Hello, world.

Miss Cecelia just wanted to stop by and say HI to all of the blog world:)







We are all doing well, should go home tomorrow (on Wednesday). Love this sleepy first few days of life when it's so exciting to see her awake for minutes at a time:) This time in the hospital is just so magical and emotional and hormonal. I love it so much. I wish I could bottle it all up and relive it each day for the rest of our lives. But I suppose getting to watch this little girl grow up will be just as amazing.

Cece is a fabulous nurser, my milk is already in which boggles my mind, and Truman is seriously the sweetest big brother ever. It's making my heart explode watching them together as he asks to hold her and then he kisses her unprompted.

I still can't believe she is out, and that I didn't have to get induced since I was still 0 cm dilated on Friday at my OB appointment. It was quite the quick labor and perfect timing since Nate is off all week and I knew I could NOT still be working this week even if I was pregnant. I get my full 12 weeks off with my daughter now! We had a fabulous anniversary together on Sunday, went to dinner, and then that night labor started out of the blue. Funny how that happens, huh? I was 39 weeks and 5 days when she was born and can't believe my body figured it out without Pitocin! And yes, Nate loves my quote about the epidural---what I meant was that when I was in that very dark moment, waiting for the epidural to kick in, I had a moment of clarity. After Truman's birth I felt kind of wimpy for getting an epidural and this time I was really hoping to avoid one as long as possible. I just felt like I should have been tough enough to do it without the meds and questioned how difficult the contractions really were in hindsight. Well this time, when I hit a breaking point with the pain and the intensity and the anxiety I just wanted to tell my future self that I should NOT second guess this decision for the meds. Because in that moment, I knew there was absolutely no way I could have gone on without an epidural and I didn't want to regret that decision again. I'll write more in my birth story but man, labor and delivery is HARD STUFF with or without meds.

Everyone is saying that Cecelia is the spitting image of her big brother (aside from her crazy/amazing hair!) and sometimes I agree, but sometimes I think she is totally different. Either way, she is absolutely amazing and worth the past year of craziness and worries to get her here. I would do it all 100 times over to have her safe in our arms.

Birth story, nursery reveal, and lots of details coming soon!




Hello all - Cecelia Lorene arrived this morning, 8:05 am. She weighed in at 7lbs 5oz and measured 20.5 inches long. Julia is happy and healthy, Cece is perfect and beautiful, and big brother Truman can't wait to help out with his little sister!

Best quote of the morning - right after getting her epidural Julia said: "Looking back, don't EVER let me second guess getting an epidural again!"

More details to follow, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!


39 weeks: A gallon of milk

Thirty-Nine weeks: 5.23.12





Photo Thoughts: Feeling very lazy with self-portraits in the mirror this time. And my belly is pretty freaking big.

Size of baby: Supposedly a watermelon but since I did that last week, I got creative with a gallon of milk. I always tell my patients who have a lift restriction that a gallon of milk is 8 pounds. And I figure baby girl is inching up to that point, so there she is. Bonus: the milk matches my shirt and I didn't even plan it:)

Appointment updates: Totally bummed after my 38 week appointment last Thursday. Not dilated at all which isn't really that surprising, I guess, but I was SO hoping for one measly little centimeter. Yes, it could still change in an instant but all that internal exam did was make me doubt my body's abilities to do this thing without Pitocin. I mean, with Truman I had to be induced for TWO WHOLE DAYS when my body failed me with high-blood pressure. Then with my miscarriage my body had no freaking clue that the baby had died and even after Cytotek, it couldn't clear everything out and I needed surgery. So maybe I'm in a bad mental place right now but it certainly feels like my body is letting me down again with lack of progress. Stupid cervix. Don't fail me now!

