Masthead header

Ready or Not… 30 down, 10 to go!

So, I think it’s safe to say I’m a perpetual nester.  Pregnant or not, I’m a home body and I like to be comfortable and organized.  Here’s what’s on my upcoming agenda:

Months 7/8:

  • Wash Baby Clothes/Blankets/Linens/Wraps & Carriers
  • Set-Up Baby Items (bassinet, crib, car seat, etc)
  • Begin Prepping Cloth Diapers and Wool
  • Organize All Washed Items In Closet/Dresser
  • Finalize Birth Plan
  • Make Arrangements for a Dog Sitter
  • Pack Hospital Bag
  • Finish Birth Playlist (gotta have my music!)

Hospital Bag Packing List

For Mommy:

  • Toiletries – travel size shampoo & conditioner, face wash, deodorant, lotion, facial moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup bag, hair brush, blow dryer, hair ties, Q-tips, lip balm, contact stuff, glasses, lanolin, face wipes, essential oils
  • Hygiene – pads, nursing pads, wipes
  • Undergarments – nursing bras, socks, underwear
  • Clothes – birthing gown, sweat pants, button top pajamas, nursing tops/tanks, maxi dress/skirt, cardigan, flip flops
  • Linens – towel, pillow, blanket, wash cloth
  • Electronics – cell phone & charger, camera bag, laptop & charger (praying that my husband can Skype during delivery)
  • Miscellaneous – printed copy of birth plan, positive affirmations, notebook and pen, chewing gum/candy, post-delivery snacks and drinks

For Baby:

  • Diapering – cloth diapers & wipes, wet bag, all natural disposable diapers (just in case baby is too small for cloth right away)
  • Feeding – boobs:)
  • Clothes – onesies, gown, footed pajamas, socks, beanie, going home outfit
  • Linens – swaddling blankets, burp cloths
  • Travel – installed car seat

I know that in the whirlwind of labor a lot of these items might  not be used.  I also know that the hospital provides certain stuff.  That being said, I would rather have these things than end up wanting/needing them and not have them.  And I also feel more comfortable using some of my own versus the hospital provided varieties.  My hope is to feel as “at home” as possible while being in the hospital.

Have any suggestions?  Please feel free to share your experience or recommendations!

 

PM on the left, AM on the right – big difference!

 

30 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of a large cabbage.  Weighing around 3 lbs and measuring 16 inches.

Symptoms:  Insomnia (you bastard, we meet again), diastasis recti (abdominal separation),  new stretch marks (yep, they’re happening).

Total Weight Gain:  24 lbs

Sleep:  Sigh.

Food Cravings: Cereal, tart fruits, tuna sandwiches, cranberry cherry juice.

Best Moment So Far: All of it.  I love everything.

Movement: This baby likes to party.  All day.  All night.

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender: *wink*

Belly Button In Or Out?  Out!

What I Miss:  My husband.  So much.  I need him.

What I Am Looking Forward To:  Going to CA in a couple weeks, baby showers, beautiful weather.

Time to go fire up the barbie and get my grill on – tonight we’re having bbq chicken, asparagus and potatoes along with watermelon and some strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Can you tell I want it to be summer?  Nom.  A crisp pale ale would be nice too…

Enjoy your day!  X

Oh, Hello, Mojo!

I can’t even believe that I am 6 months pregnant already!  What in the heez?  Time is flying by, which I am really grateful for.  Not only does this mean we’ll get to meet the wee one shortly, but it also means that my knight in shining armor will be home soon!  Oh, happy day!

Will’s last Homecoming. Can. Not. Wait!

 

I’ve been feeling good for a while now – no more fatigue, headaches, nausea or other pregnancy related ailments to speak of.  And while I’m super appreciative for a smooth pregnancy, I had forgotten what it really felt like to be “normal”.  I mean, not that I’ve ever been normal because we all know that’s impossible.  But for about two weeks now I’ve felt totally awesome.  I got my groove back.  [knocking on alllll the wood because I don't wanna lose it!]

I’ve been walking the dogs about 1-2 miles each day (weather permitting) and then getting in my daily workout.  These range from yoga, pilates, kettlebells, circuit training or a combo of any of these.  It’s crazy how much better you feel when you’re active and  sometimes when you get in a rut it takes just making yourself get up and do it to realize what you’ve been missing out on.

If you rest, you rust.  Of course you need rest, but this is referring to life in general.  You can’t let your mind, body or spirit get rusty.  You have to stay active – work your mind through education, your body through physical activity, and your spirit through prayer, time spent with nature, music, art, family – whatever makes your soul happy.  Do it.

