7.21.2014

Porter's Nursery Reveal | My Take on the Woodland Theme

I'm so excited to FINALLY share Porter's finished nursery with you guys today! I love decorating nurseries for my kids (here was Cecelia's and here was Truman's) and this one is my favorite room yet. Something about the color scheme and my first real attempt at a loose 'theme' makes me extra happy when I'm sitting in our glider, taking in all of the details. I'll do a source list at the end along with the other links from posts I've done about this room along the way.

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Let's take a full tour of Mister P-man's room (that he has yet to truly use for anything other than diaper changes and rocking in the glider. Ha!) :

Come on in...
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And now for a few details:

I made this wooden name sign for our boy using random old wood I found in our attic.
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I have no idea how old the wood is, but Tony thought it might be close to original to the house, so 1925-ish? I had to clean it off in the bathtub, sanded it down, and stained it. Then I had Nate cut each piece to make the points like little mountains and glued it all together. I added nails for good measure and to add to the rugged look. Then I bought wooden letters and shapes at Michaels, painted them with acrylic paints, and glued them all together. Nate hung this for me on the wall and immediately it became one of my favorite focal points of the room during my pregnancy. Something about seeing his name on the wall made me slightly giddy with excitement to meet our boy.

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And then on the wall above our changing table...
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This wall hanging is my most favorite part of Porter's nursery, for sure. Our little family of five (plus Henry!) captured with tiny fabric characters? Yes.
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My friend Hannah sent me the link to this wall hanging when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. I fell in love and HAD to have one for myself. Etsy seller Pink Cheeks Studio was a breeze to work with, and the owner Nichol was also pregnant at the same time as me so we were able to commiserate a bit with messages back and forth. I couldn't decide if I wanted a true mobile for Porter's room or this wall hanging, but went with this version so that it's no so 'babyish' and maybe I can move it to other rooms of the house someday (i.e. Playroom? Basement?). I provided some guidance for outfit choices, hair color, eye color, etc and then sent her a picture of our family so that Nichol could work her magic. I could not be happier with the results and almost cried when she sent me the first picture of her masterpiece.

I mean...Henry's little collar? My camera around my neck with my favorite tank/cardigan/skinny jeans outfit? Truman's Angry Birds tee shirt? Cecelia's crown and silver tutu, and Nate's golf club and ski hat? I love it all. It's us and it's even more adorable in person. Totally worth the ten week wait to have this made custom for Porter's room and I cannot sing Pink Cheeks' praises enough.

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And then the shelves above the wall hanging have lots of fun little items to share. The shelves themselves were a wedding gift from Crate and Barrel:
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I found a lot of fun wooden 'plaques' at Michaels and painted the big arrow and the bracket plaques. I turned the bracket into a chalkboard with leftover paint from the back hall project, and then added fun Scrabble letters to the arrow (again, found the letters at Michaels.). The little white gnome is probably supposed to be painted but I loved how the white looked against the gray walls. Little vases and these cute chalkboard 'signs' made the shelves complete.
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And the birdhouses! Another Michaels find.
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I saw this idea on Pinterest and had Truman and Cecelia paint these for their little brother. They did a GREAT job and I only had to clean up a few giant globs of paint at the end, but otherwise it's all them.
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So many shelves in this room and I love it.
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Moving on...

On the wall by the glider, I have these little painted wooden boxes full of fun toys. I bought the boxes at Michaels (sense a theme here?) and painted them with acrylic paint.
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Most of the toys are vintage McDonald's Happy Meal toys that Lois had saved from Nate's childhood. There is also one new Thomas and Friends train. His name is 'Porter' and seeing this train at Target is how I discovered our boy's name. Yep, Truman is especially happy about Porter's name choice given that it's a Thomas name! I remember seeing the train before our 20 week ultrasound and it kind of just hit me that 'if this is a boy, he has to be Porter.' I mentioned it to Nate that night, afraid he would shoot it down, and he said, 'I love that one.' And so Porter is named after a train!

