Wednesday, November 30, 2011

baby steals

i've always been a sucker for good deals.

i RARELY buy anything full priced.

clearance racks are my friends!

so while it would be great to have everything brand-spanking new for baby boy, we have NO PROBLEM buying used!

that's why it was beyond exciting to get amazing deals on not one, but two of our big baby purchases in the last week!

stroller -

we've been trying to decide on a stroller for months now.  we finally had it narrowed down (or so i thought) to the Bob and the Bumbleride (after giving up on the UppaBaby due to its price and lack of all-terrain features).  and while it wouldn't be our first choice aesthetically or in the way it's engineered (in reid's opinion), we even purchased the Bob from REI during their huge labor day sale.  it's been sitting in the box, unopened while we've scoured craigslist for used Bobs and Bumblerides for many weeks. 

then last weekend the hubs came across a craigslist ad for a Bugabbo Gecko for a ridiculous price.  the bugaboo wasn't even on our radar for many reasons, and to be honest, i wasn't sure i wanted one, even used.  i feel like there's such a status symbol stigma attached to them, and that thought makes me cringe and uncomfortable...but in the end, the good deal won out and we now have a like-new stroller complete with the footmuff and many other accessories the seller threw in - all for less than 1/3 the price just the stroller used to sell for new.  now that's a good find and one we couldn't pass on!

infant car seat -

we had no intention of buying a used one - we've done enough research to know this is one of those few baby purchases that should be made new to ensure the seat hasn't been in an accident and/or hasn't reached its expiration date.  plus we were gifted the chicco we registered for - what i didn't realize when i put it on the registry, the bottom of the seat doesn't snap into a shopping cart and this i was told by multiple moms, would be a huge inconvenience.  so we returned it to BRU, and were hoping to find a graco we liked since that's the only other brand compatible with our stroller in a price range we're willing to pay.

long story short, we couldn't find something without a mickey mouse, multi-colored starburts or camo pattern at BRU - good looking neutral-patterned gracos exist, apparently they're just not sold at BRU!  so the search continued...until i was told about a co-worker looking to sell her very neutral and extremely well taken care of graco car seat and base for $30.  what?!  it fit all the criteria we were looking for, so on monday, i brought this baby home, thrilled at the find!!

it was a successful 'shopping' week and just in the nick of time!  gotta get that car seat installed before baby boy decides to make an appearance.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

40 days left!

sunday marked the start of my 34th week of pregnancy. 6 more weeks left to go, assuming my little guy makes his appearance right around his due date, jan 8th.

6 weeks sounds like a long time.

40 days does NOT!

overall my pregnancy has flown by. there were times in my first trimester when i felt like i had all the time in the world. 40 weeks seemed like SUCH a long stretch of time, and since i wasn't seeing many physical changes in my body, most day, it felt surreal that i had a amazing miracle baby growing inside of me. i had time to read novels, take baths, go for walks, catch up with friends and enjoy my time with hubs and zoe-girl. i don't remember being in a big frenzy to 'do' baby stuff.

i'm not sure what happened to the 2nd trimester - i was increasingly busy in my new role at work, which translated into less time at home in the evenings to start focusing on baby 'stuff'. the reality of how much had to be done and figured out finally hit with a vengeance, and it hasn't let up since. i'm a planner, organizer, list-maker and researcher by nature, and enjoy all those things. but trying to 'figure it out' when it comes to getting ready for a baby is by far the most challenged i've ever felt. i know the moms out there are thinking, 'just wait till baby comes - that's challenging!!' :) i also know most first-time moms experience this need to make sure they've researched every baby product to death and determined which are best for their baby. i'm fortunate enough to have many friends and sisters who are moms, many for the 2nd, 3rd or even 6th time (!!!), and their advice has been invaluable. but everyone has their own opinions based on what worked for them. so in the end, you take in all the advice, but still have to make your own decisions.

