Monday, July 27, 2015

A LETTER TO ROO: 33 WEEKS PREGNANT


Pictures taken at 26 weeks

Dear Roo,

Today I am 33 weeks pregnant with you.  You are the size of a honeydew melon, and a whopping 4.5 pounds!  Each week has gone by increasingly faster, and I can't believe that we're nearing the time when we finally get to meet you.  It makes me want to freeze time and also speed it up all at once.  I'm yearning to hold you in my arms, but also nervous about all the changes and responsibility of making sure you're happy and healthy.

I feel you moving all the time, and you really like to put on a show when I lie down in bed for the night.  It's then that I can see your tiny bottom move across my stomach and feel your hands and feet dart out in every direction.  I love this special time with you.  Then I tell you to quiet down and go to sleep:)

When we were watching a movie the other week, your dad reached over and tapped my belly.  You responded and gave him a high five back.  It startled him, but I know that he secretly treasured this first interaction with you.

The third trimester sluggishness has hit me hard this week.  I have a nice little waddle to my stride and carrying you up and down a flight of stairs has given me enough exercise in my opinion.

I worry that I've failed in my grand plan of writing special letters to you each week about various topics or things I've been thinking throughout this pregnancy.  It's ok, though.  There will be a few letters and the rest I'll tell you as we go.

The good news is that your room is almost complete.  Just a few more special touches I want to add this week to fill it with just the right amount of whimsy.  I hope you like it, because we worked too hard on it to change it anytime soon.  It's not too babyish, though, so it should make you smile for years to come.

When we took the pictures above, it was way back at the 26 week mark.  Just imagine how big my belly is now.  Your dad and I snuck out of Uncle Chad and Aunt Amy's house after Elle's 3rd birthday extravaganza to capture this moment as the sun was just starting to set and document the fact that I was now unmistakably pregnant.  Picking my outfit for that day, I wanted something tight with horizontal stripes so that I could show off my belly (and you) proudly.  I wanted to add some color with my bracelets, but I hate when you stack bracelets and they all clang together.  So I made this to look like a stack of bracelets.  It fastens with velcro, which makes it easy enough for even me to get on.  This was my second attempt at making one.  I hope I can teach you patience when working on new things.  Things rarely go as you plan the first, or second, or even third time around.  But projects worth doing and ideas worth learning require that extra effort, and you'll be more satisfied in the end.


As the summer slips by, so does the waiting and planning.  Soon it will give way to the first hints of fall...and the true reality of you.  You will become a part of this outside world, and I will no longer have you all to myself.  You'll always be my sidekick, though.  Of that I am sure.


Monday, July 13, 2015

PEICD (PROJECTS EVEN I CAN DO): PAINTED CACTUS DIY


I saw this beautiful image on Pinterest recently and loved how bright the pink rocks looked against the  gold trim and black and white rope of the pot.  However, I have no green thumb.  Seriously.  Even though the post said she potted cacti or succulents, I knew they would die in no time at all.  Plus, I wanted something to add a little pop of color to Roo's bookcase without needing to be taken care of.

So then I thought about painting rocks to look like cacti!  I've been seeing that around Pinterest, too, and it seemed like the perfect blend of something cute and easy to take care of.  (Now, I realized during this project that if my sweet little babe ever gets a hold of one of these things, there will be sand EVERYWHERE.  I did place them high up on the bookshelf, so I'll just pretend that she'll just always be a good little girl and look but not touch these eye catching decorations:)


I'd say I've been working on this project for the past month.  Not consistently, of course, but just a few minutes here or there since it took SO long to paint the rocks (multiple coats of paint are needed to make the colors pop) and extra time to find the exact black and white rope I wanted.

I'm sure I'm just slow, though, and you'll be able to cut down on the project time.


I also added a few of the cacti to this small vase with pink rocks in it to make sure the neon pink is adorably visible.  Then I just glued a fake flower to one of the cacti for another little pop of color.