I realize that I'm so incredibly lucky to be carrying a healthy baby at 39 weeks and really, who cares if I do have to be induced in the end to get her out. I don't want this whine-fest to come across as me being ungrateful for the last days/weeks of this pregnancy, because I definitely still love being pregnant. I am not 'done' with pregnancy by any means but I just want to meet baby girl so badly, I can taste it. And this is just another lesson in patience and surrendering control in my life. Two things that are always on my 'work in progress' list. I know she will be here and I'll forget a lot about this anxiety and anticipation but for now, I want to hold my baby and start our life together. But I'm not so hormonally charged that I am losing sight of the biggest goal of all: a healthy baby, no matter how she comes and when she comes. But dang, would it be so horrible for her to come a little early? :)

My OB said that if I'm dilated at all at my 39 week appointment on Friday she will sweep my membranes and we can talk about a possible induction at that time. I'm really struggling with what I will decide about an induction because it's one of the main things I wanted to avoid this time around. BUT, Nate has taken off all of next week and that is the only full week he'll get. Which means, if baby girl decides to be overdue and I'm still pregnant all next week, Nate has wasted a week off work and I will be even more frustrated. And then I won't get extra help from my husband when we get home from the hospital, although I'm sure my mom could come up and help me out that first week if Nate has to work. But really, I am praying like crazy that she does come sometime between now and her due date just to maximize our family time together.

I want to be all zen and relaxed and 'the baby will come whenever she is ready' but at the same time, I really want my husband to be there for the first days at home. Is that totally crazy of me? What would you do---set an induction for right around your due date to fit into your plans or push it to 41 weeks, knowing that you'd miss that window of your partner's help? I really don't think I'm comfortable going past 41 weeks no matter what and I plan to ask my OB her opinion, too. Maybe if I didn't doubt my body's capabilities I could be fine with waiting it out. I just never thought I'd be facing a decision like this. And yes, I realize that I'm not even overdue yet but I just have a bad feeling about this and will have to make some decisions this Friday. I think if I wasn't having so many annoying false alarm contractions I'd be totally fine but mentally, it's wearing on me to always think that THIS COULD BE IT and then it's not.

Cravings/Diet: Not really into food lately. Except for sugar of course, since I can ALWAYS save room for dessert.

What I love: Despite my whining in this post, I really do love being pregnant in general. I will miss it and I can honestly say I'm not super uncomfortable or anything. I still love the belly, feeling her kick inside of me, and dare I say it---this anticipation is actually sort of fun, aside from the times that it makes me feel like a crazy hormonal loon. Which might be 90% of the time but whatevs. I also love telling people that I'm due 'next week'. Talk about making it real.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Her birthday. Plain and simple.

Worries: Just that my body will never go into labor on it's own. Or that something could go wrong with the delivery. Or that I might be pregnant forever. You know, the norm at this stage in the game.

What is different this time around: I'm still pregnant at 39 weeks instead of having my child out for a whole week at this point. Pretty different, I'd say.

Symptoms: So many 'practice' contractions, so little time. I am not exaggerating when I say that I've had timeable, strong-ish contractions every single night for the past week or two. And actually, I can remember the first night I timed contractions and that was way back at 28 weeks, so this is nothing new. But the other night they got to be 4-6 minutes apart and were about a 2/10 on the pain scale with cramps, too. I was cautiously optimistic that they could be a sign of something real starting but go figure, they stopped when I went to bed. Just like always. Other than some wicked BH contractions, I wouldn't say I'm having many other symptoms. I did notice my toes swell the other day after painting barefooted for a good 3 hours. And those zingers in the vag are no joke, either. Oh, and I did switch to my fake set of wedding rings because it's getting hotter outside and my real rings were tough to remove some nights. Yep, definitely at the end of this pregnancy.

Sleep: Not as great, but not awful, either. Up at least one time to pee now and then I feel like I toss and turn from about 3am until we wake at 6am. I really miss sleeping on my stomach, by the way.

Movement: She is still a crazy girl in there, up high and down low and very consistently during her favorite times of the day. I know she is running out of room in there so I'm not sure how she manages to kick me so hard sometimes. Silly little girl. Why don't you just come out to meet us and then you'd have all the room in the world!?

The belly: Large. Round. And still no stretch marks. That might be enough to send me over the edge at this point, so here's hoping they stay away for now.

Milestones: Um, she's really big and basically fully cooked. And making it to 39 weeks, a whole week past my pregnancy with Truman, is a milestone in itself.

