Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nurse Maria

I had a boring OB appointment today—ya know, just pee in a cup, get weighed, have my blood pressure taken and fundal height measured—and when the nurse, Maria (she must work every single day, because I've never had a different nurse), was taking my blood pressure, we chatted about how amazing it is that I'm already over 31 weeks along and how far we've come on this crazy journey. She told me that time is going to fly from here on out, and I'll be holding my miracle before I know it.

Then, she said, "I'll never forget you, you know. I've been doing this for a very long time, and there's just a handful of people I know I'll always remember. You and your sweet husband are two of them."

She went on to tell me that she often thinks of Danny crying all those months ago, and how she was so touched by his compassion—and that she remembers thinking, "What a lucky lady to have a husband like that. And what a lucky baby."

I didn't ask her which baby she was referring to—or whether she meant the time we cried hysterically because our second baby's heart had stopped, or if she meant the time we cried tears of joy upon hearing Guido's heartbeat for the first time. She was there both of those times.

It didn't matter, I guess, because she was right either way: Guido's lucky beyond comprehension—and so was our second baby, because she may not have been with us long, but dammit, her daddy loved her.

And I know I don't even have to try to explain to you how lucky I am.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

31 Weeks = Pineapple

Today, I'm 31 weeks pregnant, and our baby boy is approximately the size of a pineapple.

It's nice out again. This winter is hilarious.

By now, all 5 of Pineapple's senses are in working order, and his irises even react to light. Speaking of eyes, in my post about our elective 3D ultrasound, I forgot to mention that Danny's mom actually asked the tech when the baby's eyeballs would come in. She was serious. I don't know how the tech kept a straight face when she answered, "He already has them..."

Anyway, I've been living in Heartburn City lately. I'm also getting tired earlier in the evenings, but I haven't been sleeping very well. Overall, though, I still can't complain!

Bonus: because the lighting in this week's fruit comparison photos is so crappy, Edgar and I decided to have a quick photoshoot.

I gave up on his uncooperative ass. (I love the shadow of my belly in this one.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Curtains

This post about picking curtains ended up way longer than I'd intended, but it was a huge ordeal! Scroll to the very end if you just want to see the final product. I promise I won't be offended.

I may be hopping on the chevron bandwagon a little late here, but I've had my heart set on teal/aqua/turquoise chevron curtains in the nursery since I first started thinking about nurseries over a year ago.

I've always loved these ones:

ErinandEvan via Etsy

However, at $200 per panel ($200 x 4 panels = Danny murdering me in my sleep), it just wasn't feasible. (I have to be frugal from here on out; remember my $1k rocking chair?) In fact, all of the lined, quality chevron curtains I could find were way out of my budget.

I contemplated having a crafty friend make some curtains for me, but I couldn't even find an affordable chevron fabric, so I quickly dismissed that thought.

I was starting to think I was screwed, but when we finished painting the nursery, I couldn't shake the notion that some light, airy curtains might look nicer in the small room than the thick ones I'd been imagining all along.

I remembered seeing these sheer zigzag curtains on Urban Outfitters' website back in the day:

Urban Outfitters Zigzag Curtain

At the time, I'd deemed them too cheap looking, especially for the price, but I thought they might fit the bill now. I headed on over to their website, and lo and behold, they were still there—and they were 40% off! $19 per 84" panel. Fate? I think so.

I ordered 4 blue ones (the packaging slip actually refers to these as "aqua") and 4 gray ones, obviously planning on returning one color.

When they arrived just a few days later, I couldn't wait to hang them, and when we finally did, holy crap, we had some problems. UO doesn't show them hanging in pairs on their website because they're apparently not supposed to be hung in pairs, as evidenced in the following photo:

OMG (And ignore the rod placement. That's just where they were before.)

I hung all 4 aqua panels on one rod to better depict what was going on. Do you see it?? Not only did the zigzag patterns not line up at all (look at the very top of the panels to really see what I'm referring to), but that isn't the lighting playing tricks on you—each panel was a different shade of blue!

