Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pregnancy To Do List

In my day job, I am a Producer. This means I manage a project from start to finish, including the budget and schedule.

I can't help but have this bleed over into my personal life (truth be known, I've been the "Producer" type all of my life). And boy have I found myself "producing" this pregnancy.

There are spreadsheets (weekly weight gain chart, list of pediatricians/daycares/newborn photographers to choose from, baby gear, etc.), there are schedules, there are budgets (nursery budget, baby gear budget, maternity leave budget) and of course, To Do lists.

If you didn't know, there is a lot of stuff to get done during a pregnancy. Of course, can you manage to birth a baby and go on to live a perfectly happy life without getting a single one of these things done beforehand (except for maybe the car seat one)? Absolutely. But I thought I'd document here some of the To Do's we've crossed off our list during this pregnancy, and the few things we still have left.

Crossed Off:
  • Tour daycares, make decision, put down deposit
  • Research baby gear, set up registries
  • Name brainstorming, make final decision
  • Nursery planning, painting, buying, finishing
  • Final dentist/eye doctor/haircut appointments before baby
  • Complete maternity leave paperwork
  • Buy baby-friendly car, sell old car
  • Research and meet with pediatricians, make decision
  • Have maternity pictures taken, schedule newborn photographer
  • Labor & Childbirth class (even though we only completed 3 out of 5 sessions)
  • Hospital tour and pre-register with hospital (we got these crossed off in an unexpected way at 33 weeks)
  • Finalize birth plan
  • Baby showers, put away gifts, make returns, write Thank You notes
  • Wash and put away baby laundry
  • Breastfeeding class
  • Assemble all baby gear
  • Pack hospital bags
  • Install car seat
  • Buy after-baby lounging clothes, nursing bras and tanks, etc.
  • Research birth announcements, gather mailing addresses
  • Stock up on: pantry staples, toilet paper, hand soap, laundry detergent, etc.
Still on the list:
  • Have car seat inspected
  • Finish "nesting" list -- I've already cleaned out all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers, the pantry and the refrigerator, still have to clean out bedroom closet and junk basket (Also, I'm pretty sure that nesting is supposed to be a spontaneous, natural urge that just comes over pregnant women. Me? I made a list.)
  • Deep clean house
  • Prepare and freeze a few meals to have on hand
  • Finish reading baby care and breastfeeding books
  • Watch Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
  • Wash and vacuum car
So unless Baby Ava decides to go ahead and make her arrival, you know what we'll be doing during this long holiday weekend. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

39 Weeks

I don't have much to say in the way of a 39 week update.

We're still waiting for this baby to make her move. I'm feeling humongous and my feet and ankles are officially swollen. I'm a bundle of both nerves and excitement. I'm thankful we made it this far, yet growing increasingly impatient to see her face and know that she's ok.

You know, the normal stuff. Nothing and everything all at once.

P.S. - I have a few miscellaneous posts in the works to keep me occupied during the wait. So just know that if you see me posting about random things, it means the baby still isn't here and I'm just trying to get them written now or else they'll probably never happen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nursery Reveal: Ava's Gray + Pink Nursery

I am so excited to finally show you Ava's nursery!

What is now the nursery was originally Lee's office. Once we cleared everything out, we were left with a standard 4-wall bedroom with 2 windows and builder-beige walls (although the room does have a nice big walk-in closet). Since the room was so normal and humdrum, I knew I wanted to add some sort of architectural interest. We went over lots of options (an accent wall with whitewashed wood planks, beadboard, etc.) but finally settled on board and batten and crown molding.

A few befores/durings:

Lee installed the board and batten and crown molding in a weekend. The board and batten seemed to be pretty easy to install, but it was the 2-3 coats of white paint needed that tried his patience. And crown molding is ALWAYS a nightmare. But it got done and I think it adds so much to the room.

So let's dive right in shall we??

As you know, I decided on gray and baby pink for the color scheme. It was really important to me to get the pinks correct, as they can vary widely. The biggest splurges in the room (besides the furniture) were the bedding and curtains, and that was mostly because Serena & Lily and RH Baby & Child got the pinks *just right* and I wasn't able to find anything anywhere else that was as perfect.

Since the curtains were a splurge, there was no way I could afford 4 panels, so I was determined to get by with 2 instead. The panels are HUGE -- 50 inches wide, and our windows are only 37 inches wide, so I knew one panel could easily cover the whole window when closed. At first I thought I wanted to have a tailor slice the panels down the middle so I'd have two panels for each window, but the thought of cutting into them terrified me. Once they arrived, we tried the side-swept look and I actually liked it even better. They are lined with blackout lining, so hopefully it will be nice and dark to make for some good sleeping!

So blessed with talented friends who made Ava this homemade blanket and quilt. The shadow box on the right is Lee's baby spoons and fork (and baby pic!).

This little chair has been handed down for years in Lee's family. Since his nephew Brett was the last to own it, it was bright red with teddy bear/sports fabric. The crib bedding came in a really nice fabric bag (same fabric as the crib sheet) so I used that to reupholster the seat and Lee painted it gray with leftover wall paint. So this was a nice zero dollar project!

