Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Christmas Photos

Back at the beginning of December, I did some DIY Christmas light photos with the baby.

This was the set up.

I draped an unused Ikea curtain over our headboard, then draped some icicle lights. I placed a boppy under the white duvet cover and propped the baby on it. I think I just got lucky in that he fell asleep when I placed him on the boppy. I had nursed him just prior to starting the shoot.

I have a Canon Rebel Xsi camera and I used my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. I didn't have great lighting so I upped the iso to 1600 and set my aperture low. I shot a lot of the shoot in Av mode (aperture priority mode). I'm still learning and I'm not completely comfortable with full Manual mode yet. Av mode allows me to set the aperture and the camera picks the shutter speed for me.

I used an aperture of 1.8 to 2.2 for the shoot. The low aperture also allows for a shallow depth of field which blurs the Christmas lights in the background. I also like to over expose my photos by +2/3 to +1. I think it makes the photo look much brighter.

I'm overall pretty pleased with how the photos turned out. I know they're not perfect, but I love them. These are also straight out of the camera. I didn't do any post editing because I just didn't have the time and I really don't know much about editing photos.

Another trick I learned recently is back button focus. It basically allows me to use one of the back buttons on the camera to focus and then the shutter button takes the photo instead of pushing the shutter button halfway to focus the camera. It's handy because I can focus once and then take multiple photos as long as I don't move.

Once I was happy with the shots with the lights, I attempted some others like this one with the ornaments.

Soon the little guy got tired of me moving him around and woke up, and I ended up with photos like this. That's how I knew the shoot was over. lol

Mom stop taking my picture and pick me up! 

Have you attempted to DIY some Holiday photos? I still need to try and get a picture of him in front of the Christmas tree.

Baby AJ: 2 Month Update

Wow! Baby AJ is already 2 months old! What a difference a month can make. Baby boy has gone from being a little blob who only ate, slept and pooped to a little guy with an emerging personality.

It amazes me how much he has grown in the last two months. Look how scrawny he was at just 1 week old!

Weight: 13 lbs 2 oz up from 10 lbs 11 oz at 1 month appointment
Length: 24 inches
Diaper size: Size 2
Clothing size: 0-3 month and moved up to 3-6 months in sleepers and pants in the last couple of weeks

Nicknames: Bub bub , bubs, munchkin, baby, little guy, little man, monkey, Grandma calls him bright eyes

Health: Perfectly healthy besides battling a little diaper rash. He had his 2 month shots today. Poor little guy.  It's hard to see him get so many shots. I think it was harder on me than it was on him though. He seems to be doing ok from the shots so far.

Sleep: AJ's sleep has improved dramatically over the last month. He started having a 5-6 hour stretch at night and then every few nights we would get a 7 hour stretch. Well now the last about week and a half, we've been getting a solid 7-8 hours for his first stretch of sleep. Followed by another 1 or 2, 2 hour stretch. It's really nice to be getting such a solid chunk of sleep, but I still feel pretty tired as the day goes on. He's still sleeping in his bouncy chair though. I think Jack and I are a little nervous about moving him to the pack n play. I think once he hits 12 weeks, we'll start putting him in the pack n play next to our bed or we might try him out in his crib.

Diet: Mama's milk. Breastfeeding has been so much easier this month. My supply regulated so I don't get engorged anymore and AJ only nurses one side at a time for only 5-6 minutes. Feeding him is quick and easy. I've also started using my nursing cover a lot more and nursing in front of friends and family.

Baby Gear Love:
-Swing- it's a hit or miss but sometimes he'll nap in it
-snugabunny bouncy chair - he sleeps in this thing every night
-aden + anais swaddle blankets - we don't swaddle him in these anymore but we fold them in four and use it as a blanket
-Summer Infant swaddleme -he had to move up to large size this month, we swaddle him in these every night
-Babybjorn Babysitter Balance - I splurged on this thing last week and I love it! He was getting a little heavy for the snugabunny bouncer. I can put him in this thing and he'll happily sit in it for about 10-15 minutes and watch me go about my business. It has allowed me to get some breakfast in every morning.
-Sassy Go Go Bugs - I hang these from his car seat and he loves to just stare at them. It's kept him quiet for car rides a couple of times.
-Beco Gemini Carrier - Jack and I love this thing. Baby boy really doesn't like his car seat so I wear him when we go shopping together. Jack will wear him around the house or on walks if he gets antsy in the stroller. It's pretty much a guarantee that he'll fall asleep in this thing.