I was blown away, and as much as I liked the aqua, I didn't want to deal with exchanging them in hopes of getting 4 that were the same color, because even if I did get 4 of the same color, would the zigzags match up? Probably not.

The gray panels had issues with color, too, but it wasn't nearly as obvious—and I probably wouldn't have noticed had the blue ones not given me such a discerning eye. The zigzags didn't line up on the gray ones, either, and since I decided to go with 96" panels anyway, I sent everything back in exchange for 8 gray panels, hoping I could find 2 somewhat-matching pairs somewhere in there.

Why does everything always end up being 10x more difficult than it seems like it should be?

Mismatched curtains everywhere.

There was lots of this going on:

Different grays, different zigzags. Nice job, Urban Outfitters!

It literally took me an hour to come up with 2 pairs of curtains with patterns that were kind of the same. I didn't try to find one pair of curtains that matched another pair of curtains. There was no way that was happening. I was happy to find 2 sets of 2. If that makes sense. When all was said and done, here's what we ended up with:

Pair #1

Pair #2 (I swear they somehow look worse in this picture than they do in real life.)

Very imperfect. Having 2 sets of curtains that don't match each other (or even themselves, for that matter) would drive some people insane, and I know my final product probably isn't for everybody. Truth be told, I was bothered by it in the beginning, but now, I find it kind of charming.

Another shot of Pair #2 to prove that they're not completely horrendous.

Oh, and $29 per 96" panel = $116. Not the deal of a lifetime, but not terrible, either—and Danny'll keep me around a while longer, I think. (He just concurred.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Elective 3D Ultrasound

We had our elective ultrasound this morning at 30 weeks and 3 days, and unfortunately, there's no telling who this baby looks like—because he couldn't have been in a worse position. He was in the fetal position, looking at my spine, and if his face wasn't buried in my placenta, his feet, hands, and cord were blocking our view of him.

I'm not gonna lie—I was a little pouty on the way home. I was bummed we'd just spent $95 and the only good picture we got was of our baby's foot. I was sad that I wouldn't have an awesome, clear, blog-worthy image of his face to daydream about and share with the world.

And then I realized how freaking ridiculous I was being. There's a cozy-wozy baby all curled up in a ball in my belly, rubbing his fat little hands and feet all over his face. He was wiggling and kicking and punching, sticking his finger in his nose, and sucking on his hands. What an awesome "problem" for a mama to have. We've come a long, long way.

And now, I present to you a very unblog-worthy ultrasound photo of our chunkalicious baby boy:

 What you can't see is that the cord is supposedly smashing our baby's nose down in this picture. The tech was apparently able to zap through the cord and show us what was under there. Kind of. And she promised me he doesn't have a giant schnoz. It's looked huge in every ultrasound photo we've ever gotten, though, so I'm skeptical. He comes by it rightly. (I adore your nose, Danny, just so we're clear.)

And just for fun, here's my favorite photo of the day:

Sweet little foot. And please note the awesome roly-poly leg that it's attached to. Hello, Mr. Cankles! Adorable.

So there he is! My healthy, uncooperative, perfect little chubs. Lord, I love him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

30 Weeks = Bunch of Celery

Today, I'm 30 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and our baby boy is about the size of a bunch of celery.

Remember how it was 50 degrees just 4 days ago? It's 9 degrees today—the kind of cold that isn't even funny.

This week, Celery is starting to shed his lanugo, and he'll replace it with regular body hair in a few weeks. His brain is getting wrinklier to make way for essential brain tissue, and his skin is getting smoother to make him look more human. Interesting fact:  90% of babies born during this week survive.

It should be a crime to be pregnant and feel this great. I'll never be able to relate to pregnant ladies who complain, because I truly have nothing to complain about. The only change I have to report is that my diamond ring has officially come off. Some evenings, it was pretty difficult to take off (I have to remove my rings at night, or I'll get a weird rash. This isn't related to being pregnant. I just think I'm allergic to my rings or something.), so I figured I'd rather take it off now than have to rush to the ER and get it cut off later. I can still wear my wedding band, though, because it's a fraction of a size larger than my engagement ring—so I don't have to look like an unwed mother just yet (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Those weird blobs are snowflakes. And this angle is bad; I swear my belly is bigger than that. Or maybe the birdie on the front of my shirt is throwing everything off. 

