Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Last Cabin Retreat As a Family of Four

Yes, for some reason Sullivan was the star of the camera this weekend...Monty was a bad boy and acting strangely most of the weekend...and Claire stayed put!

What a greaaaat mini vacation: Me, Tim, Mont Man (grumpster), Sullivan (snubasnorklingdoggie), Brad, Jen, and Luca (their English Bulldog - Sullivan's friend, Monty's enemy).

Sooo I will let the pictures do the explaining.
Friday - Tim and I arrived with the boys (after Sully was Mr. Salty with a bad 'tude going on)
We took the boys to the river immediately and let them play for as long as they wanted. I read and read and read nearly half of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (OH MY IT'S A MUST READ) while sitting in the water!
Jen & Brad arrived with Luca around 7:30 pm. We made dinner and enjoyed it on the screened in porch!

Saturday -
Everyone was up by 9 (Tim woke up last at exactly 8:52 am which was the joke because he told B & J that he always gets up by 9 am - which is sooooo not true!!!). I made breakfast and we all started playing outside! It was a by the river kind of day. Monty was acting semi weird sitting in Tim's Pilot the entire time because he was a little grumpy. Sullivan was learning how to dive in the water. Tim & Brad would take the boat for a spin while Jen & I were reading in the water!

After lunch we decided to head down on the river in tubes and kayaks. It was a suppppper sloooowwwww ride. I looked like a beach whale on a tube that surprisingly stayed afloat! Half way down the river the unthinkable happened - Brad got stung right on the chest by a yellow jacket. And BAM he was feeling the effect. We are probably a 30 minute float still to our property and thankfully he had the kayak. He paddled hard and fast home to go take Benadryl. He mentioned the last time it happened he was ten and rushed to the ER. Well, yep sure enough by the time the big pregnant lady made it up to the house it had probably been 30 minutes and he was swelling and getting hives. I told him to call his doc immediately and he said to go to the ER. Well, he went and sure enough is very allergic to bee stings - they wouldn't let him leave until his heartrate settled down again. Well the good of the story is we know it took Tim 15 minutes (driving VERY FAST up and down the mountain) to get to the hospital. They also said the nurses and doctors there were awesome and super nice! So we know where to go in case of an emergency. Once the guys got back we had dinner and enjoyed the evening.

Sunday - Last trip to the river where the boys ran and ran and ran. When we finally left the boys were SOUND ASLEEP in the car the entire ride home and remainder of the day on Sunday! :o) Success!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Second Thoughts

As the arrival of baby Claire becomes more and more real, I am second guessing my decision of having a natural birth. Hmmm...we had class last night and although it's nice, I am just not being sold on all the relaxation techniques. I mean I believe them, I can get there, but I have no "surges" (contractions) while I am doing them. You know that time when you've been in so much pain (everyone's had horrible pain once in their life), I am just not sure if what these "pains" are supposed to feel like I can do it without the pain mads.

I am having a hard time deciding, so I think I'll just go in with an open mind. No set "birth plan" I already told my doctor I am open to whatever I need and whenever in order to deliver a healthy baby girl. I will not be one of those crazies who says you can't deviate AT ALL (that was decided a while ago).

I just watched A Baby Story and the mom was so calm with her epidural and it looked so stress and pain free. I'm just afraid of the epidural. I fear I'll be the 1 person out of the 2000 that will have adverse affects. This seems like the least amount of fun part of pregnancy - making decisions when you have no clue what to expect.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

36.5 Weeks Survey

Doctors Appointment Today:

156, means I am up a total of 25 pounds...which means I've gained 4, yes FOUR, pounds in the past 7 days - ah!

120/80 (a little higher than usual, but pretty average for me)

I am sure the same as last week between 145-155

Position of Baby:
Head down, wahoooo!

still none - and I am very VERY thankful since apparently mi madre had them and they run in the family, usually. I guess I still have a couple weeks left.

Next appointment:
Wednesday, August 3rd at 8:45 am

Things to look forward to:
possible internal check (to see if there is any progress)

Best thing about the week:
The Shabby Chic Shower my mom threw! We got so many wonderful gifts and are so thankful to everyone who came! It's now been a challenge cleaning and organizing all of Claire's things. I need two more small tables of some sort for shelving or to get things off the ground for her nursery. I also need to place a few things in the attic.

Goals by the end of the week:

Find two tables for the nursery and finish the nursery for good.
Make Rice Krispie Treats for the cabin.
Shop and pack for the cabin.
Finish all thank you cards and mail them.
Fill out my W2 for M&D - gosh I need to do this right now.

Clean out the guest bedroom so it's organized.
Place things for sale on MarketPlace (our work's craigslist).
Baby pool up and running by Monday.
italics = done!

Nighttime Munchies

Wide awake at 4 am!

I woke up to pee (the first time tonight, which is odd)...and I laid back down to go to bed and my stomach started rumbling. Like I was starving! As if I had not eaten in three days. I had eggplant parm from Olive Grove last night for dinner around 7:30 pm. I shouldn't be starving, but then my pelvic pain was so horrible to try and get comfortable again, I got out of bed and realized peanut butter and crackers might do the trick.

