Twenty-Five weeks

A new fruit marks week 25 and lasts through week 28: an eggplant!

And I know I say this every week, but I really think I've truly popped now. Looking back I think it happened between week 23 and 24 and is full blown this week.

{My own pair of maternity jeans! From Old Navy! In TALL length! It feels so good, you guys.}

Lots to discuss this week, my friends.

1. My 24 week appointment went well last week. I've gained another 5 pounds which brings the grand total up to 18. I still don't know where it's going other than into my actual tummy and giant knockers. Again, my doc is happy with my weight gain and would prefer to me to gain even more each month so I guess I'm not going to worry about it too much. Baby's heartbeat is still strong as can be and his kicking has gotten a lot more forceful, too. {Someday....a video of this alien-kicking-my-innards sight}. Next appointment at 28 weeks is when I have to do the one hour glucose test and anemia screen. The glucose drink is chilling in our fridge as we speak and I just can't wait to down that sucker. Also, after the next appointment I will be in the home stretch with bi-weekly appointments. Holy crap, this second trimester is coming to a close did that happen?

2. Had my first 'Are you pregnant' question from someone who didn't already hear the news this week...about time! I think that means I'm officially showing now, huh?

3. I bit the bullet and agreed to Nate and I joining the gym again. I really hate to spend the money on fitness when I truly believe we can utilize the great outdoors and yoga mats in our own home for free....but I just can't take the dark/cold weather at night anymore. And really, last winter I ran outside all the way through despite feet of snow, ice, wind chills below zero...but I wasn't carrying a living being inside me so it's a little different now. It was quite the debate in our household as Nate has been pressuring me to suck it up for months now but I've been holding tight to my money-obsessed roots. But now that we've signed up I admit that I'm loving gym time again. In fact, I'm quite proud of myself and announced to Nate that 'I'm back, mofo' the other day after my workout. You see, I thought my running days were totally done for awhile since my last few tries at 16-17 weeks were such failures (think urinary urgency, pulsating nether regions, and general discomfort). So my first few days at the gym were spend on the elliptical and honestly, I hate that thing. It's just not as satisfying as the old treadmill, in my humble opinion. So for the past few visits I've started up a jog/walk routine and then today I managed to jog an entire 3 miles without stopping (or peeing myself, which is more of an accomplishment, actually). My how I've missed a good sweat, the feeling of blood rushing to my skin, and the comforts of tired muscles. Sure, I was running at a 12 minute mile pace instead of my usual 9-er, but whatever...I did it and I'm feeling less like a blob because of it.

I think I might go hog-wild and sign up for the prenatal yoga class they have once a week at my gym, too, just because it sounds like fun. I've kind of slacked in the workout department over the past few months but all of a sudden I'm all about it again. 'Paying for my fitness', as Nate calls joining a gym, will probably keep me inspired until I'm a 9 month pregnant rollie pollie---I hope!

4. This week has been the week of ground-breaking news for my friends. One got engaged (Congrats, Milldogg!! Eeeek!), one announced her pregnancy (can't really say the name on this one, since it's still on the down low but SO excited), and on the other side of the emotional spectrum, one suffered a miscarriage (again, not mentioning any names but my heart breaks for her. Enough said.). Big news like this doesn't happen often but it sure did this week....because another fatty announcement? Hannah had her baby on Thanksgiving day!!

I got her text at 7:30 in the morning that said something like, 'Got my epi, at the hospital, waiting for this Turkey Day baby!' and I seriously shrieked. She was due December 1 so it was a few days early and everything went really well. The gender was a surprise but my gut feeling for a girl was right....please welcome baby Matilda! (Thank you daddy Michael for this picture, I just have to share her cute face with the world)

So basically, our baby boy will be betrothed to Baby Til and they will be lovers for life, I'm sure.
I cannot wait to squeeze her juicy cheeks and take a million pictures over Christmas. Plus, now I have excuses to buy outfits dripping in pink just to satisfy my girlie craving:) I'm just so happy for Hannah and Michael and yet, it's quite surreal to think that they are actual parents now. And of course, I can't wrap my head around the fact that we will be going through this amazing transition in a few months.

