Friday, May 31, 2013

Changing Table: Before & After

Mike and I are extremely blessed to have friends and siblings kind enough to give us hand-me-downs for baby girl! One item we received a few months ago was a changing table from Mike's brother and his wife. We knew we needed some kind of changing station downstairs (in addition to the changing station in her room, on her dresser), so this was perfect! Our dining room is a large room that is enclosed on three sides and is right next to the main great room. Our plan was never to use it as a dining room (we don't even have a table in our great room/nook area either!), so we are going to use this is a baby item area/changing area/playroom. We're hoping this will keep the clutter of baby items down to a minimum in the great room.

This changing table was in pretty decent shape and is definitely good quality! Our niece apparently liked the taste of the wood though, so there were some bite marks on the side and the mahogany stain doesn't really fit with the colors in our house. I would have been totally fine with the stain color, but we wanted to figure out a way to cover up the scratches and bite marks anyways...and I have been looking for a project to test out using Annie Sloan chalk paint, so this was the perfect beginner project! Here is the before of the changing table:
Since the chalk paint says for pregnant women not to use it, Mike had to do all the painting. We chose a light gray/blue color that would also work in the nursery for the spice rack shelves and a few other items. Mike did such a great job with it, here is the after:
I'm just so excited about how this project turned out, and now I can't wait to get our cloth diaper stash to organize on the shelves!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bump Watch: 26 weeks

How Far Along: 26 weeks

Size of the Baby: Eggplant (9.2 in long, 2 lbs)

Sleep: Most nights getting up multiple times. Baby likes to kick at night! I tried a new pregnancy meditation app and had the best night of sleep! Didn't even get up once and woke up feeling refreshed!

Best Moment of the Week: Spending quality time with Mike and the birth class we took at my prenatal yoga studio. Loved it so much!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I tried cutting down my B6 to half a pill and got so sick the next morning. Guess that means I need to stay on the full dose. :-/

Any cravings: Still salad, citrus and fruit! We just discovered a smoothie and bowl place next to the gym (and the hospital we are delivering at, woohoo!). They server gluten free granola in their bowls and everything is dairy free. No sugar added, all whole natural foods made with acai. So delicious!

What I'm looking forward to: Baby shower invites went out this past week and the shower is in less than a month! Looking forward to celebrating this baby girl with friends and family.

What I miss: Believe it or not, workout classes! Mike has started going to a cycling class at the gym and I so wish I could go with him.

Nursery: We just found the perfect yellow lamp for the nursery and hung up the curtain rod. My mom is just finishing the school year, so hopefully soon we will be able to sew the curtains so we can hang other things in the room. We also bought a few other items for the walls. It's really coming together!

Random people have become brave enough now to assume that I am pregnant. I mean, it is pretty clear that's whats going on, but I still think it's pretty brave for people to make assumptions! No belly rubs from strangers yet, but plenty from friends and family...and I love it. :) She's really kicking up a storm now and Mike is able to feel her kicks more and more.

It's also been fun getting questions from my nephew Preston about the baby. He is so intrigued by her and asks a million questions about her. It is so cute! He said hi to the baby and introduced himself to her as Bruce Wayne, haha! He's such a character.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nursery Updates

Today we ordered a few items for the walls in the nursery! We had a Crate & Barrel gift card, so we went ahead and ordered the oval mirror pictured above and the kraft paper letters that you see sitting on the dresser. I'm excited because I think the mirror will be something that can grow with her. The mirror will go above the rocker and the letters will go above the crib. I guess this means we are somewhat committing to a name?! Still haven't decided if the letters will stay in the kraft paper or get painted white.