Monty & Sullivan joined me and each got a finger lick of peanut butter while I satisfied our baby girl!

On a side note, Katie's (my bff) is an AUNT! She sent me a picture of little Charlie and Mary (her sister). They both look great! Charlie is a cutie for sure, and I'm sure Claire will be happy to meet him. But Katie knows I am not introducing her to him (in a romantic way) until they're in college, otherwise they'll turn out hating each other, sort of like what happened with the youngest siblings in our households: Peter & Emily.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Dog Must: the Gentle Leader

Check it out on their website!

I cannot say enough good things about the Gentle Leader. Maybe I should have listened to my mother two or three months ago when she first said I should use it on both Monty & Sullivan. Now do my boys like it, no, but they will learn to love it because that's how they will get their walks from now on. Until I can get it under control without needing treats (rewards - the basis of the leader) I will only be walking them one at a time. It may be a shorter walk than they are used to, but it's summertime and much hotter now than normal, so I think they'll live.

What is so great about this oddly placed leader? It seriously gives me all the control in the world over even my most hyper and active dog, Sully. He usually tends to jump 3 feet in the air and bark when he sees another person, stroller, or God forbid another dog. This leader keeps me in control where they are not pulling me towards the unexpected visitor or "casual passerby". So Sully has now used it 4 times (2 times the day I got it), the next day, then we took off with the massive heat wave that's come, and again this morning. He is so well behaved now, he barely tries to get it off his nose (maybe that happened twice today). He actually passed another itty bitty dog, barked, but couldn't pull. I was able to keep him moving with me and he eventually sat on my command and got a treat which distracted him. It was wondrous.

Well obviously taking Sully made me leave Monty behind. Tim was still sleeping and I feel bad because clearly Monty was not happy. I came back and Monty was no where in sight...clearly Tim locked him upstairs in bed with him to quiet him down. So I asked Tim how bad he was. He said it sounded like he was going to die, that's how upset he was, haha, I chuckle at this! If they would just behave on walks they'd go together.

So it was Monty's turn. He's only used the Gentle Leader one other time. It was not very successful the first time. We made it about 75 yards down from the house and back. So we set off again trying to improve from the last time. He initially tried to get it off before we made it out the house, but I quickly refocused him, made him sit and gave him his yummy Little Jacs reward. YUM! We made it out (this time leaving Sullivan behind) and set off behaving, yes, I said BEHAVING! He barely sniffed and he just walked right next to me as I held a treat for him by my waist. He'd get one every time he was behaving beautifully. At times I made him sit, especially if he would try to get the GL off. Sure enough it was working. He was so well behaved that we passed a dog (inside), barking and jumping at the door, and Monty turned to bark back, but as I kept walking he could only do one thing, follow me. I AM THE PACK LEADER (so I'd like to think...or I am working on being). He was soooo good. We made it back, took the GL off and praised the heck out of him being such a good boy.

I am in love with this product. I HIGHLY recommend it, because if it can work on my two knuckleheads, it can work on anyone's pup.

Here it is: It seems as if it might be hurting them, especially as they try and get it off, but it's not...they can breath, eat treats, and even hold a ball in their mouth when worn properly.

My Shabby Chic Shower that Mimi is today!!!

So today marks 36 weeks (see picture below) and the last baby shower for little Miss Claire. This morning I woke up at 12:44 am to pee (Tim was still up watching movies in bed), then again sometime around 2:30, I think, then finally ten of 5 am. At that point I got up and stayed up. It's getting a tad uncomfortable to sleep with this big Miss Claire belly in the way. I try my hardest to stay on my left side, like they recommend because of the vena cava that runs down your right side, but sometimes I wake up on the right side and sometimes even on my back. I figured I'd just get up anyways. I miss sleeping on my stomach, finally after 36 weeks pregnant I am complaining about something.

Yesterday I had a wonderful massage, so I can't complain too much because it was joyous and lovely and just what the doctor ordered. I am a tad sore I think from it, but it at the time it was perfect. I think I may squeeze in one more before I deliver!

Back to the shower today, my mom is hosting it at her house with about 30 people. It should be a very nice time and a lot of fun. I know she's worked hard on the food, decorations, and even some games. I brought over a bunch of things that are in Claire's nursery to help set the mood of "shabby chic" and my mom made the cutest of cutest favors, I've ever seen! I am soooo excited to see friends I haven't seen for a while, while we celebrate the awaited arrival of Miss Claire Bear. I started this post early as I said, I've been up since 4:50 am. I will finish it later tonight after the big event!

The next morning after going through all our goodies of pretty pink stuff:

Wow, what an mom sure does know how to outdo herself. I suppose she's had a lot of practice this year with hosting showers or attending them given the fact we did all my wedding stuff, Allison's wedding stuff, and my baby stuff within 5 months (WOW!). Anyways, she'll be a pro for Peter's little wife, whenever she may pop in the picture.

