Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Nursery: Window Seat

I finally wrapped up the last big project in the nursery, at least I think I did!  Hopefully it's just the smaller stuff left on the agenda.  We've had these nooks in both of our upstairs rooms and I have always wanted to make them into a window seat, and I finally have.

The whole project probably actually took about an hour or so, not bad at all,  But you factor into it my heightened level of indecisiveness and the whole project really took me weeks from start to finish.  Pretty much nothing got executed in the way I originally planned, but I am still happy with the outcome, even though it took me a little longer to get there.

I ordered a large roll of 3 inch foam off of Amazon, enough to work for both of my seats.  I was having trouble finding a piece quite wide enough.  I needed 38'' and I ended up settling for 36''.  Most of the large pieces of upholstery foam come in 72'' lengths which was enough to cover both of my seats.

Initially the plan was to sew a removable slip cover.  I thought then it could be easily thrown in the wash, you know.  But I ended up nixing that route when 1.  I had the foam cut to size and I thought that there was no way I would be able to easily get a slip cover on and off that thing, and 2.  Once I washed and dried my fabric I had bought I was a little short and wouldn't have enough to complete the whole thing.  So I went the easier route and stapled the whole thing to a piece of plywood and slid it in place on top of the bench.

I found the fabric at JoAnn's, and at the time also had picked up a few other pieces that were initially intended for pillows for the seat.  More on that later.

1.  I started my laying down my batting first.  Then my piece of foam (which was easily cut to size with a steak knife), and then my piece of plywood on top of that.  
2.  Using my staple gun, I pulled the batting taught and went around the whole perimeter.
3.  I repeated the whole process with the fabric, making sure I lined the edges up with one of the lines in the fabric so it would be straight and not all wonky.  There was definitely a little trial and error when it came to the corners, some are better then others, and I totally just tried to figure it out as I went.

Like I said earlier, initially I was going to sew pillow covers but that was before I got in a fight with my sewing machine.  My patience is definitely wearing thin lately and I decided it was better to scrap the whole sewing pillow covers thing before I had a total melt down.  Granted this was after I washed, ironed,  and cut the fabric.

I ended up picking up all the pillow insets and covers at Ikea.  You really can't beat the prices on their insets, $5.99 for a 20''x20'' Fjadrar feather insert.  Even the synthetic versions are over $20 a piece at JoAnn's.  The covers were also really reasonable, definitely worth paying for over losing my frustration on the homemade versions.  The white covers where $4 each, and the pink velvet ones were $8 each.

To make this area more into a designated reading nook we also installed some picture ledges to store some books on the wall to the left of the window nook.

We used the Ribba Picture Ledges from Ikea, if you can't tell that has been my go to place lately for picking up items on the cheap for the nursery.

Her book collection isn't too large at the moment, though I am sure that will change in the years to come and we will just be able to store a select few up on the wall.  Overall I am happy with how it turned out and I hope that it will become a favorite place for her to cuddle with a book.

Here is a little sneak peak at some of the other things that have been added to the nursery.  I'm hoping to have everything wrapped up in the next few weeks so we can relax an enjoy the last few weeks before her arrival!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bumpdate | Week 32

Week|  32

Total Weight Gain| I think according to my appointment yesterday I'm pushing the +35 lb mark.  Really what am I going to do as this point?  It's more then I would have liked, but considering all else is good and baby is on track to be a normal size I shouldn't really be complaining.

Gender| Baby Girl!

Symptoms| I don't think I'd had any new ones this past week.  Still going strong with the achy back and hips, which really isn't surprising considering the extra load I'm carrying around!  I've found lately I have to be really conscious of how much solid time I'm spending on my feet and walking around because too much of that packed together really brings a foot ache of a whole new level!

Cravings|  All things cold, ice cream, smoothies, ice water.  Which is funny because I never even could stand water with ice, I would always drink it room temperature, but now that I am hot all the time, bring it on!

