Days Away

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve officially hit the “oh shit, this is happening” part of my pregnancy. I got a taste of it at my first baby shower. An even greater sense of urgency hit when Cory installed the carseat. But it wasn’t until last night when I was facetiming with my mom and she said, “We’re 19 days away from your due date!” did it actually hit me.

Days. 

Thus far, my pregnancy countdown has really been in monthly (and very recently, weekly) increments. Yesterday was the first time I’ve thought about delivery being days away.

I can’t adequately explain how simultaneously excited and anxious I feel. I get stressed out because I feel like there is SO MUCH left to do, to prepare for; but in reality, we’re as ready as we can be

We’re spending these days relaxing and going out on dates and having conversations about this baby who’s almost here. I’m experiencing all the feelings on a daily basis. I’m probably certifiably crazy at this point.

I have some posts planned, but I can’t promise I’ll be an utterly consistent blogger in the upcoming days. I hope you understand. (Of course you do.)

I’m not going anywhere, but I just wanted to start off the week by thanking those of you who continue to follow along and send me words of encouragement. You are so appreciated!

date night

Searching for Childcare + Asking the Right Questions

I’ve alluded to the fact that, for me, looking for and choosing childcare has been one of the more stressful aspects of pregnancy and entering the World of Parenthood.

One of the biggest choices we’ve had to consider is an in-home caregiver vs a daycare center. This one keeps me up at night, honestly. Thankfully, one of my very close friends is a Director of a daycare center, and she coached me through the process of what to look for and what to ask when touring a facility.

I found her list of questions to be beyond helpful. I may have looked like a future helicopter parent with my mile-long list, but I was surprised that I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought. I left feeling assured and confident that all the bases were covered.

I know I have several pregnant friends and many pregnant blog readers, so with my friend’s permission, I wanted to post the list of questions that she gave me. [You’ll also notice that her explanations/comments are next to some questions in gray italics.] I hope that someone else in my situation finds them to be as helpful as I did!

pencilsoriginal photo

Impressions/Things to Look For

How does the outside of the building appear?
Did you have to ring a doorbell or did you walk right in?
Was the person that greeted you friendly?
If you scheduled a tour, did they appear to know that you were coming?
Does the inside of the building look clean?
Do the classrooms look neat and organized, or messy and chaotic?
Is there colorful art on the walls?
Do the children appear happy?
Are the children clean? [i.e. Can you tell what they ate for lunch because they’re wearing it on their faces/in their hair?]
Do the playgrounds look safe?
Ask to see the entire facility! If you’re touring for an infant or a toddler, often times Managers will only show off the first couple of classrooms. Your child will (hopefully) transition into every classroom. The Kindergarten room is just as important at the nursery.

Staff

When you walk into the classrooms, do the teachers say hello?
Do the teachers appear friendly? I only add this in because just because someone says hello with a sour-puss look on their face doesn’t make them friendly.
What is the teacher turnover like?
How long has the teacher in your child’s classroom been there? I don’t put TOO much emphasis on this because lets be real, childcare is often known for their turnover, and is even more often out of the
hands of the Managers/school. However, it doesn’t look too good for the school when both the Lead teacher and Assistant teacher were hired last week.
How long have the Managers been there? I DO put a lot of emphasis on this. This job is fucking hard. There are days that I go into the bathroom to cry for ten minutes, tell myself that tomorrow is a new
day and to get it together, then go back to work for ANOTHER 8 hours. Anyone that is that puts up with the shit that we put up with for more than a year, is DEDICATED and invested in the school’s well-being.

