We are finally home and enjoying this stage of getting to know each other! I am taking a break from my blogging for awhile until I get back on my feet. Thank you for reading my blog and for all of your well wishes and support! I am excited for 2010, the year of the Tiger! Rawr!Rafael's 1st Thanksgiving (age 5 days old) from Joanna Dyckhoff on Vimeo.
Last night, I pulled the moon down out of the sky and onto my waiting belly. ~Ruth Lerner
I was fortunate enough to take a Prenatal Belly Dance class at the Skin Deep Dance Studio in Beacon Hill last Monday...The funny thing is Evening Magazine was there to film a segment on it! The really funny thing is that it aired today, on 11/11 which is my due date! What a hoot! That's me in the purple, looking like a big grape beach ball, lol! It was a great workout and so much fun! Now, if the baby would get this show on the road there will be a lot more dancing!
These Noonies are like swaddle blankets with hoods, keeping baby snug! There are several eco-friendly and healthy options made with organic sherpa inside and organic fair trade fabrics outside, along with reclaimed wood buttons! Aww, these are just too cute!
These are some detail shots from the room... Some inspiring figurines, a pagoda mirror, a Ukiyo-E Japanese Wood Block Print (thrift find!), and a kimono fabric scrap that I plan to make into a pillow...
In the crib you can see a teal and lime colored "Tummy Time Play Mat" that I will be using as a changing pad at first. I think it's so cute and practical and it has a measuring tape printed on it so I can watch our baby boy grow in length right before my eyes! On top of the play mat is a brown Boppy Noggin Head Support that prevents the baby from having a flat head. The crib is outfitted with an organic cotton flannel sheet and a Nojo fleece sheet saver from Target.
Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the baby are two friends, a Yomiko Classics baby panda, and a homemade doll (made by my friend's aunt) swaddled in a Kiddopotamus bamboo fabric swaddle blanket. Also pictured is the Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow
(folds into a square) that I used for a bit, and a hand crocheted baby
blanket from my cousin! These things will be removed when the baby
comes because it is much safer for the him to be in a crib without
extra things like pillows, dolls and crib bumpers (prevents suffocation
and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
This is the adult side of the room. In case you haven't noticed, the bed wall and ceiling is painted a chocolate brown and gives us a sense of privacy and intimacy, while the rest of the walls are painted a neutral khaki color. The bedroom artwork consists of Chinese scrolls and artwork I've found over the years at various antique stores. We didn't have it in the budget to buy a new bed, so we updated our existing Ikea rattan frame by staining it dark brown. I really love how our bedroom turned out! Can't wait until our boy can enjoy it too!
"God in the midst of me is mighty with life, health and strength. In joy and with ease, I bring forth my healthy and perfect child."
This is from my pregnancy journal, where I have been jotting down inspirational quotes, affirmations, mantras and visualizations to call upon during my labor and birth. This particular quote was taken from a story told in the self-help book, Dynamic Laws of Prosperity.
Hello! I'm 35 weeks today! This is a photo at my midwives office. I love my midwives! They are awesome. So far so good. Rafael is head down and moving about. The only unpleasantness I'm experiencing is some swelling in my feet and carpal tunnel (numbness and tingling) in my hands which makes it hard to sleep. Other than that I feel great!
I splurged on a couple of cute things from Skip Hop.
1) Swipe - a handy wipes container that has a red slider that makes it easy to grab a wipe and keeps them moist (We all know that resealable sticker tabs only stick for so long). Plus you can sling it onto your bag handle or stroller.
2) Splash Bottle Dryer - I just had to get this one because it looks like a lotus flower and has a handy bottle brush in the center.
Check out this list I compiled of noteworthy celebrities that gave birth naturally and at home! Click on the link to find out more:
I can't believe I'm already 32 weeks along in my pregnancy! My baby shower is this Sunday and being a DIY-er of course I had to throw some things together! Here is a sneak peek at my invitation... I uploaded this image to my event web page at www.pingg.com. It's a great online invitation service and a wonderful way to save money and the environment!!!
