Dallas visit April 2009

April 27, 2009 at 2:15 am (Family, Kids)

I just got back from visiting Julie and family in Dallas. My main reason for going was for Lulu’s first cheerleading competition at Six Flags (the Texas Cutez took 3rd place!). I was just there for 3 days, but even in that short amount of time, I really feel like I’m able to bond with the kids and get to know them better and better with each visit.

Lulu and John Davis are adorably hysterical, so before I forget, I wanted to jot down some of the sweet and funny things they say. They may not make much sense out of context to people that don’t know them, but this mostly for me to remember anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now Lulu is 4.5 and John Davis is 2.5.

*I love how they call me Aunt Chirpy – pronounced ‘Ant Kirp-y’.

*When I first got to their house, I put my stuff in the guest room and went into the bathroom. Of course Lulu was with me (she likes to be by my side when I visit, and I love that). When I shut the bathroom door, in her most dramatic voice she demanded “Aunt Chirpy, you CAN”T close the door, I NEED to see you ALWAYS!”.

*John Davis put his hands on my belly and when he felt my belly move, I told him it was the baby kicking. A little while later when the subject had totally changed, John Davis excitedly told me and Julie that “when Aunt Chirpy’s baby comes out, I’m gonna KICK HIM, I’m gonna KICK the baby”

*After the big, long day at Six Flags, we were in the car and the kids were a little hyper and saying that they wanted to play more. Lulu wanted to go to the mall and stay there forever to play. When we told her that wasn’t going to happen, Lulu starts moping and saying “I’m a poor thing, just look at the poor thing, me!” “I have a sad face, I’ll never have a happy face again, just a sad face”. Julie asked the kids if we could just relax, be quiet and just do nothing for the rest of the car ride, so then John Davis starts saying in random spurts for the rest of the 45 minute car ride in different fluctuations of voices “nothing.” “nothing!” “noooth—-iiiiing!”. I guess that is how he ‘does nothing’.

*Out of the blue, Lulu asks Julie “Does Aunt Gabby have a little brother named Dadda?” “and then so does Dadda have a big sister named Aunt Gabby?” (Gabby is John’s big sis)

*Lulu is really in to Annie, and many conversations revolve around Annie and prequels/sequels to Annie that Lulu has concocted in her mind.
Lulu “Am I luckier than Annie?”
John (jokingly) “that depends, would you rather have a indoor pool or a mama?”
Lulu seriously considers these options “can I just have both?”

*In the car, the kids are playing with their stuffed animals like there is a animal birthday party going on.
Julie “Are you kids having a pretend birthday party back there”
Lulu (in her most dramatic voice) “Noooo Mama, it is NOT pretend, it is a REAL birthday party”

Oh, and there are so many more funny things that they say and do. They constantly crack me up.

Lulu’s cheer competition was adorable, of course. It was so exciting, not only to see her perform on stage, but more importantly, to see how proud she was of herself and to see that giant smile on her face knowing that we were all so proud of her.

kids at the mall mall jungle messy icing Julie and Lulu Cutez2 jil and the cutest of the cutez

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Things I wish I knew when I first got pregnant!

April 17, 2009 at 1:49 am (Baby)

OK, for all my girlies that are or will be pregnant after me, I’m reviewing some of the pregnancy and baby products/services I’ve used. Rummaging through all the pregnancy/baby crap out there to find the actually good stuff is time consuming, so here is a short-cut! I have some definite favorite things, so I thought I should share!

Skincare
I’ve been using Proactive for over 10 years, so I was worried about problem skin during pregnancy, but wanted to switch to something all natural. I tried a ton of different things – samples from a facialist, samples from Sephora, and organic stuff from Whole Foods…then I went to Lush.
I love love love their stuff – I use the Herbalism Cleanser/Exfoliant in the shower, and Fresh Farmacy Cleanser at night. Then I use the Vanishing Cream lotion during the day and Paradise Regained cream at night. Also, the Therapy Massage bar is great for rubbing on the growing, itchy belly and to help prevent stretch marks – and it feels oh so good. Most of these products are vegan too. I love them all and will continue to use them post-baby!

