Friday, July 31

False Labor or Preterm Labor?

All I can say is there is nothing like a sleep-awakening 5 a.m. contraction to motivate you to get your hospital bag packed.

Yep. That happened this morning.

I suffered for a good 10 minutes (2 contractions) before Charm City Daddy woke up, turned on the light and told me to "just breathe through it babe." Prolific. Yeah--he lasted about 45 more seconds before he was sleeping--actually SNORING- again. lol.

I laid there trying to change positions to get more comfortable during random contractions for another hour before I finally got back to to sleep for a little while--only to wake up to another big one at 7:30 a.m.

I debated staying home today--but decided that getting up and moving around and getting additional work done would be a better way to pass the time. So far, I'm glad that's what I decided. Zero appetite for breakfast though when your tummy is all knotted up.

I have actually continued to have contractions, off and on---but no more crampy, waves of pain--just the Braxton tightness.

I guess it would be kind of nice to have the baby this weekend. Plus tomorrow is my older brother's birthday! The only problem is my mom is out-of-town visiting the relatives in North Carolina and would be so upset if she couldn't be here.

I'm sure I'm getting ahead of myself. I bet in a week or two (I'm optimistic) when I REALLY go into labor, I'll look back at this post and think--I thought THAT was labor? HA!

Tuesday, July 28

Appointment Update: 36 weeks

Awww... there she is! All 6lbs and 5 ounces!

Today's appointment was very exciting and informative. Not only did we get to see Charm City Baby in action, we also learned:

1. she looks exactly like her daddy (see 4-D image above).

2. her exact orientation: head down with butt and back on my right side and legs curled up around my ribs with feet on my left side.

3. she has hair! The sonographer showed us a nice little fuzzy ring around her head.

4. she is head down and right at the bottom of my cervix (not effaced btw). But this explains my extreme discomfort mentioned in the previous post.

5. because of her low placement, my water will probably break on its own (according to my doctor). Dramatic!

6. she will be born between 7.5 to 8 pounds by the doctor's best guess.

7. she will defintely make her entrance BEFORE her Aug. 24th due date--possibly 10 days prior!!!!

Oh. My. Goodness.

Needless to say, everything I have not completed has been racing through my mind. I still need to:

1. Pack my hospital bag.
2. Prepare a welcome basket for the au pair (also scheduled to arrive August 14!).
3. Make room for bottles and feeding stuff in a kitchen cabinet.
4. Get my Cord Blood Registry kit!! (yikes!)
5. Take a breastfeeding class (scheduled for Monday-August 3)
6. Complete about a million projects (okay just three) at work so I can relax while on maternity leave.

I know I am forgetting something...Ahhhhh!

Help me. What am I forgetting?

Waddlin' Like I Hit the Bike Bar...

Warning: This may be too much information for you...but this is a blog about pregnancy and motherhood, so suck it up or skip this post. :)

You know that horizontal bar on men's bikes that we all have uncomfortably hit a time or two in our lives?

Yeah--imagine feeling like you hit that over and over and over again and then try walking like a normal person. Putting your pants on...getting out of bed, or just lifting your knees above your waist. Ouch!

At first I noticed the pain would come and go at about 7 months and only show up after long sitting or resting periods, but now it is all the time.

I looked it up. It's called...Pubic Symphysis Diastasis and it's a common symptom of pregnancy, but didn't apparently happen to my older sister. Consider yourself fortunate Windy City Mama.

According to's because this is happening...

My pelvic ligaments are slowly loosening and Charm City Baby has become my "inner bike bar." Real nice.
I have a doctor's appointment later today, we'll see what she says about this whole thing.

Sunday, July 26

Bump Update and More...

By request, here's an updated bump pic...

(yes the face is tired. It was early).

And also promised, a peek inside the nursery just for the love of tiny baby clothes...

See? I'm not the only one that loves shopping for a girl. Charm City Baby is spoiled well in advance of her arrival thanks to friends and family.