Facility/Policies

How long has the facility been open?
Is your facility accredited?
Is your facility licensed by the state? ALL facilities that are licensed MUST have their most recent inspection posted for parents to see. It can generally be found on a “Parent Board” of some sort in the lobby or entrance. All licensing inspections for all licensed facilities can be found on the Department of Social Services website. This is a HUGE indicator if a facility is a tight ship or a bit loosey goosey when it comes to following the rules.
Is there an open-door policy/am I limited to how many hours per day my child can be here?
Are there cameras in all of the classrooms?
– If so, can you watch your child’s classroom from online?
How are the children signed in/out everyday?
Can we authorize family members to pick-up/How do you monitor who is permitted to pick up?
What is the illness policy?
How do you notify parents when there is illness in a classroom?
If my child ends up with allergies, or if we need medication to be administered throughout the day, who is trained to do so? Don’t be surprised if some facilities will not administer fever reducing medicines, like Tylenol or Advil. We do not. Medicines with acetaphetamine are often given to mask a fever when it’s quite likely that a child may be contagious with something else. This can be a frustration for some parents that we won’t give their child Tylenol when they’re teething. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to determine if that child has spiked a fever because they are contagious with an illness, or if they are indeed only teething. Because we don’t want to take the risk that a child is contaminating a classroom with something, if a child’s temp goes up above a 101, they will be sent home. It’s then unto that parent to either keep the child out until the fever drops, of if they take them to the doctor to get a note that says they are not sick.

Financials/Logistics

What is the tuition?
Is tuition paid on a weekly or monthly basis?
Does the tuition include meals?
If still potty training, do we need to provide diapers and wipes?
Are there any additional fees throughout the year? Material/activity fees?
What forms of payment do you accept?
Is there a registration fee, and is it annual?
What is the process to enroll?
Is there a multiple child discount?
If we decided to withdrawal, what is the process?

Question: Does this topic stress out any other moms or moms-to-be?!

Weekly Reads Wednesday #4

Hey there! I hope everyone’s had a nice week so far! I apologize for being slightly MIA on the blog and social media; I’ve been a little under the weather these past two weeks. YUCK!

I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did!

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 3.30.52 PM

Head over to Clare’s blog to check out HER weekly reads!

Life + Lessons 

Meet the Woman Who Says, “I’m Much Happier Being Fat” 

I Drank 96 Ounces of Water Everyday for a Week and This is What Happened

27 Charts That Will Help You Make Sense of Makeup

14 Recommendations for a More Authentic, Happy Existence 

Humor + Happiness

Boob Groping and Other Things I Was Oddly Fine with During Childbirth  

21 Changes You’ll Experience Between Yours 20s and 30s <— Too funny!

Parenting 

Do Our Online Lives Affect Our Children?

Tips for Being a Happy Mom

The Parenting Myth I’ve Finally Stopped Falling For

Mental Health 

This Suicide Prevention Site is Really Funny and It’s Working <– YAY!

5 Ways to Get Involved with Eating Disorder Advocacy and Volunteering 

Question: How many ounces of water do you think you drink every day? I’m working on the recommended 96, but I don’t always get it!

Baby Shower #2

Do you guys know what month it is?

BABY MONTH!

How exciting is that?!

To kick off Baby Month, I had my second baby shower, hosted by my wonderful friend, Remy!

remy2

Remy did such an amazing job with the shower. It was beautiful, fun, and relaxed – everything I could have possibly wanted. As someone who is not a natural ‘hostess with the mostest’ I’m always beyond impressed by the way Remy puts a party together.

table

We spent the first hour or so mingling and chatting, which was great. During the winter, we all tend to hibernate and go to bed early, so it was such a treat to get together with my sweet friends!

meaghanThe second half of the party was spent playing two quick games, followed by opening presents. If you ever find yourself in the position of hosting a baby shower, these two games were great. The first one, “Wishes for Baby” wasn’t so much of a game, but an activity/keepsake. All the guests were handed a super cute print out and asked to fill in the blanks. They were then collected and given to me to read over when I got home, which is something I throughly enjoyed. Some were heart-felt and so sweet, while others catered to my special sense of humor ;)

wishes

The second game was “The Name Game.” Each guest was given a print out and it was a race to see who could come up with a name for each letter of the alphabet the quickest. My friend, Paula, finished in, like, 30 seconds!

name game

Next up was present opening, which always makes me sweat. I’m an extrovert who hates being the legit center of attention. It’s a conundrum. That said, I do tend to warm up after a few minutes ;)

cheese

Our little baby is already so spoiled. We received such amazing gifts; from functional to precious, all the bases were covered. I honestly spent the rest of the weekend on Cloud 9. Here’s to enjoying our last few weeks as a family of two!

