Tag Archives: baby

Me on Motherhood


Motherhood hasn’t been a walk in the park for me. I will be open about that. I didn’t just have Finn and then the next day I was this natural mother. I’m still learning everyday. Due to my health issues, everyday hasn’t been easy. I am not alone with Finn as much as other moms are. In fact I have taken Finn in public alone only twice in the last 14 months and both times were in the last month. The first was a solo trip to Target and the second was to a birthday party. Both were hard for me. I get a lot of help. So, I am not the most conventional mother. We aren’t the most conventional parents for that matter. Today for instance, Dan took Finn to the splash pad and he said there were 10 other children all there with their mothers and then there was Finn with his daddy. And he feels so lucky that he has gotten to spend so much time home with Finn, but that has also meant that I’ve had to spend so much time away from him at work (when I wasn’t home on medical leave for 7 months last year of course!). People always find it weird when they first meet me and they ask what my husband does and I tell them that he’s a student or he’s home with Finn, but whatever, that’s us. Those are our cards. Does it make me feel bad at times that I’m not at home with Finn? Of course. Every. Single. Day. We have friends who the moms stay at home with their kids or who are able to work from home and they are able to get together more often and their kids get to have play dates fairly often and it makes us feel bad. Like we are causing Finn to miss out on something because we can’t be a part of that as often as we want to. I wish I could spend everyday at home with Finn instead of at work taking customers’ orders, standing on my feet all day, popping ibuprofens for my other ruptured disc and counting the days until Dan graduates so I can do something that I feel is more worthwhile… But at the same time, I know I wouldn’t be happy just being a “stay at home mom”. That’s never the life I saw for myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that life for those that have or want that. I’ve just always saw myself doing something else. I still want to be home with Finn, but being a student or doing some kind of business on the side would make me feel much happier or worthwhile for my own self. But I still hate that I’m at work everyday missing out on little moments of Finn’s young life that we’ll never get back.

We’ve made the decision not to have anymore children. There’s SO many things that went into that decision which would be a post of its own, but mostly I think that we’re perfect with just the 3 of us. Finn is all the kid we need or want. And we are perfectly okay with that decision. I strongly disagree with this belief that children need siblings for friends because I could count on both hands people who are close to me that have siblings that they were never close to and who they aren’t close to now. You can’t force siblings to be friends. And if an only child is going to be “lonely”, it’s your responsibility to socialize them and get them into programs and OUT THERE. I do know that there’s a very strong possibility that an only child can be spoiled. They can be selfish. They can feel like the world revolves around them. I know several. And that’s our responsibility to make sure that we try not to let that happen to Finn. Anyways, I kind of got off on a tangent there and tried to justify us not having any more children when I don’t need to. This is the right decision for us and for Finn because we can’t handle anymore. Most of our friends are still expanding their families, some haven’t started yet, (some aren’t planning on starting at all), some are in different stages of parenthood, but we’re raising them together. I don’t know if they judge us for deciding that we are done, but we know this is right for us and we feel good about our decision. Finn is going to be just fine.

Motherhood. I’m trying so hard to be a good mother to Finn. I really am. Everyday I am learning. When I had him, this was just one big experiment for me, really. The best piece of advice somebody gave me after he was born was not to forget that while I’m learning to be a mother, he’s learning to be a baby. Be patient. And that’s stuck with me. We’re both trying to figure this thing out. When I get frustrated, is he trying to frustrate me? Of course not. Do I enjoy every single moment? No! When he’s screaming because he’s hungry and we aren’t making dinner fast enough or he won’t go down for a nap even though he’s so tired he can’t keep his eyes open, do I love that? Nope. Do I love getting him out of his crib in the morning and our quick cuddles before I’m out the door to work or making his pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings together and our non-stop laugh fests at night before bed? Yes! And I take for granted all of these moments. Every. Single. Day.

I’m trying to work on being more present. I know I have an addiction to technology. My phone. My computer. I’m not down on the floor playing with him, reading to him, actively doing stuff with him 100% of the time like I should be, or want to be. It’s one of my faults. People are constantly telling me to put my phone away and it drives me crazy, even though they’re right. I hate to be controlled. After I’ve just been at work for 9 hours I like to catch up on my news, my social media, blogging, things like that. But I know I need to be more present because I’m missing out on Finn. But more than just the phone and technology I also need to worry and stress less. Fight with Dan less about the things that are worrying and stressing me; money, our house being a mess, yardwork, doctors, vehicle maintenance, etc.. There’s some things right now in our lives that are very, very stressful that have really caused us to be at eachother’s throats nonstop and that affects Finn. I need to work on that. Overall I need to hug, kiss, and love Finn more. Listen to his babbles before they turn into words. Enjoy the fight of changing his diaper because before too long it’s going to be a much different story. Dance with him before he’s too embarrassed to dance with me. Enjoy the stories that we’re reading to him which I did very much last night as Dan was reading to us. ;)

Basically enjoy and learn to appreciate all these ordinary moments that are passing right before my eyes because at this moment this is the youngest Finn is ever going to be and I’ll never get any of these ordinary moments back. And just hope that I don’t screw him up. ;)

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks! What’s New?

