Friday, June 29, 2007

Montessori in the home

so i started classes this week. i am working on my Masters in Montessori at Xavier, and i have classes all day, everyday for 4 weeks straight in the summers. it's a pretty fun, relaxing, EASY way to get my Masters. at least so far. we'll see if i am still singing the same tune when i am working on my research project while caring for a newborn.

anyway, one of the classes i am taking right now is called Full Day Child Care. we are talking a lot about childcare centers and how they meet (or don't meet) children's needs. we have also been talking a lot about the Montessori method and how to bring this approach to infants and toddlers, in childcare settings but also in the home. we've talked a lot about how one of the main "jobs" of an infant is to move, and about whether or not things like bouncers, swings, exersaucers, walkers, etc are too restricting. watching children lay on the floor and kick and move and roll and all that stuff looks way more fun than sitting in a bouncer, if you ask me. our teacher was talking about how much more relaxed children look when they are free to move, and it's really true.

i feel like having knowledge of the Montessori philosophy is going to open up so many possibilities for me as a parent and also for my child. i am not saying that i am not going to have an exersaucer. i have seen how these can be fun for children and also allow parents a break sometimes. but i know that i want to put some thought into it, and not just get one because that's what you are supposed to do.

even though my Bachelor's is in Montessori, i only studied 3-6 year olds. all of this infant and toddler stuff is so new to me, and even more new to joe. i want to try to read about it as much as i can and gain as much knowledge from my classes as i can. who knows.....

another thing i learned about is a floor mattress rather than a crib, but i'll get into that later...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mary Lou on the Uneven Bars

well, i think joe jinxed us a little bit by nick-naming our baby after a gymnast. yes, it's true she did have her legs over her face during her ultrasound, but still. in the past 2 weeks i have been feeling more and more movement. it started on the wednesday night of week 19. i had laid down to bed and i felt two fluttery, thumping movements. enough of a movement to think "what in the world was that?", and then it was over. there really is no way to describe what it feels like, except for it DOES NOT feel like gas. i have heard people describe the movements as feeling like gas, but why in the world would you have gas feelings in the front of your stomach??

anyway, after that night i felt movements every other day or so. nothing that joe could feel by putting his hand on my belly, but rather movements i can feel from the inside. and then the dance party/floor exercise routine started. it all started the day i got home from the trip to vegas. we have rented a doppler so we can hear her heartbeat whenever we want, and when i arrived home we decided to give a listen. (i think joe had been missing the baby). we did the doppler and heard her little heartbeat. then, i decided to place my hand on my belly. and she kicked back. i saw my belly moved my hand. and i SCREAMED. it scared me. and that started it all. since then i have felt movement pretty much everyday. it seems like she is more active during the day, especially when i am sitting down. yesterday while sitting in class it felt like she was going for the gold in the summer olympics. at one point i looked down and saw my stomach move. it's so crazy, but so amazing. i can't wait for joe to get home for new orleans, because i think he'll finally be able to feel her move for himself.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Invitation Website

Okay... this wouldn't normally be my thing, but found it on another website and it has some pretty cool features for printing and creating annoucements (baby annoucement, Baby Shower invites, etc)...
It's called tiny prints.

I thought this one looked pretty cool, and I'll end this post now before I lose my mind any further.... I should have sent an email to Melanie and had her post about the website :)

Baby Cool

Well little Mary Lou (FYI, for those that didn't get the joke, we're not really naming out little girl Mary Lou, since she was doing 'flips' the Mary Lou name was for Mary Lou Retton, perhaps I should have used a bit more contemporary gymnist).... Anyway, we'll continue to use the Mary Lou code name for our little girl on the blog until we're ready to let the cat out of the bag on some other names we are considering (PS... that might not be until after the baby is born)...

So... little Mary Lou is already set up to be a cool little girl... just 20 weeks in the womb, she's already been to Las Vegas twice, to Austin Texas for SXSW, and on Thursday night she went to teh Wilco concert at the Aronoff.

