Monday, April 21, 2014

The Nursery

The curtains are hung, and the furniture assembled. The onesies are washed, and the drawers have been filled. Everything is in it's place, ready for Miss Maddie. Here's a look at her pink and green nature-themed nursery:

This is the view from the hallway. Tom installed the round drum light that I LOVE, and it has a dimmer switch, which I also LOVE.  I made the mobile above the changing table using twine, an embroidery hoop, and circular paper cutouts.

When you walk through the doorway, there is a little wall to the left that showcases the precious autographed print that my Dallas coworkers gave us.

We ordered the white crib (with matching changing table) from Amazon. The linens, mobile, and rug are from Pottery Barn Kids. I made the banner above the crib using twine and scrapbook paper - super easy and cheap! We ordered the white tree wall decal from Etsy, and it took us HOURS to put up. The reviews said "quick and easy to install" but apparently these people are not the perfectionists that Tom and I are ;) Or maybe our walls just have too much texture. Regardless, I'm really happy with the way it turned out!!

We ordered the glider from Babies R Us, and the green polka dotted curtains were a Pottery Barn Kids splurge.

Another view of the left side of the room. Toy/book shelf from Target, wooden tree decoration from Hobby Lobby, and that's the closet door. Tom set up the baby monitor up in the corner of the room with a perfect view of her crib. The brown basket sits on a little white table beside the glider, which I'll use to store my breastfeeding supplies.

To the right of the window leans a blanket ladder that Tom and I made in an afternoon using two pieces of wood and some wooden dowels from Home Depot. Again - super easy and cheap!  (I had to find some ways to save after all the PBK linens...)  We received so many cute blankets and I really wanted to show them off. The brown dresser was Tom's childhood dresser.  We were a little hesitant at first about mixing and matching the white and brown furniture, and I considered painting the dresser white. But in the end, I just wasn't that motivated, and it's in good shape anyway. I really like how the mismatched furniture goes together after all.

On top of the dresser sits the Dohmie (white noise maker), brag book photo album I can't wait to fill, precious little shoes I couldn't say no to at Old Navy, and a cute little necklace holder turned headband holder that I found on clearance at Garden Ridge. On the wall, I hung another DIY craft. I used scrap paper from name banner for the background and the white frame (from Goodwill, spray painted) that has been holding my weekly photo chalkboard numbers. The "M" is from Hobby Lobby, spraypainted to match the frame.

And finally, to the right of the dresser sits the Diaper Genie, changing table, and laundry hamper. I switched out the white knobs on the changing table with wooden knobs (97 cents at the Home Depot) that I stained brown to match the dresser. Easy way to tie the two pieces together! I painted the little wooden bird on the wall (using a cutout set from Hobby Lobby) and attached a little knob to hang her bath towel on.

Ta-da! There you have it, Maddie's first room! Our due date is TOMORROW and I am so impatient to bring her home.  I arrived precisely on my due date, but I have a feeling Maddie may take her sweet time (since she already passed April 18th, the date I thought she was going to come!). As ready as I am to meet her, I'm also counting my blessings that she is still happy, healthy, and safe in her cozy little home. Fingers crossed she'll be here soon :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

38 Weeks

38 weeks 3 days, and bursting at the seams.  My once round belly is now lopsided and lumpy, with various body parts protruding, barely squeezing into my maternity shirts. And pants?  I say, who needs 'em!  I've been wearing this stretchy black skirt basically every day for the past 2 weeks.  Highly recommend for the last month of pregnancy!

How far along:  38 weeks 3 days

Size of baby:  A pumpkin, somewhere between 18.9 - 20.9 in, 6.2 to 9.2 lbs (according to the  I was just a tiny thing, born at 6 lbs 7oz on my exact due date.  Fingers crossed little Maddie will inherit some of my genes and won't be a giant.  My money is on April 18th for her arrival, along with my dad.  Tom and my mom both think April 24th, which is my half-birthday, so that's kind of cool.  My grandma thinks April 25th.  Lord please, don't let me still be pregnant by April 25th! ;) Official due date is April 22nd - 11 days and counting!  As long as she isn't born on an odd date, I'll be happy.  I have a serious and unreasonable aversion to odd numbers.  I hope she inherits that too, and picks a nice even date for her big debut.

Total weight gain:  33 pounds, yowzers.
Symptoms:  General discomfort, everywhere.  My ankles/feet swell up occasionally, still having back pain, and baby has dropped down low so there is lots of pressure in my pelvis.  And the stretch marks have arrived.  I really thought I was going to survive my first pregnancy without any, but alas, the skin around my (now outie) belly button can stretch no more.

Cravings:  I've actually had some really strange cravings lately, including but not limited to:  cottage cheese, McDonalds chicken nuggets, and orange soda (yes, like the kind you drank when you were 10, and Kel loved on Nickelodeon).  The cravings are SO random and they come out of nowhere.

