Thursday, August 30, 2007

more hat biz

We went away last weekend to a lovely cabin on Anderson Island. Besides all the eating, lake swimming and fun that I had, I also had a chance to knit a couple more hats.

I've switched it up and started the base of the hat with ribbing on these and I think it makes the hat look more structured so I'll probably keep that going unless someone wants something different. God, I wish I had an actual baby to model these bad boys so you could see their full cuteness potential.


Full set.

and who doesn't love a new bag

There was a time when I was obsessed with handbags and shoes. It was out. of. hand. I've settled down in my old age but once a year I get the old itch again for a nice new handbag-- Actually it happens much more often when it comes to shoes but I digress....

So yesterday I took a walk with my friend and coworker Andie and went over to Westlake center to look for a new bag. (Andie you are an excellent shopping companion, btw). The bag I was looking for had to serve two functions. It had to be cute and mostly leather (I'm tired of looking like a bike messenger with my dingy canvas timbuk2 bag) and it needed to be large (it needs to serve as a diaper bag when Fenix comes).

But I hate the way that most diaper bags look and I didn't want to spend $350 on some crazy Micheal Kors tote (though I did covet one while I was shopping). But I did find something in the end. And it rocks:

It's a DKNY bag. The main part is akinda silky, black, coated canvas but the detailing is really soft leather and suede. The inside is a lovely light blue color. there are lots of neat hidden pockets on the inside for smaller items. And it is very large. It held a pair of wedge sandals, my lunch, a book, a magazine, a nalgene bottle full of water and my usual purse contents without issue.

Click here if you want one too.


I just got off the phone with the office of Penny Simkin (author of the terrific pregnancy and childbirth book "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn"

I called to register for the next series of childbirth classes at her home here in Seattle and woot! we got in. If you don't know who Penny is, she is a bit of a local celebrity in the world of childbirth and pregnancy. I love her book and her expertise is touted by folks in obstetric care everywhere.

Anyway if you are pregnant definitely check out her book. If you are pregnant and live in Seattle, here's the info on her class:

Classes and Workshops

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I love this book:

It just came in the mail the other day and I can't put it down. There are reviews for all the big baby product purchases that new parents need to make. This is really useful since trying to pick out a stroller, carseat or crib when their are hundreds to choose from can be really daunting.

If you are expecting, I seriously urge you to buy this book.
Click here for info on ordering the book.

Monday, August 27, 2007

19 weeks!

Hey we forgot belly pic Friday. Oops. Friday was a hectic day for us as we went out of town with our Seattle crew to a little place on Anderson Island, on the water southwest of Tacoma. Everybody had a bed that was one size too small, the dogs got to play in the water, the humans played badminton and uno and parcheesi and everybody ate like kings. A good time was had by all.

Ok, 19 weeks! Woohoo!! The midwife last week mentioned that baby mcgee appears to be 20 weeks old, which is a good, healthy sign. Baby has been kicking, kicking, kicking. It’s so weird! There’s a little human being inside my wife’s tummy. So crazy! All the online pregnancy sites say “you might start noticing kicking any day now”, which is hilarious since we’ve been feeling it for weeks and weeks now. This kid’s gonna be a bruiser, you heard it here first.

Here’s what’s happening to baby at 19 weeks:
Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch.

One of the most amazing aspects of your baby's growth and development is that of the fetal brain. Your baby's brain is one of the first organs to appear. Your baby's oversized head shows the brain's importance in his development. Because the nerves that connect the muscles to the brain have grown into place, your baby's movements are consciously directed. Your baby's ears stand out from the sides of the head and the buds for your baby's permanent teeth appear. Your baby's arms and legs have reached their relative proportions and his feet are approximately one inch long. Baby's skin is now covered with vernix, a slippery white coating that protects the birthday suit from getting chapped or scratched. Permanent teeth buds are forming behind the milk teeth buds.

