Thursday, October 31, 2013

A-Day and Halloween

Yesterday we celebrated Zoey's 2 year adoption birthday! Words can't describe how much love this little munchkin has brought to our lives. Finding her on petfinder.com at Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue was such a defining moment for us, and adopting her was the best decision of our lives. Her world is about to be rocked in a few weeks when we welcome a new addition to our family. But I think Zoey will adapt beautifully, and welcome her little brother or sister with the same love and affection that she shows to us.
 
We celebrated last night with an extra special dinner, extra treats after dinner, and lots of cuddles. 
Halloween 2012
Zoey has something to say to you courtesy of the My Talking Pet app on the iphone! (Best .99 cents I ever spent!)
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bumpdate: 35 Weeks

  
How Far Along: 35 Weeks!

Baby is the size of: A honeydew melon
 
Total Weight Gain: 31 pounds

Sleep: Actually pretty good this week! The beds at the hotel in Pennsylvania for my friend's wedding were waaayyy too soft for me. Luckily, I was so incredibly exhausted after the wedding that it wasn't too bad, and I was able to sleep pretty well. Still very reliant on my snoogle!

Best Moment of the week:
*My friend's wedding! It was a LONG day, and I definitely did take notice of my my swelling feet and legs by the end of the night...but I did it! I made it through all the wedding festivities including the after-party AND was still able to do my split on the dance floor when I was introduced at the reception. All in all, I'd say it was a success, and I can't wait to share more details about the day with you later this week.

*Got this little gem in the mail from Ariane, my good friend at WeddingMix! Thanks Ariane! We'll have this baby sleeping like a champ in no time!

My glider/recliner for the nursery arrived!! It is so incredibly comfortable and I love it!! Thank you to my in-laws for the chair! I can already picture the many nursing sessions, bedtime stories, and cuddle sessions that will take place in this chair!
The pillow-case on the chair was purchased on Etsy from Nest 2 Impress. I just have to get a pillow form for it!

Worst Moment of the Week:
*That time that I made my lunches for the whole week on Sunday so that it was all prepared, and then I dropped one as I was putting it into the fridge and lost an entire lunch to the glass shards of my pyrex dish and a dirty floor. I sat on the floor holding Zoey and crying while Chris cleaned it up....what was that I said last week about not being hormonal?

*Really intense gas pains on my way home from work on Wednesday. I literally thought my intestines were going to burst. I thought for a brief moment that perhaps I was passing a kidney stone and I also contemplated getting off the subway and finding the nearest hospital. It hurt so. bad. Luckily once I started walking and got some fresh air, I felt much better.

Miss Anything: Red Wine

Food Cravings: Dark Chocolate

Anything make you queasy or sick: No..but I'm getting fuller faster

Have you started to show? So silly:

Gender: Team Green! Still thinking boy - HOWEVER, I've now started to think that it might be a girl, simply because I've been so adamant that it's a boy, it would just make sense that it's actually a girl. I'm really torn on what I actually think it is.

Symptoms:
Scratch rash on my legs- at least I hope it's a rash from scratching. I will ask the doctor about this on Friday. The itchiness isn't as bad (I'm putting cocoa butter on my legs morning and night) but they definitely look busted.

Swelling in hands and legs - Trying to put my feet up more after work, my ring is getting tighter and tighter.

Lots of crazy kicks, movements and hiccups. We can feel full-on limbs now. I felt what I think was a foot the other day and it kicked back at me!

Workouts: Yoga again!! Yay! Walks with Zoey

Mood: I'm finding myself being more and more blasé about things. Like kind of taking a "whatever...I don't care" approach to decisions that we've been trying to make. Not in a disgusted way but in a "I really don't have the energy to think about this or that anymore" or "You know what...if the nursery isn't done on time...I don't care" type thing. I don't have the energy to get too worked up over much - except for a spilled lunch on my kitchen floor, obviously. Because wasting food is a crime! Plus, I really liked that glass pyrex dish.

Looking forward to: Our lamaze class on Saturday!! There, we will tour the hospital. Then we are attending a registry completion event on Sunday morning where we're going to exchange/buy all last minute items we need. And installing the car seat into my car this weekend!

