Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Bags are Packed and We're Ready to Go... Maybe

Once we got the car seat installed the last thing to check off the "prepare ahead" list was to pack our bags and load them in the car. We figured it would be smartest to just keep them in the car from now on considering we live so far out, it would be a trek back to the house to retrieve bags if we happened to be in town. Now, different resources will give you a list to go by for what to bring, but we kind of just winged it. I think we have all the important things, but in this day and age Target is only so far away that if we REALLY forgot something important it wouldn't be that big of a deal. I think the only thing that I still need to pick up is a nursing gown/robe for the hospital stay and around the house.

I also updated our Cloth Diaper registry at Cutie Tooties if anyone is interested in checking that out. As I've said before, I am not so concerned with colors of items, just no pink or purple, that might be awkward. We are really committed to doing this cloth diapering thing and are pretty excited to give it a go.

I have been subtly encouraged recently by the "band of mothers" who have offered advice, peace, love, and understanding of what Chris and I are about to experience. Not that the last 35 weeks hasn't been an experience, but we realize our world is about to change drastically. It feels like there is some secret society of young parents who want to help others however they can, even in simple ways. I have had a friend offer to share her recent natural birth experience and encouragement, a friend from high school thought of us when she found cloth diapers in her stash of baby items, our CJK family is hosting a shower to celebrate our little guy, and of course the ongoing love and support from our families. It's comforting to know that we are not alone in this adventure, though sometimes it feels like we are lightyears away in knowledge and our comfort zone. Thanks for standing behind us and letting us feel your warmth...

My dreams lately have been all sorts of random... mostly involving birthing scenarios. I did this about 3 months prior to our wedding as well, except in those it was crazy exes (not mine) sabbotaging our day, or marrying a stand-in because the real bride/groom couldn't be found. Now, I think I have given birth in my sleep a few times, in the woods a couple, and have had frequent dreams of having Noah and then going right back to Second Nature to work, carrying him in my pack like it's normal. If only labor can be so easy that I could do it in my sleep... I am not a dream decoder but I would be willing to say they must mean something. Not to mention, they disrupt my sleep, usually when I wake up laughing...

This has turned out way longer than I intended, but lastly, I picked up "Baby Wise" as recommended by my sisters and am really liking it. I underline and highlight and really feel like there is a lot of truth to the words on the pages. Only time will tell, but I think having an understanding and firm foundation of how to find the best balance for our family will be key. We shall see...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

34.5 Weeks: Place Your Bets

Alright... so here is the chance for everyone to "place your bet" of when you think Baby Ford will greet this crazy world. You can comment, email, or Facebook message your guesses to me or Chris and we will add it to the list to the right of this page. We are still playing with the calendar part, but we plan to highlight picked dates as well as list them below with who picked what. Here are the facts that may help you with your pick:
- First Due Date: 09/24/09
- Current Due Date: 10/01/09
- My measurements and his heart rate have been right on the duration of pregnancy
- I have been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions for about 3 weeks.
- It's not confirmed yet, but I think he has "dropped", considering the newfound space between my belly and my boobs.
- Last Dr. appt. (08/11) his head was down.
- I feel great and am exercising (birthing ball, walking, riding bikes, etc.) but am quite tired at the end of the day.

I think that's about all the info that I have that may help you decide. I don't know what the "prize" will be for whoever is right/comes the closest, but we thought it would be fun. If you want to throw in guesses of time, size, weight, etc. that would be fun as well. (Please, Aunt Meg, do not wish a 12lb baby on me!)

Send us your guesses here or @ elizabethbford@gmail.com or christopherteele@hotmail.com

Thanks for playing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Car Seat: Check

Our XTerra has now officially been turned into the Ford Family Baby Mobile. Chris lovingly cleaned out the car after a summer of camp driving (ick!) and installed the seat yesterday. We are going to get Eddie (camp's maintenance man/Volunteer Rescue Squad of Roane County Captain/engagement ring hero, etc.) to check and make sure that it's in properly, but we think it'll hold the kid safely. Our goal was to have it in by the end of August...now just to pack hospital bags and find a pediatrician.

Thanks, Chapman family, for the amazing deal on the carseat/stroller/baby backpack... we can't wait to fill them up!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bathing Suit Bliss

I swore I would NOT wear a maternity bathing suit. I lost. When the nephews come to play, you just can't say no... In fact, I have said "no" to anything flowy that ties around the back like a smock because I am proud of this little dude hanging out in my belly and I am not afraid to show it. There, I said it. But because this is the only picture that's been taken of me in a while (at 33.5 weeks) I thought I would share the growth, along with a few other photos from the boys' visit.

And for another new hobby of Chris' that I can't participate in until next year:

A boy and his dog, best friends:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jolly Green Baby

We have decided to embark on the cloth diapering adventure for our wallet's sake and for the love of the earth. Gretchen Smeltzer (friend thru my brother) graciously passed down a whole mess of cloth diapers and covers to us a few months back and the idea just expanded from there. I started researching all of the different ways we could go about taking on this challenge and finally have wrapped my head around it. We will use Chinese prefolds, Thirsties covers, snappies instead of clothespins, handmade flannel wipes, and Northern Essence wipe solution... I went to Cutie Tooties here in Knoxville the other day and purchased a few things to get us started. The owner was there and was extremely helpful, and should be, as she has cloth diapered toddler triplets! I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of laundry that family has done! I am going to set up a registry there, so if anyone is looking for gift ideas, this would be amazing!

A few fun facts about cloth diapering and why it's a great choice:
- On average, Americans throw away enough diapers per year to fill a football stadium three miles high (SICK!).
- It takes 500 years for one disposable diaper to break down in a landfill.
- From birth to potty trained at 2nd birthday, the average savings for using cloth diapers is approximately $1500. And if you use reusable wipes, add another $800 onto that.
- Once you collect the supplies for one baby, you can use them (or pass them on) to other children to use as well.

I'm convinced. Chris and I are going to need some practice, but we figure that we have to change his diaper anyway, might as well save cash and the planet while we are at it. Being good stewards of what God has given us serves more than just our needs... maybe it will teach others that they can do the same, even if it seems a small gesture.

In other recent happenings, I made a mobile of sorts to hang above Noah's crib. Though we weren't really going for a "Noah's Ark" theme, his room and bedding (thanks to the Giusti fam) has been decorated with animals...so I found these felt photo frame projects on super sale at Wal-Mart and decided to make a little mobile. Those are pictures of Chris and me throughout the past few years... the original idea was to use our baby pictures, but I got impatient and used current pictures of us together. I am no crafting pro, but I am pretty proud of the way it came out.

We started our birthing classes last night... let me just say that the videos we watched last night should be shown in every sex-ed class across America. Wow. One down, four to go... we are hoping we make it thru all five weeks. The biggest lesson I learned is that gravity works in your favor, so if being upright more often will kick this delivery into gear, I won't be sitting/laying very much in the next 7 weeks.