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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tie Tuesday

PhotobucketMonday

Blazers are so wonderful. Take the blazer out of this picture and I’m just standing there in jeans and a tank top. Add the blazer and ba-bam! Professional office attire. Easy!

Given our casual dress code at work, people take notice when a blazer comes out. Oooo, do you have an important meeting? Interview for a new position? Haha, no. I’m just framing my bump!

This hot pink tank is from Target. I love these tanks because they’re super stretchy. I have a couple more colors and I hope they last well into summer.

The blazer is Banana Republic. I have slacks to match but those haven’t fit since week 7 or so.

Finally, I brought out my favorite Forever 21 jeans (okay, I admit, they were still at the top of the jeans pile) and my gray Report flats.

PhotobucketTuesday

These kimono-style dresses are so comfortable right now. I have another one in solid green. This one is a black and white pattern. I’ve actually had this dress for at least five years (it came from the Urban Outifitters that was located just off campus) but I’ve only worn it maybe once or twice. I always feel like it needs a belt but I can’t ever find one that really works. I will keep searching, but in the meantime I’m not going to stress over it. I really hope this and my other, similar dress can accommodate my belly for awhile!

I added some Old Navy leggings and Rocket Dog flats for even more comfort. I think a bold necklace dresses up the whole thing a bit. Without it, I’d kind of feel like I was walking around wearing pajamas or something!

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PhotobucketWednesday

Ooo, I feel a little big looking at this picture. I mean, I’ll never be a person to call myself fat (especially while pregnant!), but I do feel like those eight pounds I’ve gained so far are showing themselves! Time to add some arm exercises to my routine!

This shirt is from Old Navy (clearance find!). I like the girly flowers on the shoulder. Unfortunately, it is probably on its last wear for awhile. It’s barely covering the top of my jeans anymore! Oh well, I will be happy to pull it out of “the box” this fall.

These Urban Outfitter jeans are still fitting (thank goodness, I’m done to only a few pair!) and my Report wedges are adding height without stressing out my feet or back. I’m already starting to miss my heels, which I have discovered are causing much more discomfort now compared to when I’m not pregnant. Sad face.

PhotobucketThursday

I like to use long necklaces to dress up a simple tee. This combo is a silver chain Forever 21 find that has three necklaces in one. Bonus! The other gray pearl necklace was my grandmother’s. I really like the pearls she passed down to me. I try to wear them as often as I can – no point in letting them sit in a drawer forever. They need to see the light of day!

This black tee is from the Gap. I’m going to need some maternity replacements pretty soon because this one is starting to fit a little short just like the Old Navy one from yesterday.

This jeans are from Old Navy and they are now in “the box” of things that won’t fit anymore.

Yay Rocket Dog flats!

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PhotobucketFriday

Sweater-dresses are so super duper comfortable. The knit is nice and stretchy and they are even pretty warm! What was not comfortable about this outfit were the tights. Dang things have no good place to sit anymore. Under the belly they feel like they’re cutting off my circulation or something. Over the belly they are just overall compressing and restrictive. I haven’t felt this way about any of my other tights yet, though, so hopefully this is an isolated incident.

This pearl bracelet is really a necklace that I just wound around my wrist a few times. This dress isn’t really conducive for a necklace, but a big ol’ bracelet works great.

Yay for wedges, again. I think I need some more of these to perk me up from my “no heels” time.

Whew! Another week of dressing myself is complete!

Book Review: A Child Is Born

PhotobucketWhen I first opened this book, I was reminded of the textbooks I had in middle school health class. (Stay with me here.) Only because the very first chapter was devoted to the power of physical attraction, pheromones, the genetic code and how male and female reproductive parts work to make babies. It just reminded me of the sex ed classes from school. The version of the book that I read is from 2003 (fourth edition), but while I read this first chapter I felt like I was in 1994 (that was eight grade, in case you’re curious).

I think I also got the “textbook” vibe because this book is just so very factual. The author, Swedish MD Lars Hamberger, doesn’t lecture, he simply presents the “what’s what” about the entire reproductive process in a clear and concise manner. There’s only one page of “what not to do,” and it’s mostly standard stuff like staying away from alcohol, x-rays, stress, etc. Unlike some pregnancy books that seem to go on and on about how the teensiest little mistake could entirely mess up your baby (*cough* What to Expect *cough*), this book just focuses on your lovely developing embryo and fetus. Refreshing!