Maternity Clothes: Special thanks to Kerry for dropping off a maternity wool coat for me last week! She saw my post saying that as long as it doesn't get really cold, I would try to hold out buying a coat - but now I have this lovely coat for the last cold month! I don't have a picture of its beautiful-ness, will try to post next week!

Stretchmarks: Yes, but no new ones and only on my sides. I've been pleasantly surprised with how "not bad" they are.

Rings on or off? Engagement ring off, wedding band on

Bellybutton in or out? In the words of Heidi Klum on Project Runway: You're OUT

This week I:
*Continued working on my Baby Shower Thank You's.
*Ordered some more decor for the nursery
*Decided on a pediatrician - we are just going with one that we liked that's close to our house. If we feel the need to switch to a different place after a few visits with him, we know where we would switch to, should we feel so inclined. I hate to take such a blasé approach to this decision, but see "mood" from earlier to explain this. Picking a pediatrician is hard...they all seem "nice" and how the heck do you know?!

Reading: Still reading the Paris Wife - this has been a slow read for me.

Milestones: Kidneys are fully developed now and the liver can process some waste products. Basic physical development is now mostly complete. The main job over the next few weeks is to put on weight. Fetal Brain development if moving at a mind-boggling pace. Weighs about 5.5 pounds

Bumpdates:
Week 34
Week 33
Week 32
Week 31
Week 29 
Week 28
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
First Trimester

Linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesday

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Protecting Your Child's Digital Image

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Last week, a coworker sent me a Slate.com article entitled We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online. This is a very interesting topic and something that I think many people either think too much or too little about. You should read the article but basically, the author does not post a single picture of her child anywhere online, ever. In addition: her and her husband chose a name solely based on the fact that it wasn't previously associated with anyone who had an online presence, and already created email accounts, bought a website domain in the child's name, and:
"On the day of her birth, our daughter already had accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Github. And to this day, we’ve never posted any content. All accounts are kept active but private...
...When we think she’s mature enough (an important distinction from her being technically old enough), we’ll hand her an envelope with her master password inside. She’ll have the opportunity to start cashing in parts of her digital identity, and we’ll ensure that she’s making informed decisions about what’s appropriate to reveal about herself, and to whom. "

The author refers to this as a "digital trust fund." While it's an interesting concept, I personally, think it's overkill. By the time our children are old enough for this stuff, who even knows if Facebook, Twitter or instagram will still be a thing. They'll be the new "myspace" and your child probably won't care whether or not they have accounts on them. Also: are they creating these accounts using the child's full name? What if your child wants to remain anonymous - my twitter and instagram handles don't have my name in it at all. What if your child wants to be cupcake305 because he or she likes baking?   
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As for the sharing pictures of your children online: Sharing pictures, whether on instagram, Facebook, or otherwise, seems to fall into three different camps:
  1. Those who share every waking and sleeping moment of their child's life - I understand you're proud and excited but sometimes, this approach can be overkill.
  2. Those who occasionally post a photo here or there of their adorable child doing adorable things - And why shouldn't they feel proud when little Johnny takes his first steps? Why wouldn't you want to share that moment?
  3. Those who have never and will never post a single picture of their child to the internet. Ever. - I totally see why and respect parents who are able to do this one. I get it, there are things out there that we haven't even begun to understand - but not sharing a single moment, milestone, or picture of my child would be very challenging for me.
There are pros and cons to each scenario listed above. One isn't "right" or "wrong", it just all comes down to a matter of personal parenting choices between you and your partner. You both need to be on the same page about what is or isn't allowed to be shared online.