6 months! I actually tried to make myself look presentable. Please don’t pay attention to my face. Or my fat fingers with the writer’s bump I’ve had since middle school because I hold my pencil too tight. Or the dirty mirror (11 year old boy in braces + constant toothbrushing = perpetual dirty mirror).  Or the fact that selfies are just altogether super weird and I have no idea what to do with my hands. Awkward. Just look at the baby, look at the baby.

 

Last post I talked a little about juicing.  Today I’m just going to touch on a few of my favorite workouts.

Kettlebells…

Some believe that if you have a few good kettlebells you don’t need a single other piece of equipment.  This could very well be true, but I like to mix it up – I like to lift heavy and I like to keep it interesting.  So KBs aren’t my only thing.  But they are great because they’re such a functional piece of equipment – they provide both cardio and resistance in one movement.  You’re probably not going to see massive muscle gains using only a kettlebell, but from a conditioning stand point they’re hard to beat.  Right now I use them a couple times per week and do the following (each movement is linked to a short clip with an example of the exercise):

  • Swings – Remember that this is a standard swing so you only want the bell to come as high as shoulder level.  You also want all the power and momentum to come from the hips – not the arms or shoulders.  Lastly, remember that the hips are working in a hitch motion in this exercise, not a squat (hitch = sticking your butt out like you’re going to touch the wall.  squat = putting your butt down like you’re going to sit on a curb).
  • Double Clean & Press – The video linked shows a single; a double is just like this only using two bells at the same time, one in each hand)
  • Get Ups – Found a video of a pregnant chick doing them.  These are brutal even when you’re not pregnant!  And form is very important.
  • Standing Oblique Crunch – You can do this with any type of weight really.
  • Goblet Squats – Awesome hip opener, and also great for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles for labor.  These are ass to the grass squats, and if you’re unable to complete this range of motion, at least try to break parallel and keep your knees behind and tracking your toes.
  • Alternate Lunges with Pass Under – This video shows the lunge, but not the pass under.  It’s pretty simple – using one kettlebell, each time you step back into the lunge, you will pass the kettlebell under your front leg, from one hand to the next.  Then repeat on the other side.
  • Bent Over Rows – Back exercises are my favorite!
  • Deadlifts – Great low back/posterior chain exercise

All of these are safe movements to perform while pregnant given that you’ve done them before, modify the weight and range of motion to suit your strength and growing body, know your limits while pregnant and most importantly – consult your doctor about any activity you’re considering before you do it!  If you’re interested in seeing more about how these movements are done, you can check out Pat Flynn and Breaking Muscle. But remember as with any exercise – form is crucial, so don’t perform them if you’re not able to do them correctly.

In my mind, I am on the beach doing yoga…

Yoga

A perfect prenatal activity.  You can modify the postures for any and all levels of fitness and abilities.  It’s great for opening the hips, strengthening the back and core, teaching you to breathe consciously and in rhythm with your body’s movements (very important for labor), keeping your muscles limber yet strong in preparation for birth, relaxation and mental clarity and it just all around feels good.  I currently do a few at home DVDs (Gaiam, 10 Minute Pilates and Long & Lean)  as well as try new stuff I find on YouTube.  I’ve yet to find a studio I love in this area, so for now doing it at home is great.  I also will randomly do some sun salutations here and there just for fun.

In addition to the exercises above, I also occasionally do some other at home videos.  One is Prenatal Barre.  My mom introduced me to The Barre Method.  I love it and highly recommend it to everyone, pregnant or otherwise.  As a fun side note – lots of professional athletes practice Barre in the off-season as a way to improve agility and incorporate more isometric movements into their training.  Also, The Perfect Pregnancy Workout is another I love and it’s more strength focused.  I would only recommend this to those who were weight training or otherwise involved in fitness prior to becoming pregnant.

Staying active during pregnancy can be difficult at times.  For me, weeks 6-16 were pretty rough and I really had zero get up and go.  It was usually all I had to get my daily musts done and getting a workout in was few and far between.  I’m really thankful to be feeling up to par again.  If you’re struggling, don’t feel bad! It’s totally normal and most importantly, you need to listen to your body!  Remember how hard it’s working by growing your little baby and know that when the time is right, you’ll feel better and be able to do more.  This time might come at 10 weeks pregnant or it might not happen until baby is 10 weeks old.  And that’s okay!  Also keep in mind that you don’t have to go to the gym to stay fit.  Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a great gym or box when there’s one available and it fits into my life, but you can get and stay fit at home just the same.  It’s all in your commitment and your mind set – if you can beat your mind, you can do anything!

