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I just wanted to jot down some cute little notes about our life with Paulie…

Paulie wore his dinosaur onesie the other day, that says “Snugglesaurus” on it, and Sweetie made up a Snugglesaurus song to sing to him.  They are so cute together 🙂

Yesterday Paulie and I went on a marathon 5 1/2 hour playdate!!  It was wonderful, I got together with two women I know from my old job.  Between the two of them they have 4 daughters and one son, and the girls just looooved Paulie.  And Paulie just looooved the attention!  He was absolutely wiped when we got home.  He didn’t get a proper nap while we were out on our playdate– he dozed off a few times but never stayed asleep for long.  Too much excitement!  🙂

This morning I attached Paulie’s play mirror to the toy bar of his bouncy seat.  I’d never seen him so excited and interested!  He “talked” to the baby in the mirror!  I loved it!

Right now Paulie is snuggled up asleep in my lap, dozing while I type 🙂  Pure bliss.

Here he is in his boucy seat, wearing his organic Under the Nile outfit:

Does anyone have any ideas for toys that will entertain a baby, while giving Mommy a chance to get things done?  He likes the toys on his toy bar, but he’s begun to get bored with them– surely there are other things that would entertain him?

I’m back!

Thank you, MommyintheMountains, for posting on my site– it encouraged me to get started again!

Paulie was born about two months ago.  He was actually born on his due date, which only about 5% of babies do!  He’s the best thing ever.  A lot of work, but still the best thing ever 🙂  This is him in one of his favorite places, his bouncy seat!

The end of pregnancy was difficult– I was SO tired and I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy (although it got a little better each trimester).  I gained over 70 lbs while I was pregnant– gulp!– because I drank so much soda, just to keep from getting sick.  I’m tall, but still, that’s a lot of weight.  My blood pressure got too high, and so Paulie had to get a fetal nonstress test twice a week at the end of the pregnancy.  I am sooooo glad not to be pregnant anymore– and also SO grateful for my beautiful little boy.

I had a very quick delivery and an easy recovery, physically.  Paulie had to stay in the hospital until he was 10 days old, because he got an infection– that was so scary and awful.  But he is 100% healthy now– actually quite strong and active, and a really good eater!  He regained his birth weight at 3 days old, and I think that he will double his birth weight by the time he’s 3 months old.  What an overachiever 🙂

Paulie is kind of funny-looking, and I mean that with all of the love in my heart.  He’s got these great big fingers on his hands that almost look like webs, and one eye kind of droops a little bit.  You can especially see it when he smiles.  I’m kind of worried about that, because it seems like somewhat of a recent thing, but he’s been totally fine at all of his well child checks, so I assume he’s okay.  A friend of mine’s son had a squinty eye as a baby, and he outgrew it. 

Paulie is an exceptionally beautiful baby (not that I’m at all biased!  😉  ).  People always think that he’s a girl– he’s got this incredibly beautiful skin, and my brother’s long eyelashes.  He has Sweetie’s father’s hair, curly and dark (at least, so far that’s what he’s got on the back of his head), and overall he looks a great deal like Sweetie.  When he was younger, I compared him to a picture of Sweetie as a baby, and the resemblance was incredible.  Sweetie says that Paulie has my chin, though, and a dear friend swears that he has my feet 🙂  I’ll take him anyway he comes 🙂

I’ve decided to try out Elimination Communication with Paulie once he’s born.  I just finished reading the book Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygeine by Ingrid Bauer.  I have a friend who successfully used EC with her son, and so I’m looking forward to having her for support.

When I first heard of Elimination Communication, I thought it was absolutely crazy.  I mean, it sounded as if they were trying to potty train babies!  Seriously!?  But it turns out that it’s not so much about potty training as it is about potty communication.  I still plan to have Paulie in a diaper (to catch the times that I miss), but I plan to use EC at least part-time.  I’ll start by pottying him when he first wakes up in the morning, and after naps.  I figure, if I can learn to anticipate when he’s going to use the bathroom, and what nonverbal signals he gives when he’s about to use the bathroom, then I may as well take off his diaper and hold him over the toilet.  It seems that this is the way that many people in traditional societies take care of their babies.  It makes sense that there must be a way to keep babies clean, even for people who don’t have access to the facilities to wash diapers.  And obviously disposable diapers are a fairly modern invention.

