Jun 042010
 

I scoured the web for hours researching just what to pack in the diaper bag. Here is my complete list! Feeding supplies and clothing/comfort items will vary per age/season, but I think it’s a pretty comprehensive list– especially the index cards with important contact info and an extra set of keys just in case you lock your keys in the car or you leave your diaper bag somewhere.

I did some serious research on diaper bags and actually bought a Skip Hop Deluxe from Target. Then I read that the Target Skip Hops are of much lower quality than the official Skip Hop bags, so I took it back. I paid $30 at Target, but then found a 15% off coupon for Diapers.com. That combined with free shipping made the Skip Hop Duo Deluxe bag just slightly more than the one from Target and the quality is MUCH better. (Not to mention I found it in my favorite color!) The bag features 11 pockets, magnetic closures, clips to hook it on to the stroller, and a contrasting liner (THANK YOU SKIP HOP for SMART DESIGN!)

This is the diaper bag we bought

Skip Hop Duo Deluxe

Skip Hop Duo Deluxe in Lime

And here is my list:

The Ulitmate Diaper Bag List

Diapers (bring extra!!)
Diaper Cream/powder/lotion depending on your preferences
Wipes
Changing Pad/Mat
Hand Sanitizer gel/wipes
Burp cloths/wash cloths/cloth diapers/bibs
Extra set of baby clothes/socks
Feeding supplies (bottles, spoon, breast pump, sippy cups, food, whatever is age appropriate)
Blanket
Travel kit of baby care items, depnding on how long your gone—wash/lotion/brush/suction bulb/saline drop
Tissues
Pacifiers (if needed—pack two in a clean bag!)
Toy(s)/Teething rings, durable books
First aid – Tylenol, teething gel, allergy meds, bandaids, ointment, anti-itch cream, thermometer, sunblock, any prescription medications with dispensing spoon/syringe)
Nursing supplies- nursing cover/pads/nipple cream
Extra shirt for mom (just in case you leak or baby spits up!)
Carrier/sling, if you’re using one
Sunglasses for you and baby
Sunhat or beanie depending on weather
Sweater/jacket for baby, depending on weather.
Small and large ziplocks or plastic grocery bags (for dirty clothes/diapers, to store clean pacifiers, etc.)
Bottled water and snacks for mom
Index cards: one with your name/phone number/sig other’s name/phone number just in case you lose/leave your bag somewhere (I’ll put “Reward if found” on mine!). The other with baby’s name, doctor, contact info, and important health information or allergies to foods/medicines. An alternate contact (grandparent/neighbor/aunt/uncle)
Cash/Wallet/Quarters/Extra set of keys (in case you lock yourself out while getting baby out)/Cell phone/digital camera (good for taking photos of precious moments or if you’re in an accident or fender bender!)

Of course, there is one thing that wasn’t on my list, but found its way into my diaper bag:

Tsubo in the Skip Hop

If any of you find this list is missing something, definitely post a comment! Hopefully this act of research and efficiency will help us all get out of the house faster!

:)

 Posted by at 9:15 am
May 102010
 

I’ve been stricken by “PUPPPs” which stands for “Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.” It’s basically a hive-like rash that itches like crazy and affects 1 in 100 to 1 in 200 pregnant women (mostly those carrying boys.) Also discussed: having a career and a baby, packing bags, and a dog who went in for surgery.

 Posted by at 7:45 pm
Apr 162010
 

I owe this blog to my honey. I’ve come to the realization that I have been moody. Real moody. The hormonal changes are enough to make anyone feel like they’ve got a 9 month case of severe PMS. Compound that with an extra 30 pounds, clothes that don’t fit, shoes you can’t wear, and a lack of sleep and it’s a recipe that will test any expectant father’s patience.

Little things that usually wouldn’t bother me make me an emotional mess. In fact, I think I’ve cried more times in the last 32 weeks than I have in my adult life combined. Words make their way to my brain just fine, but then they get processed, an irrational response is generated, and before it can be edited or filtered, it’s causing a draw dropping reaction in the receiver. I’m sorry. I really can’t help it. I’m not sure how “babe, you need to get over a lane” is received as “you can’t drive for sh*t” but it happens!