The morning/day was just lovely. We had a wonderful brunch spread of french toast casserole, hash brown casserole, a huge fruit salad (without pineapples - Sada was in heaven - she's allergic), quiches galore, muffins, and more. It was delicious.

Then around 12 we gathered around and played ONE, yes only one, baby shower game. I am pretty sure no one else has ever played it which made it little more fun than the typical games. It was a Alternative Book Name game of all the classic Children's books. Of course I had a feeling Sarah Slaf would come out with the win. So did my mom's coworkers: Brett, Meredith, and Diane. The best answer by far for the "Be Off Pooch Be Off" was Sarah's "Shoo Dog Shoo" response...when in actuality the answer would be.... GO DOG GO.

As I began opening my gifts was so excited by the many wonderful children books Claire will get to read with her mommy and daddy - they're just lovely. One in particular, Time For Bed", was from on of my lacrosse players. The inscription was enough to make me teary eyed and sad she wasn't there to see that special moment. When I got home and unpacked I started reading the book and fell in love. I will most certainly be reading that to Miss Claire today.

The greatest part about the books we received was that I had only two duplicates. Earlier I had received a Goodnight Moon (classic) and I got another - but really it's one of the best baby board books ever. One will go in the bookcase/basket/chest and the other will stay at Mimi's or in the car or the diaper bag. The other duplicate was The Giving Tree - which is just obviously well known as a the "perfect" book. It's such a wonderful story and I cannot wait to read it to Claire, clearly great minds think alike because what a classic that one is. Even Alex & Allison sent up a few books for baby Claire even though they couldn't be there. My mom did explain to me Alex said there was no significance in any of his choices, which surprised me because Alex totally seems like the book wiz who has a favorite childhood story...(nope just favorite childhood song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow).

The generosity of my friends and family is just overwhelming and thankfully I haven't been the easily sensitive, and overly emotional (in public) pregnant woman so far, so no tears. My friend Kate actually KNITTED a little hat for Claire - it's PRECIOUS, like the cutest thing I've ever seen. She might even make one with little girly skulls on it (I am sooo excited). Other friends got me the Kokopax carrier which was a must have for me because it will be perfect for lacrosse, walks with the dogs (no stroller), and cookouts etc when she can hold her head up and is a little older. Katie and her mom got me the ERGO which is another must have from all previous mamas. They say it's the BEST carrier on the market. I am thrilled that Petunia Pickle Bottom came out with a few patterns of it, I just love it!
The clothes and socks and blankets galore were in abundance and oh so cute! Erin, my old roomie, made me a diaper cake with a ton of essentials, it was perfect with white onesies, bath wash, shampoo, lotion, and the cutest little headbands!
The soothe and glow seahorse another item I wanted, but I never put it on my registry was given by my mom's coworker/friend and I am thrilled. Claire will love it and so will we when she behaves like a good little girl and goes to bed with her seahorse friend! Miss Karen, my mom's high school friend, got us the humidifier which I am thrilled about, now I need to run to the Pink Cabbage and get a cute end table to place in the corner of the room! I mean this is just a few of the items I received off the top of my head. There were sooooo many more wonderful things. Gosh, this little peanut is super spoiled, already!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fluffy Mail PIP

Fluffy Mail = cloth diapers (PIP - picture in post)

I am obsessed with this beauty; yes a poop catcher, but a beautiful one at that.

I figured I'd post my favorite diaper so far. I had to stalk it and win it because it sells out in almost under 1 second. I literally am the only one with this exact diaper. I can't wait until Claire is big enough to wear it.

So speaking of cloth diapers, my daycare lady said no to them: I am super bummed! But, even if I do it part time we'll still save a ton of money and Claire won't have to be stuck in those chemical driven dipes all her first 18 months (CD babes potty train earlier than those in sposies!!!).

Announcing Her Birth

So today I've been making a Word document with all the addresses of our loved ones. I'm using all the addresses from my shower's and also family members & friends who were not invited to showers (hence Tim's guy friends, etc).

I've been even searching on and to find an announcement I am a fan of, because I am so picky I figured to get ahead of the game and do some of the dirty work without a newborn in my possession (well I mean she's in my belly, but not in my hands, crying!).

I have found a few that I LOVEEE but without THE ONE away, which isn't even picked out yet, I'll show you a couple that made it to my "favorite" list:

All images are taken from They are not my announcements.

I've also gone ahead and found the baby book I am going to purchase for Claire. It's PERFECT. When I say perfect, I mean literally perfect.

Here are the stats:
It's only $32,
handcrafted beautifully with lavender colors throughout.
It has room for a month picture and a couple other 4 x 6s.
And it also has room for the essential journal entries needed in a baby book:
The journaling pages include:
-Welcome a new life page with birth date info, weight, height, etc. and thoughts from Mom and Dad
-12 pages for each month- All include, weight and height, milestones, challenges, favorite moments, likes & dislikes and outings & events.
-First birthday- location, guests, gifts, dessert, and a summary of the year from Mom & Dad

I am thrilled. It doesn't have all the bells & whistles that I would likely forget to insert or even make it look "yucky" looking with my handwriting, I can do this one....