Amusing comments from the general public: 'Wait, you are due next Tuesday? But you are sooooo tiny!' It never gets old, people. I finally said, 'Thank you!' really enthusiastically one day, just to try that on for a response and it sort of felt good. Like, 'Hi, I realize I'm not as big as a house, thanks for noticing, and I'll take that as a compliment even if you didn't mean it that way.'

Best moment of the week: The weekend was full of glorious sunshiny weather so we took lots of family walks (ie Get The Baby Out Walks) and had so much fun spending time together. I love our little family of three and the only thing better will be enjoying our time as a family of four (er, five if you include Henry dog).


38 weeks: A Watermelon

Thirty-Eight Weeks: 5.16.12




Photo Thoughts: Some weeks I like these pictures and other weeks I really dislike them. This week, I like. Love the colors, love that I'm holding such a giant fruit, and that Truman is at least in the background.

Size of baby: Because I had an ultrasound on Monday, I know this baby is estimated at 7lbs 10oz (more later). But as for the food comparisons, either a leek according to BC or a pumpkin according to TB. So I went with a watermelon, naturally.

Appointment updates: New category! Since my appointments are usually the highlight of my week and have been semi-eventful lately, might as well give me a section to unload here on the old bloggie. My BP is good, weight gain fine, but instead of measuring 'perfectly' for my fundal height measurement like baby has always done every single week, this time she only measured 35.5 weeks although I was 37 weeks. Which is really weird because at 36 weeks she was 36 cm (ie perfect). So my OB said she is either super low (which we don't know for sure because I declined the internal exam), was just curled up really funny (definitely a possibility because I glanced down and saw the whole right side of my stomach hardened up like her butt was sticking out at us), or my fluids could be low. She also mentioned that maybe baby girl is actually small but then said she wasn't actually worried about any of this because she's always measured just fine and I'm still feeling a lot of movement. Just to be extra cautious, she ordered a growth ultrasound for Monday.

I was really nervous even though my OB did not seem concerned about this small measurement at all. But the ultrasound could not have gone better. First, I got to have the awesome US tech that I love, who has now given me four ultrasounds: Truman's big 20 week anatomy scan, my ultrasound before my D&C when I switched back to this practice, this baby's big 20 week anatomy scan, and now this growth ultrasound. He is really good at talking and explaining things so you don't feel totally out of the loop and nervous. And guess what? Baby girl is anything but small. She measured in the 70th percentile again, exactly like her anatomy scan at 20 weeks. And another weird similarity? She is estimated to be 7lbs 10oz right now, which is the exact weight Truman was at birth at 38 weeks! There is a discrepancy between what I think is my due date (May 29) and what my OB says (June 1), mostly because I think her old school paper wheel is just off and I prefer to go with the internet calculators I used after charting, so they had me down as 37w3d at my ultrasound (when I called myself 37w5d). Either way, baby girl is definitely healthy and will most likely be bigger than her brother. Eek! Her legs measured incredibly long, like 40w3d long, and her head was also big at 40w0d. But he said that she is so ridiculously low (yay!) that it was hard to get an accurate head measurement. Her arms and abdomen measurements were right on or a little smaller at 36-37 weeks and my fluid levels were a 'great' 14 when they like anything over 8. Whew. Also, no boy parts were visualized, my placenta was nice and high and healthy, and her heart rate was a 'fantastic' 133. Compared to the last time I saw her at 20 weeks, she just looked huge and adorable and REAL.

So overall, this week's appointment taught me a much-needed lesson: when anxiety and worries start creeping into my head I HAVE to learn to relax, pray, and let it go. It reminded me a lot of my first trimester when I was so scared that I'd lose this baby and all I could do to get through was pray and trust in God. Why have I not made that a priority even when things are good? It's so easy to doubt and worry and try to control everything but I really need to stop with that nonsense. Because baby girl just looked so precious on the ultrasound with her giant body, practice sucking some amniotic fluid, and putting her big hands up to her face.  So glad the ultrasound went well and the next time I 'see' her will be on the outside!

Cravings/Diet: Still getting overly full after eating small-ish meals and I'm getting to the point where nothing even sounds good in the evenings.

