Wednesday, April 29

A Girl's Best Friend...

I must be doing something right or Charm City Daddy must be trying to entice me to keep the babies coming.

Either way---a diamond pendant necklace and diamond earrings this week!? Out of the blue!?

CCD told me he was running to the mall to get a new a pair of topsiders, which I agreed he was badly in need of--and comes home with the topsiders AND a bag from this wonderful place.

I think the pendant and necklace is a 'little much' but he insists that I can pass it down to Charm City Baby, which made me melt. But, the earrings on the other hand...I have not taken them off....and they're not coming off. Ever.

Tuesday, April 28

Appointment Update: 23 weeks

This time I went solo as Charm City Daddy had a downtown meeting, so no amusing story to share. Next time I get tested for gestational diabetes and another sonogram--so much more interesting.

Charm City Baby is doing well and moving a LOT---so much so that she was moving constantly while the nurse was trying to find her heartbeat. We did find it faintly, but CCB definitely had her own agenda. I like that. For now.
I'm starting to get a little weight conscientious. I worry most about my legs for some reason. At my appointment my nurse calculated that I have gained a total of 13 lbs. Not bad. BUT with every pound I realize that I am at my heaviest. Nice. I got off to a slow start but I'm now averaging a pound a week. If I keep this up--17 pounds to go. Breathe. It's all for a good cause.

The weight gain has made me start to think more about my post-pregnancy fitness. In fact, I recently won private tennis lessons at a charity event silent auction. Yay! I can't WAIT to use them. That'll take care of those legs! I'll be the Venus to my sister's already Serena Williams physique! Now we just need to get her playing tennis too!

Sunday, April 26


Just as soon as I write a post about the difficulty of registering, I find a bottle that I can't really register for...

This dilemma reminds me of a funny story. The other day when I was telling Charm City Daddy that registering is so hard b/c it's hard to choose just one or two stores for everything. He responded, "I know, its like we need to find a 'Brookstone Baby' and all of our prayers would be answered."

*I paused* Must.keep. straight. face. lips. tight. hold. breath.

It was all I could do to hold back bursting into laughter b/c he was serious. I love that man. But honeslty, I believe this bottle would be at his "Brookstone Baby" store.

Wednesday, April 22

Time to Register...

My mom, 'Charm City Grandma', and friend (who is also expecting--yay!) informed me this weekend that they are in the beginning stages of planning Charm City Baby's shower. Yay!

Being the control freak that I am, CCG and friend have tried to let me know some details and run some things by me because my loving mother aims to please. Thanks mom. :)

So while I don't know everything (and I'm okay with that) I do know that the shower will be:
  • For the ladies--and GENTS!
  • Saturday, June 13th!
  • At Our Home!
  • A Backyard BBQ!

Charm City Daddy is excited (so I am). He wants to tent the backyard and have a live band (possibly rehire our wedding band)! That would be a lot fun, actually. But there we go "controlling" again...

Initially CCD and I were planning to have a big "Baby Clam Bake" with a raw oyster bar ( b/c I miss them so much during pregnancy) at our home in September to celebrate the arrival of Charm City Baby. It was then that we were going to tent the backyard, hire the band, etc. I'm thinking we may be too overwhelmed with CCB at that point for such an elaborate affair. Hmm.

Anyway, with the shower coming I need to take some time to register---BUT WHERE?

I have a love/hate relationship with registries. First of all, (as I learned during my wedding) I only do it online. Forget the store madness and getting the right color/styles, etc. Second, I do it alone. Charm City Daddy wants no parts of it--except maybe the carrier that will be strapped to his chest. I will show him the list and get his input on bigger items but let's face it--tis I that does the baby product research.

I'll most likely use this checklist as I have found it to be the most comprehensive. But the question remains where should I register?

Please, leave a comment and tell me where to go and if you've done this baby thing before, the "must-haves."

Tuesday, April 21

The New Facebook...

This website has become Charm City Daddy's new Facebook. I kid you not.

