Contact Me:

stellagunATgmailDOTcom

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2 months!!

My precious little girl is two months old today!

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Happy Christmas

I am still enjoying the leftover fuzzy feeling of this wonderful holiday. Nothing could have been sweeter and felt more whole than waking up on Christmas morning with Todd and Olivia, my little family. We were tired after staying up late the night before enjoying our wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with family. We brought the pea into our bed and cuddled for a while before going out to join my parents and sister to open presents. I will post photos soon, I promise! There is a really funny photo of Olivia in her chair with all her presents around her after she had "opened" them. My favorite gift she received was her Morrissey onesie from her mommy and daddy... I think it was her favorite, too. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Good morning.

One of my best friends gave me this coffee mug as a Christmas gift. It's big, a huge handle, and udders on the bottom. Amazing? I think so. Yay for udders!!!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Santa...

What I want for Christmas of course has an association with the pea. What I want most is this:

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Todd rides scooters. I love polka dots. I love babywearing. Heaven.

becobabycarrier.com

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stuck in the suburbs, missing the city.

I miss San Francisco. I will be so happy when we finally move to central San Diego. Cannot wait to walk, not drive, to my morning latte. This morning I sort of did that, although walking around and running errands within the confines of a suburban neighborhood just isn't the same. I want to put Olivia in her wrap or carrier and spend the morning getting fresh air and taking off these extra baby pounds. There was a phenomenon in San Francisco, all the moms I saw were fit. Why? Because driving to Target and Starbucks doesn't melt away fat. And it doesn't inspire a healthy and active lifestyle. Here you have to purposely get exercise, up there it's just part of the daily routine.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love San Diego. It is a beautiful place, and like I said, I will be so happy when we move near downtown. I love the neighborhoods like Golden Hill and the old houses off Adams Avenue, places with history and substance. Balboa Park asks nothing of Golden Gate Park and there are places here with espresso just as perfect as the Italian coffee houses in North Beach. I crave the mental stimulation of just getting more out of the daily grind, without the strip malls and chain stores.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yeah.

The little hipsters are way cooler than the big ones.

American Apparel for babies.
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shop!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

7 weeks

My baby girl is 7 weeks old today. I cannot believe how sweet she is. Now that she smiles and baby talks I fall more and more in love with her. When I am giving her a bath or she falls asleep in my arms feeling so safe and happy I cannot imagine a life without her. How did I get so lucky? Yes, I haven't traveled to every corner of the world and I haven't published a novel but who am I to say what the future holds? How can I ever question this gift? There is still so much I have to do, there are many goals I have yet to meet and she is my new inspiration.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Motherhood

Since becoming a mom, I...
-have become an even bigger fan of the coffee bean
-developed super hearing and ninja-like reflexes
-am markedly less glamorous
-contribute way more capital to Target than I should
-respect and admire my mother more than I ever have before
-understand the whole concept of unconditional love
-have a newfound purpose in my little life
-love mornings with my Olivia
-embrace "hippie" methods of raising children
-fully enjoy nights out with adults and away from diapers and baby stuff
-am still a big fan of German literature
-still stand for the same things, but I am different.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Season

Last night the three of us went to December Nights at Balboa Park with my parents and sister. This has been my family's Christmas tradition since I was barely a tiny fetus in my mom's belly. It was extra special last night having my sweet baby girl there with us. Todd wore her in the Moby wrap and she slept warm and snug most of the time we were there. I'm so excited for all the years to come as she grows and learns to appreciate the beauty of Balboa Park and the excitement that comes with being a child during the holidays. I wish we had more pictures but here are just a few.

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click that picture to see the adorable feet of her pajamas!

Also, we went to take a holiday portrait to send out postcards this Christmas. I wish we were wearing matching sweaters. It's just not cheesy enough.

click below to view whole picture!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Survival tools.

Some of the best marketing goes into baby products. I cannot believe all the stuff at places like Babies R Us, they really know how to trick people into spending money! I have many things I might never use, and many things I never wanted because I knew I would never use. I would like to share the few, but very important, baby things that have made the first month of Olivia's life a happy time for everyone.