So Sean, my love…I am sorry if I am moody and irritable! I’m sorry if my irrational crying spells are hard to deal with. I love you! And THANK YOU for putting up with me!

On a positive note, I’ve discovered that bending over while sneezing and slightly squatting reduces the chances that I’ll strain an ab muscle or leak urine.

 Posted by at 11:33 am
Apr 142010
 

Behind my black Target zip up hoodie lies my protruding belly. More than a few people have asked me if I’m having twins (which I’m NOT). I’ve gained about 28 pounds up until now, and expected to gain a half to a full pound per week from here on out. These days I wear cami tanks with shelf bras just to hold everything in place. I can’t reach the floor and have this overwhelming sense of disappointment when I drop something on the ground or need to pick up dirty socks or clothes. (More on that in a minute.)

Sleep is a thing of the past. I’ve always loved sleep. My dad said that naps keep you young. In fact, many countries encourage workers to take siestas or naps at their desks. Unfortunately, by the time 6am rolls around, I’ve been up twice during the night to pee, guided by the neon blue night lights that Sean purchased for me so I wouldn’t fall into the toilet. (He forgets to put the seat down sometimes, but I still love him.) Despite the investment in a Sleep Number bed, my back hurts so bad that I don’t want to lay down after I get up that second time.

The good news is that despite my morning grogginess, my nesting instincts have made me compulsive about cleaning the house, picking out clothes, and preparing the coffee pot for the morning. I think subconsciously, it’s my brain’s way of compensating for elevated hormones and ensuing forgetfulness.

Today, I threw down the yoga mat that sits next to my desk and rolled around on it doing my best to stretch those hard-to-stretch places. My finger joints are incredibly stiff and sore, likely due to the swelling that also results in lovely cankles that worsen by the end of the day. Yesterday, I wore strappy platform sandals, and by the end of the day, the ankle straps were not visible. At least my toe nails were painted… a feat accomplished by contorting my legs on the bathroom sink accompanied by grunts as I stretched to dab polish on each toe.

My friend Cassie told me Sunday that she loved being pregnant. I hear women say that. I am not one of them. I definitely took things for granted before I got pregnant. It takes me so long to waddle from my car to the grocery store entrance that I am seriously considering asking my doctor for a handicap parking designation until the baby comes out. Some of the HEB Grocery stores in the nicer neighborhoods have “Expectant Mother” parking. Not in my hood. The demographic of my culturally diverse area lends itself to many pregnant women. I was fortunate enough today to meet a nice lady in line at HEB with a cute 3 month old baby. She gets calls from family, friends, and coworkers all day. Unfortunately, her baby is up all night, and she sleeps all day, often barking at well-meaning well wishers.

As a “Certified Good Vibe Technician” I can’t leave this post on a sour note. I must admit that I’ve used my pregnancy as a reason to eat way too many Hershey’s chocolates– the little bricks in a gold wrapper with almonds and toffee chips. I love food, and this is the one time in my life where I’m gonna eat whatever the heck I want because I can. I LOVE strawberries and there must have been a strawberry explosion because I can get the mega size for $2 at the grocery store. I don’t like it when they get all gross and mushy, so I eat them in one day, methodically cutting stems and coring them before I dig in with a fork. Yesterday, Sean and I contributed to a meal of steaks and mashed potatoes, a celebratory feat accomplished on his new grill. I put extra butter in the mashed potatoes, but don’t tell him that. :)

I like that my hair is thick and my nails are stronger and longer than they’ve ever been. I still don’t have stretch marks and I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t get ‘em, even though Sean told me he would think I was beautiful even if I did have stretch marks. I like that people are willing to do nice things for you, like let you cut in a bathroom line. I like the compulsion that drives me to enjoy pulling weeds and mowing the lawn for hours on end. I like the little tech culture inspired onsies that friends have purchased for Milo. I like that pregnancy sparks the curiosity in strangers and starts a conversation. Sean likes that my boobs and butt are….let’s just say they’re a little more “robust.”

