Sunday, October 28, 2012

that's for babies...

Well, I guess I didn't quite catch up with the blog posts before the baby came. Evan was born on Thursday, October 18, and now I'm having to catch up on a whole lot of photo editing in addition to the blog posts. So. On we go.

All but one of my pictures for week 40 of the 365 project featured baby stuff. That was either because a lot was happening in the nursery or because I was most interested in spending time in there. Sunday was the last day in September, and I had Steve anchor the changing table (to the dresser) and dresser (to the wall) that afternoon. Since our diaper caddy, diapers, wet wipes, wet wipe dispenser, hand sanitizer, and burp cloths had all arrived too, that area was finally ready for the baby. The only additions we've made since this picture was taken have been a waterproof pad (piddle pad) laid on top of the changing pad and a box of Kleenex behind the wipe dispenser. Having had a week now to use this area, it seems like a good set-up! The piddle pads might actually win for MVP here... They've caught a lot of spit-up, a little pee, and even some poo, and I've only had to wash the changing pad cover once.

274/366 ready for change

October began that Monday, so I had to find another background for a calendar shot. Sticking with the nursery theme, I used the baby blanket that Kim had sent to us as my background and just laid it over the little footstool in the nursery. I was pretty sure that the baby would be born that month, so it fit the baby theme that way.

275/366 october

I decided on Tuesday that it was time to start the baby laundry. At first, I was only going to wash the newborn and 0-3 month clothes, but then I decided to just do it all. That took quite a while, since I was trying not to mix up my already sorted sizes too much or shrink anything in the dryer. So my plan to take a picture of the full drawer of clean clothes didn't quite work out before the light was gone for the day. Instead, I took a picture of the first load, washed and folded in the laundry basket and sitting on the floor in the nursery.

276/366 cutest laundry day ever

I took the drawer picture the next day instead, which is when I finished the rest of the laundry. I also had my weekly OB appointment that afternoon. At 36.5 weeks, I was 1cm dilated and about 75% effaced, but I still had two weeks before I went into labor.

277/366 fully stocked

I really didn't have any ideas for Thursday's picture, since I was probably too focused on getting other stuff done. I don't even really remember what all I was doing that day, except waiting for a package and maybe trying to catch up on some scrapbooking. (I'm past our honeymoon now! Only four years behind again...) I decided to shoot a picture that I had tried a couple weeks before but hadn't posted: the crib corner, reflected and framed in one of the mirrors above the dresser. My previous version had had the crib, decal, bunting, and mobile; but there was no sheet on the crib or blanket hanging over the side. At this point, I was waiting for a few last things to arrive for other spots in the nursery, so I was holding off on taking the official "after" shots. This corner of the nursery, however, was pretty much done.

278/366 sneak peek

One of the things for which I had been waiting arrived on Friday: the iPod dock. This is the glorified white noise machine for the nursey, which we're using with my old, neglected 4th generation iPod. It's nice to have the option of listening to music or podcasts in addition to the white noise. And actually, we've only used it for music so far. The baby is still young enough that he can sleep through most anything, so we'll probably wait until sound is an issue before we use it for white noise.

279/366 high tech

On Saturday, I wanted to get a couple pieces of nightwear for nursing at the Macy's downtown, so Steve and I also stopped by Tout Sweet, Yigit Pura's new patisserie inside the store. (He was the winner of Top Chef: Just Desserts.) I got the 5th Element: vanilla genoise, raspberry cream, oolong tea infused white chocolate mousse, fresh raspberries, and white chocolate. It was sweet, but I liked the various flavors and textures together. Steve's Florence Verrine—citrus-vanilla scented panna cotta with a "Negroni" gelee—was also quite good.