Here are some websites on Elimination Communication/Natural Infant Hygeine, in case anyone’s interested:

www.naturalinfant.com  Ingrid Bauer’s website

www.diaperfreebaby.org  DiaperFreeBaby Support Network

6 weeks, 4 days until Paulie’s due!

As of today, I officially have 11 more weeks until Paulie is due!  Ahhh!  I can’t wait!  I often feel so excited that I’m like a kid before Christmas.  I want to curl my hands up into fists and jump up and down like a three year-old and say, “I want it to be May!  I want it to be May!”  Thankfully February flew by, and March is moving at a pretty good pace, so he’ll be here before I know it!

His car seat came in the mail not too long ago.  I’m not installing it right away because I’m afraid that someone might steal it– I’ll get it installed about a month before he’s due.  Now when I get into the car, I look into the back seat and imagine having Paulie’s car seat there, filled with my little baby boy!

Sweetie and I have a favorite saying that we like to tell Paulie.  We say, “Little boy, Great Big Joy!”  I think I’ll put that on his birth announcements 🙂

I found some inexpensive photo birth announcements at Sam’s Club.  I usually use Shutterfly for photos, but with shipping they can get expensive.  I can create and order Sam’s Club birth announcements online and then go and pick them up right in the store.  They have a cute birth announcement that has one large photo paired with little monkeys!  And they’re only $10 for 30 of them!   I can’t wait to have a precious baby boy to celebrate 🙂  He already brings so much joy into my life 🙂

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s March already.  Paulie will be here in no time!  (he’s due at the end of May).  This month will be busy with baby-preparation classes.  I’ve got infant/child CPR this Saturday, Prepared Childbirth two Saturdays after that, and then Breastfeeding Basics the last Saturday of the month.  I’m really looking forward to them.

Paulie’s Grandma and Grandpa came to town this past Sunday to help get his room ready!  His Grandpa put his crib together and his Grandma (Sweetie’s mom) took me out shopping for nursery stuff.  I really appreciate how wonderful Sweetie’s mom is to me.  My own Mom isn’t in my life, and so it’s been so nice to share baby-preparation stuff with my mother-in-law.  Other people may make jokes about mothers-in-law, but really, mine is wonderful (although I wish she wouldn’t try to clean my house when she comes to visit– it makes me nervous when she moves everything around.  I worry that I won’t be able to find something.)

So after Grandpa put the crib together (with no small amount of frustration), Grandma decided that we needed a bumper for the crib, and so she took me shopping.  She and I had fun getting baby stuff 🙂  In addition to a Breathable Baby bumper (the only bumper that I would allow in the crib, for safetly reasons), she decided that Paulie needed a mobile.  And a diaper stacker.  And matching wall hangings 🙂  It was so generous of her.  I would never buy things like a mobile or wall hangings for myself, since they’re not neccessary, but she was having fun being the grandma and so I had fun, too.  We did the whole room in pastel Winnie the Pooh.  The result was amazing.  Paulie’s room went from looking like a guest room with a crib in it to really looking like a baby’s room!  When Grandma and I got back from shopping she insisted on putting everything together (which I really appreciated).  So she set up the mobile, and found a place for the Pooh lamp, and she and Grandpa hung the wall  hangings, and I stuffed the diaper stacker with Fuzzi Bunz!  And the effect– wow!  It really looks like a baby’s room now!  Oh my goodness!  It’s so exciting!  I knew that having the crib set up would make Paulie’s impending arrival feel even more real, and I was right.  I look at the crib, alll set up with its sheet and bumper and everything, and I can tell that it’s just aching to have a sweet little boy in it!

I’m hoping to make the final Paulie preparations at the very beginning of May, since he’s due at the end of May.  I’ll get the car seat taken care of in April, and maybe order the rest of the diapers then, too (yeah for Amazon’s free shipping!).  I’ll pack the bags for the hospital at the beginning of May.  There are a bunch of little things that he still needs, like baby shampoo and baby wipes, but we can get most of that in town when we need to.  And really, at the end of the day, I’ve already got the breastmilk, and that’s what he needs most!

