Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Highfive

This week has been simply fantastic for me.
My initial plan was that today would be my last day of work but, fearing that I would be rushing from the office to the hospital, I decided to play it safe and move the date up a week.
I have been itching to stay home and settle in since my doctor told me I was 3 cm 2 weeks ago.  The nesting surge is real and every single morning I would get started straightening or organizing only to realize that I was already 10 minutes late to work.  Of course it's something that you can't really plan, but having this time at home before the birth of our daughter has been wonderful.
Here's what I've been doing that's left me feeling nested and rested.
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1. Mani/Pedi
Lots of people suggested I take the time to do this before baby, and it really was so nice.  Thanks to a gift from my friend Carrie, I was able to spring for both a mani and pedi and what a treat.  These nails are what is called an "almond" shape and they make me feel hip.  I'm already such a cool mom ;)
Love ya Carrie!
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2. Library Trip
I have no idea if I will be reading during the postpartum blur, or if this is just wishful thinking, but regardless I am happy to have a few new books on stand by.  I realized about a third of the way in that I have already read "The Husband's Secret", but I've decided to finish it again anyway.
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3. Lounging
Have you seen the ecard that says something like "But what if my favorite thing to do is nothing?"
Yup.
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4. Visits
Emma came over for a visit on Wednesday and we had a great afternoon.
Alfie was obsessed with her and was giving her kisses nonstop.
Two things:  Aren't her little chubby hands the sweetest?  
And second, let's talk about these magnetic carseat hands!  They are called Lulaclips and I just think they are so clever.  They keep the carseat straps untangled and hold the buckles open as you place baby in her seat.  Kristina said these are a must have.
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5. Freezer meals
I made 2 pans of chicken enchiladas over yellow rice.
I have tried every kind of store bought enchilada sauce and even tried from scratch and I swear by the Mccormicks packets.
 I also made two pans of stuffed shells.  I stuffed them with mild italian sausage, ricotta, and spinach. 
Finally, I made a batch of cupcakes last night and frosted half/froze half for later.
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It means the world to me that I will be going into labor feeling prepared all around.
It truly is amazing what a week at home has done for my mindset.
And, hey hey October!!
K and I both have been secretly hoping for an October baby and we have just about made it!
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I hope y'all have a great weekend!
We will be out and about unless someone has other plans...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

House Tour: Nursery

Attention: There is a still a baby in my belly.  I had my weekly appointment on Tuesday and still holding at 3 cm, 70% effaced.  
Today I want to share my girl's sweet sweet nursery that we have spent much time preparing and anticipating for her.  I loosely deem the theme "beach babe", but really it's a modge podge of special pieces that I love.  The beach vibe comes in solely from the artwork, which was chosen because I love it and will repurpose elsewhere in our home once she decides she loves giraffes or ladybugs or whatever may be(just please no owls, little love).
So without further ado, the photos!  I wish I had a professional photographer on hand to capture this room in it's true, well lit glory, but phone snaps will have to do for y'all.  Sources below.  "Before Photo" at the very end.  Enjoy!
^ Alfie is ready for his little sister!
^This mobile is very very special.  K surprised me with this finishing touch on the nursery and I think it will become a treasured family hand me down.  I love it so much!
^These 2 pieces from Teil Duncan's collection were the first things I bought for the nursery early this year.

EBN, We are ready for you!
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Crib- Bassett, Family hand me down
Crib Sheet- Cotton Tale Designs
Crib Skirt- Ikea
Mobile- BlaBla  
Rocker/Glider- Family hand me down
Rug- Costco
Dresser/Changing Table- Estate Sale
Bookshelves-Clear Displays
White Fringe basket- Homegoods
Lamp- Estate Sale
Artwork above crib- World Market
Artwork above dresser/changing table- Teil Duncan
Zebra rocker- Silent Auction
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BEFORE PHOTO
Summary: This room was one of the easiest, as all we did was paint and deep clean.  Nice and easy to cross off the list!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our Weekend (tick tock tick tock)

