Tuesday, March 31, 2009

diapers and a vent

I've spent much of the week looking at diapers! Jen, Fia and Alice have been very helpful in providing me with some info re: cloth diapers. It's all a bit daunting to the uninitiated because there are so many options... from prefolds to all in ones, from fitteds to pocket diapers. Yikes... where to start. And then there are some that need covers, some that don't... and then there's organic or not, cotton or bamboo, and then there is sizing (by weight or one size diapers which adjust.). And thus it goes on...

And then there's the question of how many diapers one needs... as well as how many of each type. And, well, how will I get on with the prefolds which involve some sort of folding and pinning. Oy.

Motheringdotcommune, this wonderful online community (thanks, Jen!), has been a wonderful resource too, and many more experienced mamas have provided me with some great advice. I've found someone online who makes fitted, organic, bamboo, one size diapers. They're like gold dust to get ahold of. She stocks her virtual shelves and they sell out immediately. I contacted her, though, and she said she can do a custom order.. which is very exciting :)

Now I have to look for prefolds, covers, and some all in ones. Here are some covers I've been coveting :)

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the things we have to think about. We're planning to co-sleep but I feel as though we need to think about a bassinet, at least, if only for naps.. and, well, if co-sleeping isn't working out for any one of us. So much to think about...


And now a rant...

Aside from all the baby stuff - which is both stressful and fun to think about (I've been practicing putting the stroller up!!)- today has been a bit of a shocker. It didn't start terribly well as I had one of those morning when even with zofran I'm on the verge of vomiting. I couldn't finish my very bland breakfast and then had to stop halfway to work thinking I was about to be sick... Not fun. And then I got to work and it went downhill very quickly. I'll just say that telling someone how huge they are over and over again is not terribly good for one's self-esteem, and whilst I'd love to say that I am immune to such comments there really is a limit. And, really, it just seems to be basic etiquette not to compare your pregnant body to someone else's. Surely people know not to say things such as 'Alex, you're SO big... so and so is 34 weeks pregnant and only a little bit bigger than you. you're huge.. and, well, this so and so was a size zero and has a washboard stomach and you hardly can tell she's pregnant.. and, wow, look at you, you are really really big'.


I was so clearly not comfortable and yet continue she did... by the end I was practically in tears. Well, in actual fact Rich called me just as I got to my office and burst into sobs about 15 minutes before my 8am class.

I really don't mind people commenting on my pregnant body. I like my growing tummy and the fact that it's helping a little baby grow and thrive but there were so many value judgments embedded in the remarks today, and they weren't lost on me. As Fia and others noted to me... when on earth did it become the goal of a pregnant woman not to look pregnant?

Today, then, was not my favorite day. Please, please, universe, let the rest of the week be better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am feeling a little homesick, lately. Today I was listening to an old 'The Beautiful South' song which I used to listen in high school. Rich actually bought me their CD our first Christmas together! Anyway, it had me searching for old photographs online (as I don't really have any so I had to rely on the web to take me down memory lane... I lived in a little village called Combeinteignhead (who can pronounce that!?)

I didn't find any of our house, though I did find some of the beach and 'brook' where our house was. We lived along the river with steps down to the 'beach'. The River Teign is a tidal river which runs into the sea.. I spent many a happy hour in my rowing boat going up and down the river.. (I should add that it was without parental supervision, life jacket, etc!! Indeed my row boat was always with some hole or another which my dad would fix periodically with some fiberglass. I think I must have been around 7! How things have changed re: parents and safety!).

On the other side of our house - across a country lane - were fields and fields of lambs and a little pig farm owned by our neighbours.

And this is a place where we spent much of our time!!! The local pub... sitting outside in the beer garden with crisps and a coke waiting for dad to finish playing pool :)

And who knew that there was a Keats' poem about Teignmouth... the place I went to school!! Even Arch Brook (where I lived) is mentioned!!


by John Keats (1795-1821)

[‘Some Doggerel’ sent in a letter to B.R. Haydon]


For there’s Bishop’s teign
And King’s teign
And Coomb at the clear Teign head -
Where close by the stream
You may have your cream
All spread upon barley bread.

There’s arch Brook
And there’s larch Brook
Both turning many a mill;
And cooling the drouth
Of the salmon’s mouth,
And fattening his silver gill.

There is Wild wood,
A Mild hood
To the sheep on the lea o’ the down,
Where the golden furze,
With its green, thin spurs,
Doth catch at the maiden’s gown.

There is Newton Marsh
With its spear grass harsh -
A pleasant summer level
Where the maidens sweet
Of the Market Street,
Do meet in the dusk to revel.