Our elective 3D ultrasound is in 2 days, and we're really looking forward to it. Danny says he can't wait to see the look on my face when I learn that our baby looks just like him, not just like me, like I've been claiming since our 21-week ultrasound. We'll see. (Glad I married somebody cute, though.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

29 Weeks = Butternut Squash

Today, I'm 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant, and our baby boy weighs about 3 pounds, like a butternut squash.

Weirdest winter ever. Today was 50 degrees and sunny. The wind was pretty intense, though.

By now, our baby is starting to feel a little cramped in there, which is probably why my belly has been jumping all over the place lately—a sight that's awesome and hilarious and weird. I've loved watching it the last few days, but every time I try to show Danny, he misses it by .02 seconds. Seriously, he'll stare at my belly for 2 minutes straight, and the second he looks away, my belly dances all over the place. (Update: 2 hours after I posted this, Danny saw my belly move!) On a similar note, Baby's kicks are strong enough now that when Danny and I cuddle up super close, he can feel the kicks against his own stomach. These are the things I'll miss when this little dude is finally in the outside world with us.

Nothing new to report on the symptoms front. Still feeling ridiculously good. My feet balloon up to let me know when I'm overdoing it. For instance, this morning, I did a lot of running around for the baby (finalized my registries, bought a few things for the nursery, and returned a few things I thought I wanted for the nursery), and after about 4 hours, my shoes felt tight—so I headed home.

He's a low rider! (And that crazy hair is the wind's doing, I promise.)

The past week or so, I've been bumping into things with my belly because it sort of appeared from out of nowhere—and until recently, I was able to wear a lot of my flowy or stretchy pre-pregnancy clothes. Only a few things fit now, so it's definitely time to bite the bullet and buy some maternity clothes. It seems like such a waste of money to buy a wardrobe that I'll only wear for about 11 weeks (11 weeks?!), but I really have no choice at this point.

Oh, and this is random, but I ordered my rocking chair a couple days ago! It won't be here for 2 weeks, though, and the wait is going to destroy me. On the bright side, it's nice to have little things to look forward to while I wait for this miracle to get here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thrifty Thursday #12

Well, it's my last Thrifty Thursday*, and I can't say I'm too devastated. It was getting really tiring searching Craigslist and Ebay for items that are on my registries. It felt like a full-time job some weeks. Anyway, here it is, a Balboa Sling from the Lola collection:

Like my haircut?

Ebay Price: $35, including shipping
Target Price: $65, including tax
Amount Saved: $30
Amount Left Before I Can Justify Buying My Joya Rocking Chair: $184

I love this sling. It has great reviews, and I can't wait to wear my baby.

So, anyway, I saved a total of $516 over the course of my 12 Thrifty Thursdays, missing my goal of $700 by $184.

Even though I didn't reach my goal, I'm pretty pleased with the $516 I was able to "bank" and put toward my chair, which I'll be buying very soon. When I first started this nonsensical game, I didn't think I'd save anywhere near $700, and I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find something from my registry each week. That said, I give myself a solid B on this crazy project.

It doesn't make me feel any less crazy for splurging on my rocking chair, but it was fun for a while!

*An explanation of Thrifty Thursdays:
According to my readers, I should spend approximately $300 on a rocking chair. I've already admitted that I'll be spending a whoppin' $1,000. That's a difference of $700.

To offset this $700, I plan on saving money elsewhere. Every week, I'll buy something for the baby from Craigslist or Ebay, and the amount of money I save will go toward this $700 difference. So, say I score a $200 stroller on Craigslist for $100. The $100 that I saved will be "banked," and I'll have to save $600 more to justify purchasing my glorious rocking chair. For a more in-depth explanation, see this post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Crib and Bedding

The crib is officially put together and is chilling in the nursery, looking adorable.