280/366 5th element

And that's the end of that week, along with the last bit of September, so here's the mosaic:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

dan's birthday & some baby stuff

Moving on to week 39, we reach Dan's birthday. It was actually on Tuesday of that week, but we celebrated it ahead of time, on Sunday evening. Dan and Carmen set up pizza crusts that they had made ahead of time, as well as several choices for toppings so people could make their own combinations. (Steve contributed a few more topping choices too.) Rob came up from Palo Alto, and Dan and Carmen's friends—Melanie and Ryan—brought their son Miles, who was born the same day as Elsa. After the pizza party, Elsa and Miles were left with babysitters in their respective homes, and we met back up for bowling at Mission Bowling Club. I was 35 weeks pregnant at the time, so bowling was a little awkward, but it was actually pretty do-able. It just felt like I didn't have very much power with which to send the ball down the lanes, probably because I was carrying several extra pounds and a belly the size of the bowling ball itself.

267/366 mission bowling club

Monday's picture was from the window of the toy store in Noe Valley, which I passed on the way to and from Whole Foods. I was getting in my walk for the day while also restocking my supply of crackers to go with my now-usual bedtime hummus snack.

268/366 little red

Tuesday was Dan's actual birthday, as I mentioned before, and Steve and I joined Dan and Carmen for a low-key dinner of takeout sushi downstairs. I took a picture of the mannequin heads that Carmen had festively set up on the table. They were going to be used in her Halloween display for Eye-Q, which is why she had them.

269/366 partying with the girls

My last ultrasound was on Wednesday afternoon. Because of the gestational diabetes, they wanted to check the baby's size once more. This time, they estimated him to be at about 65th percentile, which sounded much more reasonable than the 97th percentile that they had guessed four weeks before. Who knows how accurate either of those figures are, but the doctor seemed satisfied this time that they wouldn't need any more scans. I also got my money's worth better with my souvenir photo CD on this one, since the sonographer was able to get some decent 3D pictures of the baby's face. Nothing from the previous ultrasound had been worth posting, so it was nice to have a few usable shots from this one.

The other project that afternoon was washing the pack and play sheets so I could put them on the mattress. I had been meaning to take a picture of the pack and play for a while, so this was a good time for it. We plan to use this as the baby's bed in our room for the first month or two of nights before moving him to his crib full time.

270/366 baby's first bed

Next, I took a photo of our newly arrived throw pillow for Thursday's picture. I got this custom made by a seller on Etsy for the glider in the nursery, since it needed a bit of color and some lumbar support. 

271/366 throw pillow

Friday's shot was also of newly arrived baby stuff, namely the baby book and blanket that it had taken me so long to decide on. I'm not entirely sure the blanket is all I wanted, especially since the "sage" reverse side is somewhat more saturated and less earthy than I would have liked. However, it matches the rug in the nursery, and it's grown on me. The off-white side shown here will probably make a good background for newborn pictures too.

I was more pleased with the baby book in person. When searching, I had hoped to find one that was woodland-themed to match the nursery, but it seems that the baby book makers haven't quite caught up with that trend yet. Most of the animal themes seem to be either jungle or circus. There was a baby book with memory box that was designed by the same person/company as our bamboo mobile, but that one seemed to be more about the artwork (kind of a general animal theme) than the content. I wasn't in love enough with the artwork to forgive the skimpy prompts, so I compromised on theme and got the more circusy book below. It's pretty adorable, and it has more of the details I wanted.

272/366 book & blankie

The last shot of the week—Saturday's—came after yet another trip to Whole Foods. Steve and I found these tiny pears, the size of figs, and bought a couple. Since I didn't really have other ideas for pictures, they came in quite handy.

273/366 pair of pears

Friday, October 12, 2012

mid-september mania

Lots of baby-related stuff in week 38's pictures. It was right after our shower, so there were gifts in addition to the various decorations for the walls, which had arrived and were waiting to be hung. Steve and I got the set of mirrors up on Saturday after the shower, but we saved the other things for Sunday. There were the four animal prints for above the shelves, the mobile in the corner next to the crib, and the bunting above the crib. I went with a shot of the crib with the decals and bunting for my picture of the day, since they made a more complete picture together than the other, still slightly unfinished areas of the nursery.

