Monday, December 31, 2012

Weeks 26, 27, 28: Taking it easy, but keeping busy!

Gorgeously made paper horse at Anthropologie!
I’ve been visiting my hometown since we left Cape Town. I’ve been spending quality time with my husband, father, mother, grandmother, in-laws, and close friends. Time is racing by and in just a week, I’ll be on a plane back to Cape Town.

Maternity clothes shopping: I found pants at Target and Ross, but ended up returning them because they were too long and I would never end up hemming them. I found some luck at Burlington Coat Factory- I found some jeans that were perfect for my short stature! I will say that the quality control is poor, and of the first 5 shirts I tried on, three had serious flaws. I’d shop there again, paying intense scrutiny to seams, etc. I found some good clothing options at the Goodwill- a dress, and some shirts. I actually had the most success at Motherhood Maternity. They make petite pants sizes (i.e. for short women) and I found the moderate prices worth it for even me (I hate to spend money on clothes). When you add in the savings from not having to have them professionally hemmed (since I do not own a sewing machine at the moment), it seemed worth the cost. I also found a tankini maternity bathing suit- can’t wait to hit the Cape Town beaches when we get back!!

Below are pictures at 26, 27, and 28 weeks pregnant.

 Bought a lot of things online: Land’s End t-shirts for hubby, a new Timbuk2 camera bag, a small Gorilla tripod with a built-in level, a Boba G3 Baby Carrier (so excited), a new eye mask (the best one I’ve found), a Medela Freestyle double breast pump (I decided to go with it, even though it is not a closed system because I can find parts in SA), a double breast pump corset bra (it got the best reviews, and some Carter’s baby clothes.

Mia, the dog, being a "tortilla."
  • I made a Rachel Ray recipe: Rigatoni with Ricotta. OMG. I should have really read the recipe! I should have known what ingredients were in it, what cooking methods were used, how long it would take, and how many servings was in it- basically everything important. I blame pregnancy brain! I almost put in 1 ¼ cups tarragon instead of 3 tablespoons! I also liberally left out ingredients and substituted others (like manchego cheese and hot Italian sausage).
  • I made these Lazy Cookie Bars. So easy! After mixing they seemed a little stickier than the site suggested (maybe the extra-large eggs I used), so baking took a little longer than the 20 minutes suggested. I would definitely make this again, and have been telling everyone how simple they are! Since South Africa does not sell yellow cake mixes, I might try it with a white cake mix, or make a yellow cake mix from scratch.
  • I tried this recipe for Cheeseburger Soup- it uses Velveeta cheese (can’t get in SA) to make it creamy. I added baby portabello mushrooms and pan toasted some french bread for the side. On a rainy winter day, It was a huge hit with the hubby and father!

Had to show off my 1st haircut in 2 years!

Things left to do:
Order a few more things online- if we have time and shipping doesn’t cost too much.
Most importantly, I have not eaten at some of my favorite restaurants yet, so I still have to eat my way through town just a bit more.
I also MUST indulge in an entire box of LuckyCharms. I might share. Or not.

I probably won’t post again until after I’ve settled back in Cape Town. 
See you next year, on the other side of the world!!

Song of the Post: "Skinny Love" by Birdy. If you haven't heard of this incredible young girl, you need to watch and listen.

Monday, December 10, 2012

99 Days Left: Double Digits to Due Date!

The bump at the end of October.
I can’t believe time has passed so quickly! The halfway mark seemed to be just a while ago, and now, I’m almost to my third trimester. It’s the final stretch, and things are just going to gather speed, just like a roller coaster. 

There is still so much to think about, to organize, to buy. 

The thinking part I can do with my eyes closed, but the organized part- hard when we already live in a very cramped, over-full, tiny cottage. Which leads to the “buy” part- where would we put it all, IF we could even afford it?!

Things are much more expensive in SA, so while we are in the USA, we are trying to get what we can on sale and from used re-sale shops. I haven’t decided whether we are cloth diapering, but if I make up my mind soon, it might be worth buying them here. With my husband’s skin sensitivities, he required cloth diapering, so it might be a necessity for our child as well. Unfortunately, we can’t buy furniture and travel systems while we’re in the USA, so that will be more expensive for us. Electronics are another story- can’t buy too many from the USA because most will not be the right kind (see my post on electricity here), and we would either need plug converters or a power inverter to use most of it. So, unless there is something that “we can’t live without” from the USA, most electronic things (monitor, warmers, etc.) will be bought in SA.  

