Baby Stuff Overload: Crib Edition

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 6/13/10, ALSO IT IS WRITTEN IN CHUNKS WRITTEN ON DIFFERENT DATES – BOLD IS THE SECOND SET OF THOUGHTS, BOLD BLUE IS MY MOST RECENT THOUGHTS. AND FINALLY, SINCE I’VE MORE OR LESS COME TO A CONCLUSION, UNLESS YOUR OPINION SHOWS ME SOMETHING OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE (AS IN, THIS ITEM RANDOMLY BURSTS INTO FLAMES), PLEASE DON’T KNOCK MY CHOICE TOO HARD. IT WAS A DIFFICULT DECISION PROCESS FOR ME AND ANOTHER DIFFERENT OPINION MAY VERY WELL CAUSE ME TO SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST. OK, ENOUGH WITH THE CAPS LOCK DISCLAIMER…

Cribs. This choice seems a bit easier. If I stopped researching now and just kept my search to Babies R Us, I think I’d have 2 pretty good choices. Our budget choice would be the Graco Lauren Crib (not the dropside model that was recalled, this is a new model with stationary sides) and our other choice is the Da Vinci Kalani (in the highest rated section on the website). They’re both convertible cribs that turn into toddler beds and then full beds (you just have to get the bed frame separately for the full – the Da Vinci has custom wood rails you can buy, but for the Graco, you just have to go out and find your own metal frame), but I’m leaning much more heavily towards the Da Vinci one. I suppose the fact that any Graco has been recalled recently has something to do with it, even though this model doesn’t have the problematic feature at all, but mostly I just think the Da Vinci looks higher quality. The only negative I’ve read about is that the wood is soft and therefore dents easily and will show toothmarks if you kid teethes on it, but they make fabric rail guards to protect it, so I think I can deal with that. I also kind of like that the Da Vinci’s full size bed has both a head and foot board, whearas the Graco only has a headboard. On the other hand, I wasn’t able to see the Da Vinci in the store, since it’s online only and the website says the Da Vinci is currently out of stock. Obviously I don’t need the crib right now and didn’t plan to purchase it now, but I don’t know if the out of stock thing is common with that model. Will I have trouble getting it when I actually need it? Amazon has it though, so I guess it doesn’t matter where I get it. So I guess this choice is kinda a no brainer – the only benefit to the Graco is that it’s cheaper, but only by $75, so why not just go with the one I like better? Now then, ebony or espresso (I’m just a bit concerned that the espresso looks a bit lighter than I like when you look at the accompanying dressers. I really like rich, dark wood. But is ebony too dark?)? Or is this too easy – should I keep looking around? Is there a brand at a non-Babies R Us store that’s wonderful that I don’t know of? It must be dark wood.

EDIT: So, I’ve gone and complicated things by looking at the cribs at Buy Buy Baby. There were quite a few that I really liked. They were so much nicer than the Da Vinci. Really nice detailing and thick, hefty wood. As we intend to fully take advantage of the convertible feature, eventually turning the crib into a full size bed, I kind of want to splurge and get the great looking piece that looks like it will really last a lifetime…but they were also at least twice the price. Is that ok since it’s a lifetime piece of furniture or should we try to save? (Not to mention the accompanying furniture, which is also quite pricey). I’m also having trouble finding any reviews online. The Buy Buy Baby site just lists the styles and shows pictures – you have to call or order in stores, so there’s no place for reviews there. Amazon just plain doesn’t have them listed at all.

EDIT # 2: Ok, so thanks to the advice of a fellow pregnant friend (thanks Mia!), I picked up the book, Baby Bargains, which was quite helpful since it has tons of info and ratings on baby stuff. Though it seems I’ve again shaken things up, lol. The problem remains for the Buy Buy Baby cribs that I just can’t find the ratings. I’m sure they’re there, but the store’s website doesn’t specify the brand for all of the models, so I can’t look it up in the book that separates ratings by brand. For those that were specified, some were good and some were only ok. So, I just don’t know what to do about those cribs. I really liked some of them, so it’s hard to just put them out of my mind, but I seem to put a lot of faith in reviews, so it really bugs me that I can’t check them.