There’s the Barton rich
With dyke and ditch
And hedge for the thrush to live in
And the hollow tree
For the buzzing bee
And a bank for the wasp to hive in.

And O, and O
The daisies blow
And the primroses are waken’d,
And violets white
Sit in silver plight,
And the green bud’s as long as the spike end.

Then who would go
Into dark Soho,
And chatter with dack’d-hair’d critics,
When he can stay
For the new-mown hay,
And startle the dappled prickets?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poppet On Film: Part Two

In this riveting clip you can see the 4D parts... it's pretty amazing to see how he wraps his hands around the umbilical cord. And, wow, there is no mistaking that he's a little 'boy'!

Hiya Poppet: 24 week scan

We had another scan today - at just under 24 weeks. We'll be having them monthly until 32 weeks and then - much to my surprise - we'll be having them weekly. They're just being precautionary and we're hopeful that everything will run smoothly. Indeed, today, everything looked just perfect! He's still measuring a few days ahead and he's already a whopping 1 pound nine ounces :) No wonder I had that growth spurt!

The sonnographer put the 4D capabilities on and we got some sweet, sweet snaps. These are actually stills from the DVD as I have yet to scan in the official pictures!!

He's clinging to the umbilical cord!

A couple of profile shots...

Poppet's little leg preparing to kick me :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where did this come from?!

This week a lot of people have been kindly(!?) telling me how huge I am. Now, I am not sure 'huge' is a word that one ever wishes to hear... but it seems that there is no hiding things now. I definitely look pregnant to the unknowing onlooker (although I did have to actually point it out to the associate dean last week, when he asked me to do something over the summer). Oh well.

I've been taking pictures on my i-mac this past month or so. What a difference a month can make:

I felt as though I had really popped here, at 19 weeks (the day after the scan)

But, oh, my! What has happened at 23 weeks and a bit weeks? I'm now 24 weeks and I feel even bigger. What's shocking to me is that I only gained a pound and a half between 20 and 23 weeks. What have the next few months got in store for me?!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Another busy week followed by a busy weekend... but it's been quite a nice couple of days. I have been taking photographs of my ever expanding tummy, and, mercy, is it growing on a daily basis. Last night, when we were out at a lecture, it was the first time that people seemed to realize that I was definitely pregnant!

I will have to post pics... well, maybe :)

Whilst I'm not a fan of evolutionary explanations of the human species - especially when it comes to sex/gender - I have been caught off guard by something: nesting.

Now, I'm not someone who you could accuse of being house proud, though it's true that space is important to me... but nesting, etc? Well, apparently (or perhaps it's maybe a VERY rational realization that we have to be more organized and prepared...

This was few weeks I have been lamenting about the state of our floors. With two dogs and a kitty and a gritty driveway during mud season, our hardwood floors and rugs are plenty dirty. Our newish vacuum does a terrible job. This has been causing no end of internal angst... and it's given rise to a desire for a Dyson. I know, i know!!

Rich has not been so keen on the idea... which made me quite cross as I'm not quite sure he's getting it. Yesterday, though, I convinced myself that we just have to have one.. and of course they're extremely expensive. Extremely. Rich just couldn't see the point in it.

" Don't you care that our rugs are in need of a good clean, that our floors are always dirty because of the pups. And don't you care that little Rafi will be crawling amongst the doggy hair and the cat fur?"

And so the discussion ensued.

I did get a little upset about it (yikes) and by the time we got to the talk (an amazing lecture my Dr. Greger, speaking on human health and nutrition) I'd browbeaten poor old Rich into thinking that a very expensive Dyson was a good idea.

So, today, whilst we were looking for new bathroom suites (not so much a nesting thing but a necessity given our current bathrooms) I saw that Home depot were having a sale on their Dysons.. Oh, lord, I just couldn't resist and we came home with the Dyson Animal...

I spent a blissful couple of hours hoovering our rugs and, yikes, how filthy they were. Even Rich was impressed :)

I am finding that I have a desire for everything to be clean and finished... and we have lots to finish. I did find some non-toxic paint for the poppet's nursery today, which made me endlessly happy. And this morning I bypassed the gym so that I could get on with some chores - which included doing our taxes. I barely recognize myself!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A bit of a moan...

It's hard to believe that I am close to six months! The past couple of months have flown by. Increasingly, I am becoming very impatient for the little guy to arrive. When I was driving home from my evening class on Monday, tired and with a horrid headache, I thought about how lovely it would be to be going back to the Poppet. I just can't wait!