Sleep|  I can't complain, I really one had about 2 not so good nights in the whole last week.  I definitely wake up every time I roll over, but I only have the occasional bathroom break.  There are even some nights where I go completely with out!

Clothes|  My maternity dresses have been my most favorite lately, comfort is key.  And right now with this weather comfort also means something I'm not going to be a sweaty mess in all day.  I plan on just getting by for the rest  of the pregnancy with the clothes I've purchased so far, but I think it's probably about time to start getting some nursing stuff for after.

Workouts| And I'm totally down to just my dancing as my daily activity.  I have been SO wiped out lately, which I know they say when you feel tired is when you should get up and get moving - that it will help you get some energy back.  But I haven't quite jumped on the bank wagon yet!

Nursery|  We added a few more details this last week, I'm going to have to share an update!  I finally tracked down a pair of lamps, and got the window seat covered and put together.  I even started a washing a few loads of her things.  Not too much left to go!

Movement|  She's there, sporadic, but there.  The doctor reassured me by saying as long as I feel something in a 6 hour window I shouldn't worry, and that has definitely been happening.  Honestly I think because most days I'm up and moving around and busy interacting with people I just don't really notice/pay attention as much.  But when I'm home sitting on the couch that's when I can zone in and pay attention to all her little movements and flutters.  I have to say I haven't suffered any serious jabs to the ribs or anything of that nature.  But I find sometimes whatever position she's in can really inhibit my breathing, not so fond of that one.

Best Moment this Week|  Martin and I spent Father's Day morning getting some maternity photos done.  The weather turned out beautifully and I'm excited to have some pictures to capture this special chapter in our lives.

Missing|  A good hard sweaty workout session, and not losing my breath so quickly!

Looking Forward To|  Checking some more things off the list for our little ones arrival!  I'm definitely in full on nesting mode, things are changing every time I sweep through the house.  And I have my final class tonight, a breast feeding class - it's all getting so close now!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bumpdate | Week 31

Week|  31

Total Weight Gain| Now that my doctors appointments are every 2 weeks, I think I'll just stick to finding out when I'm there, so we will see what the scale says next week.

Gender| Baby Girl!

Symptoms| I am definitely getting more tired and worn out.  I am just not used to having these limitations - and I'm also not very good at accepting them!  Therefore I usually push it a little too hard and that's when my back really starts killing me or I'm so tired I feel like a walking zombie.  My feet also seem to be widening at a never ending pace leaving about the only shoe I can fit into being my flip flops at the moment.

Cravings|  There must be something with the sodium because lately french fries and ketchup sound so good to me.  My weakness has been Chik fil A fries and lemonade, luckily I've only caved a few times because that is definitely not something healthy to be craving!  Other then that there really hasn't been anything too particular.

Sleep|  I have gotten pretty great sleep the last 3 nights in a row, I kinda don't want to jinx it.  I'm definitely waking up every time I need to roll over, and I've found myself waking up on my back more and more.  I think my hips are getting sore and then I end up kinda half on my side half on my back.  Lets just cross our fingers this run of good sleep keeps up.

Clothes|  I've been able to sport a few of my regular summer dresses lately, which has been nice to mix things up.  Even the dress I'm wearing above is one from my normal collection.  I totally feel like my style has been lacking this pregnancy and am looking forward to having a large selection of clothes to choose from again.

Workouts| Working out?  What?  Yeah, I don't remember the last time I intentionally did that.  Dancing counts, right?!  Cause that's what I'm banking on!  I feel myself moving slower and slower, like when we are out and about I keep having to ask Martin to slow down and walk with me so he doesn't take off and leave me behind!  But I am still dancing everyday!

Nursery|  Yesterday I shared the little upgrade to her dresser I worked on this week.  On my checklist for this weekend is the window seat and started to get some of the staples washed and put away.  I'm still on the hunt for a set of lamps, but it's getting closer!

