Thursday, December 16

Bottles and Bedding and Strollers! Oh My!

Well, we created our baby registry for little Brock, and by "we", I mostly mean me (Shelby). It actually worked out for the best that Blaine didn't go with me because it was an incredibly long and incredibly tedious task, and it probably would have been incredibly boring for anyone other than a mother-to-be to have been there. I did feel the need to blog about my experience though since it consumed practically an entire day of my life (although I have a feeling I'm only going to end up looking a little neurotic and obsessive after I tell the tale).

I started out at Babies 'R' Us around 12:30 or so in the afternoon. I felt that I was entering the process as a prepared consumer with a considerable amount of knowledge since I had been researching different items like carseats and strollers over the internet trying to find out which brands/styles/products are recommended and preferred. I also tried to look up beforehand the essential items that someone should register for because I didn't want to include a bunch of stuff that I would never use or need. Babies 'R' Us provided me with a list of "essentials", but I probably would've ended up with a 25-page registry list if I had included all those so-called "essentials". 

So there I was with all my preparedness and my digital scanner in hand, starting in Aisle 1 Bottles and Feeding, and I froze up. How are there 20 different brands of bottles that all look completely different and apparently serve different functions?! Shouldn't they all accomplish the same goal (feeding the baby)? Shouldn't there be some economic or scientific principle that would narrow down the selection... something like survival of the fittest or supply and demand? Of course I want to select the product that performs the best, but what objective means of comparing them did I have there? Ok, skip the bottles... I'll come back to them later. But wait, pacifiers (on the same aisle) weren't much easier. Fortunately, I did have some wisdom from my sister-in-law who had just had a baby in November, so I felt empowered with my fairly quick selection of the Nuk brand. But which colors did I want because there were at least four options to choose from just within that one brand?

Forty-five minutes later as I still stood in Aisle 1, biting my lip and holding my scanner in a much less confident stance, a Babies 'R' Us employee taking inventory asked if I needed any help. Of course I told him I was fine (what kind of mother was I going to be if I didn't know what bottles to register for?!), but I did mention I was just a little overwhelmed with all the options. He apparently recognized my covert cry for help though and proceeded, in a very unassuming way, to give me some useful information about different brands and different preferences he had seen from customers. Dear Babies 'R' Us Employee, I never learned your name, but I don't think I could have made it past Aisle 1 without your input.

The entire process wasn't quite as difficult as it started out to be, but the choices and options were pretty limitless in every category. And I moved quite slowly through the whole thing. I'm pretty sure I saw one or two other moms-to-be start and finish their registries before I even made it halfway through the store. But ultimately, about three hours later, I completed the process and felt fairly confident about the selections I had made.

So that's the end of the story, right? Well, not exactly. I had received a coupon in the mail from Target that if I created a registry before December 17th, they'd give me a $20 gift card. Ok, why not? So I proceeded, in all my mentally overwhelmed state, to head to Target and start the process all over again. This wouldn't be as bad though because I was only going to register for a few items that were either not found or were too expensive at Babies 'R' Us. There was definitely a smaller selection to choose from at Target, which all in all wasn't necessarily a bad thing because I was able to make my choices in a fraction of the time it took me at Babies 'R' Us, and the registry was completed in less than an hour and a half. I'm just thankful I did all this early during the second trimester. I can't imagine what would have ended up on Brock's registry if I was waddling around the stores in the third trimester!

The unfortunate thing about my personality is that I do have a tiny bit of obsessive compulsive disorder lurking around in there, so once I got back home it was pretty much impossible for me to set all the registry stuff aside and be done with it. I cozied up on the couch with my printed lists on one side of me, my laptop in front of me, and my dog on the other side (she's just always right next to one of us.. it had nothing to do with the registry business). I previewed the registries for both stores online and as I did, I realized there were online reviews from previous buyers for most of the products on the registries. What a happy discovery this was (or in hindsight, a very unfortunate discovery) as I could now see how others felt about the products I selected and I could change those selections if necessary. About five hours later, my eyes were bloodshot, my back was hurting, and my enthusiasm for all things babies was completely drained. I asked Blaine to make me stop the madness, and he obliged. So I considered the registries complete and decided to let them be.

