Sunday, July 26, 2009

Baby Kilo


Now that the news is leaked (and we have clarified the confusion--no, Miles is not going to model for Apple and Eve juice...but we welcome any interest! ha ha), here is some general background. Let me break it down by answering the most popular comments and questions.

-Was this a surprise? Were you trying? Kind of an odd question. Kids, let's be honest, there is always an element of "trying" for any couple who gets pregnant, no? Was it a surprise? Yes. We had already planned to start "formally trying" (is that awkward?) this fall, with the hopes of having a summer 2010 baby. Here is where I get all anatomical on you. SKIP TO THE NEXT QUESTION IF YOU DON'T WANT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT MY REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM! (Break--I generate a lot of my courage/stupidity/willingness to share intimate details no one may want to hear from my blog mentor: Dooce aka Heather Armstrong. Amazing reads. go-indulge--add to your Google reader.) Due to breastfeeding, I had 11 lovely months sans ovulation. Then, bingo/bango. And everything seemed to be like clockwork. I started charting (without the temperature b/c it can be unreliable while breastfeeding), and was 99% sure of my ovulating again. I am one of those lucky women who has always has regular periods--albeit intense, and even gets the pleasure of experiencing mittelschmerz. I can even tell you the side I felt it on--right. We should have been well protected after that time for any kind of, um, activity. Well, the next month comes around and nothing happens. Hmmm...on a whim, I take one of the old pregnancy tests I had from 2 years ago. Positive. HUH? So, I bought a few more boxes. Same result. So, I go to the doctor and get an ultrasound. Intrauterine pregnancy. BUT, the gestational age is only 4 weeks. According to my regular 28 day cycle and "ovulation," I should have been closer to 7 weeks. What does this mean? I must have ovulated a few weeks after I thought I had. Here's to regular periods after breastfeeding. After an u/s at week 7 and then another at week 10 (above), we have one Kilo with a strong heartbeat. And we couldn't be happier. :) It's a few months earlier than we had hoped, but we'll take it! We recognize how blessed we are with the ease of which I got pregnant. I will never take that for granted. Never.

-How are you feeling? AMAZING! Anyone who has been a regular blog lurker since before Miles was born knows that I endured the most challenging 20 weeks of pregnancy with regards to nausea and general sickness. It was like I was on the Turkish Twist amusement ride 24 hours a day, and anytime the ride came to a stop and I ripped my sickly body off from the wall, the ride started back up again. I hated pregnancy. And then there were the other obstacles that crept up along the way (I don't want to dwell here). So, in comparison, the past 12+ weeks have been joyous. I have had moments of nausea, but I welcome it. I know this sounds strange, but I actually have the strength to be fatigued! I was too busy being sick with Miles so I never felt tired last time. Now, I am actually finding myself thinking--boy, I totally need a nap! The cruddy thing--who naps with a 14 month old? Ah well. I have the desire (note I said desire, my follow through has been poor) to keep up rigorous exercise and may actually even need to as I have gained 3lbs (as opposed to losing 5-7lbs last time)! I do get some panic from time to time--why am I not deathly ill? Is something wrong? And then I just have to release and let go...and breathe.

-Are you still seeing Dr Evil? Pardon my language, but HELL NO. I changed practices to one that is closer to our new house (but affiliated with the baby factory, Northside Hospital. Eek! Help me!). It is a one man practice, and despite some reservations, I am just thrilled with my experience with Dr Moore
. He has nothing but glowing reviews from anyone I have talked to and amazing reviews from the research I have done. He does all his own ultrasounds (4D to boot), and really listens to my concerns. His wife had a doula, which was important as I think I may hire one this time. He is also just...well...chill. He assuages my concerns in regards to being high risk again, but says that until there is cause to worry, we will just monitor more regularly are just going to enjoy the ride. And you know what? I am.

-Will you create a new blog?
No, I won't generate a new blog. I can barely keep up with this one! The focus will just shift a little, and over time, will probably turn into an online receptacle for family pictures.

-What is the gestational name? Kilometer. Or Kilo for short. And NO--this name will not show up in any iteration in this baby's official name. We thought it was gender neutral and was well paired with Miles. Listen. I know many of you are like--you are insane. You are crazy. What is with this gestational name, anyway? I have a hard time talking in generalities (i.e. "it" or "the baby.") This is a life form that has individuality and while in the womb takes on a personality of his/her own. I truly think it makes it seem more real by using a gestational name. You may find it annoying, but this is how I better connect with our fetus. And the first rule of motherhood--you need to ignore other people's opinions.

