Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Want to be A Chain Starter!

This December we ALL have an exciting opportunity to take up the cause of finding a cure for a disease that has taken the lives of more than 25 millions people worldwide. As World AIDS Day arrives on December 1st, I’m going to do my part by being a “Tin Carrier” for Kabre and Jean Paul! What is a “Tin Carrier”…and who in the world are Kabre and Jean Paul, you ask?!?! Keep reading... :-)

(you can also find the details at http://www.chicblvd.com/aids)…

Hint Mint, http://www.hintmint.com/ along with ChicBlvd.com is launching this, the first annual, CarryATin4AidsCampaign. The companies are selecting 50 people to begin an awareness chain by presenting us with a uniquely numbered, Limited Edition AIDS Awareness Tin and asking us to take one mint and pass along the tin. The ultimate goal is for the participant to inspire 34 more people (whether they be friends, family or random encounters) to do the same until ultimately, 35 mints later, the now empty tin is sent to the office of YouthAIDS/ PSI in Washington, DC on or before January 1st, 2007 deadline. The goal of the journeys of these tins is to raise $50,000 for the cause.

Why am I participating? …because of two adorable little boys on the other side of the world. My husband and I sponsor Kabre from Burkina Faso and Jean Paul from Rwanda Compassion International. Although we’ve never met these little guys, they’ve come to mean a lot to us through letters and prayer. They are both part of Compassion projects in areas that are highly affected by AIDS…most likely, their family is directly impacted by the disease. This is another way that I can help these little guys and the vicious epidemic that is sweeping their country, community, and family.

Here are our boys...

Jean Paul

I’m asking all the people who get my tin to email me so I can document where the tin is across the US on its way to DC...I’ll give you updates here on my blog!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hardest, Best Job Ever!!!

Being a mom is the hardest, most wonderful job I’ve ever had! I know once Sophia becomes mobile, life will change even more. But even now, as she just reaches 12 weeks, trying to get everyday things done has taken on a whole new dimension!

A typical day in our house now completely centers around our “1 Foot 11 Inch Queen”!

7:00am: Get up to feed Sophia and start her day…if she hasn’t already woken us up at 6:30am when I’m just not quite ready to get out of bed (after having woken up at LEAST once in the middle of the night!).

7:20am: Try to keep myself awake while Sophia and Justin share a few minutes before he heads off to work…by the way, this is a VERY “smiley” part of Sophia’s day:)

8:00am: Good thing Sophia loves the lights in our bathroom…she hangs out in her bouncy seat while I enjoy a nice hot shower. Uh-oh…she’s getting bored…I guess my legs won’t get shaved today:-(

8:30am: “Please take your morning nap, Sophia” (so that I can have one too!)

9:30am: Try to get a few things picked up around the house which looks like it’s been hit by the “Cyclone That Leaves Only Baby Stuff Behind”, read a few emails, pay bills, etc.

10:00am: Feeding Round #2….hopefully by this time I have grabbed something of sustenance for myself to eat since I AM keeping a little person alive. Sometimes it’s so hard to remember or have the time to EAT! (Mental Note: Try to focus on my H2O intake too.)

10:20am: Enjoy some time with my little angel. Her new favorite toy on her activity mat is her Gangly Green Bunny…he’s kinda growin’ on me too. If Sophia’s in a REALLY good mood, she might like a little tummy time. I should spend a little time on my tummy too, but getting in an ab workout these days is nearly impossible.

11:00am: Sophia starts to get crabby…probably time for another nap, but she’s fighting it. Guess I’ll just hold her for awhile…I might get a smile before she dozes off, anyway:)

11:30am: Laid her down…now maybe I’ll have a few minutes to do something fun. My project of choice for today will be working on Sophie’s scrapbook. I have an amazing one for her that I got from Jack Scrapbooks it’s called Baby Feats. You can find them at www.jackscrapbooks.com. I can record the darling details of her life up to age 5 in this book and it will last forever….its cover is made of wood and it has stainless steal hardware. So if Sophia gets her hands on it in the next couple of years, it may survive!

1:00pm: Feeding Round #3…yikes…”Surprise Spit-up”...good thing I have some very special burp clothes from MoMo Baby Gifts (www.momobabygifts.com). They have Sophia’s name embroidered on them…what a spoiled little girl:) But seriously…great gift idea for baby showers! MoMo also has adorable and affordable outfits that you can have embroidered for any little cutie.

