Thursday, October 27, 2011

Choices and Ice Cream

Earlier today, I asked Mungee if she thought the baby in mommy's belly is a boy or a girl.  She said "We have choices!"

As I was getting her into her pajamas this evening, she exclaimed "I want some ice cream".  I told her we didn't have any ice cream and she explained to me that "we have to order the food".

So, what's that about a baby in my belly?  Well, I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy with our second child.  This Saturday, I will be 19 weeks.  I am due March 24, 2012.  Mungee was born six days past her due date and if this baby is just as "late" we could be meeting him or her on our 4th wedding anniversary!

I had an anatomy scan last Friday and Mungee's Pa and I held out on finding out if this baby is a boy or a girl.  I began the pregnancy with the thought in mind that I wanted to be surprised, but Mungee's Pa wasn't always on board.  A couple weeks before the ultrasound, he decided he was okay with not finding out.  It was definitely difficult during the ultrasound not to peek when the wand was potentially passing over identifying parts, but we managed.  I almost gave in and blurted out "Okay, tell us!"  I did feel weird leaving the office not knowing, but I am getting used to it.  I definitely don't think it's necessary to know the baby's sex in order to get things ready for his/her arrival.  It would make things easier for figuring out a name - for instance, if I knew it was a boy, I could stop trying to think of girl names - I'm having the most difficult time coming up with a name that I love.  We kind of think Mungee already has the best girl name ever.

This pregnancy has been much harder on me physically than my first.  With the first pregnancy, I could take it easy whenever I needed to - rest, climb into bed, take a nice bath, etc.  This time around, I don't have the luxury of sitting down to relax at will - I have a very busy, needy, curious 2-year-old to keep up with!  Emotionally it has been a bit trying as well since this pregnancy follows my miscarriage earlier this year.  I've been much more nervous and was using a home doppler to check the baby's heartbeat nearly every day until I started to feel consistent movement.  As the baby continues to move around more and more, my mind is eased a little, but there are days when I don't feel much movement, so the doppler comes in handy.

I've been working part-time, inside and outside the home.  I go into my office two days a week and I am able to work at home sporadically - when Mungee is at school in the morning and during her short afternoon nap.  It's a temporary short-term position, which should end in January.  Once the new baby arrives, I will be staying home again.  I'm not going to lie, I'm quite nervous about how I will be able to handle having a toddler and a newborn at home.  I have a great support system available, so I just need to be sure that I call on them if I think I'm getting in over my head.

If you have more than one child, how far apart are they?  What was the easiest thing about going from one to two?  The hardest?  I'd love some advice for staying sane!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: Easy Canvas Prints

I recently had a chance to review the company Easy Canvas Prints and order a "Photo to Canvas" print.  The site is very clean and easy to navigate.  It actually “walks” you through the ordering process.  First you choose your canvas size.  For this review, I ordered an 11x14x.75” standard wrapped canvas.  Next, you are directed to upload your image.  The site includes an image quality indicator, which will let you know whether or not your image has the right resolution for a canvas print.  You can even adjust the image size in order to crop out any unwanted space or fluff in your photo.  In the next step, you select from three border options, which include a mirror image, an image wrap or a simple border color.  I chose the image wrap. Next you have the option for Color Finishing and Image Retouching.  No need for those, so I went on to the next step, which was Checkout.  One thing that kept making me nervous throughout the ordering process was that every time I got the image just the way I wanted it in the preview screen, it would shift and go way off center.  


It only took about 10-15 minutes to complete the transaction, and I think the most time consuming part of the entire process was just choosing which photo to use.

I received the finished product just 7 days after ordering it.  I was very pleased with the turnaround time.  The canvas was decently packaged within a plastic sheath, wrapped with “butcher paper” and contained in a cardboard box.  There was nothing within the box to prevent the canvas from sliding around and bumping against the sides of the package, but no damage was apparent due to this.  

The finished product was off in color from the online order proof.  The photo I uploaded was a professional quality high-resolution black and white image and reflected as such in the order proof.  The canvas we received had very yellow tones.  There was also a blemish on my forehead which was not present in the photo.  I was able to rub/scratch off most of the blemish with my fingernail.  Although an exchange could have been made, I decided not to bother with it, since the canvas took on a more black and white appearance in different lighting.

This is the photo I ordered.  Don't I have an adorable family?

All in all, I thought the ordering experience was quite easy, the shipping turnaround time was extremely fast and the quality of the canvas was good.  I would definitely order from the company again.

Disclosure: I was contacted by a representative of EasyCanvasPrints.com and offered a promotion code that covered the cost of the canvas I ordered as well as the cost of shipping.  I am writing this review of the ordering experience and the finished product, and providing the company with a link on my sidebar in exchange for the promotion code.  All stated opinions are my own.
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