Pregnancy

What’s On My Baby Registry

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We are in the home stretch, folks! My baby shower is just around the corner and will soon be followed by our first baby. 🙂

First, let me say that by my own admission I am a very picky person. I am NOT and will never be someone who buys something because it’s cheap and will work for now. The same rules applied when I created my baby registry; I took a lot of time to research what we truly needed for our baby, what would provide us with function and the ability to last multiple children.

If you’re unsure about which places to register with, let me give you one piece of advice – do your research and register with the ones that give you the best deals, even if that means more than one registry.

For example, if you are a Prime member (or sign up to be one) the Amazon baby registry will give you a 15% off completion discount for eligible items before a month or so before your due date. The discount can be used in two transactions up to two months after your due date! Prime members are also eligible for Baby Bucks earnings on participating baby items. Baby Bucks is a $100 credit towards diapers and wipes when items purchased from your registry (either by others or yourself) adds up to $1000. For reference: I totally thought this was way out of our range, but we’re already up to $830 of the $1000 just from people who have bought from our registry, so we will absolutely hit that mark after we finish up buying first year necessities.

Graco 4Ever 4 in 1 Convertible Car Seat
Holy crap! That’s a lot of money for a car seat! Yes. It is on the expensive side, but since I have added it, there have been tons of sales making this car seat anywhere from $199 to as low as $149, depending on the finish you choose. This car seat is designed to last your baby from newborn up to 120 pounds, going from rear facing infant all the way to backless booster. (For reference, my pre pregnancy weight was 113 pounds, so I think this has you covered for as long as your child needs a booster. 🙂 ) One and done.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat
Wait. Didn’t I just say “one and done”? You caught me. The reason I registered for the infant seat and the convertible seat is because of function. Convertible car seats are designed to stay in the car – they don’t come with a carrying handle and they don’t lock onto the strollers designed for infant seats. We purchased a double Sit ‘n Stand stroller from Craigslist after I found out we were pregnant (in excellent condition for only $60!), but we have no infant seat for those first months that the baby won’t be able to sit on its’ own. And the last thing I want to do is try to wiggle my wobbly headed infant out of the car seat while its’ still in the back of my car. In conclusion, the first couple of months our baby will ride in an infant seat and then we’ll transition to the convertible.

Baby Car Mirror
I cannot explain the terror I had when my nephew would make funny sounds in his rear facing seat and I was doing 75 on the interstate, unable to see what was going on. I immediately knew that this product would be on my registry. It hangs in front of a rear facing seat so you can see your baby while driving.

Infant Optics Video Monitor
My mother tells us all the time that even when we didn’t cry during our naps she would constantly come in and lay her hand on our chests to make sure we were breathing. Kicker? I did the same thing to my nephew when I babysat. To me, a monitor with only sound is useless. How many times has a silent baby meant a sleeping baby? Maybe 50% of the time. The other 50%? Crayon on the wall, poop smeared everywhere and a slew of other things. I want to be able to see my baby.

Diaper Backpack
Think of all the things you carry now. Add a baby, in or out of a car seat, and a diaper bag. Think you can do it? Think again. The first day I babysat, I went online to see if they made diaper backpacks. Bingo. Do yourself a favor and get a diaper backpack instead of a traditional tote bag. And do your man a favor and get it in a unisex pattern and color – no man, I don’t care what he says, wants to carry around a baby pink floral diaper bag. Then do yourself one more favor and stock that bag with a changing pad (you don’t know what’s on those public changing tables!) and a couple clear organizer bags. You may think those organizer bags are overkill, but wait until your baby poops out the side of their outfit and you have nowhere to put the dirty clothes except in your diaper bag. Ew.

Infantino Squeeze Station and Reusable Pouches
I have always wanted to make my own baby food. It’s cheaper, it’s healthier and I have control over what kinds of foods and flavors my baby is exposed to. This squeeze station makes it easy to fill squeeze pouches and the reusable pouches themselves can be safely used up to 12 times each – so much cheaper than the disposables or buying squeeze pouches from the store! I’ve also heard that the squeeze pouches are easier to organize in the freezer and perform better than those baby food cube trays.

