This blogger, Mila's Daydreams, is AMAZING! She takes photos of her baby daughter every day using found items from her house, and the photos....well they are too cool for school. Click on through to her blog and check out all the other awesome photos of her daughter that she's got.

So inspiring!


WTF, Toyota?!

Have to vent for a second...

Got a letter in the mail today from Toyota stating that certain 2001 through 2003 Rav4s (mine is a 2002) may exhibit a harsh shift condition and/or malfunction indicator light that would require a replacement of the Engine Control Module and that as a result, they've enhanced the warranty coverage for this specific condition.

Then the letter says "Should you experience this condition any Toyota dealer will inspect the vehicle to verify the condition. If the condition is verified, the dealer will repair your vehicle at no charge by replacing the Engine Control Module... Please note that this coverage is for warranty work performed at an authorized Toyota dealer only."

You see, THIS EXACT PROBLEM HAPPENED TO MY CAR A MONTH AGO. I didn't have the work done at the dealer, I had it done at a transmission shop. Had to replace my Engine Control Module. It cost me $1,400 as well as a lot of grief because I was less than a week from my due date when everything went down and then I had to blow through $1,400 of the money that we'd been diligently saving for my long maternity leave. I. Was. Stressed (to say the least).

Now I find out that one freaking month later Toyota decides to cover this under warranty, but only if you have the work done at an authorized Toyota dealer?? If you've already paid for this replacement, as we have, you can send in all sorts of documentation for "reimbursement consideration".

Umm, listen up Toyota...you'd better do more than just CONSIDER reimbursing me for this! We're a Toyota family through and through, and I hope you do right by us...

Okay, vent over (for now).


cute but blurry

These two shots are both blurry, but I just love them too much not to share. :)

The shot above kind of reminds me of this one. We just love having our babies sleep on us! :)


baby essentials: 2 week edition

Now that I'm an *old pro* with 2 weeks under my belt (LOL!), I thought I'd share a few things that have helped me keep my sanity through these long first few days and nights.

Pictures from last weekend, when Wyatt got to meet his Aunts Laura and Tawnya for the first time! (please excuse my crazy hair...I have a feeling I'm not going to be worrying about my hair for a while...) :)

* my iPhone - I'd feel so disconnected without my iPhone! I can check my email, get online, and so much more...it's definitely a lifesaver.

* Baby Brain - an iPhone app that is another lifesaver. I can track breastfeeding (which side is next...left or right? Baby Brain keeps track of all of that for you!), bottles (when we start using them), naps (when he starts doing more than just nursing, napping and going to the bathroom) and diapers. And I love statistics, so I can see that I've nursed Wyatt an average of 15 times a day (YIKES!) during the last week and we've changed an average of 10 diapers a day as well. Love Baby Brain!

* Kellymom.com and askDrSears.com - 2 websites that have really come in handy, particularly during those late night nursing sessions. I can use my iPhone to look up such questions as "Why is my baby wanting to nurse every single hour?" and "Is baby acne normal?". Love being able to research things while holding a nursing baby. :)

* KARL. Dude, words can't even explain what a huge help the hubs has been these last two weeks! He's an amazing dad, and a pretty phenomenal husband as well. :) Whether it's taking on the task of changing every diaper while he's home, brainstorming with me to come up with a few meals that he can start making us for dinner, staying up late so I can get some rest, watering the garden or taking little man off my hands when he can see that I'm about to hit my limit...he's pretty awesome. I am not looking forward to him going back to work tomorrow, but one of us has to earn a regular paycheck while I'm on maternity leave!

* My Brest Friend nursing pillow. This little pillow rocks my world, and it's spent an awful lot of time strapped to my waist. I've even been known to just sleep with the darn thing on to save time when Wyatt starts fussing for his next feeding. :)

* Nursing bras - let me tell you, easy access plus some support plus a place to put nursing pads (another essential, BTW) = an undeniable essential for me. Karl jokes that I was "made to lactate"...and that is no lie!



