Wishing and Hoping

It’s finally here!

Not the baby.

The baby registry!

We found a great website that lets you add items from any store whether it be a local boutique, national chain, or online site like Etsy.

You can also add things like house cleaning, homemade dinners, and babysitting services.

Our registry is pretty generic but we add things here and there as we freak out remember them.

We created the registry in conjunction with the suggested registry lists that are provided on the site.

There’s a bunch of categories to choose from and I found them pretty helpful.

To use (or just peruse) the registry, click on the link below.

When you see an item you would like to purchase, click on the “reserve it” button.

You can then purchase items in-store or online.

We don’t really know what we need, so if you feel moved to purchase off the registry, we welcome all gifts!

But that’s not to say you should feel obligated to buy us anything at all.

Having you in our lives is a gift all it’s own.

In the midst of preparing for baby, we’re also preparing for Spring Break.

We’re meeting family for a glorious week in Florida.

Please hold any “beached whale” jokes until…..forever.

Here’s the link to the registry:

PEANUT FISH’S WISH LIST

27 weeks!

HAPPY SPRING!

Fish Tales

Did you guys know P-Daddy is an artist and a storyteller?

Here’s an example of his most recent work.

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The story goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was a praying mantis and a bear who fell in love. 

Together they made a fish and lived happily ever after! 

Let’s analyze this piece, if we may.

The characters:

The Praying Mantis: Me.

It’s the recent nickname P-Daddy christened me with following my new-found fascination with murder mysteries and crime shows.

I insist it’s because I’m a curious observer of human behavior but he’s convinced I’m preying mantis just waiting to strike.

The Bear: P-Daddy.

He tries to tell me it’s because he loves big bear hugs but we all know it’s because he can be a bear in the morning before he has his coffee.

The Fish: Peanut

Peanut is actually a fish that swims around the ever growing fishbowl (my belly) all day long.

Feeding the fish chocolate and coconut water encourage fish gymnastics.

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Fish is enjoying it’s time in the fishbowl until it’s big enough to live in the fish tank (the nursery).

Our unconventional family actually found some fun items to add to the fish tank at a local antique auction.

On Saturday morning, we got up bright and early and walked to our favorite coffee shop.

Because the first mile was pre-coffee, the bear grumbled and I, in true mantis form, wanted to bite his head off.

We politely agreed that it was probably best to resume any conversation post coffee consumption.

I ordered a soy milk latte for me and the fish and P-Daddy ordered a steaming Spanish latte made with sweetened condensed milk and cream.

We sipped our beverages during the rest of the walk to the auction site, and the urge to bite off the bear’s head slowly abated.

Feeling antsy from the caffeine, we skipped the auction items and perused the flea market items.

We found some great buried treasures!

These Über cute dinosaur wood block toys:

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Another swaddling blanket appropriately adorned with whales.

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Fish will get along with the whales swimmingly.

Ross Barnaby already does.

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I also found some fun kitchen items.

I’m VERY particular about my wooden spoons and was excited to find these:

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Mantis and Fish sized!

And I was equally excited about this wooden bowl set that will be a nice vessel for fish food and strong enough to withstand whatever abuse they might incur from  toddler- sized fish.

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And this bracelet because I like to match my kitchenware:

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P-Daddy added this to the pile:

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We did a kickboxing video last weekend and now he’s hooked.

The fish finds it amusing how we flop around our basement gym and make excuses to take frequent water breaks.

Oh, I almost forgot.

We also found fish’s very first toy.

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In a tree.

At the coffee shop.

Seriously.

P-Daddy plucked it from the tree, sanitized it, and proudly displayed it in the living room.

Dear fish, 

Your parents are beyond embarrassing. 

Sorry. 

We got all of this loot for just over $6.00!

We rode the high of our flea market finds for the 2.5 mile walk home.

But not before stopping to look at a bigger fish tank, I mean house, for our growing family.

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26 weeks!

