Great Expectations: Strolling along

Strollers can be QUITE the investment, but being that I now live in a city and a major walking city at that I'm either going to invest in a really good stroller the first time around or probably buy two or three along the way that will probably not hold up as well to all the walking, cobble stoning and popping up and down sidewalks.

Here was my starting point based on what I've observed around the city and knowledge of friends' strollers.

I've been making a concerted effort to check out the many strollers I see people pushing around town as a starting point for my research. Thus far, here are what seem to be the top contenders.
The Bob

Jeep Brand jogger

The City Mini
The City Select
(Owned by numerous friends of mine)
Adam and I would prefer a true jogging stroller for regular life as well as actual jogging. I can't wait to walk/jog on the Esplanade with Baby Herndon. After seeing the Bob at Babies R Us we knew that was the stroller style of our choice, but I really wanted to compare it to the Baby Jogger Brand actual joggers.

We went it Isis Parenting today and were able to compare strollers side by side. I opened and closed the Bob and the Baby Jogger Summit and wheeled them around. I was sold on the Summit (first choice) or the City Elite both by Baby Jogger. I found the Bob harder to close and the floor model had some issues from so much usage, but I expect we too will get a lot of usage out of our stroller.
I feel so relieved to have one more major item decision under our belt. There's so much stuff when it comes to babies!! Wow!
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and experiences with any of these strollers or other great options you may know of!

Great Expectations: Bedding and wall treatments

The nursery is grey and I found this bedding that I think it is too cute! I love how bright and cheery it is and yet very gender neutral. It's called "Not a Peep"...see the little peeps on the quilt, CUTE CUTE CUTE. The other thing I like about it is the use of a crib skirt and bright crib sheet that doesn't require a crib bumper. I'm not sure I want a bumper with all the questions out there about bumpers and SIDS and I'm not a huge fan of the alternative this seems like a lovely alternative.
Land of Nod
I love the yellow bed sheet and the grey striped skirt.

Adorable changing pad
I want to find a pretty yellow bottomed lamp to top the tall dresser.
My sister sent me the photo below suggesting that I paint one wall with a chevron pattern in the baby's room.
We may give it a go when she's here next week visiting.
I love this nursery and it has some fun elements in common with my main inspiration...notice the amazing stuffed giraffe in both rooms.
House 36 Nursery Inspiration

I'll keep you posted on the room's progress!

Great Expectations: 17 weeks

How Far Along: 17 weeks

Fruit Size Comparison: avocado 

Weight/Clothes: I have gained 9 lbs total at this point. Crazy! According to the charts at my doctors appointments I am right on the edge of being on target (if I'd gained over 10 I'd be over the target), so I'm trying to eat healthy and eat plenty of fruit and veggies and not go overboard on unhealthy options, though I'm still not keeping myself from the occasional treat.
I purchased a couple more pairs of bottoms today! My two pairs of jean capris have been amazing, but after all my travels they both wound up in the wash and on the drying rack and I found myself with very limited options. I picked up a pair of kaki cargo style capris, a pair of grey shorts and my first pair of maternity jeans. I didn't want to invest in to many shorts since summer will be coming to an end soon, but capris will last me through the fall at least. Everything was on sale, so I did pretty good AND I had a couple gift cards too (One gift card was actually still kicking from Christmas!) Gift cards are always a plus! I'm still good with my shirt selection for now especially with all my options for bottoms. I'm feeling the desire to find a few cute new dresses or skirts that can take me from summer into fall, but I have yet to find something I love.  

Cravings: Still soup...that is all. 

Gender: Adam found out he gets to come to cabin weekend in October, so the gender reveal party is ON!! We'll have to wait a tad bit longer to find out, but I am so excited to share in this surprise with our family and friends. It's going to be so much fun! Votes are still ALL boy and we started registering this week and I focused on neutrals, while Adam was drawn to boy stuff of course. We'll see!

Movement: Nothing for sure yet though I did feel some gas bubbles the other day, but I think they were way too high to be the baby moving. They were high up and I know my uterus end a finder width above my belly bottom right now...funny to know such things! Who made me wonder. 

Also, when I wake up the baby seems to regularly be squished to one side of my abdomen when I'm laying on my back. It is a very strange feeling and everything goes back to normal (evenly distributed) as soon as I get out of bed. Funny. 

