Archive for Stowaway

Hello again, friend (In the Beginning)

Has it really been almost 6 months since I last posted?  Woops.  Well, settle in for a long catching up post, friends!

I was talking to my sister this morning and marveling over the fact that the 5 months since Viv was born seem simultaneously like a lifetime, as I suppose they have been for one little mite, and like the blink of an eye.  Is she really wearing 12 month clothing already?  How is it that she just rolled and wiggled and kicked herself from one side of her playmat to the other to retrieve an errant toy?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that my husband held her on an early, gray, drizzly spring day: swaddled and on his chest, while classical music played in the background and I meandered about, setting our home to rights by picking up the detritus of a newborn- a blanket here, soiled diapers there, burp cloths draped on every chair and sofa arm to catch the frequent spit up.  Did that ever really happen? She has a beautiful, sweet, curious soul that grows warmer with every day.  Lately, she has become (in her pediatrician’s words) “flirtatious.”  Oh, is she.  She will stare down new people, contemplate for a minute, and then crack an enormous smile.  Not daring enough to actively seek out new people and more of an observer, she is a more than willing recipient of anybody’s attention.  Oh, friends.  She is a delight.  My mom told me in those early days that she was an easy happy baby.  That was sometimes hard for me to believe, having little to compare her to.  She could scream (and often did for what seemed like hours but was more like 20-30 minutes a night) and was fully capable of covering absolutely everything nearby in spit up.  But she truly was and is easy.  We are so incredibly lucky and undeserving of this beam of light.  Read the rest of this entry »


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My shower was now a month ago.

Please forgive my tardiness in writing about it.  I was so overwhelmed by all of the generosity and love shown by our friends and families!  My friend Heather threw the shower at our church, and a lot of wonderful people showed up.  These were people from every facet of my life- my childhood, college, adulthood, family.  Even those who couldn’t come due to time or travel difficulties were there in spirit.  Stowaway truly was showered with so much love (not to mention gifts!).

In fact, the registries are now basically empty.  That’s a pretty good feeling.  I went out a couple weeks ago and purchased the rest of the cloth diaper supplies from Diaper Lab, a local cloth diaper store.  Then, that evening I went to choir only to be surprised by a small shower.  They had taken up a collection and purchased most of the same items I had bought earlier in the day!  So, I was able to return my items and save a bunch of money.  I guess that’s what I get for jumping the gun.  🙂  Okay.  You have to see these adorable diaper covers we got:

And, if Stowaway turns out to be of the female persuasion, I may be forced, kicking and screaming, to purchase this insanely cute one too:

This baby is going to have a very fashionable butt. 

What was I saying?  Oh yeah.  Shower.  So, my shower was exactly what I imagined it to be.  It was laid back and fun, there was a lot of good food, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Heather brought a couple of lasagnas and several other friends also brought things.  My friends are great cooks!  I have never felt so completely supported and surrounded by love as I have during this pregnancy.

After the shower, my mom (who flew in from AK for this!) came back to my house with two of her dear friends (women I’ve known since I was a very small child).  I still remember fondly sleepovers and parties with these ladies and their children.  We sat in Stowaway’s room for a good portion of the evening admiring all the gifts I’d received, putting some stuff away, and generally starting to get the room in better order.  They stayed late, until husbands started calling and the drive back to their respective homes (in NH and ME) started to seem long for such a late hour. 

All in all, a great day.  Mr. Cookie and I feel truly lucky to have such a strong support network.  Stowaway is incredibly lucky too, because one day s/he will look on many of these same friends the way I see my mom’s friends.  All of you are treasures to me.  Thank you for being so giving of yourselves.  I am in your debt.

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Who Are You?

This morning, I woke up and my belly was shaking.  I made Mr. Cookie crawl back into bed: “put BOTH hands on my stomach,” because Stowaway was having a little party in there (complete with hiccups).  Oh, the rolling and surging feelings that come with this part of pregnancy are quickly making it my favorite.  My second trimester was supposed to be the best, but with the continued food aversions and the whole rib issue (did I mention I had a broken rib?) it has been less than the promised cake walk.  Now, my hips are getting sore as Relaxin hormones surge and I am a little more tired again, but perhaps for the first time in my pregnancy, the good feelings are dominating on a regular basis (random crying episodes aside.  I heard a report on NPR the other morning that made me start sobbing.  Mr. Cookie was good enough to hug me and not tease)!

