Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quick Weekend Update

I know this is random & lo res, but I like the baby in this pic!


So tomorrow is my due date, and I know only 5% of women deliver on their actual due date, but I was one of those that arrived on my due date (my mom's birthday) so who knows . . .

Right now I have my mom and sister Lauren in town from Ohio. They'll be here until a week from tomorrow, and I really hope Baby Agbai decides to show up by then. My other sister Ariane who has been staying with us this month is in the process of moving to her own place in E. Harlem tomorrow so we are one busy bunch!

Tonight we're all headed to the Agbai family reunion and I'll have plenty of pics to upload tomorrow. For now we just a few friends coming over today and are running some errands before the reunion tonight.

Also, there's some exciting, new decorating developments that will be in the works soon so I'm excited to post by the end of the month when it's finished.

So this has been a sort of scattered post but just wanted to give an update on what's going on!

Have a good weekend everyone =)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Groupon Experience Pt. 2

So here's the follow-up to Pt. 1 of my Groupon experience:


Yesterday I headed to Thread on Nassau ST to redeem my Groupon. I had originally scheduled my appointment for 11a.m., but the day before I decided to reschedule for 12:30p.m. Well the time came for me to go, and I was not going to make it out on time so I just called ahead and explained I was slow and pregnant and the receptionist was totally understandable and friendly and told me that she remembered what her pregnancy days were like and said I'd get there when I got there. Whew!

So I got there at 1p.m. and the shop was covered by scaffolding on the outside but the signage was very clear. The salon was sleek and clean and the receptionist greeted me warmly, "So you must be the pregnant lady!" They took me right away and explained I'd submit the Groupon for the eyebrow threading and Brazilian wax when I was complete.

There were several aestheticians available and the receptionist directed me to Bindu. Now my eyebrows had been threaded about three weeks ago so I explained that I just needed minor clean-up. In about 5 minutes I was done and they looked fantastic! I didn't even realize there was that much to clean-up, but they definitely look neater and my arch much sharper.

Next, Bindu lead me to the back for the Brazilian wax. I thought the salon would be daunted by my pregnancy, but they weren't. Bindu was very sensitive and helped me get up on the table. Additionally, she commended me for getting the Brazilian before labor as she said it would really aid with post-partum clean-up (this is what I tried in vain to explain to my mother!).

She explained that she would be gentle and was concerned about my comfort and pain threshold the entire time. I reassured her that I was ok. It didn't hurt anymore than I was used to. Honestly, I was concerned that because of the increased blood flow that I might bleed, but I didn't. The whole process was done under 15 minutes and I think the fact that I trimmed (blindly!) beforehand helped. She even helped me get back into my underwear!

Afterward, I asked for water and Bindu gave me a cup from the back kitchen promptly. She wished me well in my labor, I made change for her tip, left it in the envelope and headed on my way.

This was a very easy and pleasant experience!

I will definitely be using Groupon again and will look to Thread as an alternative to J Sisters, where I usually go. J Sisters costs twice as much as Thread, but it's closer to where I live.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Searching for the Truth About Breastfeeding


As Baby Agbai's arrival draws closer I'm reading more and more about breastfeeding. I plan to breastfeed her until her first birthday, and last night was our last childbirth class which covered breastfeeding. 

The lactation nurse who led the class was a grandmother-aged woman who was very austere and determined to make sure we all knew the benefits of breastfeeding and she also shared insights with us on the larger role breastfeeding plays, and should play, in the black community. She talked about formula and how it's relatively recent appearance is in stark contrast to the pre-formula days when we had no choice but to breastfeed. She also explained how black woman had to give their breast milk to the children they raised during slavery and even afterward as wet nurses while their own children had to drink animal milk and sugar water.

Besides this class, I have seen many discussions and talked to other lactation nurses black, white and Hispanic about what to expect when breastfeeding. Very similar to labor, I believe every woman's experience is unique, but one thing I read and hear over and over is a disparity between what the "experts" say about the breastfeeding experience vs. what the actual breastfeeding women have to say.

Essentially, the experts agree that if a woman says breastfeeding hurts then the woman is breastfeeding wrong - no ifs, ands or buts. However, the breastfeeding women say, "No! This hurts and my nipples bleed are cracked and it's awful!" Now I've watched the videos and read the diagrams about the anatomy of the breast and how a baby is supposed to take not just the nipple, which would result in agonizing pain, but the entire aerola, which does not cause pain. I understand about the positioning of the baby's body, the tongue etc. All that technical stuff.

