Saturday, July 23, 2011

. . . baby stuff (with a car picture for the guys)

Fair warning to the guys who read this blog -- the beginning is all about baby stuff, so if you want to skip ahead to our grocery shopping excursion and car stuff, head towards the bottom. For anyone else interested in the baby stuff, read on . . .

My project for Liam's room

This week has been a busy one! I finished working on my project for Liam's room, which was a nice distraction for a few days . . . because I didn't go with a "themed" room, but rather had my grandmother make his bedding from some fabrics I chose, I had a really hard time finding a mobile that matched the room. For boys, everything is either already matched to a theme, or has some form of transportation or jungle animals hanging from a plastic mobile. That works for a lot of nurseries, but not really ours. So I decided to make Liam's mobile from scratch! After a quick trip to a small craft store (mind you, it was no Michaels, which I would have loved to find here), I came home with all my loot and got to work. It took me about 2 hours one night and another 3 hours the following day, but I am really happy with the finished product. Now I just need a ceiling hook to hang it in his room and he's got his very own handmade mobile from mom! : )

My supplies . . .

Wrapping the embroidery hoops

I traced glasses to decide what size circles I wanted

I made the circles using card stock and scrap booking papers

Super glued clips to string, that way I can change
out the circles for something else later

The finished product!
(still waiting to be hung in Liam's room though)

Writing a birth plan

Another thing that kept me busy this week was working on our birth plan. I've done a lot of research, and Keith and I have been attending those child birth prep classes, so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to include. The problem is most advice says to keep your birth plan short and simple, but being in a different country puts a little bit of  a different spin on that for me . . . I don't want anything to be assumed on either our part or the medical staff's. So I was very detailed in what I want and don't want during Liam's birth. I will interject at this point that I understand a "birth plan" is a funny name for what it is, because of course if birth plans actually went according to "plan" every woman would write one! I actually entitled ours "Our Wishes for Childbirth." And I stated in there that we are flexible on some things and understand that things may change as labor progresses -- it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen, and I am open to what's to come. However, if I can have any control over what happens to my body and to Liam, then I figure it is best to lay out our thoughts beforehand so that everyone involved understands what we are wanting or not wanting. My first wish and hope is to deliver a beautiful, healthy baby boy. My second is to avoid a c-section, and my third goal is to avoid pain medication. For those of you who want to tell me that birth is harder than I think, that "birth plans" are silly, or that there's no way I can do it without pain meds, please think it, but don't say it. I am a firm believer in the effects of positive thinking, and right now I am feeling confident in myself, my body, and my God. I have heard some pretty amazing things about giving birth, and I am excited nervous anxious looking forward to experiencing it myself. : ) It will surely be a day that I will never forget, and I appreciate the love, support, and prayers you send our way from so very far away. If anything, you can help me by praying for the things I mentioned above -- and even more so if your delivery didn't go according to your "plan" --  because you understand how hard that can be. Again, when I am holding sweet Liam at the end of the day (or night!), it will all be worth it. : )

Visiting the hospital

Last night we made an appointment to visit Catharina (pronounced with a hard "t," not "th"), the hospital where Liam might be born. I will start out by saying that although it is big for Dutch standards, it is no Northside, the "baby factory" in Atlanta. The labor and delivery wing is small and quiet, and we had to come in the evening because that's when they would be the least crowded. I mentioned before that most women go home the same day, so unless you've had your baby after 5:30 pm, you're pretty much going home a few hours after birth (unless of course there are complications, surgery, etc.). The rooms themselves are very similar to what we would experience in the states, which was a relief, though I don't know what I was expecting? Maybe a tiny room with a bucket of water and a tiny pair of wooden clogs that the baby wears immediately after birth? And the nurse who showed us around did not have braided pigtails and a big apron . . . huh. It was way more "normal" than I expected. One thing we did really like was that the baby never leaves the room while we're there. All cleaning, examinations, etc. are done right there in the room, even while I hold him if I want. The three of us never have to be separated (unless of course there are complications), which might of course have to do with the fact that we really aren't there long enough to be separated, but whatevs.  Then we go home and the kraamzorg will meet us at our house that day. Overall, I was happy with the hospital and glad we visited -- I just really needed a mental picture of the room so I can visualize what it will be like if/when we go there.

Our big grocery trip!

After visiting the hospital, we had a lot of stuff to get at the grocery store (which Keith would NOT be able to carry home on his bike), so we headed to the Albert Heijn XL and spent WAY more time and money than we had anticipated! There were lots of household items we needed to stock up on, plus we actually bought enough groceries for almost a week's worth of dinner (which is not the Dutch way -- they normally shop every day or every other day for their food). Keith and I probably looked really funny as we constantly pulled out our iPhones to translate lots of words -- you wouldn't believe how hard it is to just find tomato paste! Something we did find was an "American section" . . .  a few small shelves of American products (or things the Dutch think are American). We actually didn't even buy anything from there, but I've included a couple pictures so you can see what I mean.

The top right shelf has "Rocky Mountain Peanuts"
The bottom left is "Stars and Stripes Cola"
Skippy and Hellmans!

Oh yeah, and one more thing to make us more official : Dutch license plates . . . Keith was glad to get this out of the way because according to the clerk at the gas station in Amsterdam, the politie (police) will pull us over and fine us if they catch us without the correct license plates -- and she meant business!

The Acura has new tags!
So today is errand day, and we are headed to the Philips My Store (where employees can buy Philips products at a discount), Praxis (the Dutch Home Depot), and the V&D (the one department store I've found here so far). We plan to work more in the house this weekend, and are glad to get more things done in preparation for Liam's arrival. In addition to the hospital visit and the birth plan, we've also put the car seat in the car and built the pack n' play this week (and by "we" I mean Keith actually did those things).

So, that's it for now!



  1. Busy, Busy busy! I love your mobile! Love and miss you. think about you everyday!

  2. Jessica, I so enjoy your blogs!! I get really disappointed if there is not something from you every 2-3 days. Thank goodness I will be back in school and busy when Liam is born because I know you will not have time-or want to- blog everyone once that precious little guy is on board:) I applaud you for knowing what you hope for the birth of Liam to be. It is wonderful that you are open to any possibility. Delivery is such an important part of the whole pregnancy adventure and no one wants to miss it!! I commend you and Keith for your determination to make this a positive, exuberant time in your lives...Liam is so lucky to have parents who want drama without having to produce it!


  3. I love it! You guys seem to be very busy and it sounds like you're starting to feel settled. I totally agree with you on the birth plan stuff! Mine was very similar in that I knew that I wanted a healthy baby, I did NOT want a c-section unless it was the only way to have healthy baby/mom, and I wanted pain med free. I wish you all the luck as you get closer to time to put your "plan" into action and I will be sending my prayers your way that everything goes well.

  4. Jenn - thank you! I love you and miss you too!

    Marilene - You are so thoughtful and wonderful to me! Thank you so much for your support . . . and I am so glad you are enjoying the blog. : )

    Brittany -- Hi sister! Thank you so much for your support and prayers - I need all the happy thoughts I can get! Glad you, Lane, and Eden are doing well!

  5. 1. I love the mobile! Very creative!

    2. I'm glad that gas station attendant will be relieved. Tell Keith I said to go back there and let her know you guys are all squared away with your plates now. :)