Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Willa's Room

Eleven months later and I'm posting Willa's room.  Tada!  It's been almost as long since I've blogged last but what can I say?  My little girl keeps me busy (let's just say that it has taken over two weeks to get this post ready and I wish I could go back and re-edit some of the pictures but if I do that this will never get posted!).  I have kept up with my blog reading, however and may I say that I'm so impressed by those of you with new babies that are still blogging!  You ladies are amazing!  I have come to the conclusion that my sweet girl is a  high needs baby (first 6 months would only nap if I was holding her--not even her Daddy would do) and I might blog about those challenges one day.  Anyway, reading blogs during our super long nursing sessions have helped me keep my sanity.

I have to give a disclaimer and mention that Willa does not sleep in this room (like I said, high needs). We are in the process of updating her room to fit her needs more and will be following a Montessori approach which includes a floor bed, so I'm capturing this room for posterity.  One of the challenges with our sweet girl is that she does not transition well from falling asleep in our arms to being put down (and cribs certainly don't make that easy!).  Nor will she fall asleep on her own outside of our arms.  It's just not who she is. So at the moment, this room functions as a place to store clothing, change diapers, read and play (reading and playing happen in every room though).

The jumping off point for this room was a sweet print from  Freya art print that I fell in love with a couple of years ago.  At the time, I thought if I ever had a baby, I wanted it to be in their room.  When I found out I was pregnant, I searched for this print and loved it just as much as I did when I first saw it.  She was running a sale, buy one large print, get a medium print for free (the sale is still running by the way!).  So, I splurged and purchased two prints for $90.  This was the first time we had purchased real art and I'm tickled that it was for Willa's room. Searching for a fabric that I loved as much as the print was challenging.  I wanted something that was interesting and whimsical but not too girly.  I came across Tula Pink Prince Charming and bought a fat quarters pack in the honey colorway to sample it and it was perfect.  I purchased the frog print for our cornice boxes and still have the fat quarters waiting for me to do something with.  To help me stay focused on what I liked (because often, I like it all!), I created a pinboard for this room and am happy with how much from my board we were able to incorporate. I really love how the room is now but am excited to change a few things to make it enjoyable for Willa, too.

We opted for cornice boxes (that Bryan built and I upholstered) with blinds over curtains.  Curtains took up too much precious wall space to work for the room.

I love this corner of the room.  I wanted to incorporate some pink and nature into the room.  I made the rag wreath using a variety of pink fabrics along with some fabrics I had hanging around the house (it was such a fun and satisfying project).  The flower pictures are photos that I took and printed from home on card stock.  They're taped on the wall for now because I wanted to use floating picture frames but had trouble locating them.  I wasn't sure how I was going to use them when I printed them which is why the yellow flower on the bottom row is too small for the arrangement.  We bought the upholstered, slip covered glider off Craigslist.  It came with a matching storage ottoman but I opted to use this little foot stool instead.  It belonged to Bryan's Grandmother and I recovered it a couple of years ago.  It works everywhere in our house but I especially love it in here.  The purple striped blanket was a gift from my sister and the pillow covering is a small blanket that Bryan's cousin knitted.  It is so soft and perfect for a baby.  The green and pink afghan blanket draped on the crib was a $3 yard sale find a couple of months ago.  

And this might be my favorite corner of the room.  These forward facing book shelves are all over pinterest and was the perfect solution for what otherwise would have been wasted space. I LOVE them!  It provides great storage with a small footprint. Willa loves them and points to it saying "bookh".  I love that "book" is one of her first words.  One proud Mama right here. Bryan built them and they were so easy to make and mount.

I scoured Craigslist for months looking for a dresser to fit in the space between the closet door and entry door (a much harder task than I anticipated!).  I finally found this one for $75 and I'm very happy with it.  I wanted to do a bolder two toned finish (as seen on my pinboard) but the dresser is maple and maple does not take stain well (as discovered after we tried it, then googled what we did wrong. Turns out there is a reason maple furniture is usually not stained.  Ahh, hindsight.).  It was a splotchy mess so I opted for a more subtle two toned finish and painted over our staining snafu.  Bryan also built the shelf hanging above the dresser. We used shelf brackets from Hobby Lobby ($8) and spray painted them yellow.  The wood top is pine wood flooring from our attic. 

(P.S. if you noticed some of the accessories are different in these pictures that's because the pictures were taken over the course of a month...yeah, have I mentioned things move slowly around here?).

And here's my favorite girl.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown by or that I'm already planning her first birthday party. It feels like we just got home with her. As soon as I started feel sad about the passing of time she started doing amazing things which has me nothing but excited for the next year.  She is now walking, talking (her vocabulary consists of mama (first word!), dada, bye bye, yuck, book, dog (which sounds like duck or dock) and glasses (she's obsessed with them.  In the mornings, she hands me my glasses saying "gashes" and she loves sunglasses, well mine anyway.  Baby sunglasses? Forget about it!) and signing (milk, more and eat).  Yes, I am one proud mama!  She also gives slobbery, open mouthed kisses and the sweetest hugs.  I ask for a hug and she puts her head on my chest.  Ahh, it melts my heart.

