After exploring several options, we finally decided on a stroller. You can read about that here. We started looking when I was only 13 weeks along (wow, I was tiny then - cannot WAIT to get back into my summer clothes - don't tell me it won't happen either!).
The main stroller criteria:
-comfort for the boy
-ability go off-road
-easy to fold/travel
-sturdy, to last through future child(ren)
-ability to face either way
-somewhat light weight
After checking around, we determined that Baby Jogger's City Elite was going to be the best option for us. We called them to ask some questions and basically confirm that this was the right stroller for our lifestyle. We looked at the City Select because it had so many configurations and could accommodate a second seat for another child, but it lacked the off-road ability, which was a major factor in our selection. The Elite will allow a child to face the parent with the infant seat attachment (we haven't ordered that yet), so not exactly what we were originally looking for, but the other features make up for it. It's also not very 'light weight,' but again, it has everything else we were looking for... Overall, I am LOVING it. And it will be perfect for Spring as I start the quest to get back into my pants! :)
You also may remember the first stroller we bought - City Micro. We felt like we needed something a little more compact and more geared for indoors - we really liked the easy fold of the City series so we stuck with it and got the Micro. The differences are obvious:
The Micro is as basic as basic gets in the City series making it a true 'umbrella' stroller. The wheels are standard plastic - Elite has foam filled tires that won't go flat or shred on pavement; the footrest doesn't flip up; the sunshade is minimal; nothing is adjustable... it's basic. So basic in fact, that we have it listed on CraigsList. We originally thought it would be the perfect second stroller, but after seeing the Elite we are thinking we'll trade up for the Mini to replace the Micro. It's a little more $ than the Micro, but let's face it - I like to shop and there's a good possibility OP could be in this indoor/second stroller for more than he'd like and anything I can do to make him more comfortable will surely be helpful.
If you're looking for a great stroller without a lot of bells and whistles, let me know! The infant seat adapter piece is separate - we haven't ordered it yet. The Micro also doesn't lounge all the way back so if you have an infant you'd need that adaptor to use with a baby <6 months.
Six weeks to go! One the one hand, it's been SO fast - but on the other hand, come on already! After our 3D last week I am SO ready to meet this boy! He may have an identity crisis before he's three months old, but he's sure to be cute! He started as Gilgamesh Methuselah but we had to announce his real name, Paxton, before 'Baby Gil' stuck with us. From the beginning, we've had differing opinions on the middle name. We discussed a couple options and even tried hyphenating two choices before finally calling it quits on both. I probably could have had my choice in the matter, but I wanted Chan to be happy with his child's name and the initials of my choice didn't sit right with him. There was only one other name we agreed on and we decided to go with it. Without further ado, baby boy will be:
There were several reasons we moved Paxton to the middle, and while we'd always planned to call him Paxton - after seeing his face last week, I can't help but call him Baby Ollie. SO... all this to say, we're not really sure what he'll go by - Pax or Ollie. Either are possible. We've been calling him Ollie Pax most recently - and before you even say it, yes our child is part human part pharmaceutical. I'm to the point of not caring. Truly. And we'll definitely pick one or the other when he's here. More times than not, he's just Ollie - but I consciously add Pax to the end just in case he looks more like a Paxton and we choose that name... TMI on the naming? You can thank me for providing the short version and I'll thank you for still being here as I rambled on :)
In other news...
-OP gets hiccups on average, twice each day - once in the morning and then again in the late afternoon or evening.
-Still no stretch marks, no itchy belly, and still LOTS of concentrated Palmers.
-Stroller arrived yesterday so the only item we lack is the swing and when we went to get it they'd sold out and I refuse to pay full price so next time there's a 20% Babies R Us coupon, I'm on it!
Last year I summarized 2009 with a few highlights, so I decided to continue the trend...
What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
-I had a tie last year and who'd have thought I'd have another this year... without stating the obvious, I direct you here and here.
What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
-I really don't think I could pick just one - keep reading...
What was an unexpected joy this past year?
