countdown and list-making

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As the summer goes into full-swing, I’m realizing that I have 9-ish weeks now left to prepare for Baby Sparkleberry. So being the organized list-maker I am, I am trying to get an idea of what I still need to do. A lot of it depends on if we’re moving or not, and we won’t know the answer to that question until July 31st at the latest.

1. Research vaccinations and decide which ones and when I want them administered. (At least for the vaccinations babies typically get during their first few months.)
2. Find a pediatrician. I have no idea how to go about doing this. Do I need to wait and find out where I’m going to be living first?
3. Write thank-you notes
4. Do the necessary paperwork for the hospital. Call and ask if they do a hospital tour at a time when my husband can come too – i.e. NOT 4:30 on a weekday afternoon!
5. Figure out stuff with the birth class. I know; I’m such a procrastinator. :-) Sign up for the water birth class at the hospital – I have to take it if I want to have a water birth, and I’m trying to keep my options open.
6. Design baby announcements to send to friends & family; look into where to get them printed; make sure address list is up-to-date (if you’ve moved since Christmas, let us know your new address!).
7. I know I’m missing things, but I can’t think of them right now. I’m sure it will come to me and I’ll update the list.

Baby items we still need to buy before the baby is born:
1. Diaper bag
2. Arm’s Reach mini co-sleeper
3. Infant carseat
4. Sling
5. Newborn disposable diapers for the first few weeks (does it matter what brand? how many will I need?)
6. Changing pad
7. Nursing pillow
8. Waterproof mattress pad for our bed, and probably something for the co-sleeper as well

We already have some stuff, like basic clothes, cloth diapers, baby monitors, bathtime necessities, a few bottles, and all the towels and blankets I’ll ever need.

Baby items we’d like to get pretty soon after the baby is born:
1. Pack n play (yay! got one today!)
2. Ergo carrier
3. Bouncer/swing (or borrow one to see if baby likes it)
4. Diaper pail and liner for the cloth diapers
5. Breast pump (?)
6. Pacifiers

Obviously other things we’ll need to get down the road – like when our baby gets into solid foods, starts crawling/walking, etc. etc. Am I missing anything?

will you be there

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Below is a music video from the one and only exposure I had to Michael Jackson as a child:

Does anyone else remember this awesome movie, Free Willy? It always inspired me – especially the part at the end when Willy jumps over the rocks. I always really liked that song, too.

I was born slightly too late to really know Michael Jackson’s music (and my parents didn’t play any of it for us), though we definitely knew who he was. In recent years I’ve found him more creepy than anything else, but I think it’s been interesting to see the impact he made on people.

One more video… This is one of my favorite parts of the movie 13 Going on 30… :-)

6 months till my birthday!

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Hehe I feel a little silly writing about my half birthday, but I’d feel weird not acknowledging it, so I’ll just let y’all think I’m silly. I explain it a little in a post I wrote a few years ago:

When I was little, June 26th meant that I could add, when consulted about my age, the very important phrase, “I’m six and a half!” Of course it’s not as cool to say “I’m 23 and a half” but I still like acknowledging my half birthday. (It’s not quite as overlooked as my real birthday, seeing that we’re 8 whole days from a holiday!)

Today I get to go see Susan who is visiting Atlanta, and the rest of her family! I am very excited about that. I enjoy making my mom jealous by saying, “I get to see Hans tonight.” Hehe (I’m a terrible daughter.)

I have an appointment with the midwife on Monday, and I’m going to ask her what’s going on with the practice. If she confirms that I won’t be able to deliver with one of the midwives, then I will look to move to the other practice that my friend recommends. The reason I’m hesitating before moving is because I have been hanging around an online message board, and some of the people there are saying that the midwives aren’t actually leaving when the letter said they were, and other things that make me wonder. Since I already had the appointment scheduled, I thought it would be the wisest to just ask point blank about it before making the moving decision.

