Friday, May 29

Appointment Update: 27 weeks

This was a jam-packed appointment. By the end of it I had 3 needle pricks, one in each arm and one in the (ahem)..derriere!

All of the pricking was for the gestational diabetes testing and a rhogam injection. By the way the sweet orange drink that they give you for the gestational diabetes test ain't bad! It reminded me of those cheapo 25 cent "Hug" fruit drinks in those mini jugs from the grocery store that came in red, orange, green and grape. CCD says he grew up calling them "quarter water." Remember these?

ahh delicious and served up cold!

A WARNING TO THOSE WHO NEED THE RHOGAM SHOT: The injection stings and burns going in. When the nurse told me I had to take it in "arse." I laughed at her.."really?!" But after feeling the sting--I appreciated the posterior location. :)

Through all of the tests and back and forth from lab to Dr.'s office I came home with like 10 ultrasound pics of Olivia. Here are my favorites...

I love foot pics! Long feet w/ long toes like mommy...

We got the foot pic b/c we were looking for her girly parts and she promptly clammed up like a lady. Kicked the camera's clear shot!

And she had half of her face buried in the placenta but you can see her right side...

...her nose is just like Charm City Daddy's nose!

Ain't she cute!

"The Baby Wants..."

One of the perks of being pregnant is (don't judge me for saying this but) "blaming the baby."
You don't blame the baby in a bad way--just use the baby as an excuse to get what you want!

Allow me to demonstrate...

Charm City Daddy: What do you want for lunch today babe?
Charm City Mama: Baby wants a cheeseburger with pickles and mustard!
Charm City Daddy (doesn't eat redmeat or pork): You redmeat eatin' fool! You can't be feeding my baby that when she's born.
Charm City Mama: I know, I know, but the baby wants it!
Charm City Daddy: Okay, you're lucky you're pregnant.
Charm City Mama smiles big like a kid.

So, Charm City Baby and I were perusing our blogs this morning and guess what "baby wants?" This adorable, washable Owlie Pillow from Jaya Loves Takeko!

It would be perfect for her room. And every Olivia should have an Owl--it just goes hand in hand in my mind. Owl-livia.

So now the nursery has turtles, butterflies, sheepskin, zebra stripes, and possibly OWLS! I love it and I think she'll love it too.

Oh, and check back soon--An Appointment Update is coming...I've got new ultrasound pics of CCB!

Wednesday, May 27

No Problem, Mon!

Jamaica was just what we needed right when we needed it.

Friends had planned their destination wedding there more than 2 years ago and nearly 100 folks turned out for the event in over the holiday weekend.

For CCD it was a college and fraternity reunion of sorts, but for me it was time to relax, take my first preggo dip in the deep blue, and enjoy some delicious caribbean cuisine.

Little has changed about Montego Bay since my last trip there four years ago. Since it was CCD's first trip to the island, I was excited to share with him the few local points of interest I knew and of course we explored many more new ones together.

One spot I couldn't wait to revisit was a local jerk shanty called Scotchies. This is constructed of a number of materials including, sticks, hay, palms, cinderblocks and sits humbly on the side of the road with a tiny dirt parking lot complete with random goats that come and go.

Scotchies is a MoBay landmark and the jerk chicken is beyond compare. They marinate, slow cook and smoke the chicken over soaked applewood ALL. DAY. LONG. You can just see the plume of smoke coming from the place as you approach it. It was soo good we went there Day 1, and then made the entire airport shuttle bus stop on the way to airport where others got off with us to get more jerk chicken and festival (deep fried cornbread dumplings).

Being the (un)civilized people we are, we proceeded to take our foil-wrapped, smoky, jerk chicken right into the Air Jamaica Executive Lounge at the airport to eat in front of all of the first class passengers waiting with us. We should have been embarassed but it was soooo good and the bartender didn't even bat an eye, which must mean we weren't the first or the last to do this.

I also debuted my maternity swimsuit and that took some getting used to.

I quickly dubbed it my "birga" as the black ruffles that went down my tummy to the skirt that I thought were so cute felt more like a hot cloak and it flared out in the water. I kept joking with CCD "Look what you did to me. This is the most material I've ever worn at any pool at any age and it's all your fault. I hope you're happy that I'm all covered up. Where's my bikini?" We laughed it off, but I did expose my belly for some sun when I laid out on the lounge chairs. Felt soo good. That and the 4 coconut ice cream cones I had in one sitting. Soooo good.

