Friday, March 15, 2013

Crafty Mama (Part 2)

I decided to be crafty today and get started on some of the ideas I have pinned for the nursery on Pinterest. I decided to give 2 projects a go: a yarn wrapped letter and a decorative garland to drape on the wall. Below are the pins that sparked my inspiration!

What a coincidence that the pin happened to use the name Emma!

I started with the yarn letter. I decided I didn't want to do Emma's full name in the letters because I'm already planning on buying some super cute letters from Etsy to hang on the wall over the crib. So I decided to do one large "E" to have as a decorative accent in the room. Once I found the E I picked up some light pink yarn, a couple fabric flowers and got my hot glue gun ready...

This project was pretty simple but definitely tedious and time consuming. It also took a little bit of thinking ahead of time to make sure that everything would be wrapped and end up looking how I wanted it to. I decided that I wanted the yarn to be going vertically from top to bottom when all was said and done, so first I wrapped it horizontally to cover all the inside/end parts. To get started I simply glued the yarn to the top back of the letter (the front should be the prettiest part) and away I went. To secure the yarn at the end I just glued it (again, on the back).

Once I was done wrapping the yarn horizontally, I began wrapping the entire letter again, only vertically. This covered the top parts that weren't wrapped before but also doubled the yarn for the entire front of the letter, giving it a thicker look and hiding the brown cardboard completely. Once I was finished I glued a few fabric flowers on to add a little pizazz and voila!!

In this pic the yarn looks a lot more white then it really is...

For the next project, I wasn't entirely sure way I was going to do. I just knew that I like the idea of a cute garland to hang on the wall somewhere in the nursery. The pin shows how you can use paint sample strips and a small shaped paper puncher to create an easy and cheap garland. But when I was browsing Michaels I came across some little paper pennants and suddenly a vision came to me. I bought three different paper punchers: an elephant, an owl, and a lady bug. I then bought a package of scrapbook paper in pretty pink patterns and away I went.

Once I punched out all the shapes I just glued them onto each pennant and then strung them together using the pink yarn that I bought for the previous project. It was so simple but so cute!

Note, the walls aren't painted yet and this isn't how it will be in the actual nursery. I just put it up for a pic :) 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Babymoon and So Much More!

Wow, I have so much to tell you guys! 

Probably the most exciting news is that Mike and I have booked our babymoon!!! This was a big decision for us (who am I kidding, it was a no brainer for me but it took some time to work on Mike). He thinks that I truly believe money grows on trees or that we are of the same status as celebrities or something. But I honestly believe that this is something we should do and it will be good for our relationship. We clearly planned for this pregnancy so we are obviously ready and aware of all the changes that are coming for our life. But I think it's still important to have a life outside of the baby, after all once the kids leave the nest (I know that's way down the road but still) we will be left with each other so it's really important to me that Mike and I continue to work and develop our love and relationship with each other. With that said, I explained to Mike that this is literally the last time ever in our life that we can take a vacation just the two of us. Even if we are able to leave the kids with grandparents for vacations later on I'm sure they will still be in the back of our mind. I want to go away with Mike and really be able to relax with no worries or concerns and just enjoy this special time before our child is born and our life changes forever. Needless to say I finally got my way (as I usually do) and we began looking into where we wanted to go. My requirements were fairly simple: nice pool, great beach, and a good amount of food available since that's about all I can indulge in these days. We decided on Mexico, Playa Del Carmen to be exact. The resort we are staying at is Occidental Grand Ixcaret. It has some pretty amazing looking pools and beaches for me, plus it is all-inclusive so Mike can have plenty to drink! It's built into the surrounding jungle so I guess it's pretty common to see Spider Monkeys swinging around in the nearby trees, and I've read that there is a nearby beach that frequently has sea turtles. I'm so excited I can't even put it into words. We are going to be leaving in just under a month and that can't come soon enough!


Mike and I are also making progress with the nursery. The crib bedding came yesterday (minus the skirt which is back ordered until April) and it looks so cute!! Even Mike said he's glad we went with the pattern I picked out. And today Mike scraped all the nasty popcorn off the ceiling. Thankfully it tested negative for asbestos but it still made a huge mess that I'm sure I will be sweeping/dusting/mopping for days as particles settle but it's something we've been wanting to do and it looks so much better. The next step is to paint. We previously painted the walls grey but it didn't turn out quite as I had imagined it. When I was browsing nursery galleries on I found a room with wall colors that were exactly what I was looking for and it listed the exact brand and name so I went down to Home Depot and bought a gallon of each. The main walls will be Glidden's Knitting Needles and the crib wall is going to be a 50/50 mix of ICI Paint's Almost Pink and ICI Paint's Cradle Pink (Glidden has bought ICI Paint and while they don't have the colors displayed they are in the computer system so the men at Home Depot were able to make it for me). I painted a square of each color on the wall and they look PERFECT! I can't wait to see how it turns out and will take some pics once it's done.