My first full week as a stay-at-home wife is coming to a close. I have been extremely tired all week, despite the iron pills. I haven’t been getting much done, but I did manage to do all the laundry. I am even managing to scrape dinner together though it’s still Paul cooking most nights. I have been to the store every single day because I have yet to make a menu for the whole week. :-) (How Peruvian of me!) Speaking of… I really need to get to the store now and buy lettuce for the salad I’m bringing tonight… Hmm…


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So I got a letter in the mail today. My OB-GYN practice is getting rid of all their midwives, effective two weeks from now. They are moving all their current midwives’ patients to the practice’s owner, a male OB-GYN.

Argh! Not good. :-( I am over 30 weeks along and to be honest, the last thing I want to do is change doctors again. I moved to this practice when I was 16 weeks along for two reasons – 1) the other doctor and hospital were far away from my current place of living, and 2) I didn’t care for some of the things she said (like criticizing my choice to stay home full-time after the baby). I really liked the midwife I had been seeing, and was looking forward to finishing this pregnancy with her.

So a few other complications. My current practice takes my insurance but is not considered “in-network” which means insurance only covers 70% of the cost. I was just telling Paul earlier today that despite the increase cost, I was glad that I had switched because I liked my midwife so well. I also like this hospital a lot, which fortunately is also in-network. However, I wonder if this is the time to look into finding a doctor who is in-network since I have to change anyway.

I probably need to make a decision really soon. Here are my options as I see them:
1) Stay with the current practice and the same hospital. The pros: They have all my records; the transition would be the easiest; I’d be able to deliver at the hospital I like. The cons: They’re out-of-network; the doctor is a male (which I’d really rather not have); I anticipate long waits at the office as they go from 3 practitioners to 1.
2) Move back to my original doctor at a different hospital. The pros: While she isn’t my top choice she would be okay; she’s in-network. The cons: I’d prefer not to deliver at the other hospital; I’m not sure the doctor and I are in-sync and the last thing I want is to be dealing with that while in labor; that practice was really busy and I often waited 45 minutes to an hour at my appointments.
3) Move to a midwife my friend recommends who is also at the same hospital. The pros: High recommendation; she would be more in-sync with what I am wanting; the practice is in the same place as my current one and the hospital would be the same. The cons: She is also out-of-network so I’d be paying 30% (as opposed to 10% of the cost).
4) Find an in-network doctor affiliated with the same hospital. The pros: I’d pay less and would still be able to stay at the same hospital. The cons: I don’t like the thought of moving to a randomly selected doctor this late in the game (with less than 10 weeks until my due date); if I dislike the doc I really don’t have time to find a new one.

I’m trying really hard not to freak out; my pregnancy hormones have been especially out of whack today as I have burst into tears at least three different times.

the first and last

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So a few months ago, a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to photograph her upcoming wedding. Her budget was tight and she was laid-back about the quality of the pictures. I was hesitant at first, but she assured me that she loved the pictures I’ve taken in the past (like the ones from Sopeak & Zay’s wedding).

I’ve been really nervous about this, because I know I don’t have the talent of a professional photographer and I really did want Christi to have good wedding pictures! I have a Nikon D40x, which is a lower-end DSLR. I knew I needed a better lens to be able to handle the low-light of the church, so I rented a great lens from a local store here in Atlanta. (It was also incredibly heavy. I think I got my workout from carrying that camera all day!)

I also have a friend who is starting her own photography business, and she really needs more experience and more photos of weddings for her portfolio. So she offered to be my assistant, which I was happy to take her up on it. She is much more talented and knowledgeable than me, and she has better equipment (starting with a Nikon D200!). It worked out really well – even though she was technically my assistant, our personalities were such that she tended to take charge and I let her get the better shots because I know my limitations as a photographer. :-)

Today was the wedding. I had a lot of fun taking pictures, but it will be the last time I do this. :-) I am glad for the opportunity to try it, but being a professional photographer is not for me. I was frustrated by pictures that didn’t turn out and I didn’t know why. (I suppose with some patience I could learn… but I prefer things like InDesign where I have a chance to do it over and get it perfect!) I hope Christi likes the pictures we got! Here are my initial favorites; I suppose I should have touched them up in Photoshop but it’s late and I’m exhausted. (I was on my feet for much of today!)

Christi has her groom help her lace up her awesome boots!

Kenny and Christi


Bride & groom

Bride & groom

The church

Christi's boots

Feeding each other cake

Christi with her typical excited expression