Saturday, August 31, 2013

For the Nursery: It's (mostly) Finished!

I've only been talking about our projects for the nursery since April...but here is the final product! This isn't going to be super picture heavy because it's really difficult to get pictures of a small room with poor lighting. I'm showing you the main elements though, for sure!

We picked the cribs very carefully. I had very specific requirements: the crib had to be level all the way around (do you know how hard it is to find one that doesn't have a weird bump on the back or something) because I knew this is how we would need to put the cribs in order to get two in the room. The cribs had to be standard size but have a smaller overall footprint than some of the other cribs on the market. The color needed to be a dark color. They needed to be sturdy enough to make it through more than one baby and needed to be gender neutral for the same reason. Lastly, they had to be somewhat modern looking but be under 400 dollars. It was actually kind of difficult to come up with these cribs! They're the Childcraft London Euro crib. So far I really like them. They are not as tall as many cribs, so I do have to bend a bit to put a baby in and out, but I thought I would rather deal with that than some of the other complaints I would have with another crib. They seem to be sturdy and they don't take up as much space as many other cribs. Overall, I'm happy with them so far.

As for mattresses, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go. There are so many opinions and advice out there for getting a crib mattress. We went with Simmons Kids Slumber Time Naturally mattresses. It's made out of soy and does not contain many of the gross chemicals that are in other crib mattresses. It isn't organic, but it was at a good price point and I was less wary of what it is made out of.  I also liked the feature that one side is for baby and you can flip it over for a toddler bed (the difference is in the firmness).

The bedding was kept simple on purpose: just a sheet and crib skirt. This is due to safety reasons. And lets be honest-- while a crib set is cute it's ridiculously over priced! The current recommendations for safe sleeping pretty much say don't bother with bumpers or blankets in the cribs. I have three sets of sheets. The grey and white chevrons in the pictures, some grey and white polka dots, and just some plain pink ones. I like them all. I will say the patterned ones are from Target and we did have a bit of an issue with one set fitting the mattress and the other set not fitting at all. The pink ones are from Babies R Us and they are much softer than the other two. The blankets you see in the pictures were hand made by my great-Aunt Sandy (though I just call her Aunt Sandy). They're so wonderful and have matching cardigans, booties, and hats. They're on the cribs for decoration right now, but we won't be covering the babies to sleep until they're much older.

Brad worked really hard painting the room. I love how it turned out. The stripes are only on this wall. The base color is a grey and the stripes are different shades of pink. The bold stripe is the same color as the dresser to kind of tie everything together. I went with this color scheme because I wanted something modern, girly but not all bubble gum pink, and something fun. Thanks to pinterest this is what I decided on. Trust me though...there was much debate and discussion. ;) According to Brad the most difficult part of painting the stripes was measuring and taping, but even that wasn't too bad. He used the Frog tape and it was superior to regular blue painter's tape. Don't be intimidated by painting stripes!

This is the wall opposite of the cribs. Since we have two babies and not a HUGE room, we decided to forgo a dedicated changing table. Instead, we made the dresser dual purpose and put the changing pad on top of it with a diaper basket. The little owl you see on the far right is an LED nightlight and the baby monitor is behind it. In the corner by the window (which I don't have a picture of because I forgot...oops!) is the swing. It will eventually make its way downstairs and a glider will take up residence there. We don't have the glider yet, but we will after my parents come down to see the babies.  The curtains (yes! we have curtains! It's embarrassing but we've lived in this place for a year and just now got curtains for the living areas down stairs) are a simple dark brown. They do darken the room up a bit, but that's what I wanted to encourage good nappers and good night time sleepers.

So there you have it! More words than pictures but I hope you enjoyed the Grand Tour of the nursery!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Style File: 33 Weeks

This week was hard for the self confidence. I don't know that my belly has gotten much bigger this week, but I just feel so much like a hippo these days. The swelling in my feet and hands has set in and has pretty much stayed there no matter how much elevating I do, how much water I drink, or how much getting up I do throughout the day. My hands go numb, especially at night, thanks to the swelling induced carpel tunnel. This is just the stuff people don't really tell you about pregnancy. I had no idea there was such a thing as "pregnancy induced carpel tunnel". Oh, and just as a note, nothing is amiss with my BP or anything, so the swelling is just...swelling. As uncomfortable and unsightly as it is, I think it's here to stay. In fact, what you don't see in my photos today is that I'm barefoot-- because my shoes aren't even comfortable to wear!