-
Sleep Sheep, he lives in Olivia's crib and she loves him. So do I.
-Swaddling blankets, they can be used for many things.
-NUK pacifiers (BPA-free of course).
-Her vibrating chair.
-BABYWEARING! I cannot speak highly enough of it. We have the
Moby Wrap, but there are cheap ways to make your own!
-Medela manual pump and nipple shield. My lactation consultant doesn't like the nipple shield, but I do. It works for me.
-Cloth diapers. Save money, easy, green. I use
Rockin Green soap. If you cloth diaper, use it.
-A glass of red wine in the evenings while Olivia naps :)

That's all I can think of for now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

One month old.

Olivia is one month old today and I cannot believe it. She is a teeny tiny little piece of heaven.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chill babies

Olivia is not a fussy baby. Is it correct to say "easy" baby? I don't want to curse myself. Now that I have a routine down, it seems so much easier. It was overwhelming the first few days Todd and my mom went to work and I was on my own. I got used to their help, especially while I was still healing. Also, being a brand-new mom was so daunting. She is three weeks old now and still sleeps quite a bit. What's great now though is that she is so alert. Now when she looks at me I feel she is actually looking AT me and not just staring off into space. She follows me with her eyes if I lay her on the bed and they are so big and full of expression . I love being her mom. She is so sweet, so peaceful. We do stuff all day long together (she mainly just naps in her wrap). I promise I will come back with more interesting material for the blog but for now I am going to get some sleep in while she naps. :)

Note: Any San Diego area moms that can recommend a mom group for me, please let me know. I would love to join one, but I'd prefer based on recommendation since there are so many. Or, does anyone want to start one? I don't have too many close friends with kids.

little blue eyes
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hello!

I am back with the living. I feel rested and I haven't had coffee yet. Olivia is sleeping for about 3 hour periods, which means only about one feeding in the late night. And last night I did it all myself, I need to practice for when we go back home and leave the luxury of my mom's home and help :/. Just a quick post... here is a pic of Olivia in my current favorite cloth.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Angel Baby

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So that's what these big boobs are for!

Breastfeeding has not been the easy, seamless process I thought it would be. It is getting better, I am not giving up. I bought a nipple shield at Target and that has helped her latch on a lot more efficiently. There are several factors that may have contributed to our sort of rocky start. First of all, I was not able to nurse right away. I was so zonked out on surgery drugs that I did not get to nurse her until a few hours after birth. I was in the recovery room after my c-section for two hours! I could not go to my room until I could move my legs again. Also, I was in a great deal of pain for the first couple of days. It even hurt to hold her! She still got all my colostrum, I nursed her even though it was hard. She cried and I wanted to, too. She passed her meconium within 48 hours and I have read that colostrum helps with that, so I am glad she got all the good stuff. We (gasp!) supplemented with Similac at the hospital after feedings because my milk hadn't come in and she would get very fussy. And much to the horror of the exclusively breastfeeding elite, I also liked the break that I got from formula feeding here and there. Once I got home, pumping became my new best friend. She was happy drinking from a bottle and I was happy knowing she was having a few (2-4) ounces of my milk each feeding! I still nursed her, but the pumping gave me reassurance she was getting enough and it was indeed easier. I have seen lactation nurses and they help in the moment, but it never worked out so well when they weren't there. Now it has been over a week and we are getting better at it. Breastfeeding her is crucial to me, and I have gotten some great advice from breastfeeding moms that did not have the super smooth start some women do. They have told me it gets better after a few weeks and now they fully enjoy it. I look forward to that!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Olivia is one week old.

What has helped me survive week one as a new mom?

so far:
-my mom
-a man who changes diapers
-nipple creams with lanolin
-medela breast pump
-medela nipple shield
-boppy pillow for breastfeeding
-comfy pajamas
-hot showers
-600 mg motrin (c-section) also vicodin but i try not to take that
-naps

i really love:
-kissaluvs size zeros are perfect for newborns as diapers
-homemade wipes with warm water for diaper change
-aden + anais muslin wraps

Monday, November 2, 2009

They weren't exaggerating the whole sleep deprivation thing. I feel like a zombie. A happy zombie.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Olivia Simone is here!

