Monday, January 26, 2009

My Big boobs

My sister commented on my registry. Lots of good comments - more towels, pajamas with feet, sleeping gowns, lots of different sized blankets, etc. But the best comment was on the nursing tank tops I had registered for in size Large. She said that there is no way my breast would fit into a size large - better go with XL. She's probably right, so I made the change.

Before getting pregnant I was a 36B. Not long after getting pregnant I bought some bras in 38C. I am busting out of these - really busting out. So now I'm thinking of buying some nursing bras that are maybe 38D and wearing them starting now. I can't believe I've gone from B to D. I'm a short girl, so these D breast are quite a site.

Our weekend in Rochester, NY

We just got back from visiting friends in Rochester, NY. It's cold up there! 10-15 degree highs with lots of wind. I wore my warmest coat, which barely fits, especially with lots of layers underneath it. Give me a week or two more and I won't be able to wear it.

On this trip, I learned first hand how hard traveling while pregnant can be. We flew in Friday evening. I took Zofran. I usually take Dramamine while traveling because I get really motion sick. So instead I took my Zofran, which I learned is not as good as Dramamine. We were on a small plane (Rochester is a small city) and there was wind and it was a very queasy landing (but I didn't get sick). We went straight to Wegman's for dinner (Rochester finest). I chose Chinese food and I guess I ate a lot. I tend to do that these days. I felt very full and hard afterwards, but mostly okay. Then to their house for dessert, where they had a beautiful 'congrats on the baby, good luck on the delivery' cake with pink and blue footprints and paw prints all over it. It was beautiful and tasty and a very nice surprise. I ate some (probably more than I should have) and then felt even more full and hard and uncomfortable. I was exhausted (and feeling sick from the 4 cats) and went to bed. They keep their home very cold (like 60 degrees) because the energy bills are so high, so when I got undressed, I started shiver uncontrollably. This set me off, with the queasiness finally catching up to me (and the Zofran wearing off), and I threw up the cake and Chinese food, and maybe everything else I had eaten in the past few days. It was violent and massive, and luckily most of it was in the toilet. I felt much better after throwing up and taking a shower. I went to bed while K cleaned up my mess and put all of my clothes in the wash. Welcome to Rochester!

The rest of the weekend went pretty smoothly. We ate a lot - I gained 4 pounds over the weekend. There were winter things I couldn't do because I'm pregnant (ice skating kept coming up), but we had fun anyway. K fell down the stairs and bruised her ass pretty badly, but was otherwise unhurt. I cried, which was embarrassing.

We celebrated Chinese New Year (our friend is Chinese/British) at a Chinese restaurant with a full vegetarian menu - very tasty. There were drums and dancing lions. It was really loud, so I'm sure that shocked the little one. Our baby will be born in the year of the Ox - we'll have to look up what that means.

On Sunday we had lunch at an Indian restaurant with a college friend who also lives in Rochester. Her mom knitted us a sleeper in vintage 70's colors. It's really nice and very sweet. It's also very big - a two year old might be able to fit into it!

The flight back was uneventful, no getting sick this time. I'm tired, but that's typical for traveling. Next trip - flying to Orlando in a few weeks to visit family and attend baby showers. Let's hope for more uneventful flying. At least this trip will be warm!

Friday, January 23, 2009

And kindness wins out...

I sent this email to my sister yesterday:

Hi J, I haven't heard back from you in a week, which I guess means you are still mad. I don't know how to make you see that my intentions are not malice, or even drama. I hope all is okay with you. And I hope to here from you soon.

And received this very nice reply:

Everyone is invited. I looked at your registry and made a list of suggestions, but haven't had time to e-mail it. The shower will start at 10:30. I have bought the invitations, but haven't printed them yet. I am thinking about doing a valentine's day theme of love since it will be v day. Have you gotten your plane tickets yet?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My dad

My dad called excitedly at around 12:30 yesterday asking "so are you there?" Sadly, I was at work. K took the day off because she has 'use it or lose it' vacation time to burn but I'm saving my vacation time for maternity leave. If I wasn't pregnant, I would totally have been downtown, part of the masses, witnessing history. I feel like saying you attended Obama's Inauguration is akin to saying you marched with MLK. If you can be a part of it, you shouldn't miss it because it won't ever happen again. But I missed it. My dad couldn't believe I had to work - he thought we should all be there if we can.