Check out the link, I'm obsessed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Starting Weekly Dr Appointments! (35.5 week Update)

Yes it's finally here. For the next 4.5 weeks I will seeing my Doc every week! Can you believe it?

Today's stats (I actually didn't get them all because it literally was a 10 minute appointment and since all was well I didn't mind not knowing):

Weight gain from last dr appt (two weeks ago):
0.75 lb - I guess it's just the summertime heat causing me to just gain baby weight! I hope all of that went to our little girl.

Heartrate: fine (I forgot to ask for the deets!)

My blood pressure: normal (forgot to ask for the specifics on this as well)

Convo with Doc:

Doc: You're doing great, keep doing everything you've been doing.
Me: Did I gain weight?
Doc: Well, yes, you are up a total of 21 lbs which is great with 4.5 weeks to go.
Me: Okay (thinking...not quite because that's only .75 lbs in two weeks - oh well!)

Me: So do you think I'll make it to the end?
Doc: Well, yes, if you happen to go into labor on August 14th, so be it...who cares?
Me: True that's fine with me.

Doc: Internals won't even start until 38 weeks.
Me: (thinking YESSS I am actually happy about not knowing any progress until I am about to go...

Me: Did you hear I went to L&D two weekends ago because I panicked that she wasn't moving normally?
Doc: No...when was that...
Me: When you weren't on call.
Doc: Oh what time, I actually was called in that night for a delivery.
Me: 4 pm, I was there for 45 minutes...they sent me home, she started moving as soon as I got hooked up to the monitors and all seemed totally normal.
Doc: You are in for it. She's already a little diva.
Me: I know, my mom probably is thinking Paybacks a ...(fill in the blank).
Doc: Yep, paybacks are a you know what.

Haha! He's so great. Totally chill and definitely has not made me worry once during this pregnancy even when I had an ultrasound picture showing she had 6 toes. Yes...really I swear I saw 6 toes. He was furious the u/s tech gave me the image. But I reassured him I heard babies born with extra toes can have very easy corrective surgery. I don't really think baby Claire has 6 toes, but if she does I will have been warned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My NB CD Stash

Cloth diaper lingo is a separate language, that I am now aware.

NB = newborn
CD = cloth diapers
AIO = all in one (type of diaper)
EUC = Excellent Used Condition
TT = Twinkie Tush (a WAHM, work at home mom, who makes a small living off making and selling CDs)
DD = Doodle Dypes (a WAHM, who also has a very popular fitted diaper store)
Fails vs Wins = Did you get a dipe during the "stocking" on Hyena Cart?

Well, I am learning quite a lot about cloth diapers and I continue to read, read, read online about how to prep, how to disinfect used diapers, and how to wash them. The fact that we are saving a ton of money over the life of our daughter and possibly future children in cds will possibly allow us to go on an extra vacation a year + we won't be sending a ton of waste to the landfills. I am happy about this. Yes, I am a science teacher and I care about our environment, but I also just think the fluffy bums that come with cding are just too darn cute to pass up. I mean even "Huggies" the "sposies (disposables) are coming out with "cute" diapers the new Jean Looking Disposable.

Anyways, last week I went on a diaper buying binge. I was able to score a TT, a DD, several used newborn fitteds, and a stash (8) of Kissaluvs size 0 which fit newborns up to 10 lbs. I am psyched. I also just placed an order for Rockin Green Detergent, a cloth diaper friendly detergent. I purchased some Ecover from Safeway (a plant based fabric softener) and some Dawn dish soap (used to help strip - disinfect used dipes).

Today, I had some fluffy mail waiting for me from the postman. Sweet Baby Bottoms, another WAHM who sells pocket diapers on Hyena Cart, made two diapers for me, one in VW pink & yellow diapers and a Save the Earth print! I can't wait to try these all out with baby Claire. Now the cool thing about CDs is I can either save them for the next baby or (the girly ones, if the next is boy can be sold). The unique thing about cloth diapers is that they resell for about 70-80% what you bought them at. Seriously, that's a pretty sweet deal when you think of the resale value for sposies (oh wait, you have to throw them away).

Stains you might ask, how could you put a "stained", or dirty, diaper back on your little one. Well, really tell me you don't have a pair of undies that are not stained!? Well regardless of your answer, cloth diapers with the right laundering regimen rarely stain and when they do most can be sunned out. Luckily not one used diaper I have purchased has a stain on them so that keeps me motivated that I can keep them clean and resell them in due time.

Now before you start having an anxiety attack about CLOTH, really think about it. It's a diaper. It's poop and pee. And it's your baby. It's not like I have to rub the poo and pee all over my hands, or sniff it to wash it out. I mean really all you have to do is a couple extra loads of laundry each week. Yes, the poo might be a little difficult for most, but really I pick up dog poop every week in the back yard and two nights ago I was cleaning it up in the middle of the night since Sullivan had tummy issues all morning long!

