Monday, June 23, 2008

Well rounded

...and I'm not talking about the Beetle!

Me at 34 weeks

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nostalgic for what you've got

It's a weird feeling, but one that I've had pretty much since I was shocked and overwhelmed and thrilled when I saw that second little line on the pregnancy test stick: total elation mixed with a feeling like the time was going by too fast.

The baby went from being a wish to a little line on a test I could see to someone I could talk to and feel, and then communicate with. It's a crazy, incredible concept, and I feel like my brain never quite got caught up to how fast the baby was growing and becoming its own new person.

It takes almost 10 months, which, in the beginning I figured would give me plenty of time to relish being pregnant, but now that I am only a mere 42 days from the estimated "due" date, I'll say what I've been saying since the first week I knew: I can't believe it's going by so fast!

It makes me nostalgic for being pregnant...when I still am! I don't know if that's nutty or just appreciative, but whatever it is, I'm glad the baby, and me and Brad, are enjoying the ride together.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fat quarters of fun

I don't think I got the sewing gene from my mom and grandma. My last project is a half-completed, almost-cute cover for Sparky's cage, which I abandoned about two years ago (I also had plans for embroidery of Sparky's name on the front, after I finished the sewing). Then we got Nina, and I realized I was never going to make TWO cage covers, so forget it!

But I still like looking at fabric, and my mom's making me a baby quilt, so it's working out well for me. (OK, I guess she's technically making the baby a quilt, but I get to pick the fabric!)

Etsy has so many cool fabrics available from its sellers, and the best part is that my mom has instructed me to get "fat quarters" (quarter-yards of fabric--I'm learning already), and I really just like saying "fat quarters." There's something supremely satisfying about getting "fat quarters of fabric."

Here's some of what we're going to use so far. It's going to be a fun modern-patchwork quilt!

"Apples and Pears" by Alexander Henry, from seller SewGoodFabrics

"Geometric" by Free Spirit and Prints Charming (haha!), from seller PlumTickledFabrics

"Hot Couturier" by Robert Kaufman, from seller PlumTickledFabrics

And this is fabric for a pillow to go on the NurseryWorks yellow rocker:

"The Drawing Room" by Anna Maria Horner, from seller PlumTickledFabrics

Baby owner's manual

Not post-related: I have been sick with a nasty cold for the past few days. Let me just say, being pregnant with a cold is even less fun than usual. But I think the worst is over (I don't have a fever anymore, and I can sit up for more than a few minutes without getting pooped!). I think the baby must be feeling a little better, too, since it's been going nuts moving around last night and this morning!

Anyway, unfortunately I wasn't feeling well for Brad's first "Father-to-Be" Day. Brad had said he didn't want/need any presents, so that left me no choice but to get him stuff that I like, such as the Baby Owner's Manual!

It's pretty funny, and proves that clearly, many people are strangely drawn to comparing their babies with their vehicles. The only problem with it is that it is styled so much like an owner's manual that my eyes start to glaze over automatically when I first open it up. But it's also a lot cuter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prius and presents!

My cousin and two oldest friends (oldest meaning length of time they've known me, not that I'm saying they're old...oh, you know what I mean) threw me an awesome baby shower recently at my mom and dad's house. I loved getting to visit with people I haven't seen in a while (and with those I get to see every day, too), and having them all in one place was a very fun, unique experience. It was kind of like the wedding, only with more comfortable clothes.

And, a benefit to seeing everybody...presents!

Fortunately, a lot of people came to celebrate and filled the house. The living room was also full of gifts, all so cute and beautifully wrapped. (I have to say, I think baby stuff tops wedding decorations in downright cuteness.) I hope everyone wasn't totally bored with the extensive unwrapping involved, but it was exciting for me!

The exciting part for my dad came when it was time to pack the new presents into the Prius. There were skeptics, but I had faith that the Beetle's magical storage powers would transfer to the Prius. (Since I had just paid $55 to fill up the Beetle the day before, I was in an extra gas-saving mood, and thus, drove the Prius to my mom's house.)

I was right!

Everything but the awesome (but cumbersome) high chair fit into the Prius. No U-Haul (or SUV) required! OK, so I couldn't really see out of my back window on the way home, but all the more reason to stay in the slow lane (and save some more gas by going slower, too!).

Thanks for filling my heart with love, and the Prius with presents, everyone. You made it a great day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Driving, allergies, and the teacups

I've been pretty lucky. While Brad has always suffered from seasonal allergies, I have managed to skate around them. Last year, my eyes were a little itchy, and I took some drops for a few days. This year, though, I thought I'd get away completely free and clear. But, I've been having this on-and-off vertigo/spinning feeling for the past couple of weeks, and today my doctor thinks that it's because of fluid in my ears caused by allergies!