Some Things I Didn’t Know about Pregnancy [Until I Got Here]

You’ll flash back to being 13 and wear pads again. Not because you’re bleeding, but… you’ll still need ‘em. If you haven’t been there yet, I won’t ruin all the surprises for you.

You’ll consider purchasing adult diapers. You don’t know how many times I’ve read about buying Depends, but it’s something I really just can’t bring myself to do. I breathed a sigh of relief after talking to my cousin who just gave birth, and she assured me that they are not necessary. Suck it, Pinterest lists.

You’ll sleep with approximately 900 pillows and barricade yourself from your spouse. I have three pillows for my head/back, one for between my legs, and two pillows for each side of my body. [I’m pretty sure I look like I’m wrestling an anaconda every time I attempt to roll over.] I’m a hardcore spooner, but ain’t nobody got time for that these days.

My friend, Caitlin, suggested buying a body pillow very similar to this one, and I’m kicking myself for never getting around to ordering it. If you still have enough time in your pregnancy left to justify the purchase, I’d DO IT.

cookies

haters gonna hate // cookies gonna bake #newlifemotto

You’ll make weird noises. And I don’t mean the inventible farting and burping. I’m taking about grunting like an old man every time you sit down, stand up, or roll over.

You’ll spend an ungodly amount of time watching your belly. Once it gets to the point where you can see your belly moving when the baby moves [which is so cool, yet so weird], you’ll just sit and stare waiting for it to happen again. Sometimes you stare at yourself when you’re alone, annnnd sometimes you’ll be in a business meeting…

You’ll legit pee your pants at least once. It’s true. Wait for it.

Your ankles will disappear. Dude. Cory and I were in the car for several hours last weekend, and when we got to our destination and I looked down at my feet, I gasped. My ankles were gone, and my feet looked like a popped tub of rolls stuffed into my Toms. It was unsightly to say the least.

You will be so excited. Think of the most excited you’ve ever been. Now multiply that by a million. It’s no secret that I’m not a glowy pregnant lady; I really haven’t enjoyed pregnancy. But I promise, the closer you get to the end, the pure excitement overrides all the pad wearing and weird noise making and uncomfortable sleeping and you’re left finding yourself counting down the days; not because you’re miserable and you want it to be over, but because you simply cannot wait to meet your little one. It all becomes happy and exciting, even when you pee a little.

A Little Bit Rant-y

Okay, I’m going to get a little rant-y today.

Since we got rid of cable, I’ve been watching some of “my shows” on my computer. I was catching up on Pretty Little Liars yesterday (because I totally fall within the target demographic, I know) and every commercial break, they ran the trailer for the new movie, DUFF.

duff

I guess I live under a rock (?) but I didn’t know until I saw the trailer, but DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend.

Okay, wait. What?

I think it’s a sick, fucked up day when Mae Whitman is considered fat or ugly. It’s not like she even pulled a Charlize Theron Monster move for this film. She wears overalls.

mae1

I mean, seriously?!

I don’t know anything about the movie other than the typical ‘girl is friend-zoned’ plot, which is not a novel concept at all, but I feel like this has taken it a step further. Rather than a gorgeous actress wearing glasses and being dubbed a nerd, (only to put in contacts at the end of the movie for everyone to realize she’s ~*hot*~) this movie is flat out calling a totally cute girl FAT and UGLY, two words I wish could be banned from the English language.

As a 27-year-old, this doesn’t affect my self-confidence; but as a pre-teen, teenager or a young 20-something? Uh, yeah, that message would be been read loud and clear: if that girl is fat and ugly, I’m really fat and really ugly. 

mae2

I know the media is constantly sending us messages of “you’re not good/skinny/pretty/smart enough” so this isn’t new, and I get that it’s a comedy, and I understand we can’t take everything so seriously but I don’t like this. Not at all.