Then he switched topics and asked why we weren't finding out the sex of the baby. I said "because it's fun to keep it a surprise" and he said "but it makes it difficult for those of us that want to buy you things." I told him there are plenty of purple, green, yellow things out there, so feel free to buy away. I said that we wanted the 'It's a girl! It's a boy!' surprise experience. I said "It's fun, come on, it's fun." And, resigned, he said, 'yeah, I guess so.' Then he said "We didn't know when we had you - the technology wasn't there yet. So I guess it's the same thing." But I could tell he wasn't happy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My big belly

My belly is really starting to feel big. It's hard to find a comfortable way to sit these days without the belly pushing on my thighs. And bending over to pick something up means spreading my legs first so that there is room for my belly. Standing up from sitting on the ground always elicits a groan. And last night, after eating a big meal at California Pizza Kitchen, K had to tie my shoe for me because there was no way I could bend down to reach it with all of that food in my belly.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Here is the email I recieved from my sister:

I was waiting to respond to this until I was no longer angry. I was really hoping we could do something together without all the drama. I didn't want to respond when I was angry because I what I had to say would not have been nice. When you proposed the weekend of the 14th I said that would be fine if you didn't mind sharing the day with K. Sharing the day kind of implied some compromises. I told you a few people would be coming up from home for her party. I thought that implied that those would be the people invited to the shower so there wouldn't be any hurt feelings and I could still throw a decent party for my own daughter which is also very "important and special" to my family and was planned first. I couldn't invite people to the shower who are not coming to the birthday because it will be very obvious that we are setting up for a two year old birthday party. It would also be very difficult to set up for that party with lots of extra kids running around destroying the house before the birthday party. Maybe you haven't stopped to think about it, but it is already a huge undertaking to throw two parties in one day and actually try to make them both decent and special parties.

And usually the mom does have to compromise when it comes to the guest list because you are the honored guest and not the host. I had to invite people to both my family showers that I did not feel comfortable inviting because I really didn't know them. I also compromised on the guest list to my friend shower because of the number of people. But because you had to play the whole my family doesn't love me guilt card I feel like I have to invite these extra people and compromise my own ability to enjoy my daughter's birthday party.

So anyway, I was really hoping that having kids would give us more common ground and bring us closer. I am done with all the drama. I was honored that you asked my opinion on strollers and would be glad to help in anything else. If you want I can look over your registry and offer suggestions. I did that for a friend of mine and she was very appreciative of the insider advice.

And here was my response:

J, I am certainly through with the drama too. I did not know that sending you a guest list would create drama. I worked really hard to make sure my email sounded nice. I wanted to explain my opinions to you, but ultimately, I said it was your decision. You are the one who responded with an angry email (and yes, anger was in the first sentence so that definitely sets the tone), when all I asked for,politely, was a response.

I don't think our relationship problems are my problem or your problem, but instead they are our problem. We both have to own a piece of it. Whenever we talk, I feel like you are waiting for me to say the wrong thing so that you can scold me for it. Sometimes maybe you should step back and think, 'what if someone else said this to me? would I still be angry?" And maybe you should read my emails while smiling so you can put yourself in a good place while reading them, instead of reading them and getting angry.

Here's an example of how this may have been handled differently:
Remember that I said in my first email to you - Instead of flying up here for a baby shower, can you throw me a baby shower? I'm thinking of about 9 people I'd like to invite.You responded "Sure, if you don't mind sharing the day with K."

Now at this point you could have said, 'I'd like to invite the same people to both parties (though a few others to K's). I know you said you have about 9 people you'd like to invite, but I'm only thinking of inviting these people....'

Then I could have said 'Okay, I can deal with that.' Or I could have said "Actually, I'd like to invite a few more people. Maybe we can have the shower on Sunday or a different weekend."

I was unclear what 'share the day with K' meant. You thought it implied what I just said above, but it didn't. To me it meant there are restrictions on the time for the shower - you did mention it would be in the morning. And it also meant that I would get to attend K's birthday party, which I was excited about. All of these seemed fine with me, so I said 'yeah, that sounds like a great idea.' Do you see where the confusion came from? Maybe in the future it is better to specifically state something that to assume it is implied, so no one gets confused or upset.

Also, if it's a huge undertaking to throw two parties in the same day,then I wish you would have said so in the first place. Like 'that's Katie's birthday weekend, so I'd really prefer another weekend just because it would be hard on me.' And we could have picked something different. I don't want you to have a difficult time - I want it to be fun for you. I suggested that weekend but I didn't say it had to be that weekend. Also, I don't know what is involved in a two year old's birthday party (I think when I was a kid it was just a cake at the state park), but I'm certain that K and I are there to help with whatever. We won't just be sitting around while you work.

Now, like I said in my original email, this is ultimately your decision. I need to know that decision so that I know what to say when mom asks 'who's invited?' particularly since she is close to J and sees R daily. So now I know the decision. If given the choice, I may have chosen something different, but now that our plane tickets are booked and K's family shower is planned, we will go with this.

Please make sure to invite Aunt S, and send invites with notes to K and M so that no one else will be excluded from the guest list.

Hopefully this settles everything and makes you feel less angry and hurt.