Here’s what’s happening to mom at 19 weeks:
Continued from last time:
Round ligament pain
Eating cold sandwich meat prohibited – nuke it first to kill bacteria

New-ish symptoms
Most women can feel their uterus about a half of an inch below their bellybutton at this point of pregnancy. If you turn to the side, you can really tell that your body is changing! Most women have gained up to 14 pounds now and only half a pound of that is baby! The placenta weighs about 6 ounces and the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby weighs 11 ounces. Mom may be gaining weight in places other than her abdomen and this may be affecting posture and sleeping habits.

What about skin changes? Ok! Are the palms of your hands red? Nothing to worry about — it's from increased estrogen. Patches of darkened skin are also common during pregnancy. When they show up around your upper lip, upper cheeks and forehead, they're called chloasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." You may see these splotches on your arms or other areas that have been exposed to the sun. darkened line running from your belly button to your pubic bone is called the linea nigra, or "dark line." All of this darkening is caused by a temporary increase in melanin, the substance that colors your hair, skin, and eyes. For most women, these darkened spots will fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the requests are coming in!

For just 12 bucks (plus shipping) you too can have your very own newborn baby beanie, knitted by my very own hands.

I can make them in just about any color with or without pompoms or felt appliques.

I only have 2 examples posted in my flickr set but I'll put up more next week when I start my very own little etsy shop.

Wish me luck.

While you wait for my etsy shop to open check out my friend's:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

practice makes perfect

Jason is taking this whole parenting thing seriously! Here he is feeding his coworker's son, Ronnie. Too cute!

and what does this look like to you?

Can you make it out?

that's right. that would be a, er... penis. here's a revised version with supplemental comments:

Hooray for baby boy McG! Click here to see the whole set from today.

18 weeks

today we go in for the anatomy scan (ultrasound). it's a big day and I'm super excited. I guess - if you wanted to be a dick about it - that you could say that there are no big days until baby mcg is here. but it doesn't feel like that to me. it feels like each week there's a different milestone and a different thing to do.

it's funny, we're a little (only a little) wound up about having the baby's room ready "in time for baby".. as if the kid is going to pop out speaking english and say "you know, I really would have appreciated it if you went with a different color scheme in here" or "wtf? why is there a keyboard in here? this is my bedroom, yo! get it out!" I don't know. we're both pretty driven and we're still ahead of the game so i'm trying not to stress about things like that. don't stress, but don't waste time either.

anyway, I wanted to share an excerpt of "what's happening at 18 weeks" (though in reality we're at 18 1/2 weeks) ...

How baby's growing:
Head to bottom, your baby is approximately 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a large sweet potato) and she weighs almost 7 ounces. She's busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you'll likely start noticing more and more [correct! even dad can feel from the outside]. Her blood vessels are visible through her thin skin and her ears are now in position and stand out from her head. Myelin (a protective covering) is beginning to form around her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after she's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and Fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If your baby is a boy, his genitals are noticeable, though he may hide them from you during an ultrasound. At this point of your pregnancy, your uterus is approximately the size of a cantaloupe.

Around this time, your baby becomes more sensitive to the outside world and shows her presence through powerful kicks and prods. [Try drinking a coke - that will wake baby up!] The bones through which sound is passed to the inner ear have hardened and the part of the brain that receives and processes nerve signals from the ears are developing. This means that your baby can hear now. Your baby will get used to familiar sounds, such as your heart beating, familiar voices, blood rushing through the umbilical cord and other daily routine sounds. Your baby will become startled if he hears a loud sound.

If you have a stethoscope at home, you can now hear the baby's heartbeat yourself.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Information is designed to give you a general idea of baby's development.

How life's changing:
Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline increase. Look for specially designed maternity clothes that can accommodate the expanding belly. [duh]

You may have heard that you should avoid lying on your back during your last two trimesters. Here's why: When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein (called the inferior vena cava) that returns blood from the lower half of your body back to your heart. Lying on your side (or even partially tilted to the side), particularly your left side, prevents this compression and improves your blood flow. Try placing a pillow behind you, or under your hip or leg for comfort. [or perhaps just laying down all the time and not walking around at all. ok? ok.]

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during your second trimester your blood pressure is probably lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy. [right. or walk around too much. or stay awake too long.]