Loves: Sleeping on mama or dada's chest, dozing off in my lap after a nursing session, baths, diaper changes, being carried around, his pacifier, being in the Beco carrier, when mommy or daddy sing to him or talk to him

Hates: tummy time if left on tummy for too long, being taken out of the bath, mommy or daddy dressing him, car seat, when mommy tries to get the boogers out of his nose, when mommy tries to rub lotion on him after his bath

Milestones: Rolling over from tummy to back a few times. I think he puts on too much weight and can't do it anymore. He can lift his head momentarily while on his tummy. He has also started social smiling. Love, love, LOVE seeing him smile. It is the highlight of my day.

And now bullet points on AJ's 2nd month and lots of photos!

-He loves his bath every night. He doesn't really need one every night, but we feel it helps in establishing a bedtime routine. Sometimes he'll be really fussy at night and the bath seems to be the only thing to calm him down. We get lots of smiles and giggles during bath time. Daddy uses a cup and pours warm water over his belly. He doesn't like to be taken out of the bath though. A lot of the time he cries when we take him out.

-We discovered the amazingness of the pacifier. We held off giving him one for the first month so he doesn't get nipple confusion as was suggested in my breastfeeding book. It's really amazing how much it can calm him down and help him fall asleep.
-He's also started growing in some new hair

-He seems to enjoy getting his diaper changed. He's always in a good mood and smiling and babbling when we put him on his changing table for a diaper change. Often times I leave him up there for a time and try to coax as many smiles out of him as I can.

-I believe we have a morning person on our hands. Munchkin is just so happy and smiley in the mornings. It's when I get the most smiles and babbles out of him.

I have the Wonder Weeks book and these are the things I've checked off that he does for wonder week 8:
-smiling when he sees people he recognizes

-babbling and mumbles a series of sounds as if he is having a conversation with me.

-he makes short bursts of sounds like ah. He can be pretty loud! And he has started making this clicking sound with his tongue.

-if you talk back to him, he'll continue to "talk" to you. I love our little conversations.

-He can hold his head upright more and more and loves looking around. I still call him my little bobble head. He loves to look around when I carry him upright.

-He turns his head and will watch me walk around the room. He now will sit in his bouncy chair alert and watch me make breakfast. It's so cute the way his eyes and head follow me around the room. I talk to him and narrate what I'm doing.

-Little man now kicks his legs and flails his arms when he gets excited.

-He has started making faces. He furrows his eyebrows when he is concentrating or watching intently. I've noticed a couple of times, he'll lift up only one brow. Both my mom and grandma can do this.

-A few times over the last month, he has rolled from his tummy to his back. I think he puts on too much weight and can't do it anymore.

-He has started to take interest in his toys. He has these little bugs that hang from his car seat and he loves to stare at them. He especially likes the one that jingles. He will also now look at the toys that dangle from his play mat.

-Baby boy has taken an interest in staring at ceiling fans and lights.

-He loves to stare at his chevron curtains while I rock him.

-AJ's Great Grandpa and Nana came all the way from Utah to meet him for the first time. 

-Attempted a photo shoot that didn't go so well. lol

-AJ got to experience his first Thanksgiving

 -We had a second Thanksgiving the next day, but I only managed to grab a family photo for our Xmas card

Grandma & Grandpa bought him his first ornament

-Right after Thanksgiving we started decorating for Christmas

AJ's first xmas tree

 -My mom is a teacher and is off on Holiday break. She came over everyday last week to spend time with me and AJ. It was so much fun hanging out with her and I loved having the company everyday.

-Last week when my mom was over, we started putting him in his crib for some play time. He enjoyed laying there and watching us sing and talk to him. We got lots and lots of smiles out of him!

-I also took him to visit daddy at work for the first time. All the ladies were gong crazy over him.

Happy 2 months Baby AJ! Mommy and daddy love you so much and can't imagine our lives with out you! We're excited for the next phase in your life and what changes will come in your 3rd month.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Final Bump Progression

I finally got around to putting together my final bump progression collage. It's so weird now to look back and see how big my belly got. I'm so so happy that I stuck with it and took a photo almost every week. It's great to be able to look back on these photos to see how I progressed.  

I did make it to 38 weeks, but I was lazy and didn't take my bump photo on time. I went into labor before I even got the chance!