The little pea came into the world via c-section on Tuesday, October 27th at 12:26pm. She weighed 7 lbs. 2 ounces and is 20 inches long. Olivia is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is perfect. Of course, the reality of her birth story was not my ideal birth. I was induced on Sunday and after 40 hours of pre-labor the doctors decided that the best thing for her was a cesearan section. I did not oppose it because 1.) I no longer wanted more drugs pumped into my body. My cervix was not dilating and therefore not reacting to the pitocin. 2.) The induction methods were starting to affect the baby and that is the last thing I wanted. I cried as they prepared me for surgery and the epidural to numb me made me shake. I prepared for months for a natural vaginal birth (books, classes, videos) and instead I found myself on an operating table scared to death and unable to feel my legs. The odd thing is that I forgot to realize something very important. My cousin pointed out that I got what I had wanted all along. It was just Todd and me at her birth. Sure, there were several doctors and nurses, but in my mind and in those moments I only felt Todd at my side and together we waited for our little girl to come. I didn't stop to think how intimate those moments were and how special it was when I heard the excitement in his voice when he said, "Val, she's beautiful!" I can still hear his voice perfectly! And she is beautiful. What more could I ask for? An amazing man to share her with, my family and friends anxiously waiting right outside the operating room, and a gorgeous and healthy baby girl. I am so lucky. So incredibly lucky.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today I added a couple of 3 month outfits to my diaper bag instead of just newborn ones. A friend of mine just had a baby weighing 9+ pounds and he's in 6 month old clothes! That's nuts. Since Olivia is still in my belly getting fatter, I wanted to make sure she had very fashionable outfits for when people come to meet her at the hospital that will fit her plus-size figure!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today is October 20th. I never thought this day would come, and now it's here. I loved having you in my belly. Even when I hated it I truly loved it. You've traveled with me to the other side of the country, you've lived with us in San Francisco, and lots of other fun things. I've had 9 months to prepare for you and now I'm very ready. We are dying to officially meet you. Don't want to sound mean, but please come out. It's been lovely having you, but I would like my body back. The baby hotel is closed for now. Thank you. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thank you Buddha for all of the positive energy and opportunity in my life. I thank you for a healthy pregnancy and the blessing of carrying this baby to full term. I hope for a safe and beautiful delivery and the healthy arrival of my little germ. Amen.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Had my 38 week visit today. Doctor checked and my cervix is 50% thinned out but I am not dilated at all it seems. I was kind of hoping for some action but expecting none. Two weeks until due date!

Monday, October 5, 2009

15 days until due date!

My body hurts, and I am tired, and my skin is stretching...
I cannot wait to see you and hold you and kiss you
but I will be patient and enjoy you in my belly
growing and moving and being with me every second.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good morning.

Books and boobs.

My energy is getting low lately. I like laying in bed but I force myself to be active to get this baby out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Valentine Bigsby

I am already mom to a furbaby. His name is Valentine. He is three and he came from the San Francisco SPCA. When I saw him I fell in love. He was partially shaved and only had long fur on his legs, head, and tail because he had a hard knock life before he was rescued. Valentine arrived to the SPCA with mats in his hairs and in desperate need of a comfy and loving home. We went to see kittens but he stole my heart. I baby him and spoil him so much. He sleeps on his own pillow next to me in our bed. He gets as many treats as he wants and drinks filtered water. Sometimes I feel guilty that he has no clue someone will be coming into our lives soon that will take so much of my attention. I hope he doesn't get too jealous.

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A little humor.