I went to the boobie doctor today. He is not concerned with my cyst. He took some liquid to test, but he doesn't think anything will come of it. So if he's not concerned, neither am I. Big sigh of relief.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


A gave us some awesome belated Christmas presents. For K, a Lesportsac on-the-go diaper bag, like a small one that only carries a few things. Lesportsac is one of K's favorite purse brands. (Of course, A is a mess and didn't actually give this to K because she can't find it. But there is a promise, so it will come eventually...) And she gave both of us The New Baby's Baby Journal, the awesome baby journal that we've been wanting. It's LGBT friendly, has great art, and has great events to celebrate. We can't wait to start filling it in.

  • K finally told her work. They are very excited. Her boss's first reaction was 'Can we take you shopping?' Of course! They've offered to help her with anything she needs in order to get her paid time off from HR (HR folks are always so hard-nosed). And they are planning a baby shower for her in April.

  • A & C gave us a bunch of baby clothes, a bumbo chair, a boppy, and some other stuff, with promises of more to come. They rock. K is excited about the bumbo chair.

  • We got our follow-up ultrasound today. The baby is healthy and growing. They wrote down the sex in the envelope this time. The tech was shocked that the other tech refused to do this for us.

  • I got more maternity clothes from a coworker yesterday - a huge box of mostly shirts. Many of them are very large and will be perfect for later in pregnancy. Now I am certainly set. I may not like what I'm wearing but at least I'll be dressed.

  • Our friend L was offered a DC job so he'll most likely be moving here in April. He's still negotiating the deal. Just in time. He's our child's godfather.

  • We spoke to our friend in Rochester last night. His wife has always been against having children. But she turned 30 a few weeks ago, and all of the sudden she wants kids and feels like the clock is ticking, so they plan to start in the next few months. He's shocked, amazed, and excited because he's been trying to convince her to have kids for years, and didn't expect her to change her mind so quickly. 30 does that to you! We're shocked and amazed and happy for them. We're seeing them next weekend to hear all about it.

  • Freecycle is awesome. Tonight I am picking up baby Halloween costumes. One is Eyore. K loves Eyore and does a great impression, so we're excited about this one. We have also picked up a manual breast pump (new), a car seat cover/warmer thing, a new pack of newborn 7th generation diapers, a baby gate, a diaper genie, and some other things. People who are too lazy to go to the thrift store with their unwanted items are my favorite people.

  • This weekend friends are bringing over a crib and "other random stuff they found in their garage". We haven't gotten rid of the furniture in the second bedroom yet. Where will this stuff go? It's official - we are gearing up for baby. Soon we won't be able to recognize our old TV room.

  • My sister is a bitch. When I think about why I want to be a grounded, urban, working mom, I think of her and her craziness. She will throw us a baby shower and it will be on her terms only. I am inconsiderate and uncaring and selfish for expecting anything else (like to create my own guest list). And to quote her, "I'm through with the drama. I thought we could be friends when you had children but it's not true."

Monday, January 12, 2009


We're working on deciding which classes to take. First and most important - childbirth. Everyone tells us to take the Birth Works class offered by Susan Messina in DC, and since everyone agrees, we're doing it. It's a natural childbirth class that covers these topics:

Introductions/Exploring feelings/Watching video of newborn baby crawling up mom's abdomen to breastfeed)
Discussing Birth Works philosophies/Watching video"Birth in Squatting Position"/Relaxation exercise
"Positions for Labor" video/Nutrition/Labor complications/Medical procedures
Safe birth visualization/pain/pros and cons of drugs/Alternative comfort measures/videos on pros and cons of epidural and on alternative pain relief techniques
Audiotape of a woman in labor/Exercise/Beliefs
Loss and healing/Planning for the unexpected
Labor and delivery/Watching video depicting Stages of labor and what to expect
Postpartum and Breastfeeding

It's typically an 8-week course, but that seemed like a huge time investment, so we are taking the weekend intensive course in March. The cost is $255.

In addition, we are thinking of taking the following classes:

Infant Safety & CPR for Parents
This course covers safety issues and the newly updated CPR techniques applicable to babies up to one year of age. $50 per couple.

Getting Started with Breastfeeding
This comprehensive class will help expectant moms get off to a good start with breastfeeding. Topics include: benefits to breastfeeding,latching on, positioning, and signs that baby is getting enough. Bring a pillow to class. $30 per couple.

Baby Care Basics
Learn how to care for your newborn during those challenging first weeks. Topics include bathing, diapering, cord care, circumcision care, taking a temperature and when to call the doctor. $35 per couple.

After all of these classes, maybe we'll be prepared to push this thing out and bring it home!


