December Already?!

OMG it’s December.  OMG I’m going to have a baby next month.  OMG I could actually have a baby *this* month.  OMG.

So this is pretty exciting!  On top of it being, you know, “the most wonderful time of the year”, we’ve also entered The Final Countdown to Baby’s arrival!  (You know you have that epic 80’s song stuck in your head now… and if you don’t yet, click here.)  There has been a lot of preparation going on in our house.  Alex has taken care of the cleaning portion of nesting lol!  He wanted to have Thanksgiving at our house this year, and said that he’d do all the cleaning in preparation for it.  Now, he usually does a lot of the cleaning, but not *all* of it and I think that’s because he just wasn’t aware of what *all* the cleaning really meant.  So I printed out Martha Stewart’s Weekly Cleaning Checklist (along with her Monthly and Daily checklists) and he ran with it.  In fact, he asked me if I could print it out weekly so that he can reference it while he cleans during the week.  Have I mentioned that he rocks?  Oh, and he also took it upon himself to completely organize our linen closet – which was a *mess* and was on my list of things to try and get done for forever.  So now our deal is I’m going to set up an Automater task on my iMac to print the weekly checklist at the beginning of every week and I’ll put it on the fridge.  As we get stuff done, we’ll each check the things off that we got to during that week.  Since he’s home more than me (and will be home alone more than me after Baby comes since Baby will have Full Time Daycare available), he’ll be doing the bulk of the chores and he’s cool with that.  Also, again, I just need to say that he rocks.

I’ve been focusing on getting what we need to be ready for Baby and on preparing the Nursery.  There are only a few things that we still need to get: a crib mattress, a diaper pail and liner (we’re doing cloth diapers), a garbage can, some basic baby/first aid supplies, a breast pump and related supplies (which I’ll buy in January with next year’s Flex Spending), a breastfeeding pillow (the My Brest Friend is my choice over a Boppy) a pack and play (not an absolute necessity, but I’m told they’re useful), a Rock and Play Sleeper (for Baby to sleep in next to my bed at first), and some onesies, no-scratch mittens, and socks that Baby can use right away.  I’m waiting for my registry completer coupons to make any purchases, so hopefully they should come pretty soon!

Things are coming together really well in the Nursery!  I’ve gotten a lot of projects done over the last month or so.  I made a changing pad cover from a Prudent Baby Tutorial:

My DIY Changing Pad Cover, from a Prudent Baby Tutorial

I also made curtains from another Prudent Baby Tutorial:

My DIY Curtains, from another Prudent Baby Tutorial

This past weekend, I made slipcovers for my glider cushions, using a tutorial from Our Happy Family:

Glider Before

Glider After!

I also made a blanket that we can use when Baby is old enough for a blanket in bed – it will work as a coverlet for the toddler bed when we convert the crib to one.  I used a tutorial from Gus and Lulu, but I changed it up a bit, inspired by an image that I found online and pinned to Pinterest:

Pennant Bunting Blanket!

A few projects in one picture: curtains, glider slipcovers, crib skirt, pennant bunting blanket.

I’ve got a flickr set created with pictures of all of the progress in the Nursery and will continue to add to it as I finish things off in there.  I only have a one more sewing project that I definitely plan on doing – a pennant bunting to be hung above the crib.  I’l be following a tutorial from Your Home Based Mom and I’ve already got the pennants all cut and ready to go:

Pennants all cut and ready to be made into a bunting for above the crib!

The only thing stopping me from getting that done right now is, I’m not sure how big/how many buntings I’ll need.  I bought a Wall Quote to go above the crib, and it hasn’t shipped yet.  I’m not sure how big it will be and how I’ll position it above the crib, so I’m kind of waiting for that to be here before I sew the bunting.  Luckily, the bunting should come together *very* quickly, so it’s definitely a project I’m OK with pushing off till the very end.  Here’s the wall quote:

Wall Quote for Above the Crib

I’m really happy with the way that my projects have all turned out so far!  Things are really coming together in the Nursery and it should be pretty much ready for Baby really soon!