Symptoms (discomfort, belly issues, nasal issues, sleeping, etc): I'm feeling GREAT! 

I've had some round ligament pain, but it's very occasional. That's it at the moment, which is awesome. 

I bought some shay butter with vitamin E to stay well moisturized and hopefully keep stretch marks at bay...we'll see...I haven't had the best luck with those boogers growing up, but they healed over time from my teenage years. Such is life I guess.

I've also been trying to walk more or swim to get in some extra exercise, which my doctors have been encouraging, nothing too strenuous though (not to fear mom:). 

Mental State: I have finally finished ALL my house projects in terms of getting settled though I found out my cookbooks are still eluding me as of today. I'm sure they will turn up sooner or later.

I have had A LOT on my mind though this past week related to baby some of which I'll get into next under appointment updates, but we also went to start a registry at Babies R US this week and that had my mind racing in regards to which stroller to buy, which bottles, pump and such to choose and finally what furniture would create the anchors for the nursery of our dreams. More research to be done and blog updates to come I'm guarantee.

We're also getting used to our new budget with Adam's new job and what life will be like on his income alone. The extras I make between now and Baby Herndon's arrival will only supplement. I think we're going to be good, we are so blessed, but I'm excited to see how things feel in the next couple months as we settle into routines and daily life (before baby at least).  

Appointment Updates:
 Well I went to my first centering appointment. I really liked the appointment and I think this model of care is going to be a great fit. I took detailed notes, which I'll blog about separately.

The highlights...I had somehow gotten ahead of myself and could not figure out how I had missed a week of journaling only to realize I was not 16 going on 17 weeks, instead I was 15 going on 16 weeks. Pregnancy brain at work I guess.

I had a borderline high blood pressure reading at the appointment!! Which is crazy because I usually have VERY low blood pressure and I get asked if I feel all right. I didn't think I was anxious or anything, but I was told we'd take another reading after hearing the baby's heartbeat because it would help me relax. 

The baby's heartbeat is now 145, which had me concerned since it had been 168...but not to fear, the doctor told me this is a very normal occurrence as the baby grows and is now much larger. 

My blood pressure did go down and was normal by the end of the appointment. Thank goodness.

The next day I had an early sugar test because of the high incidence of diabetes in my family. I went in...drank the well-known ORANGE DRINK and waited to have my blood drawn. Getting that drink down in five minutes was TOUGH! At first I thought, "This isn't sooo bad."...but a few minutes in I began to understand why everyone hates this test. It's was really hard to get that bottle of super sweet orange liquid down in such a short period of time. I wish I had brought a straw, but they didn't have one. At least it was cold because that definitely helped. Then I had my blood drawn for that test and my serial sequential screening for genetic disorders. 

Looks like everything has checked out. I'm curious if I'll have to take this sugar test again in the normal time frame. We'll see if I get to experience this joy a second time.  

Is this normal? Strange occurrences: Waking up with the baby more to one side of my abdomen. 

Best Moment of the Week: My mom and I found the perfect nursery furniture today! (More on that in its own post.) This baby is going to have a lovely room  to come home to. YAY! Thanks Nana! We also found the perfect living room rug, which will be oh to important for a crawling baby and for playing with toys in the living room.

Adam also took this mama for a lovely date night. It's restaurant week in Boston, so we checked out a new spot on Newbury Street followed by a sunset cruise of the Boston Harbor. The weather was perfect. I am getting very spoiled by this summer weather! We're enjoying soaking in this alone time, but I can't wait until we have Baby Herndon along (in person) for all the fun too!

Great Expectations: Houston we have nursery furniture!

The wide world of cribs...who knew it would be so hard to find a variety of more traditional cribs since the onset and popularity of the convertible crib?! I wasn't sure it made sense to have a convertible crib since we live in a two bedroom apartment, which is a fabulous space in terms of city living, but we plan to be here a good, long while meaning a future child will be sharing the room. I just wasn't sure how practical a convertible crib would be, but it's tough to find such lovely models in more traditional forms. Thankfully my mom and Brad have generously offered to buy the nursery furniture for little Peanut.

