Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Things are getting real around this house. 
Hubby is building the cradle today!!!  
We are just a mere 12 1/2 weeks away from Little Laundy's due date.  

Directions were read. :)

And there were no "spare parts" after everything was put together. :D

Finished project:

Initial review:  The Sorelle Sterling cradle initially appealed to me for ease of transport between bedroom and other living spaces.  The cradle moves easily from room-to-room with brake-able wheels and a size that fits easily through most door frames.  The cradle rocks easily with a fingertip push but also has an optional sturdy stationary position lock. It comes with a 36x18 inch mattress. This is a beautiful cradle but the finish is easily scratched, so be careful during assembly.  Assembly was easy enough, but we needed to add an extra washer as a spacer to prevent the stationary position lock from scratching against the cradle when swinging. Overall, we feel happy with this purchase and feel it will meet our initial co-sleeping and nap-time needs.  This cradle is available on Amazon and occasionally pops up on Zulily.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Birth Without Violence

This is not normally a book I would have selected, but a friend in my prenatal yoga class brought it in for me to read and I felt intrigued about the perspective of a book that was originally published in 1975.

The author of this book, Frédérick Leboyer M.D., has an unconventional look at the life of a child in the womb.  Part 1 almost made me angry at times because the author repeatedly expresses how horrible life in the womb is for the child.  He states that it is a prison that is claustrophobic, life-threatening, and disliked by the baby.  My mind wanted to stop reading this book during this section, but I was able to convince myself that it is okay to passionately disagree with the author during this section and continue on to what he actually has to say about birth.

Part 2 continues the same attitude emphazing the horrific trauma of birth for the child.

Birth Without Violence by Dr. Frederick Leboyer
Parts 3 and 4 are worth reading if you can filter out the negativity in a way that allows you to still grasp the key points how to have a "birth without violence."  Leboyer presented many birthing and post-birth methods which I actually agree with including:
  • subdued light in delivery room and early hours after birth
  • low/minimal sound in delivery room and early hours after birth
  • not encouraging immediate crying of baby
  • delayed cord clamping
  • placing child on abdomen while cord is still pulsing
  • delaying measurements, eyedrops, and other disruptive hospital protocols in the first hour or so after birth
  • following cord cutting or birth of placenta, partially submerging the baby in a basin of water to allow it to slowly adjust to freedom of movement, experience lower gravity as it was used to in the womb, and de-stress from the physical trauma of labor
  • not rushing any of the steps above and giving the baby adequate time to adjust to its new surroundings
  • infant massage
A free copy of this book can be found here.  This link directs you to part 3.

This is a book of technique in layman's terms and is not a difficult read full of medical jargon. The author is a poet and the structure of his writing reflects his poet's voice.  It is a thought provoking book and truly did change my birth plan with the desire to potentially try the water basin technique (as true water birth is not an option at my hospital).  Although I am not a fan of section one, I can agree with the author that labor and birth is a traumatic event for the baby and many of the techniques suggested in part 3 would potentially calm the stress response in the child's body as opposed to traditional hospital protocol. 

I wouldn't want this to be the only birthing book that you read.  But if you are intrigued by water birth, peaceful birth, or any of the bullet-points listed above, borrow or pick up a copy of this thought provoking work to read more. I would love to hear your opinion in the comments below, especially if you have read this book or delivered using Dr. Leboyer's method.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from the Launderlife family!  
We have so much to be thankful for this year, including: 
  • health and the health of my son (24 weeks) growing inside me.  
  • husband.  He works so hard to provide for our family and does more than his fair share of work at home. 
  • dogs.  They teach me daily lessons of living in the present moment, happiness in daily life, non-judgement, and unconditional love.
  • home.  It is modest, but it is ours, and isn't more than we need.
  • job.  I feel so fortunate to have a job that I believe in and that will allow me to be the mom I want to be.
  • ...the IF/TTC/Mom community.  It has been a support system stronger than I could have ever possibly imagined.  It has also been a tremendous informational resource that I value and respect.
In anticipation on how things will likely change by next year, I'd better add these items to the list:
  • ...a good night's sleep and the ability to sleep in.
  • ...being able to quickly and easily pick up and go.
  • ...feeling my baby move from inside me.  This pregnancy has (overall) been such a great experience and I am going to miss this inner connection that my baby and I share right now. 
  • ...slower moving time.  It seems like time FLIES when babies are involved.  In the blink of an eye, my friends' babies are 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and more.
I hope that you and your family had a very happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

21 Baby Boy Names

Boy names are hard!!!

I am on a mission to find some baby boy names today! We will probably not name our child before he is born, but we would like to have a short list of 5 or so names ready for this little man to make his arrival.  This is a current list of names that I like (that may or may not make it to our short list---to be revealed at a later date).