So here's my newborn stash so far:

8 EUC Kissaluvs Size 0 (that I plan on stripping and using some ecover on)
2 Baby Sweet Bottoms XS Pocket Diapers
1 Baby Sweet Bottoms S Pocket Dipe
1 Happy Heiny XS Pocket Dipe in grass green
3 XS Thirsties Wrap Covers (makes all fitteds and prefolds waterproof)
1 XS Rumparooz cover (yellow)
1 XS Bummis Wrap cover (green polka dot)
1 OS Econobum cover
2 Rumparooz AIO diapers Lil Joeys
6 OsoCozy Unbleached Prefolds (needs to be prepped for wear)
1 Little Fancy Pants fitted diaper without snaps (need a snappi)
1 NB Muttaqin fitted diaper (Baby Nala)
1 NB Orange Diaper Company fitted diaper (Lost in Woods)
1 NB Goodmama (GM) fitted
1 NB WAHM fitted (sewnbyme)
1 NB fitted diaper (I can't remember the name yet)
12 Orange Green Mountain Diaper Prefolds (I still need to order, buy, and prep these.)
1 NB wool skirtie (sooooo cute)
1 XS Sustainablebabyish Wool Soaker in natural
1 S wool skirtie (cashmere and wool ugly duckling skirt)
I need 2 snappis, cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream, and special wool wash.

Check out the pictures of how darn cute these are Off The Bum! But pretty soon I'll post a few On The Bum (OTB).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

35/35 Today

Happy 35 weeks with 35 days left, to me!!!!!!

I finally feel like I am getting bigger and more uncomfortable (not complaining, just stating the obvious).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

34.5 Week Survey

I'm going to do this one a little differently than last week's because I can't really answer all the questions since I have no doctor's appointment until next week.

What position is the baby in?:
Well from my personal expertise (take it or leave it), it feels as if she's head down with her bottom right above my belly button to the right a little (HUGE LUMP). she keeps kicking out her leg to the my left side which is different then she was positioned for very long period of time a couple weeks ago (she was all on my right side). I am thinking she's getting much bigger and for some reason I don't feel like I myself am getting bigger with her, maybe a little bit.

Are you comfortable?:
I am finally hitting the uncomfortable position of pregnancy. I can feel it getting tougher to breath when talking a lot or moving around a lot. I am extremely uncomfortable when I wake up in the morning in my hips and neck, but other than that I honestly cannot complain. If you could see me on the lacrosse field with my squat this baby is just gonna pop on out of me no problem with my strong muscles!

How's the heat?: So uncomfortable pregnant or not. I really am not a Maryland summer fan, hence the reason Tim will talk me into a summer cottage in Buffalo eventually. I hate the humidity down here and I really would love to lay out at the beach all summer long! My life long dream and the lake will be just fine with me...the pups could go with us too!

Exercising?: I do try and walk at least once a day with the dogs although that doesn't always happen because it's so hot. My pedometer broke because it went through the wash so no more step managing. I also coach 2-3 times a week which is at least 2 hours of walking around sometimes it can be 6-8 hours of walking around...just depends!

Nicknames for Claire?:
Given the fact it's not really a nn name we are going with the traditional Claire Bear which will lead me to calling her "beary" just like a high school's friends little sister was nicknamed. I think it's so darn cute! I also suggested to Tim the nn Sweet C for Sweet Claire and it kind of is like sweetsie, but he said no because that's what he calls me. I just thought it was kind of fitting. She will be my SweetC though whether I call her that or refer to her as that here.

Newborn Photography?:
I have things narrowed down. I cannot fathom spending $600 for what I really want so I am going with the lady who is doing our hypnobirthing classes, she is going to do it "free of charge with the class" and the pictures are for us to keep and have the rights. I also have someone else lined up in case I need some more or better ones. And lastly we just bought a beauty of a camera in April for this exact reason. I have already been planning how I am going to take some pictures myself with reading a few Mamarazzi books :o)

Anything Interesting Happen this Week?:
YES! I had a tournament Saturday and Sunday and after being in the sun all morning 8am and 10 am game with the crazy MD heat, I mentioned to my assistants that she hadn't really woken up yet today, which was weird? I clearly ignored my Sweet C for a while as I coached, but usually I can tell when she's moving because at this point it's fairly obvious and not the most comfortable feeling. So...I went home ate lunch and tried to get her to move with some cold water and sugar. Still to no avail she would move slightly, but nothing like usual. My stupid self read and awfully sad, terrible, horrific birth story online and panicked thinking maybe something could be wrong. I called my doctor and he was not on call, so I called the on call doc who Tim said was most likely golfing and uninterested in our comment and advised us to just head to the hospital. So sure enough off we go to Labor & Delivery. I knew she was okay, but was worried if something really was wrong I'd be kicking myself if I never went. So, sure enough we were sent home about 45 minutes later. Her heart rate was beautiful between 140-150 the entire time and she eventually started moving after I drank some apple juice.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Class 1: Hypnobirthing The Mongan Method

So I decided to go with the method of hypnobirthing to welcome baby Claire to the world, I wish I could say Tim & I decided together, but honestly it was just me telling him this is how I want to do it. Yes, I have heard from every nay-sayer and negative-nelly about how horrible and painful and fearful labor & delivery can be and is and what the heck am I thinking?!? But remember back many, many years ago woman had babies painfree, medfree, on the side of an embankment all while afterwards walking back to their villages and moving on with their new lives baby in tow. Our bodies are made to do this.

