23 Weeks (February 28, 2014)

23 Weeks (February 28, 2014). I can't believe next week I'll be 6 months! That just seems SOO pregnant. My belly is definitely growing and is still looking pretty darn pointy, right? Silly little baby bump...

23 Weeks (February 28, 2014). I can’t believe next week I’ll be 6 months! That just seems SOO pregnant. My belly is definitely growing and is still looking pretty darn pointy, right? Silly little baby bump…

 

Symptoms

Yesterday I tripped over myself at the gym and thankfully landed on my knee. The unfortunate part is that I landed on my knee… and it hurt. What I’ve learned from this experience is that I need to BE CAREFUL and not do any kind of exercise with accelerated inertia (as my husband put it). The stupid thing is that I was doing a quick side shuffle with a resistance band around my knees… so, if you can imagine, I tripped over my foot and when I went to catch myself, I couldn’t do a great job because I had a damn rubber band around my legs. Not smart, but thankfully I was given the opportunity to learn from the mistake without any more damage than a little burn to the knee.

Otherwise, I’m feeling good! Swollen in the mornings (from my toes all the way to my face), but otherwise good! If the weather cooperates, we’ll be headed to Pottery Barn Kids tomorrow to check out some furniture and I’m hoping to stop by a local furniture store tonight to see what they have to offer in the crib/dresser department. Keep you posted!

As for the current state of the nursery, while it still has the guest bedroom furniture in it, all my husbands stuff has now been removed from the closet and the two little Closetmaid Cubeicles with Canvas Drawers (in natural) and Baskets have been built and set up in there. Looks cute.

Babies are so Tiny!

I went to lunch with a friend yesterday and couldn’t help but notice (and get wildly distracted by) the tiniest little baby girl. She was SO SMALL! Literally, if I had to guess, she was only a few days old. I mean, she would have made my 5 lb dog, Toby, look big.

Anyway, I know this isn’t news, but for some reason, it just felt so shocking. In just about 4 months, I will have my own tiny, headband-wearing little girly. It made me think… what the heck will I do with her? Do I really know how to take care of a baby? I mean, obviously I don’t. But will I figure it out?

This tiny baby, with a head the size of an apple, looked so darn fragile. I have all these hopes of cloth diapers and an all-natural upbringing… but will I even be able to keep this little person alive?

One thing is for sure, Google is going to be getting a good workout from all my questions.

Symptoms

Still feeling really good. By the end of each day, though, my back starts to really hurt. I twist and turn and reposition, yet still, I’m pretty darn uncomfortable. Thankfully, the worst of it doesn’t last more than an hour or so, which is manageable.

Otherwise, I’m still on my mission to keep all of our organization and baby-prep projects moving. Doing pretty well I guess, although things like work and normal-life responsibilities kind of put a damper on that.

As for weight-gain, I haven’t been on the scale lately. I’ve been feeling pretty darn bloated lately, which doesn’t inspire me to hop on. Maybe I’ll try to remember tomorrow morning (I absolutely do not get on the scale at night… that’s for people who want to get upset). It would be nice to know if I’m still on track. And despite my cravings, I do feel like we’ve been pretty good about eating healthily (still taking down two veggie shakes a day) and working out (although not as much as I should be… need to make sure I get that third and fourth workout in each week).

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta run… time to work out.

Glass, Plastic, or Stainless Steel?

Is glass best?

Is glass best?

As I’m building my registry, I’ve found myself wondering whether or not I should use glass bottles over the plastic alternative… OR am I just inviting disaster? Cleaning up broken glass is the worst.

New standards require baby bottles to be BPA-free, but is that enough? (Plastic is still made with petroleum.)

And glass… we all know the troubles associated with glass: breakage, cracking, the weight, etc. The benefits include: no harmful chemicals, easy to sanitize, maintains warmth longer, can be heated.

And now, the other option is stainless steel. The benefits: shatterproof, recyclable, non-leaching material (aka: no seeping chemicals), durable… The cons: expensive (that’s all I was able to find… maybe that means I should go with stainless steel?)