Along those lines, I am on the fence about what kind of breast pump to buy: 

First, an open system (which can have mold problems and I would consider a one child machine) like Medela Freestyle (of course one of the brand’s more expensive ones) because it is more portable and is rechargeable (which might be useful with the whole electricity thing). This would be handy for the electrical issues we’d have from buying it in the USA. I’m not sure how much more expensive it would be, but at least I could find replacement parts in SA. 

Self portrait 27/10/12 (I'm pushing the bump out).
Or second, a closed system (less likely to collect mold because it does not use outside air for the pumping action) like Ameda’s Purely Yours Ultra. It is a little cheaper, and might last for another child, BUT the brand is not sold in SA, so if I need repairs or replacement parts (valves, tubing), I would have to import/have someone send it to me at a huge cost and time. The time delay could really cause problems to our routine and to my milk supply. If I lived in the USA, I’d probably go with this one, no debate, but I must consider other options.

What we have so far:
  • A really old Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper in SA (imported and pretty old) that we will use for the baby right next to our bed.
  • Someone gave us a Bumbo.Yes, we are aware of safety guidelines.
  • I might have her coming home outfit- a little pink knitted cap and sweater (if it fits).
  • My sister-in-law sent us some really cute outfits right before we got to the USA, and we’ve bought a few things from Carters since we’ve been here.

I’d really love any input on the breast pumps or anything else you can think of! We’re kind of "flying by the seat of our pants" here as first time parents.

Song of the Post: I feel the Earth Move by Carole King. She is one of my favorite songwriters AND singers.The time to meet our baby girl is coming soon!

Friday, December 7, 2012

25 weeks: International Travel.

25 Weeks (while packing, the sign got a little smeared).
 So, this week, we will be flying from Cape Town to my hometown in the United States. With layovers, it will be just under 48 hours of travel. Many of you will think I’m crazy for attempting this. Trust me I am not, and I have the complete blessing of my doctor. I will see her the day before we fly out for one last check-in. If there were any concerns, AT ALL, I wouldn’t be flying. I am confident that the traveling will go well- I have had no physical concerns this entire pregnancy (touch/knock on wood) and don’t expect any to arise. I of course know that I will have aches and pains from sitting for long periods of time. To this end, I will be wearing compression socks during the flights and will take regular walks and bathroom breaks as needed. I will have an aisle seat for easy sitting and exiting. I will have an abundance of snacks to keep me satisfied, and many bottles of water bought after passing airport security. I have a new memory foam neck pillow to help me sleep, ear plugs, as well as my favorite eye mask. I will also have my Panado (Tylenol) for pain. This is my plan. Who knows how it will really go? I’ll report back for inquiring minds in a future post. 

Why am I going? Simple. I haven’t seen my family and friends for an entire year. This will be the only time my mother will get to “meet” her grand-baby until she is at least several months old. Being pregnant without my main support system was not necessarily how I had imagined my first pregnancy going. I need this trip. I need the connection to people who care about me to remain strong.

The Bump and Baby Center say this about Week 25:

“You might start to have trouble sleeping around week 25. This is a common complaint of many moms-to-be. Some people will tell you that’s just your body’s way of prepping you for sleepless nights with baby, but those comments won’t help you get the rest you need! Experiment with different strategies for getting some sleep. One idea is to drink extra water early in the day, so you can start tapering off your intake as you get closer to bedtime. That way, you might need less bathroom breaks during the night and can keep sleeping. After all, now that baby’s crowding your bladder, you’ve got to pee. A lot.

 Your baby's the size of a cauliflower! She's enjoying her new sense of equilibrium -- she now knows which way is up and which is down. Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.”

Pregnancy Tracking Questions

How far along: 25 weeks
I wore the same shirt at 22 weeks- compare bump size here.
Size of Baby: Cauliflower.
Sleep: Not so bad lately- I’m trying to make myself go to bed at a reasonable hour (hard for me pregnant, or not). I wish I could sleep in more.
Maternity clothes: I’m packing one pair of jeans and wearing yoga pants to travel. That’s it. So, first order of business (after buying sim cards for our phones), is to get some maternity pants.
Stretch marks: Not yet.
Best moment this week: Going to an outdoor concert on Sunday at Kirstenbosch Gardens to see Mango Groove. So fun.
Worst moment(s) this week: Being in a hypercritical and emotional mood on Sunday
Miss anything: No, because I know I'll get to eat anything I'm missing in just a few days!
Movement: Nice and strong. She tends to favor my right side.
Cravings:  Not really, but I have really been enjoying avocado and seedless green grapes this week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: This hardworking delivery man’s body odor really got to me yesterday.
Belly button in or out: In.
Looking forward to: Getting through the next two days of travel with my sanity! I’m packing my Panado (paracetemol/acetominephen)!

Song of the Post: So Happy Together by The Turtles.