Tuesday, January 19, 2010

3/4 done

This baby has been baking for 31 weeks. My doctor told me I am 3/4 of the way done, but she doesn't remember that premies run in my family. *fingers crossed* She also told me that I am "all baby" and that made be very happy this morning.

This picture was taken mere hours after a complete stranger yelled out "I LOVE YOUR BELLY!" Really, like you want to marry it?? Well, this one is for you belly-lover.

This is also a sneak peak of the newly painted baby room. Once we get some furniture in there, we will give you the full tour. But, kudos to Adam and his weekend warrior ways to get this room looking amazing for his son-in-the-oven.

Friday, January 15, 2010

what just happened here?

My Friday was going splendidly. I was getting a ton of stuff done and feeling pretty good about it...
-I went to the library and got a library card. I checked out two books. One about child bearing and a biography. To remind me that I am more than just a baby carrier.
-I went to the Dollar Store and got a great deal on plastic storage containers for my new cooking venture. I cook and deliver dinner to a family two nights a week. Just finished my first week.
-I finished writing all of the thank you cards from my amazing baby shower last weekend. 37 in less than a week, thank you very much!
-I folded and put away a load of laundry.
-I walked the dog for 25 minutes around the neighborhood. Makes him feel loved and me feel like I am not putting on a million pounds with this baby!
-I put 14 pounds of pork roast into two crock pots for our "Once a Month Cooking" excitement tomorrow morning. We make 16 meals and freeze them to be used at our leisure. I know, how very domestic goddess of us!

However, it is this pork that gave my day a little more excitement than I was expecting. I took the lids off, just to check the pork, and thought "I should flip that roast over so all of the saucy goodness can soak into the top side". Makes sense, right? So, the first one flipped like a charm. The second one did not flip but rather belly flopped back into the hot, juicy goodness sending it like a geyser all over the counter and down my front. And to make matters worse, it was so hot that as it soaked into my sock, it burned my toes. That's right... the pork juice burned my toes! I am now sitting here in pajamas (because my one pair of prego jeans went straight into the washing machine) with a burnt foot telling all of you about my horrible crock pot experience.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BabiesRUs-2; DeClercqs-0

Registering at BabiesRUs is not as much fun as registering at Crate and Barrel. End of discussion. Adam and I were beaten down, not once, but twice by the baby superstore.

We entered the store with a friend's "must have" list and high hopes. We left overwhelmed, discouraged and hungry. We did not stray far from the list, but alas, it was still an entirely overwhelming process.

When you register for your wedding, you think, "We need plates, we like these plates, let's get 10." You scan, and voila, you are registered for tableware. You would think that the process would be similar, if not identical for baby items. It is NOT!

You know you need bottles. But what size? 4 oz or 9 oz? How big is a baby's tummy anyway? Glass or plastic? BPA free? What the heck is BPA anyway? And is it really that toxic? I was probably subjected to BPA'd bottles and I turned out ok. Which colic-reducing brand really delivers? This one is doctor recommended... wait, they all are. This one is ergonomically correct. For me or the baby? Do I need to worry about my three-week old developing carpal tunnel? And how many bottles do I need? How often is this child even going to eat? Probably more than three times a day...but how many more? Is it really dishwasher safe or do I need a special dishwasher basket? You get the picture. And this is just for a bottle. Something you KNOW you NEED.

You still have to tackle the following:
pacifiers... approved by the American Orthodontic Association. Seriously, they review binkies?
burp cloths... didn't my mom just use cloth diapers??
monitors... many bordering on stalkerville... hello, motion sensor video camera and multiple channels
diapers... cloth? disposable? chlorine free? do you really want to fry your child's unmentionables with chemicals on their first day out of the womb?
baby bath... or spa with a detachable shower head and jets. honestly, my tub doesn't even have that, does my infant really need that?
breast pump... one pump or two at a time. MOO!
and the ever dreaded stroller/car seat combo.

It was the stroller that did us in on our second trip. After our first experience in the store left us feeling qualified to care only for a bag of rice, we went home to refuel, regroup, and do some serious online research. Because honestly, the level of UNPREPARED that should have been stamped across my pregnant belly was enough to drive us both to tears. We returned with a list of products to test in store, user reviews, and a snack.