Today, Wyatt's 10th day, marks a huge victory...I was able to successfully put him down for a nap in his bassinet!

See, up until now Wyatt has been held pretty much 24/7 by either Karl or me. That's been totally fine with us, and is what we expected and wanted to do...but Karl goes back to work after this week and I've been stressing out about what life on my own (during the day) with a babe would be like if I could never set him down. But today gives me hope that all will work out as it should, and I'll be able to do something other than hold the little man all day every day. (not that I mind holding him all the time...I could just eat up that cute little face!)


Oh, and he may have a lot of his daddy's facial characteristics (those lips!) but he definitely has my sleep position habits. I was a little Raggedy Ann doll with my crazy arms and legs as a kid (and still sometimes am even as an adult).

I'll try and catch some more photos of him with his eyes open today, but it appears that having a baby has caused me to largely lose the ability to take a clear photo...90% of the ones I've taken have been completely blurry! I shall persevere though, and will get the money shot that everyone's been waiting for. :)


week 1

During Wyatt's first week out of the womb, he has...

Met Grandma Marcia, Uncle Philip, Aunt Jill and 5 of his cousins.

Received some very beautiful flowers from my office as well as lovely bouquet from Philip and Jill.

Slept and nursed a lot.

But is having more and more alert/awake time.

Passed all of his newborn tests with flying colors when our midwife made a home visit (didn't so much like getting his heel pricked though!).

Made his mommy and daddy completely forget to call Grandpa Phil on his birthday (SORRY, Dad!!).

And has spent a lot of time in our arms getting loved on. :)



Wyatt Andrew LeDoux....born 7/11/10 @ 6:45pm. Weighed 10 lbs 10.5 oz, 23 inches long with a big old 38 cm (15 in) head. Our big baby is finally here!

I'll write up his birth story soon, but until then...a few pictures...

Labor. Completely natural (no drugs, no nothing but my body working HARD), birthed in the water. 11-12 hours of early (easier) labor at home, 11-12 hours of active (harder) labor at home, 2 hours of active labor (even harder) at the birth center and then just over an hour of pushing. Karl was a phenomenal coach throughout it all...couldn't have done it without him!

Delivery. He was a purple little monkey, but started to cry and pink up almost immediately.

Newborn tests and baby's first diaper (administered by daddy himself, along with all of the subsequent diapers so far). Fun fact of the day: Wyatt's first diaper was taped on because he was too BIG for the newborn diapers and that's all anyone had!

Day 1. We brought Wyatt home from the birth center about 3.5 hours after he was born, and then today we've been doing a lot of cuddling and a lot of feeding and a lot of loving on our sweet little boy.

Welcome to the world, baby Wyatt! :)


I'm gonna be pregnant FOREVER!

Haha....just kidding! I am 2 days past my due date, but I seriously don't feel anxious about it yet. I'm feeling good, baby's still moving around lots, and our midwives are content to let him keep on cooking in there for a bit longer. If I make it to 10 days overdue, I'll go in for an ultrasound/bio-physical profile/non-stress test just to make sure everything is still going well in there. If I'm anxious about anything, it's that my mom is here visiting from out of town and it would be great if she could meet her newest grandson before she has to leave. And Karl's step-sister is coming in to visit (from Thailand! although she's been back in the States for several weeks now) just a few days after my mom leaves....so we hope that all of our visitors get to meet the little man.

We're not just sitting around waiting anxiously though - my mom and I have been filling the freezer! According to the news stations, we're having a "Quick Fry in July" this week with temps in the upper 90s...so we're trying to get our cooking done nice and early in the day before it gets too hot in the house. Luckily the hubs re-installed our little window a/c unit in our office last night, so we're currently hanging out there to get a little relief from the heat that just SETTLES IN to the house. The kitties, however, don't want to join us and instead just flop about in the rest of the house. Such martyrs, those two. :)

But back to the cooking! So far we've got 2 pans of veggie enchiladas, 2 pans of Mediterranean tuna noodle casserole, 1 big order of super sloppy joes, 1 big order of lion's head meatballs and 2 baggies full of winter squash muffins in the freezer. Tomorrow we'll probably make 2 pans of quiche, and that will pretty much fill up our freezer.

