Tall Mom tiny baby: January 2013

Day 31: Fun pink pants and baby bump

Thursday, January 31, 2013

 

Day 30: Fun with weenies

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday: StyleWeek

This week, my capital city is hosting a fabulous event called StyleWeek Northeast, which highlights regional designers - complete with an accessory showcase (for shopping) and runway shows.

I have attended the past two seasons of StyleWeek and have fallen in love with many of the designers, as well as the entire concept of highlighting the artists and and their talent. I have the pleasure of owning a few pieces from StyleWeek designers, and love wearing them year round.

This is the first time that I am rocking a visible baby bump at StyleWeek, and have taken the plunge to fully embrace my biggest curve: my belly. This tiny baby is the best accessory I could have asked for, and I am going to show him off with pride!

My go-tos this week are belly flaunting dresses, like this Liz Lange pictured above, maternity tights, and some high heels. This event allows me to sit 90% of the time, so I don't mind being a few inches taller (while my feet still fit into my cute shoes that is!)
 
Maternity clothing supplies are limited, and are often a bit on the expensive side. Granted, I want to look my finest, but I have a tiny baby on the way and can't see spending a lot of money on myself at this point. Additionally, I have to think about possible future pregnancies, and if these items will be useful in different seasons. I find most of my dresses actually at Target, and if you check them out right now, they are on MAJOR sale. The pink dress that I wore above only cost me $8. That was less than the valet to park my car!
 
Target also has a great selection of sweaters and tops, but for my undergarments I go to Macy's. We have a rather small selection of maternity clothing at my local Macy's, but I can always count on them for a new pair of tights. I have also found a few cute tops, and a wild pair of hot pink maternity pants (that I may wear later this week!)
 
Old Navy continues to be my go-to for jeans, thanks to the option of different lengths. This Tall Mom can not wear high waters forever, so Old Navy has been a life saver. I have not visited their maternity section in person, and usually order their products online. The store has sales almost every other week, and free shipping is often thrown in as well, which makes it incredibly easy.
 
My other must haves for these nights out are clear skin and well hydrated hair. Being pregnant takes a toll on our appearance, and with winter weather wreaking havoc over New England these past weeks - it's powers of beauty doom have tripled. I've made sure to combat these winter blues and acne by drinking plenty of water, and hydrating my skin with ample moisturizer. When your skin and hair are in good shape, you can feel like you're as glamorous as the Duchess of Cambridge.
Where do/did you find cute maternity clothes?

 

Day 29: Rocking my baby bump at StyleWeek Northeast

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks : Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island

I'm having a baby this spring, but I have no idea where I'll be giving birth. My husband and I decided we would start our search - 4 hospitals in 4 weeks. Find out what we like, what we don't like, and *hopefully* choose a venue for this wonderful event.

First up - The Birthing Center at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island 
I've heard from many people that Memorial is the hidden gem for birthing in our state. Granted, most of these people that enjoy Memorial are more of the earthy-granola-crunchy type (which my husband certainly is not) but I really liked what they had to say. You are first welcomed into the Birthing Center by this lovely mural.
Yet, when I took another look at this mural, one kid caught my eye. Why is that baby running away?
Nonetheless, we continued on our tour. Memorial is much smaller than some of the other hospitals in the area, and everything birth related takes place on the same floor. You labor, deliver, and recover sometimes in the same room, and if not - then surely on the same floor.  C-sections even take place on this floor.

We toured the different rooms, and spent the most time in the larger labor room.   There's a desk and chairs for your team to sit at.
And hello boombox! I might make a birthing mix tape. Salt-N-Pepa's Push It being the first song of course.
But, I digress.  Also included in this rocking room is a rocking chair, plus a plethora of birthing balls.  I like sitting on exercise balls, even when I'm not pregnant - so having these bouncy balls would be like a little piece of home in a foreign space. The room's lighting was more mellow, and done by table lamps rather than the harsh bright overhead lights. Those bright lights are available, if needed or wanted, but I'd rather not be blinded - so these table lamps looks just fine to me!  I had read online that this hospital offered "peanut birthing balls," so I asked what they were. 
They are just like exercise balls, but squished and flattened a bit into the shape of a ginormous peanut.  Balls like these give you some different options during labor, and the nurse giving us a tour said women often lie with their ribs on the indent. This helps relieve some pressure. 
Next we were lead to the tub. Memorial doesn't offer an option of a water birth (from what I hear, Newport is the only hospital in the state that does...and to be honest..water births freak my husband out!) , but having a tub to swim around in during labor sure would be nice. I like the water. I like being comfortable. 
And last, there was the bed, which was your typical hospital bed - nothing too fancy, and could only fit one person. However, the nurse did say that beds are rolled in for partners to sleep on. I thought that was sweet. Mind you, I don't know anyone who would LIKE to sleep in a hospital bed, but from what I hear - very little sleeping goes on during these hours of one's life. 
After you deliver, you and your itty bitty family are brought just down the hall to the recovory rooms.  They are slightly on the small side, with some offering private showers. The staff at Memorial will also wheel in a bed for your partner to sleep in overnight (wihoo), rather than have them be uncomfortable in a recliner. 

