Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We Appreciate You! Thank You Gifts for Nurses

Before Little Man arrived, one of the things I knew I wanted to do was make a little thank you for the nurses that took care of us. As a teacher, I know thank you gifts are never expected, but they really do make you smile and feel good inside when they happen! Also, my mom has always been such an appreciative person that I grew up with the model of wanting to thank people! I thought about baking for them ahead of time and freezing it....but then figured they don't know me (or Adam)...from Adam. They probably wouldn't eat cookies from a stranger's kitchen. Again, as a teacher, I am picky about who I eat homemade things from!

Because we didn't know exactly how many to expect, I decided to make enough for 12 nurses (on the higher end). Talking to my friend Katie who works Mother/Baby, she said I could expect to have between 4 and 12 nurses depending how long I am in labor and then how long I stay in the hospital. 

I figured I would do something little for the individual nurses and then also make a couple baskets that could go in the lounge/desk area to be shared. 

For the nurses I got hand sanitzier, a chapstick, and a little package of Kleenex. I figure all of those things are useful for anyone! I ordered them all in "bulk" from Amazon and paid a really good price! For the hand sanitizer, I peeled off the label. The trick to getting it off without leaving any gunk on: pull up the corner and rip it off quickly. I added a "Keep Calm and Nurse On" vinyl decal that I cut out with my Silhouette.

I added a little tag (love the print and cut feature on the Silhouette!) that says "Thank you for taking such great care of my mommy & me". 

For the baskets, I hit up Trader Joe's (because who doesn't love treats from Trader Joe's?!) and got some yummy snacks. I made up 3 different baskets. I figure at least one for labor and delivery (hopefully we aren't there super long!) and then for 2 different shifts on Mother/Baby. 

The baskets (actually cute Chevron bags) have: chocolate covered cranberries or blue berries, mini peanut butter cups, fruit jellies, dried banana chips, and yogurt covered cookies. I hope that I have hit a variety of food preferences to make everyone smile!

I'm putting a note on top of my hospital bag (whenever I get that packed) to remind us to grab the 3 treat bags and the bag of nurse gifts to put in the car. That way we have them ready to go to thank these people that I know will take wonderful care of us!

Monday, April 28, 2014

38 Weeks

How far along: 38 Weeks-WOAH!
How big is the baby: Baby boy is the length of an aloe leaf-about 19.7 inches.
Weight gain: 43 pounds. Yikes. 
Rings: Still able to wear one ring. 
Belly Button: Pretty much flat. With one side kind of puffed out. 
Doctor/Medical/Body Stuff: Had a weekend that was a little too exciting when I got a nasty stomach bug that caused me to be dehydrated on Saturday. I was having contractions and it was getting worse. I didn't feel like it was labor, but as a first time mom, I didn't really know what to think! We went into labor and delivery about 2:00 to get it checked out and I was contracting a lot and baby's heart rate was high. However, it was because I was dehydrated. They hooked me to an IV for a couple hours and the contractions stopped. He isn't ready to come out yet! Which is A-OK with me. I vacillate between "I AM DONE" and "I really want to make it to at least 39 weeks". Today is an "I am done!" day. 38 weeks is just plan uncomfortable (no sleep, sore back, swollen feet, sore hips, bulging belly, blah blah blah).  Doc appointment today went well. Still 2 cm but even more effaced. 
Sleep: What sleep? I love being pregnant. I really do. But my sleep issues during pregnancy are definitely the worst part. 
Movement: He continues to love to kick out my right side! It is so fun to feel him!
Food/Aversions: Pretty much the same. Though since being sick on Saturday, nothing sounds good anymore.
What I miss: Sleep!
What I am looking forward to: The crib arriving on Tuesday! The room will look so put together! We even have the mattress cover and sheet on the mattress ready to go! We are doing the whole -mattress cover, sheet, mattress cover, sheet- thing in order to help with middle of the night messes.
Baby Projects: More cloth diapers arrived and I have been prepping them all week. Just a few more loads and I will be done! I am so excited to have them all ready to go! We also finished out our registries by using gift cards we received and credits from returns to buy the rest of the things on our registries. That was fun! And it made us realize how truly lucky we are. It all adds up fast and we got SO many gifts from wonderful family and friends already!
Pearls from the Preschool: 
"Miss Stephanie, your baby big!"
"Miss Stephanie, your baby growing!"
Oh! And This:  It is NOT as easy to get a car seat checked as the whole world makes it sound! Everyone says "Go to any police department or fire station." Well, no. Our PD doesn't offer that anymore. Our FD refers you to the PD. A nearby PD does it but we left a message for one guy and when he called back he said he could do it after 11:00 at night?!?! The other guy there who does it can't because he has a medical issue. Another local FD does it, but they charge $35 for non residents. So $70 for 2 cars?!?! That's ridiculous. And another local PD only does it for residents. They agreed to do it for us, but they only do it M-F at 8:00 and 1:00. So much for trying to be safety conscious. Everything you read says 90% are installed incorrectly...yet it is impossible to get it checked! We finally found another local FD and they agreed to make an appointment on Saturday at 8:30. So Little Man can't come before then!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mason Jar Mugs Thank You

