Wednesday, August 29, 2012

life on leave

Ah I know, I have been slacking a little on the blog posts. It is really hard to sit down and write something when I have nothing to do all day long. haha. 

But seriously, what have I been doing to pass the time while we wait for baby girl to arrive? Lots of things....the gym, appointments, errands, and misc tasks around the house. I've managed to do a little spring cleaning, donated some of my old clothes and books. Feels good to de-clutter a bit. And since I only work on a little bit each day it isn't overwhelming or stressful, just something to keep me busy. 

A typical day at Casa de Clute.....Harley and I usually get up around 730am, hang out on the couch for a bit and have a small snack. Then I hit up the gym for an hour. After a shower and getting ready (yes I try to put on makeup and do my hair if I can!) we start in on whatever is on the schedule for the day. And by "we" I mean me, but Harley supervises. I know he must love having me home all the time. I don't think he has been put outside in his dog house at all, but it also means he can't get his beauty rest. He follows me around the house and monitors what I'm doing, so he just can't seem to relax and catch some zzz's. Poor guy. :)

I did manage to take him to the beach over the weekend. We went early so we could avoid the crowds and Harley had a great time. It was a good day at the beach, he found a lot of dogs to play with and chase which meant he was exhausted by the time we got home. And at 10am it was pretty warm out so he was really enjoying playing in the water....

relaxing in the shallow water
having a blast swimming in the ocean!
And when we got home we found a package for us on the front steps from Miss Samyjo! And in it was baby's first Charger outfit!! I was hoping to get something Charger for baby girl since she will be born at the start of football season, and I am so happy that outfit is from Sam and Ash! :) And per tradition, I had to try the bow on Harley first......

He was not very happy with me, but did allow me to get one good picture of him. What a good sport. It helped that they also sent a bag of treats for him so he wouldn't feel left out. He LOVES them! 

Isn't that just the cutest bow ever??! And the onesie with the little Charger skirt, adorable! I can't wait to dress her up for her first football game! Thank you Sam and Ash!! :) 

And even though Matt had to work over the weekend I did manage to get him to take an official bump photo of me. They come out so much better when he takes them, he is a pro!

39 more week left....probably a little more though. I haven't had any "signs" that labor might be starting soon. While that is ok right now, I am a little anxious to get this going! In another week or so we might start trying all sorts of tricks to kick start this process. I don't want to force her out if she isn't ready, but a little nudge in the downward direction might be needed. Come out baby, we want to meet you!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

the bag is packed!

Phew! It only took two days off work and a few Braxton Hicks contractions to finally get me to pack the bag. It really wasn't so bad, sorta fun actually, not sure why I was avoiding it like the plague. I actually ended up packing two bags, one for me and the baby, and one for Matt and all the gear and snacks.

There are only a few last minute items that aren't in the bags yet, but I have written them on a list so we won't forget them (hopefully!). Here is what we are taking with us when we head to the birthing center.....

For Baby:

  • 2 receiving blankets
  • One newborn onesie, one 3 month onesie
  • PJ set
  • Socks, mittens, and cute hair bows!
  • 4 diapers
  • Wipes & blanket (in the car, just in case)
For Mom:
  • Battle gown
  • 2 nursing bras - one for the tub, one for after 
  • Extra undies and socks
  • Sweatpants & nursing tank for after
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries - hair ties, hairbrush, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash
For Dad:
  • Swim trunks for the tub
  • Comfy change of clothes
  • Slippers
  • iPad/iPod/Magazines
For Labor:
  • Music (on iPod)
  • Candles (special ones my Mom got us)
  • Tennis Balls (help with back labor)
  • Water/Juice/Snacks/Hard Candy/Honey - to keep up my energy
  • Camera and Camcorder (as well as the chargers!)
Bag for Mommy and Baby! 

Both bags packed and ready to go!