The nursery is nearly done (well, we still have a lot of clothes and little things to buy, but the furniture is all purchased and assembled and many little accents are done) as of this weekend.  Woohoo!  Nesting is in full swing and, as I am now in my third trimester, I can’t help but find myself wondering who this little person is inside.  That’s another benefit of not knowing the gender, in my eyes at least.  I get to wonder and guess at that too but then no matter what, I get the best gift in the world at the end.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I had this unshakeable feeling that I was having a boy.  I’m not sure whether it was because I liked the idea of Mr. Cookie having a son to share the same incredible relationship with as he and his dad have, but I liked the idea of “boy.”  Lately, I’ve been thinking it’s a girl.  I realize all of this is pretty silly, because I have a 50/50 shot at guessing correctly.  Also, you should see the way my lone niece has him wrapped around her finger.  It doesn’t matter the gender, this kid is going to be a total daddy’s child.  And yet, there may be some indications one way or another.  Take, for instance, this study.  It turns out, there may actually be some correlation between extreme morning sickness and the female gender.  I don’t know if you guys remember, but way back before anyone even knew we were pregnant (aside from the Mr. and me and a team of medical professionals), I had to go to the ER for dehydration.  Umm, too much vomiting.  AND AND AND I still throw up sometimes (sorry, you may not have wanted to know that).

And yet, it still doesn’t matter.  I can honestly say that no matter what, no matter how much I’m proven right (red hair, blue eyes, mellow, loves music, mesmerized by Daddy’s voice) or how much I’m proven wrong, it just isn’t going to matter.  I love this kid like crazy and it is just getting crazier every step closer.

Well, okay.  Let’s be honest.  Lack of red hair could be a deal breaker.

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13 weeks left.  Holy shit.  I remember when I was so excited to hit 13 weeks pregnant!  It seemed like such a milestone (and, at the time, it was).  But, yesterday I turned 27 weeks pregnant and Stowaway got that much closer to viability.  Sometimes I wonder if people really care about my mindless pregnant ramblings but then I decide it doesn’t really matter, because I care and one day it will be nice to have a record of this time.

So, some really exciting developments (to me):

* I’ve now seen my stomach move a couple times, courtesy not of my own muscles but of Stowaway’s shaking and kicking.  Last night, I gave the bathtub a really good scrub (not an easy feat at 6 months pregnant) so I could just lay there in a warm bath and watch my belly shake.  Stowaway apparently takes after neither of his parents and is underwhelmed by audiences (read: uncooperative).

* I think Stowaway is mesmerized by her daddy’s voice.  Sometimes, she’ll be participating in Richard Simmons-esque workout and then Mr. Cookie will come into the room, talk, and suddenly she goes entirely still.  It’s kind of cool because I love his voice too.

* I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends.  From Heather, who has single  handedly undertaken the task of my shower, to Sarah and Jenn, who are always happy to answer all of my stupid pregnancy questions, to Eljon and the countless people who called and emailed when I put a message up on Facebook for all of five minutes saying I was overwhelmed and weepy, and to my family who is always a phone call away, even if I don’t get to see them nearly often enough.

* Mr. Cookie and I went to a cloth diaper workshop at Diaper Lab (which is awesome, by the way).  We’ve decided to move ahead with cloth diapers!  Cloth diapers make me want to squeal with excitement, because they are so cute!  Lots of reasons for this, but I think the main one is that Mr. Cookie and I both have super sensitive skin (so we can only guess that, by extension, so will Stowaway) and cloth is supposed to be better for sensitive skin than disposables

* Glucose test- is scheduled for the 30th, and after that appointment I start being seen every two weeks.  When do they start doing internal exams?  I have an irrational fear of going into labor early and would love to hear that nothing is happening.

