It's finally (almost) done!

12.27.2010

We made a mad dash to finish the nursery after being told that baby girl will be here any day, and I'm happy to say it's almost done!  And it's definitely done enough for her to come, and now that I'm officially 37 weeks and full term, she's allowed to come when she so chooses.  Judging from the massive size of my belly, I'm thinking she's good and big and ready now.

So...I suppose it's sharing time, eh?

Here she is from the door!

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I wanted to go with a fun rug, but in an effort to be frugal, we just used what we had on hand from Ben's old nursery.  Honestly, I think it works really well and I ended up being totally happy with it.  Plus, we saved some moolah!

And the other view:

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Pardon all the incomplete tasks and try to use your imagination.  Her wall shelves need to be filled (ideas?),  the refinished dresser needs new hardware, and that little message board making her floor all cluttered will be getting repurposed into a bow holder sometime soon.

Then there's her crib and glider.  I had new (hot pink!) cushions made for her glider that I am in love with!  Several people recommended baby pink instead of hot pink and I wondered if I was going to regret the bold hot pink, but I totally don't.  Hot pink is just my thing, so I'm happy I braved up and went bold.  I tried a hot pink crib sheet but I couldn't find one to match the glider at all, so I scrapped the idea and just went with a white sheet and hot pink blanket to tie it in somehow.  I'm also in the process of making her a mobile.  It's about half done, so maybe it'll be finished before she gets here.  Maybe not.  And some day I'll get around to making her crib skirt and pillow for the glider out of the curtain fabric.  Someday...

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We had some family pictures taken by an awesome photographer friend a few months ago, and we had this one blown up into an 18x24 picture and I mod podged it onto an old canvas from Ben's room to hang above her crib.  I LOVE it because it's personalized, not just some ole nursery art we picked up off etsy or something.

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And because it's fun and I love it, here's another shot of the glider.  Eeeeee!  And it's so much comfier than the old cushions!

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We have a tiny closet to work with, so I did my best at cramming everything in there without it looking too crazy, but it's not exactly pretty.

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So...there's still some work to be done but it's at least ready for a baby and I'm so happy with how it all turned out!  Success!  And we didn't really spend that much, which I'm super proud of.  I made the curtains (and got the fabric dirt cheap on ebay!), we rigged up the cornices on the cheap (like, REALLY cheap...I'm almost embarrassed to say how it's all put together but here are a few words: duct tape, staple gun, foam board), the crib, glider, bookshelf and rug are all Ben's old things and the dresser was a $30 craigslist score!  With some elbow grease and paint, it looks brand new!  Even all the clothes in her closet were practically free thanks to some amazing friends.  The new cushions were a bit pricey, but that came out of my Christmas money so I kind of don't even factor it into the cost of the nursery.  

Look at the size of that stomach!  I'd say she's GOTTA be ready, right?  I mean, that is one huge baby!

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This was kinda fun to see the transformation in process:


Get that bag packed - and birthday goodies!

12.22.2010

Yesterday, my mom, Ben and I headed to my 36 week prenatal appointment.  I was expecting another week just like last week, finding out I hadn't progressed at all.  I'll admit that I totally wanted to hear that I  had progressed a little, but I wasn't prepared for what I actually found out.

"You're every bit of 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced."  She finished it off with, "This baby will be here any day."  Wait, wha?  Any day now?  Um, I'm only 36 weeks pregnant.  I never made it to 3 cm and 80% effaced with Ben before my water broke.  Well, at least that I know about.  The last appointment, two days before he was born, I was about 2.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced and the doctor told me basically the same thing as I heard yesterday.  I believe her exact words were, "I don't think you'll make it to next week's appointment."  And she was right!  (I know what you're thinking.  "Serves her right for complaining last week about how she was going to be pregnant forever!"  Yeah.  I guess things really can change in a hurry.)