Yesterday I noticed Olivia wasn't being as acrobatic as usual. For a couple months now I feel her pretty much all day. If I am hungry, if I eat, if I am driving, anything! She was doing her expected number of movements for the day, but not as many as I like. This morning she was pretty lazy, too. I decided to go visit the nurses at Kaiser and get her checked out. Yes, I can be a bit paranoid. Even after I ate a bagel she was lazy and as we drove I took a couple sips of Todd's coffee and she was still quiet. When we arrived they decided to give her a non-stress test. It is a test created to make sure the baby is still thriving and happy and not under stress (especially as due dates get near). It measures her movements in conjunction with the rise and fall of her heart rate. So I lay down and get hooked up with little monitors on my belly. The nurse walks out and it's just me, Todd, and the little germ. Then she starts going nuts! She was practically pushing the monitors off my stomach! They were literally moving from side to side. Her heart rate was high, around 170 plus or minus, because she was so hyper! It was ridiculous. Well, she failed the test. Not because she wasn't moving (movement is the most reassuring sign of a healthy fetus) but because they couldn't establish a resting heart rate for her since she was doing karate in there. The second part of the test is an ultrasound to measure specific movements. So I settle onto the ultrasound table and the nurse puts the little wand thingy to my belly and Olivia is ASLEEP! She decided to go to take a nap for the part of the test that requires her to move and was too awake for the part that requires her to be relaxing! How silly is that?!! Anyway, she failed that part too since we couldn't wake her up. Her movements had to be voluntary or it wouldn't "count". Tomorrow I have to go back and get the test done again. Not because they are worried, obviously she is fine, but because Kaiser protocol requires a retake of the test if the baby fails (probably to avoid liability). She's too much.

Monday, September 28, 2009

TMI post #1

As my pregnancy draws to an end, there will be strange things happening to me. Actually, I shouldn't stay strange. The symptoms I will be having are actually totally natural and part of the brilliant engineering of human gestation and labor. If you don't want to hear about less than lovely things happening, then refrain from reading my upcoming TMI posts. :)
Last night, I was sure I was going to have a good night because I did not take a nap yesterday and my body was exhausted. I awoke around 3:00am feeling crampy and with a very sudden need to vomit. I went to the bathroom and dry heaved. Nothing came out. Then I felt like I needed to go #2 very badly. The #2 can be a sign of early labor, that and the cramping I had. There is a chemical released during early labor that makes the uterus contract, but it can also stimulate bowel movements. I went back to bed because the cramps were not regular. I was so uncomfortable. Horrible heartburn, restless legs, and the need to vomit. I had a burst of energy and almost packed my bag and Olivia's bag. I decided against it. I'm going to save that for when I know I am actually in labor. Then I went to the bathroom again convinced I was going to hurl but nothing happened. I finally fell asleep after a while. I woke up feeling okay, sort of tired. I feel the baby hanging so low. I'm curious to know what the doctor will tell me tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

When I thought you were a boy, I was really considering naming you Rufus or Barnaby.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A moment of honesty

Sometimes when I get a cramp, a strong one usually with a contraction, I sort of freak out for a second. I think- Wow, that was just a fraction of the intensity of a real labor contraction. I only dwell on this fear for a moment, but I won't lie and say the thought of a natural birth is not daunting. I've always had a high tolerance for pain, and I do not have any desire to not go forward with my plan but I am aware that it is going to be nothing like anything I have ever experienced. It is what is right for me, but I know it will not be a walk in the park. That is why pain management techniques are crucial. So much of pain is mental, pain is very emotional. I've also been working on my breathing. I breathe through those random cramps and it really makes all the difference. The pain of labor is what will bring my little girl into this world.