We've had great success in finding excellent au pair candidates for Olivia through our original agency, or at least we did in my opinion. But no one was good enough in the eyes of CCD.

This is how the conversations went ( with some *dramatization added*):

CCM: "Look babe, this girl had a great application, she's 22, she's Russian, fluent in German, has newborn/infant experience and she's safety certified. Perfect!"

CCD: "Uhhh yeah, but if you look at her closely she seems too frail to hold a baby, she had some health issues two years ago, and I'm thinking fluent Mandarin would be desirable as well."

CCM: "Okaaaay."

So since NO ONE could please CCD, I turned the search for an au pair over to him and he has taken it on with pure enthusiasm.

I get no less than 4 emails a day where CCD has copied me on his "cross examinations" of AP candidates via email. It's getting to be quite the entertainment. On the particular "facebook" website he uses, the responses can almost be instantaneous, where an AP can tag you, put you on their "hot list," send you a message, etc. Its crazy.

I am glad he's taking care of these initial details and he has the background to do the proper due diligence. He's narrowing the candidates and together we're choosing the person that will ultimately live with us and influence the first year (or two) of Olivia's life.

The decision will need be made by late June if visas/international travel are involved, so a little less than 2 months to go!

Monday, April 20

Daddy's On A Role!

Charm City Daddy has been on his best behavior recently. Well, he's always fantastic--and my best friend of course, but he's been an exceptional husband of late and deserves some kudos.

Tonight, when I walked in the door from work, he greeted me in his suit with a wine glass of sweet tea (lol--see? he really knows and loves me!) and took my purse, bag, raincoat from me immediately and escorted me to a beautifully set dining room table (that I should have photographed, but I was overwhelmed).

The table was set for two and complete with fresh roses, the "good china," and pre-printed menus that featured a 3-course meal. Oh! and Kenny G was playing! Ha!

He had used the latter portion of his afternoon to plan, shop, and prepare a fantastic meal that included: vinaigrette drizzled T.B.M. (tomato basil mozarella), vodka sauce over fresh lobster ravioli, sauteed asparagus, and lemon meringue tarts and toasted chocolate/walnut tarts! Oh and I got kisses between courses. :)

At the end of our meal, he made us some (decaf) coffee and insisted we sit in these two chairs in our living room that we NEVER sit in b/c they are white and in a sitting area that is off to the side.

With the music still going we enjoyed our coffee, great conversation and what will soon be a rare, calming moment before Olivia takes over our lives.

Tonight's dinner was one my favorite days in a long, long time. It tops the Jetta replacement he surprised me with one day after work, or the weekend getaway he planned two weeks ago complete with Maybach and driver. Tonight CCD was the man I dated and knew I wanted to marry after our first date.

I feel like THE luckiest girl in the world. Thanks Babe.

Monday, April 6

The End of An Era...

Dear Jetta:

I will miss you dearly. You were my first new car, and a welcomed friend after my high school "Heavy Chevy" finally clunked out freshman year of college.
I dreamed about you and researched you for a full year before we met, and it was love at first drive. I took care of you like a baby, tracking your mileage in Excel, washing you constantly, forbidding my little brother to press your radio buttons too hard. *laughs then cries* Ahh, it all seems so trivial now, but not back then.
You still look as beautiful as the day my dad first drove you off the lot. You remember that day don't you, Jetta? Dad wouldn't let me drive you home from the dealership for whatever silly reason, but when I forbid him to smoke in my Jetta that fixed his desire to drive you subsequently, didn't it? Hehe. We're so bad Jetta.
We had a lot of good times. I packed you to the brim to move in and out of dorms, apartments, and eventually mom and dad's. If you were a gender, you'd probably be a male--and probably gay b/c you LOVED the disco globe I hung from my rearview mirror and my Mariah Carey CD's.
I replaced your wipers, your tail lights, your fluids--all by myself. I even installed your aftermarket CD changer. Remember that whole episode? Thanks to you I had my first experience in filing a corporate complaint and getting someone fired. We're a great team Jetta. We made things happen!
Your sunroof and tinted windows gave me the confidence and luxury I needed. My then-fiance, now husband often called us silly looking for the window tints, but we didn't care. We had each other.
You always cranked and never let me down, even when I hit a speed bump too fast and knocked my oil pan off, you still, miraculously, got me home. Thanks Jetta.
Leaving you signifies the "end of an era" as Charm City Daddy always says every time he sees an Audi TT reminding him of his bachelor days. I will think about you the same way every time I see a silver Jetta.
I love you and I know you understand that I need a different car for the next stage of my life, but that doesn't mean that I won't always appreciate what you did for me and the fun time we had in my 20's--and all 118,000 miles.
I am glad we are leaving on such good terms, b/c now another person will have the opportunity to start a new life with you and experience all of your splendor as I did. Don't worry Jetta, your owner's manual is well documented and I even included your VW Jetta VHS--although no one has VHS players these days.
Charm City Momma