I used the Birthing Center's list, added some items our birthing class recommended (honey & tennis balls!), and reviewed the lists I've seen online to create my packing list above. Depending on where you plan to give birth and what supplies they have available, your list will vary slightly. I do recommend packing before the 38 week mark, just in case, but thankfully that wasn't an issue for us! :) I do feel a huge sense of relief knowing we are "ready to go" and it makes it even more real when I see the bags every day. A little reminder that she will be here any moment!   

After baby girl arrives and we are settled in at home, I will have to tell you which items were "must haves" during labor and after. Until then.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

date night, doggie playdate, and a bump photo!

I figured by 38 weeks I would be laying around in bed, not wanting to do anything, and trying every trick to get the baby out immediately. Surprisingly, that is not the case. Maybe it's me, maybe I got lucky, but somehow I rallied and we did a lot of fun stuff this last weekend. Two weeks before my due date. 

First up was a Charger preseason game! Between the baby and Matt's work schedule I figured this would probably be the only game we would be able to go to this season, so we got tickets. We got some pretty good seats, close to the trolley, which meant less walking for me. And since the game was at 6pm, the weather wasn't too awful. I do wish I had just caved and bought some maternity shorts, but the cheapskate in me said no, so I wore pants. I was a little uncomfortable but I survived. And the Chargers managed to beat the Cowboys! Honestly it was looking really bad for the first half of the game, but the backup players pulled it together and managed to kick some butt at the end. The game wasn't as crazy intense since it was preseason, but still a lot of fun. And a really good date night with the hubby. I even enjoyed a nice churro during the game....yum!

Not my best photo (IMO) but it's the only we have of us together :)
view from our seats

my left cankle (yes the right one was fine). Too much walking and heat!
Sunday our little family took a field trip up north to visit the Burgess clan. Jessica and Joe recently moved to a new apartment and added a new furry family member, Pickle. She is part wiener dog and part hyper, and 100% cuteness!!
isn't she just adorable?

So we not only needed to check out their new place, but we had to get the pups together for a play date. And the fur kids got along great! They played and slept and ate ice cubes (it was hot) and had a great time! Poor Harley did get a little overheated and had to sit in front of the fan to cool off...

But look at this happy face:
He slept the entire ride home.
We also took a dip in their pool and went out to lunch so we could all catch up. We usually get together and do something once a month and we were a little over due for our meet up. And to think the next time we all hang out baby girl will be here! I think they need to work on a mini Burgess so baby has a play mate too :).

And finally, here is a 38 week bump photo, taken on my last day of work. I actually wrote the chalkboard backwards so it could be read in the mirror, go me! :)

And here is a regular one, using the camera timer. 

Any day now....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

why we chose cloth

A few months after we found out we were pregnant, I went baby gear shopping with a friend. She pointed out a lot of the "must haves" and "wastes of time" in the jungle that is baby supplies. During that trip I also got to see cloth diapers for the first time. I was imaging the old school, folded towel style secured with safety pins. Let me tell you, cloth diapers have come a long way. There are a variety of styles, a million different colors, and they are so much easier to use than they used to be. Depending on the style, they come with snaps or velcro and are so cute!

A pocket diaper...opened before inserting the pad and closed up. So cute!

After the shopping trip, scouring the internet for information, and talking to friends who have used both cloth and disposable, I was definitely open to the idea. I was going to leave the decision up to Matt since cloth will require a lot more work, especially as baby gets older and starts eating solids. In the beginning you can basically just toss the dirty diaper straight into the wash and it will get clean, but when they start eating solids it requires a rinse off before entering the wash. I know that I would end up doing that most of the time, but if Matt was going to refuse pre-cleaning them, maybe disposables were better for us.