The other day I went to an informational class about the benefits of Breastfeeding. We were given this awesome book by Amy Spangler. Every mom getting ready to breastfeed should have this easy to read guide! I look forward to having "liquid gold"! Oh and after the class I popped into Value Village and scored these two lovely turquoise bud vases for $0.99 each!
Leaping lizards, this urban bike stroller combo is too fresh (stroller can also be used alone without the bike) !!! Taga is a multifunctional urban vehicle, uniquely designed to suit the needs of today's parents and children. Taga combines the benefits of a premium stroller and a carrier bicycle to create a new transportation modality. Via Tangled and True.
Via Kim Vallee, I discovered the Funky Forest Interactive Ecosystem Insallation:Two Amsterdam artists, Theodore Watson and Emily Gobeille of Zara Parade created Funky Forest in 2007. This is an interactive ecosystem where children used their body movements to influence the life of a forest and a river.
Kids can use their body or place pillow rocks and logs to divert the water flowing from the waterfall to the trees to keep them alive. It is playful and instructive since if the trees lack water, they would wither and die. Kids could press their bodies against the forest to build new trees. The shape of the tree will be influenced by the child body. When the eco-system flourishes, the kids are rewarded by the emergence of lovely flying creatures.
SO AWESOME! WISH WE HAD THIS HERE IN SEATTLE FOR KIDS PARTIES!
Even before I was pregnant I have always loved this little toy! I couldn't wait to get this Soothe & Glow Seahorse at the baby shower, so I asked Isaac to get if for me the last time we went to Target. The tummy glows and plays 5 minutes of lullabies and then fades out. I have been playing it for Rafael before bed and he seems to like it. He's really kicking around a lot and I just love feeling him move about inside me!
Ok, so here's the back story... Isaac and I have a thing about seahorses... When we were dating we watched The Kingdom of Seahorses (on VHS tape!) a documentary about these amazing sea creatures. What we learned was that they mate for life and that the male is the one to give birth to the younglings! The coupling starts with a graceful mating dance and in the documentary it was very romantic because they followed two particular seahorses in their courtship. The seahorse couple would meet at the same time each day, intertwine tails and promenade together through the seagrass for about six minutes a day... they would then return to their regular feeding rituals. When it was time to start a family, the female laid her eggs and deposited them into a pouch in the belly of her mate. The seahorse father not only protected the eggs, but provided oxygen and nutrients, while at the same time regulating the pouch environment during the pregnancy to mimic salt water. Talk about a "superdad"! I always joked with Isaac that he would be the "superdad" and birth our babies instead of me! LOL!
Oh my goodness! I really love Sckoon's collection of Organic Cotton Children's wear! Since I've scoping out boy wear, I am so sprung on the Asian stylings of their Japonesk and Zen & Kabuki collections and the retro modern stylings of the Organic Pear collection! Check them out!
I'm also researching cloth diaper systems, and Sckoon's organic cotton diapers are definitely an option!
I am almost 23 weeks now and am finally showing! Yay! Sorry, no pictures yet...lol. But I saw this wonderful animation on how beautiful and efficiently designed the natural birth process can be. I am locking these images in my head for me to conjure up during my delivery...
This weekend is the Seattle Chinatown-International District Summer Festival and one of my favorite stores, Kobo at Higo, will be celebrating kids and families with a special Baby Trunk Show! I missed the trunk show but purchased some cute ornamental baby shoes last year from one of the participating local Seattle designers.
I would really like to use a baby sling to promote bonding and rekindle the cultural art of babywearing and childrearing. I love these baby slings from Sakura Bloom that I saw over at Twig & Thistle! (My baby boy colors are teal, orange and green... and there are some perfect color combos for me here!). There are beautiful options in organic linen, sustainable dupioni silk and even styles for the daddy types! I am impressed by the Sakura Bloom collection as well as their commitment to donating a portion of their proceeds towards the well-being and sustainability of the Tibetan community. Oh and check out the awesome instructions on the art of modern babywearing here.
