Nearing the end of week #29 … here’s what I look like at the moment:
Obviously though, the bare belly pictures are less flattering than those where I’m wearing proper clothes. But that’s okay, I don’t mind. I think it’s fun to see it progressing. I’m planning to make a whole memory book of the pregnancy + Sam’s first year, which will include these belly shots.
Although I have totally failed to take one a week, as I had originally planned. Oh well! Close enough. It’s not that big of a deal.
Overall, I’m feeling okay now. Except for heartburn and leg cramps.
Fatigue is no longer an issue, so I’m guessing the iron supplements have done their job. I stopped taking them because I felt fine and didn’t see any point to it anymore. But if I ever get really tired again, I’ll know I need to get back on them right away. The side effects were annoying, so I’m hoping I can get by without them from now on.
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of July. There is still so much to do before this baby arrives! The nursery is far from done. And I feel like I can’t do a proper inventory of what we’re missing until everything we have so far has been put into place.
I’m also still debating whether closet dividers such as these would be useful or not:
photo credit Watch Me Grow Stickers on Etsy
Such a detail, I know! But I can imagine it may be handy when you have a closet full of sizes ranging from newborn up to 12 months. We don’t have many baby clothes yet though, so building up a bigger stash is getting quite urgent now. Gert’s brother keeps saying not to buy anything because we’ll be getting a lot of hand-me-downs from them, but time is passing and still nothing … So screw it, we’ve started buying. Only 10 weeks to go, if this baby doesn’t come early. We can’t risk having him without anything to clothe the poor thing. We found a super cheap store about 15min away and bought a whole basket full of clothes there for a total of 20€. Wow! I seriously need to go back there soon lol
We’ll be attending our very last prenatal class this coming Tuesday. It makes me a bit sad; which I know is silly! But it’s a once in a lifetime experience. I mean, obviously, we won’t be attending these again, even if we ever expect another baby later on. Because they’re only useful for first time parents like us who have no clue what they’re stepping into.
All emotional silliness aside, those classes are very interesting. Last week’s topic was breastfeeding; which we were completely clueless about, so we definitely learned a lot there. The week before that, we got to visit the entire maternity ward. That was pretty cool. Now I know what the actual delivery room looks like and where I’ll be staying the following days. I also got to see what color the walls and bed sheets are, so I can make sure my outfits, as well as the baby’s will be color coordinated with everything so we can take flawless pictures. Yes, I know, I’m ridiculous like that! ;-)
We didn’t go too crazy, but bought a few more things. Let’s start with the cutest item:
It’s a musical plush toy from Ikea. You basically grab the ears, pull the bunny out of the hat and it winds itself back in while playing a soft lullaby lol It was too cute to resist!
Then moving on to more practical stuff: socks and bibs.
I actually really love these bibs. They’re so plain and practical. I really don’t care for all the cutesy bibs out there with loud prints and whatnot. I just want something easy that I can wipe my baby’s face clean with, toss in the washer, done. They were 2.99€ for two. I definitely should have gotten more, since I’d been looking for this exact model everywhere. But oh well, I can always go back and get more later. The socks were dirt cheap (99 cents for two pairs). But they are a weird sizing. They were all labeled 0-3 months, but the top ones (dark navy & white) are a lot smaller than the other 4 pairs. Weird.
I’m actually still quite clueless when it comes to baby clothes sizing. I’ve been sticking to the month labels, but some go by numbers instead of months, and I have no idea what they stand for. I guess I’ll look into it later when I know whether we’re having a boy or a girl. Right now I’m sticking to gender neutral stuff, which doesn’t offer much choice anyway. So no point worrying about it now.
And last but not least: a baby bath!
This is actually one of the first items we started looking for when we found out we were going to have a baby. We went to baby stores, and I couldn’t believe most cost 30€ average. Okay, that’s not a fortune, but look at it this way: it’s a plain plastic container most likely made in China for a dollar. I mean, come on. I refused to fork out 30€ for this. So we kept looking and found one at Ikea for 6€ !!! (I swear I’m not a spokesperson for them lol). I thought 6€ was a fair price, so we got it, and let me tell you: it’s exactly the same quality as the expensive ones we saw in specialized baby stores. So yeah, there’s no Winnie the Pooh or any popular character on it, but it’s not like the baby is going to care.
That’s all we got for now. We should really start making a wish list for our friends and family who want to buy something for the baby. But I guess I’ll first see what my sister-in-law Rosemary took out of her attic for me. She mentioned a bunch of baby clothes and supplies from when she had her two children, which we can go pick up in the next few weeks. So I guess we’ll see then.
I wanted to start shopping a while ago, but had decided to wait until my first ultrasound showed everything was fine. Since that went well, we headed to the stores on Friday (barely 48 hours later lol). We obviously tried to stick to gender neutral colors, since we won’t know the gender until May. My mom had secretly gone shopping already and bought the blue and grey pieces. We agreed that pale blue could work for a girl (right? lol).
^^ I don’t know if we’ll need the little mittens yet. But my mom bought them just in case, because I was scratcher, so they had to use these on me so I wouldn’t scratch my face. These are all very basic pieces and mainly underwear. Finding actual clothes that are somewhat neutral is turning out to be quite a challenge. So we’re holding off to it for now until we know whether we’re having a boy or a girl. I have to say though, I’m not digging current baby fashion. Whatever happened to pastels? Most stores around here either carry dark / bright pink, or dark blue and fluo green. Lots of skulls on baby boy clothes (seriously?), and princess themed stuff for girls. I mean, a little bit of princess stuff is okay. But a whole wardrobe full? I like pale colors and little bears or cute little characters like that.
