into bed with icy toes and have to wear socks to sleep, now my feet were a normal temperature. It was pretty crazy to be honest. I was also sleeping much better and just had more energy in general through the day.
The other thing my acu did was put me on a fertility friendly diet. She analyzed my regular diet and determined I wasn't eating enough protein. She recommended that I eat scrambled eggs with veggies and a lean organic meat for breakfast. Also, add in more beans/lentils into soups for lunch. Dinner should be a lean meat and tons of cooked vegetables. I needed to focus on organic, whole foods. Honestly, it's probably how I should have been eating anyways, so I embraced this new way of eating.
She also told me to cut out all dairy - WHAT?!?! Was she crazy? Didn't she know that I lived for cheese, yogurt and milk? She asked me if I ever had any digestive issues after eating dairy. I said yes, sometimes. She said "You are more than likely lactose intolerant. Why don't you cut it out for 1 week and see how you feel." I figured I could do anything for 7 days - so imagine my surprised when cutting the dairy had me feeling better than I had in a long time. So yes, why I might LOVE dairy, apparently it doesn't love me.
We also discussed gluten. She said I more than likely had an intolerance to gluten and I could cut it or greatly decrease how much I was eating. While I didn't go 100% off gluten, I did cut back a lot and noticed a big change in my energy levels and had much less bloating. I was seeing incredible things happen to my body.
The other part of the circulation issue was that she didn't want me to have any cold drinks/food or raw veggies. The thinking with that is that your body has to work extra hard to digest these items (since putting cold stuff into a hot body is a shock to your system), so it takes energy away from keeping the rest of your systems normal and in tact. Of course, this was the middle of the summer, so it was hard to cut out cold drinks, ice cream, etc. The awesome part about Chinese medicine is that they believe 80% is perfection, so it was ok that I had the occasional glass of cold water. She also recommended red raspberry leaf tea, which is considered a women's fertility tea. I also needed to increase my folate intake (in addition to what I was already getting in my prenatal vitamin).
My new diet was going well and the weekly acu was super relaxing. I was still charting and noticing that I was ovulating earlier and earlier each month. My luteal phase (the time after you ovulate until you get your period) was also longer, giving any potential fertilized eggs more time to implant. I actually stopped charting in August 2011 because my cycles had become so regular and I knew what to expect.
Without charting, I was definitely less stressed and actually spent less time thinking about trying to get pregnant. I was happy, optimistic and felt great. We were coming up on our 2 year anniversary on September 5th and celebrated with a low key weekend. I had a feeling that I ovulated around that time (but again, I wasn't charting) and we joked about how funny an anniversary baby would be.
So imagine my surprise when I decided on a whim to test on September 19th and I got an extremely positive pregnancy test! Almost 3 months to the day since starting the acupuncture, I was pregnant! We were honestly shocked. It had been so long (16 months) that it didn't seem real. How was this happening now? I really credit the acupuncture, the diet and my new relaxed outlook. I think it helped to regulate my cycles, strengthened my eggs/ovulation and in general just brought a sense of balance to my mind and body.
That's our journey in a condensed, 3 part story. I'm not saying that acupuncture is a cure-all and I'm very aware that our story was short and sweet compared to many couples. We feel blessed and grateful. I'm so happy to be pregnant and I've tried to appreciate and enjoy every day of this pregnancy. You never know what cards life is going to throw you, so I try not to judge or make assumptions about other people now, because you just don't know what they are going through. I hope this helps anyone going through a similar experience!
Now back to regular postings - I have SO many updates about the baby and the nursery!!