Here's what stood out during the tour at the Birthing Center at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. 
  • The friendliness people
    • The moment you walk into the hospital we were greeted by kind and warm receptionists. 
    • The nurses in the Birthing Center all looked in our eyes when we spoke, and seemed to truly enjoy what they were doing.  
    • The lead nurse, Shirley, personally gave us a private tour of the facility. She was the one who responded to my email inquiring for a tour. 
  • They don't mess around with laboring pregnant women
    • Let's be honest. When I'm in the middle of my contractions, and I know a baby is on the way, the last thing I want to do is wait in triage for hours on end until someone deems me ready to be in a labor room. I will probably turn into Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Right then and there. My precious.
    • Since Memorial is so small, when a pregnant woman walks in through the main doors, they are sent up right away to the Birthing Center. 
  • Memorial spearheaded the Gentle Cesarean in the state of RI
  • That tub looked mighty fine
  • All of the nurses in the Birthing Center staff are doula trained. 
  • The doctors at Memorial start having your prenatal visits at the hospital itself around 30 weeks.
    • That way, you are familiar with the grounds
    • You also get to know the nursing staff, even just by face - which could make the entire delivering experience more personal
What I felt was lacking:
  • The facility looks a lot older than it's nearby competitor - it's not as flashy!
  • For some reason, it doesn't have the best reputation with the general public. I don't necessarily know why. Other's do not like the fact that it is in Pawtucket. Once again, I don't know why. My mom was from Pawtucket and she's pretty cool- so that part doesn't bother me at all.  
  • If a baby was born prematurely, it would not come to Memorial.
  • Babies who need serious attention would not stay at Memorial after birth either. Most newborns in the state who need extreme critical care would be sent to Women and Infants.
    • Memorial is 10 mins away from Women and Infants 
Overall, the experience was informative, and very easy to set up. Our tour was set on our schedule, was personalized, and was even followed up with an email from the lead nurse. 

Next up on our 4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks -- Women and Infants! Blake and I are pumped!

See - I love the water!  This pic was of Blake and I swimming in a cave last year

Day 28: Blake loves lions

Monday, January 28, 2013

 

Day 27: Yelp elites at the eddy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Many thanks to Brad Smith for an awesome photo!

 

Day 26: Green smoothie baby steps

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reminding My Pregnant Self That I Am Not Ryan Lochte

Practicing healthy eating and exercising throughout pregnancy is incredibly important. Top recommended physical activities are walking, yoga, and swimming. I am still attending my awesome prenatal yoga classes (and my tiny baby continues to kick and say hello during the end of each class!)

Walking for the first several months was amazing. I live near a gorgeous walking path, so I would lace up my kicks and get in my exercise that way at least a few times a week. The tempeture, however, in New England has decided to plummet to the single digits with windchill, and anything more than a couple blocks is excruciatingly cold. So I decided to sign up at my local YMCA, and take advantage of their heated facility.

I've used their treadmills, gone to a few of their classes, but what I was most looking forward to was swimming in their pool. I used to be an avid swimmer, granted it was in high school, but man was I good! I found my speedo one piece, which is surprising still IN one piece, seeing as how I've had it since 1996. Sure, the butt is so worn out that its pretty much invisible, but I'm not trying to be glamorous. I'm trying to be fit!

Membership in tow, I headed off to the YMCA the other day with my bag in hand, a new combination lock, goggles, and swim cap packed away. The locker room smelled familiar: cholrine from the pool mixednwith various beauty products from women who had just prepared themselves for the rest of the day. I slipped on my old suit in the changing room, surprised that it fit over my large belly, and waddled (yup, waddled like a penguin) off to the pool to do the laps I remembered with such longing.

Lap swimming is generally broken up into different types of lane. There are lanes for divied between various speeds which usually include a leisure lane. I, being an avid swimmer in my youth, always swam in the fast lane. So obviously, that's where I went. I mean waddled. (Picture Danny DeVito with long hair and a one piece. Haha, that's just terrible. But, true. Unfortunately. Ugh.)