It feels like a whole lot, but really it’s not.  Thought I should update this before Finn comes and things are just too hectic to update on a regular basis.  I’m staying home from work today to relax due to a rough night of (fake) contractions as well as a killer allergy attack.  My ears and throat have been killing me due to all the congestion and drainage.  And good thing I’m home today because there’s a severe pollen warning for my city as well as bad air quality all around for the metro Phoenix area!  Can’t see my precious mountains in my backyard.  :(

Okay, so here I am at 37 weeks.  This was last Friday.  Technically full term, meaning if he were to come now they wouldn’t do anything to stop labor.  He could just come.  And boy do I wish he would!  I’m so tired lately.  Tired of working, tired of trying to roll myself in and out of bed all night to pee, tired of getting winded just walking up the stairs, tired of having to contort my body just to get in and out of the car, just tired!  So many things I never thought I’d feel and so many things I thought I had “escaped”.  The first being swollen feet.  I have very narrow, slim, nice feet normally, and I hadn’t had any swelling the entire pregnancy so I thought I was one of the lucky ones to escape that.  Wrong!  About 2 weeks ago they swelled up like the best of ’em and haven’t really gone down since.  It’s uncomfortable.  Not painful, just this tight, uncomfortable feeling.  It’s worse after I’ve been sitting at my desk for 10 hours at work.  What else?  My trips to the bathroom have dramatically increased since the baby dropped at 35 weeks.  That’s no fun considering my desk at work is very far from the bathrooms, and trying to roll myself out of our bed (with no frame) 3-4 times every night is quite the task.  Dan says I speak my own language of grunts and sighs now.  About the only thing that really makes me feel better anymore is a hot bath, except I can’t get in and out of it myself!  Dan has to do all the lifting and sometimes even start the bath and plug the drain because bending over is too much.  Crazy.  I feel like an old person!  I forgot to mention the swelling in my hands in addition to my feet!  I woke up one morning with full on carpal tunnel syndrome.  Turns out, it’s common in pregnancy due to the swelling pushing on that nerve.  Really painful every morning when I wake up.  Have to run my hands under hot water every morning or soak them in the scalding shower so that I can even make a fist!

As far as baby business, we are done with our childbirth education classes.  We did those 2 Saturdays in a row at the hospital across the street where we are going to deliver at.  Didn’t learn much more that we didn’t already know, but it was good to reaffirm that we’re pretty ready as far as that goes and also good to hear what this specific hospital’s policies and procedures are.  We are pretty much done in the nursery.  Mom ended up surprising us with the most beautiful “mobile” for above his crib made of these gorgeous fabric and ribbon jelly fish.  I know she spent so much time, effort, and money on them and we are just thrilled.  They turned out adorable and I really think she could make money selling them on Etsy or something.  I’ll post pics of those in another entry.  We finally did our maternity shoot this past Sunday and so far are really happy with the few preview pics we’ve gotten back.  I will definitely post those as well once we have them back, which I hope is soon!  So glad we did that, we may decide never to have another kid, so having these to look back on of me pregnant will be really nice mementos!  We deep cleaned our house 2 weeks ago, got the air ducts/dryer vents cleaned last Friday, are having the carpets cleaned on Tuesday, finally found a solution for the bassinet mattress pad so he has a place to sleep when he comes home, almost done with my little project I started on the burp cloths (again, I’ll post about that later!), and mom is also starting on the quilt she wanted to make for Finn.  My mom’s the best, have I said that before?  Well, she is.  She’s been such a huge help.  I know she would do this for anyone that asked, that’s how amazing she is.  I went to my mom from the beginning and told her I wanted her help with all these different projects and of course she was happy to do them.  I’m so lucky to have such a talented, giving, creative, and fun mother – she’s already the best grandma to my 2 nieces, and I know she’s going to be equally as good to her new grandson.  I still need to work on baby announcements to fill and send out once he is born… so that’s another thing on the agenda.  Anyways, Crystal is coming on Saturday (I think?) and I really hope Finn decides to come while she’s here.  Baby dropped at 35 weeks, I’m dilating, other things happening, so yeah, things are progressing.  It’s so exciting and overwhelming all at the same time to think that Dan and I are going to be parents sometime in the next 16 days.  I hope sooner!  Today is good for me, Finn… just FYI.  ;)

Baby Shower Celebration

First of all, we have some of the most incredible, thoughtful, giving friends and family in this world.  No offense to anyone else – but they really are.

To all our friends and family – thank you thank you thank you. Endlessly and forever.  For all of you who traveled to come to our shower  regardless of the long drive or traffic and gave up an entire Saturday to be with us.  For all the gifts that were far beyond any expectations.  To Julie who spent weeks planning this celebration for us and hours executing it like magic.  Your dedication to this and attention to every little detail did not go unnoticed.  To my parents who put so much time and thought (not to mention $!) into the food preparations and making sure that it was as huge of a hit as it was.  The entire day was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate Finn’s arrival.  And to all of you who stuck around to clean up the park with us so that Julie and my parents didn’t feel stuck doing it all themselves, as well as all the guys who helped Dan pack our car full of all the wonderful gifts.  You are incredible.  We love you all so much.

