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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Pregnancy

Pregnancy Update: 21 weeks!

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T Shirt Dress similar here / Vera Wang Leggings / Knot Necklace

Yes, I know. I’ve been AFK AGAIN. Truth be told, it has been so insanely cold I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything besides have to do errands. What does that mean in my terms? No makeup and sweats every day. Between being pregnant and the super low temperatures, I have had no desire whatsoever to do any sort of outfit post. Luckily it’s warmer here and I’ll try to get my butt back in gear. Santa brought me a new (excellent used condition) lens for my camera, so I’m super excited to try it out! 🙂

On another note, I am officially (a little more than) half way through my pregnancy! You cannot imagine how good it feels to say that. 🙂 I’ll bounce off a few quick tidbits first and finish off with a more lengthy “story” for those of you who want to read it.

baby size: a carrot
bump size: obviously pregnant, still smallish

symptoms: swelling, acne
cravings: sushi

worst part so far: uncontrollable gas
best part so far: feeling baby kick

Baby Size + Bump Size
Our baby is about the size of a large carrot and weighs about 14 ounces. Oddly, for being half way through, I don’t feel like I look “half way pregnant”. People around me constantly say things like “she’s expecting? she’s so tiny” and “your bump is so cute and little”. Trust me, I do not feel tiny and although my bump is “cute and little”, it’s already gotten to the point where I can’t bend over fully and I can literally feel the boundaries of my uterus through my abdomen. (TMI? I’m pregnant – it’s all TMI. 🙂 )

Symptoms + Cravings
I thought my worst symptom would be hunger. I was wrong. Then I thought the worst symptom would be exhaustion. Wrong again. Acne has been the (almost!) worst part of the process. I have NEVER had acne like this. My face has been consistently getting huge, swollen pimples no matter what I do and I told my husband that I feel worse now about myself than I did when I was almost 150 pounds. Mostly because of the acne. I can’t hide it and it’s right there where everyone is looking. I’m so embarrassed every time we go out because I’m supposed to have this beautiful pregnancy glow and I just look like I’ve been bitten by those spiders on Jumanji.

Honestly, pregnancy is not all cravings. People make it seem like that, but it’s really not. The first thing I started craving was peanut butter and chocolate. Yes, I did tear the entire house apart looking for those peanut butter balls we bought at a craft show, but it subsided and I haven’t gotten like that since. The second thing I craved was cheese and sopressata. I have now moved onto potatoes (all kinds – hashbrowns, fries, scalloped, baked), buffalo wings and the biggest one of all: SUSHI. Oh my goodness, the sushi. We have an all you can eat sushi/hibachi place where we live where you can order from the menu as many times as you want and they make it fresh. It’s incredible and we have literally been eating there every week for the past month and a half. No, I don’t eat the raw stuff – I actually don’t even care for raw sushi rolls even when I’m not pregnant – but I do still get the rolls with caviar on them.

Worst + Best
As much as I’d like to say that acne  has been the worst, at least I can semi hide it and medicate it. Gas is another story. I have never had so much gas in my life – I literally have to stop eating because of gas before I ever get painfully full. Oddly, it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I stop eating, so I won’t gain so much weight as fast, and a curse because it’s horribly uncomfortable and terribly uncontrollable. Luckily we have a couple pregnant women between both of our families so everyone pretty much understands.

The baby has been squirming and kicking me constantly (my husband just felt the baby kick for the first time on the 12th!). At our big ultrasound this week, the tech and the doctor were both constantly commenting on how much the baby was moving – the tech even went so far as to say we’d have a soccer player. Music to my husbands’ ears. 🙂 The second best part is that I’m halfway through and that is just unreal to me! In another 19 weeks or slightly less, we’ll be meeting our very first baby! There are really just no words beyond that – I legitimately can’t even comprehend it. Come on, May!

Surprise!
People are still asking us if we’re finding out the gender. No. Are we waiting until closer to our due date to find out? Are we having a gender reveal baby shower? Are we keeping the gender a secret from everyone but we know? No, no and no. We simply want a big surprise when our baby finally arrives. Some people think that’s stupid – how will we know what color gear and clothes to buy?. It’s called gender neutral, folks and that’s what we want. However, to our surprise, just as many people are super thrilled that we’re not finding out until D-Day.

There’s more to it than just wanting a surprise. I’m 25 years old, I have been to my fair share of baby showers. Every woman knew what she was having and told all the guests; all of them ended up with a ton of baby clothes and practically nothing else. The other items they did end up with were all either boy colors or girl colors.

Here’s my thought process. If nobody knows the gender, they can’t buy gender specific items which means the gender neutral items will last me (in theory) through all my babies, girls or boys. If nobody knows the gender, the temptation to buy all those super cute outfits will be quickly thwarted by the fact that although there ARE gender neutral clothes, there just aren’t a whole bunch of them. As a rule of thumb, I don’t buy baby clothes for a baby shower unless the honorary guest is my sister – but then only as a supplement to other requested items that are NOT clothes. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard a sigh of relief when new moms to be open gifts that are not baby clothes.

The whole pregnancy process has been a huge roller coaster for us and we are eagerly awaiting our due date one week at a time. We cannot wait to meet our little boy or girl!

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