I ever so ladylike (or DeVito-like) slid and plopped into the pool, adjusted my goggles, and took off. I impressed myself with the precision of my forward crawl, cutting through the water with ease. My legs kicked in perfect unison, as I blasted across the pool length.

Ryan Lotche better watch out!

I was awesome.

I was a shark.

I was...

I was...

...out of breath. Out of steam. Wooo. And my heart was racing faster than Lightning McQueen! Instead of giving Lochte a run for his money, I was barely even lucky to compete with a beached whale. There I was, flopping, turning and gasping for precious air desperately. It must have been an ugly site. I'm surprised George Costanza didn't come running over screaming, "back away people, I'm a marine biologist. Back away!" Yeah, it was so bad it required a Seinfeld reference.

I don't know how, but I seemed to have forgotten that I was pregnant, and my heart is already working overtime to create my Itty Bitty. Swimming in the fast lane, as you could imagine, probably wasn't a good idea.

I looked over at the slow lane, which was already full of four seniors. They seemed to have a steady pace, and I was afraid I would throw them off. I calmed by breath a bit, walked out of the pool, and grabbed a kickboard.

No one else was using a swimming accessory, but between my see through booty and my lack of endurance, I didn't care if I looked different. I didn't care what people thought. I needed some exercise, and I wasn't leaving the pool without some!

My new lane was labeled "Leisure/Therapy," and it was all mine. I kicked around at a comfortable pace, and even did some laps with the breast stroke kickboard-free. I even spent twenty mins doing some modified walk swim laps that I made up. My heart felt like it was getting some good exercise, and so were my legs and arms. Best of all, I wasn't out of breath!

I may not be as fast as I used to be, but I am really proud. I am pregnant, in my third trimester, and am making sure I stay active. That's something Ryan Lotche will never be able to do.

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew, exercise-wise?

 

Day 25: Making dried apple slices

Friday, January 25, 2013

 

Day 24: Still smells like Christmas Eve, a month later

Thursday, January 24, 2013

 

Tiny Baby Furniture Is Quite A Big Deal

"Infants are tiny, right?"  That was the question I asked my husband.

Then why do they need so much stuff? And why the heck is it all so big? Their cribs are massive. I think I could fit comfortably inside of one.  Wait, no, I don't think, I know I could get at least a solid eight hours in the crib you see below.  The dressers?  Don't get me started.  The dressers hold four times as much clothes as the dressers I had when I went to college.  I actually think the crib is bigger than the stupid bunk bed in which I slept at Merrow Hall in URI.

I thought babies were kept in little cribs, like they are in the movies.  Perfect for our city apartment. Nope.  Their stuff is huge.  Which, I guess is a good thing because the truth is, my Itty Bitty won't be tiny forever. He's going to get stronger, bigger, and so will his bedroom needs.
He's going to become Spider-Man one day, and will learn how to crawl out of his crib. If he's anything like his tall mom or even taller dad, then he'll need a big kid bed when he's six months....well, maybe not six months but you know what I mean.  The kid's probably going to be huge just like his furniture.

Shopping for nursery furniture was hard. I walked around in a daze, looking at different colors, heights, and headboards.  White, black, espresso, brown, maple, oak, ash, metal, adult bed rails, toddler rails, bumpers, organic mattresses, mobiles, ugh, it was stressful.  I felt like Julia Roberts when she went shopping for the first time in Pretty Woman.

My head was spinning, and I knew I needed a break. I just needed somewhere to rest my feet and my head.
That's when I found the glider room.

Ah, the heaven that is the Glider Room.  I thought it was a mirage at first, an oasis full of comfortable, soft, plush chairs. As I sat down in the first one, I realized that, no, Dorothy, I wasn't dreaming. These chairs were real, and I was going to get one.  My oasis was real.  I half expected some palm trees to sprout and a pool boy to come over to serve me up a virgin Pina Coloda.

It was really cool.  I felt like Goldilocks, trying out all of the different seats around the room. Some were too hard, others too soft, and most weren't tall enough for me to rest my head back. I kept thinking to myself "is this what I would like to sit in at 3am when my kid is crying hysterically?"
I'm not going to lie, when I found my favorite glider, I sat there for quite some time and closed my eyes. I was still overwhelmed.  I realized though that I  wasn't overwhelmed because of all of the different crib choices. It was because this whole situation was finally real. A tiny baby is on its way into my world, and I need to prepare for it. A third person will be living in our city apartment, and I need to make sure he is safe, comfortable, and taken care of.  I also need to make sure that we, as parents, are taken care of. Steps like furniture shopping make the entire idea more concrete.