That's it: new babies, big announcement, jumping back on the fitness train, and packing on the lbs marks my twenty-fifth week. I really love being pregnant you guys. At least right now, at this point in the process, I'm feeling incredibly happy and blessed and ready to pop out another 3 after this one. But I suppose I should bite my tongue until I experience the glory of labor and delivery, the frenzy of living with a newborn, and lack of sleep. Call me naive but I cannot wait:)


For Nate, my loving husband, who understands me better than anyone else on the earth (even better than myself, sometimes). For finding this amazing man, marrying him, and living our lives together until we are old and gray. For his sense of humor, his tender heart, his determination, and his ability to be the handy-man of the house. I'm honored to start a family with him and I hope our son is a little mini-Nate; I've said it before but again, he is going to be an amazing dad. I love you, Nate. Thank you for being you.
For my family, back in Missouri, and their constant support of us northerners. The relationship that I've formed with my parents as I've grown older and wiser; treasuring every phone call, every email, and especially every visit. For being my Dad's daughter, having the epitome of a male role model in my life through him, and experiencing the comfort of a fabulous father-daughter relationship. Thank you for bestowing upon me my attention to finances, mister CPA:) For being my Mom's daughter, with the privilege of her unconditional love and never-ending encouragement. For having the best example of what a true mother should be to a child. Thank you for giving me my creativity and neuroses, dear mother:) For being my brother's sister, living vicariously through my six-year-junior. Knowing that we can go to each other for anything, especially a modest dose of sarcasm. Love you guys.

For the best grandparents around, Memaw and Pepaw, who embrace their 'golden years' with enough energy and vitality to inspire younger generations. For their wisdom, guidance, and love sent via regular emails, handwritten letters and phone calls. Their ability to adapt to the modern technology of computers has certainly allowed our relationship to deepen, although it is somewhat shocking to see my grandparents on Facebook:) These two are the ultimate matriarch and patriarch figures in our family and I am incredibly blessed to have them in my life, and in my future-son's life. Four generations we come!

For my incredibly generous and supportive in-laws. When I dreamed of my future husband I never imagined him having such an amazing family, as well. To say that I've lucked out in the in-law department is the understatement of the year. I'm so incredibly thankful for their willingness to embrace this 'southerner' as a part of their own family, making her feel at home from day one. Thankful for this time in our lives when we live close enough to solidify our relationship as I'm sure I will always look back at this period of time with a tender heart. Thank you for everything you do for us. It does not go unnoticed.
For this pregnancy and the wonderfully eye-opening experiences it brings each day. For the gift of feeling my baby move inside me, the joyful anticipation of meeting our son in a few months, and the responsibility of bringing another life into this world. I am trying with all of my might to stay in the moment and not take a second of it for granted. Thank you for giving me this indescribable gift.

For my happy little doggy, the other love of my life, and his perfectly imperfect character. For the continuous excitement he shows every single day when I come home. For smelly puppy dog breath and goofy grins and a one-of-a-kind personality that never gets old. And mostly, for his cuddle-worthy fur that smells just like him, all of the time.

For my health, and the health of my loved ones. I will never take for granted the privilege of being well.

For my amazing girlfriends scattered across the nation. Their support through the years, sharing major milestones together, and the numerous 'girl talks' have made these girls my best friends. And boy do we have some stories to share...

For my career in a field that is stable in these uncertain times (and busier than ever!). For the chance I get to affect people's lives in positive way, making a difference and helping others. Sure, it's exhausting giving myself to my patients, seeing their illnesses and watching as some don't get better. But for that one moment when I assist a patient to walk after many weeks in bed, or I help a patient regain strength enough to return home after being away for many months, it is all worth it. Thank you for my job and it's ability to support my family.

I am thankful for my life right now. It's an amazing ride and full of numerous blessings. Thank you, God for every minute.

Twenty-Four weeks

Six months. Woah, dude. As I laid in bed this morning I was thinking about how it's practically December, and then with the holidays and traveling it will be the end of January before we know it. And then I'll basically be ready to pop out a child. Holy crap! Definite light-bulb moment.

Because of the debacle with belly shots last week, I made Nate take about 80 tonight. And I went back to the original '4 week' sports bra to do a true comparison. And I admit that I tried to flex my abs a bit too, just to see what the old girls could do. Basically, it just gave me a weird ripple above my uterus but at least I don't look quite so porky compared to last week. Ready, set, overanalyze!!