the 3rd trimester thus far has unfolded the way most people told me it would. physically, i'm heavier than i've ever been before, and i'm starting to feel it. i've never experienced hip or knee pain before, but that's been happening off and on for the last couple of weeks. the inability to do something simple like tie my own shoes, and the effort it takes to get on/off the couch or bed still surprises me. it's hard to imagine until you've experienced it, but suddenly, my body is no longer my own. the physical changes are happening quickly now, and at least once a week i have someone tell me how much bigger i've gotten since the last time they saw me. :)

along with the physical changes and most likely because of them, fatigue has set in again.  not with the same coma-like intensity i experienced in my first trimester, but more of a bone-tired weariness brought on by lack of good sleep and my body working really hard to get my little man ready.

i've started dreaming about baby boy, about holding him in my arms. a few nights ago i dreamt he had dark hair on top and blond on the sides and in the back.  from a feature perspective, the amount of hair and his hair color is what i'm most curious about.  i would love for him to have blond hair and blue eyes just like his daddy, but reid thinks his features will more closely resemble mine.  no wonder i'm dreaming about it!

although we're in the home stretch and things still aren't as 'figured out' as i would like them to be, i feel ready for baby's arrival. i am ready to see him, to kiss 10 finger and 10 toes, to tell him how much we love him and to smell his intoxicating baby smell.  many have told me i'll miss him moving inside of me, and i know that will be the case. in pregnancy, there's nothing that can compare to the closeness i've felt to him when he's moving around, even when it wakes me up at night. he's an active little monkey, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

baby boy at 34 weeks -

  • ~ 4 3/4 lbs, the size of a cantaloupe
  • 18 inches long
  • his fat layers are filling out, making him rounder
  • his central nervous system and lungs are continuing to mature

Friday, November 18, 2011

our maternity shoot

a few weekends ago, one of reid's best friends randy (of randall reed photography) offered to take some maternity photos of us. it was a difficult decision because a) do i really want to be photographed 7 1/2 months pregnant? and b) i hate being in front of a camera, posing while trying to look natural, just as much as i love being behind one taking the pictures.

but randy is a great photographer (he should totally quit his day job and do only this!) and we know him well, so i figured that would take the awkwardness level down a notch. however, i think the deciding factor for me was that this was the first time since our wedding (8 years ago) when reid and i have had pictures taken together that weren't a quick point&shoot. also, our wedding pictures were TERRIBLE, and just thinking about the awful job our wedding photographer did still makes me sad and angry. there aren't many pictures from our wedding that were salvageable, none that have ever hung in our home, and very few that i've shared with others.  our photography (or lack thereof) is my biggest wedding regret.  note to future brides - don't skimp on your wedding photography!!

so in a way, the goal was to not only get some decent materity shots, but also finally get some decent photos of reid and i. the reid who HATES taking pictures more than anyone i know, but this one time decided to be completely accommodating. whatever, the reason, i was just happy that he went along with it and didn't complain once!

little did i know when the 'shoot' started it would turn into a full day event!

we started at our house for the more casual pictures, then drove to skamania lodge for many of the outdoor shots, and ended in hood river near the end of the day.  randy really wanted to photograph us in places that have significant meaning for us, so skamania lodge was a given.  not only is it located in one of the most gorgeous settings we know, it's where we spent our wedding night, and a place we've returned many times over the years to relax and spend time with family.  hood river is one of our favorite places to go for a day trip, usually tacked onto a day of hiking in the gorge, and it's just another 20 min east of skamania lodge, so we decided to keep on going and end our journey there.  plus, we couldn't pass up dinner at the full sail brewery.

luckily, the weather held up all day for us, and all in all, while a long day, it actually ended up being quite fun once we were able to relax in front of the camera. 

there were over 700 pictures taken, so narrowing it down was extremely difficult, but here are some of my favorites.  i was also fortunate that randy trusted me to edit the photos he took.  :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

he's flipped!

yesterday morning we had an ultrasound - i was giddy with anticipation going into it, more so than with any other ultrasounds expect the one where we found out the gender, because i was dying to know if baby boy had flipped himself into position since the last ultrasound 4 weeks ago. 