Reading this article led me to think about my blog, and how much I will share/blog about after our child is born. Obviously, I love blogging. I love the personal documentation of things and events that are meaningful to me in my life, and I love sharing that with my family and friends. An extra bonus just happens to be that it has allowed me to connect with a community of other like-minded individuals, many of whom are going through the same thing. This community has been extremely beneficial to me as we learn together and share new and interesting things with each other. I also get certain perks through advertising, or freebies that have been helpful and exciting. So you can imagine that after all of this blogging, weekly bumpdates, and almost daily posts on pregnancy, the thought of not posting anything about my baby just to protect his/her digital image seems a little bit anticlimactic and frankly, sad, to me.
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So, I will be posting about my child. I will post about life as a mom, and life post-pregnancy. All I can do is continue to instill as many safeguards and privacy settings I can to make sure I am not over-exposing or harming my child in any way. This will include keeping our last name and address off the blog, checking all search engines for my name periodically to see what comes up, protecting my tweets from public view, and being picky about what photos and videos I post. Sadly: It's the bath-time photos that can make any pervert out there take an innocent moment and make it not-so innocent. I acknowledge that. I spent a great deal of time cleaning up my online presence this week. Every once in a while, I'll google search my name and see what comes up. You'd be surprised what websites have gathered your information without you even knowing it. A simple email to a company asking to remove your profile, will usually work.

We grew up in an age where online social media was new and so we, as mostly adults, were able to create and manage our own digital footprint. It was solely up to us to be as discreet or non-discreet as we wanted. But, by sharing your child's life, you're creating a digital footprint for them from the time they leave the womb. What repercussions could that have down the road? These days, facial recognition software is the new thing, and lord only knows what that will lead to and what else will develop in the next 5, 10, 15 years?!

When your mom wanted to embarrass you to your prom date in High School, she invited him over and pulled out the old photo album. Now, we may start to see our teenager's prom date pulling up a plethora of embarrassing photos and material on his phone before he even arrives to the front door. Think about it.
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Even with all that, I like watching my friend's children grow up on facebook. It allows me to still feel connected to them and their families even if I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. It makes me happy to see their families grow, and to see a picture or two of their weekend apple picking adventure. As long as we keep strict privacy settings on our accounts, and show some discretion with certain photos, I think we can all find some balance in this digital media world.

So what is the line? Is there a line? And how do you decide what you want that line to be?


Do you have any rules or guidelines about what you will or won't share of your child online? Do you ever worry you're sharing too much, or too little? What safeguards do/will you implement to protect your child's digital footprint?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bumpdate: 34 Weeks


How Far Along: 34 Weeks!

Baby is the size of: A cantaloupe!
 
Total Weight Gain: 30 pounds!!

Sleep: Meh- two nights not so good. I finally slept better on the third night by propping myself up and sleeping kind of half way sitting. I was waking up with major hip pain and sleeping almost sitting up was taking the pressure off of either side of my hips. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night to pee is literally, without a doubt, one of the physically hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. It literally takes all my strength.

Best Moment of the week:
*Getting the CRIB!!!!!! Every time I walk by the room I sort of stop short - it's so weird to see a crib in there! Isn't it so pretttty???

*Had our 34th week appointment. It literally goes like this now: Pee in a cup (literally...this is the hardest thing to do in the world...am I right?), take your weight, take your blood pressure, listen for heartbeat. Thank you, see you in two weeks. My next appointment is when they start to get into the nitty gritty though - I could potentially only have 2 or 3 more appointments before the baby's due!

*Zoey trying out the new Radio Flyer Wagon we got as a gift! She didn't really know what to make of it, but I envision many rides in here with her little brother or sister.

*Had dinner on Friday with my grandmother's best friend of somewhere between 40 and 50 years! My grandmother passed away in April 2012, and I so wish that she was alive now to meet what would be her first great-grandchild. Sharing some time with her friend, Jane, was very special and unique, and I know my Grandma would be so happy if she were here.

Worst Moment of the Week:
*I got two dizzy spells on a walk on Sunday. They were fleeting, and I was able to get home fine.
*Cramps on Saturday evening on our way to a friend's house. I had visions of arriving to her house and going into labor. Once I had water, they stopped so I guess I was dehydrated from the day. 

Miss Anything: The usual stuff, but nothing out of the oridnary.

Food Cravings: Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies - I can't stop eating them - but that's normal for this time of year so I don't think that's necessarily a pregnancy craving, just a craving that I'm giving into. I DEF. have gotten my cooking and baking bug bag. In the past week I've made Italian Wedding Soup, Sweet Potato soup, Apple Crisp, and about 8 batches of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (I'm freezing them or giving some away)

Anything make you queasy or sick: Nope!

