Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm blaming the hormones...

I'm going to sound like a crazy person to most of you, I'm sure... but I've got to get this off my chest since I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now...

I've feeling sad and guilty that Roxanne and Rambo aren't going to be my babies anymore once Madeline gets here.

[I'll wait for the sound of you all smacking yourselves in the foreheads to quiet down before I continue with my explanation...]

Here's the thing: we really spoil our dogs. We don't have the mindset of "oh, they're just dogs!" like many people have.... no, these dogs are our babies.

They're both so different, and I love them both so much in such different ways.

I've never seen a dog so happy, as Roxanne is when I come home. She runs to me, jumps up to my hand to give me a kiss, bounces around my feet, runs in front of me while I walk down the hallway, jumps onto the bed, gives me more kisses, does her happy bark a few times and wags her tail with so much enthusiasm that her whole butt shimmies while she waits for me to put down my purse and the mail so I can pet her and scratch her armpits - that's her FAVE!

When I'm laying in bed - reading or watching tv - Rambo can't wait to cuddle! But first! First, he has to go and find me the *perfect* toy to bring me to show me how much he loves me. If my life was set in "olden times" and I lived in the wilderness, and Rambo was a wolf instead of a jack russell - this scenario would be similar to him bringing me his kill for the day. I'd sit down on the fallen tree by the fire and he'd run into the woods and bring me the jack rabbit he'd killed "for" me earlier in the day. Back to reality: when I get situated in bed, Rambo runs down the hall and comes prancing back with "Freddy the Fox" or "Don King" or "Mikey Mouse" in his mouth, his ears pressed back against his head - so proud of himself - and jumps onto the bed and gingerly drops his "kill" on my lap. He waits for me to exclaim, "Is this for me?! Thank you so much my boy!!" and then he happily curls into a ball nestled into my side.

Our dogs love us tremendously, they know that we love them... they're very confident with their "place" in our pack.

And I worry that they will feel replaced once Madeline is here. I know that the focus undeniably will shift off of them onto Maddy, as it should, but I worry that it'll hurt their little puppy feelings.

In the mornings now, after I've hit snooze for the maximum number of times, I roll over toward Jeff's pillow and know that I'll find Roxanne laying with her head on his pillow mimicking a human's sleep position. I reach over to her and scratch her belly. She stretches a BBIIIIIIGGG stretch and rolls over to face me. I tell her Good Morning and I mention that I, too, am not a morning person, but I HAVE to get up.... she seems to understand and slowly starts to get up as I do. I do this every morning. But as the Big Day gets closer I find myself getting a little sad about the fact that "her spot" will be taken by my adorable baby girl. I can't wait for that to be a reality, but I know that I will miss my time with my sweet Roxanne.

I know that the dogs will adjust. They will accept their new places in our "pack" and they will be fine. I just hope that the first few times I have to say "No, Rambo! That is not your blanket to lay on!" or "Drop it, Roxanne! That's not your toy!" that they turn away and keep their little heartbroken faces to themselves, because I don't know if I'll be able to take it! :(

(If I'm this bad now.... I can't even imagine how I'll feel when baby #2 is on the way! lol)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nursery preparations

Being 32+ weeks pregnant I'm definitely "nesting" but I'm unable to really set up her nursery. See, we're renting a house right now where the lease is up in August. With me quitting my job we need to move into a cheaper house as soon as we can to save money. We're [most likely] going to be renting my boss' house. The problem is he's waiting for a new home to be built - and it won't be ready until September or October. So, we can't move in until then. Madeline is due in August... so she'll be here before her nursery will.

You're probably thinking "why don't you just set up her nursery in the house you're living in now?"

We could, and would, if we were going to be purchasing nursery furniture. But, we're not because the same boss that we're going to be renting from has two young children who've NEVER used their nursery. He said that if we could use it - the crib and changing table - that he'd rather leave them behind than bother with moving them into their new house or selling/donating them. I love free stuff, so we're totally taking him up on his offer. It just makes it difficult to "nest."

I have crib bedding - but I can't set it up. I have diapers and diaper cream - but no where to set them up. I have nursery decorations, but no where to hang/place them. We are getting a 5-drawer dresser from a friend, so at least I'll be able to put some things away - we have a million receiving blankets, swaddle blankets, socks, bibs, etc. I'll also be able to put her new piggy bank on the dresser along with her Twilight turtle... so it's a start, but it's not a cure for my nesting urges.