As much as I wanted this crib:

Oeuf Original Crib

...I couldn't quite get down with the $1,000 price tag (That kind of crazy is reserved for rocking chairs, apparently.), so I was pretty thrilled when I discovered WalMart's Baby Mod Olivia Crib, which costs $299, has tons of amazing reviews, and looks like this:

Stock Photo. They need to rethink the bedding they have on this thing.

Pretty similar, right? I knew it was the one. That is, until we had our floors refinished. I'm insane and didn't think the amber-toned wood would (wood would!) look right against the floor. I wasn't opposed to the idea, but I wanted another option.

One of my wonderful friends found this, Target's Babyletto Madison Crib:

I definitely preferred the espresso wood and the even cheaper ($249!) price tag, but it didn't have hundreds of good reviews like the Olivia. Well, I did a little research and learned that they're the same crib. They're both made by the parent company MDB, only one is made specifically for WalMart's Baby Mod line and one is made for Target's Babyletto line.

I ordered it, and it arrived in just a few days. Unfortunately, it sat in the dining room in a giant box for a whole week while we finished painting. I was dying to see it put together. Finally, it was time! 

Hey, Handsome, when you're done putting that crib together, howsabout washing that nasty window?

I have to say, I definitely made the right decision. I adore the Madison. 

The espresso is showing up as black in most of my nursery photos, so this close-up should give you a better idea of the actual color:

Birch Tree Pillow: Emilydove via Society 6; Monogram Pillow: West Elm; Owl: Pier 1

That bedding's pretty great, don't you think? I ordered it from Modifiedtot on Etsy, and I'm in love with it. The shop owner, Holly, is a pleasure to do business with, and my custom order arrived in 2.5 weeks. She accidentally swapped the fabrics I'd chosen for the sheet and the skirt, though, and she was very apologetic when I let her know. She was willing to expedite my new set, but I'm considering the swap a happy accident, because I couldn't possibly like anything more than I like this. I'd order from her again in a heartbeat. (In fact, I just ordered a few more things from her last night.)

Of course. (Excuse the blurry cell phone photo.)

So there you have it! The crib! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Paint

I haven't posted much about the nursery yet—mostly because nothing was really done until the last few weeks, but I'm going to start sharing our progress with you.

Let's discuss what was going on with the room before it became the nursery. It was once my gigantic walk-in closet, as well as a catch-all for random things that didn't have a home, like a giant mid-century lamp sporting an Ikea bowl for a hat, as seen below.

Please note the neon coral semi-gloss walls (I wish I could say I had nothing to do with this), disgusting indoor/outdoor carpeting ("indoor/outdoor" actually just means "outdoor," and no, I can't be blamed for this one), and ugly, dated brown woodwork.

Lovely, right? Obviously, we had a lot of work to do before we could even think about getting to the fun stuff.

We started by emptying the room, and having the carpet removed and the original hardwood floors refinished—which I know I've mentioned before because I'm so in love.

Dancing dog.

Then, it was time to choose a paint color. Oh, Lordy, that was a chore. I had a few paint samples left over from when I tried to choose a gray for our upstairs bedroom 2 years ago (I gave up), and I ordered a couple more just to be sure I had enough to choose from.

All four walls looked like this for a few days:

The samples are (top row, left to right) Benjamin Moore Gray Horse, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray, Sherwin Williams Ellie Gray, and Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.

The second row is comprised of the same colors (minus Ellie Gray because I immediately deemed it too dark), from initial favorite to least favorite (Stonington Gray, Coventry Gray, Gray Owl, Gray Horse).

In the end, I decided Coventry Gray and Gray Horse were too dark, and Gray Owl was too light and greenish in certain light—so that left me with Stonington Gray, and I went for it.

Well, I made Danny go for it, I mean.

Admittedly, as soon as Danny had one wall done, I wished I'd gone with something on the warmer end of the spectrum, because Stonington Gray looks very blue at certain times of day. I like it, but I can't say I love it—and it's not exactly what I had in mind. Gray's tough.