Have you started to show? My boss is convinced that I am going to go into labor any day now because I'm so big. He thinks my doctors have my due date wrong. And I don't think he's joking. I've gotten a few surprised looks when I tell people I still have 6 weeks to go. I know it took me a while to really really show and look pregnant, but now, I'm making up for it on the back-end (pun intended). However, on my walk yesterday morning I told my neighbor I had 5 weeks left and she said "But you're so tiny!" So...I'm all sorts of confused...

Gender:  I had a very vivid dream that I had a girl on Thursday night - which they say means you're having a boy. But now I've had two dreams in which I have a girl and one dream in which I have a boy - so somebody explain that one to me. Also again, like the last time, in my dream - my labor was a piece of cake: Over in 2 seconds and I kept saying "Oh my God it was so easy!" I'm sure that's exactly how it will be, too....

Anyway, still team Green!

Symptoms:
Sleeping is getting harder and harder
I'm going to the bathroom more and more
Woke up with charlie horses in BOTH my legs on Friday morning. It hurt SO BAD, I was crying out in pain. My calf muscles were sore for the entire weekend after that. Massages from the hubby are helping.
Itchy itchy scratchy scratchy, still allll over my legs! Lotion helps.
My heartburn was not as bad this week as it was last week. I only got it slightly. I'm sure certain foods are triggering it, but I haven't been paying close enough attention to figure it out.

Workouts: Made it to YOGA! Yayaya!! It was fabulous!! It's amazing what a difference a month makes - not even really with my flexibility or strength but with my BELLY! I definately had to modify some things because my belly was getting in the way.

Mood: My coworkers asked me why I'm so calm. They said "Aren't you supposed to be raging with hormones and crying every day?" I really don't feel that hormonal...Iphone and google commercials always made me cry, and I don't feel like I've cried anymore than the usual amount.

Looking forward to: My friend's wedding this weekend!!! Post coming soon on "How to be an 8 month pregnant bridesmaid!" I'm just going to wing this one as I go. but I am SOOO excited to celebrate with her and all our friends. Also: the seamstress did an amaaazing job on my dress, it fits so well, and it looks just like the other girl's dresses even though I ordered a different style!

Maternity Clothes: I really hope/think I can hold out for the next 5 weeks with what I have on hand. My pants are mostly "capris" but if I unroll them and if it stays warm enough, I think I can make do. I also can't button up any of my coats - so again, as long as we don't get winter weather, I don't want to have to buy a warm coat for just a few weeks.

Stretchmarks: Small white ones on my hips, keeping up with BioOil

Rings on or off? Engagement ring off, wedding band on - though getting tight!

Bellybutton in or out? I think it's safe to say "out". I imagine my belly button is singing this: but without the flat stomach:

This week I:
*Mailed in my pre-registration paperwork for the hospital! Wahoo!
*Started on my "Thank You" cards for the shower, FINALLY
*Ordered some art and decor for the nursery
*Opened up a ton of boxes from our shower and just started trying things out.  For instance, I wanted to try our mesh crib liner on the crib - but I discovered that it just doesn't fit on it right and will need to replace it with a new one. But this is why we're testing things out now!
*Scheduled delivery for my new glider/rocker! (this coming Saturday!!)
*Played around with my newly downloaded WordSwag iphone app:

Reading: The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

Milestones: Baby weighs about 5 pounds and measures 20 inches. The baby is primarily building up fat and fingernails having probably reached the tips of his fingers by now.


Bumpdates:
Week 33
Week 32
Week 31
Week 29 
Week 28
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
First Trimester

Linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesday

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Mom, Incorporated


From Goodreads: 
According to research, there are more than 10 million women who own and lead their own businesses. Entrepreneur Aliza Sherman (founder of Cybergrrl, Inc.) and blogger Danielle Smith (founder of ExtraordinaryMommy.com) have joined forces to write a book that helps women who are already moms (or are thinking about becoming moms in the future) learn how to take charge of the family/work balance by starting their own businesses. 

As more women become mompreneurs, there is an increased need for a book that will cover all aspects of how moms can successfully start and run a business that allows them to make money, pursue a profession, and have time to devote to the kids as well. This practical, user-friendly book will draw on Aliza and Danielle's own experiences, and their interviews with moms who've started their own successful businesses. 