Here is my 38 week photo that I took right before heading off to the hospital.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Mama Must-Haves

New Mama Must-Haves

New Mama Must-Haves by taders on Polyvore

I've compiled a list of items that have helped me survive the first month as a new mom. These items are what has helped me with my recovery from a vaginal delivery and with breastfeeding. 

1. Nipple Butter: I like this Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. This is the particular brand I bought but anything similar will work. You'll need something to put on those nips if you're planning to breastfeed. I brought this with me to the hospital and started putting it on after every feeding when I noticed I was getting little red sores on my nips. I may have just got lucky and got a baby with a good latch from the start, but I've never had any pain with breastfeeding. 

2. Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray: I'm not really sure if this stuff helped with my healing but it sure felt nice to spray it on my lady bits after using the restroom. It smells really nice too. 

3. Breastfeeding Book: I read this book before I had the baby. It was nice to be informed about breastfeeding before attempting it. I also referenced this book the first few weeks. 

4. Water Bottle: Breastfeeding makes you thirsty. It's good to have a water bottle handy. I like the Eddy because it can topple over without spilling and you drink it like a straw which tends to make me drink more. 

5. Maxi Pads: Always infinity are my favs; they are absorbent and really thin. Have these on hand before delivery. You will definitely need them. 

6. Tucks: These refreshing pads feel so nice on sore lady bits. 

7. Nursing Pads: I've now found I don't like the disposable nursing pads. They're itchy! I'm not a heavy leaker, so the washable ones are better for me. I like bamboobies and these ones. 

8. Nursing Camis: I live in these things. It's one of the first things I went out and bought more of. I think I have 6 total now. I like the ones from Target. 

9. Nursing Sleep Bras: I like these ones from Motherhood. They're soft and the lace makes me feel a little sexy.

So there you have it! What helped you survive the first few weeks as a new mom. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby A.J. - 1 Month

I can't believe my little baby is already a month old!

Weight: He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz at birth. At his first pediatrician appointment when he was 3 days old he weighed 7 lbs. At his one month appointment on November 15, he weighed 10 lbs 12 oz! This boy gained almost 4 lbs in 4 weeks.
Length: 21.25 inches at birth and 23 inches at 1 month
Diaper size: Size 1 he grew out of newborn at around 2 weeks old.
Clothing size: Newborn

Nicknames: Bub bub, munchkin, baby, little guy, cranky pants, child, little one

Health: We had a small hiccup his first night. He was having a lot of trouble breastfeeding his first night. He ended up having to go to the NICU to have a tube put down his throat to suck out all the amniotic fluid he had swallowed during labor and deliver. Poor little guy, but after that he nursed so much better. Other than that, he's very healthy. We're very blessed.

Sleep: He's a pretty good sleeper. At first all he did was sleep and just wake up to eat. As the month went on, he would have more and more alert time during the day. I think we got lucky because he quickly started taking his longest stretches of sleep at night. At first he would wake up every 2-2.5 hours to nurse. Now sometimes we'll get a 4 hour stretch followed by 2.5-3 hour stretches. On average we get up 2 times a night to feed him. Jack and I have a nice little routine down where he gets the baby and changes his diaper and then brings him to me and I nurse him in bed. Usually the little guy will fall asleep while nursing and Jack will come get him, swaddle him and put him back to bed. Granted, there are the nights a couple times a week where we'll be up with him for 1-2 hours trying to get him back to sleep.

Diet: All breast milk! Breastfeeding is hard at first. I really struggled with it the first few weeks. I would say at around 4 weeks, it started getting MUCH easier.

Baby Gear Love: Swing, bouncy chair, aden + anais swaddle blankets, glider, boppy, baby connect iphone app

Loves: Sleeping on mama or dada's chest, dozing off in my lap after a nursing session, starting at black and white images, staring at faces, being held, being carried in a carrier, baths, being swaddled, napping in his bouncy chair, nursing

Hates: tummy time after a couple of minutes, being taken out of the bath, mommy or daddy dressing him, car seat, when mommy tries to get the boogers out of his nose

Milestones: He did roll over from tummy to back for the first time at 3 weeks, but hasn't done it since. I think maybe he gained too much weight to be able to do it again.

This little guy has rocked my world and in a good way. There were moments of frustration, but overall he makes me so incredibly happy. I can just stare at his cute face all day long! He makes the funniest sounds. He has his sheep sound that makes me laugh every time he does it. He also does this piggy sound when he's hungry. He starts panting and his mouth is opened wide and his head shakes back and forth. I call it his piggy face. 

