Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Birthmarks" by Cassie Fox

A mark for every breath you took, every sleepy yawn.
One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello,
closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness.
One for every time you had the hiccups.
One for every dream you dreamed within me.
It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it's ugly.
That's okay. It was your home.
It held you until my arms could,
and for that I will always find something beautiful in it.

-Cassie Fox

(via Pinterest)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fluffy butt

Long ago, James and I decided that we'd be cloth diapering our babies. There are lots of reasons for this:

1. It saves us money. It will be a larger up front investment, but the diapers we buy now should last us from infancy to potty training for two kids. $300-$400 now beats $50 a month for a few years (don't quote me on that... it's a rough estimate).

2. It's better for the environment. Disposable diapers take generations to decompose in a landfill and each baby goes through thousands of them! We will be using more water to wash our diapers every 2-3 days, but combined with the other benefits, we feel that it's worth it.

3. It's better for baby. Disposable diapers have tons of yucky chemicals in them to improve absorbency, and this is one way we can keep them away from our little one's heiny!

4. It's cuter! This last one isn't one of the reasons we're doing it, but it doesn't hurt ;)

In the cloth diaper world, they call a baby in a cloth diaper a fluffy butt!
It's a personal choice and every parent has to do what's best for them. Hopefully this cloth diapering thing works out for our family though :)

There are so many types of cloth diapers that I've been researching recently. I won't even go into it here, but some introductory resources can be found here and here. Tons of mamas blog about it, almost all of whom say that cloth diapering is so much easier and more convenient than they expected.

After reading and reading and reading some more, I finally got comfortable understanding the types of diapers available and what will probably work for us. We're going to be using one-size pocket diapers... most babies don't fit into the one-size diapers until around 10 lbs., so we will be using disposables for that first month or so. I'll have that much less laundry to do while adjusting to life as a mommy!

Like I mentioned recently, I'm an obsessive planner and researcher. As such, I've already purchased almost everything that we'll need to cloth diaper our little one. Yeeeesh I know I'm crazy... but here's all that we've spent:

Approx. 30 diapers: $270
(My limit was $10 each - these were all purchased used, though many are in like new condition. New diapers are more like $20 each. I bought from and a few from craigslist)

2 wet bags: $20
(These are waterproof bags to keep soiled diapers in while we're out of the house. Purchased from 529 Baby)

1 trash can with a lid: $12
(This is what dirty diapers will be kept in until they can be washed... like a laundry basket, but having a lid lets us hide the stinkies)

2 diaper pail liners: $30
(Waterproof bags to line the trash can where dirty diapers are kept. Purchased from 529 Baby)

Extra inserts: $25
(Most diapers come with an absorbent insert, but sometimes you want to double up for overnight use. Purchased from

We've also registered for lots of baby washcloths ($30), which we'll use as wipes rather than disposable ones - it just makes sense if we're going to be washing diapers anyway.

Total invested in cloth diapering? $357.

If we were to use disposable diapers and pay $40 per month, we'd be caught up to that by baby's ninth month of life. And babies are in diapers much longer than that... plus we can use the same diapers for baby #2, plus you can even re-sell them when you're done. Plus... look how cute!!

I'll be the first to admit that this whole cloth diapering thing was way intimidating when I first started looking into it. But now, after months of research and getting used to the idea, I'm really looking forward to it!

23 weeks

I can't tell if I'm carrying high or low. Thoughts? Is it too early to say?

Size of baby: A pomegranate
Sleep: Okay, though it's getting less comfortable. I haven't used my snoogle in a while because it's been more comfy without it. But lately there have been a few nights when I wanted to again... only the cat's been sleeping on it so I have to wash it first...

Movement: Every day now! Little kicks that feel like twitches.

There's also another feeling that I really can't describe... every once in a while I'm aware of something going on down there. You know how right before you burp... that feeling that something's about to happen? It's like that feeling. Nothing ever does happen, but it feels different for a minute and I imagine that's when he's not kicking, but rolling around? I'm not sure. Weird description. Ha.

Feeling: The weird stomach pain hasn't returned after having it 3 days in a row last week. Thankfully. That crap hurt.