A pretty light fixture was really important to me. This chandelier by Ikea was such a great price that I tasked my aunt who lives in Charlotte to buy it for me and bring it when she came to visit (thanks Lori!). When we took down the old boob light that was in the room, it left a ring on the ceiling, so Lee eventually ended up having to repaint the whole ceiling. He was not happy, but I think it was well worth it!

Of course, no room is ever "finished." Some of the tweaks that might come down the road are:

  • A lamp (probably a floor lamp near the glider). This will likely be a necessity for nighttime feedings.
  • I'd love to change out the knobs on the dresser, but haven't found the right ones at the right price. I'm thinking clear glass knobs, but since I'll need 6, that rules out the ones that are $10-15 a pop. Home Depot and Lowe's have some reasonable options, but they're plastic instead of glass and therefore feel pretty cheap.
  • I thought originally that I wanted an area rug in here, but now I'm thinking maybe it doesn't need it? If I happened to run across the perfect one though...
  • I'll probably eventually put something on the blank wall over the dresser. Maybe some shelves or more artwork.

I am so happy with how the room turned out, and hope Ava will love it too!

Source list:
  • Gray paint: Porpoise by Behr
  • Chandelier: Ikea Kristaller chandelier
  • Crib: Pottery Barn Kids Kendall crib in Simply White
  • Bedding: Colette collection from Serena & Lily
  • Sleep Sheep: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Hamper: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow print in custom colors: Etsy seller sugarfresh
  • Don't Worry print: Etsy seller rawartletterpress
  • White frames: Target
  • Diaper pail: Ubbi pail in gray
  • Ava coat hanger: gift
  • Dresser: Bonavita Peyton
  • Wire basket: Container Store
  • Changing pad cover: Carter's pink dot from Babies 'R' Us
  • Glider: Best Chairs Quinn glider (color: Pumice)
  • Ottoman: white Moroccan pouf from
  • Pink giraffe stroller blanket: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Curtains: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, lined cotton canvas panels in Petal
  • Curtain rods and rings: Martha Stewart for Home Depot
  • Curtain holdbacks: Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Monogram: Medium (14") wooden monogram from Etsy seller charminglittlenest
  • Bookcase: Target
  • To The Moon frame and monogrammed brush/comb set: gifts
  • Pink galvanized pail: Pottery Barn kids
  • Closet dividers: Sugarbooger children's closet dividers from Amazon
I've received lots of emails and comments regarding the board and batten, so I wanted to provide a little more information.

The room is approximately 11' x 11'. The boards (horizontal pieces) are 1x6's and the battens (vertical pieces) are 1x3's. The battens are approximately 16.5 inches apart. The total height is 59", from the floor to the top of the board, including our original baseboards. We decided to keep the original baseboards, and angled the bottom of the battens slightly so the transition to the baseboard wouldn't be too abrupt. We used a nail gun to nail the pieces in places, caulked the nail holes and sanded them, caulked around the sides of the boards and battens, and then painted everything (including our original beige walls) with white semigloss paint. (Please note: when I say "we," I mean "my husband.")

We referenced several different board and batten blog tutorials to come up with a plan that worked for our room. If you need more information, google "board and batten DIY" and you'll find lots of step-by-step tutorials. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

38 Weeks

1. How far along? 38 weeks today.

2. How big is baby? Probably about 6.5 lbs. We'll get a more accurate guess at our final ultrasound on Thursday.

3. We're officially to the point now where instead of "just stay in there a little longer baby" it's now "ok kid, anytime you want, bring it on." I don't think anything is happening yet, and I'm now convinced it's entirely possible that I'll go all the way to (or beyond) my due date. But it's exciting to know that that could change at any moment and suddenly it'll be "go time." To say that Lee is ready for her to come is an understatement. So the next two weeks are going to be an exercise in patience for us.

4. We had an awesome weekend of getting lots of things done, mostly errands and shopping. Since it was my first weekend being able to get out of the house since bedrest I of course drug Lee all over the county. One highlight is that we won a $120 Britax baby carrier from Smart Momma, a baby store here in Raleigh. They were having a one-day sale and "baby shower" this weekend with raffle prizes. We stopped in to pick out and buy a baby carrier since we didn't have one and then found out on Sunday that we won the exact carrier that we picked out and bought! (Don't worry, they'll give us our money back for the one we bought.)

5. I'm finally ready to call the nursery finished! I'm going to do my best to take pictures this afternoon (although it's been gloomy and overcast so far today) and post the nursery reveal tomorrow.

6. And just so I'll have a record of it, here's what my belly is looking like these days:


Yikes! She's getting so big (or maybe it's just me?). And yes, we have a bassinet in our bedroom now. Scary stuff!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

36 & 37 Weeks

37 weeks! Full term! We made it!

I'm so proud of her (ok, and me).

