Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BabySnacks

Hey Blogland!

About a week ago I finished up the coursework for my certificate in Lactation Education (CLE . . . ftw!) and, because I'm now officially obsessed with all things breastfeeding, I've started up a second blog over here:

www.babysnacks.blogspot.com

If you're at all interested in babies or breastfeeding, take a gander!

I'm planning to talk about my own personal experiences as a nursing mother, provide resources for nursing moms, comment on the latest breastfeeding studies and news and provide a forum for breastfeeding concerns and commentary.

Should be good times. Yea, boobies!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

*sheepishly updates blog*

I spent August savoring every second of my remaining maternity leave then most of September and October pumping, so I've had basically nil time for blogging but I'VE MISSED IT. So I'm sneaking back to say "Hi!" and "I've missed you guys!" and "I'm going to try my hardest to keep this old blog updated (or, as updated as my new 9pm bedtime will allow.)"

As 2010 is racing towards the finish line, I took a look at my neglected 2010 list and realized I've actually gotten quite a few major bits checked off:

We visited The Monterey Bay Aquarium towards the end of August (he liked the real penguins, but not the fake ones!):



I took Rhys to the Getty Center in mid August:



We took Rhys to the Griffith Observatory TWICE! Once on the last day of my maternity leave:



. . . and once just this past weekend!:



We found Rhys the perfect Halloween costume. Three times. He was a dragon, as I anticipated:



Then he was a giraffe, like his beloved Sophie:



And finally, he was everyone's favorite Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, complete with helmet and light saber teether:



I've also, miraculously, lost the baby weight. All 48lbs of it. And I'll fully admit to eating cheesecake and entire boxes of crackers whilst not working out. If I'd known how many calories breastfeeding burns I'd have taken it up years ago, just as a hobby.

And about that breastfeeding . . . I'm sort of obsessed with it. Rhys and I had a rough start and in an effort to pinpoint exactly why we had the difficulties we did, I did a lot of reading. I found myself getting excited about the things I was learning, the same way I'd been excited about learning in college. It was exhilarating, so I went with it . . . and now I'm about 3/4 of the way through a Lactation Educator/Counselor program via UCSD online. I would love for this to be a career move. I can't say for sure that it will be, and I'm ok with that. At the very least I'm hoping I'll be able to help out my girlfriends and sisters in law as they become mothers.

I have managed to keep Rhys exclusively breastfed after my return to work . . . I've pumped my ass off, you guys. I work really hard at it, and I'm proud of us for sticking to our guns.

Rhys has started eating solids. Or, let me rephrase: he has started "eating" "solids". I make him little bits of apple, sweet potato, squash, pear, sometimes cereal, all mixed with lots of breastmilk. He plays with the spoon, grabs for the bowl, and all in all manages to swallow maybe a thimble full of food at each dinnertime feeding.

It is ridiculous and adorable:



Rhys sits. It started about three weeks ago with him sitting like someone who'd had lots of tequila. Then yesterday, like magic, he started sitting with better posture than I have. Sitting for 30 minutes at a time and playing on his own. Like a big boy, all of the sudden!

You guys, he rules.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Trying not to be a milk nazi here, but REALLY.

So have we all heard about the whole Kim Kardashian / breastfeeding / Twitter thing? Apparently, she saw a mother nursing without a cover up (gasp!) and felt compelled to broadcast her disgust via Twitter.

Total fame-whoring, right? Being controversial for the sake of being talked about. Google image search her and EVERY photo that comes up shows more far breast than I do when I've got Rhys latched on. She's a moron, but she isn't the point.

What I'm really disturbed by are the comments I've seen floating around the internet from people who agree with her. People who think that a mother shouldn't nurse her baby in public. Or people who think a mother who nurses without a cover up is being "rude". I'll give the general public this much: breastfeeding has been out of fashion for several generations and, as such, people who haven't done it themselves or watched someone close to them do it probably wouldn't know all the reasons a mother couldn't necessarily "just use a bottle" or cover up. People are ignorant. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and not blame them directly for their ignorance; we can't be expected to know the workings of something society has eschewed for decades.

Let's start with bottles. Why couldn't a mother "just bottle feed" when away from home? Breastfeeding is a symbiotic relationship. A mother needs her baby to empty her breasts just as much as her baby needs her milk. If a mother were to skip a feeding in favor of using a bottle she'd become engorged. Her breasts would become hard, uncomfortable, hot, leaking . Frequent engorgement leads to painful infections, mastitis, plugged and blocked ducts.

Some breastfed babies refuse to take bottles. As I type this my husband is trying, unsuccessfully, to feed Rhys a bottle of milk I pumped earlier. Even babies who will take bottles often won't take them from their mothers, meaning if mother were out with baby on her own she'd be SIL on the "just bring a bottle" front.

There's also the issue of what goes in the bottle. I really don't want to delve into the complicated, tension-fraught issue of breastmilk vs. formula but let it suffice to say as a breastfeeding mom there is No. Way. In. Fuck. I'd give my baby formula for the sole purpose of appeasing people who happen to be out in public with me.

As for why a mother might not be able to "just feed the baby before leaving home", let me assure you most mothers do. A breastfed baby eats every 2-3 hours; most outings simply last longer. A newborn breastfed baby eats more or less constantly. As a new mom there was nothing more beneficial to my mental health than getting out of the house every once in a while, and I couldn't have accomplished even the simplest outing without breastfeeding in public.

On to coverups! When I first started feeding him out in public Rhys would eat with a blanket over his head, no problem. Now, at three months old, he's far too interested in the world to submit to having his view of it blocked while eating. He's also developed the dexterity to rip off offending blankets and nursing wraps (pretty darn surprising to me the first time he did it!).

Wearing nursing tanks, v neck tops or loose t shirts I can breastfeed while showing far less skin than you'd see on the cover of most fashion magazines. There is the possibility that during latch on, or when Rhys pauses mid-meal to pull off and smile at me, someone might catch a tiny flash of nipple. They'd have to be hovering over me staring though and, really, who'd be the "rude" one in that situation?

And even if someone DID catch that flash of nipple . . . in the context of feeding a baby, I think there is nothing whatsoever inappropriate about that. However much society has sexualized a woman's breasts, breastfeeding is not a sexual act. A breastfeeding mom can't be held responsible for the misguided impressions of ignorant observers.

Knowing all the above, anyone left who still thinks women shouldn't breastfeed in public probably doesn't belong out in public themselves (*ahem*kimkardashian*cough*).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Gets Around

Somebody turns three months old in 5 days. STFU, right?! I can't believe how quickly the time is flying. I always thought parents were just being melodramatic when they'd bemoan how quickly their kids grew . . . but NO! I was wrong! Time is actually moving faster. There is some weird physics loophole, no doubt.

I'm trying not to get too hung up thinking about my maternity leave coming to an end. I have a little over a month left . . . four months total. I know on the scale of what women in the US are typically able to do four months is fantastic. Worldwide, not so much though. I'd love to at least have six . . . even if only for breastfeeding purposes. For the six months I'm "supposed" to be exclusively breastfeeding, per the AAP's recommendation, I think it makes sense for me to be home to exclusively breastfeed. I am going to be pumping and still breastfeeding, hopefully until Rhys is a year old. Milk supply is a tough thing to maintain, though . . . at least it has been for me. And I'm worried. Of course, I want to stay home just to be with my baby, but I'd be lying if I said the milk thing doesn't have me concerned as well.