HELP! I’m so confused…

What’s in a Name?

There is a chance I might regret opening this flood gate, but as we begin the name discussions, I’m wondering if any of you lovely folks have name ideas you’d like to share. Now, before you feel like this is an invitation to name our child or openly judge the name that we do chose, I must warn you that ultimately, we’re going to chose the name that we feel is best… and once we do, we won’t be looking for anymore suggestions 🙂

Anyway, I really love traditional, elegant names. Pretty much the names of either grandparents or babies… not the “traditional names” we grew up with, like Melissa, Jessica (my sister’s name), Rachel, etc. I also really want a name that is easily nicknamed. For instance, while I love the name Ava, this is more of what I consider to be a nickname. We have a very short, one-syllable last name, which in my book means we need to chose a first name that is strong and has multiple syllables. Another rule… our last name starts with L. I’m not the biggest fan of alliteration, so I’ve been avoiding L names. AND, my husband and I are M&M… I don’t really want to make that M&M&m… seems a bit too kitschy.

Let the suggestions begin… NOW!

Thanks for the help 🙂

Symptoms

It’s starting to get more difficult to bend down. I make grunting noises. I’m not even that big, but somehow, that’s what I’ve resorted to. It’s really most noticeable when I have to bend down to pick something up that I dropped or when I’m sitting on the floor and have to stand up. Oh well, right? Also, I still have a lot of discomfort in my back and neck. I’ve been going to the chiropractor regularly, but the pain always comes back. Thankfully, it’s usually by the end of the day that it gets bad, so at least I’m home.

The other thing that’s been bad has been my poor little feet. I walk around the house in my moccasin slippers that apparently have zero support. After about 20 minutes, my feet are killing… and 40 minutes after that, they’re swollen and super uncomfortable. I’m thinking it’s time to either a) get some arch supports, b) get slippers with more support or c) both.

Also, I’m a little cranky. Maybe it’s all the stuff I have to get done building up or the fact that we haven’t been getting a lot of sleep… either way, I’m definitely chipper today.

Let the Nesting Begin…

Something happened to me last week and I’m not exactly sure what it was. I don’t know if it was the power of hitting 5.5 months (aka: we only have 4.5 months to go) or what, but I have been totally non-stop planning, organizing, researching, cleaning, purging old crap, registering, etc. It’s all I can think about. I go to bed thinking about what I can do or clean next and wake up bright and early ready to work.

On Saturday, after a lovely brunch with my Milly (mother-in-law) and Pop (Mark’s grandpa), we went off to check out baby furniture and to touch and feel some of the stuff we had selected for our registry. The plan was Babies R’ Us, Buy Buy Baby, World Market, and Pottery Barn Kids. Unfortunately, when we got to the mall to go to PBK, the dang place was gone! I don’t know when, but the store had closed and now, the closest location is in Illinois over an hour away.

This discovery made me a little crabby (or maybe it was the fact that we had been out shopping for 4 hours already), but we decided that next weekend we would head to IL and check out PBK and potentially IKEA. And of course, still feeling like we needed to get things done, we went to the JC Penney Outlet to check out furniture and Target to get some storage drawers/cabinets for our lower-level “bonus room” and the nursery closet. A quick $250 later, we were ready to finally head home.

That evening, I built this little cube bookshelf for the nursery (I’ll post a picture tomorrow) and went through all the hand-me-downs from Mark’s sister and organized them into newborn, 0-3, and 3-6. A completely unnecessary task, as I will obviously be washing them… but oh well!

The next day I was up super early to start organizing the bonus room (except for a quick break to see my grandparents and buy MORE bins from Target, this is what I did from about 8 am – 11 pm). Currently, we have two desks in this room and it acts as a catch-all for the random crap we don’t know what to do with or haven’t had time to put away. Originally, the room was going to be an office/craft room, but we both always end up working upstairs, so we have decided to get rid of the big desk and bring our guest bedroom furniture from the soon-to-be nursery down to this room. But, in order to do such things, we need to get everything SUPER organized. That means, all my craft stuff, our files, Mark’s old crap from his mom’s house, etc all needs to have a specific place to go.

