Monday, November 30, 2009

First Quilt


Here's a pic of SugarPlum's first quilt made by my mother.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Name Game

Danielle and I cannot seem to agree on a first name for Sugarplum and we may be one of "those" parents who just waits to see what the baby looks like before naming. This gives me both a sense of a relief about not being locked into a name and maybe wanting to add something to the short list later but then I also feel a little flaky about not being able to decide on a name. At any rate, I thought I'd share them with you. Please note that the name with the most votes does not necessarily mean we'll use that name. It's just for fun.

Please cast you votes to the right.

***BTW- thanks for those who provided feedback on Gracie and the poop situation. I think we are going to reevaluate the food she eats. I was making homemade food for her in the past (rice, ground chicken, carrots, celery and parsley) but stopped about a month ago (laziness) and switched to Pedigree dog food (total random choice). I may have to go back to the homemade or find a good canned choice for her. We mix it with her kibble.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daycare #2- Child Development Center

I toured another daycare center which has "Child Development Center" in it's title and is owned by a very large teaching/medical facility so I had high hopes for this center thinking that it would be at the top of it's game being developmentally stimulating for little SugarPlum. They have a waiting list with the first opening in July 2010 so I thought it would be the stuff. However, I wasn't all that impressed.

Hilltop (daycare #1) offers formula and solids in their tuition, is $50 less, has better pick up and drop off parking, has staff who have been there for over 14 years in the infant room, changes their schedule every 30 minutes, starts the day off with "lots of hugs, smiles and holding", has accommodated same sex families, close to home, offers groups for parents, uses stimulating activities such as reading, puppets, music, songs, art, and toys. Their ratio is 1:3. The only drawback: don't love the neighborhood, and they follow Pittsburgh Public School snow days (could pose a problem).

CDC (daycare #2) does not offer any extras in their tuition. Hot meals only start when the child is 1 and is in the 1 year old room. They have a teacher with a BA in child ed in each room. Their ratio is 1:4, it's close to work, the children are held in a room with other children up to the age of 2 until all the staff and children arrive for the day, their schedule changes every 60-90 minutes. I didn't see anything about the use of music, puppets and art. I did notice a lot of use of toys.

Both allow me to drop in any time to feed, have lunch or say hi to our child. Both will accommodate same sex families, although CDC said in the 5+ years she's been there, she's never had a same sex family in their infant room. Both offer codes to get into the facility. However, CDC said the code can be given by the family to extended family. I'm concerned about this because it seems like really easy access for loony family members.

So while there are other pros and cons for each, daycare #1 is the top contender at this time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gracie Strikes Again

Gracie ate Slice's poop this afternoon. I'm so deeply disturbed by this. Why must she be so gross?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

19w6d Photo Shot


I'm not brave enough to do a side shot but you get the gist.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crib Bedding???

This week we are in the planning phase for the nursery. Ironically (?), I had a girl's nursery planned right down to the accessories but I had nothing planned for a boy. It feels like boys room are more themed orientated than just decorated. So the challenge is deciding on colors, layout, bedding, etc. Danielle and I are trying compromise on color. We don't exactly want a typical blue nursery but we're not against it. We've tossed around a few colors but we're not sure. However, my purchase today may help move the decision along. While at BRU I scored an Amy Coe 4 piece crib set and mobile. The bedding alone generally goes for $169 and I got the bedding and mobile for..............$16.00. No that's not a typo $16.00. Even the sales associate was surprised. I don't know if it was mismarked or what because bedding NEVER goes that cheap. Even the ones around it were $70 on clearance. So I figured even if Danielle doesn't care for the bedding for the nursery we can send parts of it to daycare or use it as a back up. Either way, I'm super excited about this purchase.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Game On....

Now that we know what we're having, GAME ON!!!! I hit up Carters and bought our SugarPlum a few (okay slightly more than a few) items. Baby clothes are so cute.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SugarPlum is a...................

Press play to find out if SugarPlum is a boy or a girl:


video

Monday, November 9, 2009

Daycare Questions: Input needed

We have a busy week planned:
Tuesday- tour a highly recommended daycare center located less than a mile from us.
Thursday- the big u/s followed by lunch with Danielle's mother and sister to celebrate the gender.
Friday- prenatal appt with Mr. Midwife
Saturday- lunch again with the in-laws and some baby shopping/registry updating at BRU.

Here are some questions I've come up with so far to ask the daycare center. If anyone has any suggestions please add them. In my search for what to look for in a daycare, most of the info was geared towards toddlers and not so much on newborns. If there's anything you like about your infant room/daycare provider can you share?

  • Daycare Questions:
  • What are your hours? Drop off and pick up?
  • Do you care for babies in cloth diapers? If so what would I need to do to make it easier for you?
  • What is the schedule for newborns like?
  • How do you handle holidays like father’s day for children who come from single parent homes or two mother homes? (i.e make a card for uncles/grandfathers)
  • What is your policy for sick children?
  • Do you still charge if we go on vacation for a few days to a week?
  • Which holidays are you closed? Are we charged for that day?
  • Do you accept FSA?
  • What is the staff to child ratio?
  • What kind of training does your staff have (i.e. CPR, Child Development)?
  • Is there a nurse on staff?
  • What is included in your fee? Diapers, formula, meals, etc? Is there a discount if your child breastfeeds, is on a special formula that you don’t provide or is cloth diapered?
  • As our child gets older, will you respect our wishes for no candy?
  • What kind of snacks do you serve older children?
  • Do you offer an educational program or curriculum? At what age do you start?
  • What kind of stimulation or child development skills do you offer infants?
  • What is your policy on discipline?
  • Do you send home a daily report on how my child’s day went?
  • Do you allow parents to visit during the day?
  • Can parents join their child during lunch time every once in a while?
  • How do you reduce the spread of germs and infections (i.e. washing hands after diaper changes, children not coming if they are sick/sick room, washing hands before lunch)?
  • Are babies taken outside for fresh air/walks?
  • Do you allow children to watch tv or play video games? Is there another alternative to this activity?

