Archive for March, 2012

As a filmmaker I would be remiss in my duties not to shoot a lot of video on this little bugger as a baby. So I just got a new Flip Video. It’s unfortunate that Cisco decided to discontinue these, but you can still get them. I’ll probably be shooting video on my iPhone as well, but the flip camera is better as a grab and shoot devise.

Here is my the first quick test video I shot of an unsuspecting Randall and Izzy.

Last couple of days it’s been all about me…

Nails- check

Hair color- check

Stock up on beauty products- check

Order nursing tops and cute little dresses for breastfeeding- check

Taxes- check (arg)

Lunch with God mother- check

Sleep- check! ( I am relishing in it… only 4 more days) :(

 

 

I’m getting ready to pop out soon. Mom and Dad are getting everything in order for my room. Got a cool new power recliner, wicker hamper and Nuloom rug.

Can’t wait to romp around in here! Just a few days left. :)

38 1/2 weeks and last appointment with Dr. Ross until we meet the little guy. Everything looks good so far. The big news is he moved his position.. He is no longer Frank breech and he is aiming in the right direction although, I have to say, it’s less comfortable now then it was yesterday so he just flipped around. He finally posed for us today so we were able to see his little face.

 

This maxi dress by Fashion Star contestant, Sarah Parrot, can be found at H+M!

The waist tie is just above your belly, which we LOVE for your 9-month stint being hot and pregnant! I put it with black heels on the runway but you can wear it with black or nude shoes.

Yesterday I went to a fantastic breastfeeding support group at the Pump Station. It was filled with 20 or so tired looking woman with their sleepy, crying, nursing babies sitting in a circle. I was the only pregnant woman there. Corky, the owner of Pump Station is an RN and a lactation consultant answered their questions.  Almost all of them had something to say or were inquiring about something. The youngest baby was 4 days old and the oldest was probably 9 weeks old. It was an eye opening experience because they were all supportive of each other. After 2 hours of answering questions Corky asked all the women to give me a piece of advice that they wished they had known before they had their baby. There were suggestions of what to buy, to be aware that I will be very emotional for a week or so because of hormones, that your husband might feel neglected at the beginning, that breastfeeding isn’t easy but it gets better the longer you do it. I left there feeling calm and comforted to know that I have a place to go to when in need.

Ian and I took a Red Cross Adult and Pediatric CPR class last night. We thought it would be a good thing to know for our baby and frankly, it’s something I should have done a long time ago. Ian had taken CPR through out the years so it was a refresher course for him.

We are now certified for 2 years!!!

After I shared the bobcat story with neighbors I heard that some of them have seen bobcats also.

I also discovered our cat Izzy has been earning quite a reputation for herself. Our neighbors next door have previously said Izzy likes to antagonize their little Yorkshires by hovering outside their window when they are inside, causing them to have a barking freakout, and she’s well aware they can’t get at her.

Another neighbor said Izzy would harass their (quite territorial) orange male tabby cat, causing many chasing sessions, and once she showed up in their garage.

Izzy also frequently brings home rats, gophers, lizards, mice and birds.

Don’t let the innocent face fool you. She’s up to no good. Good thing for her she’s really cute and friendly and we love her.

The count down has begun. 10 days and I will have a baby in my arms. Ian and I have been relishing our 8 hours a night sleep. Everything is ready to go and being a type A personality, this is very important for my sanity. My girlfriend said that I will change once the baby comes because it’s pretty hard to have control of what you can’t control… a baby! So for the moment, I am enjoying my sleep and my control! :)

 

What are stretch marks and can they be prevented?

Stretch marks (striae) are pink, reddish or purplish indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks and thighs.  Unfortunately, stretch marks cannot be prevented during pregnancy. The degree to which a woman experiences stretch marks is determined genetically. If your mother got them during pregnancy, you probably will too.  Stretch marks usually occur when weight is lost or gained quickly. Using creams and gels rarely make a difference. Fortunately, stretch marks fade with time and become silvery white or red.  Once you are done with your pregnancy, you can manage your stretch marks with new medical laser technology.   They will often fade to light pink to grayish stripes but rarely disappear completely.

Since we live in the foothills it’s not unusual to see wild animals. Coyotes, deer, hawks, owls, snakes, various lizards. I’ve seen rattlers on the hiking trail and almost stepped on one once.

This is the first time I’ve caught a good look at a bobcat though, and in my backyard of all places! I’m pretty sure it was hunting our cat Izzy. After I scared the bobcat off Izzy showed up a moment later, coming from the direction the bobcat is looking.

When I googled bobcats hunting habits, I learned that they hunt most around dusk until about midnight. Needless to say, Izzy will be getting more indoor time now.

Recent research shows processed foods can do more harm than once realized.