My mother-in-law gave us a *fabulous* baby food maker for Christmas.  Very fancy– it steams the food and does all sorts of neat stuff!  Definitely the fanciest item in our kitchen 🙂  She also gave me a really helpful baby food cookbook on what to feed babies at each stage.  Sweetie and I exchanged baby presents for Christmas and for my birthday last year, and so we already have a diaper bag, a soft infant carrier, the basics. No stroller yet, but I can walk with him snuggled up next to me in the infant carrier.  I’m trying not the let the Babies R Us culture convince me that I’m not ready for the baby unless our house is overflowing with stuff.  Paulie’s already got all of the love in the world.  That, plus a full belly, a clean bottom, and two parents to cuddle him, and he’ll be the happiest baby in the world.  🙂  He already has all he needs 🙂

So I’ve been reading lots of pregnancy and baby magazines.  Every time I go to the obstetrician’s they give me free pregnancy magazines, and I’ve been checking out back issues of Parents magazine from the library.  One thing that I read really cracked me up.  The magazine article recommended packing make-up and hair products in your hospital bag, “because you’ll be in lots of photo ops!”  Please!!  If I look like I’ve given birth after Paulie is born, well, it’s because I have!  The last thing I’ m going to be worried about is what my hair looks like.  I hate the idea that women have to put on a perfect face to the world, even right after they’ve given birth!  Besides, the star of the show (and the photos) will be my precious, sweet, perfect little Paulie 🙂

In less than a week I’ll be in the third trimester!  Oh my goodness!  This month has really flown by!  The third trimester has really snuck up on me!

I don’t think I’ll be having a baby shower, which makes me more than a little sad.  My family of origin is not in my life at all, and I was kind of hoping that my friends would rally around me to support Paulie.  I have wonderful friends, it’s just that my closest friends live out of town.  I have a lot of friends in town who would come to a baby shower, but none that are close enough that they’d be the one to throw the shower for me.  So I’m kind of bummed about that.  I was really looking forward to having a chance to celebrate Paulie.

My mother-in-law has been *awesome,* which I’m so grateful for, especially since I don’t have a mom in my life.  She and my sister-in-law took me shopping for maternity clothes, and we’ve spent so much time cooing over baby clothes in the outlets 🙂  It was actually my mother-in-law who did all of the mother-of-the-bride stuff for me when I got married– made flower arrangements, even took me shopping for my dress.  She’s been a really awesome support for me throughout my pregnancy with Paulie.  I can always talk to her when I’m worried, she always makes me feel better.  She and my sister-in-law took me to Ikea where my mother-in-law bought Paulie his crib!  She’s also made a couple of homemade blankets for him, and even bought him a little shirt that says “Small Paul” (too cute!).  She’s making little stuffed animals and a quilt for him as well, I believe.  I am so, so grateful that she’s so wonderful to me, and she’s not even my mom.  Who knew that the best husband in the world would come along with the best mother-in-law ever 🙂  I often hear disparaging comments about people’s mothers-in-law, but I’ve got the best mother-in-law ever!

I freaked out the other night when I realized that I’m almost in the third trimester.  I thought, “oh my gosh, I’m not ready for him!  The crib’s not put togther!  We don’t have all of his diapers yet!  He hardly has any clothes!”  But hopefully we have another three months before he comes.  I talked to Sweetie and we’ll order Paulie’s carseat in early April.  That way we should get it by the end of April, and then I’ll get it installed at the fire station right away.  I did a mental inventory and Paulie does have enough clothes (Sweetie’s bought him all sorts of adorable little t-shirts and onesies– too cute).  And we have most of the Fuzzi Bunz that we need.  The rest are just an Amazon order away.  I figure that it doesn’t really matter that the crib’s not put together (judging by the box it looks like it’s probably in 50 pieces– *gulp!*) because Paulie will be sleeping with us anyway.  I’ll put him in the crib when he takes naps by himself, but I have a feeling that, for at least his first month of life, I’ll be taking naps with him!  So he and I can just cuddle in the big bed and breastfeed and sleep 🙂

I do wish that I had a mom of my own to share my pregnancy with, and that I could celebrate my pregnancy with a baby shower.  But at the end of the day, I’m incredibly, incredibly fortunate.  I have the most wonderful Sweetie ever and a precious little baby on the way.  Sweetie’s family is very supportive, and I have lots of great friends.  So while I’m sad about the things that aren’t there, I don’t want that to stop me from being grateful for the copious riches of love and joy that surround me 🙂

The other day I watched Dr. Harvey Karp’s DVD on the “No-Cry Cuddle Cure.”  On it he demonstrates the “5 S’s” that he describes in his book: Swaddling, Side/Stomach Position, Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking.  I’d read his book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and I watched the DVD so that I could see his baby-calming magic in action!

