Monday, July 30, 2007

fenix rising

At the risk of seeming like pot head hippie parents, we are going for a rather unconventional name with an unconventional spelling. The name is Fenix. And I said that "we" are going for the name but actually I am the one that really wants this name. Jason is in "lets think about it" mode which is fine (but we are using that name dammit!).
The name works for a girl or a boy. I'm so sold on this name that I am even willing to forfeit my rights to selecting a middle name.

Anyway that's what I want.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

the babymooners

America's great marketing minds never stop working. The latest thing you *must* spend your money on is a 'Babymoon'. It's basically a vacation that you take pre-baby (or just after the baby is born). I'm not sure what the purpose is... it's kinda like a regular vacation except you are taking it when you are pregnant or have a new born.

Bottom line I think it's just a marketing tool. That being said, the idea is becoming more and more appealing to me. Hotels like the W have full blown babymoon packages. There are websites dedicated to vacations customized for expectant or brand new parents. I must admit, the whole thing is pretty genius. These days vacation seems to be all I can think about. After a craptastic first trimester, 4 or 5 days relaxing in a beautiful location sounds like a dream come true. I keep thinking about Cabo...we had so much fun laying by the pool, eating and sleeping in. I can't think of anything more exciting than doing just that right now.

Here's my current possibilities for babymoon destinations (in no particular order):
- San Juan Islands, WA
- Sedona, AZ
- Hawaii (doesn't matter where)
- Santa Barbara, CA
- Vancouver, BC

I'm going to start researching this to see what I come up with. It will be awhile before we can get away once the baby is here!

i hurt myself laughing?

Yesterday something really funny happened at work. I was there cracking up.... big huge guffaws... and yeeoww! I pulled some kinda muscle in my abdomen! (?) How is this possible? Wait, I know how it's possible but this is a really cruel joke. Who hurts themselves while laughing?! That's right... I do.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

bump rub

Oh! I wanted to post the recipe for the belly salve in case anyone else is up for making their own. The recipe is pretty straight forward. You could change out the herbs and essential oils if you want to use this salve for another purpose.... say a muscle/joint rub with eucalyptus... or a maybe a nice minty salve to rub on your temples if you have a bad headache (thanks ty for that idea, the peppermint worked nicely!). In a little while I will start experimenting with making diaper salve, but I have a bit more research to do before I start that project.

Read some books about what herbs and essential oils work for whatever issue you want to address. You can vary the combinations of herbs in the maceration, the carrier oils used, or the essential oils used to customize your salve.

The recipe:

Infused oil is the basis of this salve. The process of making the oil takes about a month so you will need to get started a month ahead of when you will need the salve. Do not be intimated though, it's very easy.

Make a cold maceration of the herbs...
1 oz of dried rosehips
1 oz of dried chamomile
1 oz of dried calendula flowers
1 oz of dried/shredded marshmallow root
A large glass jar with a good fitting lid (mason jar would work well)
Grapeseed or sweet almond oil (enough to completely submerge the herbs)

Put the dried herbs in the jar.
Fill the jar with oil so that the herbs are totally submerged plus about another finger or so of oil to top it off.
Put the lid on the jar and let the whole thing sit in a cool dark place for a month. Shake up the jar every so often to stir everything up.

After a month strain the oil thru a bit of cheese cloth (squeeze it to get all the oil out of the saturated herbs). Put the oil in a clean glass jar and store in a cool dark place. You will have more oil than you will use for this salve recipe.

To make the salve (makes almost 2 oz of salve but a little goes a long way):

1 small amber glass jar with lid - holds about 1.75 oz (i get mine at a natural foods store like whole foods)
1 teaspoon of hemp seed oil*
1 teaspoon of macadamia nut oil*
1/4 cup of infused herb oil (per recipe above)
2 1/2 teaspooons grated beeswax

1-2 drops each of the the following essential oils
lavender, chamomile (roman), neroli, tangerine

*if you can't get this type of oil you can just omit it and use an extra teaspoon of the infused herb oil
Using a bain marie heat the beeswax, hemp seed oil and macadamia nut oil in a heat safe glass container on low even heat until everything is melted and the mixture is totally translucent... i use a chopstick to constantly stir mixture while it is melting.

Remove the bain marie from the heat and slowly stir in the infused herb oil.... if the mixture gets cloudy and starts to set up you can put the bain marie back on the heat but only long enough to melt everything.

Once the mixture is totally translucent, remove the container from the bain marie.

To test that you have the right consistency pick up a bit of the mixture on the back of a spoon or put a drop of it onto a plate. Once that bit of salve is cooled confirm whether or not the consistency is to your liking. Add a little grated beeswax to firm it up.... a little more infused oil to thin it out.

Once you are confident in the consistency, remove the container from the bain marie. You do not want to continue heating it once the essential oils are added because they will quickly evaporate. Stir in the essential oils.

Pour the salve into the glass jar. Place in the fridge to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge, attach the lid and let sit for another 20 mins.

Rub on your belly and enjoy!

big but not fat

Ok maybe I'm a little bit chunky but that has nothing to do with this baby.
I am pretty amazed at the rate that my belly seems to be growing. I didn't exactly have abs of steel before but I didn't have much of a belly thing going on either. It's strange to look down and see a shelf of flesh instead of my lap.