Thanks for all the cooking help, Mom! You're the best...and we're going to love having so many meals in the freezer in the upcoming weeks!

Lots of my friends have decided that baby is just waiting for the heat wave to be over before he makes his grand debut. So in theory, that means he'd be coming tomorrow. We'll see if they are right...


a work in progress

Well today is my due date...but no baby yet! Guess little man won't be sharing a birthday with Julie or the Dalai Lama (both born on 7/6) or with Leslie (born on 7/7) either. Not unless, that is, something starts happening REALLY fast today!

Since I have no baby news to share, I thought I'd show you around the nursery as it currently stands. We're still a ways away from being finished with it, but it's functional and we're pretty sure the baby won't care if his room isn't 100% finished when he makes his grand arrival. :)

First up, the crib/dresser side of the room. The dresser is a Criagslist find that still needs some TLC before it's big reveal, but it's nice and functional in it's current state. The dresser holds cloth diapering supplies in the top two drawers and onesies/sleep sacks in the bottom drawer. The storage drawer under the crib has extra crib sheets and changing pad covers.

Swing around to the other side of the room and we've got the long bookshelf that we've had in this room forever, now repurposed for the nursery. Those lovely bins along the bottom came from Ikea and they hold a variety of stuff (shoes, hats, burp cloths, receiving blankets, toys, etc). The chair and ottoman I bought from my boss, the curtains I sewed myself and the laundry hamper is another repurposed item that we've had around for a long time (see this post for more details on that project). The lamp is another item that we had around the house, just with new sconces (because one of the old ones broke and we couldn't find a matching replacement). Next to the chair is our baby monitor and a little iPod speaker system that changes colors and should provide some nice white noise and visual distraction during late-night nursing sessions.

You may notice that there's some unfinished wood and exposed nail holes on the walls. Well that's been our biggest nursery project yet - Karl has worked really hard to create a custom wainscoting for our little guy's room, and I love the way it's turning out! We still need to find a narrow and thin board to go along the top of the wainscoting to create a little shelf, then fill all the holes/gaps and paint it all white (along with the crown molding). Once it's done it's going to look SWEET.

Now for a few of my favorite details in the room...

The pom poms above the crib. Oh how I love these! This is a pretty popular idea right now, and I totally bought in to the fad. :) Hopefully once the little guy can focus on objects up near the ceiling, the different colors will give him just as much visual stimulation as a mobile. Purchased from Etsy seller Party Poms.

Our trio of handmade stuffed animals...all bought long before I even got pregnant, but when we knew without a doubt that we wanted to have a baby. We found the little fish at the Ballard Market, the elephant I ordered online somewhere (but have forgotten where) and the monster is from Etsy seller Cutesy But Not Cutesy.

Our little book nook. We don't have a whole lot of baby books yet, but I'm sure that will change shortly (if little man is anything like his parents, he will looooooove to read). Love that cute little alligator toy from Plan Toys - he was a hand-me-down from our friends Dan and Leslie.

This sweet sensory cube just arrived in the mail yesterday from across the pond. My good friend Maria moved to the UK in the beginning of this year, and she sent us this toy along with some really cute clothes and UK-themed soft-soled shoes along with a cute note to the baby encouraging him to get his passport as soon as possible so we can come visit her. :)

This frog painting has been hanging in my cubicle at work ever since Karl painted it for me many moons ago, but I thought it would work perfectly in the nursery. Karl has ideas for other artwork that he's going to do for this room as well, so that's why the walls are largely bare.