Plus, we’re thinking about having more than one child on the long run. So it would be nice to be able to re-use some clothes for our next babies, even if they end up being different genders. Especially the newborn sizes, up until at least 6 months or so.
Anyway, I did fall in love with this awesome Winter coat!
How adorable is this?? If you look closely, you can see it’s got built in folds that basically replace mittens. Super practical, as separate mittens tend to fall off easily. It’s a size 0 to 6 months, which will be perfect since baby should be born around the end of September. The poor thing will spend the first 6 months of his/her life in horrible cold weather.
I love white clothes for babies. I know it’s probably not a good color as far as stains are concerned, but I think it makes any baby look angelical. And it’s gender neutral, so extra bonus. It’s hard to find plain white stuff though! Maybe I should launch my own line of baby clothes or something. I can already tell it’s going to be hard to find stuff in stores that I like.
Anyway, we’re definitely going to need a whole lot more than this. But since these are the very first clothes we’ve ever bought for our own baby (finally, not for other people’s babies!), I was super excited to share them :-)
I’ve started putting together a list of items I will need. And some that I won’t need at all, but are too cute to resist :-p I’ve only looked at one shop so far, but obviously intend on checking out more. That’s why I’ve decided to gather everything into one Pinterest board:
It’s much easier than having to create separate wish lists on every different shop site. Feel free to follow my Pinterest, by the way!
The first item that caught my eye is strictly practical. It’s the Water Rover. I honestly wish I had found this back when Jack was alive (not sure it actually existed yet though). When I took him out for long walks, I always made sure to carry water with me (very important! Especially in warm weather). I carried a bottle of water, plus a separate bowl. And of course there was always leftover water in the bowl, which I then had to throw away … every time. Not to mention the pain of carrying a bottle + a separate bowl.
Now, this thing looks like the perfect solution:
photo credit seniordoggy.com
It’s basically a bottle with a bowl attached to the cap. It’s made in such way that once laid flat on the ground, the water will pour itself into the bowl and will stop once the bowl is full, so it won’t overflow. As the dog is drinking, extra water from the bottle automatically comes out to keep the bowl full. Once you’re done, you just pick up the Water Rover, let the water flow back into the bottle and close the cap. No more wasted water, and no more bowls to carry around. How perfect is that?
The company says there’s a belt clip included, so you can attach it to your waist. I personally can’t see myself walking around like this all the time though:
photo credit http://pawsandpedals.com.au/
But if it’s for a small dog like a chihuahua, I will only need their smallest size, which will be easy to carry in a bag. This will definitely be my next purchase. Not the cutest item from my list, but hands down one of the most useful! Now comes the question, which color?
Adopting a new dog can represent a big cost on its own; especially if you go to a breeder. Having had a dog before, I now know that the big money also lies in all the products and accessories you purchase after you bring your dog home. This is why I’ve decided to start a “puppy box”.
It’s a box I’m going to fill, little by little, with all kinds of stuff I will need once I have my new dog. This will help me spread all my purchases over the course of 1 year, so that I don’t have to spend a ton of money all at once after the adoption. The box itself comes from Ikea Belgium. If you’re in the States, you’ll find it here.
Jules helped me put it together, as you can see …
And here’s the finished result:
My first purchase was a pack of LED lights:
I originally started looking for small LED lights in pet stores; they’re sold to clip on your dog’s collar or leash. This is basically just a safety thing to use at night or in foggy weather, so your dog will be clearly visible to cars. Pet stores are supposed to carry these all year round, but they’ve been out of stock since forever. One lady told me they’d be back in stock “within two weeks”, and that was before Jack passed away 7 months ago, so yeah … Now, I randomly stumbled across these two little bike lights at Blokker the other day. They only cost about 2.50€ and their size is ideal. The little elastic attachments are quite handy. You can either set them to flash or to stay constant.
Now, I’m not gonna lie. In theory, this pack was perfect! In reality: it’s a piece of crap made in China. It started malfunctioning literally while I was taking these pictures. They hadn’t even been out of their packaging for more than 1 minute yet. *sigh* It may just be a weak battery connection. I’ll take it apart next week and see if I can fix it. If not, the search for pet collar lights is back on. It’s an item I really wished I had owned back when Jack was still here. Even if just to keep an eye on him while he was out taking a quick pee break in the yard at night. He would go all the way to the back where I could hardly see him anymore, and it always stressed me out a bit. So, definitely a must-have for all dog owners!
The second item is a “clicker”:
I’ve actually owned this one for several years and used it with my previous dog to teach him the right behavior around my (then new) cat. It’s really a great training device and only cost about 5€, if I remember well.
For those of you who are not familiar with clickers, here’s a short excerpt from Wikihow:
The “clicker” is a small noisemaker that makes a distinctive “click” sound when the metal tab is pressed. The clicker is intended to tell your dog when he or she does something correctly. Once you’ve trained your dog to associate the clicker with rewards, he or she will quickly learn that when she performs a behavior and you click, (s)he will receive a reward.
It’s also a part of the process of letting go of Jack. I washed his old toys and blankets one last time the other day, and finished putting away his boxes in the attic. It was hard, and of course there were tears again. But I feel like starting this new puppy box is like a breath of fresh air; something happy to look forward to.