21 Weeks & Transitions

Baby carrot is developing right along. Eyebrows and lids (and more personal parts) are on the agenda for this week. Appropriately enough, my email told me that it would seem my baby is "practicing marital arts," which makes baby ninja all the more appropriate of a nickname :)

Exhaustion is a big battle nowadays. I get excited at the beginning of the day and forge on to accomplish a billion to-do list items, only to find that I can barely function by 1:00 PM and my girl's nap time/my work time (anything that correlates with my Editor Joy business) is severely jeopardized by sheer exhaustion. Thankfully, my laptop allows me to accomplish most work on the couch--so I can rest while I work (that's possible, right?). But I do find I'm most productive when someone watches my girl (thanks, Mom and MIL), and I just camp at a cafe and work with no distractions (except the Internet--okay, that's a MAJOR distraction, but at least housework, cooking, books, etc. aren't tempting me too).

I started playing around with registries today. My SIL is planning a diaper shower for me, but I'm throwing together a couple of registries just in case people want some guidance on what to buy--since I'm a cloth diaper mama, this is particularly helpful if anyone wants to buy me cloth diaper supplies. I'm finding that my registries are more of a wishlist since I have the basics, but I also know that the things I'm registering for would be greatly appreciated and used often based on my previous-baby knowledge.

I started the standard BRU registry. This is definitely where I've put all my "basics" that I still don't have and greatly need. Then I started a registry on MyRegistry.com. I wanted to use a registry service that allows me to add items from various stores. I like the concept, but I'm not thrilled with how it functions. Every time I try to add an item to my registry, it makes me log in again (for some reason this only happens on my laptop--it works better on my desktop). Very annoying. It also doesn't automatically link with BRU--grrr. I'm going to have to go to BRU and manually add each item to MyRegistry. Not looking forward to that. The good points--it allows me to register for cloth diaper supplies not available on BRU. And it allows me to register for handmade items (non-etsy) from vendors I've discovered over the past couple of years and have been wanting to try their products (i.e. ResaDesign, DearJohnnies, CottonBabies, etc.)

I'd love your recommendations--especially the lesser-known vendors that offer high quality, unique items for babies. I've noticed the recent trend at baby showers is to give a gift that you ordered online (or someone local made) that someone introduced you to, and you couldn't imagine living without. Some real treasures are found this way. Do you, dear readers, have any treasures to share? Maybe some I could add to my registry =)

The first major transition--toddler bed is in progress. After reading all of my friends' advice about which order to transition (toddler bed, potty training, paci), the common message among them all was "go with what's natural." The bed's the most natural for us, so that's where we started.

We just took off the front panel of her convertible bed to make the transition. The first nap she was pretty freaked out, so I stayed in the room with her til she fell asleep. That night she fell asleep at my parent's, so we woke her and laid her down in the bed, and she went right to sleep. Since then, no fears. BUT these last couple of days we've found her either on the pillows we set up on the floor or in her play tent. My hubby thinks she's rolling off, but I think she's getting up and trying new places to sleep. Personally, I don't care where she sleeps as long as she stays in her room (and since she can't open the door herself yet, this isn't an issue). I'll keep you posted. I do really like not having to hoist her over the big crib rail.

Remember to give me your links to high quality, unique, can't-live-without baby items!


Halfway There!

Photo courtesy of db*Photography
(That's not me in the picture, but I wish I had her hair . . . and sunglasses . . . and skinny body ;-)

Baby banana is supposedly 10 inches from head to heel right now. That's literally half the length of my first newborn baby. Go figure, halfway really does mean halfway!

Life hasn't changed too much lately. I'm definitely more uncomfortable. I can feel my skin stretching, especially around my bellybutton. In fact, that's where my lovely stretch marks appeared last time--little squiggly snakes dancing around my belly button. I swore I'd put more cream and jojoba oil on this time so it wouldn't worsen; but my belly's growing too quickly and I'm too lazy--so I can already feel those ominous stretchings (is "stretchings" a word? Doubt it. I blame pregnancy brain.)

I moved all the baby stuff from my firstborn's closet to the office. It's a huge pile--bigger than I thought it'd be . . . and I haven't even added furniture. Yikes. I kinda think that preparing a nursery is harder the second time around than dealing with being pregnant. You know? Right now I have a nursery that's already done, a toddler running around demanding attention, and a budget that's already stretched pretty tight. All of the sudden, the idea of decorating, furnishing, and prepping a room for baby #2 seems like a monstrous task--pushing a baby out, psh, no problem! ;-) I'm kidding. . . Well, I'm half kidding.

I've made some decisions about prepping my first child for the transition. We're going to tackle changing to a toddler bed first. It feels the most natural for us, and I'm done catapulting up my 30+ pound child over the crib rails for every nap and bed time. After that we'll tackle potty training. The paci may be the last thing to go.

I'm so excited about the transition to two children. My firstborn's birthday is coming up, but every present I buy seems like the perfect item to keep until the baby's born and give to my eldest to help through the transition. I just ordered an Ergo doll carrier (the ones the kids wear with their dolls in tow) that I'm super excited about. It was half price on www.kidsteals.com--my new favorite site (I'm a little concerned what it will do to my pocketbook). I plan to use my Ergo all the time, so this will give A something to make her feel included too.

I've also heard it's good to have a box of toys/activities that only comes out during the times that I'm nursing. This gives my girl something special to do when the baby's nursing, and it also gives her something to look forward to. I got some Melissa and Doug wooden farm animal lacing beads at a consignment sale, and I think it'll be best to save those for the nursing box. It's something that will require a little more coordination on her part--so about the time the baby's born, she'll be getting into that.

