Saturday, July 31, 2010

Showered with Love (Part II)

It's taken me forever to post about my second baby shower-- I caught a nasty stomach bug this week that sent me straight to bed for several days! Took a little while to recover, but I'm feeling much better now.

This shower was so much fun-- My family is the best and my aunts and cousins put so much hard work into making this a special day for me.

Their attention to detail was incredible-- everything from the balloons marking the directions to the refreshments matched the black, white and green theme of our nursery! They served a delicious lime punch, had my favorite chicken salad, mini carrot cakes from my favorite bakery, and special ordered yummy cookies in the shape of rockets to match my nursery fabric and baby Liam's monogram! How adorable are these?!

My beautiful cousins and aunts who planned the party-- some of them even wore green and white to continue the theme!

I also got to see my aunt and cousin on my dad's side, who I don't get to see often!

I had so much fun with friends-- The lovely ladies of our trivia team:

My friend Alice (who was one of my bridesmaids) even flew in from Chicago for the occasion!!

In addition to having a wonderful time with family and friends, we received so many generous gifts! We are so lucky to have so many people that love and care about us, and want to help us prepare for this baby's arrival.

A huge gift-- my aunts and cousins all went in together to get us our Pack n' Play!! Everyone needs one of these for traveling or for company who have children (Rob's sis, her husband, her infant and possibly her toddler are coming for Thanksgiving!). I know we'll get tons of use out of this.

A jogging stroller! My cousins and aunt on my dad's side all went in together to get us this-- I'm thrilled! Rob is a runner and this stroller just might provide me with a little "me time" when Rob takes Liam with him on some of his runs. It will also come in handy when we use our new zoo membership to go walking after the baby gets here! It's a very cool stroller with an ipod adapter and speakers.

I thought we didn't need any more baby clothes-- clearly, I was wrong. I adore this monogrammed romper and can't wait to dress Liam in it!!

My mom got us this beautiful Vera Bradley Diaper Bag--it has tons of pockets and will be awesome to carry around all of Liam's stuff!

My dad got us these awesome aden+anais swaddling blankets-- I've heard nothing but amazing reviews and can't wait to snuggle our little guy up in these tiffany blue and brown themed "Little Man" muslin blankets.

Ok, nothing could have prepared me for these-- these baby Chuck Taylors were hand knitted by Rob's 93 year old grandmother!! She knitted us some very traditional baby gifts-- a sweet sweater, some blue booties and she included a note letting us know that she is working on a quilt and will send it when it's ready. But these? These. Are. Awesome. (Not to mention totally cool and unexpected. She could make a killing selling them on etsy.)

We got so many other things that we needed, too-- bath suppplies, tummy mats, books and diaper bag essentials. It's a bit overwhelming how many wonderful gifts we received-- we are incredibly thankful!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

33 Weeks!

This week's update comes a day late-- we just didn't get around to taking a belly pic yesterday-- Rob was working late and I was hard at work on some projects for the nursery, which isn't quite finished yet, but should be in a few weeks. I want to wait and post pics when it's completely done!

This week, baby is the size of a pearl necklace:

And looks like this:

Baking Baby Blakely

"The big news this week is lung development—baby's respiratory system is almost completely mature. That means if your baby was born this week, odds are he'd be a healthy bouncing baby with a just a little help from his friends (aka, the NICU).

Some of the specifics are:

Your baby can now detect light and tell the difference between night and day (of course that ability will miraculously disappear once he's born and up all night screaming). His pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light. If you shine a flashlight on your belly, your baby may shy away from the light as if to say, "Cut it out, Ma. You're soooo annoying."

The bones in your baby's skull are soft and are not yet fused together. In other words, now is not the time to teach him how to do a headspin while breakdancing. This pliability allows the bones to overlap; making that trip down the tight birth canal possible (and resulting in that surprising cone head look your baby will sport for the first few days post-birth. Don't worry, it's totally normal and that's what hats are for.)

