Wednesday, October 31, 2018

30-34 Week Bumpdate

Here we are - getting so close to the end! This was the point with Madeline that I started doing updates every other week so I will try to do that this time, too, to document as things start changing more rapidly. How amazing (and terrifying!) to realize he will be here in just four to six weeks!

How far along: 34 weeks 

Baby is the size of: a cantaloupe and weighs about four and a half pounds 

Weight gain: 28 pounds per my last appointment

Symptoms: My oh my how things have changed since my last update. I’m still exhausted but have been having a lot of backpain, some nausea again, pelvic pressure (ouch!), and contractions. I had to go in for some fetal monitoring due to the contractions (more on that below). Also, I had some random swelling last week but thankfully it went away. I’m sure it’s a sign that more is coming, though! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday was Corey's birthday so Madeline and I baked him a cake. His two favorite cakes are this coconut cake and just a boxed yellow cake with chocolate icing. Even though the coconut cake is amazing and will totally blow your mind if you bake it, we went the yellow cake route this year so that Madeline could be more involved.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Third Trimester Thoughts

As I approach the end of my pregnancy, I find myself a little baffled as to how we got this far along. It seems like just days ago that I was sharing the news with my closest friends and writing this post to share the news with all of you.

This second pregnancy has truly flown by, which leaves me feeling a lot of things at the same time. I am thankful that aside from some nausea it has been a fairly easy pregnancy. I feel grateful to be able to carry this sweet babe. I alluded to our struggles with secondary infertility in this post but didn’t go in to detail. (And honestly I probably won’t.) Staring at negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test seems a life time ago now but the significance of being able to carry a baby is not lost on me and as we near the end of a second healthy pregnancy I find myself feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to carry this baby. Both of my babies really.

But there are other feelings, too. I feel overwhelmed with things left to do and check off the list. A closet to finish organizing. Baby gear to wash and finish re-assembling. Bottles and pump parts to clean and sterilize. A kitchen cabinet to organize so that I have a place for bottles and such. A hospital bag to pack. 

I feel large, which is proof that baby is growing but something as women we just don't like to feel. I feel achy and sore and tired. And short-tempered and out of patience. Bless my husband.

I also feel anxious about the changing dynamic in our family. With Corey traveling so much Madeline and I have our routine down pat. We are used to spending most of the week just the two of us. Having our coffee and milk on the couch under a blanket in the morning just us girls. Making easy dinners and going on outings together. Ordering a nonfat, 3 pump PSL with a birthday cake pop on our weekly Starbucks runs. When Corey returned to work after Madeline was born I was absolutely terrified, starting ahead at five long days with just the two of us. But, we have gotten used to our routine now and the girl time while she is so little is so sweet albeit exhausting at times. Yet, I feel my heart start to race when I think about adding a tiny, very needy little person into that routine and wondering how will I possibly take care of everyone. How will I keep everyone alive and happy and give them all that they need. That has me feeling a little terrified all over again!

Then, selfishly, I wonder how in the world I will ever have time for the things I need and enjoy just for myself ever again. Barre classes, mani-pedi's, a really good workout, this blog, a business I enjoy that sends a check home with my name on it.

I feel all kinds of emotional knowing this is likely my last pregnancy. I don't think you'll hear me changing my mind about that but I still feel a wave of emotions knowing that in just a few short weeks I won't ever get to feel those little kicks inside me ever again. I'm at the point over the last couple weeks where pregnancy has gotten less, um, enjoyable, and some of those unpleasant end of pregnancy symptoms have shown up and I find myself wishing it away and feeling simultaneously relieved and guilty about how quickly the time is passing.  

I feel really nervous about the delivery quite honestly. My doctor nixed the idea of a babymoon due to my history and some symptoms that have surfaced over the last two weeks, which left me feeling super emotional and sad about not being able to travel for a little one-on-one time with my husband.  Since he travels for work and is away from us so often I really look forward to our quarterly weekends away and date nights so this news had me in tears. And also wishing we had planned one for earlier in my pregnancy.  It also left my stomach in knots thinking about the delivery and the possibility for a complication. I know I chose the right practice and am delivering at the right hospital and the likelihood of everything being just fine this time far exceeds the likelihood that it won’t. But memories of suddenly starting to bleed heavily and that cold, shaky low blood pressure feeling when I was home alone with my newborn have definitely been surfacing and have me feeling a little nervous.

