Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The search for a diaper bag...

Handbags are my all time favorite accessory. Now that I will be toting diapers and baby essentials around with me come early summer I have been on the search for the perfect diaper bag. In my hunger for all things pregnancy related I began watching the reality show Pregnant In Heels. On the show Rosie Pope carries around the chicest diaper bag from her line. I instantly fell in love with it and immediately went to her online boutique. There it was, the gorgeous diaper bag with the not so gorgeous price tag of $365. I got super excited when I noticed a 50% off everything in the store promotion. Then I got super sad when I realized the bag was sold out. Grrrr.

The bag is now in stock but of course the promotion has ended. So frustrating. On the upside who wants to be carrying around five extra pounds of leather along with the baby? Um, I would but to make myself feel better about passing this one up I'm telling myself my back will thank me later.

So then I found this French beauty from Magic Stroller Bag...

Absolutely gorgeous but once again this bag costs about $395 and is incredibly hard to locate online. Plus it's leather and most likely heavy. Again, I am left frustrated.

So here is my third favorite diaper bag from ikabags on Etsy...

Much lighter than leather, waterproof and handmade in France for the reasonable price of $79!

And for one last option I found a chevron stripe bag from the Etsy store From K to Z...

This one is $90 and you can get a matching changing pad for an additional $17. So now I'm a bit torn on which Etsy bag I want to take the plunge with. So I need some input. Which bag would you choose?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

22 weeks (last week)...

Last week marked my 22nd week of pregnancy. I have to say pregnancy has been pretty fantastic. Here is (kinda long) recap thus far...

First trimester:

Finding out - After about five months of casually trying I got a positive pregnancy test. Absolute elation was followed by absolute fear. It all became very real VERY fast. I always knew I wanted to have children and after losing one of my ovaries at the age of 17 I always wondered if it would be difficult to get pregnant. Thankfully it wasn't and seeing the word "Pregnant" on my Clear Blue digital test was about the best feeling I could ever imagine. That feeling was followed by thoughts like...oh my god what have we done? Would we be able to handle this new responsibility? Were we really ready for our lives to change forever? The answer was obviously without a doubt, yes! But those first couple weeks were pretty eye opening.

Morning sickness? Nope, not a day, thank the good Lord above. What I had instead was a heightened state of paranoia. I already loved this baby so much the thought of doing anything wrong really freaked me out. I couldn't get enough information so I would search online and if I had a question or symptom I would consult Google. Bad idea. So bad, in fact, that my husband banned me from certain baby sites that can breed fear. If I had to do it all over again I would say a certain amount of ignorance is the way to go. One really doesn't need to worry oneself with all the vast possibilities of reasons for let's say, cramps.

What to eat? Another breeding field for paranoia. The list of what not to eat (or drink) is long and words like listeria and toxoplasmosis are constantly thrown around. Even though I know I have a greater chance of being abducted by aliens than contracting listeriosis, for my own sanity I have abstained from deli meats, sausage, hot dogs, unpasteurized cheese, etc. Almost all cheese in America is pasteurized but I am still afraid of certain cheeses. Yep, pregnancy paranoia. This article helped me a lot. And this article made me reconsider eating sushi.

Prenatal care. After seeing The Business of Being Born I was sold on giving birth at home. This is common practice in Europe so Ian already felt like this was the way to go for us. After some research I found the most wonderful midwifes at The Sanctuary. Honestly, I cannot say enough about how much I love them. Best decision ever. The OBGYN on staff, Dr. Stuart Fischbein is also amazing. As is the book he co-wrote The Fearless Pregnancy. I only wish I would have read it when I first found out I was pregnant. I have to say I have nothing against hospital births, epidurals or c-sections I just felt like if at all possible I personally wanted to avoid them.

Cravings? Oh yeah. Pancakes for breakfast, pancakes for lunch, pancakes for dinner. I also love a good muffin with a few sips of Ian's coffee (having a bakery/coffee shop downstairs from us is trouble). When I'm not craving sweet I want cheeseburgers and pizza. Since these things are not the best thing for the baby I limit my intake. I also have the vain fear of getting a huge ass. So that keeps me in check (most of the time). Although my constant hunger (which has increased in my second trimester) seems to be working against me.