Surprisingly, Matt was all for the cloth diapers! He wanted to save the money and the environment. A baby will use about 7,000 disposable diapers in their lifetime, and if we have two kids, that's 14,000 diapers. That is roughly $5k. Not to mention all those diapers end up in a landfill and take 200+ years to decompose. Ouch. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, Cost $500-$1000, all depending on what type of cloth diaper you choose and how many you buy. I plan on doing laundry a few times a week, so I am starting out with a smaller supply (I really don't mind laundry). And the cost of doing a few extra loads a week is not a big deal to us.

A few other reasons we chose cloth diapers: babies in cloth diapers are less likely to get diaper rash (this was one reason a friend of mine switched to cloth), and many people say that babies in cloth diapers are easier to potty train.

So, what kinds of cloth diapers are out there and which ones did we choose?

Well, there are a few options:

1. All-in-One (AIO) diapers: basically the easiest and most like disposable. No assembly required! Just put it on and go!

2. Fitted/Contoured: They are fitted with snaps or velcro and require a diaper cover.

3. Pre-fold & Flat diapers: these are the old fashioned ones that need to be fastened with safety pins (or something similar) and used with a diaper cover.

4. Pocket diapers: These have a waterproof outer layer that is sew to a softer fabric to create a thin diaper. It has a pocket where you slide in an absorbent insert.

After talking to friends and seeing the different types in person, we went with the pocket diapers and AIO's. My plan is to try a few different types and a few different brands and once we figure out what works best for baby girl (and us) I will buy some more. Right now we have 14 diapers: Bumgenius, Fuzzibunz, Blueberry, Grovia, Bumkins, and Apple Cheeks. I got a lot of these diapers from Kelly's Closet and a few from Baby Steals when they had a sale going on, which is how we ended up with so many different brands.

post washing machine, getting ready to "stuff" them!

We have some newborn sized diapers, but most are one-sized (OS) that will hopefully grow with her. I like the idea of the OS diapers, lower cost over time, but we will have to wait and see if those will work for her. And while I wanted to buy all pink and purple diapers, I got a lot of gender neutral colors so we can use these again for baby #2.

We have also purchased a special diaper rash cream specific for cloth diapers (regular diaper rash cream stains cloth), an odor remover spray (?? I needed to spend $5 more to get a free diaper. lol), and two wet/dry bags. I am IN LOVE with our adorable wet/dry bags. I have one large one for the nursery and one smaller one for the car. There is a large zippered pocket for the wet diapers and a smaller dry pocket for the clean ones.

aren't these the cutest things ever?? Much cuter than a diaper pail!

While we have decided on cloth, we do plan to use some disposable, especially in the beginning. I figure we need to try and get the hang of things first, then start with the cloth after a week or two. And we plan to use disposable diapers if we are travelling for a longer period with no access to a washing machine. Going to play that by ear, but that is the plan for now. And we have decided to use regular wipes rather than cloth wipes. One thing at a time. LOL. If everything goes well, we may switch to cloth wipes, but we did get a lot of wipes at the baby showers (Costco packs!), so we have some time to figure that out.

I'm sure some of you are thinking "girl you are crazy" and "good luck to you" (followed by an eye roll) but listen to this. I thought this whole cloth diaper thing was a little "hippie" too, and then I went to birthing class and met some woman who plans to go diaper free. Yes, that means NO DIAPERS! At all. (I actually had to google this because I had never heard of it before!) Apparently you hold the baby over the toilet and make a noise or something when they go to the bathroom and eventually they learn to go on command. All I see is a big mess and a lot of work. You could never take your kid to daycare or travel. And who would volunteer to babysit? Not me! I'm sorry, maybe I am being a little judgemental, but it just sounds a little wacky to me.

See, cloth diapers don't seem so scary now do they? LOL!

look at this cuteness!!! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

37 weeks....oh my!

Hello full term baby! We have made it to 37 weeks and baby girl is roughly 6lbs (probably more) and about 19 inches long! I can't believe how close we are to the end. This pregnancy journey is almost over and we are weeks away from meeting our daughter! 33 days or less...that is not very long at all! Before I know it she will be here and I will be posting a million pictures of her adorable little face :).