Shopping Cart Cover
This is another thing I knew I needed when I was babysitting my nephew. First, he looked so uncomfortable sitting in the cold, hard seat and then started touching everything and putting his hands in his mouth. Now, I don’t sanitize my shopping carts because I’m older and the chances of me getting sick from that are slim and even if I do get sick it’s an annoying cold and then it’s over. With a baby, any small cold is a nightmare, so this immediately went on my list.

Ergobaby 360 Carrier
Another splurge item that will be worth its’ weight in gold. This carrier allows you to carry your baby in all positions – back carry, front carry, hip carry, all facing in or out. We are an active couple that are out and about a lot, including hiking so I figure this carrier will get plenty of use. Again, pick a neutral color that your partner is comfortable wearing.

Joovy Playard
Baby needs a safe place to play and sleep either at home or on the go. Mommy needs an attractive pack and play that isn’t covered in obnoxious prints or animals. Enter Joovy Playard and we have a winner. Bonus points for having about double the space of a traditional pack and play.

Graco Glider Elite Baby Swing
I like space saving products. This swing is a glider and bouncer in one, plus its space saving design takes up 40% less space than other swings. Score!

Bumbo Multi Seat
The first time I saw a Bumbo seat, my reaction was a little less than positive – what a waste of money. Within a week of babysitting my nephew, I was begging my sister to buy him a Bumbo. He constantly wanted to be sitting up and playing or looking around at his surroundings and I just could not hold him in that position for 8 hours. Luckily, she caved and my babysitting world changed. I registered for a slightly different type of Bumbo – the multi seat – which has the floor seat nestled into a removable booster seat and comes with a play tray. Here we are again with multiple uses in one item: bumbo floor seat for babies who can’t quite sit up on their own yet, a booster seat for older children and a high chair for feedings. You know I love it!

NoseFrieda Aspirator
Ever try using a traditional nasal aspirator on a sick baby? Bet you it was the last time you ever tried. Traditional aspirators just do not do their job well. Baby is snotty and grumpy and will just continue to get grumpier the longer it takes you to clear their boogers. This aspirator has amazing reviews and I can’t wait to try it out! Ok, I can, because I don’t want a sick baby, but just in case. 🙂

Labor Gown
There are not enough words in the English language for me to describe my absolute hatred toward hospital gowns. They’re scratchy, thin and expose your entire backside for the whole hospital to see. No. Not even a no, thank you. Just. No. As mundane as it may sound, I am not going to sit around in an uncomfortable, totally exposing gown for the entire time I’m in the hospital all the while multiple nurses and family members are in and out constantly.

Swivel Glider Recliner
Babies mean long nights for awhile. Long nights mean being as comfortable as possible. People have offered to get me wooden rockers and gliders. As sweet as the thought is, I can already imagine the frustration we would have in the middle of the night. I spent a lot of time thinking about what we need in a chair for our nursery and the top things I came up with were: rocking or gliding motion, being able to recline and comfortable enough to sleep in if we had to. (Bonus points for being an attractive, high quality chair that will get us through all our babies. 🙂 ) After a lot of searching and showing my husband our options, we both agreed that this was the chair for us. It does everything we need it to and has great ratings.
**Note: We registered for this before there was a bunch of talk that ToysRUs would be closing, so we when we heard the news we ended up biting the bullet early and purchasing it before we lost it forever – literally a week after we purchased it online, ToysRUs shut down their websites. Purchasing early was definitely a good call on our part. Similar chairs: Delta Recliner, Pulaski Recliner, DaVinci Piper Recliner, Pulaski Sutton Recliner

Misc
Obviously, these couple things weren’t the only items I registered for. I’ll finish off by giving a run down of a couple more noteworthy items we registered for. One of my most favorite baby clothing items we asked for: a “Snuggle this Muggle” outfit. Two more practical “clothing” items: pacifier clips and drool bibs. For feedings: white divided plates (do you know how long it took me to find white?!) and a silicone roll up bib. Quite possibly one of my favorite things on the registry: nursery drawer dividers. I also registered for a good number of children’s books – we’re doing a book raffle at the shower, so I figured I’d give some ideas. 🙂