Your baby will continue to pack on the pounds gaining around ½ pound a week from here on out.Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck, and is approximately 17.5 inches long, about the same as a collarbone-length pearl necklace. (Did somebody say push present?)"

33 Week Belly Pics

There's a lot of stuff that we've put off for 33 weeks-- But with only seven weeks to go, we've really started doing a lot to prepare. My mom delivered my brother and I almost two weeks early, and although this doesn't indicate that Liam will be born early, I know that we need to be prepared before we hit 40 weeks.

There's laundry to do-- Between blankets, diapers, washcloths, towels, clothes, burp cloths, sheets, mattress covers, changing pad covers, etc. I'll be washing for a while.

There's sterilizing to do-- pump parts, bottles (which we don't plan on using until breastfeeding is established) and pacifiers (ditto).

There's packing to do-- I'm making lists of what we need to take to the hospital and what we need to stock in the diaper bags.

There's shopping to do-- We made a list several months ago of all of the things that we need before he arrives and we've checked off so many things! The problem is that we keep adding things to the list-- just last night, I realized that we don't have any health/hygiene stuff! We need a thermometer, nail clippers, a nasal aspirator, baby Tylenol, gas drops, a comb/brush, diaper rash cream, vaseline, medicine dispenser, etc. None of these are a huge expense-- they're just things that we can't forget to buy!

There's cooking to do-- As of now, I have the beginning of my freezer stash: 4 casseroles, 2 containers of fresh green beans, 6 containers of soup/chili and 3 loaves of banana bread. I hope to (at least) double this before he gets here.

I'm so thankful that I'm not working-- there's plenty to do around here!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Piccolino is Here!!

The biggest congrats to Kate & Benjamin over at This Place is Now a Home-- their beautiful son Owen James arrived today at 12:36pm. Click here to see his first pics and wish them well!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

32 Weeks!

Hard to believe that we only have 8 weeks to go! Each week, we're getting more prepared-- we received so many nice things at our showers the past two weeks (pics to come!) and we've done a little shopping to get the rest of the things we need. Now, I just need to wash and organize!

This week, baby is the size of a knee high boot:

And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Although your baby will still remain active, his days of trying out for Cirque du Soleil are nearly over. About this time your baby will settle into the head-down position in preparation for birth.

Other fascinating facts:

Both you and baby are putting on some serious weight at this point. You'll probably gain about a pound a week for the next few weeks, with half of that poundage bulking up baby. He'll likely double his weight in the next eight weeks.

Ever wonder what your baby is doing in there these days? He's busy blinking, looking around, grabbing things, making faces, practicing his breathing, peeing and listening to everything around him—pretty much exactly what he'll be doing for the first three months of his life, sans the adoring audience and the flashing camera.

Your baby may (or may not) have a full head of hair now. If he's a baldy, don't worry. You can always buy a Baby Toupee.

By the end of this week, your baby will weigh about 4 pounds and measure over 17 inches long—about the length of a hot pair of above-the-knee boots. Christian Louboutin? Manolo Blahnik? We're thinking Isaac Mizrahi for Target—you've got a nursery to furnish!"

32 Week Belly Baby

We're finishing up our classes at the hospital this week-- tonight we tour Labor and Delivery Floor and the Birthing Suites and Thursday we have a breastfeeding class. It feels great to check these off our (never ending) list of things to do!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Take a look, It's in a book...

Rob and I are both avid readers and I'm pretty sure that this is because we both loved reading at an early age. (Thanks LeVar Burton.)

One of my favorite stories that Rob's Gram tells me about him as a kid is the first time she realized he could read. One morning, when he was barely four, he was sitting in a chair in the living room, holding the newspaper. She asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was reading the paper. She thought this was so cute, and playing along, she asked him what it said. She was stunned when he started reading the article on the front page. He still reads the NY Times every day.

I started reading early too and always spent all of my allowance money on new books during our weekly trip to Davis Kidd. I love the feeling of a book in my hand, turning each page as I get deeper into the story. I don't think I'll ever own a Kindle (as cool as they are) because I always want to be able to hold the book in my hand and I always want there to be books in my house.