So, that's her room.  I hope you all enjoyed the tour and thanks for stopping by our little part of the internet!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Miss Willa Elizabeth

1 week old

Willa was born on August 27th--11 days past due!
1 hour old

Our little one turned out to not be so little.  She was 9lbs, 2oz and 22" long!  She had the chubbiest cheeks we had ever seen and we were instantly in love.

As I've mentioned previously, we took The Bradley Method classes to prepare for a natural birth at a birth center with midwives.  Well, it shouldn't have surprised us that our little one had other plans. Here is our birth story for those of you who like birth stories.

On Thursday, August 25th I was 9 days overdue and went to see the midwives for my 41 week checkup.  I was told during this visit that I had until Tuesday to go into labor, otherwise I would have to be induced at the hospital.  I asked what my options were to get labor started and the midwife offered to stretch my cervix (also called stripping or sweeping the membranes).  I was already dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced (and had been since week 39) so she felt there was a good chance this would get things started for me.  If not, I was to call the on-call midwife over the weekend to have it stretched again and to take castor oil Sunday morning if I still wasn't in labor.  I felt good with the plan after the appointment and had high hopes of going into labor over the weekend.

That night, I went to bed with mild cramping and a back ache.  After a long, sleepless night (which had been the case for a while--it's so hard to get comfortable this late in pregnancy), I was awake when Bryan was getting ready for work.  My back was still hurting and I asked for a back rub before he left.  During the massage, I realized that I was having a stronger back pain and thought possibly they were contractions.  I asked Bryan to stay home from work until we knew if I was in labor or not.  I got out of bed and took a walk with Bryan and Bindi to see if the contractions would continue and lo and behold, they did!  Truly excited at this point, I decided to do what our Bradley training taught us and ignored the labor. The early stage of labor is the easiest and the longest and to keep from tiring out too soon, it's best to ignore it until you need to work hard.  I ate breakfast, took a shower, put on makeup and did my hair (haha--why I thought that would last through labor, I don't know).  It was about 11am at this point and the contractions were getting closer together.  We decided to time them and they were about 5 minutes apart and 30 seconds long.  By 1pm, they were 4 minutes apart and still about 30 seconds long.  I decided to call the midwife on call and she said to call back when the contractions were 1 minute long and I was having trouble walking and talking through them.

5pm rolled around and we were getting tired.  We ignored the labor as long as possible but with the contractions only happening in my back, the only relief I got was from Bryan applying counter pressure. My contractions still weren't one minute long but they were getting closer together--3 to 4 minutes apart.  This time the midwife offered to check my progress.  Unfortunately, I was still only 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  Absolutely 0 progress.  She explained that early labor generally is back labor and when the contractions wrapped around the front and lasted a minute then I would know I was making progress.

We went home and did more of the same.  I tried to get comfortable and relax and finally decided to give the bathtub a try.  I quickly realized that was not comfortable and got out and decided to eat some dinner.  After dinner, the contractions were really hard.  I tried my best to relax through them but decided the best thing was for me to call the midwife because I wanted to get into their tub (their tub for water births is a large, jacuzzi-type tub and that was our plan for pain relief).  We got to the birth center about 9pm and I was a wreck.  Still only having back labor, I was so afraid that I wasn't making progress.  I was greeted at the door by a nurse who told us that we were the third to check in that night (they only have three rooms and average one birth per day so this was completely unusual) and the tub room was already occupied.  I think this is where I really lost it. I started to ugly cry as Oprah calls it.  Thinking I was still in early labor and was having trouble with managing the pain (how on Earth was I going to get through the hard part of labor?!) and being told my water birth plan was no longer an option, I seriously started doubting I was going to manage a natural labor.

The midwife checked me and I was dilated to 7cm!  Only three more to go!  I was so shocked and relieved.  My contractions still weren't lasting a full minute and at this point we should have realized that nothing about this labor was going to be text book (the average time for a first time labor is 12-14 hours, I was already into my 14th hour at this point).  Once you hit 7cm, you enter the "transitional" phase which is the shortest but most intense part of labor.  In a text book labor this phase lasts about one to one and a half hours.  At this point, things get a bit intense.  I get to my room and in between contractions, Bryan is running to the car to bring in our bags.  My contractions were about 2 minutes apart and he had to apply some serious counter pressure to my back.  The midwife was also having to insert my hep lock for some antibiotics I had to be given (I was GBS+ which meant I needed to get 2 doses of antibiotics, 4 hours apart in order to not pass it along to my newborn).  Unfortunately, needles and me do not get along and it took four tries and two people for my veins to cooperate.  I officially got the dose at 10pm and the next dose would be given at 2am.  During all this, my midwife was checking the baby's heartbeat and was getting concerned that it was accelerated every time she checked it.  After calling their OB, he recommended an IV of fluids thinking I might be dehydrated.  At 11pm, her heartbeat was still reading high so the decision was made that I would need to go to the hospital.