I know I’ve disappeared for awhile, but we just have so much going on now that we’re down to our last seven weeks baby free. We’ve been replacing light fixtures and cleaning out the office to turn it into an office/nursery combo, building nursery furniture (I’m even tackling refinishing a thrifted dresser for the baby!) – there’s just so much to do and not enough time to do it! 🙂

For now, posts will be sporadic, but as I’m sorting my life out as a new mom I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things when we finally settle into a routine. Keep checking back! 🙂

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Pregnancy

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks!

P3171298.jpgBow Back Dress / Leggings / Flats

It’s the final countdown! I am officially into my third trimester and who would have thought I’d hit that marker while halfway around the world in China! Can we talk about the fact that this baby has been to Ireland and China before it has even been born?! Can we also talk about the fact that Mommy managed to make it through all that travelling while pregnant? Because we all know I travel like a moist sandwich – not well at all. 🙂

baby size: a large cabbage
bump size: I have FINALLY gotten to the stage where strangers ask if I’m pregnant – quickly followed by “you’re so tiny for 6 months” :/

symptoms: small bladder issues, swelling
cravings: none

worst part so far: constant nightmares
best part so far: feeling baby kick, getting ready for the baby shower

After my super hungry, super exhausting first trimester, things were starting to look up at the beginning of my second trimester – my appetite slowed, my fatigue almost completely went away and I was exercising again. And then things sort of went downhill a bit. I have been sick on and off almost my entire second trimester. Not morning sickness sick, just good ol’ sick.

If you have never been sick while pregnant, let me just tell you… pregnancy sick = man cold. The smallest sniffle makes you feel like your head is about to explode and just getting off the couch to use the bathroom is like breaking every bone in your body. Oh and the best part? Wait. That’s not quite the best part yet. The second best part is that a little cold that would’ve taken you two or three days to get over before you got pregnant now takes one or two weeks to get over. The absolute best part is every time you cough or sneeze you pee a little. Awesome.

The next person to get me sick is dead. Honest.

Baby Size + Bump Size
The baby is now the size of a large head of cabbage and weighs about 3 pounds. We just had a growth ultrasound the Thursday before last – baby is perfectly normal and already head down. I am also proud to announce that our baby has hair! We were able to see it on the ultrasound and my husband is relieved that the baby “has my hair genes”. 🙂

A few weeks ago we went out to our favorite all you can eat sushi and hibachi place and after we got up to leave our waitress asked if I was pregnant and how many months along I was. Being me, I absolutely wanted to respond with a “no, this is just sushi” snip, but I refrained. All in all, she was obviously very excited for us. 🙂

One thing I quickly noticed being pregnant (especially as my due date grows nearer and my belly grows bigger), is that no matter how you look, how you or baby are doing or who you are, apparently you are NEVER the right size while pregnant. You’re either too big or too little for whatever stage pregnant you are. I have heard so many people comment over the years about “she can’t be seven months, she’s going to pop any moment” or “she’s already so big”, but in my case everyone is saying the exact opposite – “there’s no way you’re six months, you’re so little”.

First of all, I don’t feel little – I’m twentyish pounds heavier than I was, so I guess before getting pregnant I was miniscule – and secondly, maybe telling a first time mom that she’s “too little for her stage” is going to cause her some undue anxiety about if she really is too little and if her baby is ok. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who completely agrees and understands that I do not need to pack on 40 pounds to give birth to a perfectly healthy baby. And furthermore, none of my doctors (of which I think I  have seen six in total because the office feels the need for me to meet every single doctor they have in case my regular doctor is not the doctor on call the day I go into labor) has said a single word about my weight gain. If they’re not concerned, I’m not concerned and neither should anyone else. 🙂

Symptoms + Cravings
My bladder has apparently gotten to the size where it can only hold about a tablespoon. Every twenty minutes it’s, “oh my god, I have to go NOW” and I only go a little bit. Literally the most frustrating thing ever.