Speaking of soon… I realized the other day that my doctor had changed my due date.  It had been January 17th, and apparently sometime when they were doing a ton of Ultrasounds between 16 and 26 weeks, they moved the date up to January 13th.  That’s really not a huge difference, but since it’s a change in the “right” direction, I’ll take it!  That means that I’ll be 35 weeks at the end of this week.  35 weeks is a pretty big milestone because it means that you’re 35 weeks along and have 35 days until your due date – OMG!  Also, since they moved my due date up, I’ll be considered full term a couple days before Christmas instead of a couple days after Christmas.  This means a couple of things for me…  It means that if Baby decided to come that early, they wouldn’t try and stop labor since I’d be technically full term.  It also means that, since they’re concerned about my Blood Pressure (which has been on the high side), they might consider inducing me if my BP gets worse near the end.  Any time after that full term date would be considered fair game in their eyes for inducing me if they needed to, so it could possibly end up being that I have a baby before the end of this year – how crazy is that?!  I’m not counting on that, though.  I’m hoping that my BP doesn’t get worse and that I can carry Baby until Baby is ready to come out – whether that be before or after his or her due date!

So with all of this Baby prep going on, you may wonder if we’ve gotten anything done for Christmas.  I’m happy to report that we have!  We’re approximately 30% done with our Christmas shopping, and have a good idea of what needs to be done to complete that.  Since it’s only December 6th, I think we’re pretty well on target to finishing shopping without a good deal of stress.  We’re also 100% done with our Christmas decorating – so that rocks!  Unfortunately, we’re 0% done with Christmas cards… but that’s not a huge project, so I should be able to get that done this weekend.

So yay for December!  It may be a really busy month of preparation for Holidays and Baby, but it’s going to be a lot of fun!!

31 weeks and counting…

Sometimes when I’m sitting at work and I can feel Baby kicking me or rolling around in there, I look over at the little ultrasound picture that I have on my desk and get so overwhelmed with excitement and happiness that I can just feel myself glowing.  When I think back to where I was last year and how depressed I was after the miscarriage and hopeless I felt when my doctor suggested fertility treatments, I can’t believe how different my life is now and how lucky and happy I am.  Then, when I think about where we’ll be a year from now, getting ready for our first Holiday Season as parents and getting to experience that through the eyes of our baby, I can’t imagine how much more our lives will have changed by then.  I can’t help but think of that Colin Hay song, “Waiting for my Real Life to Begin.”  When we were trying (and not succeeding) at conceiving after the miscarriage, I used to cry when I’d hear that song.  Now, it makes me smile.  We’ve gotten past the hard part of the waiting and now we’re coming to the end when the next phase, our “real life”, really is just around the corner.  It’s so exciting to be on the precipice of this turning point!

It’s exciting and exhilarating… and terrifying.  And I think that anyone that doesn’t admit that last piece is lying to themselves.  I think that Alex recognized that last piece right away at the beginning and it took him a little while to get past that and focus on being excited for the new things to come.  I haven’t realized the fear until recently.  Now, at the end, when this immense, life changing event is barreling towards us, I finally am realizing the magnitude of it and how scary that is.  I’ve always obviously known that things will be very different for us once Baby arrives, but I’ve been so focused on the overarching goal that I never worried about the details.  Now that I’m 78.2% of the way through my pregnancy (according to my iPregnancy iPhone app, lol) I’m beginning to focus on the details and they can definitely feel overwhelming.  On Sunday, Alex and I had the chance to just relax with each other, basking in the glory of a lazy afternoon with nowhere to go and nothing to do.  It was glorious… and suddenly I was crying.  I realized that afternoons like that would probably not exist for us for a good long time.

Those moments of mourning our simple life and fearing what’s to come are few and far between and quickly drowned out by the excitement for what’s to come.  I have many more sweet moments that occur every day: feeling Baby kick me when I’m in a boring meeting, talking to Baby on our commute home from work, having Alex rub my belly and talk to Baby while we sit together on the sofa at night.  I stare at other people’s children and analyze where they got their features from – their mom’s smile, their dad’s eyes – and wonder what we’ll be passing along to our baby.  I work on projects for the nursery and see it slowly coming together into a whimsical room ready for Baby and I can barely contain my excitement.  In forty days, Baby will be full term!  My due date is just two months from today!  So, so soon we’ll actually meet our little one!

What a wonderful rollercoaster ride this time in our lives is – and I am *so* thankful to be on it!

