Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby shower!!!

Last Saturday Mom, Diane, Mary Helen and Lindy hosted a baby shower for me and Eliot. It was themed like our nursery (Forest critters) and was SO much fun! But I am getting ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning of the day...

Mary Helen, Eliot, Jodi, and I all drove up from Springfield in Jodi's car (because it is bigger) about 2 hours before the party. After dropping Jodi and Mary Helen off at my mom's house, Eliot and I went out with Lindy to Dawson Creek park to take some maternity photos. We had a great time, though wen OUT of time, and hopefully got some great shots which I don't have yet since they are still in the hands of the photographer (who no doubt hasn't had time to edit them with a full-time job and twins!).

When we got back, people were arriving already for the party. I explored the decor... a "swamp" punch with fishies swimming in it, a prefold diaper cake with forest critters climbing on it, pine cone garlands, a banner tracking my bump progress, little forest items tucked here and there, the CUTEST party favor bags ever with little stamped critters on them, a "Welcome Baby Grasso" banner and loads of other things I may have forgotten to mention! It was truly amazing how much work went into everything and I felt so honored.

Eliot and I donned "mom-to-be" and "dad-to-be" medals and all the guests arrived, enthusiastic and excited. We dined on "dirt" pudding in flower pots, egg and tomato toadstools, ants on a log, and mini quiches. It was all delicious! Guests could also frost and decorate their own critter-shaped cookies. :-)

We played some great games, including a baby story that had "left" and "right" in it and had you pass a gift around in a circle according to whatever direction was said in the story, which was a TON of fun. Then our nursery rhyme skills were tested... mine were not so great! We also had a string test for the guests to guess how big my tummy was... most of them guessed big (I must look bigger than I feel!), but it was all in good fun. The winner was chosen during a break in the presents. The last game was all of us opening up our name tags (shaped like diapers) and seeing if we had the "messy" diaper. The games were all very well done and tasteful... Diane and Kristi did a great job!!

The presents were the most exhausting but most fun of all... I still can't get over how generous everyone was. We feel so blessed to have been given so many useful things, and now our nursery is all but complete because of it. I had to take a few breaks in the presents and have Eliot open a few because I was just plain exhausted from such a long day and having so many people's attention for so long!

During one of the breaks, Rhonda gave a dramatic reading of "I'll love you forever" for Eliot since he'd never read it before. Then they both did "The Composer's Dead" because Eliot had wanted it so desperately and was so excited about it. It may be a few years before our kiddo is ready for that one! :-)

All the gifts were wonderful and there are too many to name individually, but here are a few that stood out:

A handmade blanket with forest critters on it made by mom and grandma (so cute!!).
The "family" crib from Nathan and Lindy AND a swing that matches our theme and home!
Two picture murals of animals using photos taken by Mary Helen and labeled with the names of the animals.
A Moby wrap so we can cuddle with our little one. <3
Cloth diapers galore!
Lots and lots of cute baby clothes in all different sizes.
Baby books given with memories attached about how each gift giver read them to their kiddos. :-)
Gift cards to target and Babies R Us that have already allowed me to purchase the remaining items we needed for the nursery.

All in all, it was the best shower I have ever been to and I am so grateful for all involved who made it happen. Thank you everyone!! It was a shower for the memory book (which we have courtesy of Mary Helen) to be sure.

Here is a link to the photo album for you to browse at your leisure. I am sorry I don't have captions up, I'm just running out of steam this evening!

Baby Shower

Monday, March 29, 2010

The nursery (almost) finished!!

Mary Helen and Eliot have been helping me finish the nursery this weekend... here are some pics of the result! Sorry if some are blurry, the lighting was low and I'm too tired to take more pics right now!

The closet, organized

Hanging closet organizers I made from 3 months to Toddler


One of the tree murals

The other tree mural

Both trees together

View from the crib

Close up of branch shelf

Window side of room with changing table

Picture animal collages made by Mary Helen

Eliot reading to where the baby will soon be...

Close up of chickadee in tree

Close up of other birdie in tree

There are still a few things I need to get for the nursery, but it is mostly done. And so am I! I am totally exhausted and can barely drag myself to bed this evening.

I promise I will get pics up soon from the baby shower... I have to sort through them and find the best pics!

29 weeks!! Little Butternut Squash!!

I am 29 weeks as of Saturday (I was busy with the shower and a maternity photo shoot an haven't had time to post- sorry!). Here is what is going on with baby Grasso this week:

Your baby is growing rapidly now. This week he weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is getting bigger to accommodate his growing brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. Every day, about 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton, which is now hardening. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester.

I have been occupied both with putting away shower gifts (it's like a baby atom bomb went off in our house and there is stuff EVERYWHERE!) and painting tree murals in the nursery. So there should be two posts following shortly, one about the shower and another with pics of the nursery! But for now I need to go hang some shelves... I'll post soon, I promise!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Did you know??