He looks a lot like his daddy. His dad and I love his chubby cheeks and square head. We love when he purses his lips. We love the little squeaks and coos he makes while sleeping. I love when he falls asleep after nursing and uses my boob as a pillow. We love the way he stretches. His one arm will go up and he looks like a little super hero. There's just so much to love! 

1st time taking a walk with the dog 10/20

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Newborn Must-Haves

Newborn must-haves

I always enjoy reading what other moms have found to be helpful to them in surviving the first few weeks with a newborn.

These are the items that have gotten me through the first few weeks with with my new baby boy.

1. Stroller frame: We have the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat and the Chicco stroller frame to go along with it. It's been nice being able to use this for walks until we decide what kind of stroller will suit our family. We also like to take it with us when we go shopping or out and about. That way the car seat doesn't come in contact with a shopping cart. I'll push the stroller and Jack pushes the cart. It's very handy, lightweight, and folds/unfolds very easily.

2. SwaddleMe swaddle blankets or any other type of swaddle blanket: We like these because it's quick and easy to get him swaddled which is especially nice for the middle of the night. Plus, he hasn't been able to break out of it yet.

3. Nail scissors & baby nail files: Newborn nails are razor sharp. I like to keep them trimmed so he isn't scratching his face up or my boobs when he's breastfeeding. Mittens can work too, but I just hate to keep his hands covered all the time.

4. Newborn hats: Probably not terribly important if you have a summer baby. I like to make sure he's nice and warm. It's hard to find hats small enough to fit a newborn's head. I found the carter's newborn size fit well and this LovedBaby hat as well.

5. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets: Yes, these things are as awesome as everyone says. They're super soft and large plus super adorable. They're great for swaddling, using as a blanket, draping over the car seat, and they make cute backdrops for photos.

6. Bouncy seat and swing: These have come in so handy during these early weeks. It's nice to have a safe place to put the baby for naps. The bouncy seat is nice because I can carry it from room to room. The swing has been in our bedroom and some nights he spends part of the night sleeping in the swing.

7. Nursing pillow: I like this Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby nursing pillow. It's much more plush and larger than a boppy. I keep this one by the couch and use it for nursing on the couch. The boppy isn't big enough for me to use on the couch. I do use the boppy in my glider though.

8. Cloth diapers for burp cloths: I like these OsoCozy Birdseye flat unbleached diapers. They are large, soft, and absorbent. I have one handy for all feedings. I like to tuck it into my bra or nursing cami so I don't get breast milk all over my clothes. Breastfeeding can be messy and it's nice to have these handy. I have 12 of the unbleached and I ordered 6 more of the bleached ones. I found that the unbleached ones are softer, but they have to be prewashed 4-5 times before you use them.

9. White noise machine: I really like this Marpac white noise machine. It just sounds like a fan blowing. We have it in our bedroom right now since that's where he's sleeps at night.

10. Glider: I have the Little Castle Blake Glider special ordered from Buy Buy Baby. I love it and think it was worth every penny we spent on it. It was the only place I felt comfortable breastfeeding for the first couple of weeks. Now I breastfeed some of the feedings in it and it's nice to use to rock him to sleep.

Other items I've found useful:

  • Waterproof burp pads: I like these American Baby Company Organic Waterproof Quilted Lap and Burp Pad Covers. I have four right now. I put one on the changing pad so I just have to wash that instead of the whole cover. I also use one for the bed when I nurse in bed. These are also nice because they don't wreak of vinyl like other ones. 
  • Nose Tweezers: These Pigeon Baby nose tweezers have come in handy to pick out his little boogers. It's so much easier than a bulb syringe, in my opinion. I haven't tried the syringe actually... I'm too scared! So I use these tweezers instead. I've also heard just squirting some saline helps to loosen the boogers and then the baby just sneezes them out. There is also the Nosefrida but that thing sounds gross to me. 
  • Carrier: I have the k*tan and like it. It's nice to let him nap in it while giving me two hands to do things around the house. 
  • Lamp Dimmer: This Lutron plug-in lamp dimmer has come in really handy. I have one in the bedroom and one in the nursery. It's really nice for middle of the night feedings. You can dim your bedside lamp instead of having it too bright in the room. 
  • Baby App: I like this Baby Connect App. It's actually a bit addicting keeping track of his nursing, diapers and sleep. It's mostly useful to help me remember what side I should start nursing on. 
So there you have it! What has helped me survive the early weeks with a newborn. I'm sure as he gets bigger, this list will change. Stay tuned for new mama must-haves. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A.J.'s Birth Story

My labor began very early Sunday morning on October 14, 2012. I woke up around 3:45 AM and had to go to the bathroom as usual. Except this time I also felt the urge to go #2 which is pretty unusual for me. I went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep but I still felt the urge to go. So I got and went and tried to go back to bed again.