We got to the hospital just shy of midnight.  Once hooked up to the external fetal monitoring belt, our little one's heart rate was reading perfectly normal.  Thank heavens nothing was wrong (and I do appreciate having midwives who err on the side of caution).  Our nurse checked my progress and I was only 8cm with a bulging bag.  Should have been no surprise that my labor was progressing slowly.  Finally, 2am came and I received my second dose of antibiotics.  Immediately after, the OB came in and broke my water to help labor progress.  At 3:30am, I was finally (!!) fully dilated and ready to push.  One hour later, our baby was born.  My "short" transition phase lasted over 6 hours and in full disclosure, I was thisclose in asking for an epidural (it was stated in our birth plan that I would ask for pain relief if I wanted it and our nurse told me up front I would have to tell her, she would not ask me).  Thankfully, the hospital, nurse and OB were used to natural births and were great at supporting me.  Our nurse was fantastic and continually told me how great I was doing working through the contractions (when I felt like I was anything but doing great) and Bryan never let up on applying counter pressure.  He felt like he was ran over by a truck the next day.  I, on the other hand felt great after the delivery.  My endorphins had kicked in and I was on cloud nine!  Also, Willa was so alert and ready to nurse upon arrival (which is the main reason we chose a natural birth).  While I don't know if I'll forget the pain of labor, I do know that I'll never forget the feeling afterward.  Definitely the happiest day of my life.

About 5 hours after giving birth--22 hour long labor

She loves her Daddy
Our happy baby ready to go home!

And please forgive me for not proof reading the above.  I'm a happily, sleep deprived Mama who has some snuggling to do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Bump: 40 weeks

Well, I made it to 40 weeks! 

This bump seems to be growing by the day!  I tried to do some weeding in our flower beds the other day and might have toppled over a couple of times.  Just when I get used to the size of my bump, it goes and it gets bigger on me. I am so looking forward to the day that she is on the outside of my womb!  While I've enjoyed a very healthy pregnancy, I'm ready to walk without waddling.  Standing up without grunting.  And spending less time in the bathroom.  Especially public restrooms because I can't seem to go into an establishment without needing to visit it at least once.  And most of all, we're just so ready to meet her!  We are still undecided on a name and we're hoping that when we meet her, we'll just know.  I really hope that happens! (please tell me that happens!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby Bump: 36 Weeks

Technically, I am 36 weeks and 4 days which means that in 3 days I will be full term.  Full term is 37-42 weeks; that's a long waiting game, guys!  Everyone around me seems convinced that she will not make her arrival until after my due date.  I wouldn't mind at all if she decided to make her arrival a little earlier than that (but none of the women in my family has ever had their baby before their due date).  I have been very lucky with a complication free pregnancy but the aches and pains that come during the last trimester are no joke.  I've heard it said time and time again that when pregnant there comes a point when one is so uncomfortable that the fear of labor is no longer a concern.  I don't know if I'm quite at that point yet but I do feel it is right around the corner.  I wake up everyday with my hips feeling bruised.  Or I can't go to sleep due to my hip pain.  Or I hoist myself off the couch only to have my legs lock and it takes me a minute to move them (think the tin man in The Wizard of Oz when he gets rusty and needs to be oiled up--that's how I walk when I've been sitting for too long--too long sometimes being as short as thirty minutes). Arghh!

In other pregnancy related news, we have completed our Bradley class training and Bryan received his official Bradley Coach Card! Woot, woot!  Yes, he literally has a card called "Official Coach Card" with his name on it that he can whip out of his wallet anytime the fancy strikes.  He's official after all.  This "coach card" stems back from the days when it was not common for husbands to be in the delivery room and this coach card was issued upon completion of class and it was required for the husband to have it to be in the room with his wife.  Now it's a novelty since anyone can be in the delivery room (at least at the birth center, there's no limit on the number of people allowed) but Bryan's awfully proud of it.  And I'm proud to have him as my husband and birth coach.

Speaking of my husband.  Today is his birthday!

And while I'm sitting in the office typing this, he is putting together our baby's crib.  When really, he should be relaxing while I make him french toast or an omelet or some equally delicious breakfast.  He's been doing a lot of hard work around here especially since it's getting harder for me to move (just try a couple of squats with a 25 pound bowling ball strapped to your waist and you'll see what I mean). He recently figured out how to install crown molding (not an easy fete!) and it looks so good in the nursery (picture soon, I promise!).