And finally, the rest of little man's stuffed animals (taking up temporary residence in his crib...but don't worry, they'll be long gone from there once baby is sleeping in the crib. Safety first!). Such cute little stuffies, but we definitely have enough of them now (so if you're thinking of buying the little guy another stuffed animal and haven't already done so, thanks but no thanks....how about some books or a gift certificate instead?!). We've already realized that Henry thinks every one of these toys is his, so that should be...umm, interesting.

So there you have it - our work-in-progress nursery. We love that we have a lot of second-hand and repurposed items in this room, and that it's not too matchy-matchy. Now we just need a baby to complete the picture!


Shh....don't tell Henry

We've been doing a lot of research about how to successfully integrate a new babe into a family where the pup might be used to being the #1 baby in the household. One of the things that made a lot of sense was to buy a special treat or two to give to the dog as you are introducing baby to him. So over the weekend we went to Mud Bay and picked up a new squeaky toy and a yummy dog treat...two special presents just for Henry on baby day (they are well hidden away for now).

Henry used to have a toy exactly like this one and he looooooooooved it. We're hoping he remembers all the good times when we give this new one to him, and we're also hoping he associates such a positive experience with the memory of our little guy first coming into the house. :)


easiest sewing project EVER

Anyone want to take a guess as to what these are??

I won't keep you in suspense for long...they are pee pee teepees! Perfect for (hopefully) keeping us from being surprised with a golden shower during diaper changes. :) I'd seen these online before, but had completely forgotten about them until we stopped by Village Maternity yesterday on our way home from my brother's house and I saw a little packet of them. Ding! Light bulb went off....those would be so easy to make, and would be MUCH cheaper as well (I think they were selling a 5-pack for something like $10).

So this morning I searched online for a quick tutorial (found and used this one), then I whipped up 8 little pee pee teepees in no time flat. I think from the time I hit "search" in Google to the time I pulled out the camera to photograph them I spent about an hour total on this project. So. Easy.

I made 2 each out of some of my favorite fabrics from my stash, and lined them with either flannel, terry cloth or fleece (also from my stash, so this was one super cheap project). We'll see which fabric combo works the best to keep us well protected. After we've road tested them, I have a feeling they will become a regular appearance in my go-to baby shower gift combo for mamas having little boys.

Yay for easy baby sewing projects! :)


Our birth plan

My due date is coming right up – just 6 more days! That’s not to say that the little guy is going to come right on his due date, but it does mean that he could be here pretty much any time.

Thought I’d update everyone on our birth plan (for those of you that don't already know). Without going in to a lot of background, we decided around the 27-28 week mark of my pregnancy to drop our OB and the hospital birth in favor of a midwife-assisted birth at a birth center. Suffice it to say that we did hours and hours of research prior to making this decision, including many long talks about what is most important for us and for our baby. We considered several different birth centers in the area, and when we interviewed the one we ultimately chose we spent an hour and a half grilling the primary midwife with a 3-page list of questions. By the time we left that interview, we’d transferred care from my OB’s office to the midwife clinic and we were floating on Cloud 9 because we were so excited about the switch!

And that’s what we’ve been preparing for since then – we see our midwives every week, and they are WONDERFUL! I get all of the same prenatal care as I would at an OB’s office, just (in my opinion) in a more gentle and naturally-oriented manner. At my very first midwife appointment, she put her hands on my belly and told us exactly what position he was in and where all of his major parts (head, bottom, feet) were so that we could feel for them as well. Then she talked to the baby and told him that he’d be getting very used to the sound of her voice and that she was excited to meet him when the time was right. I can’t even tell you how great that was – no one (not the nurses or the doctor) had shown that level of compassion toward me or the little guy at any of my previous appointments. The appointments had all felt very clinical and honestly like a waste of time.