If you haven't already, you'll probably have an ultrasound done sometime this trimester [today!]. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying [one confirmed]. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking her thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album! [if baby is asleep they have you drink half a coke to wake it up. almost seems cruel.]

Friday, August 17, 2007

sign baby sign

We are planning to teach our little one to use ASL. I've read alot about it and it seems like a great way to communicate when speech is still in the early development stages.

Check it out the ASL for babies link here.

simply unisex

Frankly I'm over gender specific clothing for newborns. Can the average person even tell a newborn girl from a newborn boy (without checking the goods)?

Whatever. I seem to gravitate towards the unisex stuff because it's not the same old blue and pink shiznit.... i like the lovely greens and yellows of clothing that doesn't scream "THIS IS A LITTLE BOY" or "THIS IS A LITTLE GIRL".

check out this set from New, it is delightfully non-gender specific and super cute:

18 weeks!

Another friday... another belly pic.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

baby wants....

Yoberry! This evil evil place just opened up across the street from my office building in downtown Seattle. And. I. am. addicted.

You should also know that it is fat free!

clearly this company understands me

The people that come up with the ecards at are awesome. This is my favorite but there are so many.

thanks to Apartment Therapy and some ladies on a CL forum for telling me about these.

purple is the color of royalty

i think i heard that somewhere. anyway it's one of my favorite colors. i updated the look and feel of the site a little bit. actually made myself late to work doing so!

hope it's easier on the eyes now.

the latest from the mcg hat factory

I finished another hat. I am really digging this.

Next stop... ear flaps!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

more nauseating than morning sickness

So I just finished negotiating my maternity leave and post leave work schedule and god I felt like I'd throw up during that meeting!

I proposed the following:
- I would take 8 consecutive weeks of maternity leave (I get 12 but 6 are unpaid).
- One week prior to my due date I will begin working from home (to minimize the chances of me going into labor at my freaking desk.
- After I complete my 8 week leave I will go to a 2 days onsite, 3 days offsite work schedule.

What they agreed to:
Tentatively everything! Approval from the CTO is needed to seal the deal but my director says that he will sell it hard to him so he isn't too worried. Lord help me if he says no!
I also have to have a monthly status review where we agree to measurable goals and then each month they are assessed to determine whether or not I am keeping up my end of the bargain. Truth be told this feels a little unfair because it implies that just because I am not sitting at a desk in our office that I might be goofing off somewhere which just isn't like me. But it's not hurting me to do it so whatever as long as they agree to my terms.

I don't want to get my hopes up because the CTO could still put the hammer down and say no. I don't see that happening though only because there are a few others that have flex work schedules and that could get really sketchy. On the bright side, if he does say no at least I will know now before baby comes so I can start coming up with a different plan. Wish me luck!

big things happening

Next week is very big for us. It's the 20 week (actually it will be more like 18 week) ultrasound where we can find out the gender of the baby as well see all of it's little teeny parts. I am really excited about this. Pray that this little guy or girl will spread 'em so we can see what's doing down there.

So for those of you that don't know want to know the sex of the baby before it's born then beware when reading this blog because I'm going to post it.

I keep getting asked if I have a feeling about what the baby will be and I actually do. At first I was really into having a little boy but I keep having dreams about little baby girls. In my dreams the baby looks exactly like what I would imagine that a little baby that came from J and I would look like. She is light brown with curly hair like my beautiful friend. In my dreams this baby is the sweetest and cutest and most well behaved little creature that I have ever encountered (humor me, it's a dream).

This is a recurring dream and every time I wake up from it I feel like I just saw my own baby. It. feels. so. real. So that's why I'm thinking that we'll have a little girl.

Only 1 more week til we find out!!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

baby beanies

So the nesting instinct is starting to kick in pretty hard. It's like a little domestic spark was lit somewhere deep inside and as it smolders I get inspired to do and make things that will welcome our little baby into this world. I have been knitting for about 2 years now but I honestly haven't done many projects. After I made a bunch of scarves I got really bored and started a sweater. I think the sweater was really challenging (double seed stitch, multi color kimono wrap sweater!) so I kinda stalled with the whole thing. I should have picked an easier project.