- end rant -

Chime in: I’d love to know your opinion.

Weekly Reads Wednesday #3

My days are messed up this week with Monday being a holiday and yesterday being a snow day! I literally checked my calendar twice to make sure I was posting this on the right day. Sometimes, I think I’m losing my mind…

Anyway! I linking up with my friend, Clare, again this week. I hope you guys enjoy this weekly post as much as I do! 

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.39.52 PMIf for some odd reason you haven’t checked out Clare’s blog, I highly recommend you go there now. Well, after this of course.

Life + Lessons 

The Best Thing You Can Do for Yourself – And ALL the Women Around You <– YES!

This is What Post-Pregnancy Bodies Actually Look Like

5 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Your Facebook Friends <– Because we ALL need this reminder from time to time

10 Things You Need to Learn Quickly in Your 20s <– I’m 27 and still learning these, sooo I guess I’m not a quick learner.

Humor + Happiness

21 Things Girls Who Love Swearing Just Get, as Told by Khloe Kardashian <– Story of my life, pretty much

10 Times Reporters Asked Female Celebrities the Wrong Damn Question

5 Phrases That Only Make a Bad Situation Worse <– If you are a person who ever says, “well this is awkward…” I can’t stand you. 

Love + Relationships 

Wedding Details that Make Your Big Day Uniquely Yours <– For my engaged readers :) The pictures alone are worth pinning! 

Couple Leaves a Note Behind for a Man When They Realize He’s Out on a Date That’s Not With His Wife

These Couples Played a Game of Truth or Drink, and the Results was Hilarious

Dating Myself was the Best Rebound I’ve Ever Had

 

 

Registry Items for Baby #1

I’ve had a few people ask me to do a post on “what the hell to put on a baby registry” and I couldn’t be happier to oblige, because it was something that I found to be completely overwhelming! As someone who has very limited experience with children, it was almost impossible to know what was what.

It took hours of research and reading reviews and asking close friends and family members what they recommended, but we finally came up with a registry that we feel is realistic. I know I’ve mentioned them before, but BabyList is hands down the coolest registry ever. [They don’t know who I am, and they don’t pay me to say that, I’m just a fan.]

Clearly, this is not the be-all-end-all (nor is it our entire registry), but I’m hoping it can serve as a starting off point for couples who are starting to compile their registry.

registry

 

Diaper Bag

bagSkip Hop Chelsea Diaper Bag via Target ($99.) I’ve been adamant on finding a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag, but is still functional. I also wanted tons of pockets, and I feel like this bag satisfies both of those desires. My brother and his girlfriend got it for me, and I am so thankful! At the shower, several non-moms said “I would carry that as a bag!” which sealed the deal for me ;)

Baby Gear

sleeperFisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, My Little Snugabunny via Amazon ($58.) This contraption came highly recommended from several close friends. It vibrates, you can rock it, and some parents I know have said it’s the best thing they owned for the first few months. I know all babies take to things differently, but I’m hoping we have similar success!

evenfloEvenflo Exersaucer Jump & Learn Bouncer via Target ($89.) Honestly, I had no clue what the hell an exersaucer even was until I Googled it,  but apparently these things are good to have.

bumboBumbo Floor Seat via Target ($39.) Again, WTF is a Bumbo? Apparently it’s a great seat for little ones, if their legs aren’t too cubby too to fit through the leg holes.

woombieWoombie via Babies R Us ($25 – $27.) I hear that swaddling you baby is the shit, but having never actually swaddled a baby, I registered for these (as well as swaddling blankets) because they seem pretty fool proof.

bjorn Baby Bjorn via Amazon ($152.) Oh, the Ergo vs the Bjorn debate is one I found to be as old as time. I think you’d be fine with either, but we ended up choosing this one because of the reviews on The NightLight (an extremely helpful website for parents and parents-to-be!)

nyc mommaThe New York City Momma changing pad via Patemm. From the Patemm website: patemm inc proudly introduces the original, new and improved, mom-invented, patented*, award-winning portable patemm® pads, a round design that allows you to place your little one in any direction. You can store diapers, wipes, and even a set of clothes in the cleverly-placed inside pockets. When not in use, the patemm® pad folds into a compact carrier without the use of ties, buttton, snaps, or Velcro®

dropcamDropcam via Dropcam ($200.) We got the Dropcam as our baby monitor; it’s one of the higher-end items that we asked for, but it’s pretty damn cool. It hooks up to an app on your phone, and you can see the whole room, not just the crib. I love it.