The good news is that I know these checks don't really mean much of anything.  A woman can walk around 4 centimeters dilated for weeks on end while another can go in, be told she's high and closed, and go into labor a few hours later.  But I also know that being effaced is more telling that dilation, at least according to things I've read and been told, and I can't help but compare this to my last experience.  Plus I've been having lots of contractions.  I had an early labor scare on Saturday where I had fairly regular contractions for hours.  Luckily they petered out, but they obviously helped progress me.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of panic and excitement.  Mom and I headed out to finish up all the baby shopping and then Tim and I pulled everything up from the basement last night to clean and sanitize.  We still have to put the actual crib together tonight and get the car seat installed, but I'm pretty proud of how much we accomplished in a 24 hour period!  I started out the morning with a HUGE list of things still to be done before baby came and tucked myself into bed knowing that if she were born overnight, we'd survive just fine.  :)

So...who knows...maybe the next post from me will be a baby announcement!  If you're the praying type, though, we could use a few prayers that she holds off for at least another week.  I would feel much more comfortable knowing that I'm 37 weeks pregnant.

In equally as exciting news, Ben's second birthday was Monday and his party was Sunday.  It was appropriately Elmo-themed and Ben had a ball!  His friends came over to celebrate and they ate cupcakes and demolished his playroom.  It's so wild to think that my little "baby" is a big boy now.  Where does the time go?  I remember typing up these end-of-pregnancy status reports with Ben like it was yesterday.  I remember SO vividly holding him for the first time, staring at his gorgeous baby face, so overwhelmingly in love and awe.  Those feelings have all multiplied daily since his birth, but I just can't get over how fast they grow and change.  I love you more than words, my big boy!

2008:
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2009:
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2010:
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Yesterday's post, UPDATED!

12.15.2010

As predicted, I'm still sitting at 1 cm dilated and not effaced one single bit.  My doc was all chipper about it, like, "Oh wow, you're 1 cm dilated!  That's great!"  I looked at her blankly like, "Woman, don't mess with all 3,000 lbs of me right now."  I guess it would be great if I didn't have all my stats from Ben's pregnancy written down and easily accessible for me to obsess about.  At this same point in my pregnancy with Ben, I was 2 cm dilated and EIGHTY PERCENT EFFACED, which is what's supposed to matter more anyway.    So that settles it.  I will absolutely not be early this time around and I can plan on knowing what it feels like to be 40+ weeks pregnant.  If someone had been kind enough to ask me, I would have preferred to go late the first time, when I wasn't absolutely miserable and in pain almost every minute of the day.  But, you know, it's whatever.

I suppose she's also going to be a monster.  The doc thinks she's 6.5 - 7 pounds already and I was measuring two weeks ahead.  And obviously, judging from yesterday's picture, she IS a giant!

Let me just sprinkle a little positivity into my life, though.  I will enjoy these last few weeks as a family of three.  I'll soak up every ounce of one-on-one time with Ben that I can get and I will stop obsessing over every cramp, contraction, etc.  I'll start appreciating the kicks, even the ones that leave me clutching the nearest piece of furniture.  Because I know that once she's here, I'll miss them like crazy.  There's something about having a child inside you that is just indescribable.  Even in the throws of horrendous pain, just knowing that she's always with me is...awesome.

Big ole' bellies.

12.14.2010

Pregnant bellies!  What can I say, I'm a sucker for pregnant bellies.  Even my own!  Which is why, although I've slacked on almost all other parts of this pregnancy in comparison to Ben's, I still take my weekly belly pictures.  My favorite part toward the end is comparing them, week to week.  For me at least, that's when I notice the most difference.  I was shocked to see the difference between this week's picture and last week's, though!  Girlfriend definitely changed her position.  I feel like she's dropped a little (in other words, I can breathe!), but I'm not sure now if she dropped or if she just grew straight out!  Anyway, appease me.  :)

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Tomorrow I have my first "official" cervix check.  I've already been checked twice thanks to contractions, though, so my money is on still being 1 cm dilated.  We shall see!  This is where the pregnancy gets REALLY exciting!

Sneak peek!