Movement|  She's definitely all over the place.  Some days she's so subtle and quiet, and others I can feel her wiggling around all the time.  But her pattern is usually a bought of wiggling in the morning and another session when I get home from work at night.

Best Moment this Week|  Both Martin and I celebrated our 32nd Birthday's this last week, we couldn't be more excited for what this next chapter has in store for us - though I will admit besides being excited it's also making me a lot of anxious!

Missing|  My regular clothes and the ability to do everything I used to be able to, like bend over without getting the wind knocked out of me!  But I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Looking Forward To|  Maternity photos, we plan to get some taken this weekend - as long as the weather cooperates.  It feels like we've had never ending rain, so cross your fingers it stays dry for us!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Nursery: Lining Dresser Drawers

Today I'm stopping by with a super easy upgrade, that really you could use to dress up any piece of furniture that has drawers or shelves.  My intention this last weekend was to get started on the window seat area of the nursery, but my lack of energy got the best of me and I decided to tackle a simpler project instead.

Last week when I revealed the nursery furniture you saw a glimpse of the dresser we scored off of Craigslist that will also be doubling as a changing table for the first few years of our little ones life.

I really wanted to do a little something to spruce up the inside so it felt a little nicer, especially since the outside had been upgraded.  Even though it's an older piece of furniture, we were lucky in that all the drawers were still solid and functioned properly.  But it definitely had that older smell whenever you opened all the drawers.  A little trick to getting that out is to take some vinegar and a cloth and wipe down all the drawers.  Once the vinegar evaporates you can no longer smell the vinegar, or the old smell.

I picked up a few rolls of wrapping paper at HomeGoods for $2.99 a piece.  In hindsight, if I had measured ahead of time I would have only needed one roll, but it never hurts to have some extra when you are going into a project.  I love the wrapping paper you find at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx because not only is it super cheap and cute, it's also usually the thicker more heavy duty stuff.

Once I had my wrapping paper, the only other supplies I needed were some Modge Podge, some craft brushes, and something to measure with and an exacto knife.

I started by measuring the inside foot print of my dresser drawers.  Luckily I had 7 of them that were the same size, and 2 of another size.  Then I just used my ruler and exacto knife to cut the pieces out of the wrapping paper.

Once all the pieces were cut, I went drawer by drawer brushing on a layer of Modge Podge and then smoothing down a piece of wrapping paper into the bottom of the drawer.  I'll admit I'm no Modge Podge expert and my pieces of paper didn't necessarily go down completely smooth.  I tried, and I smoothed and I smoothed, but I still ended up with some air bubbles that turned into wrinkles.  I decided it just gives it the vintage look, right?!  I did find though that if I was a little too light handed with the Modge Podge I'd tend to get more bubbles and wrinkles then if I applied it a little more liberally.

Once all the pieces had been set in the drawers, I started back with the first drawer and applied a thin coat of Modge Podge over the top of the paper to seal it down.  All in all from start to finish the whole project probably took me about 2 hours to complete.  I love the little fun pop of whimsy it adds whenever the drawers are pulled open.

Now to start stocking the drawers with all the little baby goodies!  Here's to hoping I have enough energy this weekend to tackle the window seat, I think I'll be good!  And a little preview of the fabrics I've picked out for the project.  I'm really starting to feel like we're on a time crunch now, only 2 months to go!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bumpdate | Week 30

Week|  30, I can't believe it!

Total Weight Gain| Luckily when I went to my doctors appointment on Monday I'd put on a little less then 2 pounds since my last one, it still puts me up over 30+ at this point!

Gender| Baby Girl!

Symptoms| Still going strong with the ones from before, occasional back aches and the what not.  The only knew one I've noticed more recently is depending on my position, like if I'm not sitting in a good chair I really have a hard time breathing.  I found out at my appointment this week it's her head going up into my lungs!  Usually 80% of babies are head down by this point, my baby not so much.  Luckily she still has time to turn over.  But with her being head up it's less flexible then feet and will cause a harder time breathing when it gets pressed into your ribs/lungs.

