Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 27

Week 27 came with a fun milestone: as of July 26 I was officially 6 months in, with 3 to go! What else does this mean? We've officially entered the third trimester. OMG!

It's been another great week, and things are moving along wonderfully. I used to think the baby moved a lot before, but now we've graduated to what feel like giant body slams. It's hilarious and also feels completely bizarre. I witnessed one via ultrasound ages ago: baby lifted its bum and then released its legs and bam! Little baby body slam. Now when it happens my whole belly moves.

Similarly, Mr. Fix-It has started poking/tickling the baby. He'll find a spot on one side, and then I feel movement in a completely different place. Again, hilarious and bizarre. I think those two are going to be a handful together.

We've also been working hard on the nursery. As of now, we're down to only 3 projects remaining!
  • Refinish side table
  • Choose lamp for side table
  • Choose and install bookshelves
 I'm so excited to share the final product! For now, here's a little peek at an arrival from this week:

P.S. Baby's crib has a BREATHABLE bumper. In the bumper debate, I opted to go halfway.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Nursery Closet: How in the World Will I Organize This Thing?

One of the best parts of having a space to fill is finding the perfect spot for each item. At least, these are things that I find exciting.

But actually finding that "perfect spot"? It's a little trickier than it seems. (Did you know that googling "nursery closet organization" doesn't yield much by way of ideas? Ugh.)

Here's what I'm thinking:

Quite simply, the items (clothing) are organized by type instead of size. It sure makes for a crisp clean look. I can see the the advantages in organizing by size, too, so I'll do that under each sub-category.

Here's the current plan:

1. One-Piece Outfits

2. Miscellaneous items. Perhaps shoes.

3. Baskets containing swaddle blankets, stroller blankets, and other, well, blankets.

4. Products & Health: Thermometer,  Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Nasal Aspirator

5. Onesies, socks, hats, bibs, burp cloths, etc.

6. Tops

7. Bottoms

What's your favorite organizational tip or trick?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Currently Loving: Baby Edition

One of the downsides to "not finding out" is not being able to shop for baby clothing. I often go into baby stores and see THE CUTEST things - dresses, polo shirts, rompers, you name it. I then force myself to walk away and say something to myself to the effect of, "still enjoying your voluntary torture?" Honestly, I'm actually not all that tortured. There is plenty to be excited about other than clothing. And in the meantime I'm cooing over yellow ducky outfits.

However, there is a clothing item that I am completely, totally excited about! Finally!

Have you heard of BabyLegs? Basically, they are baby legwarmers. You slip them on with a onesie and baby has an instant diaper-accessible outfit. Still not sure? Look at this cuteness!

They seem like a no-brainer for newborns, but you can also buy them in larger sizes for bigger kids. And they can double as arm warmers to add color to t-shirts! When the BabyLegs had a sale this week, I just couldn't hold back. I purchased the three pairs featured above for our little genderless baby. Can't wait to use them!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 26

Where did baby go? I'm wondering the same thing. It's funny how a slight turn in my hips makes my bump look completely different! Don't worry, all is well and our little one is still growing. And kicking up a storm.

Week 26 was pretty fantastic, actually. I had an appointment with my OB and she was encouraging about my lack of weight gain (rounding out to 5lbs per trimester), stellar blood pressure (110/60) and gestational diabetes test that I "passed with flying colors". Leaving the appointment I was feeling especially awesome. Then, my day got even better when I received my results from my professional licensing exam: PASS! I'm pretty sure things couldn't have gotten better this week!

In other big news, the nursery furniture arrived! There's something about having a crib in your home that makes the whole "we're really having a baby" thing sink in! Everything is starting to come together and it's just so exciting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Constructing the Nursery Closet (but first a small issue)

The closet in our nursery was not as easy to put together as one might hope. I wish I was posting about a few trips to Home Depot and The Container Store, resulting in the photo above. Or, see this post. Instead, the story starts with a not-so-small issue.