In addition, Aliza has interviewed numerous business experts about funding for women, and the book will include valuable information about the current alternative sources of funding for female entrepreneurs. Also, in sidebars throughout the book, Aliza will address women who don't have children yet but are planning for it down the road and want to know how to combine having a family with running their own business.

My Thoughts:
This book was interesting, though I found myself skimming certain parts of it. It has a few helpful tips and tricks, and I especially liked the section in the back that highlighted some real-life women who have successfully started businesses from home. I don't really plan on starting up an online or retail business, which was really what this book was geared toward. But, some of the advice could certainly be applied to me, if and when I open up a piano studio. If you're serious about starting up your own business now, or one day, I could see how this book would help you when you get down to the nitty-gritty. Right now, it was an interesting book to skim through.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Creative MOM!

How neat is this? This woman is very clever and took her son's nap-time positions and made them into artwork!  Mom turns her infant son’s nap positions into awesome activities with a pen 

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Happy Friday! We have another busy weekend ahead of us getting the nursery together!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Buy Buy Baby Registry Consultation

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On Saturday morning, Chris and I had a one on one consultation with a Personal Shopping Consultant at Buy Buy Baby. I realize that usually, a couple does this sort of consultation when they first set up their registry after they find out they're pregnant. But Chris and I didn't do this. I set up 99% of my registry completely online. I did my own research on products online and then added my decisions as I went along. Going to the store when you initially set up your registry is extremely overwhelming and daunting. I remembered it not being so pleasant when we set up our wedding registry, so I could only imagine how overwhelming it would be for baby stuff. There is SO MUCH to think about and I didn't really want to go to the store and leave feeling exhausted.

So I took a few months to set up my registry, had my Baby Shower, and left it at that, feeling confident in my decisions. There are still a few lingering items on our registry that weren't purchased that we've been debating whether or not are necessity items or not. Last week I was contacted by Leah, a Public Relations Assistant for Buy Buy Baby, and asked if I wanted to set up a consultation to help us finalize and complete our purchases before the baby arrived, and I thought "why not?"

This consultation was actually QUITE helpful. Since I've already had my Baby Shower, I've already set-up my registry, and I've already done the research, the pressure and "overwhelm-ness" was gone and I was able to have more of a conversation with the consultant and ask my burning questions, rather than her just telling us the products that they recommend while we nod and go along with it. I came in with my questions: "Do I need this?" "I didn't get this, should I have it now, or later?" I came in saying "I know these are the best two carriers, can I try them both and see for myself which one I like?" Our "Personal Shopping Consultant", Alexa, was on the ball and gave us her honest opinions and advice on each product I had a question about.

My big question was the carriers. I got two wraps for newborns (still trying to decide which one will be best, but I need a baby to really know!) but I wanted a sturdier one for longer walks and for a larger child. Alexa brought out a 10 pound baby doll for me to use when trying out the different carriers!

If I may brag - Alexa said I was a natural with the baby! Haha, good to know I can handle a 10 pound baby doll!! I tried on two different Baby Bjorn carriers: The standard and the active. The active had SO MUCH more support on my back. I quickly made that change to my registry so I know which one to buy. I also tried on the ErgoBaby, but that was much harder to get the baby in and out of without the help of someone else. I liked the ease of the Baby Bjorn Active carrier best.

What carriers do you recommend?

She also pointed us in the direction of a snap n' go stroller that is more compatible with our specific car seat than the one we got, which I was grateful for.

She showed us what bottles she recommends for mothers who plan to mostly breastfeed (again a change from what I had on my registry), She suggested we buy some pairs of baby mittens, and pointed us in the direction of a small, lightweight swing since we only have a bouncer right now.


We left there with a better understanding of what we still need, and what we received that we maybe don't actually need. Our local store is having a registry completion event on Sunday, November 3rd where couples can get 20% off their entire purchase!! So, now we are assessing our current inventory, and making a list of all the things we still need, plus all the things we thought we'd need but maybe don't. We will have QUITE the trip to Buy Buy Baby on the 3rd! Can't wait!

Thank you so much to Leah, Alexa and Buy Buy Baby for setting up this consultation. It was very helpful for us as we complete our registry, and my experience with the BBB registry has been a very pleasant one!