12.13.2010

I'm totally not in the blogging mood lately (obviously), but I at least have to pop on here and share a VERY SMALL sneak peek of the nursery in progress.  It's completely in disarray right now, but it makes me happy just to see it all coming together so I have to share.

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The dresser is mostly done with the exception of reattaching the painted handles, the curtains are done but not hung because I'm making cornices to go over the curtains.  Rather than drop $500 on a new glider like I'd originally planned, I just ordered new, fluffier cushions in pink.  Can't wait 'til they're done!  I still have quite the to-do list to finish up her nursery, but at least it's underway and I've been super happy with everything so far!

An exhausting (and fun!) Thanksgiving!

11.28.2010

Our Thanksgiving was turkey-filled and fun! This was the first Thanksgiving in a long time that I've been able to spend with my mom, so that was a big bonus. She came to town and helped me whip up the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Then she taught me to sew! SCORE! Hopefully I'll have those curtains done soon.

My mom came bearing LOTS of old childhood toys to hand down to Ben which, let me just say, is one of the coolest things I've experienced in a long time. Digging through all the Little People, banging out some tunes on my old keyboard, pretending to eat fake pizza, all the things I loved as a child MY child loves, too. I had no clue my mom had saved most of this stuff, so that made it double cool. She even brought my going home outfit which Tim thinks we should put baby girl in. I have my reservations seeing that it'll be January and FREEZING and it's a little short-sleeved dress. But we'll see. :)

My Grandad joined us for Thanksgiving dinner which was a fun treat. This is only the second Thanksgiving that I've hosted, but I must say I really enjoy it! Even though it's a lot of work, it's super rewarding to be the hostess. Do I see dinner parties in my future? Perhaps.

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Grandma and Ben with his new (old) little triangle.

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My old Halloween costume my mom sewed.

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Great-Grandad, lil Jo-Jo and Benji, sporting a major cheese.

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This might be the most unflattering picture of me ever taken, but it's for all of you who comment here saying I'm so small. Ha! There were about 15 pictures just like this that surfaced over the weekend. Yikes!

And finally, baby girl doing a little jig in the belly. Finally caught on tape! Ah, and mom's hand thrown in for good measure.

Why our children remain nameless until birth

11.24.2010

My Christmas cards arrived via Shutterfly!

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You're looking at seven different varieties of Christmas cards. Yep, SEVEN. Because I couldn't narrow them down to even three or four, I had to go with seven. And even that was really difficult. I started out with 18 designs in my cart.

This is why our children remain nameless until I'm forced to decide by impatient hospital staff waving birth certificates in my face. So far, I think our little girl has had 29 potential names. Now, our "final list" is five names long. And sure to change.

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"Would you just decide already, Mom? Your indecisiveness is really wearing on me!"

Slowly but surely

11.22.2010

I remember Ben's nursery came together fast. I guess that's easy to do when you don't have a toddler under foot. So baby girl's nursery is taking some time, but it'll be done when she gets here! That I know.

This weekend we got the nursery painted, so she's now a lovely shade of tan instead of gray. Observe:

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Now here's my question. The dark gray doors looked fine when the room was light gray. But now that it's tan, do I need to paint these doors white? That sounds about as desirable as scrubbing toilets, but if I really need to, I will (and I'm guessing it's going to take eight thousand coats of white to cover). Thoughts?

Now I just need to take this lovely fabric and whip it up into some curtains.

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Like how I made that sound so easy? Like I can just whip up some curtains in five minutes or something. Please. I can barely sew two pieces of fabric together to make a square. I think it's the whole measuring thing that scares me more than anything. Oh well. Details, right?

From the land of the sleepless.

11.13.2010

Well, I suppose you can expect more posts from me as we enter into the days of extreme pregnancy insomnia. That's okay, though, because after snuggling with a brand new baby a few days ago, I remember why all of this misery is more than worth it.