4 weeks ago he was in breech position, but since then, i have felt TONS of movement, more than the rest of my pregnancy combined, and i was convinced (and hoping) that meant he was flipping himself around.  well...he's flipped!  there's a reason for all the movement, beside that he's just getting bigger. 

i continue to be in awe of modern technology and the miracle of our human bodies.

a couple of other highlights from yesterdays visit -
  • apparently baby boy has lot of hair, as evidenced by the white specks in the below picture.  the ultrasound tech told us it's very rare to see that, so i guess that means he's going to have quite a mane of hair on his cute little head!  reid's convinced that means baby's going to have dark hair b/c he's never heard of or seen a blond haired baby come out with tons of hair, but the doc told us it's really variable, so we could still end up with a blond haired baby (reid was a tow-head until his adult life, so it's definitely possible), which i would love!  reid's convinced baby's going to look like me, darker skin, dark hair - a little gypsy baby!  :)
don't they look like shark's teeth?
  • baby weighs 4 lbs, according to all the ultrasound measurements they took.  not sure why that shocked me, but 4 lbs sounds like a big baby with 8 weeks left to go!  doc assured us he's right on track to being close to a 7 1/2 lb baby, and also told me i'm going to get MUCH BIGGER - not very assuring!  not sure how that's going to happen b/c i honestly feel like i couldn't possible grow any more, but apparently i'm wrong, very wrong. 

and just for fun - a few pictures of reid and i as babies.  he was such a cute child, and i absolutely cherish these pictures that his mom has done such a great job of preserving!  blond hair, blue eyes, pretty much as all-american as you can get!  and the complete opposite of me.  :)

makes me all the more excited to see what our little guy will look like - will he take srongly after one of us, or will his be features be a mix of the two?  8 more weeks until we find out!!

such a little poser!  he HATES taking pictures nowadays, so i'm not sure what happened between then and now, but he didn't seem to mind the camera one bit as a boy!

one of my favs of him - love the pose, and how stinking adorable he looks!  definitley does not look like a child that would ever create any mischief in any of his classes.  :)

and then there's me...i don't think reid's far off when he calls me his little gypsy.  :)

and because i can't resist - a few more from the ultrasound yesterday -

his beautiful head, positioned just as it should be!

a view of his nostrils, from the bottom up - just thought this was kind of funny

and last but not least, the cutest baby profile ever - still has his boxing hands right up by his face

Friday, November 4, 2011

hot pot

last saturday we were invited to a family friend's house for a traditional chinese hot pot dinner.  hot pot is eaten all throughout china and most parts of asia year-round, but more often eaten in the winter, which makes sense, because i would definitely associate it more with sitting around a fire and comfort food.

hot pot traditionally consists of of a metal simmering pot of stock at the center of the dining room table.  while the pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and cooked at the table. 

some the food our wonderful hostess had ready for our hot pot:

very thinly sliced beef
very thinly sliced chicken
pork and shrimp HOMEMADE dumplings - i couldn't get enough of these!
prawns - also one of my favs
japanese radish - so good and even sweet once it's been simmering for a while
cellophane noodles - only took 10 seconds to cook
poached eggs (an egg is cracked into a bowl then gently placed into the pot)
baby bok choy - our only veggie, but it was SOOO good! 
condiments like soy sauce
two VERY yummy dipping sauces, which can only be found in china

i guess hot pot can be done a variety of different ways, but we each cooked our own food by choosing what we wanted from the round turnstile tabletop, placing it into our round metal wire net, and immersing it into the pot until cooked.  then used the condiments and sauces for seasoning.

it was definitely not a 'scarf your dinner down' kind of dining experience.  it was a dinner conducive to great conversation and really taking time to sit down with family and friends.  although i must say, our dear hostess was more than a bit disappointed at how 'little' we ate (which is very relative term, because i felt like we ate for two hours straight at least, and i for one, ate enough for two!) - apparently when her children get together for hot pot around the holidays, they really put it away!  she wasn't terribly impressed with the size of our 'american' stomachs.  :)

for dessert, we merged two cultures and had apple pie homemade by my dear mother in law sue - still the best apple pie i've ever tasted! 

the aftermath!