Oddly, despite seeing high recommendations on Babies R Us, Amazon, and Consumersearch.com, the Da Vinci brand only got a B-, so I don’t know what to make of that. 3/4 sources giving good recommendations is still good though. But! Babi Italia, another Babies R Us brand, got an A- and the store has 2 models I really like. I’m not sure how I didn’t see them the first visit, but I’m throwing them into the mix now. The Pinehurst even gets a full 5 stars based on over 250 reviews! Though, I think I like the Eastside style better. They’re both really nice, but I think I like the extra details in the Eastside model. And it still gets 4.5/5 stars, so that’s still pretty good. I couldn’t really tell why one was rated better though. They’re made from the same wood (which again, apparently scratches easily) and you have to buy the conversion rails separately for both models (those seem to be the 2 biggest complaints about both models), and I really wasn’t sure what, other than the details, could be different…so I figure the slight rating difference isn’t important.

Also, do I buy the accompanying furniture? There’s 3 choices there for the Kalani set – a dresser with rails that comes with a changing pad (but it’s also described as being partially made with particle board…) which I guess is meant to be the safest dedicated changing table with drawers, a lower dresser that you can place a changing pad on top of which has a low part and a higher part, and a tall dresser. I’m not sure how I feel about the dressers with the attached rails to make it a changer – what do you do with it after potty training? Can you make it look like anything other than a changing table? If you could take the rails off and make it a normal dresser, ok, but I just think it would look weird otherwise – like a changing table in your teenager’s room. Or if not, and I really need a changing table with rails, and not just a U shaped changing pad on top of the lower dresser (is that not safe? Can I make it stick somehow or tie it on?), Graco has a pretty cheap one that matches either crib. And then I guess I could just get a normal dresser in addition. Though do I really need that either? The room we’re using as a nursery in our house has a huge closet that I can easily fit toys and hanging clothing into, and with some customization, I could put all folded clothing in there, too.  I guess I just don’t want the room to look bare. It’s a good sized room and all we have in there now is a recliner and a really small bookshelf. Add a crib and it’s still pretty empty!

EDIT: The matching furniture of the Babi Italia cribs throws me a bit more. I think we’d probably stick with just the lower, longer dresser, but the 2 styles have 2 different matching dressers, and the difference isn’t just the aesthetic styling. The Pinehurst has a removable changing rail while the Eastside doesn’t. Again, I still like the added aesthetic detail on the Eastside (though I have heard a complaint about the positioning of the knob on the one cabinet door on it – but after seeing it in-store, I think it’s only a minor inconvenience), but again, I’m still wondering how necessary that changing rail is. Chris thinks we can just use a grippy pad or tie the changing pad onto the dresser somehow and it isn’t an issue, but who knows. My main complaint with the rail is that based on the reviews and the floor model in the store, once you take the rail off, the top of your dresser is butchered because of the stupid soft wood! I saw one person recommend using felt between the rail and the dresser – would that work well enough or would the felt somehow end up coming off often or scratching anyway? I also saw a few people mention that their rail wasn’t perfectly fixed, but I’m hoping that’s just a user flaw; otherwise, why bother? So I don’t know. I’m heavily leaning towards getting this brand, probably the style I like better…why am I not sure? I think I’m overthinking it.I do tend to do that.

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Baby Stuff Overload: Stroller Edition

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 6/13/10, ALSO IT IS WRITTEN IN CHUNKS WRITTEN ON DIFFERENT DATES – BOLD IS THE SECOND SET OF THOUGHTS, BOLD BLUE IS MY MOST RECENT THOUGHTS. AND FINALLY, SINCE I’VE MORE OR LESS COME TO A CONCLUSION, UNLESS YOUR OPINION SHOWS ME SOMETHING OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE (AS IN, THIS ITEM RANDOMLY BURSTS INTO FLAMES), PLEASE DON’T KNOCK MY CHOICE TOO HARD. IT WAS A DIFFICULT DECISION PROCESS FOR ME AND ANOTHER DIFFERENT OPINION MAY VERY WELL CAUSE ME TO SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST (PLEASE DO FEEL FREE TO ANSWER THE FEW REMAINING QUESTIONS THOUGH!). OK, ENOUGH WITH THE CAPS LOCK DISCLAIMER…

What should we get? I feel like there’s a bunch of options:

1. Stroller system – comes with car seat for infants that snaps into base in car and onto stroller. Under that is a toddler stroller (just remove the infant seat). This looks like the most practical option, as it seems it would last a long time from newborn to toddler, but is it? It’s also really heavy, harder to fold up, and though Chris assures me it will fit in the trunk of his car (we’re trading once baby comes, 😦 ) I’m not so sure. I liked the way the felt when I pushed them – safe and sturdy, but do people really get good use out of them or is that just what all new moms think (get the biggest and most inclusive!!) and then just get frustrated with the bulk and find another option? I don’t know. While I certainly see the negatives, and have read reviews about the negatives, I have to say this is my favorite choice right now.