BTW, I called my insurance company today and an electric breast pump can be coverd if my doc/midwife gets an auth and documents that I'll be separated from my child for either work or school. That'll be a huge saving on my part.

UPDATE: The tour went well. I got all of my questions answered and then some. Their daily schedule made me choke up because it's so cute. SugarPlum is officially on the list.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cloth Diaper Consultation











Itwas never out intention to cloth diaper. However, as many of you know, my mother makes cloth diapers for her Etsy site and offered to supply us with all the cloth diapers we needed so I'd be a fool to turn it down. The only dilemma was that Danielle and I knew nothing about cloth diapering. So we were referred to Pittsburgh Cloth Diaper, which is run by a SAHM who runs this business out of her home in a very cute workshop. She offers free consultations and sells just about every kind of cloth diaper and accessory out there on the market. She was very thorough and after being there for an hour we were completely sold. Now, that's not to say our child's hiney won't ever see a disposable but we plan to primarily cloth diaper. I think learning about it really decreased the overwhelming feeling of it all. The nice thing was that we brought two of my mom's diapers so that she could offer some feedback and she absolutely loved them. She also suggested that instead of having my mom make 24 newborns, to have her just make about 10 and supplement with prefolds and covers while I'm at home on maternity leave as the baby will grow out of them fast. That way my mother can spend a lot more time making larger ones.

The icing was that she offers a gift registry on her site so I can't wait to register for some accessories.
Ive learned a very important lesson during this pregnancy which is as you are going through pregnancy and I'm sure this extends itself to when the baby comes and you are parenting, keep your decisions to yourself because everyone always has an opinion and wants to tell you what you should/shouldn't do or enforce their parenting styles on you. Note, this is done primarily when their opinion was NEVER asked in the first place. The cloth diapering lady made a good point today when I told her about some people's reactions to cloth diapering and she said that as a new parent you are seen as lacking credibility. I've found this to be quite true and as a result I tend to preface my answers by saying "I'm going to try to ...." instead of being more assertive because it seems like people are always telling me the negative or their failed attempts at something or try to discourage me in some way or either by their tone or their words. For example:
Midwife: people were really taken aback when I told them about this and felt I should use an OB because it was "safer." Meanwhile I love my midwife and have had nothing but a great experience so far. While I'm not knocking OB's, this was a great fit for us and I have no regrets.
Medication: I'd like to try it med free. Not because I think meds are bad but because I'm deathly afraid of it putting me on the train track to a c-section. And while I know c-sections are medically necessary for some, I'd really like to avoid it.

Cloth diapering: The response has been, why would you want to do that? It's so time consuming. Disposables are so much easier, etc. I just want to respond with "what the hell do you care? you'll never be responsible for changing my child's diaper whether cloth or disposable."

Breastfeeding: It's so hard. You are naive. Everybody thinks it's so easy but you'll see. Not all babies take to it. A bottle is easier. And once again I just want to say "what the hell do you care? I'm not asking you to take your breast out to feed my child."

Baby names: My friend Deanna told me early on not to disclose the names we were considering because at the end of the day, it's your child and your decision and people will always tell you if they don't like it. This my friends, is very true. So I agree with Deanna, don't do it.
Finding out the gender: It amazes me how many people try to talk us out of finding out the baby's sex. What difference does it make to you? I'll just be as suprised when the tech tells us if it's a boy or girl as I would be if the midwife told us at birth.
I just find people in real life to be utterly rude sometimes. I love when I come across women who share positive stories of breastfeeding or cloth diapering or natural child birth. It's just so inspiring and I try to focus on their stories more so than the people who try to discourage me or want me to parent like them.

Anyway, sorry about my rant. I'll leave you with some pics of our cloth diapering Elmo who is our temporary baby model. Danielle is WAYYYY better at doing the prefolds than I am. Danielle, who loves poker, also bought a onesie that says "you stack blocks, I stack chips."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crib update

Holy cow! I got a call today from JCP telling me that the crib arrived. I only ordered it two days ago. I can't wait to pick it up (not that we are assembling it until after the holidays).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maternity Leave Sucks

I found out today that maternity leave is not what I expected at all and it left me slightly (okay a little more than slightly) heartbroken. Maternity Leave: 1 week of vacation time before you can take the 5 weeks of leave at 60% of your pay. You can take an additional 12 weeks under FMLA but it's unpaid. Maybe I'm naive but I truly thought maternity leave meant 6 weeks of full pay and the 12 weeks was at a reduced rate. So now our goal is to make 2 extra student loan and mortgage payments before SugarPlum is born so that I can spend time with him/her without worrying so much.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crib

I know it's early but we ordered our crib this morning from JC Penny. We were going to wait but got some great deals that made it all worth it:
  • Free shipping= a savings of $150
  • Comes with the safety rail (aka toddler rail) for free= a savings of $90
  • On sale= a savings of $150
  • Great reviews on JCP's website= peace of mind

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sewing Day

I decided to start on some projects for SugarPlum. Working as the sun was beaming through the window and listening to soft music made for the perfect Sunday afternoon (a glass of wine would have made it better but you know how all that goes).

Shown: Bib (will have to pass it along if I have a boy) and some burp cloths (heard the cloth diapers make great burb cloths).