1:30pm: Since Soph is in a good mood…I think we’ll try to run some errands. It’s funny how little I get out these days…it seems like I have to have a REALLY important reason to put forth the effort to walk out the door. Will it ever be easy to go to the mall again?!?! I have some boxes to mail…I think we’ll try to swing by the post office.

1:45pm: After strapping on the Baby Bjorn, getting the little munchkin situated in
it, juggling 3 HUGE boxes up to the post office (mind you, no one offering to open the door for me), I take my number (#82) only to find that they’re on #51…ugh. After about 3 minutes, Sophia starts freaking out so we turn around…back out the door with all 3 huge boxes, unload her from the Baby Bjorn and head back home…she screams all the way.

Well…I could go on, but you get the idea. What makes it all worth it are moments like the one I had just the other day...I could hear Sophia just waking up from her nap and fussing a bit. When I cracked her door to take a peek, I saw her looking up at the smiling bugs on her new mobile. She was smiling right back at her new friends with her biggest, gummiest grin…those are the snapshots in time that simply melt my heart and make being a mom “The Best”!

*Disclaimer: Times indicated above are the framework for what a wonderful typical day would be….this rarely happens:0

Here's Sophia in her Halloween Costume...I had every intention of putting her in the adorable "Pea in the Pod" costume that I've seen in years past...but once I saw the "Lobster", I knew it was meant to be!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Whew...Time is FLYING!!!

Sophia Maye is here!!! Sorry for the delay in giving an update…as you can probably imagine, it’s been a VERY BUSY few weeks in our household. It seems that ever since we brought her home, life has been in "fast forward"!

We welcomed our angel on August 25th at 4:02pm. She was bigger than the doctor expected at 7lbs 15oz and 19 ½ inches long. She is BEAUTIFUL! She has her Daddy's lips and chin. She's already changed so much in just a few weeks and as she grows she's looking more and more like her Dad! In fact, in looking at his baby pics, she's the "spittin' image" of Justin when he was a baby! And of course, she already has him wrapped around her "itty-bitty" finger:)

Justin and I just stare at her…it doesn’t matter if she’s awake or sleeping. We’re simply enthralled with her and the fact that she’s ours. Justin said it best, “I never knew I could have so much fun with a sleeping person”! :)

I thought labor would be the hardest part of becoming a parent, but given that I had a famous EPIDERAL upon the recommendation of nearly every mom I know, the most challenging aspect so far has been nursing. I guess I knew nursing would be hard, but it is REALLY HARD (and painful). In talking with many of my friends, the whole “if the baby is latching on correctly, it shouldn’t hurt” thing that nurses and lactation consultants usually tell new moms is WRONG (at least for most of my friends)! Sophia has got the hang of it…and it still hurts. It has gotten MUCH better over the last few weeks, and I’m committed to sticking it out. I’m chalking it up to a character building experience.

One thing that has made nursing much easier is a great nursing cover from BeBe Au Lait. It helps me with being discreet when I need to nurse in public…I’m still trying to figure out “nursing in public etiquette”! And it’s better than a blanket because the fabric is really light so Sophia doesn’t get too hot. It has a band on the top that allows me to see how Sophia’s doing without taking a chance of inadvertently "flashing" people around me (!)and it has a terry cloth panel for any spit-ups or accidents she might have! Plus it’s SUPER CUTE…mine is in the “Hot Dots” pattern. Find out more about these great nursing covers at www.bebeaulait.com.

It’s been so much fun to finally put those adorable baby clothes and gear that I’ve been stocking up on for months to use! One of my favorite things to put on Sophia are her “Baby Legs”. These adorable little leggings come in all kinds of colors and patterns and are great for lounging around the house (they will be especially great when she starts to crawl), or for getting lots of compliments when we go out on the town. They’re so unique that most people take note. Sophia’s favorite are her Rainbow Baby Legs…well, okay, I guess they’re Mommy’s Favorite:) The best part is, it's like she has pants on so her legs don't get cold, but I don't have to take them off when I change her diaper....and WOW, do I change A LOT of those! You can check them out at www.babylegs.net. Below is a pic of Sophia showing of her "Baby Legs" :)

The days go by so quickly…and even the nights aren’t so bad when I have her adorable little face pleading for her 4am feeding. I absolutely LOVE being Sophia’s mom…this is the best job EVER. We’re still getting acquainted with each other, but each day gets a little easier and a little more wonderful. She is simply a JOY.

Gotta go…I have a date with a cute little munchkin for some “TUMMY TIME”…

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Video Frame eCards for Mom - bloombyag.com!