I will say, in the midst of us all having such a  fabulous time (and Dan and I sitting so high up on cloud nine) – we did not get hardly any pictures of that day.  That was the only bummer of the entire day.  I remembered about half way through to snap a few pics with my camera, of course that meant there were no pictures of me, though, and the beautiful tablescapes that Julie set up were already well enjoyed (i.e. moved around).  My Aunt Andi took a picture of me posing with my giant belly at some point and I am hoping that I can get her to email it to me so I have at least one picture of me that day!  But alas, none of Dan and I, the happy couple posing to commemorate this truly amazing day.  But that’s okay, we still have many mental pictures of it in our hearts.

So, the details – I’ll do my best to narrate with what few pics I do have:

Theme: Underwater, whales, and the nursery colors of aqua, yellow, and coral.

Decorations: Yellow, aqua, and orange table cloths covered in confetti, vases filled with water, aqua marbles, and real GOLDFISH, vases filled with sand that had pictures of our nursery mounted on sticks stuck in them, our coral tree (from the nursery), whale plates as well as yellow & aqua ones, and little cupcake toppers with the same whale theme as the plates, save-the-dates, and confetti.

Location: Under a 9 table ramada that sat on a lake (with ducks, geese, and fish) at Discovery Park in Gilbert, AZ.

Food: Taco buffet!  We had ground beef and chili verde pork tacos (corn, flour, and crunchy).  All the fixins’ – cheese, authentic Mexican salsa, homemade guacamole, sour cream, cheesy bean dip, tortilla chips, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.  For dessert, instead of traditional cake we ordered cupcakes from my co-worker (Pirate’s Booty, Peanut Butter & Chocolate, & Margarita to go with the Mexican food theme) and Julie and Jason lovingly made and decorated a few dozen delicious sugar cookies.  Drinks there were soda, water, lemonade, and iced tea.  Everything was sooooo good.

Games: Baby Bag Mystery (essential baby items like pacifiers, etc. were put in brown paper bags and numbered and people had to guess what was in each one – Dan and I got to keep the loot!), Clothing Decoration (people decorated onesies and bibs using fabric paint, permanent markers, and puffy paint – Dan really got into this one!), and the Celebrity Match Game (using an online program, each of our faces were combined with a celebrity [or animal!] and people had to guess which one – this was a hard game but so awesome!) – I *believe* prizes were gift cards but I could be wrong as I didn’t participate in the games since my prize was all the loot on the gift table!  hehehe

Guest Participation: On the invitation we asked people to bring a book to start Finn’s library and we were so thrilled with all the books we got and can’t wait to read them to him!

And we got gifts galore.  We were seriously stunned.  Every time I looked around at the whole set up, I wanted to cry.  We had all of our closest family and friends there and they all were just as excited about Finn as we were that they spoiled him rotten.  It was remarkable.  Here I was, afraid nobody was going to even come (shows how much I think of myself, eh?) and I think there were over 30 adults, 1 kid, 3 babies, and 1 dog who showed up!  We have a lot of great, loving, and special people in our lives – we are so lucky.  We did sincerely wish that our out-of-town relatives could have been there, too.  Having my grandparents from Georgia, and all my mom’s sisters’ family (my aunties, uncles, and cousins!) there, Dan’s aunts, uncles, & cousins from Colorado, Chicago, and Texas – and of course my BEST FRIEND FOREVER, Crystal – really would have topped this day and probably sent us over the moon to where we’d still be stuck up there!

Things We Got:

  • books
  • NB-3 month clothes (mittens, shoes, hats, onesies, rompers, & sleepers)
  • blankets
  • bath toys & organizer, wash cloths
  • bottle drying rack, dishwasher basket, bottle brush, pacifier holder
  • diaper bag
  • waterproof crib pads & changing pad liners
  • diaper sprayer
  • swing
  • bouncer
  • toys & stuffed animals
  • diaper cake with all kinds of stuff attached to it (size 2 diapers)
  • activity gym
  • laundry basket
  • boppy cover
  • pack n’ play
Things We Still Need (and are working on!):
  • infant car seat
  • seat protectors for cars
  • baby monitor
  • prefold diapers for burp cloths
  • California Baby shampoo & diaper rash cream + Badger Baby sunscreen
  • wipes warmer
  • feeding set
  • high chair
  • humidifier
  • wireless camera (for nursery)
  • more cloth and disposable diapers
  • pack ‘n play sheets
  • more BOOKS – we want to collect all the classics from this list :)
  • clothes (3-6 month shorts & pants, 9 month winter clothes, and 12 month summer clothes)
The before and after:

It was a happy ending to the very somber week we had losing Dan’s grandmother.