I still need to get the skirt and lower the mattress a little so you can see more of the outside bumper pattern
These are the exact colors I bought

Also, to update you on my shopping addiction I thought I'd let you all know that I have stuck to my promise and not bought anymore clothes for Emma. I have, however, received quite a bit of clothes as gifts from my sister-in-law and mother-in-law in the last week!!

I'm seriously in love with the Osh Kosh dress!

Is Emma going to be a princess or what?!?!

And finally, I had my 22 week OB appointment today and all is well. The nurse said my BP was normal. It seems that every other appointment I've had it's been slightly elevated. It's not to the point where they are worried but I guess they are keeping their eye on it. Anyways, this appointment it was good so perhaps that means next time it will be high again. The nurse also found the heartbeat on the doppler, as usual. I must say I was anxious for her to find it because I wasn't really feeling much movement today compared to most days but the nurse said she could tell from all the static noises that the baby was moving a lot. I guess it's not uncommon at this point to not be able to feel all the movement still. After that Dr. Sugihara came in and said that she had reviewed the images from my anatomy scan and everything looked normal (yay me!). She measured my belly with a tape measure for the first time and said it's right on track. Apparently my uterus is a couple inches above my belly button at this point. I also was given lab work for the glucose tolerance test. I've been dreading drinking this nasty sweet drink but I guess I have to do it. Dr. Sugihara said she doesn't think I'll end up with gestational diabetes as I haven't been showing any of the symptoms and my urine never has any sugar in it. But as I've mentioned before my mom had it for one of her pregnancies and so did one of my sisters... 

The only less then ideal news that I got (and even I'll admit it's not that big of a deal) is that my prenatal blood work revealed I am RH negative. To be honest I had no clue what that meant. I think I can vaguely recall hearing pregnant women talk about if they were RH negative or RH positive but I didn't know what the difference was or what the implications of it was. So for those of you who also don't know, here is an education. Most people are RH positive, 85% to be specific. There really isn't any negative side effects to being RH negative accept when it comes to pregnancy. The problem arises if the mother is RH negative while the baby is RH positive. In my case, Mike is RH positive so we have a 50/50 chance that Emma will be positive too. An RH negative mother carrying an RH positive baby can develop antibodies against her baby's red blood cells. In future pregnancies, these antibodies can cross through the placenta and destroy the red blood cells of the developing fetus. In the old days, this often resulted in fetal death or necessary blood transfusions immediately after birth. Fortunately, there is a shot that is given to RH negative women during the 28th week of pregnancy and then is given again within 72 hours of giving birth that decreases the odds of developing antibodies to about 2 in 1000. My doctor said I really shouldn't be worried about it so I guess I won't worry. It just means another wonderful shot in my booty!

The best news of all though is that after my next appointment in 5 weeks I will be going every 2 weeks instead of once a month!! Woohoo for progress. I'm still blown away to be where I am today with this precious baby inside me :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Looking Back

First off, can I just say that you guys are getting a special treat with two days of postings in a row!! Lol, as if my posts are that interesting :)

Anyways, I don't have much interesting to say today as far as the baby goes. But I wanted to share something because it is blog related. Last night for some reason I started reading over my blog going back to the night before our final FET transfer. I couldn't believe how emotional I got reading over all those posts. It was only 21 weeks ago that everything happened but in some ways it feels like that was years ago. But it also seems crazy to think that I was going through that just 21 weeks ago. Like I said, it was very emotional and as I read each and every post I felt like I was reliving all those emotions. I remember how scared I was that it wasn't going to work, and agonizing over every little twinge I felt. I also felt so much love for Mike as I read all the little things he would say to reassure me throughout the whole process. And of course, the most bittersweet memory was the day we found out I was actually pregnant! But probably the most touching thing for me was being able to share some of those moments with Mike. I was reading him a bit from the post the day we found out I was pregnant about how nervous I was while waiting to see the HPT results. He looked at me with such a serious face and told me what I already knew but he had never actually said out loud. He told me that the day we found out our first FET didn't work was one of the worst days of his life. When I think back to that horrible phone call I remember looking at him while I was still on the phone with the nurse and I could see the total devastation in his eyes. But quickly that look disappeared and he jumped into his alpha male mode and was all about taking care of me and my devastation. I always knew that he must have been crushed too but we just never spoke about it. To hear him tell me how badly he hurt that day broke my heart and it was like I was reliving that day all over again. But then he told me the sweetest thing. He said that he was crushed not because the FET didn't work because he knew we would eventually get pregnant. He said that what hurt him was seeing how devastated I was. He said that he just watched me sob and sob and would have done anything to take my pain away. How did I get so lucky to marry this amazing man who loves me so much? Over all, it was such a surreal thing to be able to read everything back and realize how truly blessed we are to be where we're at right now. 