Anthony- (English) "praiseworthy"
Benjamin- (Hebrew) "son of the right hand"
Dexter- (Latin) "right-handed; dexterous"
Farley- (English) "fern meadow"
Harrison- (English) "Harry's son"
Henry- (German) "powerful household"
Ian- (Scottish) "God is gracious"
Kelson- (English) "ship keel"
Landon- (English) "long hill; grassy meadow, lawn"
Leon- (Latin) "lion"
Maxwell- (Latin) "Mack's stream"
Neil- (Gaelic) "cloud, passionate, or champion"
Paxton- (Latin) "peaceful town"
Phoenix- (Egyptian) "dark red, purple"
Quillan- (Irish) "cub"
Quinton- (Latin) "fifth"
River- (Latin) "river"
Sebastian- (Greek) "revered"
Vance- (English) "high place; thresher"
Weston- (English) "western town"
Xavier- (Basque) "new house"

What are your favorites on our list?  Do you have any other great names to add? Please comment below with your suggestions.

The origins and meanings were found from the book, "Baby Names Made Easy" by Amanda Barden.  This book organizes names into themes such as nature, health, geography, etc.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

baby bump: pregnancy weeks 5-19

I haven't taken too many bump photos because there isn't much to share at this point.  Although I was harboring a 6 inch crown-to-rump baby in my belly in the week 19 photo, there just isn't much of a bump to share.  I am so thankful to be at this stage of the pregnancy with a healthy baby, but I can't wait until the bump is distinctively "pregnant!" I hope to take another photo during week 21 or 22. Please subscribe to my blog or follow by email (in the right column) if you haven't already.  Thank you everyone!  I know you have patiently waited for some bump photos.  I'm patiently waiting for a bump, lol! xo, Renae

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FAQ: Did I Have a Feeling Little Laundy Was a Boy?

     From the start of this pregnancy, I have said that logically this baby should be a boy.  We used fertility medicines that allowed us to time the conception of Little Laundy.  The HCG trigger shot ensured the timing of our IUI lined up with ovulation.  There is a theory that male sperm swim faster and female sperm live longer.  So, if our timing was right, the fast male sperm should have reached the egg before the female sperm had a chance.  But...we did baby dance at home before the IUI, so there certainly could have been longer-living female sperm at the right place at the right time. So it was a scientific coin-toss.
     I did have a strange dream a couple days before we found out the sex of the baby. In my dream my deceased grandfather (who I knew was passed) was telling me how important it was that we circumcise our child and send them to Catholic school.  I'm agnostic, but many mediums say that our deceased loved ones come to us and give us messages through our dreams.  My plan was to do neither of those, so it very well could have been a message from beyond that a baby boy was on his way!
     As far as motherly instinct or a gut feeling, I did not have a feeling one way or another.  The Chinese lunar calendar predicted a girl.  The heart-rate ranged from 180-152, which also indicated girl.  But this baby is all boy!

Did you/do you have a gut feeling what sex your child is going to be?  What sex(es) did you end up having? Were the "predictors" that you used correct?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Health and Fitness: Online Yoga Resources

So you are thinking about trying yoga?  Hands down, the in-studio experience with 200 hour or 500 hour certified instructors is best.  I had done videos over and over again at home, but it wasn't until I actually started practicing in a studio until I learned that my technique was incorrect on several key asanas.  Your teacher can offer so much support that just doesn't exist in a video.  If a local studio offers a yoga learning course, I highly recommend investing in yourself by taking that class.

But, sometimes the cost or logistics of practicing in studio is not a reality for many individuals.  Or you want to explore new styles of yoga.  Or you want to have an in-home resource to combine with your studio experience.  Here are some online resources that you might find useful in building and deepening your practice:

YouTube videos:  Many well known teachers have videos online, and some offer free videos on YouTube.  Sadie Nardini has a YouTube upload playlist for basically anything you are looking for in your yoga practice.  Although most of the videos on YouTube will be a shorter practice, it is a nice alternative on the days that you need something quick.  YouTube is also great for motivation.  The following video by Briohny Smyth inspires me to deepen my practice each time I watch it:

Yoga Today: This is a online subscription that my yoga teacher uses herself.  They have a free membership that offers one free class per week.  You can download your favorite classes for $3.99.  Or an unlimited membership for $9.99 per month gets subscribers access to 200+ one-hour classes that are ad free and downloads for only $2.99.

Gaiam TV: Gaiam has an awesome selection of streaming yoga, wellness, and fitness videos.  Check out their site on Sundays when there is a complete full video for free.  Membership after a free 10-day trial is $9.95 per month.  Awesome cardio videos are also streaming including Jillian Michaels and The Firm (one of my favs!).