Today I am finishing up sending the rest of our “thank yous” to everybody.  I just love handwritten thank you notes, there’s something about them. I sent out about half throughout the week, filled out a few each night when I got home from work and mailed the next day – now today I just need to finish them up.  And then of course do something special for Julie, Jason, and our parents as an extra special thank you for creating such a special and truly memorable day!


Nursery Tour

Okay, it’s finally (almost) done.  Dan is still working on his last 2 pieces of artwork; one for above the bed (a whale submarine painting done in his style) and one on our art collage wall (the obvious black picture at the bottom of the collage).  We have one more shorter shelf to hang under the long shelf above the dresser, which requires a long drive to Ikea, and then we need to pick up this cute little submarine caddy for diapers to put on said shelf from Target.  We have a brass boat port window with a mirror in the middle of it instead of an actual window that my mom gave us, or as we like to call it, Finn’s submarine lookout mirror that we also need to hang, but Dan’s sorta putting it off because it’s so heavy.  You’ll just have to see it once it’s hung – it’s perfect.  Either way, it’s looking really done so I think it’s finally time for a full tour of Finn’s small submarine/underwater/whale/sherbet colored room!

First the view from the door as you walk in:

The wall (#1) to the left as you walk in:

The crib wall (#2):

The window/closet wall (#3):

The art collage wall (#4):

And the opposite view of the room as you look out, where the entrance is:

Now for some close-ups and more details.  I’ll start with the bed since it’s the focal point of the room.  As I said, it’s looking pretty bare above the bed because Dan’s not quite finished with his art portion.  Oh and we’re still working/thinking about the mobile above the crib.  No ETA on that!

Here’s another picture of the unbelievably perfect matched blanket that my mom found at Goodwill months ago:

And a close up of the crib bedding, just so you can see the detail.  Dan tied these bows:  :)

Now we can move over to wall #1, the dresser/changing table wall.  Another shorter shelf is going to go on the right side under the top shelf for storing the diapers, and the submarine lookout mirror will be on the left above the pad:

Corner shot.  To the right of the dresser (better seen in the above pic) we have our former stainless steel kitchen trash can that we’ve recycled to use as the diaper pail.  In it I have a Planet Wise diaper pail liner which can go right into the wash with all his cloth diapers.  And of course the, again, upcycled coral tree decoration that was from our wedding back in 2008:

Close-up of the tree corner:

Okay let’s see, details of the shelf above the dresser.  These old books were given to us; the Opie Sendak one was given to us by my mom, which was given to her by her mom, and the Huckleberry Finn book (from 1957) was given to us at our shower this past weekend by a very dear family friend, Isabel.  Perfect for Finn!  The picture frame my mom gave us and we plan on putting a picture of Finn in it once he’s born.  Or perhaps one of my belly from the yet-to-be-done maternity shoot:

Close up of the beautiful handmade lamp.  My mom made the shade with Dan’s help and I glued the pom pom and ribbon trim along the bottom (to go with the detail on our curtains) as well as stuffed all those tiny little shells each in almost one by one:

And then of course, our beautiful handmade invitations that our good friend Julie made for our shower, I just had to frame!  And the baby book Dan got me for Christmas, and a picture frame Dan made in 2004 with a pic of him on the beach in San Diego (I guess that’s better seen above, too).  Oh and the wooden train my mom gave us (again):

Here’s a view of the window and curtain valance my mom made.  Fabric is the same as the crib bumper, crib skirt trim, and changing pad trim.  Added a coral ribbon with yellow pom poms at the bottom to incorporate our “polka-dot” accent and coral color, and then my mom made the buttons at the top by hand.  She painted them, drilled holes in them, and threaded them – just because it needed a little bit more oomph!  Love it:

It was hard to get a good view of the valance due to the window being backlit:

Aaaaand the art collage wall.  The grand finale.  Again, the lighting is messed up and I’m not real good with figuring out how to fix it with the camera:

Along with the start of his book library and toys:

Now an explanation for the artwork.  Most of it was “found art”.  For the big piece, we picked out some cool scrapbook papers together that we liked and sat and folded them into little origami whales together one night while we watched a Suns game.  We then toyed with their placement and direction and came up with this:

This was a little thing my mom gave us at the beginning of the pregnancy, “101 Ways to Praise a Child”.  A good thing to remember in ensuring that Finn has a good, positive, self esteem.  We placed it on the aqua/yellow dot fabric that we used around other parts of the room:

I really wanted to have pictures of us when we were babies so that we could compare his little face to ours as babies.  Here’s Dan’s model pose that hung in his hometown Sears & Roebuck in Kenosha, Wisconsin:

And my “ganger” pose from the hospital nursery in Denver, Colorado at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center.  Dan says I couldn’t decide whether I was East or Westside with the gang signs I was throwing up.  Looks like Westside won:

This is a drawing Dan made months ago of a bunch of little whales in the shape of one large one (as you can see).  My mom gave us these huge bearclaw clam shells which her and I drilled holes into so that they could hang by this pretty little aqua ribbon (also from our wedding!):

