Friday, June 26

Nursery University

Like many couples these days, Charm City Daddy and I have been actively saving for our child's education--before we even knew we were expecting.

And like all parents we want our child to have access to the best education possible. Of course leading up to a formal school experience, we feel exposure, socialization to other cultures, and hands-on learning is extremely important preparation--hence the desire for an au pair, as I have mentioned in previous posts.

Over the weekend CCD and I happen to catch this silly, but interesting, documentary called Nursery University, following various NYC parents and their rigorous application process to NURSERY school! Here's the trailer:

After watching it I felt relieved that 1) Charm City Daddy and I aren't CRAZY, 2) While Baltimore prep schools can be rather competitive, they aren't as bad as those in NYC.

It was clear that some (not all) of these earnest parents were more obsessed with the status of certain schools and the admissions process than they were with their own child's personal development and academic experience.

We are already scouting out some of the area programs that Olivia can start attending as early as 6 months for a weekly class. Today we just found out there is a one-year waitlist for 2 year-olds to enroll this program. Just peachy.

Nonetheless, I am not stressing. I refuse. Olivia will be in good hands and has many wonderful options ahead of her including the opportunity to attend the early-childhood development center at the university I work for--which is great!

Btw, if we keep this pace up with each child, I'm not so sure we'll make it to four. The preparation for children/parenthood is intense!

Thursday, June 25

Gigglin' This Weekend!

I just found out that one of my baby registry stores, Giggle, just opened a Washington, DC Metro area location! For those of us in the "DC Metro area" hip to this marketing lingo--that usually means suburban Maryland--and is most certainly true in this case as well.

For those of you in the "DC Metro Area" the new Giggle Maryland store is located at The Shops at Wisconsin Place: 5330 Western Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815--Good old Montgomery County. Capital Beltway here I come.

In addition to Babies R Us, I chose Giggle for their bold, modern selection of baby gear. You would be hard pressed to find any pastels or ruffles there.

I hear the NYC Soho and UES stores are crazy on weekends--and since I prefer online shopping to avoid crowds, I'm hoping this new store won't be all the way crazy, just yet. Yeah right.

Depending on what they have in-store in stock, I plan to possibly purchase our stroller...

and bassinet...

A friend who purchased her stroller at the NYC store told me that they will assemble everything in-store for you and of course show you how to use it. Music to Charm City Daddy's ears.

Moreover, if you want or need the help, they also have personal shoppers (in-store or long-distance) ready to help you with anything you need.

So as Jerry Maguire once said, "Who's coming with me?"

Wednesday, June 24

Appointment Update: 31 weeks & "My First Baby"

This was just a routine appointment with no ultrasound (my bad). So it consisted of a weight gain check, blood pressure, baby's heartbeat and small talk with the doc on what's to come and my prep checklist.

The appointment immediately followed an all-morning golf outing and hearty angus cheeseburger and fries lunch. So, needless to say my eyelids would not stay open. I was exhausted. I fell asleep twice for a good 2-5 minute power nap in the doctor's office. It was one of those head-bobbing kind of naps, where if you're not careful you'll drool. Amazing.

I came home, skipped dinner, and promptly curled up with Charm City Daddy and actually got a decent night's rest with only one (rather than the usual 4!!) awakening to Charm City Baby tap dancing on my bladder.

This morning I took CCD to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for a meniscus tear. This injury occurred about 3 weeks ago when CCD was playing his usual Saturday morning basketball game with other early 30-somethings trying to prove they still have their college basketball skills. Sigh. It's quite amusing to watch actually---until someone gets hurt.

It was CCD's first time under general anesthesia and he was a nervous wreck before surgery and a drugged up fool afterward. I was thoroughly amused and he lived up to the phrase I had engraved in his wedding band, "to my first baby." All of the nurses kept telling me how much of a handful he was and they hope (for my sake) that he also takes drugs with me when we have the baby b/c he could barely take the IV today.

He tried to be tough, but I knew he'd be a baby in the end. I've been taking care of him all day and have actually enjoyed bossing him around. This has actually been good b/c I think he'll be even more sympathetic to my "condition" in 8 weeks or so when Charm City Baby arrives.

Monday, June 22

Nursery Glances...

Although I'm still awaiting the arrival of a few more things this week (crib bedding, dresser and changer knob pulls, etc) and I still have some unboxing, organizing, picture, hanging, washing, and setting up to do--the nursery is "done enough" for a few glances...

I love the glider and here it sits in its own corner. You may also recognize the toy cube beneath the lamp. Also, I might add that "Daddy" has lots of shout-outs in this nursery. Not one item about loving mommy--such is my lot in life.

These book shelves from Ikea are a lot of fun and I'm contemplating adding a third--but Charm City Daddy's opinion is less is more. What do you think?

Since I purchased two of those toy cubes--I purposed the other as additional seating with the help of the sheepskin. I like I how the sheepskin softens the room a bit.

And finally my Maryland terrapin scarf sitting pretty above the changing table (without the topper attached). I have always loved this scarf and am so glad it worked in this room. I get a great view of it from the glider too.