2. Mid-range strollers – we saw a Maclaren I liked that folded up pretty small, but ultimately, we decided it was completely a waste of money. It was nearly the same price as the stroller systems (more when you add in the price of a separate carseat) without the benefit of being useful for multiple ages. It said 3m+ but I’m really not sure how a 3 month old would really fit in that stroller. It was basically just a cushier umbrella stroller. I can just picture my baby sliding out or rolling all over the place, with their head flopped over (I know they have buckle restraints, but even so, this did not look custom fit for a small baby, it just looked like a streamlined toddler portion of the system strollers). Plus, what do you do the first 3 months? Just carry a carseat on its own? Use body carriers (more on this in option 6)? Also, possibly fitting into this category is jogger strollers – forget it. I’m not delusional enough to think I’ll be jogging anywhere – and you can’t even use a jogger for newborns because of the shaking risk. I would like the option to take baby on walks, but I really don’t think I need to waste money on a jogger for that.

3. Bare stroller base (basically just the metal parts and a handle) that accommodates a baby seat snapped in – Like the mid-range strollers, my main concern here is that this is again only useful a limited time, namely the early time (which I guess means I’d have to follow up this choice with choice #2, thus really breaking the bank). When looking up reviews for some stroller systems, I saw a few people recommend just going for these since they fold up smaller and lighter and apparently many stroller system carseats don’t fit in shopping carts (edit: I was informed by a Buy Buy Baby employee that carseats shouldn’t be put into shopping carts, unless you put it into the big part thus necessitating another cart (or just piling food on top of baby, lol), which makes sense stability-wise, but 2 carts?? What the heck do you do with the kid?? I can’t take Chris with me shopping every week and I don’t see myself being able to push a cart and a stroller at the same time), while this choice allows you to choose your own carseat. However, the carseat has to be compatible with the base, and from what I found, this option is again almost as expensive as the stroller system. And again, without the backup toddler seat underneath, this seems like a waste of money to me, too. Not to mention the whole “size of carseats” issue makes me wonder – are system carseats really oversized compared to average or are some of the non-system options smaller than average – and are the smaller ones just as safe or do they just cramp baby or have a shorter usable time?

4. I also noticed strollers like the Graco MetroLite, which is classified as a “full size” stroller and is compatible for snap-in with certain Graco seats, but I couldn’t tell if there was any benefit to choosing this over a system stroller – is it any lighter or is it basically just the 2 pieces of the system (cushy full size toddler stroller + carseat) sold separately?

5. Or I guess the Combi Cosmo EX is classified as a lightweight stroller (and good for up to toddlers, I guess) and it’s compatible with the Combi Shuttle EX carseat, so I suppose the weight is actually a benefit here, but the price tag is a good $100 more than the Graco Stylus we were looking at (though to be fair, it’s the same price as the highly rated Chicco Cortina we looked at, even if we didn’t like it quite as much), so does anyone know if Combi makes a good stroller? I’ve never heard of them.

6. Umbrella stroller + Ergo/Bjorn carrier – In this scenario, I would carry the baby on me until he or she fit into an umbrella stroller (a long while?). This is the cheapest option, but I’m not sure my back likes the idea and while the umbrella strollers are certainly very lightweight and inexpensive, are they comfortable at all? And do those carriers work on people with big boobs? And what carriers are good?? I don’t want to be folding it around me like origami and I certainly want to make sure my baby can breathe – what’s easy to use and safe?

And then what brand? Babies R Us has a highest rated section on the website and, for example, of category 1, I saw the Chicco Cortina (again, we actually saw this in store, but didn’t it like as much as the Graco Stylus we looked at – but only slightly), Evenflo Aura (totally bypassed in the store because I’d never heard of it and I think the carseat snap-in looked flimsy) and Graco Quattro (the biggest Graco stroller available, not the one we were actually looking at in store. I just walked past this behemoth. 46 pounds my ass.). I just feel like the reviews aren’t terribly helpful because there’s such a mix of good and bad for everything and pretty much everything seems comparable. I just want a list to tell me “This is the best one. Buy this one.” and I want it to be based on opinions of moms and stuff, but also opinions of people who safety train these things and I’d prefer it to be choices for average people like me, not some ridiculous celebrity used brand that costs $800. Does that exist??

