Friday, February 29, 2008

No crib, No stroller but you've got clothes.


Look Baby Bean, these are your first gifts from outside of the family. I’m guessing I need to prepare for a big closet and dresser drawer for you.

I met with my friend who gave me a ton of advice, both professional and personal. She has a 6 month old who is cute as a button. He had the cutest overalls on. Apparently, I interrupted his sleep schedule and as a stranger to the house he fought his sleep to be apart of the new goings on.

My friend was great. She told me how mother instincts will kick in and you’ll learn to read their responses and needs. She plopped him in the swing and said that in a few minutes he is going to let out a whopper, turn red and then settle down and fall asleep.

Like clockwork, he let out a loud scream, looked at us and then slowly closed his eyes and tilted his head to the side. In less than 5 minutes he was sleeping and we were able to converse about mommyhood.

The biggest question I had for her was how hard was it for her to learn not to jump at the slightest sound from her son. She told me the turning point is when you realize as the mom you know what he/she needs. If she needs sleep, you know she needs to sleep so as long as the cry isn’t a food cry, diaper cry or other cry, you know that given some time she will settle down and get to bed.

I guess I learn these things like most moms, through experience.

Your mom is new at this, kid. Be a little patient with me. I’ll try to be patient with you too. We’re both new to this so at least we won’t be alone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Name Game


Yes, we're still calling her Bean. I'm guessing we're so used to it, we may wind up keeping the nickname for a while. We're going through the name books which is just as difficult as researching baby gear. Actually, it’s more fun creating or selecting names we’re pretty certain will not be on our top ten list.

Ok, it's not that difficult, but still this poor kid is relying on us to name her a decent sounding name. Thank goodness hubby and I are not like those celebrities that thinks PopTart and Cinammon are appropriate names. I think Apple is a cute nickname but unless she's a model or working in entertainment (not the adult kind thank you), these names are not going to evoke professionalism later on in her career.

Then you've got that, I know a person named, "blah blah". Let's not name her that issue. I know that sounds horrible but it's true, in our lifetimes, we've met people we weren't too keen on that have made lasting impressions on particular names. Because of such, you lean away from those names. When it's one person, it's not so bad. When it's two people with a lifetime of acquaintances, it gets crazy.

The one thing I’m thankful for is that I’m not the type of person that would get all emotional or nuts about crossing off the names of hubby’s ex-girlfriends. One person I know made it a point to ‘x’ out those names immediately. Personally, that opens a can of worms. Seriously, I really do not want to hear the laundry list of girlfriends my husband had prior to meeting with me. Likewise, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to hear my list either. Besides, with my pregnancy brain, I can’t even remember the names of people I deal with every day let alone my boyfriend’s name during my Junior year in college.

My friends have a differing opinion about selecting a name. Some say to pick a bunch of names and wait until the baby comes to see if she looks like a "Betty Lou" or a "Damaris" or a "Hillary". Others say once a name clicks, it sticks naturally.

I’m of the later position but we haven’t made the decision if the name is set in stone let alone whether or not we should share it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time to finalize the 'Things I Want' list


I am going to guess I am in the minority when I say, I really dislike registries. The concept is great and I love the benefits when I need to buy something for a friend or family member. I just hate creating them.

Since January, I’ve been pressured to create a registry for the impending baby. I’ve started building one but it hasn’t been easy. First, I have to get over the fact that I’m asking for stuff. Second, I have to figure out what stuff I really need. Third, it reminds me of the financial implications of parenthood which scares the bejesus out of me.

Now I’ve hit the point where if I don’t haul my big pregnant butt, I’m not going to have a registry to give to people that ask.

Seriously, what do you really need for a kid? I’ve asked this question to many a moms and the response varies.

“Just register for stuff for the first few months. You won’t know what the kid likes later on.”
“Register for everything! That way you cover all bases.”
“Don’t register for any newborn stuff. They’ll outgrow that stuff fast anywho.”
“Register for stuff for you not just the baby.”

I can’t figure out what the baby needs and you want me to put stuff down for me? Ok, can I register for someone to help me register because this is getting ridiculous!