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My old college roommate and dear friend had her baby boy a few days ago. I'd originally planned on waiting a month and letting them get settled in before we loaded the family up to visit, but since it's a four hour drive and I'm already dilated and HUGE and MISERABLE, I decided sooner is better. I made the trip alone, kissed and cuddled this absolutely precious and gorgeous baby boy and then enjoyed an evening all alone in a hotel room. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone that I actually enjoyed myself. Moms aren't supposed to admit that, right?

Today we had a family photo shoot done by an awesome little chica named Whitney. She's a new mommy, too, and we used to work together...until we both decided parenthood trumps work and bid that place adieu. She runs Whitney Leigh Photography and we had a ball with her today on my old stomping grounds at the University of Kansas. All was going well until we heard a panicked cry and look over in the middle of a picture to find Ben waist-deep in the ice cold lake and clinging onto the ground of the shore for dear life. Eek! A kiss, some wiped tears and an outfit change patched things up and now we can totally laugh about it for years to come. Whitney even snapped some pictures of the aftermath for memories sake. I'll post some of them when I get the high resolution pictures next week.

Not much else to report that wouldn't bore your socks off, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Um? He insisted on the shoes and the thermometer I'm not entirely sure about. Delish?

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Haircut from Daddy! We frugal like that.

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31 weeks and counting. It really blows my mind how I've fit all the old wives' tales in this pregnancy. I carry this girl so much higher than I carried Ben! Last laugh will be on me when SHE ends up coming out a HE, right? I don't know why, but I can't shake the feeling that that's going to happen!


Baby Girl's Nursery!

11.08.2010

Well, we've finally gotten her room cleared out. Tim still wants to discuss the idea of having the kiddos share a room, which makes sense, but the logistics are just overwhelming me so I'm pretty stuck on the idea of separate rooms...at least until he finds a way to convince me otherwise. So anyway, for now, here's what I have in the works!

First, the empty(ish) BEFORE room:

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We'll be painting it this color (Aviary Nest) courtesy of FreshAire:

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And I'll be making some curtains and a bedskirt with this fabric, courtesy of Michael Miller:

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I'm going to stick with a basic dark pink bed sheet to keep it from being too crazy in the room. I'm thinking this color:

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As for a rug, I'm CLUELESS. If I do a smaller pink rug that matches her sheet, is that too much? I'm afraid tan will clash with the floor/walls if it's not the same shade. I think it'd be almost impossible to find a green rug the color of the curtains. I don't know, I'm not all design-y, so I'm totally open to ideas here! What about a pink and brown and cream striped one? Too many different patterns? Obviously I won't be on Design Star anytime soon.

The glider is also up for discussion. We really cheaped out on Ben's and you can tell. It squeaks and it's uncomfy as all get-out. I've already decided to pool together all my Christmas money for a good, solid, comfortable glider. After all, I have zero doubt I'll be spending A LOT of time in that thing. So here's where I need another opinion. Do I go basic with a light tan like this:

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Or a little bolder with a chocolate like this:

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Or all out with a green to match her curtains:

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And of course, no potential design dream is complete without a mood board, so voila!

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Thoughts? Opinions? You totally won't hurt my feelings!

Halloween recap and fingers crossed for another early (but not TOO early) labor!

11.04.2010

Halloween was a blast! We took part in several festive activities, starting with a trip to Missouri to hang out with our friends and attend a Halloween-themed library storytime. In true Chelsea form, I had my camera on me the whole time but forgot to snap a single picture. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Following that theme, a few days later I'm getting Ben ready for our playgroup's Trunk-or-Treat event when I realize that half of Ben's adorable monkey costume has mysteriously gone missing. A few frantic texts later and I realize it's in Missouri. Brilliant Mommy left half of my son's costume out-of-town!

Enter a friend to the rescue! Ben sported a bear costume, complete with pink bow, loaned to us by a great friend. He then busted his head open and that same friend rescued us again with a pink Hello Kitty band-aid. Hey, we have no shame in this house! Nothing wrong with a little pink action for my son. Trunk-or-Treat was great! Everyone decorated their trunks and the kids went from car to car collecting candy and unleashing some pre-bedtime energy. Because I just can't seem to get things right, I of course forgot the camera for this event but managed to snap one semi-decent picture with my phone.

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Sunday night we sat by the window, waiting anxiously for the first trick-or-treaters to make their appearance on our sidewalks. Hey, we're new to this, we don't know what we're doing and we didn't want to be the first ones out and about! And it's a good thing we waited, because we thought 5:30 was a good trick-or-treat time. Turns out we were way wrong. It was close to 7:00 before people hit the streets. So off we went. It took Ben a little time to warm up to the idea, but once he realized that he could go up to someone's door, mumble "trckerhumphjasdf" and they'd give him candy, his eyes lit up.

It also turns out that Ben inherited my love of all things chocolate. Totally unsure of his costume at first, once we bribed him with a Kit-Kat he was all smiles. He may look nothing like me, but he has my good taste!

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In other news, yesterday was my 29 week check-up! It's hard to believe we're already here, at the appointment-every-two-weeks mark. Soon we'll be down to weekly! Everything looks fine and the appointment was as boring as ever, but I did get some half exciting/half nerve-racking news. Monday night I had some intense contractions. Nothing like a braxton hicks but everything like my real labor contractions with Ben. They lasted a few hours but never got regular so I brushed them off. My OB decided to check me yesterday and announced that I was 1 cm dilated. She said it's not concerning since this is my second and I was early with my first. She also said my cervix is still thick, which is the most telling. So I'm trusting her on that and keeping my fingers crossed that this means she'll be a little early like her brother and it'll be another quick (albeit PAINFUL) labor.

Finally, I think I did a million of these little belly slideshows during my pregnancy with Ben. I guess the second time around, you just slack more, huh?


Am I going to survive motherhood?

10.21.2010

Aye, aye, aye. I find it really annoying when people go on and on and on about all the crap in their lives without ever focusing on positives. Lately, though, I feel like I've been doing just that. And I hate it, but now I get it. Sometimes you just want some old fashioned sympathy. You just want someone else to say, "Wow, that's tough. I'm sorry."

The past few weeks have been nothing short of miserable. I've been getting extreeeeemely uncomfortable and I'm only 27 weeks pregnant, ya'll. I absolutely didn't hit this point with Ben until much, much later.

Then there's the whole insomnia issue. Seems that while I was spared of it with my first pregnancy, I didn't get so lucky this time around (I was spared of lots of things the first time around that I've had to deal with this time, as a matter of fact). I wake up every two hours to pee and it takes me a good 20 to 30 minutes to get back to sleep at the earliest. TORTURE, I tell you. Because an hour and a half later, I'm up again. Oh, and then there's that pesky little my-child-wouldn't-sleep-if-his-life-depended-on-it thing going on, too. Once I get up with him, that's it. I'm done. There's no hope that I can fall back asleep again.

Then there's the illness factor. I don't know WHAT is up, but yours truly, the one who rarely gets sick, is always sick now. Let's see, at 7 months pregnant I've been sick eight times. That's not right. Last week a stomach bug ravaged our house and left Tim, Ben and I in its dust. We were sick as dogs. I lost eight pounds in two days! This week? Why yes, this week we're sick again. Now we have colds. Wait, didn't I just get over a cold? Ah, that's right. A month ago! Does it ever end?

Tim went out of town on another business trip this week, and as comically as ever, of course the world caved in (let's see, in the past it's been a flooded basement, sewer back-up in the laundry room, etc., etc., etc.). Ben had a particularly rough night on Monday that left me with a grand total of one hour of sleep. I wiped the sleep outta my eyes and put on my big girl pants. I had my glucose test for gestational diabetes, so I packed the kiddo and I up and decided to brave a blood draw with a toddler all by myself. It couldn't be that bad, right? Ha! I'm being punished. My karma is bad, folks. I sit down, pale-faced and queasy thanks to a disgustingly sweet "lemon-lime" drink and no breakfast, get my arm all rubber-banded up and Ben starts throwing a fit. Okay, doable. I can handle a fit during a 10 second blood draw. Only I kept bleeding. And bleeding. And bleeding. The chick is finally like, "Weird, you must be a bleeder, huh?" Why, no. No one has ever called me a bleeder before, but thanks? Five miserable minutes later, drowned out by toddler screams, I hear the nurse say, "Okay, I think it's stopped. You can go now." FINALLY. I stand up, the room spins and I know this is going to end badly. But I chug along, start walking back to the doctor's room and SPLAT. My legs give out, everything turns black and I go kaput. I guess I was only out for a second, but it was utterly humiliating. They pump me full of grape juice and cheese crackers and send me on my merry way.

God gets me home safe and sound, albeit emotionally drained, and I just bawl. Like a little tiny baby. Then I beg Tim to please just come home and never go on another business trip again.

To make a painfully long story a little shorter, I start getting sick in the afternoon, muster up enough energy to make it through the day until Tim gets home at night, and then listen to Ben cry until 10:30 last night. I don't sleep yet again because this cold is kicking my arse and then Ben decides to protest his nap today after waking up at 6:30 this morning.

Lord help me.

Viability! Yippee!

9.28.2010

We've made it to 24 weeks! That, folks, means that if this little girl were born today, she'd have a shot at surviving. Obviously I want her to cook for another 15 or 16 weeks (oh, who am I kidding - 14!), but it's always relieving to make it to this point.

Ben has entered the Terrible Twos. I love this child. I mean really, he's my heart and soul. But he's trying my patience these days and with pregnancy fatigue, some days I want to put my head through a wall. Or run away and hide. Or go back to work! I'm reading John Rosemond's How to Make the Terrible Twos Terrific and so far, so good. I'm really diggin' this guy.

I'm finding it hilarious that with each passing day, the room left on my lap for Ben to sit on shrinks considerably. Tonight as I was rocking him and reading to him before bed, he kept slipping off my leg. Poor kiddo. Makes me want to hold tight to these last few months of just him and me.

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The 24 week belly
And no, my belly button hasn't popped and it won't. Never did with Ben. Weird, right? I guess I have the world's deepest belly button. You're welcome.

My nest.

9.20.2010

I had the weekend all to myself! It was lonely and great all at the same time. Of course I missed my husband and little dude more than anything, but I got SO MUCH ACCOMPLISHED. Maybe a little too much, even.

Should we chalk this up to nesting? I think so. Let's see, I painted our living room and most of our master bedroom (minus a wall I couldn't get to because, well, I'm pregnant and can't really move furniture unless it involves scooting it across the wood floor). I completely gutted and re-organized all three hall closets and the master bath. I cleaned out some kitchen drawers/cabinets. I even started working on the nursery. I'm tired just rehashing it. But man, it looks GOOD. And it feels even better than it looks! I like organization a little. Okay, a lot. One might call me OCD. Up until Ben started walking, our house was nice and clean. Always. Now? Not so much. Who has time to keep a spotless house with a toddler running under foot and demanding most of my attention?

But then that old pregnancy friend, nesting, stopped by for a visit. And the stars aligned when a weekend alone presented itself (not that I intentionally chose to be away from my family, but thanks to our dogs, that's the way it worked out).

Let's take a look-see, shall we?

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The ugmo before color...that I somehow picked out.

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Pretty, pretty blue. Much prettier than this picture even does justice. It's darker and deeper and richer and oooh, so awesome!

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Master bedroom before color.

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And after. Sooo much cozier and homier.


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I so wish the before picture hadn't vanished off my camera. This closet was pure, unorganized INSANITY!

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This is my happy place.

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Aha, finally, a before!

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Much, much better.

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Before. Yikesey!

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Again, happy place.

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Um, I am so embarrassed that I let my junk drawer get this bad.

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Even Ben's playroom got a nice organizational overhaul last week!

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And this is the next project. The current office/guest room/junk magnet/MY WORST NIGHTMARE that will soon be Ben and baby girl's room.

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Thought for the day: Organization supplies are a pregnancy expense no one warns you about.
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