Tuesday, May 31, 2011

{Accelerated Nursery} A few changes...

Way back when, I posted my thoughts for our nursery. such happy little thoughts were they. 

But since then, a few things have changed. 

Exhibit A - The Glider Situation

Originally I wanted this glider.

From PB, of course.

BUT, turns out that the chair itself is $650 and the slipcover is $229 on top of that. That is $879, not including tax or shipping. On a chair.

Screech. Those are my dreams coming to a head on collision with reality. What the heck was I thinking? Well, I will tell you. I was thinking all these gossamer hazy dreams about nursing my baby in a chair that I loved, and was quite frankly thinking of a different price since the darn thing was on sale when I originally registered for it. Not anymore!

After scouring the interwebs for a suitable alternative I have found that...
  1. Gliders are expensive, especially upholstered ones, because they are labeled a "baby" item and therefore crazy mommas will spend tons of money for no darn good reason on these things.
  2. It is apparently completely unrealistic to think you can get a plain cotton twill covered glider for anything less than mucho dinero. 
  3. I don't want a microfiber chair. Don't ask me why, I just don't. 
So, we have settled on this little baby instead. 

Thank you Target
Always coming through in the clutch.

At $400 (on sale this weekend) and with plenty of positive reviews, we decided to pull the trigger on this chair. That's less than half of the price of the PB chair, and made by the same company that makes gliders for a.lot.more money.

No, it isn't plain cotton twill, it is cotton gingham, but I think it will work out nicely for us. And, the shape isn't outrageous so I am pretty sure if a slipcover were necessary down the road we could rock one out for a more shabby chic look. It is also a wee bit smaller than the PB which is perfect, as it could now go in one of TWO locations in the nursery should I go crazy and need to rearrange.

It should arrive at its happy new home next week.

Exhibit B

This actually isn't a change, i just wanted to show you all. The rug we found at IKEA way back when for the nursery is now on the website! Yay! Now I get to show a picture!

Don't you just LOVE IKEA names?

The checks on the actual rug are much bigger than they appear here, as the rug is 6'7" x 6'7"...which makes me not concerned about the checks here and the gingham print on our new chair. It is also a little greener than this photo IRL.

Well, a little bit concerned, but nonetheless hopeful that it won't be a problem. Since I love them both. 

Can't we all just get along?

In any case, for $79 it was a steal, and the color is a nice pop in the room. 

So, there they are, a few updates without actually showing you anything, muahhaha. But, the nursery is coming along swimmingly, I must say, and I think I will have final reveal photos available in like the next two weeks! Ack! So exciting.

35 weeks, 5 days along

...and I guess I had best have that final reveal photo ready, because I just looked at the countdown and that thing says 30 days till baby! Way to procrastinate Momma Courtney.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mommy Items

The other day I headed to Target to do some shopping on my lunch break. On the list was everything that Mommy (read: me) is going to need for the hospital bag and upon coming home.

As a first time mom, I am going to go ahead and say that I probably overdid it, but here goes the list:
  • Black bikini top for birthing pool (had to get a new one as the girls no longer fit in any of the tie top old ones).
  • Plenty of socks. The midwives recommended many pairs because apparently they will get "messy". awesome.
  • Big, dark colored towels. The hospital has itty bitty ones that are not fluffy, so I bought big fluffly ones...in a dark shade to hopefully avoid needing to throw them out after my first shower.
  • New sheets for the bed, white and bleach able should any water breakage or post baby issues necessitate that.
  • Black cotton underwear. 'Nuff said.
  • Those stretchy athletic headband things that make me feel like a pro athlete, and keep the hair out of my face.
  • Waterproof mattress cover for the bed at home. Husband is super afraid that i am going to "ruin our mattress" with water breaking, though I have told him how many times that most women do not have their water break at the beginning of labor like in the movies...
  • Face cleansing cloths.
  • Huge overnight type maxi pads. Ahem. These are the first stash for after everything we steal from the hospital runs out.
  • Nursing camis
  • Motrin for once we are home
Stuff I have:
  • Lanolin
  • Chapstick
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, etc
  • Hairbrush
  • Make up. I care, sue me.
  • Glasses and contact solution
  • Wisps, gifted by Meg for the hospital bag
  • iPod
  • Cell Phone
  • Camera
  • Laptop - we have wifi and it might be fun to Skype parents and such, we shall see.
  • Chargers for all electronics
  • Pillows and colorful pillowcases (in flattering to me colors, naturally) so they don't get mixed up with the hospital ones
  • Heatable rice therapy bag
  • Coming home outfit for baby
  • Coming home outfit for me - plain black cotton dress probably with flip flops and sunglasses. My goal is to look like a celebrity departing from rehab
Stuff I still need to get:
  • Some sort of nightgown/robe that is nice enough to feel like I am dressed when/if people come to visit, but I'm not going to be heartbroken to throw away. Again, birth is messy apparently.
  • Bottle of "the good stuff" cold pressed castor oil
Anywho, that's where we stand as of now. Crazy to think we are going to need all this stuff for like 24-48 hours of life (we probably won't) but I would rather be safe than sorry. 