I would never have guessed. I'm not sneezing or having watery eyes or a runny nose, or any of that other unpleasant stuff I see Brad going through. Apparently, my body reacts to allergens like I'm always on the teacups at Disneyland. (And it's not that fun anymore.)

I could probably even deal with it for the most part, except the small matter of driving myself places. Like work. If I could teleport to work, I probably wouldn't think of taking the prescriptions. But, my sick days are already dwindling, and I think spring is going to outlast them. (Which is good--I love spring. But probably not good, allergy-wise.)

The problem with the prescriptions I got is that they're "class C" pregnancy drugs--which means that they've had bad reactions in the animal research studies, but since pregnant women don't get experimented on, nobody really knows how they affect fetuses. They could be totally fine, or they could not be fine.

I asked my doctor if I could try Claritin first, which is a "class B" drug, meaning it doesn't seem to cause birth defects. He said sure. I'm also going to my first acupuncture appointment next week since becoming pregnant, so I hope that might have a good effect, too. It would be great if I could try acupuncture before Claritin, but then again, I do need to drive myself over to acupuncture in the first place. And to work in the week in between now and my appointment.

I wouldn't have guessed that needing to drive would create such a drug dilemma for me! But it's yet another fascinating example of how closely I depend on my Beetle (and how disturbing it is not to be able to drive myself around)...and how unsettling it is to not know what the "right thing" is when matters of the baby are involved.

Wish me luck! I'm definitely ready to get off the teacups.

If you're interested in allergies and pregnancy, or medications in pregnancy in general: Dr. Spock's website has some good articles here and here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baby's room: we hit a roadblock

We were all set: Brad had on an old T-shirt and shorts, he'd taped around the baby's room, and covered up the carpet with a tarp. I circled around for the momentous uncracking of the paint lid to see the color we'd picked out for the baby's room. And it looked just like I wanted! And it was eco-friendly, too! (Even though I was going to leave the painting to Brad, when we've painted rooms in the past, traditional paint has made me dizzy and wheezy, so we stopped using it and have used the Sherwin-Williams' Harmony paint, to pleasant results, ever since.)

He started painting the baby's room, and I was delighted. I admired our lovely paint can, and looked at label again before leaving Brad to do the hard work. And then I realized that their "GreenSure" logo was not actually the "Green Seal" logo I had thought it was. And then my morning got a lot more frustrating.

After some googling, I discovered that Sherwin-Williams created its own in-house certification for their GreenSure designation, which they claim meets or exceeds the Green Seal standards for low and no-VOC paint (Harmony says it's a no-VOC paint).

The Green Seal website doesn't list Sherwin-Williams' paint. So how can the paint have met the standards, but not get listed?

Now I'm on a mission to find out what is going on with these "green" certifications before "we" can continue painting. Nuts. Looks like our Sunday is taking a detour.

Afternoon update:
OK, so after some MORE googling, I found this article about eco-friendly paints from Martha Stewart. (Yes, I am putting my trust in Martha Stewart.) About the Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint, it says:

This zero-VOC formula earns Sherwin-Williams' in-house GreenSure seal, which designates paints that meet or exceed Green Seal standards. (They forgo third-party certification.)

The article also says:

Some companies skip certification to save money, so you can also look for VOC levels directly on the can.

And that can says it's got ZERO VOCs on it, so it better be right! (Of course, that's not included any that get added with pigment, but that's true with all paints.)

So, apparently the Harmony paint really doesn't have VOCs in it, which is really what I wanted to know. And apparently they have decided, for whatever reason, to not get the Green Seal certification, maybe to save some money, as the article suggests. I gave Brad the go-ahead to get on with the painting today, so it is commencing now.

I hope it's the right choice. It drives me nuts that I try to make good decisions, and then sometimes it's not even clear what IS a good decision!

And it seems that this is even tougher when it's anything to do with baby-related decisions. If we were just painting our bathroom or something, I wouldn't have really cared about what seal was on the paint can, as long as it said it didn't have the VOCs in it and I've had a good experience with it before. But add in the baby factor, and all of a sudden, I'm freaking out.

I want to make the best choices, especially when it comes to environmental and health matters, but sometimes it is so confusing to know what those are.

So, I am hoping we're doing the right thing. I have a feeling this paint issue is probably just the beginning of a lot of similar dilemmas, which hopefully I will be able to resolve without so much freaking out. And googling.

For future painting projects, though, Ideal Bite has a list of paints that are all Green Seal certified, so there should be no question of what's in them (and hopefully less Internet searching involved!).