After reading lots of reviews and stalking poor unsuspecting moms, my dream stroller is the UPPAbaby Vista Stroller in green (if I were a rich girl)! UPPAbaby is committed to developing products that are eco-friendly and safe for our children. You can read more about their environmental commitment here. What I like about this set, is that it's compact, sleek looking and the baby has the option of facing you or the world. I love the soybean fiber/cotton lining in the bassinet, the spacious undercarriage for my belongings and how easily it folds up. Watch a video on the Vista stroller here.
I'm 20 weeks along in my pregnancy and our ultrasound shows that we will be having a boy! We are so thrilled! The baby is healthy and was moving and kicking the whole time. We even saw him roll over! Watching the heart beating was also so amazing. This photo shows him holding up a fist, lol! Baby Power!
zenblocks are eco-friendly stacking wood blocks made in Idaho from sustainable, urban harvested wood (organic black walnut). "After witnessing his niece and nephew mindfully stack rocks for fun in their yard, woodworker Mike Peck began crafting zenblocks with the leftover scraps from his furniture business."
Functional, organic, mindful and artistic! Looks great on the table when not in use too, lol! I love wooden toys! Via Inhabitots.
Gwynn Warner from 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui in Oregon graciously sent over these wonderful 9 tips for creating a restful & safe environment for babies’ & toddlers’ rooms. Whether you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, it is in ideal time to have a Feng Shui consultation to support your journey!
In the meanwhile, as you begin to set up the nursery, please keep this Feng Shui wisdom in mind:
1. Make sure there are no “poison arrows” or sharp corners from furniture or objects pointed towards their heads or bodies—cover any sharp edges with fabric or trailing plant leaves. Use furniture with rounded edges wherever possible. No shelves, cupboards or storage structures should be above their crib or bed. See your friendly consultant if you have beams or slanted ceilings in the room.
2. Select soft, restful colors for their paint and mural colors such as lavender or blue. Avoid bold and active patterns or colors in the décor (including bed linens).
3. Place the bed in the command position so that your child can see the door. For a baby, place the side of the bed to a solid wall; for a toddler, the head-board should go against a solid wall. Neither should be in direct line with a door nor against a window. Also avoid the bed sharing a wall with a bathroom, toilet or utility room. Choose a room for them that is far away from excessive noise such as a tv or loud neighbors.
4. Avoid stagnation by bringing in at least 15 minutes of fresh air each day and using natural aromatherapy cleaning products. Keep movement in the room with mobiles or a wind-chime hung at the window to catch the breeze. Or use small fan running on low (however, do not place a ceiling fan over their bed!). You can also play gentle and beautiful music.
5. Keep the room very clean including frequent washing of bedding. Clear all clutter. You can use aromatherapy (such as lavender) in a diffuser or spray-mist bottle to invite more calm. Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector if the nursery is next to or above the garage (but avoid their room being in this position anyway!).
6. Store stuffed animals and toys out of sight at night. Also curtain off mirrored closets. Both can disrupt sleep. Use window treatments for protection from the outside.
7. Minimize unnecessary electronics and keep them away from their heads. Keep the lighting in balance—not too bright so they can rest deeply; yet not too dim or yin so they can grow and thrive.
8. Add restful imagery to the room such as a Laughing Buddha with Children around him as a symbol of joy and benevolence. Avoid overly yang (or active) images or aggressive animals such as reptiles, dinosaurs and tigers. Nature scenes (but avoiding overly watery pictures) are fantastic to promote growth. A family portrait is also ideal for comfort.
9. Have a Feng Shui Blessing Ceremony in your nursery and home. It is the strongest method for clearing energy blockages and increasing the flow of chi as well as inviting in vital health, blessings, prosperity and good fortune.