So, it comes as no surprise that we want to start reading to Liam as soon as possible. Rob feels a little silly reading to my belly now, but promises to start as soon as he arrives. We've had fun the past few weeks talking about which books were our favorites growing up and what we want to read to him.

In addition to old fav's like The Pokey Little Puppy (Rob's) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (mine), we've also taken on the task of trying to pick out books for Liam that share social messages that we believe in. Many children grow up reading stories that (subtly) teach their parents' beliefs. We feel the need to select books that show our child things that are important to us-- like how important diversity is & how we believe that love is what defines a family. (If any of you have any favorites that we need to add to our library, let me know!)

I'll admit, it was a little difficult to find books that took the slant we were looking for-- While Heather has Two Mommies is certainly a classic in gay literature for kids, we were looking for something that was a little We wanted to find books that were inclusive of alternative families-- not books that singled them out.

Enter Todd Parr, who could easily become my new favorite kids' author.

We found tons of fun books by Parr that we loved, but the best one was The Family Book. It has illustrations of humans and animals and explains that all families are different-- some families have step-parents, some adopt children, some families have single parents and some families have two moms or two dads. The message that Parr always intersperses with the differences is that all families love each other and want to take care of each other.

I think that this is the perfect message to send to our son-- I must admit, I had a good time reading the reviews on Amazon, particularly the negative ones. The comments displayed there are the exact attitudes that I hope to steer our son away from-- To me, it has nothing to do with whether you agree that a particular lifestyle is right or wrong. Instead, it's about acknowledging that these types of families do exist-- and they deserve to be recognized and respected just as much as a typical nuclear family.

But you don't have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

31 Weeks!

Week 31 is going to be a busy one!!

We're recovering from traveling, we had a doctor's appointment, I got a haircut, I started sewing the crib bedding, we've had a sick pup, and we're preparing to host company as friends and family come to town this weekend for the shower!

This week, baby is the length of a mini-skirt (not one I would ever wear!):
And looks like this: Baking Baby Blakely

"From this week on, your baby will continue to gain around ½ pound a week until shortly before birth (even though it may feel like a whole lot more with every step you take).

Other highlights this week:

Due to increasing space constraints, your baby's arms and legs stay drawn up close to the body now, known as the fetal position (oh, so that's where that name came from!). Plus, your baby can now process information from all five senses—so she'll be all set to smell the pureed peas, taste them, feel them as she mashes them into her hair, hear you crack up and then see the flash as you grab the camera to snap picture after picture.

By now, your baby's lungs are the only system not fully mature. And by mature, we're not saying that the rest of your baby's systems are mature enough to be out past 10 PM with the neighborhood hooligan, just that her lungs need a little bit more time to bake before they can kick it in the outside world.

Your baby weighs about 3½ pounds and measures a little over 16 inches, about the same length as that miniskirt you used to wear (and will again someday!)."

31 Week Belly Pic

Our doctor's appointment went great yesterday-- the doctor commented on how incredibly smooth my pregnancy has been. I feel so unbelievably lucky. Weight was up 1 lb from my appointment 5 weeks ago-- that officially puts me 1lb below my pre-pregnancy weight. Belly size is right on track. We'll go back in three weeks for a check up at 34 weeks, then we'll go two weeks later for our 36 week appointment-- after that we'll go each week until he arrives!

I'm feeling good! Starting to get tired easily, but it's not as bad (yet) as the utter exhaustion of the first trimester. Heartburn is still horrendous, but I've discovered that Pepcid works much better than Tums. Movement is stronger every day-- kicks are no longer little thumps, rather huge belly shaking rumbles that make me giggle every time. I vow to catch the belly moving on video sometime in the next few weeks. I'm having several Braxton Hicks contractions each day-- uncomfortable, but not painful. Swelling has stayed away for now!!