* Does anyone know of good breast feeding resources in the area?  Might as well use these boulders for something useful.  And my Bradley instructor keeps emphasizing that we need to “watch other women nursing.”  Seeing as how I’m not terribly comfortable saying “hey, could you NOT cover your tits so I can watch you feed your child,” consider this your passive invite to come to my house and nurse without covering up (I promise to maintain a distance of at least 5 feet).

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On Gender

It’s funny, but I never expected gender reveals to be such a divisive issue.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Nobody has jumped down my throat for the decision for a surprise delivery, and nobody’s ever been caustic to me.  Still, it seems that there are two very divided camps when it comes to finding out baby’s gender.  The first camp seems to come from the planning angle- wanting to make sure they have specifically gendered nurseries, clothes, etc.  The second camp seems to come from the surprise angle- they look forward to having that big incentive in the final stages of labor.  I suppose it’s hard to be unbiased unless you’ve experienced it both ways, and even then it’s still an opinion.

I thought it might be interesting to share why I made the decision to keep the baby’s gender a secret (and why Mr. Cookie was kind enough to agree) and see what my friends think on the issue- either side.  So, here are my reasons for the surprise.  Of course, this in no way is meant to say I think my way is best.  It is just best for me.

Decor Many on the opposite side of the debate wonder at how I can do such things as get a nursery ready and buy clothes.  I’ve never been entranced by highly gendered rooms, either for babies, children, or adults.  I guess it’s most important to me that a space be functional.  Form can follow that.  For example, given the choice of pink paisley, blue sailboats, or a mixture of bright, cheerful colors and animals, I would choose the bright colors any day.  I can’t wait for the nursery to be finished and to be able to post pictures!  Look at these adorable bookends I ordered:

That’s a stock photo, as we have neither the bookshelf nor the books for them yet.  But how cute are they?  I am in love.

Clothing Surprisingly, I have a modest amount of clothing already.  Hand-me-downs and a couple personal purchases have certainly helped.  I’m not too worried about the colors my child is wearing and, while I will probably buy clothes after the baby is born (or, if friends who also had delivery surprises are any indication, will receive plenty of “gendered” clothes post birth), I am okay with blues and yellows and greens.  I even saw an awesome onesie in a boutique about a year back that was pink, and on the chest is said “What?  Boys can wear pink too!”  I kind of wanted it, even though I was not pregnant and had no reason to think I would ever actually even have a boy.  I’m still a little sad that I didn’t buy it.  My husband wears pink, and he looks really good in it.  Why couldn’t a son?  Of course, there is the excitement of gendered clothes.  Don’t think that I will keep my child in gender neutrals forever!  There are too many adorable sweater vests or polka dot tights to be worn.  I just don’t feel like I need to have my child’s entire first year of clothing purchased before s/he is here. Look at this adorable outfit I got for the baby’s coming home:

Big Items Back when I first started teaching, there was another teacher who was pregnant.  She had decided not to find out what she was having, and one of her reasons for it made a ton of sense to me.  I hadn’t given it a lot of thought up until then, but that sealed the decision in my mind.  Her thinking was that if you knew what you were having, people would be really tempted to buy you gender specific things- strollers, car seats, play gyms, swings, etc that you may or may not want to use with subsequent children who happened to be a different gender (she even knew people who had registered for gender neutral stuff but had been gifted very gendered stuff instead).  There are some things on my registry that are labeled as “boy” items, but I think they just happened to be gender neutral by my estimation.  Maybe I’m destined to have tomboys?  Or girly girls who resent being surrounded by “boy” things.  Probably the latter.  And, that’s okay.  I will take that in stride.  But I doubt my newborn is going to be offended that her bib (assuming she’s a girl) has an alligator on it and comes from the “boy” bib collection.

Name  I like the idea of having to come up with two names (check back when discussions have really begun in earnest and we’ll see if that’s still how I feel).  Either way, the baby’s name will be a secret until birth!

Announcement Finally, and this is the reason that really clinched it for me.  I am in love with the image of giving birth to the baby, having him or her placed on my chest, and having my husband announce the gender.  You can bet that will be part of my birth plan (at least the announcement part- if I have a c-section I realize they won’t be putting the baby on my chest).  I love the idea that Mr. Cookie will have such an important job as soon as the baby’s born.  I am very excited to hear from my own husband that first bit of information about our child.