I went and visited Rhys' intended daycare the other day . . . we spent about an hour playing, talking, just hanging out. It is such a happy, fun place . . . I have an incredibly good feeling about it. I want Rhys to play with other kids, to grow up surrounded by and learning from people other than me alone. I love that we've been able to find such a warm, nurturing environment for him . . . and I especially love that he'll be less than a mile from my office. I plan to go feed him on my lunch hours, at least for the first few months. Knowing that we'll be separated for four hours at a time rather than eight or nine helps.

And! I'm going to have to change the subject . . . I'm typing this while watching Rhys nap on the video monitor and SOMEBODY would be mighty confused to wake up to a crying mommy :)

We had ourselves a little family road trip this weekend! We drove down to San Diego to hang out in the park, visit a few of my husband's old haunts and have dinner with the lovely and talented Jennie of She Likes Purple and StyleLush fame. It was my first ever blog meet up and I'm thrilled to report that I had a total blast. Jennie is just so freaking awesome . . . I could've sat and talked all night!

I think Rhys was having himself a good time as well . . . during our dinner he broke out with his very first LAUGH! He laughed a few more times back at the hotel . . . then a few more last night. They aren't full on belly laughs yet, but he's chuckling. Starter giggles! This is one milestone I've been dying to watch him reach! He's also been very grabby with the grabbing lately, and his aim is improving. He often rips my glasses right off my face and he's started playing, ACTUALLY PLAYING, with his rattles and rings. He's developed a soft spot for Dr. Seuss and I've been reading him a few books a day. The first time we read he just watched me, but now he loves looking at the pages and illustrations and even reaches for them or holds on to a corner of the book while we read.

He is just so much fun, guys. I love him like you wouldn't believe.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sewing Toys!!!


I saw a version of this project on OhDeeDoh back when I was pregnant and thought KILLER idea! I can't find the post now, but the gist was that you could take old, stained baby clothes with cool prints, cut them up, add some ribbon and sew them together with the plastic from a package of wipes and presto! (nearly) instant baby toy.

To that end I've been saving the plastic from wipes packages. Paul found my stash last night and mocked me for saving trash . . . SO! Had to show him :) I whipped up two toys today.



I managed to make these in about fifteen minutes each, while Rhys was napping. How's that for an easy project? I used scraps of fabric from my stash instead of old baby clothes (I can't bear to cut anything up and we don't have anything stained beyond repair yet, just outgrown). I added random bits of ribbon and just had fun with the design. To insert the plastic, just make a sandwich with the two right sides of your toy facing each other and the plastic on the back of one side . . . sew three sides around, turn right side out and sew up the fourth side, inserting a ribbon loop for hanging if desired.



These are fun, colorful, lightweight enough for Rhys to grab and lift and they make that awesome crinkly sound babies love. I offered one to Rhys just minutes after I'd made and and I'm pleased to report, they're Baby Approved!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

10 1/2 Week Update

I'm feeling REALLY thankful for my remaining 7 weeks of maternity leave right about now. Rhys has just become SO FREAKING AMAZING. Not that he hasn't been amazing ever since he was a Bean, but it started with SMILING around 4 1/2 weeks and has progressed, I shit you not, DAILY. We reach! We grab! We've developed a keen interest in toys and I can barely buy new ones fast enough. We read books now (HOORAY!) and we play airplanes and baby rollies and have half hour long conversations that consist mainly of the words "ooooohhhhhhhhh" and "guh".

I laid him down on Saturday with a rattle placed to his side where he could see it for jollies . . . I looked up 10 seconds later and, guys? He was WAVING that rattle around over his head. I just about keeled over with joy.

Rhys loves to stand and can bear all of his weight on his legs, with me holding him only for balance. He can dig his heels in and scoot while on his back or his tummy . . . which freaks me out a little because I think it means he'll be crawling sooner rather than later and OMG NEED TO BABYPROOF EVERYTHING! He wants to rollover something fierce and manages it halfway, just doesn't know what to do with that pesky bottom arm when he gets to his side. He is desperate to suck his thumb and works on his aim every night . . . sometimes he gets it!

He loves to sit on my lap, up like a big boy which is, actually, what he is doing right now :)

He loves his play gym for kickypants time . . . but we just Monday built his bouncer and that has eclipsed pretty much all other toys in his estimation! His feet don't touch the ground yet so we put a pillow underneath so he can "jump". The spinning toys are his favorites.

As for myself, I always wanted to be a mom and I knew I'd enjoy it . . . but I've taken to it on levels I never imagined possible. I have never been so happy, never been so fulfilled. I adore my new life . . . and it is, entirely, a new life. Absolutely nothing is the same. Parents used to say that to me when I was pregnant and I kind of blew it off, but it is so amazingly true. I'm not saying it to be coy or exclusive but with JOY and EXCITEMENT for anyone who gets to have this incredible experience.

I've become the kind of person who has strong opinions on the relative merits of diaper brands, which makes me kind of boring as far as the circles I used to travel in goes. I've had to find a few new circles . . . new friends who also care deeply about diapers! I don't value my old friendships any less, but new friends are somehow not something I was expecting out of becoming a mom. They're an awesome bonus!

I can't say my body has changed for the better, but I'm stunned and amazed by the job it has done and the job it is continuing to do. I have a new respect for it. Breastfeeding has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. I can't say it started off easily, but I'm so glad we persisted . . . there is just so much joy in it. It's something only I can do for Rhys and something we can share in, just the two of us.

We've been taking lots of video and Paul has edited a bunch of it together here. Please go visit and ooh and ahh over my baby's cuteness and my husband's mad video editing skills :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Still Exist!

I swear, I do. And I'm woefully behind on blog writing / blog reading but, you guys? I am SO FREAKING HAPPY. Everything you've ever heard about parenting a new baby is 100% true: I'm exhausted, I'm usually covered in spitup and I only sometimes get to shower, It is spectacular, I'm floored by how much I love my baby, I'm totally happy to leave everything but Rhys on the backburner for the moment. He's the light of my life and I don't know how I ever got by without him. I know, this stuff sounds cliche . . . but it is so gut-wrenchingly true.

I'm giving myself a free pass for the moment . . . on blogging, on housework, on pretty much everything other than staying in bed and hanging out with my baby (which I did, gleefully, all this afternoon).

We have been having adventures, mind you, photos of which I'm posting on Flickr. I'm not taking a blog vacation or anything, I absolutely want to keep the ol' blog up and running! It is more that I'm stopping by to say I can't be trusted to keep up the running commentary at the moment and, if you'd like, catch up with us more on Flickr for the next few months.