Until then, how about another bump photo?! Matt was gone this weekend, so you are getting the fabulous bathroom mirror shot!

took this one on Sunday before grocery shopping

this one is from today, figured the pink shows the bump better

And since Matt was gone all weekend I took the opportunity to finish up some of my to-do list. The list:

1. Wash Clothes
2. Wash Blankets
3. Wash Towels
4. Wash Cloth Diapers
5. Pack Bag for Birthing Center!
6. Open/Set up Bouncy Seat & play mat
7. Relax...a lot!

I am only half crossing off the packing of the bag. I have made a "packing list" and have purchased some stuff that we will need (travel sized stuff, nursing bras), and I did attempt to put a few things in the bag yesterday, but I am not done. At all. I am trying to avoid this for some reason. I mean, seriously, how long does it take to pack a bag? An hour, tops? Yea I am apparently using this as a reason to procrastinate. I could totally pack it as soon as I go into labor, AND I don't even have baby's first outfit yet. So really, only so much I can do. I promise to try and make more progress this weekend. There isn't much left on my list, so might as well right? Plus, once I'm done I can make a nice little post of what I packed. :)

Besides all the baby related chores I also managed to clean the house, go grocery shopping, run a few errands, get a pedicure (much needed after the house cleaning!), and take H to the beach (I get a lot of stuff done when it's just me and there is nothing on TV). It was so freaking hot this weekend! I was pretty AC. I kept the shades drawn and the fan going but H and I were feeling icky. So Saturday, after I went to the gym, Harley and I went to dog beach. He had a blast, of course! We spent an hour there and while he frolicked in the water I just walked along beside him, monitoring his behavior. He was actually really good, except for all the drinking of the salt water. I tried to offer him regular water but he refused, and lets just say he paid for that later. And so did I when I was cleaning up the dog puke from the rug. Ugh. Yea that rug will be tossed when we move. And right before we left the beach he decided he need to take a little rest and came out with a sand beard!

Making me really work to get him clean!
The dog wash employee actually took a picture of him before and after his bath and plan to put his picture up on facebook. So cute! I was going to take him again on Sunday, but between my feet hurting and the thought of fighting people for parking, I decided against it. Once I am no longer working I will be able to take him to the beach all the time. He will probably get a little spoiled before baby arrives!

Hope everyone else had a good weekend too! Happy Monday all!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

36 week bump photo & update!

It is time for a little bump photo and pregnancy update! I feel like a lot has changed in the last few weeks. The belly is growing (obviously) and I am starting to feel a lot more ready, mostly because I am getting uncomfortable and am running out of things to wear....including shoes! After our trip to Florida it seems like the swelling is a constant issue. I only have two types of shoes I can wear: tennis shoes or sandals. All my close toed slip-ons for work are too tight and uncomfortable. Sorry work, I don't care if my shoes aren't "work appropriate", there is no way I am going to buy new ones right now! You can just deal. :). And even my maternity clothes are tighter now that I am approaching the end. Dresses are pretty much the most comfortable and easiest thing to wear. Plus, it has been hot out here (I know, 80's isn't hot for some of you, but we don't have AC!) so the thought of wearing pants is awful.

And one issue I never even considered or thought I would get: sore joints! I feel like an old lady!! I assume the hands are due to fluid in the joints, and the feet are due to the extra weight. When I get out of bed in the morning my feet are so sore it is hard to walk. It feels like I ran a marathon the day! Thankfully it goes away after 5 minutes or so, but it makes getting up in the middle of the night to pee a lot more challenging. I have to wait and steady myself before starting to walk. We don't need an "I've fallen and I can't get up" incident.

For some good news: As of this Saturday, August 11, we are considered "full term" and can deliver at the birthing center! YAY! Super big important milestone for us!