With 54 days to go, I’m going to look at the bright side of pregnancy, apologize for my short temper, and know that this is a small price to pay for an awesome present.

:)

 Posted by at 8:19 pm
Apr 092010
 

Here are a few of the 3d sonogram photos. It was a really neat experience, and I’m glad my mom was in town to attend. I think most agree that sonograms have come a LONG way from where they were 10 or 20 years ago. I can’t imagine what they’ll be like in 10 or 20 more years!

Milo has been kicking strong. After the doctors visit, (I’ve now gained 28 pounds), he’s determined that Milo is approximately in the 59% percentile in terms of size. So he’s very slightly larger than average, but tracking perfectly.

I’m running on little sleep these days. Today is Friday, so hopefully I can catch a few naps while Sean’s mom is here this weekend.

Next, I’ll post photos from the new house and Milo’s room. :)

Milo 1

Milo 2

Milo 3

Milo 4, with a peace sign!

 Posted by at 11:31 am
Apr 062010
 

No video this time, but an old fashioned typed out blog instead. I’ll start by making a correction to my last video. The doctor’s scale doesn’t lie, and I had actually only gained 25 pounds, not 30. Hey, I’m on track!

Prepared childbirth classes are going really well. The class instructor is a certified midwife as well as an RN and presents many different options for childbirth that have really opened my mind. I left last weeks class with my heart and mind open to the ancient wisdom programmed in my DNA, knowing that if I choose, I can (and might) opt for an all natural birth. I have already decided that I don’t want Pitocin, which many times results in fetal distress and a forced C-section. I don’t want people yelling at me to push when I’m not ready. I know my body will know what to do. I don’t want my birth to be a big medical event. I want it to be a beautiful experience with the medical resources there as a resource if I need them. Of course, the hospital policies will prevent me from considering things like a water birth, but I will do my best to make due with what’s given to me. Note that these are my intentions, and the last thing I’d do is preach to anyone else about what they should do. I believe that a woman should do what she wants!

So back to happier things! Last Thursday my mom came to town and I took two days off to supervise the carpet installation in the new house and be there for the movers on Friday. THANK GOODNESS my mom was here. Her and Sean really busted their tails and by Sunday afternoon, everything was put away, boxes were broken down, Milo’s crib was picked up (thank you, Alex) and setup with sheets and all, furniture was placed, art was hung, and mom’s dinner of delicious homemade lasagna was served. I feel like I’ve grown close to my mother, having a deep appreciation for her knowing that she is crazy tough for birthing and raising twins. My mom also brought her baby diary that my grandparents bought her to track our first moments. My mom wrote about the moments shared by my twin sister Jennifer and I, from first words, to loving my dad playing the guitar, and us learning to say “no” and “bad” with our fingers pointed at the most innocent of recipients. (Sorry, Grandma– you’re not bad, you’re good!)

I think it’s starting to settle. Holy smokes, I’m gonna be a parent!!! I definitely feel a change of responsibility already shifting. I’ve always been a nurturer, but this is different! I’ve had some really crazy vivid dreams lately that surely are meant to help me deal with a range of emotions in a completely safe manner. The changes happening physically and physiologically are very cool in a scientific sort of way. During the 3D sonogram on Saturday, I was able to peer at the face of my unborn Milo and see his little nose (surely from my dad’s side of the family) and his long legs and arms (surely a result of daddy’s genes.) I saw his pouty lips and his little chin. The most amazing thing, I think, is that Sean and I have created something so synergystically amazing that I find myself at a loss for words when trying to describe it. There are times when my emotions are up and down, and I thank the universe in kind for giving me a patient man who can tolerate me. There are times when I ponder how the heck I’m going to be able to stay balanced and be able to succeed in my career, be a great wife, and be the best mom and I can be, but I think I’ll figure it out. I know that I have the drive and the strength do make that happen and I have identified quite a few examples, from my old VP of Sales (a great mother and career woman), to the women in my family and Sean’s family, to my childhood friends– Anna and Kamrin. I am thankful that I don’t have to do this alone, and have found at tremendous amount of respect for all of the single mothers out there.

