Monday, May 30, 2011

Hey, Babe

Fantastic news.  Little Dude decided to make his debut on Saturday {his due date!}.  He came out looking like the Sunbean's twin, though they look differently already.
We're not sharing his name via the internets, but if you're my friend on Facebook we've shared it there.  If you're still itching to know, just shoot me an email and as long as you're not a creeper, I'll share.
So we're all just hanging out, getting to know each other.

His birth story is an emotional one for me, and as soon as I have the time/energy/free hands to get it all down, I'll make sure to blog about it.

We're feeling very blessed to have a happy, healthy {and ludicrously hungry} baby home with us.  For a few hours there, things were looking like they might not have a happy ending, so we're just so thankful that this little guy is ours.

More details to come. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

College Bingo

I found this on Pinterest yesterday, and nearly hurt myself laughing.

I have for sure been in at least one class where these things were happening.

I bet you have, too.

Enjoy a good laugh, and then call your roomie and reminisce.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Terrible Two?

 via me on Pinterest

Someone {well meaning, of course} sent me a poem the other day.  It was a poem about going from having one child to having two children.  It talked about learning how to split your love in half.  I'm not going to post it here, because just thinking about that wretched poem makes me start sobbing, and I really don't want to stare at it on my blog.  Sorry.  Use your imagination.

But this thing has had me thinking {and bawling my eyes out}.  I know this is an emotion that nearly every mother has experienced, but that doesn't make it easier.  I want my little Sunbean's life to be happy and fun.  I want her to feel the love of her parents, and I want to teach her to feel the love of her Heavenly Father.  All of these things are possible with several siblings, but the transition will be tough {for both of us}.

I think this is weighing especially heavy on my mind, in particular, because I don't have happy memories with my siblings.  That's because I don't have any siblings.  I'm an only child, so I don't know the fun, excitement, and camaraderie of brothers and sisters.  I witness it all the time, especially with MacGyver and his family, but that doesn't help in this particular scenario.  I've enjoyed being an only child, but it makes this next step in our lives something quite new for me.

So after a few days of moping and freaking out, I decided the best thing to do would be to just make each of these last days with the Sunbean count as much as possible.  I know that when Little Dude arrives {seriously, buddy, any freaking time now}, I'll need to give him more of my time at first.  There will be the hospital stay {my first time away from the Sunbean}, and then the first few days at home, getting nursing established.  So while I'll still be there for my little girl, my time won't be all hers anymore.  So we've been playing the games she wants to play, getting out the toys she wants out, and even going to the places she wants to go {how lucky am I that her favorite place to go is Starbucks?!?}.

But the past few days sure have been fun!  It's not a parenting style I could do every day {there are, unfortunately, things like dishes and laundry and dirt and dust and church responsibilities and groceries and bow businesses that also fight for my time}, but I have loved setting everything else aside for a few days.  It's been fun to see what the Sunbean chooses when the choice is all hers.
Lots of people {again, well meaning, I'm sure} have been telling me how 'terrible' the Sunbean will act when Little Dude arrives.  They've been sharing stories of their own children who stopped eating, sleeping, had potty trouble, etc.  I really hope that this major life event doesn't shake her to the very core {as so many helpful people predict}, but I know it will change all of our lives.

And why shouldn't it?  Our family is getting a new person!  We'll all need to get to know each other, and that will take time and patience.  But we figured out life with one kid, so I think we'll figure out life with two kids.

So from now until Little Dude decides to make his debut {I'm hoping for right now}, you can find me playing on the floor with my little girl.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

I really, really, really wanted to blog about something besides pregnancy.  But I seriously can't help it.  I don't have enough non-pregnancy-related thoughts in my head for an entire post.  Sad, but true.