Why do the uterine muscles work so differently then our other muscles, well duh if you were to go run 5 miles and haven't done so before and were not training you'd be sore in all the used places, right? It's not like you pop out a baby every day so yea, clearly, your uterine muscles are going to be sore. Tonight we learned it is possible to have a pain free, med free birth if you work with your body and you change the "negative" talk into more positive and happy phrases. So from now on I am not going to use the word contraction, it's a uterine surge, and there is no need for me to think of the word PUSH, in hypnobirthing language all you do is breath down the baby.

I know some of you reading probably think I am a weirdo, freak, but honestly I just watched two births with two different women who gave birth in less than 3 hours without screaming and panting and looking as if they are going to rip someone's eyes out, all without drugs. I really don't want drugs. I've never done a drug in my life, ever, and although I know these are medically acceptable drugs, I really don't feel comfortable with them. I barely like taking Tylenol for a headache, no really, I'm serious, I usually fight off a headache on my own with water and rest.

Anyways, as interesting as it may seem and sound why woman choose to go natural, I find it just as interesting as why women who have been made to give birth 1/3 of the births in America end in a C-section. That's 33.3% of births. That's entirely too high. C - Sections are major surgery...really you'd prefer that?!

As I am on a high to have a happy, joyous, healthy, quick, comfortable, relaxing, birth with an easy recovery, I will be thinking the entire time from now until Claire is here: I don't want to hear your negative birth story, my body was made to do this.

Uppa Baby Vista, BABY!


It's here! It's here! It finally arrived. It really only took about 4 days, I think we ordered it on Thursday night and as I came home from lunch today it was sitting nice next to our front door! I almost jumped up and down. I rolled it into the house, it was too big for me to lift and carry. Then I started taking it all out of the box because I could not contain my excitement. We never went to the store and test drove it (a big no-no apparently) because it's not in normal everyday baby stores, like Babies R Us. Anyways, it was soooo easy to put together I couldn't wait for Tim to get home. Snap one wheel, snap the next and the next and the next. Unfold the bassinet (soooo cute) and snap that into the frame. Andddd waaala! It's a beauty.

Monty is afraid of it and doesn't want to be near it, but it rides soooo smoothly! I am so excited for the little one to arrive so we can take her on walks around Patapsco State Park in it. It will be perfect all fall long and I hear it does really well in the snow, too! :o)

The only downfall is we spent a fortune and it's not a jogging stroller, but here's my beef with that being one of my features "I'd need": honestly when I run I like it to be about meeee, selfish, possibly, but reality. I don't want to run 2-3 miles while pushing a stroller and worrying about a baby. I want to be able to run and run and run while listening to music or taking Monty on a jog or enjoying the weather without the child. The walks are for her and our family to bond together, not MY runs. As selfish as that might sound, that is the main reason I didn't get a jogger. Now I may eventually buy a cheap jogger off Craigslist when the time comes to run with her because if Tim isn't home and I want to get my workout in or something like that, but otherwise, I am running solo after this pregnancy! That will be Tim's bonding time with his little girl!

I will post pics later because I can't wait to take out the camera and snap a few shots of this beauty! Here she is in her pretty Maya Yellow, but I took this with my cell phone so it's not a great pic...more to come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Book Review: Something Borrowed

I think I am going to make Monday's my book review day. Although I doubt I will be doing much reading here soon, I figured I'd like to continue keeping myself sane and reading is an easy way to do it. I can still feel normal with a baby on my boob and a book in my hand. Sooo...currently I am reading not just baby/pregnancy books/magazines, but a fiction by Emily Griffin, Something Borrowed. It's totally a chick book made into a chick flick which has a whole lot of naughty, a ton of love, and a predictable story ending. I am about mid way through and I am enjoying it thoroughly because for 1. it's an easy read, and for 2. it's interesting that these things (although it's a fiction) probably occur in real life. I couldn't imagine one of my best friend's stealing my fiance and having an affair! Ah! I do remember back in high school when a "friend" took my "nearly ex bf" to Homecoming. I was devastated and probably partially at fault because I dumped him just to go with someone evil. If that isn't karma I don't know what is. But...this small high school girl drama caused 3 weeks of me not speaking to my best friends, Katie and Lee.

Anyways, if you want a quick easy, girlie, summery read, pick up Something Borrowed! I'll recommend it and I am not even finished it yet!