EDIT 6/19/10: Ok, so we took a trip to Buy Buy Baby this weekend and now I’m leaning away from the stroller system and more towards a lighter weight stroller that is compatible with certain carseats. The one we liked the best was the Peg Perego Vela (I guess this kinda fits into option 5 above), which I left the store thinking “Ok, I think that’s the one I’ll go for”. But now, I’m seeing that it’s a pretty new model and I’m not having much luck finding reviews (Amazon had only 6) and I’m just not sure anymore. It was light weight, easy to maneuver, easy to fold, and had a place to clip in a car seat (the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, which seemed quite safe and had good features), so I liked it. I just wish I could read about people who’ve actually used it. Out of the 6 reviews, 5 seemed to love it, but 1 gave it 1 star saying it tipped over with her kid strapped in. I don’t know if she just should’ve been paying more attention or if this is a real hazard with this stroller. It seemed pretty stable, but are the 3-wheeled strollers (3 wheeled, but not jogging; the wheels are smaller) less stable and I don’t know it? I don’t know. I’m just feeling uncertain now. Am I just being unreasonable? Should I just go with what I liked in the store and trust my gut (albeit, my inexperienced gut) or should it be important to be able to find lots of good reviews?

Plus when I was looking up a similar 4-wheeled stroller within the same brand, I noticed that a few people recommended just getting a Graco Snug Ride Stroller Frame (option 3 above) and Graco Snug Ride car seat and then later going back out for a light weight toddler stroller. I suppose the benefit here is that it’s even lighter and easier to fold up and toss in the trunk. Is having to go back out for a toddler stroller a hassle though? Or is it actually helpful to be able to test out different strollers with the actual toddler? And again, it could end up being pricier, I suppose depending on the toddler stroller. Since there’s such a price range in toddler strollers and I haven’t looked into toddler-only strollers, I’m not sure what the cost difference is between this 2-part option and the 1-part Peg Perego option.The Graco stroller + seat together is less than half the price of the Peg Perego stroller + seat. The toddler stroller could be up to $270 just to even the prices. That seems like a pretty doable budget for a toddler stroller. So, is that a better option?

EDIT # 2: So, again, with the help of the Baby Bargains book, I looked up our narrowed down 2 choices from the above edit. Again, unfortunately, the Peg Perego is just too new to get much information – despite being the latest edition published earlier this year, the book basically just mentioned that the Vela was going to be released soon. It did review the brand as a whole, giving it a B (the carseat got an A-), which is good, but it also pointed out that the brand had some trouble recently when they started producing the Aria (the sort of predecessor to the Vela) in China, with quality issues. They’ve since returned to Italy, so the assumption is that it’ll be good again, but who knows. So, basically, I’m still in the position of not really wanting to be the guinea pig for a very new product. I’d rather have the security of using a well-known and well-reviewed product. Even if we liked it in the store. Because what do I know about safety?

Our other option, the Graco Snug-Ride frame plus carseat, was in fact recommended in the summary “our picks” section for suburban-dwelling moms (Graco as a brand got a B, while the carseat got an A), followed up with a lightweight, but not barebones umbrella stroller – either a low-end Maclaren, like the Triumph or the Chicco C6 (which I forgot to look at at the store yesterday…). Sooo…I’m thinking Graco Snug-Ride frame, which we played with at the store yesterday and thought it was great. And with either follow up stroller, the total price is a good amount less than the Peg Perego. I dare say I may have chosen. Cue the triumphant music. …Though I do have one question about the seat – there are 3 different Graco-Snug Ride carseats (all of which are supposed to fit the frame), the base one, the 32, and the 35. Each holds up to a different weight and height (base holds 22 lbs, 32 holds 32, 35 holds 35). My question is, do I really need the 32 or 35? When I researched at what age kids hit 22 lbs, I read anywhere from 9 months to a year or so. Even if I’ve moved onto the second stroller by that point (which I’m assuming I will, right?), will the kid still be rear facing? Does getting the 35 prolong rear facing and is that a good thing? Or should I just stick with the base model, expecting to bump up to the next level forward facing carseat once the kid hits 22 lbs?

So, I guess my few remaining questions are:

1. How do you handle a small baby (one unable to support his or her neck, so you can’t just put them in the cart’s seat area) on errands in which you need to push a cart?

2. If I were to try a body carrier, what is a good choice that isn’t hard to use, but is safe (and works with big boobs)?

3. Will I be ok with the base carseat that holds 22 lbs or is it really a good idea to prolong rear-facing with the carseat that holds 35 lbs (and a longer baby, I just don’t remember the inches off hand)?

