My Baby Love

Friday, January 28, 2011

Able to slip away for .2 seconds to make a special announcement...

Siena Marie Brancaleone
BDay: 1/20/11 at 8:44am, at the "house of Branca"
7 pounds, 3 oz; 19 inches long
Hobbies: Eat, sleep, poop, coo, and listen to Brazilian music or opera really really loudly :)

THANK YOU TO MY DEAR FRIEND TRISTA LERIT for coming out to our home and taking these fabulous pics of Siena at exactly 1 week old.   Of course, Siena was conked out before and after the shoot, but was totally hyper during the shoot, thus making cute poses and manipulations pretty difficult.  Of course, Trista worked her magic despite the circumstances (one of which being projectile pee pee while laying in the basket!)  See more pics in Trista's blog post!


Sea Salt Shampoo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taking a break from baby-watch to share the product that has made showering an absolute joy!  Finally, an organic, all-natural shampoo that isn't totally wimpy!  I'm not that picky about shampoos or anything (I grew up using suave for pete's sake) but I have tried many "natural" shampoos, and always felt like they are runny and wussy and don't seem to get the job done as well as salon shampoos.

Enter Gudonya's Salty Dawg Shampoo.  First of all, it's the texture of whipped butter.  It's filled with chunky sea salt crystals that dissolve in your hair when you start to lather up.  And the lather!  One little quarter-sized scoop and my long hair is cascading with froth.  I ordered mine in "citrus blast"- the scent is fresh and fruity but not overwhelming.  I'm absolutely in love with this shampoo.  It's like a scrub for your head, leaving your hair squeaky clean, soft, and fragrant.  Best of all, it's completely handmade and all-natural.

Friends and family, don't be surprised if you ALL receive this for birthdays/holidays/hostess gifts.  I feel like I want everyone to experience this shampoo.  No, I'm not just hyping!  Joe was skeptical of switching shampoos since he's been using biolage for years, but is now a fan of the dawg. 

The conditioner on the site is really yummy as well.


What Winter Looks Like in Socal

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 15th, we put on our flip flops and sunglasses, grabbed the doggies from our sister's house (we kicked them out a week ago so I could clean up all the fur before the birth) and headed to Laguna Beach.  Quite possibly our last "family outing" before Siena gets here.

How crazy are Joe's shoes?  They were one of his Christmas gifts.  They allow him to feel "barefoot" all the time.  Such a hippie! 



Passing the time!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, the midwife checked me and said Siena could come any day now.  Or she might come in a week.  It's so weird not knowing if today is the day that will change your life forever!  Thankfully, I'm still quite comfortable and able to be active. I haven't hit that "just get OUT of me!" stage yet. 

Here's how I've been keeping busy:

  • I got a pretty lavender pedicure (would normally do it myself but I can barely shave my legs, let alone paint my toes)
  • Cleaned all the baseboards in the house.  
  • Watched many episodes of The Office on netflix while rocking on my yoga ball, trying to encourage the baby to get into anterior position (she's still sunny side up)
  • Cooked (all in one afternoon!) beef and pumpkin stew in the pressure cooker, a big pot of Vietnamese curry soup, and slowcooker chili to be frozen and reheated after the baby is born.  
  • Finished online traffic school and passed with flying colors :)
  • Started on my 2010 taxes. 
  • I've been writing 5 thank you notes for baby shower gifts each day so it doesn't get overwhelming.
  • And the most satisfying project of all?  It involves those felt Pesto heads I hinted to before.  A doggy head mobile! I thought it'd be cute to have my pups' googly eyes looking down on Siena while she sleeps.  Hopefully she isn't freaked out by them ;) 


    Preparing for the home birth!

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    So, I've been running around gathering items for the birth, cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors, washing baby clothes, reading books about breastfeeding, sleep schedules, and more. 

    I don't know if this is "nesting" per se- I've always kept myself pretty busy and often feel guilty relaxing. It's just that now I have no more Treasured Petal, and I'm officially on "maternity leave" from etsy. I have time, LOTS of time, on my hands while I wait for my little one (who could come any second now!)  Preparing the home just feels right.

    While the midwives bring all the medical supplies and emergency equipment, here are a few of the more random items they have asked me to gather for my "birth kit". 

    • Maxi pads drenched with witch hazel that I'm supposed to freeze for after the birth.  Supposedly I'll be very happy to wear them.  Right now it just makes my freezer look odd.
    • Gallon sized ziplock bags for the placenta. Eww? 
    • A hand-held mirror so I can see baby crowning (not sure how I feel about this.) 
    • Flashlight for midwives.  Since it's my home and my territory, I want the lights dimmed low and yummy smelling candles lit for a calm environment.
    • Lots of caffeine!  Not for me, but for the midwife team and probably for Joe. 
    • Easy foods: fruit, juices, salads, nuts, sandwiches. I'm pretty relieved that I'm allowed to eat and drink- many hospitals forbid this which I find strange considering labor is the most athletic thing I'll ever do.  I may not WANT to eat, but  they will encourage me to have some honey, juice, and light snacks to keep my energy up.
    • Extra pillows and blankets for the midwives and doula to crash on the couch if necessary.  I think that's so sweet- they want labor to go at the pace it's supposed to, and if it means sleeping over, they are more than willing to do that.
    • Yoga ball.  Sometimes bouncing up and down or rocking on that ball is the best way to get things going.
    • Birth tub set up and ready to go.  It's basically a glorified kiddie pool with a hose that connects to the sink.  It will be set up awkwardly in our living room, since our bedroom is way too small for it.
     A few things I'm still up in the air about: 
    • Whether any pictures will be taken during the birth (I'm leaning towards no.)
    • Whether my mom will be allowed to pop in during the earlier stages of labor (again, leaning towards no.)
    • Whether I should pack a bag for the hospital just in case of emergency (leaning towards yes, but trying to remind myself that the chances of an emergency occuring are slim.  Self-fulfilling prophecies are real, y'all!)

    Pesto meets my friend's baby Leila for the first time.  He looks a little bugged out, but did pretty well. He's pretty much ambivalent with infants.  Wonder how he'll react to Siena!  (photo by my friend Marysia)