-Let's revisit this post again shall we... we knew we wanted to start a family sooner than later, but we definitely thought it would take a littler longer. We figured with a 25ish% chance each month that we'd be announcing news um, around now. So while expected, still definitely unexpected. ... and we are beyond grateful that it happened and that we have a healthy baby to soon introduce!
Pick three words that describe 2010.
-My words for 2009 were: Growth, Nurture, Dedicate. I think for 2010 I'll stick with Growth (see above), and add Transition and Love.
What were the best books you read this year?
-I read lots of books in 2010, but the best - for many reasons - is the Bible, and I'm not just saying that because of what it is... there are some really good stories in there and reading it in 'order' helped connect a lot of dots. I'd love to explore why the Books are arranged the way they are... I would imagine I'd just have to ask Chan. I read NLT's One Year Chronological and was amazed at what I learned. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to read it again in 2011.
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
-I'm sticking with Chandler again this year. In one year we built a house, planned a wedding, moved, said 'I do,' started new jobs, made a baby, paid off some debt, saved a lot of Franklins, and if that's not enough, we found out we may be losing a job, I lost my first grandparent, Chandler lost his last... Quite a year. Looking back, I have even more confidence in our relationship and its strength for anything that may come upon us in the future.
In what ways did you grow emotionally?
-See above. And I've somehow managed to keep it all together.
In what ways did you grow spiritually?
-I started using my journal to record moments of gratitude and prayers.
In what ways did you grow physically?
-Need I state the obvious?!
What was your single biggest time waster in your life in the past year?
-Facebook, it apparently has the same properties as heroin.
What was the biggest thing you learned this year?
-I learned first hand how quickly moments pass us by; I learned there is beauty in darkness; I learned gratitude in raw form; I learned strength and patience.
Word of the year...
In 2009, I decided to choose a word that would be my focus for the year. My word for 2009 was dedication. For 2010, I chose two words that worked together: simplicity and contentment.
It would be a complete disservice to neglect Chandler's remarks from last year when asked his word for 2010:
"Chandler's word for 2010 is birth. I laughed at him so he changed it to creation. Umm...it should be an interesting year! ;)"
Needless to say he stuck with his theme pretty well I'd say. Creation indeed! Birth was pushing it... I'll have to be sure to ask his word for 2011 before he sees this post! There's no telling what his 2011 word will be...
I haven't chosen a word for 2011 yet. There are two that jump out right now. I'll plan to post my word on New Year's Eve along with my 2011 goals.
I tried to find the post I wrote about how I was reading the Bible in one year. I know I wrote it... but I guess I didn't. Not sure what happened there. I alluded to it in this post, but apparently that's as far as I got. I ordered a One Year Chronological Bible sometime in 2009 and decided that 2010 would be the year I read it. Up until April, I'd been really good about reading it either ahead or right on time and then got a little behind - and caught up. In June when we found out we were pregnant, I fell behind. I caught up and fell behind again... I was determined to finish before 2011 though - some days I'd read two weeks worth of readings... two days ago - I finally finished!
I plan to read it again in 2011 and this time I plan to underline, take notes, and use my reference book as a parallel to NLT. Thankfully, Chandler is a super geek smarty pants and retains all sorts of information so I've been able to ask him lots of history questions this year - he is equally excited about my enthusiasm about using a reference book this next year of reading. See, you'd think it's because I wouldn't bug him with questions, but when I announced my plan his response was, "Oh that's great, I love looking at the maps from back then..." Super geek Smarty pants indeed!
I think after 2011's Bible 365 plan of NLT, I may get another version to read for 2012. In 2009 I read The Message translation - if you aren't familiar with it, I highly recommend it. I bought a small faux leather copy from the bookstore and took it with me in my day bag pretty much everywhere so I could read it - if you can find a chronological version do it - mine was a regular version and I would have loooved a chronological one! I had a blast reading The Message (seriously!) - many parts of it read like a soap opera, no kidding. The Message is more or less the most opposite of King James as you can possibly be - unlike most translations, The Message takes the theme or idea and rewrites it in everyday language. Or street lingo is probably more fitting. There are some parts that would definitely be rated PG-13 if not R. It was a great introduction to reading the Bible though and the gospels were very vivid and made it easy to relate to what Jesus was experiencing.