Processed refined carbohydrates are those that are altered from their original form.  Most things you buy in a package fit the definition of a processed carbohydrate – chips, crackers, cookies you buy in the grocery store.

These are “foods” manufacturers alter to make a profit.   Companies add sweeteners, additives, and other ingredients to allow the high markup.

Almost all processed foods come with a price of added sugars, trans fat and other things your body would rather avoid.  These foods are not healthy for anyone, especially not pregnant women.

Recent studies show the blood triglyceride level (fat in the blood) of a pregnant woman is closely tied to the birth weight and body fat of the infant.  Infants born to women with high triglyceride levels have double the body fat of a normal infant.  Processed starchy carbs increase the blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Even more alarming is high maternal cholesterol and triglyceride levels are associated with a greater risk of fatty streak formation in infant’s arteries, and a high risk of heart disease during childhood.

Eating a balanced diet of healthy protein and fats and unprocessed carbohydrates can keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels normal and healthy.

Healthy carbohydrate-containing foods are those that are in their natural forms – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, yams, etc.

What better gift to give to yourself and your future child than the gift of health?  Sticking to carbohydrates in their natural forms is the optimal way to eat.  If you have carb cravings try some natural peanut butter with fruit or a square or two of over 70% dark chocolate.  Your baby will thank you.

Ian and I made our last trip to Dr. Platt. He is one of the best specialist in town for high risk pregnancy. He gave us a big thumbs up and said there was no need to come and see him again. He said the baby is small (he will probably be about 7 pds) but he felt really comfortable with his measurements and his movements. Yay!!!

We continued our day with going to baby stores and picking up last minute items. We received a Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Pail at our shower and I wasn’t sure we really needed it. I have read tons of reviews and they are mixed on how effective they are with keeping out odor. So I started reading reviews on other products out there, Diaper Champ Deluxe, Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail, The First Years Clean Air Diaper Disposal System and the Diaper Dekor Plus Diaper Disposal System. Yikes! It seems none are perfect and most are expensive when you start adding up the special bags and filters..

I can’t stop chuckling to myself… I am researching poop pails! From Afghanistan to this!!!! Ladies.. I need some suggestions on this one!

Why does back pain and postural changes of pregnancy occur?

Patients tell me all the time as they get further along in pregnancy their back pain worsens.  More than 50% of women complain of back pain during pregnancy.  The additional weight gain in pregnancy can affect the centre of gravity which leads to backaches and back pain. Women experience a progressive increase in the anterior convex shape of the lumbar spine during pregnancy. This change, better known as lordosis, helps keep the center of gravity stable and over the legs as the uterus enlarges (see below). Late in pregnancy, aching, weakness, and numbness of the arms may occur secondary to an expected change of an anterior positioning of the neck and hunching of the shoulders in response to exaggerated lordosis.  As a result of these positional changes traction on the ulnar and median nerves causing numbness in the arms and hands.

Lumbar lordosis of pregnancy.

 
Other postural changes that occur are joint laxity and shifting center of gravity which contribute to an increase in gait unsteadiness.  Some have described this as if “they have just gotten off a horse”.  These changes are most exaggerated in later pregnancy.  The pelvis and the ligaments that support it are stretching and expanding in anticipation of delivery.  For those women that have debilitating back pain, massage, heat, back strengthening exercises, acetaminophen, and physical therapy can serve to ease the pain.  Always discuss any unusual, persistent or worsening symptoms to your health care provider.

Can’t tell what’s in this picture? Click on it! :)

I have one more visit to Dr. Ross and then baby comes. Dr. Ross was sad this part was almost over. She said she has so enjoyed to go through this amazing process with me. I wouldn’t have had any other Dr. I highly recommend her!

After I saw Dr. Ross, I had a delicious lunch at LA Farm with my girlfriend, Wendy H. who has 2 adorable kids and has been guiding me through this journey. She came with more goodies for the baby and a blow up mattress for Ian when we are at the hospital (apparently, the bed for the fathers is hard as a rock!)

After, I dropped by Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up some items including wine glasses (so looking forward for that first sip on my lips!). When I was shopping a pregnant woman asked how far a long I was. We started chatting about pregnancy, babies and our age (she is an older Mom too). This has happened to me time after time and I always find it so amazing that when you are pregnant people are so friendly to you. It’s like you have entered into a private club that you didn’t know about. I wonder if people are as friendly once you have the baby? I certainly will find out in 2 weeks! :)

This isn’t directly baby related, although it will have advantages when it comes to baby proofing.

The photo on the left is the entry to the toilet/shower area in the master bedroom. I’m probably not alone in preferring a bit more privacy when using the toilet than a cloth curtain provides, so it made sense to put in a door.

I chose a french door to allow light to come in through the exterior window, and added window film to keep the privacy. It didn’t seem necessary for the door to lock, so I used a passage knob and matching door hinges.