I feel so incredibly lucky that this baby is already so incredibly loved. I wanted to do a little something for the people who threw wonderful showers for me and baby H. I had fun making monogrammed mason jar mugs for some of the most special ladies in my life. 

I also learned the trick for making a circle monogram with the Silhouette software without buying any special font. This YouTube video was great for explaining it and then it just takes playing around with it to get it right! Some letters are NOT easy though!

I found the mason jar mugs and the adorable flower lids on Amazon. The flower lids apparently fit a regular straw right in there. They do not, however, fit a plastic reusable straw. So Adam helped me out by drilling the hole out to be a little bigger....unfortunately that may have led to jagged edges and several ruined lids. Maybe they aren't so safe. But they look adorable in pictures! I would recommend just using a regular straw or no lid in the future!

Monday, April 21, 2014

37 Weeks

How far along: 37 Weeks-Officially considered "early term" by the new guidelines. We are definitely aiming for "full term" around here (39/40). Little Man and I have daily talks about this.
How big is the baby: Baby boy is the length of rhubarb-about 19.2 inches. I asked my OB to guess at his size today (even though it is generally totally inaccurate) and she guessed he was already about 7 pounds!
Weight gain: As of yesterday 38 pounds. Down 2 from last week somehow? Even though I was walking less and my belly is ginormous. 
Rings: Still able to wear one ring. 
Belly Button: I don't know if "innie" is technically the correct word any more. More like flat-ish with tendency towards innie.
Doctor/Medical/Body Stuff: Appointment today was great. 2 cm dilated, 70% effaced, and station -2 (low!). My OB says that once labor starts she thinks I will progress quickly! His little butt is sticking out the front of my belly. My OB said if we didn't have the quick ultrasound last week, she would be concerned because his butt feels like a head! I've been trying to sleep with my feet elevated every night. I have major elephant feet and ankles off and on. They were pretty unpleasant this weekend and they are today too. Oh, and Wednesday I lost something. It can mean labor is coming soon or mean nothing at all. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you don't want to know!
Sleep: Last night I was up 13 times to use the facilities. That's way too many!
Movement: He keeps trying to exit stage right, feet first. I keep telling him that is not an option!
Food/Aversions: I've been really working on eating my protein in preparation for delivery. Thank goodness cheese is such a great source of protein!
What I miss: Sleep!
What I am looking forward to: Putting the car seat base in the car. We meant to have it done by a week ago...but that just didn't happen. Hopefully this week! I love looking at that little car seat in the family room. I can't believe soon there will be a baby to put in it!
Baby Projects: TONS got done this week! I kicked it into high gear after Wednesday. My lessons for school are all planned between today and the end of the year. I have pages upon pages of notes in a binder for the sub in addition to a detailed schedule. My end of the year reports are all completed and printed too! Updating IEP goals is my last big thing. Mom came over Friday (Good Friday) and Saturday and helped me a TON, getting ready for Easter and doing baby stuff. (I apparently thought it was a good idea to host Easter for 25 people 3 weeks before my due date! It was truly a lovely day. And made possible because of my amazing mom!) I finished sewing and hanging the blackout liner for the curtains and am almost done with my last batch of cloth wipes. Right before everyone arrived for Easter my dad and Adam helped hang the pictures in the nursery. I love seeing it look almost complete! Well, except for the crib that is now THREE weeks late. 
Pearls from the Preschool: I don't have a good quote, but they keep asking how big the baby is, and when I show them, they are awfully confused about he is in my belly. I then have to act out being all squished in the fetal position. We have this conversation at least once a day!
Oh! And This:  I also had wanted my hospital bag packed by last week. But it is not. I think subconsciously I think if the bag isn't packed, he can't come! Don't get me wrong...I am SO excited to meet him! I am just a little neurotic and like things to happen on schedule! Oh, and I finished little gifts for the nurses that take care of us. Obviously much more important than the hospital bag. ;) 