Sunday, April 5

Nursery Update!

The painters finished the nursery this week and it looks fantastic!

Just so you get a better since of what decade (the 80's) we started with...

and during (after wallpaper removal)...

and here's the after...
That's black chalkboard paint (fun fun fun!). Black chalkboard paint is on two walls that mirror each other, while white is on the other two opposing walls. You should have seen my mom's face when I told her I was painting the baby's room black. Priceless.
The ceiling detail is my favorite...

I like how the painters carried the ceiling stripes down to the (picture rail) crown molding in the corners. It is hard to tell from these pictures but I also had the stripes alternate between satin and flat finish paint to add some interest. I hear babies like contrast. I also heard a long time ago that yellow makes babies cry, so we used that in moderation.
I am so grateful to the inspiration pic from Domino Magazine's feature on Jenna Lyons. And just think Domino is extinct now. Sad.
Keeping inspiration in mind, I hope to incorporate more of my own touches in the rest of nursery, so that the room is in keeping with the "classic meets modern" direction the rest of the house is going. But this room is so fresh and fun that it doesn't bother me if it turns out to have a bit more of a modern edge than the other rooms in the house.
I can't wait to see the finished product. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Nice Kicks...

I've been feeling Charm City Baby move around since mid-March. From moments of sharp pain and discomfort that comes and goes in seconds to what feels like gas or an internal stomach growl--my sister confirmed for me "that would be your baby moving."

This week, however, I've been feeling (and seeing) actual kicks and possibly stretches of Charm City Baby!

Of course, it's nothing like this yet...

...but it feels like it!

Charm City Daddy has been enjoying the kicks too. CCB always gives us a nice long session, enough time for me to inform CCD and for him to feel her go at it. Speak of the devil--she's going at it right now as I type.

In the beginning, it seemed like she responded to the vibrations in the car rides a lot. Now it seems like she responds to let's see: the pastor's sermon at church, anytime I lay down or sit down after doing a lot of walking around or moving, meetings at work, food, drink, anything!

I just love it! I hear later on in the pregnancy, however, it keeps you up at night. Nice! I'll enjoy this excitement while it lasts.

Wednesday, April 1

Appointment Update: 19 weeks

So, if we hadn't spoiled Christmas, this is the appoinment where Charm City Daddy and I would have first found out that we're having a girl. Instead our ultrasound only confirmed what we already knew. GIRL!

Charm City Baby (Olivia) is weighing in at 11 ounces. According to my pregnancy books, 6 to 7 ounces is the listed weight for 19 weeks, so I'd like to think that Oliva has a little meat on her bone. Or perhaps she's long. I like that idea too.

Here are some fun sonograms from this trip.

The profile...looks like she is blowing bubbles but that's cord...

A big foot! (my favorite of our batch this time)

And finally--a bonus 4D of CCB's face. It is way too early to get a good 4D image but...

Still feeling great, so please keep us your thoughts and prayers.