  • Here's a quick tip:  if you can think of nothing else to comment on besides my size, just don't talk to me.  Well, unless you're going to tell me that I look great.  Then go right ahead!
  • In sacrament meeting today, we sang a Primary song {A Child's Prayer}.  I loved hearing the Primary kids sing along.
  • Speaking of Primary, it was HOT today.  And the kids were cuh-razy.  One child did look at me curiously and ask if I was having a baby.  Love it.
  • Want to know what I hate?  People telling me when I'm going to have this baby.  For reals, people.  If my doctor {who is familiar with my baby-birthing-parts} can't give me an accurate prediction, neither can you.  You're just guessing.  Quit.  Unless there are money and/or prizes involved.  For me.
  • After church today, we realized we don't have any butter.  That's a travesty when you need dessert.  Luckily, my fall-back recipe is the peanut butter cookies that only use peanut butter, an egg, and a cup of sugar.
  • Awhile back, I became the proud owner of Erin Cobb's Clean Color workflow video for Photoshop.  Seriously, this girl is a genius.  I first learned Photoshop back in high school {9 years ago....eep!}, and when I recently got CS4, it was like learning a new program.  This video was perfect for me to learn the nitty-gritty details about how to edit my photos.  Now I want to go back and edit everything.  I'm quickly learning, though, that not every photo can be edited this way.  Otherwise, I'd be editing all day and all night.  But seriously, if you're in the market for a good tutorial for photo-editing, check her out.  I'm just new at this, but here's an example of my novice use of her editing technique:

Mostly, this just makes me excited to have another green-bean-eating chubby little baby around.

Happy Sunday to you!
One would hope I'll have some new baby pictures to post this week.  No one's pregnant forever, right?!?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Kids' New Room

Last week I debuted our new master bedroom, so here's another big project we've been working on:  the shared sleeping space for our kids.  I didn't realize how big of a challenge this would be.  We explored every option that our 1,000 square feet have to offer, and a shared room seemed to be the best option for us.

In addition to the challenge of beds, toys, and clothing for two crammed into one small room, we have a boy/girl combo here.  So that kind of rules out a ton of design schemes.  I wanted something that could look a little girly, but not too bad for Little Dude.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I saw an ad for Sherwin Williams that used the paint chip Aquatint.  I fell in love with the color, and wanted to use it somehow in the room.

We ended up using 50% of the color, and love the way it looks.

The first thing I decided on was brown accents.  I picked up a few of those brown polka-dot crib sheets at Target {on clearance}, and was then on the hunt for the Sunbean's bedding.  I knew it needed to have aqua and brown, and I wanted something undeniably girly, since the rest of the room would be more neutral.  I found this at Pottery Barn {clearance + free shipping!}.  It was the perfect piece to pick up some more color for the room.

I really love the reading nook we made for the Sunbean {and Little Dude, I suppose}.  It's the old elementary school teacher coming out in me.  We used this tutorial, and really didn't change much.  The wonky part of the wall?  That's the Sunbean's actual name spelled out in wooden letters.

I totally scored this white dresser at Target one day.  Loooooong story, but it was clearanced down, we bought and started to put it together, only to realize it was damaged more than we thought.  I called back and spoke to a manager, and I got to name my own price.  A brand-new white dresser that needed minimal repairs for $50?  Yes please.

The outfit is Little Dude's blessing outfit.  I've never had anything monogrammed before.  It was exciting.  The poor little guy has quite the girly stack of cloth diapers up there.  My favorite part is the number knobs.  Originally from Pottery Barn, we found them on eBay and painted them turquoise.  I made the changing pad cover.

Here's Little Dude's space.  Love, love, love this crib {from Walmart, of all places}.  I love the modern lines.  It doesn't have a huge presence, so it's perfect for a small room like this.  You can't see it super well, but I made a crib skirt that matches the stripes on the changing pad.  I also DIYed the lamp shade cover.  Little Dude's name is hanging to the right of this picture, but I cropped it out.

Our DIY light is probably one of my favorite parts of the room.  It's just three chinese lanterns from Ikea + three light kits {also Ikea}.  MacGyver is super skilled, so he rigged it right up to the light-socket-thing, and we added that little cap {just a few bucks at Lowe's}.

This is probably the most accurate picture of the colors, too.  We added crown moulding {my new obsession}, and painted the ceiling with the leftovers from the bathroom.  I think it's called Limelight.

For the main artwork, I picked up a pack of cute flashcards at a boutique when we were in Florida.  I've seen them other places, though...they're called Alphabeasties.  I mounted them on scrapbook paper, and framed them.  They are hung all around the room, accented with those white flowers that I can't get enough of.

I DIYed these in Photoshop {heavily inspired by something I found on etsy} for above Little Dude's crib.