How far along are you?
36 weeks!
Any contractions yet?
Nope. Although I have had dreams about them the last few nights. Felt very real, but I know if I was actually having one, it would wake me up!
How many pounds have you gained so far?
Last day of work?
Tuesday August 21!
Rings: On or Off?
Off since early July. No watch either. Too hot around here!
Do you have a name picked out?
Yes we do! The bedding has her name on it so it's official!
Do you have her first outfit selected?
Yes we do! I just bought an adorable monogrammed onesie. It came with a super cute hat with a giant pink bow. Matt isn't a fan of the hat but I love it!
How are you feeling right about now?
Very pregnant. I am getting more and more uncomfortable as the weeks go on, especially when I need to turn over at night. I am still trying to walk and exercise a few times a week, but I usually have to stop to pee half way through....her head bounces on my bladder! haha.
Do you feel you are ready for her arrival?
Getting there. There are a few more things I would like to get done before she gets here, and a little time off from work to relax would be nice too! But we are ready when she is ready. And we are so excited to meet her! 
Is Harley ready for her arrival?
Ummm...I don't think so. Ever since we came back from Florida he has been sulking around the house. And he has been spending a lot more time with Matt than me. The big belly does make it harder for us to cuddle, but I think he is worried he is being replaced. I know he will love her once she arrives, but there will definitely be an adjustment period. Or maybe he is just annoyed with me....
What? I have to make sure they fit! :)
Any food cravings?
The usual....pastries. I also love cereal for dessert. So good! Oh and fruit during the day...mmm fruit! 
Any random comments or unwanted belly rubs?
At the races last weekend some drunk guy rubbed my belly and slurred "congratulations". It was actually pretty entertaining. Thankfully I don't get too many strangers trying to touch me!

And finally, I got this little outfit this weekend....too cute!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

preparing for baby

After a few busy weekends with no time to spare, I finally got around to officially preparing for baby girl's arrival. We are stocked up on everything I think we need, and all the returns/exchanges have been made. We also have the car seat installed, the pack n play is up, the swing is put together, and the monitor has been set up. I still need to figure out how to work the monitor, but it is in our room and Matt tested it out a few weeks ago. So the goal for Sunday was simple: remove tags, and wash all the clothes/blankets, etc.

Step 1: grab all the clothes and sort by size. I had already done this before, but I realized that it would be better to sort by weight rather than age (if possible). And then make a judgement call on any unknowns. I only grabbed clothes for 0-6 months, everything else is in a bag in the closet because there isn't any room in the drawers.

All her clothes, socks, and hats filled up our big laundry basket.....spoiled stylish little girl already! Bonus: I got to watch a little project runway as I was sorting and organizing.

Step 2: My piles...and H, who was bored and I think slightly annoyed with the whole thing. He was probably expecting a lot more cuddle time than he got that day. Poor H. Anyways, I kept the piles separate and washed according to weight. Newborn: under 8lbs, 0-3 Months: 8-12.5lbs, 3-6 Months: 12.5-16lbs. This way I didn't have to reorganize anything. I added blankets, bibs, etc to the loads to fill them up. And even though I had various colors, nothing bled! Woo Hoo!! I was a little concerned about that, esp with the few dark colored or red outfits, but everything made it out just fine. And while I don't know if it is super critical, I did use a green detergent, just in case.

I will say that cutting off all the tags was probably the worst part. I hadn't done any of that yet, just in case I wanted to make any returns, but if you know you are keeping stuff, take the tags off when you get it. Saves you time down the road. Folding wasn't so bad, but it was definitely an all day process. I think between the regular laundry I had to do that day, plus everything for the baby, I spent 5-6 hours doing laundry. Our water bill will probably be a tad higher this month....and from now on come to think of it.

Step 3: Put everything away! This would have been easy, except somehow they didn't all fit in the drawers like before! Dah! So now I need to do a little shuffling and moving of stuff around so everything fits...comfortably. And as 8pm approached and we were finally relaxing on the couch I realized I forgot to wash the towels and diapers! Thankfully, those will probably only take up about 2 loads, easy to accomplish on a week night.