Cravings|  The only thing I'd say I really have a craving for is ice cream, and unfortunately french fries.  Luckily I've only caved into the fries a few times.  I used to drive past fast food and the smell would make me nauseous, now it just makes me hungry for fries!

Sleep|  I'm kinda settling into the routine of some insomnia between about 3 - 6 am every few nights or so.  It's been terrible hot lately upstairs in our bedroom, so more often then not I either move downstairs to our guest room or just start there to begin with.  The worst part is I feel so much better and more awake during my early morning bouts of sleeplessness then I do when I actually end up getting up for the day, by then I'm just plain tired and groggy!

Clothes|  All maternity pretty much all the time!  I kind of feel at the point where it doesn't make much sense to invest in much more, so hopefully I can make what I have last through the summer!  But I'm definitely getting some use out of my maxi dresses with this warm weather.

Workouts| I slacked on this BIG time last week.  Mainly due to my sleep schedule, with being up for a few hours in the middle of the night I end up rolling out of bed later then planned and then end up taking it easy instead of getting my but out for a walk.  I've also just been more tired lately, and work has been wearing me out more and more.  Thank goodness I'm active there!

Nursery|  Finally feeling like it's a real room.  I shared all of the furniture that we have in place earlier this week, and now I'm excited to start to get working on the details.  The foam just came in yesterday so I plan on getting started on the window seat this weekend.  I also need to start organizing all her little things and washing the things we will be needing in the beginning.

Movement|  I'm feeling more and more, but definitely different as she's getting bigger.  Due to her position I feel a lot of little thuds and kicks down low, including the occasional bladder ninja kick.  Overall though I have to say her demeanor is pretty gentle, there never seems to be anything crazy.  I know people have said they've seen a hand or a food poke out and I've never noticed anything close, just a roll and a flutter here and there.

Best Moment this Week|  Our 30 week ultrasound, it was truly amazing!  I had no idea the amount of detail we'd be able to see.  You could see her face pretty clearly, and her cheeks which are already a little chubby.  We could tell that she has hair already, it was so cool!  She's measuring right on track.  Right now she was 3.5 lbs and they are estimating she'll be in the 7's at term, so we'll have to see!

Missing|  A cocktail!  I've never been a big drinker, but seeing everyone else enjoy one this summer is making me a little jealous!

Looking Forward To|  Getting some more work done on the nursery, I love seeing it all come together and makes me excited to be getting it all ready for her!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Nursery: Furniture

I am happy to report progress has been made!

We now officially have all the major pieces of furniture for the nursery, bought, assembled, and in the room.  In addition to that Martin has finished switching out all of the electrical outlets and covers so they are now all a bright fresh white, which makes a major difference.  Now they just blend into the board and batten, and you don't really notice them at all whatsoever.

It's still just looking like a skeleton of a room to me, but it feels so much better to have the really major things checked off the list.

Here's the view from the doorway.    It was hard to narrow down a crib, especially after all of the inspiration I found with the lofty price tags.  But I finally settled on the Charlotte crib in  misty gray by Fisher Price.  It's sold all over the internet, but at the time that we ordered it I found the best price on it through Walmart.  It was seriously the easiest thing to put together.  It almost made me a little concerned with how easy it was to assemble, but it seems pretty sturdy so we should be good to go!

Instead of the traditional rocker or glider, I decided to go with a chaise lounge for now.  We'll see how it works for us.  I just couldn't bring myself to spend $500 plus on a chair and ottoman that I just didn't love.  We picked up the Kivik Chaise from Ikea with the Dansbo White cover Memorial Day weekend when it was a part of the Ikea Family sale for just under $300.  You can see in the photo above we also picked up some furniture feet from Home Depot to add a little style and height because I wasn't in love with the black plastic feet it came with.  I still plan to give those wooden feet a coat of stain.