After watching the DVD, I was scared out of my mind!  All of the parents featured in the DVD had come to Dr. Karp for help with their inconsolable babies.  One woman said that her daughter could cry for six hours in a row!  *Gulp*  I’m wondering, is this normal for babies!?  Is this a common problem?  I’d love to hear from other parents out there about their experiences with their babies.  Did you experience three months of colic?  What are your best baby-soothing strategies?  Help!  I’m scared!

Dr. Karp mentioned that in some cultures babies cry for less than a minute a day.  Does anyone have any idea why babies in the U.S. might cry more? 

Sweetie and I will be cosleeping with Paulie, and we’ll be wearing him or otherwise holding him a great deal.  Are most babies happy as long as they’re being held?  (assuming that their bellys are full and their diapers are changed?)

I would love to hear about your experiences!  Thank you!!

I love being pregnant.  I definitely would not have said that during the first trimester (oh, no), when I was floored by all of the morning sickness and fatigue.  But now, in Paulie’s second trimester, pregnancy is wonderful.  I love having a big belly that advertises, “I’m pregnant!”  I’m so proud of my expanding belly– my little boy is growing big and strong!  I love being able to feel Paulie move– he’s so interactive!  He responds to his daddy’s voice, and he also responds to the base when I play music in the car.  Lately Sweetie and I have been playing a game called, “Where’s Paulie?”  Sweetie will say, “Where’s Paulie?” and Paulie will get really still in anticipation as Sweetie and I say, “I don’t know, where his he?”  Then Sweetie will say, in a super-excited voice, “There’s Paulie!!” and Paulie will go nuts.  He does his excited “daddy dance” and I just laugh and laugh because it tickles me from inside!  Paulie’s caught on to this game– he ‘s so smart, already!– I can tell because he anticipates the excitement that follows “Where’s Paulie?”  Such a smart little boy!  He takes after his daddy 🙂

Being able to interact with Paulie, and to interpret his movements to the world, has been one of the best parts of being pregnant.  I know when Paulie’s asleep and when he’s awake.  I know when he’s excited and, yes, even when he’s annoyed!  He’s not a morning person, and so if daddy tries to talk to him in the morning, Paulie gives a feeble kick as if to say, ‘Uuh, leave me alone!”  Again, like his daddy– not a morning person.  🙂

I have to admit, I love the way people treat me when they see that I’m pregnant.  They make me feel so special 🙂  A clerk at the grocery store actually had one of the employees someone push my cart out to my car with me and load up the groceries!  Wow!  I was blown away!  I’ve shopped at that grocery store for years and that’s never happened before!  It reminds me of when I was young, and living in a small town in South Carolina.  A clerk would push my mom’s grocery cart out to the car for her and hold it while she loaded us into our car seats.  So special 🙂  I love living in the South.

I’ve really loved sharing the miracle of this pregnancy with Sweetie.  Sweetie has always been exceptionally kind, loving, tender, thoughtful, considerate, and romantic (I know!  I’m so lucky!)  So he sets the bar pretty high to begin with.  But since I’ve been pregnant, I feel like a queen on a pedestal.  I love the way that he looks at me, with the love in his eyes and the admiration for what my body is doing.  I feel like, by growing Paulie, I’m giving him (and me!!) the best gift ever.  This pregnancy hasn’t been easy on Sweetie.  I’ve been sick and tired a lot, and we’ve had some real scares with Paulie.  But Sweetie has been by my side every step of the way.  He left work early to accompany me to an emergency ultrasound.  (It turns out that everything is fine– PHEW!!).  He strokes my hair lovingly when I’m having morning sickness.  And last week he was up in a flash in the middle of the night when we had to go to the hospital because we thought I was having contractions (turned out to be a different, non-dangerous side effect of pregnancy– what a relief!  It’s way too early for Paulie to be born).  Before I was pregnant, I would have said that anyone would be hard-pressed to find a man as loving, gentle, and faithful as mine.  And since I’ve been pregnant, I have to say, he’s even outdone himself!  I am so lucky.  And so grateful 🙂