Snow Shower

Who would have thought that a Baby Shower in October in New York would be affected by snow?  I guess you never know what Mother Nature has in store for you… My Baby shower was last Saturday, October 29th and it really was a fabulous time, even if the snow unfortunately affected the travel plans of some guests.  I can’t believe how generous everyone was – not only with their gifts, but also with the time that was spent planning, crafting, cooking, and putting together a really lovely party.  Pictures speak louder than words, so I’ll let this slideshow do the talking about what a great time it was! :)

I feel very blessed by all of my family and friends who thought of me and Baby K!  Thanks so much to everyone – whether you were here in person or here in spirit! :)

Alex and I have been doing a lot of work on the Nursery this week and lots of progress has been made!  Alex assembled baby gear and I’ve been finding homes for all of the awesome gifts we were given.  We bought an area rug for the nursery – which has been delivered and looks great – and Alex just finished putting together the dresser/changer that Wham and Pa bought for us as a shower gift and I can’t wait to fill it with bins of baby supplies and cute freshly washed clothes.  I’ve also made some sewing progress; I’m about 75% complete with the curtains for the room and am hoping to get those finished up this week.  It’s amazing how much progress we’ve made just this week – I’m so excited!

28 Weeks – Exciting Stuff!

I’m 28 weeks along this week and into the 3rd trimester – I can’t believe I’m already in the home stretch of this pregnancy!  I also can’t believe that it’s already the end of October… The last two months of the year always fly by because of the holidays, so January will be here before I know it!  And considering Baby will be full-term a couple of days after Christmas, who knows?  I could end up with a Baby before the end of the year!  Scary!!

I’ve had lots going on this month!  We got our first gift off of our Baby Registry – our crib!  Aunt Barb in Texas sent it to us and we were *very* excited to get it set up in the freshly painted nursery!  It even inspired me to finally start my sewing projects.  I finished the Crib Skirt a couple of weeks ago and I’m really happy with the way it turned out!


I love the way that all of the colors look together so far in the room!  I’ve started the curtains – well, I started them a week ago and they’ve been sitting in my sewing room waiting for me to get back to them.  I really need to get a move on!  I need to do the curtains, the window shades, and the covers for my glider cushions.  I think I originally thought that I’d have them all done by the end of this month, but that was not to be… I’m now hoping that I can get motivated enough to do them in the next three weeks and at least have it all finished before Thanksgiving!  I really need to focus and get this stuff done before Christmas Season really gets underway!

Beyond the nursery, I’ve been preparing for Baby in other ways.  I read “The Happiest Baby on the Block“, which I borrowed from the Library and copied the DVD companion too (don’t tell!).  It has a lot of useful sounding tips on how to keep Baby calm in the first 3 months and from what I hear they work!  While I was at the Library last night, I borrowed “The Organized Mom“, which I picked up because while I was flipping through it I saw it gave specific tips and floor plans on how to best set up a nursery, “Creating Your Birth Plan“, which I’m hoping can give me a not-too-biased overview of all of the options out there when it comes to giving birth so that I can get and idea of what kind of birth experience I’m hoping for, and “Laugh and Learn about Newborn Care“, which is a DVD which goes over things that are taught in the Infant Care class that is offered at Bellevue that we couldn’t sign up for because of conflicts with Alex’s schedule.  I told Alex that I got that for us to watch together when I got home last night and he totally rolled his eyes at me, but then I caught him reading the back of the DVD case later, so I think he’ll tolerate watching it – LOL!  I bought “One Year to an Organized Life with Baby“, which has weekly assignments (which I need to catch up on since I bought it so late!) on what you should do to organize your house, finances, and baby prep needs.  I’m looking forward to digging into that book because this is the one time in my life when I haven’t felt overly prepared and organized for the big event coming – I think I’m avoiding thinking of the scary stuff and I need to stop!  To that end, I’ve made appointments to visit a daycare and a pediatrician’s office – two things that we need to decide on soon!