But I like the way I look now (ask me about this again in 3 or 4 months!). My belly is firm... not soft or mushy like I had imagined that it would be.

Oh and today I made some nice belly salve to ward off the infamous stretch marks. I know that stretch marks are supposed to be genetic and therefore unavoidable if you've got a predisposition, but I like to think that it can't really hurt to keep the skin supple and moisturized.

So I think I'll call the salve 'Bump Rub'. It's smells delicious and has all sorts of soothing herbs and oils. I'll have to make more and give it away to all my currently or soon to be pregnant lady friends.

Anyway enough rambling... here's me (all of me) at 13 weeks:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

i'm a pacifist

I really am. But I don't know how I feel about pacifiERS.
Some schools of thought for modern day child rearing feel that they are totally unnecessary tools that could lead to nipple confusion and other problems with breast feeding. I don't know what I think because I don't have any frame of reference for this particular issue.

My mom tells a story about when I was an infant and I had a favorite paci. It was the only one I liked. I would howl and cry unless I had it. She describes it as a 'hideous bulbous thing'. Nice. Anyway if the paci ever fell on the floor it was a race to get, it wash it and shove it back in my pie hole before I could start really screaming. If the god forsaken thing got misplaced a search party was formed to locate it as quickly as possible before I could notice that it was missing. Ahh I must have been a delightful baby.

So bottom line, if I do decide to use a pacifier with my baby it has to meet two requirements. It needs to be able to be attachable so that it can't get lost, and it has to stay clean. I mean we keep a clean house but trust me anything that hits our floor is sure to come up with a fine covering of pet hair. But now there is this nifty invention (thanks lady from the pregnancy forum that clued me in on it).

The KeepitKleen pacifier. A protective shield closes over the nipple if it hits the floor. Very clever... very useful:

For more info on this pacifier click here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the boob juice chronicles

So I'm planning to exclusively breastfeed for the first 3 months of my baby's life. After that I need to go back to work so I might supplement with formula... we'll see.

But as I truly start considering this concept, the feeling of being totally overwhelmed starts welling up in my chest (haha).

Anyway, a woman's breasts are a much celebrated thing. Though frankly up until now I've not given them much consideration. They aren't particularly large or small. I don't have any weird things going on like a 3rd nipple or areolae the size of saucers. But now I'm sort of fixated on the damn things.

After I take a shower I pause and stare at them in the mirror. I keep wondering how I am going to make the transition from QA engineer with unremarkable boobs to full time milk maid. This is some scary stuff.

The nursing pads, breast pumps, special bras, cracked nips, babies with little sharp teeth.... I get a headache just thinking about it. But then something deep inside me tells me that I'll figure it out... I'll do just fine. I know that I will.

Friday, July 6, 2007

a better push chair?

So this stroller is actually alot less of a wallet buster than all the others that I've seen and it's actually really pretty sweet looking. I dig the purple color... swanky.

It's made by Britax and out of the box it can accomodate a 6 month old but with the detachable infant car seat it can be used from birth. Bonus: they sell it at Babies R Us for those of you that are going to register there. The reviews seem to be really great too.

For more info click here.

baby mcg @ 11 weeks

So we had another ultrasound today and I am so thrilled to see this little dude (or dudette) is finally looking like a baby! For reals, for true!!

So while the tech was doing the ultrasound we saw the baby move around alot... lots of arm flailing and leg kicking. The mouth opened and closed rhythmically like a person swallowing water.
At one point she had me cough and the baby shook it's head in response!

So wild.... I actually started to cry :-)

Click here to see the full set.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

my belly

It's starting to pop!

Today puts me right at 12 weeks. On one hand I can't believe I'm already at 12 weeks, and on the other I can't believe that I have so many more to go. GAH! Also, maternity pants are God's gift to pregnant ladies. A small reprieve from all the suffering. I got a few pairs of cute jeans and pants from Old Navy and Gap Maternity so no more rubber band rigging and tunic length tops for me.

Anyway, here's my 10 week belly. Hasn't changed much since then:

Elimination Communication and the Diaper free baby

New frontiers in potty training are being blazed!

Did you know that you can potty train an infant?! I have been reading about Elimination Communication (EC). It's a methodology used to keep your baby diaper free (or at least minimize the need). I've only just started investigating it but I think I'm already sold. The biggest drawback that I see with this process is the tremendous amount of time you would have to spend conditioning the baby to eliminate on cue. For moms like me that need to go back to work, this could be really tough.

Anyway, check it out this page on EC basics. The whole thing is really cool and makes really good sense to me:
Diaper Free Baby


I can't sleep. Like seriously I feel like the walking dead. I get up about 5 times a night to go pee and it's just really exhausting.

Anyway when you lay awake all hours of the night you start to think about things. I mean really let your mind go, you know?

I don't know what I'm going to do after this baby comes work wise. I need to work, no doubt about that but I don't see myself grepping server logs and writing bug reports while trying to juggle a crying baby and a leaky boob. The idea of this is totally overwhelming to me. I guess I never gave it much thought before but the more I think about it the more I feel like I am getting in over my head with this whole 'working from home part time' idea.

I guess I need to chew on it some more because right now I just feel unsettled. Thank God it takes us humans 9 whole months to make a baby because I really need all the prep time I can get.