So 2009 - read The Message, 2010 - read New Living Translation, 2011 - NLT again, 2012 - ?. I've already been scoping out children's Bibles for a good One Year/365 version. I have two contenders, but haven't decided yet. I figure I have until 2012 since OP will be so young next year. And even though I doubt he'll really be paying much attention in 2012, it's never too early and he must love books - it's not optional at our house.
I thought it would be fun to compare Baby Daddy and Baby Mama to guess who OP might look like.
I couldn't find a lot of tiny baby Chandler so I started with pictures of us several months old.
I think it's inevitable that OP will have curls. Both of us had them and our hair is still pretty wavy today.
We were cute (and probably trouble)!
I'd rag on Chan for not wearing clothes in most of these pictures, but I'm sure the first thing my mom would tell you is how often I ran around without any either - so we're very likely to have a naked baby more times than not.
I have a weakness for Gymboree. Always have. I've collected random adorable pieces of baby items for an undisclosed period of time - most of which have been from Gymboree. There's something about the mix of cuteness, quality, and price that just suck you in. Or maybe not you and just me. These are a couple of my current favorite outfits. They were too cute not to post. The blue hat has whales on the ribbon and is perfect for spring since we live so close to the coast. I figure that he should fit into these by around late March, early April. Should be interesting to see if he chubs up or stays skinny - I'm putting my money on the chubs.
A couple weeks ago my BFF, Ching, and her mom visited and we got to see her sweet baby Henry (7 weeks old). They brought lots of goodies for us - my favorite was this CozyUp infant seat zipper thing - you must purchase if you have a winter baby due!
Is he seriously not the cutest?! I can't wait for the Ching babies to meet and be the best Ching Buddies - because we know they will be!!
As a side note, I've been asked quite often how Nola will act (or rather, react!) when little brother comes home.
I think she'll be just fine! She will have her moments as any first child, but I think she'll be a good big puppy sister! She thought Henry smelled delicious, but keeping in her perfect almost perfect fashion, she never smooched him - I'm expecting her to give lots of nuzzles to little brother, especially after he nurses.
We have a smiley boy on our hands! He only opened his eyes a couple of times and kept his left arm up beside his face most of the time, but overall we got some good face pictures. I was ready to jump up and down to get him to wake up and move, but we didn't want him to move and not get to see his face so we had a quiet few minutes with him. He smiled at least a dozen times - SO sweet to see! He is head down (yay!), and since we saw his exact position, I realized that his elbows are what I feel so sharply!
In some of these, his nose looks a little flat - apparently he likes to snuggle and was smushed against me! Cute! He moved a couple of times and we got a not smushed nose, but for most of the pictures we have smushage.
Tongue! This was a really cute moment - the tech who did the sonogram was talking to him (loudly!) and baby boy did not care for her voice - his face was SOOOO funny! This was the end face, but his entire face had wrinkles - really a funny moment!
There are still a few empty frames on this wall - one will hold his newborn picture, not entirely sure about the others yet, and the shadow box will hold his hospital picture and bracelet.
I really love the way his room turned out. I had several ideas in mind for a boy nursery, but ultimately decided to go classic and 'baby' as the other rooms seemed to be great for a toddler or slightly older child, and because I never imagined having a boy and thought it would be fun to really play up the little boy aspect. Once we decided to go blue, I started looking for bedding - which turned into quite an adventure. There were lots of options, but nothing that really did a lot for me. I wanted simple and classic and everything seemed to have a pattern or something that just didn't work for me. We finally found the perfect set at Pottery Barn and it was fitting since the bedding on all of the other beds in the house came form there.