What troubles me is the continued stark contrast between what the experts say and what the women say. Who is accurate?

This is a mystery I look forward to finding out.

In the interim, I understand that if I do incur pain I can wrap chilled cabbage leaves around my breasts, use Lansinoh (already packed in my hospital bag!) and I can even just squirt a bit of breastmilk on the nipple and aerola itself as it's a natural healing agent. I also have the contact info for several lactation consultants who can help me at a moments notice as well as Le Leche League's 24 hour hotline. I feel confident in all the support!

Women have been breastfeeding for thousands of years so this really shouldn't be so complicated, but I intend to post follow-up about what my experience is like. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remembering 80s/90s Trends



I've posted before about my nostalgia for 80s toys. Well a few weeks ago my friend Noelle M. shared this link that brought back fond memories of growing up in the 80s and 90s. It is so comprehensive! It includes such treasures as slap bracelets, t-shirt clips and Debbie Gibson hats. My ultimate favorite fashion combo was patent leather lace-ups with leggings. I thought I looked so cool! Here I am in the early 90s with my Lisa Frank binder:



*CRINGE*

Beyond just the trends listed here there are a couple other websites that I like for 80s nostalgia: 

Retrojunk - This is hands down my favorite nostalgia site! I can spend hours watching all the old cereal and toy commercials as well as intros to my favorite shows. It covers 70s, 80s and 90s.

Classic Nick - I like this site especially because I had a serious childhood obsession with Nickelodeon. This site recaps all the wonderful shows like Belle & Sebastian, Maya the Bee and David the Gnome. 

My favorite Nickelodeon show was Pinwheel. I even went as far as to find someone who had turned their VHS into DVD and sold it on Ebay. I now have a copy to show Baby Agbai someday! Here's the opening theme for those of you who might not remember it:



Retroland - This blog has many 80s random pop culture references with a well-organized Retropedia detailing categories such as TV and food. Everything's alphabetized and easy to find.

What nostalgia relics do you remember? Are there any other good nostalgia sites you can recommend?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do Anything Better

I have a serious obsession with learning new ways to do things better. It can be from cooking, cleaning, decorating, economizing, traveling, etc. I love quick tips and tricks! 


I remember reading the Dear Heloise column in our local paper as a child. Who needed the funnies when I had her weekly tips! Nevermind that they were tips that I wasn't old enough to use such as how to properly clean an oven, but nonetheless I liked that she seemed to have an answer for anything.

Now that I'm an adult I have a solid list of sites that I frequent based on what I'm trying to do better. Here's a few of my favorites:


Cooking  

America's Test Kitchen - I've mentioned this site before, but the show along with the companion magazine, Cooks Illustrated, are hands down my favorite cooking resource. They have a very scientific, methodical approach to cooking and do a lot of comparing of products and ingredients in search of the ultimate, best techniques. They do the research for you!

Finance/Home Economics

Everyday Cheapskate - A few years ago my mom suggested this site, and I've subscribed to the newsletter ever since. Mary has tips of her own and often includes recipes as well as reader submissions. I saw this tip in this week's newsletter that I really liked:

With my digital camera, I took a picture of a plain piece of paper that lists a phone number to call in case the camera is lost. Then, I made it the splash screen that comes up when our family camera is turned on. Using the settings and preferences, I also protected the picture from being deleted. Now, if someone finds our lost camera and turns it on, they will have a way to return it. Dave L., New Hampshire

Mary is a huge fan of getting rid of credit card debt and has a segment on debt-proof living as well. Definitely check it out!

General Tips
 
Quick & Dirty Tips - Now I haven't really used this site, but I was redirected here from another site (can't remember!) and it looks like a really useful site. It covers many different topics such as grammar and etiquette and is well organized. 

What are your favorite tips websites? 
 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Steal This Design Idea!

I frequent Apartment Therapy and especially love the house tours. I saw this idea recently in a Chicago house tour for storing notecards:


Here's the other view of the living room so you can get a sense of where the notecard bowl is placed:


Now I don't know how well this would go over with a little one crawling around, but I'm sure I could reposition the bowl when baby gets mobile. The renter of the apartment, Emily, mentioned in the comments of the house tour that she saw this idea somewhere and stole it herself so I want to steal it too! She mentioned it's a great way to keep your notes out and accessible to cherish the memories and well-wishes friends have sent. I really like that!