Disclaimer: I was given a $25.00 gift card in exchange for writing about my personal shopping experience at Buy Buy Baby. Of course, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bumpdate: 33 Weeks


How Far Along: 33 Weeks!

Baby is the size of: A pineapple

Total Weight Gain: Still at 28!

Sleep:
Sunday into Monday I was up from 4:30am until my alarm went off at 6:00am. And what happened then? After my alarm went off...I slept until 7. Soooo alarm going off triggers sleep. Ok. Luckily, I didn't work on Monday so it was no big deal. Other than that night, sleeping fine.

Best Moment of the week:

*Chris painted the nursery allll day on Sunday all by himself! He was such a hard worker, and it really paid off. It looks great!! His parents had two leftover cans of green paint from their basement that fit our color scheme perfectly, so we were able to use that and I can't wait to see it all come together now!

*
I don't know if it's our imagination or if we're being extra cuddly with her, but Zoey has been extremely cuddly and needy lately. It's actually the cutest thing ever and it kind of melts my heart. She crawls into my lap any chance she gets. If I'm sitting...she's there: wants to be in my lap at all times, even though she can't even really sit in it, she has to sort of "perch" on the belly. It's the first sign of any change in her since I've been pregnant. (that we've noticed anyway)


Worst Moment of the Week:
*I FINALLY had a free day to go to yoga after a month hiatus and I STILL missed my train. Couldn't go and moped about it for the rest of the evening. Yep...I moped.

*Trying on the bridesmaid dress that I'm wearing in oh...3 weeks...for a friend's wedding. I ordered it 3 sizes bigger than I measured back in May, and it wouldn't even zip up. Sadly - this dress was not as huge as I anticipated it being. All is well, it's currently in the hands of a proficient tailor and I'm picking it up 4 days before the wedding - yikes!

*A coworker referred to me leaving for maternity leave/then working from home as "retirement" and I couldn't help but question the intent behind the comment. Totally not worth getting into it with her, whether she meant it or not - but I have a feeling this isn't the first time I'll be faced with a comment like that, and I should probably start practicing with some appropriate responses.

*Kind of annoyed that my doctor cancelled my appointment yesterday last minute because he had a meeting. I had to reschedule for Thursday morning. I specifically scheduled it for Monday because I had off of work....not thrilled.

Miss Anything:
I actually really did want a glass of spiced red wine over the weekend. It's the season for great reds now that it's getting colder.

Food Cravings:
Actually yes: Chocolate Milk. I've been LOVING a big, tall glass of chocolate milk, and lately - Chris has been making them with a scoop of peanut butter mixed in and Oh MY HEAVEN. It's all I can do not to chug it like a glass of water on a hot day.

Anything make you queasy or sick:
Nope

Have you started to show?
Yes


Gender:
Team Green

Symptoms:

*Heartburn every day from about 2:00pm-7:00pm. It usually starts up after lunch and lasts until I eat dinner. This week it got reallllly bad. Like burning so bad in my throat I could hardly swallow at one point.

*Cramps on Thursday - maybe dehydration? VERY Stuffed nose started on Monday - actually wondering if I'm coming down with something?

*The itching started this week...just a few days ago, on Friday I think. I've heard about the itching during the later stages of pregnancy but didn't really understand what it would feel like...but now I do. It started at my feet and ankles on Friday - it felt like I had a bunch of mosquito bites and it felt so good to scratch them. Then on Sunday afternoon into Sunday and Monday it moved up my legs. My legs are itching me sooooo badly. Ariane, from Storymix Media, says that it means I need to drink more water. Which, I was sort of bad about on Sunday and Monday. Anyway, the itching is really annoying! Seriously hoping I don't have 6+ more weeks of it!

Workouts:
Missed Yoga (see worst moment of the week) Walks with Zoey

Mood:
Generally good

Looking forward to:
Getting the crib delivered today!!! The nursery is all starting to come together now! Now we can actually unpack all the nursery items and decorate this weekend!

Maternity Clothes:
Yes

Stretchmarks:
Nothing new, using BioOil at least once, sometimes twice, a day.