To-do list:

1. Wash Clothes 
2. Wash Blankets
3. Wash Towels
4. Wash Cloth Diapers
5. Pack Bag for Birthing Center! 
6. Open/Set up Bouncy Seat & play mat
7. Relax...a lot!

How about a little peak into the "nursery". This little room is right off our master bath, could be a mini office or a large closet, but we are using it as a mini nursery. (I apologize for the lighting, I took these at night). 

This is baby girl's dresser. The diaper organizer hangs off the side and holds all our cloth diapers, inserts, wipes, etc. Changing pad on top of the dresser with more wipes. Our wet/dry bag is hanging on one of the handles right now (super cute pattern but it's hard to see). I should probably do a little cloth diaper post sometime too....yes I think that might be a good idea. Stay tuned for that.

Close up of the dresser top and pictures. The Radke's got us the little "Clute Family" tree for Christmas (we need an artist to add another little bird to our tree!) And Nikki got is the little picture next to it. It it a big elephant and a little elephant sitting side by side...too cute! And goes perfectly with the nursery theme.

This is the other dresser is the room, accessorized with a bunch of cute baby stuff: books, stuffed animals, and her baby album. The little memory box holds all the cards from the showers and the extra ultrasound photos. I am very sentimental (Matt calls it hoarding) and I like to keep all these for her to look at when she is older. :)

I do feel a little better now that I am making some progress on all this stuff. I am nervous she will arrive early and we won't be ready, but I think we are doing ok. Plus, Matt is out on the ship all next week so she isn't allowed to come early...Daddy says so!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

races, baby shower, and bump photo!

Our weekend was crazy busy, in fact, the last few weeks have been that way. Family visitors, photos, wedding, events, etc. It has been a lot of fun, and normally I love being busy, but I think both Matt and I are ready for a few quiet weekends at home before baby arrives. But first, let's recap this last fun filled weekend....

My plan for Saturday morning was to go to the gym then get ready for the Del Mar Races. But after spending Friday evening running errands and baking cookies, I decided a morning of vegging out on the couch was needed. TV, breakfast, and cuddles with Matt and H, it was lovely. Eventually we decided to get dressed, and after putting on the appropriate race attire....I big bouncy hat....we met up with the Fun Bunch and some of the spouses at Del Mar. It was a gorgeous day and we were seated in the shady clubhouse section. I am not a big gambler, but Matt and I did make two bets per race and actually did really well! We walked away with $10 more than what we spent....on betting, if you count the drinks and food then we lost money. haha. It was a lot of fun and very exciting, especially when the horses came around the final turn towards the finish line! Everyone was shouting the name or number of their favorite horse and high-fiving if they won. And after the races were over, Matt and I hit up the roach coaches gourmet food trucks and enjoyed some delicious Greek food before heading home. Yum!

the fun bunch group at the races!
and they're off!
we love white hats! :)
Sunday I actually managed to make it to spin class. Go me! I needed the exercise, and riding the bike is still pretty easy for me (but not for much longer if this belly keeps getting bigger!). After the gym I hit up the grocery store and then got ready for my Fun Bunch baby shower. One of the wives, Valerie, was so sweet and hosted this little gathering at her house. We enjoyed some really delicious food, played some fun games (thanks Vicky!), and did lots of chatting. I stayed much later than anticipated, but that's what happens when you get a bunch of women in a room! I love spending time with these ladies and am so blessed to have such great friends and family who already love and spoil our little girl.

hard to see, but these are cute little bibs that
 say "navy princess". love!

Thank you everyone for the coming to the shower and for all the adorable gifts for baby girl!

And finally, an official 35 weeks bump photo:

Matt is one talented bump photographer! And he never complains when I ask him to take more. Thanks baby, love you!