Wednesday, November 14, 2012

travels | in which mommy doesn't make a list

A few phrases people don't often use when describing me: spontaneous, laid back, spur of the moment.  What can I say? I like to plan, organize, and arrange.  I once made my little sister cry because she didn't want to stand where I wanted her to stand for Easter family pictures.  Now I'm known as the Easter picture Natzi.  Nice.

So of course, when it comes to packing I like to make a list, pack everything on the list, and double check that everything on the list is in fact packed.  When I do forget things (How does this always happen?!  What about my lists?!), it seriously messes with me.  If you're also a list maker, then you know what I mean.  If you aren't a list maker, then feel free to laugh along with all the other artsy, go with the flow, spontaneous people.  It's ok; all of us type A's will laugh when you forget to pack underwear.

So this brings me to the actual story.  Last Friday I found out that B, my dear friend and freshman year college roommate, would be up in Hillsdale for the weekend!  Seeing as we're not terribly far from Hillsdale, I decided to drive up with Elise for the day to see her.  So I grab the diaper bag, hop in the car with Elise, and we're on our way.  On the drive up I happen to talk with C, another dear college friend, and learn that she will also be coming into Hillsdale.....tomorrow.  I really want to see her!  But we didn't plan for this.  I didn't make any lists, pack any gear,  or double check anything.  So do we try to stay the night with no travel crib, noise machine, favorite swaddle blanket, pajamas, church clothes or toiletries?  Even before having a baby, the answer would have automatically been no.  I don't have any of my "stuff".  Duh.  Except now I have a baby with even more stuff.  But you know what? Something about having a baby and not being able to control everything has made me a little more flexible, dare I even say a little more laid back?  I know, I hardly believe it myself.  So on US 12, halfway to Hillsdale, I decide Elise and I are staying the night.  No gear, no extra clothes, no nothin'.  

Big news guys, guess can get almost anything you might ever need from the travel size aisle Walgreens.  I know, who would have guessed?!  You can actually travel, happily, with practically NOTHING -- mind blown.  I borrowed a shirt to wear to church from V, swaddled Elise in my jersey scarf at bedtime, and we had the best time ever.  No stress, no worrying about not having the noise machine, and only one minor blowout (I did miss my cloth diapers - no blowouts with those).  When we ran low on disposable diapers Sunday morning, we borrowed a few from the church nursery.  When she got a little poop on her pants, we washed them in the sink.  Easy peasy.  So, to all my dear type A, plan ahead friends: if you ever find yourself on a spontaneous trip, take heart, everything you need you can probably get from Walgreens.

Here are a few pictures from our wonderful weekend away:

meeting Aunt B for the first time

hangin' out with Aunt C at Finish Line for Sunday brunch

at Aunt V's house

sitting up (with a little help from the couch)

go here for the tutorial I used for Elise's tunic



Saturday, September 8, 2012

baby | the nursery

Since I'm overdue and starting to get a little antsy, here's a little nursery tour:

Instead of turning our spare bedroom/study into a nursery, we decided to keep the baby in our room with us (at least for the time being).  We condensed our bedroom furniture and turned one side of the bedroom into a little nursery nook.

The banner above the crib is temporary -- the real banner is of her name which is top secret until her arrival (much to my mother's dismay).

If you would like to know how I made the crib bedding, you can see a list of links to all the tutorials I used here.

I recovered a hand-me-down glider with very worn, retro denim cushions using this tutorial.  

You can read about how I built the cubby bookshelf here.  Two of the baskets are filled to the brim with board books!  The rest of our baby/kid books are currently being stored in bins in the study until we have more bookshelf space.  The other two baskets hold swaddling blankets and bibs/burp cloths.


You can read about how I built our changing table topper and caddy here and our changing pad and cover here.  Initially we plan to use a combo of cloth and disposable diapers.  Cloth when we're home and on weekends and disposables when I'm at work or we're traveling.  I'm very excited about cloth diapering (thanks in no small part to this lady!), and I hope to someday be in a position to cloth diaper full-time.  However, I want to stay flexible and not go nuts killing myself cloth diapering full-time if it turns out to be too much along with working full-time.