I hope to post some updated nursery pics early next week-- I should have the majority of the bedding finished by then, we'll have some decorations on the walls and my dad is helping us install the shutters and a new fan this weekend! It's coming together!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Showered with Love (Part I)

After spending the week in Charleston, on Friday Rob and I made our way back to Columbia to my parents house for our first Baby Shower! Rob and my dad had planned to leave, but the party was so much fun, they decided to stay the whole time. The food was delicious, the wine was flowing (not for me, of course!) and everyone had a great time. Here are some pics of the evening!

The Invite:
My mom & I:

Mom, Dad, me & Rob:
My new pregnant friend Jarrett & I-- she's due in 3 weeks!

Rob with one of his favorite gifts:

Rob & I, opening a gift from my dad:

Our amazing gifts!!

Among other things, we received Baby Clothes, Diapers, 2 Frog Pods, rattles, books, a Bundle Me, Bumbo Seat & Tray, an Infant Carrier, a Boppy pillow, a mattress pad, changing pad cover, & Sock Monkey! Also, from a friend who couldn't make it to the shower, we received a Maclaren Baby Rocker.

We are so lucky to have so many generous friends!! Can't wait for our shower with family next weekend-- but first I have LOTS of thank you notes to tackle.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

30 Weeks- Better Late than Never!

My 30 week update is a bit late this week-- Rob and I were on our "babymoon" all week in Charleston, SC. We love going back "home," visiting all of our favorite places and we thought that should go now, while we can. Who knows when we'll be able to go back-- and when we do, the trip will be quite different with a little one in tow.

We stayed in our old house-- a tiny cottage that we loved and where we became a family. It's been rented since we moved to Alabama, but our tenants moved out a month ago, so we were able to stay there this week. The house is up for sale now-- hopefully someone will fall in love with it as much as we did.

We spent the week eating great food, shopping downtown, laying out at the beach, visiting old friends and relaxing. It was a fun trip and we didn't want to leave!

Our first house:

A toast to baby Liam:

After dinner, our last night in town:

Since I didn't have access to my computer all week, here's the 30 week update!

This week, baby is the size of a yorkie:
And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Big news for baby's brain this week: It's starting to wrinkle and fold and looks like something that grew in the back of your fridge. This is due to the rapid growth of your little genius's brain cells.

Other highlights this week:

Fingernails and toenails are finally finished—causing his or her parents great fear and anguish the first time they try to cut those little daggers (it gets easier, we promise)! Plus, the bone marrow is completely in charge of red-blood-cell production now. Trust us, this is a good thing.

Baby is starting to shed his lanugo—the downy hair that was covering his skin. Now that he's chubbier and better able to regulate his body temp, he doesn't need to sport a fur coat 24/7."I spy an umbilical cord and the inside of my mom's uterus!" When your baby is awake, his eyes are now wide open and he's whittling away the hours looking around, checking out his rather dark, limited environs.

Your baby hasn't gained much weight or height this week, as most of his energy's been channeled to the brain. He weighs about 3 pounds and is approximately 15.5 inches long, about the size of London, not the city, Britney Spears' Yorkie terrier. Of course your baby is less hairy and way cuter!"

30 Week Belly Beach Pics

We had a blast at our first baby shower in Columbia, SC on Friday night. It was so much fun-- a post with pictures will follow tomorrow!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I've been looking for a diaper bag for months but I haven't seen many that I like-- I don't want a "babyish" bag, but I need something with plenty of pockets that will accommodate all of the stuff that you have to carry with a newborn.

I was browsing etsy tonight, and I think I've found the one:

That bow? I'm drooling.

The Mama's Diaper Bag by peacelovenpolkadots is made of sturdy upholstery fabric and has cotton lining inside with a zippered pocket, a large patch pocket and 2 bottle holders. It closes with a magnetic snap and has a large pocket on the outside back panel.

I really like this gray (it comes in quite a few other colors as well), and since our strollers and carseat are gray and green, I think that this one would actually match. I e-mailed the seller to ask if she does custom bags if there's a fabric that I find that I'd rather use-- If I order this gray one, I'd love to have a green patterned fabric as the liner.

If I get one, I'll definitely post pics!