Then I’ve got the whole my mom and MIL are scheming on grandmom stuff. Maybe some of you are blessed with mothers that are like peas in a pod. I’m thankfully blessed that my moms get along and like each other but they are definitely not peas in a pod.
God bless them. In the end, they only mean well for the baby. Seriously, the kid has some loving grandparents, Mas and Pas. Still, this doesn’t help me when my moms call me to pretend like they aren’t scheming. Good grief moms. I just received 2 calls in the last hour for both of you. I know you are guys are up to something.

I swear, it isn’t easy remembering my mothers only mean well. I feel like complaining about this is like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Some people have bickering mothers. I should be glad they want to do more to help me.

On the baby front, Bean has been kicking up a storm and dad has been reading more regularly to her. I actually feel like the kicks are Bean’s way of communicating with me which I know seems implausible.

She likes the rhyming that hubby does. When he reads a rhyming book, she moves around a bit more. My husband felt a few kicks the other night. Now he can recognize some of the stronger ones.

He’s settled on the Baby Bjorn carrier and we’re still hemming and hawing about the crib. At least that gives me more time before I have to settle on crib sets and sheets. I’ve got my hands full with reading up on clothes and what a newborn needs.
I’m pretty sure the whole clothing thing is less of an issue than I think it is but it still baffles me how much clothes a child needs. Then again, if I kept pooping on myself, I suppose extra undies would be warranted.

Hubby liked the shopping cart seat cover I chose which made me happy. I have a little tolerance for gender specific items. Maybe it is due to the fact I had all boy specific clothes and toys early on. I was supposed to be ‘Christopher’. My dad scrambled for a girl name when I came out missing the pre-requisite boy parts.

I’ve made a decision for every item I chose for the Bean in the registry, I need to choose an equal item in ‘girlie’ styles. Hence I have decided on 3 hooded towels, 2 gender neutral and 1 blazing pink.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a party pooper. I’m a girlie girl. I love my stilettos and sequins tops but some of the girl stuff can be too bubblegum for me.
I also have to decide on a rocker as I’ve heard the rocker is phenomenal for bonding and breastfeeding.

I’m still not sure what the heck an activity mat is and why I should pay $80 for one but I’m sure one of the million books I’ve bought will tell me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bean is a...



It's a baby girl! Finally, I can say she/her instead of it! I can finally say, Baby Bean, "I have a daughter!"

The long story goes like this........

Every visit, we just kept asking the doc to tell us if you were healthy and not your sex but by January, we were both tired of calling you 'it'. To family and friends, you were and still are 'Bean' but you can't explain that to an acquaintance.

Anywho, we decided to find out because it was getting to be a pain saying 'he/she" or 'him/her" but the day of our visit you were not having any of it. You kept your legs crossed like Great Grandma P used to sit. At one point you stuck the bottom of your foot up so that's all we saw. (Gosh, baby toes are so cute. Feet are cute until they hit the floor.)

Your dad left so disheartened. He was like a kid who was told Christmas was moved back.

The next day, I was at work and your dad called me and begged me to ask someone I know to scan you for sex. He said he kept getting signs from the world that you were particular sex but he wouldn't say what.

I received the scan and when we got home we opened the envelope and he opened a word document he wrote last night. Both said, 'girl'! He then proceeded to tell me about how he saw a man with a girl riding a Vespa and he thought of himself riding his motorcycle with you. Then he said the kicker was he was replaying the video of the ultrasound scan and he kept hearing 'musak' in the background.

He listened carefully and he heard, "Girl I love you...There’s no one above you..." It was a Lionel Richie cheesy ballad and he knew then that it was a girl because "it's the kind of song you sing to a little girl."

Of course, my pregnancy hormones had me crying during his explanation. It's so cute yet if I told people, they probably would smile at me with that, 'I can't believe she thinks this is interesting and not cheesy' smile.

Still the doc said he was only 80% sure and we didn't want to tell your grandparents and then find out later we were wrong so we decided to wait until the anatomy scan. We had the level II scan and a 3D scan performed Friday and sure enough we saw your girl parts!