So here’s what I did…

BEFORE shot of the bonus room. Please note that there are piles of papers and crap everywhere and that all craft stuff is thrown into two drawers or somewhere in the desk.

BEFORE shot of the bonus room. Please note that there are piles of papers and crap everywhere and that all craft stuff is thrown into two drawers or somewhere in the desk.

AFTER: Yes, there are still some boxes in the corner... but it's a HUGE improvement. And tonight, we'll tackle the boxes (that is all crap that my husband brought over from his mother's basement... I told him to make sure to find an actual place for the items instead of just throwing them somewhere. He found this room.)

AFTER: Yes, there are still some boxes in the corner… but it’s a HUGE improvement. And tonight, we’ll tackle the boxes (that is all crap that my husband brought over from his mother’s basement… I told him to make sure to find an actual place for the items instead of just throwing them somewhere. He found this room.)

AFTER: The closet is all organized in our new bins! There's an "adhesives" drawer, an "every day paper" drawer, a scrap paper drawer, a ribbon drawer, and the list goes on. Organization like this makes my heart go pitter patter.

AFTER: The closet is all organized in our new bins! There’s an “adhesives” drawer, an “every day paper” drawer, a scrap paper drawer, a ribbon drawer, and the list goes on. Organization like this makes my heart go pitter patter.

 

Next Steps:

  1. Go through the remaining boxes in the bonus room.
  2. Sell the big desk on craigslist.
  3. Bring the furniture from the soon-to-be nursery down to the bonus room and get it all set up.
  4. Figure out lighting in the nursery (I want to change the light fixture and look into getting overhead lights)
  5. Paint the nursery (trim and all).
  6. Go through the basement storage area and get everything organized.

Lots to do, but I’m hoping that this list will be done within the next month! Wish me luck 🙂

Symptoms

Besides my compulsive need to organize, I’ve been feeling really great. Energetic, motivated, excited, and happy. Yesterday, Mark and I bought the book, “Snuggle Puppy,” by Sandra Boynton. We’ve decided that every night, Marky will read a (or this) book to the baby to help her learn his voice and to help him feel connected to her. Last night was the first night and our sweet baby who was quiet as a mouse started kicking as soon as daddy started reading to her. I can’t wait to continue this ritual and see if she continues to react. It definitely was a special 2.5 minutes 🙂

 

 

 

22 Weeks… 5.5 Months! (February 21, 2014)

22 Weeks... 5.5 Months! (February 21, 2014). I can't believe it's already been 5.5 months! What a crazy little journey it's been so far. My body is definitely changing and things are really starting to feel more real. I can't believe this small nugget will be here in under 5 months!

22 Weeks… 5.5 Months! (February 21, 2014). I can’t believe it’s already been 5.5 months! What a crazy little journey it’s been so far. My body is definitely changing and things are really starting to feel more real. I can’t believe this small nugget will be here in under 5 months!

 

Symptoms

The last couple of days, I’ve been forgetting to include “symptoms” in my posts, so I thought I’d throw it in this one. The biggest symptom I’ve been feeling is this little jumping bean! The difference between the movement from last week to this week has been crazy. Probably about 2-4 times per day, she really goes nuts and does some serious re-positioning. I’m talking full-on belly movement… I can feel her graze my entire stomach. And then sprinkled in there are LOTS of bladder kicks. Those are a little less than comfortable. She’s also been kicking what feels even lower… I refer to those as the vagina kicks. Thanks, lovey… I just adore those moments when I’m talking to a coworker and simultaneously trying to ignore the fact that you’re poking down to my lady parts from the inside. Not weird at all…

But really, I do just totally enjoy all the movement. It’s so crazy. My favorite pokes are right at my belly button. I don’t know why, but they feel so silly… almost a tickle feeling.

Also, yesterday was officially the first day I actually SAW my belly moving. I took a video; although, I’m sure it’s a little hard to see from there. A few disclaimers… 1) please ignore the ridiculous amount of hair on my shirt. The puppito seems to be shedding a bit of undercoat or something, which on occasion gets me a little hairy. 2) You can see my whole belly bounce right after I pick a hair off of my stomach.