-Are you going to find out if it is a boy or girl? Probably. But in the meantime, please don't try to "will" this baby into one gender, or predict for us. Or if you do--keep the thoughts to yourselves. It strangely puts unneeded pressure on me and the fact remains that Kilo's sex was determined 3 months ago when Eric contributed his load of the chromosomes--so blame him if it isn't what you wanted. Yes, it would be awesome if we had a girl to sort of finish the family story (I am not sure we could afford a third!), but I also have a real strong desire to have another boy to give Miles the experience of a live-in best friend. Over time, I am just adoring the mother-son relationship that has developed--and there is nothing like seeing a father and son interact. I keep thinking about wanting to hold another little boy. Ugh, I just want to hold another baby!

-I knew it! I totally guessed. Well, good for you Sherlock. I am never quite sure how to respond when that is the first thing out of someone's mouth. Perhaps it is the hormones, but my suggestion for anyone who is met with finding out someone is pregnant is to congratulate her first...then turn the focus back to how clever you are. (I may be feeling a lot better this time around, but the hormones still get me moody!) We did find out about 9 weeks ago when I was 4 weeks pregnant, but didn't try to make it known! Well, save the random dude at the park Eric divulged our secret to a few weeks ago. Why? He just had the urge to tell someone. And for the reference to new exciting Heintz family news. There is more than just Kilo I was referring to in previous posts--we are getting a new car, replacing carpet in our house, and finally getting estimates on a bathroom remodel! In response to the getting nurturing dolls for Miles--I have wanted to do that since before I was pregnant. Both my brothers had baby dolls, and I decided to wait until he was over a year to think about getting a doll. It just so happens that this might help with the transition, too. And the hot tub I didn't hang out in on our Totaway. Okay, that could have been revealing--but I am not a big fan of hot tubs, anyway. I have a real hard time regulating my body temperature-- on our Asheville anniversary trip a few years back, I had to get out of the hot tub at our B&B b/c I thought I was going to pass out.

Closing Thoughts: There will be so much more to share in the coming months, and this blog will be the written warehouse of experiences--rife with thrill AND fear. I'll try to keep my long-winded sentiments to the blog. As I said before, you can read and follow at your leisure to whatever degree you like. I never want to force our lives on others...but I would like to "riff" for a moment:

For me, this truly feels like a first pregnancy, so I may come across in person, and most definitely on the blog, as that annoying pregnant woman who cannot get over the newness of each day. There may be belly shots again, I may invite others to rub the belly...and I certainly will "ooh" and "ahh" over the thoughts of tiny little baby clothes again. I am not going to apologize for that. This baby is a miracle that I can actually enjoy prior to his/her birth. I felt robbed of that with Miles. I felt robbed of a lot with Miles. I am also just having the best month with Miles, and it is getting me more and more excited to experience it all again (but also slightly sad that it won't just be Miles anymore...). I welcome others excitement, but certainly don't expect it. This past week I have been met with a wide variety of reactions to the news--some of which made me feel sad and uncomfortable. I recognize that my intense care of what other people think or feel can be a weakness at times, and perhaps this is one of those times. Please know that our extreme joy and happiness does not detract from our care and concern, or our ability to celebrate and share in life's miracles and experiences of others.

I'll end by sending out a blanket "thank you" and "lots of love" back to everyone. We are continually grateful for the overwhelming interest and support...Lord knows come February (please not earlier!) we'll need it more than ever.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Miles's New Announcement!

We were surprised (blissfully shocked) to find out a couple of months ago that Miles has his first job! Even thought it doesn't start until February 2nd, he got his first promotional shot. We will fill you all in with more details soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Product Endorsement

I am breaking from the original scheduled programming to endorse a few products that I have recently discovered. It's not that life in the Heintz household isn't crazy enough to post about (Miles finally uses ASL for "all done" and feeds himself applesauce with a spoon!), or that I am getting a secret cut from these companies (although, I wouldn't decline the offer...Miles has to go to college, peeps!), but I just feel slightly distracted and in the mood to shake things up for the whopping 4 people who follow the blog.