After all of the issues with the topper, I still like this changing table for its storage and hidden drawers. I keep wipes and diaper creams in the shallow hidden drawer, diapers in the larger outer drawer, and bath and hygiene products and first aid in the bottom drawer.

Coincidentally, the bottom of the dresser drawers (IKEA), match the ceiling.
The drawer dedicated to spit-up protection--bibs, and burp cloths.

Let's not kid ourselves. This drawer will not retain this level of organization.

The cutest, tiniest little jean skirt I have ever seen!

Okay...that's's getting silly now isn't it? Blame it on the 36 week hormones.

Monday, July 20

Surprise! Another Baby Shower!

Boy did Charm City Daddy's mom get us good!

Here we are thinking we're going to Connecticut for the weekend to attend a brunch at the home of Charm City Daddy's prep school english teacher to reunite with his classmates and more, and we couldn't have been more wrong.

Essentially mom-in-law had put CCD's teacher up to this scheme months ago. MIL planned an elaborate "Celebration of Life" party at a local Golf Club complete with DJ, slideshow, catered menu, and an informal CCD roast of speeches from people from CCD's past--including his prep school basketball coach.

It was incredibly touching to see how many of these people were mentors to my husband and instrumental in his growth as a man, husband, and soon-to-be father. I fought tears during the speeches at least twice.

There must have been about 75 people there. It was so nice to see lots of CCD's friends and family turn out for the occassion and come in from New York. It was a great opportunity to meet many of them for the first time.

Oh! Did I mention the cake? I devoured a good portion of it myself. Beautiful and delicious.

This is the only photo I was able to take. There was a photographer, so hopefully I will get a few snapshot from his collection soon!

Wednesday, July 15

Olivia Grace, Go To Your Room!

Such harsh words for a fun and exciting place! I hope she likes it!
Before and after...

Peering in from our room...

And first glance to the right...
I can explain the Chic-fil-A cow...but what for?

And a better shot including the rug...

Mobile just added...and a good view of the organic bedding...

Wait! Who's that sleeping in the crib?

Ahh, that would be the only cat allowed in my home.

the other side of the room...

But wait, there's more!
Next time we'll go inside a few drawers and the closet, because who can resist tiny little t-shirts?

Monday, July 13

Drool-Worthy: Hotel Inspired Nursery


A typical reaction to a nursery's interior design may be something like "Aww!" As in "Aww, how sweet!"
When I saw this nursery on the Project Nursery Blog, my eyes bulged in A-W-E.

I can't even begin to describe how impressed I am with this space by Little Crown Interiors, LLC.
For me, this Wynn Las Vegas inspired nursery has it all-- function, the sophistication, the serenity, and luxury.

We have a Bratt Decor down the street from my house--and I've visited, but nothing has every grabbed me in there.
If I weren't going for gender neutral and weren't already done with my nursery--I would consider this inspiration game-changing. It's that serious folks.

Friday, July 10

Recent Deliveries...

(Nope, not Olivia--we have 6 weeks to go!)

If you think you are seeing a pattern, you would be correct. I have lots of friends that are in the summer preggo boat with me.

On June 2nd, Jamie just had Deuce 6lbs 9 mentioned earlier.
On June 29th, Tracy just had Aiden! 9 lbs 5 oz..

And now...

Congratulations to my fellow Miss America classmate, Jessica, on the arrival of her baby girl, Annabelle on July 7th. Don't you love that name? After two precious little boys, Jess got her girl!

My first impression of Jess when I met her six years ago was this girl is absolutely hilarious. Her wit is unmatched. She often had all of us cracking up in rehearsals at the pageant. Needless to say the birth story (in the way only she can tell it) is highly-anticipated. All the best to the Renzi family!

I think I'm next in line...then comes Tia, Catherine, and then LaShon!

Plenty of playmates to go around!

Tuesday, July 7

A Change of Heart...