Sleep:  At this point, I've accepted that there is no comfortable sleeping position.  The beachball on my stomach is really in the way, and it's difficult to roll over.  I generally wake up a few times during the night - restroom, snack, insomnia, back pain, baby kicks and hiccups... pinterest, reading random blogs, wandering around the house aimlessly.  Last night, I bought a grout scrubbing brush on amazon at 3:45am.  I guess this is nature's way of preparing me for what's to come!  At least I've stopped dreaming about tax returns and excel files, dreaming about baby is much more fun :)

Movement:  Still lots of movement and hiccups!

Gender:  It’s a girl!

Name:  Madelyn Grace 

Style:  Hahaha, "style".  I'm not sure you can call yoga pants and maternity shirts "style".  It's sort of like how my Old Navy maternity yoga pants are from their clothing line called "Active" but all I ever do in them is lounge around.  We'll go with the term "comfortable" for my style, because it sounds better than "lazy" or "nonexistent".

Nursery:  Ready for her!  Pictures to come soon.

Best moment of the week:  My maternity leave started!  Holla!

Whew!  I anticipate this being my last "bumpdate".  We know I'm not very good at blogging regularly.  My last weekly update was at 27 weeks... so... doubtful that I'll post another before she arrives :)  Plus I figure I'll probably just get more whiny over the next couple weeks if she hasn't made her debut, so I'll spare you the complaints!

I officially started my maternity leave this week.  My employer has an awesome policy - 2 weeks pre due date and 12 weeks after birth.  I am so grateful for this time off before baby arrives.  I feel like I have struck the perfect balance of productivity and restfulness this week.  The house has been ready for baby for the past few weeks, but I've been able to take care of a lot of general life things:  brakes checked, dog flea meds refilled, fixed my broken iphone screen, carpets cleaned, grocery shopped, frozen meals made, dropped of my wedding dress to be cleaned/preserved (better late than never right?), etc!  It feels so good not to have those things weighing on my mind, and I anticipate errands like that to be a bit more difficult with an infant in tow.  

I've also taken several naps this week and I treated myself to a pedicure yesterday.  I went to a little hole-in-the-wall nail salon near my house that had a few good reviews on google.  Upon arrival, they directed me to the candy bar, just like at our wedding, a little table where you can fill a cup with teeth-rotting candy!  A little strange for a nail salon, but instantly, I knew I had picked the right one for me.  It was even fresh candy.  We're talking soft gummy bears and tootsie rolls.  Yum!  I picked out a pedicure package that was advertised at 45 minutes.  Two hours later, I left feeling so refreshed!  I was the only customer there for a while, and my poor girl must have been really bored.  She gave me three different massage scrubs, a masque with hot towels, a hot stone massage, and another lotion massage.  Ahhhhh.  But my favorite part about this spa experience was definitely the eclectic music selection.  Tom will be the first to tell you that I have some random playlists on my phone that I love to pull out on long road trips.  But this sound track was something else. And now for your listening pleasure, here is a sampling of songs I heard while I was there:

Ok the last thing I'll leave you with today is a doctor's visit update.  We went in yesterday for our weekly checkup.  The belly tape-measure test showed right at 38cm (cm = weeks, still so strange to me how that works!), and her heart rate was thumping along at 130 beats per minute.  Great and great.  Then came the cervix check to see if I had dilated any yet.  Our doctor prefaced by telling us that most first-time mothers have not dilated at this point, and the tip of their cervix feels like the tip of a nose (odd comparison, but sure).  Now, at no point did anyone ever tell me, nor did I ever read anywhere, that a cervix check would hurt.  So let me be the one to tell you, future mothers, that it can be very painful!  I first started to grasp this fact when the doctor told me to "pick a spot on the ceiling, focus on it, and keep breathing".  It was quick, but it was miserable.  Thank goodness he told us that I was 1-2cm dilated, and my cervix has started to point forward rather than down.  I fully understand that you can walk around dilated for weeks, but it was still music to my ears to  hear that there is progress. Also, he touched her head! He.touched.her.head. There is a baby inside of me, and he touched her!  It still seems so surreal.  He said her head is already really low, and when he poked it, her head moved away then came right back down into place (as opposed to squirming away and assuming a different position).  All good news!

When we left, I was in a bit of a panic, thinking I was going to be the biggest wimp ever in labor if I thought the simple cervix check was painful.  Luckily, I stumbled upon this article, where the writer says she thinks the check is worse than childbirth! Whew.  Maybe I won't be a total wuss.  We went ahead and met with the anesthesiologist to sign the epidural paperwork yesterday.  I'm not even going to kid myself and say I will do it all natural.  Pain, be gone!

Alrighty, back to my busy maternity leave schedule, it's just about time for my morning nap ;)  See you all next time with nursery photos!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sweet Surprises

How is it already April?  What even happened to March!?

Way back in February, I was lucky enough to be involved in two surprise parties. Once on each side of the surprise - the surpriser and the surprisee.  