 I'll just be honest and say that I almost didn't even post my pictures today because I was unhappy with how I felt/looked in them. But I decided I'm my own worst critic and that it's important to document my bump (at least it is to me). I'm trying not to sound too complainy, but also wanted to keep it real. Plus, I have some new things to wear and a new dress is always worth posting. :)

I had to order a few more things from Old Navy this week.  I was down to zero pants that I could wear to work, so I needed to do something especially since the dress code is now being enforced more. I'm not totally sold on the pants, I might return them and get something from the new Motherhood store that just opened up fairly close to where I live. I was in there earlier this week and found some pants I think I liked better than the old navy pants, and for the same price. I have to think about it more though. :) To go with the pants I ordered a couple of shirts and this dress to kind of stretch my wardrobe a bit more. I also got some leggings that are definitely for lounging about, and I think they'll work well for immediately postpartum when I'm going to want to be comfy. I'm hoping this is the last round of stuff I need to buy... I only have four more weeks until full term!

Can we talk about this awesome necklace for a minute? Brad got this for my birthday! I was super excited. I love big statement necklaces and I've been wanting to get one like this for a very long time. I think they're lots of fun! I had a pretty low key birthday celebration, which is a-ok with me. See above about swelling in my feet meant the best way to celebrate was to come home to dinner already cooked, put my feet up, watch some Dr. Who and eat some cheesecake. Brad also got me two movies: the Lorax and Despicable Me. I told him I wanted them to watch when I'm tied to the couch nursing babies all of the time. Those movies make me laugh a lot, so maybe they're not the best nursing movies... ;) He did well, that's for sure!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Style File: 32 Weeks... plus hospital tour and hospital bag

This week was the start of the fall term at work (if you don't know, I work at a private University). What that means is that "summer casual" dress code expired. Bummer. Back to closed toed shoes and a bit fancier of a wardrobe...except... I don't have a whole lot of "fancy" at the moment. I don't really plan on buying a whole lot either. I mean, why bother? I'm 32 weeks. 5 weeks until full term. If I go to 40 weeks (ha!) I only have 8 weeks left. Not enough time to warrant spending a bunch of money on a brand new work wardrobe. In my opinion. Hopefully they'll give me a little grace. ;) Don't mind the wrinkles in this shirt. Bummer that this shirt wrinkles like that when I sit down, but I overlook it because it's so darn comfortable. And it's long so it covers the belly. Not all shirts do that these days.

I had a big scan on Tuesday to check on the babies.  All appears well with them! They're right on target for their measurements with an estimated weight of around 4lbs each. Baby B is a smidge bigger than baby A, but that's all with a grain of salt since ultrasound estimations can be wrong by up to 10% either way. So... I guess we'll just have to see when they get here! Also, both babies are currently vertex! yay! My blood pressure is holding steady well within the normal range, so still no issues with that-- which I am thankful for. BP issues in late pregnancy can get iffy.

This week we also went on our hospital tour. Let me just say, I am so glad I picked the hospital I did. They are very very pro-family meaning it's standard practice for them to allow for skin-to-skin contact for an hour or 2 after birth (for both mom and dad), they pretty regularly delay cord clamping, they allow you to move around as much as you want during labor and totally recognize being flat on your back is not actually that helpful, the rooms are somewhat hotel isn, they want to keep moms and babies together as much as possible-- so the nursery is really only for sick babies or if you send them. So much of my birth plan that I'm making can be cut out after discovering that much of what I want is pretty much standard practice there.

I'm also glad we went because now we have the lay of the land and know what to do and where to go when I go into labor. Of course, I doubt I'll be too worried about that but it is nice to know that I have a pretty good idea of where to go when the time comes. Nothing worse, in my mind, than being in labor and trying to get to L and D by wandering about until you find it.