Baby Stuff Overload

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 6/13/10. ALSO, IT WAS TURNING OUT TO BE THE LENGTH OF A NOVEL, SO I DECIDED TO SPLIT IT INTO 3 POSTS. ALSO, IF YOU’RE READING AND HAVE ANY OPINION, PLEASE COMMENT – I NEED HELP!

Blargh, so, I’m completely confused regarding baby items. We decided to just walk through Babies R Us (EDIT: and Buy Buy Baby) to see what was out there and just start getting an idea of what we’ll need and now I’m completely overwhelmed. My main confusion lies in strollers and cribs (they each get their own upcoming posts), since they seem to be the biggest purchases, but here’s a list of other questions I came up with as I walked around the store:

1. When we do register, do we register even for things that we won’t use for a while, like highchairs or really anything related to solid-food eating? Or do we just register for the immediate need stuff?

2. Bouncers/swings – do we need both? Is there much variation in quality here or do you just pick whatever you think is cute? How about the different motions – do we need a swing that goes back and forth AND side to side? Just one or the other – and which is better? One that has multiple recline settings? And what about that new one that glides? Both stores we went into, the gliding part was either broken or really jerky, so maybe not?

3. Monitors – Are the ones with video helpful or over the top? I’m a bit of a worrier and I can see myself finding peace of mind in the video – to be able to see that the baby’s still breathing, but Chris DOES NOT pay for peace of mind and thinks they’re over the top.

4. Pack n’ Play – What exactly is this used for? Do we leave it downstairs in the family room and put the baby in there for naps (if so, why not just take them upstairs?)? Or do I use it in our bedroom for the first few months so that I’m not smothering the baby in our bed (egads, I am waaaay too afraid to put the baby in our bed for fear of rolling over. Plus it’s a pretty soft mattress, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read in quite a few places that it’s unsafe for baby’s breathing and whatnot. Besides, I’d kinda like to keep it Chris’s and my bed.)? Is it just a playpen for later on? I don’t really get the concept.

5. If the above isn’t really intended for the first few months in the bedroom, what do you get? A bassinet or something? And how do I keep the cat out? Tossing her out of the room isn’t really an option because a) her life is already going to be disrupted – I’d rather not throw her out of her sanctuary as well, and b) I’m pretty sure she’d scratch at the door and meow all night, keeping everyone up anyway.

6. Baby gates – I guess this doesn’t really apply till the baby’s mobile, but if we put one at the top of the stairs, how does the cat get over it without tumbling down the stairs and breaking her legs? Anywhere else in the house, I don’t really foresee a problem.

<sigh> I expected today’s trip to be fun and light-hearted. But now, I’m overwhelmed and I have 33 tabs open in my browser researching baby stuff. I’m not even exaggerating. 33. I’m pretty sure I’m about to crash teh intarnets. Someone out there, just tell me what to buy.

EDIT (6/24/10): I have actually made some leeway in putting together a potential list of things to register for, but the questions above remain.

13 weeks!

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 6/14/10

Well, this week has been pretty uneventful. I’m still feeling pretty good, though some mornings I still wake up feeling a bit nauseous. Otherwise, I’ve been able to get out a few times this week, so that was fun. Chris’s work had a company picnic on Saturday which we went to, which was fun. I finally got to meet a bunch of his coworkers and I really liked them! We were supposed to take part in an Eco-Trek activity, but I wasn’t feeling quite up to it, and I’m glad we didn’t do it because it sounded like it was a lot of walking and it was really, really hot out. The picnic was at a local whitewater center (man-made, but still really cool looking) Chris and I did take a short, slow stroll down to the area where the people were boating around, and by the time we got back, I was exhausted and quite sweaty, so I can only imagine how a timed hike would have affected me!

I also decided to make 2 baby-related outings this week also – looking at maternity clothing and a quick trip just to look around at Babies R Us (more on that in at least one separate post). The maternity shopping was kinda fun. I was a bit nervous that I was the least pregnant person in the store and so maybe I was shopping way too early, but I figure a) I’m already in stretchy pants and my belt extender is not looking so hot on the setting I was wearing it, so why not, and b) I really didn’t want to wait till the last minute and find out local stores didn’t carry my size, making me have to order stuff and wait while I bust out of my clothing later on. But! The lady who helped me at the store was really nice and helpful in picking stuff out (and assured me I wasn’t crazy for starting so soon), and the store provides a “7 month” belly to try on with clothing, so I got to see how stuff will fit later on! I have no idea if my belly will look like that strap on belly, but I was surprised at how cute I felt with it on. I really liked how stuff looked with it on. With my luck, I’ll just gain weight everywhere and as I’ve worried thus far, just look extra fat. But we’ll see I guess. It’s funny – I find myself wondering when I’ll start showing (my ob said 18-20 weeks) and impatient for it to happen, but I’m sure that 4 months from now, I’ll be laughing that I ever worried because I’ll be huge. I know that things will progress as they should and I should just enjoy each month as it is. But, bah! I want a cute belly! Anyway, I got myself some stuff that I’m sure will take me through the summer and I probably won’t have to go back till I need jeans for fall.