Newest on Flickr are the photos we just took at our First! Family! Vacation! to Disneyland. Did you know Disneyland has a Baby Care Center on Main Street? During our three days there, I'd stop by the center to nurse and change Rhys. I could and did nurse him elsewhere throughout the park, but at the Baby Care Center I could nurse without covering up. On our first night there, as I nursed him, Rhys looked up and smiled at me . . . I smiled back. We were sitting there by ourselves, in a little curtained off corner of Disneyland, me half undressed, him in need of a new diaper, smiling at each other like goons. That, right there, was the happiest I've ever been at the happiest place on earth.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Weeks!!

I haven't posted in two whole weeks and there's a REALLY good reason for that . . . Baby Pie and I have been having ADVENTURES!

It started with a sling clinic at The Pump Station where I learned a few helpful Moby Wrap tips but also, and it turns out more significantly, I learned that the Ergo carrier Heart to Heart insert I have is actually comprised of two pieces: a quilt and a pillow. When I'd tried the Ergo with both insert pieces Rhys was right up under my chin, I felt like I couldn't see him and like he was going to get way too hot wrapped up in the quilt padding. I got home from the sling clinic and put Rhys in the Ergo using just the pillow part of the insert, without the quilt, and HOLY HECK, I am now Ergo's biggest fan. Rhys loves it in there, that thing is like baby crack. And I'm almost entirely hands free and totally comfortable.

Which means! We have been getting our outings on! Paul and I took Rhys to a night event at the Natural History Museum which was a total blast . . . like a date night but with a brief diaper change/breastfeeding pit stop. We went to a record store and out for dessert the next night.



Rhys is basically 100% portable now, even when I'm out on my own . . . and since he LOVES the carrier he's a perfect angel baby when we're out. I've figured out what I REALLY need so now I can use my regular purse as a pared down diaper bag instead of dragging around what essentially had become a suitcase. Here's the packing list I've worked so hard on refining: A wristlet containing 4-5 diapers, wipes in a baggie, 4-5 diaper trash bags, a changing pad, a spare onesie/pants/socks and hand sanitizer; an Aden+Anis blanket (as a blankie and a nursing cover), an emergency bottle and formula (although I'll probably stop carrying those soon), a camera, water bottle, snacks for me, wallet, keys and phone). I also keep a backup bag in the trunk of our car . . . about 10 diapers, a full pack of wipes, spare onesie and socks, bottled water, a baby bottle, formula and a few blankets (one fuzzy and warm, one flannel receiving blanket and one extra Aden+Anais blanket that lives in the backseat for when I have to pull over and nurse and for when the car is chilly).

See? I've been working it into a science.

Breastfeeding is finally going REALLY well. Rhys hasn't had any formula in two weeks! He's been satisfied after feedings and I've been able to pump enough so that Paul can give him a bottle here and there. Over the weekend I even managed to leave the house on my own to get a mani/pedi and go to the grocery store. Paul had pumped milk in the fridge and the boys got to hang out! Just a few seconds ago I put my first bag of milk in the freezer . . . start of the freezer stash FTW! Maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to keep up this exclusive breastmilk routine for a full six months. I'm off work for 4 so I know I can manage 4 . . . I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have a big enough freezer stash and that I'll get my supply up enough that we'll manage it for the first two months I'm back at work as well.

The only reason we're exclusively breastfeeding right now? Because I'm stubborn as hell. Those first 4 weeks were really brutal. Rhys ate and ate and ate and sometimes after feeding him for HOURS (I am not exaggerating . . . I have the baby log book to prove it!) he'd still be hungry and I'd have to feed him a bottle and feel like a failure. Those extra long marathon feeds though are what built up my supply. If I'd skipped them and gone straight with the inevitable bottle of formula we'd never have gotten to where we are now.

I do still carry formula in my purse/diaper bag . . . it is just for "emergencies", but as I build my confidence with breastfeeding and as Rhys goes more and more days being exclusively breastfed I'm starting to wonder what kind of emergency I'd really need that bottle for. An emergency in which I don't have access to my breasts? Not likely. Give it a week or two . . . I'll be evicting that bottle from my purse in no time :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stuff We Actually Use

1) DwellStudio for Target 3pk Flannel Receiving Blankets Because these are thin and large enough to get a good swaddle on while still being a bit on the cozy side. Also: freaking adorable and cheap enough to buy in bulk.

2) Aden + Anais Superstar Blankets Because they are PERFECT as nursing drapes and the star design is totally cute but not cutesy.

3) Trumpette Argyle Socks Because they actually stay put on tiny feet.

4) DaVinci Futura Cradle Because we can use it in our bedroom at night then wheel it out to the living room during the day and it looks like ACTUAL FURNITURE rather than plastic baby crap. Handy for people like us who are house proud to a fault . . . we REALLY didn't want our place to look like Babies R Us barfed all over it when people were over to meet the baby!

5) Gerber Flatfold Cloth Diapers Because fabric that you are actually MEANT TO GET POOP ON is a pretty darn cool concept. I've used these as changing pads, changing table liners, burp rags, sun shades . . . I wouldn't leave home without one!

6) Bravado Nursing Bras for which I was actually professionally fitted. Because they may have cost $50 each and I may have swooned when told my size but once I started wearing them I was FINALLY comfortable.

7) Pampers Sensitive Because sizes 1 & 2 have the wetness indicator stripe, which spares me from having to come up with "other ways" to determine whether my baby's diaper is wet.

8) Moby Wrap Because, so far, this is the only carrier I feel safe putting the baby in and because he kinda likes it too. We've managed to go out to dinner with Rhys happily napping in the Moby the whole time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Moo!

Snortle and I left the house today! By ourselves!! In a car!!!

Paul went back to work on Monday, which was a pretty sad day in my world, understandably. Snortle and I kicked things off with spitup of epic proportions. Let me tell you nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is so discouraging as a) watching your poor baby barf and b) watching your poor baby barf THE MILK YOU'VE BEEN STRESSING OVER MAKING FOR HIM. Later on Monday we tried to go out for a walk, only to discover it was raining. Lots of Fail, Monday, basically.

Tuesday was almost a wash due to Snortle's 4am par-tay.

So today, I planned on getting out to the Pump Station for a breastfeeding support group meeting but I didn't hold out THAT much hope that we'd make it. Snortle kicked things off by peeing on me, which was festive. I spent the next two hours trying to get us both ready while he demanded to be fed and changed and refused to nap, like, AT ALL even long enough for me to shower, OMG. Finally, 15 minutes later than I had any business leaving, he passed out and I took my opportunity. We were late, but we made it to that meeting, damnit, and it was AWESOME to get out of the house.

Of course, Rhys needed to be fed the second we arrived at the meeting, but by then we were already comfortably settled in the easiest place in the world to breastfeed in public for the first time.

The meeting was great . . . I got to ask all of my questions and it was just nice to be in a room with a ton of other new moms and babies. After, I took Snortle to be weighed. 10lbs 10oz, so he has officially "established weight gain"! I've been counting diapers of course and he has plenty, but seeing the numbers on the scale went a LONG way towards my breastfeeding confidence. We still usually supplement with one 2oz bottle a day, but sometimes we can skip even that and he certainly didn't gain 14oz in 9 days on those few supplemental ounces alone. HOORAY!!!