Non-baby related endorsement: PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Nail Polish

Over the past few years, my obsession with nail polish has decayed. In part, what mom has time to paint her nails? Also, I became neurotic about ingredients that I exposed my body to--especially when I was pregnant. (This coming from a girl who is tempted to linger a few seconds after the pump at the gas station finishes filling her car...the smell is intoxicating.) I cannot even remember where I discovered PeaceKeeper, but I finally ordered some nail polish as my toe nails screamed for a thick application of some shade of pink. The selection isn't vast, but I was incredibly surprised and delighted with the product. It really can rival OPI in my opinion. It is rated by the EWG as the safest paint-based polish, and even better--they are an all benefit company and give all of their distributable profits to charity after taxes, debt repayment, financing costs and reasonable working capital reserves. Specifically, PK gives their profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues. And here's the kicker--FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS (and I also hunted and found a coupon code that sliced more off my shipment). I am actually still waiting for the polish remover as it was back ordered. The back order was not communicated to me, and my nail polish didn't originally arrive when expected, so after a wonderful exchange with customer service, my polish arrived with a great palate of lip gloss to try for free. It's good, too!

Baby endorsement: Green Toys
I recently got Miles a play cookware set from Green Toys company (thanks amazon sale!). He is obsessed with a bottom dishware drawer in our kitchen, and instead of him rummaging through is own useable dishware, dirtying it as he throws it on the floor (read: Mom or Nana must pick it up and wash it repeatedly throughout a day of play), I thought I would put in some play items for him to explore. As the whole lead issue has me on high alert, I am even more obsessed with green "safe" toys. This fits the bill! The packaging it comes in is simple and completely recyclable (it has cute instructions and information), the items are sturdy, and will last for years. All of the products are made out of recycled milk jugs.
The company makes a host of kitchenware items, as well as some sand toys, garden toys (one I posted about a long time ago), tools, and even trucks. We are still partial to the Sprig trucks Miles has (made of recycled wood!)

I'll let you know how Miles likes them.

And now my call for help. I am interested in getting Miles his first real doll. We have a number of Under The Nile cloth "dolls," (none of which peak his interest, really), but wanted to get him some sort of baby doll. It doesn't need to be life-like (anyone heard of those creepy reborns??), but I would like it to resemble an actual human. Both of my brothers had dolls, and even if he isn't too interested now, I would like to start modeling some nurturing skills for a variety of reasons. At his last appointment for the study at Emory University he was enrolled in, he was fascinated with a big Sesame Street character doll. Granted, I think it was the fluffy neon hair and big eyes that captivated him, but I am hoping if I get him a bigger doll (and one that does not light up, pee in his/her pants, coo/cry...or generally require batteries), he'll eventually take to it. I really like The Earth Friends dolls, but MAN they are expensive! And you know I'll buy one and he'll let it sit at the bottom of his toy bin for years.




Right now I am leaning towards one of the dolls from kidsandgrandkids.com. They are cloth, but appear to be "safe" and lead free. I am sort of hesitant to get him any doll that reeks of plastic. I like the "Baby Bottoms White boy." It doesn't seem incredibly anatomically correct, but props for at least attempting to acknowledge anatomy--unlike the Ken Doll "mound" of many boy dolls. And I also like the nighty night boy. Or as they call it: "White Boy Nighty Night Doll"...seriously? I mean, I am not averse to getting any of the other races, but my first reaction is to find one that looks the most like him. Anyone remember My Childs?
Oh, I loved my My Child! And loved that it was "designed" to look like me.




Any suggestions? Advice? What are some good (and safe) dolls for boys?




On a related safe toy note: some of Miles's toys that tested postive for lead came from a specific company that I loved--Anamalz. I will post more later, but a few weeks ago, customer service got back to me and is willing to replcae all of my toys with new ones that have been tested at a new plant, and are also willing to talk to me about the report with the lead results from their old toys. Part of me is happy they are responsive...but part of me is concerned the new toys will still hav lead? Should I have them replace the toys? Should I run the risk?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Totaway Part II

Here are some pictures of our weekend away. (Full pics on Picasa) Okay, so it was only 24 hours away, but it was really fun! On Saturday, Eric and I got up really early for his first official bike race! As a spectator, I don't find them to be as fun as running races, but it made me want to get back into peak running shape to do some of my own races. In time...
From Totaway weekend
From Totaway weekend
Afterward, we went home, cuddled with Miles, got freshened up, and then started our 24 hours away. We dined at a new restaurant in our old neighborhood--Rosebud. It was good--not great, but it was nice not having to ask for a high chair and negotiate flying food. Prior to leaving, we took family pictures. Please notice my shirt--it is my "going out shirt" that I have worn on 8 zillion nights out ever since my (gulp) Bachelorette party! Hey, it has gotten some good use, which is good b/c I spent full price at Banana for that number.
From Totaway weekend
From Totaway weekend