Registering is hard work. So much to decide about things we know nothing about. Registering for our wedding was easy - we had already lived together for years. We knew what we liked and we what didn't like from years of experience. We know nothing about babies - what they need, what features are good, what's really important, etc. So we've spent the last week registering and have gotten advice from various friends. I'm compiling it here in case you are interested. Of course we aren't getting everything on this very comprehensive list, and luckily we've gotten lots of things given to us and from freecycle. But it's nice to see the comprehensive list and then go from there to decide what we want.

Stroller/Car Seats

For the first few months, before the baby can sit up, get the Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat and the Snap N Go stroller attachment. The Snap N Go frame is super small, light, and handy for urban areas, small homes, and small cars. Then for later, when the baby can sit up, get the Maclaren Umbrella Stroller, also light and small.

Reusable Diapers
From A: We went with Bum Genius 3.0 one-size pocket diapers that should fit babies 8-30 lbs. but I also liked and read good things about Happy Heiny's and Fuzzi Bunz(they also come in adjustable one-size now).

(We went with Bum Genius because they sell them at Target and we can put them on our registry)

Other notes from A & C based on their experience:
baby socks-you need a lot and few people bought us these
baby shoes - if you want the soft soled robeez type shoe...they are expensive.
laundry detergent (this depends on what type of diapers you're doing, what type you will be looking for)
nursing clothes/bras
diapers and wipes- (you can never have part of the invitation for a friend's baby shower they had a contest / prize for whoever brought the most diapers and wipes)
baby lotion/shampoo/soap- we're not going through this too fast but nice to get consumables
rectal thermometer
some kind of health kit that includes an eyedropper for giving medicine (it may also have the thermometer, etc)
baby Tylenol drops and saline drops
bedding/mobile/decorations for room
diaper bag (make sure it has a changing pad and some kind of compartmentalization -- I found I wanted to put dipes, wipes, my cell, water bottle (very important for nursing!), baby bottle, toy, keys, blanket/spit up, and a book of some sort in it)
smaller diaper changing pad (I forget what this is called...we have one and like having this in addition to the diaper bag for quick trips)
BPA free bottles with slow flow nipples
BPA free suction cup bowl and utensils
high chair
pumping milk bags
pump-medela pump in style
breast expressions bustier (ok, maybe not to register for, but invaluable for pumping at work -- I really miss it when I don't have it!)
hand pump could be useful as well for quick day trips --- some people found this worked better for them
inflatable my breast friend
towels and washcloths (we go through a lot of washcloths)
stroller-might be nice to have new-these get a lot of wear and tear
humidifier (if you think you need one)
16-20 reusable diapers
spray bottle
cloth diaper wet bag (for transporting dirty diapers back home)
safety stuff-we haven't really figured this out yet

At our pregnancy support group last night, one of the members' sister-in-law compiled this comprehensive list for her and she shared it:

Book – "What to Expect: the first year"
Baby nail clippers – usually comes in a grooming kit for babies
Baby thermometer (oral and/or ear)
Baby gas drops
Baby Tylenol and baby Motrin
Several bottles of hand sanitizer (one for changing table, bathroom and diaper baskets & bag)
Travel WetOnes – for diaper bag
Burp cloths (lots)
Bottles, formula (go with one your Pediatrician recommends or one that is for sensitive stomachs)
Sling/or baby carrier of some sort
Baby blankets – 3-5
Pacifiers. Some come with a hole at the end, where you can purchase an optional pacifier clip (ribbon runs from pacifier to clip on baby’s shirt). It helps when baby is constantly spitting out the pacifier
Baby gates
Big stroller – make sure: wheels can move in any direction, can fold easily and fit in your trunk, you can pick it up/carry it and walk it up the steps with dog and baby in tow.
Umbrella stroller (small stroller – about $20 – bare bones)
Potty chair
Car Seat/Baby carrier/covered sleeper thing – for winter (looks like a big blanket that covers the car/baby carrier)
Nightlight for the baby’s bedroom
Baby monitor
Padding for baby's head while in car seat.
Bobux baby shoes (they are the only ones that stay on!!!!!! - can only be purchased online

Diaper Crap:
Diapers (all sizes, pampers or huggies)
Desitin diaper crème and/or Aquafor (couple of tubes)
Diaper bag. Tip: carry an extra plastic garbage bag for the soiled clothes
Portable changing pad – usually comes with the diaper bag
Disposable changing pads – for when you are traveling
Wipes (lots)
Contour changing pad to put on changing table. You can buy covers for them, but I found that I ended up washing the cover all the time b/c baby would spit up on them when laying down, drool, pee or poop on them, it got to be hassle, so I ditched the covers.
Disinfectant Wipes (i.e., Lysol or Chlorox ) - to wipe down changing pads. I kept one in my diaper basket and one for the changing table.
You may want to think about having an extra basket or caddy, on every floor, with an extra set of everything (diapers, crème, changing pad, wipes). I found that very handy.