And now for the super “found art”.  The underwater and alphabet print is scrapbook paper we liked.  We still plan on getting some letters to put over the alphabet with his name.  The seahorse print is wallpaper my mom found months ago which we picked out our favorite part of, framed, and added the little clown fish on the frame just to give it some texture:

And this unfinished shadow box frame will be where we display Finn’s hospital bracelet, along with Dan and I’s – which both of our mothers just so happened to save!  For now, ours are sitting in that pouch protected and I just threw that little picture of Dan in the hospital nursery for now (won’t be there later).  We’ll finish this once we have Finn’s to add to our family hospital bracelet picture:

Wow!  Almost done.  Now, for some “behind the scenes” stuff.  The closet.  I’ve done my best to keep it as organized as possible.  For now.  I know eventually it will be a mess like the rest of our closets, and that’s okay.  Here’s a picture of all of his clothes.  In case it’s not obvious, he has plenty of onesies.  And everything from 0-6 month clothes.  He does however still need 9-12 month clothes of all kinds if anybody still wants to get him some clothes. :) I just had to share how adorable they all look organized in his closet!  I love coming up here and looking at them, no matter how many times I’ve seen them all and memorized every little onesie/outfit – I still could sit here and stare at them for hours dreaming about the little person that is going to be wearing them soon:

And now side-by-side shots of the closet.  Side #1 with our SUPER EXPENSIVE supply of diapers and wipes that I am told will last us maybe a month until he’s big enough to fit his cloth diapers (YIKES), as well as the clothes, remainder of the amazing diaper cake our friends, Christian & Renee got us at our shower, the box of bottles, baby carrier, and diaper bag with wet bags.  And on the bottom is our still boxed pack ‘n play and part of the car seat for Dan’s Jeep:

And on the right is my attempt at organizing at the top.  Mom gave me these bins.  I have all his extra crib sheets, some blankets, extra boppy pillow cases, and junk.  More clothes and at the bottom our Maclaren umbrella stroller (from England!) that my mom found us at Goodwill.  Normally $180, she got it for a steal at like $30!  Love it.  And the boppy pillow and bumbo seat (w/ tray) that I bought used off of Craigslist:

Almost forgot – the other “behind-the-scenes” stuff, which I’ve already posted about, but this post wouldn’t be complete without ’em!  Our closet organizers (for clothes sizing) and our cute little drawer liners:

And there you have it.  For now.  As we finish the last few things I have mentioned above, I’ll be posting more pics.  Hope you enjoyed reading about Finn’s nursery as much as we enjoyed creating it!  Now we just need a little baby to complete it. :)

Stay tuned for updates on the shower last weekend.  I’m still trying to track down like ONE picture of me at the shower.


Nursery Progress: Art Wall, Shelf, & Bassinet

Okay, this will be a short one tonight (*gasp* I know!) as I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking.  Finally got the art/collage wall mostly complete.  Have 3.5 to finish.  I won’t go into details as I will post a complete picture of the wall once all is done.  The wall with the dresser got a shelf, still needs one more, plus a small mirror, and then we need to hang our boat “port” window my mom gave us (again – you’ll see that later).  Dan’s working on his art for above the crib and some other touches that he wants to add.

The latest steal of a deal my mom found at Goodwill!  Bassinet for Finn while he sleeps in our room.  Eddie Bauer wooden bassinet brand new = +$200.  Mom got it for $27 with her senior discount.  Sahweeeeet!  We added the blue ribbon and she’ll be making some mattress pad covers to match it once we get the mattress which is the only thing it was missing.

Shelf with the start of his book library, some knick knacks, our lamp, and I framed our beautiful shower invitations that Julie made because I loved them so much!  Oh and the baby book Dan got me for Christmas to fill out.  And the wooden train mom gave me.

Aaaaand our art wall.  Too tired to go into too much detail about it.  I will make a whole another post on each picture’s special meaning.  And as you can seem 3 pictures aren’t even done.  1 is only halfway done, but you wouldn’t know it.  Yay!  ALMOST COMPLETELY DONE WITH THE ROOM. I can’t believe it.  But am so happy and excited.


I don’t know what else to call what we’re having other than a BABY CELEBRATION!  From the beginning I knew I wouldn’t want a traditional baby shower where it’s just the girls.  I really thought that a pregnancy is something for the couple to enjoy and celebrate together.  I wanted Dan to be a part of everything we did, and I think he’s really glad of that.  He would have been fine if I wanted it to be just a girls thing, but I think he’s really excited about being included and able to celebrate with everybody as well.  We’re pretty non-traditional anyways, hence why we decided to get married in Cancun.