On Monday, I went to Po Po's house and gave her the scans and she went into full knitting mode again. She had your dad pick out a quilt pattern a while back, one for boy, one for girl. She said she wouldn't start on it until she knew the sex. Now she's busy knitting teddy bears for the quilt! Dad picked out a cute Teddy Bear with balloons pattern for you.

I mailed Ma Ma her scans and she should be getting them along with a letter from you tomorrow.I'll upload the images here soon.

So now I can share with the world you are a girl, my baby girl, Bean. It's kind of weird being able to share that with everyone. I mean, it's not a secret and we don't plan to keep it as one. We're too excited and happy to keep it inside but it feels weird. Saying, "I'm pregnant" is different than saying, "I"m a mom." or "I have a daughter." Does that make sense? It's that much more real.

Maybe you'll find out what I mean one day, little Bean.

For now, keep on growing and I promise I'll pick up more bananas on the way home tonight.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

At 20 weeks, what I’ve learned so far


No matter how poised and neat you were before, a pregnant woman will find she will get some food particles, wet and dry on her clothes. Many times she won’t notice it until someone points it out to her. I think it’s a way of nature preparing you for the messes ahead, the multiple changes a baby will go through even before she learns to lift her head and most importantly to teach you vanity has no room in a new mommy’s qualities.

The things the non-mom you made fun of or swear you’d never do will suddenly become necessary or second nature to you. Whether it’s putting speakers on your growing belly, using your belly as a shelf or using pregnancy as an excuse “I’m pregnant. I’m going to be irrational.”, you will find yourself doing it and doing it proudly or matter-of-factly.

You will suddenly feel like stuff ‘on sale’ is subpar for your baby to be. I know it’s in my head but I look at baby stuff on sale with a questioning eye.

You will proudly proclaim you’ve passed gas to close friends and family.

You will occasionally cry for no reason at all in a public place.

You will occasionally smile as if you know a secret no one knows in a public place.

You will love your husband when he comes home with the pillow you made fun of 2 months earlier for being expensive and a waste of money. My husband bought the best Valentine’s Day present ever. The Snoogle is the best thing since sliced bread. I’ve hit the point where it takes at least 15 minutes of rearranging pillows around me to get comfortable in bed. The dogs that normally circle at least 5 times to get their bed pillow comfy are looking at me strangely now. My poor husband has to live with foot cuddling for fear of ruining my pillow mass. He gave me the Snoogle at 6pm and I’ve only parted with it to cook dinner. Whoever invented this bad boy is my new best friend. Gentlemen, if your lady is pregnant, buy this for her, even if she makes fun of it like I did. At 12 weeks I teased that I would not spend good money for something I can do with existing pillows. You cannot get the pleasure and comfort the Snoogle has given me in the last hour and half. Yes, I love this thing that much. An hour and half and I’m like Britney Spears, ready to run to the nearest Las Vegas chapel and marry this sucker.

Yes, pregnant women get hunger cravings but they can also go through spurts where nothing seems appetizing and they need to remind themselves to eat something.

The body is remarkable. Inside my tiny body another being is growing and my body is elastic and making room for baby. Every day I walk out of the shower and look at my body I’m amazed. Not to sound sappy but this is what being a woman is about. It’s not about me anymore.

Gas, Strollers and Cribs


Not to be disgusting but I’ve got an incredible case of gas today. To make matters worse, my office has been Penn Station all day.

Everytime I think I can relieve myself, someone walks in and starts a very lengthy conversation with me.

I’m not complaining. I do like conversation. It makes the day go by quicker but not when I’ve got a backlog of gas that needs to make it’s way out.
Yesterday was picture day for Bean. Like a groundhog I finally took a look at my shadow against the wall as hubby took the belly photo. I can’t recognize my own shadow. I nearly scared myself! Does that mean something in an old wives tale?
I’ve hit the stage where I’m at awe but in wonderment about the possibility of my belly getting bigger.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day, Bean. I bought a card for you to give to dad. It’s really sappy and not like me. I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person but when I saw it I got weepy. Heck, I got weepy reading Jenny McCarthy’s Baby Laughs. Go figure. Hormones will do that to a person.

