27w5d (BO)bama

Yesterday President Obama won a second term as President of the US (duh) over Mitt Romney.  J and I both work near Democracy Plaza, so we were able to witness some of the excitement first-hand.

Without getting too much into our personal political beliefs, we’re just excited to see more of First Dog, BO OBAMA for the next four years!   Maybe because Bo bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain spoiled First Dog in the Z family….

It just occurred to me that Obama will be the first U.S. President in Baby Z’s life.  Maybe he will be sworn in again on the same day as Baby Z’s arrival – hey, it can happen!

Here’s to new beginnings!

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27w4d Hurricane Sandy

It has been a long week for the Z fam.   As you all know, last week, Hurricane Sandy hit Northeastern US, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York.  The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy hit New York City last Monday evening (Oct 29), flooding streets and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.

Since J and I live right on Wall Street in the Financial District, which is located at the tip of Manhattan surrounded by the East River and the Hudson River, we were one of the first places in Manhattan hit with the storm surge and to lose power and water.

Moreover, we live on the 23rd floor of a highrise building, so we couldn’t easily move in and out of our building to get supplies, charge our batteries, walk Henry, etc.  There was also no way Baby Z and I were going to ever make it up 23 flights of stairs.

Essentially, we were Rapunzels trapped in a tower, minus the hair.

So for three days, the four of us (J, Henry, Baby Z and I) went to bed and rose with the sun.  We carefully laid out potty pads for Henry in the hallway (which he refused to use), rationed out our cereal, and scooped water from the bathtub with a pail to wash our hands.  It was all very colonial, except that we had a (useless) dog instead of a cow.

This was our nightly view of each other.

On the third day, just as we were about to sew and spin our own clothes and braid each other’s hair, J’s company came to our rescue and put all of us up in a hotel in midtown Manhattan.  RESCUED!

After climbing down 23 flights of stairs with a duffle bag and a handicapped dog, we finally felt the sun on our face for the first time in what felt like years.  Outside, we were greeted by unfamiliar scenes of flooding, large trucks pumping out water from building basements, mobile charging vans, and trash bins filled with tap water for people to use.

We spent three blissful nights at the midtown hotel – where we learned to never take hot showers for granted ever again – and finally moved back to our apartment on Sunday, when we were told that our electricity and water have both been restored to our building.  I don’t think anyone was more grateful to be home than this little guy, who crashed for nearly 12 hours straight after we came home.  Poor Henry.

All things considered though, we count ourselves as among the tremendously lucky!  We just found out that our neighbors who live only a couple of blocks away from us will be displaced from their apartment for at least another 2-3 MONTHS due to flooding and oil contamination in their building.  Crazy.  Another one of our friends went into labor during the hurricane!  (Mom and baby are both doing fine, thank goodness.)

Our hearts go out to the thousands of people still without power, without homes, and without loved ones throughout the Northeast region.

26w0d She had dumps like a truck truck truck

Your baby’s the size of a rutabaga!

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother him, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They’re carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. 

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

This week’s baby description of the 27th week of pregnancy (above) rings particularly true for me.  (Not the rutabaga part – before today, I thought rutabaga referred to an exotic tropical island in the Caribbean.  What is a rutabaga?  Is it a vegetable?  A fruit?  An onion?  A paintball?)

The past couple of weeks have definitely brought new ACHES IN MY BACK and CRAMPS IN MY LEGS.

These days, I can’t get out of bed, sit on the couch, walk to the bathroom, take Henry for a stroll – basically any and all activities involving movement – without feeling a constant, dull ache in my lower back and a cramping, vise-like pressure in my lower calves.    It sucks.

I’ve started doing some prenatal yoga and making J rub out the worst of the kinks each night, both of which bring temporary relief, but an hour later I’d start feeling the aches and pains again.  I feel like I’m freaking a hundred and 31-years-old.

Unrelated, or possibly related, I’m also starting to feel a weird pressure in my lady parts, different from what it feels like when  you have to pee…more like the baby is trying to push all my insides out.  I picture Baby Z doing the YMCA in my belly, but rather than saying that it’s fun to stay at the YMCA, he’s screaming, “I HATE IT IN HERE.  GIMMEE MOAR ROOM MOM.”

It’s just awesome.