Over-packers anonymous, that could be a thing, right? Maybe I should start a group.

There will be a couple of things we will need to add to the baggage on the day of - peanut butter and honey sandwiches for me (in case I feel like eating or need energy), a few snacks and drinks for the hubby, etc. But since we plan on laboring at home for quite some time we should be able to take care of those things then. And since we plan on laboring at home for a while, and I will want to be as comfortable as possible, we have a few items for home as well (new mattress pad, pillows, birth ball all inflated and ready, a sparklin' clean bathroom and bathtub, etc).

Whew. All of this stuff is really coming together and making this feel so...real. 

Ah! We are having a baby!

35 weeks, 1 day along

...and I really just want to go home right now and fast forward to the part in Gone With the Wind where Prissy says this:

YouTube has failed me in not having a clip for this. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On natural childbirth

As you may have assumed or gleaned from posts up until this point, we are going for natural childbirth. I have never really come right out and said it, I guess, but there it is.

What? Why? How? Are you insane?

Here's the deal. Up until trying for babies, I really honestly thought that I would be one of those epidural in the parking lot kind of gals. (No judgment btw if that's your choice, seriously, I totally understand) But, all of a sudden I was exposed to all of these different stories of women who had given birth with no pain meds, and they weren't lamenting how awful of an experience it was, or talking about needing a case of amnesia to have a second baby - they were empowered.

Here is our path to this decision, but let me first and foremost say that this is just our experience. I do not claim to be an expert on any of this stuff, especially as I have not given birth yet.

Let's face it, when you start thinking about babies, if you are anything like me anyway, you start getting hella obsessed with birth stories. Way back when, before I wanted babies of my own I was still obsessed with Baby Story and Birth Day and all those birthing shows on TV. Granted they only really showed one kind of birth story, but I was still so interested. Then, when I realized that women were sharing birth stories on the interwebs, I got a little ooc.

I started searching for birth story websites, and then subscribing to them through my Google Reader. The more and more variety I found in birth stories from all over the world, including some from some close friends, the more confident I was in gathering facts to see what this whole thing was all about.

Who exactly are midwives? Why are so many of these birth stories talking about them? Doulas? Birthing pools? What?

A good friend recommended that I check out The Business of Being Born, a documentary made by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein a few years ago.

If you have Netflix, you can instant queue it. That's what we did. A and I watched this documentary before we were pregnant. Now, I don't think that this is the be all, end all for the discussion on childbirth and the options that women have available, but it definitely opened my mind. We were impressed by the fact that it seemed pretty fair and balanced in comparison to some other documentaries we have seen (who knew Ricki Lake, who knew?) I would definitely recommend it.

The biggest thing that I took from that documentary was that I needed to know more. I needed to explore my options. I didn't think I was quite ready to jump into home birth, but at the same time knew I would like to avoid the scheduled round of standard inducing and delivering within a certain time frame if at all possible.

Logically, it just seemed to me that we had made something so natural so much more complicated than it needed to be (as a standard practice that is, sometimes birth does get complicated, yo). Technological advances totally make sense, and I am glad they are there should I, or any other woman, need them to ensure the safe delivery of my baby. But, women have been doing this since the beginning of human history, women in other countries still squat and birth their perfectly healthy and thriving babies on the dirt floors of their huts. Did those experiences count for nothing?

At this point, I am the first to admit, things sort of worked a little serendipitously for me. I was looking for a Gynecologist, someone with a practice that I could transition to OB care when the time came. (It was sooner than I thought. Ha.) Both my mom, and my good friend recommended the same doctor. Done and done, easy as pie. He had delivered both my sister and my friend's twins.

Granted he delivered both of them by cesarean, but I wasn't too worried about any of that at that point as I wasn't having a baby just yet (Ha.). Besides, my sister was born in 1987 after my mom had had me by c-section in '84 and VBACs were not standard practice then, for sure. And my friend had twins and some complications that typically go along with a multiple birth so she ended up in the OR too.

In any case, I went in, met him, liked him. Moved on. Approximately a week and a half later, I peed on a stick and found out I was KU'd myself. Welp, I thought, at least I have a doctor that I like! Then, I found out about the way their practice works. They have Certified Nurse Midwives, 4 of them (5 right now actually). And they handle all normal births and deliveries anyway. Oh, and they have this little thing called the Midwifery Center. That they run.

A birthing center? That seemed like the perfect middle ground option to both A and I. We would have the care from the midwifery model that was important to me, with the attachment to a hospital and OBs who knew me and my pregnancy (should emergency interventions become necessary) that calmed his nerves.