260/366 crib-side

I wrote some more thank-you notes for shower gifts on Monday, but I took a break to snap a picture of our diaper bag (from Hunter and Colleen) and our Sophie Giraffe (from Danielle and Brian). The Sophie was kind of a must-include for our registry, since we've given them to various other friends who have had babies. It's not exactly woodland-themed, but every baby needs a Sophie.

261/366 diaper bag

Our stroller arrived from Amazon that evening, so it became my subject for Tuesday's picture. Dan had reminded us the previous Friday that Amazon was going to start charging sales tax in CA as of the next day, so we ended up ordering the stroller that night to save the extra money. For the picture, I decided that I'd use our door as my background. That meant that I also got to practice carrying the stroller down the stairs. I did it in two pieces: frame and then seat. They're both pretty lightweight, so the hardest part was just finding the space at the bottom of the stairs to open the door. I figured out that I'll probably need to bring down the frame first, put it on the landing in front of the open door, and then bring down the seat (or car seat). Of course, the other option—Carmen's idea—is to store the stroller in the car and just put the baby in a carrier for the short walk to our parking spot. We'll see which solution ends up being most convenient in the long run.

262/366 ready to cruz

Alyson came over for dinner after work on Tuesday night, bringing with her Rhett's half of their baby gift: a onesie featuring a picture that Rhett took of some orangutans. Rhett has made various items of schwag before for his website, Mongabay, but apparently this was the first Mongabay onesie. I figured that warranted use in Wednesday's picture of the day. (And also, I had no other ideas.)

263/366 orangutan love

More new stuff for Thursday's picture, although not baby-related for once. I ordered these ballet flats online, and they came the day before. Unfortunately, they're a little small, so I'm hoping that they'll stretch a lot, like the website said.  

264/366 white ribbon pink shoes

I took a walk down Valencia with Carmen and Elsa to Four Barrel Coffee on Friday. It happened to be Park(ing) Day, so there were a few impromptu parklets set up in parking spots along the way. The one pictured below appeared to be done by an architecture firm, and they had balloons everywhere. Elsa wasn't quite sure what to think of the balloon sword that one of the guys wanted to give her, but she accepted a more colorful balloon flower not long after that. I guess it was less threatening.

265/366 balloons

On Saturday morning, I woke up and Steve informed me that he had ripped a hole in his good jeans. That left him with about 1-2 pairs of wearable jeans, and those weren't in great shape either. It seemed a shopping trip would be necessary. So we went to Hayes Valley that afternoon, found Steve two new pairs of good jeans at Azalea, got Dan a birthday card at Lavish, had ice cream and coffee at Smitten and Blue Bottle, bought meat for dinner at Fatted Calf, and stopped at Fiddlesticks to look at the cute baby stuff. I didn't take many pictures on our outing—just of some stuffed foxes in the window of Fiddlesticks. The foxes are by Hazel Village, which I think is a pretty small operation based in Brooklyn. I had come across them online while doing nursery research, but I had never seen any of their stuffed animals in person before. They're cute, but probably a little expensive for stuffed animals.

266/366 foxy

And with that, there were only 100 days left in the year. Of course, I'm about 20 days behind in blogging still... I need to get cracking if I'm going to catch up (briefly) before the baby comes. His due date is on day 301, but I think there's a good chance that he'll arrive earlier.

Monday, October 8, 2012

pretty things

Week 37: here we go. That Sunday, September 9, Steve and I made a Target run to get a few things that we needed, and then we went to Bi-Rite Creamery for our walk and a late snack. With the gestational diabetes thing, I'm not allowed to have a ton of sweet stuff, but I was told that half a cup of ice cream now and then was fine, especially if there was walking afterwards. So we waited in the longest line I've ever seen at Bi-Rite—it was a nice day—and I finally got my kid-size scoop of cookies and cream. It was the first time I tried that flavor, and it was really good.