As always, these are just my opinions.  There’s information in abundance, so always research and find what works for you… in all aspects of life!:)

Lastly, I wanted to share a couple recipes.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies:  A great way to curb a sweet tooth.  No processed sugar, no flour, no eggs so it’s great for most people with dietary restrictions as well (unless you don’t do any grains or have nut allergies).  Try to use all natural unsweetened applesauce as well, I forgot to put that on the image.  You can also add some ground flax seed, chia seeds, hemp seeds and/or nuts.

 

Multi-Purpose Citrus Cleaner:  Last post I told you I’d share the recipe for making multi-purpose citrus cleaner.  This stuff is *awesome*.  I was skeptical at how well something all natural would really clean, but I am now a believer.  I will warn you that despite all the citrus, this does have a vinegar-y smell.  It’s not that bad, but if you have an aversion to vinegar then this will probably not be pleasing to you.

I found this recipe here at the Yummy Life!  I adapted it some and didn’t get as fancy as the cute little labels and bottles they show, but nonetheless, it works like a charm.  Check out the Yummy Life, great website!  And here’s another simpler one you can look into as well.

Finally, a quick one that’s easy to do if you like essential oils (I LOVE using EOs):

Mix several drops each of  lemon, rosemary, geranium, and tea tree oils mixed with 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water in a spray bottle.  I like to call this the “anti-everything” cleaner since it has so many amazing properties – anti fungal, bacterial, microbial, it disinfects, cuts grease and grime and smells pretty awesome.

Making your own household cleaners is one of the easiest ways to start eliminating chemicals and toxins out of your home.  And it also saves a ton of money – white vinegar is SO cheap and it’s usually the base of almost all homemade cleaning products.

 

24 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of a Cantaloupe!  Weighing between 16-20 ounces and measuring in at about a foot.

Symptoms:  Allergies and a bad case of Flatassitis – it’s where your booty disappears and goes straight to your stomach.  Must. Squat. More.

Total Weight Gain:  12 lbs

Sleep:  Good, but having some crazy dreams

Food Cravings: Green juice, coffee with coconut oil/almond milk/honey, plain Lay’s potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Udi’s GF bread, berries and pineapple, slices of colby jack cheese, salads with avocado.

Best Moment So Far: Seeing baby in 4D, learning the gender!

Movement: All the time.

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender: Still know.  Still not telling.  But I’ll give you a hint.  There’s a 100% chance it’s a…. baby.

Belly Button In Or Out?  Still in.

What I Miss:  My husband, sunny summery days, feeling quick and agile, a good beer.

What I Am Looking Forward To:  Everything!  Jordan’s birthday, going to CA, baby showers, baby’s birthday, Will’s homecoming.  So much goodness!

 

I feel like I crammed a lot into this post.  Hopefully you made it through!  Since I only post twice a month I always have a ton of stuff to share.  Maybe I’ll begin posting more frequently?  Until next time…

Love.  B

 

 

22 Down, 18 To Go…

I know something you don’t know!!!  Na-na-na-na-NA!

I’m 22 weeks today and feeling good!  In my 20th week we learned whether Baby McGowen is a little girl or a little boy!  So exciting, I can’t hardly stand it.

One thing that’s crazy is my ever-changing baby belly.  Some days it’s huge, others it’s hardly noticeable.  Some mornings it’s small and then it expands throughout the day each time I eat.  Witness for yourself with exhibit A below:

 

Things are moving right along and days are passing quickly.  I’ve been emotional lately about Jordan not being my only child anymore.  We are so happy for the new baby, what a blessing it is to us all!  And while I know my love will just multiple, I still find it hard to wrap my mind around possibly loving another human as much as I love Jordan (except for Will, but that’s a different and equally powerful kind of love).  I know I can and I will.  But for now I’m taking this opportunity to soak up every minute I can as a mother of one… before my heart completely explodes from love in abundance.

My little baby bean. Where has the time gone…

 

In my next few posts I want to talk about some of the ways I’ve been (attempting) to stay healthy and fit during my pregnancy.  This includes juice blending, kettlebells and salt baths.  This does not include Krispy Kreme, Swedish Fish, and Chick-fil-A waffle fries which have magically appeared all up in and around my mouth recently.  Yeah.  Today, we’ll go with juicing.