Our very good friends, Julie and Jason, who we went to Europe with and we pretty much do everything with, so generously offered to throw us a “shower”, along with our parents.  We are so thankful and can’t believe that Julie was so willing and happy to do this for us.  And in such a short time!  We decided to have it on the 21st because Dan’s aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins will be visiting then so it worked out perfect.  This is such an amazingly generous gift, considering that she had just had a baby on December 17th and is a brand new mom!  She made the cutest invites (seriously, they blew me away – I may just have to take a few pics to show them off!), sent save-the-dates, and has been doing all the planning.  I just can’t begin to express how grateful we are.  My parents and Jayne are taking care of all the food and prep.  Dan and I are just really, really lucky to have the best friends and family out there!!!  We are so looking forward to this Saturday.

Anyways, so we invited all our close friends and in-state family.  I would have loved to have had our entire family from out-of-state as well be there, but my mom felt really leary about sending invitations and having it look like we were just asking for gifts when we knew they wouldn’t be able to come.  Ugh, but I also really did want them to get an invitation because they were ADORABLE!  When really, if we did send them, it would have been because we wanted them to know that we would have LOVED for them to be there, not about getting a gift at all.  It would have been AWESOME if my mom’s sisters, all our cousins, and my grandparents could have been there to celebrate with us.  Oh and Crystal, too!  We’re just so excited about Finn and want to share that excitement and this celebration with everybody!!!  That’s what this is about for us.

We’re having a BBQ in a park, except it’s not a barbeque.  We’re doing a “taco bar” where people can make their own tacos and that way nobody is stuck being responsible for grilling for the whole event.  My parents will cook/prep everything at home, load it up in crock pots to keep it warm, and wah-lah!  For desserts we’re doing cupcakes.  My good friend/co-worker, KT started a cupcake business and so we’re supporting her new business venture and getting yummy cupcakes out of it, too.  They’re so good, I can’t wait to share them with everybody!

Again – we’re just so excited just to celebrate with anybody and everybody that can come, that’s just how we are!!!  And you know I’ll make sure to update the site with pics from the celebration!

I snapped a couple pictures of the adorable invites – Julie put so much time into them:


Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks!

30 weeks

Well, here we are in the third trimester.  Actually been there a few weeks, but I’m slacking on the updates of course.  10 weeks left!  If that.  I have really slacked on taking pictures as the pregnancy progresses, period.  What I’ve posted on this blog is all I’ve got!  12 weeks, 18ish weeks, 23ish or something weeks, and now 30 weeks.  Oh well.  Let me do a run down of how the pregnancy has gone.

I didn’t really talk about it or tell anybody because I didn’t want it to be a big deal until it had to be, but at my 18 week ultrasound they found that I had a marginal placenta previa.  Which basically meant that the placenta attached itself really close to the cervix, and not at the ideal spot which is  the top of the uterus.  These are fairly common in women, but most of the time as the uterus expands they move up the side and out of the way for baby’s exit.  They can be bad if they don’t move or if they’re right on or touching the cervix because when labor begins it causes a lot of bleeding and can be life threatening for both baby and mother.  They don’t do vaginal deliveries if this is the case, it’s solely C-section.  So… they wanted to check mine again between 26-28 weeks to make sure it moved up and if not, I would have had to go on bed rest until about week 36 and then they would have done a planned C-section.  Luckily, at 26.5 weeks it was in the CLEAR!  It needed to be 2.5cm away from the cervix for a normal delivery, and mine was 3.5cm away.  So, good news.  Still, really weird that ONE CENTIMETER makes that big of a difference, but I’ll take it!  Everything on that front is good.

Another thing that was found recently was that my thyroid was slightly hypo!  Totally bizarre.  I see an endocrinologist for my PCOS already (the same one Dan sees for his hypothyroid) and he does bloodwork every 3 months and I’ve never had a high or low thyroid.  To my knowledge.  So, they repeated bloodwork and then wanted me to see the perinatologist again to assess that.  I saw him 2 weeks after my 26.5 week ultrasound where they did another and he put me on a very low dose of Synthroid, the same medicine Dan takes for his thyroid, only a much, much lower dose.  Mine was barely hypo and the doc said that normally an endocrinologist wouldn’t treat it (it was .79 and should be +.80), but because he’s a perinatologist and is concerned with 2 patients, both mother and baby, he didn’t want to take any chances because a low thyroid can have an affect on baby’s IQ and development.  Sooo… on that med now.  And he said after baby is born I likely wouldn’t need it, but we’ll have to keep checking my blood to determine that.

Okay what else… weight-wise I’m feeling pretty good.  I’ve gained 19.6 pounds.  And weirdly enough, haven’t gained anything since December 21st! I somehow made it out alive during the holidays!  Finn is definitely still gaining though, so they aren’t worried.  He went from 2.2lbs at 26.5 weeks to 3.3lbs at 29 weeks.  I know my weight gain will start picking back up here, probably now, as the books tell me that I will gain 1lb a week until the end.  That puts me right where the doctors wanted me to be at, between 25-35lbs total.  So, we’ll see how that ends up.  I feel pretty good that all my weight gain has been in my belly.  My arms, legs, butt, and chest are still pretty much the same.  My face is hard to tell as it’s always chubby (got those famous chubby cheeks and double chin I’ve had since I was a toddler), it may be noticeable in the face, but not much in my opinion.  And I’m the hardest one on myself!