Pumping Iron

I can’t think of anyone who disputes the use of prenatal vitamins.

I’ve always been on the fence about supplements though.

I’ve never felt any differences from taking a daily multivitamin.

Periodically, I’ve tried individual vitamin supplements in hopes they would alleviate headaches, tiredness, and fatigue.

I never noticed any dramatic results so I usually end up not finishing them.

The only supplements I was taking pre-pregnancy were Vitamin B-12 because it’s nearly impossible to get while eating a vegan diet and vitamin D because I was diagnosed with a deficiency.

Because I eat a vegan diet, I regularly ask for all my levels to be checked and I’ve never been told I had any other deficiencies.

There really was no need to take a multivitamin because everything seemed to be in working order.

And of course I had seen all the news reports about the ineffectiveness of supplements or the fact that they didn’t even contain the ingredients that were claimed on the label.

Once you get pregnant though, the prenatal seems pretty non-negotiable.

So I drank the Kool-Aid, so to speak, and my doctor prescribed me a fancy prenatal that I laboriously selected based on the ingredients and the fact that it had a stool softener right in it.

citranatal

Fantastic.

That is until our insurance changed and the copay for my fancy prenatal shot up to $12o.00.

Oh, hells no.

So I fast tracked it to the vitamin shoppe and picked a prenatal with rainbows on the label and promises of “whole food” sourced vitamins and minerals, enzymes, an herb blend to support healthy pregnancy, and easily digestible iron all for about $10.99.

rainbow prenatal

Back that up.

I was sold at “easily digestible iron” because the last thing a pregnant lady needs is to be “backed up”  by tough -to- digest iron pills.

I left feeling quite pleased with my money saving prowess and started taking them as soon as the old script ran out.

I have been taking all of my pills at night just in case they caused any nausea or stomach upset.

A few days in, I felt myself feeling pretty energetic and was doubly pleased with my purchase.

Then things took a turn for the worse.

I slowly started losing my appetite and had all kinds of digestive issues.

The worse the digestive problems became, the worse my appetite was.

As a lady who likes to eat, and a babe that is quite dependent on it, I was getting pissed off.

I could go entire days doing nothing more than nibbling, snacking, and holding my gut in discomfort.

I’m not all that concerned about not getting enough to eat because I would eat despite the discomfort.

And I’m just not one to miss a meal (or snack).

But still, something wasn’t right.

I finally decided to take a closer look at the prenatal and discovered at had 30 grams of iron.

That is double the recommended amount.

Curious, I looked at the other sources of iron in my diet.

Fortified cereal was at the top of the list.

branflakes

When I was snack-ish or knew I just needed to get something in my belly, I would eat cereal.

And I was eating A LOT of it.

When I actually measured, I was eating as much as 4 cups a day.

The amount doesn’t concern me as much as the supplements I was getting as a bi-product.

Each serving contained about 50% of my daily iron needs or about 9 mg.

Wheaties nutrition label

So there’s another 32 mg. on top of the 30 mg. in my prenatal.

But we’re not done yet.

A while back, before I was taking a prenatal, I started adding blackstrap molasses to my coffee because it is a good, natural source of iron.

blackstrap molasses

Well, the habit stuck, so you can add another 3.5 mg. of iron to my day.

Not to mention the natural iron I was getting from whole wheat breads, enriched grains,  spinach, and green smoothies.

enriched bread

So now we’re up around 40 mg. of iron per day, which is about 22 mg. more than what is recommended.

Did you know iron in high doses can be poisonous?

It’s actually not surprising considering anything in excess can have negative effects.

I learned a long time ago to stay away from calcium supplements because they also gave me digestive upset.

That was kind of the start of my supplement cynicism.

I just have a hard time justifying synthetic nutrients unless there is a diagnosed deficiency.

And food supplementation is rampant.

Breads, non-dairy milks, orange juice, cereals, and tons of processed foods contain supplements to boost the nutritional value.