Check out the Video Frame eCards from bloombyag.com! http://www.bloombyag.com/category.pd?path=69061&

These are super cool--you can send video or photos from your cell phone, webcam, or video camera to all your friends via an eCard. You could use it to send to college roommates who you never see anymore, videos of how you look now that you are pregnant, etc! Of course moms use it all the time to send super cure things their little ones are doing..first steps, smiles, words, etc. Wow... maybe I'll be doing that soon! :)

The Frames are the ones where you can either add a photo or a video. Check out the online photo albums too.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My bag is packed...I'm ready to go!

I’m at 39 weeks this week…and I’m so ready to be done….not so much because I’m miserably huge and uncomfortable (although I do have my moments), but we’ve gone through weeks and months of preparation and we’re just ready to have her here with us!

Stretchmark update: 1 week to go and STILL no stretchmarks….Yippee!! For the last few weeks I’ve been using a new favorite product that I definitely want to recommend to “growing” moms-to-be. It’s this great stuff called TUMMY HONEY. They make formulas for both stretch mark prevention (what I’m using now) and to make existing stretchmarks fade. You can find Tummy Honey for yourself or for a gift for a mom to be by visiting mothersintuition.com to find a store that carries it.

I really don’t sleep very well anymore…between my heartburn and sweating profusely even with no blankets and a fan blowing directly on me…I’m being prepared for the long nights of no sleep ahead of me. Although I think I’ll prefer having an adorable little one getting me up in the night compared to a heartburn attack!

I’ve heard friends say it, and I think it’s true…you have a fear of labor for the first 8 months, and then after that, you develop this sense of just wanting to be done and your fear turns in to anticipation and eagerness. I like to call it “being in the ZONE”!

I packed my hospital bag this week…the socks, Chap Stick, pj’s, and a cute little “going home” outfit for Baby Girl-it’s a precious outfit from newforbaby.com that I love! They have the most adorable newborn sets that ACTUALLY FIT newborns!

I would love any ideas for items that you found helpful to have that aren’t on the normal “hospital checklist” that you get at birthing classes or in pre-delivery literature. Feel free to post any ideas here on my blog to help other moms-to-be too!

I think we’ve officially decided on a name, but you’ll have to stay tuned because we’re going to keep it a secret until after she’s born! It’s a really great name, though:)

Now that we’re down to the last few weeks, our Dr does an ultra sound in his office at each visit which we really look forward to. Our last ultrasound showed us that she has CHUBBY CHEEKS! We can’t wait to kiss those cute little cheeks!

The nursery is ready. Today I put the finishing touch up--an adorable piece of art with Noah’s ark animals from Squishme.com! This week we also hung up a beautiful quilt that Justin’s Grandma made for the baby above her crib. We have another blanket that my Great Grandma (the baby’s Great-Great Grandma!) made before she passed away a couple of years ago. So special! These kinds of things are such blessings to add to the Baby’s room since we’re so far away from our family in Illinois. But no worries…they’re already planning their visits out to come see the new addition to the family:)

Well…thanks for reading all my random musings as we approach the last week. Justin and I are now headed to see if we can figure out this “car seat installation” thing…which I’ve heard is one of the most challenging feats of parenthood!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Shopping Cart Covers from Kangaroodles.com

What a great idea! I would definitely want to get one of these when baby comes. They are not only hip and chic... but are perfect for keeping my little one free of germs! The covers can be found at Kangaroodles.com and we can get 25% off when using the code chickids now through December 31, 2006.

Diaper Bags at luxemama.com!

This website, luxemama.com, has a number of chic and useful things for a new mom or mom to be. The diaper bags look like purses... no one would ever know the difference! I especially liked the Mia Bossi Maria Diaper Bag. Wow, I would love to have one of these.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Attention Moms-to-Be

My apologies to all of you!…I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten to pass along an important tidbit of vital info for “growing” moms to be. During my pregnancy, I’ve discovered the BEST invention for moms who want to keep wearing their cute pre-prego clothes, and also save some $$ on buying an entirely new wardrobe. The secret I’ve found comes in the form of an accessory called a BELLA BAND. It’s an elastic band (kinda looks like a tube-top) that goes around your waist and that cute little tummy, then over the top of your pants. The best part is, when you can no longer get the button to meet the hole, or zipper to “zip” on your pants, you just adjust the BELLA BAND over the top of the pants where they gap—the BELLA BAND holds them up and on! Put a shirt on over the BELLA BAND and it looks like you have a cute tank top on under your shirt. They come in a bunch of colors, so you can match it to your outfit. If you’re in the market for a BELLA BAND, I recommend checking out mom4life.com (they’ve got a lot of other cute Mom and Baby stuff too). Alright, just had to make sure I got that out there…it’s been a LIFESAVER for me!