The closet in the nursery shares a wall with the kitchen.  During the kitchen project we updated the microwave to match the other appliances.  There is a vent outside the kitchen that was assumed to be our kitchen exhaust.  The microwave is the over the range type with the exhaust fan.  When I removed the microwave I saw the hole in the wall for the vent.  I noticed that there was no sheet metal in the hole and immediately got concerned.  I felt a cold draft coming from one of the mounting screw holes.  There was my sheet metal I was looking for.  The genius builder missed the correct wall cavity, but covered it up instead of fixing it.

I checked with a local home inspector and perused the building codes.  By code, I am not required to have a vent that vented outside.  Microwaves have a few options for the exhaust to exhaust out the back or top to a vent or filtered and blown back into the room.  I chose to set the microwave to exhaust back into the room.  The only way I saw that I could fix it would be to take down all the cabinets and relocate it into the right cavity.  I figured that maybe one day I will get around to it.

So, the nursery update gave me an opportunity to tackle this problem.  Since I was redoing the closet and demoed all the old shelving I saw that empty wall with the incorrect vent inside it calling my name.  So, Mrs. Fix-It wasn't home and my drywall saw was within reach.  I assumed this would be an easy fix.  Pulled out the saw, started making a mess, and found that I had no shot at making this right.  What I assumed to be a round vent pipe was actually a full rectangular duct going into the ceiling joists before transitioning to the outside.  There was no way I could get this corrected without MAJOR construction.

  What a little investigating looks like

I admitted defeat and decided to patch the wall.  I pulled out the laser level and marked some lines so I could open up the hole to be a perfect rectangle.  I widened it to span a couple joists so the edges had something to screw into.  I had a piece of drywall in the storage closet that was luckily the exact width of the hole.  I cut it to the right height and fit it into the hole.  This required me to do one of my least favorite things.  Patching and taping the hole.  The closet also had dozens of holes in the wall from the old closet "system."  I pulled out an old bag of joint compound since it dried in 20 minutes.  I knew I was going to have to do more than one coat so the quick drying time was very helpful.  Well, except that it dried really fast.

 ...and patched

So, a quick lesson.  Put a little joint compound over the joint, lay some tape over the joint and then drag a putty knife across to press the tape into the compound.  Let it dry and then do a couple coats to hide the joint.  After drying, sanding should help blend everything together.  Well, it sounds simple.  I put way too much compound on for each coat.  I realized WHY you don't do that.  Cause you then have to sand way too much.  Light coats help minimize the amount of sanding necessary.  So I got things sanded down and somewhat even.  Putting on some paint, the patch luckily disappeared.

The closet was ready to get the new shelving and stuff.  I am glad I at least tried to fix the problem, because as you will see, there will be no turning back once that closet is done.

What mess, honey?

Next, Mrs. Fix-It will share the before and after details plus her thoughts on organization!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 25

It has been a HOT summer in Chicago! For the most part, I do just fine: I go from our air-conditioned home to my air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned office. However, times that I do spend outside renders me covered in sweat. I'm not particularly uncomfortable, just quickly soaked. I think it makes sense - my body doesn't want to overheat, so it's working extra hard to cool me down more efficiently than usual. Pregnancy can really make you feel quite lady-like.

I'm still feeling fantastic. I've heard that the third trimester can bring all sorts of unwelcome discomforts, so I'm working to blissfully enjoy the remainder of trimester two! However, I am pretty optimistic. I'm tall, my hips are plenty wide, and I've gained minimal weight so far. I'm choosing to believe that my body isn't under a great amount of strain and I'll be able to continue to feel good for a while longer. In 10 weeks I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune...

In a few weeks we'll go back for another thorough ultrasound. Everything looks great, but my doctor is keeping an eye on a potential placenta previa. A placenta previa can be partial or full - meaning that the placenta is covering or partially covering the cervix. The placenta can't be delivered first, or if the baby is able to push past it, often Mom will suffer a severe bleed. If it's carefully monitored with no side effects, at best it guarantees a scheduled c-section. There's more to it, of course, but those are the basic facts. At this point, there's a good chance the placenta could move as my belly grows. Fingers crossed that's the case for me!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Inspiration for Baby's Nursery

When we agreed to not find out the sex of our baby, I thought picking nursery elements would be one of the biggest challenges. Granted, it's a baby, so that's probably enough of a theme right there. I knew I didn't want something that went the obvious route of gender neutral - I wanted something fun and playful that could be tailored over time to look more feminine or masculine.

I eventually stumbled upon nurseries in aqua and yellow and fell in love. So bright! So playful! It made for an easy decision.


{all photos via Pinterest}

So, this is the look and feel we're going for. In fact, Mr. Fix-It's Dad held on to his (now vintage) Jenny Lind crib from when Mr. Fix-It was a baby! At one point we were hoping to refinish it and paint it yellow, just like the photo above. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a good resource on how to complete the project safely (since babies chew on the crib rails, scary toxic paint chips, etc) so we decided to go for something that was up to current codes.


In pursuit of The Perfect Aqua, we looked at about a million paint chips and posted them all over our walls. In the end, I was leaning toward a more green-ish tone, and Mr. Fix-It liked a more blue-ish one. Thankfully, I went with his choice because in the end it's EXACTLY what I was hoping it would be. Behold, our paint color:

Behr's Teal Ice


Choosing fabrics wound up being the hardest part of the entire process. I originally wanted to do a yellow chevron for the curtains and other bold yellows throughout. Mr. Fix-It really wasn't into the chevron pattern, so we compromised on yellow stripes. The clovers were an easy choice as a compliment, and then I added the greenish yellow pattern to round off the look.

from top:
Taza Color Stripe in Yellow, Joel Dewberry Heirloom Jade, Taza Tarika in Yellow


For our furniture, we opted to shop through a local boutique. I'm so glad we did! They were just wonderful and I loved that we were supporting a small business owner. I'm really excited about our furniture, and these photos really don't do the pieces justice.
The Lucca Collection by Pali Furniture


 To tie everything together, we're going to do a subtle Hot Air Balloon Theme in the room. The mobile below has been ordered (in yellow and aqua of course!) and I'm still considering what we'll do for prints and other accents. The growth chart was a must - I've seen them in a few nurseries, and I love that it can travel in the event that you move. Plus it's canvas, so baby can't tear it apart.

 {all items via Etsy}

And that's our inspiration for baby's nursery! We're so excited to see it all come together. Up next, we'll FINALLY share the big closet project!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 24

While I was in Rhode Island last weekend, Mr. Fix-It was hard at work with nursery preparations. (My "pregnancy weeks" start on Fridays, so recapping each week is a little confusing. Technically he worked on the nursery during week 24, so I'm posting about it now. Totally straightforward, right?) By now, you're likely wondering what in the world we're doing in there. Finally, it's a completely empty and painted room. Before, it was a major hodgepodge of office/guestroom/random storage. It feels so wonderful to have a clean slate in there! Now that Mr. Fix-It has completed his part, it's my turn to have some fun: decorating! That's a separate post for a separate day, though. More soon!

Pregnancy wise, things are still swimming along. Baby is a great little kicker and seems to be doing its thing. A few weeks ago I suddenly felt much bigger, but the feeling has tapered off again. It seems like I grow in spurts. I heard something recently about "popping" three times during a pregnancy - first when you get your little bump and your pants stop buttoning, then when you actually pop and have a noticeable bump, and finally towards the very end when you're sporting a serious basketball/watermelon as a belly. I'm in phase two - for sure.

Of note, I realized I have had a pregnancy craving! GREEK FOOD. There have now been 3 occasions during this pregnancy when Greek food sounded better than anything on earth. It wasn't like a 3am pickles and ice cream sort of thing, but a definite, obvious, slather-it in-tzatziki-please moment. YUM.

Now, a few questions and answers:
  • How Far Along: 24 Weeks! When people ask and I say "6 months" I feel so legit!
  • Weight Gain: 8lbs and holding steady. Wondering if at some point I'll just explode. Hoping not. 
  • Gender: Not finding out. And, as more time passes the more I honestly have no clue.
  • Movement: Lots! Baby is a little kicker, and there are definite patterns to the movement. It's so fun to notice daily mellow times and active times - right on schedule!
  • Sleep: Hit or miss. I'm usually taking a few bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. My only complaint is that sometimes I'll get up and then be wide awake. For hours. Other nights I have no problem falling back to sleep. Overall though, I feel sufficiently rested and energetic.
  • What I Miss: Being able to move quickly. I recently "ran" out to my car to close the windows when it was raining and I realized how long it had been since I was so speedy. Now, if I go from sitting to walking quickly, my stomach gets REALLY heavy and tight. I googled, supposedly those are Braxton Hicks contractions? Who knew!?
  • Cravings: Greek food! Not often, but it has TOTALLY hit the spot a few times.
  • Symptoms: I wouldn't say I have any "symptoms". The walking-fast-stomach-tightening thing is probably about it right now. And the being wide awake at 3am.
  • Best Moment of the Week: Seeing how much progress we've made in the nursery!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Nursery Closet

...in a quick blink!

Mr. Fix-It has been hard at work preparing a closet for our little one's room. He's spent hours and hours making it just perfect and I can't wait to share more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 23

Week 23 left me with a great story for baby: we wound up sleeping on the floor at an airport. Long story short, I attempted to fly from Chicago to Providence Thursday evening after work. The entire airport shut down and all flights were cancelled due to electrical issues (the airfield lost power). We sat on the plane for 3 hours, hoping the lights would come back on. By 1:30am we got the official word no planes would be leaving. Standby lines opened up 2 hours before departure, so I decided to wait it out and get in the standby line at 3:55am for a 5:55am flight. "Sleeping on the floor" is a bit of an exaggeration - I laid down for about two hours and probably fell asleep for 20 minutes. The WORST part of the story was that the morning flight didn't have any room for standbys, so I went back home exhausted and defeated. On top of it all, I was traveling home to spend the weekend with my sister so my parents could enjoy a trip with friends. I finally made it in on Saturday morning, but their travel was effected too. Ugh!

Otherwise, week 23 was great. Baby and I had a routine doctor's appointment and everything looks good. Baby's little heartbeat is strong at 148 BPM and my belly is measuring right on schedule. My official weight gain is at 8lbs, which makes me believe more than ever in trusting my body. By this point, many women have gained more, and it's likely that they should. At our discharge from the fertility clinic, the doctor gave me a once-over and said, "You are NOT having a 50lb pregnancy". I agreed, knowing that no good of a significant gain would come for me or the baby. He then made a slightly chauvinistic joke about being a "hot mom in a bikini", but we'll just ignore that. When I followed up with my OB she advised that I just go with the flow, and suggested that the range of 25lbs would be ideal. As of this week, she suggested I may be able to come in at less than 20. Only time will tell!

Invitations to our Rhode Island baby shower went out this week as well. They are unbelievably cute, and I am in total shock that people have already started sending gifts! Something about having a car seat, bouncy seat, and other toys in our home just makes everything seem that much more real. Here's a peek at what has arrived already!

1. Sunny Stroll Toy: Clips on to the bouncy seat or car seat (or whatever else!)

2. Baby Bjorn Babysitter

3. Wubbanub Giraffe

4. Chicco Key Fit 30 in Fuego

5. Itzbeen Infant Care Timer

6. Beco Gemini in Nova

Do we need anything else? Seems like we could get by on all this alone!