But then again I have done so little so it's probably a good thing that we have a few more months :)

Things have been very busy and stressful at work. I have taken on far too much this semester, and keep on taking more... I am feeling somewhat indebted that the Dean has given me paid leave in the fall... for the ENTIRE semester. I am extremely, extremely fortunate as there is no policy at the university, and previous deans and presidents have been very much against it. While I will be given a few tasks to do from home (just working on our department website, for now), it means that I will have from the middle of May to the middle of January off. Phew.

In being so appreciative I keep saying yes to students, other faculty, the dean, etc., and this work I feel so thoroughly worn out.

Warning... this is a bit of a whinge...

But I feel so fatigued and run down. I'm not sleeping at all well, even though I wake up at 3am VERY tired, I can't seem to fall back to sleep. I think it's the fact that Poppet is having a little dance party, or something. That, and I have a trillion things running through my mind and I frequently need to pee! I've also been experiencing quite severe headaches in the afternoon and I have my second cold sore in a month. Boo. The ongoing sickness has taken a turn for the worst this week, as well.

Oh, how did I forget about the fact that my feet are beginning to swell? Which is just... well, swell!

Working out seems to really help with the fatigue. I noticed that as I did an hour on the elliptical yesterday that I was slowing down, though...

Things are also wonderful, too.

A lulu list

1) I'm so grateful to be pregnant. Even with all the whinging ^^^ I am always so happy to be expecting this little fellow. When we toured the other local hospital, Maine Med, I though about being there (well, the other hospital, probably) and I felt like crying.

2) My friends - you lot - have been so wonderful to me. I don't know what I'd do without you. And especially my more local friends, especially Jen (and David and Sage, of course).

3) I'm really glad that I joined a gym! I know.. I ordinarily hate gyms, but I'm grateful that it's allowed me to continue working out, which makes me feel better in every way.

4) It's SPRING! The warmer weather is on its way, and even though it might not be 'warm' by others' standards, it's certainly warm for Maine, right now. Walking the puppies yesterday evening with the late sun shining and the snow receding, was pretty wonderful.

5) For my new stroller :)

6) The maternity leave I have... I don't know what we'd have done or how we'd have coped without it.

7) Rich and the pups... Kiltie continues to want to lie on me, or right next to me. He can definitely sense that something is going on. While we decided that we'd start easing Kiltie into sleeping downstairs when we got back from our hols, I can't bring myself to do it yet. Every night he curls up right next to my tummy... it's just too precious! I know we have to do it soon, though. I'm also grateful that Rich is going to get rid of the 'kitchen couch' this week. Right Rich? it's been SIX weeks :)

8) So grateful for Deb, who I see today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Push chair/pram/stroller

We have finally decided upon a stroller (pram/push-chair for the British folk). We happened upon it a long time ago, and liked it for two reasons. First, it takes a maxi cosi car-seat, which has a super safety record. it's a top brand in Europe and Europe, from the reading I've done, apparently has higher safety standards than the US. The other reason we liked it is that the seat adjusts so that the baby/toddler faces you as you push them. In academic geek mode, I happened upon some research which indicated that the babe feels both more secure and is good for their development. It's also very stylish :)

SO, here is our Maxi Cosi Foray... We got it for a little less on ebay. New... we still have to buy the car seat.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Holiday in snippets and snapshots

Day One

We're pretty excited for our holiday! We haven't been on one for close to a decade. Trips to the UK don't count :) The boys are at their doggy spa, my car is having a tune up, and poor Dafty is at home on her lonesome (though Linda will be keeping her company at times). We fly out of Portland and bump into three students on our flight to DC!!

We make our connection from DC to Florida, pick up the hire car (of course we're first talked into getting an upgrade), and, after getting a little lost, find our hotel/apartment. Rafi seemed to enjoy the flight... he was really moving about!! Once we've dropped our things off we head immediately to the main beach resort. En route I spy a dolphin as we drive over the causeway.... the palm trees are beautiful and the sun is shining brightly.

We feel so luck to be here...

Our first moments on the beach:

We lay on the beach... soaking up the rays, me trying to find any comfortable way to lie and read. This bump really is getting in the way!

Day two

We wake up to a lovely sunny day.... and decide to go on a hike. It looks beautiful, from what we can see online, and there are plenty of paths for walking and some paths for biking. It's really busy when we get there, but immediately can see why it's so popular. It's just beautiful.