Aside from the objective writing, Photobucketthis book’s best feature has got to be the plethora of stunning color photographs by Lennart Nilsson. The one on the right here was Mr. Handsome’s favorite (“Look, that’s my sperm which has navigated through your hostile defense system and penetrated your sack of genetic code!” We watched The Great Sperm Race while we were trying. I seriously recommend that documentary to everyone of child-bearing age! You can find it on You Tube).

No where else but here can you see Photobucketsuch vivid photos (that I know of, at least). They are what really make this book stand on its own. The only word of caution I would have is, if you have other children in the house, some of the images of delivery are a bit graphic and might just kinda freak out the kids a bit. Some images are great to share with the kids, especially older ones like my almost nine-year-old, but be selective. Don’t give them the book to browse at their leisure.

The only critique I would have is that the book does jump over some fairly large chunks of pregnancy time. The first trimester gets a lot of attention, which is probably good because that’s when couples have the most questions about what’s going on. After week 10 there’s not a lot of coverage until week 17, although in that span there is some explanation of the first prenatal care appointment, the womb environment and genetic testing options. But then there’s hardly anything discussed (mostly the importance of exercise and documentation of hand, feet, eye and ear development) until week 26 when there’s another “uterus check-in” and a few pages on premature birth. We don’t see much from there until another ute shot at week 36 and at that point you’re pretty much fully baked anyway! With the incredible quality of the photos, I only wish there were more.

Check this book out from your library if they have a copy. It’s great to see the photographs at least once. Once you’re given it a full perusal then decide if you feel like it’s worth purchasing. Especially if this is your only or last pregnancy.

Next Review: Belly Laughs

Friday Update: Week 16

PhotobucketBaby is as big as an iphone this week! Four and a half inches long – holy cow!

This week my head has been in some strange places. I’m not really emotional, per se, at least I’m not having any spontaneous crying or crazy fits (whew!). But I am having other odd moods.

First off, “pregnancy brain” seems to have hit pretty hard. At work I’m usually the first to come up with a few ideas, but this week the boss asked to brainstorm project ideas for this year and I came up with nothing. Flat out, nothing. This never happens! Our company is in constant flux and growth so there’s always something to think of to be improved. And I come up with nothing. Nice. At least he understands; his wife just gave birth last month.

Also, I’ve had crazy anxiety about the sex of our baby! Ugh! Why am I stressing out over something that I have absolutely no control over?! Mr. Handsome and I would really like a girl this time, mostly to even out the sexes in our household. However, a boy wouldn’t be so bad either, as we have prior experience and Kiddo1 really would like a younger brother. No matter what the outcome, I know we’ll be excited and thrilled to welcome another member to the family! I just need to quit stressing out about it!

So I’m working on getting my head back under control. Mind over matter!

The weekly summary:

  • Total weight gain: 8 pounds. The pound a week trend is keeping up. I’m trying to be okay with this (I know it isn’t a bad thing though!).
  • Cravings: dark chocolate. I can’t get enough. Chocolate makes happy babies, though. Google it.
  • Coolest symptom: Mr. Handsome and I heard an amazing and strong heartbeat of 160 BPM at our appointment on Tuesday! The midwife also said that my uterus is measuring 3.5cm below my belly button which is right on track.
  • Lamest symptom: I’ve had this weird stabbing pain in my upper abdomen the past few afternoons. It comes around about 4:00 and leaves in about an hour. I mentioned this to the midwife and she didn’t seem too concerned. I will monitor this and call if it sticks around much longer. Also, the headaches are getting bad again. I’m considering acupuncture and just found out that my insurance covers some of it too!
  • Exercise this week: I added this bullet to motivate my exercising. If this information is out there for all to see then I’ll force myself to fill this spot with awesomeness. This week wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. I did 45 minutes of walking and 90 minutes of yoga (three sessions of 15, 30 and 45 minutes each). I still didn’t make it on the elliptical, but only because I really fell in love with the yoga! It is so relaxing but surprisingly effective! My core finally feels like it’s getting some attention again. I have a feeling I’m going to need those muscles in a few months. (I have taken several yoga classes before so no worries about not knowing what I’m doing and screwing up my body and what not.)