What I love: This belly and the exciting anticipation that comes along with being at the end of pregnancy. I never really got to experience this last time and have found it's sort of a mixed bag of emotions. Part of me knows I need to savor these last days of pregnancy and our time as a family of three but another part of me just wants to meet her RIGHT NOW and it's hard to remain patient. I really do hope she comes early but I know that is sort of greedy and silly to 'plan' at this point. It might be a long two-ish weeks up in here.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Besides having her come out to meet us, which is basically consuming my mind right now, I'm really looking forward to running again. And having a beer on hot summer nights. And being thin again. I do love being pregnant and wouldn't trade it for the world but man, this body is just getting too foreign to me.

Worries: See above about measuring smaller suddenly last week. Plus I was a naughty girl and allowed myself to read a few birth stories online that included scary but rare complications which totally freaked me out.

What is different this time around: Well I'm 38 weeks and still pregnant, which means this is the most pregnant I've ever been! No more weekly posts to link from Truman's pregnancy. Wow. Just wow.

Let's compare bellies!
See what I mean about being so low this time?  My upper belly is just a lot flatter compared to last time, but maybe not truly 'bigger'.

Symptoms: A lot this week! First, I think I've really dropped now because I am getting cervical 'zingers' down there that take my breath away. And I can actually sit in one position without feeling like she is in my lungs so I am sure she dropped a little lower this week. I also started getting weird ovary pains that are super sharp and intense and I even caught myself semi-waddling over the past few days. Tons of BH contractions all throughout the day that are always worse in the evenings and have become uncomfortable to the point where I'm usually asking myself, 'Could this be the start of something real?' I've been crampy and gassy and generally uncomfortable every evening but each morning finds me feeling refreshed and very obviously not in labor. Ugh. So weird! 

Sleep: Not as great lately. I've been taking naps during the day again even though I don't feel horribly tired. Then that makes me stay up too late at night and I can't get comfortable when I do come to bed. So I feel like death in the mornings. Great stuff. I know this is nothing compared to what sleep will be like with a newborn and that freaks me out, of course. 

Movement: Yes, she is still moving like crazy in there but now it's more like a gentle foot jab instead of an aggressive knee to the lung. I've also felt more punches down low instead of just having high kicks. I swear, some times of the day she is like Renesmee Cullen trying to claw her way out of my loins and other times she is just a peaceful little angel baby in there. 

The belly: Undeniable and maybe the biggest it's ever been. No stretch marks, an outie belly button, and some of my maternity shirts are getting too short to cover this beast. Love it.

Milestones: Even though 37 weeks is 'full term', I feel like 38 weeks is an even better milestone to hit because lung development has gotten even better in the past week. After today I will be entering new territory with pregnancy which is totally exciting and maddening at the same time. I still can't say with certainty that I've reached the 'Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done' phase but I'm getting awfully close. I guess I just didn't expect to make it this far without my BP acting up and so now that I'm here, it's very hard to accept that I might be pregnant for a few more weeks.

Amusing comments from the general public: 'I looked like you when I was 5 months pregnant', and 'you are still so small, is this your first child?' Yeah, the 'small' comments came back this week in full force. I wonder if I will ever get a 'you look like you are about to pop' comment? Because I sure do feel like that!

Best moment of the week: Besides the ultrasound where I could see our little girl, my pre-natal massage on Saturday was a-freaking-mazing. And for my nesting instinct, it was highly therapeutic to finish Truman's second year album and I also got caught up on my pregnancy album, too. LOVE crossing those two things off my ongoing to-do list. Mothers Day was also a highlight because it was a fun day spent with my family at the zoo, reflecting on the little boy who made me a momma. I can honestly say that my title of 'Mom' is one of the proudest ones I claim. I can't believe I get to be a mom to two kids. So blessed.


family of three, for now!

Daddy's ears = handles!


Zoo day for mothers day

Hilarious Mothers Day card:

Me and my guy:
Mothers day

A random Instagram shot one afternoon, when I realized I had probably dropped:

Kitchen Reveal

We are ready to show you the final kitchen reveal. Drum roll, please!