You can check out the full apartment tour here as well as Emily's blog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oh snap! Target Opens in Harlem!


Yes! This is the new Target at 117th & Pleasant in E. Harlem. While the official opening isn't until July 25, I ventured there last night with my friend, Melinda A., who is blessed to live only 2 blocks away. I didn't realize the store had a soft opening until I read it on Uptown Flavor. My friend had also called me from Target this week telling me how quiet and well stocked it was since virtually no one knew of the soft opening. So last night I had to find out for myself!

It's on the 2nd level of the shopping complex and the escalator delivers customers right to the door. I had read snippets in the press that the bus takes you door-to-door and having been familiar with the m116 bus, that is definitely not true. While you do have to walk about a block and make a turn to get there from the bus in no way, shape, or form is it door-to-door.

I LOVE the artwork for the new Target, and they have it plastered along the outside storefront. I seriously got butterflies in my stomach when I saw the sign pictured above: "Hello Harlem" - "Wow, they're talking to me!!!" I thought. Here's the fliers that were being passed out as customers entered:




Now those of you reading this blog who are not in NYC are probably wondering why this is such a big deal for the city. Well, NYC is very anti-big box stores and while we've had pop-up Targets over the years, many residents have desired to be have the store be a permanent fixture on our island. At last our prayers have been answered!


The store was indeed well stocked, and while it wasn't crowded, there were still small waits at the check-out lines. There were quite a few children running around that I was surprised about, but there is security at the door, and I'm sure as it gets busier they'll crack down on unsupervised children. On another note, I was disappointed at the trash on the floor in the bathroom. The store hadn't even been open a week and there was strewn toilet paper, empty bags and hangers throughout. Perhaps it was just in-between cleanings, but I'll re-check how it is on my next visit.


Now I had told myself I wouldn't purchase anything, but I keep an ongoing shopping list for various stores around the city, and I checked my Target list which included "slippers for hospital," so I was compelled to check out the inventory. I was thinking more along the lines of ballet style slippers, but saw in the shoe section they only had winter-type fuzzy slippers. I kept looking and ventured over to the socks section where I found these:


 

Aren't they cute? I happened to find an abandoned Target gift card in the bottom of my wallet which helped subsidize their $6 price tag! I already feel more confident going into labor knowing that I'll have these on ;-)

While I do like this new Target and will probably visit on the occasions I'm on the east side, the Target in the Bronx is much closer to me and is neat and relatively well-stocked so I'll alternate my visits between the two. Now that my lil' sister is moving to E. Harlem (she'll be living a short walk from the Target), and I have 2 other friends living there, I'll have plenty of reasons to visit and compare inventory!

Wanna see more pictures of the glorious Target? Check them out here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Groupon Experience Pt. 1

So I jumped on the bandwagon and finally made my first Groupon purchase this week. I had heard of the service for a while and didn't completely understand it but went ahead and signed up. I had been on the distribution list for a few months, but a couple days ago I saw an offer I couldn't pass up: eyebrow threading AND Brazilian wax for $20!

Now at first I was skeptical because the place I prefer for threading costs $17 and the place I prefer for Brazilian waxing costs $80. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I've tried less expensive places, and I've found you really get what you pay for. The thought of getting both of these services for only $20 was very appealing, and I checked out the customer comments and decided to purchase.

I want to get a Brazilian wax before the baby's born as it will significantly help with postpartum clean-up and healing. I've had them several times over the years, and I'm a big fan. It helps with hygiene immensely!!! Sorry if this is TMI, but it's a subject I'm very enthusiastic about. 

Anyway, I'm calling this post "Pt. 1" because my appointment is next Wednesday, so I'll post the results about actually redeeming the Groupon offer and the actual service I receive. Besides the super-low price, I was a bit nervous about the overwhelming response the offer would receive (nearly 2,000 people signed up!) and that I wouldn't be able to schedule an appointment before I go into labor, but I called and there was no issue with securing the appointment date and time I wanted.

Besides the Brazilian wax, I'll get my mani/pedi done the same day. I'm not really in need of threading but I may just have them touch my brows up a bit. I figure if I go a week past my due date my nails should still be relatively fresh (particularly the pedicure) and the Brazilian will look great for at least 6-8 weeks which should cover my recovery period. 