Science time:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his or her weight and add inches in length. Right now, he or she is about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. Your baby’s legs are much more developed, his or her head is more erect than it has been, and his or her eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. Your baby’s ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his or her scalp has begun, though hair isn’t recognizable yet. Your baby has even started growing toenails. And there’s a lot happening inside as well. For example, your baby’s heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to rise.

Hospital/Midwife Choice

Yesterday, Mr. Handsome and I finally had our first official appointment with the midwife group that we’ve chosen. It feels like we’re making some real progress now!

It’s taken us awhile to get here because we had a hard time finding the perfect place. We were all set to go with the ob/midwife office that I had been seeing for the last couple years. They seemed good enough – perfectly competent, at least. But the more we looked into the hospital they’re affiliated with, the less impressed I was. The hospital just didn’t have the amenities that we were looking for, specifically the waterbirth option (long story short about that choice: a few years ago we were talking to a friend who had a waterbirth and she described the most amazing experience. We knew that would be part of our plan if/when we were to have another baby).

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This isn

Regardless of the misgivings, we went ahead and had our first appointment at my fallback office. During that appointment, we learned that the only midwife in the practice is pregnant herself and would not be able to attend our birth. An OB would take over for her, but that’s not the path we want to take this time. We had an OB with our son, and it was a fine experience. We just want something different for this round. (Plus our decision is really validated by the stuff I read on the “My OB said what?!” blog – link in the blog roll at right.) Having a pregnant midwife gave us the excuse we needed to start shopping.

I went on a quick interview with one of the midwives at the university hospital (Mr. Handsome couldn’t go and he was pretty bummed – he really digs this stuff!). I was fairly certain that this was the place for us, so I talked about it with Mr. Handsome and we went over all the paraphernalia at home. We agreed that both the hospital and the midwives had what we were looking for, so we booked a first visit., which we finally had yesterday.

The appointment went great! It’s a group practice so we get a different midwife sometimes but that way we get to know more of the ladies so that we might be familiar with whomever we get come delivery time. Both yesterday’s midwife and the one I met with a few weeks ago were fantastic. Super laid back and easy to talk to. They took plenty of time for questions and didn’t brush off anything (like my OB sometimes did!). No question was silly or seemingly unimportant to them.

I also like the university hospital because we can help people learn! There was a student midwife with us at yesterday’s appointment and I completely expect to see another one in the delivery room (which is more than fine with me – I remember not really caring about “strangers” in the room after a couple hours in labor with our son).

In addition, the facilities are beautiful, the amenities are plentiful (yummy food!) and all the perks that I’m looking for are there (specifically the waterbirth and cord blood donation, which I’ll talk about in a later post).

In March we start group appointments, too, which are regular midwife visits except with several other women/couples who are due around the same time. I’ve heard great things about this method and Mr. Handsome and I are excited to see how it goes! I’ll post updates about how those are working later on the spring/early summer. Today I get to call to schedule our ultrasound too!

Overall, I’m just super happy that we’re finally on track and are feeling good about at least one of the major decisions we have made!

Tie Tuesday

This week I completely forgot Monday’s photo. I don’t know what happened! But I still have four out of five photos, so not a total fail for the week. Let’s get to it!

PhotobucketTuesday

These are the last pair of “work pants” I have that fit! They’ve always been a little loose, thank goodness.

This shirt is a clearance find from Target last year. I bought it when we first started TTC and I thought I might need some flowy shirts to hide my first trimester bloat. Now, thanks to it’s size, it fits the bit of belly I have too! But it won’t last long: there isn’t enough boob room! Oh well, I’m coming to terms with finding more things each week that go in “the box” of things I can’t wear anymore.

These shoes I just recently discovered again. Unfortunately I also discovered that most of my heels might be on their way out too. My feet never really hurt unless I left my shoes on well after I returned home in the evening. Now they hurt before I get to work! I’ll have to stick to wedges and flats. Sad face.