The other big way that I’ve been prepping for Baby is car shopping!  When I bought my Subaru Impreza in 2008, I thought that it was a car that could grow with me – it was still a small car, which I was hoping for because I was so used to driving my Beetle, but it had a hatch back that I thought would be big enough for baby gear.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how big car seats are.  When I started to shop for car seats, I realized that getting an infant seat, and later a rear-facing convertible seat, in the back seat of my car was going to be a *tight* squeeze.  So I started doing research on a new car.  Well, not a *new* car, but a new-to-me car.  I’d bought my Subaru brand new and I definitely loved having a brand new car for the first time in my life, but the second you drive it off the lot it’s a used car.  And since I wanted to buy something bigger than what I had but not increase my car payments at all, I figured that going for something used was probably my best bet.  I Googled, “Best Compact SUV” and found a listing on USNews.com for the best affordable compact SUVs.  The Toyota RAV4 came in at number 1 and the Honda CR-V came in tied at number 2.  I did a lot of research and narrowed my choices down to those two options.  Alex and I went to a dealership this past Sunday that had a 09 CR-V and a 09 RAV4, both in black, and both with around the same number of miles.  We test drove both of them and I decided on the RAV4.  We were able to work out a deal that I was happy with and on Wednesday, I picked up my new car!  When I got in the car and drove away from the dealership, the Baby started kicking a lot.  I said, “Oh, do you like this car, Junior?  I hope so – I did this for you!” LOL!

The other fun thing we did this weekend was the Firefighter Appreciation Mass and awards brunch afterward hosted by the SPFA.  Alex did a reading at Mass (and he really had a tough one where he had to say Thessalonians a million times) and he did a great job.  At the brunch afterwards, he got an award along with his partner for a save they had at a fire on Stanley St earlier this year.

Overall, it’s been a busy month – and especially a busy week this week!  I’m really looking forward to this weekend because my baby shower is tomorrow!  So exciting!  It randomly snowed yesterday and I guess there is snow predicted for tomorrow, so I hope that doesn’t deter anyone from coming!  I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone!

The days are just flying by…

22 Weeks and another Ultrasound!

Yesterday marked 22 weeks along for me in this pregnancy!  I realized as I looked at one of my (many) pregnancy iPhone apps that it means I’ve got 18 weeks left.  Seeing my weeks left under 20 was randomly shocking!  18 weeks is still a long time to go, but it’s a heck of a lot less than 40 weeks where I started out!

I had another Ultrasound today – my 10th one since the beginning of this pregnancy lol!  I guess this is the one advantage to starting out infertile and overweight – you get more ultrasounds!  Today’s ultrasound was fun (as always) and I got some pretty cool pictures of the Baby – all of which can be seen in my January 2012 Flickr set.  At my 20 week ultrasound, we didn’t get any cool pictures of Baby’s face (just some creepy skeletal looking ones).  Today, we got a couple of cool pictures of the face where you can actually distinguish a face out of the black and white blobs:

22 Week Ultrasound - Face

22 Week Ultrasound - Baby's Face

 

Baby has their left arm up by their head in this picture.  Seeing Baby laying there with their arm up by their head totally made me smile, because I definitely do this to this day.  In fact, my first baby picture has me in a similar pose:

Newborn Ali

My First Baby Picture

Seeing Baby again was great.  The tech gave me a lot of other pictures of the arms and hands and feet – we’re not looking to find out the gender, so there were no “revealing shots” lol :)  The hand and feet shots are kind of interesting, but not all that cute.  I think this is the only other really cute shot that we got today:

22 Week US - Baby's Profile

22 Week US - Baby's Profile

It’s amazing how crunched up in there Baby is!  As I type this, Baby is kicking me in the bladder.  That’s Baby’s favorite trick: when my bladder gets full and starts impeding on his/her space, Baby starts kicking like a Ninja.  I first started to feel Baby’s kicks about 2 weeks ago, on the way to my last ultrasound appointment.  In fact, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling until after that appointment and I saw where baby’s feet were and made the connection between the little thumps I was just starting to feel and where I could see Baby was positioned.  Baby is laying with his/her head to my right side, and then sort of positioned diagonally down and across so his/her feet are down towards my left hip.  The placenta is lying on the top and you can actually see it in that last picture above – it looks like a fluffy cloud above the baby.  I think because of the position of the placenta, I only feel Baby when he/she kicks way down low – so nowhere that anyone else could feel from the outside yet lol!

Anyway, fun/exciting stuff and because Baby wasn’t in the perfect position, I get another ultrasound in 3 weeks!

Nursery Fabric Ordered!