Corey, Madeline, and I all thrive on routine. We're all pretty regimented, Type A people so I feel moments of panic just thinking about the newborn phase and lack of predictability. Of course, it also seems forever ago that Madeline was a tiny, cuddly newborn so it definitely helps knowing I'm in for some sweet snuggles while all our schedules and routines are being turned upside down.

Change is hard and sweet all at the same time. And having a baby is one of the biggest changes of all. I am getting so excited to meet our sweet boy, to hold him, and to see his sweet face. But can't help feeling a little overwhelmed with all that is to come, too. Mommas of two of more, I would love all your tips for a smooth (as possible) transition. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 4 | Floral Accent Wall

My biggest splurge for Madeline’s big girl room was her wallpaper. I have known I wanted to do an accent wall with wallpaper for over a year. I just wasn’t sure which wall and what type of wallpaper for the longest time. When I decided on bedding for Madeline, I ordered a sample of this wallpaper. It was a beautiful match and I crossed my fingers that she would like it too.

When I showed Madeline the sample she said it was “so pretty” and then carried it around with her for days. I cannot tell you all how excited (and relieved) I was because I was so hoping she would approve. While she is still too young to really pick things out for herself she is very opinionated so I needed her approval step by step through the design process.

This accent wall was definitely a labor of love. The company was severely behind schedule in production of wallpaper yet didn’t communicate that to me until after my order was placed even though I had emailed them prior to ordering to inquire on the turn around time. They were weeks behind on production. Then, it took forever to actually start moving once it was marked “shipped”, which all really delayed this whole project. I lost my place “in line” with our installer because it didn’t arrive on time and it was just a huge mess. I was definitely sweating over whether this aspect of the project would be complete in time to share the result as part of the challenge but it worked out in the end. Once it finally did ship it made it across the country super quickly and while I wouldn't order from the same source for another project on a deadline, I would absolutely order from them again for a project that didn't have one because the quality is wonderful.

I hired out this job to a professional installer and he was able to squeeze me in, even though the paper had been delayed, during Hurricane Michael because we didn't lose power. I love DIY projects but I just couldn’t trust myself with a task I’d never done before using such expensive wallpaper, especially with a task that required climbing up and down a ladder while super pregnant.

What a difference this makes, though! Madeline loved it from the second she saw it, which made me so happy. It adds so much to her room and really brightens up an otherwise boring wall. I really couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Just two weeks until I can share the final product with you! Check out all the work we've done on this room so far here:

And of course don't forget to check out the room transformations from the other ORC participants here. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Our Fall Home Tour 2018

It finally feels like fall in North Carolina and I couldn’t be happier. I just love getting our fireplace going at night, relaxing afternoons on the porch, and a fall candle filling the air. And, of course, being pregnant I really love being able to wear leggings and long cozy sweaters!

I did not share a fall home tour last year and there are a few things I’ve changed up since the year before. Decorating a home is a never-ending project but so, so fun. So, let’s get started. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 3 | The Perfect Chandelier

Madeline’s bedroom came equipped with a flush mount overhead light. I affectionately refer to these as “boob” lights because well, that’s what they look like. While they don’t bother me in hallways and we have several other ones in our home, I just don’t love them or think they belong in a bedroom. Especially a sweet little girl’s “big girl room.”

Nothing makes a statement quite like a giant boob in the center of your ceiling, right? 

When trying to decide what I wanted to replace it with, I contemplated using a ceiling fan because that is my own preference for sleeping. But, we keep our thermostat set pretty low year-round and Madeline’s room is the first one off the exchange so it wasn’t really necessary, which gave me an even more exciting idea.

What says little girl’s bedroom more than a chandelier? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Our Baby #2 "Registry"

We have less than two months to go until Baby Boy W makes his arrival and now that his nursery is ready, we are moving on to the rest of our final preparations. We have so many of the essential baby items that we saved from when Madeline was a newborn and infant so our wish list is very small. There are a few items that we skimped on last time, though, and a few others that I just feel will make life a little easier with two little ones.