It is safe to say I have come full circle on my philosophy on changing tables.

First, I was hesitant to buy one because I thought it was a waste of money for a temporary piece of furniture. Then I rationalized buying one because after all our plan is to have four babies that will need their bum-bum changed.

So, I purchased a dresser than has the optional changing table topper attachment, which I ended up hating because it does not fit a standard changing pad and it wastes valuable floor space behind the changer. So in the nursery I am back to using what could pretty much qualify as a standard dresser with a few handy dandy features like hidden drawers and open shelving and changing pad that will be screwed on.

However, we will also need somewhere to change the baby on the first floor as well--where we do a good amount of living. So now, I am about to purchase my second changing table.

I know it's likely that we may end up using the floor, couch, kitchen counter or whatever to change Charm City Baby, but for $69, I think this portable/foldable changer from IKEA would get a fair share of use.

I first spotted the IKEA Spoling Changing Table when I was picking up the nursery furniture, but I remained discipline and stuck to my list. I must have stood in front of it for a good 10 minutes--but I was strong. Now, I have been thinking about getting the thing ever since.

As soon as I get a chance to get to IKEA, I am returning that useless topper from the other changer, and scooping this one up.

Monday, July 6

Diaper Bag Selections

The very first item I bought when I found out I was pregnant (besides a few books) wasn't a onesie, or a bib, or even a taco (to satisfy my mexican food cravings), it was a diaper bag.

As a self-proclaimed purse lover, it was one of the first things I thought about. And unlike maternity clothes (not knowing my size, or how/where my body would change), or baby gear (not knowing what's best), it was one of the few things during my pregnancy that I felt confident I knew enough about to purchase at anytime.

In January, I happened upon a Kate Spade outlet store which is surprising because I've never really been into her bags. You could even say I gave it the college try when I bought a SOHO knock-off on a college trip to NYC in 1999 when they were enjoying uber popularity. I may have used that purse for 2 weeks--tops.

Imagine my surprise when I see a bag that I love and (to me) looks nothing like a diaper bag. In fact, it looks like one of Kate's signature tote bags.

It's gender neutral--great b/c at that point I didn't know what we were having. It didn't have those elastic bottle pockets that poke out and make the bag look bulky. It had nice leather details, and seemed to be made of stain resistant fabric. It came with a changing pad and included several organization compartments inside. Perfect for me. The best part was they were having a sale and I got it for less than $100.

Knowing how I am and how I like to change things up a bit. I remained open and on the prowl for other chic bags at great prices. Enter Tim and Leslie. In early June, this site had $300-$400 bags for a little more than $100 with free shipping. And so I scooped up my little friend Jane here for $139-delivered.

What can I say about Jane? She is amazing and came with everything: a changing pad, wipes/diaper zipper bag, bottle holder zipper case, a matching mommy wristlet/clutch, pacifier holder, extra strap, pill/paci case, 5 pocket compartments inside, hooks galore, and a whole lotta style.

I only wish she also came in white patent leather too for Spring 2010--but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm expecting to get a lot of use out of both of these bags, but undoubtedly one will be favored over the other. Right now my money is on Jane.

Once I get into the thick of motherhood and my routine, I'll be sure to post some reviews of how all of this stuff is working for me.

Mocktails Book for Moms-to-Be

Remember my post about mocktails? In browsing through my blog roll yesterday, I read about Preggatinis!
And they have a featured drink recipe every month that you can steal. This month is the "Mamarita!" Mmmm... you had me at limeade. (Btw, I've been on a lime kick for some time now).

These recipes look delicious and are a great idea if you are still planning summer soirees, baby showers, or just nursing.

The Giggle Recap

Since I mentioned that I was making a trip to Giggle, it's only fair to report back the results.

First of all, traffic was S-T-U-P-I-D getting there, but that's to be expected when you travel the Capital Beltway or most places in Montgomery County, Maryland.