One thing I do need to do is organize and pack my hospital bag. We want the babies to stay in for as long as possible, but really, once 34 weeks hit they could come at any time. What things did you find were absolutely necessary and things you wished you hadn't brought? Here's my list so far:

For Me:
ID and Insurance Card
Changes of comfy clothes-- mostly PJs to be honest. That's how I'm comfortable and let's face it, post partum recovery is not a beauty pageant.
Throw away undies- well, yeah, because they can get gross
Throw away comfortable dress/cover up of some kind so I don't have my butt hanging out of the hospital gown (this wouldn't be a huge concern of mine, except they have to wheel me down the hall to the OR and I would be more secure knowing that my butt is covered by something other than a thin sheet)
Extra throw-away pillows because the hospital pillow is lame
Socks for walking around-- slippers aren't my thing. I would honestly rather be barefoot but I recognize that the hospital floor is probably too nasty to walk around in barefeet.
Flip Flops for in the shower or just walking around if I don't want to bother with the socks
Nursing bras/tanks (just a couple)
Comfort tools suggested in my birth class (comb, chapstick, birth ball, etc)
Snacks for after delivery
Going home outfit that is comfortable and cute
Cell phone + Charger

For Brad:
Pillow for sleeping on. The rooms have a pull out futon thing to sleep on, so that's handy.
Gum/Breath Mints-- I don't need coffee breath breathed on me as he's getting in my face to tell me that I can do this
Blanket for sleeping
CashMonies to buy me tasty food because the hospital food is going to be gross. And for himself too because he will be hungry.
Cell Phone + Charger
Camera + Charger. It's actually my camera but I put it here because I don't want to be responsible for it ;)
iPad + Charger 

For Babies:
Car seats
Cute swaddle blankets for pictures because the hospital ones are ugly. Plus they can be used to cover the carseats if it's cool but still over 60 degrees
Going home outfits
Fuzzy blanket to cover carseat if it's cold. It could go either way in September or October. Yay VA Beach weather!
uhh...that's about all I was planning on packing for them. The hospital has diapers, little shirts for them to wear, and blankets to use.

What do you experienced momma's think? Too much? what should I leave? What should I add?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

For the Nursery: DIY Owl Canvases

I knew I wanted to put something up on the wall above the dresser to add interest. The dresser is on the wall opposite our accent wall, so it looked a little boring in comparison. I had these vinyl wall decals, but I didn't want to commit to putting them on the wall and then not liking them. So I decided to put them on canvases so they're more portable and were jazzed up a little with the colored canvases. Forgive the pictures, they're off my phone. Sometimes I just don't want to get out and mess with my big camera. Sorry about that.

Basically, all I did was paint 12 X 12 canvases (the cheapest Michael's had to offer) with Martha Stewart acrylic paint. I believe I did three coats of this light pink color. I let them dry completely before attempting to put on the owls. The first owl I did (which is the one furthest to the right) was a bit of a learning process. First, the directions on the vinyl decal were not as clear as they could have been. Once I figured that out, I discovered that hey! canvas stretches! So I had to put a book under the canvas to get the owl to properly affix. There were spots where the canvas was too stretched out from me rubbing the vinyl decal on it that the decal didn't stick. Brad super glued those spots down ;). The second and third owl went much smoother (more smoothly?). The trick is to make sure the canvas has something hard under it so it doesn't stretch out.

 So you can get the full effect. :) It won't be quite as plain when everything is ready to go. The changing station will be on top of the dresser so there will be a basket and changing pad on top of the dresser. I'm still washing all of that so it wasn't ready to go for this picture. Soon though! I'm happy to report that we're really just down to details in the babies' room!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Style File: 31 Weeks

The past couple of days it's been cooler. The weather is teasing us with a little bit of Fall. So if it feels a little bit like Fall I'm going to dress a little bit like Fall!

 I just scored this dress from target for 6 dollars. What what! It was the deal of the day for sure. I like the color. In person it isn't quite as pink, I promise. I also like how long the dress is. I've noticed many of the other maternity dresses I've bought accomodate the belly but are too short to be comfortable at work. I don't think it's a matter of the dress losing length (though I suppose it's possible since the belly is getting bigger!). I think it's more of an issue of me not being able to sit quite as modestly as I used to.