The Nursery Progress

Just a few more things are needed for the nursery, but I am so excited I want to post it now. We are waiting for the rug (ordered and shipped), a bookshelf for next to the dresser (searching Old EC soon and the Pink Cabbage again), an ottoman of some sort (I stalk etsy and am thinking of buying an old one at a yard sale and recover it myself), and also a hamper (I just want a pink or purple wicker basket).

Tim helped me over the weekend in hanging up the rest of the things on the wall for baby Claire. I am innnn love with how this turned out. The mirror was a steal from The Pink Cabbage near my parents home (a cutesy antique store) and the shelf was something I purchased at Home Goods a year ago and never hung up in the house. The clock is from Babies R Us for $27, I couldn't beat the price for its cuteness! And the little birds are from a seller on etsy! The best part of it all is the little blue sleeper that actually has a bunny on the left chest. This is Tim's sleeper he wore home from the hospital: his coming home outfit, 31 years old!

The piggy bank on the changing pad will be moved once we have a set of shelves to display it! Inside the basket are a bunch of washcloths which may eventually be used as cloth wipes and covers for Claire's bum when we use prefolds in the newborn stage!

Since my mom said she did not have my coming home outfit anymore we discussed finding an old one for sale and hanging it next to Tim's sleeper and pretending it was mine. Instead my mom found a cute little handmade pillow someone gave her when I was born. It's cross stitched with an A in the middle and looks beautiful sitting on the rocker.

Lastly the picture at the end shows our first dresser drawer where we are storing our cloth diapers and prefolds. I just spent some more money on several newborn fitteds and I'll be adding them to our stash once they arrive :o)

Friday, July 8, 2011

First Night Where I Got a Taste of Claire IRL

In Real Life (IRL), when Claire arrives I've read and been told about the lack of sleep. Last night was the first night where I got a taste of it minus her sucking on my boob (ouch - slightly nervous about that too). I usually wake up at somewhere between 2 and 3 am to go to the bathroom: story of a pregnant woman. After I wake up I usually easily fall right back to sleep even if she's up and moving, but last night was different. I couldn't get comfortable and she certainly was relentless in the womb, moving every which way, kicking, tossing, turning, punching, and then some. I couldn't fall asleep so about 15 minutes later I went downstairs to get on the computer. Stayed downstairs until about 3:48 am and tried to call back asleep, which I eventually did while she continued to move around. I think I got a little taste of nighttime feedings last night. Am I ready? Most likely not and I probably never will be until after I have numerous nights of practice. I don't even know if I have the right amount of clothes? We'll see...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Stroller Saga

We are finishing off the last of the must haves before baby arrives. Although most things we NEED we already have and really probably do not NEED anything else for a tiny little 7 pound baby.

Sweets is going to buy the nursery rug tomorrow, but since the room is so small we only need a 3 x 5 and it's on clearance at The Land of Nod. I sent Tim three choices and he picked this one:
Isn't it cute?!

I just purchased the stroller after Tim and I looked at the color choices online. I gave him two color choices: Maya Yellow or Cole Blue. He said it was a no brainer - duh? Blue... then I told him it was $54 more expensive than the yellow and he changed his mind saying you can see the yellow at nighttime better :o) He's so clever!

Well yes, we are those crazy people who just spent a fortune on a stroller. My reason for it is twofold - one we have been so fortunate that most other items we need have been purchased, two we've gotten several generous gifts of money at our showers, and lastly, this stroller rocks and the reviews are just sick. Do we really need a $500 stroller, probably not, BUT we will use it until she's 50 lbs that's like 4 years old or so I think! Andddddd we can add another seat to it so when we have a second, if Tim wants to go through Pregnant Amanda again, we won't have to buy a new double stroller all over again. Anyways, I have a thing for cute, expensive things. Sooo we ended up purchasing the Special Edition UppaBaby Vista stroller off of Albee Baby because it was on sale for $200 off the regular price :o)...for $499 with free shipping and no tax. Yay!

Oh yea and I forgot to mention it comes with a bassinet! I am psyched about it, so posh!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Puppy Dog Love Post

Just had to do a before and after post of my boys.

Today they got their summertime haircut and I am pretty certain they really are not welcome back. Well by me saying "they" I mean most likely Sullivan. He's a sweetie, don't get me wrong, but he's an annoying barker and loves to JUMP. Sooo...I arrive to pick them up nearly 3 hours after I dropped them off after the lady on the phone ended our conversation with a "We'll see you soon..." I swear she was wink winking... and of course Sully boy is bark bark bark.'s a photo of our Sully man with his new hair do:

33 Week Survey

33.5 Week Pregnancy Survey
This picture was taken today in an attempt to get Peter to touch the belly, and of course watch his reaction, but he squeamishly refused.

How far along? 33 weeks, 4 days

Weight gain? As of today... 20 1/4 lbs. Last time I lost two pounds, so I've gained them back plus a little :o)

Baby's Heartrate:
140 today, it is usually between 140-155.