Since I last posted about the kitchen, we have done a lot more to this room:  fixed all plumbing, replaced electrical boxes, tiled and grouted backsplash, installed all pulls and knobs, painted the walls and the woodwork including the windows, added window treatments, installed new above sink and under cabinet lighting, finished the back wall of storage, and bought a rug. Whew! The only two things left: install the already-cut glass into the upper doors and install our new above head lighting. Which, apparently, my least-favorite 'cafeteria' florescent light is going to be a pain in the butt even though it's taken down now. There is a giant hole that remains and so we need to do a lot of patching and drywall and other not fun stuff before we can actually install our new light. So I just left the ceiling out of my reveal pics. :)

Let's view some details, shall we?


So I'm madly in love with our pulls and knobs, FYI. And the back splash turned out SO nice and I even helped put it up with Nate and his dad so I feel even more proud of this baby. Love how the backsplash pulls out the gray in our granite countertops, which also plays into our maple floors. I also adore our new back wall of storage including the laundry chute for the first floor. It's sort of like a little mud-room area in our kitchen which is a lot nicer than the giant cabinets they had there before (in my humble opinion).

And as for the other 'before and after' shots?


Oh, refaced cabinet doors. How I love you.

Looking out of the window by the sink, into our backyard makes me so happy now.

I feel like I explained a lot of what we did to this kitchen in my previous post, so I won't go into details about how we tackled this project. But I will just say that it's very 'us' and huge and spacious with so much storage compared to what we had before. I don't love to cook but in this kitchen, I feel like Rachel Ray. :)

And that is our DIY kitchen remodel. Thank you, God, that it's over.

Our Home Posts

Our old 'new' home: a Chicago Bungalow built in 1925 with many stories to tell. We are the third owners of this baby in the 87 years it's been around. Approximately 1700 sq ft, 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms means it feels huge compared to our previous 900 sq ft duplex.

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/porterfinal




Take a tour...

The Family room:



(at Christmas time, my favorite decoration season)

The Dining room:



The Sunroom/Playroom:


The Kitchen:



The half bathroom:


Going to Upstairs:


Going to the Basement:


Master Bedroom:


Truman and Cecelia's Room:



Cecelia's Nursery: (which is no longer, but I loved it so pictures stay here)

Porter's Nursery:



Full Bath:

Renovation pictures (Before and Afters!)









Half bath:

stairsbeforeafter copy

Master bed:

Truman's room:

Cecelia's room:

Upper Bath:


Posts for your reading pleasure:

The House Hunt Part 1
The House Hunt Part 2

House Renovations: The Floors
House Renovations: Painting
House Renovations: The Kitchen in Progress
House Renovations: More Painting

Home Tour: Upstairs, one month after moving
Home Tour: Downstairs, one month after moving
Home Tour: The Nursery Reveal (for Cecelia)
Home Tour: The Completed Kitchen
Home Tour: The Kids' Shared Bedroom
Home Tour: Porter's Nursery Reveal
Home Tour: Back Hallway Project
Home Tour: Bathroom Renovation

How-To Posts:
Making an Upholstered Headboard
Making Roman Shades
Painting Our Crib Pink
Painting Our Crib Yellow
Recovering Dining Room Chairs
Updating our Fireplace
DIY Growth Chart Rulers
Painting Old Radiators

Our Paint Colors by Room:

Family Room: Behr's Cloudy Day in eggshell finish (ceiling in Behr's Wave Crest plus 25% more white)
Dining Room: Behr's Cloudy Day in eggshell finish
Sunroom: Behr's Peridot in eggshell finish (ceiling in Behr's White Willow)
Kitchen: Behr's Dolphin Fin in satin finish
Stairway/Hallways: Behr's Dolphin Fin in eggshell finish
Half Bathroom: Behr's Harbor in satin finish

Cecelia's Nursery: Behr's Wildwood Spring in eggshell finish
Porter's Nursery: Glidden's Seal Gray in satin finish
Truman and Cecelia's room: Behr's Gentle Rain in eggshell finish
Master bedroom: Behr's Honey Bird in eggshell finish
Full bathroom: Behr's Tide Pools in satin finish  Behr's Pencil Sketch in satin finish

All painted woodwork in home: Two different brands we've tried...
-Sherwin Williams latex Adhesion Primer and Pro Classic latex paint in white, semi-gloss finish
-Benjamin Moore oil-based primer and Advance latex paint in white, satin finish
( I like the Sherwin Williams combo much better, fyi )
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