Omg, I'm so anxious for my doctor's appointment this afternoon!!
I'm dying to know if there is any further progression or if it's looking like I will linger here for a while.  
So, this weekend was a combination of trying to get as much done as possible while also making an effort to rest and relax... a delicate balance.
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I have had this belly casting kit since I was around 20 weeks and figured it was now or never.  I think the finished project is a bit personal to share, but it came out great and it was a fun little project for K and I on Saturday night.
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My "Before Baby To Do List" is nearly complete!  We decided to postpone the granite purchase and we have our electrician coming back tomorrow to finish up with a few light fixtures, but the rest of the work is done.  I am going to stop and give myself a pat on the back for a second because I am really proud of how far this house has come since we moved in less than 4 months ago.  I can't do that without also mentioning my parents and, of course, my husband.  We have all spent lots of time and effort pulling things together and I am really grateful.  I probably put more pressure on myself than necessary to get things done, but with a major life event around the corner, having a calm and comfortable home base is key for me.  
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I had a $20.00 TJMaxx gift card and decided to use it on myself instead of the baby for a change.  I was able to pick up a new wallet and pair of sunglasses.  The wallet has a removable wrist strap which I think will come in handy over the next few months.  I really need a new handbag but I'm holding off because I'm not sure I will be using one along with my diaper bag.  I will probably just throw my wallet, keys, and phone in there.  
Sidenote: I am consciously savoring any and all solo shopping trips and errands from here forward as I'm aware of how limited they are!
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I haven't really noticed any correlation between things I eat and baby movement... until now.  Gf is a little karate kid after a handful of chex mix muddy buddies.  Sugar rush, for sure.  I picked up a bag of this at the store Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
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And last, I used iron on letters from Michaels to monogram this sweet bag hanging in the nursery.  It was a gift from some of the ladies where I work and was made by the same Haitian women who made the folk doll I purchased.  I love the extra sentimental value behind so much of what's in her nursery.
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K has my car today and is taking it to have the carseat installed this afternoon.
My mom is coming over tonight to help me set up the guest room (aka "her room")...
busy times. 
Annnnd, I have moved my last day of work up to this Friday.
Let's see if we make it until then...
Ready or not!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Highfive

I guess you could say I've got a one track mind right now: BABY.
We have been hustling this week making sure everything is in order.
Nesting turbo mode.
So, here's a highfive for getting through the week!
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{1}
Girlfriend is going to be looking cuuuute at the hospital.
I was hanging up some clothes last night and set these two aside for packing.
The left is her going home dress, a gift from her Grammy (my mom).
And the right is just a newborn footie that I think is the sweetest thing ever.
So excited to see her in these.
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{2}
Bathtime ready!  
We chose the Fisher Price 4 in 1 Sling to Seat bathtub.  I like that it can grow with her from infant to toddler.  I hope that she loves baths as much as her mom does!
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{3}
For me, maneuverability was pretty much my biggest concern when it came to choosing a stroller.  And that translated to a 3 wheel model.   It's easy to get bogged down in the semantics of safety ratings when it comes to baby gear, but this one has some of the highest.  I didn't finalize the decision until testing it in person.  I will say that one of the cons is that the car seat/carrier is heavier than most of the others that I tried, but it wasn't enough to overshadow it's good features.  
We ended up purchasing this ourselves from Amazon, using our registration completion coupon along with an additional 5% off and overnight shipping by activating a 30 day free trial of Prime.  All of this, plus the already reduced price on Amazon, saved us around 30% off retail.  For a big ticket item, that's a great savings!
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{4}
 The one step baby food maker.  I chose this because it steams and purees, just set and forget.  We won't be using this right away but once we do, I plan to purchase this squeeze pouch station.  I had never heard of this until a friend mentioned it on Sunday at my baby shower.  I've noticed the prices on the pouches in the grocery store and I think making my own would be very cost effective.  

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{5}
I looked at A LOT of products and this one had the best quality with the most features.  It has a Bassinet+Changing Station+Removable Bouncer/Napper.  I was totally sold on the multi-functionality of this, not to mention that the materials actually feel softer and thicker than any other play yard I've looked at.  We've got it all set up, just need to pick up batteries for the bouncer and the music/light soother components.  


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So now it's Hurry up and wait, right?!
I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We Ready! (+ some Baby Shower pics)

As of last night, our hospital bags are packed.
Yesterday, at my 37 week appointment, I discovered I am already 3 cm dilated!  My doctor anticipates that I will be progressing rather quickly considering last Thursday I was at 0.  That's a big change over a few days and it makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.
IT'S GO TIME!
One thing I'm glad I picked up over the weekend: my diaper bag.
I decided on this bucket bag style by Jessica Simpson.  I was thrilled to find something that doesn't actually look like a diaper bag but has the necessary features.  My initial plan was to purchase this insert to convert an existing carryall into a diaper bag, but I still felt like it lacked on functionality.
Problem solved:
 In other news, this weekend my girlfriends threw me the best baby shower ever!
The event was held at Triangle and the details were so sweet and special to me.
Spoiled. Rotten.
Carrie arranged all of the flowers, they were gorgeous!
And my girl Lauren made the funfetti cake you see below, professional status! 
 The food was fantastic.  To be honest, I forget about Triangle except for brunch, but this spread was awesome.  Special recognition goes to the shrimp tacos and the black bean egg rolls.  And the sausage dip.  
<3
I get all emotional thinking of how lucky I am to have friends that shower me and the baby with such love.  I hope that they know how much I appreciate and admire each of them.  I can't wait until they get to meet her, SOON!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Life Lately

Some snaps of the haps around here lately...