Infant CPR

Todd and I decided to take the infant CPR class a couple of months ago and I was looking forward to it. I woke up from my nap yesterday just an hour before the class and I was not too into going. We decided to go anyway and were both glad we did. We learned a lot, and were there for two hours though it did not feel like it. I would recommend it to anyone that is going to be around a small child. Or any child for that matter. I wish everyone that will babysit Olivia would take the class, too. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

cloth diaper stash: phase 1

Look how cute! Please note the custom-made Chargers diaper Todd requested :p There are 5 diapers from Bagshot Row Bamboo, 3 customs from Bunny Bumz on Etsy, two fleece covers from Bellies, Babies, and More, and 3 Thirsties x-small covers. I am waiting on 24 newborn Kissaluvs diapers to be shipped. I also want to buy a wool cover, those are supposed to be the best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Diaper bags: Solved

I finally got the diaper bag I ordered online. It is from Land's End (super random) and I really like it. It doesn't look cheesy or huge from the outside, but the inside is SUPER roomy and opens up like a doctor's bag! It was recommended to me by another mom that uses cloth diapers. They take up more room than disposables so I needed a bigger bag. And I got Olivia's name on it :) It was only $50 with monogramming and shipping. It's so well-made and nicer than other ones I have seen online and even at baby boutiques. I like it way more than the smaller pricier one that I got a while ago. I will probably use both, the Land's End one is more convenient but the smaller one will come in handy when I want a messenger style bag that is lighter and easier. I searched high and low and now I know that buying the trendy versions of things isn't always the way to go. I would recommend this bag. It comes in other colors, too.

pictures are crappy
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Too hot to be so pregnant. I'm melting. My energy has been stolen by the sun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9 months pregnant

I'm so anxious to meet you, but I will wait patiently until you are ready to make your grand appearance to the world. <3

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some photos

Todd and me at a wedding on Saturday
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My mom, me, and sister at the baby party (shower)
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

*vent*

Today it has been so hard to move. To get out of bed, put lotion on my legs, get out of the car, up from the couch, and bending over is impossible. Also, my belly is so itchy and my skin is so irritated. I don't know if it's just a not-so-good day or if this is the beginning of how the end of my pregnancy will be. I'm 36 weeks on Tuesday... that is the start of my 9th month. Whoa.

Been productive...

All clothes washed and put away. Custom mattress for crib ordered! Crib is almost done! And I love it. Next week Barb and I are making the sheets for the bed. Making a custom crib is hard because we didn't make it the standard size, it's a bit smaller. This means we have to make everything for it since the other sheets will be too big. It's okay though. Grandma Barb is really good at sewing and I can use my creativity to make whatever I want. We can make Halloween and Christmas sheets! :D

Cravings these past few days: Cinnamon brown sugar pop-tarts (I bought the healthy brand, not the pop-tart brand) and Captain Crunch berries cereal (since the beginning of pregnancy). Also, chicken rolled tacos with guacamole.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finally washing and folding baby clothes and putting them in her little dressers! Wayyyyy better wardrobe than me, that's for sure! Next step, bag packing for hospital. I want to go and buy myself some comfy sweats, pj's, and robe. I will do that tomorrow :)

Great news to wake up to.

I'm feeling very positive today. Ever since I became pregnant and started reading about childbirth, I knew that a natural, vaginal birth with no drugs was for me. I wasn't sure about home birth, but it was a very probable option. Mainly I wasn't sure because we would be moving and that made planning so hard. I had this idealized notion that when you are pregnant you see the same doctor at every visit and then that doctor delivers your baby. Not at Kaiser, which means it has not been the case for me. My first doctor at Kaiser in San Francisco, which I have mentioned, always seemed cold and standoffish. Then I had the nice Russian nurse practitioner and I had to leave her and come here to San Diego. Now I have Dr. Perez and though I like him, he is on a rotation with other doctors and if he is not there when I am in labor then I will have another doctor that I have never met deliver my baby. Plus, he is going on vacation and my next appointments will be with another doctor I haven't even met. I know what I want out of my birth, and unless there is a problem, I will not allow unnecessary medical interventions.
So, all of this brings me to this morning. A new friend recommended birthing classes that are taught by her midwife. She will be having a home birth (lucky!) and has been so helpful to me. I overthought taking the birthing classes and hadn't scheduled them and freaked out a couple of days ago when I noticed I need more preparation and I am getting to close to my due date. I called her midwife, Sunshine, and she called me back today. To make a long story short, I am not too late because she is willing to meet us (Todd and I) on Friday to make up for the class we missed last week then we start regular classes on Sunday for the next three weeks. We also talked about me hiring a doula to help me through labor and to stay with my birthplan since at the hospital I will be dealing with several nurses that do not know me or what I expect. It was such a relief to speak to her, we had a nice chat, and I cannot wait to meet her on Friday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Diaper Bag

I cannot find one I love. Any recommendations are welcome. Please. (:

Babe fest!