So, movement.  Yeah, there’s lots of it!  I remember telling my sister-in-law, Mary, around Christmas that I still hadn’t felt hiccups and was curious as to how they felt.  Then about 2 days later they started (which was 2 days before 29 weeks – I think!).  Aaaaaand they pretty much haven’t stopped since then.  He has them alllll the time.  Which is slightly annoying sometimes and cute others, feels like an extra heart is beating in my abdomen.  But I’m told that hiccups are a sign of a healthy baby as they are the start of baby learning how to “practice breathe”, so to relish them.  Dan can feel them, too.  He thinks they’re awesome.  I for the most part do love every movement very much, but some are slightly less ideal than others.  The kicks, punches, and wiggles are totally fine.  It’s the pushing he does like he’s trying to burrow right through my abdomen that are not the cutest.  Just imagine someone using all their force (okay so baby’s force isn’t quite that strong, but it is all HIS force) and pushing on your arm and you’re trying not to let them push you over.  Kind of like that.  Only, he can’t knock me over.  ;)

I’ve also reached the point in the pregnancy where I am tired allll the time.  I get 7-10 hours of sleep on a regular basis, even on weekdays, so I’m definitely not lacking sleep.  I just get so tired halfway or a quarter through my day even.  And I hear it only gets worse going forward.  So, I’m really glad that most of the nursery is done and all the hard work is out of the way.  Well, sort of.  There is that one job I still have to do in March which will top them all.  ;)  I’m tired and I’m finding out quickly I can’t do the things I want to all the time.  Just leaning over the washer to grab clothes and bend over to switch them to the dryer, after about 2 times doing that my abdomen feels like I did about 1000 sit-ups.  It’s not comfortable.  Same for loading and unloading the dishwasher.  Lifting up the toilet lid.  Yeah, pretty much anytime I have to bend my abdomen I’m intensely sore.  Going to need Dan’s help a lot with this in the coming weeks.

Anyways, it’s been a really rough week for our family with losing Dan’s grandma and I think that’s sort of wearing on me.  I was down all this weekend for some reason and irritable and not myself, and that probably has a lot to do with it.  But, we have a lot to look forward to in the next 2 months.  Baby “Shower” Celebration next weekend for all our family and friends (we didn’t go the traditional “girls shower” route – more on that later), child birth and education classes at the beginning through the middle of February, a maternity shoot at some point in February, and then my bestie, Crystal is going to come out during her spring break in March to be with me!  I’m so excited for that.  I hope Finn decides to make an early entrance so she gets to meet him, but if not, I’ll still love seeing her and spending time with her.  I miss her so much and wish she was here for all this pregnancy/baby stuff so bad.  :(

That’s it for now!

Nursery Progress: Okay, NOW We Have Curtains

Don’t worry, you’ll get a better picture of the whole room soon enough.  Today (among other things going on in our lives which will be a whole separate post) I am working on hanging shelves and working on the art/collage wall behind the door.  I finished my big “art” project for it last night.  Well, I guess it was more of a craft since that’s what I’m better at.  But it was something I’d been wanting to finish for quite a while and I can’t wait to share it on here.

Dan is going to start working on his portion of the art in the room.  He’s painting a big picture to put above the crib and then we’ll have to both figure out what else we are going to do there.  It’s all coming down to the finishing touches of the room.  I’m so happy that we started so early in the room because I really got to take my time and make it just the way I wanted it.  I got a lot of comments about how “early” we started and “why?”.  Well, because now here I am almost 8 months pregnant and am getting very tired and worn out so the thought of doing all the work that we finished early on does NOT sound appealing at all.  I think if I were just starting, it just wouldn’t get done.  Then baby would be here and things REALLY wouldn’t get done.  So, I’m so glad that I got the excitement bug early on and feel that I’m finishing at a good time in the pregnancy.  Although I use “finish” relatively since, really, will I ever truly be finished with it?  No, probably not.  Things are going to keep coming to me up until he arrives.  Which is a good thing since that will help satisfy my “nesting” urge that I am TOTALLY in right now.  And Dan.  ;)  He’s been organizing our nightmare of a storage/miscellaneous room upstairs a little bit each week as he wants it to be more organized by the time baby arrives, as well as working on his office/guest room.

I have more updates to come including what is going on in our lives (other than baby’s room) and a new pregnancy pic.  Stay tuned for those later!

Nursery Progress: Lamp, Valance, and Decorations

Wow, it’s almost been a whole month since I updated on the baby’s room.  For anybody reading this that wasn’t reading it for baby updates – well I did pretty good!  But the countdown is back on and we have to get things done!  That includes sharing it on here.

I just have to say before I say anything else, my mom is awesome, and amazing, and I don’t think there’s a thing she can’t do.  She’s done SO unbelievably much for Dan and I since the very beginning of the pregnancy.  She’s been such an integral part of the entire experience and an invaluable resource when it has come to designing the baby’s room and making it come to life.  She has such a good eye and always has great ideas for making anything and everything we do even better.  She is constantly buying things for Finn, helping me with projects, and been really good at being overall excited for and with us as we are near embarking on this new journey.  Thanks, Mom, you are seriously appreciated and the absolute best.