I guess the point I am taking forever to get to was that I realized how cathartic it has been for me to blog and get my emotions out. I don't know that I would have made it to this point without becoming a complete nut job if I didn't have a way to vent. So thank you to everyone out there who has followed and still follows my journey. Thank you for all your words of encouragement. It means more then you will ever know!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Night, Sleep Tight

Mike and his dad put together Emma's crib this past weekend. It's crazy how real everything feels when I look at that crib (as if feeling her kick and seeing my belly grow doesn't make it real enough). I keep staring at the crib imagining our sweet baby girl sleeping in it, or picturing me bending over it to say good morning to her ever day. But the absolute best part about having the crib set up is that it seems to have really excited Mike. After putting it together he told me that we could order the crib bedding too. When I asked what prompted him to want to order the bedding since he usually avoids spending money for as long as possible, he told me that seeing the crib made him more excited to get everything put together! So we ordered Emma's crib bedding yesterday and I couldn't be more excited for it to all get here. 

A while back, before we even knew if this little baby was a girl, I posted about some of the ideas I was having for a girl nursery. I mentioned that I was IN LOVE with Carousel Designs' Pink and Gray Chevron Design. What I love about it is that it's soft and clearly girly without screaming "I'm a nursery pattern". The only problem was that it wasn't cheap by any means! Well, as much as I have tried to find a cheaper alternative that I equally loved, I just couldn't find anything that spoke to me the same way so I had to get creative. One night I was staring at my crib and realized that the crib skirt won't be as visible as it is in the picture below because my crib has thicker slats and a thicker bottom panel. It just so happens that the crib skirt is the most expensive piece in the bedding collection ($167 to be precise), so I started looking for alternative crib skirts that would still match the rest of the bedding. As I browsed  other crib skirts on every baby bedding web site I quickly realized that one of the main things I loved about this crib skirt, besides for the pattern of course, was that it was the 3 tiered ruffled style instead of the more common flat box pleat style. I finally found a crib skirt from Pottery Barn Kids that is the same style but was all white and only a fraction of the price! I think it will still look great with everything else but be more practical for our checkbook.

I also bought coordinating fabric today from Joanne Fabrics to make a matching blanket. I decided not to order the matching quilt because it's just not practical since the baby won't actually be using it for quite a long time. I figure that by making a soft blanket, i can save money and have a cute blanket to bundle Emma up in throughout the day.

And lastly, I just want to address the fact that I am buying bumpers because I know it's a hot topic that some people feel strongly about due to SIDS. Mike and I discussed in depth the pros and cons to them and both came to a decision we are comfortable with. We also have decided to use the Snuza along with our baby monitor. It's an added precaution that clips onto the baby's diaper and alerts you if your baby's movements/breathing become weak or drop to less than 8 movements per minute. If no movement is detected for 15 seconds it vibrates gently which often rouses the baby. If no further movement is detected for another 5 seconds, it will alert you. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I am in no way saying the use of bumpers are right or wrong and I certainly don't want to start a debate. I think all parents want is to do what they feel is best for their baby and they make the best decision they can. 

I love love love the pink and gray chevron pattern on the bumper!!

I also love that the inside of the bumper is a different pattern but still coordinates!

The sheet pattern is hard to see in the full picture. It's also the fabric used on the ruffles/ties of the bumper.