Rings on or off?
Engagement ring off, wedding band on

Bellybutton in or out?
Ehhhhh hard to say. Kind of half in, half out...the top half is jutting out more and more each week.

This week I: 

*Painted the nursery (Well Chris did)

*Organized baby shower gifts some more - it took me two days to create a spreadsheet keeping track of what everyone got for me. Now - MUST START THANK-YOU'S!!!

*Had another consultation at Buy, Buy Baby (more on that tomorrow)
 

*Finalized details with my boss for my maternity and part-time work from home situation after I have the baby (which I wrote about yesterday)

This week's question:
What exactly is DREFT and why do I need to wash my baby clothes with it?

Reading:
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Milestones:

This week the baby weighs just over 4 pounds and is about 17 inches long

Bumpdates:

Week 32
Week 31
Week 29
Week 28
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
First Trimester


Linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesday

Monday, October 14, 2013

Maternity Leave and Beyond

One of the many questions you will get asked when you're pregnant is "How much time will you be able to take off of work?" which is always followed by "Will you work after the baby is born?"

Both are completely legitimate and valid questions. I think it's good to have a conversation with other women and moms to see what they did, are doing, or are planning to do, to gauge what is expected, allowed, or even legal once you are in the same situation.

First, a little background on my post-college work life:
I double majored in Arts Administration and Music in college. I was dead set on being a high-powered production person for some big-time Broadway Musical in Manhattan. After college, I was hired as an assistant in Fundraising at the Metropolitan Opera and I thought I had made it. The day I was offered the job, I ran around my parent's house screaming with excitement - the dog barking behind me. Working at the Met was really cool. I attended tons of Met Opera Galas, opening nights, and various other events in which many celebrities were in attendance. I've checked in a frenzied Barbara Walters who was running late and showed her to our event. I chatted very briefly with Shawn Connery and stood just a few feet away from Joshua Jackson, to name a few. I attended tons of operas, made some very good friends, and every day this was my view as I walked into work:
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Life was glamorous for awhile but unfortunately, after 2 years, the glamour and allure of it wore off for me, and I was kind of over it. Yes, I had become..."a jaded New Yorker". Really what it came down to was the fact that I didn't really like/respect/care for my boss, mostly because she didn't really like/respect/care for me (or any other of her employees). Also funny enough, I didn't really like opera. I appreciate opera as a beautiful art form, and I saw some amazing productions in my time there. But I quickly discovered that opera is not my go-to form of entertainment. So I began looking for other jobs....and looking...and looking...and looking. I went on a few interviews, but this was at the beginning of the market crash and no one was really hiring. Day by day I grew more and more frustrated. I had asked around to many friends and old co-workers to keep an eye out for any job opportunities, and one day a former co-worker called me to say that she knew someone who was looking for a new Personal Assistant. I was a little weary at first - it wasn't that arts involved, and not nearly close to what I ever expected to be doing...but I was at the point where if she had called to offer me a job at McDonald's, I probably would have taken it. I was called in to interview with him the next morning and by 1:00 that afternoon, had a job offer. On a whim, hope, and prayer, I took the job and put in my notice at the Opera.

Fast forward to now:
Now, I've been a Personal Assistant to a wealthy business-man in Manhattan for over 3 years and I am so unbelievably happy. It's much less drama, much less stress, and a much more nurturing, caring, accepting environment. Sometimes, I've gone through periods where I've asked myself "What exactly am I doing here?" I'm not really on any "career path" and there isn't really anywhere to move up to here. But, I believed that this job came to me for a reason.
The view from my office

Chris and I have long discussed and planned for the possibility of me not working, or only working part-time once we had kids. It was very important to me, and to us, that I be home as much as possible in the early years of our children's lives. I also knew that there was no way I could continue tolerating a 1 hour commute (on a good day) into Manhattan each way, every day - that adds up to a whole 10 additional hours each week that I'd be away from my baby! Some days, I don't get home until 7:00, and I see other friends with kids who have already put their children to bed!
Waiting for trains = story of my life
What makes this job so much better for me is that I really respect and appreciate my boss, and I feel the same in return from him. We work well together and are very open and honest with each other. When the subject of maternity leave came up after I announced my pregnancy, he asked me "How much time do you want?" When he asked me what I wanted to do after my maternity leave, I was open about my concerns continuing with full-time work. He in turn, offered to work out a flexible situation for me in which I work part-time, fully from home.