I was the only preggo at the wedding so lots of our friends were being really sweet about my appearance (the swimsuit) and applauding me for rolling with the group from activity to activity. When you're sugared up on virgin daiquiris and pina coladas it's easy!

Here's my virgin "bobsled" from the Bobsled Cafe on the MoBay "Hip Strip."

After my OB appt yesterday I guess I spent a little too much time in the sun (and enjoying the sugar)--b/c my fluids were low and now I have to drink tons of water and see the doc again in a week. Whoops!

I hope we get to squeeze in one more trip while I am up for it, before the baby arrives. It was a great time AND best of all we didn't have to check any bags! We know that won't last forever...

Thursday, May 21

Nosebleeds, Leg Cramps, and Sob Fests

My pregnancy hormones and symptoms are really starting to surface lately.

...Like crying during simple television viewing, particularly American Idol. What is that all about? When 2nd-runner up Danny Gokey was voted off last week and started singing "You are So Beautiful" I went into full fledge histerics yelling at the TV, "Oh no, he's singing to his deceased wife--waaaaahhhh---waaaahhh." I mean I went from zero to ten in less than 3 seconds. It was so sudden and irrational that Charm City Daddy looked at me (completely puzzled and speechless) and had to ask if I was being serious. Surprisingly, I was being serious--but then it got funny--which is how I picked up how silly I was really being. Mid-Gokey performance the DVR recording abruptly stopped, and I just did one of those hiccup stops with my eyes wide-open like a deer in headlights, and that was it. Scene.

And yes, I cried at the AI finale last night too. But not at the obvious time when Chris Allen started singing his song, at the last 4 seconds of the telecast when his wife made it to his arms to give him a hug. Same pattern ensued---wailing, tears--and CUT off in a matter of 8-10 seconds.

The other thing I am seeing with more frequency are nosebleeds. They really have a tendency to sneak up on me too because I've had nasal congestion off and on the entire pregnancy. So at times when I think I just have a runny nose--it's random nosebleeds. Wierd. My OB offered to refer to me a nose specialist to zap the blood vessel if it continues to bother me, but I'm not likely to do all of that. I need to keep some "harmless pity symptoms" to show CCD this pregnancy thing ain't easy.

Leg cramps are the last and final nagging thing that I really could live without. Even as I type this post my left calf still isn't fully relaxed from the cramp I woke up with this morning. I stay off my back, eat bananas and kiwi, drink more water, even had massage therapists take extra time on my legs, and nothing has really worked. It is a terrible way to wake up, and poor CCD has grown accustomed to hearing my cries and immediately sitting up mid-slumber just to go to work massaging my knotty calves. Aww he's so sweet.

Okay...we're off to Jamaica for a quick 4-days! I'll have pics and a post when I return!

Tuesday, May 19

Cheap, Chic Storage

In going through my nursery checklist, I realized that while I had adequately planned for plenty of books (love the books) I had not planned for any storage of the inevitable---toys!

Since the nursery is relatively small and getting low on space, what I chose had to serve both as storage and additional seating, and of course be modern.

I just ordered two of these at $54.99 each from in black.

I will probably top the cubes with this newly purchased 22'' cushion from IKEA for $15.

That's it! A quick, cheap, versatile toy storage solution that will grow up with Charm City Baby.

Monday, May 18

The Business of Being Appointment

As I was channel surfing on Sunday I came across Ricki Lake's widely promoted documentary "The Business of Being Born."

I watched the entire film from beginning to end, but at least 10 minutes into it, it was clear that I was not seeing a fair and balanced documentary weighing pros and cons of vaginal a.k.a "natural" births and cesarean sections. Let's just say it was not a film that left it to viewers to decide. Instead it was mostly a case for natural births and midwifery. Very disappointing.

As someone who is planning what I will call an "epidural-aided natural childbirth" (no inducing, hopefully) I was watching with an open mind. However, it was clear that Ricki was seeking to portray the idea that women have been lied to and convinced by money-driven modern medicine--not to mention male doctors--to abandon midwives and the natural birthing process since the 20's. Brainwashed women? Give me a break.

The film included plenty of startling photos, statistics , testimony from foreign male doctors who blasted U.S. maternal medicine and the increasing number of c-sections in the U.S. They chastised Victoria Beckham for having multiple c-sections and said a New York City trend is to have a planned c-section or "Designer Birth."

My favorite part of the film was the ending where the director Abby, who is pregnant herself, ends up having an emergency c-section for her breach, 3lb preemie. Ah the irony. Guess what Ricki Lake asks her in the end, "Do you feel cheated that you didn't have a natural birth as planned?" Abby sits there holding her perfectly happy health baby boy months later and answers "Not at all." Exactly!

Sunday's LA Times also chimed in on the topic, too.

My problem with the film is that it promotes that there is only one right way of doing things for women. It's the liberal mindset and I hate it. I say let women decide (as they are already doing) what is best for them, their babies, and their families.

I'm positive my female, mother-of-two OB/GYN would be equally disappointed in the film, and I can't wait to ask her opinion at my next appoinment.

Maxi Dresses for Moms-to-Be

I know I am not alone when I say, I am soo glad that the maxi dress trend is here for spring/summer! It is one of the few fashion trends in which moms-to-be or recent moms can partake with comfort and ease. Plus they look great with the popular thong and gladiator sandals too!

When buying non-maternity maxis, the key is finding the ones that are floor length--not ankle length, and being prepared to size up.

I alreadyhave two from Old Navy (one pink, one navy stripe) and they've quickly become my go-to weekend wear. Go now! If you're lucky, you' may still be able to find a few on the clearance racks!

We're headed to Jamaica this weekend for a wedding--the perfect (excuse) occasion for a --silk maxi dress! I found this one on sale for $98 at Victoria's Secret with built-in-bra (although I never rely on built-ins). Love. it.
I see at least one more in my future for the baby shower. Okay, so maybe I've already ordered it from Nordstrom. tee hee!
Somebody stop me.

Thursday, May 14

Nursery Update #2

I haven't mentioned the nursery in a while because I haven't done anything to it in a while.

However, in anticipation of many visitors coming through the house for the shower next month-I have a deadline to make!

I did order the luca glider and custom roman shades, because I expected them to take some time to arrive. But that's about all I've done. I've got all the art I plan to use, just can't really put it up until I got some more furniture (dressers, changing area) to go by.

Charm City Daddy did put the crib together last month with some help from 4 of his 5 visiting little cousins...

They started the project at 9 p.m. just after bath time and waaay past bedtime. It was pretty funny to watch CCD try to give them all instructions, keep them focused, and remain patient.

Nearly two eventful hours later, they were finished. It only took a "cha-cha slide" dance break, a few fights over putting together parts of the crib and profuse sweating from CCD--but it happened!

More nursery progress pics to come...after a trip to IKEA (maybe this weekend?)

Monday, May 11

Another Weekend Away...

Since November, Charm City Daddy has been great about planning little weekend getaways each month while we still have the freedom and flexibility to travel--without checking any bags.

The latest trip was to Martha's Vineyard this past weekend. It was lovely.

The trip began with a quick flight to Boston and from there to get to the island we hopped on a teeny tiny, 6-seat, Cessna plane that FREAKED me out. All I could think about was JFK Jr's accident.

Even the sight of the plane creeps me out all over again. You feel every bump and sway from the wind AND on top of that you see the pilot in action hitting tons of dials and buttons. I'm proud I fought through and made the trip to and fro. I couldn't utter a word the entire flight and kept thinking 'stay calm for the baby.' But I'm sure she realized mommy was freaking out.
Once I saw the place, CCD rented for the weekend those 30 minutes of terror in the air were worth it.

and the back of the main house...

the view from the back deck to our private pond the property...

the walkout from the Master Suite overlooking Flat Bottom Pond...

the kitchen...adorable.

There are many more pictures as the property had a guest house, activity barn, writer's studio and so much more. We lucked out on the weather and had a relaxing time--and even entertained friends that came up to visit one day.
Oh, and we ate at this place called Slice of Life in Oak Bluff and everything was sooooo good. I highly recommend it. They had a number of healthy options which CCD enjoyed but I was craving pizza!

It was definitely a slower pace in MV, particularly because we beat the usual Memorial Day rush to the island, but I appreciated that...and the small business owners appreciated us.

I can definitely see us traveling back to the Vineyard by plane and FERRY next time with kids in tow in the future.

Ready-Made Shower Packages?

As my team rigorously plans my baby shower-- I can't help feeling guilty and want to help them in some way. Sorry, it's the busy-body in me (side note: You know its bad when your husband says the sound of drill reminds him of me-hehe).

I ran across the Social Couture website today--and what a great idea and lovely timesaver for folks throwing intimate baby showers! Basically the company packages your entertaining, party, decor needs all in one place and places them in little convenient party packages.

Our shower will be less of an intimate, frou-frou sit down and more of an informal collection of friends, but there are some good ideas here.

So if you have generously offered your time party planning for others (or know someone that has) you can also partake in this resource and look like a the fabulous, put-together planning champ that you are!

I know I am getting ideas for Charm City Baby's first birthday party already! Just have to figure out who would actually come to a one-year old's birthday party other than her parents. ha!

Tuesday, May 5

Divine Intervention...

JUST in time (and hot off the press), some advice on cloth diapers from the Pregtastic podcast.

Disposable or Cloth Diapers?

Can somebody help me, please?

In my frenzy to quickly register for the baby shower which has been moved up to June 13th (because of bachelor parties, weddings, travel, and life) I am having a hard time making what should be fairly simply decisions.

Just when I thought I had a good handle on what we need, I get to the "potty" category of the registry and lose it.

I like the cost-effectiveness and earth-friendliness of cloth diapers, but also like the convenience of disposable diapers--particularly when traveling. I suppose I could use them both, but if I were to choose cloth diapers--which brand is the best?

I like this hybrid starter set from Bambino Mio, but I haven't heard much about it, and I'm not sure who has considering it's "new."

And then you have these gDiapers, which are all cloth, require covers.
Then you have Bumkins Bamboo diapers, cloth require covers. Then you have all-in-one diapers like these and it goes on and on and on.
What in the world am I supposed to pick?! No wonder pregnant moms have emotional breakdowns in the middle of stores. Geez.
I'm taking advice or just your vote if you've got no experience. What should I pick?

Monday, May 4

Cocktails and Mocktails...

I really don't miss drinking...until I'm around drinks. :)

Charm City Daddy has been great and gave up drinking along with me which has helped a lot. We don't keep much in the house--just wine/beer for guest in the basement. Btw the savings has been incredible on our restaurant bills.
I ran across this article today and it got me thinking that I could share my post on my favorite "mocktails" of choice since getting knocked up.

My favorite drinks come in the form of spritzers like:

-cranberry and club soda w/ lime

-pineapple juice, lemonade, club soda w/ lemon

-pineapple juice, orange juice, spash of soda w/lemon

There are a million possibilities. It's silly but I find the addition of the lime on the glass ( a fancy glass) really makes me feel included when others are drinking.

Hopefully I don't sound like a alcoholic saying this but I really miss having a beer along with my crabs or steamed shrimp. Something about the salty/spicy splendor of the Old Bay mixing with the beer is indescribably Maryland and delicious. It is going to be a looong summer without the beer/crab combo, but I'll just have to add it to the growing list of things I will binge on when baby is out!

While we're on the topic, another favorite summer time fav cocktail of mine is Corona-Lime Juice Punch. Just take a six pack of ice cold Corona's and dump it into a pitcher. Then add a single can of frozen concentrate lime juice. Stir and serve immediately. Delicious!

Okay..I'm working myself up. I need to stop talking about the alcohol. Back to my ginger ale.

Sunday, May 3

From Bump To Belly...

The last time I posted a belly pic I was 16 weeks. Here's how I looked today at 24 weeks...
Definitely miss my abdominal strength and being able to lay on my tummy on the bed to watch TV.

I had a very productive weekend. The bedroom that will soon belong to the au pair got some new art. A fellow blogger and friend inspired me to clean out my pre-pregnancy clothes, and that of course that led to more shopping.

I found this cute ruffled top and ruffled skirt bottom maternity tankini, and was pleasantly surprised at how flattering it is. Charm City Daddy hasn't seen it yet but has called for "final approval." If it were up to him I'd be swimming in t-shirts and shorts. No thanks. I don't care if I'm a whale I don't want or need anything weighing me down in my only chance to feel weightless in water.

Although I kept busy, I did have a relaxing prenatal massage this weekend--my third in the second trimester. It was so relaxing and great for the leg cramps!

Friday, May 1

Baby Bag Love...

We all know about my purse obsession by now. Check out this beauty I discovered on my new favorite blog.

..and just when you thought it couldn't get any better...

Dear Ms. Chloe Bag, You had me at "hello."