Pottery Barn Kids Maya Crib Skirt
My blanket will look exactly like this but instead of the chevron pattern I bought the white/gray polka dot fabric

Saturday, March 2, 2013

20 Weeks

It's official, I have a shopping problem! I am finding it impossible to stop buying clothes for Emma, they are all just too cute! But even I am starting to realize that our dresser drawers are already overflowing with clothes and we are barely halfway through the pregnancy. So I have made a promise to Mike that I won't buy anymore clothes until after my baby shower so I can see what I still need. BUT if people want to buy clothes for Emma, who am I to refuse :)

Some of the gifts I've recently gotten, SO CUTE!!

I also got 2 amazing deals this week: my bathtub and bouncer! First, I am so excited about this bathtub. I was at Buy Buy Baby with my mom and saw a 4Moms brand bathtub that looked pretty cool. Don't worry, I'm not about to tell you it's a baby bathtub with jets and a bunch of other totally unpractical features! Basically, this is a basic looking baby tub that sits on top of your kitchen sink and uses a constant flow of warm water from the faucet so that the section the baby is in is constantly using clean water, while the dirty water is constantly flushing out. It also has a digital thermometer in it that the water runs over before getting to the baby to tell you if it's too hot, too cold etc... Anyways, it was marked at $49.99. That night I was looking online to learn more about it and saw that it typically retails for $90. I told my mom the next day that we must have misread it or it had to have been mismarked. She insisted we go back and look at it again, and lo and behold it was marked on sale for $49.99. My mom surprised me and bought it for me!! As soon as I got home I opened it up and played around with it. I am seriously in love with this tub and can't wait to wash Emma in it!

My second amazing find of the week is my bouncer. Mike and I registered for one the Comfort and Harmony by Bright Starts Cradling Bouncer. It's a basic bouncer, nothing fancy, but it retails for $60. Also, we weren't in love with the pattern we picked but it was the best of the ones they had. A couple days ago I was out with my mom and sister at Burlington Coat Factory and we were looking at their Baby Depot department. My mom spotted a bouncer that they were selling for $25 so I went over to look at it and it was the exact same brand of bouncer as the one we had registered for AND it was a way cuter pattern!! I decided to go home and tell Mike first since I promised to stop shopping but he agreed that it was such an amazing deal we had to get it. So I went back the next day to get it. I had to go a little crazy on the lady at the register because she tried to tell me it was a mistake and wasn't actually on sale. Now I understand that things sometimes get mismarked or put on the wrong shelf, but this was a full on sign they had hanging next to them with the full name of the bouncer and a big X through the original price with a new price of $25. Umm, that's not a misunderstanding. If it's not supposed to be on sale then maybe you need to train your employees how to do their job better. Long story short I got the bouncer for $25, woohoo! Again, I immediately came home and put it together because I was so excited to see it. It's so cute and I can just picture Emma laying in!

Alright, belly time. Here is my 20 week bump pic and update.

How Far Along: 20w6d
Total Weight Gain: +8 pounds!! I guess the weight is finally packing on :)
Maternity Clothes: Still in need of new bras!
Stretch Marks: Same
Sleep: Pretty much the same. It's getting more difficult to get up for pee runs without having to roll up, this belly is getting in my way!
Best Moment This Week: Knowing I'm half baked and that if I just make it through another 20 weeks I'll be holding Emma in my arms!
Miss Anything: I would kill someone for an Iced Caramel Macchiato right now. Seriously, don't come near me with coffee or I may kill you!
Movement: Still waiting for more consistent movement
Food Cravings: Jelly Belly's!!! I devoured an entire bag yesterday :)
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: Nope
Gender: Sweet baby girl - Emma Mae Mitchell
Labor Signs: Nope, getting closer to VDay though :)
Symptoms: Pretty much feeling the same this week
Belly Button In or Out: In
Wedding Rings On or Off: On
Happy or Moody Most of the Time: Over the moon <3
Looking Forward To: Building the crib today!!