What's nice for me is that I'm the only person in my particular position at work, and the first one of his employees, ever, to have a child. So we're all just making it up as we go along, and no one else is in a position to argue for this, or argue for that.

I will be earning half my full-time salary, but can still stay on with my fully covered health benefits. Even better, my long-term goal has always been to open up a piano studio in my home. I have taught many piano students since I was 20 years old, and enjoy teaching piano immensely. This part-time position, should hopefully allow me the time to start, and gradually grow, a piano studio out of my home for extra income, which has long been a goal of mine.

These days, I could pinch myself. I'm not exactly running production for the next big Broadway Musical, but I realized long ago that that wasn't what was important to me anymore. It became more important to me to be happy at work and to like who I work for. It became more important to me to have a job that would not interfere with my personal life and offer me some flexibility when the time came to start a family. Somehow, that's exactly what I fell into. I still remember the day my friend called me about this job. I had no idea at the time just how pivotal that moment would be, but I cannot thank her, or my boss, enough for what they have given me and my family.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Go the &*%$ to Sleep

My mom went to a baby shower last year and one of the hit books that was brought as a gift was Go the &%$* To Sleep. I was secretly hoping that I would get the book at the shower, and lo and behold...I did! I should have known the organizer of the book club I'm a part of would be the one to bring it! Thanks so much Dana!
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My favorite version of this book is read by Samuel L. Jackson on youtube. Have you ever heard this?? It's hilarious. Warning: Don't listen to this with the speakers turned up at work!! This might best be saved for an at-home listen, but be sure to listen to it, you won't regret it!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baby Shower Recap: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of my Baby Shower Recap yesterday, be sure to check it out. In addition to everything I highlighted, there were many different "stations" to go to throughout the shower. As I stated before, there was a quilt guest book, and a gift display table. Another station was to "Decorate a Diaper." This will be our "2 am" diaper pile to grab from when we need a good laugh. Some of the messages written on these diapers were hilarious and so creative!

There was also a board where guest's baby photos were displayed, and we had to guess who belonged to which picture. For some, it was so easy and for others, it was so hard!!!

At each place setting there was a blank, white bib for each guest to decorate. This was also a place where people got very creative! We now have about 40 hand-decorated baby bibs!

Oh, didn't I tell you? I used to be a bib model:

After lunch, three groups competed against each other in the "Toilet Paper Diaper Game." Corinne, (wearing the bib) won the audience vote!

And after that, guests were asked to cut a piece of yarn the size of my belly. They came up individually and wrapped them around my stomach. Believe it or not, we had someone who pretty much cut the exact circumference of my belly! Most people WAY over-shot how big I was...thanks...
We also played a Song Guessing Game. A song was played that had the word baby in it, and we had to guess the title and artist who sang it. (i.e. Hit me Baby One More Time, Baby Baluga, Justin Bieber's "Baby, Baby", etc)

Near the end of the party we had cake! But this wasn't just any cake. Since I'm not a huge cake person, this was a Napolean: Puff pastry layered with vanilla custard and topped with icing, YUM! Here we are with our moms!
 
Pink or blue, may your wishes comes true!
As a thank you to our mom's I got them the book Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother which shares anecdotes about being a young, contemporary grandmother in the 21st century. I also made  some homemade Honey Butter Ambrosia: a recipe I found on the blog One Good Thing, and jarred it up for them.

Before I knew it, it was 4:00pm and the men had started packing up the cars with all the gifts. By the time I got home, everything was already brought into the house and put away down in the basement...how's that for service?! On their way out, guests were asked to take a homemade bar of soap from Dragonfly Soaps to "Baby their Skin", and there was also white-chocolate lollipops in different baby related shapes. We used Dragonfly Soaps for favors at my Bridal Shower, and they were such a hit! Every last bar went again this time!
Thank you thank you to everyone who showed their love and support to Chris and me this weekend, especially our moms. We are blessed to have such kind and generous people in our lives, and to have had such a wonderful Baby Shower!