Also, because I really do have some cute maternity clothes that have been so generously loaned to me, I wanted to take a 'real clothes' shot, too. This is my current favorite top, with a little room to grow for sure, and my new favorite jeans. They are the tiniest bit too short but that's what I get for borrowing clothes from normal height girls.

And because my second tri belly shot grid is nicely aligned right now, ready for just THREE MORE WEEKS, I shall show you the progress. I like symmetry and repetitiveness, did you know?
second tri
So what about the baby inside that belly? Well this week he is working on more brain and lung development, along with more taste bud growing. He's still moving around like crazy and I'm pretty sure I can now feel a difference between a sharp kick and a slow rub across my ute, which is more like a hardening. Now that he's moving up in my gut, he's not pushing on my bladder as much so I don't have to pee every SINGLE night anymore, but more like every other. But don't worry, when I do wake up at about 6 am each day to pee (if I've made it through the whole night) I'm wide awake. It's not so cool during the week because I think I will myself to still feel tired those days, even though I can't go back to sleep for a few minutes before my alarm. But on weekends when I cannot fall back asleep it's pretty freaking sweet because it makes my days off seem a lot longer and I get even more done.

For instance, I worked my tail off this weekend on a nursery project. I'd like to present to you my artistic masterpiece:

I began by doodling, after looking online at clip art, Google images, and some etsy prints. I didn't trace anything but just got some random inspiration because I wanted to include lots of different things in this artwork:

You'll find blueberries, which makes my heart twinge a bit remembering back to when he was just the size of a little bloob. Now he's headed towards an eggplant next week....where does the time go?

You'll find highly personalized touches like Henry-the-one-and-only:

And two states intertwined:

You'll find lots of fun cartoon-like animals:


And when you put it all together, you get my masterpiece on canvas. I had to blur out his name which is painted in white on top of the navy blue. Plus I blurred out his initial in two other places...aren't I sneaky?

Hanging in the room above the crib, just how I envisioned it. Well, except for the annoying plastic bag hiding his name. I almost want to reveal it just so I can tear down that eyesore of a bag.
You likey? I'm quite proud. I haven't done any painting in forever and I miss that version of a creative outlet for me. It really didn't take too long, either, maybe 5 hours total, and because my two canvases plus acrylic paints were all 50% off at Michael's I spent next to nothing on this project. Plus, you can't get much more personal than his name, our duplex, our family, and bits of our story on the wall. I love all of the bright colors, of course, and think that wall decor will be one way to tie it all together. Sigh. This project made my heart so happy:)

Also, after I decided we'd have to make another trip to Ikea for the shelving unit I wanted, I just so happened to see this one at Target for $20 less and a wee bit smaller (which is better, because I was worried the Ikea version would swallow the whole wall).
Perfect place to store books and toys and other random things that will have no home, don't you think? Above the shelves I will put my little wall gallery of frames and other artwork I intend to make. So many projects, so little time!

Also, I REALLY wanted to put a video of him kicking on here this week. But alas, it was just not meant to be. In due time, I suppose.

So that's me at 6 months: showing without a doubt, painting up a storm, and still focusing on the freaking nursery, of course:)

The Big To-Do List

While pregnant, I've been trying to tackle a big fat To-Do list. Some of the things are fun ones (like research car seats, pick a name, pick a paint color) and others are not so fun. Almost all of them are over analyzed to death on my part which means I make things more difficult than necessary most of the time. And I'm okay with that:)

One of the monster To-Do items? Figure out childcare. Ugh. Last week, I called the daycare that we are most likely going to use in June when I return to work. I kept putting it off even though I know this is probably going to be our pick just because it seems so final. It's a small place that is not open to the public because it's just for the staff at my hospital and many of my co-workers have their children there at all different ages. The cost is absolutely unbeatable because it's affiliated with the hospital (but don't get me wrong, it's not THAT inexpensive but compared to some places around our house it's much less per day). And the lady on the phone suggests we come in any time for a tour, saying that she highly recommends first time moms to bring the baby into the center during mom's maternity leave to make that first day less stressful. Isn't that a great idea? I like the thought of easing into that major transition and I'm glad I've started to get the ball rolling with daycare decisions, too. After our tour I think I'll feel even better about it but I'm sure I'll still hunt around online for other in-home options out there...just in case we decide to go that route.