Yesterday was your baby party. It was wonderful. Your Auntie Leann and Auntie Gabbie along with Auntie Pal and Auntie Caela threw a beautiful party. There were adorable decorations, cupcakes, champagne, wine, yummy food, fun games, prizes, and a mountain of gifts. I was so happy to be with all of my friends. Aunt Lu made me cry because she made you a gorgeous surprise scrapbook. The entire book illustrates my entire pregnancy, from the very beginning! She included ultrasounds, belly pics, notes, and so many other thoughtful things. It is absolutely amazing. Very creative, and so incredibly thoughtful. Everyone was so generous and a lot of fun. Your dad was pouring drinks and helping Oma prepare all the food. He had a lot of fun, too! I cannot wait to add some pictures to the blog!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sun Sun Sun

34 weeks, 3 days

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The night hunger increases in intensity every day. It begins around 11pm and if ignored, I wake up at 3am completely starved. Milk and cereal, my favorite meal.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Todd at work on the crib. It is coming along beautifully. I cannot wait until it is done and painted and in our room!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One week closer to full term.

This is the blurb from my weekly Baby Center e-mail:

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Caffeine kicks

I feel guilty sometimes when I drink my daily small coffee because it makes you hyper! Haha, you're too young to get on the caffeine buzz. I usually don't finish them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My promise.

I promise I will always give you the best advice I can possibly give you. I promise to continue my education so that I can teach you many things just like your grandpa was able to teach me. I promise to always work hard to enrich my spirit and body so I can be a strong and positive example for you. I promise to help you experience the world and all of its beauty to the best of my ability. I promise to let you make your own informed choices one day and not try to shield you from truth and reality only because it doesn't include my own personal opinions (or your dad's). But, I can't help but hope you'll agree with us on some things... :)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Getting ready.

Still head down in my stomach. No breech baby :)

Stomach is definitely starting to drop. Sort of thought about it a couple of days ago, noticed it indubitably after my shower today.

Oh and, why is it still so hot?

Let me tell you something.

Your dad is truly a great person. I mean it. I already know you are going to have so much fun with him, learn so much from him, and get spoiled from his love and affection. We all know that no one is perfect, but let me tell you- this man is perfect for me. There are many things I'd love to share, one in particular, that make me know that he is different from other people. But, that one thing is pretty private so I will share a bittersweet and very recent story instead:

This morning we suffered a loss. Our sweet cat, Ramona Bernice Parnassus Currier, was hit by a car in the front of Grandma Barbs' house. She found her and wrapped her in a blanket and brought her inside. She woke Todd up at 6:30am to tell him. As soon as he was up, he started digging her a grave. Then he laid with me after giving me the terrible news. As I watched him digging (not a fun thing to do early in the morning in the already hot sun) I couldn't help but love him a little more. He never lets me down. In the most simple ways I know how big his heart is. We had a lovely burial in the backyard with flowers and a few laughs. Laughs at a funeral? Yes. Ramona had her stiff little leg sticking straight out and it did not fit the in the grave, so Todd had to dig an extra two inch space for the leg to fit. There was humor in that. Ramona could always make us smile.
Now, I can hear Todd in the garage and his loud woodcutting machine is on. I'll bet you five bucks he is making something to put on her grave.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September

then October.
September, October.

Next. Month.

*Yesterday the doctor told us that in 3 weeks, Olivia is considered full term and at that point they let women go into labor without trying to stop the contractions. In just THREE WEEKS, Olivia Simone can be born fully grown and healthy. Todd's eyes got really round and wide.