Doing a labor rehearsal at Bradley class. We all started joking about taking selfies during labor. So this is me in the squatting position pretending to take a selfie during a contraction.

Sneak peek!! I'm SO excited about the vinyl decals I made for the walls!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 Weeks (WHAT!?!)
How big is the baby: Baby boy is the length of lemon grass-about 18.7 inches 
Weight gain: 40 pounds-I don't know how I gained 5 pounds again. I've been walking SO MUCH! Dr. said today she isn't worried. It is just a whole heck of a lot of water weight!
Rings: I was able to wear my engagement ring all week. 
Belly Button: Still an innie. But I must confess that I tragically discovered stretch marks under my belly this week. It was a rough evening. 
Doctor/Medical/Body Stuff: Appointment today was great. I am 1 cm (almost 2) dilated and his head is very low. After checking that and then feeling something very hard and large up high, the doc was a bit concerned and snuck me in for a quick ultrasound. She wanted to make sure it wasn't butt she felt down low. Nope! He is head down just like he should be (yay Inversion and Webster Method!). It is crazy his head is so low and his butt is as high as can be. Maybe he will be tall like his Auntie Erin?!  I just love the chiropractor I found. I have been going a couple times a week and will continue to do so until Little Man comes to keep things aligned! This weekend a new symptom appeared. Elephant feet! I've noticed my feet slightly swelling this week, but Saturday these elephant feet (and ankles) appeared and they just got worse Sunday. Ergh. Though Monday morning (after sleeping with them on two pillows) they were definitely better. My hips and feet continue to be my biggest bother.
Sleep: Continues to depend on the night. Usually I can fall back asleep. Everything is just so uncomfortable at night. A pregnant woman should get some relief from laying or sitting down! Silly hips.
Movement: He is constantly trying to push his feet out the side of my belly!
Food/Aversions: Same old.
What I miss: My to do list seeming like it had lots of time to complete!
What I am looking forward to: Putting all the books and things on his bookshelves! Today Adam and his dad put up the tree bookshelf and Adam filled it in with wood putty. Tomorrow he will touch up the paint. I think Wednesday it will be done!
Baby Projects: We had two more baby showers this weekend. We are so lucky and loved! My co-workers in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program threw me a farm shower on Friday and my sisters-in-law threw me a Little Man shower on Sunday! The other night (from 2:00 to 4:00 am), I finished some signs for the hospital such as a visual birth plan and signs for the room after Little Man arrives. Yes, I am obsessive. No, I don't think everything will work out as planned. Yes, planning makes me feel better and reduces my stress level! It is just a plan. Not a script! And I know what they say about the best laid plans...
Pearls from the Preschool: 
"Miss Stephanie, does your baby have clothes on?"
"Is he naked?"
Oh! And This:  I am in disbelief that there are only 4 weeks left until my due date. I am REALLY hoping Little Man does not decide to come early. I hope that this 1 almost 2 centimeters just hangs out for a while. If I only had stuff at home to work on (finishing nursery, curtains, burp cloths) or work (lesson plans, end of the year reports) I would be fine. But finding time to do both is a little overwhelming! is what it is!

Everyone kept saying it looks like I've dropped on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think it is when Little Man turned from transverse to up and down!

The bookshelf! I cannot wait for it to be finished!

Little snippet from my Little Man shower

One of my SILs and I at the shower! We are very serious.

Careful! Don't poke them with a pin or they may pop!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Little Man Is On The Way Baby Shower

Today my sisters-in-law threw me a lovely Little Man themed baby shower. 