The aqua is about the color of the walls - the black and white chevron is for the glider cushions, the red and white polka dots is for the crib skirt and window shades, and the bright owls on lime is an accent fabric that I'll use to bring other colors into the room.

I ordered the fabric – well most of it – for our nursery today and I’m psyched!  I went with the black and white chevron fabric for my glider cushions and I’ll be picking up red and white polka dotted fabric for the crib skirt and window shades at Joann’s – just as soon as the “Keepsake Calico” goes back to regular price so I can use a 40% off coupon on it.  I picked out “Bright Owls in Lime” as an accent fabric for the room – I think that it looks a little dark in the screenshot above and that it will be brighter in person.  There’s a lot of brown in it, but I think it still goes with the black, red, and white pretty well and will let me pull in other colors into the room.  I’m planning on using it as part of the changing pad cover, part of the curtains, and I have a few other ideas for small accents – fabric cubes for storage and a little bolster pillow for on the glider.  I’ll use the scraps along with some coordinating scraps or fat quarters or fabric remnants that I can pick up for cheap at Joann’s to make a cute pennant banner to hang on or around the crib (not sure about the safety of the “on the crib” idea, though it does look pretty cute in my inspiration room).  I love the owls and the idea of adding all those bright colors as accents into a mostly Tiffany blue, red, black, and white room, so I’ll use some of the other bright fabrics I’m planning on picking up for cute (and hopefully quick!) projects like owl book ends, and an owl mobile.  I also love that red runs through everything and I’m hoping that we can get a some really cool fire truck accents for the nursery as well.  Owls for Mommy and fire trucks for Daddy.  I’m hoping that the overall feel of the nursery comes off as eclectic and bright and fun!  I can’t wait to really get started!

Works in progress… or soon to be…

So last weekend when I made my Snoogle cover, I realized that the days of me being able to spread out my fabric on the floor to trace patterns and cut would probably be quickly coming to an end.  I don’t have much of a baby belly yet, but there’s one there and even with the not-yet-large one that I do have it’s already becoming uncomfortable to be sitting on the floor bending and reaching.  So I figured that I better get a move on with any sewing projects I want to get done!

So tonight I started the Margaret Sling Bag by Oh, Fransson!  I’d love to give a link to the tutorial, but she’s permanently retired it, so I can’t.  Here are a bunch of completed ones from her Flickr group.  I downloaded the pattern and tutorial about a year or more ago and it’s been sitting in my DIY notebook in Evernote since then waiting for me to get around to it.  Well, since I was less than enthused about all of my bags recently, I decided that there’s no time like the present!  I had some great fabric left in my stash to use for it too:

Twirly Flowers by Premier Prints - a canvas material that I'll use for the outside of the bag.

Hummingbirds by Michael Miller - a quilter's cotton that I'll use for the lining of the bag.

So I got started on that project tonight.  I have the pattern pieces cut from my fabric, but I started that late and just cutting out the pieces took longer than I expected, so I had to stop for the night before I got too far into the project.  Ah well, it’s a start!

I’ve got a ton of projects that I want to do for the nursery… I want to make a crib skirt using this tutorial for a pleated crib skirt.  I’d like to customize a pull-down roller shade using some fabric and this tutorial.  In front of the shade, I’m torn between plain white panels or DIY-ing some cute but cheap curtains like those in this tutorial.  I’ve got fabric all picked out to recover my glider cushions – probably will make some slipcovers, but this tutorial is very inspiring!  And I’m thinking that I’d like to make a custom changing pad cover, like in this tutorial.  I’ve got a ton of other ideas collected from around the web that I’d like to try (crib sheets!  mobiles!  basket liners!) but those are the big ones.  I spent some time this weekend seeking out fabric for these projects and I ended up with some winners:

Nursery Fabrics - the large red polka dots will be the crib skirt and shade cover. The small I might use, might not... The black and white chevron will be for the glider cushions. The aqua is very near to the color of the walls.

I’d like to find a cute print that pulls in some other bright/bold colors as well… but nothing was striking my fancy this weekend.  Now I’m in the waiting game of trying to figure out exactly how much I’ll need of each kind of fabric and ordering it when it’s the most on sale…

Looks like a lot of sewing in my future!  I hope it all comes out alright!  Also, even though I haven sewn a stitch yet, I feel pretty accomplished for having picked out the projects and fabric to go with them!  Exciting!