Baby wash cloths
Baby hooded towels
2-3Liquid soap (all in one – again sensitive skin)
Nonallergenic lotion (Aveeno is good)

FOR Breastfeeding/MOM:
Breast crème/salve (purple bottle, brand is called Lansinoh).
Also, look at Lansinoh “Assist” – may help with baby latching on to nipple if your nipple is flat/inverted.
Absorbent Breast pads!!!!!!!!!!
Nursing shirts
Boppy pillow (nursing pillow)
Breast pump machine? Expensive but worth a look. I ended up doing half and half with all the kids.... Half breast milk and half formula, b/c my boobs needed a break! Warning: the breast machine made 7 years ago was not exactly comfortable — and you end up feeling like you belong on the dairy farm. However, it was a lifesaver for me, when both Libby and Riley were in the hospital for a week, and I couldn’t be with them at night. I was able to pump and put it in the fridge. You may want to ask the hospital or research the area to see if there are any machines that can be rented by the week/month.

Sleeping wedge for the crib
Head padding for car seat
Waterproof crib mattress pads – at least 2-3
Bumper pad for crib

Training cups and sippy cups
Bibs that velcro – no ties and NO pull over the heads. Register for 2 kinds 1) newborn bibs – absorbent/easy to clean/wash. 6-12months+/feeding – with pouches to catch spill/easy to clean
High chair – get one that’s easy to clean and easy to get the tray off (one handedly – so you can hold the baby in the other hand). Also, look for folding - to take to the beach??
Baby spoons – softbite tips (different sizes/stages you feed/and selffeed) any toddler plasticware - feeding bowls

Mirror for the car – hook on to rear view mirror to see baby in the back
A larger car seat for when the baby is past newborn/more a toddler (has sippy cup holders that pullout).

NOT ESSENTIAL/Your choice:
Looked interesting – grocery cart/seat – padding thing
Bouncy seat (our kids loved it). Was able to feed baby in it... When first starting out.
Swing with timer and music – some kids love it, some don’t. Libby loved it.
ExerSaucer (Our kids loved it)
Sound machine for bedroom
Diaper Genie – it does help with the poopy diaper smell (might be good if Lily gets into the trash). However, your kitchen trash can would be just fine. Then you’d have one less thing to empty and would not have to pay for refill bags.
Window screens/sun shades that stick on to rear windows

You don’t need:
Baby oil or baby powder
Dreft Laundry detergent (just use a dye free, i.e. Tide Free – works the same)
Baby wipe warmer

Do get:
A swing if you have space in the house for it. Excellent for naps, hanging out and watching Mommy cook dinner when older, godsend. I chose that over a bouncy seat, and it worked well, never missed a bouncy seat.
One of those bucket carrier seat/stroller/car seat combos. They rock and we still use the stroller.
No more of 3 of any clothing item (socks, sleepers, pants, onezies, etc, pjs) in any size to start. If you find the kid is a spitter and you change every 5 minutes, by all means go get some more. Seriously, they grow so fast we had WAY too many 3 mo. onezies/gowns/sleepers because we didn't get that at the time. Who knew? Have people get you larger sizes...that first year they grow FAST. Your kid will be in 6 mos clothes in 5 minutes if she weighs more than 5 pounds to start.
A copious supply of bottles and nipples if you bottle feed, same for pump accessories if you're going that route. We had enough so we could do bottles/pumps once a day, and when we finally figured that out, life was way better. Otherwise, you're boiling constantly and/or running a not-full dishwasher constantly, neither of which is good from a sanity or energy stand point. 8 on the bottles is a good number to start (every 3 hours on average) and I pumped 4-5 times a day, so at least 4 sets of breast shell thingies and corresponding storage bottles.
a 10 pack of cloth diapers (burp cloths, all purpose rags).
(I thought this was a GREAT idea - and if you don't have time for a party, maybe everyone who is coming to the shower can bring a pkg. of diapers). Have someone who loves you throw you a "diaper dinner" if you're doing disposable diapers. Have a potluck and people split up the diaper sizes by last name, a's-c's buy newborns/ones, d-g buy size 2's, and again weight more on the larger sizes. Charlotte was in size 2's quickly, no newborn sizes, ones not very long, she's been in size 4 for an eternity. We literally got 1200 diapers from this dinner and didn't buy diaper one for 8 months or so. It rocked. If you have the storage space and 15-20 friends, it will save you TONS of money. My daughter did 10 diapers a day easy in the early days, so you can get how many diapers that a kid will do in the first year. It's a LOT and the cheapest ones are still 13 cents a piece on sale, name brands run closer to 30 cents each.

