Friday, March 31, 2017

35 Weeks Update

I'm 35 weeks pregnant with our little Mackenzie Louise (we're like 99% sure that's what we're going to name her. I just can't bring myself to actually write it in her baby book though, it just seems so permanent and I'm having commitment issues). For a while there, this pregnancy really seemed to be dragging on, but now it is suddenly right around the corner. 35 short days until our due date! I had an appointment last Friday morning, where I told the doctor that I'd been having a lot of Braxton Hick contractions. She said that after the 34 week mark, they won't do anything to stop labor - which was both exciting and terrifying to hear. Let's all cross our fingers that I don't go into labor for at least a few more weeks! I still have 2 weeks of work, a long to-do list, and a soon-to-be 3 year old's birthday to celebrate. So basically, I'd love for her to come after April 23, around the 38 1/2 week mark :) Got that, baby? Great!

I really love a good excel file, as well as a to-do list, so a few weeks back, I put together a week-by-week checklist of all the things I'd like to get done before baby comes. Before the list, I felt so overwhelmed by all of the ideas swimming around in my mind. I couldn't figure out how to prioritize either, so basically I was just worrying a lot but not actually getting anything done. I haven't stuck to the plan perfectly, but it feels so good to have all of my thoughts written down and prioritized. Knowing that I only have 5 or 6 tasks to do each week and that every task has an assigned "due date" gives me a lot of peace. Upcoming this week: finish making a "big sister" busy bag for Maddie, clean all of our baby gear that has been in storage, and order a new breast pump.

A couple weeks ago, Maddie went to my parents' house for the entire weekend, and it was glorious. I love the girl more than anything, but the peace and quiet was so nice. I was able to tackle so many things on my to-do list without a little "helper" tagging along. Tom and I even went out for a date night! It's likely the last one we'll have for... a while... so we enjoyed it! Before we left, I convinced Tom to recreate the maternity photos we took when I was pregnant with Maddie. The Maddie pictures were taken on March 22, 2013 at 35 weeks pregnant, and the recent pictures were taken on March 18, 2017 at 33 weeks pregnant. Same dress, same camera, same field at the end of our street. We were just in time too to recreate them in the same place because a new neighborhood is going into that field this summer.

Madelyn - March 2014 / Mackenzie - March 2017

Madelyn - March 2014 / Mackenzie - March 2017

Madelyn - March 2014 / Mackenzie - March 2017

Madelyn - March 2014 / Mackenzie - March 2017

I am really committed to pursuing a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with this baby, so I'm doing all sorts of hippie things to prepare for labor. I'm drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating so many dates, and taking evening primrose oil. I'm also walking a lot and doing plenty of stretching/yoga poses. We've even hired a doula to help during labor and I'm feeling so at ease knowing she'll be there for support. Are you happy, Austin? Look what you've done to me, turning me crunchy! ;) We also took a VBAC class at a local hospital. I feel really confident in my decision, and in my body, to take on this challenge. I am a major wuss when it comes to pain, but I feel like I'm so much better prepared for labor, physically and mentally, this time around.

I'm already done with the nursery, because it was really easy. Basically exactly the same as it was with Maddie. I just updated the name banner and put up a personalized print. For now, we have our guest bed in the nursery and the crib in our bedroom, since she'll sleep with us to start anyway, and we'll have a spot for grandmas to stay when they come help. The name banner looks a little silly without the tall crib underneath it, so just use your imagination. Easy peasy, done done done :)


And that's all I can think of! Did I miss any important details? Pregnancy brain in full effect these days.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Creative Space

I am SO excited about our reimagined upstairs loft space, I just have to share it!


When we first moved in, nearly 4 years ago (!?!), we built a neat custom desk for the loft. It was practical for a while - big enough for both Tom and I to have our computers set up at, along with the printer and router/modem. But we didn't really take into consideration just how close the desk was to the kids rooms, and how loud/bright it would be to work there after Maddie went to bed. So eventually Tom started working downstairs at the dining room table. Then we inherited an awesome antique desk from Tom's family, that weighed about 800 pounds too many to carry up the stairs, so we put it in our great room. It's a little unconventional to have the desk right by the front door, but functionally, it's perfect. Anyway, back to the loft, so the desk we built up there just became a spot to accumulate clutter and was rarely used. We talked about making the space into a "play room" but we already have toys downstairs and in Maddie's room. I just couldn't bear the thought of another messy toy zone. Then my mom gave us the best idea - an arts and crafts space!

Our old desk - I can't seem to find a single picture of the finished product (stained and decorated), argh.

So I ran with it. I brainstormed and Tom assembled. The brains and the brawn, per usual, when it comes to house projects around here. We set it up as a creative space for both Maddie and I to use. (Tom gets the garage for all his tools and projects, so it's fair right? I think he's so glad to see the loft being used that he doesn't feel too jipped on the deal.)

We shortened the desk to one wall where I put our printer and my Silhouette Cameo. We were able to keep the Craigslist filing cabinets, which I love, and we picked up a super cheap IKEA Snille desk chair that is surprisingly comfortable in my opinion.

On the long wall, we used IKEA's Trofast shelf system for all of Maddie's art supplies down low, and mine up high. Then we hung an IKEA Dignitet wire to display her art, and IKEA Fintorp buckets for crayons, markers, pencils, etc. I had fun labeling all of the storage using my Cameo! The little table is also from IKEA and the rug is from Wal-Mart.


I LOVE the way it turned out! Not to mention, we've been having so much fun up there! So far, Maddie has been well-behaved with her art supplies and is content to color/paint/glue while I get ready or put away laundry. We used to do our art projects at the kitchen table, but having a designated space upstairs and out of sight means we don't have to clean up after every project! Lazy mom win!


Now, if I could just an extra 3 hours in my day to craft, we'd really be all set :)