Here is the first crib I saw with mom and we liked it for how architectural the lines were, but I am set on having a white crib and sadly this one does not come in white and I think it would be crazy to spend all that money with the hope of the search continued...
Babies R Us
Here's what I've found so far that feels similar to the above crib, but in WHITE...
Another Babies R Us crib option
Yet another Babies R Us choice
This one (below) seems a little too feminine though to be gender neutral.
Bassett Baby
This one is nice too and less feminine...though you have to overlook the pink bedding.
This is the closest find so far and the one Adam and I like the most thus far. It has the architectural elements and I like the graphicness of the feet as well. HOWEVER, it's French white, so I'm not sure how that will work with the bedding I'm considering the search continued ...
Baby Crib Haven

Drum Roll Please... after much searching of the internet and a few baby mom came across an awesome find for the crib. The price was right and it was just the look we kept coming back to and she ordered this set TONIGHT! It should arrive sometime in late August/ early September (free shipping too whoohoo!). Ahhh I'm so excited! 
Love this crib
It's white white and has the architectural lines I've been liking, while still remaining very neutral.
This dresser will also serve as a changing table until the baby outgrows diapers.
And an added bonus dresser since we had been looking at long dressers and this set came with a shorter style dresser, we went ahead and ordered both the tall and the short dressers. This tall one will look great with the perfect lamp and accessories. 
I also found a great deal on a gliding nursery chair and ottoman with slip covers! 
The bedding is white with a saturated yellow and grey design.
This butter yellow chair should be a nice compliment, while keeping with the tranquil feel I'm working on.
After ordering and assembling the above rocker, we realized it wasn't very comfortable and it definitely wasn't this yellow. It was more of a tan canvas, so back to the store it went thanks to Adam's patience and we ordered this guy instead. We've actually sit in him and it's glorious! This chair is the finishing furniture piece in the room.
More on the nursery and it's inspiration and look coming soon! I'm SO excited! 
Thanks again Nana and Brad for the beautiful nursery furniture.

Great Expectations: Nursery Inspiration

I have had the same nursery design in mind for as long as I can remember...LONG before the thought of actually having a baby.

Where did I find my inspiration?
Anyone remember that fun movie Father of the Bride II? Well they built a baby suite and I always LOVED the look and feel of that room. Even with the onset of Pinterest, nothing has drawn my eye away from this room and look. Thank you very much Hollywood!

Now I know we won't have this kind of space, but it's a starting point and feel to strive of right now the walls are a light shade of grey and we'll see where the design goes from there. I have some more recent inspiration pictures for a possible wall treatment and I'm going for a brighter, fresher feel...but I love how calm and tranquil this space is...and it is the FEELING I hope to still attain.

I think my mom may need to whip up some of those sheer curtains for the room since there are pretty long windows that flank the entire room. They're not quite floor to ceiling, but you can walk out one to the patio because it is actually a door...that's how big the windows are in actuality.

Great Expectations: 16 weeks

 How Far Along: 
16 weeks (Change of photo this week due to travel...but still goes along with the black dress against grey wall idea.) 

Fruit Size Comparison: 

Naval Orange

Weight/Clothes: I feel like I've definitely "popped" this week. You can really see it in pictures from Blah's bachelorette weekend. I'm still wearing my regular summer tops some of which hide the bump more than others. Fitted tanks definitely show off the pump though like the one Jen made in this picture.  I still feel like it's not completely obvious or assumable that I'm expecting when strangers see me in fitted items. I could just be chubby, but I'm not...there is indeed a baby in there (crazy)!!! My maternity capris are getting TONS of wear! I definitely need to invest in a nice pair of maternity jeans next and a couple new bras because I've been living in sports bras, but I think it's time to move up in the cup race. 

Cravings: SOUP!!! Last week I made chicken chili and this week I'm planning to make French onion. YUMMY!

I'm also really into salad this week. I'm trying to amp up my veggie intake. Also, my gummy vitamins are AWESOME! No more vitamin induced nausea!  

Gender: Wow are the votes in and it's pretty much unanimous that we're having a boy. Only a couple people felt any inkling that we might have a girl compared to the masses that vote boy. I'm really thrilled either way, so bring on a little man! 

