28 March 2014

Friday I'm in Love

I'm back with another edition of Friday I'm in Love, highlighting a few things that have caught my eye and made my heart go pitter patter. Be sure to check out Misha's and Kendra's picks for the week, too!

ONE: Our PEPS Group

If you live in the Puget Sound region, have or are expecting kiddos, and you have not gotten involved in PEPS, you are missing out! PEPS (Program for Early Parenting Support) is a wonderful organization that facilitates groups of parents with similarly aged kids, most popular for those with newborns.

We signed up for PEPS right after Madeleine was born, and we've been meeting with our group each week since Madeleine was about a month old. George and I get so much joy from the friendships we've developed through this group, and it is thrilling to watch the kiddos grow up together. Just look at this crew...

TWO: Smith Brothers Farms Milk Delivery

We are so lucky to get our very own milkman, thanks to Smith Brothers Farms. Each week, we get to choose the items (dairy and much, much more) we want to delivered right to our door. On Thursdays, Madeleine loves to help me carry our goods from the porch to the kitchen. Sometimes, it takes a lot of convincing to get the cheese to the fridge without opening it, but she is generally very helpful.

THREE: Cold Stone Creamery Lemon-Berry Shortcake

Don't be surprised that more than one of this week's loves involves food! I typically have a vicious sweet tooth, but I have had no interest in sweets for much of this pregnancy (and the last one). That has recently changed, however, and I can't seem to get enough of lemon and other tart flavors. The Cold Stone Lemon-Berry Shortcake made with lemon custard ice cream is definitely at the top of my list. Yum! Yum! Yum!

What are you loving this week? 

20 March 2014

Throw Back Thursday

For once, I thought I'd participate in #tbt with some photos taken at our engagement session FIVE YEARS ago. Time flies...

Photo Credit: Evantide Photography

Photo Credit: Evantide Photography

18 March 2014

Nursery Preview

As I previously mentioned, the new nursery has always been designated the future-eventual-next nursery. It was our decorations warehouse until I put things on display around the house and, recently, we emptied the room completely to prepare it for its ultimate purpose.

Here it is in all its yellow glory. See the white stuff at the top of the walls? That is some super cheap baseboard that some previous owner glued around the top of the room to create "crown moulding." 

Even before our wee one was on his way, we hired a contractor to install built-ins on either side of the window, inspired by this Pin, and to remove the "crown moulding" and install the real deal. All the shelves are fully adjustable, and there is a big storage area under the bench under the window. 

Apologies - a quick cellphone snap is all I have of this interim stage.

I knew I wanted gray in the room long before we knew the baby's gender. With the cabinets primed at the factory, the painters had a relatively easy job on their hands. Oh the difference that a couple coats of Benjamin Moore can make! 

Trim/Cabinets/Doors/Crown: Super White (PM-1)

Now that the room is painted, we have a blank slate to decorate and a to-do list ready to tackle, beginning this past weekend: 

  - Replace light trim (we ended up replacing the lights with LEDs...and then changing them back)
  - Install childproof outlet plates
  - Change door hinges
  - Add cabinet door hardware and childproofing for big sister
  - Change closet door handles
  - Possibly add some fun detail to closet walls (inspired by this)
  - Possibly add some fun detail to back of built-ins
  - Add window treatment (black out cellular shade) (ordered)
  - Choose fabric for and make cushion for window seat 
  - Choose baskets for organization in the lower cabinets (maybe these, but hopefully something less expensive)
  - Have crib and dresser delivered (about 8 weeks away)
  - Buy mattress (ordered)
  - Move chair from M's room into nursery
  - Possibly get side table to hold Mum's supplies while nursing
  - Get diaper pails for trash and cloth diapers (ordered)
  - Get laundry basket
  - Move radio into room
  - Make crib sheets
  - Possibly make crib skirt for highest mattress setting
  - Make quilt
  - Make divided basket for diaper supplies 
  - Choose/Make/Hang wall art and place decorations on shelves
  - Make mobile
  - Possibly make bunting
  - Organize closet
  - Make a spot for big sister to hang out (maybe something like this + a basket of books)
  - Buy and install video monitor

I'm not doing a theme per se, but I'm trying to stick to a natural (mostly cool with a few bright colors) color palette with a slight bend toward woodlands (owls, raccoons, woodgrain, etc.). Think earthy blues, greens, grays, dark browns, and the occasional red and orange. My two inspiration pieces are, first, this beautiful print from Children Inspire Design and, secondly, this fun Riley Blake fabric. (Even though it doesn't come through in the photos, the colors are nearly identical.) 