How big is baby?
At her 33 week growth scan she was 4 lbs, 1 oz. We got some wonderful news about her heart - the echogenic foci (the bright white spot) is GONE! They also reconfirmed that baby Claire is indeed a need for the name Clairence. :o) I was told at the bank today, I am DEFINITELY having a boy and if I do not bring the baby in she'll never believe me. She swears there are two in there...AH!

Maternity clothes?
Luckily my tshirts still fit over my belly and all my athletic shorts rock, including my tacky, green Nike running shorts - I am in love! I even put on a bikini today when I went out to the pool at my parents.

Food cravings: Not really, I just love my sweets still.

Labor Signs: None whatsoever...not even Braxton Hicks. Believe me, I am not complaining.

Belly Button in or out? It's out, but only when she's sitting in the vicinity of it. Sometimes she is all the way to my right which means her "body" isn't really forcing the belly button out, which means it's just flat (neither in or out - kinda weird).

Stretch marks? Nooo, I don't think I have any from the pregnancy at least. I've always had some on my legs from the muscles in college to losing them (or maybe the freshman 15/20??). I keep asking everyone who sees my belly if I have any underneath?!

How are you feeling? Good. I have a hard time getting out of bed and go stuck on the shower floor after shaving my legs the other day. Ha. It's just harder to get around but I feel good.

What I am looking forward to:
My doctor saying I can go to the beach August 6th-10th with my mom and hoping Claire waits patiently until at least we get home to arrive.

What I miss:
A glass of wine or a yummy summertime beer with my hubby as we sit on the front porch. It's too hot to sit out there pregnant or not. I also miss running.

Sleep: Sometimes I forget I am pregnant. I do realize at 2 am when I get up to pee, that I am 8 months along...but for the most part I sleep and sleep pretty well given the circumstances. My back doesn't hurt yet, but my neck kills me most mornings because I am not used to sleeping on my side.

Best thing that happened this week? We went to Buffalo, no the car ride was not the best thing, possibly the worst - it took forever and we got pulled over (way to go Sweets!), but my mother in law and sister in law threw me a shower! Yay! It was so nice and lovely and fun and Tim's family was so very generous. We got a TON of things we can use and lots of giftcards and essentials. I cannot wait to use some of the money to buy the stroller I am DYING to have. I am debating between the Uppababy Vista and the Bumbleride right now. I will post about that dilemma later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th: A Buffalo Tradition

On our way...

and 60 minutes later Monty and Sullivan have broken through the "METAL GATE" meant to keep dogs much for that contraption.

We're here...and the boys are thrilled to see their Grandma & Grandpa
Here's Monty getting Grandma lovin'

Well a little secret to go along with this post: last year Tim and I got into one enormous fight (argument, whatever you call it) about the time the bars close in Angola. Mickey Rats, the "one and only" beach bar in Angola, NY is the fav hangout of all Western New Yorkers, young or old. The beach (at the lake) is always crowded on this weekend and the bar itself is jammed with college, fake id holding, under-aged drinkers, as well as, thirty somethings who think they are still in college, probably. Anyways, we got into our largest and most intense fight, obviously after an entire afternoon and evening of drinking, possibly heavily. I was tired and I didn't want to stay out until 4 in the morning, when the bar closes. Anyways, I am happy to state, there was no fight this weekend.

We spent a lovely day at the lake/beach on Saturday then went to Kara & DJ's wedding. Kara, Tim's high school friend, looked stunning and gorgeous. The venue was amazing and the food was delicious. Probably the best buffet food I've had a wedding.

Some fabulous shots of the stunning event:

The lovely bride & groom

My Hubby & I

His girlfriends from high school, and no not those type of girlfriends!

Tim & his gang from Buffalo

How pretty are these centerpieces:

Such a fitting picture since I received my Social Security card in the mail with my new name on it:

Sunday was my baby shower that my mother in law, Laurie, threw for me. Jeanie, Tim's sister helped out and it was hosted at his Aunt's house! The diaper cake was a hit made by Aunt Eileen, it's my favorite,

and I now want to make these for a living, they are so stinkin' cute. I was thrilled with the generosity by so many people and little Claire bear is now even more spoiled. Some of my favorite gifts included the absolutely most precious Baby Gap clothes from Tim's cousin, Judy. To top off that gift they are all in size 12 months - 18 months or 2 years. AHH, I am so excited to have a couple outfits in her closet for later down the road. The baby sound machine seems to be a novelty item that I THINK will pay off big time. Thanks to my MIL and SIL I am thrilled to get to use that at nighttime and naptime. I might even test it out myself in my bedroom :o) Lastly, Tim's aunt Joyce gave us an absolutely adorable 6 month outfit, that I want her to wear all the time because it's so precious. I also was overwhelmed by the generosity of Tim's family and girlfriends!

The favor Jeanie's Mother In Law designed, decorated, and made! How sweet:

The pups, I think, had a blast because Sullivan has now been sleeping the entire car ride home which was 7 hours minus the 10 minute break he took to go pee-pee and he's continuing to sleep on the sofa. He must have ran a lot of circles around the shed this weekend!