Prenatal Personal Trainer
OK, so this is definitely my biggest splurge during my pregnancy, but seriously, it is so worth it. I’ve made it a priority to try to stay in shape and it would definitely be harder to do without an expert. My trainer (Stephanie at One Boulder Fitness) knows things I would never know – like alternate stances and positions to avoid straining the back and abs while using the machines. She’s taught me the importance of doing squats a certain way to help strengthen the hips and pelvis in preparation for labor – she just knows how to safely and effectively exercise the fragile pregnant body. Plus, she is very motivating!

B-Buckle vs. Bella Band
I say – buy both! I use them together, they actually work well together and serve different purposes. I use the buckle to hold my pant together and on, and then the band over the buckle to smooth it out and for belly support (and to help reduce the look of the popping-out belly button). The Bella Band will not hold your pants on, but it will help your b-buckled pants to not look lumpy! Also, the Target version of the Bella Band is just as good! [update 5/1/09 – the Target version is NOT as good as the Bella Band, I’ve had it for less time than I’ve had the Bella Band and it has started to unravel, buy the Bella Band to last through your pregnancy!]

Maternity Jeans
UGH. Is all I can say. Maternity jeans have been especially dreadful for me as a tall girl. I could not find any 34″+ inseam jeans for under $200+. No joke. A Pea In The Pod has long jeans, but only designer brands (as does Nordstrom and many places online, but I need to try jeans on in person), so I bought one pair. I wear them, but they totally suck. They are not even comfortable and I curse them! I bought the Joe’s, and the band is itchy and they don’t stay up, I don’t think the 7s or True Religions were any better, I tried on several and they all felt the same. I end up putting a Bella Band over their itchy band to keep them up.
**Better jean option** — What I ended up doing that has worked well, is when I was about 5 months pregnant, I went to my regular jean store and bought a pair of the lowest cut jeans I could find that were a little bit big on me at that point in time. I can still wear them now at 32 weeks with the help of a b-buckle and they are totally comfortable.

Maternity Clothing Stores
All of the exclusively-maternity stores I’ve shopped at, Pea In The Pod, Becoming Mothers, Mimi Maternity, to name a few, have a terrible return policy. You can only exchange or get store credit – NO REFUNDS. I honestly think the best place to shop for maternity stuff is The Gap. Online they have tons of stuff, all totally refundable and hassle-free. Old Navy has good tshirts and tank tops too, but they have itchy tags in a lot of their stuff and pregnant skin is very sensitive. The Gap knows this and has mostly tag-free maternity clothes – very nice!

Body Pillows
I tried one of the full-body pillows and did not like it. It was way thinner than it looked online, and I had read a lot of the reviews and picked a really good one. The point of a body pillow is to keep your body in alignment, mainly your hips. You want to lay on your side and have the top leg parallel with your hip, so a pillow in between the knees is what you need. But if the pillow is thin, it doesn’t do the trick. The full body pillows also have a head-part, so you can’t use your own head pillow with them…I don’t know about you, but I am VERY particular about my head pillow! I found this one after trashing my full body pillow, and I love it – by Boppy, it also helps with belly support when the belly gets bigger.

Massage Pad

I have had back issues since about 2 months pregnant, but even if you don’t have actual back issues, your back is getting totally abused during your pregnancy. I got this Massage Pad at Bed Bath & Beyond (you can always find a 20% coupon) and I LOVE it. It helps when your back is achy or just feeling kinda stiff. My doula even recommended that I bring it to the hospital because it will be good to have during labor. This will be nice to have post-baby too!

Cribs – Drop-rail vs No Movable Parts/Lifetime/Convertible

So, I obviously haven’t used the crib yet, but I did a lot of research and went with the No Movable Parts/Convertible crib. Here is why – most people have told me that they barely ever used the drop-rail, and as being 5’10”, I’m assuming reaching into the crib will not be an issue for me. Also, many reviews say that the drop-rail doesn’t work well or sticks (which becomes a major safety issue) so they can’t use it much anyway. But more than that — at first I liked the looks of the drop-rail cribs better, but started hearing a lot about recalls and safety issues with the drop-rails. I also read in several places and saw a news segment that said most manufacturers are starting to focus on producing the Convertible cribs because they are safer, more stable, have less recalls, and leave less room for human error while assembling. Less and less drop-rail cribs are being manufactured because of this, and it sounds like eventually they’ll be a thing of the past. So, I figured I’d go with the trend toward No Movable Parts. It is also a bonus that many convert into a toddler bed, then a full-size bed, which will be convenient as long as your baby doesn’t chew up the part that becomes the footboard.