Speaking of the Ikea Family card, if you're not signed up for it, you totally should be!  It's a free savings card to which they offer discounts on certain products each month exclusively for card holders.  It also allows you to price match any of your purchases for 90 days if something you buys goes on sale.  The closet system that we installed last week just went on sale and I was able to go back in with my receipt and get about $40 back, totally worth it!

Back to the nursery.  I ordered this basic bedding set off of Amazon.  I liked that the crib skirt had some fluffiness to it, and was adjustable as you have to move the mattress as the baby grows.  I'm a little disappointed that the corners don't seem to quite meet like it did in the photo online, I might need to put some ties in to keep it closed.

I knew I wanted a round wood toned side table for next to my chaise, and it took me forever to find.  It's always when you know what you want it seems to be know where to be found.  I was determined to find one for under a $100 and yesterday I finally hit my luck at the At Home store.  I found this little side table for $90, still a little more than I had hoped, but it fit everything I was looking for so it came home with me.

The rug is the Venice Shaggy Rug from Rugs USA.  That is my go to website whenever I need a large area rug for a room because you can almost always score 70% off, which is awesome.  If you can't, just wait a week and there will probably be a sale that starts.

On the other side of the room we have the dresser we scored from Craigslist.  I'm still so in love with it and glad we scoped it up when we did.  We picked up a changing pad and have installed it on top.  So easy, it just screws into the back of the dresser with 2 screws so when we are done with diapers when can just undo the two screws and you'll never know it was there.

I want to line the drawers of the dresser, and then I can get to actually putting things away in it.  I'm also still on the hunt for a pair of lamps to split between the dresser and the side table.  I feel like I have searched everywhere and come up completely empty handed.  HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ikea, Target, At Home Store, and I've even been to a few of those stores multiple times!  I know that if I'm patient something will eventually pop up at HomeGoods or something of the sort, it usually does.

Now it's time to start to accessorize and add the details.  The foam has been ordered for the window seat and the fabric has been purchased, finally I will be bringing in some color so don't worry this neutral space will have a little bit of variety to it.

In the meantime I've started to put all the little things we've gotten for her so far in the closet.  Mind you with no organization or order.  But the little clothes are just so cute, I can't wait to meet her and be putting everything in this room to use!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bumpdate | Week 29

Week|  29

Total Weight Gain| I've decided to skip over this category ;)  Especially now that my appointments are every two weeks, I'll just get the update there!  Plus as long as I'm growing a healthy baby, that's the most important. . . then I'll just have to work by butt off afterwards!

Gender| Baby Girl!

Symptoms| Pretty much the same, my back on the weekends.  Which I can't figure out if it's a compilation of everything I do during the week coming to an end, or if it's that I'm not moving around doing the same soft of activity I am during the week.  And the swelling, which isn't extreme, but mostly ever present in my feet.  This week I'm also feeling everything growing like crazy, getting more stretching and pulling across my stomach, and my hips and feet are spreading out to a width that is beyond any sort of control.

Cravings|  I have been getting uncontrollably hungry again, the only problem seems to be I don't know for what!  I'm still eating a ton of fruit and am loving the bowl of ice cream at night, but other then that nothing is really speaking to me.

Sleep|  I've been pretty good, with a few nights of insomnia in the mix.  But usually thats due to hunger and once I get up and eat I'm good to go back to sleep again, usually that is.

Clothes|  I've officially grown out of my first pair of maternity jeans.  I tried to wear them this last weekend and I thought I was going to die.  It's crazy how much wider my hips have gotten, which I suppose is a good thing leading up to the delivery, but it definitely made wearing those pants an uncomfortable experience!

Workouts| I've been slacking again lately, I only made it out for 2 official walks this last week.  Though I logged a ton of time on my feet during the week dancing and running errands over the weekend.  I'm definitely hitting that third trimester lull of being tired a lot of the time again.