We all love the way it turned out, and the Sunbean claims that she's excited to share her room with Little Dude.  It has been a fun project to satisfy my nesting needs!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hats Off

Congrats to MacGyver, who is officially an engineer now.

I love that guy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Master Bedroom Re-Do

We had quite the lengthy list of things that we wanted to get done before Little Dude's arrival.  On the top of the list was figuring out a plan for our master bedroom.

We live in an 80's ranch, which is to say, we have small bedrooms and small closets.  It makes planning any sort of decor difficult, because so much of the space is taken up by dressers/nightstands/beds.

When we got married, MacGyver's parents gave us a beautiful bedroom set.  Dark cherry wood, a sleigh bed....perfect.  It had two nightstands, a dresser, and a chest of drawers.  Just one problem:  it really didn't fit in our room.  With the headboard, footboard, and the rest of the matching pieces, we could barely walk in our room.  Not good.

Then we started the whole "Less is More" philosophy, and committed to loving every single thing in our home.  If we both didn't love it (or use it!), it was gone.   While we loved the idea of our bedroom furniture, it just wasn't working in a house our size.  And since we don't have plans to move in the immediate future, that left us with one choice:  get rid of the furniture.

This actually worked out well.  MacGyver's parents wanted to use it for their master bedroom.  That made me happy.  So here's a 'before' picture of our room.  It's not totally accurate, because we'd already removed the headboard and footboard.  Also, we are not pigs.  It's trashed because we didn't think the snap a picture until we'd already starting taking all of our clothes out of the dressers.

We really didn't have a design scheme going on.  We prefer modern decor, and our bedroom set was a little more traditional.  We were stumped trying to come up with a good balance between the two.

Then I saw the bedroom renovation that these cute people did.  It sounded perfect for our needs, so off to Ikea we went for some stand-alone wardrobes.  Rather than using any type of dresser, we planned to use the wardrobes for all of our clothes.  Instead of getting the pricey doors, we opted for some curtains (also from Ikea).  Behold, the finished product:

MacGyver added a header at the top of the wardrobes to make them appear to be 'built-in', rather than big ol' white boxes (I trust him, but I'm not gonna lie.  I took Tylenol PM for a solid week before I believed the header wasn't going to come crashing down on me in the night).  We love the paint color in our kitchen so much that we just brought it into the bedroom.  We already owned the bedding and artwork, so that was easy.

One big change was adding the crown moulding.  This is the first room we've done that to, and I love it.  I can't wait to continue it through the house.  I thought it would make the ceiling look short, but we love to paint our ceilings a color other than white, so I don't think it shortened it at all.

Here's a view from the foot of the bed:

I love how soft and romantic it feels.  I made the headboard out of some MDF and canvas.  Super simple and it cost less than 10 bucks.  Every single piece of clothing we own is in our wardrobes.  We have some drawers and shelves, as well as hanging space, so everything fits well.  We do have a closet in the room (to the left in the picture above), and we keep longer items (dresses, tunic, etc), shoes, bags, and our laundry basket in there.

Here's a shot of the other side of the room:

We'll have to come up with another plan for that corner after Little Dude starts sleeping in his crib.  Maybe a parson's chair or a large mirror?  Or some type of plant?  For now our (homemade) bassinet fills the space nicely.  I DIYed the art on that wall with Photoshop, personal mementos, and family pictures.

We really love our new room.  It is really easy to keep clean with the wardrobes containing all of our clothing, and it just feels light and airy.  With the floorplan of our house, just about everyone that comes over sees our bedroom, and now I'm proud to show it off!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Checklists of Pregnancy

When one is with child, there are oh-so-many lists.

There's the list of names.

The list of things you need to buy.

The list of things people have bought for you.

The list of thank-yous to write.

The list of nooks and crannies in your home that need cleaned.

The list of projects that need done.

The list of fun things to do before your life is about nursing and poop.

The list of questions for your doctor.
The list of questions for your baby's doctor.

The list of people to call when you finally burst.

The list of things to bring to the hospital.

And all of this is fine with me, because I am a list girl.  I love 'em.  I write things on lists just for the joy of crossing them off.