When that was done, we painted the woodwork white and put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling. This is as much as I'm going to show you right now, though:

Stay tuned for the crib update!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby Shower Invitations

I got some pretty awesome mail Friday—an invitation to my baby shower, and instead of trying to tell you how awesome it is, I'll just show you.

It's a booklet! (Sorry this collage is so shitty, Mel; I should have had you make it yourself.)

This invitation was designed entirely by my wonderful shower hostess, the lovely, thoughtful, and talented artist/designer/illustrator extraordinaire (Is that your official title, Mel?), Melanie Hudson. The girl has skills, right??

When I opened the invitation, I was blown away. I love everything, from the pretty sticker on the envelope to the sweet woodland creatures. (Remember Danny's "Party in the Woods" post?) I especially appreciate the little details plucked from my blog (perfect heart and pig nose), because this blog has been very important to me, and I can't wait to share it with my baby someday when he's old enough to get it.

Anyway, I cried before I even opened the booklet. Just seeing "Baby Celis" underneath the little owl family did me in—and as I read on, I couldn't believe how personal and perfect it all was. When I showed the invitation to Danny, tears actually rolled down his cheeks, and he said, "Everybody loves Baby Celis!"

And it's true. This is one lucky little boy I'm cookin' up right now.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

28 Weeks = Eggplant

Today, I'm 28 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and our baby boy is approximately 15" long, about the size of an eggplant. I don't know what the hell this is referring to: weight or crown-to-rump length or what. I was so excited to do these fruit comparisons in the beginning, but now, they're just annoying. I can't stop now, I suppose.

Eggplant can blink his eyes, and he can probably see the light that filters in through my womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain, and he's officially showing brain activity now. Some experts even believe babies can dream at this point. I can't imagine what he has to dream about—only happy things, I hope. I always love watching babies sleep, the way they grimace and grin and coo, and I can't believe I'll have my own little dreamer to watch in a few months.

There's nothing flattering about this photo—you know, since I look like a whale and all—but you can kind of see how much my belly's grown lately. 

This week, we toured both of the hospitals we have the option of delivering at, and more than once, I found myself tearing up. This is actually happening! Danny and I are going to have a baby! I caught Danny getting teary, too, when Lakewood Hospital's tour guide told us that every time a baby is born there, a lullaby is played throughout the hospital. How sweet is that?

Lakewood Hospital is the one we've chosen, by the way (and not just because of the lullaby); we appreciate the intimacy it offers (only 8 beds in the birthing center), and we feel like we'll be known by our names, rather than just by our room number. The other hospital, Fairview, was fine—just big and cold and airport-ish... and not fur us.

I've felt well lately. My cold is almost gone, my actual pregnancy symptoms are unremarkable, and I've definitely entered nesting mode. I want to do this and this and this and this right now. I know I'm driving Danny crazy, but we have so much to do and not a ton of time to do it. We painted the nursery, including the ceiling and all of the woodwork (Danny still has to paint the doors), and as of 10 minutes ago, the crib is put together. I'll do a nursery update in a few days, so look forward to that. Don't get too excited, though, because it's pretty much a gray room with a crib in it. (I love it, though.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thrifty Thursday #11

I'd originally planned on doing 12 Thrifty Thursdays*, so this one is our second to last. Here it is, a Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Mattress:

Stock Photo

Ebay Price: $102
Babies R Us Price: $162, including tax
Amount Saved: $60
Amount Left Before I Can Justify Buying My Joya Rocking Chair: $214

This is obviously brand new. It was recommended in the Baby Bargains book and has excellent reviews.

*An explanation of Thrifty Thursdays:
According to my readers, I should spend approximately $300 on a rocking chair. I've already admitted that I'll be spending a whoppin' $1,000. That's a difference of $700.

