Saturday, June 30, 2012

25 Weeks

Thursday marked 25 weeks of pregnancy.  Only 15(ish) weeks to go!

SIZE:  Little buttercup is roughly 13 inches long and weighing in around 1 1/2 lbs.  At this point, girlfriend looks like a really skinny baby, but will start putting on fat rapidly (I am sure I will be following her lead).

YAYS:  It amazes me each week how much stronger her movements are.  She is really thumping around.  Seth likes to talk to her, which I find pretty sweet.

NAYS:  It's definitely summer and its hot.  Honestly, the heat doesn't bother me too much.  I do find that I get dehydrated really easily.  And to beat the heat, I am trying to walk in the mornings, which means getting up even earlier.   But I've been waking up naturally around 5:30 am anyway, so I guess that's not such a big deal.

HAPPENINGS FOR THE WEEK:  This week, we had 2 major events.

First, we picked out and enrolled Ella in daycare.  Sadly, Seth and I are not in a place financially where we can afford for either of us to stay home full time, so that means daycare.  I did a lot of research and we ended up visiting two highly rated facilities.  Before we visited, Seth and I discussed at length what was most important to us in childcare and we realized that at this stage in her life, we just want someone to snuggle her and make sure she is breathing. 

The first place we visited was pretty awesome.  The two women in the infant room were highly credentialed and the facility was very mellow over all.  The only thing that turned us off a bit was an emphasis on letting the infant work through their emotions.  While I am sure there is strong evidence to support this approach, Seth and I feel that if our infant daughter is upset, someone needs to comfort her.  We don't necessarily feel that she would be at the correct stage of development to work through it herself.  Also, it was prohibitively expensive.

The second facility was great.   It was definitely more mainstream when it comes to daycare facilities.  What sold us on this place were the two wonderful women who work in the infant room.  One of these awesome ladies has been with the facility for 33 years (the other woman has been in infant care for 26 years and with this facility for 9 years) and when I asked her what she likes about taking care of babies, she said "cause you can kiss on 'em even when they are being bad."  Music to a neurotic mother's ears.  I know (because I saw it) that these women will treat Ella like their own.  Plus this facility is close to home, on the way to Seth's office, totally accommodating (they are cool with drop by visits, a flexible schedule, and cloth diapering) and we can totally afford them.  Daycare win.

Second, we attended an information session on water births.  I was already pretty sold on the idea, but I knew Seth needed a little more information.  After hearing all the benefits (some of the big ones: a faster birth, less trauma on the mama, and a pretty serene infant), he was on board.  So the next step is to find a doula who supports water births and start looking at tubs.  I'll have more information on that as we get there.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY Mobile: Part 1

Apparently one of the critical items of modern nursery decor is a mobile hanging above the crib.  In all honesty, most of the mobiles I came across through my search were pretty lame.  So I figured in true crafty fashion, I should just make my own.  I mean really, it can't be that hard (or can it?).  Like any other questionably sane woman, I immediately turned to pinterest for inspiration.  I quickly realized I liked the idea of stuffed felt animals and found what I was looking for over at project nursery

I started by politely questioning hounding Seth about what animals we should include.  He decided (yes, I let him pick, I am not always overbearing and controlling) on a lion, elephant, crocodile, giraffe, and a zebra.  So this first part post will cover how to make one of the critters (the lion).

Step 1: Print out a clip art picture of what you want to make.  Fold your piece of felt in half (so you have a front and a back) and pin your critter to it.

Step 2: Cut out your critter
Step 3: Using a loopy type stitch, sew your critter together.  Make sure to leave an opening so you can stuff your critter.
Step 4: Stuff your critter and stitch him up all the way
Step 5: Time for the details.  I knew my lion needed a mane, so I chopped the head off my pattern and used it to cut a mane for the front and back.
Step 6: Glue your details on.  I also cut another yellow piece for the face and added eyes, a nose, whiskers, and a tail. Your glue (I used actual felt glue) may take a while to dry, so be patient.

That's the basic process I used to make all my critters.  In all honesty, the lion and the elephant (the fatter guys) were way easy to make.  The crocodile, zebra, and giraffe were a bit more difficult.

Join me at some point later when I attempt to make these critters into something resembling a baby mobile. 

Happy Crafting!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beastie's Chicken in a Pita

So we call my mom Beastie.  Her name is Betsy and once upon a time, one of my cousins misspelled her name as Beasty and it stuck.  And we love our Beastie.  And Beastie gets all the credit for this quick and tasty meal.


boneless, skinless chicken breasts
lemon pepper marinade
lemon pepper seasoning
plain greek yogurt
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Note: I have not included amounts, because amounts don't matter so much for this one.  You can easily make more or less depending on your needs.