We went straight for the strollers and started to comparison shop like the savvy parents we are. This stroller is lightweight but who are they kidding with this car seat. It is easily 5 pounds heavier than that one. This one is huge even after we collapse it. This one has cheap looking wheels that promise to collapse in the parking lot, 6 blocks from the car as it starts to rain.

We narrowed it down to our top 3. And then we kicked our testing into high gear. How well do they turn in a tight aisle (think, Nordstrom Rack on a Saturday)? Could I carry this carseat across the parking lot to church with a 15 pound wiggly child in it? (If we were uber-savvy, we would have brought a sack of flour to test that one) How well does it collapse? Can I really set it back up with one hand?

So, we put the car seats in and took them out of the strollers. Collapsed and set up the strollers again and again. Adam did it. I did it. Until one stroller fought back and refused.to.unfold. we assumed we were getting sloppy in our confidence. So, we re-read the instructions on the button: push small button to the right and squeeze large button. Well, we were doing that and it was not popping into place. So, then we assumed the fault laid with the stroller. It did have wheels that seems precariously wedged together when collapsed. I bet this this is stuck. So, we pulled. Adam held the button and I lowered my pregnant body into a squat and pulled. I held the button and Adam pulled. It didn't matter, that stroller was stuck! Out of fear that we would break and then be required to buy this sorry excuse for a stroller, we sought help. It came in the form of a 20-something year old guy who nearly immediately pointed out that the "safety lever" that is intended to keep your stroller from unintentionally unfolding was locked into place. "See, if you simply flip this lever, hold this button, and pull, the stroller will pop right back up." I pointed out that in the hour we had been testing strollers, and the countless set-ups and tear-downs of this particular stroller, the safety lever had NEVER before locked... so, don't look so smug assuming we are idiots not fit to use a stroller or care for a helpless human being, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! Ok, I didn't really say that. I stopped my rant before the defensiveness really oozed. But, how I wanted to justify our mistake!

Needless to say, we did not register for that stroller. Although, if you intend to throw your stroller in the trunk and then go off-roading, I assure you that this stroller, once the locking lever is in place, will not, I repeat, WILL NOT come unfolded.

Sweaty and little irritable, although confident in our decision not to register for the crazy-making stroller, but rather for a sweat and profanity-free stroller, we moved one aisle over to the pack 'n plays. For those of you who have not done your baby research, a pack 'n play enables a parent to have a packable and therefore supposedly convenient play pen while on the go. It is like a pop tent for your infant.

We perused the aisle and quickly narrowed down our choices to 2. The only two that were priced at under $100 and surprisingly, we also the ones that did not vibrate, have detachable rain covers, or emit nature noises (I jest not!). Really, we are just looking for a container for the child.

So, in our savvy parent way, we set the floor model in the middle of the aisle and proceeded to pack it. It was almost too easy. We really are savvy. We smiled knowingly at each other and snapped the sides back into place. Except there was no snap. Just a collapsing pack 'n play.

We tried the swift wrist flip motion you would expect to work like a charm. We tried the slow and focused pull. The angry why-the-heck-won't-this-thing-stand-up-on-its-own shake. Flipped it upside down, on its side. More shaking. The stares of other, more perfect parents boring a hole through our confidence, causing it to drip down our necks like sweat. Wait, we were actually sweating. As much from exertion as embarrassment. Our intelligence was being called into question. With three college degrees between us, this ought to be a cinch. We can assemble IKEA furniture with nary a glance at the instructions.

We caved. We left the crumbling play pen in the aisle and sought reinforcements. A 17-year old kid came to our rescue. No, there was not safety lever. But thanks for asking. Just a counter-intuitive order of assembly. Snap sides into place, then press floor down into standing position. The words "how easy is that!" may have escaped his arrogant, all-pack-n-play-knowing lips before he looked into our harried, sweaty faces.

We thanked him for his help, tried it once on our own, just to prove that we weren't wholly incapable adults, and then retreated to the toy section to zap wooden blocks and Legos. Something that our sure-to-be-genius son (hello, just look at his parents!) will assemble on his own.