I made Valentine’s Day cookies for some of the office co-workers. Tonight, I plan to make more to bring to the doctor’s office for your Big Picture Day.

Tomorrow is your Level II scan. That’s when the doc checks out your major organs and spine to make sure everything is ok. I hope you’re photogenic this time. Last time when dad wanted to find out if you were a boy or a girl, you weren’t in the mood.
I hope to get a nice picture or two to send to your grandparents. I think it’s time for another update.

Oh , I also went to Barnes and Nobles and perused the children’s book section. Your mom spent many weekends at the library and bookstores with your Grandpa and Great Grandpa. I wonder if you’ll be a reader like I was.

I bought some books I thought you’d might like. I also bought a book for dad to start reading to you. I know you probably have no clue what the stories are about but they appealed to me so I figure they may have a shot of appealing to you.
Dad and I finally stepped into a baby store last Saturday. That was an adventure. We learned two things.

1. Baby stores do not lay out their items in a pregnant woman friendly way. There were about 7 pregnant ladies trying to fiddle with the strollers. Did you know there are at least 4 different types of strollers out there?

Anyway, 2, your dad has really good taste. I mean really good, rich taste. Out of all the cribs, he picks the Richie Rich crib for you. He’s going to research more he says but he likes that the company uses real wood, it’s all wood and it can convert to a big girl/boy bed.

Dad also thinks you need a Cadillac size playpen. I tried to explain giant playpens aren’t made anymore but he’s adamant you have a big one because he plans to have a lot of play visits for you.

This weekend, we plan to go to a big brand baby store. We still haven’t registered but we’re slowly getting there.

Stuff that soothes so far:

Stuff that causes mommy to get tummy cramps and a headache:
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto

Friday, February 08, 2008

Baby, you can drive my car


Started playing music for the Bean.

Monday was Sting/Police
Thursday was Beatles (Drive my Car was particularly entertaining.)
Today is Classical. We started with Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, one of dad’s favorites.

I try to spend only 20-30 minutes playing music for him/her. I don’t need to over stimulate the kid.

I laughed at the women who put speakers near their belly but I find myself doing this naturally now. I guess I’m laughing at myself now.

I’m getting rounder and rounder and I’ve passed the “I’m fat” stage.

In fact, now that I’m in the heart of my second trimester I can say assuredly that I truly love being pregnant. Sure there are pains and aches and discomforts but it’s the most amazing thing in the world. I have a human being growing inside of me. I don’t think I could trade that feeling in. I’m really blessed to feel and experience this. “Wait until your 7th month and get back to me.” says hubby.

On Tuesday I got really sad that I’m nearly there. It also is impacted by the fact that I’m pretty certain now when it’s Bean moving and when it’s gas.

This whole experience has been incredible. Yes, sure the ligament pains aren’t fun and the occasional lightheadedness is getting more frequent but my body has changed from working to keeping me running to a vehicle to nurture and grow another being who is a part of me and my hubby.

Ooh, Beethoven Symphony 9 elicits a few moves.

Baby Bean, I know you can’t give me requests but the dj is trying her best to expose you to all types of music. We’ve done Jazz Vocals, Oldies Pop and New Wave Pop from your parent’s time. We’re moving towards classical now and I’ve gotten a request from your Uncle to expose you to some P’Funk. I’ll try to keep them coming and in short increments of 30 minutes or less so you can rest.

Tap if you particularly like a song and I’ll add it to your iPod playlist I’m compiling for your nursery.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gung Hey Fat Choy, Baby Bean!

Brought to you by Sabrina Liao:

"Year of the Rat/Mouse

Rat people are born under the sign of charm and aggressiveness. They are expressive and can be talkative sometimes. They like to go to parties and spend quite sometimes chatting with their friends. Although the Rat can be quiet sometime, it is rare to catch a Rat sitting quietly.

Rat people usually have more acquaintances than real friends and they revere and cherish those close to them. Once you become their real friends, they will treat you as their family. Rats are self-contained and keep problems to themselves. And even though they can be talkative sometimes, they never confide in anyone.