I've decided the third trimester is actually the return of the first. I haven't been quite as sick, though some upset stomach feelings have returned. It's more all of a sudden I can't do anything without feeling exhausted. I have about two to three good hours a day where I feel energetic and almost normal. Then I'm very tired. Haha. Oh well! Only six more weeks to go until I'm Full term. That means the babies could really come in the next 3-8 weeks. I love how that's kind of a big range, haha, but that's just how it goes. You can't plan for these things! I think I'll make it to 37 weeks. 

 Ok, so maybe the denim jacket was a bit too fallish ;).

We've ordered most of the remaining big stuff. I have a few Target gift cards to spend, but other than that I think I'm going to hold off on buying all the littler things I know I'm going to need until after the babies get here. I kind of want to feel out what I actually need and what I don't actually need. If you saw on instagram we got our stroller and one car seat (the other one is in process and will hopefully be acquired soon!). We also received the cribs, the pack and play is also in process, we have a swing. The things I would still like to get before the babies get here are a bouncer seat(s), chair of some kind for their room, a few more little outfits and plain white onesies, cloth diapers (I have a little less than half of what I need), and maybe a few more disposable diapers until we transition into full time cloth.

What things did you find absolutely necessary to bring babies home? What did you find that you could wait on for a bit?

Also, be sure to check out last night's post of the dresser if you missed it. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

For the Nursery: Dresser

 I finally have pictures of the dresser! There were a variety of reasons I waited this long to post it but one of which was that the babies' room was a storage area with stuff all over...well Brad got it in a bit better of shape after he cleaned the carpets up there. Anyway, here it is in all it's glory!

 This is what it looked like before. It was in good shape...but I wanted it to be colorful! So Brad took it apart and sanded it down to get it ready to get painted.
 I won't lie, there were many weeks between the sanding and painting, but that's ok, it eventually got done!

 Here's the finished product! My favorite part of the dresser re-do are the new knobs I put on the dresser. I ordered them from Lelia's Loft on Etsy. She custom made the colors and combined a couple of designs for me. I love them so much!
 None of the knobs match, which is what I was going for. They're half and half owls and chevrons, which is basically the whole theme of the nursery.
The pictures aren't awesome, but I was working with crappy lighting. I think you can see the knobs better if you click the pictures. :)

 We got the cribs delivered tonight so hopefully next week I can show you a sneak peek of the cribs and the wall we painted! :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Style File: 30 Weeks and 5 year anniversary!

 It feels a bit surreal to be in the 30's. Can I slow this train down??? I am not ready yet!

 This is probably my favorite maternity item that I've bought. The dress is super comfortable. A soft cotton dress is awesome for being very pregnant in the summer time. I also like the chevron-ish pattern to the dress. For some reason it feels more flattering to have the stripes make a V like that. I'm all about minimizing my width at the moment. ;) Since hitting 30 weeks I've had the following conversation at least four times:
Stranger: Are you going to have that baby any day now?
Me: Nope.
Stranger: When are you due?
Me: October.
Stranger: OCTOBER?! *shocked face*
Me: Yep, October.
Stranger: Are you having twins?
Me: Yep. (backing away slowly and the entire conversation I'm giving off "don't talk to me vibes").

On person even added "Oh, well you look good for having twins." I know they mean well, but I couldn't help but laugh a little at that one. So I look like crap in general but since it's twins I guess I look ok? I am not kidding when I say the conversation pretty much goes exactly like the above every. single. time. People are a bit predictable, aren't they?
 Doctor's appointment this morning was short and sweet. BP is great, I only gained like one or two lbs between appointments (instead of like seven ;) ), babies heart rates were good, belly is measuring 36 weeks. That's about right. I've been measuring 6 weeks ahead every time they do fundal height. It's totally normal for twins. It's actually kind of a useless measurement for twins but it's always interesting. The biggest news is that Baby A seems to be vertex now! yay! Baby B is still flip flopping. She started the ultrasound breech and then moved to vertex. That's really ok. Baby B's position isn't as big of a concern as Baby A's. We want her to stay vertex, for sure! My next appointment is on the 20th, and it's another growth scan so we'll know more about their approximate size and positions then.
 Tomorrow my lovely friends are throwing me a baby shower. I'm going to wear this dress because it makes me feel happy. I have very few items that make me feel awesome these days, so I thought I would capitalize on that feeling and wear it out.