I went back to work today, thank goodness. I'm not sure how much more Price is Right and DIY Network I could take before going stir-crazy. Although I didn't mind my daily 2:00 naptime with Sugar, and I sure wouldn't have minded one this afternoon. All in all it was a great first day back and it was so great to see everyone.

Since I didn't post a weekly update last week, I figured I'd give you the whole she-bang this week:

1. How far along? 37 weeks today, which is officially full term. Because of how my pregnancy has been going and my history of high blood pressure (which has thankfully continued to be super-controlled so far), my doctor doesn't want me to go much beyond my due date, so it's a little crazy to think that no matter what she'll be here in about 3 weeks or less!

2. How big is baby? We had an ultrasound on Thursday and she was estimated to be 5 lbs, 14 oz, which is in the 32nd percentile. I was a little disappointed because she was about 5 lbs when we had our ultrasound in the hospital, so I was expecting her to have grown a bit more 3 full weeks later. But my doctor said everything else looked great and she was not concerned, so I'm trying not to worry either. If she goes to 40 weeks, she's on track to be 7-something lbs, so I'm trying to just be happy that she's not going to be HUGE.

3. Weight gain? About 18 lbs, which I'm ok with. My goal was 20 lbs or less, so hopefully I can stick pretty closely to that.

4. Stretch marks? It's a sad state of affairs guys. They're on the front of my belly (on both sides now) and they are not pretty. But I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that they're limited to my stomach and no other body parts.

5. Maternity clothes? Umm, yes. And even those are getting uncomfortable. Putting on "real" clothes after 3+ weeks of bed rest soft clothes and night gowns wasn't the greatest. I might have to stick to my flowy dresses for the next 3 weeks.

6. Sleep? I have to get up at least 2 or 3 times now each night to pee, but other than that I can't complain too much. 

7. Best moment last week? Getting out of the house! We went to our last childbirth class last night. There were five total sessions and we had to miss two while I was on bedrest, but it was nice to be able to go back and show everyone that I was ok -- I kind of felt like a celebrity! Also, we've made a lot of good progress in the nursery (thank goodness for online shopping!). I CANNOT WAIT to show you guys. I'm so excited with how it's turning out. I have a few things I need to get out and shop for this weekend and then hopefully I'll be able to put the finishing touches on everything and do a big reveal!

8. Cravings? I don't think I've really had any specific cravings. I just crave food, all of the time.

9. Symptoms? A little bit of swelling in the hands and feet, getting out of breath more easily, a belly that's constantly getting in the way -- you know, the normal stuff.

10. Exercise? Yeah, no. I cancelled my Y membership when I was on bedrest (hopefully I can reactivate it soon after the baby is born). At this point I'm doing good to be up off the couch and going about my daily activities. Although if she doesn't make her appearance in the next week or two Lee says he's going to make me start doing laps around the neighborhood (he's ready to meet her!).

11. Gender? Girl.

12. Movement? Still consistent and strong. Sometimes uncomfortable. Lots of hiccups. 

13. Belly button? Very shallow but still not poking out. I don't think I'll ever get to that point (whew!), although Lee is convinced that she'll be "done" when it pops out like a turkey timer.

14. What I miss? Sleeping and lying on my back and stomach. Getting up from the couch without grunting and struggling. And I'm finally starting to hanker for a nice glass of wine or cocktail!

15. What I'm looking forward to? Hopefully wrapping up some final shopping this weekend and finishing the nursery.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Work Baby Shower

We made it to 36 weeks! I'm going to wait and do my 36 week post on Thursday though, after my doctor's appointment, so hopefully I'll have more to update you on.

Instead I want to share the beautiful shower that my work friends Melissa and Carmen threw for me a few weeks ago.

First there was the adorable invitation:


Then the gorgeous spread:









We decorated onesies:



Check out the dark-headed babies!


And of course my coworkers were way too generous. Personalized basket of goodies from Aubrey and London:


Thanks to Melissa and Carmen for the beautiful shower and to all of my coworkers who came and celebrated Ava and I. I'm so blessed to work with such a fabulous group of ladies!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Maternity Pictures

Even though I'm on bed rest, I decided I still wanted to have some maternity pictures taken. I had already booked the talented Holly of Holly Dwan Photography to come and take some newborn pictures of Ava, so I reached back out to see if she'd be willing to come to our house and take some maternity shots.

Luckily, she agreed. And I'm so happy we'll have these to look back on (since I haven't been very good at taking weekly shots of myself).







I love the shots, but if I had to do it over again I would've done them a month earlier. One, so I wouldn't have been on bed rest and we could've maybe done a location shoot and two, because I'm starting to have that I'm-as-big-as-a-house feeling and I feel like a month ago I was looking much cuter and less house-ish. But again, I'm so glad we have these.

Holly is great -- easy to work with, very reasonably priced (you get digital files with her packages, when some photographers are charging outrageous amounts these days for the rights to digital files) and my favorite -- she's fast! Our shoot was on Friday and the pictures were edited and online for us to view on Saturday. Because waiting around forever to see your pictures is torture! So check her out at
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