Then I started noticing some slight cramping and more urges to go. This went on for like half an hour of going back and forth to bed. Then the cramping started changing. It started wrapping around my back and I started noticing it had a rhythm to it. 

5:00 AM, I started thinking that this might be the beginning of labor. My husband got up and started packing the hospital bag. He was running around washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up. 

Meanwhile, I was trying to pack last minute items for the hospital bag. Contractions were still very light at this point and it was easy to keep moving through them.

5:40 AM, I texted my doula to let her know that I thought I could be in labor. I was having contractions lasting from 30-60 seconds and they felt like menstrual cramps. I layed in bed and tried to go back to sleep, but the contractions were just too annoying to try and sleep. Plus, I was getting pretty excited that this could be the real deal.

7:00 AM, she texted me back and told me to take a shower to see if they went away. I showered and they were still coming on in the shower, so I definitely started to believe that I was in labor. I was feeling all the contractions in my back at this point. Not fun!

8:30 AM, my doula texted and told me to start timing them for the next hour. I started timing them and they were lasting about 30-60 seconds and coming every 5-6 minutes. I was feeling it all in my back at this point and while they were not very painful, my husband and I were using this time to practice relaxed breathing. I would hold onto him and rock back and forth through them. I let the doula know that I would text her when we were ready for her.

I continued to labor at home. I moved into the living room and hunched over the couch in an attempt to get the baby off my back. The contractions were starting to get more painful and I felt ready for our doula to come over.

11:20 AM, I texted our doula and let her know we were ready for her. I also let my mom know that she could come over as well.

12:12 PM, my doula arrived and we worked on trying to get the baby off my back. I was at first feeling it all in my lower back. We tried a position with my chest on the ground with my butt up, and then I finally started feeling them low in the front. Jack and the doula also applied heat to my lower back, which felt amazing.

12:50 PM, my mom showed up. I continued to labor on the floor with my butt up in the air. That’s the only position that was comfortable to me. Contractions were averaging about 4 minutes apart at this point.

2:00 PM, we moved to my bed and I layed on my side for awhile. Contractions were more painful laying on my side, but it felt nice to relax in between them. Jack called ahead to the hospital to let them know we would be coming soon. 

2:30 PM, my doula gives me 2 teaspoons of honey for quick energy before we head to the hospital. I immediately throw it all up a few minutes later.

2:45 PM, Jack helps me take a shower to clean up before we head to the hospital. Contractions were coming on every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 1 minute 20 seconds. I took one last bump photo before we left.

3:30 PM, we left home to head to the hospital. 

At this point contractions were very strong and painful. I had one contraction in the car on the way and then one more once we parked. I had one contraction standing in the street in front of the hospital. If you've ever been in labor, then you know once a contraction starts, it's best to stop dead in your tracks and not try and walk through it. So yeah, I stood in the middle of the street. Luckily there was a transport there with a wheelchair dropping off someone else. She scooped me up and took me to L&D before I even had another contraction. Bless her for getting me there so quickly!

I had to go into the hospital room by myself at first for some initial questions. I remember the nurse asking if I could pee in a cup, but there was no way that was going to happen. I had a couple of contractions on the toilet then moved to the bed when finally my husband, doula and mom were allowed in the room. My husband said I was just laying on the bed gripping the side bar and was rocking back and forth. At this point my memory of it all is a bit fuzzy. I had to rely on questioning my husband to remember what happened.

3:45 PM, the nurse did an internal check and I was 7 cm already! Yay! But that meant transition was starting the hardest part was ahead of me. I went #2 some more and labored on the toilet for a while. I lost my mucus plug at this point, and my husband just held me while I rocked back and forth. 

5:05 PM, the nurse checked me again and I was 9.5 cm! I labored while sitting on the side of the bed. My husband held me while I rocked back and forth. My mom sat next to me and I held her hand with my left hand and I held my doula’s hand with my right. I was moaning pretty loud through each contraction. My doula reminded me to keep them low. I remember yelling over and over that I couldn’t do it. I kept saying "no, no, no," over and over. My doula started telling me "yes, yes, yes," so I started saying "yes, yes, yes" through every contraction. It felt pretty natural to just grunt and moan through every contraction. I started feeling the urge to push but my doula told me to hold back at first. So I continued to labor sitting up and resisting the urge to push. 