This week's discomfort? Feeling suffocated, as if there's not enough room inside of me for my lungs to expand as much as they want to. I don't like this, seeing as how I still have 4 months of growing left!

The cankles are also a constant end-of-day thing. I can even feel the swelling coming on - though I'm still wearing my wedding ring even though it's tighter.

But overall I feel good!

What I miss: Being able to stay out late, and not feel tired/hungover for the next 24 hours.

What I'm looking forward to: Starting our Bradley class next week. We had some contractors over and one of them told me about his 3 kids' births - one a C-section, one with an epidural, and one natural (using the Bradley Method). He said the natural birth was the best - it was calm, personal and special. It was so encouraging!

Best moment this week: We had such a good weekend with friends! Saturday was a "port and dessert" party - I made this cherry crumble and everyone brought something yummy to eat and drink. Of course I didn't drink... but staying out until midnight still makes me feel hungover the next day! Sunday another couple of our friends stopped by our house and hung out for a while and shared some great news. And Tuesday I even saw The Hunger Games with our aforementioned party hostess. Good social week.

Worst moment this week: Nothing bad really happened... I guess I'll say the fact that I didn't get as much exercise as I should have due to the rain.

Milestones: His face is fully formed now - he just needs a little extra fat to fill it out. In addition to hearing my voice and heartbeat, baby's able to hear loud noises on the outside of the belly too!

Cravings: Cabury caramel eggs.

Food aversions: Nothing specific... but nothing sounds all that yummy either.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

22 weeks

We've planned our "babymoon," hooray! We haven't been travelling as much as we used to and wanted to plan a little vacay before the baby's born. Who knows when the next time we'll be up to driving several hours will be. We're headed to Pismo Beach for 5 days in April and I'm excited! Neither of us has been to that part of California before. We're going to Hearst Castle too!

Love that belly!
Size of baby: The size of a papaya
Sleep: Pretty darn good.

Movement: Still very faint, but I can feel our little pumpkin almost every day (James calls baby "Pumpkin." I usually call him/her "Peanut"). Yesterday was a particularly busy day for our little one :)

Feeling: I've been having pretty bad stomach/torso pain. I'm not sure if it's indigestion, Braxton Hicks (though I don't think so because it's higher than my uterus) or my organs being moved around by a growing baby. It really hurts!

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach

What I'm looking forward to: Our babymoon in Pismo Beach

Best moment this week: Getting stuff done - booking our trip, ordering a crib mattress, wetbags for cloth diapering (I'll post about that later!) and a K'Tan baby carrier (I got it discounted on Ebay and I'm so excited to use it :)

P.S. I tried one on at Buy Buy Baby and was able to figure it out on my own... they even had a fake, life-like baby that you could try it out with. Not gonna lie... that was fun!

This is kind of crazy, but we've (okay really I've) already purchased almost everything that we're not registering for. That includes all furniture, cloth diapers and accessories (because most of it isn't available where we registered), and lots more items that I found for too good a deal to pass up!

See up there ^^^ where it says I'm an obsessive planner/researcher? That's the 100% truth!

Worst moment this week: Tummy pain!

Milestones: A stranger finally acknowledged my pregnancy - but I was buying baby stuff so I think that gave her an in to comment. I'm still always wondering if people can tell but I guess that answers it... that may seem like a ridiculous statement if you're going by the big belly picture above, but that angle makes it seem so much more exaggerated!

Cravings: Anything with caramel or cheese in it (not together!)

Food aversions: Meat. Not a lot of food sounds good, so I'm having a hard time eating enough. I'm always hungry even though I'm quite certain I eat a lot!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


That's "Frequently Asked Pregnancy Questions!" I get a lot of the same questions often (not that I mind at all!) and I thought I'd blog about them here.

When are you due?
July 26, 2012!

How are you feeling?
Pretty good now! I'd say the worst was about weeks 7-13 - the all-day nausea and if-I-don't-eat-right-this-second-I-will-die feelings were rough but they've now subsided and I'm loving this process of growing a little person. I definitely get winded much easier and am tired at the end of the day. And my appetite is huge (though these days not as much as earlier in the pregnancy).