I’ll post tomorrow after my 31 week sonogram and be sure to include some of the 3D sonogram photos. (They’re on Facebook in the Milo Grey album if you haven’t seen them already.)

Much love,
Niki Nicole

 Posted by at 10:24 pm
Mar 232010
 

Week 29 update! From SXSW to moving to what I call “pregnancy wrath.” Check out the new video!

here are some photos from this past weekend:

Sean and I at the SXSW Man Made Boat Party

Sean and I at the Harmonious Discord Label Party in Austin, TX

 Posted by at 6:40 pm
Feb 052010
 

5 months into it, and boy is it showing! I’ve gained 17 pounds and I feel enormous. It’s hard to put on shoes, but other than back pain, I don’t have a lot of symptoms. So far, so good!

I’ve started collecting baby things….a bouncer from a co-worker, a crib, a kelty baby backpack/hiker, and a bike seat for a little one. The tenants in my rental home (also good friends) gave us a baby bath, a breast feeding pillow, and a bumbo chair. The marketing manager at my former place of employment gave me a pack-n-play and is going to give me her electronic breast pump. I remember when she pumped at work, and put a sign on her door that said, “If you’re reading this, I promise you DO NOT want to come in here.” Hard to realize that it’ll be me on the other end of that sign!

I sat down last week and scoured the web for baby “must haves” and finished with a full page of needs. I’m glad lists like that exist. We need everything from cotton balls and baby q-tips to bigger items like a car seat/stroller/travel system and a few baby gates. I pondered over the list and now I know why it’s tradition in almost all cultures for friends of the baby’s family to give gifts. We’re very fortunate in that we have great friends and family, as well as some really great co-workers who have offered to host a work baby shower since Sean and I both work here. We’ll probably register at Target and and Diapers.com (which sells more than diapers.)

We move into the house in mid-March and we’re super-excited to have more than double the space we have now. We’re definitely going to need it! Close friends of ours have offered to pay for movers as our baby/housewarming gift since we helped them move last year. I am so grateful for that gift, as it’s going to be difficult for me to do much of anything as my belly continues to grow and it becomes harder and harder just to get my shoes on! The house is in great shape, despite 5 years of having renters in there, and other than fresh paint and new carpet in the living room downstairs, it shouldn’t be hard to get it in tip top shape. The yard needs a little TLC, but thankfully, Sean worked for the Dallas Park system when he was younger and knows how to use a weed wacker properly. Finally, my mom will be coming up mid-March to help with the move and do a little shopping for her first grandchild. I’m really excited about that visit! I feel a lot closer to my mom now that I realize how hard it must have been for her to carry twins! She’ll be bringing some heirloom blankets that my great grandmother made prior to her death over 10 years ago. She left a few sets specifically for great grandchildren, and since there have been no boys, there’s a nice blue sweater and blanket she made that has been sitting in my grandmother’s cedar chest waiting for little Milo to come along. How awesome of my great grandmother to want to create something for someone she’s never met. She was an amazing woman, much like the other women who have come before me. I am so blessed and honored to share her lineage. The same goes for Sean’s family, too. They have been so supportive and I couldn’t ask for better in-laws!

Alright. I’m getting choked up. Here’s a little something to make you smile:

22 weeks pregnant!

Love, Niki

 Posted by at 5:37 pm
Jan 262010
 

Part 1: I’m 21 weeks! I remember being pregnant at 6-10 weeks and feeling what I thought was a lack of symptoms. What I learned is that there is no stereotypical pregnancy– every pregnancy is different. Lucky for me, I had virtually no first trimester symptoms. That has definitely changed now! i’m just past the halfway mark, and am looking forward to not being pregnant and meeting my little Milo! Topics include recycled baby gear, thoughts on pre-natal vitamins, weight gain, maternity jeans, a bellly shot, weight gain, back pain, sleeping, headaches, day care and more!

Part 2: YouTube limits to 10 min per video, so this is part 2. Topics include the creation of a baby journal, cool iphone pregnancy apps, cravings, feeling the baby move, and signing up for baby classes.

 Posted by at 10:56 pm