I didn't really have much of an idea of what his room should look like other than a vision of it being simple, classic, and very much 'baby boy.' Oh! As for one of the wall prints (that might be a giveaway on something else I eluded to recently...), I was going to order a print of his name/birth stats once he was born and decided to make my own with just his due date and our guess at his weight/length, but it fits in the frame just as well as what the one I would have ordered would, so I think I will likely just print my own - plus, the photo paper really makes the color pop and once the matting is in place I don't know that we'll be able to even tell a difference!
When I look at the pictures I can't help but ask myself what seemed to take so long to put together in there, but the biggest hurdle was deciding what to put above the crib. I'd ordered a really cute ABCs print from Etsy that had the same colors as our room, but just didn't feel right about putting a giant frame above the crib - even with sturdy mounting I still felt a little uneasy. As soon as I saw the elephants, I knew they'd be the perfect fit and I love, love, love how they look with the colors. There are still a few minor things to add, but overall - it's done!
I've already started collecting things for his next room - it's going to be so much fun!
This was my commute home today... I anticipated leaving when the snow started, but apparently no one mentioned BLIZZARD and in just an hour, this is what the interstate looked like. Yuck. What normally takes me 20-30 minutes took about an hour and everyone was going 20mph. Once on secondary roads I pulled over twice to let men in SUVs pass me because they were following a little too close for comfort. Overall though, everyone was -thankfully- very cautious. I did see three emergency vehicles with lights flashing, two cars in ditches, and one wreck. Not fun at all! Chandler got home around noon and we've enjoyed the fireplace, naps, sewing, and cleaning!
Someone LOVES the snow... as soon as I told her it snowed she started running around whining until I could get my coat and shoes on to take her out. If her paws weren't so sensitive we would have stayed out longer.
Does this count as baby boy's first second snow?
I swear I'm bigger today than I was on Monday when I last took the infamous belly shot.
There's MORE snow coming on Saturday night and potentially on Tuesday. I've had ENOUGH of this! We have fun weekend plans I will not be a happy camper to have to change plans. We're hoping the roads will clear up... I'm such a wuss driving in inclement weather and now that bino is in tow, I'm even more cautious... come on SUN!
As we unpacked miniature blankets, socks, pants, and other small people goods - I realized it was difficult to put each item away still in the package, which led to taking them out of the packages, which led to the bed bug phenomena, which led to paranoia, which led to lots of baby laundry.
That's a lie. It was only two loads. One for clothes and one for blankets and towels. So not lots.
We only washed the small sizes since I wasn't THAT excited about more laundry - although, folding it was much less dreadful than regular laundry. Note that it still wasn't 'fun' - I'm just not that girl.
This girl on the other hand... no help at all. After all the washing and folding, the bed was made and someone decided it was nap time. Too bad that wasn't me. I already miss sleep and I know that it's only going to get worse in the coming weeks - ack! We're ready though!
It's hard to believe we have less than TWO months before baby boy arrives and we are definitely ready to meet him! We have just about everything ready and I am SO excited to share his nursery!!! There are a few things left to do before I post pictures, but it's so much more than I imagined it would be and I love it!
We have also finalized his name - of his first and middle name, we aren't sure which we'll use. Not sure if anyone noticed that he's just been 'baby boy' for the past few weeks :) Paxton is still part of his name, but it's his middle name. We went back and forth over a middle name - there was a family name on my side that I thought was beautiful with Paxton, but the initials didn't sit right with Chandler (PPH), so we came up with an alternate that we both liked - only, several family members decided to vocalize how much they didn't like it. We still like the name and may use it in the future, but decided to skip it this time. There was another name we'd originally considered and both liked and while it doesn't sound anywhere near as nice as the family name I liked, it's what we're using and I am SO relieved to be done with that! We had quite the name crisis for a while. I know Chan would have let me use the family name, but I wanted him to love the name as much as I did and he just didn't.
In other news, Christmas is right around the corner! We've had snow TWICE this month and I wouldn't be surprised if we had one more day of it - very rare for us and a nice treat!