How Far Along: 13 weeks!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: <sigh> Still down about 10 lbs.
I guess at least it isn’t going down more.
Maternity Clothes:
Finally got some! I still fit just fine in non-maternity shirts, but I like empire waist, so I’m not sure that counts. And I’m sure I totally don’t need to be wearing the pants, but they’re comfy!
Best Moment this week: I guess trying on maternity clothing with the strap-on bump – seeing what I’ll look like later!

Gender: No idea, but according to one website (though it’s based on heart rate, which isn’t actually correlated with sex), it’s a girl. I actually repeated it with last week’s heart rate info even though that wasn’t an ultrasound and it still said girl. According to another website that just quizzes me on a bunch of old wives’ tales, there’s a 67% chance I’m having a girl.

Movement: Nope, too early.
Food Craving:
Sour cream and onion potato chips.
What I miss:
Eh, I don’t really have any complaints this week.
Sleep:
Not so bad this week. Though I am noticing that even despite getting up early all during the Disney trip and then again on Saturday, my body always goes right back to wanting to sleep in. That’s going to have to change….
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie.
What I am looking forward to: Finding out who baby is! Even though that’s weeks away…

12 weeks!!

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 6/8/10

Oh boy!! 3 months!! Though, I’m not really sure when the trimester cutoff is. I originally figured it was 3 months, but then I realized pregnancy is 40 weeks, which is actually 10 months, so 10/3 is like 13.5, so maybe it’s 13 or 14. At any rate, as of this coming Thursday, I’ll be 13 weeks and we’re going to make an announcement! Yay! I’m excited. And then I can actually start posting these posts, instead of just writing up drafts and hoping there isn’t a glitch that publishes them too soon!

Anyway, this week, I had my 12 week appointment, which was pretty much just a normal ob/gyn appointment plus some bloodwork (6 vials!! Egads, how do I have blood left?), and hearing the heartbeat! I was so excited to hear the heartbeat again. I knew I wouldn’t have an ultrasound (the next one isn’t till 18 weeks – that’s the big one!!), but I also wasn’t sure if I’d get any real confirmation that babet’s ok in there other than a “well, since you have no negative symptoms, we’ll just assume everything’s ok”. But, my mom told me that she always had a fetal heartbeat test at every appointment, so that made me feel better. With my symptoms (morning sickness/tiredness) fading away as I enter the second trimester and with me not showing yet, I just really wanted to hear the heartbeat so I knew it was still real. Especially right before we tell everyone. But, yeah, the appointment went well! The heartbeat was 169 beats/min and sounded good and the doctor said that everything looks and feels good to her, so I’m happy! I also really liked the doctor I met today. Hopefully, I’ll like all the doctors at this practice as much (I don’t get to pick who delivers, it’s whoever’s on call at the time).

So, now I think I might venture out tomorrow and check out maternity clothing, though I’m still doing ok in my normal clothing. I’m really not sure when or what to buy. The doctor said that I could expect to start showing around 18-20 weeks, which seems like forever away, but I guess it’s not really. Do I get a little bit of summer stuff for the end of the summer or will I be ok till fall? How fast am I going to grow? I guess I just can’t imagine getting much bigger soon. I mean, I’m plus sized to begin with, so I don’t know if that means there’s more space for the baby to grow into before I need maternity clothing or what. Not to mention the fact that I’ve actually lost 10 pounds so far (which my doctor said is ok – basically the baby is growing and getting the nutrients and my body is probably using up a bit of my fat for itself). But it’s weird. I’ve lost weight, but my waistline has definitely grown a bit (I guess that’s what tells me babet is doing just fine in there despite my weight loss) – I do oddly have one pair of pre-pregnancy pants that fits perfectly (I guess they were big to begin with), but for the most part I’m still using that belt extender on the first or second notch (depending on the pants) and I’m very much enjoying the yoga capris I got from Walmart. I just don’t know. I’d hate to waste money on summery stuff and then never need it, but at the same time, I don’t really want to wait till I’m absolutely busting out of my clothing before I go out and buy anything. Not to mention the fact that it seems that a lot of places don’t carry their plus size maternity stuff in stores, so I’d be stuck ordering and waiting.

