Saturday, January 12, 2008

Baby, Baby!

It's becoming a theme, isn't it???!! ;) We are almost exactly 2 months from our due date, tomorrow- the 13th- we'll be 32 weeks with only 8 to go! GEEZ!!! We are very excited, daily freak out, and are growing closer together as we prepare for this new one. Brian has been exhibiting sympathy pains and we both cry at times with abandon for no apparent reason- it's the hormones! :) It is all a bit overwhelming, but we are confident that God is faithful and we have much support here in CA and across the country! We love you all!!!!

We know you're dying to see our "baby" after Brian's story of Maggie last weekend, and have included some pics below. She (Maggie) continues to do very, very well. The "baby" resides in the crib now most of the time and we pick it up occasionally and walk around. She always jumps to attention and follows closely, sometimes whining for attention and to lick the "baby's" feet.

I have also included our registry info below-- it seems a bit strange to share this on the blog, but we have had several requests for this info to be posted. Please know we don't expect ANY gifts, and certainly hope we're not seeming to "secretly" communicate our need for presents by posting this! Rather, several family members have suggested this would be the easiest way to share this info, given our current distance so see below...

We are registered at 4 places (mostly due to the fact that we tried to include fair trade, organic items as much as possible and these sites are often smaller):

1.) Barefoot Herbs & Barefoot Kids
This is a small store run by a husband and wife in IN who are committed to locally owned business, fair trade, and environmentally friendly products. They don't have an on-line registry, but have been so gracious as to help us do this in spite of that. They are having their 2nd baby 4 days after our baby is due! We are so happy to be able to support their small business from across the country, and hope you will too. Kudos to them for taking a risk and doing business for babies differently!! The list below is made up of items from their store that we would like for our baby and you can view them online at

If you then call the store at 877-321-8155 they can tell you what is still unpurchased from our registry and you can order on the phone or on-line, either way. If you order on-line, Scott has requested that you please put a note in the message area of the check out so he will know it's for our registry and should be crossed off the list. Thanks!
They are listed under the same categories as on their website-

Baby Carriers and Slings
Ergo baby carrier- organic - chocolate w/caramel lining (1) $112.00

Organic Children's Clothes
Sckoon-babyblue-kimono- 3-6mo (1) $17.00
Sckoon-cloudshirt- 0-6mo (1) $19.50
Sckoon-monkeypants-navy- 0-6mo (1) $19.50
Sckoon-zen knot hat-navy (1) $12.00
Sckoon-monkeypants-brown 3-6mo (1) $19.50

Speesees-flockjumper- earth 0-3 mo (1) $28.00
Speesees-jeraf body-red 3-6 mo (1) $22.00
Speesees-yoga pant- red 0-3mo (1) $22.00
Speesees-raglan tee-grass infant (1) $14.00

brown suede wrap (1) $22.00
blue giraffe (1) $22.00
beige horse (1) $22.00

Natural and Organic Soft Dolls & Toys
Under the nile-monkey

Tooth Paste, Diaper Creams, Bug Sprays, Sunscreen, Etc.
Weleda Baby Starter Kit

2.) Progressive Kid
This site is also committed to fair trade, organic products and we love their cute earth-conscious clothes! They have an online registry- so all you have to do is go to the website, click on gift registry on the left side of the page and search for us by name.

3.) Cotton Babies
This is our cloth diaper site!!! Yes, we have decided to use cloth diapers (although we are using the 7th Generation disposable ones for the first 6 wks. to avoid the really tar-like ones (Brian has offered to change all of those ;) !!) Their website lists our needs by name as well. Go onto their website and click on "Registries" on the left sidebar and it will show you a list of names. Our registry is listed under Megan & Brian Shope. Please be sure to put our names in the comments upon check out. THANKS!

4.) Finally, we are also registered at Babies R Us- for those items that we just couldn't find on a "green" site or store. Unfortunately some baby stuff is not yet very enviro friendly, and some items that are, are crazy expensive, so we've tried to supplement as best we can. You can access their website and search for us by name under baby registry.

Brian and the "baby"

Maggie keeps watch...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Maggie & Barbie

This is a bit ironic, actually. After all this time, my intentions were to contribute to our blog as well as Megan. However, once school started and I had my own blog to upkeep for one of my classes, in addition the reading and workload of graduate school all my good intentions were out the window. The greater irony is that tomorrow is my first day back after our month long break, and I still waited for 4 weeks to sit down and begin my offerings as to our lives in spouses, new babies, and an aging dog.