And to close this post, I thought I would share this gem:
Brad and I are celebrating 5 wonderful years of marriage today. It's truly been an awesome five years. I say this not to make an illusion that our relationship is super perfect, but Brad is easy to be married to. We get along great and he truly is the best husband I could have ever asked for. We've had some wonderful adventures together, and I'm super excited to have even more adventures! He spoils me rotten and has been a total rockstar taking care of me during this pregnancy. I've been whiny, tired, puffy, grumpy, sick...and he just deals with it all by spoiling me, taking over most of the housework, and buying me more and more pillows to stack around myself at night. He's wonderful, and I'm glad he chose me!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Style File: 29 Weeks

 Today was an interesting day. It started out pretty rough with a fairly nasty run-in with some of my neighbors about my dog. In my opinion they were being silly, rude, and could have gotten their point across in many much nicer ways. Yelling at a 29 week pregnant woman is just lame. Well actually, treating anyone the way they treated me today regardless of pregnancy status is wrong. I don't understand how people get away with treating others like crap.

I love our physical condo and the people we rent from are awesome. What is not awesome is the attitudes that are fostered in an area where the Condo Association rules. Oh well. These are probably the same people who reported us to the association for having window AC units when our central air conditioning broke. Trying not to let them bother me, but the more I think about it the angrier I get! Sometimes you need to cut people a little slack and remember that people are people. It's not all about your stupid property value. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Oh, and that I went to whole foods and bought myself a dang pick-me-up muffin and it was very tasty.

Today's outfit is just simply "I'm running errands". The shorts are super comfy. Thanks Old Navy for making some maternity shorts that a reasonable in length and don't ride up! T-Shirt is a Target Special. After my chiropractic appointment, I ran to Trader Joe's and Whole foods to stock up on a few things. I've stopped shopping exclusively at Trader Joe's lately because Target has a lot more all natural and whole food options these days. Also because I don't have the time or energy to go to five different stores. This week, though, I needed to hit some of the bulk bins at Whole Foods so I also stopped at Trader Joe's. It was actually relaxing and made me feel a lot better about life.

This week was a good week. I think this was the first week in all of July I worked a full week. The second if you count 4th of July week because that was a holiday and everyone was off. I've been feeling pretty good but the third trimester tiredness is creeping in. I (finally) got an exercise ball. It really does help relieve lower back pain after a long day in my crappy office set up. I've been trying to eat better this week too. It's so easy to just eat crappy because I don't feel like cooking. I managed to cook every night this week and we didn't grab any "to go" food from Chick Fil A or Panera. Yay! In full disclosure, last night was an Annie's Mac and Cheese night, but that's because we didn't get home until late and we were both starving.

 Can you spot the photo bomber in this pic? I assure you she's not being cute and smelling the flower. I had to get after her to not eat the flower. Silly dog. Doesn't she know that stuff can sometimes be poisonous!?

Anyway, we got home late because I scored a BOB Ironman Duallie off of Craigslist for 175 bucks. We went to get it after work last night. The stroller is definitely used, but should work just fine for what we need it for. You can't even buy a piece of junk jogger stroller for 175 bucks! I'm excited about it because hopefully it will allow me to get out there and run more often and sooner after the babies get here. I was thinking about my fitness routine prior to pregnancy and it was pretty intense. I ran 5ks most days of the week and did a long run once a week. Sometimes I would do a work out DVD if I decided to take a day off from running. I just won't have the time to invest in running like that anymore, unless of course the babies are Champs in the jogger and I have no problem taking them out there with me. We will see, but this will make things a lot easier for both Brad and I to stay fit.

I'm not holding out on pictures of the babies' room. I promise. We literally just haven't done much. Brad finished up his class last week. This weekend we are doing a birth class so I am hoping once that's over we can focus our efforts on getting the room set up. I have a baby shower on the 10th so definitely after that I'll start buying stuff pretty hardcore. ;) When it's done I promise I will share with you! I'll at least get the pics of the dresser up sometime this week. There was a bit of a fiasco with finding screws to fit the darn drawers, but I'll tell you more about that later!