Then, for whatever reason, I knew I could do this!  I could nail it.  This kid is going to be taken care of!  It was like a Jedi mind trick.

I got up from my mini-nap/vacation/enlightenment/Obi-Wan moment and walked back out to the main furniture room. I was confident, and decided to head home.  I was going to bring my hubby back with me that weekend. Smiling, I walked by the sales woman.

"Don't worry honey," she said, reassuring me, "it usually takes parents two or three times to decide what they want."  Then she followed up with, "when are you due?" while taking a peek at my belly. Keep in mind that this is my first child, and I am on the taller side. That being said, people often think I am not as far along as I truly am.

"I'm due in late April," I replied, beaming with a smile.

"Oh no! You were supposed to have ordered your furniture months ago!" Was her response.

So, remember when I said I reached a great moment of calmness and enlightenment? In other words, I was Yoda? Yeah, well that went out the window.   I went all Darth Vader and I marched to my car, with a big puss on my face. Immediately called my husband.

"Infants are tiny, right?" I asked.  Why did I ask this of my husband?  Well he needs to realize that our Itty Bitty Baby might be spending a few nights in an itty bitty drawer.  Merrow Hall style!






How soon did you purchase your baby's furniture?

I Really Hate When The Patriots Lose

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I like football, I honestly do.
It comes in handy since I live in New England. Patriots games, since the beginning of the Belichick/Brady era, are like holidays in this area. If you're from my special region in our great country you know exactly what I mean. Now, one can debate about the Red Sox or the Pats being more popular in New England; but, either way, you can rest assured that every Sunday, from September to January, supermarkets are abandoned, there are few cars on the roads, and people are at home with their loved ones tending to their football traditions.
Having performed in my high school and college marching bands, I have a great understanding of the sport. I got a chance to watch every football game on either friday and/or saturday for eight years.  So, now I apply my knowledge to Sunday. I know who most of the players are, understand their positions, what most penalties are, and especially love getting together with friends to watch the games. 

My hubby loves football.  And when I say "loves," I mean that it borders on almost inappropriate. I only wish he knew half as much about birthing a baby than what he does about football.  Seriously, he can name who was the AFC MVP in 1998 without missing a beat, or what college has produced the most first round draft picks in all of the NCAA.  (Well, to be honest, if you want to talk to me about Wes Welker's cute butt, --mmmm those silver pants-- then I'm all ears).  But, as much of nerd as he is about his beloved NFL, and despite the fact that I sometimes refer to myself as a "football widow," I actually think it's kinda cute. I'm not sure if I have ever loved something as much as he does football for that many years. So, I do my best to enjoy the game as much as he does.  

I make buffalo chicken dip, throw on a sweatshirt, or my handy dandy Welker jersey, crack open my favorite bottle of Sam Winter (pre Itty Bitty days, but bet your bottom dollar that it's coming back when the kid's out) and bundle up to watch our boys take the field. I cheer on my favorites, worry about the athletes when they get injured, and reprimand the referees from the comfort of my own home.  

But I do not love football.  Not anymore.

Reason being, I can't stand it when they lose.  Yes, it's disappointing to see Brady and co. get spanked by the Ravens like they just did in the AFC championship (getting completely shutout in the second half? Really?).  But, that's not really my huge problem or why I hate when they lose.

When the Patriots come up short, my adorable husband's smile that you see pictured on the left, turns into a wretched scowl. He stops interacting with our friends, ceases any eating of my carefully crafted buffalo chicken dip, and marches off to our bedroom to pout.  Honestly, he turns into such a little baby about the whole deal.

I remember when the Pats lost the Superbowl in 2011 - we were in our basement, and right before the game ended, Blake swiftly turned off the TV without saying a word. There was no, "hunny, this just ain't working for me anymore," or, "my darling wife, would you mind if we not watch the rest of the game?" in his dulcet Boston accented tones.  Nope, not even a grunt.  He just snatched the clicker and turned it off.  I was knitting and not saying much because I just knew that it was going to get ugly in casa de Larsen.  We literally sat in complete silence for over twenty minutes with him staring blankly at a black screen.  I could just hear Blake getting angrier.  So I let it go, and the only thing he begrudgingly said to me was, "I love you so f'n much" right before we went to bed.  See?  A complete baby sometimes.

I love my husband, I really do.  He's cute.  After a football loss, however, he turns into an absolute grouch and he's not so cute.  It generally takes two or three days for him to snap out of it and to come back to normal.  He does this really funny thing where he has to purge all sports for the next few days.  No sports radio.  No ESPN (thank god), and no talking with friends about the game.  He just goes into his own world.  The poor thing just takes it so personally.

