Thoughts from Gus.

Hi friends, 

Just when I started warming up to the whole baby idea, this "toy" monstrosity showed up. I have yet to see it make a move, but heaven help us all when it does. 

Adding giraffes to my list of animals I could never be friends with. 

Sniffs and licks,


Gus in the city, and other weekend things.

Our weekend was spent...
*at the doctor, finding out if our baby boy is getting ready to make his debut. he's still looking pretty cozy in there.
*in the city, eating brunch at Fred's, walking Central Park with our pup and running into old friends.
*in the car, getting to know our area a bit better with the windows rolled down.
*at our home, putting together simple meals and prepping/ordering the last pieces for our baby's space.


Pregnancy favorites.

If I've learned anything about pregnancy "essentials" over the last 8+ months, it's that they're highly personal - what works for you isn't necessarily going to work for someone else (e.g., the snoogle. sorry, snoogle. I gave you a fair shot.) Still, I've been keeping track of what's made this whole human-growing process a little easier, just in case we ever have the chance to do this a second time :) 

So here they are...

1. I read a lot of books with this first pregnancy - some a little intimidating, some a little more conversational, and some that fit just right. The Mayo Clinic's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and Great with Child rose to the top of my list. The former is a great reference tool that you can go back to each week to check symptoms, growth, etc., and the latter gave me a lot of comfort in those early weeks when everything was so new and fragile. 

2. Never have my lips been quite as dry as they are during pregnancy. Baby is hogging all of the moisture, and I have at least two sticks of lip balm on me at all times. 

3. I started lathering up with Mama Bee Belly Butter around 10 weeks (ha!), and so far, no stretch marks. While I think your likelihood of developing stretch marks is more directly related to genetics, it helps to feel like you're doing something proactive. 

4. I got a little freaked about drinking from water bottles with high levels of BPA and PVC after reading this book, so I switched to the Bobble. I drink tons of water, which has kept digestion pretty smooth and has helped limit water retention (oddly enough, it's proven). 

5. It took me forever to find maternity pants. Forever. Between having short legs and not knowing what size I should be ordering, I ended up returning 5-10 pairs of pants. Then one Saturday, we made the trek to the only H&M in the area with maternity pants, and I bought out the whole section. Bless you, H&M. 

6. Baths during pregnancy are the best, especially as baby starts to put pressure on your lower abdomen and back. I've always loved LUSH's bath bombs - set yourself up with a one of these, a candle and some music and the world is right again. Twilight, Avobath and Honey Bee smell amazing.

7. Sleep machine, where have you been all my life? We actually registered for this one and got it from a friend a couple of months ago. We started using it immediately, since I'm such a restless sleeper, and I'm in love. I hope it has the same effect on baby.

8. A good back massager is a household necessity, regardless of your condition. Blake has been so great about trying to make me more comfortable throughout the pregnancy, and is always willing to give a back or head rub. Tools like this one are a big help for problem areas.

9. I've mentioned before, but yoga and stretching before bed or early in the morning make a difference, especially if you do a lot of walking in less-than-ideal footwear (ahem). This video and this video are still top choices, but even simple yoga stretches have provided relief in a time crunch.

10. As soon as you start to feel acid indigestion, buy yourself a good antacid. Chances are, that business isn't going away any time soon. I've tried other natural solutions, but nothing has worked as well as your garden variety chewable.

11. And finally, a tolerable prenatal vitamin is a must. I went with Rainbow Light because it's food-based and vegetarian, but there are so many options out there. Blake is also pretty adamant about his unborn child getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, so I've taken this since the first trimester. Just look for something with at least 300 mg of DHA. There's a huge discrepancy in the levels provided in different products.


In bloom.

Yesterday we walked all over the city - through the park, down Amsterdam, around the West Village and into Flatiron for a stop at Dough (a storefront in Manhattan, finally!). It's hard to put superlatives on these kinds of things, but I do think it was quite high on my list of favorite days. The April blooms, the turning weather, a husband's arm around a waist swollen with secret life. It makes one hundred years seem like it couldn't possibly be enough time to invest in this world.


Just a short note to say...

I am feeling all of the big feelings over this tiny load of laundry. 


Around our apartment these days.

 ^^on Saturdays, we do green smoothies.^^
 ^^pup wants nothing more than to sleep on the bear blanket all day long (and maybe eat his weight in bananas).^^
 ^^the doors and windows have been opened to welcome warmer weather.^^
 ^^I've battled (or am battling, rather) a nasty spring cold.^^
 ^^a sweet package arrived in the mail from a dear friend. "I painted this, so maybe don't wash it," the note read.^^
^^and we made these blueberry whipped cream cupcakes after I fell for them at a friend's birthday last week.^^


On the first warm weekend of the year.