Monday, August 31, 2009

33 Week Doctor Visit.

You grew. Now you're measuring almost 5 pounds and with a due date of October 18th. I've noticed the growth even before today because the skin on my stomach feels like it is going to tear at the seams. I've also had a weird sensation around my belly button. To be perfectly blunt, it feels as if though my belly button is going to tear open. Today after the doctor visit and ultrasound, Todd asked me if I had looked at my belly today. Then he proceeded to inform me that I grew a baby stretch mark. I was horrified. Since I was 6 weeks along I have been putting on lotion and oil daily. The mark is small and very light, really no big deal. I know that I have been lucky so far. I just hope it will be my only one. One is okay. I can actually learn to like it. One little mark from this very big adventure. A souvenir.

Belly at 6 weeks
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Belly now
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Fact: You totally dig Belle & Sebastian. You're dancing! Good taste in music already.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hot, hot heat

Few things:

1. I go outside and my energy goes to zero almost instantly. My belly weighs more when I am hot, I swear.

2. Monday is the last day of August. Ahhhh! Then when people ask me when I am having my baby I will say: "Next month!" Holy cow. I am getting the nesting itch like nothing else and I want to at least get her crib ready and her clothes washed. I want to baby shop. I'm not even dying to buy all this stuff for her that I am not even going to use at first. Unlike most pregnant women, I'm not a huge fan of Babies R Us. I just want the essentials. Especially since I do not know what I will need and want until after she is born. Everyone suggests I wait until after my baby "party" to start buying anything. In the meantime, I am working on my diaper stash. There is a stay-at-home mom that makes diapers and sells them once a week on her online shop. There is a super high demand for them. They are supposed to be the best and are super cute and of course I feel that those are the ones Olivia needs. I'm getting good at stalking the site and getting them before they sell out :) Makes it even funner! Haha. Last week she got a Hello Kitty one. I need to get a life.

3. My friends are amazing and spoil me like nothing else.

4. My boobs are huge and I need nipple cream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Haven't slept through the night in about two weeks now. Peeing about twice each night, no matter what. Leg cramps. Hunger. Cannot get comfortable. Counting days at this point.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Moo

Updated belly pics. 31 weeks 5 days (approx.)
p.s. My double bellybutton is actually the ugly scar from when I pierced my bellybutton when I was 16. It stretched with my belly. Ew.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book worms

...I'm currently reading and really enjoying Ina May's book, it is empowering and inspirational. I like how she never discredits modern medicine, but puts the strength of the female body and of the mind as the most important tools for a natural and beautiful childbirth. The women in her book share their stories and write of delivering their babies as a life-altering experience and not as something painful and unpleasant they just wanted to get over and done with.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Olive trees

I think the most amazing part of getting the 3D/4D ultrasound was that it really put the reality of Olivia in perspective. I mean, I have been mentally preparing myself for what is to come since I knew I was going to have a baby. But, in my mind she has just been a "baby", a small something that exists but not entirely. It's like I am used to being pregnant, used to having something extra in my belly, but it's still just me. Seeing her yesterday, an actual little body and not just a 2D ultrasound skeleton, all I could think was "Wow". She is so beautiful to me, so pure. I feel so much peace when I feel her. An innocent little life, she didn't ask to be here, but she will be. I'm aware of the fact that we all had the same tiny beginning, we were all sweet creatures in someone's belly. I suppose it makes my outlook different though, thinking this way. I can think of the negative aspects of our world, but remembering that we were all little peas once makes me feel a lot more hopeful.

There she is.

I've never seen a sweeter face than this. I cannot wait to meet you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My crafty cloth wipes... sewing skills need improving.

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First four.

Current project...

Making my own cloth diaper wipes! They are cute (I can pick any pattern of flannel I like) and super easy to make. I haven't started mine, but they will look something like this:

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What is it like to be almost 8 months pregnant? Can't sleep, can't get comfortable, starving at 4:30am, got up to pee three times since I went to bed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

8 months in two weeks...