253/366 kid size

For Monday's picture, I decided to use one of my impulse buys from the Target trip the day before. The "Shops at Target" project, in which Target teams up with smaller businesses to create a selection of goods to sell in Target stores, was actually featuring The Curiosity Shoppe when we went. The Curiosity Shoppe is a cute little store in our neighborhood with some really random and cool stuff. In fact, I had seen paper straws there, like the ones below, in the past. However, most times when I've come across paper straws, they've been in packages of just one color. At Target, I found a package of various colors all together as part of their Curiosity Shoppe collection. I couldn't resist buying some. I plan to use them for food (or drink) photos at some point, but they made a pretty picture on their own in the meantime.

254/366 paper straws

On Tuesday, I spent some time working on thank-you notes for baby gifts. Our baby shower wasn't until that Saturday, but we had received some presents already from people who wouldn't be able to make it to the party. Pictured here: my address book, pen, and the thank-you notes themselves. The shower evite had a pair of deer in silhouette at the top, and I was able to find these thank-you notes with fawns on them that kind of match. Perfect for the woodland theme!

255/366 correspondence

I needed to get a few things downtown the next day, so I also made a stop at Anthropologie. I was kind of looking for more thank-you notes while I was in the area, since I had only been able to find one pack of the fawn ones and was afraid I would run out. No luck with cute cards at Anthropologie or anywhere else I checked, but I got a picture of the day at Anthro anyway. And when I got home that night, I managed to track down an Etsy account for the company that made the fawn thank-you notes. They didn't have any listed for sale, but I was able to contact them and order some more.

256/366 anthro bowls

Thursday was a bit less exciting. I went to Noe Valley for my daily walk and just shot some pear candles in an antique store window.

257/366 the crown pears

More stuff for the nursery arrived from Land of Nod on Friday. We got our owl lamp, the crib skirt, the set of mirrors for above the dresser, and the containers for the cubby shelves. Of those things, the owl lamp was the most photogenic, so that became my main photo subject for the day.

258/366 owl lamp

Saturday, September 15, was next. A year ago on September 15, we were arriving in Barcelona for the beginning of our big Spain and Italy trip. This year, it was our baby shower. Fun fact: my feet and ankles were only swollen at the end of one of those days... and it wasn't this year's September 15! In related news, I'm really glad I didn't have any long international flights while pregnant.

Back to the baby shower, though. Carmen and Alyson hosted it that day at Lovejoy's Tea Room in Noe Valley. There were a few friends that weren't able to make it, so it was a relatively small crowd. On the plus side, it was a good size for Lovejoy's. We were all able to fit around one table and still have conversations with people at the opposite end. We had tea, played a couple of low-pressure games, and opened a few presents. At the end, we even took a group picture outside, wearing the tea room's collection of very special hats.

In my picture of the day, I used one of the adorable edible terrarium favors that Carmen had made for the shower. The light inside Lovejoy's wasn't optimal for pictures—and I was trying not to have a camera glued to my face the whole time—so I did a photo shoot with it in the nursery once we got home. Inside the terrarium was chocolate cake "dirt," candy rocks, a pistachio macaron, and a couple not-so-edible mushroom decorations. Carmen said she got the idea from my Mason jar terrarium—the one in Friday's picture of the day.

259/366 baby shower

That wraps up another week. On to the next!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the second trimester

Now that I'm over two months into my third trimester, I suppose it's about time to write up a summary of the second trimester like I kind of did for the first. I have a Moleskine notebook—the same one I used for the Europe trip, actually—in which I've been writing the various developments each week. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be able to remember a lot of the details.

The most obvious thing that characterized the second trimester was growth. I went from this, at 14 weeks:

to this, at 28 weeks:

I'd say it was a pretty productive trimester in the baby-growing department; although now, that 28-week belly looks rather small to me. Those three months included some round ligament pain now and then, as things stretched; and it was the beginning of the end for my innie belly button, as it got shallower by week 21. Then, just the top bit started to stick out whenever I was standing up, and more and more joined it by the end of the trimester. I don't think it was fully popped until about week 32, though.