I also got measured properly for a nursing bra and, well . . . let's just say I'd been wearing the wrong size. By a lot. And I can't buy nursing bras at Target anymore because they don't sell them that big there. *dies*

Parenting so far has been a series of curveballs, and I do think that's going to be the state of affairs for quite some time. But we're getting more adept at taking the challenges in stride and I can safely say things are good. REALLY, really good.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The First Week Home

This last week has just been amazing. The hardest but the best of my life! Rhys is doing great . . . he's a perfect angel and YES he lets us sleep! I know that can change at any moment but for now I'm infinitely grateful. We can get him down for the night by about 1 or 1:30 am and he's up for a diaper change and a snack around 4 or 5, then out until 7 or 8, another diaper change, then more sleep until about 11-ish which gives me time to shower. Huzzah for daily showering!!! During the day it is an hour or two rotation of eat, nap, poop. He eats and poops like a pro. And even travels pretty well! Yesterday we went to the pediatrician (where we found out he's only an ounce shy of regaining his birth weight. WAY TO GO BABY DUDE!), out to lunch, to the post office, to my office and to the OB. A four hour outing and he was perfect and easy the whole time.

Breastfeeding . . . is going pretty well now. We got off to a rough start. Rhys was born on Friday and my milk didn't even start to come in until Tuesday. We had to start off supplementing because he's a BIG little dude and he lost weight too quickly for comfort at first. Things are going better now . . . he nurses like a pro and we're tapering off the formula. There were days where he'd nurse for hours straight and still be hungry (3 1/2 hours once. Not. Kidding.). We've had to be REALLY stubborn and REALLY persistent, but we're getting it done and I'm so happy it is all working out.

Csection recovery? Not so bad. I've been getting by on Advil and haven't needed any of my "good" drugs since I left the hospital. Those first 48 hours in the hospital were rough, but it is amazing how quickly I've healed since then. Paul and I have been going on walks, out to lunch . . . all sorts of things I didn't think I'd be able to do this early after Rhys' birth.

And the best part? We get to wake up to this face every morning:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rhys' Birth Story

Can I type a blog post with a sleeping baby on my chest? We're about to find out!

Rhys was due on 4/25. He was breech, so we knew he'd be delivered via csection. Luckily, our incredible doctor was willing to wait for me to go into labor rather than scheduling surgery; a plan I was infinitely more comfortable with. File this under "Things I didn't realize about pregnancy" though: After the 40 week mark, pregnant moms are subjected to once or twice weekly testing to make sure the baby is still doing ok. Nothing invasive, just a sequence of ultrasounds and heart monitoring sessions, but enough to make me question what we were really waiting for. As the days passed and I made no progress towards labor, I realized that Rhys was perfectly healthy and I wasn't willing to wait for something to go wrong to cue us to get him out. Paul and I tried everything we could to get me into labor on my own, but scheduled a csection for Friday morning.

We left for the hospital at 5am Friday. The fact that I was utterly exhausted and hadn't been able to sleep much the night before actually helped me keep calm. We checked in and got me situated in a prep room. And then all hell broke loose.

My blood pressure was high. Fairly alarmingly high. High enough that our nurse couldn't get an IV in me . . . my veins kept blowing. She tried twice then called in a second nurse. She tried three times then called in an anesthesiologist. He tried four more times, including one prolonged digging session in the bend of my right arm. Then they called in a second anesthesiologist and started talking about an IV "team".

Finally, finally the second anesthesiologist got an IV in me. He also took blood to run tests for preeclampsia, since by then everyone had started to worry.

The preeclampsia tests came back negative and from there everything started moving REALLY quickly. I was walked into a surgery room, Paul was told to wait in the hallway while I was given my spinal. The spinal wasn't so bad ... but for some reason I hadn't realized that it would make me feel paralyzed. I'd imagined the whole procedure but never considered that I wouldn't be able to feel my feet. When the feet started to go numb I kind of freaked out. Paul was still stuck in the hallway, I had about a dozen people in the surgery room prepping me and I was telling anyone and everyone who would listen that I "didn't like it", "didn't want to do this" and "WANTED TO GO HOME". The anesthesiologist asked if I wanted any extra medicine to calm me down and I said no and tried to relax. They'd told me that I'd be able to hold my baby while they were finishing the surgery and I didn't want to be too drugged to get to do so.

They finally let Paul back in the room and I found out later my OB had gone to see him in the hallway to warn him that I wasn't dealing so well with the anesthesia. Paul sat down right next to my head and I started to feel tugging and pulling. Fortunately I didn't realize those sensations were, you know, SURGERY until I heard my doctor say "He's a moose! And he's pooping! And peeing!". Paul stood up to take a photo and they lifted the baby high enough that I could see him over the screen. He started to cry.



The baby warmer was only a few feet away from me . . . I could see the doctors and nurses working on the (still wailing!) baby, but couldn't see his face since my table was lower than the warming table. Paul went over to take pictures. Someone asked if he wanted to cut the cord and he did, even though we'd talked about it before and he'd said he didn't think he'd want to. Paul came back over with the camera and showed me photos so I could see the baby's face. Someone said "9 pounds, 13 ounces" and I thought they couldn't possibly be talking about my baby.

Things get a little trippy at this point . . . I remember there being a mirror on the ceiling. Paul was sitting in a stool by my head holding the baby and I was watching them in the mirror because I could see Rhys' face better that way. I remember being worried that I might see myself on the other side of the curtain but I never did. Paul and I decided on his name . . . we'd been 99% sure going in but wanted to make sure the name suited him before we made it final. I asked the doctors how much longer and they told me just a few minutes . . . that they didn't want to leave any leftover parts. I said something about not being an Ikea bookcase.

Pretty soon thereafter the surgery team was moving me to a hospital bed. I had started shaking pretty badly and hadn't been allowed to hold the baby yet. I couldn't tell whether my legs were straight or bent. I asked and everyone laughed.

We were wheeled into a recovery area. My nurse offered me something for the shaking. I took it because I wanted to hold the baby. Paul handed him to me a few minutes later. To say he was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen would be a gross understatement. There really just aren't words, are there? I fell utterly and completely in love.



Annnd . . . with that much said . . . I've got a little tree monkey in my lap who needs to be fed. I'm going to going to go attend to that :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Salt Caramels

Making salt caramels was an item on the good ol' 2010 list. Since salted candy was a BIG pregnancy craving of mine and since I'm STILL PREGNANT I figured 40+weeks-ish was as good a time as any to whip up a batch. I found this recipe online and figured it looked simple enough to fit my needs. I decided to go with sea salt rather than driving around town looking for Fleur de Sel because, HELLO, HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF ME LATELY?

I made an attempt on Tuesday night but was rather ill prepared. I thought I had parchment paper on hand but it turns out I really had waxed paper. Not. The. Same. I also knew I had a candy thermometer but didn't realize it only went up to 220 degrees whereas the recipe CLEARLY states to cook the caramel up to 248 degrees. I figured since the thermometer was a dial style that it'd skip past 200 and I'd be able to at least estimate 248 but no such luck. The pointer actually stopped at 220 and wouldn't budge from there. All of which left me with a pan of totally delicious stuff that was too sticky to cut and stuck crazy glue style to waxed paper. Fail.