What makes this good for baby purposes is the curtain could have been a target to grab and tug. Also toilet and shower areas aren’t really places you want babies or toddlers to roam around in, so now there’s a barrier.

Fashion Star contestant, Kara Laricks, premiered her tie-back shift dress last night on NBC.

You can tie it around the front in your earlier stages, and tie it around the back when your baby bump takes center stage!

Limited quantities are now available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

This color block top is by designer, Pippa, and is available at Bloomingdale’s for 148 bucks!

It should last you through your first two trimesters and after birth.

Ian and have had many discussions on whether to save or donate our son’s cord blood. Our pediatrician had recommend for us to donate it. His view is much in line with the American Pediatric Association which recommends donating instead of private banking. My OB -GYN, Sheryl Ross recommended private banking. She felt this is a miracle baby and it was great insurance for him and us until he is 18 years old. I also had other friends who stored their baby’s cord blood and they were very happy with their decision. I also did some research and for me it had all the benefits without any down side. So we decide to go with StemCyte. They have a great reputation, FDA registered, accredited by BBB and they also donate to public banks. We are going to visit their facility on Sat. and will report more over the weekend.

We had Marc, a certified child car seat instructor, come over and put in our Infant Car Seat. Marc took the time to walk us through the process, and also how to put the baby in the seat for maximum protection. A few things he pointed out were:

1. The “pinch test”. Once the straps are pulled into place, you shouldn’t be able to pinch and fold the car seat straps in your fingers. The baby should be in nice and snug, and start when they are an infant so they get used to the feeling of being in the seat with the straps tight.

2. Car seat ‘wiggle’. The base of the seat, once installed should not move from side to side any more than an inch.

3. Leveling. The baby seat should not be too upright or too reclined. Our seat has a gauge that indicates if the seat is tilted too far one way or the other.

Tons of other information also, hopefully I remember it all when the time comes.


Last night Ian and I join about 15 other couples to learn all about breastfeeding. We are fortunate to have a fantastic resource center and store called the Pump Station and Nurtury which has everything you would ever want to know about breastfeeding. They also have amazing classes given buy lactation consultants, mommy and me classes and loads of other classes for mom’s and baby. They are truly the “go to” place for boobs and babies! They served beer for the men and perrier for the ladies. What a great way to keep men in their seats! :) Boobs and beer!!!

I learned quite a bit but I have a feeling I won’t really feel completely comfortable until I am actually practicing breastfeeding… It still sounds quite scary!

You can own this super sexy Diane Von Furstenberg dress from Bloomingdale’s for $345.00.                                                                                 The pink empire waist sits just above the babe.

Confused about Vitamin D?  You’re not alone. Vitamin D may be the new buzz but for good reasons.  It is much more than a vitamin – it functions as a hormone with 37 different tissues requiring it’s use.

Taking extra vitamin D during pregnancy is essential.  Have your levels measured twice during your pregnancy – once at the beginning and once during your third trimester to ensure your levels are adequate.   Recommended optimal levels are over 40 ng/dl.

Research shows pregnant women may need at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day both during pregnancy and lactation.  Having adequate vitamin D levels helps prevent complications during pregnancy such as preeclampsia and increased levels of insulin resistance leading to high blood glucose levels.

According to researchers at the University of Toronto:

“The period from pre-pregnancy to 24 months of a child’s life offers an important developmental window during which vitamin D exposure can have profound effects on human health. Inadequate concentrations of vitamin D during perinatal life can adversely affect bone health, brain development, heart disease, type I diabetes, and cancer. To achieve optimal health at adulthood, it is imperative that pregnant mothers and their newborn babies receive sufficient amounts of vitamin D during critical developmental windows”

 Have your vitamin D levels checked, but taking a supplement is essential to you and your baby’s health.  For optimal health, most researchers recommend a daily supplement of 4,000-5,000.

I am finally starting to feel like we have everything in order and now I am getting really excited! The bags are packed, the baby room is almost complete, the parents flights are booked.. We now have 18 days of sleep and freedom! After that our lives are forever changed. We are going to see as many movies as we can, tonight the Artist!

Beer and cookies. Was this happy hour consumption? Actually this was what was given at the breast feeding class at the Pump Station… for the guys! It was a way to incentivise expectant dads into coming to the class. More importantly us guys learned how we can make breast feeding easier for the mom (which is not as easy as one might guess), and also tips on bottle feeding and the benefits of breast milk for the baby.

 

Is feeling the heart racing a common occurrence during pregnancy?