This picture may be my most favorite detail of the nursery!  I had been wanting some kind of alphabet nursery art, and Aunt Kris surprised us with this incredible custom piece at the Hillsdale baby shower! 

One of the benefits of keeping our spare bedroom/study in its current state is that we still have a place for company to stay (hint hint).  Also, we put up two shelving units to hold all the baby gear, baby clothes, maternity clothes, non-maternity clothes, Christmas decorations, seasonal items, etc. which alleviates just about all of the clutter that would have otherwise consumed our reasonably small apartment.  Plus my pregnancy induced OCD was appeased with a ridiculous amount of label making.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

baby | going home outfit

Here's a little preview of our going home outfit.  It's kinda cute now, but wait till you see it on our baby. ; )

Leggings and jacket by Carter's
Shoes and hair bow are homemade

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted about the ruffle baby shoes.

I found the best baby bow tutorial EVER here. These bows are pretty tiny and lightweight but the trick is keeping them stuck in fine, wispy baby hair. You can make whatever style bow you like but the real winner is her method for no-slip grip on the clips. I can clip one of these onto three strands of my own hair and it sticks like glue (seriously!). Of course it's possible our baby won't have any hair at all so the bow also slides onto a matching headband. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

sew | ruffle baby shoes

I made two pairs of these adorable little shoes this weekend. They are SO easy and a very quick project! I do recommend trying a test shoe with some scraps so you can figure out sizing, construction, and ruffle placement. It's not difficult but getting the ruffles to look just right and sewing through all the layers takes a bit of practice. I did not do a test shoe and the first pair came out only so-so while the second pair looked a heck of a lot better! You can do contrasting fabric for the inside of the shoe (which I did for the first pair), but since the inside doesn't show when it's on a little baby foot I went the easy route with this pair and used all one fabric.

You can find the free pattern and tutorial here.

The basic pattern is fantastic and there are so many ways you could change the look. I've made a couple felt flowers for headbands, and I think my next pair of shoes will feature flowers on the toes instead of ruffles. And of course baby J will need a pretty little pair in cream to match her dress for Aunt Meghan's wedding! Considering how expensive baby shoes are, it's wonderful being able to make these for free (if using scraps from other projects) or around $1.00/pair if buying new fabric.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

life | the last dates we'll ever have without paying for a babysitter

Well maybe not the absolute last, but the last we'll have for a looooong time.  So we made a "before the baby bucket list".  To be clear, I am not equating having a baby with dying.  Socially or otherwise.  Seriously, we are SUPER excited for our baby to get here!  Realistically though life is about to be really different, and we figure we might as well enjoy our last couple weeks as just the two of us.  Not that we can't or won't ever go out with the baby, but it'll likely be at least a little while before we are sufficiently recovered, comfortable, and capable. Plus, with all the fun we've been having the time is flying by!  At least I'm not sitting at home twiddling my thumbs and waiting for my water to break.  Because that sounds so fun.

One of the things near the top of our list was to go out dancing.  Back in college Isaac and I took a ballroom dance class and occasionally visited the campus swing club.  We really enjoy dancing together, but hadn't danced in well over a year.  So we decided to find a place to go dancing.  There's no time like to present to get back into it, even if you are hugely pregnant, right?  So you're probably wondering, just what does it look like when a full-term prego lady dances?  Well do I have a treat for you...
Do I look a tad ridiculous?  Yeah.  It's ok though because I look a tad ridiculous doing almost anything at this point in the pregnancy.  And more importantly, we had a great time!  I have a feeling we'll be going back to the once-a-month dance events even if we have to pay for a babysitter.
Full term - 37 weeks!