Last Thursday was the official return of College Football!
I've got to admit, I really enjoyed hearing the whistles and crowd noises on the TV all weekend.  Every year I always make whatever K wants for dinner for the first gameday.  This year he said he wanted chili so that's what we had.  Chili is so simple and pretty delicious any way you do it, but I always brown the meat with chopped celery (3 or 4 stalks), a medium green bell pepper, and onion.  I think it's the perfect base for any recipe you choose!
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On Friday we were both home from work due to the threat of Hermine.  It was a loooong day stuck inside and we both felt stir crazy.  By Saturday night we were itching to get out so we decided to have a special dinner at Basil.  We haven't been out downtown much (at all??) this year, so I spent extra time getting ready.  I was feeling great, loving my hair and makeup and felt like my outfit really accentuated my bump, so I asked K to take a few pictures of me and I swear to you this was the best he got.  I mean, really?!  Instagram husband, he is not.  For the sake of documentation, here is a picture of me on what I assume will be our last big "date night" as non-parents.  
Ended the night with a stop by Cupcake :)
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On Sunday I had the sweetest Baby Shower given by my Aunts.  There was lots of delicious brunch food and our little baby was spoiled!  (This dress was from my Pea in the Pod flash sale haul)
We decorated bibs and onesies:

And here you have some private investigator style photos of me:
Thank you to Aunts Jerri, Jeanette, and Vicky for showering me and my daughter with love!
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On Monday we worked around the house all day and grilled out for dinner.
It was nice to enjoy sitting outside without the stifling humidity!
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It was a short week and another busy weekend starts now!
I hope y'all have a great one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pregnancy Journal: One Month Countdown

Hello hello...
I meant to post this last week but you know how it goes. 
 I'm getting so close and so excited!  It's blowing my mind- the one month countdown starts today!  The last 5+ weeks since my previous update have been good!
We attended a New Parents course at the hospital which left us feeling a little more prepared.  We have been interviewing Pediatricians which I've really enjoyed.
(For anyone interested I used this Interview sheet to get into the right mindset.  I didn't actually ask all of these questions but it helped me organize my thoughts.)
Away we go!

Symptoms:
Sleep I would say sleep is going...fine.  It is harder for me to get comfortable now and I feel like if I switch positions, I automatically have to get up to pee so that's a pain.  I do find that some nights my mind won't shut off with to do lists and nesting instincts.  I will also occasionally wake up with my throat on fire which brings me to...

Acid Reflux  This has really come on with a vengeance these last couple of weeks and it happens mostly in the afternoons/at night.  It's inevitable and medicine has done nothing for me, what ya gonna do.

Exhaustion  You know, it's hard to have much perspective on my exhaustion level at this point because I've been pregnant all year.  I do know that little things like folding laundry and vacuuming feel like much larger tasks at this point and little projects take forever because I constantly need breaks.  But overall I wouldn't say I feel exhausted.  

Food Aversions  Pretty much the same...just general "blah-ness" regarding food.  

Cravings  Waffle House Pecan Waffles, Frozen Milano cookies, Grilled hotdogs (charred on the outside)

Weight Gain  I have put on 19 lbs.  

Movement  All of the time.  I feel hiccups, kicks, punches, and what sometimes feel like somersaults.  This is truly one of my favorite parts of pregnancy.  I have not had any painful rib kicks or anything.

Nursery:
We are technically ready and settled to bring her home tomorrow should she come early, but another couple of weeks would be nice!  As far as "must have items" go, we're just about covered.  We still need to purchase a baby monitor and I've been waffling on swing vs. bouncer vs. rock n play vs. pack n play for months now.  I am only going to purchase one of these to get started and I would like whichever I choose to do double duty, i.e. a swing/bouncer combo or a pack n play with changing station and removable napper.   As if I haven't received enough (conflicting) opinions, I am open to any feedback y'all may have.  I am planning one last trip to Babies R Us and we will be good to go.

Anticipation:
I am looking so forward to catching up with my friends this weekend at a Baby Shower they are giving me!  A few things on my current To Do list include Packing my hospital bag, getting a new cell phone, getting my car washed and the carseat set up, Schedule a maid service the week of my due date, finalize my last day of work...
It's goin' down for real.
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Hope y'all are having a great week!