Another bracelet from Forever 21. I love their cheap accessories.

PhotobucketWednesday

It was so cold that day! I swear I wasn’t being lazy with my long-sleeve-shirt-and-scarf combo. I literally needed something warmer! It snowed about four inches overnight on my side of town (of course over on the work side it barely snowed at all so no one could sympathize with me).

I needed the boots too, both to keep my feet warm and to keep the snow from freezing my toes. I had to scrape a lot of it off my car and of course it all fell on my feet (no matter how hard I tried to move out of the way).

Mr. Handsome’s aunt gave me this scarf for Christmas several years ago. It is so soft and colorful! And warm! It comes out on days like this when nothing else will keep me warm enough.

My favorite jeans from Forever tuck into these Doc Martin boots just perfectly. I was very comfortable that day.

PhotobucketThursday

It warmed up so I decided to bust out this skirt – I was afraid it wouldn’t fit at all. Well it didn’t fit like it’s suppose to (on my hips) but I was able to pull it over the bump and I actually liked the length a whole lot better! I found this hot pink tee too. I like going shopping in my closet.

Both the skirt and the tee are from Banana Republic. I know the tee was an outlet find and the skirt might have been too. I need a day at the outlets – you can find so much good, inexpensive stuff!

These tights are from Target. I love fun tights. Since this skirt is pretty plain, I needed something with a fun pattern to spice it up. Especially since I stuck with flats after Tuesday’s discovery about ouchy heels.

These are my Rocket Dog flats.

PhotobucketFriday

Another Forever 21 find and another shirt that’s about to be too small.

This green jacket I scored at Forever a good three years ago probably. I love my blazer-type jackets right now because I know they’ll fit – and keep fitting! As long as I don’t button them, of course. That isn’t happening for sure.

This simple Gap tee is a great staple for me. I usually have a few of them at one time because I either wear them a lot (they’re a great base layer!) or I stain them beyond what a bleaching can handle (I’m a big fan of marinara sauce and apparently I’m a messy eater too).

Urban Outfitter jeans again and my trusty Report wedges (which I just saw on the episode of What Not to Wear that I am watching right now and I freaked out to Mr. Handsome! Look honey, I have those shoes in a different color!).

Gettin’ Crafty

What is it about being pregnant that brings out the creator in us? Most pregnant women that I’ve known have caught the crafting bug during their pregnancy; side effects include an itching to make new things.

I’ve known how to knit and crochet since I was a kid (my mom and grandmothers taught me how) but my skills have been lost a bit over the years. Last year I started brushing up on my knitting and this past weekend I took a quick crochet class to remember how to do that too.

Now with my found talents brimming from my fingers, I’m dying to get started on fun baby projects. Since Baby2 will be born mid-summer, I’m looking for things to make that will work in the heat. We don’t need a lot of heavy blankets and sweaters yet (I’ll save those projects for maternity leave!).

I have absolutely fallen in love with knitted/crocheted shoes, though. Baby shoes are already cute but then you add in the texture of yarn and it multiplies the cuteness!

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Baby flip flops! Perfect for July right? These are all crocheted except for the little pink shoes which are knitted. The best part is that these shoes are really like socks – there’s no hard sole which isn’t recommended in the first year I guess. There’s also the super cute booties for when the weather gets a little cooler. I’m totally swooning over them. Can I make some adult sized ones for myself too?

Hopefully making these shoes will satisfy by desire to purchase copious amounts of baby shoes. They have got to be the cutest of all baby garments, really. But there are other projects, too, I’m getting stuck on shoes.

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Hats are great for newborns, even in the summer. Babies need help holding their body heat in, or something. Plus, how adorable is the summer old-school prairie bonnet?! Or, if we’re having a boy, the sweet little cowboy hat! Actually, I think that would work for a girl, too. With a flowery little summer dress. Maybe some crocheted cowboy boots too! Oh yes, I do love dressing the childrens.

