Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bumpdate: Weeks 18-22 (and gender reveal)

How far along? 22 weeks. Over half way! I'd planned to have Corey take some bump photos and even painted a mini pumpkin to hold in them for a social media gender reveal but when given the choice between doing this or taking a nap...well this is the photo you get! 

Weight gain: Fluctuating between 4-6 pounds depending on the day. 

Cravings: Lots of salads and fresh fruit and pizza.

Anything making me nauseas/queasy? I haven't been nauseas at all the last few weeks except when something smells too strongly. I can smell everything so this is requiring Corey to put fresh lemon down the garbage disposal and take out the trash every single day.

Stretch marks: Not yet. Still applying Bio Oil and Belly Butter every day both morning and night. I've heard this doesn't actually help...that you just either get them or don't based on genetics but I am not taking any chances. 

Maternity clothes: Belly bands are still keeping me in some of my old pants but I'm also wearing some maternity bottoms, too. I purchased several pairs of maternity work pants, a pair of jeans, two pairs of leggings, yoga pants, and a couple sets of tights so I'm adding those to my rotation. I have a couple maternity tops that I don't need yet and lots of flowly non-maternity tunics so I'm really hoping I won't need to step foot into Destination Maternity again.  

Wedding rings on/off: On. 

Sleep: What's that?! I have been sleeping terribly. I'm having a lot of lower back pain and I just cannot get comfortable sleeping on my side. I'm also waking up to use the restroom several times a night. I got a little slap on the hand regarding my water intake but since I only have one restroom break at 9:00 am at work, I am not able to drink much water until the day is over or else I'm in pain all afternoon. So, I end up drinking a ton after my students leave to try to catch up and end up needing to use the restroom every hour all evening and night. 

Exercise: I have really slowed down unfortunately. It's a battle between my mind and body every day and several days a week I am still working out but several other days my body is just screaming at me to sit down after being up, walking around, and moving all day. I don't have a sedentary job, though, so even on days when I take a day off of Beachbody, I am still getting about 8-10,000 steps a day.

Movement: I finally started to feel flutters at 19 weeks. Corey and I were watching TV in bed when I felt the first one and was positive what it was and I was just so excited. I feel them mostly at night. I'm not sure if that it the time she is most active or just when I am least active and paying attention. 

Gender: Baby W is a little girl! We found out at 15 weeks and our OB confirmed it at 19 weeks. We would have been happy with either and Corey really thought it was a boy. I never had an intuition either way. I just prayed for Baby to be healthy. We are still going back and forth between two names but the amount of pink deliveries arriving every couple days at our house is crazy. Corey works from home and he says he can keep track of the time based on when the UPS man rings the doorbell. {Insert embarrassed emoticon here.} 

Symptoms: Exhaustion, bigger boobs that are tender, some mood swings. Pretty much the same as it has been. I also have started having round ligament pain daily, which is miserable. I thought it was too early for that but my doctor said nope and that unfortunately if I am having it already, I will probably have it for the duration.

Best moment this month: Feeling baby girl move for the first time. This was so exciting! Also, making some decisions about the nursery was great as well as finally feeling like I "popped" and seeing a real bump every day. 

Worst moment this month: I had an accident at work. I don't know if you can really call it an "accident" but I was struck by a student with a the stomach. It was two days after my monthly checkup and our anatomy scan so I had just been to the doctor. I felt fine at first but ended up having to go for an emergency appointment an hour later, which was absolutely terrifying. I was a little bruised but we are both just fine now and I'm reminded that unfortunately, this comes with the territory of my career. 

Looking forward to: Getting to work on the nursery. We have started relocating Corey's home office to our smaller spare room downstairs and are now ready to begin the nursery. After much debating, I have picked out the furniture, then changed my mind, and made other "final" selections. I have been really lucky that I have happened upon coupons for all of the big things so I placed the order for the dresser, glider, and crib and then splurged on some adorable wall shelving with my savings. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The House that Wasn't

After months of house-hunting in a cut-throat market, putting in offers on three different properties and getting outbid, we finally went under contract on a house. We got in a bidding war and ended up having to go over asking, but we were so excited to have finally found our next home.