I made a Gelsons run for a better candy thermometer and a roll of parchment and tried this shiz again last night. My caramel cooked to 248 degrees, I let it cool in an oiled, parchment lined pan and stuck it in the fridge for 10 minutes to prepare it for cutting. Everything seemed in order, until I cut into my beautiful, salted caramel block and popped off a chunk of caramel SO hard and jagged it flung itself across the kitchen and CUT INTO MY HUSBAND'S TOE. His shock when he yelped "THAT HURT MY TOE!" was so freaking hysterical I peed my pants. NO, REALLY. I'm 40+ weeks pregnant. We do that.

We let the caramel sit out on the counter to warm back up to room temperature (while I changed my pants, of course) and tried cutting it again about an hour later. I can't say the pieces are uniform or pretty or even nicely wrapped, but they'll do and they taste AMAZING. I'm going to go ahead and pronounce this a Win.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not a baby picture

YET.

I'm going in for a nonstress test for the Bean in a few minutes. They're going to monitor him for a bit to make sure he's happy since his due date was, oh, YESTERDAY. And of course it passed uneventfully and without anything much more than my usual Braxton Hicks and cramps and whatnot.

We actually went to the Getty yesterday, on my "due date". With my parents and Boy's mom. And wouldn't you figure, when we rang each of them up to ask if they wanted to go they TOTALLY THOUGHT I was in labor.

The freaking people out every time I call them bit is a fun trick. I'll actually kind of miss that I think.



If you Google "how to naturally induce labor" I guarantee you there isn't a single thing I haven't tried . . . but I'm still open to suggestions! Leave one if you've got one :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekenderies

So! Still pregnant!

We spent Saturday morning signing the closing papers on our condo refi (FTW!) then running errands in preparation for the BBQ we hosted Saturday evening for my parents, Boy's mom and siblings. Yep . . . dinner for 8 at our place a week before my due date. I made it through alive, albeit relying heavily on paper plates and at least half the food being brought by others. A good time was had by all.

Boy and I finally bought a new chair for our deck (the ones we had last summer from CB2 didn't survive the winter, so we've been chairless up there ever since) (For the record, CB2 took them back and gave us 100% store credit without a receipt and almost 8 months after our purchase). We went back and forth a zillion times on what we wanted chair wise up there . . . I wanted two rocking chairs like these from Ikea but Boy (probably rightfully so) disagreed thinking that they'd be noisy in the wind (the deck is right over our bedroom). We liked a few wicker options but were apprehensive since the CB2 wicker chairs didn't hold up. We finally decided on (one) classic Adirondack chair w/ footstool from Cost Plus.

Here's Bean posing with our new chair:



On Sunday we did an Ikea run. I'd wanted to make something from this fantastic Ikea fabric ever since seeing this post on OhDeeDoh. I told Boy all about it claiming it had "Matterhorns! And YETIS!", which, obvs, he was TOTES in to. We finally found it and I realized that by "yetis" of course I meant "goats". Boy asked me where the Yetis were and I told him I must have imagined them which became our catchphrase for the rest of the weekend: "Oh, the yetis? I must've made those up."

Evem yeti-less, I think our new floor pillows are pretty rad:

Friday, April 16, 2010

OhDeeDoh! OMG!!!

I got word that Bean's room was going to be featured on OhDeeDoh yeserday morning and proceeded to a) call my husband SO EXCITED that he thought I was in laobr, b) call my mother SO EXCITED that she too thought I was in labor, and c) debate whether or not I wanted to be "that chick" on Twitter and Facebook claiming BIG NEWS but then refusing to say WHAT until the room was posted.

I managed to hold off on the whole claiming big news thing.

The feature went up later that afternoon and Boy and I couldn't be more proud!



We keep telling the Bean that his room has been featured on a DESIGN BLOG so it is more or less time for him to join the world and see it in person. Also, judging by the spleen jabs I've been getting lately, it is getting kind of cramped in there . . . so we've been trying to lure him out by explaining that space on the outside is actually infinite. I'll admit that we secretly hope he's picking up a physics concept with the whole "space being infinite" thing.

Mind you, I've never done this whole baby having thing before, but he doesn't SEEM to be making any moves quite yet. I have plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions . . . usually towards the end of the work day which makes me think being tired triggers them. They aren't painful though, and they don't come in any sort of pattern.

Part of me thinks he just might not be done cooking yet . . . which makes me thankful that I've found an OB who is willing to let me go into labor even though we all know I'll almost certainly end up with a csection. The only thing I know for sure is that he is his OWN BEAN and he'll come when he damn well pleases. I've given up trying to pin him down!

So maybe I'll be blogging as usual next week . . . or maybe my husband will be posting a baby picture. We'll just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ambulance Chasing

I don't talk about work here. There's a DAMN GOOD reason for that. And I'm not going to start now. I AM however going to talk some serious smack about the BS I've been hearing from my coworkers in the last few weeks of this pregnancy in hopes that some of you will either a) TOTALLY RELATE or b) learn what NOT to say to a woman who is 9 months pregnant.

#1: "When's your last day at work?"

How about this: WHEN I GO INTO LABOR. Don't look so horrified.

#2: "Are you just OVER IT already?!"

Nope. Actually. I feel fine. SORRY TO DISAPPOINT, and all.

#3: "You look like you're ready to explode!"

What primitive back recess of your brain told you this was a "good" thing to say?

#4: "Did you hear that story about how (insert horrible thing here) happened to some woman who was in labor / having a csection"

Really? REALLY?! STFU!!!

#5: "Are you sure it isn't twins?"

There's that primitive back recess of your brain, acting up again.

In other words, when confronted with a heavily pregnant woman, most people's brains turn to slush. Which is PRETTY DAMN FUNNY considering that pregnant women themselves are the butt of so many slush brain jokes. Sorry, but I've been pregnant for 9 months now and I've NEVER said anything as stupid as items 1-5 above. I'm not losing brain cells, everyone around me is.

The thing that bugs me the most is that people don't seem concerned about my welfare or about Bean's . . . they're just hoping to hear me complain. They WANT horror stories about swollen ankles, hemeroids and peeing 5x a night. Sorry to fuck with your world view guys, but I'm not a psychotic hormonal trainwreck.

Rant fin.

ANYWAYS.

Boy's office had a shower for us on Friday which was awesome and especially fun for me because I used to work with him . . . so I got to see a bunch of my old friends. After the shower we ran to the hospital to see my friend who just had her baby (Same hospital! Same doctor!) and I can't even tell you how much it helped to sit and talk to her about her experience and see her gorgeous baby girl. Hospital tours are great and all, but actually hanging out in a recovery room with a friend who just had her baby was PRICELESS in terms of easing apprehension and making us feel more prepared for the experience to come.

We spent the rest of the weekend inventing things to do to prepare for the Bean. We are so ready it is almost funny. Saturday I thought "Well, I GUESS we could go to Target and buy more diapers" then "Well, I GUESS we could go to Best Buy and pick up a little CD player for his room". We're making stuff up at this point . . . I guess that's better than scrambling though!