Banning Mills zip line canopy tour was awesome! Climbing up the first shaky tour with a group of cussing 40 somethings didn't inspire a lot of confidence, but it turned out to be wicked fun. And, it helped that before me, an 83 year old g-ma named Bobbi zipped down the first line without wincing or hesitation. No joke. She only did the first one, but I hope I am spry enough to zip line when I am her age. When we go back, we'll do the "big daddy" Screaming Eagle 4+ hour tour that has a line where you zip 70mph. Here is me zipping!
From Totaway weekend


We stayed at the Inn on site. It sure was "country" to say the least. It's hard when I have such high expectations that were set when we stayed at the most glorious B&B in Asheville, NC on our first anniversary. The room was huge, but overpriced for what it was. We did do a lot of laughing as we discovered the huge bed was really 2 beds put together. We also shared some chuckles over the free rental we picked from the Inn's vast library of DVDs. We chose Apocalypto. Poor choice. We should have gone with Short Circuit. Despite the movie's categorization as a drama, we found a lot of humor in Mel's failed attempt at entertainment. Eric did get to enjoy the in-room hot tub. I didn't, but he said it was nice, especially after his bike ride.
From Totaway weekend


And what vacation is complete without a trip to Walmart? As we were VERY remote, we didn't have access to much, which you wouldn't think mattered but I FORGOT MY SNEAKERS! I wore some lovely silver thongs (shoes, people) for dinner, but totally left my sneakers at the front door. And here's the rub--of all people, I am the last one who needs to get more sneakers. With my history as a Puma wear tester and the recipient of multiple pairs of free Reeboks, and my general inability to throw away my old running sneakers...I do not need anymore sneakers. But, I couldn't do the zip line in my sandals, so we took the 20 minute drive to Walmart and I got a pair of the least hideous shoes I could find. The were on the pricier side of their options ($13), and we also somehow ended up with $1 toothpaste and some cheap Powerade. (The truth is, Walmart IS cheap...but the whole store made me kind of sad for some reason.) The shoes did the trick, but now they crest the big pile of things I need to donate.
From Totaway weekend


More fun and exciting stuff to share soon, but I have been plagued with a 2 day migraine--my first ever (and let's hope my last). I end by reemphasizing that taking the time away from being a parent to reconnect with your partner--even if just for 24 hours, can do miracles. I almost look well rested.

From Totaway weekend

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Romantic Totaway

Reality #1 of having your first baby: your priorities change completely. For the most part, it is refreshing. Minor irritations at work dissipate when you come home to a snuggly baby or bouncing toddler waving to you as you approach the front door screaming "BOOO" (Miles language for "someone important I love has entered my sight."). Dinner time discussions (if you can steal some moments to compose full sentences amid breastfeeding while feeding yourself with your non-dominant hand, or retrieving tossed food or sippy cups) center on your child--what does he do that makes you smile, can you believe how cute his chewing is? Didn't he have a really great day? And you call your husband during the day to see if he has pooped, or when his naps are, or if they got in a walk. Life is measured in diaper laundry, gross motor skill milestones, baby food making, pumping (thank goodness not for me right now!), and dictated by nap schedules and the tolerance and attention span of a 14 month old.

And here's the thing--I love it. With all of our special challenges with Miles (and I know there will be more to come), his life has added a depth and richness to our lives that I am so grateful for.
In the same breath I need to mention that even as Miles focused as our lives have become, Eric and I have really attempted to continue and nurture our relationship--outside of being parents to Miles. In the beginning there were moments that we ended up having obligatory date nights due to activities scheduled during a time we assumed I would still be pregnant (e.g. being part of freinds' wedding), or just other responsibilities that forced us to get out of the house without Miles (Eric's school's fundraising night). I won't lie--I always had intense guilt leaving Miles and the first time we had a non-friend babysitter, I wrote out 6 pages of notes on how to care for our infant. (I still have them for historical purposes.) Luckily, now I am not quite as nervous (and we also have, hands down, the best roster of responsible babysitters). And although we still bring him with us to 90% of our activities, we do get "Eric and Ali time" at least once a month.
I don't want to look at Eric in 10 years, hell, in ONE year and think, "who are you?" Or more importantly, "who are WE as a couple? What happened to us?" In my heart, I believe that the first year of a child's life can really set the stage for how you are going to operate for years to come--if you don't make effort to re-establish and re-connect to your partner outside of the definition of being a parent, I think it just becomes harder and harder to maintain a strong partnership. You become so routinized in viewing life 100% of the time through the lens of being a parent...but with a little effort, you can redistribute at least 5% to the grooming and honoring of the two-way partnership that got you to parenthood! I know this may rub others the wrong way--how can you think about anything BUT your new child? Trust me, we spend almost ALL of our time thinking about, engaging with, etc. Miles. But my connection with Eric is precious to me, and I will do whatever it takes to respect that relationship--beyond the time we spend together when Miles is asleep. I want Miles to grow up in an environment where he sees that his parents sacrifice for him, but not at the expense of their partnership, and that we find ways to balance being present parents, and just as important, being present partners.
With Nana Nanny Deysher here for 5 weeks, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a lot more time with each other. We get to go to the gym together at night, and finally got to take a late night yoga class together this week. We even got to go grocery shopping together alone--it's the little things, people!