Do not buy:
New baby clothes. Buy clothes at consignment. Really. New kids clothes are ridiculously pricey for how long they wear them, and you can get them CHEAP by not paying retail. Conversely, diapers and formula are EXPENSIVE. Save the $$ for those essentials. We ended up taking back a ton of stuff (see 3 of each rule) so that we had credit for larger size clothes.
A bouncy/jump seat. Too hard to hit the weight, height activity phase just right, and for $25 you could have 2 boxes of Target diapers or a can of soy formula.
Newborn toys for the first 3 months. We have literally 20 of those soft squares of cloth (some with animals, some without) which are totally useless. At first, they can't see much or do squat except eat, sleep, poop and cry, and you are the best toy they need. After 3 months, the light goes on a bit, and they start to do some small fairly quiet rattles, toys that hang over the bassinet, etc.

Ok, with my son, I think by far my favorite (and his) was a butterfly mobile that attached to his changing table. ALWAYS keep him occupied while we changed his diaper.
The Fisher Price Intellitaner is also great. I used it with both my daughter and son. Still have it in fact. It's the next step up from an exer-saucer (sp?) and can be used from baby to toddler years.

Must haves:
baby swing, onesies, sink tub, drink cup holder for stroller, washcloths, hooded towels, lots of socks, wish I could have had a glider. I almost forgot the Sony baby monitors (Babies "R Us), those were great.

1. Forget the diaper genie!
2. Baby Bjorn is great, but I also loved the sling.
3. Gotta have a bouncy seat (the kind for infants that you can put anywhere). No brand preference here.
4. Stroller/infant carrier seat combo...wish I'd had one of those!
5. Baby monitors...I still use 'em to make sure my big kids are doing what they should when they're supposed to be sleeping!

1. Portable swing. If she is a swing is a life saver and can double as a feeding chair and place to nap when traveling.
2. Bunting bag (2-for when one is dirty) for inside the car seat (the bucket car seat).
3. Bucket car seat. Jacob slept in his the first few days after we got home. I sat it in his crib so he would get used to the surroundings.
4. Quilted changing table pads - we used a stack of them. If anything got messy, just peel one off and toss in the wash. That way the terry cloth changing pad cover didn't have to be washed so often. This is probably more applicable to boy mom's and the peeing when the air hits them.
5. A good (little more spendy) lightweight stroller with harness straps. I spent about $100 for mine and got my money's worth....especially if you travel. I hardly ever used my big stroller except for walks in the neighborhood or big trips to the mall when someone would stand outside the stores and entertained while I ran in.
6. A clean up all the food dropped on the floor.
7. Soft leather shoes that you turned me on to....Bobux or Robeez. I hear that Target even sells them now. I like them so much that they are my standard baby gift.

Don't get.....
any thing to sterilize your bottles, nipples, etc. Run them in the dishwasher or wash them in water so hot you have to wear rubber gloves to wash them.
I never used a bottle warmer or a wipe warmer ever.
Baby socks.....just put them in feeted all in one outfits. I

Can't Live Without:
Vibrating Bouncer Chair (a life saver when I wanted to shower!)
Swing (my boys loved to sleep in them)
Good baby reference book (I liked Dr. Sears "Baby Book" -- it's purple)
An easy to use stroller
A great diaper bag -- I'm partial to Kalencomm which comes in lots of styles and has a vinyl exterior so it's easy to clean

Can Live Without:
Wipes Warmer -- got one, never used it
Dreft laundry detergent -- use All Free or some eco-friendly $$
Brand name baby soaps, lotions -- use the store brand, plus babies don't need lotion early on anyway
Video monitor -- we did just fine with audio only monitors, and have friends who had expensive video monitors that burned out
Ear thermometers -- the one I got didn't work well, plus most docs want a rectal or underarm temp

Feeling the baby kick

I've been feeling the baby move for weeks now, but K hasn't been able to yet. I could feel it on the inside but not on the outside. That is, until last night. I was laying in bed waiting for K to come to bed, and I felt some movement. So I put my hand on the spot and waited, and I felt the movement again, this time with my hand. I called K over and showed her where the spot was and she felt the movement too (it seems this little one was active and didn't realize that it was bed time!). Now K can finally feel the baby. I wouldn't show the spot to anyone else - it's a little low for my liking.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A cyst

Two weeks ago when on the day we returned from Deep Creek, I took off my clothes and noticed a big red bump on my breast. I thought I had gotten some kind of bug bite (actually a spider bite first came to mind - I hate spiders!). It was really red and really large. I called the nurse on-call through my insurance and she said if it goes down I shouldn't worry about it. It quickly went down and within 3 days the redness was completely gone. I was left with a hard bump that you can feel but not see.

On Monday I mentioned this to my midwife. She suggested I go to my primary care physician for a lyme disease test - totally precautionary. I went today and showed it to my pcp, and he said "I don't think that's a bug bite - you've got a cyst." So we did the lyme disease test just for precaution - results will be back in 7 days. But now I have to go to a breast surgeon to get the cyst checked out.