Another big To-Do? Decide on my work schedule following maternity leave. Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I'm pretty sure I will attempt to work four 9 hour days each week when I go back. This will keep my full time status and allow our benefits to cost the exact same as they do now. My boss seemed to think that a 9 hour day would work just fine in our department and as long as she can find someone to cover my day off it shouldn't be a problem. Working 36 hours each week instead of 40 would do two things: 1. Allow me one extra day with baby boy, making me a more sane and happy mom and only paying for 4 days of daycare each week, but 2. I will make less money overall for our family. However, I truly believe that taking a pay cut in the name of my sanity and extra time with my little man is worth more than the dollar sign. We can afford it so why not? It's kind of like the maternity leave decision I had to make, too. I only get 6 weeks paid (at a measly 60% pay, none-the-less....gotta love working in health care!) but am allowed to take 12 with the last 6 being completely unpaid. Now THAT will be a big decrease in our income but again--I truly believe that I need those 3 months with my little man, no matter what the cost. I will never ever get those weeks back with my first born baby. We've worked our rears off to create a decent savings account and if we have to dip into the 'down-payment' fund a bit to allow my maternity leave, then so be it. And yes, this is the self-proclaimed tight wad talking here: I'm okay making less money, taking time off without pay, and dipping into our savings in the name of my baby boy. I guess you could say that priorities shift a bit when a baby comes into the picture (but not THAT much....I'm still going to be a crazy finance-obsessed mommy, but just one who gets a little extra time with her son).

My next tough but important decision on the never-ending list of To-Dos is finding a pediatrician and a family practice doc for Nate and I. I don't even have a primary care doc in Milwaukee, isn't that sad? So I'd love to find one MD to see our whole family and I know a lot of family med docs will do that. I'm thinking this will be another place of heavy research and time spent interviewing potential doctors, too? I'm going to be all, 'What are your opinions on vaccines?' and 'Do you mind having a psycho first-time mommy call you at 3 am with questions?' and 'Can you handle my neuroses?' and the doc will be all 'Chill out, lady.' It will be fabulous, I can just tell:)

I think after all of these heavy decisions are made, I deserve a little fun break from stressful adult things. So I might just dive head first into some fun pregnancy book reading and never look back. Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs are both on my list, as is the Tori Spelling Mommywood book. Heck, I might even read The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy even though I'm over half-way done. So many books and so little time!

dark violet eyes and fluffy hair

This link is pretty fun. It can predict the type of birth experience you will have. And OMG my baby is going to have dark violet eyes. CREEPY!! I don't want a purple-eyed babe. I picture Barney or something. Combine purple eyes with fluffy hair and we might have quite the little character out there.

She did guess the right sex without me entering it. And I guess the 24 hour labor thing isn't THAT awful. Meh. Interesting, no?

Carry on...

Twenty-three weeks

No new fruit this week since the baby is still the size of a papaya. I'm not sure I've grown that much either, but I'm still rocking the maternity shirts because I'm almost 6 months pregnant, darn it.
23wks shirt

I'm not going to lie, taking these weekly pictures really plays mind games on me. Every time I upload a new one I think one of two things: I am NOT showing enough for being ____ weeks pregnant, or Why do I just look chubby instead of pregnant? I know, I know, I'm whining again about the changes my body is making for this pregnancy. But let's do a little look back shall we?

This is me on the day I got my positive pregnancy test, 4 weeks pregnant. It's how I'm used to looking every day of my life and when Nate and I just looked at this picture we were both like, 'Woah, I guess was pretty thin back then.' Not to mention that back in July I actually had somewhat of a tan.

And this is me now. Filling out a sports bra which is really cool, but just with a thicker midsection than before. I mean it's a BIG difference compared to the above pic but I REALLY look pregnant to you? It doesn't help to have a pale + thick belly either.
23w sports

And if you are too lazy to scroll up and down, like me, here you go:
4 versus 23
Over analyzing my usual belly pics made me want to do the sports bra shot, although I planned to refrain from that until the end. Nate was helping me decipher why I felt so chunky with my 'shirt pulled up shots' and I think it's because of my hand placement. (Don't worry, Nate reassured me that I am not actually fat and it's all in my head but considering the fact that he has to live with me and has already dealt with my neuroses for 8 years, he had to do something to make me feel better). So I think the bare belly shot with sports bra helps matters a bit so that my hands don't get in the way of my gut, thus giving the illusion of a thicker midsection. Am I annoying you yet? This was seriously bugging me, so I had to fix it. We'll see what I feel like donning next week. And really, I might not look almost 6 months pregnant compared to other girls out there, but compared to my non-pregnant self I look VERY different, right? I need to stop comparing myself to others and just chill out a bit. And I need to stop thinking my gut is fat because apparently my pregnant body just adds weight throughout my long torso and not a little basketball bump like I'd hoped. Anyway...