Our First Childbirth Class

Hmmmm….if you would have told me a year ago that we were going to be watching Labor and Delivery videos and practicing birthing techniques on mats and pillows, I would have called you CRAZY! But that’s exactly what we’ll be finding ourselves doing over the next 4 weeks as part of our Childbirth Class.

We just had our first session last night. It was interesting, scary, and very educational. I thought I knew most everything about going through delivery from my friends who have experienced it, but I realized I have given myself too much credit! There’s definitely a lot more we need to learn. Not to get graphic, but our instructor kept using these weird visual aids to represent the uterus, cervix, placenta, umbilical cord, etc. I never realized what a likeness the whole “placenta, water sac, umbilical cord” system had to a jellyfish…is that gross?? Sorry!

It brought up a lot of great things that Justin and I need to think about before we get to the point of nearing delivery. How do I want him to respond to me when I’m in pain? How sure am I of getting an epidural, and why? Do we want it to be just the two of us in the room during delivery? Things that we haven’t completely thought through yet, and seeing that we’re only about 8 weeks away from the event, they’re things we need to get figured out. I’d love any advice you might have about delivery. Things that worked well, or didn’t. Things you preferred to have, or not have? Let me know!

I’m sure we have a lot more in store to add to our “Birthing Repertoire”, but I feel like we got a good start last night. I’m really looking forward to the tour of L&D, and to at least be familiar with the environment where we’ll be having our baby.

This is going to be fun to do together…it’s so nice to be going through this with the man I love who can laugh with me about all these crazy things that are happening to my body!

So crazy...it's AMAZING

I was a little apprehensive at first…I mean, seeing your baby’s face while it’s still in the womb, it was all a little weird to me, but after my curiosity got the best of me and with my hubby being very excited about it, we decided to get a 4D ultrasound! …and I’m so glad we did, it was AMAZING!

Our friends at B4 the Stork 4D were wonderful in guiding us through this experience. My technician Kim sat down with us before we got started and fully explained what was going to happen. I had been wondering what the 4th Dimension was, and basically it’s like a 3D picture of your baby, plus movement which is the 4D.

Before we went to B4 the Stork, they suggested I have some sugar or caffeine about 20 minutes before our appointment. I was SO excited. I haven’t purposely had any caffeine since I’ve been pregnant (besides the traces in chocolate, which I can’t get enough of!), so I was in for a treat. I spent a day deciding where I wanted to “spend” my caffeine allowance…and STARBUCKS it was! A Java-Chip Frappucino has never tasted so good!

Once we arrived at B4 the Stork, we were guided to the beautiful, relaxing room that they conduct the ultrasounds in. They have a couch in it for families who come in to view the ultrasound together. Kim said that sometimes entire families come in to get the first glimpse of their baby’s face! They project the images on the wall, kind of like a big screen, for all to see!

As the ultrasound began, we started off in the 2D mode (what the ultrasound looks like that you get at the hospital) and once Kim locked into a good position, she switched to the 4D. Of course, at the first glimpse of our little girls face, I got choked up. It was so beautiful! I was expecting her to be kinda wrinkly and scrunched, but she was absolutely adorable. I decided she has her Daddy’s lips and chin, and I think maybe my nose. I had to keep moving around so we could get a good picture because that little girl wouldn’t get her hands out of her face for us to see her!...I wonder if that means she’s going to be shy? We got to see her sucking her thumb, yawning, grimacing and smiling. And once the caffeine kicked in, there was no stopping her. She was all over the place. It made me realize what kind of effect what I put into my body has on her….wow, the pressure!

We walked out of B4 the Stork with a DVD of the 4D ultrasound, a CD of 50 pictures that were taken during our time there, and a VERY special memory. Now that I’ve experienced it, I would definitely recommend this to Moms & Dads-to-be. Just make sure you schedule your appointment between 26-30 weeks (for optimal viewing in the ultrasound picture) and that you have already had your ultrasound done at the hospital (for medical purposes).

Kim said that if any of my “Diary of a Mom to Be” friends come to visit them for a 4D ultrasound, she’ll give you a FREE DVD as part of your package!