Sometimes mean, narrow-minded and suburban in outlook, Rat people are nevertheless honest. They can always make a success of their lives as long as they manage to master their perpetual discontent and their insistence on living for the present moment.

The Rat is quick-witted. Most rats get more accomplished in 24 hours than the rest of us do in as many days. They are confident and usually have good instinct. Stubborn as they are, they prefer to live by their own rules rather others. In fact, it won't be an easy task to work with Rat people. Why? Simply because they are also 100% perfectionists.

They are very organized and talented; perhaps that is why the Rat makes a good businessman or politician. Unfortunately, as soon as the Rat earns money, he spends it. Maybe that explains why the Rat is so careful when he lends money to others. If you ever borrow money from the Rat, don't be surprised by the high-interests.

The Rat is not romantic, but he is sensual and loving. Rat people could be hard to see through at first glance, because they are also very protective, but even though they are not easy but they are worth it - ask anyone who has a Rat for a lover, parent, child or friend. They are very loyal and devoting to their families.

(1 - least compatible, 10 - most compatible)

with Rat 8 - A very good match
Ox 8 - Lucky you two found each other
Tiger 7 - In order to succeed, both must endure
Rabbit 6 - Nothing too excited but it still might work
Dragon 9 - One of the best-arranged unions
Snake 6 - Better be friends than lovers
Horse 3 - No, no, no. Run away now
Sheep 5 - Probably not a good idea
Monkey 9 - It'll be a fun and loving relationship
Rooster 6 - Steamy yes but not lasting
Dog 7 - Why not?
Pig 8 - This can work - they admire each other

Plato, Haydn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Tylstoy, Foo Doo"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Speak into the belly button

I’ve started reading to the bean. Whenever I can, I read a short story to the Bean. I’m not reading anything special. I’ll grab a fable or story I recall from my childhood and read it. I do voices too. I know that sounds odd. I feel odd doing it but it’s also fun.

I haven’t done it in front of hubby because I think he’ll probably laugh at me but I think he’s curious.

He occasionally puts his head near Bean and speaks to him/her. It’s usually to tell him/her some fact about his/her quirky parent. He believes it’s not what we say but the act of talking to him/her that matters.

That maybe so but I try to read a story nonetheless. He/She may not understand the story but the inflection and changes in voice should stimulate him/her.

When I don’t have time to read, I sing a little ditty. This isn’t as easy as you think it would be. My mind usually goes blank for a song. I ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries’ popped into my head so I sang that to Bean. He/She seemed to enjoy it as there was much movement. Most of the time however, I just sing a silly make believe song to him/her. The other day it was ‘I wipe the dog’s booties to keep them clean’. I know, I should be a children’s song writer.

Sometimes I’ll just explain who everyone is that I’m speaking to. Usually that’s the dogs by default. I’ll be surprised if this kid’s first words aren’t dog poop, booty, P-man or Z-girl.

I know this sounds peculiar but I find that I lift my shirt up to speak to the Bean. I know I really don’t need to but there is something about seeing my round flesh and rubbing my belly button area that seems right. I guess I’m visualizing he/she is on the other side listening.

I also noticed that if I don’t talk to him/her around 6:30, there is more movement. It’s sort of like an alarm clock to tell me I’ve forgotten to speak to him/her. Is it too early for a baby to develop a circadian rhythm?

What no cravings?

My appetite is strange. I’m not really hungry anymore. I’m hungry but not like I was during the first trimester. Now I have to remind myself to eat something during lunch. I don’t know what it is but I’m just not thrilled with food anymore. Is that normal? Can a pregnant woman be tired of food?

I understand later on, I’ll eat smaller and smaller meals but I’m not even hankering for a meal. By the looks of me you couldn’t tell though. I’m round and getting rounder. I’m looking forward to the day when my lungs are at my neck because I have no more room for baby. Fun.

Food that makes me happy
Corn Flakes w/Cold Milk
Carrot sticks (P-man likes them too)

Food I'm tiring of

It takes 9 months to grow a baby but a lifetime to be a mom

I did a ‘mommy’ thing today. To get out of feeling as if I’m not being mommy enough, I made a list of things I should do regardless of where I am and proceed ahead.