Holy moley.
Still not soon enough.
I feel like a sitting duck.
...waiting...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Doctor Visit

We finally had our first San Diego appointment. I really liked the doctor, a funny little man named Dr. Perez. All is great it seems, he says both baby and I are doing very well. My blood pressure is good, weight gain is healthy, cervix is how it should be. Then we had an ultrasound and chubby is 3lbs 4oz! This is just an estimate, but that is a very healthy and on target weight for her gestational age. She was very active and hiding her face, but she did flash her lady parts! There is NO DOUBT that this child is a girl. None. It was funny to see her moving her little fingers and snacking on (opening her mouth and swallowing) amniotic fluid (yum?).
I signed up for an infant CPR class and a breastfeeding class. Also, I have opted to not take the generic childbirth classes. After doing some research (I'm getting really good at research) I learned that most likely I will benefit more from reading certain books than attending generic classes. The really good ones are super expensive and not very available, and the literature can be just as informative. I just ordered Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth... she is pretty much the Queen Bee of midwifery. She's even on Wikipedia. I wish I could have her deliver my baby.

Cloth diapering

So, the more I research it and learn about it, the more I want to try cloth diapering. There are a million different options and SOOOO much information on the internet. I have found great groups of women doing cloth diapering that know so much and are so willing to share their knowledge. It is overwhelming because there are so many different natural fabrics you can use (hemp, wool, cotton, fleece, bamboo) and so many different types of diaper covers. Then, you also have to learn about the best and easiest way to wash diapers and which detergents work best. I absolutely love the interwebs. Now I shall answer the question. Why the heck do you want to use cloth diapers?

1. Cost. Cloth diapering, once you have your stash, is a lot cheaper than buying disposables. You have to invest in getting your supply of diapers and covers, but after that, they should last until the baby is potty-trained. Especially if you buy the best ones (like I am).
2. It is better for my baby and for the environment. Babies that are cloth diapered have virtually no diaper rash, especially if they are babies with sensitive skin. Also, because the natural fibers are breathable, anti-bacterial, and not synthetic, it is better for their little butts and private parts regardless. Adults should also use 100% natural fibers for their underwear. Also, disposable diapers take years to biodegrade and in the meantime, imagine how many diapers are sitting in landfills all over the world. Respect for Mother Earth :)
3. Todd was the first one to even suggest cloth diapering. His mother cloth diapered his brother and him so he supports this decision entirely. Having his support is helpful because that means he will help me wash them. :P
4. It's really not that big of a deal. Most moms do one load of diapers every other day (depending how many diapers you have to rotate). And you're only supposed to use very little detergent, so you aren't spending a whole lot on soap either. You keep dirty diapers (after rinsing the poo ones with the sprayer in the toilet) in a pail until you have enough for a laundry load. They sell "wet bags" that are made to hold diapers in your diaper bag until you go home and put them in the poo pail. If you are going to be away and unable to wash diapers (vacation, for example) then you may just have to use disposables. No biggie.
5. They are way cuter than disposables :) There are hundreds of color and patterns to choose from. And I enjoy buying them from other moms that make them and sell them on their online shops. So much funner than buying Huggies.

There ya go.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sheep pants

Cloth diapers are cute. Haha.

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These past few days I will just sit in awe of your strong and almost painful movements. I just cannot believe how much my stomach moves from the outside as you toss and turn. I love it but at the same time it hurts sometimes when you kick me hard!

Pretty knitting for Olivia Simone

Here are some photos of my great-aunt's beautiful gift for the baby... I took them with my phone so they aren't the best... Can't wait to take some with her in these clothes!

The Blanket

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Flowers and bow on blanket details

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Dress & Coat

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Booties & hat

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Thoughtful

Uncle Mike's very sweet girlfriend Andrea gave the baby a very lovely gift today... Two Olivia books and a little Olivia doll! So unexpected and generous. Also, my great-aunt knitted her the most beautiful blanket, dress, sweater dress, hat, and booties! Yes, all of those things. I have to take photos. Truly the most gorgeous, detailed, and thoughtful knitting I have ever seen. She is very talented.

What a lucky little girl my Olivia is. So many people think of her. I will be sure to remind her of this.

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