Orange juice

Well, that can really add up through the course of the day.

And it’s especially tricky when you think you’re choosing healthy foods like bran cereal, cheerios, and almond milk.

Silk-Almond-Milk

I think supplementing our food is unnecessary and at its worst, even dangerous.

It may have been necessary a hundred years ago when food was rationed or scarce, but this is not the case in 2015.

Nothing bad happened (that I know of) from taking the supplements but I certainly could have avoided a lot of belly aching,

And I’m not the only one.

Tons of women claim side effects from prenatal vitamins.

Is this not a sign that something is amiss?

I think we need to go back to eating real food and letting our bodies take care of business.

Here’s a handy chart of  natural sources of iron for vegans:

iron sources

But I understand the concern that women and people in general need to take vitamins for “insurance” purposes.

I don’t believe that, but refusing a prenatal is practically child abuse in our culture.

So, I’m on the hunt to find one that agrees with me.

I’ve got my eyes on a liquid supplement available through amazon that seems to contain just the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

liquid prenatal

Whatever that is, anyway.

If you’re into science experiments, and want to see if your breakfast cereal really has the iron that it claims, there’s a simple procedure you can follow to literally pull the iron out your morning O’s using a magnet.

You can check that out here.

Or if you’re like me and P-Daddy, you can just go over your breakfast bowl with a metal detector.

I shouldn’t have to tell you that the metal detector went crazy over a bowl of iron fortified cheerios and corn flakes.

cheerios

Neat, huh?

In non-ranting news, the bump is progressing nicely and my toes are becoming a distant memory.

I constantly get stopped by co-workers and aquaintances who  were unaware of the news and are quite surprised by the belly.

I imagine this is that perfect stage of pregnancy where the fat has been filled out, the bump is bumpin’, and nothing is too terribly big or uncomfortable.

I get some growing pains now and then but I try to recognize them for what they are and not freak out about every cramp, side stitch, and muscle spasm.

And by not freak out, I mean I tirelessly google every twitch and twinge and ask every lady friend I have if this is “normal.”

Exercise also has a new normal, but I found a routine that seems to be working.

It includes walking, yoga, and strength training but I like to think of it as “labor day” training.

Kristin-McGee-prenatal

Just trying to stay mobile and strong for the big event.

weights

Now that’s the kind of pumping iron I can get on board with.

25 weeks! 

Gone Fishin’

I’ve read that sometimes it’s hard for first time Moms to differentiate baby kicks from gas and other fun digestive issues.

While I was waiting for soccer practice to officially begin, I also read that baby kicks can hard to describe in the beginning.

Well, after six weeks of careful analyzation, I can tell you exactly what they feel like.

Like there is a little fish swimming around your insides that sometimes gets a little worked up and tries to break out of the bowl.

As in, thrashes from side to side of the bowl in search of freedom.

And other times the fish sleeps and I have to feed it to wake it up.

Did you know that fish like chocolate?

At least, this fish does.

A lot of it.

So much so that P-Daddy and I made a batch of home-made thin mints using this genius recipe.

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They turned out swimmingly.

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We also went fishing for some gear at a local consignment sale.

Let me just start by saying that as someone who dislikes shopping, I was surprisingly super excited to go to this sale.

I even made a detailed list of baby needs organized into several categories including bath time, baby gear, linens, feeding, diapering, clothing, hygiene and incidentals.

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I was giddy just thinking about getting my hands on some necessities and saving a bunch of money in the process.

Why I thought this would be anything different than an extreme version of Black Friday Garage Sale shopping is beyond me.

Aren’t pregnant ladies supposed to be tired and slow?

The sale started at 7:30 PM and I already had reservations what with it being at the same time as my usual bedtime.

No matter.

I knew my excitement would keep me awake and I was looking forward to perusing the merchandise.

That is until I got ran over by the Mom-zillas running at a sprint triathlon pace and hurdling themselves onto strollers and pack and plays.