Now, all of this said, I was one of the more obnoxious commenters on facebook a couple days ago when one of my friends was going in for her gender scan.  I surprised myself at how impatient I was!  And, honestly, I have no idea what we’ll decide to do with the next child.  Maybe since I was so adamant this time I’ll let Mr. Cookie decide next time.  I know it’ll be fun either way.

So, I’m really interested in hearing from my readers- did you find out, didn’t you?  If you didn’t, why not?  With future children, do you plan to find out?  What is your reasoning for finding out (or not)?  Do you ever feel like people just “don’t get it” when you tell them your decision (either way)?

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Notes on a Baby Half Baked

Tomorrow is 20 weeks.  20!  That’s, like, halfway or something (yes, I realize the first two don’t really count and there will probably be some extra at the end, but I’m not counting those two things).  Halfway, yay!!  I deserve a prize.

Here is a bulleted list of exciting things that have happened lately:

  •  I am now feeling the baby’s movements more regularly.  As I type this, Stowaway is practicing a game s/he likes to call “beat up Mommy.”  Still, Stowaway is a little picky and will only perform such tricks for me.  Mr. Cookie felt vague movements once, but so far every time there is a spate of kicking, as soon as I call Mr. C over to feel it, it stops.  Boo.
  • The heartburn that I had been experiencing pretty regularly seems to have abated for now.  Huzzah!
  • I’ve noticed that my belly button is now getting shallower, and consequently the scar from a laparoscopic procedure I had about ten years ago is becoming more obvious.  This fascinates me for some reason.
  •  I have now made an agreement with Stowaway:  s/he will promise to be under 13 pounds, and I will take “Jihad” off my list of possible names.

I think that is all for now.  This promises to be our last quiet weekend before the holidays, so maybe I’ll finally get those belly shots up that we’ve been taking since something like week 10 and haven’t managed to actually post yet.  You never know!

EDIT:  All my life, I have astounded people with my ability to remember finite details of events long past.  I have a really good memory, and until lately that has included short and long term.  Lately, it’s as if my fetus is eating my brains (Attack of the Zombie Fetus.  I’m calling Hollywood).  What was I saying?  Oh yeah.  Today at lunch, I unpacked not one, but two Chobani Black Cherry yogurts from my bag.  Hmmm.  I distinctly remember opening the fridge this morning and thinking “huh, I thought we had more of those left” as I grabbed  a yogurt and tossed it into my lunch bag.  Apparently we did, because I’d already packed one (most likely seconds before, since I was in a hurry this morning).  Silly me.  Silly pregnancy.

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The Devito Inside

I bet you thought you were going to see ultrasound pictures today, didn’t you?  Well, you were wrong.  Let me start by saying that everything looks good, the baby is healthy and growing and, as of yesterday, headbutting me in the cervix (which, while annoying, was vindication for me saying all day that I was feeling a lot of pressure there). 

And yes, we are having a… human!  Surprise!  There’s still only one, so things are pretty great.  It was very touching and bla bla bla.  Now, on to the real meat of this post.

You guys, I think that I have a smaller version of this in my stomach (albeit, with fewer clothes):

Now, let me explain.  The technician was not very talkative at all.  She was very curt with her answers, not at all like the friendly and informative one we had last time.  And, that’s fine- I realize I’m an annoying first time mom and maybe she was having a bad day.  But, I’m a doer, not a whiner, and so I’ve had to come to my own conclusions (warning:  do not try this at home without adult supervision).  Okay.   According to the venerable internet, the baby should be between 15.3 and 16.4 cm (baby is 14.4)  and should also be between 8.47 and 10.58 oz (baby is 11 oz).  Those are the measurements for 19 and 20 weeks, respectively, and I am 19 weeks, 4 days.  Herm.  So, basically, according to doctor google, my baby is shorter than average and chubbier than average.

Baby Devito, would you like it if Mommy ate a hard boiled egg now (those of you who watch It’s Always Sunny should get that reference)?

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