Body changes. Breasts up (at least) two sizes!! Crazy.

The best part of my first trimester (and one of the best moments of my life so far) was hearing our baby's heartbeat and later that same day seeing our baby for the first time at my 12 week ultra-sound. It had been too early to pick up a heartbeat before then which was stressful, to say the least. I was so relieved to hear the fast swoosh of a heartbeat that day that I burst into tears. Absolutely amazing.

Second Trimester:

Baby kicks. I first felt the baby kick at about 15 weeks. I wasn't sure then if it was the baby but now that the baby is kicking all the time I know it was indeed. Such an amazing feeling, I really can't get enough.

Boy or girl premonitions. I was convinced we were having a boy, for kind of ridiculous reasons. The first being the lack of morning sickness. When I looked this up online it said no morning sickness meant you were likely having a boy. Then I checked the ancient Chinese gender predictor and it said I was having a boy. I had no telling dreams whatsoever. Ian thought we were having a girl.

Finding out the sex?
Oh yeah. Ian wanted to wait, I wanted to find out. I won that one and we found out at our 20 week ultra-sound that we are having a GIRL!!!! So much for mother's intuition, I was completely shocked and completely and utterly over the moon. As was Ian (but he knew all along, sheesh).

Seeing the baby kick.
At 21 weeks Ian and I saw my belly move when our baby kicks. Has to be the most amazing thing ever. Again, I can't get enough. Thankfully she is moving a lot everyday.

Been no problem for me yet and I've been doing a lot of it. For Christmas Ian got me this pillow. He calls it a dinosaur poop because of the shape and how massive it is (thank god for our king size bed). I also find it comfortable to sleep on my back sometimes. This was another freak out moment when I read you weren't supposed to lie on your back in your second trimester. My midwifes assured me there was nothing to worry about. They reminded me that my body would tell me when to move and that we naturally move when circulation is bad.

I think that puts me up to date. This week I am in my 23rd week and loving every minute of it. Especially now that I'm finally showing a proper bump instead of looking like I've gained weight awkwardly around my midsection. I am working on putting my belly shots all together (so far) to show the progression. Will be posting it shortly.

I would love to hear any questions or comments you have.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Honeymoon: Amsterdam...

Romantic canals.
On the hunt for the best Dutch apple pie.
Wall of clogs. I took home a vintage pair.
Biking families.
A lovely open market.
Dam Square, the heart of the city.
An old book stand.
About to have dinner in the castle behind Ian. Built in 1488 Cafe In de Waag is lit only by candles.
Yummy waffle dessert from In de Waag.
The perfect tree to read under and waiting in line to see the Anne Frank house with our guide book.
Gorgeous sunset.
The pretty Dutch flag.
A detour in the park.
Pancakes! Amsterdam - a must.
The perfect pancake.
Graffiti in a fun font.
Amazing architecture and delicious frites from Vlaams Friteshuis.
Finally the best apple pie in all of Amsterdam from Winkel 43.
After spending 9 days in Greece we were unsure of where to go to next. We were really tempted to go to Paris but since we had been two years earlier we thought it was best to go to a part of Europe we had yet seen. So then we contemplated the south of France...until the exorbitant airline tickets from Athens made us rethink France all together. Next up we thought about going to Vienna but again ticket prices were crazy. So then I hit one of my favorite blogs Fairy Tales Are True to get some inspiration. That is when I thought perhaps Amsterdam was the place to go. Reasonable flights confirmed this...and since we were ending our trip in England (only a short jaunt away) it made perfect sense. Amsterdam was never on my list of must-see cities but I have to say it turned out to be one of our favorite places we visited. The weather was gorgeous, the people were friendly (and spoke English) and endless canals reminded me of Venice, which I absolutely adore! We walked around endlessly, ate good food and took in the romantic environment.

On our travels we have this little ritual of purchasing a city guide at the airport before embarking on our adventure. It's always really helpful and makes for a great keepsake on our bookshelf.

Helpful tip: my husband bought a SIM card in every city we visited that way we had navigation and internet with us always. The SIM cards were always cheap and always came in handy. Unfortunately this doesn't work for iphone users like me.  

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