To offset this $700, I plan on saving money elsewhere. Every week, I'll buy something for the baby from Craigslist or Ebay, and the amount of money I save will go toward this $700 difference. So, say I score a $200 stroller on Craigslist for $100. The $100 that I saved will be "banked," and I'll have to save $600 more to justify purchasing my glorious rocking chair. For a more in-depth explanation, see this post.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

8-Pound Prediction

We had a growth scan today, at 28 weeks. As always, Guido danced around, moving every muscle in his body, making it very difficult for the ultrasound tech to get the measurements she needed. She had me flipping all over the place to get better views of him, and Danny snapped this picture of me when I was on my side:

True love.

It was really neat to have the tech show me, on my belly, what parts of our baby are where. Most of the movement I feel is down low, and it's from his fat little rump wiggling around. Oh, and I knew that was his head way off to my left side.

Anyway, Guido's perfect. He's weighing in at a whoppin' 2lb 12oz, putting him in the 56th percentile—or 5 days ahead of our April 2nd due date. Large, but not too large. My OB predicts he'll be an 8-pounder, so it'll be interesting to see how accurate her guess is.

She also mentioned that she's not very confident that he'll flip to the head-down position. She said that while he does have time to do so, she doesn't see it happening because he's been in the same position from the get-go, and this usually means the baby is super comfortable and content where he is—so he stays there. If Guido's still breech at 36 weeks, we'll schedule a Cesarean birth for the end of March. You have 8 weeks to flip, baby boy! Flip, flip, flip!   

Staying true to his nickname with some nice fist-pumping (and looking adorable while he's at it). Work it, Guido!

It's January. I can't believe I could be holding this boy in my arms in March. And I'm fully prepared to receive a few black eyes because those magnificent little fists just won't quit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

27 Weeks = Stack of Cold Remedies

Today, I'm 27 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and our baby is approximately 14 1/2" long from head to toe—which is about as high as a stack of salt, Robitussin, and a bottle of lemon juice.

This'll have to do this week.

Apparently, when you're pregnant, your immune system is so weak (so your body doesn't fight off your baby, which is obviously a good thing!) that even the common cold can knock you on your ass. I've been surrounded by cold remedies for 8 days now, fighting the upper respiratory infection from hell. Until last night, I was so sick that I couldn't even putz around the house. (I almost cancelled Thrifty Thursday!) I just lay on the couch and groaned (and even cried like a baby). I couldn't sleep because my throat was so sore. I couldn't get better because I couldn't sleep.

I even went to the doctor three days ago, which is saying a lot; never in my life have I gone to the doctor for anything cold/flu related. Not once. Until now. The doctor told me to just keep taking OB-approved, over-the-counter drugs—then sent me on my way. I was so pissed that I got out of bed for that. At least I didn't bother putting on a bra.

Anyway, I'm finally starting to feel human again. Supposedly, Guido is soaking up my antibodies like crazy right now, and I pray to God I have enough to go around. Take all you need, kid—I'll make do. I should mention that some of his kicks aren't so adorable anymore, so I'm taking that as a sign that he's doing just fine in there.

If I've had any pregnancy symptoms lately, they've been eclipsed by my SARS. As delirious as I was, though, I definitely celebrated (in my head, from the couch) entering my third trimester. We're in the home stretch now! Amazing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thrifty Thursday #10

Danny just got home with this week's Thrifty Thursday*, which is a pretty awesome one. Here it is, a Fisher-Price Cradle 'n Swing from the My Little Lamb collection:

Yes, that cat is gigantic.

Craigslist Price: $40
Babies R Us Price: $162, including tax
Amount Saved: $122
Amount Left Before I Can Justify Buying My Joya Rocking Chair: $274

This thing is in excellent condition, and it's the exact one I registered for. Woot!

*An explanation of Thrifty Thursdays:
According to my readers, I should spend approximately $300 on a rocking chair. I've already admitted that I'll be spending a whoppin' $1,000. That's a difference of $700.

To offset this $700, I plan on saving money elsewhere. Every week, I'll buy something for the baby from Craigslist or Ebay, and the amount of money I save will go toward this $700 difference. So, say I score a $200 stroller on Craigslist for $100. The $100 that I saved will be "banked," and I'll have to save $600 more to justify purchasing my glorious rocking chair. For a more in-depth explanation, see this post.