What have we been doing?  Painted over the old blue with this new blue.  May be hard to tell from pictures, and it’s still not *perfect*, but it’s good enough and is staying.  We got the bedding back, as you know, but it needed a little bit more work.  I had a girl make the crib bumper, crib skirt, changing pad, and a sheet (so that we could see how it’s done and make a few more ourselves).  It turned out lovely, as you know again, but after the fact we thought of a few things we could add to the set.  We made 2 more sheets out of some beautiful fabric I purchased.  You will see one sheet on the crib the next time I post a picture of it.  I *attempted* to learn to sew, but pretty much learned that I can’t sew a straight line.  Mom to the rescue!  I’m an excellent elastic puller, though!

The changing pad was originally just the blue dot and yellow minky, but my mom’s keen eye thought we needed some coral so we went to our local ribbon shop and bought this, which she sewed right on.  Turned out awesome, I love it!  Oh and what’s that to the right of the changing pad you ask (Ok, humor me here, I’m really excited.)?

Why, that’s our beautiful lamp which we made by hand!  Mom found a lamp shade at Goodwill.  She whipped up the fabric cover to go over it (lining it with a coral colored fabric on the inside so it really shows through when the lamp is on – see, she’s all about the details!) with her sewing machine (again), and Dan and I helped with feeding the elastic through the top and bottom so we can say we contributed!  She also sewed the brown pom pom trim to the ribbon so that I could then take it home and glue it on the shade.  Mom then found a glass lamp base, again at Goodwill, and I painstakingly filled it with these tiny shells one by one (the hole was very small), glued the ribbon around the base of the lamp (harder than it seems), and wah lah!  We have light!  I love it, love it, love it.

See, Dan snapped a picture of me hard at work.  Stuffed this bad boy with shells til 1am on Sunday night.  Let’s see, what else have we been up to.  Oh yes, the curtain valance as the title of this blog suggests.  Well, you can’t see it yet.  I thought it was done, but turns out it’s not.  Mom had another brilliant idea to add to it and so she came by my house today and confiscated the what I thought was finished curtains and took them back to her house.  I am confident they are going to look “cute as a button” (hint hint?!) and you will love them, too.  Just take my word, we do have curtains, you just can’t see them yet.  Sorry.

What you can see is this – another piece of the nursery that mom found for us at Goodwill.  Our glider.  In perfect shape other than needing a few screws tightened.  It was originally going to go in the nursery for late night feedings, but we decided since Finn will be sleeping in our room for the first few weeks or so (more to come on that later!), and our room is located downstairs, that putting the glider upstairs in the nursery was a little impractical.  It’s not like I am going to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and run upstairs (with baby in arms) to rock in the glider.  Since our living room is right outside the master bedroom, we have it in there for now for those late night feedings and rockings by the tv.  Once Finn is sleeping in his room, we’ll move it up there since at that point I *will* be going up and down the stairs to take care of business and having the glider then will make much more sense.

And here is the start of the decorations.  I know there wasn’t much underwater/whale stuff before… but it’s starting to trickle in.  This neat little coral tree is actually something my mom bought for our wedding to use as a center piece which we were unable to use since we ended up having the wedding in Cancun!  So, I got to re-purpose it in Finn’s nursery.  Dan hung this shelf, mom stuck a few starfish in the tree and we have a few little knick knacks next to it (that are ever changing).

There is plenty more to come.  Still working on the art/collage wall (behind the door which has yet to be shown on this blog), organizing the closet, hanging other shelves, mirrors, and decorations around above the dresser and crib, and the mobile.  But it’s shaping up quite nicely!  Oh and of course filling up the nursery with all the baby gear!

  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Bedding
  • Mattress
  • Repaint the blue on the walls
  • Closet organizers
  • Drawer liners
  • Art wall
  • Lamp & shade
  • Curtains
  • Shelving unit?
  • Baby book – Dan got me one for Christmas!
  • Pocket shelves
  • Mobile
  • Find a glider!
  • Sheets
  • Baby quilt w/ mom
  • Lighting
  • Fan

Up next??? BABY SHOWER.  Can’t believe it – never thought I’d be having one, but I am.  Next weekend.  Well, BABY BBQ is more like it.  Not having a typical shower.  But more on that in another post, this one is all about the nursery, baby!

Finn’s Latest Mugshot

I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of the 3D images of the baby… but that’s pretty much all we get!  They don’t really take any good B&W profile shots of baby’s cute shape.  All our B&W shots are of his heart and my placenta/cervix!  Haha.  Regardless of anyone’s preference, this shot looks so cute.  At our last ultrasound (a week ago) we took my mom and I hope she thought it was a cool experience.  We get another one next week.  Being a high risk pregnancy does have its advantages I guess – lots of ultrasounds.  Which I’m sure are going to cost me lots of moolah!