Users of disposable diapers are supposed to throw feces in the toilet, NOT wrap them up in the diaper and throw them in the trash. (In fact, in many places it is illegal to toss solid wastes in the garbage).

The American Public Health Association released a statement in 1989 about this (read about it here)that explains the necessity of keeping human waste out of landfills as it can carry all kinds of unhappy diseases that leaches into the ground water. Instruction on how to properly dispose of feces for disposable diapers are SUPPOSED to be on the packaging for all diapers... though not all have it.

SO, all those parents who think that cloth diapering is gross because you have to toss (solid) poo in the toilet may want to think about this...

This is NOT a slam to parents who are using disposable diapers. It's just to educate those who think that cloth diapering is "gross" or somehow more work than disposables in this area... technically, we should all be doing the same thing in terms of disposing solid wastes appropriately and safely. There are also those people who think that putting soiled diapers in their laundry is "gross"... I wonder what those people do with baby clothes that have big messes on them from diapers that leaked? Hmm...

Luckily, we have a lot of people in our lives who are supporting our decision to cloth diaper... and I think a lot of the opposition is from people who aren't informed about it's benefits and the "new" cloth diapers that are as easy as disposables to use.

If anyone is interested in my other reasons to cloth diaper, I thought this article expresses my sentiments exactly.

I will get down from my soap box now. Thank you for listening. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

28 Week Bump Pic!

Here is the progression of the bump so far!

4 weeks

8 weeks

12 weeks

16 weeks

20 weeks!

20 weeks!

24 weeks!!

26 weeks!

28 weeks!!

4th Wedding Anniversary Trip

We took a trip to Newport this week to celebrate 4 wonderful years of marriage... we stayed at a very nice B&B last night after eating dinner at a fresh seafood restaurant called Local Ocean (the food was caught the same day we ate it). Today we walked to the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to see the Yaquina Head lighthouse and the natural tide pools. Here are a couple shots from our trip (you can see the rest of them here):

Eliot on the bay front where the sea lions hang out on the docks

Us on the bay front

Relaxing in our room

View from our window

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Bald Eagle

Starfish in the tide pool



Tide pools!

Sea lions on the rocks

Saturday, March 20, 2010

28 weeks! Little chinese cabbage!!!

I am officially 28 weeks today, and absolutely 100% for sure in my third trimester! I am so thrilled to be nearing the finish line (a little nervous, but mostly just excited). It's been such a blessing to watch the weather change to spring (it's officially spring today too!) and know that is the season this little one will know first. :-) My favorite season... how appropriate!

Here is what is going on with our little one this week:

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Today is such a beautiful day... I am letting Eliot sleep in for once and making him homemade waffles (I'll add wheatgerm and ground almonds for a boost) with boysenberry syrup. He has been a wonderful support person during this pregnancy and I am so thankful he is so helpful and understanding. :-)

Off to make waffles!

Muskrats, Mallards, and Magical Glitter

This morning I was taking a hot shower(with the fan on to keep the oxygen flowing in the room) and when I coughed, I saw GLITTER. Not just some spots, like we all do from time to time when we get overheated, no, this was like hundreds of fireworks going off in front of my eyes and it continued for 30 seconds or so. I was so freaked out I almost yelled for Eliot.. I've heard vision disturbances are sometimes a sign of pre-eclampsia, so I was glad my doctor's appt was in two hours and I could ask my doctor about it!

So Eliot and I went in for my appt...I also had my glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes or not. I had to fast for 2 hours, then go in and drink 10oz of liquid that tasted like flat sugary lemon-lime soda. While I was waiting the customary hour for the test to be complete so they could draw my blood, I saw my doctor. She said the "glitter" it was due to my blood pressure being so low and the water making me so hot that my blood was rushing to my extremities to cool them off and taking blood from my brain. So when I coughed I didn't have enough blood in the right place to accommodate, and I saw glitter! She said if I get black spots or partial vision loss I should call them immediately... other than that she wasn't concerned, and everything else is looking good! We now are going every 2 weeks, I can't believe it has gotten to that point already.

I had my blood drawn (after playing cards with Eliot in the lab to kill time) and then we went home for food... I was crashing big time with only sugar in my system, so we made a turkey waldorf salad. It was SO beautiful today we also decided to take a walk together at the creek by our house. We saw lots and lots of mallards (both male and female) and what I thought was an otter but Eliot said was a muskrat. I didn't even know we had those in Oregon, so we went home and looked it up.... low and behold, it was a muskrat! Go figure. I won the debate though about whether female mallards are indeed called mallards as well (and not some other name) so we are even. :-)

It's been an eventful day... we heard today the sad news that Eliot's grandma has passed away and is now with Jesus. We'll miss her, but it is comforting to know she is in a place where she is in no pain and forever with her Creator... and we will see her again someday.