After our tour, we dove in. We had really enjoyed the brief intro that the tour gave us, and believe me when I say that we saw people from all walks of life there. (One of the other moms-to-be and I had a great conversation about our shared love for Longchamp bags and how J.Crew totally needs a maternity line.)

I am the first to admit, it was a little daunting to me to think about committing to doing this whole thing naturally (though clearly our birth still hasn't happened, so I know that this is a little premature - interventions could still be necessary and I totally realize that).

But, natural childbirth above and beyond anything else appeals to my sense of logic. It just makes sense to me. That's my choice. I know that there will be pain, I know that it will be one of the most difficult things I have ever done, if not the singular most difficult, but I approach the idea of natural childbirth with hope rather than anxiety. I have been able to surround myself with positive experiences of others, rather than negative ones, and prepare myself with techniques for that same positive experience. The key is a prepared natural experience.

I have to admit that being a military spouse has influenced this decision a lot. I may not have swung right for the fences with this baby had the future been a bit more sure. But a large part of me knows that I am lucky to have a wonderful practice and birthing center who are supportive of my desires less than two miles from my home. Why would I not take advantage of that now, while I can? We have no idea where we will live when our following babies (hopefully) are born, but if I have already climbed this mountain once, my confidence and ability to speak up for myself in possibly less supportive environments is going to be so much higher.

Again, I realize that all of this is totally naive as I haven't.ever.given.birth. (yet!) but this is how we arrived at this point, and how we made this choice.

*Also, even if you have your heart SET on natural childbirth, please be realistic in the fact that each baby has their own journey into this world, and sometimes you will need those medical interventions. They were originally invented for a reason, and a safe delivery for you and your baby are totally the most important thing. Let's not lose the view of the forest for the tress, mk?*

Some additional resources that I have found helpful if you are thinking about this, or not and are just interested, have been...

  1. The midwives. Seriously, KNOW your medical team and ask them questions! I felt super dumb at first asking so many questions and kept a little more quiet than I probably should have in the beginning, but believe you me, I am over that now.
  2. If you don't have a midwife practice, or a OB who is willing to talk to you about warm oil compresses and putting them on your perineum during labor and delivery - go find yourself a doula. Check out the doulas available in your area! (If you live in our around Austin, TX I happen to know a great one ;))
  3. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. People love this book and don't love it. I found that it was empowering to read (more birth stories - yay!) but as some reviewers state, the actual techniques for giving birth are a little lacking.
  4. Sign up for some natural childbirth classes in your area. There are going to be a lot of options, so check out what your docs, midwives or doulas think about the classes around you. Our Certified Childbirth Instructor also happens to be a doula, much like my friend Megan from the link above. People know people. Ask around. These classes will give you the actual techniques for birthing babies, or at least ours did. Look for that. Super important.
  5. The Birth Partner. This actually just came in, so I don't have a total review, but it came to us highly recommended. A is super excited to dive in (ha.)
  6. Google. Seriously, don't Wikipedia "natural childbirth" and think you have it covered. But, you can use Google to get to some great resources so long as you treat this process like you are actually researching for something. Like a giant paper in grad school - but way more important. 
Anywho, those are just a few if you are interested that we have found helpful. People way more professional and educated than me, with way more letters after their names, can recommend a whole mess of stuff to you based on your individual wants and needs. Just remember not to take any one thing as The Bible on Natural Childbirth. There isn't one. Read everything you can and then bring it all together like the intelligent person that you are (or at least pretend to be). 

35 weeks along

...and I realize that by putting this all down here on the interwebs is totally tempting the fates to screw with my plan, but cross your fingers that the fates play nicely this time. It's all part of the journey anyway, right?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celeb Mommy Bloggers

Are you guys following the Today Show Mom Blog yet?

If not, you should be. Short, quick to read and pertinent articles regarding a variety of mommy issues from differing viewpoints.

Interestingly, some celebrity mommy's have jumped on board as well.

Mayim Bialik (read: BLOSSOM y'all. Or, Amy Farrah Fowler for those who watch BBT. Love her.) will be blogging regularly over there. Christy Turlington Burns is doing a part time gig by writing a three part series over there.

Fun stuff. Check it out.

34 weeks, 6 days along

...and what am I going to do when this kiddo comes and I have no time for the interwebs anymore?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



I literally just realized that we have plans almost every day between now and Baby's arrival because I finally put it all together in one place.

When did all of this happen? Oh, that's right - we like to have fun with our friends annnnd we both have full time, full of commitment jobs. Bahaha. As an exercise in overbooking yourself, and being able to laugh about it...

Take a gander.

LOL. This is our life folks. PRE-Kiddos.

So anyway, to expand on my little "Key" up there, the green shows work commitments for one or both of us that are late night, overnight or completely out of town - which is definitely in the majority here.

We have guests coming to stay for a few weekends, which we LOVE.

The pinkish color are Social Events we have already committed ourselves to, and this schedule is why we haven't responded to some friends yet about other invites. Sorry friends! So the pinks may be getting heavier here shortly. Again, we love seeing friends. So hard to say no.

Yellow are appointments of any type. Baby, me, outside vendors, etc. again, may be increasing shortly.

The turquoise are work commitments that we are hoping to get out of because - hello! - I will be 39 weeks along.

The 8th and the 25th. Those are our days I guess.

But on the 8th we both technically still have to work normal days. ANNND, I totally just remembered while typing this that I have to attend a meeting that night for one of my volunteer commitments, but I am too lazy to go back and change the image.

Sooo. Yup. That's our life! You just have to laugh, don't you?

I know that our life is not necessarily crazier than anyone else's out there, but when I originally thought about what life would look like at the 9th month of pregnancy it seemed like a whole lot of taking it easy, folding baby clothes, you know, those soft shimmery images of impending motherhood.

Oh, the dreams we once had.

34 weeks and 5 day along

...and this schedule does not include baby projects, exercising or any other errand running time. I need a momAgenda now.

Monday, May 23, 2011

34 weeks

Doing ok, feeling pretty pale here as of late - more time on the patio it is!

Stretch marks seem...here to stay. Bah. Don't get me wrong - they still aren't that bad, but gahhhhh. I just didn't want to deal with them at all. I think they are from the baby moving down to be perfectly honest as it is more shifting than gaining or has been for the last few weeks. Still oiling and lotioning away. 

Feeling mentally ok about weight - had my midwife appointment this week and only gained like 1.5 pounds over the last three weeks. Yay! 

How I physically feel about the weight? Don't get me started. I think I am starting to hit that point that all moms-to-be hit (apparently) where I start wondering if I will ever be not pregnant again. Seriously 6 weeks is so short on one hand and sooooo.loooong on the other. 

I am starting to crave my cute clothes with a waist again (as if you couldn't tell that by the last post on this here blog) and I am starting to be over the amount of effort (for lack of a better word) that it takes to do everything. Putting shoes on? Nightmare. Turning over in bed? Too hard. Hauling myself out of bed in the morning? Don't even get me started. 

At least I got my hair did this weekend so highlights and cute cut are checked off the list. Hopefully the highlights will hold out until Baby G's arrival. CROSS YOUR FINGERS PEOPLE. That was an expensive salon visit.

Hello chewing ice. I love you. Seriously, I put a cube in my mouth with the intention of just letting it melt and .2 seconds later I have started chomping and didn't even realize it. Gah. 
Hip pain and rib pain thanks to baby stretching has become part of the daily routine. I am used to it, though I still whine occasionally so that A will massage my lower back, etc. Works out pretty well for me in the end. 

Oy. That is all.

Mental State
Doing pretty well for the most part, but today I had like a hot flash of stress regarding the monetary obligations of bringing a child into this world. 

Gah! Stressful! And I am considering not working! WTH are we thinking?!?!

And then I called A and left a message that said something along the lines of, "Hi, I need you to take care of this and make these phone calls and make sure everything we are assuming is correct. Kthanksloveyoubye." and then I felt a million times better. 

Boo. It continues. Reflux, reflux, go away. Don't come back some other day.

The Girls
Doing just fine. No changes. 

Fetal Movement
Doing great, I am starting to get a lot more punches than kicks, as an assumption based on baby position, though we L-O-V-E stretching our legs alllll the way into mommy's ribcage. 

Speaking of which, Baby G's head is down low where it should be at this point according to my midwife - YAY! Stay there baby, stay there. I am planning on walking a ton still over the next couple of weeks, and generally just trying to stay vertical when possible to have gravity help get baby engaged.

Minimal, but normal. When I brought it up as a concern my midwife said my blood pressure was "beautiful" (a blush-worthy praise for some reason to me) and that it is totally normal at this point, annnnnnnd that it will probably get worse. LAME. Until then, wearing all the strappy cute sandals that I can. Love.

Weird Stuff
Things just seem to be coming together. I guess that's not weird, but it has suddenly become so real to me that there will be a baby coming home with us in like +/- 6 weeks. Like, so real that we downloaded a contraction timing app on the hubby's phone yesterday. Because there is a baby inside me. A person. Who is coming home with us.

THAT is weird. Being someone's parent. A mom. Forever. Little person, just chillin' with me. Hella weird, and exciting. 

34 weeks, 4 days along

...and I am wearing two belly bands today and think it is genius. Seriously, one for underneath the pants, to keep zippers, etc from being uncomfortable, and one for over the pants to function as the band. Genius, I'm telling you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fashion

Granted, these photos are from last Friday, but.whatevs.

Here is another non-maternity dress made into one. And glorious photos from the bathroom at work. I can't believe that I didn't think of trying this dress with the bump sooner.

My eyes are actually open...they are just looking at the camera. 
Pay no mind.

I picked up this dress from Land's End Canvas last year...and it totally used to look like this on me.

Ok, ok, it looked like this.

Ack! It's true! I used to have a waist!

Then v. Now

In any case, the moral of the story is:
a. You look way better in natural light than in a bathroom. Wow.
b. I hate mirror pictures. My part is totally on the wrong side.
c. Hitch the waist up on those pre-pregnancy dresses, cover any awkwardness with a belt and roll with it.

34 weeks, 1 day along

...and today is my last prenatal appointment before they start checking my cervix. WHAT?! Craziness.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A second letter...

Dear Baby G,

I wrote you your first letter when you were still just a twinkle in our eye, as the saying goes. Now here we are, six weeks out from your due date. I am hoping that is roughly the same amount of time that we have to wait to finally meet you in person. Please don't be like your mommy and be fashionably late (though daddy really wants you to be a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the 4th of July).

It is so hard to believe that we are so close to meeting you in person. There are a lot of people out here ready to love you, but no one quite as much as your dad and I. Though I talk to you every day, I am sure there are some things lost in translation, so I felt the need to write you a little note today.

We have been working hard to prepare for your arrival lately. Your dad painted your new room, and I have been sewing away on some pretty things for that same room. Your puppy, Mr. Bingley, is trying really hard to figure out why everything is changing in there, and why he isn't allowed to play with all your cute new stuffed animals.Your grandma came to visit and helped us organize the whole house so that we would have plenty f room for everything that you will soon need.

You are a little wiggle worm here lately. I am hoping that that means that you are working your way down in my belly, so that you can prepare to make your grand entrance. As you grow and grow, things are getting a little tighter in there. You make everyone (daddy, my coworkers, and all of our friends) laugh because they can see you moving around in there as my belly shifts and moves.

I can't wait to see you and finally know what part of you I am poking and prodding, rather than the guessing game that your daddy and I play when you stick some unknown body part out towards the world.

We already love you so much Baby G. We can't wait to see what you look like, if you are a boy or a girl, how you react to the world around you, and what your little (or big!) personality will be like. Mostly we are just so excited to have you out in the world to love on and to experience things for the first time again with you.

Secretly, I know that when I have you out here in the world as your own person, I will miss having you as a part of me all the time, but I also know that you will be a part of me forever, no matter what. Meeting you and watching you grow and having your little self make me laugh will be well worth that separation.

I love you, and I hope everything is going swimmingly in there. (Sorry for all the poking, but sometimes you have to move your little feet out of my ribcage, ok?)


Your Momma

34 weeks along

...and I cannot wait to meet this baby. 6 weeks. Ack! Too exciting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Staying at home...Part II

Well, the universe perpetually laughs in my face. And I may be looking for a maternity suit sometime in the near future.

This one isn't too awful, right? 
And only $200! What a steal.

Just as I thought I had arrived at a decision about staying at home, my dream job (for this area) was posted. Like a day after I confidently spoke aloud that I had made my decision to some of my close friends.

Ack. My life.

In any case, they posted it.

And made it harder for me to achieve.

Let me explain a little bit without going into too much detail. This position oversees a specific part of Student Affairs at a local university, but also serves in a Assistant Director capacity for the office that that specific area falls under. Or it used to. Now it is an Associate Director position.

Associate > Assistant

I was totally qualified when the position was Assistant, but now it's a bit of a reach, so we will see what happens. I still put in all of my information, because -let's face it- if I didn't I would kick myself forever.

Of course, the timeline for interviewing falls directly in line with me being, oh, 38 weeks pregnant or so (or maybe even 40!). But, I am not going to count my chickens or stress about that until I know that I am even thought of for an interview by the committee. I am certainly not banking on it.

I will be honest in that the possibility of this position scares me a bit as well. It is my absolute favorite area to work in, and something that I am so passionate about - but I have been out of the field for 2 years. That may not seem like a lot, but it feels like eons to me. What if I can't cut the mustard anymore? I used to be great at this stuff - I don't want to be mediocre. Especially because I am balancing two new roles at the same time.

But, that's also why this job appeals to me. I love.it. And I know that I could rise to the challenge given an opportunity to be passionate about my work again.

Moment of self doubt, over.

In the meantime, the not knowing how this will go has my head swirling with thoughts of daycare options, getting on waiting lists, all sorts of things that I just do not want to deal with at the moment.

Mayjah life decisions. Being a grown up. Blah.

Current feelings on the situation: if it is meant to be, then awesome, if not, that's awesome too. No regrets either way. I would love to have the experience of this particular position, especially since I have NO idea where the Navy will take us in the future, but at the same time...gah. Ongoing debate, pro and con lists, etc. in my head.

I would like to go back to summers full of lemonade stands and running through the sprinkler.

Who's with me?

33 weeks, 6 days along

...and I am too exhausted to really think about all of this right now. Is this the third trimester sleepiness everyone has been telling me about?

Monday, May 16, 2011

{Accelerated Nursery} Pillows

Yes, I know, babies don't need pillows, nor should you put extra crap-ola in the crib for risk of SIDS, etc. But, I like pillows, and I can use them on my glider. And these were a confidence boosting sewing project for me before jumping into crib bumpers. Here is the journey.

Sewing is weird for me. It's one of those things that in your head is all "Oh, I can totally do that." It makes logical sense, but then despite the best plans it somehow usually ends up going all wonky at least once or twice. {Let's also be honest in the fact that the last actually made from a piece of cloth project that i embarked on was a Scrunchie when I was a Girl Scout} Luckily, that was not the case with these little projects.

After picking out some of the nursery fabrics at JoAnn's, they had a little sale going on pillow forms. So, I picked up a 16"x16" and a 12"x16". Why not, I thought to myself. Surely I can make a pillow.

And it turns out ladies and gents, that I can make a pillow.

** Disclaimer, I am definitely not a pro, and there are made up/not professional terms thrown around in here quite a bit. Do what I do, roll with it. **

First, I decided to dream up my designs. I needed templates. They make my life hassle-free. Insert my all-time-favorite computer program for this sort of a thing. PowerPoint. It is so versatile! (Of course there are a million programs that you can use for something like this...but PP exists on all the computers I find myself using during the day. If you get my drift.)

I went ahead and made my "Page Design" 17" x 17" so that I would have a little room to play and created rectangles for each pillow size. Within that I started playing with layering smaller rectangles to make up the designs of the pillows.

Sew Easy - hardy har har.

Once you have your blocks, on the crazy, whatever size you made them slides, you can simply copy and paste them over to a normal presentation for easy printing. Huzzah!

Fit what you can to a page, and use two pages on the ones that are too big for one slide. Make sure to add at least 1/4" to each of the shapes to give yourself some wiggle room and a guide to be able to press back, if you are sewing together quilting-ish style, which I was. I made my life easy and created a half way mark on each of them that I would later need to tape together once they were printed, so that they would easily match up. Also, make sure to label them, as it just makes life easier. 

Then you print and start project-ing. 

Inside of the fabric, with template pinned on.

Annnnnd, because I stink at how-to's that's the last in-progress shot of pillows that I have. Let's move on. 

After cutting and pinning and sewing all those pieces of fabric together, I ended up with this happy little guy...

Yay! One pillow almost done.

He still needed a little something so then I added this embroidery...

Soon, he was joined by his happy little friend...

The square pillow just has a layered back so that you can easily remove the insert, and the rectangle guy I decided to make with a little flap of fabric and those ties, because I thought they were cute. I think they may be a little long, so I may go back and shorten them up, but overall I am pleased with them. And to think, they only took about a day of labor, had I really hunkered down and done them all at once (instead I stretched it over two days with plenty of TV watching and marveling at husband's painting abilities thrown in). 

I think they really help set the visual tone of what I am going for in the nursery! Though it is definitely more work, I am so glad that I decided to do all of this myself instead of caving to the Noah's Ark gender neutral themes out there in the world.

Next up, a super easy crib skirt, and then...bumpers!

33 weeks, 4 days along

...and I know this is two posts in one day, but I was too excited to show these babies off!

**Also, my deleted post on being a preggo bridesmaid is back!**

33 weeks

I was saving this to be my shower dress and now plan on wearing it at every given opportunity until I give birth. I wore this to work with the jean jacket and some of my favorite wedges, rather than the cardigan and borrowed wedges from my sister I wore to the shower. Love that it works both ways.

Still oiling and lotioning. Sis you know lotioning is not a word according to Google Chrome spellcheck? Meh. I do what I want. 

Continually growing. Starting to feel...huge for lack of a better word. Everyone is very nice and reassuring about my appearance - don't get me wrong, I love looking pregnant, it is super duper fun - but I do have the right to feel huge when it takes more effort than most workouts I did in the past just to haul myself out of bed in the morning. 

Also, according to What to Expect, I am officially at my maximum amount of amniotic fluid. Weird, right? What this means is as baby grows there will be less cushioning for all of baby's little movements...which may start feeling like violent outbursts.

Still like love chewing ice, so much so that I have started to get annoyed with servers who refill my glass so quickly. I am a weirdo, I know. Slightly worried about my tooth health with all this chomping.

I have noticed my sweet tooth increasing as of late, but that could just be the fact that the house was inundated with strawberry shortcake, graduation cake and baby shower cupcakes and cake over the last week. Gah! Get it out of here before I really tell myself that cake for breakfast is just fine.

None lately. Yay body! 

Pretty good lately. Once I find myself in a good position I am generally set. It takes a lot of effort to turn over and roll around so I generally sleep on my left side all night long and don't move. I have had to get up to pee in the middle of the night twice this week though. So that makes like a grand total of 4 times this whole pregnancy. Bladder of Steel for the win.

Mental State
Great. We have accomplished so much, though the check listing has definitely started. The nursery is painted, I have some pillows sewn. Peek at them coming later, btw. There is an expensive car seat chilling in our living room. Charlie's Soap is being delivered today to wash the bambinos clothes and dipes in. You know, we are working it. 

This weekend was so helpful in the mental state because A and I had no.plans. Also we were all.alone. (My phone died halfway through Saturday and I consciously decided not to turn it back on). This combination doesn't happen very often and it was a nice little staycation for the both of us. We ran some errands, slept in, got a bunch of stuff done and generally just enjoyed hanging out with each other.

All of my friends who have had heartburn because of gestating have assured me that it will go away the second that the baby exits my body. This is the only thought that makes me feel better when trying to sleep sitting up at night. If it's not true, don't tell me. I beg you.

The Girls
Just fine. Still not leaking any colostrum. Is it weirder that I want them to or that they aren't? I dunno. I don't really want them to start leaking, I guess, but it would help me be assured that everything is going alright for the breastfeeding track too.

Fetal Movement
My belly moves all the time and is slanty sometimes because of where Baby G is chillin. I find this hilarious, though others are sometimes weirded out. Meh. I think we are still head down, which is awesome sauce. Stay there baby, stay there.

It is starting to get warmer and with that I have noticed some increase in swelling. Slight swelling, but swelling nonetheless. I am still wearing my wedding rings though, which are size 5.5 thankyouverymuch, so like i said, minimal swelling.

Weird Stuff
I had a weird conversation with a new coworker this week. It went something like this...(keep in mind that I have never really had a conversation with this woman before this one ans she does not have children of her own yet.)

Coworker: "Wow, you are really getting big! When are you due?"
Me: "June 30th, so coming up!"
Coworker: "Wow, that is soon. Are you afraid?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Coworker: "Aren't you scared of giving birth? All that pain?"
Me: "Uh, actually no, not really. I am planning on doing natural childbirth, so I am not really letting fear into my mind or heart so that I can hopefully be confident and successful. After all, our bodies were meant to do this, and women have been giving birth since the beginning of human history, so... And, you know, I really want to be confident so that I can continue being that way with our future children's births, should we be blessed enough to have more."
Coworker (with raised eyebrows): "Oh, well, it is supposed to be awful, but good for you, I guess. Are you really planning on more than one already though? Shouldn't you, you know, have the one first and see how it is before making that decision???"
Me: "Well, my husband and I know that we want more than one child, and if for some reason we couldn't have another ourselves, we would probably look at adoption or something else. We aren't really an only child kind of family."
Coworker: "Well then, you seem to have thought a lot about this."
Me: "Yup, well, have a good day!"

I mean. What? Who has that conversation with someone that they don't even know? I just thought it was weird. So here it is for posterity's sake. Haters be hatin' and all. 

And now for some more happy photos.

The puppy always wants to be in the shots.

33 weeks, 4 days along

...and I really, really love that dress. And ASOS in general, which is where I got it. They have a non maternity version if you love it too <3 

Friday, May 13, 2011

{Accelerated Nursery} The Fabrics

I have been carrying around these fabric swatches (and actually working on nursery projects, ha!) for sometime now, but I finally just managed to snap a day light photo or two yesterday. So, here they are - the actual fabrics for Baby G's nursery.

The curtain is the large piece of embroidered fabric underneath the rest.

These fabrics will be used in the bumpers, crib skirt, pillows, and well, anything else I can think of to use them in. Perchance photo frames or embroidery hoops. Have a great weekend! 

**Side note: My post from yesterday is still not back up Blogger. Grr. I have it saved in my Google Reader, so if it doesn't right itself by tomorrow, I will manually copy and paste everything back in here. Booo. End Rant.**

33 weeks, 1 day along

...and these fabrics are going to be my bffs this weekend.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How To: Be a {damn good} Preggo Bridesmaid

As most of you are aware almost two weeks ago now, I was a preggo bridesmaid for my dear friend Sherbs.*

This is Sherbs, in a glance.
Mayhap my favorite picture of her from getting ready...until the pro shots come in.

*not her real name. Rarely do people ever call this lady by her real name.

Anywho, I am totally taking it upon myself to say that I was a DGPB (see title). No one said that quote directly to me, but Ima go ahead an take it. Here is your guide, should you ever find yourself knocked up after saying "Yes of course I will be your bridesmaid!"

First thing's first: When you find out

Talk to the bride. Now, my friend is adorable and loving and could not have cared less that I was KU'd and in her photos, etc. She was thrilled for us. Most people will be. But, I still felt the need to give her an "out" should she want it. 

I mean, any number of things could have happened that could have kept me from actually being there day of, messed up dress orders, etc. and you need to have a little understanding that when planning a wedding, brides are all into the details. In that moment, all those things matter to her, and you need to realize that. Of course, in this situation we got to pick our own black dresses (hallelujah) and so that wasn't a problem, and the rest we just optimistically assumed would fall into place. And they did. Thank goodness. 

And if you get to pick your own dress - do not go straight for David's Bridal or another line with "maternity options" (read: don't just google "maternity bridesmaid dresses" and settle for whatever is not hideous). Look around for something fabulous and flattering. A lot of places have dresses online that are of better cut and quality. I recommend ASOS Maternity with my whole heart and soul. 

In the planning process

Go with the flow. Now, I will be the first to say that I did not jump into the planning process of showers and bachelorettes as much as I normally do, because I knew my mind was all over the place with baby prep, work, etc. BUT, I offered support to the other maids and MOH where I could. I knew I was going to all the events, because who wants to miss out on the fun stuff just because you are preggo? Find a cute dress, rock it and go about your business.

And because that's what bridesmaids do, yo. Let's be honest, part of being a good bridesmaid is living up to certain expectations regarding attendance and support where and when you can offer it to the bride. You don't need to be a slave or anything, but that's how it works. If you find out you are pregnant and don't think you can fulfill those duties, honestly in your heart of hearts, you should talk to the bride about stepping aside. Take one for the team. Don't be the drag. If a concern comes up here and there, be honest, talk to one of the other maids for advice, or even the bride, but don't be the perpetual problemo in the planning process.  

I mean that with the biggest hug of understanding ever, but be honest with yourself, the other party members and the bride. 

Have fun with it, even if you can't drink the mimosas. 
Maybe just a splash of champagne for flavor?

Bridesmaid fail. Look at the same camera as everyone else. 

If you can manage it, without overexerting yourself, head to the bars too! 
You get some great looks and reactions from people and may even get hit on. Win!

For the wedding itself

Beutification. Get yourself all done up as you normally would, but beware chemicals etc. a little more than normal for the well being and peace of mind of you and baby. I was lucky enough to have taken some extra time, and took that time to hang with my friend Meg who recommended an all natural spa to me. We went together to get our nails and feet purdied up at The Nature Company Salon and Spa

Let me just tell you that this nail polish that they used, is the best mani/pedi I have ever had. Seriously here I am two weeks later with a small chip on ONE NAIL. Naturally, I have began to try chipping away at it some more and it is tough work. It is not coming off. My pedicure is doing fabulously. Not a single chip. Plus, healthy for your nails? Love. We all went to an Aveda school in San Antonio to get our hair did, which also saved me from too much aqua net or anything gross like that while getting ready. Much appreciated. 

Just do you. The biggest advice is to be who you normally are...because, guess what? You are still you. True you have to carry around an extra 20, 30 or 40 pounds, but find some confidence in what your rockin' body is growing inside of you, and roll with it. Confidence is the biggest booster in both attitude and photos. Trust.

If you would normally party out until all hours of the night, go out with the crowd, but listen to your body. When you are tired, go back to the hotel. (Also, if headed to a piano bar, be prepared to be made fun of for being pregnant in a bar, laugh with them, it's all good.) Travelling? Carve out some extra time for yourself. See the sites. Bride give you all matching shirts? Rock it with some attitude. Do you.

Plan for your surroundings. 
Texas Rehearsal to me = cowboy boots. Done and done.

On our way to the salon, so excited for our girl!

Prepare for wedding day activities. If it is gonna be hot, stay hydrated. Plan for cute yet not outrageously difficult shoes. Your body is working differently now, accept it, find some cute options and move on. Figure out in advance what you are up for...if you can. 

Did I know I would be up for climbing onto a train for a photo op? Nope. but when I got there, I was. Don't be foolhardy - know your limitations, but go for what you know you can handle. Bring flats to change into. Be a responsible adult and plan for what you will need. Don't expect people to be catering to you - though I was lucky enough to be in a party who was awesome in anticipating things like ice water for the preggo, but don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it too. The last thing you want is to be the fainting pregnant girl. 

Most of all, just know that you are there because it is the bride's special day! She chose you to hang with, so do it up right.

I did her eye makeup throughout college, why would today be any different?

Help pull it together. Be in the moment.

Marvel with everyone else at the fact that your friend is getting married! 
And taking some beautiful photos.

And after the wedding is done, and the reception is on, dance as much as your poor feet can take and relax (hopefully with your hubby) knowing you did all you could do to make her day as special as yours was or you want yours to be. 

All in all, the name of the game is balance. Do what you normally would, within reason. Be open and honest. Realize that you have limitations, but don't let the fact that you are pregnant keep you from any of the fun you could be having just because you are. 

Happy Wedding Sherbs! 
Wouldn't have missed it for the world. 
Love you.

33 weeks along

...and we are under 50 days to due date. Ack!