Have any of our readers used Groupon? How has your experience been?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Shoe Free Home

I've posted before about my strong belief in maintaining a shoe-free home. Growing up we didn't have a shoe-free home but when I visited Uka in Japan when he was playing there a few years ago, I really came to appreciate how clean it helps to keep your home.

Living in NYC is pretty grimy and the thought of tracking things from the streets into my home makes my skin crawl. We have a landing strip in our apartment where we take our shoes off. We try not to leave them there for long as it creates a tripping hazard, but we often just take them from there to our bedroom before the day is over. This has really helped to keep our floors clean.

When I first moved to New York in 2007 I read a Blueprint magazine article that included tips on how to make your home shoe free as well as signs you could put on your door as your guests entered especially if you were expecting a large number of guests for a party.

For our last baby shower I let our guests know beforehand that our home is shoe-free and posted a little note beside the door that said: 

"Welcome Friends! As we prepare for Baby Agbai's arrival, we ask that you kindly remove your shoes before entering our home and leave them in the hallway. Thank you!"

I've also come across a blog dedicated to maintaining a shoe-free home, and a post on Apartment Therapy about the subject as well. The blog, "Shoes Off at the Door Please," includes a list of reasons for making your home shoe-free such as:
  • Shoes pick up traces of animal excrement
  • If you have a crawling baby do you want him or her exposed to the dirt on people's shoes?
  • Shoes scratch wood flooring, especially high-heels (I had bamboo floors in my first NY apt and learned this the hard way)
Now the topic on Apartment Therapy comes up time and time again and the comments are always so jarring with name-calling and such. Many commenters often say, "How dare you ask someone to take off their shoes before entering your home! How rude!" However in many cultures worldwide that is the custom. The current thread has 119 comments! Here are a few:
  • "I really liked visiting in Germany someone's house. They has several cheap, but cute flip flops available for guests to wear in case they do not like to walk around without shoes."
  • "Shoes off. Since we started doing that years ago, we noticed the house stayed cleaner, and for longer."
  • "As someone with stinky or, at times, outstandingly RANK feet, I have to put in my two cents. If someone is going to require all guests to remove shoes, then they really need to provide some easy way for guests to clean their feet. I was HORRIBLY embarrassed once when I went to someone's home and was required to put on slippers. Slippers don't hide the odor, and other guests at the party were noticeably bothered by my feet."
One commenter included this Japanese cartoon about the subject that amused me:




What are our readers take on shoe-free policies? Do any of you have them in your home or a modified version?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

38 Weeks Ultrasound & Harlem Hospital



Yesterday morning we went to Harlem Hospital for our final ultrasound and Baby Agbai is doing well. She's measuring about 7 lbs and is long, according to the technician. She was asleep and really didn't want to be bothered. She kept putting her hands in her face too. At one point her face got really scrunched up and she looked angry. I felt bad :-( I put this up on Facebook, but here's the clearest ultrasound picture:


At night we had the 2nd of 3rd labor class at Harlem Hospital. It's not Lamaze, Bradley Method, etc. but just a nurse talking through different things we should know. There are two other couples in our class, and I like the smallness of it but boy, can our nurse talk!

The highlight of last night's class was taking a tour of the birthing center. There are five rooms and two of them were occupied during our visit, but the few times I've asked to see them they've all been occupied so I guess last night was a slow night. I do know they handle about 100 births per month and July is the busiest month, but I'm hoping Baby Agbai comes right on her due date like I did!

At the Harlem Birth Action Committee conference I went to a few weeks ago so many women had horrible things to say about their birth experience there so I was nervous but being able to see the center, see the staff and speak with the nurse helped. There were a few things I found disconcerting however:
  • Not allowed to have anything but ice chips during labor (I'd like to eat applesauce, drink Gatorade and broth); labor requires a lot of energy and it's unreasonable to expect a woman to birth during the hardest marathon of her life without nourishment
  • Everyone gets connected to an IV upon registration; if I'm in good health, hydrated and a normal delivery is to be expected I'd like to have the option of a heparine/saline lock
  • No birthing balls although online the website said they had them
  • A two-night stay is standard; I was hoping for one night
Despite these things, I think I can manage well enough in the space and I know Uka will be a good advocate for me! The things I did like about the birthing center were: 
  • Huge clean suites with spacious bathrooms and jacuzzi tubs 
  • Rooms are equipped with flat screen cable TV (we want to bring our Wii to play!)
  • The lighting isn't too intrusive; I asked the nurse to turn it to the highest level and it was more like spot lighting 
  • All charts are digital - no paper charting
  • Quiet and comfortable family room for waiting guests
So now I just have to sit and wait . . .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saving My Placenta?