Why do people seem to think we're having a boy? Well, they say my face hasn't changed and girls supposedly make the mom's face change or "take away her beauty" as many say. It also seems that I'm carrying more forward rather than all around and maintaining my shape, which is also supposed to be typical of a boy more so than a girl. Finally, upon serious close looks at the first big ultrasound it's thought that we're having a boy because the ovaries aren't lit up and there's a blurry area that could be male genitals. 

Guess we'll see. It's still going to be a while before we know for sure. I'm enjoying hearing everyone's guesses. 

Movement: I can't say I'm feeling bubbles or gas movements, which is what I've been told to look for, BUT in the morning I occasionally wake up with a mounded area to one side of the bump and then it will even out once I get up. It's like the  baby is curled up to one side and then gets re-situated when I get up. 

Symptoms (discomfort, belly issues, nasal issues, sleeping, etc): 
Round ligament pain...YIKES! It was so nice to hang out with another pregnant bridesmaid who is a week ahead of me and hear that the random pains are typical. A couple times I've stopped up too quickly and just been doubled over from the round ligament pain, but I just take a minute and it usually passes pretty quickly.

Feeling great this past week otherwise. I've been traveling quite a bit and the timing has been perfect because my energy is  way up, except when I hit my limit walking or waiting in the heat, aka NYC subway...soooo hot!  

Mental State: I feel like I'm accomplishing so much and being productive. I've almost finished my latest photography projects: my last summer wedding, a business shoot for my stepdad and an engagement shoot for my sister. There were a couple outstanding house organization projects I wanted to wrap up as well and I've been able to get them done between trips. Now my travel is wrapped up, so I can finish my outstanding photography work and complete my last organization project of the basement storage area. I'm not one for procrastinating, so I love checking things off my to do list! 

Then it's on to focusing on the NURSERY! YAY! 

Appointment Updates: I have my first centering appointment tomorrow. I am so excited to get to hear the baby's heartbeat with the doppler and meet the other ladies in the group. It was also fun to see Adam's new boss, Chris's wife, Laura who suggested my doctor's practice and come to find out she is expecting her fourth and is due two weeks before I am! 

On that note...may I just say how fun it is to have friends expecting at the same time as I am. It's fun to chat about pregnancy with them and keep up through the blog-o-sphere even! Shout out to Ashley, Celeste, Kelly, Laura, Bri, and Courtney and who knows...there could be others before Baby Herndon comes along! YAY! 

Is this normal? Strange occurrences: All the walking I've been doing around Boston and New York has been great exercise, though I get a little more winded at times. I think it's normal...something to do with a pregnant woman's lung capacity. 

Best Moment of the Week: My sister meeting me at the airport and seeing my newly popped baby bump, which she got really excited about. It was so fun and cute. This was followed by a a great girls weekend in NYC where I could compare notes with one of my fellow bridesmaids and share fun pregnancy stories with everyone. We all just had so much excitement to share in between Blah's upcoming marriage and the two bridesmaid babies that are on the way as well! 

Side note: Wearing a team bride shirt is a great way to get tons of attention when wandering around the city. We constantly heard whispers of "Team bride", "Look team bride", "Where's the bride?" and "Congratulations!" It was so much fun! 

Photo Alert

Posted a preview of part I for Kristin and Casey's wedding. 
It was a gorgeous wedding and she was such a lovely bride!
 Part II coming soon!

Great Expectations: Baby's got a brand new name

Well nickname that is...
...this nickname has stuck.

Where did it come from? Well, at the first appointment, the doctor commented on how the baby was no larger than a peanut and so his or her nickname was born. My mom began calling Baby Herndon, Peanut, followed by Adam's mom and now even Adam has taken to it. I think it's really cute and I'm sure it will stick around well into childhood like my mom's nickname for me, Pumpkin and Munchkin for my sister.

...and in case you're wondering we don't plan to share our final names. Since we do plan to find out the gender, we would like there to be some element of surprise when the baby is born, hence the names being a surprise though we LOVE suggestions!

Great Expectations: Centering

So you've already heard that I'm taking part in a form of pregnancy care known as "centering". I know I had never heard of this model of care until now and the name to me seemed very zen and somewhat strange to tell you the truth, so let me share some of my findings that encouraged me to take part in this model of care rather than the more traditional. 