Baby Furniture
Yikes, there is no good answer for this in the Boulder area. Boulder does not have a single baby furniture store! I looked a ton online, Pottery Barn, Guys & Dolls in Denver, a couple boutique-y places, and Babies R Us. Babies R Us seemed like the best option because they do in-house delivery and set-up plus they are about 1/3 the price of Pottery Barn. Yes, some of their stuff seems on the cheapy/cheesey end, but they do have some nicer lines made from hardwood and not veneers. After lots and lots of research, I chose their line from Babi Italia, which has gotten great reviews from users and is sampled on the floor at the store. While I love the furniture I got, it was an absolute nightmare to order from BRU. That store is run by monkeys, I swear. It took me about 2 months to actually order what I wanted – not to physically get it, but to actually ORDER it. Once it was ordered, I got it in about a week and a half. But, OMG, I must have talked to every furniture person, supervisor, and manager in the store several times over 2+ months just trying to order it. They are idiots!

Prenatal Photo Shoot

You have got to do this! I went to Colby Evans (check out a sample pic in portfolio 4, pic 18), who did those adorable photos of me and my step-kids that I have plastered all over facebook and my house! She is awesome, but even if you don’t use her, you should do some prenatal pics with your baby-daddy. I’ll post some when I get them in a couple of weeks. We had so much fun and it ended up being a little love-fest, bonding-over-belly-and-baby experience. Embrace your beautiful roundness!

3D & 4D Ultrasound

I wouldn’t have thought to do this, but David set it up and I am so glad he did! We went to a place in Westminster, not far from Babies R Us, First View Ultrasound. For more info on this, see previous blog post.

Post Pregnancy Belly Wrap
Again, clearly I haven’t used one yet, but I did research a few different kinds and Tauts got the best reviews, so that is what I went with. Plus, I like Brooke Burke, so I wanted to buy hers ๐Ÿ™‚ But really, it seems like a good product. It is a firm wrap that you wear as much as possible starting the day after you deliver. It is supposed to help reduce the size of your swollen uterus and water retention and it will help your regular clothes fit better sooner (the corset effect I’m guessing) and help you not look lumpy under tshirts and such. The material is firm but still soft against the skin and compared to the other postpartum wraps, it looks like it covers more of your torso to your waist/hips than others that look like they just go around your waist area. Hopefully it will help me get my rock-solid abs (yeah right, have I ever had hard abs?) back!

***And most importantly – the best burger in Boulder is at the St Julien, and the best drive-thru milkshake is at Goodtimes. Plan your pregnancy to stretch over as many junkfood-binge holidays as possible! I’ve been pregnant through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. YUM. I’m doing it for the baby, of course — I’m trying to make sure that he’ll be sick of chocolate by the time he is born and will never want to eat it again.

I’ll add more stuff as it comes to me. Feel free to add your own reviews in the comments and help out our future baby-mama friends!

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3D/4D Ultrasound – 32wks

April 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm (Baby)

David surprised me this morning with an appointment at a 3D/4D ultrasound place. When I kept guessing where we were going while headed away from Boulder on highway 36, he said “maybe we aren’t going someWHERE, maybe we are going to see someONE” and then I got it and started crying — today we were going to really see our baby! As I was filling out my paper work in the waiting room and thinking what an awesome husband I have, in walk my mom and dad to join us for the ultrasound – so then I had to start crying again. It was very exciting and my husband is beyond thoughtful.

I am amazed at the technology that does this. The 3D is obvious, but I didn’t know what 4D meant – it is the 3D plus motion, so it is like watching the baby move around on video. The ultrasound takes 3D pictures 18 times a second, so you actually get to see the baby’s movement. He yawned, wiggled, sucked his thumb, blinked (we only got to see open eyes for a split second), and blew me a kiss – OK, maybe not that last one.