Kit for Making Your Own Placenta Pills

A few weeks ago I went to the Harlem Birth Action Committee's celebration of motherhood conference. It was very refreshing to know there are supporters of natural childbirth in Harlem! The day was filled with workshops, meeting other mothers and food.

One topic that came up was saving the placenta. In the past I had heard of moms deciding to bury it and in some cultures, eating it but had never experienced so many women who were adamant about saving their placenta and who had actually saved it. I'm not a very squeamish person but the thought of packing up my placenta and taking it home with me stored in Tupperware is a bit unnerving.

The advocates of saving it explained that the placenta is part of the woman and is usually taken by pharmaceutical companies for research and creation of products. Now I've read about the benefits of saving the placenta and turning it into pills but there are apparently many other creative uses for the placenta which can be found here. Can you believe this is made from placenta?:



I definitely will not be doing this with my placenta! Honestly, I don't plan on doing anything with it. I don't feel anymore connected to it than I do my toe nail or hair clippings, but I do believe if a woman decides to take it with her then yes, she should be allowed to do so. 

Have any of readers taken their placenta home or considered it?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exploring NYC's Farmers' Markets

New York City has some of the best farmers' markets and this past week while I've been virtually housebound, I was at least able to make it out a couple times to go to both the Union Square and Jackie Robinson Park farmers' markets. 


Now the Union Square market is huge! I was struggling physically the morning I went, and it was a bit rainy, but people were out in full effect. I only stayed on the west side of the market as I was under time constraints and tired, but I found some yummy produce:


Most of the vendors were friendly and the corn vendor told me he prefers to eat his corn raw. Interesting! The broccoli was very good too - much better than what I get at the grocery store. I just put it on the steamer basket pot on my range, and it was ready in about 7 minutes. 

Mostly, I really liked seeing all the vibrant colors of the produce! My favorite of my bounty was the cherries. They were like candy! However yesterday, my Wellesley friends Kim C. and  Millicent C. visited me, and Kim came bearing yellow cherries. I had never had them before and WOW, they are divine! I'll definitely look for them next time.

Yesterday I also went to the Jackie Robinson Park Farmers' Market. It pales in comparison to Union Square as there are only three booths, but they are very friendly, and I like that it provides a local option so close to where I live (only five blocks away!). Here's my bounty:

 
Now there are 4 ears of corn tucked under there and that's lettuce (not sure what kind!), but I plan to eat everything with the help of with Mr. Love Bird and my sister over the next three days. I usually boil my corn with sugar water, and it comes out delish! I found easy instructions here (with pictures). I put butter on mine, but Mr. Love Bird puts salt. I'd love to throw it on the grill, but that's a lot of effort and charcoal for just corn. We do have leftover ribs in the freezer from Baby Agbai's BBQ shower last weekend so we may just put the corn on with the ribs and make a side salad (tomatoes will be at the Jackie Robinson Park farmers' market on Tuesday).

Since I hadn't frequented farmers' markets before, I found this post on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn helpful. There are such tips as:
  • If you want to avoid the crowds and have the best selection, go when the market is just opening.
  • If you want to get the best deals, go close to closing time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and/or a wide brimmed hat, bring water.
  • Remember your cloth bags and bring smaller spare plastic bags as well (many Bay Area FM are going plastic bag free.)
What do you like to get at your local farmers' market?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Squeaky Wheel - Update #6


So along with the canceled cable subscription, I put my Netflix on hold. It seemed easy enough to do online until I saw the bill for another billing cycle although my movies immediately stopped being sent.

I called and inquired about why I'd be charged for another month when I had canceled it already and the associate explained, "Oh, we ask that our subscribers cancel before the new billing cycle and since you did mid-cycle we went ahead and charged you for the next one."

O.K.

Nowhere on the site was this request made known and logically, even if this were so why wouldn't they just let me finish out the month of the new charges that were applied rather than cutting it off instantly when there were 3 weeks left for that month? I asked the associate to follow my logic and she agreed. Without asking her to she went ahead and credited me back that month's charges. 