We had brunch outside at Fred's after church and took a long walk around the Upper West Side.

Also, I'm starting to feel 235 months pregnant.


34 weeks.

A whole 34 weeks!

Here's what's happening: 
*I've started working from home more regularly as of this week so that we avoid baby making his debut on Metro North. we may still be a ways out, but I've heard enough stories about preterm labor to err on the side of caution... 
*speaking of caution, this week I stopped by my regular nail salon and was refused a back massage. now, you may be in the camp of no-massages-for-very-pregnant-women, but this is where I draw the line. this kid is sitting solidly on my front, and if you think you're going to pinch a nerve, what the heck are you doing back there? but I sighed and agreed to a shoulder massage (rough, I know) and that was that. 
*I'm reading this, because extreme sleep deprivation scares me more than childbirth. 
*baby gets the hiccups all the time, poor thing. 
*I want to eat all of the fruit. all of it, I tell you. 
*and now that we've had our shower and have purchased most of the basic necessities, I feel like we're nearly prepared. one of the last items on my to-buy list is a book on breastfeeding, which I will likely put off until the last possible second. 
*also, at our 32 week appointment, we got to see baby on a 3D ultrasound, which blew my mind. he looks like Blake already, and I can't wait to kiss his sweet cheeks. 

6 weeks to go, baby boy. Can you believe it? 



 ^^we celebrated Easter with Blake's family at my parents' house this year, making good use of their grill. it was our first Easter outside of the city in a while. baby is encouraging us to take it easy these days, and he can be very persuasive.^^
^^this right here is evidence of how cool we currently are. one Friday night last month, Blake decided we really needed to have more pillows on our bed. "like a hotel," he said. so that's how we spent a couple hours of our evening: hunting for pillows.^^
^^the morning after we got back from our babymoon, we headed to the Lexington Candy Shop for breakfast, because it's hard not to if you're in the area...^^ 
 ^^last week, Blake had a late meeting in the city, so we got dinner together at Ruby's before I headed back home to get to bed at a decent hour. after greeting me (energetically), Gus spent 20 minutes standing in front of the door waiting for Blake. it's fine that I'm his second choice. really.^^
^^the Plaza in all her glory before a March snowstorm.^^
 ^^and we have a bassinet in our living room now! Gus is beginning to suspect that there are changes in his future.^^
^^beauty from a site check at the Central Park Zoo one morning. we got a semi-private tour as things were just starting to open, and it kind of broke my heart that I didn't have Blake there with me. he would have loved it.^^
 ^^this pillow belongs to him now. no doubt about it.^^
 ^^and weather warm enough for breakfast in the park! can you believe it?! I very nearly cried.^^
 ^^smuggling watermelons these days.^^
^^and then eating them by the pound.^^
 ^^a remnant from our baby shower last weekend, provided by a friend.^^
 ^^and another friend heads off to San Francisco for a new adventure, but not without a proper sendoff. macarons and art from Google images included.^^
 ^^some of the greatest women you'll ever meet, congregating in kindergarten picture day style.^^
 ^^this is from the beginning of March, when we thought the snow would never end. just after I took this photo, flurries started falling. you're pretty, winter, but you crossed a line this year.^^
^^we were touched that so many family members made the trip from the DC area for our baby shower. we went out to brunch last Sunday, which gave us the chance to catch up a bit more.^^
^^and one pregnant belly floating in the ocean off of St. Thomas, for good measure.^^


In which I share a photo that may haunt me later on.

^^this is actually less incriminating than it looks, since I only ate two pieces of that pizza. but the shame-face is real.^^

Overall, my appetite hasn't increased too much in the 8 months I've been pregnant (after all, you only need about 300 more calories each day to grow a baby). But yesterday...

Yesterday, I ate and drank the following before 12pm:
*one egg and cheese sandwich
*one cup of coffee
*one granola bar
*one apple
*one peanut butter and jelly sandwich
*one package of belVita (cl)
*one small brownie
*seven cups of water

Then I put a cup of oatmeal in the microwave and made the foolish mistake of walking away while it was heating up. The whole thing basically exploded. I took it as a sign.

After telling Blake about my eating rampage (because naturally I tell him everything I eat almost every day. lucky him!), I confessed that I think I might be pregnant.

Pregnancy is making me funnier, for sure.