But here's one list that just can't be ignored in those final weeks:

This is one list that I've completed.  Go me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

N is for Nesting: Quite the Productive Bedrest

After being on bedrest for about, uh, 20 minutes, I made the executive decision that sewing is absolutely included on the list of allowable activities.  In addition to the boppy slipcover, the peepee teepee, some random burp cloths, and a few other things for Little Dude, I added the following to the Sunbean's summer wardrobe:

The paper bag skirt, made with this tutorial.  I'm totally making one of these for myself, too.

I have been wanted to make these cute little round yolk dresses for a long time.  I bought a pattern a few years ago to make one for a wedding, and it was a total disaster.  Maybe because I started at, like, 10pm the night before we left.  But this time it worked out well!  I just ditched the pattern and did it the way I wanted.

Here's the other one.  Both of these were made with fabric from here.

I made this knot pinafore dress based on one I found on etsy, but I didn't have a pattern.  It was really easy.  The most amazing part?  I sent MacGyver to the store to pick out some fabric and this is what he came home with!  Aren't you impressed?  I sure was.
This bubble dress is another thing that's been on my list for awhile.  I used a pattern, but then ended up changing almost everything.  Sometimes these pattern-makers just don't know the best way to do things!  Also, when did I become the crazy lady who thinks she knows better than the pattern?
And last, a tuxedo shirt and ruffle pants.  Ruffle pants are pretty much a staple of the Sunbean's wardrobe, but she didn't have any for the summer yet.  The tuxedo shirt is based off of something I saw on Pinterest and one that Matilda Jane sells.

I read two books, watched a million movies, completely wiped out my PayPal account, and made this cute stuff.  Not exactly what I had planned, but not a terrible way to spend two weeks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Discuss: The Circumcision Decision

The past few months have been an interesting journey for me.  I've really thought long and hard about circumcision, and done a lot of research.  To be honest, I'm pretty surprised by the decision MacGyver and I have made about circumcision.  I hesitated to blog about our decision, because I know that not all of our family will understand our reasoning.  I really don't care if they 'approve' or not, I just thought maybe avoiding a blog post about the subject would be wise.  Obviously I'm blogging about it anyway.

Had the Sunbean been a boy, I'm sure we'd have had her circumcised.  I just don't think I would have thought twice about it.  I can't speak for everyone, but I know I'm looking at things more closely with my second child.  Things aren't as new and overwhelming this time, so I'm able to think more clearly about the experience I want for my child and I.  Is that a function of the second child, or it is just me?

So MacGyver and I have decided not to circumcise Little Dude.  Our decision to leave him intact was a difficult one, but I feel like we're making the right decision for our family.  In case you're interested, here's our thought process.

The first thing I did was talk to Maya, an awesome mom of two little boys.  I had no idea what decision she'd made about circumcision, but I certainly value her opinion and I know that she makes well-thought-out and researched choices.  After talking to her, I did more research.

I was surprised to learn that the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn't recommend routine circumcision.  They don't necessarily recommend against it, they just recommend not making it a run-of-the-mill, routine procedure.  I think this was the first wake-up call for us.

After that, I put in a call to our pediatrician.  We switched to this pedi when the Sunbean was about a year old, and we love her and trust her.  Again, I was pretty surprised by her comments.  She told me that circumcision is a cosmetic procedure, and she doesn't feel that the medical benefits outweigh the consequences.  She said that she'd be happy to perform a circumcision on Little Dude in the hospital (and she'd give him pain meds...not all places do, FYI), but if she were choosing for her own children, she would leave them intact.

I think the combination of my hippie tendencies (as MacGyver calls it), the recommendation of the AAP, and the recommendation of our pediatrician kind of sealed the deal for us.

There are so many points of debates about circumcision.  I can't believe how fired up people get, on both sides of the table.  One of the top arguments is the 'locker room' factor.  Proponents of circumcision will say that intact boys will be teased around their peers.  I think this one is a tough one to argue, because our  generation was routinely circumcised.  So yes, an intact male that is my age may have been teased (not sure...I was always in the other locker room).  But according to the CDC, the circumcision rate in the US is currently at 32.5% (this does not include circumcisions performed outside of a hospital, like at a bris).  That statistic tells me that Little Dude will not be the only intact male running around.  Of course, we live in the conservative Midwest, and I'd imagine the rate around here is a little higher than it would be, say, on the west coast.  I did ask our pediatrician how many she performs, and she estimated that about 50% of boys in our area are circumcised.