This is a tactic I've found that's worked many times for companies that have illogical policies. Stop for a minute and ask the associate, "Does this make sense to you?" I've also tried, "If you were in my position, what would you think?" Many times this "personal moment" has caused the associate to see the ill-formed logic of their company's policy and go ahead and offer me a work around without having to summon their supervisor. 

Give it a try!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creating a Library for Baby Agbai

I am an avid reader, and it started from when my parents introduced books to me as an infant. Growing up the library was my favorite place to go. I wrote here about my fond memories of the Columbus Public Library, and I want to foster a love of books in Baby Agbai as well. 

Right now we don't have many books for her, but we were blessed with a few books at the shower this past weekend. I was so excited to receive them! A few other titles I want to get for her are:


I was over on Apartment Therapy's children's site Ohdeedoh and came across this:

This would have blown my little child mind if I had something like this growing up. A whole wall of books?! Wow! I can't imagine where we'd put something like this in our current apartment, but it's definitely something to aspire to. This was a custom job, but I can dream, right? Someday I hope we live in a real house with land and a yard and plenty of room for books. I'll be filing this picture away for future inspiration.

What are some of our readers' favorite children's books?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby Agbai's BBQ Baby Shower

I had posted on Monday a few highlights from our final baby shower. Here's the full photo album here and a few of my favorites:


             This is Jamal, the mascot of the party!               Our front door (I brought this from the OH shower)

Now I do have to say when I see our apartment in pictures it really emphasizes how badly we either need to paint or put art up on the walls. I also notice a need of plants. I know I posted yesterday about my obsession with interior design, but the walls/window treatments part just hasn't come together for me yet. Since we rent the thought of repainting back to builder's white whenever we move is really annoying. On Color Splash I love how David makes his own art and he always makes it look so easy. Mr. Lovebird and I always talk about how we're going to do that "someday." Well, I think I'll make that one of my 2010 goals - get some art up on the walls. Baby Agbai will like it too I'm sure!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Obsession with Interior Design

So we got rid of cable a few months ago, and I really haven't missed it much but I do admit that I have missed HGTV. To fill the gap I've been going overboard with following interior design blogs. A couple of my favorites are Apartment Therapy and Elements of Style.

I saw this nursery by Sarah Richardson featured on Elements of Style today, and I totally fell in love:


The various colors and fonts of letters on the upper ledge are so perfect! Baby Agbai's nursery is still a work in progress as she'll be in our bedroom for the first few months, but I love browsing other nurseries for inspiration. A good site to check out if you love doing the same is Spearmint Baby.

Here's an example of an adorable nursery featured there:

 

I'm hoping when my mom visits in August we can work on it together. My mom has a background in fashion and her attention to detail and color is impeccable. I know she'll help me finish it up and have lots of fun ideas! We might end up making a trip to Michael's for some craft supplies too - I LOVE craft projects!

Are there any other good design blogs out there? Please let me know! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Practice

I put this on Facebook, but just had to post here too! We've been practicing for baby's arrival:

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Quick Hit (w/ a few pics!)

 Trying to look cute posing with our friend Grey!

We had a really fun weekend here in Harlem! Our BBQ baby shower was on Saturday (I'll be posting pics soon from my friends), and we thought we'd get rain, but we didn't so I was very happy! The shower was so chill and low key and it was awesome to see all our local friends together in one place. We had about 30 friends and neighbors show up and it was great!

A couple girlfriends, Becky and Anna, from Boston came down for the trip and although it was a short stay, it was fun catching up. We went to one of my favorite brunch spots, Sarabeth's, for brunch. I really like their cherry-almond French toast, but I was in the mood for their club (yes, I like taking pics of my food!):















Anna and Becky are SO crafty, and I was delighted to receive these from Becky:


Aren't they adorable?! They'll go perfect with our monkey theme! I think these might just inspire me to take up crocheting too . . .

Anna also made a lovely mini-scrapbook/baby milestones calendar scrapbook for us. I can't wait to use it!

Well, this was the last of the baby festivities, and now it's time to hunker down and wait. This week I'm looking forward to childbirth classes and starting my document scanning project - it's the last bastion of clutter for me to conquer, and I'll feel settled before baby arrives. 

My sister is staying with us now as she searches for an apartment, and she's been a tremendous help. Thank you Ariane!

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