She was a beauty and almost perfect. Unfortunately, that was the word that did us in during the weeks to come...almost. Most of the requirements we'd given our realtor were checked off in this house. It looked really good...on paper. There were some important things missing, though, like a flat backyard to play with baby as she grows and for Riley to run around in, a gas fireplace like the one we've so loved in our current home, and the kitchen and bathrooms weren't my style despite being renovated. This was hard because you can always change those things but when they are brand new already and just not your taste, you are still paying for the new materials. When the inspection came back with quite the laundry list of small things and a couple very large things that needed repair coupled with already paying over the asking price, Corey and I did some soul searching and decided to walk away from this house. It was a hard decision and I think I cried for almost a full day. 

We learned a lot from this. The most important thing was that you should purchase real estate with a perfect combination of thinking with your head and heart but not too much of either. I don't think we would have jumped on this house so quickly if we hadn't lost several houses and if the market hadn't been so cut-throat here right now and if we didn't feel like we had such a tight timeline with me being more pregnant with each passing day. It was too easy to get emotionally attached to the cute cul-de-sac neighborhood and the idea of our next home being there rather than realizing that this home wasn't THE home after all. 

So where that leaves us right now is in our current home and staying here for a while, at least until next summer or fall. We've decided to make some tweaks to give us more storage and make Corey's at-home office, which has been relocated to my craft and Teachers pay Teachers office, more functional. I'm reminded that each month we're here we are able to save and that every single finishing and color is exactly to my taste because I chose it and that I am fortunate to have been able to. Also, being here gives us some freedom and flexibility for after baby girl makes her debut that we wouldn't have if we had moved forward as planned and right now I am really grateful for that. Things seem to be getting busier by the day and it really feels nice to have the option to slow down and evaluate our next steps. 

I am also reminded of the sheer magnitude of homes there are just in our preferred neighborhoods of Charlotte. It's a game of odds. The right one for the right price has to come on the market eventually...and hopefully when it does, that house will be THE house. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration

I shared in my last post that I have been thinking about and pinning ideas for nurseries since I found out I was pregnant in July. If you missed Baby Boy's nursery inspiration, you can check out my last post of a zoo-animal themed nursery. If Baby W is a girl, I don't want to go with a theme but instead I want to go with soft pinks and whites to make it very feminine. Here is the inspiration board I created.
Again, a gender neutral crib is a must because I want it to be a practical purchase that can be used with future children. My favorites are this one and this one. I also want to do a dresser with changing table topper and my favorite dresser for Baby Girl is the Blythe dresser from Pottery Barn Kids. I just love the legs and handles! Our nursery is small so the changing table topper is a must - there won't be room to squeeze in a separate changing table. I also love that once diapering years are over, the dresser can still be used for many years to come. 

For art in this room, I chose hand-engraved wall shelving from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. These are just gorgeous and I would love to style them with stuffed animals, photos, and trinkets.

My favorite girl bedding is the Bridgette quilt. I love the different patterns of pink fabric and the crib sheet has tiny pink bows all over which are darling. 

One of my favorite things about this bedding is that it is cute and feminine without being a pattern that seems too grown up. 

I've been really happy with other PB bedding that we have purchased so I know I will at least get the crib bedding from there, although I love their furniture as well.

The Charleston glider has made an appearance in this inspiration board as well. I just think it is classic and lovely, although entirely too expensive. Here, I paired it with Land of Nod's Posh Pouf. I love the tufted pink look. Again, I love the option of a pouf instead of an ottoman because it adds color, is a little playful, and far most cost effective.

I am obsessed with these bow curtains. They just scream "baby girl" and are so feminine. They are available in several colors, but I chose the pink for my inspiration board because the soft pink is just so pretty.

Below are some photos from my Pinterest account that I used as inspiration when narrowing down my selections. 

Stay tuned because my week 18-21 bumpdate is my next scheduled post and it includes Baby W's gender. What do you think - will Baby be sleeping in the zoo-animal themed nursery from Tuesday's post or the soft pink nursery pictured above? Cast your vote in the comments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Baby Boy Nursery Inspiration

From pretty much the moment I found out I was pregnant, I started pinning away ideas for the nursery for both genders. I will disclose that we know a baby's sex already. We just aren't sharing it publicly on social media quite yet but will be very soon. So, stay tuned!