The laundry is done, the room is all set, we have diapers and baby shampoo and toys and books.

And pretty darn soon we're going to have a baby.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Multi Functional!

I had the sewing bug bad for a while . . . then it waned . . .but it is back again! So over the weekend I decided to get an item crossed off my 2010 list.

I wanted to make a "Diaper Clutch" I'd dreamed up. I wanted it to be cute, something I'd want to carry as a purse and not something baby themed.



I wanted it to be big enough to function either as a) a bag for my big old wallet, cell phone, keys, and purse type things which I could toss into a diaper bag ORRRRRR b) a bag big enough for a changing pad, a few diapers and wipes and a toy which I could toss into a purse. Like how I did that?



I also wanted the strap to be fancy and modular: functional as a shoulder strap, a wristlet or a loop to be hooked to the strap of a purse or through belt loops.



I used a 12 inch zipper (most wristlets I make with 9 inch zippers, which just isn't quite enough space for my enormous wallet or for a changing pad) and adorable plaid fabric I bought months ago at F&S for this very purpose. The lining is the last of a postcard/stamp themed print I've been hoarding for ages and the ribbons and lace are all from my stash. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out . . . and with how quickly the project came together! About an hour start to finish.



If this little bag proves as useful as I think it will, I can see myself making quite a few more!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Beanself

The version didn't work.

I'm going to wait to go into labor and he'll probably be born via csection at that point.

I'm upset. I've been reading things telling me that my body isn't dysfunctional for 9 months now and GUESS WHAT?! My body is dysfunctional. My chiropractor has seen similar issues in dancers and gymnasts and thinks that my issue has to do with the fact that I was a figure skater all through my teens. My hip flexors are especially tight and they're pulling on and constraining the tendons that hold the uterus, meaning less space for the Bean. My OB thinks that my core muscles are too tight and they're constraining and narrowing my uterus, restricting Bean's ability to turn.

Either way I'd feel infinitely better about this BS if I'd had a six pack before I got pregnant.

(I didn't.)

The good: Bean is 100% healthy and barely flinched when two grown men pushed SO HARD trying to turn him that their arms were shaking. I held up pretty well during the procedure and feel sufficiently bad-ass-ish for having dealt with the pain and not asked the doctors to stop. I also survived my first IV with barely a mark to show for it.

I really, really, really don't want to do this csection business . . . but I think now that I can.

Annnndd . . . I pretty much don't want to talk about it anymore. I'm done. I've done everything I can and now we'll just wait and see and deal when it happens.

I finished a little project for the Bean on Wednesday night . . . something I really wanted to have up in his room for when he comes home. When Boy and I got married I embroidered pillows for us that say "Himself" and "Herself" and we've been using them on our bed ever since. I kind of love that Bean has his own little pillow now too.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

He's a stubborn little bug

The bad news is that the Bean is still breech. The good news is he shows absolutely no interest in dropping or otherwise getting ready to be born.

I'm starting to think he's just comfortable. He's got his spot and he likes it and he's not planning to move anytime soon.

Except that he'll have to because he's already pushing 7lbs.

So! To that end . . . I'm scheduled for a version attempt on Thursday. This is sort of what a version looks like. Except I'll have two doctors instead of one, Bean will be on a heart monitor the whole time, and I suspect the woman in that video was given pain meds which I won't be (per my doctor's and my own preference).

The version could be successful, in which case Bean will be turned and I'll go about my merry way for the next few weeks waiting to go into labor. It could be unsuccessful in which case I'll go about my way waiting to go into labor, but very UN-merrily since I'll know I'm almost certainly doomed to a csection. The version could work but break my water, in which case I'll have to deliver one way or another within 24 hours. Or it could NOT work and break my water, or the Bean's heart rate could get iffy, and in either of those cases I'd wind up with an emergency csection.

We'll have our hospital bags and the car seat in the car when we go in for the version, just in case. Which obviously blows my freaking mind.

If the Bean were to arrive on Thursday or Friday though? We'd be ready for him: his room is done, his clothes are washed, we have diapers, our freezer is stocked for nuclear war.

Craziness. Right?!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turn over, little man!

Something had to go awry eventually. I've had seriously the most normal, easiest pregnancy ever and things were just too damn lucky.

Bean is breech.

I'm 35 weeks. I'm not engaged/dropped at all which is good . . . nor am I dilated or even effaced by much (HI! LETS TALK ABOUT MY CERVIX!). He's got time to turn . . . this could really be so much worse.

Last night I spent a lot of time in various upside-down-like positions which was . . . unusual. I freaked my poor husband right out by asking him to spot me in a shoulder stand ("BUT YOU ARE EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!"). I also annoyed the shit out of poor Bean by trying to herd him downwards with the aid of a flashlight.

I've got an appointment with a homeopath and chiropractor tomorrow to try a few turning techniques. One, the Webster Technique, sounds pretty reasonable and promising. The other involves burning sticks of herbs next to my pinkie toes. Keeping all avenues open, here.

If all of that fails (and really, I don't see how the pinkie toe thing could fail, right?!) I'll have to go to the hospital for an external version attempt during the first week in April. And either that goes well . . . or it goes poorly and I end up having an emergency c-section on the spot. No pressure there or anything.

I'm frustrated.

Up until yesterday I've really been looking forward to labor and the birth. I felt prepared . . . like I'd studied and read and learned all I could and like I could handle the pain and have a positive experience.

A c-section isn't something I feel "prepared" for. Not being able to hold my baby for hours after the delivery? NOT PREPARED. Several weeks of excruciating recovery? NOT PREPARED. Having to wait eons before I'm capable of resuming normal-ish household activities and the prospect of having to ask for SO much help? Kind of freaking me out, to be honest.

And to do all that WORK to prepare then not ever even be in real labor? Well, that'd just suck.

I'm trying to be positive and trust that he'll turn. He's an active little dude . . . constantly kicking and rolling and bouncing around in there. There's a distinct possibility that he just HAPPENED to be head up when the ultrasound was done and that he's flipped around a few times since then. Have I felt him flipping? I've felt lots of activity . . . but I just plain don't know anymore. I've spent the last two weeks thinking he was FOR SURE head down. My doctor felt him and agreed at my last appointment! I've might have been mistaking head-butts for kicks all along. I don't trust myself anymore.

Not only do I doubt what I'm feeling . . . I feel like I've done something WRONG. I know, it isn't rational, but consider that this is coming from someone who is going to have herbs burned near her toes tomorrow.

Any positive turning related thoughts you could send Bean's way would be much appreciated!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hospital Bags

So! I packed them the other night!

EEP!


Bean's Diaper Bag:


Baby hairbrush and comb (I don't even know if he has hair!)
3 diapers
Small pack of wipes
Changing pad
2 burpies
A cloth diaper
A nursing drape
2 flannel receiving blankets
2 pairs of socks
2 0-3 month white tee shirts
3 pairs of 0-3 months sweatpants (Each pair goes with a different top. Shut up.)
1 0-3 month airplane hoodie
1 0-3 month star wars onesie
1 0-3 month guitar shirt
1 newborn footie sleeper
2 hats
[NOTE: I cannot be talked out of bringing this many clothes. Don't bother trying.]