As for the was great! The DC metro area store opened June 13th--and had only been open for about 2 weeks at the time of my visit. I mention this because the store wasn't crowded at all. There was only maybe 2 or 3 other folks shopping while we were there and plenty of personal help and personal shopping to go around.

Charm City Grandma (Mom is always a trooper! I love that about her) and I set out at 10:30 a.m. to get there by 11:15 a.m. ish to shop and then enjoy a nice lunch in Chevy Chase aka the "DC metro area."

Within seconds we spotted the bassinet. Yes! I picked out the stone, off-white color bedding to coordinate with our master bedroom or living room-we'll see where it eventually lands.

It's surprisingly lightweight, by the way.

We also picked up the stroller. I went with a gender-neutral orange and love it! And it got the highest level of approval from Charm City Daddy..."Phat!"

Here it is with the bassinet seat...

If they had yellow I would have done that as well--but I can always pick up the yellow fleece liner set in the winter and change it up--which is the beauty of buying this particular model. Oh and it fits our infant car seat as well.

My associate, Jackie, was fantastic breaking out a sweat to run back and forth to the stock room to check on items for me. They also assembled the stroller while we took a lunch break. Then they showed me how to use it and carted my purchases to my car (in the shopping center garage) and loaded it up! Mom and I didn't lift a finger.

I was really pleased with Giggle and highly recommend it--even if you can only experience it online. I called them once and even the phone associates were nice and helpful.

You don't often get that level of service at most places around here including Babies R Us or Baby Depot. In fact, when we went to get the crib mattress (among other things) weeks ago, a sales guy ran us down and begged my mom and I not to take the shopping cart into the parking lot. So I had to leave mom and cart curbside, bring the car around, only to have the guy watch us (me, the prego, and Charm City Grandma) try to get this crib mattress in the car and offer no help. Boo!

So--if this post ain't a free Giggle endorsement, I don't know what is.

Sunday, July 5

Nursery Update:Backorders and Bad Design

A few developments to report as the nursery nears completion...

First--the changing table topper was a BUST! I knew I wouldn't like the way it makes the base dresser sit out from the wall, but I was not prepared for the fact that it wasn't going to be compatible with the standard changing pad. IKEA this is not like you. You are better than this. What happened here?

I was willing to take the extras space on top for wipes/supplies, but the topper can't even hold the pad. See it sitting up on the side instead of inside? Boo!

Second--the dresser knobs I ordered finally arrived! The first company I used was terrible and failed to let me know the knobs were on backorder. Terrible service. Full refund. I ended up finding an even better knob with a second company--but they only had 10 in stock (but they called and told me up front) so I got the first 10 and I'm waiting for the remaining six on backorder in a couple weeks.

So far, so good...what do you think?

Originally I had chosen a standard yellow knob but I'm glad I ended up with the butterflies. They are fun! I thought the room could use a few more feminine touches. I also ordered a standard yellow knob, in case the nursery will need to take on a masculine look for baby #2. That's right--we're running all (4) of the future 'CharmCity' babies through this room--that's the plan anyway.

Finally, when decorating nurseries or bedrooms most folks start with the bedding. I always knew I wanted a nice plain white set, but for us, it's one of the last things to arrive in the nursery. It arrives Monday! I'll do another update or perhaps it's time for a finale when I get it all set.

Next Up: My Diaper Bags!

Thursday, July 2

The Misadventures of Charm City Parents...

Oh man! What a funny couple of days I've had with Charm City Daddy. We are really enjoying our time before Charm City Baby arrives.

Earlier this week I took a day off to catch up with him and joy ride like Ferris Bueller in his new toy.

Keep in mind that it has not rained here for D-A-Y-S. See where this is going? I actually pray for rain every couple of days because it saves me from having to waddle outside before or after work to water the flowers.

Speaking of flowers..check out my fresh cut hydrangeas!

I digress.