All this in addition to the general discomfort of being the size of a dump truck, and I wish I can put on an e-collar and join my handicapped dog in his crate with a bucket of Haagen Dazs until I’m ready to face the world again.

TGIF.

(Buddy, hang in there.  This is how Mommy feels too.)

25w5d Baby Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is coming up, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it’s quite possible that Baby Z will be in a costume for 364 days out of the year and I’ll dress him up as  a “normal baby” on Halloween.   Har har.

I’ve been collecting some baby costume ideas.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. Baby Wilson Volleyball

2. Baby Lobster in a Pot.  Yum!

3. Baby Gnome (I’d carry Baby Z around and take Polaroid photos) 

4. Baby Superhero.  Aww.

5. Baby Gandhi.  Haha.

6. Are you ready for this one?  Baby Honey Boo Boo!  Saw this on Ellen and it’s genius.  

 

7. And my personal favorite, and I’m a little sad that it may possibly be only relevant this (election) year…BINDERS FULL OF BABIES.   Someone please dress your kid up and send pics to me, so that I may live vicariously through your child.

 

 

 

25w4d Crib and Glider arrived!

Our crib and glider arrived last week, and my wonderful husband indulged my crazy nesting compulsions (aka couldn’t stand my nagging any longer) and assembled the crib this weekend, even though we’re still three months out from meeting Baby Z.

We wanted a simple, modern-looking crib with clean lines that didn’t cost a fortune.  After a ton of research, we finally settled on the Babyletto Madison 3-in-1 Convertible Crib sold at Target for $249 (although the Ikea Hensvik came in a close second – it has amazing reviews and is ridiculously affordable at only $100).  Why the Babyletto crib?  Because Mommy is vain and she likes how pretty it looks.  Babyletto just released this new crib this year, so we’re a little nervous about how it’ll hold up over time, but it looks virtually identical to its Babyletto Moto crib (and made of the same materials), which has received good reviews all around (but costs more at $389).   So far, we’ve been pretty pleased with our choice!  (Tip: If you are interested in getting the Babyletto Madison and see it in stock on Target.com, I recommend getting it immediately because it’s frequently sold out within a WEEK of restock online.  We had to wait two restocking cycles before we finally were able to purchase it.)

We also got a great deal on our Little Castle Blake Glider, which we purchased from Buy Buy Baby.  It was originally over $370, discounted to $270 and we were able to use an additional 20 percent coupon on top of it so all in all, our glider cost us less than $300 with tax – infinitely cheaper than the Dutalier Glider we were originally considering.  Plus I love how our glider looks like a nice upholstered chair rather than looking too much like a nursery chair.  It also fits nicely into the corner of Baby Z’s little room.

Next on my nursery list – wall art and photos!  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

25w0d Big Baby Henry

Your baby’s the size of a head of lettuce!

The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (a head of lettuce) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

The reason why I’ve been behind on posts is because last week, our dog Henry (aka our first born, aka Big Baby Henry) dislocated his right hind leg and needed to have an emergency FHO surgery.  FHO is a surgical procedure that removes the head section of the femur bone and the joint is allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone, which is supposed to relieve future bone rubbing and continued pain.

It has been an exhausting and scary week for all of us.  We were first notified of his hip dislocation by his groomer – apparently Henry’s leg slid out from underneath him during grooming and he had been howling in pain.  J and I immediately went to pick him up and tried to keep him immobilized at home, hoping that it was a temporary sprain that would go away on its own.

This was the look on Henry’s face when we picked him up.  He was so sad!

But it was clear to us by the following morning that he was still in a lot of pain, and even the smallest movements sent him into a whining frenzy.  We frantically hailed a cab (not an easy feat during morning rush hour) and hurried him to our vet, where our vet had to sedate him in order to take x-rays and examine his hip.

24 hours later, an orthopedic surgeon performed the FHO surgery.  Our vet said that Henry’s hip was unfortunately already prone to dislocations, and this would have happened eventually – it was good that we caught his condition fairly early because he is still young, and he should make a full recovery from the surgery in several weeks (possibly several months)although there is a chance that he may have a permanent limp in his gait.

I won’t lie,  I probably took the news of the surgery – and the surgery itself – a lot harder than our dog did.  When we were able to finally pick him up two days after we first dropped him off at our vet’s office, I burst into tears as soon as I saw him hobble towards me.  We rushed toward each other like the scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Jenny ran through the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool facing the Washington Monument.