What's it like to know there's a little person growing inside of you?
Amazing! And surreal... I don't know that it's actually sunk in completely yet, but the more I talk about it with people and buy baby stuff to prepare, the more real it seems. Honestly though, I can feel baby move sometimes, and I saw him/her during my ultrasound... but I can't 100% grasp what's going on in there! It's too crazy and amazing!

Do you miss alcohol or any specific foods?
Alcohol - not too much. The first few weeks was the time I most often said "Man I'd love a glass of wine" just because I was used to drinking wine regularly. But after that, I just got used to it. It's not an option so there's no use lusting over it. There have been some moments when I would have loved a glass of champagne or beer but overall I don't miss it too much. Being drunk actually sounds not at all fun right now.

As for foods, I've had cooked sushi only and it helps satisfy my cravings. It's certainly not the same, but it's okay!

I've never been a caffeine drinker so I'm fine there. Same for rare meat - no thank you!

What else? Oh, soft cheeses - a lot of people seem to think that you can't eat any soft cheeses like brie, feta, etc. But as long as they're pasteurized it's fine. And I've looked in the deli section at the store and have yet to find any that's unpasteurized.

Are you going back to work?
Nope! At least not any time in the foreseeable future. I can't say what will happen years down the road, but for the next several years (barring unforeseen circumstances) I get to be a stay at home mom. And I'm so excited about it!

I did not quit my job because of pregnancy, I quit because I just hated that particular workplace. However, I did refrain from looking for a new one in anticipation of getting pregnant. At the time I left my position in September we had been trying for a very short while, and I ended up getting pregnant in November. I know that we are so, so lucky that this plan worked out.

Do you know if you're having a boy or a girl?
Nope, and we're not going to find out until baby is born. I think it will be so very exciting to wait for that moment and get to tell people on that day :) I posted about my internal debate about whether to find out or not here.

Can I touch your belly?
I guess so, if you make it quick and not awkward. This doesn't happen often, but it doesn't really bother me like I've heard a lot of pregnant women complain about. Maybe my tune will change after months on end of the touching... but for now I understand where people are coming from. They're just excited for me.

Do you have a name picked out?
Kind of! If it's a girl we're pretty set on a first name. If it's a boy we have two that we love. I'm not sure whether I want to share the names here though...


If anyone has any other burning questions, post them here and I'll address them! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

21 weeks

Seriously, when I look in the mirror this is not what I see! I don't feel this big at all. And then I take a belly pic and it's like BOOM! You're pregnant!

Size of baby: A banana. Last week was a cantaloupe - isn't that way bigger?
Sleep: Sleep is good and pretty comfortable! I have to pee consistently at 1, 3 and 5 a.m. Always. It's like my body's teaching me to get up every 2 hours... hmmm.

Movement: I can feel a little something every day or two. Most days it's really little.

Feeling: Fine. Good. Lovely. Not putting my feet up all day results in cankles... that's pretty ugly! Speaking of ugly... my stretch marks continue to grow each day. Of course, it's all worth it!

What I miss: I miss booze just a little bit.

What I'm looking forward to: Filling out the baby book. We registered for this one and reading the pages to fill out (in the store) makes me cry! It asks about the day we found out I was pregnant, has a page for a family tree, pictures of mommy and daddy, milestones, info about the day baby is born... it's just precious!

Best moment this week: We got our registries done! It was kind of overwhelming to do actually, but it's fun looking at them and I'm happy to have it completed.

Worst moment this week: When a tree branch fell on our house, leaving two holes all the way through to the attic, prompting us to look into re-roofing the entire house and paying to have the tree removed altogether. The tree has been removed, the holes are covered with a tarp (They're only an inch or two big) and we're currently getting quotes from roofers. $$$$

Milestones: As her digestive system preps for the outside world, she's manufacturing meconium (The first poop. Lovely). If it's a girl, she's already got a lifetime's supply of eggs in her womb - about six million of them.

Cravings: I've been having a lot of chocolate pudding recently. I feel the need to buy some caramel sauce to put in it... YUM!