19 Weeks

How Far Along: 19w3d
Total Weight Gain: I'm fluctuating between +5/6 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Yup. I think it's time to buy some new bras also (again!). I can't believe how much the ladies are growing!!
Stretch Marks: The same as before
Sleep: Not too bad lately since I've been really using the Snoogle all night long. I am starting to wake up more frequently again to go pee but I guess that just comes with the territory when pregnant. At least I'm usually able to fall back to sleep pretty quickly.
Best Moment This Week: Feeling positive that I am feeling movement now. 
Miss Anything: Sangria!! Being able to bend over easily to pull off my shoes :(
Movement: It's still not anything crazy hard like kicks, just flutters. And it's not consistent or even daily at this point but it's pretty cool to feel.
Food Cravings: Still loving Root Beer. I'm not sure that I'm having any strong cravings but my "go-to" food choices are definitely different now. For example, I used to ALWAYS choose fettucini alfredo or bowtie pasta with a garlic cream sauce if we were at an Italian restaurant but lately I'd prefer angel hair with arrabiata or vodka sauce. Also, I generally love steak but have instead been craving chicken more frequently. 
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: Nope
Gender: Sweet baby girl - Emma Mae Mitchell
Labor Signs: Nope
Symptoms: I'm starting to get some heart burn at night and it usually coincides with acid reflux. Tums are quickly becoming my new best friend.
Belly Button In or Out: In
Wedding Rings On or Off: On but some days it feels a little tight
Happy or Moody Most of the Time: Beyond Happy for the most part.
Looking Forward To: Feeling kicks and getting the crib built!

18 Weeks

Just a little update on me before I get to my weekly bump update... 

I had another doctor's appointment since my last post and I'm happy to report everything is going as planned. Mike got to hear Emma's heart beat on the Doppler for the first time! And best of all, I was surprised that I got to have my level 2 anatomy scan the following day. If you don't know what that is, it's an ultrasound typically given around 18-22 weeks to a) determine gender and b) look in depth at how the baby is developing to determine if there are any abnormalities. The tech confirmed it's a girl (phew!) and said everything looked perfectly normal. It was pretty cool getting to see all the organs and all her measurements...

Also, Mike and I decided to take a little weekend getaway this past weekend since Mike had all three days off. We went down to San Diego and mainly hung out by the pool all day and walked around the town at night, but it was SO what we needed! It's really starting to sink in that we are nearing the end of just me and Mike time, soon Emma will be in the mix. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to relish every moment I get alone with Mike before Emma arrives. It was great to be away, not have any stress, and just be together. I was stressing out about wearing a swim suit, but I eventually got over it. I haven't gone swimming since I became pregnant and my old swim suit had seen better days so I needed to get a new suit. I've always been a bikini girl so I wasn't loving all the tankinis and one pieces, they made me feel frumpy and fat. I honestly felt like crying in the dressing room! But Mike helped convince me that I looked amazing and had nothing to worry about so I ended up buying a cute maternity one piece and enjoyed my time by the pool. I will, however, be on the lookout for a couple other swim suits I can wear this summer that I love so that I can feel super confident!

While in San Diego Mike let me eat like a queen! I shouldn't say that since Mike pretty much gives in to all my cravings anyways, but he definitely indulged me this weekend. I had the best food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the best part of all, I had amazing desserts each night! I read about a place called Chocolat that had amazing reviews for desserts so we went there after dinner the first night and had a Chocolate Cherry Souffle that was to die for! My mouth is seriously watering just thinking about it. And then the next night we stopped at Ghiradelli's and had the worlds largest/delicious ice cream sundae and a huge cup of Salted Carmel Hot Cocoa! Have I told you how much I love my husband?!?!

Anyways, we're back home now and it's back to the old routine. I'm currently obsessed with planning Emma's nursery. I have so many ideas but I just need to put them all together. I'll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, here is my 18 week bump.

How Far Along: 18w5d
Total Weight Gain: Still hanging in at +4 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Yup, lots of them!
Stretch Marks: Same
Sleep: Flipping from side to side is getting increasingly difficult. Last night I must have moved too suddenly and felt a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. Also, Emma is definitely not a fan of me laying on my belly for even a few minutes!
Best Moment This Week: Having my A/S and confirming it's a girl!
Miss Anything: My balance, Mike walks behind me now when I go up stairs because I frequently start to lean to one side and he's afraid I'm going to fall.
Movement: I think I might have felt that first flutter but hoping to feel more. It felt like 3 quick twitches in my lower belly. I laid there forever afterwards hoping to feel it again but nothing happened.
Food Cravings: Root Beer has officially replaced my Orange Soda obsession.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: Nope.
Gender: Sweet baby girl - Emma Mae Mitchell
Labor Signs: Nope.
Symptoms: Extreme fatigue by the end of the day, back pain, starting to really feel some round ligament pain as well. In general my belly feels pretty full.
Belly Button In or Out: Still in, yay!
Wedding Rings On or Off: On
Happy or Moody Most of the Time: Very happy and really starting to feel like this is real. I look down at my belly all the time and talk to her. I can't wait to meet this little girl!
Looking Forward To: Feeling consistent movement.