 

Juicing/Blending…

I love all things nutrition, health, fitness and natural.  And one of the things I am very vocal about is my affinity for green juice.  I. Love. Wiggles. (Sorry, a joke for George.)  Anyway, I love green juice.  And I will sing its praises until the day I am no longer on this great green planet with its great green juice.  Then I will sing to Jesus about how wonderful it is as well.  But, duh, he already knows the words to this song!  I could go on for years about all the feels I have for my liquid gold, but I know you’re probably already wondering why you’re reading this, so I’ll keep it shortish.

First let me say that I technically blend, not juice.  I think I’ll call it “Bluicing” from now on.  Long story short, I prefer to blend because it preserves the much needed fiber, is easier (I’m sorta lazy, okay!) and the blender I use, a Vitamix, is pretty much the best thing that’s ever been invented.  It does everything.

In a nutshell, bluicing is my life blood.  Here’s why:

  • Jam packed full of live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amazingness
  • Provides tons of fiber
  • It tastes like the Nectar of the Gods
  • It detoxes, nourishes and balances all systems of the body
  • Can assist in weight loss (if you’re in need), gut healing, and overall well being
  • Provides endless amounts of clean, long lasting energy
  • Regulates digestion
  • Super powers your immune system
  • Great way to incorporate more fresh veggies into your diet
  • Awesome snack for kids
  • Is the best supplement to an already healthy eating style
  • It makes me happy!  Seriously, the best mood booster ever

That’s just a short list of some of the reasons I love it.  If you’re interested in juicing or blending, here’s a basic guideline to create your own libations…

Prepping citrus for my freezer bags.  As a bonus, you can keep the citrus peels and make your own all natural multi-purpose cleaner with them.  I’ll share this recipe next time.

Juice Blends

1.  Base (choose 1 cup of liquid, add to bottom of blender with 1/2 cup of crushed ice)

  • Decaf Iced Green Tea
  • Water
  • Herbal Tea of your choice

2. Greens (1-2 cups of your choice.  Just be sure to switch it up, don’t use the same greens every time and always use more greens than fruit)

  • Kale (curly, baby, dino)
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Mache Rosettes
  • Carrot Greens
  • Beet Greens

3. Fruit (choose 1 cup fruit, mix and match as you like)

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Citrus
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Melon

4.  Add-Ins (I always use ginger, mint, cucumber, parsley and lemon.  They make for a fresh, vibrant flavor and add a bazillion good nutrients)

  • Ginger (1″ knob)
  • Mint (10-12 leaves)
  • Lemon (1 lemon or the juice of 1 lemon)
  • Parsley (handful)
  • Cucumber (1/2 of one)
  • Turmeric (1/2″ knob – this is a very dominate flavor, just fyi)
  • Cayenne Pepper (1/8 of a tsp – this is great with watermelon)
  • Spirulina (use according to product instructions)
  • Bee Pollen
  • Chia Seeds
  • Ground Flax Seed

Choose your items from each category, blend and get happy!

Green juice is best when used the same day it’s made.  The above measurements are good for about 40ish ounces of juice.  This is a good amount for two people, but I often drink it all myself:)  When you do store it in the refrigerator, put it in a glass container (I use a mason jar) or if you don’t have glass, at least use a safe plastic, then you can put the jar in a brown paper bag to protect from photosensitivity each time the refrigerator door is opened.  And again, drink it within the same day it was made.  Remember, there’s not a right or wrong way.  You’ll find things you like more than others, combos that work better than others and stuff you just can’t stand.  And that’s okay.

It’s also okay to start with less greens and more fruit until your palate learns to appreciate these new flavors.  Try your best to source fresh, local, in-season produce (search for a CSA in your area!).  It’s good for you, good for your community and good for the earth.  Frozen fruits are okay in a pinch and some even argue that they’re more nutrient rich since they’re flash frozen immediately after being harvested.  I haven’t researched much about this, so I can’t say.  I like to freeze my own fruits for later use when possible. And I also like to pre-cut all my ingredients, bag them and freeze enough for a couple weeks at a time and this really cuts down on prep time.  So, for the days you’re in a hurry you can just grab a bag, dump it in your blender, add your liquid and go.

I also like to keep my green juice blends “cream” free – meaning I don’t add anything creamy (milks, bananas, avocado, oils, nut butters, yogurt, etc).  This is just my preference as I feel they take away from the “zing” factor of the juice.  But below are some smoothie options which do include these things and will be a great starting point for kids.  And anyone who needs to warm up to the idea of drinking their greens.

Berries and kale. Isn’t it pretty?