We are not having a "shower" to prepare for this baby but I did put together a wish list for family and close friends who wanted to gift something and to be able to use the completion coupon for the few big purchases we needed to make. I was even able to score a few of the items in my local mom group as hand-me-downs and I'm excited that at this point we have almost everything we need for baby boy aside from a final outing for diapers, wipes, diaper genie refills, and all the first aid type things right before his arrival.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 
Madeline did not sleep as a newborn. She is such a great sleeper now but that didn't kick in until right before she was six months old. In the beginning she did not sleep. Even as my maternity leave ended when she was twelve weeks old, she was still only sleeping two hour stretches. So, needless to say I'm a little traumatized and decided to splurge on alllll the baby sleep contraptions this time. I got the Halo bassinet because Madeline just loved white noise and vibration when she was tiny. I scored this second-hand from another mom along with a dockatot. This was another splurge because they are pricey but at the same time baby sleep is priceless when you need sleep yourself! One of my friends gifted me an auto rock-n-play. We had the vibration one for Madeline and she really did love it. I am fully aware that these are not safe for night sleep and that using them for extended periods of time can cause hip dysplasia and plagiocephaly so I'll just go ahead and share that I'm not planning to use the rock n play for baby boy to sleep in at night. But, Madeline's rock-n-play was so nice to have for early morning wakeups, naps during fussy phases, and folding up to take with us on the go.

I have this video monitor on my list because I have heard such incredible things about it. I'm not willing to give up Madeline's monitor now that she has so much more freedom with her big girl bed and find a video monitor to be worth every penny. A total must for each child in my opinion! Something else that is worth its weight in gold is a sound machine. I love this one specifically because it has a more natural sound (like a fan) and doesn't get too loud. Its loud enough to drown out the dog barking, the doorbell, or a party downstairs but not so loud that I worry about damaging my child's hearing.

We have the Baby Jogger City Select stroller and have been so happy with it. We use it for neighborhood walks and take it with us to the park, the Greenway, and for outings like the zoo. Our second seat kit just arrived yesterday and I am excited to unbox it and try out the different configurations. I love that this stroller is tandem as opposed to side by side so that it isn't quite as wide. I always keep an umbrella stroller in the trunk of my car, too, so I ordered this double one when it was on sale for less than fifty dollars. I won't be able to use it until Baby Boy is bigger but I know it will come in handy for impromptu trips to the mall or other errands where I don't want to baby wear or Madeline to be able to run free .

This shopping cart hammock came highly recommended to me in a local mom group and it is one of the coolest items I think we have gotten for Baby Boy. It attaches to a shopping cart and baby can either lay in it or you can set the car seat inside and still have room underneath for your shopping items. This leaves the seat in the front of the cart free for Madeline, who definitely still needs to be buckled in tightly to prevent her from wreaking havoc on a trip to Target. I already have an Ergo and K'Tan that I enjoyed with Madeline for when I want to wear Baby Boy while shopping.

My friends who have two children have raved about the Joovy Spoon walker and I was lucky enough to snag it for a steal in our mom group. It folds flat, which is always nice since baby gear can take over your home, and my friends say its a great place for Baby to be once they start to be mobile and you are busy getting big brother or big sister dressed for the day or fed breakfast.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
I am planning to try to nurse again this time although I've shared before that it was a really stressful process for Madeline and me. We introduced bottles early with Madeline and she never resisted taking one which made the process easier. I love the Comotomo bottles and have fresh nipples on my list to purchase because I know the rubber can get gross and unsafe over time. I also have milk storage bags and the membranes for my pump on my list. 

When I was registering for bath products for Madeline I really had not clue what to purchase and ended up adding products to my registry that contained ingredients that make me cringe now. This time around, I am planning to use the Beautycounter baby bundle of wash, oil, and balm and this diaper cream. I am also a big fan of this diaper cream for extreme rashes. We only had to use it a couple times with Madeline but boy am I glad someone told me about it and it is a safe product! 

For diapers this time, I am planning to try out Pampers Pure. I know diapers can be hit or miss and sometimes depend on the baby. I really want to go artificial fragrance and chlorine-free. There are a number of brands that offer this now that more has come out about the dangers of fragrance but what appeals to me about this brand is that it is available in most stores that stock regular Pampers - including the pharmacy and grocery store by our house so that when I undoubtedly run out right before bedtime I can just grab a new box.