In preparation for a natural childbirth, we've also taken a 10-week Bradley class with 6 other couples, and those classes were just fabulous. I was torn on whether we should fork out the money for the classes (because of course they aren't covered by insurance!), but I am so glad that we did. Besides being a great opportunity for Karl to learn how to be the best coach he can possibly be for me during labor, it was also a real blessing to be around other like-minded couples for at least 2 hours a week. It’s not that we haven’t received support in our decisions from our friends and family (we totally have, BTW), but not very many of them have made the same choices that we have so it’s sometimes hard for them to relate.

Finally, we also hired a doula (read this post for a great explanation of what a doula is) to assist us during labor and delivery. Annie the doula is A-MAZING. We clicked with her over the phone before we’d even met her, and then that feeling was completely confirmed when she came over to our house for our initial interview (she interviewed us and we interviewed her to make sure that both parties felt like it would be a good fit). She’s a crunchy granola type person, but not in an overbearing way whatsoever. She’s caring and loving and believes that childbirth is a beautiful and natural thing, but she’s not overly touchy-feely about it (if that makes any sense)...and that fits my personality perfectly. We heart Annie.

So for anyone wondering, here’s how everything should go down when the big day finally arrives...

When Karl and I believe that I’m in early first stage labor, we’ll call our doula and our midwife. They’ll assess the situation and advise us on how they would like us to proceed. In all likelihood, they’ll tell us to get out of the house and do something (go on a walk, take in a movie, go to the market, etc) to get our minds off the long journey ahead. This stage of labor is referred to as the putsy-putsy stage in the Bradley method because it’s not so bad yet and you have a nervous energy that makes you not want to just sit around obsessing over the impending arrival. Our doula will then come to our house to assist us through late first stage labor (late second stage is the pushing stage, in case you are wondering) – and I do mean us, not just me. Karl is my primary coach, and Annie will be there to help make sure that I’m okay and that Karl is okay as well. Annie will probably make the call as to when we head out to the birth center – typically when contractions are between 5-1-1 and 3-1-1 (3-5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute and having been this way for at least 1 hour). At this point we’ll head to the birth center and proceed with the rest of labor and delivery. Our birth team (i.e., who will be in the room with us) will be me, Karl, Annie the doula, our midwife and perhaps a midwife assistant. That’s it. Unless there is an emergency situation (which occurs in less than 0.25% of the clients at our birth center), or unless I completely break down and decide I can’t go on without medication, we will not ever be at a hospital. If a problem arises, we’ll transfer via ambulance to the hospital (which is less than 5 minutes away) and our doula will accompany us to see us through whatever happens next. We could also have our midwife join us in the event of a hospital transfer, but we feel like the doula will be more than sufficient to ensure that our best interests are kept in mind while striving for the ultimate goal of a healthy baby and a healthy mother.

After baby is born and we are back home, the midwife and the doula both come to our house for a few postpartum/well baby check-ups. In a perfect world we would love to “room in” with him for the first three days – just Karl, baby and me all getting to know each other and settling in to being a family of three without many distractions or visitors. It likely won’t be just the three of us, since we have several out-of-town family members scheduled to come within the next few weeks without many days in between scheduled visits. But even if people are staying at our house, it is still very important to us that we get sufficient time to acclimate to life with a babe and to gently get him used to being out of the womb where everything is much louder and brighter than what he’s experienced thus far. I’m sure we’ll love having people stay and help take care of us and the house, though, and I am 100% certain that the kitties and Henry will absolutely love having someone there to shower them with attention when Karl and I might be a *little* distracted!

So that’s where we stand, 6 days out from my due date. Karl and I feel prepared and knowledgeable enough that we can advocate for ourselves no matter what happens. We are pretty good at tuning out the noise and the negativity that gets thrown our way (why is it that people always seem to want to share traumatic birth stories with pregnant women??!), and instead focus on positive birth stories and positive thinking. We have complete trust in our midwife and in our doula. Our bags are packed and the car seat is installed. We are sooooo excited to finally meet our little guy (when the time is right)! And I am so excited to have my feet and ankles get back to normal again, too! :)