Another point of debate is the idea that intact males are more likely to catch an STD.  This one in particular makes me laugh.  The studies for this debates were done in an area of Africa with a high rate of HIV transmission, so not even our reality (thank goodness).  In my opinion, the best way to prevent my little boy from transmitting an STD is to teach him to wait until he's married to have sex.  I just don't think the STD argument is a valid one.

The other 'big one' is the UTI argument.  Many will say that intact little boys will get lots of UTIs.  I've done the research (and again, talked to our pediatrician), and I just don't think the risk of Little Dude getting a UTI is a valid reason to have him circumcised.  The current statistics (again, from the CDC) states that nearly 500 circumcisions would need to be performed to prevent 1 UTI.  For us, that's just not worth it.

So those are the big arguments, but there are tons of other points of debate, too.  This was a difficult choice for us to make, and I think there are valid ideas on both sides.  We're feeling at peace about the decision we've made, though we're prepared to hear some criticism from our friends and family.  This is the right choice for us, but I don't think it would be the right choice for everyone.

Tell me:  what are your thoughts?  Do you think we're total crazy hippies, or do you agree with our choice?  Do you have a religious perspective?  I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Little Dude's Birth Plan

The Sunbean at one day old.
After yesterday's mind-numbingly boring post, I thought I'd share my birth plan.  I have a meeting with the birth planner at our hospital tomorrow, so I'll warm up by sharing here.

With the Sunbean, I really wanted a natural birth.  I didn't want to be induced and I didn't want to use pain meds.  I prepped by reading lots of books, practicing self-hypnotism, and by meeting with my doula (aka...birth-loving friend).  I *really* wanted this natural birthing experience, but I just didn't have the knowledge I needed.  It was like setting out to make the perfect homemade bread with no yeast.  Not gonna happen.

This time around, I've got my 'yeast'.  Not only am I way more 'crunchy' than I was three years go, but I'm more confident in my decisions as a mother.  I'm not going to be afraid to be an advocate for myself and my child.

Don't get me wrong...I'm all about delivering in a hospital, surrounded by the most advanced medical equipment possible with highly-trained professionals (I sound like a hospital commercial).  I just don't want to have to use it.  That being said, as soon as something becomes medically necessary for the well-being of my child or myself, I'm all about it.

So I have a plan.  A birth plan.  But there's a secret to birth plans.  You have to make it look like you only have a few simple requests.  The nurses get all flustered when you hand over a 13-page document with tons of ridiculous details.  So my plan of attack is to have some things actually written on the paper, and other things just in my head.  For example, it is really important to me that MacGyver or I is always with our child, 100% of the time.  No exceptions.  This is so important to me that I don't need to write it down.  I will have the presence of mind to speak up about it.  And if, for some reason, I don't, MacGyver will.  He's in my corner like that.

So here's a basic idea of what I'll be waving in the nurses' face when Little Dude makes his debut:

During Labor
  • No routine IV (an access port may be placed if needed).
  • I will hydrate myself with water, ice, or electrolyte beverages.
  • I will walk around and stay mobile.
  • I will use a birth ball, the birth tub, and other natural pain-relief equipment.
  • Please do not offer pain medication.  I'll ask if I want something.
  • I'd like the option to chose my position for pushing.
During Birth
  • I'd rather tear than have an episiotomy.
  • If I do tear, please give me local anesthesia before repair.
  • Please do not give me routine pitocin to deliver the placenta.
After Birth
  • Please place the baby on my chest immediately after birth.
  • I will hold my baby while all initial assessments are performed.
  • Please delay the clamping of the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing.
  • I want to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth.
  • I will decline the eye drops.  I'd be happy to sign any waivers needed.
  • Do not give my baby the Hepatitis B vaccine.  We will have our doctor administer this later.
  • Please give my baby a pulse ox test for at least one hour between 24 and 48 hours of birth.

So that's the plan.  I'll bring it to my appointment on Friday and run it by the birth planner, but I think it's pretty run-of-the-mill, really.

