Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks

It's been several weeks since my last pregnancy update, so I figured I'd share what's going on at the 22 week mark.  We had a couple of inches of snow this weekend, and I managed to get a few pictures while our backyard was still pretty and white. 

How Far Along?  22 Weeks

Size of Baby:
  A Papaya (10.5-11.8 inches)

  A BOY!

Weight Gain: 
 Around 8 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Pants are a must, but I'm still able to get away with some non-maternity tops.  Once we reach springtime, I will be in full-on maternity wear, but I'm trying to postpone that for as long as I can. My two favorite pairs of pants are these black pants from H&M and these skinny jeans from Loft.  I had a hard time finding pants that were tight enough in the leg to fit down into boots, but these two pairs were perfect.

 We've made some good progress in the nursery so far.  We completed the closet this week (see post here) and we'll be assembling the crib this weekend.  We also bought a rug,  glider, and ottoman which I'm pretty darn excited about.  It's been so fun to see this little space come together, now I just want the room to be finished! 

  Feeling movement from the inside AND outside now, which is the best.  Having T be able to feel little kicks at night has been so special. 

 My back pain has subsided thankfully after a month of weekly chiropractic visits.  Having to tinkle much more frequently now, so I'm becoming very familiar with the locations of bathrooms in all my favorite stores.  All in all though, I'm feeling great. 

Sleep: I've slept great throughout this entire pregnancy.  My dreams can be a little crazy from time to time, after watching an X-Files episode this week, I dreamed that I had the baby early, and that he was an alien.  I guess that means no more Scully and Mulder for me.

Cravings:  Anything and everything sweet.  My first trimester I was all about the savory foods, and now this trimester I cannot get enough sweets.  It's a very odd feeling because I've never been that much of a sweets person.  I keep break and bake cookies in the fridge and make a couple most days after lunch.  

What I Miss: I have had such an easy pregnancy that there's not much that I miss, but I do look forward to being able to do more house projects on my own.  I've needed T's help with completing several projects when they involve paint or fumes that I'm not supposed to be around. 

Best Moment This Week: Hooking up headphones to my stomach and getting to play music for baby Thompson for the first time.  I let T choose the first song he'd hear, and naturally he played our alma mater's fight song, The Tiger Rag.  I felt a lot of movement when we played music, so I think he liked it!   Oh, and we also booked our babymoon this week!  We'll be headed to Sedona, AZ for a long weekend in March at a resort and spa.  The weekend should be a good mix of exploring and pampering, and I am so excited for it.  

Looking Forward To: My doctor appointment next week.  As I approach the 6 month mark, I have so many questions I'd like to get answered.  I've had a little bit of anxiety about having gestational diabetes after my sister's recent diagnosis, and with it being my first baby, there's so many unknowns that I have about the entire process.  

*affiliate links used

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nursery Closet Renovation

It's safe to say that nearly 95% of our house, if not more, was built to contractor grade and never changed before we moved in.  The brass light fixtures, unfinished bathroom mirrors, and bare bones closet configurations were three of the things that stood out to me most.

Earlier this summer when we moved in, we knew that the smaller of our two guest rooms would one day be the nursery, so we decided to leave it as is until we knew what we wanted to do with it.  The great thing about the nursery is it was a complete blank slate.  The walls were even still painted with just the coat of primer that the builders painted over sheetrock...over 20 years ago.

Here's a peek at what the closet looked like before.  Old, dirty, and not the best use of space, especially for teeny tiny baby clothes.

I originally figured we'd hire a good friend who's a contractor to help us rework the closet, not even thinking this was something we could tackle ourselves.  But, after some brief browsing online, I realized it wasn't going to be so difficult after all.   Enter: the Ikea Pax.

First things first, we got the boring part out of the way by removing the existing clothing bar, repairing the holes in the wall, and repainting the closet with a good coat of white paint.  Next step, head to Ikea.

Before this project, I had never purchased anything from Ikea.  T and I went in there once to look around, and wound up getting so overwhelmed by everything that we left 20 minutes later.   This time, we came with a plan.  The closet is modeled after this post, and modified just a bit for the size of our closet.  We were able to get all materials from Ikea and the hardware store.