I have to confess....
A year ago I was known to say "I just don't *get* the whole mustache craze!" Well....when we found out we were having a boy, I suddenly found all the baby boy mustache stuff ADORABLE! So fun for our Little Man (who is arriving VERY SOON!).

Cute sign outside the building

Yummy snacks!

Cute clothesline decorations with cloth diapers too!

Each cup had a different mustache. It was hard to pick!

My SIL made this awesome cake and yummy chocolate covered oreos!

Bowties, mustaches, and ties! I wish I had some of these at home!

SO funny! Awesome display of fruit and I love that has has a mustache with his pacie!


Adorable washcloth bowties decorated the tables

Guessing how big around my belly was. WHAT?!?!
The one on the left is my real measurement! 

The two grandmas got us the Mamaroo!
(If you haven't seen one in action, you need to watch the video!)

My SIL Jess and I rockin' the 'staches!

Adam's Aunt Sue!

My wonderful sisters-in-law! 
Everything today was so cute and perfect for our Little Man!

Now that all of our showers are done....we just need to finish putting everything together and away. And figure out what we still need from our registries before Little Man arrives!

On the Farm Baby Shower

On Friday evening, my co-workers in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (we all teach all around the district) threw me a shower! Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of pictures!! But I did get a few! It is always great to hang out with this group of ladies because we just don't get to see each other enough!

Cute clothesline with all farm onesies!

We played my very favorite baby shower game: Guess what it is in the bag!
They had 10 baby items in brown paper bags and we had to feel them to guess what was inside. It was a hoot. Some were really hard!

Yummy cake!

I got lovely presents! One of the best was a nursing kit my friend Kim who just had a baby in February put together! With a book full of funny pictures and tips and everything!

Somehow I didn't get pictures with anyone except our youngest guest!

Monday, April 07, 2014

35 Weeks

How far along: 35 Weeks
How big is the baby: Baby boy is the length of a daikon (white radish)-about 18.2 inches 
Weight gain: 37.5 pounds (Ergh! 2 pounds this week. Though realistically I know a lot of it is water weight since I am starting to swell.) New goal: go for a 30 minute walk every day. 
Rings: Erm. As of Sunday morning it wasn't so comfortable to put on my rings. I just wore my wedding ring, no problem.
Belly Button: Still an innie. But a very shallow one. 
Doctor/Medical/Body Stuff: Can't really tell which way Little Man is facing, so I will continue to do this every day. My feet are definitely swelling. My boots still fit, but many of my flats don't. Hopefully sandal weather comes fast. When I sit or lay my hips feel like I am a 115 year old woman. When I stand my feet feel like I ran a marathon. So that's fun! I went to the chiropractor for the first time today and she agrees this naughty little dude feels transverse. I am going to see her quite a bit over the next couple weeks. Hopefully it will help my hips and flip this baby! Interesting info about chiropractors and pregnancy here
Sleep: Depends on the night! The Earth Mother Angel Baby calming tea has been good some nights. I have also had the Earth Mother Angel Baby heartburn tea when the heartburn was unbearable and it really helped. A good night still involves getting up to use the facilities 3-5 times, but then being able to fall back asleep right away.
Movement: I feel him all the time. Still mostly on my left side. 
Food/Aversions: I keep on eating my dark leafy greens. I have also been trying to be better about eating more whole grains. And protein. I know getting enough protein is really important the last month of pregnancy. 
What I miss: Walking to work and not needing a nap after.
What I am looking forward to: More baby showers this weekend!
Baby Projects: Yesterday my mom came over and we sorted and put away clothes I washed. We figured out what types of clothes we still need (most of my cutest Little Man outfits were in 3-6 months!). We also opened up and put away most of the baby shower presents! On Saturday Adam and his dad started working on this bookshelf idea I saw on Pinterest. The picture is below: the left is the Pinterest picture and the right is their start!
Pearls from the Preschool: 
"You baby belly?" (This is a frequently asked question)
Oh! And This:  We really enjoyed all of the classes we took last week. The Baby Basics class was a lot of really good information for Adam he said. We weren't sure what to expect out of the car seat class, but it was SUPER informative. I was "up" on the importance of no coats thicker than a windbreaker/hoodie in car seats and proper positioning of the buckle, but I didn't realize that "after market" head support things and BundleMes are not considered safe because they are not crash tested. Anything that puts an extra barrier between the car seat or restraint and baby is not considered safe. Such a little thing that could make a huge difference in a car crash! The hospital tour was also really great. It was great to see everything ahead of time and they answered lots of questions. I was really the only one asking questions and I felt a little awkward, but then decided I will never see them again, so who cares! The hospital we are delivering at is really open to the needs/wants of the family and seems understanding about the needs of a natural birth!