SO FUN!

Other than that, it’s business as usual. I’m totally in the pregnancy groove. I have my energy, I’ve been productive and I’m starting to really get moving in the “nesting” / preparation phase of things. I’m ready to take on the nursery this weekend… clean out some stuff, do some reorganizing and measuring, and get some plans in place. Maybe head to Babies R’ Us and Pottery Barn Kids to check out some furniture… and who knows, maybe we’ll pick out paint colors. I know… so exciting!

Don’t Make Me Decide… The Nursery Debacle

To say that I’m struggling with nursery ideas would be a total understatement. I am SO lost. I keep thinking I’m ready to go in one direction and then something makes me change my mind.

I know that generally speaking, I like the neutral colors… grey, cream, beige… with accent colors… maybe blush… or turquoise… or lavender…

Blush accents...

Blush accents…

More blush... I definitely don't like this crib.

More blush… I definitely don’t like this crib.

Grey, Cream, Blush & Gold... a thought!

Grey, Cream, Blush & Gold… a thought!

Elegant and neutral.

Elegant and neutral.

More elegance.

More elegance.

But then I have my moments where I think I want to be a little brighter with my choices and then I get totally lost. Ugh.

Bright colors...

Bright colors…

Not sure about the pink, but I like the rest I think.

Not sure about the pink, but I like the rest I think.

Similar colors.

Similar colors.

Cute driftwood mobile.

Cute driftwood mobile.

Can someone just design the damn room for me? I really suck at making decisions. The same thing happened with our wedding… I was totally paralyzed in making any decisions, so we decided to move our wedding date up by 5 months and plan the whole thing in 3 months. I promise, that will help you make decisions 🙂

Anyway, I know I need to decide, but nothing has really wowed me.

I sketched this last night to try and organize where things will go and what kind of furniture we’ll need…

Don't make fun of me... this is just one way I plan.

Don’t make fun of me… this is just one way I plan.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing polka dots on one accent wall. But really, I just don’t know.

Subtle polkas on one wall with white furniture...

Subtle polkas on one wall with white furniture…

Way too bright for my taste, but smaller polkas.

Way too bright for my comfort, but smaller polkas.

Polka accents in gold/blush.

Polka accents in gold/blush.

Polka bedding.

Polka bedding. Also really like these colors… some of the time.

Here are some cute mobiles I found, too!

This first picture is by a lady who had a REALLY cute little lamb mobile on her Etsy page, but now it appears to be gone. <TEAR>

If I go the colorful route..

If I go the colorful route..

Thoughts?

How to Clothe That Cute Little Baby Tush

The cutest unborn baby tush ever!

The cutest unborn baby tush ever!

If it wasn’t obvious by my ultrasound pictures, I think there is something so dang adorable about a miniature baby tush (aka: butt). Seeing this cute little butt on the ultrasound was a good reminder for me of all the trouble/work/poop/laundry/stank that little tush will be causing me. It also reminded me that I wanted to look into… dahn dahn dahhhhnnnnn… cloth diapering.

Now, I know this is a subject that provokes a lot of love/hate emotions, but being the “need to know all my options” kinda gal that I am, I’ve started to do some digging on the subject.

So, why do people choose cloth diapers over disposable?

  • It takes 20 trees to provide diapers two years of disposable diapers for a child… and then all 20 of those trees – now filled with poop and nastiness – go into landfills.
  • To save some dollars! By the time a child is out of disposable diapers, covering that cute little tush can cost parents $1,600 to $2,500. Including the cost to wash disposable diapers, this compares to about $425-700 for cloth diapers… that’s a savings of $1,200 to $2,100 for three years, or $400 to $700 per year.
  • It is said that cloth diapers reduce diaper rash! Also, because a cloth diaper can absorb less liquid, it is more obvious when you need to change said diaper and thus, your sweet babe isn’t wallowing in his or her own filth for hours on end.
  • The cloth diaper fanatics say that kiddies in cloth diapers are potty trained in much less time than “those other kids” in the disposables.
  • I don’t really know why, but these same diaper fanatics claim that they have SIGNIFICANTLY less diaper blow outs with cloth. (Oofta… am I ready for diaper blow outs? Not to be a total girl, but I don’t like poop. Especially the all over kind.)

I’m sure there are other reasons why parents choose cloth, but that’s the extent of my list for now.

I think the reasons for disposable are pretty obvious, but here’s my quick, unresearched list of reasons:

  • There is limited handling of nasty soiled diaper.
  • Just wrap it up and toss…
  • Did I mention the amount of laundry you have to do with cloth diapers?
  • It seems easier and just kind of like the thing to do.

Now, from what I’ve heard, the laundry thing isn’t the biggest deal… you do the wash at least every other day and you get used to it. By adding a little sprayer thing to your toilet (imagine a vegetable sprayer), you can easily get the poop and nastiness from the diaper to the toilet, and in terms of the stink, the diaper pails work just as well if not better than those for disposable diapers.

So where am I at with my research and my decision? I have no idea. I’d love to hear from people who have tried cloth diapers because I’m still very intrigued. I’m all for saving money and protecting the bum… but at the same time, I don’t really love laundry. BUT, maybe it would be a good reason to get a high-efficiency washer/dryer. We could use the money saved on disposable diapers to upgrade. Hmmm… that sounds like a good idea!

I think my next step is to talk to some people who have used cloth and maybe do a little more research on the actual diaper options. I’ve heard that once you decide to go cloth, there are about 5,000 other decisions to be made. Brand, Style, etc. Based on my initial research, though, I want to look into bumGenius, Kissaluvs and gDiapers.

Wish me luck and, if you’ve used them, let me know what you think!

The Travel Gods Are on Our Side

Thursday, the day before our trip, was donned the worst travel day of the winter with over 6,200 flight cancellations and 3,700 flight delays. To say we were feeling a bit worried about our Friday morning flight would have been an understatement.

In full, “Mark & Melissa Fashion,” we showed up at the airport about 45 minutes before our flight. Thanks to my husband’s service in the US Navy, we’re able to use the military line, which was essential this morning. The security line for our concourse was totally unreal. The wait had to be at least an hour, if not much longer than that. Even in our quick line, we still waited 10 or 15 minutes, which is unheard of.

Anyway, somehow we got through security with enough time to grab a bagel (a total essential travel-day treat), use the bathroom and jump in line at our gate. When we got to our gate, we discovered that Southwest does not assign seat numbers. I guess neither of us has ever flown with them, because it was news to us. And, as two of the last people boarding the flight, we didn’t have much hope of actually being able to sit together… BUT sure enough, we got on the plane and found two seats next to each other. Another relief.

So enough about our transportation… once we were there, it was wonderful! We were both SO tired (after only 2 hours of sleep the night before), but by the time we got to the hotel around noon, we were equally hungry. So, we mustered up some strength, and went out to enjoy the beautiful 37 degree and sunny day. We didn’t have to walk far to find a place that tempted us, so in we went to some weird Asian market buffet. Everything looked wonderful, although, I’m not going to lie… it wasn’t all that great!

My Asian Market Buffet picks!

My Asian Market Buffet picks!

Mark's selections.

Mark’s selections.

After lunch, we walked across the street to a giant Macy’s mall. On our way, we caught a whiff of the most amazing aroma… Waffles & Dinges (pronounced “dings,” although the husband and I refer to it as “Dingy’s”). We decided that after our little mall adventure, we’d grab a delicious Dingy on our way out.

And oh did we…

The excitement is building as we wait in line at the outside Dingy hut. The smell is amazing!

The excitement is building as we wait in line at the outside Dingy hut. The smell is amazing!

So many delicious options...

So many delicious options…

Ms. Dingy preparing our made-to-order waffle deliciousness.

Ms. Dingy preparing our made-to-order waffle deliciousness.

Focused and ready to get back to our room and mow.