Any other suggestions for nursing box toys? And while we're on activity suggestions, I've got a big road trip planned for Thanksgiving--newborn and two year old. I'm already starting to think about what activities I can make/buy for that trip. I'm following @MomMostTraveled and @travelkiddy on Twitter for ideas; but I'm open to more! Please share!

Realistically, if I can prep/make activities before the baby's born, there's a better chance they'll actually get done!


19 Weeks Prego

Today I cooked a baby. (No, not in a morbid cannibalistic sort of way--as a pregnant mother). And that was about all that I accomplished today. Sure I got a few necessities out of the way--some laundry, made my bed, washed dishes; but in the grand scheme of my to-do list, I didn't do squat--except cook a baby. And that's okay. I think that's one of the biggest perks of pregnancy. You can spend an entire doing nothing tangible, yet when people ask what you did that day, you can simply reply, "I manufactured some fingers for my baby. You?"

Nineteen weeks and we survived the ultrasound without finding out the gender. The waiting game has officially started, and I'm really at peace with our decision. During the ultrasound the tech never had us look away, but by the end, she admitted that she knew the sex of the baby. I thought for sure she'd make us look away. I was kinda disappointed that I didn't figure it out, and I was kinda upset that she didn't make sure we didn't figure it out; but the end result was what we wanted, so I guess I shouldn't be upset. I can tell you that my imagination was running wild as the pictures popped up on the screen. I was sure I saw boy parts over and over, but I know I was just wanting to see that. In reality, the times I thought I saw stuff, we weren't even in the right area.

I'm getting more and more excited about this transition to two babies. I feel like we're in a really good place right now to add another little one to the family. Baby #1 (who's not really a baby at all anymore) has fallen into a good routine with us. She's a delight to be around, and she's a big help. I feel empowered to bring on the challenge of two kiddos knowing that my first one has merged into life so well, and (dare I say) life is pretty easy again. I'm all about challenges, and I'm ready to face this next one head on and prove to myself once again that I can do it (with God's grace, of course).

As for the joys of pregnancy--19 weeks has been the biggest reminder thus far of the fun that awaits me in my third trimester. I've already started getting up slower (moving too fast pulls muscles in my lower abs); I've been waking at random times during the night and not been able to fall asleep right away (which is a genius way to prepare for nursing and nighttime feedings; I was just hoping for another couple of months of good sleep before I crashed into remembering what it was like to wake up throughout the night); I've started weighing the pros and cons of any activity that requires physical movement to judge whether or not all that effort is worth moving my body; etc. I've also begun pumping myself up for losing all of my baby weight this time--kept a nice 10 lbs from the last baby, and I don't want to repeat that again. My hubby is finishing up P90X, and I'm pretty sure I'll be doing something similar as soon as possible after I've healed. I'm too old to believe that I can just naturally lose the weight anymore.

As for baby nicknames, we're using baby ninja a lot more. My hubby can feel lil' ninja kick a lot (only English nerds like me will appreciate that link ;-) now. And my 19 week email said baby should be measuring 6 inches from crown to rump, but the ultrasound put lil' ninja at 7 inches, so we're a little ahead of schedule :) During the entire ultrasound, it looked like baby was trying to suck its thumb. So cute! And my email tells me that baby's five senses are developing so much so that it may hear my voice now! Isn't pregnancy a miracle? It really is.


18 Weeks and Kicking!

Hubby felt the baby for the first time last night! I've been feeling him/her for awhile now, and he/she is particularly active! I'm thinking baby ninja is a pretty appropriate nickname. It was really fun for hubby to feel the baby, but I must admit, it wasn't nearly as exciting as the first time he felt our first baby kick. I remember the exact moment and the look of awe on both of our faces. It was such a special moment. This time was special too, but I found myself deliberately recording place, time, feelings, etc. in my memory because I was concerned it was so inconsequential that it'd soon be an undistinguishable blip on our memory. Thankfully it wasn't just one kick, so baby ninja was working really hard to make sure we remembered that moment. :)

Baby ninja's the size of a bell pepper this week. And, appropriately enough, the email told me he/she is working on flexing arms and legs--I can definitely confirm that!

Reality is starting to knock a little louder these days. It helps that my belly's already the size of a basketball, so I have a definite reminder that this baby is a part of our lives--my hubby even noted the time when we hugged and my belly hit him before my arms--that's when you know you're showing :) It's also more real because everyone else can tell that I'm pregnant, so strangers are starting to ask questions and confirm their suspicions. I'm kinda glad for this--it means playing the pregnancy card will be a lot easier, and people will get me some extra grace without having to be told I'm pregnant. I've gotta admit, I kinda like that.

I've decided that I'm definitely okay with sharing my office with the nursery for the first couple of years. Plus, I finally bought a laptop that turns on in less than ten minutes (yes, that's how old my other laptop is!), so my "office" is becoming less and less of a factor as I try new comfy spots throughout my home to do my work. Although, it doesn't really feel like work when I'm lounging on the couch, munching on Girl Scout cookies (samoas, of course!), and typing on my new "toy" the laptop.

I've had a really hard time buying clothes. Since I don't know what to expect, I feel like I can't buy anything. Veteran moms, help me out here, if you didn't find out the sex of your baby, what exactly did you buy before baby arrived--clothes-wise.

Thanks for all your insight. I get so excited to post a new blog so I can see all the insight and knowledge moms are willing to share to help me along! Ladies, you're the best!