Melanie hasn't felt the baby move too much, but she thinks she felt the baby move several times at the Wilco concert. I think that's only natrual, as I think she was dancing to the music, she's a big wilco fan already!

Father's Day

Got to spend my first "father's day" today. I guess it counts, but I suppose next year will be my first official father's day.

Of course, for my first father's day my lovely wife was living it up in Las Vegas for a bachelor party... how sweet :)

She did leave a father's day present behind and it'll be fun. Got a picture frame with 'Daddy's Little Girl" on it... pretty funny.... also got a gift certificate for Blue Ash golf course. Tony, Brent and Scott also got the golf gift certificate so the four of us can join in on some "Father's Golf". That should be fun, and perhaps a tradition was just born?

My mom also got me a father's day gift chock full of stuff for the new baby. Some books for baby products, pampers, etc... Just a little kick-start to the baby registry we'll need to do before too long.

Monday, June 11, 2007

She How She Grows

Melanie and I have been taking pictures just about every week starting at about week 8. I've taken those videos and made a 3 second morph that is basically a 3 month timelapse video that shows how things have changed already... I expect this to get even more dramatic in the coming months... pretty funny to see, click on the image to see the video.

Drumroll Please

So today was a great day. We got to see the baby again for the first time in 12 weeks. Boy what a difference it is... it went from a tadpole looking semi-human blob to a little person in just 3 months. It's really quite amazing. You see sonograms on TV or in print all the time, but it's hard to explain how different it is to see your own baby, and I'm sure it's even more difficult to explain for Melanie who has the little one inside her!

In addition to the excitement of just seeing, it was also the key sonogram where we are able to see what the sex is if we wanted... and we decided to find out. So... if we can queue up the drums, the great news is that Melanie and I will be having a bouncing baby girl!

I really didn't have a 'hope' for girl or boy, but I'm very excited now that we know, it's so cool to be able to start talking about the baby as 'her' instead of 'it'.

Here is a brief view of what things looked like today:

Little gal shying away from the camera and sucking her thumb...

And the next two photos are when we decide to name her Mary Lou... she's got legs going all over the place. I think in the second picture she was just about to do a summersault.

20 Weeks

So today (well, actually tomorrow) marks 20 weeks. The half way point. That's exciting, but also means it's time to start getting the baby room ready, registering, and finishing up other tasks around the house that are probably going to be difficult to get done after the baby comes (at least for a few months).

Today (in about 15 minutes) we head to the doctor for our 20 week check-in. Which will include our first sonogram in about 3 months. It's going to be exciting to see, as it will be much more like a little person than previously. If the baby cooperates we also plan to find out if it's a he or a she. We'll likely have names for both ready though, just in case the doctor was a little off on the analysis :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Strangers are noticing....

it's really exciting (to me) that i am starting to show. i felt like for a while i was just looking a little chubby. and in fact i still have those days every once in a while. in fact, a woman i work with commented that she was beginning to wonder if i was either pregnant or "hitting the bottle". i guess that's her way of saying i looked like i had a beer belly. but yeah, people who don't know me are starting to notice. which is nice. in fact, in one case it even brought me to tears. could be the hormones.
i was out for a walk last week, and i was walking towards home. a man started to cross the street towards me. the man looked sort of "rough around the edges". he was carrying his belongings with him and sort of stumbled as he walked. i am ashamed to admit this, but i was honestly feeling worried and a little bit threatened, and i was wondering why he chose to cross in the middle of the street to get to the side i was on. i quickened my pace, and just then the man looked at me and said, "i just wanted to say good luck with your baby, ma'am." i looked at him, thanked him, and then i cried all the way home. what a sweet man to wish me such kindness, even while i was judging him and making assumptions. i soooo appreciated not only his good wishes, but his ability to tell i was pregnant! HE didn't think i looked chubby....