Focused and ready to get back to our room and mow.

The final products... mine was fresh strawberries, bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate. Just a small, low-cal treat.

The final products… mine was fresh strawberries, bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate. Just a small, low-cal treat.

It's DINGY TIME!

It’s DINGY TIME!

Post-dingy, it was nap time. We were totally zonked. Then, it was up around 5 or so to get ready for dinner. We were even able to walk to dinner because the weather was so manageable!

The restaurant we selected, Osteria al Doge, was so perfectly romantic and adorable. A friend who used to live in the City made the recommendation and we were so happy we went with it. The place was perfectly candle-lit, authentic and delicious. They even came around and brought all the ladies roses.

Our romantic little corner booth!

Our romantic little corner booth!

After sharing some berries for dessert, we glanced at our clock to see that somehow we had let time get away from us and our show was starting in 9 minutes. We quickly paid the bill and started running to the show. Of course, in the excitement and chaos, I directed us to the wrong theater, which caused a slight delay. But again, we somehow made it JUST in time to use the bathroom and get to our seats right as the first number of NEWSIES began.

The theater, the Nederlander Theater, was totally great. It was really small and quaint, making it hard to believe there was a bad seat in the house. And the songs and dancing… oh they were perfect! The only trouble was that it wasn’t appropriate to sing along. Instead, my poor husband had to deal with me singing the songs the entire rest of the evening.

Yes, I downloaded the Newsies app.

Yes, I downloaded the Newsies app.

Enjoying the romantic NYC atmosphere on our walk to dinner.

Enjoying the romantic NYC atmosphere on our walk to dinner.

As if we hadn't eaten enough, we stopped for a post-show hot dog treat. Our hot dog vendor was hilarious. He noticed that my rose stem had broken and said, "oh no... not today" and wrapped the stem in tin foil to bring it back to life. Another great NY moment. And ooo was that hot dog delish.

As if we hadn’t eaten enough, we stopped for a post-show hot dog treat. Our hot dog vendor was hilarious. He noticed that my rose stem had broken and said, “oh no… not today” and wrapped the stem in tin foil to bring it back to life. Another great NY moment. And ooo was that hot dog delish.

The next day, we went to visit with one of my mom’s oldest friend’s, her daughter and her lovely bf. It was a great brunch and such a wonderful visit.

Mark, Jillian, Lorett & I!

Mark, Jillian, Lorett & I!

Then it was onto Long Island to visit with Mark’s sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. By the time we got there, I was zonked, so while Mark took one of the nieces sledding, I took a nap.

My nap was funny. The youngest niece is pretty much my biggest fan… ever. She might love me more than Mark does. So, she decided she was going to lay down and “nap” with me. This turned into her waking me up every 20 minutes for about an hour by saying, “Melissa… are you done yet??” I can’t complain though… I did get a solid hour in after that.

My wake-up call!

My wake-up call!

That evening, we went to the Globetrotters. I had never been and didn’t really know what to expect. It was pretty silly; although, from what the boys said, it wasn’t what it used to be.

Trotting around...

Trotting around…

The next day we went to their amazing gym/country club, where Mark and the oldest niece rock climbed, and then they all swam and played bball. We were probably there for a good 4 or 5 hours. The place was really nice… I even got to take a yoga class that afternoon. All-in-all, a very nice day!

Climbing session.

Climbing session.

We finished the evening with some Mediterranean food, the olympics and manicures. It was a great time!

The next morning, we headed to the airport nervously. Milwaukee was expecting 8-10 inches of snow that day and we were feeling a bit nervous about our travel luck. BUT, somehow, we made it! Anyone travelling to Wisconsin as a connecting flight, was unable to board the plane, as their trip had been cancelled. But as long as your final destination was Milwaukee, you were good to go. So we got on the plane and ventured back.

Just as we were about to land, they informed us that Milwaukee’s airport had been closed, so we would be cruising for a little bit until they were able to clear the runways and reopen. As scary as that was, we made it and landed safely… only to return to the blissful snow-filled state of Wisconsin.