After the wonderful comments and suggestions from my readers, we've decided to use our REI dividend to get a BOB and we are so excited! Making that decision sparked us to begin our registry, too, and so on Friday night we hit up BRU for some scanning gun action. It wasn't nearly as overwhelming as I feared. In fact, it was pretty much a blast dreaming about all of the goodies our baby boy will use in a few months. We spent over two hours wondering around BRU and if you looked at our registry you'd know who was in charge of the scanner--there are two bibs on there that say things like, 'If you think I'm cute you should see my Daddy' and 'My Dad is cooler than your Dad.' Also, we have about a billion random toys and trinkets on there that Nate could not resist, as a big kid himself. And even though the lady told us NOT to register for all of the adorable clothes that will probably be discontinued soon as the seasons change, we couldn't resist. I mean, know how much Nate loves dressing himself let alone his future son:)

While we were shopping I realized that neither one of us had bought ANYTHING for the baby since we found out I was pregnant. Isn't that insane? I know some parents buy stuff for the baby even before pregnancy so I think waiting until 23 weeks is pretty good:) So while we were scanning the most adorable baby boy clothes, I decided we each needed to pick out one little outfit for mister man. And so I found my pick within 30 seconds and Nate took 30 minutes, but baby now has an outfit from each of his parents.

From daddy:
first purchase from daddy

From mommy:
first purchase from mommy

So I spent a better part of my day on Saturday scouring through reviews online, my friends' registries, and our Consumer Report baby gear book to further consolidate our registry. I think the things I'm most excited about so far are the car seat (Graco Snug Ride 35, if you were wondering), the diaper bag (an adorable red and brown JJ Cole style), and all of the fun little entertainers and seats for the baby. Most overwhelming is definitely the bottle and feeding decisions you have to make. My baby will be taking a bottle since he'll be in daycare, but with 10 different brands out there it's hard to know what he'll like before he tries them out. So after even MORE research I added a few different brands and will hope for the best. Any recommendations?

But enough of that boring stuff....the chair cushions are finished! My mom shipped the covers to me last week and I love the finished product. So does Henry:

And even though I hate these crappy panoramic shots, it's the best I can do without a wide-angle lens. And it's rather humorous to see Henry with approximately 8 legs. You can see the full effect of the rug plus fabric plus paint. Just the bedding and some shelves with fun wall decor and this nursery is on it's way to being finished!
pano with fabric updates

Twenty-three weeks: registries, research, and more relentless nursery projects:) I swear I've tried to capture little man kicking my innards on video all week long and he won't budge. But I'm determined! Stay tuned.

let the research begin

Remember how Nate and I are incredibly detail-oriented? And how we are Type A and over-analyze and research and all of that fun stuff? Yeah, well, those are all reasons that registering for our little baby bundle-o-joy will be both awesome and awful all at once. I'm rather overwhelmed about all of the baby paraphernalia out there because I just want to research the heck out of it all and make the best decision possible for us....after over-analyzing for way too long, of course. I know babies don't truly NEED a lot of stuff but I still want to look at all of our options.

For instance, The Stroller. How are you supposed to pick the perfect stroller for your first-born son when you really have no clue what is important? Sure, I can ask all of my new mommy friends out there (and have done it already, don't worry). I can look online and go to the stores and play with them (will probably do that, too). But let me tell you a little story about the big stroller theory in our house.

You see, when I was about 10 weeks pregnant Nate went to our favorite running store. The owner knows us and asked how our Chicago marathon training was going. Nate then informed her that he would be running solo because I am pregnant and, according to legend, the owner then squealed and said, 'Just wait until you meet BOB!!' Then she disappeared behind a curtain and reappeared with a brochure for Nate....containing 'the best running stroller in the world' named BOB.

Apparently this lady went on and on about her BOB and how it is the most fabulous jogging stroller ever. Nate said she talked to him about it for 30 minutes and even highlighted his take-home brochure for reference. And no, they don't tell BOBs at the running store so I don't think she got paid for her referral.

I thought it was really cute that Nate came home with his first 'must have' purchase for the baby and didn't really think anymore about it. But now that we are zooming along into the 23rd week of pregnancy, it's seriously time to think about these things. I figured we'd consider a jogger like the BOB for the distant future when our little man is a bit older and can train his butt off with me as I get back into marathon shape. You can't really run with a newborn baby anyway until they are 6 months or something because they can't hold their head up---this piece of information was devastating to me when I found out. I totally pictured me sprinting around with my little baby right when I got the release from my doc 6 weeks after delivery. Bummer! But as for the BOB: I don't know, I was just thinking that would be a good thing to get once he's a year old or something, and we'd get a standard stroller for the baby stages.

But Nate is really set on the BOB being our main stroller. It does have an infant car seat attachment so you can put a little tyke in there before they are older, and apparently most car seats fit in this adapter. It has a front swivel wheel that also locks, so it can be used for walking or running. It folds up so we can store it easily in our limited space. And yes, it does look pretty cool. We've seen one in person at REI and of course Nate fell even more madly in love with BOB. I liked it a lot, too, but I don't fully understand the whole concept.

Do people really use these as their primary strollers? Will it work out okay for an infant with the car seat adapter? Is it totally frivolous (don't even get me started on the price) and more geared towards a 'later in the baby's life' purchase? Will be regret not getting one of those standard travel system strollers that everyone seems to have? Maybe we should get one of each just to be ridiculous?

If anyone can help a sister out with these burning stroller questions, I'd love you for it. We might go play around with it again and ask the sales dudes very specific, annoying questions just to test their knowledge and ease my mind. And I also want to play around with the more standard strollers, too, just to be thorough of course.

And as a side note, Nate had the grand idea of using our annual REI dividend to buy a BOB next year. This year we had over $300 to spend because of our REI Visa card---which was no small feat, but Nate is obsessed with using the card for everything and then paying it off religiously each month. I swear, I really do hate credit cards but both our REI Visa and Discover card have such great perks I really can't complain. As long as we keep using them like a debit system, only buying items that we can pay for immediately while paying the monthly balance, I guess I'll live.

BOB opinions welcome!

nursery in progress

So, you guys: the nursery is morphing into the vision in my head and I cannot put into words how excited I am about this process. As I mentioned before, my mom and dad flew in from mid-MO last Thursday night and stayed until Sunday. The sole purpose of this visit (besides seeing their favorite daughter and son-in-law....and granddog) was for the girls to do nursery projects while the boys golfed. Turns out that our southern visitors brought in the most amazing weather ever and the boys enjoyed temps in the upper 60s for golf on both Friday and Saturday! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the girls worked their poor fingers to the bone. Seriously. Both of us were so exhausted from our numerous projects that we could barely form a coherent sentence by Saturday night. But it was SO worth it. Observe:

On Friday, mom and I went fabric shopping and I was very skeptical that I'd find what I wanted. I knew the general colors would be brights and I was hoping for modern and fun prints. But I just pictured ugly old-lady fabrics in a lot of the shops and was nervous about creating my bold nursery.

Well the very first store we tried, a true 'quilting' store none-the-less, was an incredible jackpot. There were so many bright, modern prints in there my head was spinning and as we collected about 15 bolts of fabrics we liked I knew we were in trouble. How could we ever narrow down such awesome choices? One hour later, I decided to go with my gut and keep it relatively simple with just three different patterns to go all over the nursery. I could not be happier with our choices:

The yellow dogs? A shoe in for our son's nursery, after all--his big brother Henry will be a major role model in his life, for sure. This will be the bedding (that my fab mother-in-law has offered to make) and also the cushions for the rocker:

The bright orange? Perfect for all of the curtains in the room, plus a little trim here and there on other fabric projects. I adore it.

And the green dots? The aqua in the walls, the orange and yellows in the other fabrics make this one a superb 'pull together' fabric. Oh, and all three look good with the worries:)

So after our success at the fabric shop, we went to Joann's fabric for other supplies including giant slabs of foam for three cushions, thread, and other odds and ends. We got right to work sewing up a storm (or shall I say, my mom got to work and I observed, ironing fabrics as needed). We used my mother-in-law's ancient sewing machine that is seriously 40+ years old and wouldn't you know, it jammed up after about an hour of work. And of COURSE my mother-in-law was out in Oregon visiting Nate's brother so we were stuck. Eventually Nate and his dad fixed it for us later on that night but it totally killed our tight timeline for finishing multiple projects. Curses!

On Saturday morning mom and I began work at 9:30 am and literally did not stop working until 9:30 at night. We took 2 food breaks but otherwise we were focused on pumping out projects like it was our job. And behold....curtains! With a fabulous window seat cushion!

Don't let it fool you, the cushion was not easy to make. Mom had the brilliant idea of adding this piping in orange and although I love it, it was totally painstaking for her. Plus we wanted the cushion to fit snugly in the window which made the fabric lay funny....unless very taut over the foam. Ah, the adventures in nursery making:)

While mom worked her magic inside, I decided to tackle two huge projects all by my lonesome: refinishing the dresser and the rocker. Here is the dresser before:
Remember, it was a steal on Craigslist for $75, made of solid wood and custom made 15 years ago as a dresser/changer combo. I sanded, and primed, and painted the hell out of it. We bought new dressy knobs and voila.....
I adore the final look. Nate has decided this is the nicest dresser we own. Pretty sad, huh?

Then the infamous rocker, the one that was hiding in our attic the whole time (ie FREE). My father-in-law made it back in 1972 and I love that it's somewhat modern for a rocker. He agreed to let us paint it all white and can I just say that painting cane is NOT fun?
Mom got the back cushion completed before she left but we simply ran out of time to finish the bottom cushion. Like I said, our minds and bodies were mush after a 12 hour work day:) So mom took the fabric home and is finishing the bottom cushion as we speak. I cannot wait to put it all together!

And finally, the great changing pad debate of 2009. When Nate found out how expensive foam is, he decided we needed to use the scraps from the cushions to make our changing pad. After investigating a little bit I discovered that our changer/dresser is 14" deep and every changing pad in the world is 16" deep these days. So really, we basically HAVE to make one ourselves or run the risk of the store-bought pad hanging over the edge 2 inches. Our inner OCD-selves would not handle that well. So Nate busted out the electric bread knife again (what? did I fail to mention that is how we cut our foam? My bad) and started slicing and dicing.
He even made little contours for the edges you guys. So cute. Then we decided we needed a waterproof pad on top to protect the foam from baby fluids. Easier said than done, my friends, since everything out there is mostly cotton with a sheet of vinyl underneath. But we finally settled on a 'bassinet cover pad' that is fitted and will do the job. (I'm leaving out the part when we went to three different stores and spent entirely too much time on the whole thing for your own sanity. But let's just say that when we register, it's going to be quite the ordeal. We over analyze so much, it even annoys us.)

So a few pieces of scrap foam, spray adhesive, duct tape (this was Nate's idea, not mine. And it's too awful to show you a picture of this work of art, trust me), and a bassinet sheet equal a brand new changing pad. Now all we need is the fitted sheet for the top, which I'm thinking will be made by my loving mother-in-law with the leftover green fabric. You get the idea, right? It's just wrapped up right now for effect but it will look less homemade someday:)
This is the only picture that shows you a bit of the rug with the fabric. But once I get the cushions to the chair (in doggy yellow!) and our pimped out bedding (more doggies!) I will definitely take a few 'full room' shots. I just realized looking at these pics that it doesn't really give you the big try to stand the suspense for awhile longer, my dearies.

I know not everyone likes the nursery as much as me. I admit it's really bright and loud and not typical at all. In fact, my own father in law just informed me that when I painted the walls aqua he was a bit skeptical and didn't really get it. Now that I have the fabrics in there he says he understands a little bit more (but is still shocked, I think). But I cannot help but love it because it's SO me. And really, isn't a nursery all for the parents and not the baby, anyway? Pretty sure he won't care about the color scheme for a few more years.

And that is how you put your mother to work in front of a sewing machine for a whole weekend. I smell another 'nursery project' trip in our future! And lots more pictures.

Twenty-two weeks

I've officially made the jump from 'weekly fruits' provided by The Bump to only one per month. So from weeks 22 to 24, I'm housing a papaya. And baby is being measured head to foot now. Milestones, baby!

And ladies & gents...I now present to you a REAL pregnant belly! To those of you who guessed that I'd 'pop' at 22 weeks I believe you deserve a gold star. In fact, I donned a real maternity shirt for this weekly shot because my regular ones are just too short.
22wks shirt

I know it's still not huge or anything, and I'm far from people at work or strangers on the street really taking notice. But when I was in the shower the other morning I looked down and could barley see my toes. About time, right?!

Apparently baby is now sleeping 12-14 hours per day and during his rare wakeful hours he spends his time moving around like a crazy little papaya. I'm trying to figure out his sleeping pattern and pin point when he's most active and so far I got nothing. Sometimes I won't feel (or maybe just won't notice) him moving for a really long time and I get a little panicky. But then, like a champ, he starts showing off his upper cuts and roundhouse kicks to ease my mind. Another big happening? At 22 weeks he can hear us out here on the other side. I guess studies show babies find their parents voices and gentle music most soothing. Hmmm, so my son will probably like Miley Cyrus and sarcastic remarks between his parents, then? Speaking of sarcastic remarks....

On Sunday Nate and I were driving around running a billion errands and I asked if he'd thought anymore about names. I told him my top two out of the final four and he agreed that those were his favorites, too. We decided to think on it a little more and then all of a sudden, later that evening, we officially have a winner. We've also officially decided not to share his name but the way it was finalized is too funny not to disclose.

So we're driving around for the billionth-and-first errand that night when we get behind the slowest driver known to mankind. They had an out-of-state license plate (although to avoid any feather ruffling I will not mention which state is was) which of course made Nate, Mister perfect driver, spout off a few inappropriate comments. I then reminded dear Nathan that our son can now hear every word we are saying, and Nate immediately patted my stomach and apologized using our now-chosen name. When it came out of his mouth it sounded exactly right, even though it was the name I thought Nate wouldn't choose out of our top two, and we both agreed right then and there that our son had a name. So cursing at out-of-state drivers lead to a direct apology to our baby, which lead to his name being said out loud. Can't wait to share this story with our boy...and how exciting to settle on a name! Now that we have a name I cannot wait to get started on a print or two for the nursery and I've started telling Henry about his baby brother's name. I think he digs it. And yes, 'Henry' and our baby's name go well together as I'm sure you wondered:)

A few other things from this week: we bought a camcorder to capture baby in real-time motion. And no, it will not be used to tape the birth, as some have asked because nobody needs to see my biz down there. But really, how else will grandparents and great-grandparents (and adoptive aunts and uncles) who live so far away get to see our little munchkin smile and roll and scream and be adorable? We knew we wanted a video camera and Nate was all over the research process. He decided on a Kodak HD PINK!! I know, I know, just picturing Nate holding the pink camera hovering over his son like a proud daddy is too much to bear. But the pink version was $30 less than the black. And not only that, but with our Discover reward points we paid a total of $22 for the sucker including a memory card. Did I mention I'm obsessed with getting good deals?


My new goal is to capture baby's visible kicks on video. Let's just say that my timing isn't the best because I've whipped out the camera about ten times today when he gets to kicking and then, of course, he stops until I put the camera back down. Oh sweetie, you better not be a camera-shy baby or you have a long road ahead of you:)

Also, a new annoying symptom of pregnancy? Difficulty staying asleep. I never have issues falling asleep but once I make my nightly trip to the bathroom I'm having a hard time falling back to sleep. The other night I got up at 3:30 and then just laid there for two whole hours waiting to drift off again. Annoying! I mean, I know this is probably my body's way of getting me used to lack of sleep and blah blah blah but I'm not staying up for any good purpose, like soothing a newborn baby or because I'm so huge I cannot get comfortable. I'm just laying there with a million thoughts running through my mind, including but not limited to: when will I fall back asleep? Why am I still awake? This is stupid. I have this idea for the nursery.....and what about names.....and when was the last time the baby kicked me? You get the idea. A bunch of non-sense floating around up there keeping me from catching my zzzzz's. Let's hope this is a little phase that passes quickly or I'm going to morph into that cranky pregnant lady from the first trimester again. Nobody deserves that punishment.

I didn't mention the amazing weekend I had with my parents because that will be a separate post entirely. But it's safe to say this baby is going to have two sets of fabulous grandparents who love him with all of their might. And he's going to have a pimped out nursery for sure. I wish every weekend was a three day weekend full of visits from my parents. You can't get much better than that:)

So the big deuce-deuce: a name has been decided, my belly has popped, and I'm bound and determined to get a video of our son jabbing my innards. Stay tuned!
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