6:15 PM, I finally got to a point where I couldn’t hold back the pushing anymore. They suggested I lay on my side and start pushing through the contractions. This part was terrible for me because all the pain was in my lower back when I pushed laying on my side. My water broke after the first couple of pushes in a huge gush.

I pushed this way for maybe 10 minutes and then my doula suggested they get the bar. The nurse didn’t think I would have the energy to get up on it, but they brought it in. On the next contraction, I found the strength and just hoisted myself up on it. It felt amazing to push in a squatting position. I made great progress pushing like this. I pushed like this for maybe 15-20 minutes and then the doctor came in.

Unfortunately, I had to move on my back to deliver him, but it still wasn’t as bad as the side position. The doctor asked if I wanted a numbing shot to take the edge off. At this point, I wasn’t in a state of mind to be making decisions, so I just agreed not really knowing what I was agreeing to. That freaking shot hurt way more than the contractions and pushing. He pulled out this huge needle and stuck it up inside me to give the shot, and he did one on each side. It was extremely painful and the only time I cussed during my labor.

Side Note: Looking back I would have refused the shot had I known what it was. When I talked to my doula a couple weeks later, she told me she had never seen that done before. I found out at my 6 week postpartum check up that what I actually got was a pudendal block, also known as a saddle block. It basically numbs that whole area down there. I'm still a little upset about the whole thing. My goal was a complete un-medicated birth. I still count it as un-medicated though since I went the whole way with out anything except for the last 5 minutes of pushing, and I could still feel every contraction in full force. If I had known about something like that before hand, then I could have discussed what I wanted with my doula and I could have put it in my birth plan.

The doctor was trying to direct my pushing, but I was pretty much doing my own thing. My body had taken over and I knew when I needed to push. I tried my best to take direction from the doctor, but it was hard! Everyone kept telling me they could see the head, and I didn't believe them! A few more good pushes and A.J. was born at 7:15 PM weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 21.25 inches long. I had one 2nd degree tear and a few minor internal ones that didn’t need any stitches. I refused the pitocin after delivery and delivered the placenta soon after. My doula worked with me to get baby A.J. to latch on. It took a good hour but we finally got him on and he nursed one side for 20 minutes and the other for 15 minutes. 

I remember being completely focused on my baby after he was born. I just could not take my eyes off of him! He was beautiful and perfect and I could hardly believe what I had just done. I also remember thinking how happy I was that all the pain was finally gone! I never felt more proud of myself as I did in that moment.

Things could not have gone more perfect. I feel so empowered and proud of myself for being able to give birth naturally and without an epidural. I also feel incredibly blessed with how smooth my labor and delivery went. I could not have done it without my support team. My doula, my mom and Jack were all an amazing support to me during labor and deliver. Had I not had them, I’m pretty sure I would have been begging for the epidural as soon as I showed up to the hospital. 

Now looking back, I can’t even remember what the pain felt like. I just remember I was in a lot of pain. Right afterwards, I said I was never going to do that again. But now the some time has passed, I’m pretty sure I could do it again.... in a couple of years of course.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 38 {My last update before I had the baby}

Originally written on October 13, 2012 {Ha! If I only knew he was going to make his arrival the very next day!}

I really feel like we're in the final stretch now. We are pretty much ready for this little guy. I do still need to pack the hospital bag. I'm not too worried about it though. I figure I'll have time before we have to go to the hospital.

Not my usual bump photo. I was lazy and didn't take my usual bump photo the day I was 38 weeks. My plan was to take it Sunday morning and post this update. Well this little guy had other plans for me. My last bump photos in between contractions before we headed off to the hospital. 

How far along? 38 weeks & 2 days

Total weight gain: 35 lbs

Maternity clothes: Yep!

Sleep: Decent. Getting up every 1-2 hours to go to the bathroom is a pain! I think the broken sleep is making me more tired during the day. And now I have a fortress of pillows surrounding me to sleep comfortably. I have a body pillow on one side and a king sized pillow on the other.

Miss anything? Oh lots of things! My old body, wine, deli sandwiches, steak cooked medium, being able to put on shoes, my ankles... I could go on and on.

Cravings: Chocolate!