This was a great experience for Justin too. For him to be able to see what I feel was wonderful. And now when we see her moving around on the outside, we can imagine what’s going on in there!

Monday, June 19, 2006


This website, supermomz.com, has so many great things--including a Glamourmom Maternity Nursing Bra Tank. It sounds like such a great idea... I might need to get one!

The same revolutionary design of the patented Glamourmom® Nursing Bra Tank, but is tailored with more room and length for full coverage of your growing belly. The perfect transition piece, a built-in soft cup frame and elastic shelf provide superior breast support and a comfortable fit for your changing body. It is a great value because it can be worn throughout pregnancy as a supportive bra, tank, and undershirt and then used when nursing your newborn in the first weeks as your belly returns to pre-pregnancy size. Stylish, Practical, and Machine washable.

And ladies, they've offered us a 10% discount on orders over $10. We just need to use the code: chick.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My new favorite past-time...

These days my newest and most favorite past-time is watching my belly move around. It’s a combination of amazing and weird…an ongoing reminder that there’s a little person in there just waiting to make her appearance to the world :)

I’ve officially stepped into my third trimester (I’m 29 weeks today!) and am still feeling surprisingly well. The only pains I’m dealing with are some hip/joint tenderness and the arches of my feet hurting a LOT…maybe this is a good time to invest in some new “tennies”? But for the most part, I’m feeling great...I just hope that continues. However, when I think about how much longer I have and how much bigger I’m going to get, my hopes aren’t too high. Sometimes I think I’d like to skip over the next 3 months and labor/delivery and just have our beautiful little girl here with us. But I know there’s a reason for going through the entire 9 months…I think God has a lot more “preparing” to do in me.

We recently spent some time back in Illinois with our family and friends. While there, we were able to celebrate “in person” with baby showers and family get-togethers. It was so nice to see everyone and be able to share a bit of this experience with them. My little sister who is 11-years-old was a little hesitant when she first saw me with my “big belly”…it was so funny! After giving her a great big hug (I hadn’t seen her since Christmas), I asked her if she wanted to “touch my belly”, and as excited as she is to be a “young aunt”, she said no (I could tell she was a little nervous and didn’t quite know what to think). A bit later, the baby started moving and I told her to give me her hand (she did without knowing why). After I put her hand on my belly and she felt the baby moving, she had a completely different perspective of my huge belly. It was a precious moment :)

I just can’t wait to meet our little girl! Even on the days I’m not feeling so well, it keeps me going to think about the fun we’re going to have very soon. I’m so excited to go on walks, see her first smile, watch her taste her first spoonful of something she doesn’t like…there’s so many neat memories to be made.
The idea of “nursing” is still taking some getting used to….all of my friends who have been able to do it have told me how much they love it. After reading and researching the benefits of nursing, I really want to try to do it but am obviously a little nervous. I ran across a really neat product the other day that is made to help with nursing. I’m going to use it with our baby. It’s called Nursey Beads. You wear the beads around your neck. They are the perfect length for your baby to twirl, pull, and twiddle. Scary as it may be…I found out that babies will bite, scratch, pinch, etc while they’re nursing!...OUCH! Nursey Beads help distractible babies stay focused and nurse longer. Nursey beads are also designed as a keepsake of our special times together. I’ve already picked out a set of Nursey Beads that were handmade with “love” by The Delighted Child. My strand of beads incorporates purple (my favorite color), blue (Justin’s favorite color), pink (for the baby), and my favorite verse from the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

24 weeks and overwhelmed by baby stuff....

Whew…I just got done registering…well, started anyway. My head is spinning. What’s the best crib mattress, excersaucer, car seat, stroller???…so many options and opinions! It’s hard to believe we’ll need all this stuff for a tiny little baby. We have plenty of room in our apartment for our new little girl…it’s all these other baby items that I’m worried about finding a place for!

One item I’ve already found a place for is our new “Poodle Shag” blanket from Baby Jake’s! This blanket is great. I’ve never seen anything like it! It’s a feather soft chenille blanket (ours is “pink” on one side and “chocolate” on the other…so cute!) that we can use in our little girl’s crib or bassinet…it’ll also make a great stroller blanket. I’m going to get all of my snuggle time in with this blanket before I have to share:)

I did discover a good strategy that I’d like to pass on. If you register at some stores online, you can read the reviews on the products to find out which ones other parents would recommend and why. I found this to be SUPER helpful not knowing the differences between types and brands of products…for example: a Fischer Price or Baby Bjorn bouncy seat…is there really that big of a difference between the two?? These are the questions I need answers to!