I had all of her clothes shoved into a set of Rubbermaid drawers because I didn't see the point of hanging them up in our spare room's closet since it's still just a spare room and not her nursery... But, this weekend the nesty feelings got overwhelming and I just HAD to wash everything and hang it up. I don't know if the act of putting stuff away was therapeutic, or if it was the fact that I could finally step back and take inventory - but I feel more prepared now. I know we have enough clothes in every size; newborn to 1 year. Obviously, we'll add a TON to her wardrobe as time goes on, but now I KNOW that she has enough newborn and 0-3 month sized clothes so I don't have to panic about that. (Phew!)
[Side note: I always said I wanted a boy, I was convinced this baby WAS a boy, I used to daydream about little overalls and swimming trunks - but looking at Madeline's girlie clothes hung neatly in the closet makes me go "aaaawwww" ♥ I'm really excited to meet her and put her in these cutesy little purple and pink onesies adorned with hearts and flowers.]

Then, there's my favorite nursery project that I had been looking forward to doing since I found out we were having a girl: Name Art!! We searched high and low at local craft stores for wooden letters we liked, but couldn't find the "right" style font or the "right" size for what we wanted, so I was forced to search online. Online I found plenty letters that were both the right style and right size, but the wrong price - wooden letters are apparently pretty expensive. [Note to self: Jeff has a jig saw... he should make a hobby of cutting out letters to sell!! Cha-Ching! haha!] I finally found an online store that had the letters at the "right" price so I quickly placed an order and after over a month (slowest shipping EVER) I finally got them in the mail and they were PERFECT! :o)

My mom took me with her to pick out the fabric for Madeline's crib bedding that she so generously offered to sew - and I picked out this fabulous fabric with bold and bright shades of pinks, greens, oranges and yellows in a loud floral pattern! Yesterday we went to the craft store to pick out paint colors to match and found PERFECT color matches. We bought spray paint for the base colors and small tubes of acrylic paint for the flower details. I'm not even close to being able to call myself an artist, but regardless I really like how they turned out!

I think they'll really bring the nursery together when I hang them above her crib! ♥

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathers Day

Even though I'm still pregnant, I wanted to do something for Jeff for Fathers Day. He's been so supportive and helpful to me during this pregnancy that I'm confidant that he'll be a great Daddy to Madeline.

But what the heck do you get a man for Fathers Day before the baby comes? For Mothers Day Jeff surprised me with a pair of peridot earrings - which will be Madeline's birthstone. ♥ I thought that was so thoughtful and wanted to do something equally as sentimental, but that's kind of hard to do with the roles reversed. It's not like men are as sappy as women, so I had to think pretty hard about what I wanted to get him - as a gift "from" Madeline.

When I was young I used to love reading with my mom before bedtime. (I still love to read, which I think is because my mom would read with me all the time.) My mom says my favorite books were Dr. Suess books, but I don't recall having a favorite - I just remember loving books.

I never had my father in my life, but always longed for the relationship my friends had with their dads. This isn't to say that my childhood was short on love - my mom definitely loved me enough for two parents, and sacrificed practically everything to ensure that I always knew I was her life, her number one priority. But, I think most people who were only raised by one parent will tell you that they used to wish for both parents to be in the picture. (Trust me, I was MUCH better off without my father in my life, but you can't really explain that to a young child.)

With only 2 months until my due date I'm getting more and more excited about seeing what kind of father Jeff is to Madeline. I can't wait to see their relationship grow. I can't wait for them to have activities that are theirs, and theirs alone. I want her to have the father-daughter relationship that I wished I had. I want her to be a Daddy's Girl. ♥

I've slowly been trying to assemble a bedtime story library for Madeline. Then it dawned on me - I wanted to get books for Jeff to read to Madeline. Books that will be for them to read together, father-daughter books. I won't be part of that club. I'll have the rest of the books to read to her whenever I want, but these books will only be for Jeff and Maddy to read together.

I ended up picking Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle. (He also wrote Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See?)

It's a really sweet story about this father who sets out to get the moon for his daughter to make her happy. The pictures are phenomenal and while it's not a realistic story, it tells a very cute story with the sweet fairy-tale concept of a father that will do anything to make his little girl happy.

As well as My Dad by Chae Strathie.