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And my ombre lampshade that I tackled with acrylic paint turned out better than I thought.
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On top of the shelf that we made from a simple Home Depot board that I stained and polyurethaned, are a few other little gems.
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I bought the letter P at Michaels and stained it, used an old round frame for an US pic, and a sweet blog reader gifted me her owl and raccoon prints after seeing me pin them on Pinterest. The little wooden peg people were an Etsy find from seller 2HeartsDesire
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All of the books are classic ones given to us by Memaw. Someday I might move the books and place one of Porter's birth announcements there instead. We will see.

I also collected ceramic owls throughout the pregnancy and put these five on top of our radiator. And then there are the awesome Roman Shades my mom made for the room.

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In the crib it seems like stuffed animals are rapidly accumulating. These won't stay there once Porter sleeps in the crib but for now they are cute!
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And my mom made Porter his own baby quilt, just like she did for the other kids. Truman's is full of rectangles, Cecelia's is chevron, and Porter's has triangles. LOVE. And also, this random monster dude with glasses? Nate and Truman picked it out on their own one day when they went to the local farmer's market. The log pillow mom got from Etsy. This glider is styling for it's second debut in a nursery and I'm still SO glad we splurged on an expensive glider for Cecelia's nursery.

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All together:
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Other links for Porter's nursery:

How I applied our wall decals

How I repainted the dresser and refinished the wooden bench

Making that long shelf and all about the awesome prints in yellow frames

How I repainted our crib YELLOW


Source List:

Wall color: Glidden's 'Seal Gray' in satin finish, Home Depot
Crib paint color: Behr's 'Saffron Thread' in semi-gloss finish, Home Depot
Rug: RugsUSA Tuscan VS88 Orange rug 5x8
Fabric for Roman Shades: Squirrathalon by trcreative, Spoonflower
Wall Decals: InAnInstantArt on Etsy
Wooden Peg People: 2HeartsDesire on Etsy
Custom Family of Five wall hanging: Pink Cheeks Studio on Etsy
Prints in yellow frames (DIY painted white frames from Michaels): TADAsRevolution on Etsy
Stuffed Sock Animals in crib: supersockmonkeys on Etsy
Brackets for DIY long shelf: Target
Crib skirt and changing pad, Roman Shades, quilt: made with love by GoGo ;)
Crib: Craigslist find, DIY paint job
Changing table/dresser: Craigslist find, DIY paint job
Glider and Ottoman: from My Urban Child, the Baby Letto Nara Glider and Kyoto Ottoman in Ecru
Bench: found in our basement, DIY refinishing
Shelves: DIY and Crate and Barrel





7.18.2014

Post Partum Recovery, Round Three: one week

In Porter's one week post, I didn't mention a lot about how his mama is doing because I wanted to do a separate post all about my recovery. I've done this in the past, with a one week post after Truman, a two week post after him, and an 11 month post about my mom bod. Then with CC, I did one post partum report around 2 weeks.

I will preface this post by saying that I am leary of coming across as bragging or taking this smooth recovery for granted. I can promise you that I'm very thankful for my healthy baby, my relatively easy recovery, and the incredible blessing that all is going so great for us right now. Truly---I feel overwhelmed by how lucky/blessed we are at the moment and know a lot of mamas would gladly be in my shoes as they struggle with postpartum issues (mom and or baby). So big hugs to anyone who is going through challenges that I'm not having at the moment. It can be so, so hard in any given situation so I don't want to make light of recovery in general. I don't want to alienate any readers who cannot relate to a good experience, but I do want to be honest in that it's going pretty well over here. I hope that makes sense.

First, let me tell you a few of my favorite things about NOT being pregnant (and overdue!) anymore.

-the sudden panic that 'holy crap, I haven't felt the baby move in a bit'….only to realize Im not pregnant and I'm holding my healthy newborn (noted on day 4).

-not having to pee every hour (noted on day 4).

-bending over! (every day)

-feeling light as a feather when standing up from a seated position or climbing the stairs.