Green Smoothies

1.  Base (1 cup of your choice, ice)

  • Almond Milk (Whole Foods 365 and Silk are both carageenan free)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cow’s Milk (try to get organic pastured milk, or better yet, raw if possible)
  • Orange Juice & Milk combo (sounds weird, but it’s really good)
  • Coconut Water (I’m not a fan, but lots of people love this)

2. Greens (1 cup)

  • Spinach
  • Kale (baby)
  • Romaine

3. Fruits (1 cup)

  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Citrus
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Anything really:)

4. Fats & Proteins

  • Avocado (1/2 – trust me, you can’t even taste it and it makes the shake super creamy!)
  • Coconut Oil (1 tbsp, great with pineapple and banana for a tropical taste)
  • Nut Butters (1 tbsp, peanut, almond, cashew – great with banana)
  • Greek Yogurt (2 tbsp – full fat, plain, organic)

5.  Add-Ins

  • Seeds (1 tbsp – chia, flax, or hemp)
  • Gelatin (1 tbsp – Great Lakes Kosher Hydrolysed)
  • Lemon Juice (to taste)
  • Raw Cacao Nibs (these aren’t like regular chocolate, they are more bitter, but still good)

Add liquid first, then the rest of your ingredients, blend and enjoy! These are best when drank immediately after blending as it will begin to separate over time.

Remember that calories and sugar content add up quickly which can take away from the health benefits of drinking the smoothie to begin with.  If you don’t eat any other fruits or sugars throughout the day, then one fully packed smoothie isn’t going to hurt, but always take into consideration everything else you’re eating.  And in case you’re wondering – yes, natural healthy fats are good for you!  And adding them to smoothies is an excellent way to get calories into your kids if they’re being stubborn eaters.  So before you give Ensure or another processed high calorie drink, try making your own using good fats and proteins as listed above.

I hope this has helped anyone who may be juice curious.  This is just my take on it all after doing it for a few years.  There is a cornucopia of juicing/blending/smoothie information out there, so Google away!

That’s all I’ve got for now… here’s my survey, better late than never.

22 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of a Papaya, and last week at the ultrasound measured in at 11″ and 15.7 oz.  We’ve almost got a footlong 1 pounder in there!

Symptoms:  Allergies (but I think this is more weather related), still have the hail damage on my butt and thighs, sensitive gums.  But all in all feeling really great.

Total Weight Gain:  10 lbs.  I gained 5 lbs since my last post four weeks ago!

Sleep:  Good

Food Cravings: Strawberries, green juice, cereal, plain Lay’s potato chips (give me all the salt!) and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Best Moment So Far: Seeing baby in 4D, learning the gender!

Movement: All the time.  Baby is really active first thing in the morning and late in the evening.  Currently it’s in breech position so I can feel all the little kicks really low which is quite an odd feeling.  Hiccups are pretty regular

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender::):):)

Belly Button In Or Out?  Still in.

What I Miss:  My husband, sunny summery days, running sprints (I just don’t have it in me at this point).

What I Am Looking Forward To:  Buying Jordan a pet rat for his 12th birthday, celebrating said birthday, going to CA in April!

 
Thanks for hanging out with me, my people!  Next time we’ll talk pregnancy exercise and delayed cord clamping (maybe).  Love.

X, Beth

February 9, 2014 - 8:44 am

Gay Harris - Thank you Beth … glad you are feeling wonderful and full of wonder and excitement . . . Now you’ll have “two sunshines” who’ll bring you happiness when skies are gray . . .love you …

Onion Turnip turned Sweet Potato

Conversations with Will:  So, my husband has decided to take on a new business venture, a life long dream of his if you will.  He is now fabricating ceramic pods for babies to sleep in.  These pods will not only be custom formed to your baby’s unique size and shape, but they will offer protection for baby from being smashed by their dads at night, dropped on their heads, trampled by disobedient dogs or even being swooped down upon and carried away by a hawk or other predatory bird… the possibilities are really endless.  These pods will also float, so you can then hook your baby pod to say, a tube or even a surfboard, and take your baby in the water with you with no fear of it drowning (emotional trauma is guaranteed and comes free with purchase).  Folks, these custom life saving devices won’t last long, please contact me (do NOT contact me) to place a pre-order while they’re still available.

I feel like for those that may not really know me, I should say “just kidding”.  Then I feel like I should say that if you couldn’t tell I was just kidding, I probably don’t want to know you anyway.