Also, though I’m a bit nervous about the whole “showing” thing, with me being larger to begin with (basically, I’m afraid I’ll never look pregnant, just extra fat!), I thought I might start taking monthly pictures of myself. So, here goes:

3 months!

3 months! (Please excuse the lack of makeup, bad hair, and gross mosquito bite on my arm...)

How Far Along: 12 weeks!!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: No change from last week.

Maternity Clothes:
Still rocking the belt extender and yoga pants (like I do yoga, haa)!
Best Moment this week:
Hearing babet’s heartbeat again!
Gender: No idea.

Movement:
Nope, too early.
Food Craving:
McDonalds. After smelling french fries on the plane back from Disney, I had to have some.
What I miss:
Having choices in clothing…I guess that means I should get some maternity stuff…
Sleep:
A bit better again in our comfy bed, but I’m considering a pregnancy pillow. Unfortunately, I can’t decide between about 5 models.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie.
What I am looking forward to: Telling everyone on Thursday!!

11 weeks!

NOTE: POST WRITTEN 6/5/10

Well, Disney World went really well! I’m happy to say that, whether it was the adrenaline of going on a trip or just improving symptoms, I actually felt pretty good most of the trip! It was a different trip from most – we chose to do only quick service dining (except for our anniversary meal), I was much slower walking around and had to take frequent sitting and bathroom breaks, I actually napped for at least an hour most afternoons, and obviously there were a number of rides I couldn’t go on – but, we still both had a great time. I’m sad it’s over. And this time, I’m pretty sure we really won’t be back for a couple years. 😦 I just don’t see the point of bringing a baby.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I felt pretty good. The first day, I was good for most of the day, but since I only got a few hours sleep the night before, I was exhausted pretty early, so we actually skipped the Wishes fireworks that night (blasphemy!! I love the Magic Kingdom fireworks!!) and went to bed early. And on our last full day, I don’t know if it was just exhaustion from the trip or, how shall I put this…my bathroom adventure earlier in the day…but, I was feeling a bit off that last night. I walked even slower (and even considered a wheel chair) and we ended up sharing dinner in Epcot’s Morocco that night because I just wasn’t sure I was up to eating much (though I’m pretty sure I did end up eating half, sorry Chris!). Most days, I was pretty good though. I typically only ate about half of each meal before feeling full, but that’s a huge improvement over what I’ve been doing in the past 6 weeks or so, so I’ll take it! I did have to be a bit picky over what I ate – no lunch meats or hot dogs (though I did sneak in one root beer float, even though I’ve heard soft serve ice cream isn’t recommended – I figured one won’t hurt, not to mention I only ate about half. (EDIT: my doctor has since given me the ok to have milkshakes and a bunch of Chris’s work friends are shocked I’ve been avoiding them saying, “What’s a pregnancy without milkshakes?”), but I still found a good variety at the quick service locations. We tried some places we’d never been to before. And our anniversary dinner (3 years!!) was fantastic. We went to Jiko, an African restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (which was pretty cool, by the way! Animals in the back yard!!). The food was amazing. We shared a kalamata olive/goat cheese (pasteurized, so it’s ok!) flat bread for an appetizer, then I had a seasonal green salad with peach vinaigrette dressing/goat cheese/candied nut salad and Chris had an amazingly good asparagus soup. For the main course, I had the oak grilled filet mignon and Chris had the roasted lamb loin in a red curry sauce and for desert, we shared the pistachio creme brulee with a chocolate layered bottom. There wasn’t one part of the meal we didn’t like.

I also mentioned the slower pace – it was actually nice to just stroll around for once, instead of our usual break-neck speed. Better on my feet, too. That plus the fact that I actually brought sneakers this time got me around pretty well. No swollen ankles or sore feet! It really helped to not have to get fast passes or wait in long lines for the big-ticket rides like rollercoasters and stuff. Chris did go on Thunder Mountain and thought about going on a few other rides, but for the most part, we were happy to stick to the tamer rides since they really do make up a big portion of Disney World. While I love the exciting rides, particularly Everest and Tower of Terror, I didn’t feel bad about skipping them this time. I think the only park that was kind of a bust was Animal Kingdom – we normally only go on a few rides there anyway, and I couldn’t go on any of them this time, so we figured we’d just do the walking trails and check out the Conservation Station area. It was nice to check out an area I hadn’t been to, but the gorilla walking trail had practically no animals out (maybe too hot out?), so we skipped the other walking trail. Plus it was just so hot that morning that we skipped the Festival of the Lion King and just cut the first half of the day short. But the other parks all seemed to work out pretty well and we had plenty to do.