Anything you'd add or change?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Mail Delivery Services

Just in case you guys are getting bored of all the baby-related posts (and I'm not even close to being done), here's a break with my review of mail/package delivery services.

When you're stuck on the couch whilst trying to prepare for a new person to enter your life, you become very thankful for ecommerce.  I mean, really.  Just a few short years ago, my online shopping options would have been pretty limited.  Believe me when I say you can order anything on the internet.  Anything.

But after you order, the products need to be shipped.  Most companies don't offer the consumer a choice of carrier.  Meaning, they are contracted with a particular company (UPS, Fed-Ex, USPS), and so they may offer shipping options (based on speed or price), but you ship with the company they choose.  Since the price of shipping most directly depends on the company you've ordered from, I'm not including price as a factor in my review.

In the past few months (but especially in the past few weeks), I've had at least one item shipped with the three major carriers:  UPS, Fed-Ex, and the good ol' government (USPS).  Here are my thoughts.


Of the three I'm reviewing, UPS is my favorite.  They have a great website that is easy to navigate.  When you have your tracking number, there is a place right on the main page to type it in.  I really hate having to click two or three times just to get to the tracking page.  Their tracking information is updated several times throughout the day, and has always been 100% accurate for me.  I think that is probably the most important feature for me.  I *need* to know exactly when my package will arrive.

One thing that makes me love UPS is our delivery man.  He is so great.  We had both our stroller and carseat delivered via UPS.  Rather than just dropping off the package and ringing the bell (standard procedure), he waited at the door to see if he could help me pull it into the house.  How nice is that?!?  This very pregnant momma appreciated that.


Oh, Fed-Ex.  My thoughts?  Epic fail.  I hate Fed-Ex, pretty much for all the reasons I love UPS.  First of all, I hate their website.  You have to click twice just to get to the place to put in the tracking number.  Not that it really matters, though, since they update tracking info about once a week.  Usually all on the day it will be delivered.  Not helpful.  One positive thing about their tracking, though, is that if you're looking at a tracking email on an iPhone or iPod, it recognizes it as a tracking number and all you have to do is touch the number and it pulls up the page.  That's a plus.  Not sure if that's thanks to Steve Jobs (Apple) or Fed-Ex, though.

Here's a little story about Fed-Ex.  A few weeks ago, I realized that MacGyver would be graduating while I was two weeks from my due date.  This was back before we realized Little Dude was trying to escape early, so I decided I wanted to order a new dress for the occasion.  I decided to pay for the extra shipping charge so that it would be delivered in 2-4 business days.  That way, I could wear it as often as possible to get my money's worth.  I ordered from Old Navy, and I knew they had a distribution center in Columbus, Ohio, so I figured the dress would probably arrive in 2 days.  And I was (kind of) right.  In 2 days, the tracking info was finally updated, and it showed the package had made it to my city in the early morning hours.  But wait.  Was it on the truck for delivery?  Of course not.  The website said "Not due for delivery".  What on earth??  What kind of a business plan is that?  Yeah, let's not deliver the package even though it's sitting here.  We'll scrape by with the bare minimum.  So frustrating.  I called the shipping center and asked that it be delivered the next day (which would have been day 3).  Guess what?  They said no!!  Since I paid for '2-4 day shipping', my package wouldn't be delivered until the 4th day.  Ohhhhhhhh I was so mad.

One good thing about Fed-Ex is my delivery man.  He's a sweet guy, too.  Fed-Ex usually requires a signature, and when this stupid dress was finally delivered (2 days before bedrest....grrrr), I was home to sign for the package.  He looked at my pregnant belly, looked at me, and then said, "Oh, you're having a little ______, huh?"  In that blank, insert Little Dude's name.  He guessed the name of our baby!  It was crazy, and kind of creepy.  It's not like it's a totally common name or anything.  It totally made my day, though.


Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the government mail agency.  On a day-to-day basis, our mail is delivered on-time and in one piece (except once).  Our mailman is pleasant and usually pretty friendly.  One thing I don't like is the tracking info (again....I'm obviously pretty picky about tracking info).  Similar to Fed-Ex, they update it all on the day the package will be delivered.  Honestly, what good does that do anyone?