Last week I went for my 16/17  week check up.  All is well and we were able to hear the baby’s little heart beating away.  144 bpm which according to one of those silly wives tales means baby is a boy.  Not that I follow these wives tales or anything… but I also happen to know (just by chance)  that the Chinese Gender Prediction Chart, the ring-on-the-necklace test, the Ramzi Method, the nub theory and the position of my bump all point to boy also.  Which means there’s a 99% chance it’s a girl.

As I prepare for baby, I’m currently focusing on building my cloth diaper and baby carrier stash.

Cloth Diapering…

What my backyard will look like come summer time.

There’s many reasons we’ve decided to cloth diaper:

  • Status:  First and definitely most important is strictly for appearance and status.  We want everyone who looks at our baby to know that we are crunchy hippies who spare no expense at making sure we save the planet one poopy diaper at a time… or at least look pretentious enough to care about the environment at all.  And if they can’t tell by the fluffy butt diaper, the smell of patchouli and body odor that precedes us should get the message across.  Seriously, cloth diapers are really cute.  But that’s not at all why we’re doing it, though it is a fun added bonus.
  • Health:  After researching standard disposable diapers it’s my opinion that the ingredients used in making them so super absorbent is not something I choose to put on my baby.  Yes, people do it everyday, and that’s fine!  But I’m choosing not to.  Cloth diapering also allows much more air to reach baby’s skin which helps in preventing diaper rash.  In all reality I’m sure there will be times that we do need to use disposables (ie: traveling, camping, needing things to light on fire to throw at people we don’t like), but in these cases we plan to use the most natural disposable we can.
  • Cost:  While the initial upfront cost of CDing can provide some sticker shock ($300-$500),  the long term savings is very substantial.  On average, disposable diapers for one baby from birth-2.5 years runs around $2,800-$4,000.  Of course the cost of washing and drying cloth diapers will absorb some of the savings, it is still not enough to offset the benefit which typically ends up being anywhere between $1,500-$2,000 of savings over the course of baby’s diapering years.  Especially if you’re using cloth wipes (which you can make out of old flannel shirts, t-shirts or receiving blankets), an energy saving washer and line drying outside as much as possible.  Add to this the fact that you can even resell your gently used diapers for 50-60%  of the original cost and you’re looking at even more savings.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “… how can a sack full of poop ever be considered ‘gently used’?”.  Well, that my friends, is one of the mysteries.  You see, when you’re devoted to eating granola, drinking  Kombucha and singing Kumbaya to woodland creatures while meditating, you are not above buying pre-pooped diapers.
  • Environment:  This is the most debatable of all the benefits as some claim the water and electricity you use is far more harmful to the earth than all the disposables going to the landfill.  I can see both sides of this argument.  However, I do feel that washing properly, line drying and being conservative with resources in general can help balance this.  And at the end of the day, I feel like CDing is more environmentally friendly and there’s a lot to be said for peace of mind.  Leave me alone in my little tree-hugging world, okay?

When you get down to it, a diaper is ultimately just a device to catch poop, so if it’s get the job done and makes your life a little easier, that’s what it’s all about.

Baby Wearing…

My current wraps: Didymos Orient, SollyBaby Bamboo Blend, Vatanai Iglooik Whales, Didymos Lisca Pastell Mei Tai. Most of these are used wraps and were purchased via a babywearing swap. You may be wondering why there’s more than one – well, because you can’t only have just one. But really they’re different sizes, materials and styles which are good for various seasons, baby/parent size and carrying type. These types of wraps usually increase in value because they’re limited releases and become more valuable as they are broken in and become harder to find brand new.

When I had Jordan I was gifted a Baby Bjorn carrier (gasp!).  At the time, I thought it was legit and would put him in it (forward facing, crotch dangling and all) and wear him around the house.  He was not much for this and lasted for 10-20 minutes a handful of times and that was the extent of our baby wearing experience.  I’m sure the reason he didn’t like it was because of how horribly uncomfortable it was, and unfortunately I didn’t know any different.  But either way, I had no idea why baby wearing can be so beneficial or how to do it properly.