This is a sweet story about all the stories the Dad makes up to tell his daughter. He tells stories of floating to the moon by holding on to a bunch of balloons, he tells stories of fighting sea monsters - which all happen to be the same as her bath toys, stories of being a secret spy, etc. The pictures are fun and colorful, and I just love it because it shows a dad being super involved in his daughter's childhood and imaginative play.

I know Jeff will be a super involved dad, and I'm sure he'll spoil Madeline and she'll be able to do no wrong in his eyes... I just can't wait to see it play out in front of me. I hope he enjoys reading to her, and I hope to find more books to add to his Daddy library. I thought we had a really nice Fathers Day - I just can't believe that next Fathers Day Madeline will be 10 months old and she'll be able to give him his present herself. ♥

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Things that excite me have changed...

Yesterday was our baby shower! We got sssooo many wonderful gifts, I can't even express how blessed we are! I will post a blog specifically about my shower in a few days when I get the pictures from my mom, but until then I will gush about what has me really excited today.

First of all, anyone who's had a baby shower knows that you get a ton of duplicates, things you didn't register for, clothes in the wrong size for the season, etc etc and then it's up to you to go and return these items to the appropriate stores. I've heard HORROR stories about trying to return things if you don't have the gift receipt so I was not looking forward to having to fight with employees in customer service. Thankfully, most people included gift receipts and those who didn't at least purchased the items off my registry so it was easily traceable. We returned a few things to Babies R Us and a few things to Target... Holy Smokes baby stuff is expensive!! We got $182 back in store credit at BRU and $102 back in store credit at target!! Add that together with a $25 gift card to and a combined total of $250 in cash from various people and we felt like we were ROLLING in the money! (Not really when you take into consideration what all we still need to buy!) We decided to bring the store credit and cash and gift cards home and really think about what we want to spend the money on, before making impulse buys. The two main (big) purchases we still need to make are: a car seat and a breast-pump.

When we went to BRU and Target to register for our baby shower we registered for a few "dream" items, as well as other, more practical, items. Our "dream" car seat was a Britax Boulevard CS. It's a convertible car seat that will grow with the child from newborn to 65lbs. It is also listed at around $330 depending on where you buy it. (That's the price listed at BRU, which is where we registered for it at.) Obviously, in store credit alone, we couldn't afford our dream car seat at BRU. But when I got home I started searching online to find it somewhere cheaper... had it listed, in a close-out color pattern for $280!! DING DING DING!!!

We decided to take the money given to us by Jeff's grandparents and two of his aunts, the money from my grandpa and the gift card and buy the car seat directly from there, saving us $50!! Not only are we getting our "dream" car seat, but we're saving money! Madeline will be safer in this car seat then she would in a cheaper booster-type seat, when she's older, since this car seat still has her wearing a 5-point seat belt harness. Jeff and I did the math, and while - yes, this is a large purchase upfront, had we purchased an infant car seat, plus two bases, and then had to buy a "big girl seat" and/or then a booster when she out grew that one we'd be spending way more than $280. I'm really excited about this purchase, and it really puts my mind at ease knowing that she's set as far as car seats go until she's big enough to not need one anymore.

Now our baby shower cash is gone, but we still have store credit at BRU and Target. I also have a $50 gift card to target from a long-time family friend. We will be purchasing an electric breast pump at one of the stores, but we're not sure yet where. I'm not in a huge rush to purchase the pump, as I don't want to pump at all until 3 or 4 months into Madeline and I's breastfeeding relationship. However, it is really important that we eventually buy a pump, and a good one, because Jeff has made it clear that he wants to be able to feed Madeline also. (Which, when he told me that today, it was the sweetest thing he could have said... and how he said it, I knew he was sincere. It melts my heart to see how much he already cares about our daughter.) We're leaning toward buying a "Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump - with Shoulder Bag."

These seem to run approx $280 as well, so when it gets closer to time to need it, I'll have to see where I have more store credit and gift cards and purchase it from there so we have to come out of pocket for the least amount of money as possible.

Now that I'm in the final trimester, the clock seems to be ticking faster and faster and I'm starting to feel like we should start putting things together, wash her clothes/blankets/towels, attempt to organize her bath toys, regular toys as well as find somewhere to put essentials such as pacifiers, nose aspirators, diaper cream, etc. The organizing will have to wait (and it's driving me CRAZY) since we'll be moving into a new rental house about a month, or so, after Madeline is born. We have no room, no nursery, to organize for the time being.