Swelling hasn’t been a huge deal yet. I do swell occasionally; even in my compression socks, my feet were so swollen after our flights to and from Beijing that I couldn’t get my shoes back on. Worse yet, when I got off the plane from Chicago to Baltimore my calves literally felt like they were going to rip through my skin and they were very noticeably large. Nothing some elevated foot time couldn’t fix.

Cravings haven’t been a big thing at all lately. I have had a couple spurts of my pregnancy hunger coming back but nothing like the first couple weeks I was pregnant.

Worst + Best Parts
Although it has subsided a bit now, for a good two months or so I was having nightmares every single night. You know, the kind where you wake up and you’re covered in cold sweat and really don’t want to go back to sleep in case you slip right back in to the same nightmare. Yeah. Daily. No bueno.

The best part is still feeling the baby kick. It’s actually the point where I can feel the baby doing rolls in my tummy and it tickles, making me jump every now and then. 🙂 The second best part, is that invitations have gone out for my baby shower and that means we are getting close! Plans for the baby shower are well under way and I swear I feel like an eight year old waiting for Christmas morning – I’m stalking my registry to see what’s been bought and I can barely contain myself. Less than three weeks until I’m in baby bliss, hanging out with my family and friends, opening cute little baby gifts and chowing down on some well deserved Costco cake. 🙂

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download LEGGINGS BLACK FLATS

Fashion & Beauty

Maternity Memorial Outfit

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABodycon Dress (wearing XS/S) / Derby Hat / Pearl Studs similar here / Heels similar here

This past Saturday was my grandmother’s memorial service. Her passing still doesn’t seem like reality to me; I keep wanting to pick up the phone and dial her number and it always takes me a minute or two to remember that she’s not there to pick up.

My outfit was well received – I was constantly being that so and so loved my hat and where did I get it and that I looked so good for being six months pregnant. The dress itself has been worn to so many functions since I bought it. For reference, I’m wearing an XS/S – the same size I was wearing before becoming pregnant – so I highly recommend it for your next staple piece.

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toms ware 3 HEELS PEARLS black derby hat

 

 

Travel

We’re Back From…

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I haven’t taken the photos from the trip off my camera and this was the best phone photo. :/

…China!

This isn’t going to be a detailed post as my brain is super foggy from 46 hours travel time and jet lag – I’ll go into more detail about why it took us so long to get back in my upcoming China travel post – but I figured an update is in order.

China itself was a mix of huge ups and really low downs and while I can’t say that I love China or that I’d ever really want to go back, I am glad that we went and got to experience most things we did. We saw the Summer Palace, ate some amazing food (and some not so amazing food 😦 ) and, by some miracle, were able to hike a portion of the Great Wall with me being six months pregnant. I’m sure our mothers’ will scold the hell out of me when they find out and see pictures of the death stairs I had to climb crawl up. And I literally mean crawl.

To round off the post, I’d like to mention that we split our time in China between Beijing and Qingdao and I’ll be doing a full write up of our trip details some time in the coming week or so if you’re interested. Another huge detail about our trip is that while we were there I officially entered my third trimester, so be on the lookout for a pregnancy update post in the next few days! 🙂

All in all, my husband and I are happy to be home with some more travel experience and some really cool souvenirs.

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Fashion & Beauty

Maternity Travel Outfit

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASweatpants (wearing size S) / Tee Shirt / Cardigan similar here / Shoes

We are going on an adventure! Where to? Stop by in a week or so and find out! 🙂

Although I won’t reveal our destination quite yet, I will reveal that we’re getting on another overnight plane ride. The first time I had an overnight flight, we were headed to Ireland about four months ago. Although I was pregnant at the time, I was not 6 months pregnant!

For this trip I opted to go with loose sweats instead of my typical leggings. Why? Because I’m 6 months pregnant, swollen and this is a longer flight. As always, I’m wearing my super hot compression socks underneath all this and am bringing my favorite cardigan to keep me warm.