Monday, August 6, 2012

baby | getting ready

I'm a chronic list maker.  So is my dad, so I think we can safely blame this tendency on him.  However, my list making has gotten a little out of control with the expected arrival of our baby in about three weeks.   So, at least in my mind, it's reasonable that my list of things to do before the baby arrives is about a bazillion miles long.
Thankfully I have a husband who humors me and willingly does things from my list so that I feel we are appropriately moving towards welcoming our baby home.  Some of the things on my list are practical like installing the carseat (thanks for checking that one off the list this weekend, darlin'!), packing the hospital bags, and washing all the baby bedding/towels/outfits/etc.  Some things on my list definitely fall into the ridiculous category though like "trim all the loose threads and fuzzies off of the bathroom rug".  You're probably wondering what this has to do with our baby's arrival.   Well of course the obvious connection is that people would judge us if they came to our home to see our new baby and decided to use the bathroom and caught sight of our RUG FUZZIES!  I seriously hope this is what they call nesting because I was not even aware that our rug needed to be "trimmed" until a few days ago at which time it became overwhelmingly apparent.   And it obviously needed to be taken care of immediately because what if I went into labor right this second and we had to leave and go to the hospital before I had a chance to trim the rug fuzzies?!?  So last night I sat on the bathroom floor and trimmed rug fuzzies with manicure scissors for a half hour like an insane person.  However, while I trimmed rug fuzzies, my first ever load of baby things was being washed so at least now our baby has a fresh, clean place to sleep, and clothes to wear home from the hospital.

Also, in honor of being full term at the end of this week, I've decided to go ahead and start packing the hospital bags just in case baby J decides to make an early arrival.  Better safe than sorry, right?  Speaking of packing the hospital bags (and I say bags because I figure one for me/baby and one for Isaac because he might want clean underwear and snacks too), I've been reading up on what to take and what is better left at home.  Turns out just about everybody has a different opinion on this and rightly so - what matters to one person may not matter in the slightest to someone else.  There are some basics that just about everyone requires though, and here are a few links to blog posts/articles I have found helpful and/or entertaining:

This one is funny and informative. Also, Wendy makes lots of lists too so I don't feel so odd.

Standard list from BabyCenter. Good reminders though.

A list of things she took to the hospital that she did NOT need. Also funny.

Maybe once I actually get our bags packed I'll post my own list of what I decided to include and leave out.  We all know how much I love to make lists...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

baby | 35 weeks

It's been a while since I posted anything at all let alone a baby update.  This is partly because summer is always busier than anyone ever expects it to be, and partly because everything is just peachy here in prego land and there really isn't much to report.  I've been feeling great despite the heat-wave/drought of a summer we've been having.  I haven't experienced any cravings (yet), but I have maintained a healthy appetite ever since the morning sickness went away.  I'm caught up to where I should be weight-wise and the baby is a teensy bit on the small side but mostly right on track for size.  At my last visit the doctor said she was head down and looking great -- hopefully she stays that way!  I have weekly appointments every Tuesday morning now, and it doesn't seem possible that I've been pregnant long enough to be this close to having a baby!  She's considered full term in 2 weeks, and her estimated due date is September 2nd.  I think it would be a little hilarious if she arrived one day late and I labored on labor day...

Here are a few highlights from the summer so far:

I made a quick weekend trip to Omaha for a wonderful baby shower with family and friends at the end of June.

We spent a wonderful week over the 4th of July lounging on the beach with Isaac's family at their cottage in Pentwater, MI.  Isaac's mom and my sisters-in-law also threw a lovely family shower while we were up there!

We recently had the privilege of visiting our home church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where Isaac delivered his first public sermon (he did great!).

On the baby-prep front, we've taken a couple classes at the hospital where we will be delivering, assembled tons of baby stuff, finished setting up the nursery nook in our room, and turned a corner of the office into a baby-item-warehouse.  I'm serious about that last one, people have been SO generous both with gifts and hand-me-downs!

In the midst of everything else, Isaac has been taking summer classes at the seminary along with teaching a Latin class, and I've been working about 50 hours/week with the exception of our week-long vacation with family.  Like I said, summer is always busier than you think it will be and this one has been no exception. 

Tomorrow afternoon, the lovely ladies at St. Paul's are throwing us yet another baby shower (we are truly surrounded by wonderful, thoughtful, and generous friends and family!), and we are excited to see everyone in Hillsdale one last time before the baby comes.  I've been restricted from traveling outside of Fort Wayne after tomorrow so you are guaranteed we'll be here for the next month, and in case you were wondering we welcome visitors! :)    
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