I felt my eyes get really big when he said 'cyst'. He said it's nothing to worry about but I should get it checked out. I sat there while he filled out the paper work thinking all of the worst thoughts - what if it's cancer? what if I need kemo-therapy? I can't get radiation while pregnant. what's going to happen to me and the baby? what if I have to get my breast removed? can I still breast feed? and on and on...

I'm trying to be calm. It's probably nothing. Well, it's probably a cyst. But what does that mean?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We've begun registering since it seems we will be having baby showers soon. We're registered at Target and We are not registering at Babys'R'Us because they get a failing score from HRC. The decisions are overwhelming, particularly for the stroller/car seat thing. I don't even know what to look for, and I don't understand the features.

The good news is that stuff is rolling in from everywhere. We now have four people offering us their baby stuff. People hold onto this stuff forever - one couple's youngest is 6 years old and they are offering us a crib! So we are renting a truck soon and going house to house to pick everything up and then putting it somewhere in our home. Ahh!

Baby shower ugliness

Sometimes I let myself get too relaxed around my sister and then, boom, she does it again. She's planning this shower for us for Feb 14., the same day as her daughter's second birthday party. That's fine - ours will be a brunch shower and then an afternoon birthday party. And we get to attend the birthday party which is nice because we live far away. So I give her a list of people in our family that I'd like to invite. She comes back and says, no, she'd really rather not invite people who aren't invited to her daughter's birthday party. I can invite our sick aunt because she won't come anyway, but I can't invite my cousin's wives. Now is this my baby shower or just a really long birthday party for her daughter? Aren't there people invited to her birthday party that aren't invited to my shower? I told her how I felt about this, that it's my family shower, so I should get to invite whoever I want in my family. These people mean something to me. It would be rude not to invite them but invite their mother-in-law (the sick woman who won't come anyway). These people have always been warm and welcoming to K and I. And that these parties aren't the same and that it's okay to invite different people to them. But I told her ultimately it was her decision to do whatever she wanted because she was throwing the party. I said 'You know how I feel and what I want, so you make the call'. K says she'll still end up excluding them because she doesn't care that much. K's probably right but we'll see.

K's family shower is working out pretty well. Her aunt is throwing it on Feb. 15, probably a lunch time shower by the pool (it's FL - you can do pool side all year). They've decided to keep it as a surprise for K's mom. It should be nice.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Our weekend

I worked on Friday at a very quiet office where most people had decided to take a long weekend. We went to Ikea Friday night to look for kitchen shelving and found something we both really like. More storage! We're thinking of having some friends over in February to have a big work day to install various shelves and things. It's nothing hard but they volunteered to help.

Saturday we left for a short getaway to Harpers Ferry, WV. One night in a rustic cabin - heat and electricity and a bed and that's it. We spent Saturday hiking around Harpers Ferry National Park, dinner at a small Italian restaurant (we've decided that only Italian food is reliably good in small towns, and it's usually really good), and then the evening in our cabin watching movies, playing cards, and reading. On Sunday more hiking and then back home. It was a small and simple trip (and really cheap) but enough to make us feel like we got away. We are savoring these times together now - everything we do feels like it's the last time we'll be doing it before the baby arrives.

At home we put away our Christmas items (goodbye Edgar the Christmas tree) and then assessed our storage situation. We still need more room, but we've made some major progress. We'll get rid of a few more things, install some more shelves, and do some rearranging, and hopefully this will be enough. We live in this small condo. It's a tight fit but we'll make it work.

After dinner I got really tired and sat down for the rest of the evening. We had a big weekend, and I'm in my second trimester and feeling amazing, but every now and then I still need some rest.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Second parent adoption

I sent this email to J & S about our second-parent adoption letter they will be writing:

And here's the info on the second-parent adoption letter we need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this letter! We need it by March so we can bring it to our next appointment with our lawyer. We can't actually submit the paperwork for second-parent adoption until the baby is born, but our lawyer will collect everything and have it on file so that as soon as the baby is born we can submit the file and get the process moving as quickly as possible.

Adoption is a judgement from the courts, and marriage is a law. Laws do not have to be honored across state boundaries, which is why we aren't bothering to get married in CT like we talked about the other night, because it wouldn't be honored here. But judgements are different - a state must recognize a judgement from another state even if they disagree with it. So since second-parent adoption for same-sex couples is legal in MD, once K adopts our baby, it will be her legal child no matter where she goes, including FL and VA, places we go often which would not allow her to adopt a child, but they have to respect the judgement from MD. So this is a big deal and it is very important that we get this approved. Basically, without adopting the child, K has no more legal rights to our baby than you would have to our baby, but after the adoption, she is as much a legal parent as I am.