Transportation

strollerBritax 2014 B-Agile Stroller via Amazon ($229.) Don’t stress about picking the right stroller; there’s only forty thousand out there to choose from. WTF. Like, isn’t a stroller a fucking stroller?! Apparently not, my friends. I hear that the BOB stroller has a cult-like following if you’re a runner, but I don’t get the hype. Maybe it’s because I’m not a runner, nor do I plan on ever running or jogging post-baby.

carseatChicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat via Target ($189.) I learned in an “infant care and safety” class that kids these days are in some sort of carseat or booster seat until they get their learner’s permit (ish), but we didn’t bother with a convertible car seat just yet. I wanted a carseat that I could carry into a restaurant or something like that. This carseat also fits into the stroller we chose, so that’s good.

Feeding

high chairKeekaroo Height Right High Chair with Tray via Target ($199.) Kind of like wanting a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag, we wanted a chic-looking highchair. We know we won’t be using this for some time, but we also know it’s inevitable.

feedersMunchkin Fresh Food Feeders via Target ($7.) Again, not something we’ll need right away, but I’ve heard good things about these mesh feeder things. I also hear they’re good for teething if you freeze them.

food processorCuisinart Food Processor via Amazon ($169.) I plan on making my own baby food because I’m cheap as hell. We own a tiny food processor, but this one is much bigger (14-cup) and newer and nicer and I’m looking forward to making mushy food with it.

boppyBoppy Newborn and Infant Lounger via Target ($29.) My cousin, Sarah, told me she found this contraption to be helpful, and I trust everything Sarah says. My cousin, Sam, also swears by the original Boppy for breastfeeding, so we got that as well! I have a feeling that this kid will have so many different things to lounge in…

So there you have it! A list of the items on our registry that required the most thought and research. I hope my moms-to-be found this to be helpful!

Moms, what are some of your “gotta have it” items?

Penny Takes a Tumble

Happy Friday! Do you need a good giggle today? I think you do. Check out this ‘just so happened to be recording’ video that Cory got of our sweet, graceful Penny the other day. She’s going places, my friends.

 

Totally Truthful Thursday

Totally Truthful Thursday

// Earlier this week, we took a tour of the hospital where I’ll be delivering. Leading up to it, I just considered it another run of the mill ‘check the box’ type thing, but when I walked into an actual delivery room, I kinda sorta couldn’t breathe.

// To keep my anxiety at an all-time high, I scheduled our first tour of a daycare facility for the following day. SHIT IS GETTING REAL, and I can’t really take a deep breath.

// So, we officially cut the [cable] cord and are surviving on Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV/RokuI’m really missing Downton Abbey, Dance Moms, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, and Sisterwives more than I should admit. Like, how am I supposed to LIVE MY LIFE without knowing how Maddie the ALDC performed in LA this week?!

// Do you know what annoys me? When I unsubscribe from getting emails, and then the company sends me an email confirming my unsubscribing.

// Does anyone else think Kanye needs to STFU and sit down? My skin crawls when I read about his Beck “incident” at the Grammy’s. What’s his deal with Beyonce anyway? [If I’m asking these questions, it probably means I’m old and irrelevant.]

// Waxing hurts double-time when you’re pregnant, just FYI.

// It’s no secret that we’re always looking for fun ways to work on, improve upon, and nurture our marriage. I read about The Love Dare and it seemed interesting, but I have some reservations. Is anyone familiar with it? Yay or nay?

// I’m stalling on your requests for a video blog, because I cannot think of anything worth talking about.