Altogether, the second trimester was definitely a more pleasant one than the first, as you can probably imagine. By week 15, any lingering icky feelings were pretty much gone, and my energy level was completely back to normal—or better! That was good, because we had a lot of work to do to clear out the office and transform it into a nursery. I hadn't gotten anything done on that front during the first trimester, what with my total lack of energy and also not wanting to tip anyone off too obviously that I was pregnant. The second trimester ended up being great for productivity, even though I had to borrow a pair of Steve's old jeans and a t-shirt for the dirty work. My old painting jeans had zero chance of fitting by that point, and I didn't have maternity pants to spare.

Other aspects of the second trimester...

Heartburn continued, getting more frequent than it had been. I still managed it with Tums and Pepcid, but the Pepcid turned into an everyday thing before dinner, since that seemed to work the best to keep the heartburn in check through the night.

Frequent peeing also became more standard. Especially when we were in Seattle, I felt like I was stopping in the bathroom whenever possible. Surprisingly, I went five out of my six nights in Seattle without having to get up to pee, but I was probably just extra tired and slightly more dehydrated from all the walking we were doing. As the weeks have passed, a night without a trip to the bathroom has definitely become the rare occurrence. 

And speaking of pregnancy cliches, I got vivid dreams for a while too. There were only a few noticeable mood swings, though, and not too much in the way of food cravings. It's been difficult to tell the difference between a craving and something just sounding good to me.

Perhaps I craved baked goods, since I made zucchini bread a couple times and particularly enjoyed Steve's buttermilk biscuit experiments. Those things got retired after the whole glucose test thing, however. No more unnecessary sugars around the house. My snack of choice in the second trimester actually seemed to be cottage cheese, which felt healthy with its protein and calcium. (After eating lots of plain yogurt in the first trimester, I needed a change.) Meanwhile, my breakfast each day went from whole wheat toast to waffles with butter and honey—a childhood favorite, although my toaster waffles were not flax seed or whole grain back then.

Baby movement was one of the more exciting developments during the second trimester. I first thought I felt something on Mother's Day, around 16 weeks, but I wasn't sure until the Tuesday after that. At first, it was just little nudges here and there, usually in the afternoons. They became more and more frequent (and stronger) over the next month or so. Steve was able to feel the baby move at the beginning of week 19, which was also the week of our second ultrasound. That was when we found out we were having a boy—and a very wiggly one at that. I had to go back a week later for another ultrasound to get the shots of his heart that they hadn't been able to get because he was moving too much.

Around week 21, while we were seeing American Idiot (the Green Day musical), I felt the first hits to my bladder. Those weren't so pleasant, so I was glad that they didn't happen too often. Week 22 was when I began seeing movements from the outside—little spots sticking out for a moment and such. During week 23, I started to feel things from two sides at once, often diagonally, poking out towards opposite sides. Clearly, he was getting longer.

And while we were in Seattle during week 25, I would notice an occasional feeling of pressure from the inside. When I would feel the spot from the outside, there would be something slightly harder there, like a baby foot or something. That trend continues now, often with more force. It's usually either a baby back (or butt) pushing out on my right side or one of his feet pushing out on my left side.

Baby hiccups started around that time too, becoming more easily identifiable around week 27. Now they happen a lot. It feels pretty similar to me having hiccups myself, but obviously lower. And of course, there's nothing I can do to get rid of these when they start.

Finally, there was the start of Braxton Hicks contractions. During week 23, I started getting them while walking if I was moving too fast. It was like a stitch in my side, but it would be on the underside of my belly, and it would go away when I stopped walking for a bit. Then in week 27, right at the end of the second trimester, I started getting them while just sitting in the evenings. No big deal, just a slightly uncomfortable tightness for a minute as the muscles practiced contracting. They happen a lot now, so I've gotten pretty used to it.

Well, that pretty much sums up the second trimester! Now it's back to catching up on 365 blog posts for a little while. Maybe I'll manage to fit in a third trimester wrap-up too before I go into labor... That would be nice.