Clearly I did not train properly for this event.

While I thoroughly investigated a bouncy seat for a full 38 seconds, all of the pack and plays were snapped up before I could even sneak a sideways glance in their direction.

I know my limits.

I put the bouncer down and backed away very, very slowly.

In an attempt to avoid poking the Mama Bears, I headed for the infant clothes and leisurely looked through the outfits.

People had 2 or 3 giant bags of clothing before I even selected my first shirt.

I felt like a fish out of water.

Am I doing this wrong?

By the end of the first half hour, I had exactly three onesies while the other Moms were lined up on the sides of the Middle School gym unloading their multiple bags of loot and taking a much needed rest after the first round of extreme shopping.

Even though the majority of the stuff was dirty and well beyond “gently used,” P-Daddy and I snagged some good stuff that will hopefully come in very handy.

We carried our loot to the never ending check out line where I chugged a bottle of coconut water and tried to convince P-Daddy that the kid surely needed the red Radio Flyer Tricycle that I was eyeing in the corner.

Radio Flyer Trike

You can never start cycling too early, right?

Anyway, here’s a couple of my favorite purchases:

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It says “new in town.”

Adorbs.

Also, even though there was an argument about staining vs. spending an extra $5, we grabbed the (less stained and more expensive) Bumbo seat for feeding.

Bumbo Seat

(Not the actual purchased Bumbo seat)

I was also happy (pun intended) to stumble upon this book:

The_Happiest_Baby_on_the_Block

I’ve seen this book reviewed on other blogs and was interested to see what all the hub-bub was about.

I’m *happy* to report that I finished it in one day and the premise is so ridiculously simple, that it makes absolute perfect sense.

Written by Harvey Karp, M.D. and expert in child development, its a easy but systematic approach to soothing and comforting your babe.

The take-away?

Carry, swaddle, and cuddle as much as humanly possible for the first 3 months.

If you have an inclination to punch me through the computer right now and inform me that it will risk “spoiling” the baby, I encourage you to read the book, the science behind it, and the thousands of years of child rearing that back-up Dr. Karp’s claims.

Speaking of swaddling, I told P-Daddy I needed a full course tutorial and he informed me that he’s somewhat of an expert himself having helped out with his much younger brother.

I woke up to this in the babe’s crib:

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Ross Barnaby looks as snug as a bug as a rug in there.

The other goods include a book on breastfeeding, more clothes, blankets, wash cloths, and a Halo sack swaddler.

After we ate all of the Thin Mints on Saturday, we tackled the baby registry.

Yep.

That was also surprisingly un-painful after I had my super duper organized list to guide me.

It’s almost finished and we’ll release it to the masses once the odds and ends are accounted for.

Today marks 24 weeks and reality is starting to set in.

This fish will be out of water in the next few months!

24 weeks!

Strollin’ with my homies

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 23 weeks.

Mostly that I’m oppositional and a little bit defiant.

P-Daddy: We should start a baby registry.

Me: No.

P-Daddy: People want to buy us stuff.

Me: Tell them to send a gift card.

P-Daddy: But what about a shower?

Me: I took one on Wednesday.

P-Daddy: But what about our relatives across the country?

Me: That’s presumptuous to even assume they want to buy us something.

P-Daddy’s co-worker that I’ve never met that sent me a message via Facebook: Shana, you don’t know me but you need to start a registry. You’ll save so much money and it will help people decide what to get you. All the guys at the fire station want to get you something!

Me: Has toddler-like tantrum and turns on the cooking channel.

All the pressure!

P-Daddy: I concede

So far we’ve learned that I’m:

1) Oppositional

2) Defiant

3) Completely and ridiculously irrational

But why?

Upon further introspection, I just still feel completely overwhelmed with having to choose all the things I think we will need in order to have another human being in our care.

I’m also the world’s worst gift receiver.