Little Baby Girl has been getting more active everyday. Justin is starting to be able to feel her kicking from the outside. It’s amazing to be reminded each time I feel her moving around that there’s a little life growing in there. I just can’t wait to meet her!

I feel extra large right now and I’m at 24 weeks, only a little over half way there. I can’t imagine how much I’ll be waddling around in a few months. But good news…no stretchmarks yet! Hopefully keeping my belly slathered with lotion is helping!

Justin and I took a weekend get away to San Diego last week. Trying to get as many of those in as we can before we have to start finding babysitters! We did a lot of walking. I’m sure glad I had a pair of Mommy Sox with me! These socks are a great item for any pregnant momma with achy feet. They have arch support bands and cushioned zones on the heels and balls of the feet to help with the extra pounds I’m walking around with these days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fun Websites -- threelollies.com and protectabub.com!

The ChicBlvd Girls shared the site threelollies.com with me. Preggie Pops are naturally flavored and specially formulated lollipops made for pregnant women--to ease morning sickness. I have some samples so I'll have to try them out!

Since the weather's warming up, I was also looking at the stroller sunshade and swimsuits from protectabub.com. Since I live in California, these will come in handy all months out of the year. Use coupon code ChicBaby10 for a discount.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

So much for my "Mother's Intuition" :)

We’re having a GIRL!!!!! All my hunches were wrong…so much for my “Mother’s Intuition”! Even though we couldn’t lose with whatever was revealed inside, I was so nervous to open the box containing the answer to our “Big Question”--Is it a Boy or a Girl?

We called our families on speakerphone to share the moment. I’m so glad we didn’t “cheat” and peek beforehand because it was a really neat experience to share with our parents, brother and sisters.

I have to say that I was completely surprised that it was a girl…I had totally convinced myself that it was a boy. But we’re delighted that we will be blessed this August with what will most likely be a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl!
A friend recently told me that, “little boys feed a dad’s ego, but little girls melt his heart”. That’s a pretty sweet idea to reflect on as we celebrate the news of our baby girl!

Watch my video to see us opening the package: chicblvd.com/whats_it_gonna_be.html

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ultrasound Day

As I write, an envelope containing the answer to the question of the sex of our baby sits beside me...it's taking all of my will power not to open it. I’m focusing on the elaborate plan we have to tell our family if they're having a grandson/granddaughter/niece/nephew (see previous post for "the plan").
Today we went for the ultrasound to make sure everything is healthy and to ultimately find out if we're having a Jane or a John (until real names have been determined). Even though the technician can't officially tell us if everything is in fact healthy, she hinted "off the record" that from what she saw we can put our minds at ease knowing we have a healthy baby...whew.
It was an absolutely amazing experience. At 7 weeks, when I saw the little peanut's heart beating, I thought that was the ultimate, but after today it really hit me that there's a little person in there that I can't wait to meet.
I loved seeing Justin's reaction to what we saw on the ultrasound screen. Up to this point, besides putting up with my moodiness, constant hunger and seeing my body grow, there hasn't been much of a reality of what's happening. But today I think he was able to see in a new and very powerful way what's going on in this expanding belly of mine.
We had the most fabulous technician! Once we informed her of our plan to tell the family she totally played along. We left with a sealed envelope in which she had carefully inserted the ultrasound picture with an arrow pointing to the “evidence” of the sex of the baby.
During the time she conducted the ultrasound, the baby flipped completely from head down and bottom up to bottom down and head up...I had no idea it was moving around so much in there!
As we left the hospital, all we could do was giggle at each other. We were sooooo tempted to crack that envelope open and take a peek. But, by focusing on being able to share the excitement with our families, we controlled ourselves :)

Bagettes.com - Kid's Art Bag

The ChicBlvd Girls introduced me to the CUTEST idea!! It's the Kid's Art - Custom Cosmetic Bag by bagettes.com!