We have this humidifier for Madeline and have been so happy with it that I plan to get another. I know that at some point both babes will be sick and congested at the same time and I will be glad to have two. I also need to replace our Nose Frida because I have absolutely no idea what happened to ours once Madeline learned to blow her own nose but know I certainly can't live without it. I'll also stock up on baby Tylenol, saline, gripe water, gas drops, and a new pacifier medicine dispenser because those are things you need when you least expect them. 

We still have Madeline's infant carseat, snap n go, swing, bouncer, pack-n-play, play yard, play mat, infant toys, jumper, baby bath tub, bottles, and diaper genie that we plan to reuse and tons of other gear that I'm sure I'm forgetting about at this moment! 

Mamas of two or more - I'd love to hear your must-have items for preparing for baby number two's arrival. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Madeline’s Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Happy Monday, friends! I am popping in later than usual this Monday because we have just been busy with all things baby, family, and home.

Corey, Madeline, and I enjoyed a low key weekend this weekend with lots of grilling, time on the porch, and even fires in the fireplace at night. Fall seems to finally have arrived in Charlotte and I couldn’t be happier about being able to wear leggings and long sleeves.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 2 | A Big Girl Bed

A couple months after my mother-in-law moved to Charlotte she called me and asked if I would be interested in the guest room bed from her Florida home for Madeline. When my father-in-law passed away and she decided to move closer to us the following year she was combining two homes into one and many items didn’t make the cut. The bed in question was one of them. She had purchased it just three years earlier when she and my father-in-law began spending the winters in Florida. 

I always feel like I am more traditional with decor than what is “on-trend” and I go towards wooden furniture. I knew this bed, unlike an upholstered headboard which I had previously considered, would last Madeline through her time in our home. Even though it wasn’t a true match for her dresser that I loved so much, I could tell that some of its details would be a great fit and the two pieces would look gorgeous together. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. I hope it was a nice weekend for everyone and that your Monday is off to a great start.

Madeline and I kicked off our weekend with a little donut date. There is a great donut place in Charlotte that makes the best donuts. Our favorite is glazed with fresh strawberry icing and sprinkles. It isn't located in an area of town that is very convenient for us but it just worked out that we had an errand to run in the area so we popped in to grab one. Madeline was so excited.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 1 | Before and Inspiration Board

When we learned that we were pregnant this time, I knew that I would be designing not just one but two rooms in our home. Why, yes, we do need a nursery fit to bring home a sweet baby boy but since Madeline would be getting evicted from her crib, I knew I wanted to transform her room into the perfect space for our big girl who is becoming a big sister so soon! 

If you’ve been reading here a while you know that we still lived in our first home when she was born but that while I was pregnant our contract fell through on what we thought was our dream home. So, I moved along with designing her nursery around the space we had and it did turn into such a beautiful, serene room but there were things I never got to do because I knew that we wouldn’t be in that home for much longer. For example, I really wanted a beautiful accent wall. I dreamed of soft floral wallpaper. I thought of a feminine chandelier casting the prettiest glow onto her walls at bed time. But those types of projects just didn’t make sense in terms of resale value for our home so I didn’t end up bringing any of those dreams to fruition when designing her nursery. All of her furniture fit beautifully in her tiny space in our first home though and I was so pleased with how her nursery came out after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

26-30 Week Bumpdate

How in the world did we get to 30 weeks? This just blows my mind and it is so surreal knowing that we will meet Baby Boy in 8-10 weeks. So, so soon. Yet, also as anyone whose ever experienced the third trimester knows, also so very far away!

How far along: 30 weeks

Baby is the size of: a large cabbage and weighs almost three pounds.

Weight gain: 22-24 pounds depending on the day. Really getting up there but I'm still feeling good and staying active so I'm just trying to ignore the scale!

Monday, October 1, 2018

5 Goals for October

This morning I found it a little hard to believe that it was actually October. Where did the month of September go? And more importantly, where oh where is the fall weather in North Carolina?

September really went by in a blur and it was the first month in recent months that I didn’t accomplish everything on my goals list for the month so let’s start with those things since I’m moving them over to be completed this month.

1. Plan a baby moon with Corey. We have tossed around so many ideas but haven’t gotten anything down in the books. Other events and obligations keep popping up on our calendar and stealing all of our weekends! We do have an idea of what we want to do but trying to get it booked is a whole different story because I won’t be traveling after 36 weeks even by car because I can’t risk having to deliver at a different hospital after having a serious complication with my last delivery. So hopefully that gets all settled in the next week or two!