That was "our" baby registry experience. If you're still reading this, I hope it was entertaining, and I hope you won't judge me for all my neuroticisms. But anyone who uses registries to buy gifts for showers can rest assured that practically every item I put on ours was selected with hours and hours of consideration and thought. ; )

Wednesday, December 8

No Longer An "It"

We had our third ultrasound yesterday at the doctor for my checkup at 22 weeks (right on the verge of starting the 6 month). The scan above reveals that the little human growing inside me is in fact a boy. (The arrow is pointing to the tip of his boy part) ; ) He definitely wasn't being shy about it either. The doctor even said that the baby looked like he really wanted to let us know he was definitely a boy. So I'm very happy to no longer refer to him as an "it"! I'm also excited he's a boy because that is really what I wanted to have first. 

I think we are going to name him Brock Grayson Vandegriff. It's not set in stone yet, but that's what we've both agreed on for a while, and it seems to have stuck. Brock is my maiden name and I've always liked the sound of it as a boy's name. Grayson means either "son of the gray-haired man" or "son of the wise man" depending on which baby name book you look at. I liked it for the second meaning.

This was, by far, my favorite appointment yet with the doctor because we got to watch the baby on the ultrasound for such a long time. It was fascinating seeing him moving around in there and seeing all the various limbs and parts that are forming at such a fast pace. The scan above is of the top of his head and shows the measurements from ear to ear. His feet were tucked up in front of his face (he's a contortionist apparently) and we got a clear shot of his little toes at one point. You can see them a little on the left with his big toe sticking out.

This picture is just his little belly. It's harder to see, but it's the kind of round looking bubble toward the middle right of the screen. According to his measurements in the left column, his head puts him at about 21 weeks and 6 days old, and his belly puts him at 22 weeks and 4 days old. Fatty : )

Here's a shot of his face. He's on his side looking directly at the "camera" with the little arrow pointing to his chin. It's sort of creepy looking to me, but I do like how he kind of seems to have a big smile on his face (the doctor said he's singing).

This last scan was of his thigh and side. The doctor also measured the length of his legs to check his growth rates, and according to that measurement he's 23 weeks and 3 days old. Hopefully he'll be tall like his dad, not short like his mom. : )  You can see his little ribs leaning over his leg. The ribs go sideways across the top of the screen with his bottom on the left and what I think would be his left leg curved underneath. (It doesn't look comfortable at all to me!)

So that's our baby... at least so far. I love knowing what he is now and thinking of him in terms of a little boy and being able to actually refer to him with a name. I wish I could have taken the ultrasound machine home with me because I think I could sit and watch him forever on that screen, but I guess getting to look at him for hours and hours is what we can look forward to in a few months (only then he'll be able to make noises and bad smells so he won't be quite as easy to handle as he is now).

Wednesday, December 1


Since I took a nap today and slept past 4:00 (accidentally), I can't get to sleep now.  So I guess this is when a blog comes in handy.
I thought I'd share some things I've been noticing lately...

1. Nesting is a very tiresome process:  I feel like there is constantly something that needs to be done or fixed or cleaned. Blaine has been very tolerant and helpful during this phase and has been doing a lot of work for me, so I am very grateful for that. But it seems like the list just keeps growing with no end in sight. I think it's mostly a mental thing, and I'm hoping the problem will correct itself soon. After all, was it really necessary to paint the bathroom or put a rug under our bed (which was actually more difficult than I expected it to be)?

2. My bellybutton is changing:  I won't dwell too long on this because I doubt anyone is too interested in my bellybutton, but it is fascinating to me. It used to be a very deep "innie" bellybutton and now, well, it's not so much anymore. It isn't an outie yet, but at this rate it very well could be before this is all over.

3. I might be birthing the next Karate Kid:  So I said in the first post that I like to feel the baby moving, and I still do, but what is he/she doing in there? It's like extreme gymnastics or something and that's when I haven't had any caffeine! I drank a Diet Dr. Pepper (yes I know, that's a double don't because of the caffeine and artificial sweetener, but it was just one) one day and thought someone was popping bowl after bowl of popcorn in my stomach. This is going to be a lot of fun when the baby is kicking my lungs and ribs and other various internal organs instead of just my stomach.

4. I'm pregnant but not handicapped:  It is funny to me all the things people don't want you to do because you're pregnant. Don't get me wrong... I'm not complaining. It is nice that people are so thoughtful and considerate, but it does make me laugh a little whenever someone doesn't want me to stand for more than five minutes or carry a bag of groceries or walk more than ten feet. It's not a bad thing, but I just don't want to let myself get used to it because it only lasts for nine months or so, and then I'm just a regular person again who doesn't get any of that special treatment.

That's all I'll post for now. Hopefully, I can fall asleep for a couple of hours before I have to turn over on my other side because my hip is hurting or before I have to make a trip to the bathroom. That is my final observation... Being pregnant looks a lot more glamorous and a lot less difficult in the movies ; )