At first I thought I wanted to simply go the traditional route, especially with how crazy things had been starting out in the pregnancy experience, but my midwife encouraged me to think about it since I was new to Boston and it would provide a group of women who could share in a similar experience at the same time, which could provide support and community. Then at an early pregnancy class I attended it was discussed again and I was especially intrigued by the fact that research found it to be the most successful model of care.  So I took the plunge and signed up for centering. I can always go back to the traditional model of care if it's not a good fit and if anything goes awry in the pregnancy then I would need to go back to that traditional model. I'll let you know how I like it.


CenteringPregnancy is a multifaceted model of group care that integrates the three major components of care: health assessmenteducation, and support, into a unified program within a group setting. Eight to twelve women with similar gestational ages meet together, learning care skills, participating in a facilitated discussion, and developing a support network with other group members. Each Pregnancy group meets for a total of 10 sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum. The practitioner, within the group space, completes standard physical health assessments.

Through this unique model of care, women are empowered to choose health-promoting behaviors. Health outcomes for pregnancies, specifically increased birth weight and gestational age of mothers that deliver preterm, and the satisfaction expressed by both the women and their providers, support the effectiveness of this model for the delivery of care.

CenteringPregnancy groups provide a dynamic atmosphere for learning and sharing that is impossible to create in a one-to-one encounter. Hearing other women share concerns which mirror their own helps the woman to normalize the whole experience of pregnancy. Groups also are empowering as they provide support to the members and also increase individual motivation to learn and change. Professionals report that groups provide them with renewed satisfaction in delivering quality care.

Has anyone else out there experienced this model of care? How did you like it? I'd be curious to hear from you, so please post your comments.

Great Expectations: The Ultrasound Experience

I have a love/ hate relationship with ultrasounds. 

Why you may wonder?
Well, they can bring wonderful news and at the same time you could find out something isn't going as you would hope. 

We've actually had quite a few ultrasounds because there was some confusion with dating my pregnancy early on. At 4 weeks and a few days the doctor thought I was 7 weeks along according to dating based on the first day of my last period, so he wasn't encouraged by what he saw. I went home and had everyone praying that we'd see a week's worth of progress at that next week's appointment. 

Progress we got! What an answer to prayer when we went back a week later and there it was...THE HEARTBEAT! It was a momentous day since we had not experienced this glorious moment in our previous pregnancies. I wasn't expecting it because my hopes were for a week's progress and that could have meant waiting for this moment until the next week, but I didn't have to wait any longer. There IT was! I cried...such tears of joy!

Adam was not able to be at the appointment since he was away for Chaplaincy School, so I videoed the next ultrasound and heartbeat to send to him. This took place two weeks later because my doctor understood how nervous I was and how comforting it was to see everything still going well. Don't you just love technology and what it allows us to share now-a-days! (sorry the video is sideways...I couldn't figure out how to turn it when I sent it from my phone to email.)

The baby has a wonderfully strong heartbeat of 170.

Then we moved to Boston where I found a new practice and I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of ultrasounds, but I was hoping to get in somewhere in time to have my 12 week ultrasound. I had heard it was the perfect time to see the entire baby in one frame since crowding wouldn't yet be an issue. It's definitely a little different here because my new practice outsources for these ultrasounds unlike the practice back home that did everything in house. 

As mentioned in my first trimester post I was able to get to that 12 week ultrasound, which is actually a screening for Down's Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. I opted for the series sequential which is supposed to be more reliable than the ERA (early risk assessment), but it takes longer to receive the final results. Adam and I headed off to the ultrasound place and as things got started, I found myself a little nervous because once again I realized that this is a moment when you could find out good or not so good news. Thankfully the ultrasound tech continually pointed out each of Baby Herndon's organs, fingers and toes and all the different extremities. She confirmed the pregnancy's dating...due January 30th still. Then she measured what needed to be measured, and all the time I giggled out of giddiness as she told us things looked great. Of course I kept having to control my giggles since I needed to remain as still as possible. Man was that tough. It was just so joyous to see our little baby...all perfectly formed. I am still amazed by what you can see! Adam too was excited and relieved to see all was well. 
I was barely showing and yet there he or she was/is...fully formed, just continuing to grow and develop. It's such an amazing experience! We appreciate all your prayers thus far and future prayers for the continued health of our baby.