A bathroom selfie at birthing class

The start to the awesomest bookshelf ever!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

34 Weeks

How far along: 34 Weeks
How big is the baby: Baby boy is the length of a sigwa-17.75 inches (Even Google doesn't know what to do with a sigwa).
Weight gain: 35.5 pounds (I don't even know how it is possible to gain 5.5 pounds in 2 weeks. I do NOT eat that bad! Boy, is this going to be a battle to lose later!) I know pregnancy involves gaining weight and hey, I'm cool with that. This week, however, I am feeling very large. 
Rings: no problem....well that was my answer until Monday. Monday my answer is "maybe starting to get a little tight once in a while."
Belly Button: Still an innie.
Doctor/Medical/Body Stuff: My feet may be starting to swell. I still *fit* in my shoes, but a few of them are not so comfortable! Good thing sandal weather (or close enough) is around the corner. At my doctor appointment she said he feels like he might be transverse. He still has the ability to flip all around, so we will see at my 36 appointment before being worried. Until then, I will do this. Yes, I'm serious. Also, my doctor rocks. Seriously. She has no problem answering any of our questions and talking through anything we bring up.
Sleep: Apparently 34 weeks means no more sleep for me. It's 3:30 in the morning and I'm writing this since I've been up since 12:30. 2 hours was not enough sleep after I was dead tired all afternoon! Anyone who tells a pregnant lady to get her rest now either has A. never been pregnant or B. totally forgot what pregnancy insomnia is like or C. wants to be punched or D. 2 or more of the above. (FYI, the night I wrote that I was up from midnight until 6:00 am. Then had to wake up at 7:30 for church!)
Movement: It is so fun to feel him all day! I feel him before I go to sleep, but he isn't (yet) keeping me up at night. I mostly feel him on my right side though. He doesn't use the space he is given very well. He leaves my left side quite empty!
Food/Aversions: I've been hungry A LOT in the middle of the night. Oh, and I get heartburn every time I eat a few hours later no matter what I ate. 
What I miss: Sleep. 
What I am looking forward to: Going through all the presents from my two baby showers and putting them away and putting them together. It is so fun! We think "What are we going to do with all this stuff?!?!" and then we realized "Put it around the house because a baby will live here soon!"
Baby Projects: My main baby project goal for spring break was to finish the curtains and I (mostly) did! I got the pretty yellow chevron part done. Now I just need to hem the blackout liner that I am going to clip behind them. I had yellow chevron curtains in mind for a while and thanks to my mom hunting down the best fabric sample and getting the special order placed, they are up and perfect! I decided not to sew the liner to the fabric since the liner is dry clean only. This way I can throw the curtains in the wash if need be. 
Pearls from the Preschool: 
Nothing this week! It was spring break!
Oh! And This: Since my sister was in this week, over the weekend I had two baby showers! Friday night my girlfriends threw me a farm themed shower. So cute! The best part is some of the decorations I can hang in the nursery! I can't wait to start putting those final touches together. Saturday afternoon my mom and sister with lots of help from my aunt and cousin, threw me a children's book themed shower. There were books everywhere! Between books as gifts and all the books as part of Saturday's shower, Little Man has an amazing start to his book collection. There's not much I love more than reading and it makes my heart happy that he has such a great start. I blogged about that shower here!

Farm Shower

Children's Books Shower

The books Little Man has received so far! 
We LOVE books!!!

Oh! The Place's You'll Go Children's Book Shower

On Saturday my mom and sister, with lots of help from my aunt and cousin by love, threw me a Children's Book Baby Shower! What a perfect theme for me! I've been an avid reader for as long as I've been reading and have also always had a special place in my heart for children's books.