However, we (and by "we" I mean, Jeff) can put some things together so they're ready when Madeline is here and we need them. Today, Jeff put together her stroller and her Pack N Play - which will serve as her bassinet in our room until she's old enough to be moved into her own room.

I love, love, love her Pack N Play and seeing it set up in our room makes me sssooo excited! It's making it feel more real that she'll be here soon!!

As you can see, it has a changing table, which I LOVE so that I can change her diaper(s) there in the middle of the night and not in our bed where I'd be dodging Jeff as he moves in his sleep and/or the cat or the dogs. I also won't have to leave the room to do it, which is a huge plus to me! It also has a night-light feature, it has sounds to play - music, nature, white noise, heartbeat - and a vibration feature. I'm not sure how much I'll use these options, but it's nice that they're there, just in case.

For me, picking out a stroller was really hard. I wanted it to be versatile and be able to face either outwards, or backwards toward me. I wanted it to be able to recline so Madeline could sleep comfortably while we were out. I wanted it to fit from a newborn size/weight (which most do not, I've found) all the way through toddler-hood. I wanted it to be easy to set up and fold down - and it had to fit in my trunk. The hard part was getting all those features in one stroller, and keep it under $200. I also wanted it to be available locally so I could see it in person and try it out to see how it handled, before registering for it.

We found all those things in the Kolcraft Contours 3 Wheel Stroller! My mom's cousins, Pat and Maryann, were so kind as to buy it for us for our shower and when Jeff put it together this afternoon I was so excited I had to take pictures of it in every position possible! haha!

I'm not sure how much we'll use it at first (since she'll be born in August and it's SO hot here, we won't be venturing outdoors much when she's little bitty), but when the time comes that we can use it - I can't wait! Since it's a 3-wheeler - and no, it's not a jogging stroller - it has great maneuverability and it really, truly, has everything I wanted in a stroller! (The first picture is showing that you can use a standard infant carrier/car seat with it, so you don't have to wake baby to put her in the stroller. That carrier was given to us by my friend Holly and will be Jeff's car seat that will stay in his truck. Like I said, I'll have the Britax convertible, and I don't plan on any huge outings when it's really hot and Madeline's really little - I'll use a baby sling/carrier when needed... but, if necessary, it is an option to use it that way.)

I think it's safe to say I'm getting into "Mommy Mode"... I used to get excited about diamond earrings and new dvds - and while I wouldn't turn them down if Jeff bought ME something - it's not what's on my radar at this point in my life. I can't wait to put more baby stuff together, I can't wait to be able to set up a nursery for her... mainly, I can't wait for her to be here, in my arms, and this preparation is making me realize just how soon that will be!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

with the good, comes the bad...

Good news first: My glucose test came back normal! WooHoo!!! According to everything I can find on the internets, if the fasting level comes back over 95 you're in trouble... well, mine came back at 61. That's super good news... that means I don't have to give up my Oreos!! (yea, yea... and all that other important stuff too, like the health of my daughter, etc etc... I'm just super excited about being able to continue to eat my Oreos after dinner!!) My iron levels came back good too, so take that - all you nay-sayers that try to say vegetarians will become anemic!

So, on one hand I'm taking a big sigh of relief!

But... on the other hand, well, I'm feverishly itching myself with the other hand, because I have the chicken pox. That's right. I'm 24 years old. I had the chicken pox when I was a little girl, but apparently I have them again! First of all, according to my mom, when I had them when I was little I only had 10 or 12 pox on my entire body, so perhaps I didn't have them bad enough to build up an immunity. There's also the chance that I'm one of the lucky people in the world who just get them more than once, regardless of having them as a child. Thankfully, they don't seem to be very severe this time around either, but it's still an inconvenience. I can't go to work, I can't go run errands, I can't go hang out with any of my friends... I just have to stay home. And... clean? How fun!

Thankfully, they waited to pop up until I got back from our trip to Colorado this passed weekend, and they'll be gone in time for my baby shower... but in the meantime I'm left to clean out the office and to try to not itch the bumps. (Yea right, good luck!!)

3 cheers for getting an embarrassing childhood disease as an adult! Hip-hip-hooray!!

(Oh, and no worries about it negatively affecting Madeline... as long as they're gone by the time I go into labor she won't be affected at all.)