Nursery|  I'm so excited with how this is coming along!  I shared how we outfitted the closet earlier this week.  And we got a chance to start putting some of the bigger furniture items in the room, I can't wait to share!  At this point we've kinda just dumped everything we've gotten for her into the closet and haven't really tackled any sort of real organization yet.  But it's finally starting to feel like a real room versus a construction zone.

Movement|  I totally feel like it has changed over this last week.  Maybe it's her getting bigger in there, but the movement feels different.  It's hard to describe, but it almost feels more gentle - at least most of the time.  She's definitely moving more throughout the day and I'm starting to feel her even when I'm preoccupied with other stuff going on.  I can't wait to see her at our ultrasound on Monday and see what position she's in and what parts I've been feeling kick out and roll across.

Best Moment this Week|  Definitely the progress made on the nursery.  I was going into a real panic mode that there was so much to do (and well I still kinda feel that way)  but to see her room start to come together and feel like we've got a place for her helps calm some of that worry.

Missing|  Muscle definition, and running!  I'm feeling more flabby then I have since I don't know when.  And I know a big part of that is all the relaxin in the body prepping everything to stretch and be flexible, but I can't wait till I can hit working out hard like I used to.  And I never thought in a million years I'd miss running, but I actually do!

Looking Forward To|  My baby shower this weekend!  My friends are throwing a small get together and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody and spending some time together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Nursery: Organizing With ALGOT

I finally feel like we have made a serious dent in our progress on the nursery, this weekend we tackled our last large project for the space.  Finally we can start moving things in and putting this room together!

Last week Martin wrapped up the floor project by installing the quarter round trim, caulking and painting which really helped the room start to feel like a finished space.  The last major thing that needed to be done was getting some organization in the closet.

Lets quickly remember where we came from.  This closet wasn't too pretty at the start of our project.  It was the dumping ground for most things as we were cleaning out the room.  It was also outfitted with wire shelving that was slowly falling off the wall piece by piece ever since I had bought the house.

Not pretty!  A fresh coat of paint, and a blank space and we were ready to go.

Ignore the missing vent cover, it's on my shopping list.  But already so much better.  And you can see with the trim down how the floors are finished off and everything is starting to feel like a real room.

For this closet we decided to go with the Ikea ALGOT system.  In my master closet I had used the AKRUM system, which is similar but has since been replaced with the ALGOT.  I love that it's completely customizable, for a fraction of what you would pay at most other retailers.

A few weeks ago we made a trip to Ikea so I could check out in person all the parts/options available.  Then once home I took me dimensions and mapped out a solution that would work well for us.  There were definitely a few drafts done, and even the final draft of what ended up in the closet is slightly different then the final draft I went to the store with.

Once I had decided on my layout I made a shopping list of all the parts that we needed which made getting through Ikea on a Sunday a little less crazy, but still that store was packed!  It probably had something to do with the cold rainy weather we were having, but still I haven't seen it that busy in a long time!

We initially spent about $200 on all the parts, but after some last minute installation changes we ended up returning about $40 of extra parts that we didn't end up using leaving our grand total around $160.

Once you're home you'll have everything you need except for the hardware to secure the vertical brackets to the wall.  We just picked up some heavy duty anchors at Home Depot, and got to work.  The hardest part is just making sure you get all of the vertical brackets level and secure to the wall at the right spacing.  Once those are in the shelves and components literally just snap into place.  We got the whole thing installed in about 2 hours on Sunday night.

I am so happy with how it turned out and all the storage we have.  Now it's time to load it up with all the baby goodies that have been floating around our house.  Something else that we've also slowly been doing around the house is upgrading all the hinges on the doors.

The old rusted brass ones are being replaced with some nice new oil rubbed bronze ones.  Several months back I picked up a bulk box of the hinges on Amazon, enough for all the doors in our house for about $25.  We've probably replaced them on about half of the doors in the house, slowly they will all get there.  Now we just need to get some door knobs to match.  But first we have to finish the rest of the nursery!