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hanes sweats  BLACK TEE gray cardigan chunky bobs

Fashion & Beauty

Thrift Haul

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Todays’ thrift haul is a bit different than usual. It’s all baby clothes! 🙂

As I have stated before, I am a very picky person and things are no different when it comes to baby things. I prefer simple to over the top and I have a really hard time justifying $8 for a brand new three piece outfit that my baby may get one or two wears out of before they outgrow it.

I have been a very busy bee stalking the area thrift stores for baby clothes and toys for a fraction of the cost of regular retail. I know prices vary from area to area, but where I live baby clothes are $0.50 a piece. Not just onesies and hats. Jumpers, overalls and coats are $0.50 too!

This haul is what I picked up in one week and only spent $19! I have been picking up boys, girls and gender neutral clothes since we won’t know what we’re having until D-Day.

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Fashion & Beauty

26 Facts For My 26th Birthday!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGray Sweater similar here / Levi’s 535 Super Skinny Jeans in Mid Roast / Earrings

Today is my 26th birthday! It’s hard to believe that 26 years ago my mom was just welcoming me into the world as her first child – about the same age as I will be when I deliver my first in May.

In honor of my birthday, I decided to do a little list of 26 random facts all about me. It’s my birthday and that’s ok. Right? 🙂

1. I share my birthday with my great, great grandfather who was born February 17th in 1887.

2. I won the departmental award for Creative Writing in my senior year of high school.

3. I want a grand total of six kids.

4. I have an anatomical variation – air pockets in my nasal membranes.

5. I prefer red grapes to white grapes, white grape juice to red and hate everything grape flavored.

6. I collect sand from every beach I go to.

7. The Wheel of Time is my favorite book series of all time.

8. I jump at every opportunity to plan and host parties; it’s just something I happen to be insanely good at. 🙂

9. I have a (my husband would say creepy) knack for being able to remember and recite entire portions of Disney movies.

10. Until I met my husband I had never eaten at Taco Bell.

11. I get insanely car sick but never have a problem on roller coasters.

12. My favorite red wine is Roscato Rosso Dolce (you can buy it at Walmart for about $10) and my favorite white is Moscato d’Asti (any brand will do!).

13. My dad has given me multiple nicknames over the years which include: Half pint, Stinker, Tadpole and the current name, Leapchion. On the other hand, my sisters’ nickname has and will always be Booger.

14. I still cannot sleep in the dark without my husband – I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m afraid of what I can’t see in the dark.

15. Almost my entire basement is my couponing stockpile.

16. The Outer Banks is one of my most favorite places of all time, anywhere.

17. I am afraid of ladybugs being on me.

18. I was so quiet in school, my 4th grade teacher nicknamed me “Loud Mouth Laura”. In 8th grade, a teacher nicknamed me “Smiley” because I was so shy and never did; he still calls me that to this day and even nicknamed my little sister “Smiley Jr”.

19. I have never gotten pulled over or received a ticket.

20. I have only ever had two jobs; a cashier at Burger King while in high school and working at a local jewelry store buying and selling gold and silver right out of high school.

21. Jedi Mind Trick is my favorite at home cocktail – I make mine with milk instead of half and half.

22. I spend at least an hour (probably more) every day browsing recipe blogs and looking at houses on Zillow. (Literally born to be a stay at home mom. 🙂 )

23. I HATE the taste of water, so I typically drink Crystal Light instead.

24. I have had 13 teeth removed – most were adult teeth, a few were baby teeth and 4 were wisdom teeth.

25. I LOVE to do genealogy research. Something about the smell of old books and weeding through papers just makes me giddy – maybe I should’ve been a librarian.

26. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, mouth open and everything. 🙂

So there you have it! I’ve got a busy birthday planned – FREE breakfast at Denny’s, lunch (and cracklin’s) at Grannys’ and pizza and Costco cake with my immediate family for dinner. Can we just talk about the food I get to eat today?! 🙂

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gray sweater MID ROAST stick earrings

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