Maybe I was being a tad over dramatic…but I literally could not stop crying.  Blame it on the damn pregnancy hormones.  I probably scared the shit out of our vet (who offered me a box of tissues and then rushed the hell out of there).  I’m surprised that J didn’t ask the vet to spay me.

Whatever – I’m not ashamed to admit that I love my dog like he’s my child.  (Sorry Baby Z, your big brother Henry will always be Mommy’s first born!)  Seeing animals in pain is the worst because they don’t understand what’s happening to them.  Seeing my own dog in pain?  Forgeddit.  The vet may as well have taken my femur instead.

We couldn’t find a cab on the way home, so my poor husband had to carry our 30 lb dog nearly 20 blocks back to our apartment.  I don’t know who looked more exhausted afterwards – Henry or J.  At least Henry had the benefit of being high on morphine pills and antibiotics.

This was the look on his face the entire way home.  Now I know what a doped up puppy looks like.

I worked from home for the next couple of days to make sure that Henry didn’t tear his stitches and didn’t need, like, I dunno, me to donate my femur to him or something.  Thankfully, he’s been recuperating fairly well – he’s still limping quite a bit but he’s starting to put some weight on his injured leg.  His appetite was nonexistent at first, but after mixing in some of his favorites (boiled chicken, cheese, wet food), he’s been doing much better and is now eating more regularly.  He’s still a bit sluggish and is more subdued than usual, but our vet said that it’s to be expected since he’s still taking pain killers and antibiotics twice daily.  J and I are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.  He still loves snuggling with us in bed, following us from room-to-room, and plopping down onto our laps as soon as we sit down.  The surgery may have taken away part of his femur, but definitely not his sweet, loving, and slightly stalkerish nature.

Feel better soon Henners!  Daddy and I can’t wait until you have your joie de vivre back.  We love you!

24w2d Infant CPR

J and I took a private at-home infant CPR class  with our friends (2 other couples who are also pregnant with their first child – we’re all having boys!) on Sunday afternoon.  The class lasted approximately 1.5 hours and was more helpful than I anticipated!  I’m curious to know what a larger group class experience is like now, because I really enjoyed the smaller, hands-on nature of our class.  Our instructor ditched the instructional video (which reminded me of the safety instruction videos on flights) and  just talked us through each of the various CPR scenarios.  Interestingly enough, the course covered both adult/child CPR and infant CPR, so it was definitely more comprehensive than I had anticipated.

I think the most useful tip I learned was the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) kit, which is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the CPR patient and is able to treat them through defibrillation to help the heart reestablish an effective rhythm.  According to our instructor, manual CPR alone is less than 10 percent effective in saving the patient – with an AED, the success rate is over 90 percent!  All public spaces hosting more than 100 people (e.g. restaurants, fast food chains, apartment complexes, shopping centers, etc) are required to keep an AED kit on site (which reminds me, I should check with our doorman to see if our building has one).

Another useful tip I learned was that the best way to check for infant consciousness is by ticking the bottom of his foot.  Aww.

All in all, I would highly recommend a CPR course to everyone – whether you’re expecting a child or not.  You never know when you may have to use it to save a loved one’s life!

24w0d Cauliflower baby

Your baby’s the size of a cauliflower!

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but he’s beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. He’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.  He’s also enjoying his new sense of equilibrium — he now knows which way is up and which is down.

(Source: Baby Center and The Bump)

I’m cheating and backposting by a few days, but I didn’t have time on Friday to post up here because things were crazy busy at work.  October is shaping up to be a pretty rough month for me both professionally and physically 😦  I’m starting to go the bathroom frequently in the middle of the night again – and here I thought those days were behind me!  My toes have also officially disappeared from sight and the waddle is now a permanent feature of my walk, rather than just when I’m trying to stretch out new jeans.  My fingers and feet are also swollen – I used to wear a size 7-7.5 in shoes, and now even my 7.5 shoes are fitting a tad too snugly (more excuses to buy these new winter boots I’ve been eyeing at Bloomingdales? ;p)

All really, really fun stuff.

On a happier note, I really like picturing Baby Z as a cauliflower 🙂  For some reason, a cauliflower baby sounds adorably cute.   Anyone else with me on this?