That's it for the nursery for now. More to come when I get more unpacked and set up.

And now for some gear. While watching TV yesterday Charm City Daddy only had the patience/attention span for two items, so we picked the swing which now sits nicely in the living room...

And Charm City Daddy's new wheels--the Bob Ironman Jogger.

He joked that he would take the empty jogger on a test run in the morning, yelling out to the neighbors as he passed by "Just testing it out!" He cracks me up.
The jogger will sit in his office on the first floor for a while b/c the thought our newborn flying down the street in it (even with the infant seat attachment) actually terrifies me.
That's where we are so far. The house is slowly being taken over by a 4lb fetus.
Tomorrow is a golf outing with my work colleagues--unfortunately since I've only done the driving range once during the pregnancy and it's going to be hot, I will be driving the golf cart. I also have a doctor's appointment complete with ultrasound in the afternoon, so no need in risking being low on fluids again b/c of sun exposure.
Stay tuned for an appointment update.

Pre-Baby Life Crisis?

Does a "pre-baby life crisis" exist?

By definition it would be "when a father or mom-to-be realizes that all impractical expenditures that don't involve baby or family in some way will soon cease to exist (or be few and far between) and rush to live out or purchase certain desired ideas or items."

I, of course, have a very specific curiousity for this condition as I believe Charm City Daddy and I are going through our own "pre-baby crisis."
In fact, the requisite "pre-baby crisis impractical car" arrives this Wednesday...

(a sample pic of a Shelby Cobra)

Yep, no way an infant car seat (or any child car seat) is going in that bad boy.

First it was---"let's travel here, there, everywhere with just a carry-on" and when we're shopping or he's playing poker all night we find ourselves saying "enjoy it now," "do it now," "get it in now!" I think our "condition" has certainly escalated.

I should say that we're not being completely impractical though. We've been looking at this car for over a year...CCD got it at a great price and I'm looking forward to a nice little whirl in it before my due date gets here.

Who knows? Maybe we'll drive it to the hospital. Ha!

Stay was a productive weekend! We got some baby gear assembled--and I dug my way through the shower gifts and found a nursery!

Friday, June 19

Cravings Countdown...

I would say my cravings have been relatively moderate and under control throughout my pregnancy...until this week!

I don't know what it is about Mexican food, but I have been really feeling it through my pregnancy. First it was fajitas, and now its hard tacos--or Mexican gumbo! This week and last week alone I've had Mexican fast food 5 times.

What's sad is I actually wanted it more times than that but just compromised with Charm City Daddy on what he wanted for lunch or dinner instead.

So, anyway through my frequent trips to Qdoba and Chipotle, I've been able to decifer which is my favorite. By the way, I've totally given up on Baja Fresh. I don't know what happened to them. They used to be so good, but my last two trips there were very bland and disappointing.

Qdoba wins by a mile for me. Their ingredients just taste juicy and fresh. What should be cold taste cold (like sour cream is cold) and what should be warm is warm. Their crispy tacos stay crispy and don't go soggy quickly like Chipotle. Their pico de gallo is chunkier. I like their green chile better than Chipotle. And, Qdoba has Mexican gumbo--the best thing EVER on a rainy day.

Qdoba also has something Chipotle doesn't have...Cholula Hot Sauce. Mmmm.

I love that I can just sit privately with the cute little wooden capped bottle at my table whilst I devour my messy tacos.

There is a Chipotle within walking distance of my house, so I often settle for that, but whenever I get an excuse to travel a short 6-8 miles north, I partake in Qdoba, which is conveniently located near the Babies R Us as is another local favorite place of mine "Pickles and Chips" good sandwiches but ENORMOUS $1 pickles...need I say more?

A great thing about being pregnant is people don't judge you when you are a regular at one of these establishments and can often be found at any time of day eating in a booth by your lonesome. They just smile and say "awwww."

(Sigh) So the countdown begins. Only 9 weeks left to stuff my face with no remorse. I think I'm gonna miss this part of pregnancy the most.

Pregnant or not...what are you craving?

Nursery Preview Postponed...

I know. I know.

But how could I guess that the shower gifts would take over Charm City Baby's room?

Not that we are complaining at all! Everyone has been extremely generous and I've been writing thank you notes non-stop, which is more important than assembling and organizing the nursery.

So consider these few pics the preview to the preview....

Ladies and Gentlemen....the crib (nope not dressed yet).

The changing table (peeking out behind the brown box...see it?!)

The 6-drawer dresser is still waiting on some special knobs I ordered since I didn't like the ones it came with...SO you're looking at what's on TOP of the dresser. :)
And finally the closet. We'll call this "before" organization...
So obviously I have some work to do this weekend and now that you've seen it like this, the "after" pictures can only look better. Do you like how I set that up? I'm so sneaky...
Now back to the thank you notes...

Tuesday, June 16

A Charming Shower for Charm City Baby

About 50 close family and friends joined us to celebrate the pending arrival of Charm City Baby this weekend!

The weather was lovely, the food was incredible (lobster mac n' cheese anyone?), and best of all we were surrounded by our friends and family.
Here are a few scenes from the day...

My go-to style for every occasion...the maxi dress!
Checkout the knockout beside me...Needless to say, I immediately grabbed my belly for this pic!

Highlights of the shower included...
watching Charm City Daddy undergo a cloth diaper challenge!

And taking pics of my niece who LOVES the camera. At age 2 she already understands that she needs to change position with every shutter. This is just one one of her many creative poses.

We had a great time and can't thank the two planners (Mom and LaShon) enough who put aside their busy lives and schedules to plan a first-class event for our growing family. Love you ladies!

Monday, June 15

Third Trimester: Bring On the Spanx

In celebration of my third trimester (and getting larger and larger by the day) I picked up a pair of SPANX Power Mama!
I had been holding out on this for as long as I could, but as the weight gain continues and the knit dresses seem to be the most comfortable summer option it was time to make a move.
The product is surprisingly comfortable for a pregancy girdle and has great support. As many moms know the bump in the back often expands with the one in the front, so, for me, the purchase was more about keeping certain areas of my body tight and firm and less about making myself look slim.
Hey! Stay tuned for pics from the baby shower over the weekend! It was fabulous!

Wednesday, June 10

Nursery Update: Glider Arrives Today

The last major piece of furniture goes into the nursery today---the glider!

I'm so excited to see's been a long "6-8 weeks!"
My glider will be exactly as pictured above but the pillow will be black on one-side and they did a custom cardinal red on the other side (which is probably another reason it took the full 8 weeks).

I have heard so many wonderful things about this chair from others who have it, and can't wait to sit in it!

The nursery is still not complete, but all of the major components are in place, assembled, and installed--just in time for this weekend's shower!

I will be doing little snapshot previews of different parts of the nursery in the coming days/weeks and then finally unveil the final product once I put the finishing touches in!

My goal is to get this bad boy done by July, so I can relax more toward the end of the pregnancy. Charm City Daddy probably welcomes this idea as I have been in "nesting mode overload" and sometimes working until 2 a.m. on house/nursery projects.

I know it's crazy, but I can't help myself.

Baby Nightmares

Is it normal to have nightmares about being a bad mom? I had one last night and it has continued to haunt me all day.

Here's the dream...

Charm City Baby was born, healthy, but small (like 5 lbs and only a couple days old) and I was taking her out for trip to D.C. For some dumb reason I only packed one 4 oz bottle and zero diapers to bring along--you see where this is going...

To make matters worse I carried her on the trip in a Vera Bradley tote bag--HUH?! She slept in there and didn't make a peep. At some point I forgot she was in there and looked down and she was half asleep but not making any noise. Suddenly I thought she was starving to death or dehydrated so I gave her the one 4 oz bottle I had. She scarfed it down in 60 seconds flat and I panicked that I didn't have anything else for her. She looked up at me with her wrinkly little, tired face and told me (yes, she spoke) the milk was "nasty" and she preferred another kind. I didn't have anymore! She started to cry but no sound came out--just the face. I then checked her diaper--but she wasn't even wearing one! Ahh! Dream sequence over.

I'm so afraid I'm going not going to get my baby's basic needs met b/c I'm going to forget. I know this is irrational impossible since I will be with her 24/7 for the first months of her life, but what a scary dream!

Is this normal anxiety?

Monday, June 8

Perfect Timing

Browsing around the web, I discovered two iPod touch/iPhone applications that time your contractions and then logs them for you so you can see if your contractions are getting closer together. Neat!

One is called Contraction Master ($.99). If you don't have an iPhone or iPod touch you can also use the application right from the website (for free)--provided you have the time (and sanity) to do so mid-labor. There are also applications to help you track nursing and diaper changes.

The other timer is called Labor Mate ($.99).

Check 'em out!

Wednesday, June 3

Hot Mama

Celebrity Baby Blog brought this wonderful creation to my attention today and I immediately thought of my friend and fellow blogger's personal hell.

Hey, it's going to a be a hot summer for us preggos, but the reality is many women (and their suffering, shivering husbands) could benefit from this stretchy and forgiving $54 night gown.

Cool Sets Wicking Sleep and Loungewear is ingenious whether you are a pregnant woman during these hot summer months or a woman in that other stage of your life when you suffer from "private summers" year round.

Stay cool hot mamas. Stay cool.

Tuesday, June 2

Week 28 Baby Bump: Smuggling a Basketball...

Check out my Spalding...

My baby bump has really taken off over the past 2 weeks and I certainly have the weight gain and (the much dreaded) partial "outie" belly button now to prove it. Yikes!

To date I've gained something like 23 lbs!! I try not to think about it too much. I just hope breastfeeding lives up to its hype in the weight loss department.
*A special congrats to fellow (now former) preggo, Jamie who welcomed beautiful 6 lb and 9 oz baby boy "Deuce" into the world today. Yay!