During pregnancy your heart works much harder, especially during delivery!  Since your blood volume increases by 30-50% throughout pregnancy, your heart has to increase how much it pumps, or its cardiac output.  In addition to having an increase in cardiac output, the heart rates increase by 10-20 beats per minute.  The changes involving your cardiovascular system peak during 20-24 weeks and usually resolve completely within 6 weeks of delivery.  As a result of these changes with your heart you may experience flutters or a racing feeling better known as palpitations, shortness of breath and a reduced tolerance for prolong periods of exercise.  If you notice these symptoms it is important to tell your health care provider to ensure these are the normal symptoms related to all the cardiovascular changes.

I started writing a couple of the companies about the fire retardant and here are their responses.. So it seems the ones I have are okay..  r

Randall,

Polyester is a natural flame retardant fabric; therefore all our fleece and comfort mesh items pass the standards with out flame retardant chemicals.  Our cotton sleepsacks are made without the chemicals but can only pass the standards in the smaller sizes.  This is the reason they are only made in these sizes.  The flame resistance standards for children’s sleepwear gets stricter as the sizes get larger.  This is due to the mobility of the child increasing with size.
If you have any other questions, please let us know.
Christy
Halo Innovations Customer Service
—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hello Randall,

We do not use any flame resistance chemicals on any of our items.  They pass the minimum standards for flame resistance without the use of chemicals.  The standards are different based upon the size and mobility of the child therefore, the standards for larger or older children are more strict than for infants.  This is why some of our products are only available in certain sizes.  There are different CPSC levels of FR standards.  The SleepSack wearable blanket falls into category 1610 which is for bedding categories.  IF we were in a pajama category which is 1615 then the cotton SleepSacks would not pass without treatment.   If you would like to learn more about this please visit the CPSC web site. http://www.cpsc.gov/

Regards,

Karen
Customer Service
Halo Innovations

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Dear Randall,

Thank you for your interest in aden+anais.
There is no formaldehyde, nor do we treat with flame retardant chemicals. There are no heavy metal traces and we use azo-free low impact dyes.

Best regards,

Julie Sclafer
aden + anais

Guess what! One of the Fashion Star winning designs can work with a baby bump!!

Lizzie Parker’s one-sleeve tunic is the perfect top for a look that shifts from day to night.

On the show, I put it with a chunky necklace and chunky heels, but play around and wear it however feels great to you!

Get it NOW at Macy’s.

The Pump Station gave us The Baby Whisperer (Vol. 1) DVD as a take-home from our Baby 101 class last weekend. It reinforced a lot of the same topics discussed at the class, and a few new tidbits also. Even though the video is over 10 years old none of the information in it seems dated. Changing diapers, swaddling, feeding, sleeping, bathing… whew, lots of stuff to remember.

 

Mom and Dad’s friend Randy got me this awesome peek-a-boo bear! When the blanket comes up he completely disappears! Then he suddenly comes back when the blanket comes down! I keep on asking myself, where does the bear go? Then he suddenly is there again! And he talks! Amazing.

You would think Diane Von Furstenberg designed this 198 dollar top for the maternity customer!

Grab this top from Bloomingdale’s and feel loose and sexy in the spring heat!

The pleats and adjustable waistline of this coral BCBG dress from Bloomingdale’s allow for a LOT of movement and room for growth. The waistline can be raised as your bell grows, while the pleats allow you to expand around the circumference of your stomach. For only 238 dollars, this dress is great for spring weddings or outdoor luncheons!

My girlfriend from England had told me about all the fire retardants in mattresses and now I find out those horrible chemicals called *PBDE’s are in Sleep Sacks and P.J’s! Here is the deal, all 9 month and up sized designated sleepwear that is not snug-fitting, IS treated with the chemicals. ALL OF THEM except snug-fitted cotton ones are treated (at least in the US) and they will say on the label “not flame resistant”. So sleep wear or sleep sacks over 9 months have been treated with chemicals including 100% cotton, are toxic! You can’t even order sleep sacks on Amazon UK. They won’t ship it! Crazy… I am having my girlfriend from London send me the sleep sacks and some sleep wear. Crazy that I have to do that!

The best way to avoid these chemicals is to purchase sleepwear that is labeled “not flame resistant” or “tight fitting” or to purchase 100 percent organic clothing. 100 % organic clothing is not treated with flame-resistant chemicals (at least that is what they tell us).

*PBDEs, belong to a class of chemicals called halocarbons. They are extremely stable, making them useful for treating clothing. They will not break down when exposed to sunlight, water, detergents or other environmental factors, so the sleepwear will not lose its fire resistance over time. Unfortunately, this stability means that halocarbons that are absorbed into the body or the environment also do not break down. Instead, they build up through repeated exposure. Long-term exposure to these chemicals causes concerns regarding the potential for cancer, neurological disorders and other health problems.

 

Wearing this Ted Baker dress from Bloomingdale’s is possible for 365 dollars. A floral print is always appropriate for Spring.

The coral trimming on this gown looks great on mostly all skin tones while the empire waist allows for belly expansion.

Copyright 2011 Stylin Lady + Baby