Symptoms: Rib pain, heartburn, braxton hicks contractions, should pain, cankles

Labor signs: Nope! My doc said I was dilated 2 cm and 80% effaced at my appointment this morning.

Movement: All the time. I feel his bum pushing against my ribs and these little nubs that poke out and slide across my side.

The bump: Man I feel big.

Belly button in or out? Stretch marks? Still in and I have one tiny stretch mark on my side.

Mood: Anxious, nervous, excited, happy

Best moment of this week? Going out to dinner with my hubby over the weekend. Hopefully we can squeeze a few more date nights in before this baby comes.

What are you looking forward to? Meeting my baby boy! And our 2 year anniversary coming up on Tuesday.

I'm so glad I'm snuggling with this little guy instead of writing up a 39 week update. 

I'm still in awe that this is the little guy that was kicking my ribs and hiccuping in my belly. I'm so so much in love with him. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nursery {Source List}

As promised here is the source list & cost breakdown. Let me know if there is anything I left out that you have questions on. See full nursery real post here.

Wall Color - Sterling in satin by Behr
Ceiling - Swiss Coffee in flat by Behr
Trim - Swiss Coffee in semi-gloss by Behr
Total spent on paint & supplies = $115

new carpet & pad + installation = $328
ceiling fan - Hunter from Costco, $120

crib - Bonavita Peyton Lifestyle crib, purchased from Buy Buy Baby  w/ 20% discount, $345
crib mattress - Simmons purchased from Costco, $100
elephant pillow - handmade, Premier Prints Ele in Turquoise from Fabric.com, $16 {form & fabric}
crib skirt - handmade, Premier Prints Polka Dots Lucy from Fabric.com, $27 {3 yards}
animal prints - Gingiber Etsy shop, {Zeek Zebra, Gemma Giraffe, Elly Elephant}, $42 {buy 2, get 1 free}
3 white frames - Ikea Ribba, $30
stuffed blue elephant - gift
sock elephant & monkey - handmade gift
blue baby blanket - handmade gift

glider - Little Castle Blake glider in crushed midnight, custom ordered from Buy Buy Baby, $390 {20% off}
side table - Home Goods {Jack took off faux crock top & replaced w/ painted MDF}, $27
turquoise lamp & shade - World Market, $30
giraffe bowl - World Market, $5
Frame - 4x6 Simbra frame, World Market, $14
quilt - Etsy shop Sew Sweet Lady Bug, {fabric: Michael Miller Zoology in Sea}, $45
pillow - handmade w/ Premier Prints Polka Dots Lucy from Fabric.com 
coaster - already owned
basket w/ books - already owned originally purchased from Home Goods
books - gifts

dresser - re-purposed already owned dresser
elephant knobs - World Market, $5.50
bronze knobs - already owned
yellow mirror - originally white & spray painted yellow, Target, $5.50
yellow elephant - originally white & spray painted yellow, purchased off Zulily, $~10
metal basket - shower tote from Target, $8
treasure box - handmade gift
Toys in basket - all gifts

changing table - built using Ana White plan, $162 {wood & supplies}
2 bottom baskets - Large Milkcrate, Target, $40
2 Small Milkcrate baskets, Target, $27
Folio bin basket - Target, $17
Basket liners - handmade w/ Premier Prints Polka Dots Lucy from Fabric.com
elephant tags - Michael's, $~5 {wood craft elephants, ribbon, spray paint}
changing pad - Naturepedic, $99
changing pad cover - Naturepedic, $29
wipes warmer - Babies R Us, gift

Frames - various sized Ribba frames from Ikea, $50 {some already owned}

Dream Big print 8 x 10 - Etsy Earmark shop, $24
giraffe print rainbow 5x7 - Etsy - The Paper Nut shop, $12.50
You are my sunshine print 5x5 - Etsy - Raw Art Letter Press, $14

Zebra watercolor print - Etsy - Jessica Illustration, $25
Giraffe 8x10 print - Etsy - Corina St. Martin Art, $18
Technicolor Elephants print - Etsy - Paperonipress, $12