This is what was on our Ikea shopping list:

Pax Wardrobe Frame  ($50)
4 Small Shelves  ($5 each)
Medium/Large Shelves ($10 each)
4 Drawers-  ($20 each)

Ikea Total: $190

And this is what was on our Lowes list:

1x3 plywood
White latex paint
1 1/4" wooden dowels
4 sets of closet rod holders
3 L-brackets
wood screws
Wood stain (I used Minwax Early American)
Disposable foam brushes

We started by assembling the wardrobe frame as the directions showed and positioning it in the center of the closet.  My main concern about this was that it wouldn't be secure enough to the wall.  They do supply you with materials to mount it to the wall, but it wasn't secure enough for my standards.  Instead, we purchased three brackets and screwed two of them into the baseboards, and one into the stud behind the wardrobe.  The stud wasn't completely centered over the wardrobe,  which meant the bracket on top wouldn't be centered, but you can't see it when you're standing in front of the closet.  I know how babies use anything and everything to pull up on when they're learning to stand and walk, so I wanted this thing to be virtually immovable.

Once the wardrobe was centered and secured into the wall, I then cut 4 pieces of the the 1x3 plywood to fit the depth of the closet.  Once the wood was cut, I painted it white to match the inside of the closet.  We mounted two slats on each side so we could hang two clothing rods on each side, securing each to the stud with long screws.  I mounted the wood at 42" and 72".  These heights are slightly different that what the "standard" closet rod heights are, but they worked for us.

Once those were screwed into the wall, we screwed in the rod holders, and cut the wooden dowels to fit.  I painted the dowels with a coat of stain to give them a little bit of color first.

Next we cut the larger shelves to fit on each side of the middle wardrobe, they needed to be about 20" wide for our closet.  Once cut, they rest on the 1x3 block on the wall side and then we used the pegs that came with the shelf to screw into the wardrobe.  The pegs fit right down into the pre-drilled holes so the shelf won't slide.  

This is what it looked like after all shelves and rods were installed.

And then came the fun part, getting to fill it with all the cute baby clothes I've been collecting, and picking out baskets for storage.  We found exactly what we needed at Target, and picked up 5 small structured baskets, 2 larger totes (similar here), and 3 smaller totes (similar here).  I also purchased these adhesive bookplates to mount to each of the drawers for labeling.  Right now they're labeled 0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc, etc, but as he grows we can switch the labels out to customize the drawers for what we need at that time.

My little nesting self it just head over heels with this neatly organized closet.  The rest of the room is in shambles right now,  but getting to peek in the room and see this tidy closet makes me so, so happy.   I was shocked at how simple this project turned out to be.  I completed about 85% of it completely by myself, with a little help from my mom and T.

Now that the closet is finished, we'll be tackling the rest of the nursery.  You can see a few glimpes of what we've done so far in a few of my pictures.  We've painted the walls, hung curtains, and purchased a rug.  And that's about it.  We'll be getting our crib this weekend, so I hope that may be the catalyst for getting everything else into place.  Even though we have 4 more months until this baby's arrival, I'm just so ready to have the room D-O-N-E.

Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about this closet project!  I'd be happy to help.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Our Gender Reveal and Our Baby's Name

When I shared that I'd be leaving my full time job to pursue my jewelry business, I thought I'd have so much more time to spend on my blog.  Well, it's turned out that it's been completely the opposite.  I've finally had time to do everything I've been wanting to do with my jewelry line, and that in turn has left little time for blogging.   I really have missed it, and I hope that eventually I'll have time to prioritize both, but until then my posts will probably be more few and far between. I did want to pop in for a quick update though, because so much has happened since my last post!

On Christmas Eve, my sister-in-law hosted a gender reveal for T and me that was so special.  Leading up to the reveal, T was convinced we were having a girl, and I was completely on the fence about it.  I initially thought girl, but so many of my friends, family members, and even strangers kept on telling me they were getting boy vibes. We kept it small with just immediate family, and we asked our moms to be the ones to open the envelope with our baby's gender written on it.

My Niece, Camille, predicted we'd have a girl. :)

When our moms opened the envelope and shouted "BOY!" in unison, the look on T's face was priceless.   We are so, so excited to have a son.  And now that we know the gender, I've gone a little cray with nursery planning and buying lots of cute boy things for him to wear soon!

One thing that I really wanted to do was to be able to share the name we'd picked out with family as soon as we knew our baby's gender.  After having to refer to our baby as "it" for 18 weeks, it was really important to me to be able to finally have a name for him, and to share it with everyone.  T is a 3rd, so naming a child after him was an easy decision.  We'll call him by his middle name, which is Thompson.  Getting to tell our family this news was just as exciting as finding out our baby's gender.  Telling T's dad that we'd be passing on the family name for another generation was such a special moment that I'll never forget. 

We're already getting started on several projects in the nursery.  We did nothing to this room when we moved in, so it needs quite a bit of work.  We're starting with a closet overhaul, and so far it's turning out great.  I'm still waiting on a few last minute touches to come in the mail, but as soon as I have it completed I'll be sure to share pictures and information on how we did it.  It's going to be quite a before and after! 

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