First up was a surprise party for my wonderful Dad to celebrate his 50th birthday!  My mom, grandma, and I (along with help from others along the way!) schemed for months to coordinate the plans.  We threw the party at my parents' house so we had to find a way to keep my dad away for the afternoon.  We lucked out and had great weather (for February), so my brother and my grandpa made plans to golf with my dad.  The first surprise of the day was that my Uncle Scott met them on the golf course.  My Uncle Scott from Wisconsin!  We were a little nervous that my dad would think this was suspicious... but luckily, he fell for the "just needed a weekend getaway, heard there was golfing weather in Texas" story line.  Little did he know that his niece Rachel had come along too!  But that was a surprise for later. 

Once we got my dad out of the house, we got to work.  First, we ran errands to pick up last minute groceries and party supplies.  Then we decorated!  We went with an "old guys rule" theme and had lots of adult beverage decorations.  The afternoon flew by, for us and for the guys.  We got the red alert text message that they were finishing up with golf... more than an hour early!  We begged for the guys to stall him, by any means necessary.  Which, as you might guess, four guys on the golf course... resulted in substantial consumption of alcohol at the clubhouse.  But, the stalling worked!

Friends and family began arriving and we assumed our places in the living room and kitchen, prepared to shout SURPRISE!  But of course there had to be one more kink in the plan.  My parents' garage door had stopped working for some reason that day.  My mom warned my dad, and we thought it might actually work in our favor because he'd be forced to come through the front door.  So we all waited, quietly, patiently, for the guys to arrive.  We saw the golf carts pull into the drive.  Then we heard voices as they came in... the side door.  That we forgot to lock!  And being the handyman he is, my dad headed straight to the garage to try and fix the garage door!!  We all did our best to stay quiet and finally, my mom convinced him to come inside and worry about the door later.

"SURPRISE!!!" I loved seeing my dad's face as he took in the scene - friends, family, food, balloons!  Everyone had a great time visiting, eating, drinking, and especially giving my dad a hard time about being so OLD! :)
Surprise party success.


 The following week, I headed up to Dallas to spend a few days in the office up there.  Busy season was kicking off, and I usually try to make a trip at least once a month to keep in touch with co-workers.  My manager, Lauren, arranged a client lunch while I was in town.  And I had no reason to suspect it was anything to the contrary.  But when we walked into the restaurant, we headed straight to the party room.  It all happened so fast, I still didn't have any suspicions.  Suddenly there was a lot of commotion, and it took me a few seconds to process that this table full of lovely ladies was yelling SURPRISE, for me!  My awesome co-workers and friends had coordinated a surprise baby shower lunch for me, and I was completely caught off guard.  We had a great time at lunch and boy, did they spoil our little sweetie!  A car seat, high chair, sweet little onesies, blankies - just to name a few of their sweet gifts.  And most special of all, an adorable little framed print that they all signed.  So cute, and so perfect in her nursery.  I really wish we had taken a photograph of the whole group, but we forgot.  Luckily I did catch a photo with my friend, Mary!  Don't mind all that wine in the background, it was only a minor tease ;)

So that was February.  Valentines day, taxes, and sweet surprises. 

These pictures are from Valentines day (that pink drink was pretty much straight grenadine and a splash of Sprite, ha. It had me all hopped up on sugar, ready to dance the night away at our neighborhood Valentines Day dance)

Then came March, I think?  Wait where did March go?  Somehow it came and passed very quickly.  In a nutshell, here is how we spent March:

Taxes, newborn care and labor classes, taxes, more trips to Dallas, taxes, doctors appointments, taxes, I got in a minor fender bender, which sent us to Labor & Delivery for monitoring (everyone is ok!), more taxes, and then we ended the month with Tom's 27th birthday! 

If you have to work on a Saturday, you might as well do it outdoors.

Look at that proud papa, learning how to care for his new baby! (I see the resemblence, don't you?)

Our house is being taken over by baby gear.

Bailey loves to lay in her baby's room.  She can't wait!  Or maybe she just likes the rug.

Look at that cutie!!  We were able to squeeze in a quick visit with Tom's older brother and our sweet nephew, Connor.  Such a happy-go-lucky guy at lunch!  (PS - do I look like a natural?? It is difficult to hold a baby on your lap with a big pregnant belly)

Sad car.

Happy 27th birthday, Tom!  Spent some time at the driving range.

And here we are, on April 1st. Today marks 37 weeks 0 days - no foolin'! We have officially made it to "full term". This is also my last week at work - hooray! I'm most excited because it means I don't have to get dressed any more. I do not own pants that fit. And I'm not buying anything else!! Sweats and nightgowns will have to do for the next three weeks. Speaking of which, everybody cross your fingers that she keeps on baking alllll the way until April 22! I would really love to have my two weeks off - nesting, napping, niiiice. I'll also plan to do an end-of-pregnancy update post and a nursery post during that time :)