Marinate your chicken.  Longer is better.  But not too long.

While your chicken is marinating, make your cucumber sauce.  Simply peel and slice your cucumbers.  Mix together cucumber slices, plain greek yogurt, minced garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, dash of dill, and salt and pepper to taste.  You can make this earlier in the day.  Let it hang out in the  fridge.

Once you feel like your breasts are good and soaked (hehe), slice them really thin and coat them with lemon pepper seasoning.

Next, get a pan good and hot.  Add a little oil.  Cook chicken slices, making sure they get good and brown (and cook all the way through).

Dump chicken on pita and top with cucumber sauce.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

24 weeks

Please excuse the drowned rat look.  We had to do the picture before I left for work today, since Seth has work late tonight and I don't know how to use a blow drier.  So, anyways, 24 weeks.  16 to go.  Yikes.

Size:  Ella bean is almost a foot long (babycenter compares her to an ear of corn) and has gained 4 oz. this week.  I can say with 100% certainty that I have gained more than 4 oz. this week. 

YAYS:  Girlfriend had hiccups for the first time this week.  That was so funny for me (maybe not so much for her, but lets face it, my amusement is important).  Also, she is getting strong enough that when she moves, you can see it.  I got an alien in my belly.  And I don't want to jinx it, but I think maybe I had just a bit more energy this week.  In all honesty, I've been really tired this whole pregnancy.  BUT I think given the pace at work, I would be tired, even if I wasn't pregnant.

NAYS: My ass jiggles and my thighs rub together when I walk.  But lets face it, that was mostly true before I got pregnant.  Although it does nothing to diminish feeling whale-like.

Happenings for the week: We started our registry.  We decided to go with an Amazon registry and a Babies'R'Us registry.  The Amazon registry is up and running.  It will be at least another week before we make the trek to the BRU and tackle that madness.  Our registries will be pretty bare bones,  mostly because we (read: I) don't want my house taken over by baby shit.  Sure, I want her to have what she needs, but I want to make sure we cover the needs before we look at the wants. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

23 weeks!

I've realized 2 things recently.  One- we haven't shared baby G's name yet.  Sorry about that.  Her name is Margaret Eleanor.  Margaret is becoming a family  name on my side (I have an Aunt Meg and Sister Maggie) and we just really love Eleanor.  We will call her Ella.  Two- these weekly(ish) posts have little structure to them, so I will be trying to add a little.

Size:  Me= whale.  I know I am not really huge at all yet, but I'm starting to feel it.  When I get tired, I waddle a little.  And my back hurts.   But that's to be expected.  Ella is growing by leaps and bounds.  What to Expect says shes about 8 inches long and babycenter says shes closer to 11 inches.  Either way, she is weighing in at over a pound!

YAYS:  She is a little thumper and I love it!  My mom and one of my sisters got to feel her move on Sunday, which was pretty cool.  Also, the weather has been blissfully cool for the south, so no real discomfort.  The second trimester is awesome.

NAYS:  Not too many- in certain positions, my lungs are starting to get a bit squished, but that's easily rectified with some moving around.  And there's some back pain.  And heartburn.  And belly itch.  And not sleeping through the night.  But really, all these things are fairly trivial.

Happenings for the week:  I had a doctors appointment on Monday and everything is going well.  I am still measuring a bit ahead.  My next appointment is in mid-July.  This will be the last appointment of the 2nd trimester and after that I will start going every 2 weeks (yikes!).  At that appointment, we will also do a follow up ultrasound and I have my sugar test (yuck).

And I have also signed us up for baby classes!  Yay!  We will be taking the standard 5 week birth and baby class offered by the hospital, along with an infant and child CPR class.  Let me state that I am 100% sold on a vaginal, un-medicated, intervention free birth (simply because I am terrified of a c-section).  I know that things happen and birth doesn't always go as planned and I am prepared for that, but a natural birth is my preferred style.  And I realize that 5 weeks of general birth classes aren't going to get us very far towards achieving that goal.  We did think about going Bradley Method, but we simply cannot commit to 12 weeks of classes (Seth has to work a lot at night).  And hynobirthing is just a little too far out there for us.  So we will be doing some reading (for me- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Spiritual Midwifery, and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, and for Seth The Birth Partner), hiring a doula (more on that later), and looking into a water birth (more on that later too).  So that's the plan- prepare as much as possible and hope for the best.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whose Your Favorite Pollinator?