Fast forward to now and not only has wearing become much more widely practiced, but information on how to do it, and options for ergonomically correct carriers and styles of wearing are plentiful.  I’ve researched baby wearing a lot.  And I intend to wear our new baby as much as is comfortable, beneficial and enjoyable for us both.  Many cultures all over the world use baby wearing in their daily lives as both a way to be productive but also, and most importantly, as a way to keep their baby closely connected and bonded with them – as they should be!  Some benefits of baby wearing include:

  • Kangaroo Care or Skin-to-Skin Contact:  proven especially miraculous in the recovery and growth of premature babies in the NICU, but also highly beneficial in the bonding and sleep patterns of all babies.  Babies spend 9 months living inside your body at which time they’re abruptly introduced to this big, overwhelming world.  It’s only natural then that babies want to be as close to you as possible while they acclimate to their new environment, which is where wearing can provide the same closeness, warmth, rhythm of breathing and heart beats, and swaddled (read: cramped as hell) effect that they had in the womb.
  • Productivity:  wearing your baby can enable you to keep them close and comforted while your hands are free to do what you need to do.  This might include but is not limited to:  house chores, exercising, cooking, hunting, underwater basket weaving or even fighting fires.  Wearing is also known to have “sleepy dust” because of how easily babies will drift off to sleep once they’re wrapped up close to you and lulled by your movement; so this can be a good way to soothe a tired baby as well.
  • Core Strength:  There’s a crazy notion that wearing a baby will create developmental delays… that baby won’t sit up, walk or crawl “on time” because they’re always being held.  But on the contrary, holding or wearing a baby in an upright position actually does quite the opposite as it causes baby to engage their core and strengthens their neck muscles.  There are no valid statistics that point to any delay in development.  Not to mention that no two babies are alike and all will progress at their own rate.
  • Independence & Security:  In the same vein as mentioned above, some argue that holding or wearing a baby all the time will create a “spoiled” or “needy” baby who will always want to be held.  Again, this turns out to be quite the opposite in most cases.  Wearing your baby establishes trust in them – trust that you’re there to nurture, comfort and provide for them.  When babies have this trust, they are much more confident which in turn makes them independent as they feel secure in knowing you’ll always be there.  There are going to be needy or independent babies regardless, it’s just the way it is, but close parenting and nurturing can definitely do no harm.

So that’s what I’ve been doing as of late.  Tomorrow I’ll be making a trip to Raleigh to a cloth diaper store to take a look at some different options.  There’s a plethora of diapers online, but I’m a very tactile person and I need to touch them, play with the snaps, smell them (yes, I will actually smell them), become one with the diaper so that I can see what they’re all about.  Then I can make a better decision when purchasing and/or registering for diapers online.

18.5 weeks. No, I’m not wearing tie dye to prove my earth saving desires. I am wearing it to prove how much I love my son and his gift of this t-shirt.  But I do like tie dye

 

18 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of a Sweet Potato – weighs about 7 oz and is 5.6″ long

Symptoms:  Insomnia

Total Weight Gain:  5 lbs

Sleep:  What is that?

Food Cravings: Mango.  I’m obsessed with fresh mangoes.  I’m also loving my green juice.  And cereal.

Best Moment So Far: Hearing baby’s heart beat and feeling the hiccups in my stomach.

Movement: Baby is either going 100 mph or not going at all.  I think it wears itself out.  It will move nonstop for two days and then take a whole day off.  At this stage in pregnancy feeling movement is inconsistent as baby is still small enough to get into a position that you may not feel.

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender: T-minus two weeks until we find out if our baby will name its first goat Cinderella or Spiderman.

Belly Button In Or Out?  Still in.

What I Miss:  My husband, sunny summery days, fitting into my favorite jeans – I finally had to retire them temporarily.

What I Am Looking Forward To:  Meeting my doula in person next week, finding out baby’s gender, my life… I am so happy and excited about my life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed (or at least endured) my blabbering on and on.  Thanks for reading!  Until next time, I’m going to go listen to some Cake.

X, Beth

Baby Swayze McGowen

16 weeks!  Next week I’ll go in for a regular check up and hear the baby’s heartbeat.  Squeee!

Will announced that his New Year Resolution is to have a baby.  Lucky for him, I’m pregnant!  So he says technically I have until December 31, 2014 to “drop it like it’s hot” (aka – birth the baby), at which point I would be 15 months pregnant.  Can you even imagine?  Elephants have a gestational period of 22 months – total bad asses.  I said I wanted to keep the baby in until August (better chance of him being here for the birth, and I like that month).  But in all reality, I want to have the baby like, yesterday and just add more happy to this crazy little life of ours.  Also, we decided regardless of gender, we will name it Baby Swayze McGowen.

Nobody.

This pregnancy has been making me feel more organic, bohemian, natural, crunchy and minimal than I already was.  I just want to purge my life of unnecessary things.  I want to bring nature into my house.  I want to slow down, get back to earth and eliminate all the distraction and excess.  I want to explore outdoors and be reminded of how beautiful simplicity is.  Another option for a baby name is MoonBeam RiverLeaf McGowen.

Last post was my initial Bump Blog but I never did talk about how we announced our pregnancy, so I’m going to do that today.