For Baby Boy, I loved the idea of a slightly zoo-themed nursery. This was really inspired by the giant Melissa and Doug giraffe. I think it is just so fun! Here is my inspiration board for Baby Boy W's nursery.
 I love white furniture and wanted a gender-neutral crib. My favorites are here and here and for a dresser with a changing table topper, I just love this one. It is mature enough that a little boy could grow into it and use it for years to come without being too cutesy or feminine.

I think the Charleston glider from Pottery Barn Kids is just gorgeous. It is way too expensive though so I know in reality, I will purchase something more reasonable since this is something that will only be used for two years or so. I love the idea of using a fabric pouf as an ottoman to add a touch of color. Our nursery is carpeted so I am not planning to purchase a rug but would still like to add a little fun color - I think the pouf is just the thing and they are far less expensive than an ottoman and take up far less space. 

The crib bedding I love is the Nash collection from Pottery Barn Kids. I believe this is new. I love the colors but the crib sheet is my favorite. Here is a closer look via the PBKids website. 
Isn't it adorable? I'm obsessed with Pottery Barn bedding. Our duvet and quilt set is from PB and it has held up beautifully and still makes me smile daily. 

For art, I just fell in love with these zoo animal watercolor prints from Etsy. Etsy has the best baby decor finds. I am happening upon items I love on a daily basis. 

Many of these items will be just inspiration because I want the nursery to be beautiful but also practical and having Pottery Barn create your whole nursery is NOT practical because Baby is not old enough to care where his furniture came from! 

Before I narrowed my choices down, here are a couple photos linked to my Pinterest of boy nurseries that I love. 
So, what do you think - is Baby W a little boy who will be sleeping in a room similar to this or a little lady? 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Intentions

Lately things have been very busy. At work this year there is a lot more on our plates due to new accountability regulations in education, accompanying paperwork, district and school initiatives, etc. I'm stretched pretty thin then combined with being pregnant, I'm just exhausted. Completely worn out and feeling a little run down. This has me counting the days until February when I will get a break and get to focus on Baby W instead of savoring this time our lives. I want to try to be more intentional with my time and enjoy this season without just rushing through it. 

Enjoy a nonfat PSL every Friday...but not every day. Basic, but sometimes it's looking forward to the simple things that gets us through the day.

Finally have the interior of our home painted. We've been putting this off forever but since we are now putting the house hunt on hold, I'm going to focus more on some unfinished projects here.

Watch football with friends as often as possible. We've put a dent in that one the past couple weeks and I made my favorite chunky guacamole for the Clemson/GA Tech game.

Take Riley on lots of walks during his last months as an "only child."

Host Thanksgiving and spend the Holidays with our families.

Celebrate homecoming and my five year reunion with some close friends and sorority sisters in Greenville.

Cook a soup a week. Really just cook once a week.

Leave work at work. The world never stopped because a set of papers didn't get graded. It isn't fair to let it spill over so much into my home life, time with Corey, and time to care for myself.

Stand up for myself more and say no when I need to. No, I really can't take on an extra project at work or volunteer for a committee for my other obligations this year. And no, it is not reasonable to expect me being pregnant to only take one restroom break a day. No, no, no. 

Give my heart and energy to my classroom of littles at work...during my day at work. Leaving these guys for three months during the middle of the year is going to be tough for the control freak in me, but we can learn and do so much right now.

Make pumpkin pie dip, pumpkin bread, ooey gooey pumpkin butter cake, and all my favorite pumpkin desserts this season.

Celebrate mine and Corey's birthdays.

Prepare Baby Walen's nursery.

Find more time for myself. This is the biggest in this season we are in right now. I feel like I work, work more, commute, eat dinner, sleep, and then repeat and that is it all week long. I need to schedule in more time for meaningful, intentional workouts, drinking more water, taking bubble baths (not too hot, though, don't worry), and time with Corey and my friends during the week.