Netflix:  If you haven't cancelled your Netflix subscription yet, check out the streaming options.  Today there were 5 adult yoga videos available streaming, along with 1 prenatal yoga video and 1 children's yoga.

When you have learned the basic poses and are ready to commit to a DVD, Shiva Rea's Daily Energy my favorite mid to high intensity yoga video.  It has a variety of shorter sequences that you can build together to get the practice your body is craving.

Do you have a favorite online yoga destination?  Please share below!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Healthy No-Prep Food Choices

Celebrities have diva food requests on their contract riders.  Jordin Sparks requires kosher dill pickles, baby carrots, Clif bars, and instant oatmeal.  Britany Spears needs Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts when touring.  Why can't we have our own at-home diva food list?   Knowing what healthy foods you like and having them on hand will help ally a healthy eating resolution. 

I may not be a platinum recording artist, but I live a busy life bustling between two jobs and working on my MBA.  For me, the challenge is finding something that is requires little-to-no prep time, nutritious, and satiating.  I also like a variety of choices so I can satisfy my savory, salty, or sweet tooth, and a variety of textures.

Here is my standard, must-have on hand food list.  Most of these items can be made in less than two minutes or are already prepared.  These make a no-excuse healthy food environment in my home. 

1. Pre-cut, washed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, and ranch.  I like Dole's salad mixes.  To be economical, I usually mix one of the "just lettuce" blends with a "fancy" blend.  Use Dole's Perfect Salad Guide to help you decide which blend will best suit your taste buds.  Rinse 5 cherry tomatoes and slice in half.  Add a small sprinkle of shredded cheese.  Go without croutons and don't overdo the salad dressing.  I prefer the regular salad dressings, rather than the low-fat versions that tend to have higher sugar content. For a heartier salad, I'll toss on some sliced chicken breast. 

2.  String cheese or Colby cheese.  The action of peeling the string cheese off in strings slows down the eating process making me feel like I have ate more that I actually have.  I also love the quick portability of string cheese when I need a snack-on-the-go.  Cottage cheese and crackers are another go-to favorite.

3.  Microwavable frozen vegetables.  I like having frozen veggies that I can put in the microwave, add a little butter, and enjoy until my heart is content.  This is a zero-guilt food.  My favorites are Green Giant's cut green beans, broccoli, and mixed vegetables.  I try to avoid canned vegetables for the higher levels of BPA found in individuals who consume canned products.  Fresh is best, but when pressed for time, these microwavable steamers are a smart option.

4.  Better Oats instant oatmeal.  These come a wide variety of flavors including: cinnamon roll, maple, peach, maple streusel, and my favorite apples and cinnamon.  I like these because they are pre-portioned and give me a full feeling.  Many of these have heart healthy flax seed, and are loaded with omega-3's, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and E.  These take a quick 90 to 120 seconds to microwave.

5.  Chobani and Uncle Sam.  I am in total love with Chobani's Greek yogurt.  There is a wide variety of flavors with my favorites including: vanilla, strawberry banana, peach, and mango.  And, Chobani is a corporation with social values.  10% of their profits are donated to organizations around the world.  To learn more about what makes Greek yogurt so fabulous, click here and for Chobani coupons, click here.  When I am wanting a full feeling, I mix Uncle Sam cereal half and half with Greek yogurt for a satisfying breakfast or lunch.

6.  Almonds, pecans, and cashews.  These are my go-to snack.  I keep them at both of my jobs and at home.  My favorite almonds are natural and raw.  My favorite cashews are Planter's Deluxe Whole Cashews.  Nuts are loaded with healthy Omegas, good fats, and the Mayo Clinic claims they are great for the heart.  They also have protein which helps satisfy hunger longer than carbohydrates.

7.  ThinkThin bars. These bars are either low sugar or no sugar and pack a protein punch. This low sugar concept not only is great for weight control, but also is a healthy lifestyle for my PCOS diagnosis.  Coupons can be found here.

8.  Apples. Raw, applesauce, or apple chips are all delicious treats depending on the texture I'm looking for.  I am in absolute love with Yogavive's crispy Strawberry apple chips.  My favorite raw apples are the Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious.

9.  Chocolate.  Yes, I consider dark chocolate a health food!  I hide 2 bars of Green &Black's white chocolate and 85% dark chocolate in my home office desk.  When I get an uncontrollable sweet tooth I break off two or three bars off and satisfy the sweet craving.  I choose Green & Black or Divine because of their organic and fair trade sourcing.

So there it is.  My healthy no-prep food diva list.  What is on yours?