The good news is that we can watch the Superbowl in peace this year.  Yes, it sucks the Patriots aren't in it, but it's all ok in my book.  Blake is in the middle of his self imposed sports purge and the air is becoming a little lighter in our place.  Best of all, my hubby will not become a grouch, nor will we have to stay home (which is one of his many superstitions when the Patriots play.)  We'll actually get a chance to socialize with our awesome friends finally!  Yay!  So, in the end, all will be well with my life now that the Patriots are out of the playoffs - well, except for a couple things - I won't be able to watch Wes' cute butt anymore, and the Red Sox season starts in March.  And, as bad as Blake is with the Pats, the Sox are a whole new bag of issues with which I have to deal.

Ugh.

I love him so very much.

Day 23: URI Pride, even for tiny baby

 

Day 22: Cold weather and heated seats

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 

Planning Our Nursery - Overwhelmed By Baby Room Themes

Monday, January 21, 2013

I have finally begun to plan our Itty Bitty's nursery, and I'm not going to lie - this process is completely overwhelming! I've searched on Pinterest, googled images, and have scoured countless stores online. For baby boys, it seems like the options are a neutral palate, western, race cars, sports, ABC's, or some type of cuddly animal theme (that in reality wouldn't be cuddly at all!)



Lets be real.

Frogs are slimy smelly slippery things.  (By the way, do they really give you warts?  I still don't know the truth about that.)

Lions? Look kid, this ain't Simba.  And even if it were, I think Simba would still bite off your face.


The elephant pen always smells like poo at the zoo. I've accepted the fact that my son is going to smell like poo most of the time but adding elephant poo to baby poo is not the warm and cuddly experience for which I am aiming.

Then there's the monkey theme.  Oh sure, the monkey theme  brings about happy thoughts of Curious George and Rafiki from The Lion King.  I know, cute, right?  Wrong. Monkeys are anything but cute.   Rafiki was full of crap.  Trust me, I know.  I went to Bali and dealt with monkeys on a daily basis. Just like elephants, monkeys smell bad too. They eat their poop (probably why they smell bad), steal from you, and are crude.  Those little punks are ruthless.  Seriously, look them up on YouTube.  You'll see.

Suffice it to say, animals just won't jive as nursery decor for our Itty Bitty.

I don't like race cars, have no connection to the wild west or cowboys, and can not fathom (despite Blake's best efforts) having an entirely Red Sox or Patriots themed nursery.

But, a-ha! I've realized we can be a bit selfish with our nursery plans.

Lets be honest, the nursery decor is actually for the parents.  We are the ones who will be looking at the room, each and every day. Our baby will not care if his nursery is large, small, red, blue, or themed with the hottest trends.  And by the time he does care, it'll probably all be trashed by that point anyway.  Is he going to miss that ginormous stuffed animal that was tailored exactly to match the specific accent color on the window molding, which was the perfect tonal opposite of the blanket laying on top of the glider we picked so carefully and agonized over for hours?  You know, that same stuffed animal that served as the lynchpin of the entire color scheme of the room and will inevitably be the sad victim of puke stains, pee puddles, and poop explosions?    Nope, because he'll never even knew it existed.  It'll be trashed.  So when he's a baby, he won't care if we dress him the way we want, or what color his stupid bedding is.  He will just be delighted each time my hubby or I enter the room to give him love, food, or, when we have to change him, because as I mentioned earlier, he'll smell like poo.

Sure, going off the beaten path is going to bring about it's own challenges.  I can't purchase a simple themed bedding set and accessories.  Friends and family may be confused by our decoration and color choices, but Blake and I are confident that we will be happy.  Because it's really all about us and  I don't care what Simba has to say about it.

So what do I like?


Teals.

Teals.

Teals.

I adore teal.

I wear it almost every other day.

I have a teal rain slicker, and two pairs of teal chucks (I even wore a pair at my wedding.)

I have formal teal dresses, and informal teal sweaters and scarfs. Sometimes I double up and layer multiple pieces of teal.

My ipad cover is light teal, and my non-maternity winter coat is deep dark blue teal.

If I am going to spend hours inside our tiny baby's nursery, I want to love the environment!  I want the color to make me happy, even when he is up all night, crying, annoying me, or just sniffling with a cold.

Who knows, maybe he will grow up and love the colorful combination of blue and green! And if he doesn't, then oh well. I'll be painting his "big boy room" before I know it. Then he can have a say!

DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS