Category Archives: Nursery.

Twenty Seven Weeks Update

We’ve officially made it down to the double digits! Twenty seven weeks along today and only 91 days to go – can’t believe it. This is also the last week of my second trimester and then the final trimester begins! It seems like so much has happened in the last few weeks that I don’t know where to start! I think a bullet point list would be the easiest way to organize this post.

• A Growing Belly: It’s starting to get a bit difficult to turn from side to side in bed, tie my shoes, sit up from a lying position, hug people, and bend over. My belly button is slowly making it’s way out and I can literally feel my skin stretching somedays. I told Josh the other day I’m at the point now where I feel like I’m actually carrying a baby in there. My belly doesn’t just feel bigger anymore but heavier, too. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I’m nearing the forty week mark! Our bodies are seriously so amazing and accommodating. I’m constantly in awe of the entire process.

27 weeks maternity picture• A Busy Calendar: Our schedules are starting to fill up quickly with doctor’s appointments, chiropractor and massage appointments, prenatal yoga, and birthing classes. We start our first Confident Birthing class tonight, which is taught by our doula, and we are so looking forward to it. Speaking of our doula, I received my first prenatal massage from her and it was the best massage I’ve ever had! I felt like a million bucks the next day. My muscles were pretty sore for a couple days but I felt so great. I’m still enjoying my prenatal yoga class immensely. There are definitely nights where I whine about having to go but once I get there I’m happy I made myself and once the class is over I’m even happier. I feel great and am very proud of myself for doing something so good for me and our baby. It’s also been an awesome way to connect and chat with other pregnant women a couple times a week. And check out my disappearing toes below!! See what I mean about the growing part?!


prenatal yoga

• A New Symptom: I really don’t like referring to the things I’m experiencing as pregnancy symptoms but I don’t know what else to call them! A new one that just started today is dizziness and it has me a bit worried. I drink at least 3-4 liters of water every day so I don’t think it’s caused by dehydration. If it continues, I plan on calling my dr’s office and seeing what they think. It is definitely not fun, though.

• Wide Awake: I’m still getting veeeeery little sleep at night. My mind isn’t racing and my body feels tired but I just lie there awake for hours, tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable and fall asleep. Also not fun. A friend of mine let me borrow her pregnancy pillow, called a Snoogle, and I liked it for the first night (although I still didn’t fall asleep until 4am that night) but now after using it for a few nights I feel super claustrophobic almost when it’s around me. So, last night I went back to the regular body pillow and slept a little better but still not great. This is still, by far, my most frustrating pregnancy symptom.

• Some New Friends: We found out some exciting news over the last couple of weeks! Josh’s oldest brother and his wife are expecting their first baby due just 3.5 months after us! So Baby O will have a sweet little cousin joining the family soon after her. They live about four hours away from us but it will be so much to see them together during visits and holidays. We also found out that our good friends, who are due just two months or so after us, are having a girl! I’m so excited our little girl with have a little playmate so close to her in age! It’ll be so much fun.

• Date Nights: Josh and I are continuing our date nights and enjoyed dinner downtown with friends and a lot of game/movie nights. I love being married to him – we have so much fun together and are constantly laughing. The laugh attacks, though, are getting a little scary now that I’m this far along and have resulted in me darting into the bathroom a few times!

date night• New Movements: One of my favorite memories from this pregnancy occurred last week. Josh and I watched my stomach for a good half hour while lying in bed in total awe and fascination. Baby was moving around like crazy in there and it was the most we’ve actually been able to see the movements happening. It was like a fireworks show with a lot of OooOOOo’s and Aaaw’s. So beyond awesome to see. I’ve tried multiple times to record my stomach but I can’t seem to catch a good enough stretch of kicks and punches like that. I’ve also started feeling hiccups which is beyond adorable! I actually searched it on Google the first time I felt them because I didn’t know what it was! Those little rhythmic movements are just so cute.

• Preparations: We have our back up doula reserved now which is a big relief! Our doula will be leading a doula training/conference event here in town for a few days, as well as out of town for a few days, right around my due date. So, it’s pretty likely we will be in need of our back up doula. That is one big item we can cross off the to-do list now and I have full trust in who our doula recommended as our back up. I’ve also started doing the cat/cow stretch a couple times every day to try and help baby move into the correct position. Squats are another thing I’ve been practicing every day, especially the low ones I will be doing during labor. Stretching feels sooooo great lately and I look forward to my mini stretching sessions each day.

• Shelves!: We finally put up our Ikea Ribba picture ledges and they seemed to add so much to the room! I need to find some cute accessories for the shelves on the right and I know the baby books will come along soon to fill out the shelves on the left. I also finally designed the art to go in the frames above the dresser and plan on printing them in the next week or so. It’s so exciting to see everything come together!

Nursery Shelves

Overall, I’m feeling pretty great these days minus the sleep thing (and now the dizzy thing). We are down to just 13 weeks (more or less) and I just cannot wait to hold her close, see what she looks like, kiss her little cheeks, and become a family of three. We are very excited to become parents for the first time and experience a whole new world of firsts – together.

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26 Weeks | DIY Blackout Curtains

The nursery used to have some pretty horrible-quality roman shades in the windows. We always knew we would get rid of them eventually but wanted to wait and see what the best solution for a replacement would be. I knew, after painting the room, that I wanted curtains in the nursery for two reasons: 1. I love the look of curtains and how they add a richness and softness to any room and 2. I didn’t want to worry about safety issues with blind cords, etc.

The next step was finding the right curtains. I needed them to be pretty long in length (98″) and had such a difficult time finding that length in our budget. Most of the curtains we could afford were the typical 84″ long but I knew I wanted to hang them higher up to add some height to the room. It’s an optical illusion you have to try – seriously. So, to Ikea we went. Or, rather, to Ikea’s website we went! We have an awesome business here in town of a few people who make monthly trips to Ikea and then deliver your order right to your door for quite a bit less money than Ikea charges for their own shipping. Love them!

We decided on the AINA curtains from Ikea and I am so incredibly happy with our choice. I wanted a soft gray color since the room will eventually have a lot of pops of color and patterns going on. Also, if we end up painting the room in a few years, the neutral gray curtains should still work well in there. Not only are they the perfect 98″ in length but their width covers the windows and much more. The best part is that they come with two panels to a package! Most curtains I was looking at only came with one which would double the price since we, of course, needed two panels. But the very very very best part is they were only $50 for the pair! Such a steal when it comes to curtains at that length.

AINA Curtains Ikea

As happy as I was with our curtain choice, there were still a couple of problems. 1. They were extremely difficult to open/close when directly hung on the curtain rod… something I know would be an issue when I have a newborn in one arm and only one arm left to operate these. 2. See how they lose their bunchiness on the ends toward the middle of the window? I know, not a huge deal but my perfectionism was annoyed and this little bit irked me every time I looked at them. 3. I wasn’t thrilled with how very little sunlight they blocked when closed. The nursery gets a ton of natural light, which I absolutely love, but I know I won’t love that fact when I’m trying to help our baby sleep later into the morning or during naps.

AINA Curtains Ikea

So, we went through a couple of options, one of which failed miserably and ended with a return at Home Depot. Finally, I decided I could create some DIY blackout curtains on my own on one single condition… they had to be no-sew DIY blackout curtains. Jo-Anne Fabrics was where I found and purchased my blackout lining material. I found it for $4.19 a yard and was able to purchase 5.5 yards for just over $20. Pretty good considering most of the blackout curtains I looked at purchasing were around $150! Blackout lining not only blocks out light but it also helps reduce outside noise and heat/cold so it’s a great option for nurseries.

No Sew Blackout Curtains

I then laid out the fabric and measured it to be 2 inches shorter than the length of the curtain panel. That way it wouldn’t be peeking out the top or bottom. I cut out two equal panels from the lining (thankfully the width was already perfect so I didn’t need to adjust that). Then, I took my curtain rings we purchased and clipped the lining to the curtains from the back, a few inches below the top. The reason I clipped them this way was we already had the curtain rod hardware installed on the wall and I knew the curtains would be too long if I had to add a few inches to the height to the due the rings. Also, clipping your curtains this way creates a beautiful custom look as you can see in the below photo.

DIY Blackout Curtains

Next up was to hang them! I still wasn’t super impressed with the light flooding the room around the edges but I knew that was fixable. I simply took super strong magnets and hot glued them to the wall and curtains. One on each side of the window and two in the middle where the curtains connect.

DIY Blackout CurtainsThe magnets work so great and I love how easy they are to just snap together and apart, unlike velcro which would be a nightmare!

DIY Blackout Curtains

 

So much better! The room isn’t 100% pitch black which I’m actually okay with. That way I can still get around the room without tripping over something or fumbling in the dark. But it is definitely dark when these are closed and will be perfect for daytime naps. I love love love how they hang now – they look custom sewn and you can’t even see the curtain rings behind them. So nice! And yes, I am very much against ironing, thank you very much.

DIY Blackout Curtains

I am absolutely thrilled with this project and how it turned out. I love how they look and more important love how they work. We spent way less money than we if we had purchased blackout curtains already made and it probably only took 30 minutes! Here you can see the before and after:

Top Row = Curtains without lining or rings opened and closed
Bottom Row = Curtains with lining and rings opened and closed

DIY Blackout CurtainsSuch a difference! I’m sure Baby O will appreciate the darkness for morning sleep and nap times… at least I’m hoping she will! 🙂 Next projects up are hanging the Ikea shelves we purchased and making the DIY mobile!

 

Baby’s Wardrobe | Twenty Three Weeks

Another item on my getreadyforbaby to-do list was to start purchasing clothing. From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve experienced as a nanny in college, babies are quite the outfit destroyers. Between spitup, leaks, blowouts, and stains, they go through a few outfit changes a day at least. I really don’t want to be doing the baby’s laundry three times a day so I figured the best way to avoid that was to stock up on clothing for our little miss.

My family/friends have graciously offered to throw me a baby shower and we are officially registered (whew, that was seriously quite the process!) but being that this is our first child, we are lacking most of the major essentials that I would rather receive than clothing for her. I figured one of the best and inexpensive ways to get her wardrobe ready was to shop secondhand. She’ll be outgrowing and staining her clothes so fast that this seemed the most practical to me. I would hate to have other people or myself spend tons of money on clothes that she may never even wear or ruin within the first five minutes of trying it on.

I am sosososo glad I decided to go shopping and see what I could find at a couple thrift stores. Holy cow. The clothes were adorable, stylish, practically new, brand names, and some of the items still had their original tags on! I purchased a total of 95 pieces for a little over $100. I “splurged” on a few pieces that were $2-3 but most of the items were $1 or under. I couldn’t believe it. After a wash cycle with Dreft (does anyone else loooove the scent of this stuff??), they literally seem like brand new clothes.

closetI decided to hang everything except pajamas and plain white onesies, which will go in the dresser. I figure it will be more fun and easier to mix and match outfits and also to see what I have vs. what I still need to buy. It’s funny how when you are pregnant with your first, these little bitty decisions like “closet vs. dresser” seem so completely crucial and important. I can’t explain it but I will admit I found myself researching the decision online and had a few dreams about closet organization.

I found some super awesome clothing size organizers on Etsy that I need to order. The top right is Newborn and 0-3 months, the bottom right is all 3-6 months, and the left is anything 6-12 months. I plan on having tupperware-type boxes ready to go to move things into storage as she grows. And I love the teal paint pop of color in the closet even more now! So fun. We have baskets on order for the closet shelves and that wicker hamper was only $15 on clearance at Home Goods (found a similar one at Cost Plus for $30!) so that was awesome.

clothes

The hardest part was keeping in mind the seasons/weather for each age group of clothing. I was literally counting from her due date on my fingers in the stores thinking, “Okay, at three months it will be the middle of summer.” I think I got everything pretty spot on, though, and our little girl will be ready for sun, rain, or snow.

clothes2

I immediately got to washing, sorting, and hanging the clothes. It was so much fun and made me even more excited for her arrival! I found baby clothing hangers (white plastic) at Walmart for $1/pack of ten. Good deal! I also bought wooden clothes pins for $2/pack of 100 to hang the pants as a cheap alternative to pant hangers (which were $3 for three – yikes). They seem to work great!

clothes3

I also bought some cute hats (most for 50 cents or under) and pairs of mittens to prevent scratches in those first few days/weeks.

hats

 

A big discovery while shopping was I don’t think there is anything in this entire world cuter than baby pajamas other than a cute baby wearing baby pajamas, of course! Baby girl will be warm and cozy through her first year with all of the cute jammies I found.

jammies

I really wanted a good mix of colors (more than just pink – again avoiding the super girly-girl/diva/princess attitude from the beginning!) and styles for her to wear. Between onesies, dresses, leggings, jeans, sweaters, I think we’re pretty set. Other than a few gifts we’ve received and a couple outfits from TJ Maxx and Ross (and the very first outfit we bought her at Old Navy the day we found out we were having a girl), everything is secondhand but seriously, you wouldn’t even know it. I totally recommend shopping this way to all of the new parents out there. Here are a few cute combos I love. I think I’m going to have a ridiculously fun time dressing her every morning… and most likely, thanks to the bound-to-happen messes, every hour.

outfits

xo!

Nursery Progress | Twenty-Three Weeks

With the change in energy that comes along during the second trimester, I’ve been able to finally get some things together for the nursery and start getting it set up for baby. Hard to believe that in just over three months or so our little bundle will be here! I know it’s going to fly by and I still have so much to do but I’m happy to report the to-do list shrinketh!

First up was finding frames for the wall art I plan on designing. I really wanted to have a symmetrical gallery wall of frames above the dresser/changing combo. My original requirements were 12″x12″ squares, white, and with matting but after finding they were $20 each (and at Ikea nonetheless!) I decided to be open to some other cheaper possibilities. While browsing through Michael’s one day, completely lost and looking for modpodge, I stumbled across these white, matted gallery frames with an 8×10 opening. They were perfect but the clincher was the ridiculous good price. Regularly $10 each, they just happened to be on sale for 50% off making them only $5 each! All in all I ended up spending $30 for six frames versus the $120 I would have spent at Ikea. Score!!! I plan on designing some fun and bright art to brighten up the space a little. The hardest part will be narrowing it down to only six pieces! And I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for this hanging job… this was my first gallery display but with the help of a yardstick and my grandpa’s level, it turned out pretty even and straight! #miracle

Gallery Wall

Next up on the shopping list was a new lamp for the room. I wanted something feminine for our little miss and had a few lamps in mind at Cost Plus World Market. I decided to stop in at Home Goods, though, so see if I could find something less expensive and sure enough I did. With the base and shade together it was a total steal and I love it even more than the other ones I was thinking about. It is so beautiful lit up, too, and adds some sophistication and charm to the room.

lampAnd see that cute little “Love at First Sight” frame next to the lamp? That was a gift from Josh’s aunt and uncle when we found out the gender and that’s our baby girl’s profile shot in there. Love it.

Frame

One of my many DIY projects is lining the old dresser drawers with some pretty, elegant paper. I found this beautiful wrapping paper at Michael’s and am working, slowly but surely, on lining the drawers with it using modpodge. I also know you won’t be able to see the lining that often what with all of the clothes, diapers, and things in the drawers but I like the idea of placing the clothes on this pretty paper instead of the who-knows-how-old bare drawer bottoms.

dresser liningWe still have some work to do on this old dresser. Things left to do are 1) Spray paint drawer hardware salmon pink (Josh plans on doing this in the spring), 2) Buy and install drawer stoppers for the backs of the drawers so they aren’t able to be pulled completely out of dresser (safety first!), 3) Oil up the sliders inside so they glide more easily when opening and closing. Poor thing needed quite the update!

That brings me to my next DIY project. I knew the glider would really need a lumbar pillow for lower back support while rocking/nursing our little one. I already had a small travel pillow that was the perfect size but the pillow cover was super blah. Not wanting to spend $25 or more on a new pillow cover, I found a tutorial on Pinterest for cloth napkin pillow covers and knew it was right up my alley. A little known fact about me: I.don’t.sew. Like at all. You should see me “sew” a button back on. It’s basically just threading the needle through once then a million knots tied with my fingers. Hahaha. Note to self: learn to sew.  This tutorial was perfect, though, because you just buy two cloth napkins and use fusible web! Something even I can handle. The tutorial is for an 18″x18″ pillow but I think I can figure it out for this size. I found the cloth napkins at Cost Plus World Market and am in LOVE with them. At just a little over $3 a napkin, it’s a super easy transformation and update. If it works out well, I think I’ll update some other throw pillows around the house. *Disclaimer: one of the napkins is just wrapped around the pillow in this picture to demonstrate as I have yet to start this project!
pillowI also needed a new ottoman to go with the glider. The ones that were sold to match the glider were hundreds of dollars that I refused to spend. We had a cute little red stool that was Josh’s mom’s as a little girl in front of it for awhile but it was just too small/short and the red didn’t go with the rest of the room. I planned on making my own with confidence I could learn to sew but fate had a different option. We were browsing through Ross one day and we came across this lovely ottoman for only $40! By the time I bought all of the fabric, stuffing, and took the time to make my own, this would be such a better deal. I loved that it was so elegant, had similar coloring to the glider, and the best part is the lid comes off for storage inside! Josh plans on buying some hinges to make opening/closing it easier. It’s the perfect size, too, and I can’t wait to spend hours in this little corner reading, rocking, snuggling, and nursing our baby girl.

ottoman
Let’s see… some other little details coming together are the side table. We plan on spray painting the small wicker basket in the spring. Yellow flowers and some sweet framed art… What I love most about my home is who I share it with.

side table

I also found these cute flowers/vase at Goodwill for sixty cents! I love little details like this. And, yes, we are already reading our little girl Billy Collins poetry.

flowers
She’s also already quite the little stuffed animal collector.

stuffedI also plan on making (sewing!!) a hot-air balloon mobile to hang over the crib. I will definitely post pictures once that is done but I have all of the supplies sitting in a bag waiting for me to start. The new year better bring out my craftiness!

What I love about this room is how light and bright it is! It gets optimal sunshine (curtains are on order and blackout lining will be purchased) and feels so cheerful to me. I also like that it is elegant and feminine without being over-the-top girly. I’m definitely not wanting to go after the hot pink and princess stuff (or ideals/attitude) for our little girl and this room really fits the bill when it comes to that idea. It’s been so much fun seeing it come together from painting the walls last summer before I was even pregnant to adding in the furniture and now all of the accessories and projects. It really has been a project of love.

xo