Children Inspire Design: English Alphabet Print

Riley Blake Scenic Main Gray (C3660 Gray)

And, friends, that is all you're going to see of the nursery until I have some projects done and am ready to share them with you, though I will probably update the to-do list to show my progress. 

14 March 2014

Friday I'm in Love - I

Today (and periodically going forward), I'm joining Misha's and Kendra's weekly Friday I'm in Love series, highlighting a few things that have caught my eye and made my heart go pitter-patter. Check out my selections and be sure to pay Misha and Kendra a visit, too!

ONE: Prenatal Yoga
I did prenatal yoga in my pregnancy with Madeleine right up to the end (and even a few poses during labor - talk about empowering), and I'm so happy to be back at it again. It was basically my only form of activity last time, but this time it's supplementing my weekly pre-pregnancy circuit training class, walking with bursts of running, and swimming. Even so, it's good to know that as I'm unable to continue with more aggressive activity and grow out of my bathing suits, I'll be able to keep going to yoga. Namaste.

TWO: Signs of Spring
I'm hearing birds singing daily, our trees are blooming, and about half of the bulbs I planted throughout the fall are poking above ground. Yes, spring is on its way!

THREE: Gobble's Sue's Midnight Fridge Raider Sandwich
Two weeks ago, I had the Sue's Midnight Fridge Raider at Gobble, and I haven't stopped thinking about it ever since. The sandwich features freshly sliced turkey breast, stuffing, cranberries, and mayo on sourdough. What's not to love? Now I just have to find a way to go more than two weeks between my fixes.

What are you loving this week?

10 March 2014

Baby #2 FAQ

After sharing our news with you last week, I thought you might be curious about other aspects of this pregnancy and our growing wee one. I'll do it in Q&A format so that you can pick and choose what interests you and how much you really care to know.

#1 most asked question: How are you feeling?
I'm not asked this nearly as often with this being baby #2, so it's actually kind of refreshing. Last time around, I remember being so tired of it by the end of the pregnancy.

I'm feeling really good at the moment. Now that I'm solidly into my second trimester, I actually have times where I - gulp - forget that I'm pregnant. Even though that first trimester isn't so far behind me, I'm already starting to forget the symptoms I felt. Ain't nature grand?

Mentally, I have to admit feeling a lot of guilt. Over the last several years, I have heard so many stories of women (personally known and unknown to me) losing fetuses in pregnancy and having a hard time getting pregnant that I feel a little guilty (and a lot honored) about being able to carry this little guy. It wasn't that long, but in the time it took us to get pregnant this time, I got a tiny taste of what it must be like to deal with fertility issues. As excited as I am for our little guy, I want to be sensitive to those who are still waiting for their positive test. I do plan to share plenty of baby stuff on the blog, but I probably won't be sharing quite as much in other spaces (ahem, Facebook).

How was your first trimester and how does it compare with your last pregnancy?
I felt fantastic (and completely paranoid that I wasn't really pregnant) until two days before I hit six weeks. Weeks six, seven, eight, and part of nine were terrible. I was exhausted and nauseous basically around the clock. I didn't want to get off the couch, ever. I told George this would be our last child (that's never been the plan, and I've since come back to my senses). As I tried to deal with my nausea like I did when I had it with Madeleine, I actually made it worse because it was actually reflux rather than traditional nausea. The reflux and exhaustion continued on-and-off, made better with a healthy reliance on Tums (yuck!) through 12 weeks. That's when I picked up a terrible nearly month-long cold that ushered away my first trimester symptoms.

With Madeleine, I had dull, around the clock nausea any time that my stomach dropped below full from about six weeks until well into my 16th week. I don't remember it ever being as intense as those really terrible weeks that I had this time, but it definitely lasted longer.

How far along are you now?
Little known fact outside the prego world: there are multiple ways of counting the weeks of pregnancy. I consider myself to be x weeks once I have completed that many weeks, so I'll be 40 weeks when I reach my due date. Right now, I'm 16 weeks...right in the middle of my 17th week of pregnancy.