You email them your childs art and they make it into a customized small cosmetic bag! You can even add a photo on 1 side and the art on the other. Such a great way to display love to your child while showing off their photo at the same time! :-)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Baby Food Adventure

Justin and I had a fun and "interesting" Sunday afternoon. Our friends at Bohemian Baby sent us loads of samples of their organic baby foods to try out for our little one.
It was a very brave thing to do on our part because traditionally the baby foods I see in the grocery store aisle never look very appetizing. Bohemian Baby has changed my mind.
They delivered our fresh, organic baby food jars in an insulated cooler right to our door! The combinations they put together for meals are so unique and healthy...and on top of that, I recognized every ingredient included in each jar, it's all organic and no preservatives. These products are fresh!
At the conclusion of our "Baby Food Dinner", Justin said his favorites were the Basil Pesto Pasta, Green Bean Soup with Basil Butter, and Pure Golden Pears. My favs were the Sweet Potatoes and Kale, Fresh Fuji Apples, and Strawberry and Coconut Yogurt. I tried combos of fruits and veggies that I’d never had before…and they were delish! Thanks to our Bohemian Baby friends for opening our eyes to healthy, fresh ...and very YUMMY options for our baby’s first tastes of food!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Unhealthy fear of stretchmarks and hemorrhoids

I’m sorry, but today’s blog might get a little graphic for those with weak stomachs (probably mostly men because they don’t have to deal with most of these crazy things!)

It seems that over the last few weeks, I've developed an intense fear of "pregnancy ailments" including stretch marks and hemorrhoids. I guess the reality of these very real problems set in once my belly really started to get noticeably bigger.

My poor friends, family, and doctor have been getting drilled with questions about these issues (and a bunch of others!). I found out that 80% of pregnant women get hemorrhoids…I’m really hoping that by some miracle I fall into the 20% of those who are in the clear. But just in case, I’m mentally preparing myself to go to the store and purchase my first installment of Preparation H…YIKES! I’m also eating lots of fiber, trying to get up and walk around a bit while I’m at work, and not over “exerting” myself while visiting the “ladies room”(whatever that means??).

In response to my fear of stretch-marks, my adorable husband has been an angel. Every night, he rubs oil and cocoa butter on my belly to help my skin adjust with the baby. This also gives him a chance to talk to the baby, it’s so cute (the baby can hear at this point, how exciting!). I think this nightly tradition will become even more special as the baby gets bigger and becomes more active. It will also become increasingly beneficial to my skin as by belly goes from a rolling hill to Mt. Everest!

I’ve found a really great book that has given me a dose of humor in all these sometimes uncomfortable pregnancy situations I’ve experienced so far. It’s called “Belly Laughs” by Jenny McCarthy. If you’ve heard of Jenny McCarthy, you can pretty much imagine what her documentation of her journey through pregnancy would be like (pretty crazy). She shares the experience of having her son Evan through this hilarious book that only those who have experienced pregnancy can truly appreciate.

I also went to the Yeah Baby Expo in Long Beach, CA last weekend. It was so much fun! It definitely helped me to get in the baby buying mood. There are so many great products out there to make life easier for moms...and the adorable babies there helped too...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cute Nursing Covers!

The ChicBlvd Girls told me to check out stylishlyprotected.com--what a CUTE site!

I'll definitely have to get one of these nursing covers after the baby comes. It's that breastfeeding thing that will be so foreign to me!

Anyone who reads this (including me... hehe) can get 5% off the site by entering voucher code ProtectInStyle at checkout, combined with the already 10% off for a total of 15% off.

This site has a lot of other cute useful things--check it out! StylishlyProtected.com

Me and my BELLY :)

I made my appointment today for the...dah...dah...dah.....ULTRASOUND! April 10th is the BIG DAY! Apparently your bladder has to be full to execute an effective ultrasound. You can imagine my surprise when the nurse told me that I have to drink 32 ounces of water in 1 ½ hours before my appointment. Are you kidding me…that is SO much water. And I’m not supposed to go to the bathroom during that time. How can they do this to pregnant women?!?! I’ll try my best, but I didn’t make any promises. I guess it’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to make sure that our baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes and that everything looks healthy!

We won't be finding out the boy/girl news that day because we have very special plan. Since our ongoing desire has been to keep our families in the loop and incorporate them as a big part of this adventure (although it be from a distance...2000 miles), we've decided to hold off on the big surprise and find out at the same time as our parents and siblings if we're having a boy or girl...how can we do that in 2 different time zones you ask?? :) Here's the plan:

We're going to ask the ultrasound technician to write down the sex of the baby, put it in an envelope, and not let us see it. Then we're going to go to the baby section at a local store and get 3 pink and 3 blue "somethings", ask a clerk there to look in the envelope and wrap the appropriate colored items in 3 separate packages (while we go browse for baby gear that we'll soon be purchasing). We'll come back once the packages are wrapped still not knowing what our baby will be. Then the plan is to ship off the boxes...one to my family, one to Justin's family, and keep one for ourselves. Once they've all received their "box of joy" we'll open them all at once while sharing the experience on speaker phone. Not quite the same as "in person" but we still think it will be something to remember.