Ok, so we really don't have a Barbie doll. We're not really into Barbie, even for our upcoming child. But the most incredible circumstances unfolded around us last night. After opening a baby registry at Babies R' Us (I think Megan has information about that forthcoming), we stopped at Target to pick a couple things up. One of the things we purchased was our baby training implement for Maggie, the wonder dog. Our equipment? A near life size baby doll, which says 'momma' or 'poppa', when squeezing her hand, laughs when you squeeze her tummy, and cries or coos when you squeeze one of her feet. The life-like sounds were a nice touch to the work before us. Based on recommendations from various expert sources (none of which I can name), one should acclimate a pet to the upcoming addition to the family- i.e., this is not your new squeak toy. The new parents are to carry around the doll as though a real child, setting safe boundaries if the dog shows too much interest, etc. They've even recommended walking the dog with the stroller and your 'baby' inside. I think you get the picture...

We weren't quit sure what to expect, but knew we had laid some groundwork that we might have to undo. Let me explain. From time to time we've gotten our first child (Maggie) a stuffed toy, usually in the shape of some animal, that contained the infamous and ever intriguing squeak inside. Her first experience in this was baby Herman. I think you can already see where we could've used different nomenclature. If that wasn't enough, we would raise Baby Herman the squeaking teddy bear to our shoulder as though burping him, and torment our dog. (She knew we were playing; no animals were harmed in the making of this story.)

Anyway, we walked into the house last night, and we both assumed that she might give us a perfunctory sniff, the "hey-what's-that-oh-it's-not-for-me" greeting, and we'd continue changing the environment around her gradually. But when Megan was holding our 'child' in a realistic manner, Maggie would not let her alone. She was trying to smell, taste (gently, Maggie gives everything a lick or two as an introduction to determine edibility), and generally get herself closer to this new thing we were carrying like Baby Herman. She whined, sat at attention when she wasn't trying to greet the baby, and actually barked at her desire to see our baby. She even tried climbing on top of the couch for a close look.

Then I took our child. Now, you should've seen all of this. We actually were doing our best to handle this baby as realistically as possible. So, Megan passes me the baby much like we would our newborn to come, while we box out our intensely curious dog. I sit down on our rocker, trying to simulate the late-night feeding sessions that are to come. Maggie begins performing many of the same behaviors for me that she has for Megan. Whining, sniffing, licking, barking, and at times we had to gently but firmly say 'no!' Then her behavior begins to reveal that if she can't have the baby, then baby is just receiving WAY too much attention, and that's what she exists for: our undying love and focus. She then begins to try and give me her paw, while I'm sitting with the baby in the rocking chair. Again, I'm not really giving Maggie my attention, because we want to simulate our behavior when our child is present. So, I'm cradling the baby in my arms, burping our child, etc. Every action brings Maggie to a new, higher level of attentiveness. She finally resorts to the tricks she knows: she tries to give me her paw. "Dad, look what I can do!" And not just one, but both at different times. Repeatedly. Then barking. Then trying to climb into my lap. All throughout this ordeal we are talking to her, Megan is petting her, and giving her treats for being "so good."

We pass one more time, back to Megan. I actually had to pinch Maggie between my legs as we passed our "child" while trying to lunge for a closer look. Well, Maggie visits with Megan sitting in the rocker, again sharing her excitement, desire for this possible new toy, and attention from mom that she's not receiving. After a brief moment of this, she comes back over to me and literally tries to climb into my lap. For those who may not know or forget, Maggie is borderline 80 lbs. and resembles a black lab. I'm sitting on the floor and she is all over me, gaining reassurance that her place is secure.

In the end, we were quite surprised at the intense emotion Maggie displayed. I may sound as though I'm giving her a bad rap, but she was really good. She is such a sweet creature, and we were so surprised that she would feel that attached to climb into my lap, and when that wasn't working because of her size, to bury herself into and under daddy's legs. (Yeah, she really did that.) All that to say, if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, and have a dog, do some research and be sure that your canine baby is ready for the appropriate, albeit difficult for all, displacement.

Note the pics below of my lovely wife putting together the crib friends from our new church here in Pasadena passed along. Maggie looks slightly worried, but mostly trying to figure out how she can get the white teddy bear sitting in the crib - she has loved it since the day we opened the package from Grandma Shope, and would like the real baby to give it to her as a gift. Negotiation through the belly is somewhat difficult, however. The model 'baby' has not been introduced into the crib as of yet, we're trying to take it one step at a time, so for now the closet in the nook is home. Ah, the joys of things to come!! :) Look for more updates as we venture into the world of 10 weeks to go and counting. Actually, we're at 31 weeks today- WOW!

Meg putting the crib together...

Maggie's reaction...

And...a few pics of the 30 wk. old belly...