I love buying gifts for other people and will go out of my way to extend a kind gesture or help someone out, but when it comes to receiving the same kindnesses, I feel completely unworthy.

Unless you’re Santa, the idea of making a list of things that I want people to buy for me seems greedy, if not ludicrous.

And yet, I will pour over someone else’s registry making sure to choose just the right gift, adding my own personal touch, and it would never even cross my mind that the person was being “greedy.”

I mean, it’s not greed, it’s tradition.

It’s a way for people to rally together and make sure the new bundle has all the odds and ends to survive the brave new world.

So then we’re back to the real underlying fear:

How am I supposed to know what I need to care for an infant?

So after I was done tantrum-ing, I put my big  (extra-big, these days) girl panties on, and suggested a little trip to the store I fear the most:

babies r us

P-Daddy: Are we getting a registry gun?

Me: No

Cheese and Rice, here we go again.

P-Daddy: But how will we register for stuff?

Me: I just need to figure out what this shit is first!

In case you’re curious, here are a few of the items that may someday by the grace of God make it to an actual registry:

Columbia Diaper Bag

Columbia Diaper Bag

Truthfully, I was completely ok with using my Swiss Gear backpack, but I like that this is more wide and less deep making it easier to retrieve things. It’s also still sporty looking, has the comfortable cross body strap, and is neutral enough for P-Daddy.

But if you’re looking to get something exclusively for the Dad-to-be,  I think this would be an excellent choice:

Tactical Diaper Bag

Apparently, it’s tough enough to go to war!

I completely glossed over the breast pumps and bottles because looking at an entire wall of bottles is enough to send anyone screaming back to the parking lot.

It’s ok, though, we hit that section up at the end, and I think I sort of have it figured out. Maybe. Well, I at least looked at one bottle. One.

Moving on to strollers.

This is where we spent the majority of the afternoon.

We pushed, pulled, collapsed, folded, clicked and carried nearly every model on the floor and narrowed it down to two.

I was initially drawn to the sporty looking jogger travel system but they turned out to be bulky, heavy, and more difficult to navigate.

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We also weeded out the more cost-effective models that were cheaply made, difficult to collapse, and largely inconvenient.

So we arrived at our top choices:

A) The Graco Aire 3 Click Connect

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and

B) The Britax b-agile

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The Britax was a little bit like the Lexus of strollers, in my opinion. It provided a smooth ride, handled easily, and turned on a dime. The car seat popped out with the press of a button and the whole thing folded with a flick of the wrist.

The Graco was only slightly less luxurious, but came with a better price and a food tray, which was apparently very important to P-Daddy. Plus it had a special compartment to keep your i-phone safely secured.

Fancy.

If cost is the deciding factor, we could get the Graco with an additional car seat for about $100 less than the Britax b-agile with a second car seat.

Now that we had conquered the big stuff, we moved onto the incidentals.

We perused some swings, sleepers, and rockers but didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

I like Rock and Plays because they are small, portable, and can double as a bassinet in the early days.

Rock and Play

But swings and bouncers seem almost equally necessary.

I was not ready to make this kind of decision.

Let us move on.

We glanced though blankets, bedding, furniture and clothing not really looking at anything in particular.

But it was a smack in the face just how much stuff we still needed.

Still.

So much stuff.

It was as if I needed to make some sort of master list of all the things we still want and need and then I would need to  distribute said list to my loved ones and let them handle all of the decision making.

I concede.

Letting the people you love do this for you takes some of the enormous pressure (for me) out of it.

It was a stark realization that there is no such thing as independence with parenting.

I need the village.

I also need my brain to let me be ok with needing the village and stop acting like a two year old who wants to “do it myself.”

Sometimes, I don’t know who’s really doing the growing up.

Me or the kid.

Next weekend we’re off to a second-hand resale.

I’m hoping to stock up on ultra cheap necessities and build the  rest of the registry from there.

Maybe.

23 weeks!