On that note, I'm off to bed! I'm writing this after midnight Friday, so I will do my "28 week" post tomorrow... I need some sleep!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Found on the cloth diapering community board....

This was taken by some other cloth diapering mama and I thought I'd post it:

We all know I'm into cloth diapering for economical reasons, but being good stewards of the land God gave us is a good thing too! :-D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kelly's Closet Free Diaper Sale

Just in case anyone is planning on ordering any BumGenius or Flip diapers off our registry, I just found out about this awesome coupon for a free All-in-one diaper.

Basically, if you order $10 or more of Flip, Bumgenius, or Econobum diaper products on Kelly's closet then you get a FREE BumGenius all-in-one diaper (worth about $16). You just enter the code BGMAGAIO at checkout and specify which size you want (preferably xs or sm) with three color choices in the comments section. I just ordered some diaper doublers for $10.95 and am getting a free diaper with this coupon!!

Here is the page with more info: Free BumGenius AIO sale.

Just keeping everyone informed! I like to save people money! :-)

I got a few early gifts from some lovely Chorale members this weekend who can't make it to the shower. I'll include pics and descriptions with the big shower update later! I am so grateful and humbled by everyone's generosity... it's so wonderful to have a community of people supporting us raising this kiddo. :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

27 weeks! Little cauliflower!!

I am 27 weeks as of yesterday! It was a busy day with the chorale concert and I didn't have time to post. So here is what is happening with our little one this week:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother him, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekly survey- Week 26

How far along: 26 weeks, 5 days

Cravings: Hot fudge syrup

Sleep: Up every two hours, very crazy dreams, and I'm so hot all the time I don't need covers anymore.

Best moment this week: Watching the Marriage Ref and cuddling on the couch with Eliot, and seeing the baby kick from the OUTSIDE of my tummy!

New symptoms: Feeling fatigued again, even after exercising and eating well. I also can't get off the floor without it being a big ordeal, and I whimper when I drop something because it means I have to figure out a way to pick it up.

What I miss: Long nights of uninterrupted sleep!

What I am looking forward to: Our birth classes this month! And our anniversary trip to the beach. :-)

Projects for this week: Hanging the pig picture and wall organizer, and putting up new blinds in the nursery.

Silly pregnant moment of the week: Hitting my stomach whenever I open a door because I'm not used to it being there!

Milestones: This is the LAST week of my second trimester! Well, some people say it starts week 28, but all my books say 27 is the start of the third trimester. Goodness, time has flown by. Only 93 days left to go! Oh my...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Picture time!

It's spring and I was inspired by our beautiful blooming tree outside to take some pics on my way out the door today. So here are some pics in and of our front yard!

See the chickadee who found my new feeder?

Tree in full bloom

Bleeding hearts

Me, 26 weeks preggo!

Eliot and I with the tree

Saturday, March 6, 2010

26 weeks! Little English Hothouse Cucumber!!

I am officially 26 weeks today! Here is what is going on with little baby Grasso this week:
The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Birth class!

We went to our first birth class last night, a five-week class at our hospital called "Birthing Naturally." The teacher is a board certified RN and lactation consultant (she teaches the breastfeeding class as well) and she has lots of experience both in a hospital setting and in a midwifery center. It seems she will be teaching many different techniques for natural birth, giving a broader range of options instead of just an epidural or nothing.

The class was full with about 15 couples there, and some of them... well, let's just say there were many different kinds of people. There were the women who want to "experience EVERYTHING" about labor, the women who are "terrified of having a c-section," the dad who "feels pain" when his wife does, and those who are more like me, just a little scared of birth and looking for information to eliminate that fear.

I was the "youngest" of the preggos, with everyone else due in April or May. I told the class instructor I am a planner and she said she understands. :-)

The class was two hours long, and after introductions we talked a bit about what a mom needs during labor (support, love, comfort, a calm environment, etc.). We also watched a video about the stages of labor (which freaked out about half of us in the room).

I realized that while labor is going to be hard (hence the name), it won't last forever and I have a good team of people watching out for me while I am out of it and in pain. I think Eliot and my Mom will make an excellent support team... they can be my advocate when I am not thinking clearly and can suggest positions etc that might help...and I can yell at them without them being offended. :-D Along with my capable OB doc and the nursing staff in L&D, I know we will be ok. It's taken me awhile to be able to say that, for months I've been hyperventilating when I think about it!

So we'll learn more about relaxation and techniques in the next few classes, which I am looking forward to. Mom got us an exercise ball for our anniversary (a little early) and I can use that to sit on now as a birth ball, which is really nice (thanks mom!). We also have a binder from the class with all the things we discuss in it so we can do review in June and take it with us to the hospital to use during labor.

I'm glad we are taking the class... education combats fear of the unknown!

And Jim and Pam are giving birth to their first little one on the Office tonight! Here is a sneak preview...