So anyway, it seems like everytime we set out to take a little ride in the car, storm clouds come out of nowhere defying all forecasts and local meteorologists. First we did some quick shopping. A-okay. Then we stopped for a patio lunch at Cosi. It was absolutely beautiful out with zero humidity. Suddenly, after the meal I saw a storm black storm cloud in the distance. We hopped in the car, but instead of taking the highway home for a quick 3 exits, I convinced CCD to take the backroads. That was mistake #1.

We knew the roads we were on--but didn't know which direction to turn on them. Discovery: there are no navigation systems in 1965 cars. Then it started sprinkling. Crap. We had hats on, but I had white t-shirt on. Enough said. CCD convinced me he knew what he was doing and where he was going, but after we passed the same grocery store three times, I pulled out my blackberry and resorted to Google Maps. Now it was full on pouring and we are looking for cover--in someone's random garage.

Luckily we found a vacant home for sale with a nice car porch, which we sat under until the summer rain died down. We were only 6 miles and 15 minutes from home, but had somehow turned the trip into a 45-minute debacle--just long enough to get soaked.

Here's CCD driving in the rain--smiling between yelling apologies to my tummy to Olivia.

*Note the race car/roller coaster seat belts, pictured above. Yeah, not exactly conducive to pregnant bellies.

When we finally got on our way and made it back into the Baltimore City limits
(which had not experienced a single drop of rain) we were nearly soaked and laughing histerically about how were already such bad parents.

We completely exhausted ourselves so CCD took a nap and I headed to the hair salon.
Assuming (mistake #2) it would not rain again since it had already rained, we set out again for dinner about 5 hours later. This time, thinking we were safe in the dry city we chose a place downtown and even waited 45 minutes for table outside (mistake #3).

Before we got our appetizers it began to sprinkle. CCD dashed to take the car to a public garage about 6 blocks away and got back in time to slurp down his appetizer--raw oysters--(I was so jealous!) and then the sky opened up.

We were relocated inside to finish our meal and just stared out of the window of the restaurant praying for the rain to finish so we could walk to the car and make it home safely. We ate...slowly...and we waited...and waited and finally settled for a light drizzle.

I left my dignity at the door and walked out of the restaurant with a plastic takeout bag on my head as my makeshift rain bonnet! HEY! I had just paid $50 getting my hair done! I made sure the side of the bag that said "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You" was pointed outward to my onlookers in gratitute for their stares.

We of course made it through the 6 blocks in the dark streets and alleys of Baltimore (cue theme song from The Wire), in the rain, to the car that was never meant to be wet and by the grace of God made it home after our 5-hour adventure--and lived to tell the story. Amen.

This is the kind of stuff you can get away with when you have no kids. I think we learned our lesson and I would like to take this moment to apologize to my unborn child. Your parents mean well but aren't perfect and will be better planners in the future. I think we'll start by checking the forecast.

Wednesday, July 1

New Arrival...

No, not the baby. Sorry to get your hopes up. I meant the "baby before the baby."

Here it is coming off the truck, which made the trek all the way from Florida.

And here it is parked in our driveway...

Pay special attention to those garage doors in front of the car. Yes, those are the original 1920's garage doors. Needless to say, no automatic garage door opener here. What's that saying? "Don't put the cart before the horse?" HA! I love it!

Knowing how quickly Charm City Daddy likes to move, I told him repeatedly that he should consider getting an automatic garage door before getting the car. I was ignored. I'm not too concerned though...opening and closing those doors will get old to him really soon. In fact, today I met him home for lunch and the car was out and the garage doors were wide open and he told me that the garage needed to "breathe and air out." That's funny because he has never been concerned with the air cirulation of the garage over the last 2 years we've lived here!?
(Sigh). There are so many amusing stories to share already and the car has only been here a few days.

Stay tuned to hear about our adventures yesterday!

After some setbacks (backorders and more), I also have some progress in the nursery to share.