...til the next time we get to peek in on Baby Herndon.

Great Expectations: 15 Weeks

How Far Along: 15 Weeks

Fruit Size Comparison:  

Weight/Clothes: I had a doctor's appointment this week where I was of course weighed...up 5 lbs from my last I asked the doc how she felt about my current weight gain and she told me that I was right on track (whew, what a relief). This week Adam also commented on the fact that I was actually showing (YAY) though it's still funny because to someone who hasn't known me before now, which I'm meeting tons of people currently at our new church, may just think it's chub until I clarify that I'm in fact pregnant. I've also met a ton of people at church who are quite fit! I am continually noticing how in shape Bostonians seem to be perhaps because it is such a walking city. Hopefully I'll bounce back easily after the baby is born...I certainly will have plenty of people to walk, bike, run and eat right with!  

I am still enjoying my maternity capris! I need to go out and pick up a couple more staples...mainly a great pair of maternity jeans. I'm fine in the shirt department especially since fitted tops that show off the bump are A-OK with me. 

Cravings: Soup Soup and more soup...I am LOVING soup. I had amazing gazpacho in Martha's Vineyard and tasty French onion soup in Atlanta. I also bought ingredients to make chicken chili this week and my own French onion soup is on deck too. 

Pizza is out due to the heartburn it caused, though I had some delicious deep dish while in Chicago and Tums came to my rescue at was worth it.  

Gender: I met my new OB this week and she did a quick ultrasound because she always like to meet the little person she is working with at least once. She normally does this ultrasound between 8 and 10 weeks or so and I am 15, so she was so excited to see such a "big" baby...big because I'm further along than she normally looks in on. 

Why am I telling you this in the gender section?? Well, she offered to tell me the baby's sex at the appointment, which I was NOT expecting! I declined since a.) Adam wasn't with me and b.) we're planning to have the ultrasound tech at our August ultrasound write it down in an envelope, so that we can actually find out in October with our family and friends at a cabin gender reveal party.

It left me wondering if it's a he or she since she seemed to know so easily! Hummm...guess we'll see. 

VOTES? Feel free to comment.

Movement: Still nothing as far as I can tell. My mom keeps asking me since I guess I could feel something any day now though it can be hard to tell with your first pregnancy. My doc said it was indeed still a little early to notice just yet. 

Symptoms (discomfort, belly issues, nasal issues, sleeping, etc): I've actually been much more comfortable this week. My energy is up other than being tired from travel naturally and I'm feeling pretty good.

I'm still snorting! Haha (snort!) 

I bought gummy prenatal vitamins this week and they ROCK! Why did I not find these sooner?!? They don't make me nauseous because there isn't an iron supplement, which I've been told is what usually causes the tummy aches, and they're actually pretty tasty too! 

Mental State: Feeling really good about my mental state. I've been traveling quite a bit the past couple weeks and I feel like my mind is its normal, sharp self. Thank goodness since I need it to focus and get things done. 

I am also feeling more and more peace of mind as I continue to check things off my to-do list. I am NOT a procrastinator, so having outstanding items on that list from the move is driving me a bit crazy at times. It's nice to be in the home stretch with all of those items. 

Appointment Updates: I met my OB and she was wonderful! I'm excited to have a woman OB this time around since my last OB sometimes had trouble with issues of bedside manner...I feel like a woman might be more sensitive to things...though I hope nothing comes up that requires good bedside manner. 

I have my first centering appointment in a couple weeks. What is centering you might ask...well rather than the more traditional look of 15 minute monthly appointments with my midwife, I'll be meeting my midwife with a group of women who are all due with a couple weeks of me as long as everything is going well. It's like a support group tied into your monthly and bimonthly appointments and it's supposed to be great for first time pregnancies. Then my OB appointments are still sprinkled amongst these centering appointments and you pick back up with the traditional model at 36 weeks. I'll blog more about the experience as I check it out.

Is this normal? Strange occurrences: Quick, sudden sharp pains that come and thinks it's round ligament growing pains. The doc didn't seem concerned by I guess that means it's pretty normal. 

Best Moment of the Week: Being able to know the gender...though I declined this time around. It was still so exciting to know I COULD find out! 

Oh and I got a haircut this week, which made me feel way less fat in the face! Whoohoo!

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