-being able to lean over into CC's bed to kiss her goodnight without my belly getting in the way/causing a giant contraction.

I really thought I'd miss my pregnant belly more than I do--maybe that will come later but for now I'm LOVING having this baby on the outside;)

Milk matters:

My milk came in on Saturday afternoon/evening---right after 24 hour mark. I just noticed Porter gulping during a session and noticed my opposite side leaked onto my nightgown. I guess I forgot that my milk came in that quickly with CC, too, but it's a good problem to have I suppose. Porter had the famous totally yellow poops by day 5.

The worst engorgement: Sunday evening, all day Monday and part of day on Tuesday(day 3-5). It was worse than I remember, but I hear Pitocin can make engorgement worse. I pumped on Monday (day 4) for relief and also had to hand express a bit. It's so freaking weird to simply push on my boobs and have milk drip out. Kind of gross, kind of weird. The boobs just felt like hard grapefruits and it was very uncomfortable, hard to dress appropriately, and felt so foreign to me. Luckily by Wednesday (day 6) it felt much, much better. That seemed to be when Porter could tolerate feeding on both sides, too.

Another 'worst'--the uterine contractions while nursing. I feel like these were the most pronounced this third time around and a nurse said that it can be worse with each baby as my body tries to shrink down my 'old pro' uterus. Dang. Some of those contractions during nursing sessions were as bad as early/mid labor. This got a lot better by 3-4 days but man, talk about making my eyes roll back into my head a bit at first!

Other bodily fluids talk:

Ah, the fun part of recovery includes the bloody, messy, rather disgusting parts that not everyone enjoys rehashing. Hope you don't mind but I will talk about blood here.

I know after Truman's birth, I was totally horrified by the first trip up to the bathroom. #MurderScene. So for CC and also with Porter, I was prepared for the insane amounts of blood. This time around it seemed like the first 24 hours were the worst for bleeding through my pads/clothes and I totally did leave a blood trail to the bathroom in the hospital many times. But then by 48 hours it was better and now at one week, the bleeding is a LOT better. I'll still have some gushes with nursing but no huge clots this time (I think I had some with CC and it was really scary). I know I'll be wearing a pad or at least a liner until about 5-6 weeks again. And as someone who hasn't had a period since August of 2011 (yes! Almost 3 years!), bleeding is not that much fun but whatever.

The whole 'potty process' seems better and I stopped using the peri-bottle and mammoth hospital pads after a few days at home. I'm sure that not having a true tear this time makes for a better recovery down below, too, but overall I think the physical recovery has been the easiest the third time around.

Night sweats are back and not my favorite but I just tell myself I'm losing water weight while soaking my sheets each night!

Baby weight talk:

First time around, I gained 43 pounds total. At one week I had lost 21 pounds, and at six weeks I still had about 18 pounds to go. I ended up losing it all within 9 months but stopped tracking it to avoid going crazy.

Second time around: I gained 34 pounds total. At one week I had lost 13 pounds, and at two weeks I had 19 pounds to go. Same story, it gradually all came off after that and I could technically fit into my work pants by 3 months but didn't really notice any big changes after that. Just slow, gradual weight loss evident by 9 months for sure. I'm really not big on weighing myself at home ever.

Third time around: I gained 31 pounds total. At one week, I'm down 14 pounds, with just 17 more to go. So it's definitely coming off quickly for now and I guess I have less weight to lose in general. I'm honestly not focused on this at all right now, since I'm just trying to eat when I'm hungry (a LOT of the time, bigger appetite now than I had a few weeks ago with the final days of pregnancy). I know better than to attempt any regular/fitted pants for awhile and am totally fine with comfy lounge wear for all of maternity leave, anyway. But it's nice to know that once I start really exercising again (cannot wait!!) the weight will probably come off like it has before. Always a delicate balance between maintaining my milk supply and losing the weight and I'm fine with keeping a 5-10 pound padding in place during breastfeeding.

So this was me the day we came home from the hospital, 2 days post partum:
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This is me at 4 days post partum, when my boobs were at their PRIME:
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And this is me today, one week post partum: (don't you like how I had to stand on my air mattress here?)
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I don't believe in makeup on maternity leave, especially the first week.
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Other superficial comments: people have told me that I look great for just having a baby and I take that as a major compliment. I do sort of feel like Porter has been the kindest to me in terms of my looks post-birth. Not sure how that is possible since he was my biggest and most gestated baby (is that the correct term?), and I'm older this time around, obviously. But for whatever reason, I do feel like I look decent for having a baby a week ago. Maybe my standards are just lower now and that whole 'perspective' idea is helping tremendously again. Or the fact that I am still riding the high of a great birth and healthy baby.

Oh, boy. That two day induction was REALLY rough on the younger-first-time-mom-me with Truman, huh? A little better after CC, but a big difference with my 'favorite' birth of Porter. Plus, maybe just better lighting;) Crazy!

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Mommy energy levels/mental health:

Honestly, this part has been amazing for me with Porter. I don't even want to sound like I'm bragging or showing off either, but I feel really awesome at the moment for energy and mental health. I'm sure that's in part to having a LOT of help at home, the great weather outside, and having a relatively easy baby (FOR NOW! I still don't want to jinx this one).

I'm napping for a bit most days but sleeping pretty well at night, too, so I don't feel totally burnt out. I think I was sleeping less at the end of my pregnancy than I am right now anyway. I was able to walk around the zoo with the family yesterday and didn't have a lot of extra bleeding but I DID need a couch nap with mister man on my chest. Duh. We also took a short walk around the block as a family and that didn't seem too awful. It feels like my pelvis is super wobbly and my core is absolutely weak, so it was a weird sensation to be active. Like I could feel my pelvic bones shifting with each step. No plans to get crazy with physical activity or anything, but I was walking a TON those last few weeks of pregnancy and it would be nice to get out and enjoy this fine weather we are having without worrying about overdoing it too much. We will see. No rush.

I find my emotions are 95% intensely happy and only about 5% anxious/worried right now. The evening and night time hours are always a crap shoot for how I'm feeling (all of the feeeeeeeelings swirling in my head!), but this time it seems to be better than the previous two times. I will chalk this up to summer weather versus winter/late spring for my other kids too. Because longer, warmer days? Always better in my book.

Did I miss anything with the recovery talk? I may do another post like this in the future as they seem to be popular, maybe since not everyone talks about this 'fun' stuff. But (much like Porter's own one week post): So far, so good!

Porter: One Week

Mister P has been with us for a whole week now, although it sort of seems like he's always been here. The first week deserves it's own post for sure, with so many changes and so much NEWNESS to report.

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Sleep: Number one topic, obvi. I find myself wanting to gloss over this one in fear of jinxing things but alas, I should really fess up to having a baby that is currently sleeping well at night. The first night at home totally sucked, but since then I've had Porter in the MamaRoo in the family room, with me on the blow up mattress. I could totally take the swing upstairs to our bedroom to recreate the same set up, but I admit that I sort of love having the whole family room to ourselves. I have a little changing station on the ottoman, can nurse upright on the couch, and we are both sleeping great---so I don't want to mess with a good thing! Soon enough, I suppose.

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Loves his paci, love that he can sort of self soothe with it already
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So here are his sleep stats since we've been using the swing at night: Porter has been sleeping for a lot of 2-3 hour stretches, one 4 hour stretch and even one 5 hour stretch. This means he's waking up about twice each night to nurse and get a diaper change. Two times. That's it!! This is AWESOME in my book, although I know it can change as he wakes up more in the next few days/weeks. I will take it. He's awake for maybe 30 minutes total for the whole middle of the night change/nurse routine, but sometimes it does take up to an hour and he'll grunt around after, not falling asleep without a little fight. Again, I'll take it!! Keep it up, big man.

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Nursing: Topic number two, since this and sleep are basically his favorite activities. Porter is a fabulous little breastfeeder and I feel very lucky to have three kids who've always latched well and have just gone to town. VERY lucky. I mentioned that my milk came in super early this time, around 24 hours, so days 2-4 were pretty awful with engorgement, some spitting up from Porter, and short nursing sessions on one side only. Now that the engorgement has died down, P is able to nurse from both sides a lot of the time, for about 10 minutes or so. Very efficient little guy. I'm just nursing on demand but it seems like he goes about 2-3 hours between feedings--sometimes more and sometimes less.

Milk drunk smiles = best thing ever.
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Naps on mommy post-nursing = another favorite thing in my life.
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Chicken legs!!
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Love dressing him.
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He had one HUGE projectile puke on Wednesday (day 6) after two very long nursing sessions, a stressful car ride, and riding in the swing as he tossed his (milk) cookies. Both Truman and Cecelia were totally freaked out by the loud SPLAT sound as he puked, and now both say that they hope he doesn't spit up like that again. Cecelia did this as a baby, but Truman wasn't a big spitter, so I hope Porter only let's loose occasionally and it doesn't become true reflux or anything.

Doc appointment update: Nate and I both took Porter to the Pediatrician appointment on Tuesday (day 5), and Tony stayed back with the big kids. Nate never gets to come to doctor's appointments but he wanted to see the Pediatrician this time since we didn't get to see ours in the hospital. This first appointment is usually done at one week for our doc, but they got us in early since the Ped was off the rest of the week. It's mostly just a weight check to see if Porter is eating well, and sure enough: P had gained 3 ounces since discharging from the hospital two days prior. At birth he was 8 lbs, 9 oz then discharged at 8 lbs, 2.5 oz (which is apparently a 4% loss, so the nurses were happy with that number), and was back up to 8 lbs 5 oz at the doc. I wonder if he's already past his birth weight now, since he was gaining at a faster rate earlier this week? The doc said gaining 1/2 oz to 1 oz per day is the goal and P gained 1.5 oz per day----over-acheiver already.

Everything seems healthy with the little guy, which again is SUCH a huge relief to hear. At just four days old during that appointment, he did look fairly yellow under the fluorescent lights of the office so they did a heel prick to check bilirubin levels. I wasn't too worried about it, since both of the other kids have always had a normal amount of jaundice that seems to peak before the one week mark. But it's nice to check and his level was good at 11.0 (normal is up to 12.0 and they don't treat until it reaches 20.0). Plus, once we were back outside in natural light and at home, I didn't think he looked quite as golden anyway. Porter hated the blood draw but he slept great after!

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Sibling love: Truman and Cecelia need their own paragraph here, since this week has been a big adjustment for them, too! Overall I'm so stinking proud of my big kids for how they've handled the change of a new baby in the house. They did great with me at the hospital because my parents were here to entertain them, and now they've had Nate home with us on Tues/Thurs and went to Lori's on Wed/Fri. So keeping them in some form of a routine has been huge for us and having help from my parents, Nate, and Lori has also been important for how smoothly things have gone.

Cecelia has definitely had a few extra clingy/sad moments where she NEEDS me to hold her ASAP and cannot tolerate waiting for me to get her something. She wants nothing to do with Nate when he's home, and I hate when she goes through phases like this but there isn't much he can do to convince her that he's capable of filling up her sippy cup, too. I've had to carry her up and down the stairs a few times instead of my independent little lady demanding to do everything on her own. She cried her eyes out when Nate and I left for the Pediatrician's appointment on Tuesday but going to Lori's has been no big deal for her, which makes me feel better. I'm trying my best to involve CC in caring for Porter and she totally eats it up. Mostly she loves spreading out the diapers for me, grabbing the wipes, replacing his pacifier, washing it off after I tell her that it's too dirty for the baby, and turning on/off the swing. She also looooooves to hold him and I nearly died from cuteness with her newest phrase: 'It's okay, Porter. Don't cry. CC is here.' I MEAN, WHAT?? I got it on video and she will seriously say this over and over in the highest of pitches, whenever he gets fussy.

(nursery reveal coming soon---love this one of P looking at his little family, and big sis helping with a diaper change)
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So many kisses.
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Needed to borrow my nursing pads.
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Gah, I love her.
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Cecelia's one week post made me remember that I was already pumping daily with her, due to engorgement. I only pumped once this time around and now I don't feel like I need it, but maybe I should start relatively soon for that cherished freezer stash with the return to work. Sigh. She was waking ever 2-3 hours at night and pretty sleepy during the day. Sounds about right! And I forgot that my mom was with us for the first two weeks of CC's life---GoGo is coming back next week for her 2.5 week visit and we all cannot wait!

Truman will simply raise his hand in the air from across the room when CC says her classic phrase to Porter, and he will say, 'Truman's here, too, Porter!' He regularly informs me that he loves Porter and also offers to help with diaper changes, paci replacement, and swing functioning. He wants to hold the little guy a few times each day and seems adorably stressed anytime Porter makes the teeniest cry.  Our neighbors were walking by last night and called up to us, asking if they could see the baby. Truman yelled, 'He's right here, come and see!' because he's just so proud of Porter. T has also been totally exhausted this week and therefore a little more whiney at times, but nothing too awful and he seems to be adjusting really well so far.

Reading back over Truman's one week post made me smile. I guess he was waking 2-4 times per night which is maybe a little more than P, but these boys of mine are such freaking clones. I cannot get over it.
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Not old yet. Still awesome.
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These kids love their brother!
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Hardest parts: If you think I'm blowing sunshine out of my butt with this update and no first week of newborn-hood goes this smoothly, I will straight up tell you that there have been some super challenging moments. For instance, Wednesday's car ride home from Lori's with all three kids was horrific. Porter was screaming so hard I thought he might throw up (he did later) because the kid really seems to have an intense hatred for his car seat already. Truman and Cecelia were scarred and kept asking me to please get him to stop crying, and obviously I couldn't do anything about it. Not fun. Then that night during my first evening of solo parenting three kids, there were a few times when T and C were fighting and Porter was crying. Totally stressful. All three were crying for various reasons a handful of times and I sort of just chuckled, like---Yep, this is one of those moments with three kids when I totally don't know what to do first. Cry along with them, attempt to soothe one at a time, or just grab a glass of wine (happened later that night, was amazing).

Trying to get organized to get all three kids out of the house is also no small task, just because I have to plan when I'll nurse P, change him, and whether or not he will be asleep and pissy about the car seat in X amount of minutes when I hope to leave the house.

Mostly I think that things are starting to settle into place and we are finding our groove as a family of five, and that in combination with still riding the high of his birth has us in a sweet spot for now. I'm very VERY aware that things will likely change by the day at this point, but really: so far so good!! Can't ask for more than that.

I find myself with such an appreciation of how quickly babies change with this third time around. The perspective we've gained with each child is key to feeling super laid back and yes, I'm a little bit 'blissed out' right now. Even when we had that wretched first night at home I didn't feel too down about it because, meh---it will eventually get better. I can enjoy the intense joys of this first week a little more and ignore the really hard stuff because it's all so temporary with a baby that is changing before our very eyes. Even Nate, who has always been a little worried about the adjustment to three (mostly because of the lack of sleep) agreed with me the other night. I felt overwhelmed with happiness and gave my husband a huge hug when he said, 'I love watching our three kids sleeping. They are so cute.' I told him, 'Thank you for letting me have three kids.' He laughed and said, 'I love it.'

Vindication;) Not that he WASN'T excited for Porter when I was pregnant, because he was. But he was just unsure how it would go and now that P is here, he's obviously over the moon for this kid. How can you not fall under the spell of this little angel face?

Some firsts for the first week:

First zoo trip as a family of five on Thursday, at 6 days old
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First evening solo parenting three kids---baby wearing for the win
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First time with all three kids in the van on Wednesday, at 5 days old
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First family walk:
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Lots of baby wearing already, I suppose!