Turquoise storage ottoman - Target, $16
chevron curtains - handmade w/ Premier Prints Zig Zag Blue Twill from Frabric.com, $20
blackout curtains - (2) Eclipse kids 84" panel, Target, $32
double curtain rod - Target, $40
clip rings - (4) 7 packs, Target, $20

wardrobe - 40" PAX w/ Bergsbo doors, Ikea, $220
Coach diaper bag - gifted

2 pk shelves - Ikea, $25
drawers (3) - Ikea, $120
clothes rod - Ikea, $10
Delta 48-Piece Nursery storage set - Walmart, $35
30 pack velvet baby hangers - Walmart, $15
Large blue weave baskets - Target, $20
(3) Skubb storage box, set of 6, Ikea, $24

shelves - (3) Ikea Ribba picture ledge, $30
books - gifted

Total = $2,854.50

So there you have it! Definitely spent more than I had planned, but it was all worth it. There were things I could have saved on and things I could have lived with out, but I have no regrets. I'm so happy with how it turned out, and I hope my little man enjoys this room.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nursery Reveal

For a full source list, click here

The nursery is complete! It has been a labor of love for both Jack and I. He was my personal handyman for the room and I made all the design decisions. I'm just so in love with how it turned out, it really came out better than I ever could have imagined. Stayed tuned for a source list post!

Let's look back at what we started with. The old paint color choice was from the previous owners. They had interesting taste. In the four years we've lived in this house, we hadn't touched a thing is this room. In fact, that L shaped desk was left there from the previous owners. We were able to sell it on Craigslist for $100.

We ended up moving our office into another spare room, and decided to make this the nursery since it was the room closest to our room. Jack painted and installed a ceiling fan, and we had new carpet installed.

And now here it is waiting for its new occupant.

Let's take a closer look inside, shall we?

I knew from the start that I wanted to incorporate zoo animals. Particularly elephants and giraffes. That quilt on the glider was one of the first things I bought for the nursery. I wanted to use it as my inspiration for the design. It's Michael Miller's Zoology fabric in sea. I loved the combo of gray, turquoise and yellow. So I used it as my jumping off point for the start of the room. 

I'm not very crafty by any means, but I had a lot of fun making some special touches for the room. I bought a sewing machine, and I sewed the turquoise elephant pillow and the yellow polka dot crib skirt. The blue crocheted blanket was handmade by my great Aunt, and the sock animals were handmade by my BFF's mom. I love all the little handmade touches in the room. It just makes it that much more personal and special. 

This dresser was mine as a kid. Jack painted it white for me and we added some new hardware to it. {You can see the before photos here} My father-in-law made the safari animal treasure box {I talked about it here}.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do all white furniture with gray walls. And I'm happy that I went with a navy blue glider to add some contrast. The little side table will come in handy for setting my water down while I'm nursing. I also added a little basket of books under it for easy access. I plan to replace the photo in the frame with a new family photo including our newest addition to the family.

I love love LOVE the gallery wall. All the animal prints & bright colors make me happy.

Jack built the changing table using an Ana White plan, and I made the basket liners with the same fabric I used for the crib skirt. I also made the elephant tags using some little wood craft elephants found at Michael's. Jack spray painted them yellow for me and then I just hot glued some yellow ribbon to the back and tied them to the baskets. The baskets house diapers, wash cloths, baby grooming items, diaper cream, & burp cloths. 

I can't wait until our little guy is here and I can replace that ultrasound photo with a newborn photo of him. The top photo in that frame is a picture of Jack as a baby and the bottom one is me as a baby. It will be interesting to see what traits he has that are Jack's and what traits resemble mine.

I sewed the curtains and bought black out curtains that are tucked behind so the room can be nice and dark for nap time. The turquoise storage cube can be pulled out and used as a foot rest while sitting in the glider.

The room didn't really have a closet. Just this alcove area that we think used to be the closet before the previous owners took it out. I decided to go with an Ikea PAX wardrobe to act as his closet. I also added a little hook next to it to hang the diaper bag on.

Here's a peek at the inside. I bought way too many hangers before I realized that there isn't a lot of boy clothing to hang. Right now just jackets are hanging up and everything else is folded in the drawers.

I loved all the forward facing book shelves I was seeing all over the interwebs, so I decided to add some in the nursery to display some of his library. My mom asked all the guests at my shower to bring their favorite children's book in lieu of a card, so this little man is set for books right now.

We picked up some books in Chinese while we were in Taiwan. Hopefully it will encourage Jack to read to him in Chinese.

I'm so in love with this nursery. I've never put so much effort into decorating one room before in my life, and I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out. I love to just go in there and sit in the glider and just look around and dream about holding my baby boy in there. I love opening up the wardrobe and peeking at all his clothes all clean and folded waiting for him. I can't wait to meet him! I hope he doesn't leave us waiting for too much longer. :)

So, what do you think? I'm putting together a full source list to share soon, so stay tuned!