Sleeping FBB
sleepy baby
Eyes opening up a little bit
eyes opening
Starting to smile
IMG_114
Smiling!
smiling
smiling
Count em – 5 fingers
5 fingers
…And 5 toes!
5 toes
I just don’t know how I’m supposed to wait 2 more months!
Thank you so much David, I adore you ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pregnancy update – 32 weeks

April 15, 2009 at 3:41 pm (Baby)

Soooo, as much as I still enjoy being pregnant — I am ready! I just want to meet our baby, hold him, and smell his baby smell. 9 months (well 10 months) is really a long time. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever and I still have 2 months to go. My belly is so big, I’m starting to feel like it has taken me over. My back pain is pretty severe on a daily basis now, and I’m starting to waddle! I have to carry pillows around with me to sit anywhere. I basically can’t sit in a regular chair for more than 20 minutes without my back hurting. Luckily I’ve still been able to exercise a lot. If I don’t get in an hour of exercise a day, my back pays the price at night. I go to my trainer, prenatal aqua class, prenatal yoga, and walks with Ellie about 5 times a week, so I have been keeping busy. Movement keeps me feeling good (plus it helps me justify the milkshakes and cadbury eggs). Why can’t I be one of those people that doesn’t really like sweets? I’m so jealous of them.
31 weeks 31 weeks 31 weeks

David took these pictures of me. I was pleasantly surprised to see that from the rear-view, I still actually have a waist. I had no idea!

FBB is growing like crazy. I still don’t have any new pictures of him, but all the appointments have gone well. I can feel him moving like crazy in there, and he has discovered a new hobby – headbutting my bladder, which is really fun ๐Ÿ˜‰ At this point, he has a memory and his brain is just about as developed as it will be at birth. His nervous system and lungs are still maturing, and his main job right now is to grow grow grow. His skin has matured from translucent and thin to pink and full, as his fat cells are creating more insulation for him to stay warm in the outside world. I wonder what he’ll be like — will he be a chubby baby full of little baby-fat rolls? will he be a long baby, all tangled up in there like I was? will he have hair, or be bald like Delaney? Will he have David’s feet or the famous ‘Nesbit toes’ that have a longer middle toe? I hope he’ll have David’s feet! We just can’t wait to finally meet him.

The baby furniture is supposed to come in later this week or next week, so it will be a relief to finally get things set up and decorated in FBBs room. It has been stressing me out!

Oh, and David and I did our prenatal photo shoot today. It was really fun. I recommend it to any parents-to-be. At first I thought I was kind of dragging David along with me, but it ended up being a really good thing for us to do together and he had a lot of fun with it too. Probably didn’t hurt that half the time it was me posing in my underwear, but whatever – he had fun ๐Ÿ™‚ We won’t get to see the pictures for a couple of weeks, but I’m really excited to see how they turned out. It’s nice to be able to capture this special time in our lives, I’m sure it won’t be too long before it is all a blur.

Cravings — hmmm, well, the beef is back. Once again I have been on a burger binge. It isn’t quite like the first round of beefy cravings a while back, but it is significant. However, at least now I’m also liking chicken. So, while I’m eating a good amount of beef, mainly in the form of cheeseburgers, it is not every day like it was before. Still loving the lemonade too, but not much else has changed since the last blog post. Cadbury Egg season is now officially over, but fear not – I still have 7 left to enjoy!

The whole beef thing likely has to do with Anemia, which the doc says I have (not surprised, I’ve been Anemic before, or maybe I just always have been? Not sure if it has ever gone away?). So, I’m taking iron supplements in addition to eating lots of meat and spinach and iron-y things.

Pregnancy Brain is real! So, over the past few months I’ve had a couple of ‘pregnancy brain’ episodes. One was when I had $100 cash (if you know me, you know I NEVER have cash), I had taken cash out to payback someone. It was on the kitchen counter, but since the cleaning crew was coming, I hid it in a drawer (of course I didn’t just put it in my wallet). Well, for the next 2 weeks, I was racking my brain wondering where that $100 went. Did the cleaning crew steal it? Should I fire them? OMG, I was so pissed. That is, until I opened that ‘junk drawer’ and there was my $100 right where I left it. OK, now this one is even better — yesterday I went to the grocery store, then to pick up our taxes, then to get a smoothie. Last night at 5am, I woke up thinking of how good a fresh pear was going to taste (yes, I really woke up to think about food) – OMG, I left all the groceries in the car. So I layed in bed for an hour thinking of what an idiot I am that I left all the groceries in the car and running through a list of what would be ruined (turkey, cheese, etc.) and what would be safe (cereal, bread, etc.). Duh!

So, that is me at 32 weeks pregnant!

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