And he brought the electrical up to code in the nursery.  An outlet on every wall is a dream!!  I'm so excited to not be limited by outlet placement when it comes to placing furniture in the room. (on a side note, I'm not sure why my touch up paint is different from my wall color.  I stir the paint through out the process of painting but it seems like the colorant settled.  Unfortunately, this was color matched paint and I'm not sure how I'm going to remedy it). 

And that's just a small sample of things he's been up to in the nursery.  I better hop off here and show him some much deserved appreciation on this special birthday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bindi's Favorite Chair

We purchased a nice, slip covered glider for the nursery off Craigslist and Bindi has claimed it as her own.  I believe the nursery will be her absolute favorite spot in the house once our little one is here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

32 Week Bump

 How to get rid of man hands? Grow a big belly! 

As usual, this post is going up late.  I'm now 33 weeks from my estimated due date.  Seven weeks to go and only four weeks left until I'm considered full term!  Now is the time where I hope that the weeks go by even faster than previously because I am feeling the pain.  An almost 25 pound uterus will cause achy hips (and forces one to consciously try not to waddle) and impedes ones ability to bend over which makes getting comfortable in bed almost impossible.  Just for fun, try climbing in bed tonight, adjust your covers and pillows (I use three now, by the way--the third one usually goes between my knees but occasionally is used under my belly) and don't bend at your waist.  Then wake up three hours later to go to the bathroom and do it all over again.  This time being careful to not wake up your husband.  Fun times, I tell ya, fun times!

But I need to get used to it for the time being because I'm not holding my breath that she'll make an entrance in seven weeks if she takes after either of her parents who are procrastinators (it's a running joke in my family that I was born two weeks late and have been late ever since).  She'll probably decide a good week after her due date that maybe it's time then I'd imagine a full week after that before she'll mosey around to being born.  On the other hand, while I'm convinced she'll arrive late, I'm worried about her arriving early.  Yeah, wrap your head around that.  Pregnancy has made me crazy!  Because of that, we're making a final push to get the nursery (mostly) ready.  I hope to have pictures for you soon. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Baby Bump: 28 Weeks

This was actually a week and a half ago, which means now I am 29 and 1/2 weeks, so only about 10 weeks to go. Time is flying!  Would you believe that we haven't even started on the nursery yet?!  I'm trying to stay calm and remind myself that it doesn't have to be 100% done when the baby arrives.  I do plan on getting it painted this weekend though.  If you're interested in what I have in mind for the nursery, you can check out my Nursery Pinboard on Pinterest (and warning, if you haven't checked out Pinterest yet, it can be highly addictive).

Moving on to pregnancy news, I now have Braxton Hicks contractions on a daily basis.  They don't really bother me but I hear they can be quite annoying for some women.  To me they serve as a reminder that my body is preparing itself for labor.  While I may be a procrastinator, my body obviously is not and likes to be prepared.  Since I'm planning on a natural labor/delivery experience this also serves to remind me that my body knows what it is doing.  I just need to trust it.

Heartburn on the other hand is majorly annoying!  I am so looking forward to the day that goes away.  Typically, as long as I eat small meals that aren't heavily spiced and contain no tomato sauce then I'm good.  Unfortunately this means pizza is off the menu (unless it's a white sauce)--the last time we ate it, my throat was burning before I had even swallowed the first bite.  This is particularly sad news for Bryan since we are pizza fiends and were eating it on a weekly basis. 

And my belly...well it is a growin'!  I can't believe how much bigger its gotten in the past four weeks.  My wardrobe is dwindling fast and I'm going to have to venture out and buy a few maternity pieces.  Mainly bottoms as I now have one pair of pants, 2 pair of capris and one pair of shorts that fit.  One pair of the capris is maternity and they're not as comfortable as I'd hoped.  My draw string capris (the ones in this picture) are so much more comfortable.  Thankfully, a few of my pre-pregnancy tops still fit and a lot of tops available these days are longer and work even for someone my height (5'9") so I think I can get by without buying any maternity tops.

I was thinking it'd be fun to put together a pregnancy album for our little one to look through when she's older.  My Mom doesn't have too many pictures of her pregnant and I  wish she did because I'd love to see how she carried me compared to how I'm carrying my little one.  I think it'll be fun for our child(ren) to see the transformation.  And bonus, it's always fun looking at how fashion has changed over the years, especially maternity clothing. Looking through the pictures that Bryan has been taking, it's becoming apparent that I have to include a section of Bindi pictures.  It's actually hard to get a picture without her in it.  

And someone please remind me next time to do something else with my "man hands".  They're going to dwarf our baby bear when she gets here.  Anybody else have "man hands", if so please share your tips on disguising them.