Today I called the pediatrician and I plan to go pick up my pre-registration packet and tour the facilities. It’s one small step for pg and one giant step towards mommydom.

I’m also slowly but surely making a list of items we’ll need for baby. I still am contemplating the whole sterilizer and bottle warmer doodads but I’m pretty sure I want a wipe warmer. Good grief. I know the difference between these things. That’s an improvement. I still don’t know the difference between a bouncy seat, jumper and activity mat although I think I have an idea now.

Slowly but surely. Moms aren’t made in a day, I suppose.

Hubby said something really sweet last night during another pregnancy emotional outburst, “Honey, it’s 2008. You live in the United States. I’m pretty sure everything you are doing now is fine and in line with what a mom to be should be doing. Heck, you are growing a child inside of you. That’s pretty big. You are doing the best you can and that’s all our kid needs.”

Of course that was after his remark that I’ve been feeling lost since 1996. Men.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Uncertainties wearing me thin.

Baby Bean, I know you can hear things now. Your reactions to certain things have made that a fact. Loud noises, low frequency songs and my voice sometimes elicits a reaction from you.

The most astounding reaction comes on Sunday when we sing at church. You seem to really like moving around during songs. It makes me feel really nice inside that you can hear and participate in you own way.

I know your dad has been anticipating when he can start feeling you move around. In time, little one. You have a bit more growing to do. Get strong. Eat and tell me what you need to have strong muscles and organs.

I’ve been wondering what kind of parent will your dad and I be. Your dad and I have been preparing for your arrival a bit differently than I thought we would. I guess, you read all these books and it sounds like all you do from the moment you find out your pregnant is to plan for the baby.

I feel terribly slow because I have no desire to go buy baby gear yet. It’s not that I don’t think you should have it. I just dread the whole baby gear thing. There is so much to get and worry about. Is it safe? Is it childproof? Will it grow with you? Should we get a multi-tasker or a uni-tasker?

Dad had a jump start looking for homes for you and all. He’s big on the backyard. I’ve always pictured living in a house when I became a parent but buying and selling a house takes time. It’s a lot of work and it seems as if we’re not getting anywhere. I think your dad is going another direction but hasn’t told me.

I wouldn’t mind so much but with everything in my life right now, I feel like I’m in limbo. Am I staying in Manhattan or moving out? Are you a girl or a boy? Am I doing the right things to keep you healthy as best I can?

Dad’s spell of new car for baby, new house for baby and new camera for baby has now turned introspective. I think that’s normal and I have no problems whatsoever but now I’m wondering if I’m not doing enough to prepare for you.

I’ve voiced my lack of enthusiasm for baby gear. Should I be more maternal? Should I be demanding to setting up a nursery? Should I be working on the registry? Should I be signing up for classes? Should I be interviewing pediatricians? Should I be writing up my birthing plan? Should I be investigating day care?

I feel ill prepared. I feel like Dad’s preparing by doing his thing. He’s planning trips and doing his thing. I’m rushing home to pack boxes just case we move and even that’s uncertain.

I know this will pass and that things don’t always go as planned but honestly, I wish I had a foothold on something.

If I knew where we’d be in July, at least I can plan accordingly. I’d focus day care, pediatricians and classes around Manhattan. I’d finish my admitting packet and sign up for birthing classes and breast feeding classes.

I feel lost.

Mother's Day will now have a different meaning.

Last week, hubby told a neighbor we were expecting. It wasn’t out of the ordinary. It was the usual affair but what threw me off was how he said it. “PG is going to be a mommy.” I smiled politely and went back into the apartment. That’s when it sort of hit me like a Nerf Football, I’m going to be a mother. Someone in a short while will turn to me and call me ‘mom’.

Panic isn’t what struck me. It was more emotional elation. I never thought I’d be that happy. Someone in this world will turn to me and there will be this innate bond (I hope) and he/she will recognize me as their mother.

I will give myself to him/her. I will do what it takes. I will probably worry my butt off and think I’m too overbearing, not overbearing enough, too stern, not stern enough and everything else I can conjure in my overactive imagination.