I took this picture on my phone a few weeks ago, but sadly there has not been any progress since then. The room has been painted for a while now and we started buying frames for the photo collage above the dresser, but that is pretty much it. All the fabric has come in for the curtains, crib skirt and floor pouf, but my mom and I haven't gotten very far with those projects. We also have the Ikea spice racks that will go above the rocker, to the right of the dresser, but we want to hang up the frame collage first. It's definitely coming together with colors and style, it's just a matter of getting some projects completed. Can't wait to share the finished product! :)

You're a Good Mom

I've seen this post floating around facebook and blogs lately and thought it coincided well with my post on mom judgements. While Mike and I have defined ideas on how we would like to do things as parents, it is not a judgement on others, just what we hope to do for our family and what seems to fit with us. Heck, we may be switching up a few of those ideas once she actually gets here and we find out something isn't working for us. Over the past few weeks I've connected with a different groups, friends and family who have similar paths as to what we are hoping to take. It has helped so much with tuning out the negative comments/advice/feedback about our decisions. Or maybe I'm just developing thicker skin? If you haven't seen this post yet, enjoy and know that you are a good mom because you are providing and caring for your child the best way you can. :)

To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom. 

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bump Watch: 24 weeks

How Far Along: 24weeks

Size of the Baby: Ear of Corn (8.5 in long, 1.5 lbs)

Sleep: Doing well, but I'm becoming a morning person. This is probably a good thing!

Best Moment of the Week: Starting prenatal yoga classes and learning to really connect with the baby. It's giving me the confidence to know that I CAN give birth to this baby. :)

Anything making you queasy or sick: A few of the same things, but overall feeling great (minus the heat)

Any cravings: Fruits and veggies! Citrus and watermelon and iced or frozen drinks.

What I'm looking forward to: Getting the swimming suit I just ordered in the mail so I can start going in the pool

What I miss: The nice weather. No more walks through the neighborhood!

Nursery: The nursery is totally painted and we're starting to hang things up. Searching around for frames and small decor items. My mom and I are starting on the curtains, crib skirt and floor pouf....soon? ;)

This weekend is Mother's Day and while my baby isn't here in my arms, I carry her with me every day and have felt like a mom for quite a while now. Mother's Day last year was a bit of struggle, I'm feeling extremely blessed!!

Also loving my new lighter hair. Yay for summer blonde again! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Coconut Oil

Since researching different baby products, I've started to become more aware of what we are putting on and in our bodies and am getting curious about natural alternatives. I guess you could say I'm getting a little crunchy here (cloth diapers, glass bottles, minimizing plastic, homemade baby food), but once you start looking into one thing, you start learning more about the others. And once you learn about it, it's really hard to look the other way and keep using it. Example, Johnson's baby products. I had no idea they use so many dangerous chemicals!

We really haven't taken many steps in switching to natural products, but we plan to start with natural baby products from the beginning. We're also starting to find all the amazing uses for baking soda and vinegar and would like to start using those in our cleaning products. Recently we deodorized our sofa with baking soda, it worked like a charm!

Something that I just started using is coconut oil. I can't even tell you how many great things I've heard about it, so I thought I should give it a try. So far I have tried adding it to my cooking, but have only used it in my quinoa breakfast. It's really tasty and I hope to use it in smoothies and stir fry soon! The biggest reason I wanted to try coconut oil though is for my dry skin. This pregnancy has left me with very dry itchy skin (or maybe its the two showers a day I started getting obsessed with?), plus my stomach is obviously expanding and drying out. I've used it on my skin for two days in a row now and I can already tell a difference! No more itching, the dry skin is definitely going down and my skin is much more smooth. Fortunately I don't have any stretch marks yet, but this stuff is supposed to be great at preventing and even fading them. All I do is put it on right when I get out of the shower, before even drying off. I thought for sure I'd go to bed being all oily and gross, but it really does absorb fast this way. Plus, it smells great. :)
I heard that Costco carried coconut oil (the organic and unrefined kind which is better for cooking), so I picked some up there. Holy giant tub, it is 78 oz and was $22. Apparently this is a great price and I think this stuff will last us for a while.

Other uses we will try coconut oil for:
• Preventing stretch marks (need to keep this up!)
• Cradle cap on baby
• Replacement for lanolin (sorry for the TMI, but I hear it work so well for this)
• Hair conditioner (going to try this soon)
• Diaper rash
• Baby's dry skin and/or eczema
• Consuming for milk production while nursing
• Morning sickness relief when the next baby comes along

Here are some other links to even more uses for coconut oil:

Have you tried using coconut oil before? If so, what other uses have you found for it?