My bag:

2 pairs of PJ pants (I'm holding out hope they'll let me wear them to walk the halls while I'm in labor. If you know otherwise, LA LA LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING.)
2 big t shirts
2 nursing tanks
2 hoodies
1 robe
4 pairs of socks
Lots of underwear (that I wouldn't care if I had to toss)
Flip flops
Slippers
Uggs
Going home outfit (Black drawstring cargo pants and a drapey top)
Belly Bandit
Hairdryer
Toiletries
Lansinoh
Breast Pump (I'm hoping the lactation consultants can show me how to use it, and they sell Medela parts at the hospital in case I need to be fitted . . . right? Sensible? Or totally unnecessary to bring?)
Bag of labor things (tennis balls, gum, mints, hard candy, lotion, gatorade mix packets, mini fan, ipod and ipod speakers, lip balm)
Cameras, batteries, memory cards, video camera, chargers, cell phones, laptop . . . OBVIOUSLY

Big ass things that won't fit into bags but we're bringing anyways:

Boppy
Exercise Ball
Pregnancy pillow

Also: Carseat, husband, husband's overnight bag.

So . . . what am I forgetting?

Friday, March 12, 2010

White Bean Cassoulet

For our anniversary on Wednesday night, Boy and I went to Luna Park. It is one of our favorite restaurants because they have a) killer macaroni and cheese b) S'MORES FOR DESSERT and c) a Scotch menu featuring 3 Islay varieties for the Boy. Did I mention the S'mores? Because, seriously? There are S'mores. With dark chocolate ganache, homemmade graham crackers and molten marshmallow that comes out in a little ramekin suspended over a candle.

We always order the mac and cheese with a few other things to share. Boy won't order meat there because the mac and cheese is seriously that good . . . and since we'd feel silly getting TWO orders we try to round out with salads and soups and whatnot. This time we tried the Vegan White Bean Cassoulet and, while I quite like beans, my hopes weren't THAT high . . . considering we were also going to have a plate of MAC AND CHEESE, you know?

Internet: I barely touched that mac and cheese.

The white beans were INSANE. You could tell they were dried beans to begin with since they still had a bit of a bite to them and they were cooked just perfectly in the most amazing garlic-y (but not too garlic-y) broth with halved cherry tomatoes and chard, of all things, which I'd never even TRIED before but which was absolutely perfect. And the kicker? The whole thing was topped off with the most gorgeous, fresh herby pesto.

I'm not really exaggerating when I say that I went home and DREAMED about white beans.

I wanted to try to recreate the recipe while everything was still fresh in my head and so last night I gave it a shot and came, I think, pretty damn close. I've got the leftovers for lunch today and they're singing to me like sirens from the corner of my desk. That last bit could just be because I'm pregnant.

Vegetarian White Bean Cassoulet


- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only chopped finely
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 smallish carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely diced
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 lb dried white beans
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 sturdy branch of thyme
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2-3 stock cubes
- about 1/2 a bunch of chard, washed, sliced up the middle vein and chopped into chunks
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:
- 3 green onions, washed and trimmed
- a bunch of italian parsley, washed
- a big handful of basil, washed
- about 3 tblsp water
- about 3 tblsp olive oil
- salt

- Set olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven to melt. Add leeks, carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until beginning to soften
- Add white beans, water, thyme and bay leaves (but no salt or stock yet) and set to a low simmer
- Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or so, uncovered, until beans are soft
- Add stock cubes, chard and tomatoes (and a bit of additional water if necessary), cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so more to combine flavors and lightly cook chard and tomatoes
- Meanwhile, place herbs, olive oil, water and salt in a food processor or blender (I used our Magic Bullet!) and puree until smooth
- Makes 4 big servings, each topped with pesto and excellent served with crusty sourdough

Counting the minutes until lunchtime . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All Hail The Running Water

One shitty thing about being a homeowner is that there is nobody to ring up when something breaks. And usually when things break they're things you hadn't been counting on mucking with. Also: things that are EXPENSIVE to repair. For instance: $300 worth of dishwasher pump and oven starter, respectively.

So on Tuesday night when our kitchen sink sprayer BROKE OFF IN MY HAND OMG I was ticked, obviously, but also kind of pleased because FOR ONCE the thing that broke was something we'd been meaning to replace anyways. Up until Tuesday it was functional at least, but it was white, plastic, old, grubby, just generally not great. Boy and I had been talking about replacing it with a shiny chrome model since the day I moved in to the condo.



Of course, replacing things with a gun to one's head is never "fun". We are in the process of refinancing and had an appraisal set for yesterday afternoon so we obviously wanted a functional kitchen faucet in before that. And as much as I may have enjoyed insisting on takeout for four days running because I couldn't wash any dishes, living without a kitchen sink just wasn't going to fly for very long.

We found a gorgeous chrome faucet on Amazon which was inexplicably described as unable to ship to CA or VT (?!?!) but I decided to be a rebel and order it anyways. And it arrived!!! HA HA TAKE THAT MOEN/AMAZON. It is installed now and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO GET IT BACK SO NEENER NEENER!

Shipping worry aside, we were thrilled with it once we had it in hand because it was ACTUAL METAL CHROME whereas a lot of the faucets we'd seen at home improvement stores were merely plastic painted to look like chrome. Win!

Boy planned on calling our plumber to install the faucet but I opened the box up and decided the instructions were really simple . . . so I talked him into doing it himself. He bought a basin wrench and started working Friday night while I was at a baby shower and, internet, I FULLY EXPECTED him to be totally done by the time I got home. Little did I know.

I got home at 9pm to this:



Poor Boy had been working on ONE STUPID BOLT since 7pm and it had barely budged. I left him to his wrenching while listening to NPR podcasts, figuring I'd be better off staying out of his hair since it wasn't like Bean and I could fit under the sink to help anyhow. Around 10pm he was ready to give up . . . but we realized that he'd loosened the bolt enough that we could fit my jeweler's saw in the gap between the faucet and the sink and, potentially, saw the bugger off.

Home improvement projects inevitably come to this. The use of the jeweler's saw.

So! We did manage to get the faucet off and thought we were home free until we realized that the ugly, mucky, 80's soap dispenser was all but CEMENTED to the sink. An hour's worth of work we managed to pry it off with screwdrivers and hammers. I shit you not.



It is 11:30 at this point and Boy and I are both feeling pretty giddy over the prospect of FINISHING this project, since the new faucet's install instructions were so basic. ALAS we had not counted on our water lines all being slightly different sizes than the faucet's hookups.

We made a run to OSH in the morning (Seriously? NEVER going to Home Depot again. Not only did we find someone willing to help us at OSH, we found someone WHO KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT). It took about half an hour in the store, but we left with a bag full of metal thinggies and tubes and 45 minutes later, WE HAD RUNNING WATER OMG.



I'm pretty proud of the husband, gotta say.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bean Blocks!