Along with lots of other paperwork, we need three character references for K. We are choosing my sister, K's mom, and you guys. We picked you because you live in our neighborhood, you have kids so you know what it means to be parents, and because we like you. We would like the letter to be from both of you. The basics of the letter should include how you know us, that you know we are in a relationship, that you know we have been planning to have children together, and that you know that we are planning to raise this child together. That's the basics, but something more personal is the goal.

In case it's useful, here's some background on our relationship:
We met in 1997 in college when we were 18.
We became a couple, got engaged, and moved in together in 2000 when we were still in college. I was 21 and K was 20.
In 2001 when we were both 22 and in grad school, we got our legal documents done (wills, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney), basically as close as we could get to a legal marriage as a same-sex couple.
In 2005, when I was 26 and K was 25, we had a religious wedding ceremony and changed our last names so that they would be the same.
In 2008, when I was 29 and K was 28, we started trying to conceive.

Thank you so much! This means a lot to us. Let us know if you have any questions.

20 week ultrasound and other craziness

On New Years Eve, we had our 20 week ultrasound. We were exactly 20 weeks on that day so it was good timing. We saw the cutest baby with the cutest nose and lips inside of me. We saw these little hands balled up in fits in front of the baby's face. We saw cute flat-footed feet, and we saw the toes move. It was awesome and beautiful.

But the experience was just weird. The power went out three times because of a windstorm outside. Every time the power went out, they had to call someone in another office to reset the passwords on the computers. We had to change rooms three times, once with goop all over my belly (I walked down the hall holding my shirt up and pants down). The tech refused to find out the sex and write it down in the secret envelope we brought because she was afraid we would see the sex be mad at her. The doctor was called away on a emergency so he didn't review our pictures. The tech said we were measuring much earlier than 20 weeks so she wasn't able to get a clear read on the heart, so we have to come back in 2 weeks. How much earlier? 19 week and 4 days - 3 days earlier! We were there for over 2 hours and we have to come back in two weeks! At least we get to see our baby again, hopefully with a new tech that would be willing to find out the sex for us.

And now for the other craziness that happened over the holiday. I threw up on New Years Eve. We were to meet friends at 5pm since we all got out of work early, so we walked our dog around 4:30. On the walk I got increasingly sicker until right before we got home I threw up. Outside, in the middle of the day, near a busy bus stop with lots of people walking by. I threw up on the ground, but it splashed all over my pants and coat. We ran home and I stripped off my clothes. I lay on the sofa in a robe for about 20 minutes, then I felt fine, took a shower, and off we went, less than an hour late to meet our friends. That night we went for a big Indian dinner at Woodlands, I ate a lot of food and felt fine. And I haven't thrown up or felt sick since. Pretty insane.

We bought a TV a few weeks ago. It got back ordered and was finally delivered on Christmas Eve, which was lucky because K was home to sign for it. Since we moved into our condo 2 years ago, we've been using the second bedroom as a TV room. We bought an entertainment center for the living room about 1.5 years ago, but it required a flat screen TV and we had a tube style. We've now finally got the flat screen TV and have set it up in the living room. This means that we have officially moved out of the second bedroom - it is no longer the 'TV room' and will soon become the 'nursery' though right now it's just a hodge podge of stuff.

We decided last night that we will visit our friends in Rochester, NY, for MLK weekend. They've been begging us to visit since they bought their house and we figured we better go before the third trimester starts. The problem is that they have 4 cats. 4 cats! We are both allergic to cats and I can't take very much medicine. Cats really make me sick, worse than any of my other allergies. I think I will just spend the entire weekend sick in bed, but at least we'll get to see them. Rochester in winter will be crazy though. We spent two years in Iowa for grad school, but it's been a long time and I think we've forgotten what it's like to be that cold. And I don't have that warm of a maternity jacket so I'm going to freeze my ass off. As long as I don't fall down in the ice and hurt myself, everything will be fine.

Today when I woke up, I stretched. In the middle of my stretch, I felt someone jab or poke me in the belly. It was a big kick! For the past couple of weeks I've been feeling lots of twitching, but it's all been very soft. This was strong. I guess Precious Poo doesn't like me stretching like that! Who knew our baby was so strong?

It's official that we will have two baby showers in FL in February - one thrown by my sister for my family, and one thrown by K's aunt for her family and our friends. Probably President's day weekend, though that hasn't been officially determined yet. It should be a fun but crazy weekend. This means that we need to get cracking on our registry, which we haven't started yet. First we need to see what our friends have promised to give us, so we will be renting a truck soon with free zip car credits and driving from house to house to pick up baby stuff to move into that nursery that we just moved our TV out of. Once we see what we've got, we will register for what's left.

We talked to our friend J about writing our second parent adoption letter and she is on board. I emailed my sister about it and she has not responded yet.

We've been putting everything off until after the holidays, and the holidays are now officially over. Time to get to work!