My mom's favorite reading stories about me:

  • I would get in trouble for bringing my book in the shower and sticking it in the caddy to read while showering. Hey! I would try to dry my fingers on the towel before turning the pages.
  • When my parents forced me to put down my book and go play outside, I conceded by walking laps around the backyard while reading.
  • It also became a problem was I was 16 and didn't know how to get anywhere 2 blocks away from our house because anytime we were in the car, my nose was in a book!
  • In college I started asking for favorite children's books for Christmas and birthdays and apparently, to the dismay of my family, proceeded to read them. Each one. Cover to cover.

I could post a million more pictures than the million I have posted here, but I am trying to control myself. They had a children's book to go along with every single part of the shower! Every food had a book to go along with it and there were different books and stations throughout the house! It was like a treasure hunt as you noticed each different item!

The Shower

The entryway

The adorable mantle 

Cute clothesline with book and funny oneies and adorable blankest

All the decorations!
Raggedy Ann and Andy and Jan and Stan Bearenstein were made for me by my Aunt Judy when I was little! Big Bird talks and was also mine when I was little. The little rocking chair was mine and a friend made a new pillow that will match our nursery. 

 Yummy food!
There was a children's book to go along with every food they had!


A funny game where you had to try to figure out the names of children's books by their descriptions. I will list them here and see if YOU can figure them out. I listed the answers at the bottom of the post. 
1. Emerald Yolky Food with Pig Product 
2. Evening Salutations to the Celestial Orb 
3. Soft Cotton Bunny 
4. A Trifecta of Miniature Swine 
5. Unsightly Aquatic Bird 
6. Brunette Furry Mammal, Brunette Furry Mammal, What are your observations? 
7. Locale of the Concrete Walkways Termination 
8. Famished Butterfly Predecessor 
9. Fedora Wearing Feline 
10. Place of the Untamed Creatures 
11. Obscured Sun and Maybe Some Rolls of Ground Beef
12. Dispensing Woody Perennial 
13. Undersized Hot Gas Explosion System with Abilities 
14. Requesting the Return of My Headpiece 
15. Small Heir to the Throne 

I didn't get 9,m 11, or 13! 9 was a "duh!" and 11 all I could think was "Eclipse and Sausage?!"

Me demonstrating how I sucked my fingers as a baby. 
See also: Stephanie doesn't know how to sit like a lady while pregnant.

We also played a fun Jeopardy game!
My team did well on the "How well do you know Mommy and Daddy" category!
Do you know the answer to the question on the TV? Answer at the bottom!

 They had books on top and baby M&Ms inside! And there were adorable bookmarks with cute quotes. I took 2! But forgot to get a picture!

Beautiful wrap from my sister so I can wear my baby!

Our carseat and stroller from my parents!!!
(These are the only presents pictures you get...because again with the weird faces in presents pictures!!)


Lovely Ladies 
With my sister

My sister and mom

Aunt Judy and Amy  


My mother-in-law
(Not the crazy one)

Again, this shower left me feeling so lucky and loved. This little guy is coming into a world that loves him so much already! I think my sister spent half of the week she was home just touching my belly and talking to her nephew. It is such a wonderful feeling to feel so loved and know my son is going to be so loved. 


Children's Books:
1. Emerald Yolky Food with Pig Product (Green Eggs and Ham)
2. Evening Salutations to the Celestial Orb (Goodnight Moon)
3. Soft Cotton Bunny (The Velveteen Rabbit)
4. A Trifecta of Miniature Swine (The Three Little Pigs)
5. Unsightly Aquatic Bird (The Ugly Duckling)
6. Brunette Furry Mammal, Brunette Furry Mammal, What are your observations? (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?)
7. Locale of the Concrete Walkways Termination (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
8. Famished Butterfly Predecessor (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
9. Fedora Wearing Feline (The Cat in the Hat)
10. Place of the Untamed Creatures (Where the Wild Things Are)
11. Obscured Sun and Maybe Some Rolls of Ground Beef (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
12. Dispensing Woody Perennial (The Giving Tree)
13. Undersized Hot Gas Explosion System with Abilities (The Little Engine That Could)
14. Requesting the Return of My Headpiece (I Want My Hat Back)

15. Small Heir to the Throne (Little Prince)

What are disposable diapers?