Are you showing?
Uh, yeah. That stuff "they" say about second pregnancies is true. Virtually everything happens sooner and in a more intense fashion. I started wearing different clothes at about the same time in this pregnancy as last, around 10 weeks, but this time I had to skip the buy-bigger-normal-clothes step and go straight into maternity clothes. I try to look back at pregnancy photos from last time and figure out how big I look. Some days, I'm convinced that I currently look how I did at about 30 weeks with Madeleine. In reality, I think I'm probably showing about a month ahead, which I think is pretty normal for subsequent pregnancies.

How much weight have you gained?
Just to be clear, this is not an acceptable question - pregnant or not. But, I feel like I should share a bit on this topic because it's been on my mind. When I was pregnant with Madeleine, I never remember being concerned with my weight. I ate more produce but otherwise ate as I pleased, including an unhealthy amount of burgers (yet Madeleine still doesn't really like them - what?!). In the end, I gained 50-60 pounds and was left with the daunting task of postpartum weight loss.

I went into this pregnancy about 20 pounds heavier than I started my pregnancy with Madeleine, and I am surprised at how paranoid I've been about weight gain. I weigh myself almost every day to keep a close eye on things, though let's be clear that I am in no way shape or form dieting. Ideally, I'd like to only gain the minimum healthy amount for someone my size, but I realize it'll still probably be more. So far, I've gained about half of what I'd like to gain in the end, and I'm a month from being halfway through the pregnancy. I'll be interested to see what my gain pattern is this time around (last time, most of it came in the first and second trimesters with very little at the end, which is unusual).

Are you having any cravings?
The only thing I've loved even more than normal this pregnancy is a solid green salad with ranch dressing. I'm more satisfied after any meal that includes one and have yet to tire of them. Otherwise, my cravings are no more than a strong version of "I really feel like [fill in the blank] today." This is a vast improvement from my potato chip, burger, and beef cravings during my pregnancy with Madeleine.

Are you feeling him yet?
Yes, sort of. I can feel little wisps from time to time and in certain positions. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy, so I am really looking forward to big movements, especially when he can be felt from the outside. Madeleine already gives him daily pats, so it'll be fun for him to "pat" back.

What does Madeleine think?
Madeleine loves babies right now. She is always interested in them when we're out and about, loves to read books about babies, and loves to carry her baby (and cat) around the house. When we told her (not until after the 12-week ultrasound and we were ready to share with others because our little girl is very chatty), we started by asking her if she would like to have a baby at our house. YES! When I told her that there was a baby in my belly that would be in our house in a few months, she lifted up my shirt to see for herself. She now believes that her baby brother could be in any stomach, including hers and her dad's. When I see her light up at hearing "brother" or say "bruddah" for herself, I know that she is going to be a good big sister.

How did you find out the gender?
Technically speaking, we found out the gender as a happy side product of doing a genetic blood test. It still amazes me that a couple tubes of my blood gives enough baby DNA for genetic screening and, of course, gender. (Fortunately, the rest of the genetic test results look good.)

The actual gender reveal is a bit more involved. A friend of ours graciously volunteered to help us have a gender reveal that was not just a girl/boy call from the doctor's office. The results were due while George was in Europe on business, so our friend prepared two gift bags for each of us. Each bag contained a blue and a pink balloon, one of which would inflate to reveal the gender. When the gender results were in, we asked our doctor's office to share them with our friend instead of us, and she told us to use the balloons in the orange bag. Via Hangout, George and I both put both balloons in our mouths to see the pink ones leaking air and the blue ones inflating. It was really fun (and shocking because we both whole heartedly thought this was a girl)!

Girl. Boy. Done? 
Nope, at least that's not the current plan.

Do you have names picked out?
Naming Madeleine was the hardest decision of the pregnancy, and it's looking like that's going to be the case again. When we had to pick a girl name, we thought boy names were so easy - not so now that we're in the land of boy names. I suspect we'll have serious discussions for several weeks (months even) until we try out a couple and see if one sticks over the others. Like last time, the name will remain a secret until the baby is born. In the mean time, we really need to find a good in utero nickname.

What plans do you have for the nursery?
Of course I have nursery plans. When we moved into our house, we knew which room would be the next nursery, so we never established it as having any function more than holding a bunch of unused picture frames. Even before this baby was on board, we hired someone to install built-ins and crown moulding in the room. This last week, we had the room painted. Stay tuned for a bit of a sneak peek.

03 March 2014


We are thrilled to share that a baby boy will be joining our family in mid- to late August.