I went out last night to try to find some pants that will sustain my changing body:) I didn't have much success...although I did find some adorable stretchy shirts that fit my ever growing belly. It's becoming noticeable…probably more so to me than anyone else, but I’m getting bigger none-the-less...and it’s SO exciting.

I think I felt a little baby flutter last week. It felt like a tickle from inside my stomach! From what I’ve been reading, this is about the time I should be starting to feel movement. It’s so amazing!

I feel absolutely great this week. A little tired sometimes, but overall I have tons of energy. I'm finally starting to get some regular exercise again! This is great news since I have and EXTREME sweet tooth lately! I can't get enough chocolate or anything in the "dessert" category :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Officially in the 2nd trimester...and GROWING

As I begin my 16th week of pregnancy, I’m looking back on all the changes that have happened just in the last 2 weeks. It seems that my belly is growing more every day! I've had to retire several pairs of pants that I probably won't be seeing for awhile. I feel so much better than I did during my first trimester-more energy and less nausea to be specific. I've heard that most women feel GREAT in the 2nd trimester, and so far for me it's been true.

During the first trimester, we told our parents and siblings in week 8 about our new addition, which was such a sweet experience (first grandchild on BOTH sides of our family!). Since everything looked healthy with the baby, we started spreading the news to family and friends at week 12.

Although everything was healthy, as we came out of the first trimester, a sense of relief came with us since our doctor said that the chances of completing a healthy pregnancy are much higher after getting through that window. I think that has allowed us to get more excited about picking a name, picking out furniture, and thinking about the reality of “being a mom and dad”.

Name choice has become much harder than I thought it would be. I guess it’s easier to throw out crazy names you like before you actually get pregnant because you know you don’t have to commit to any of them. But once you know you have the HUGE responsibility of actually naming a person…for the REST OF HIS/HER LIFE (no pressure,right??)…the stakes become much higher. Justin seems to be more traditional with his name choices. I, on the other hand, prefer more unique (yes some might call them odd) names. We’ve talked about a few, but haven’t decided if we’re going to announce the name before the baby’s born yet or not. We’ll keep you updated!

My mind is spinning with all the baby knowledge I’ve been learning over the last few weeks….I never knew or cared about Peg Perego, Graco, or Britax. All my “mommy friends” have been giving me great advice, including my own personal “Consumer Reports” on all kinds of baby items. It’s a little overwhelming, but I know their input will be very helpful as we seriously start shopping.

I’m like a sponge right now, so don’t forget, if you have any advice that you’d like to share-especially anything that might be helpful as I’m kicking off my 2nd trimester-you can email it to Katie@chicblvd.com.

Well…I’m up WAY too late for a pregnant lady…more to come soon. Thanks again for sharing this awesome experience with us!

Friday, February 24, 2006

I can't believe it!

Hi! I'm Katie. I just found out that I'm going to be a MOM! The girls at Chic Blvd have invited me to share this CRAZY and EXCITING story with you and take you along on this journey.

In August 2005, my husband Justin and I moved across the country from Illinois where we left behind our dear family and friends to start a new adventure of our own in California. MUCH to our surprise, part of that adventure in the NEAR future would include a little addition to our family! We're SO excited and a little nervous too.

It was on January 7th (after thinking I had the flu for a week) that I decided to take "the test" to rule out the possibility of being pregnant. I took it discreetly, not wanting to scare Justin with a "false alarm". But false alarm, it was not!

"Mom-in-Training Side note”: For those mom's-to-be who don't know this (like me) there is virtually NEVER the possibility of having a "false positive" with a pregnancy test...if you see 2 lines, you almost certainly have a munchkin on the way :)

The next week I went to the Doctor to verify that this was actually happening! This day, which was my BIRTHDAY!, it was confirmed that we were "EXPECTING",...but we definitely were not "expecting" to be "expecting":) I received the best birthday present EVER...I was able to see our baby's heartbeat for the first-time...it was AMAZING. The Doctor confirmed from the ultrasound that the baby was 7 weeks along. It moved me to tears to see this little being, the size of a peanut, which will soon change our lives.

Well girls...I'm going to have to stop the story there for now. My hubby and I are headed out for this Friday evening. We're going to take advantage of getting out for a night without finding a babysitter :)

Thank you Chic Blvd for inviting me to share this new path we're traveling!

Sunday, February 12, 2006