Baby G isn't the only new addition (to-be) in our household.  The story goes like this...  My dad has been keeping bees in his backyard for several years.  After seeing how enjoyment he get's out of his insects and knowing how much the world needs more honeybees, Seth and I mentioned that we would be interested in doing a little keeping of our own.  So for Christmas, Dad graciously gifted us with a hive body, frames, and the rest of the stuff we needed to get started.  We got everything set up and in late April, Dad delivered some bees.  We got a queen (pretty important) and I think around 200 bees to assist her.  In my ever growing state, I have not played such an active part in the bee keeping process.  Luckily, Seth has taken to it and last weekend, he opened up the hive to check around.

Seth got the smoker all started and opened up the hive.  The bees were none to pleased.  The smoker is important because they smoke calms the bees down a bit (basically it gets them a little high).  This is crucial for a sting free process.
Inside the hive body, we have frames for the bees to build comb on and store honey.  Sometimes, they build in places they shouldn't, like the top of the box.
Sweet little bees...
When they build where they aren't supposed to, Seth gets to scrape away the comb.  If you leave the comb near the hive, the worker bees will come and pull all the good stuff out and return it to the hive.  Its pretty cool.

Pure, raw, honey!  We do plan to harvest our honey.  The hive needs time to be well established, so it will probably be a year before we are able to do that.
Hive maintenance also calls for pulling out the frames to see how full they are.  This one is getting there.

This frame is almost full.  Once all the frames are full, we will add another hive body on top.  This helps prevent the hive from breaking into two and swarming. 

And there you have it- bee keeping as narrated by me.  There are way more technical terms for all this and probably a bunch of stuff I am leaving out.  Overall, bee keeping is relatively simple and honey bees are badly needed.  PSA: Everyone go get a hive.  Now.  But really, they are easy and beneficial. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

22 weeks

Yes, I know I skipped a 21 week update.  SORRY!  But here we are, week 22, also known as 5 months!  Also know as my belly is officially sticking out farther than my boobs (a fact Seth likes to point out regularly).  Holy cow!  And girl is getting big.  She is roughly the size of a butternut squash (one of my favorite squashes) and is weighing in around a pound.  Her movements are getting really strong (she thumps around pretty good).  Seth has even gotten to feel her when she decides to cooperate. 

I still feel pretty good.  I am a bit tired, as I can't sleep through the night (I get uncomfortable really easily), but I figure that's a thing of the past anyway.  We all know how much babies like to sleep through the night!

I've written fairly frequently about what we are doing to prepare a space for the baby, but haven't touched on other plans.  On June's to-do list (Seth, I hope you are reading this 'cause I don't think I've shared these with you) are finding a doula, finding day care, and finding a pediatrician.  As I have started on none of these, look forward to an update sometime soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Making Room for Baby: Part 2

Last weekend marked more baby furniture buying and arranging.  It made the most sense to buy the biggest piece for the room.  That would be crib.  To be honest, I didn't care too much about what crib we purchased.  Sure, I wanted something sturdy and non-toxic, but those were about the only requirements.  We figure she'll only be in the crib for 2ish years and we only plan on having one more.  Plus we plan on having her sleep in our room in a bassinet for the first 3-6 months, so really the crib will only be in use for maybe 4ish years.  When it came down to it, Seth actually picked the crib.  I looked it over, but he gets total credit for this buy.

So we ordered the crib and it came.  And then Seth put it together (the cats and I supervised).  And it looks totally awesome...  BUT wouldn't you know it, the spot that I thought would be perfect for the crib, just wasn't.  See...
It sticks out too far.  Turns out cribs are bigger than I thought... 

So we got to play a rousing game of furniture shuffle.  The next obvious pick for the crib was in the corner of the opposite wall.  That would be the same space Seth's massive humidor lives (lived?)...
My first suggestion was that we should just get rid of the damn thing- just kidding...  I love my husband and his stinky cigars...  So we lugged the damn thing to our bedroom and that just didn't work.  Nothing says romance like a huge, manly cigar humidor...  So I took a deep breath and said "I think it has to go to the living room."  And Seth's face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.

So we moved the humidor/table that was between the chairs...
And replaced it with the bigger version....
And it works.  And Seth is thrilled to show off his collection.  Oh the compromises of marriage.

Back to the nursery...  With the humidor gone, we just had to figure out a spot for the bookshelf.  I got cranky and exclaimed that there was no freaking place that damn thing was going to fit, so we might as well just leave it in the nursery til we came up with a better idea.  And Seth, sensing hormones about to explode on him, agreed.  So we relocated it to the other wall...
AND WE LIKED IT!  We originally had planned a long low bookshelf, but this works and we have it.  We do plan to secure it to the wall for safety reasons.  You gotta love it when you can make what you have WORK!

So with space, all we had to do was slide the crib into place...
YAY!  The wooden chair is just hanging out as a place holder.  We have plans for a glider and a little table there, which of course means that the wooden chair will have to be relocated.  But we are getting there!

If everything goes as planned, mama and I should be making curtains this weekend!