I think we’ve decided to forgo summer Disney vacations from now on though (I guess until other times are completely undoable thanks to school). It was just so hot the whole time we were there. Plus we had some pretty heavy rains, too. Not as frequent as on our last trip, and we had our ponchos, so we were fine, but gah, summer rain seems to be much more violent and heavy. We had meant to try to get back to the buses before or during the Illuminations fireworks show one night at Epcot, but there was a super thunderstorm going on (during the fireworks, which apparently decided to go on despite the weather and the lack of audience) so we had to hole up till it let up. I hate leaving right after the fireworks – everyone mobs the buses and it takes forever to get home in your sardine packed bus. Ugh, mentioning buses, on the second night, I was on my first bus ride with a puker. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned in on here before, but I have a bit of a vomit phobia. If I hear or see someone vomit, I get an intense instinct to run. And when I can’t run because I’m on a tightly packed bus, I get angry. Tear-filled-eyes-, freaked-out-, profanity-thought-filled-, desire-to-yell-at-and-shame-whoever-puked angry (good God, I’m going to be a terrible mother. I pray I’ll be different with my kid because it’s my kid). Anyway…I just think I much prefer the cooler temperatures and smaller crowds of the late winter. Although, I really would like to try to go around Christmas sometime. I just have to see the decorations! AND HEY!!!! GOING TO HAVE A CHRISTMAS BABY!!! Which totally means we can bring him or her for a birthday!! Though, I’d say not till 3, maybe 2, we’ll have to see what our kid is like.

Us in It's a Small World

Us in It's a Small World

Us at Animal Kingdom

Us at Animal Kingdom

Us at DHS

Us at DHS

Us at Epcot

Us at Epcot

Our anniversary dinner at Jiko

Our anniversary dinner at Jiko

If you want to see pictures from the rest of the trip (including our usual Where’s Waldo shots, lol), just go here!

How Far Along: 11 weeks!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: No change from last week, despite going on vacation.
Though I guess, it’s a very walking-heavy vacation.
Maternity Clothes:
Still no true maternity clothes, but I picked up a few pairs of stretchy yoga capri things from Walmart and they’re so comfy!
Best Moment this week: M
y 3 year anniversary with my wonderful husband at DISNEY WORLD! 🙂
Gender: Still no idea.
Which sucks, cause there’s so much cute baby stuff at Disney World! But most of it is gender specific. We did get a cute light green onesie, though, with the Finding Nemo seagulls on it saying “Mine, mine, mine”.
Movement:
Nope, too early.
Food Craving:
Not many cravings this week. The appetite was a bit better though!
What I miss:
Sleeping comfortably. Gah, particularly in smallish beds – that double at our hotel was torture!
Sleep:
A bit worse this week thanks to the tiny bed.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie.
What I am looking forward to: My 12 week appointment!!

10 weeks!

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN 5/23/10

Well, not a whole lot to report this week. I’m in the double digits now, which is exciting! But, I’m still nauseous and tired, spending my time between the bed and the couch. And my weight is still down from pre-pregnancy (and not going up at all). Our weekends are pretty dull, too – we used to go out to eat or see movies on weekends, but I just haven’t been up to it, so we’ve been watching movies on the couch together. Which is nice. I just feel bad because Chris really wants to go see Iron Man 2. And Shrek and Prince of Persia…

I’ve also been working on drinking more water. Chris has been calling the baby a raisin (or this week, a prune, according to The Bump). I just hate water. But I know we need it.
Basically, that’s about it. I’m desperately hoping I start to feel better next week for the trip, but I’m a bit worried. I want us to have fun. I know it will be a different Disney trip, much slower and less to go on and that’s ok, but I don’t want to not even want to leave the room!

Sorry, not much of a post this week. Next week will be better! (I hope)

How Far Along: 10 weeks!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: About the same as last week.

Maternity Clothes:
Still none, but still wearing the belt extender on the smallest setting.
Best Moment this week: Reaching double digit weeks!

Gender: Still no idea.

Movement:
Nope, too early.
Food Craving:
Pickles.
What I miss: Still not being nauseous.

Sleep:
Still meh.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie.
What I am looking forward to: Trip next week!

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