Food aversions: I made the most disgusting turkey meatballs last week. I don't know that it was a pregnancy aversion though, since hubby agreed they were pretty bad!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nursery sneak peek

The nursery is now pretty much set up with the big stuff, now we just need to fill it with ALL those small items! Here's a sneak peek :)

Dresser - Daddy's since childhood
Glider chair - Craigslist
Chinese lanterns - San Francisco Chinatown
Bookshelf - Ikea Expedit

Stroller - Baby Jogger City Mini
Crib - Ikea Sundvik
Mobile - DIY (I'll blog about this once I have my real camera back and can take good pictures!)

Coming soon: Art, mattress, window treatments.

Coming later: Bedding, changing pad, laundry and diaper hampers, stuff on the shelves, tons of other baby gear.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

20 weeks

Half way there! Absolutely cannot believe it! My stomach is definitely getting harder.

I've had stretch marks on my sides for weeks and weeks, but they've now appeared on my belly. I know they're going to be bad! I just know it. Not a huge deal... it's not like I'm a bikini wearer and the flabby skin postpartum will be much worse, I'm sure. But still, nobody likes to see stretch marks on their body.

Size of baby: A cantaloupe - so big! I do not feel like there is a cantaloupe inside of me. I think perhaps this refers to length only?
Sleep: Good! Hooray for that! I've found the sweet spot for side sleeping. Must pee often though.

Movement: About every day or two. It's still faint but getting noticeably stronger. The other night I was telling hubs that I think we have a mellow baby... a few minutes later baby started flailing around saying "nuh uh!" I almost always feel movement in the afternoon or evening.

Feeling: Fab. Loving this pregnancy. I had a bit of a leg cramp off and on, and I didn't even think of it as being a pregnancy symptom... then I read that it's common around this time. I had no idea. I think the feet are swelling a little when I spend all day on my feet too.

What I miss: Raw sushi.

What I'm looking forward to: Feeling baby more, and strong enough for daddy to feel too.

Best moment this week: Finding out that peanut is in perfect health. That's what it's all about!

Worst moment this week: Realizing how much weight I'm gaining despite eating well and exercising. Frustrating!

Milestones: Reaching the halfway point in this pregnancy! Seeing baby at my anatomy scan. Baby now has working taste buds and is swallowing several ounces of amniotic fluid each day (I think we may have witnessed this during the ultrasound!).

Cravings: Today I bought a Cadbury creme egg and a Cadbury caramel egg. And then I ate them both. And they were uhhh-mazing. The caramel slightly more so.

Food aversions: When I volunteer on Tuesdays they feed us lunch, and this week they had turkey. I had one bite and no more. The texture and the taste just grossed me out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Anatomy scan

Friday was my anatomy scan - the ultrasound during which all major organs and other good stuff (brain, heart, spine, etc.) are measured to make sure they're developing properly.

For the first part of the exam, the ultrasound tech was measuring everything and had the screen facing away from me. James could see though. Since baby was laying face down, the only shots she had trouble getting were of the heart. At the end I had to pace around the little room for a few minutes to get baby to move, which worked.

At the end, I got to see and she showed us the baby's face, brain, heart, tiny little adorable hands and feet... it wasn't moving much but we did see baby open its mouth and wave its arm! Of course I cried the whole way through.

Some people say to drink a soda before the ultrasound to get baby moving, but it just didn't seem right to me to manipulate my kid like that! Sure, it would have been cool to see him dancing in there, but it's like I said about finding out the sex - we have the rest of our lives to witness this kid moving!

Speaking of which - no we did not find out the sex! The tech didn't even look in that area so there's no one in the world that knows. So cool right?! I don't even feel that curious, strangely.

We got a bunch of pictures printed out, most of them weird and skeleton-looking. But here's the best one. It's baby's profile... but a crappy cell pic of the printout.

Today I had an appointment with my midwife and she went over the results of the ultrasound - thank goodness baby is perfectly healthy, measuring on time and no problems were found! YAY for my perfect little peanut!

After the appointment James and I went to Ikea and purchased the crib and bookshelf for the nursery... and of course I was too excited to wait and they're already assembled :) Pictures coming soon!