Despite the multitude of times Eric and I have gone out alone, two truths still remain:

1. We always end up talking about Miles a good portion of the time.

2. We haven't had a REAL vacation since 3 months before I got pregnant. We have traveled a good bit with Miles, but it has always been related to family visits, and we certainly have not vacationed without Miles.

So, due to a host of factors, we decided it was the best time to have our first Totaway. Okay, so it will only be 1 weekend away right outside of Atlanta, but just the tempting carrot dangling in my face of a full night's sleep without being woken up at 4:50am (like this morning) is utterly delicious. We'll be going to Historic Banning Mills for an Eco-tour--a tree-flight zip line canopy adventure! We will also Bed and Breakfast it up and make sure to cap one of the nights off with a nice dinner. Eric also has his real first bike race outside of Atlanta, which I'll go to, solo, and cheer him on. I won't lie--I am already thinking about whether or not Miles will sleep well for my mother, or how tempted I will be to call and see how well he fell asleep, or if he made it to 6am without waking up. But I am also excited to have a whole weekend with just Eric and me (and extraordinarily high zip lines).
Of course, the weekend will be bookended with a pool parties with Miles on both Friday and Sunday, so we'll feel good about leaving him on a good note, and then coming back on a good note.
So, here's to romantic dinners, zip lines and sleeping in...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Photoshoot with Uncle Nick


Follow the link to an array of images from Nick's recent visit to Atlanta. (More posts to satisfy the family...substance coming soon!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Videos for the Grand Parental Units

As promised to the grandparents, here are some videos of Miles using his gifts!! (These will be exceptionally boring for all others.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

We're BAAAACK!

From June 2009
So much to write, so little time. I don't imagine life slowing down a pinch, and anyone who parents a toddler can stand behind me on that one! I rarely get to the computer during non-working hours, but do feel slightly bad that I have let the all of 10 people (half of whom are family) who read this blog down with such a delay in posting.

A LOT has gone on in the Heintz household. It will take a few posts to catch you all up with the achievements, setback and surprises, but lets start with the most immediate: Miles is out of his cast! Three weeks wasn't as terrible as I thought. Miles's leg wasn't emaciated when it came off, and the x-ray showed his tibia has healed. It will take at least a month for him to "get back" to where he was prior to the cast, so I am sure walking, like crawling, will be exceptionally delayed. My guess? 18 months. He also has just stopped crawling with a phantom cast. It was so funny--he crawled with his left leg stuck out for days. I'll try to post some funny videos soon. Just this post and pictures has stolen too much time away from the insanity of our lives.

Atlanta has lived up to its reputation as an inferno, and we have had mid 90s for days, without a drop of rain. It gets old, folks. So, Grandma and Opa Heintz kindly funded our quest for a kiddie pool. Pictures below.

Finally, Nana Deysher is here for FIVE WEEKS and we also got to steal Uncle Nick away for the weekend while Aunt Tracey is exploring Espana. The best part--when Miles wakes up at 6am (or earlier), Nana has said she will take him and let us sleep a little longer. Sweet Jeebus--our lives have changed. I know many people have dream babies who sleep 12 hours starting at 7:30pm, but for those of us who do not, sleeping IN until 7:30am is like having ice cream for dinner. It is so good...but you feel oh so naughty.

As I said, more news to come (and I'll try to hark back to the days of establishing some value in my posts outside of the day-to-day banal chronicling of life with a 13 month old), but it's time to go play! Enjoy the recent pictures. Full album at Picasa.

Rocking the cast
From June 2009


Hanging with Daddy in the morning
From June 2009


Product placement
From June 2009


I love my new pool!
From June 2009