I found out I was pregnant very early – at just 3 weeks in fact.  So imagine the torture it was to wait those long, excruciating, never ending 9 additional weeks before we could tell anyone!?  It seemed like FOR-EV-URRRRR.  I figured some people might have an idea (Will’s mom) as I was actually staying with them temporarily until we got a house in NC – it was really hard to hide the fatigue, nausea and sudden hiatus in enjoying my evening wine. Oh, and the fact that I was a raging bee eye tee cee aytch.

Anyway, with Will being overseas we wanted to announce in a fun and memorable way.  So I had these custom wine bottle labels made and we gave them out to each set of families while we Skyped.  It was a lot of fun to watch them read it and let it sink in.

Then we waited a couple more weeks before announcing to everyone else.  If you follow me on FB you might have seen this photo:

OVbunEN

It was such a relief to finally have told everyone and to be able to talk about it!  It’s such an exciting time so it was really hard to hold it all in.

I don’t have a good photo of my 16 week bump (lame, I know), but there’s this really shoddy cell phone selfie – blurry, bad lighting, toothpaste mirror and all.  Look, I’m not fancy.

There’s a bump in there hidden in all the black

My go to outfit thus far have been leggings and boots with a tank and cardigan.  Often accessorized with a scarf or some cool jewelry.  The necklaces I’m wearing here are from Barbara Pellegrino and I’m obsessed with them!  She hand picks all the crystal, cleanses them and then turns them into these beautiful pieces.  I’m wearing a druzy and an amethyst (mounted in a bullet casing cause I’m so hard).  Anyway, check out her shop, she’s got some amazing things.  I feel like I’ll live in leggings/cardigans until it gets warm then transition into dresses of the maxi/sun/shift varieties.  I ordered this really cute dress from Etsy and am looking forward to wearing it this summer.   I like how simple it is and I think it’ll be fun to accessorize and also be super comfy in a cute potato sack kind of way;)

Also, there’s this:

Hey, whatcha doin? Huh? Huh? Huhuhuhuh? Can I get in? Can I? Can I? C’mon….!!!!

I think he’s preparing me for life with baby at which point I won’t be able to shower or pee alone for the next 5 years… who am I kidding, Jordan is 11 and still thinks everything is of dire importance while I’m in the bathroom.  I’ve been taking a lot of detox baths (sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils like lavender, orange, peppermint, rosemary, etc) they’re so relaxing and do wonders for a headache or any other ache or pain.  This dog thinks he needs to be all up in and around the tub at all times.  He even tries to drink the water.  Weirdo.  When he’s not trying to swim in my tub he’s eating Christmas presents in their entirety and then vomiting them up all around my house.  Yay.

So, that’s what’s been going on in these parts.  We had an awesome Christmas and celebrated for 5 straight days – one of which was for my nephew Thomas who turned a whole year young on Christmas Eve!  It was great times with great people and we’re so very blessed!

 

16 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of an Avocado – 4.6″ long and weighing in at about 3.5 oz.

Symptoms:  Dry skin

Total Weight Gain:  Not exactly sure since I haven’t been to the doctor since my last post which was 3.5 pounds.  I’m sure I gained like 17 at least with all the food I ate for Jesus’ birthday.

Sleep: Good, though I haven’t been getting enough

Food Cravings: Clif’s Kids Organic Strawberry Z Ropes (basically healthy licorice/fruit snacks), yogurt with granola, berries and honey… and over the holidays I ate waaaay too many sweets.

Best Moment So Far: Feeling baby!! (see below)

Movement: In the past week baby has made its presence known!  Lots of jabs and rolls, especially if I sit or lie in a position that it doesn’t like.  It’s the most strange and beautiful feeling ever.  Sorta like the Aqualung song.

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender: Don’t know, but I’m on the boy wagon still.

Belly Button In Or Out?  Still in.

What I Miss:  My husband, California scenery and adventures, the beach.

What I Am Looking Forward To:  Bringing in the New Year with Jordan, hearing baby’s heart beat, finding out the gender and keeping it a secret!

I’ll try to post a bump picture in a few days.  Next on the agenda: making a list of  New Year goals!  Peace and love my friends!

X, Beth

December 29, 2013 - 7:06 pm

gay Lynn - Thank you honey for sharing like this . . . so newsy and fun to read . . .I love you and love the young woman you’ve grown into . . .may God add His blessing to your wonderful plans . . . <3

December 29, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Beth - Thank you, Nana! I love you too and I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. I’m glad you enjoy reading.