I saw these darling baby blocks via OhDeeDoh and knew I just HAD to make a set for the Bean. The original tutorial comes from Smile and Wave. After one quick glance at the instructions, anyone who had to take geometry in high school could easily pull off the assembly. 6 equal sized squares sewn into a cross shape then stitched up the sides to make a cube. I picked flannels in primary colors and three different black and white prints for Bean's blocks. I interfaced the black and white fabrics, since they were a little on the filmy side. I also added jingle bells inside the blocks (sewn into little pouches of flannel so they'd be un-swallow-able if Bean ever were to break into a block). I made these blocks with 3 inch squares and, since I plan to make 6 blocks (3 that jingle and 3 that don't) I think 3 inches is a nice, stackable size. If you were planning to make one or two or three though I'd go with the tutorial's original instructions and make them 6 inches high since I think the extra size would serve to cut down on the puffy, overstuffed look my smaller blocks have.

They're slightly wonky and imperfect . . . but I'm hoping the Bean will like playing with them anyways!

Monday, March 1, 2010

So! Busy!

Here's pretty much what I've contended with this last week or so:

20th: A Bat Mitzvah with errands and starting a sewing project sandwiched between the service and the party
21st: Hike with an old friend followed by lunch followed by skulking into our three hour childbirth class 20 minutes late
22nd: Worked ten hours straight, got yelled at by an abusive pedestrian on the way home, cried, worked for 3 hours on new items for the Etsy shop
23rd: Infant CPR class after work
24th: Friends over for dinner
25th: Out with family for dinner
26th: Errands on the way home from work (Target, Joann, full on grocery shopping)
27th: Insane cleaning of the bathrooms and rest of condo, baked cookies, made a few bits of jewelry, dinner with family friends
28th: TAXES! And what fun they were. All 4 hours it took us to do them. With a big fat bill at the end. Followed by 3 hours of childbirth class, dinner out with Boy's cousin, sewing a gift for a party on Friday, finishing off the shower favors (47 of them!) and making seven items for the shop

I'm looking forward to a somewhat calmer week this week . . . I can cross my fingers at least, right?

There are PLENTY of projects worth blogging about . . . the baby blocks I'm sewing for Bean, the embroidery project I'm starting for his room, some new jewelry pieces and collections I'm working on. Unfortunately though, everything has been in such a state of chaos lately that I don't really have anything finished to show off. So, in this space, just picture me furiously sewing and stringing beads between working, errands and spending time with friends and family and you've got a fairly accurate picture of my life at the moment.

Bean is doing really well. He's kicky and hiccupy and has developed this cute new habit of sticking one foot out then taking it back after I've acknowledged him by rubbing it. It is almost like he's checking to make sure I'm still here . . . the same way I poke around to make sure he's still where he belongs.

We're getting soooooo close to meeting our little bug. I'm 32 weeks now . . . technically due in 8 weeks but we all know how that goes. Due dates are really a 5 week range, so we'll see. He'll come out when he's good and ready! Part of me thinks he'll be ready early, since he spends most of his time trying to kick his way out anyhow.

Question for the mamas: What did you have around the house that was really helpful, or what did you wish you had, for those first few weeks? I've started stocking us up: newborn diapers, q-tips and alcohol for his cord, baby tylenol and single serving formula packets just in case, the biggest maxi pads I could find, healthy foods in the freezer (brown rice, veggie potstickers, frozen peas) and pantry (whole wheat cous cous, pastas, canned tomatoes). Obviously, never having done this before (!), I know I must be forgetting something basic . . . some little thing that would make those first few weeks at home a little easier. Any suggestions are welcome!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Size of Things

Lets kick this off with a bang: I've gained 31 pounds in my pregnancy thus far.

I'm totally OK with that number. And with the fact that I'll gain even more before the Bean is ready to come out. I actually REALLY like my pregnant body. I've never been a huge fan of my stomach and now, suddenly, I LOVE IT! It is my Bean House. The bigger it gets, the bigger and stronger and healthier I know my little man is. Plus it moves when Bean moves, which is just plain awesome.

What I'm not so OK with is the way people feel totally at liberty to comment on my size.

I realize I tend to wear tight fitting things over my belly (see above re: how I LIKE MY BELLY). I don't feel any need to hide it behind flowy tops or dresses and I know that might make women who are a generation or two older than I am either a) uncomfortable or, you know, b) JEALOUS, since they had to wear mumus and I don't.

But really?

When someone says "You look like you're due even sooner!" or "You're HUGE!" or "Really? Only 7 months along?", that shit is just plain rude. It is the equivalent of someone saying "You look tired" when they mean "You look like dog ass".

Fortunately, I'm so completely in love with my belly that the comments have been bouncing off of me without leaving any marks. I do NOTICE them however, in the context of: "Wow. People are fucking idiots."

If anyone has any handy, scathing replies please feel free to leave them for me in the comments section!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nursing Covers

I plan to nurse the Bean for as close to a year as possible. I also like to leave the house on occasion, so I knew I'd need to have a nursing cover or two in order to feed him discreetly in public. I'm all for public breastfeeding in any form . . . but, for myself, I'd rather stay mostly covered.

I noticed a woman at Disneyland wearing what appeared to be the Bebe Au Lait and I thought "Totally cute!" but that she must have made it herself because I could tell where one bottom corner was turned up that it wasn't lined. Just a square of hemmed fabric with a strap. I figured I'd make a few for myself, but line them. So imagine my surprise when I saw the Bebe Au Lait at a store and realized that, for all its $35 (AND UP) price tag, it WASN'T EVEN LINED. That's right, folks, RAW FABRIC on the back. Which I suppose isn't that huge of a deal . . . I'm assuming Bean wouldn't judge. But for $35 and being factory made I REALLY think a liner would be warranted, and, since one isn't included, all the more reason to make my own.

I found this free tutorial online, which gave me the basic dimensions and taught me to use boning to stiffen the neckline, then went from there. For starters, since the whole raw fabric backing thing horrified me so much I planned to line my covers. HOWEVER, I realized that things would be much simpler if I just chose a fabric that looks the same on the front as it does on the back. Many plaid flannels and buffalo check flannels do . . . and there's nothing I love more than a good plaid, so that was convenient. Another option for a lighter cover would be seersucker, which also looks the same front and back.

I followed the basic instructions on the tutorial, making a few tweaks I've picked up from purse sewing to make things more durable. I did iron my hems; I sewed the whole panel with a 1/4 inch hem then made a second, 1 inch hem on three sides and at the top where I inserted the boning and attached the straps. I made the straps by sewing tubes then turning them right side out with safety pins, just like purse straps. I also "locked" the boning into place by sewing squares over the strap attachment points (which will also make the straps more secure).

I'm thrilled with how the final cover came out. I love the plaid, the soft flannel and the fact that it looks the same front to back. I also love that it didn't cost me $35. I used stash fabric for this cover and when I went back to Joann's to pick up more fabric and D rings I was able to get enough materials to make 3 more covers for under twenty dollars. This is a super quick, super cheap and super useful project. I'm going to make a slew of them so I'll have options to go with different outfits . . . I think they'd make a great shower gift too!