The trail is very well marked... Here we are all cheery at the beginning of the hike:

And then we get lost... our plan is to find some gully which will take us to the main biking loop... and of course we don't find it and end up walking for more than 4 hours in the hot sweltering Floridian sun. The scenery is lovely, though, and we do see an armadillo (actually 4!):

Inevitably, perhaps, we miss the gully and have to walk two more hours... We manage very well not to blame one another!!! We're tired, hungry, hot and lost and this would usually be a recipe for a marital spat - and while it is HARD for me not to blame Rich for this mess (and vice versa!) we get back to the car without venting our frustration on one another. We're trying to practice for when poppet arrives :)

By the evening, though, my right foot is in agony and I can't walk. Boo. I expect to be better in the morning, though.

Day three

Alas, no better whatsoever. In fact my foot is worse, and so we decide to spend the day taking it very easy. We read, lie in the sun, and take dips in the pool. I do, unfortunately, own the most unflattering maternity swimming costume in the world. It's an all in one lap swimsuit; certainly it's not made for a vacation in Florida!

In the evening we sit on the hotel's little beach reading, watching the sun go down:

Day Four

I have joined a few online pregnancy bulletin boards... there are a group of us on one who are all due on July 16th! Angie is one of those women.. she is just lovely and happens to live in St Petersburgh. She recommends that we visit Fort DeSoto park, which apparently has won lots of awards for its beauty.

We're not disappointed! it is gorgeous... and since my foot is still hurting it's another perfect day for lying on the beach and reading!

Rich - taking it easy....

On the way home we spy a place to rent kayaks in the park... we plan to do it tomorrow.

Day Five

And kayaking we go...

Day Six

The foot situation is posing a bit of an obstacle. We'd planned to go on many hikes and to play lots of tennis. I can't imagine that it'll be very easy to play a month from now. As it is I was wondering how my center of gravity would impact play! Oh well... Tonight we have plans to meet Angie and her husband, Dennis. They suggest the Vinoy Renaissance in St Petersburgh. We spend the morning at the pool - reading and napping and swimming. Perfect! We head to St. Pete early so that we can walk (well, hobble) along the marina before we meet them on the hotel's veranda. St Pete's is beautiful!

We don't hobble very far and decide to head to the Vinoy early and get a drink.... Well, this place is beautiful... very stylish and very out of our price range :) I discover that it's the only 5 star resort on the West coast of Florida, and, really, you can tell! We sit on the veranda and we're joined by a few of these fellas, who aren't in the least bit shy about foraging amongst the guests.

I mean to take a pic of Angie and I but completely forget! We have a lovely evening... and I hope Angie and I get to have some play dates. As it happens she'll be in Boston for maternity leave.

Day Seven

I'd really wanted to go on some sort of boat trip while we're here, and so we find a dolphin watching trip which leaves from St. Pete's, Rather than a big boat, we're on a yacht with 9 other people. There's a little girl on there, too; only 9 months. Rafi will be almost 9 months this time next year :) We do plan to come back with him next Spring break.

As soon as we board the boat we spy a dolphin!! IN fact, we see so many as we cruise out of the bay. I'm amazed at how close we are to them... pictures will likely say it better than I can.

What a wonderful day! En route home we pop to Clearwater, which is an exceedingly busy resort. We walk along the promenade, eating an ice cream, sort of glad we didn't hang out there too much. It boasts beautiful beaches but we're so grateful we happened upon the quieter more serene Fort DeSoto.

Our holiday is coming to an end...

Day Eight

We don't fly out until the evening but we have to check out by 11. We're sad to leave. Rich and I have both developed some sun rash on our arms (clearly our winter skin was shocked by the sight of sun) and we decide to stay out of the sun as much as possible. As it happens I'm also beginning to panic that I haven't done a thing to get ready for poppet's arrival. Angie had just ordered all of the furniture and most people online are really pretty organized with supplies, baby showers, registries, and more. ANd so that morning I begin to panic. I wake up at 3:30am and the poppet is doing acrobats, making it hard to get back to sleep. Between that and the rumination over 'nothing is done' I lie awake for the next couple of hours. Eventually I realize that Rich is awake too, and, for the first time, since poppet is moving, moving, moving, Rich tries to feel for some movement! I'll let him comment on that... but he feels a couple of blows :)

We'd decided to watch the sun rise and so go down to the beach to wait for it to come up. Alas, it's the only cloudy morning since we arrived and so there's not much to see. We return to our room to pack and Rich finds Baby Stories. now, I usually don't watch these shows, owing to the fact that we don't have TV, but I am glued to them now, as is Rich. I almost start to sob when the baby's born....

.... and then i panic more and more about having nothing done, so I start browsing online for strollers and cribs, etc. And, as one usually does on their holiday, we go to Baby's R Us near Clearwater. At least we pick out our stroller (pram/push chair for you Brit readers).

And then we're off home... We get into Portland very, very late. And, boy, is it cold!