Anyway so a tiny beanie hat small enough for a newborn seemed like an easy way to:
-get back into knitting
-make something useful for our baby
-employ more knitting techniques (seaming, decreases)

Well mission accomplished. I made this really cute newborn sized beanie out of Bulky (5) light green bamboo yarn. It was only $2.99 p/skein at our local craft and fabric store.
For sizing I measured a fleece newborn hat that my husband bought on a whim and cast on the requisite amount of stitches(45 based on the circumference of the fleece hat) and knit the appropriate number of rows (based on the depth of the fleece hat). After knitting in stockinette for about 4 inches I k2tog across the entire next several rows until I was left with 1 stitch on my needle. I wove in the tail and seamed the selvage edges together.

It was cute as it was but I wanted to make it cuter so I cut out a bit of purple felt into the shape of a rough star and glued that with fabric glue to the top. This design has a lot of potential... Orange yarn and green felt for a pumpkin, purple yarn with green felt for an eggplant... and on and on it goes.

Here's a pic of the finished product:

Click here for the full set.

Friday, August 10, 2007


OK not really but my belly is nekkid here in this pic of me at 17 weeks. Notice how the linea negra has really started to show!
The belly itself is getting to be really firm and round like a little soccer ball in my lower abdomen.

Also I have been having round ligament pain like a muthafarker and though annoying it's another little reminder that our little Fenix is growing and growing.

Happy Friday!

Monday, August 6, 2007

half and half

So if you didn't know already, I am african american and my husband is white (Irish heritage). The most exciting part of this whole thing is wondering what our little one will look like. I could have a little brown baby or a very fair one. I'll be thrilled either way, I'm just eager to see how our genetic material homogenizes to make a new beautiful person.

I started googling around about mulitcultural children and I found this sweet sweet site. I want to order everything!

Cute tees for multicultural babies

preggo privileges

If I didn't look pregnant before surely I must have crossed over and definitely look it now. I have started getting what I am going to refer to from here on as "Preggo Privileges". It's quite awesome actually so I'm not complaining. The staring is annoying but it's pretty cool when you walk up to a line and people move aside to let you go first. Today on the bus someone even gave me their seat! The only trouble is that I'm not sure how to handle that exchange gracefully. I always say thank you but I can't help feeling guilty. I mean I'm not disabled I'm just a little round and uncomfortable. But whatever... I'm gonna enjoy it. I'll be back to my old self eventually so I want to savor this while I can.

Friday, August 3, 2007


We just booked a trip to Sedona, AZ for our one year anniversary. We are only going for 5 days but I can't wait!
We will rent a car and do some site seeing while we're there. Definitely also want to get in a couple's massage and some spa time. This is our last hurrah before the baby comes.
One of many red rock formations in sedona:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

somber thoughts

I just heard today that someone that I know of thru a pregnancy forum lost her little one at 21 weeks. I know that it is not my business but I feel for this person so deeply that the news brought me to tears. My heart is so broken for her. She was so helpful and kind to the other people that post on that forum including me.

My thoughts are with her and her husband. I am sending so many thoughts of peace, sympathy and hope to them both.

the quickening

That's what they call it, you know? When the baby starts to move and flutter around in the womb? It's called quickening. I felt it for the first time today. Actually I think that I've felt it earlier this week but I was afraid to assume that it was the baby because I didn't want to jump the gun. However after talking to my midwife, I'm pretty sure this is what I feel. It feels like the teeniest tap tap tapping from the inside. It is a pretty distinct feeling so I'm pretty sure about it. That being said, I think I sort of brought this on. I had the most intense craving for coca cola today (I know I know but my midwife said it was ok to have once in a while). I don't even drink the stuff when I'm not pregnant so why in the world am I craving it now?! It tasted pretty good going down though, I gotta say.

So about 10 mins after I drank it, I start feeling this weird little tapping. Almost like little fingers drumming on my middle from the inside. Sorry kid, you aren't even born and I already got you hopped up on the caffeine.

Anyway it was awesome... I can't wait til Jason can feel the kicking/punching from the outside!