I can review USPS in a different light, though:  as a shipper.  I almost exclusively use USPS for my business.  They make it very easy to ship packages, and offer free shipping supplies and free pick-up.  Their rates are low, and it is easy to print labels at home.  Most businesses don't use USPS for larger packages, so my experience with them is a little limited.

UPS Mail Innovations
This is a new service, and the worst idea ever.  UPS has joined with USPS in some type of hybrid mail system.  Maybe they are still working out the kinks, I'm not sure.  And to be fair, my first package with them is still in transit, so I can't really give a full review.

From what I understand, UPS initiates the delivery process, and then somehow it is transferred to the USPS mail carrier?  I really don't understand.  What I can tell you so far is that the tracking info stinks.  Not only is it slow to update, but it doesn't tell you when it will be delivered.  They use tricky language, too, so I can't even tell where the stupid thing is.

When I ordered this particular item (it's MacGyver's Father's Day/Graduation gift, so I'm being intentionally vague), I got free shipping, so I didn't choose this service.  I'm not very happy that it is being delivered via USPS, though, because it is kind of breakable (that's your one hint, babe).  I think I'd feel better if it were in the big brown truck, not the Caprice Classic that our mail comes in.

So, there.  Now you've wasted a good 5 minutes reading my earth-shattering thoughts on mail delivery services.  What's your favorite?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

N is for Nesting: A Really Strange Tutorial

In my life right now, there are about 1 million pregnant people.  No, really.  Friends from high school, friends from church, friends from mom's group, friends from college.  That makes me sound like I have a lot of friends!

If you're like me, you like to stay away from the boring baby gifts.  I love giving handmade gifts, especially for a baby.  Well.  If you are looking for a unique shower gift, I've got you covered.  This one takes the cake for unique.

First, a little background.  So far, I just have a little girl.  Changing little girl diapers is a cinch; nary a leak or spray.  A few days after we brought the sweet Sunbean home from the hospital, our friends with a one-month baby boy came to visit.  And during a diaper change, that darling little boy produced a spout of urine that arched clear across my couch!  Yikes.  I saw a product similar to this, and it got my wheels turning.  So, without further adieu:

Monday, May 2, 2011

35 Week Update

Well, I'm actually 36 weeks now, but I realized I never posted the official 35-week photo (I take pics every 5 weeks).  So here's the official update on my uterus.

  • I'm now 2 cm dilated.  That doesn't really mean much; what's significant is that I've progressed 1 cm while being on bedrest.  The fantastic news is that I'm officially 36 weeks now, and the prognosis for a 36-week baby is way better than a 35-weeker.
  • So I go back to the doctor on Thursday, and unless something crazy is going on, I'll be released from bedrest on Sunday, with a week of 'light activity'.  No shopping, walking for fun, etc.  Then, after that, if I'm still bursting with child, I can do whatever I want.
  • This little guy is so active!  It's pretty fun to watch my belly roll around.  It's not pretty fun when he plays with the nerves to my legs.
  • We're making slow progress in the kids' room.  It's really close to being finished, things just don't move as quickly when I'm barking orders from the couch versus just doing it myself.
  • I think I have nearly everything I need if this anxious boy decides to come early.  I had MacGyver haul out the breast pump in case Little Dude has a NICU stay and I'm not able to nurse him.  Let's just all cross our fingers that isn't the case.  With the Sunbean, my milk came in while in the hospital, and she wasn't ready for that 'vigorous' of a feeding.  I'll be more prepared for that this time.  Like, I'm bringing some freaking breast pads.  Sorry if that's a little too much info for you, but if you've ever nursed a baby, you're probably cracking up right now.  I'm thankful my body produces pllllllllllllenty of food for my children, but it does get a tad tricky when there's some excess.
  • Moving on.  I had MacGyver drag out the rest of the baby gear from the attic.  I forgot how inconvenient some of this stuff is.  As much as I love the swing, it really isn't a space-saver, you know?
  • I still have heartburn.  Blah.  I feel like it shouldn't be possible for him to be so low that it makes my bones hurt, yet high enough to give me heartburn.
So that's the latest and greastest from my womb.  My doctor predicts he'll make an appearance the week that I'm released from bedrest.  How lovely...that's the weekend that MacGyver graduates.
Oh well....we'll be celebrating either way!