Last but not least, babies need blankets. I remember going through lots of blankets with Baby1. They take awhile to make because they’re so big, but they are pretty simple patterns to follow, unless you do some crazy complicated stitch. I suppose making a blanket actually is a good time to practice a complex stitch because you’ll be doing it over and over and over…

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The flower blanket looks like a great complex stitch to practice (well, I think it would be complex but honestly I don’t know. I’ll have to figure that out). Such cute flowers, it would make a perfect decoration for a girl’s room, too. The primary colored one would be perfect for a boy’s room. It looks like legos! That baby on the green one just looks so happy – it must be that awesome crocheted blanket! Finally, I present this beautiful piece of gianted knitted luxury. I found it on Pinterest and the pinner said she had to whittle wooden dowels in order to make knitting needles big enough. I have no idea from where the yarn was procured. All I know is that I want one of these blankets! It looks so soft and cozy.

Right now I’m practicing my craft by making some simple swatches, but I hope to start picking some patterns and projects pretty soon. I’ll post updates!

I caved

There’s something that Mr. Handsome has wanted to do for a long time. He’s dreamed about it, talked about it, begged me for it. He tells me he’s wanted this since he was a teenager, even though I’ve always thought it to be much more of an adult desire. And this week, I finally caved to his wishes: we bought a minivan.

How could I let this happen? I’m not a soccer mom – I’m way too cool to be that right? (Probably not, I’m not that cool. And my son does play soccer.) I always figured I’d get a small SUV, maybe even a station wagon, but for the love of all that is good and holy, not a minivan!

Well, I’ll tell you how I let this happen: bad timing (although, from Mr. Handsome’s perspective you could call it great timing) and healthy compromise.

Before I get to those two events, though, I must confess that I’ve been caving to the minivan idea for awhile, probably since we started planning for Baby2. I know that with our 50+ pound dog, going anywhere with him, Mr. Handsome and two kids probably wouldn’t happen in our Accord. Camping would not happen (shoot we can barely fit everything in there now, and we don’t even take that much gear. The poor dog has to sit on a pile of sleeping bags for the whole trip out), the beach trips would be difficult, even trips to the big ol’ dog run out East would be most uncomfortable. Plus when out-of-towners (like our parents) visit we’d have to take two cars everywhere (not so easy in our metro area – the streets are narrow and parking is a pain and a half).

On to the “how I let this happen” reasons. The bad timing: our car needed work. Again. It seems like every oil change something new (old) would need to be replaced. For a Honda, we’ve done everything to this car: rebuilt the transmission, replaced the tires, brakes, CV boots, spark plugs, timing belt, etc. But the Photobucketcar did make it to 130k miles (easily has another 50, maybe 100k in her) and it never did leave us stranded by the side of the road, so I guess I really can’t complain much.

Our Accord was a great car, really. It got pretty good gas mileage and I could always fit it into the tiny parking spaces at work and the community center; granted some spots were made even smaller by inconsiderate people who don’t seem to know how to park (see the image at left – ours is the grey car). So far I’ve had to find the biggest spots in the lot when parking at work. It’s good preparation for the months to come though, as there’s no way I’ll be able to squeeze out of the car or hop over to the passenger’s side when I’ve got a big ol’ belly full of baby.

Then, the compromise. I would completely give in to the idea and get the minivan that very weekend if I had some creature comforts: I want no fewer amenities than what we had before (which wasn’t much but the “new standards” like power windows, power door locks, the remote thingy, etc), plus leather seats and butt warmers. Mama needs a warm bottom on her way to work. And I would do no worse than to go with the Mercedes of minivans (well, other than a Mercedes, of course): the Odyssey. I truly believe it is the only “cool” minivan on the street. Yes, I know minivan’s aren’t cool that’s why I put that word in quotes there.

PhotobucketNow we have a shinny “new to us” Odyssey sitting out front. Sure it’s six years old and has a few more miles than we wanted, but we’re paying less than we did for the Accord and we’re getting a lot more space and warm-buttness for the money. It handles like a dream, it gets pretty good gas mileage (really comparable to our Accord, surprisingly enough), its six cylinders have great pick-up (and this cool “eco” feature that only uses three cylinders when appropriate), there’s a ton of room (we can now take five kids on Kiddo1’s movie birthday party adventure instead of just two) and my butt is all toasty warm and happy during my commute.

Mr. Handsome is sat-is-fied.