Oh I can't wait to find out what gender our baby will be! I am in LOVE with the new Kate Quinn Organics summer collection! Check out their new prints and beautiful richly colored organic cotton crib bedding with matching window panels! This bedding collection is perfect! (I'm so sick of all the pink and blue options). The color theme I have in my head is peach, lavender and mint green. I also love that Kate Quinn Organics is based in the Seattle area with a showroom in Kirkland and Saturday Sample Sales at their outlet on Rainier Ave!
The Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow looks really interesting... Metropolitan Mama swears by it! I'm not having trouble sleeping yet, but I definitely would like to give this a try when the time comes. I like that it's compact and not bulky so I can still snuggle with my honey! Plus the design is super cute and doesn't scream "caution: only for use while pregnant"
Now that I am finally pregnant, I can just picture a pint sized version of me in these incredibly adorable kimono style onesies and mandarin style jackets from Lucky Wang! Buy these cuties and other fabulously modern and colorful selections over at Nonchalant Mom! (Photos by Lucky Wang and Nonchalant Mom.)
During my midwife appointment today we reviewed my blood work and I had a physical. Everything looks great! My blood work is good, my iron is good (I'm not anemic), and my blood pressure is good. We heard the baby's heartbeat again and it's strong! Also, Geraldine said the baby moved further up too (that's a good thing).
I had an appointment today with my midwife, Geraldine from Rainy City Midwifery (That's NOT me in the photo, hee hee). When I got home I found out that today was International Midwives Day! International Midwives' Day was first celebrated May 5, 1991, and has been observed in over 50 nations around the world. The term midwife literally means "with woman." The idea of having a day to recognize and honor midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands.
What exactly is a Midwife, you ask?
"We all need to look into another woman's eyes and see reflected back the trust and confidence that we can do this. We can give birth." ~Collette Crawford
Here's an excerpt from the American Pregnancy Association:
The term midwife reflects a philosophy of care; one that is directed at the woman and her individual reproductive needs. A midwife usually offers a variety of options and seeks to eliminate or minimize unnecessary interventions.This philosophy of care is represented by the Midwives Model of Care:
The midwives model of care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. The midwives model of care includes:
What are the benefits of using a midwife versus a doctor?
"Midwives see birth as a miracle and only mess with it if there's a problem; doctors see birth as a problem and if they don't mess with it, it's a miracle!" ~Barbara Harper in Gentle Birth Choices
One of the main reasons that women elect to use a midwife in their homes, at birthing centers or in hospitals is to experience the childbirth process as naturally as possible.
A focus on options is another benefit associated with electing midwifery care. Midwives often have payment plans, sliding fees, and accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid.
According to the doctoral research conducted by Peter Schlenzka, an election to use a nurse-midwife and natural delivery may result in the following benefits:
Midwives believe in facilitating a natural childbirth as much as possible. Accordingly, it is common to receive care from a midwife in a private and comfortable birthing center or in the comforts of your own home. Because of their professionalism and expertise, midwives are often part of a labor and delivery team associated with the local hospital. You may choose to use the services of a midwife whether you elect to give birth at home, a birthing center, or in a hospital.
Why did Isaac and I choose a midwife rather than a "doctor"?
"There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don't ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it." Sheryl Feldman
I love the color and vibe of this artwork piece by Melia Newman! I seriously want to take some belly dance classes in Seattle! I once read a pregnancy story where woman would gather in a circle around the pregnant woman and do a belly dance that would show the mother how to move the baby down...
A Bedouin Arab girl learns a pelvic dance
during puberty... and will belly dance, when she is in labor.
The belly dance represents the power of women to produce life.'
- Sheila Kitzinger
Arab women, Tahitians and Maoris knew instinctively that they would help themselves if they kept moving through childbirth... they swayed their bodies and swung their hips and pelvis in large circular rotations' - Wendy Buonaventura
I love visualizing birth as the dance of life... as a dance between mother and child!
Here are some links for you to check out: