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21 November 2008

A Day for Dad

Yesterday, Dave and I went to our monthly doctor's appointment up in San Luis Obispo. The appointment was quick and simple, just the way we like them. Everything checked out okay and we got to hear our baby girl's heartbeat again.

We ran a few errands in SLO and then decided to head to the same store where Mom and I racked up on baby clothes. This store didn't have as many cute clothes, but we did manage to walk out with a bag full of outfits! Dave picked out the majority of the clothes, but I think these two are his favorites!

David LOVES a safari theme. Since it doesn't go so well with our house, his office holds the bulk of his "exotic" pieces. I figure this outfit will be for Bring Your Daughter To Work Day!

When we got home, Dave threw some steaks on the grill and we caught up on some recorded tv shows. Peanut has been kicking and moving like crazy lately and I had a feeling that David might be able to feel her. I had him put his hand on my belly and we just waited. It wasn't 15 seconds before he said, "Was that it?" I couldn't believe that he could really feel her already. I honestly didn't think that would happen for a few more weeks! It was really exciting for both of us, and I know all of these experiences helps him have more of a bond with our baby.

Overall, I would say yesterday was a great day for Dad Michelson!

18 November 2008

Don't Ask Me How I Got it All Back on the Plane!

I just got back last night from an AWESOME trip to Arizona where I got to spend some time with my parents and my brother. We had a great time shopping, shopping and shopping for baby stuff. (And, by "we" I mean my mom and me!) Alright, we also did some other stuff, like eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, see the new 007 movie, attend a Hee Haw show (the equivalent of waterboarding torture), make a baby blanket (to be blogged about later) and have a delicious Thanksgiving dinner together!

Mom and I (and we even convinced my brother to go with us a couple times) got a TON of baby clothes for our little Nutter Butter last weekend! Mom and I started off at a craft show at their church and then headed to the mall and checked out a couple baby stores and Pottery Barn Kids where I found a cute baby quilt on sale, but didn't end up getting. We ended up randomly going into a store that was going out of business and all of the Carter's clothes were 40% off! We just couldn't resist a sale like that. We got so many cute outfits and blankets. (For all you ultrasound doubters, many of them are pretty gender neutral and would be just as cute if she turns out to be a he!)

On Saturday, Mom and I begged Ryan to take us to Mesa with his iphone GPS to a couple baby boutiques to look at bedding. I was pretty set in my mind that I wanted to go with pink and chocolate brown (or as Dave would say "our wedding colors" even though our wedding colors did NOT have pink in them at all!). I also didn't plan on buying anything...just looking. The first place we went was just pink overload. They had every shade of pink with frills and ruffles and it was all SO NOT ME! Not to mention, the cute 4-piece bedding sets were all around $500! I couldn't believe it. We went to another store and found some stuff that was kind of cute. The sales lady was extremely helpful and told me about how they could custom design bedding if we didn't find anything that we liked. A custom designed set for TWO pieces started out at $550. Sorry folks, but there is just too much stuff to buy for a baby and spending that much money on bedding was just something I couldn't matter how cute it was!

Mom and I went to a back wall in the store that was selling Carter's brand bumpers and crib sheets and bed skirts. They were all around $30 each. I told Mom that my plan was to get a pink bumper, a pink and white striped bed skirt, and a cute pink or chocolate brown sheet and be done with it. That night, I had dreams of baby clothes and baby bedding and woke up at 5:45 thinking how the cute polka dot baby quilt from PB Kids would tie in the bedding perfectly. When Mom finally woke up, I told her my plan and begged her to go back to the mall when it opened.

We headed in to PB Kids and I grabbed the quilt. Well, then we started grabbing more quilts and looking at how cute they were. We found the cutest one ever that was pale green and yellow and had cute little fuzzy bunnies and sheep and ducks on it. When we opened it up and looked at the whole quilt, Mom said, "Amanda, it reminds me of your baby quilt." (The baby quilt I slept with all the way through college that is now literally held together by threads.) Well, that sold me...and it turned out that the bumper and bed skirt were also there and they were all on sale! I found 3 different crib sheets that would match and decided that we were going to go with it! If David didn't like it, we could always take it back.

So, Mom and I checked out and when the girl rang it up, we found out that it was on sale even more. I ended up getting $300 worth of adorable bedding for about $120! Mom and I were on such a high from our shopping, it was ridiculous. I came home and added up all of our purchases and what we should have spent and I realized that I saved 56% overall. So, my explanation to David was that I saved MORE than I spent! You can't beat it.
I had to borrow a small carry-on bag to put all the clothes in and then somehow managed to fit all of the bedding and other things I had purchased in my big bag. There was no way I could leave any of the stuff behind!

I showed David all of the goodies I got and he was such a trooper about it. I know guys don't get as excited about all of that (proven by my dad and brother this weekend when my brother secretly un-paused and muted the football game behind me and watched it the entire time I was showing them all of our purchases), but he was really great about showing some excitement! And, he LOVED the bedding.

I'll post some pictures sometime in the future when we get the nursery all put together, but that will be a few months down the road! We meet with the contractor tomorrow night to see his plans for putting up french doors and enclosing the living room/den and converting it to a nursery! We definitely have some work to do in the next five months!

All of the clothes, blankets and bedding laid out on Mom's king-sized bed! (Some of them are gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Cooper and Uncle Ryan.)

Sorry Grandpa Michelson, looks like Peanut is going to be a CNN fan!

The CNN shirts were gifts from my brother. When I broke the news to him that we were pregnant, I told him that he would have to see if the CNN store sold onesies. He said, "Oh yeah, for sure......what's a onesie??" A big thank you to Hala for helping him pick the shirts and bib out! He also got Peanut a little stuffed lamb that can be attached to the crib and plays calming sounds like the ocean or the mother's heartbeat. After we got the bedding, we realized how perfect the little lamb would be with it!

So, a big thanks to my family for putting up with the baby frenzy this weekend! I had such a great time getting to hang out with you all. Thanks again, Ryan, for driving us around on Saturday. I'm glad you had your iphone to entertain you! We can't wait to see you guys at Christmas!

13 November 2008

My Maid of Honor is also My Psychic

When Dave and I found out we were pregnant, we kept the news to ourselves for quite some time. We really wanted to make sure that everything was alright with the baby and spend a little "us" time privately celebrating.

The day after I took my at-home pregnancy test, my good friend Michele called me. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Are you pregnant?" I was caught COMPLETELY off guard. I knew it would be difficult for Dave and me to keep the news to ourselves, but I certainly hadn't thought of the possibility of someone 3,000 miles away calling me out on it! I did my best to act like I had no idea what she was talking about and asked her why she was asking me that. Michele's response? "I had a dream that you were pregnant...are you?" Again, I tried to just laugh it off.
When she moved out to California a month later, David and I had been to the doctor and knew that to that point things were going well with the pregnancy. We decided that we would tell her the first night that she stayed with us. We made fajitas for dinner and I threw together a batch of margaritas. Dave poured two glasses and announced that I wouldn't be drinking one because we were going to have a baby. Michele was so excited and one of the first things she said was, "You're having a girl." She has been consistent with that prediction throughout the entire pregnancy.

Michele went with us to our ultrasound appointment and I had to warn her that she might have to take the doctor's word if she told us that we were having a boy. Michele issued me a warning of her own, "The doctor won't say that because you are having a girl. Trust me on this."

And...she was RIGHT!! Within the first 30 to 45 seconds the doctor announced without warning, "It's a girl!"* (Thank goodness it only took that long because I was anxious to find out before we got in there.) I know I was squeezing the heck out of David's hand (and he better get used to it because I know I will be crushing his fingers during labor) through the whole ultrasound. It was absolutely incredible watching our little Peanut punching and kicking. The doctor did the whole anatomy screening and said that EVERYTHING looked wonderful. She is right on target for growth and development....which is what we wanted more than either a little girl or a little boy. We knew we would be happy with either. David is so thrilled and even got a little choked up last night when we were talking about it.

I left early this morning for Arizona and had only told my parents that the ultrasound appointment checked out fine. My mom and brother picked me up from the airport and I came off the plane wearing a pink t-shirt that says "All Girl." The expression on my mom's face was priceless! I know it would have been the same if I had worn the blue "All Boy" shirt, but it was so amazing for me to be able to see that reaction in person. My dad was playing in a golf tournament and probably called about 6 times trying to get my mom to spill the beans. His prediction (because he is not psychic) was that we were having a boy. His smile was just as huge as my mom's when he saw me in my t-shirt.

Our little baby girl is due on April 12th...Easter Sunday. (You'll have to ask David his theory on that one.) Michele, what's your prediction on the due date??

"Yoga Baby" Michelson at 18 1/2 weeks. Look how she can touch her knees to her nose!

Me this morning (in my pink tee) at 4 months pregnant. Most people can't tell I am even pregnant...I guess they think I always look like I've eaten a large pizza and two orders of breadsticks!

*The doctor has told us that she can tell us with 99.99% accuray that we are having a girl. We know that there is a small possibility that the ultrasound could be off...but with a psychic as a best friend, I think we are in the clear!

11 November 2008

Just a quick one...

Dave and I go in tomorrow for my next ultrasound and we should be able to find out the sex of Peanut.

I am heading out to Arizona very early Thursday morning to spend a few days with my parents and my brother. I apologize to all you impatient people, but I am going to wait to make the big announcement until after I see them.

So...stay tuned!

For All You Bloody Mary Lovers Out There...

Please pardon the two expletives in the following blog. They are aimed at me and I promise you, I am not mad at myself for calling me that:

My friend and former boss, JJ, has come up with his own unique recipe for Bloody Mary mix and has bottled it up for the world to enjoy.

JJ lived in Indianapolis and we ran in the same circles for awhile. He is an absolutely wonderful guy who also used to manage the Music Mill and graciously gave me a job as beer tub bitch (which I saw as a step-up from my day job of beer cart bitch at the Fort Golf Course) where I sold beers from a huge ice-filled tub at music events. It was the perfect job for a music lover like me.

Anyway, JJ left Indianapolis for Hilton Head and has been bartending down there (and probably also flirting endlessly with the ladies) and doing his darndest to come up with a great, local Bloody Mary mix....and he's done it with Your Mom's Bloody Mary Mix.

For those of you who would like to order, check out his website, Your Mom's Kitchen, and order a bottle or two to see for yourself!

08 November 2008

Honorable Mention

Since my Halloween post was only 2 posts down, I felt the need to add a couple more adorable pictures of our friends and family members who dressed up.

My friends Cole and Pete had a great time with Halloween! Their son Olin was dressed as a hot dog and Cole went as the hot dog vendor. They fashioned a hot dog cart out of Olin's stroller and Pete was the hero who would save the day if anyone tried to steal the hot dogs! Very cute idea, guys!

My new nephews were as cute as ever dressed as a pumpkin and a firefighter! Nice job Marissa!

And, let's not forget my friend Jill and her daughter Elsbeth. They dressed appropriately as a witch and a princess. (Juuuussst kidding, Jill. But, you ARE in your first trimester!)

And, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Amy and Caroline for winning a diaper bag from Baby Blog Addict for her original costume as Amelia Earhart.

You guys have done such an inspiring job, Dave and I are already brainstorming costume ideas for next year!

04 November 2008

Do you want paper or plastic?

That question has always been so hard for me. Paper is bulky and if it's not recycled, then it fills up landfills. Plastic bags can't be recycled, but are a little less bulky and can be reused for other things like bathroom trash can liners, pooper scoopers, etc. That problem has been solved since I found these cute Envirosax bags that hold what two plastic bags would normally hold and can be reused over and over again.

So, now that that dilemma has been solved...on to my new one. Cloth or disposables? A couple of months ago, Dave approached me with the, "So, you're going to use cloth diapers, right?" To which I promptly laughed in his face. Yeah, Mr. I Don't Plan on Changing a Diaper, I'm going to swirl poopy diapers in the toilet and try to fold and pin some archaic piece of cloth onto a squirming baby. No thanks.

About two weeks ago, my friend (and other birthing partner) Michele attended an Aveda conference in Los Angeles. She called me on her break and said, "I only have a minute, but I really want to urge you to use cloth diapers." WHAT?? Was this some sort of conspiracy against the new mother? Have they forgotten that I'll still have to wait on my husband hand and foot? She called back later that evening and tried to plead her case.

I'm sure some of you have thought about the difference, at least environmentally, on cloth and disposable diapers. The debate is ongoing. Disposables can take up to 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill and the fecal matter in the diapers can leak into groundwater. The manufacturing of the diapers also causes pollution and uses natural resources. Cloth diapers, however, have to be washed and sometimes have to be run twice through the rinse cycles. Also, some of the detergents that are used may not be good for the environment. And, if you use a diaper service, the trucks on the road use fuel.

So, that's just the environmental aspect of the diapers. The cost for cloth diapers, especially the ones that aid in convenience, are very pricey. Trying to find information online as to which is cheaper, however, cloth usually comes up the winner.

Another factor I learned about during my research was about all of the chemicals that are put into the diapers. I scare easily. Really easily. And, the thought of scary chemicals being so close to our baby's skin scares me. But, many people out there wore disposable diapers as babies and turned out just fine? Probably A LOT. I know I did! (Well, part of my research was asking my mom what she used and it was both, in case you were wondering.)

Ugh, but what about the poop? Seriously folks. I will be the one changing all of these diapers and my big question was what to do with the poop. Turns out, there are some creative ways of disposing of that nasty stuff. There are biodegradable inserts that can catch it and can then be flushed down the toilet. There are also little hoses that you can attach to your toilet that allows you to hose off the diaper before washing. Now, I know, neither of those sounds like picking daisies, but it's definitely better than swirling a dirty diaper around in toilet water.

Hearing Dave and Michele (two people who had never had kids) push the cloth diapers, I had to go to a couple of experienced moms.* Dave's sister Marissa pretty much said no...and with TWO kids, I can completely understand. My friend Amy's response when I asked her if she considered using cloth diapers? "#^#& no!" So, there we had it. The vote was two to two!

So, after A LOT of thought, and a lot of research, I have decided that I will use a combination of both cloth and disposables. As long as we are around the house, we'll use cloth.** When we travel or are out and about for the day, we'll use disposables. (Sorry, no amount of scare or love for the environment will get me to carry poopy diapers around town with me.) And, if the Grandmas and Grandpas will allow it, when we stay in Arizona and Oregon for visits, we'll use cloth there too.

So, if there are any moms (new or old) out there reading this who can give me some advice on diapers (cloth or disposable) I am willing to take it! As far as disposables go, what's the best? And, the cloth diaper industry can be extremely confusing. There are all types out there -- ones that are all encompassing and have the covers built in so there is no need for both the diaper and the protector. Most are even made with velcro so there is no need to fuss with the old pins. Did I mention that some of them are REALLY cute?!

An example of an all-in-one cloth diaper.

An example of a super cute cloth diaper cover.

*I am in no way, shape or form judging the moms out there who only used disposables.

**If Peanut doesn't like cloth, we may have a whole new dilemma!