Here are the supplies you'll need:

--Clay pots
--Rocks (I found a bag at The Dollar Store)
--Sand
--Acrylic paint
--Paint brush
--Pink Aquarium Gravel
--Black and white cord (the cord pictured below is just white and then I was going to draw black stripes on it.  That didn't work out so well.  I finally found some bungee cord I liked at Joann Fabrics).


The steps are pretty easy, and I didn't even take pictures of them.  First, I painted my rocks a solid color.  After multiple coats of paint, I added little decorations to make them look like cacti.  In between drying times with the rocks, I painted the rim of the clay pots gold.  After the pots were dry, I used hot glue to secure the rope around the pots.

Then I dumped in a lot of sand in the pot (make sure to put a barrier in the bottom of the pot before you do this so that the sand doesn't leak out).  Add in your cacti and sprinkle a layer of pink rocks on top and you're done!  You just completed a hassle free garden that you can enjoy for years to come (that is if no toddler destroys it first:)






Monday, July 6, 2015

FOCUSING ON THE LITTLE THINGS


Sometimes when I get overwhelmed thinking about the huge, impending change that is coming our way, I find it helpful to focus on the little things.

Perhaps at times I tend to focus on ridiculously insignificant things, like finishing these fake cacti planters (tutorial coming soon) that have taken an inordinate amount of time to finish, but that's besides the point.

The other weekend, we spent time working on the nursery.  I shared the before view a few weeks ago here.  These pictures show the progress we've been making, and it's even further along now thanks to all my mom's sewing skills.

It seemed like an insurmountable project at first to do the nursery.  I have very little patience for these longer projects that span several weeks and tend to want things done right away.  But it's been a nice area to focus on, slowly chipping away at this room that will soon be occupied by a very special resident.


Two of the bigger projects we worked on that have made a huge impact in the room were painting this black dresser my mom found at the thrift store for a steal and replacing the dark ceiling fan with a white one to brighten up the room.


Here's my dad and Wade installing the new fan.  The box said it would take 5 minutes to set up.  The box lied, but it was worth it.  At least to me anyway (who didn't have to actually do any of the work).


Giving a final coat of coral to the dresser.  It's amazing how adding a fresh coat of paint and new hardware made this dresser look like a million bucks.


Crib sheets finally decided on!


All the heavy lifting has been done in the room and now I'm just decorating it and adding special touches.  I can't wait to share the finished room soon here.  Whenever I feel those crazy pregnancy hormones come out, I go in the nursery and instantly feel calmer.  Rocking in the glider, working on little headbands has been my favorite activity as of late.

I've gotten all the supplies for a photo book to document this part of our lives as we wait for Roo, but still haven't tackled it yet.  I have all these moments I want to write down that I swear I will remember, but know how easily the years sweep these memories aside with new ones.

I want to remember this time of excitement, of anxiousness as we wait for baby.  Since I know things will be changing soon, I seem to more in tune with the present.  You've probably noticed that I haven't written much in this space.  While I wasn't doing that consciously, the more I think about it, I realize that it's because I've preferred being in the moment when I'm at home.  Taking time to piddle around Roo's room or go for a walk with Wade.  Then coming home and watching TV.  I'm enjoying the simple things...and the quiet, without much regard to keeping up a schedule outside of work.

After my mom and I painted the dresser and were waiting for it to dry, we drove to pick up pizza and brought it back home to eat with my dad and Wade.  I relished just hopping in the car with my mom and talking about everything we had done that day and about things still to do.  As we ate the pizza with my parents, knowing that our double dates would soon be changing, I found myself trying to soak it all in.  Trying to capture the feeling of excitement and exhaustion as we talked and laughed.

Later, my mom and I walked up to the nearby ice cream shop for a little desert.  We've been taking trips to get ice cream and treats since I was a little girl, and I remember thinking to myself to hold on to this moment.  The evening was clear, the mosquitoes were just starting to come out, and I had a feeling of utter contentment as we spent this time together.  Soon we'll add another little girl to our walks, but I'll always treasure these times alone with my mom.

Writing this all down makes me realize even more how I really need to start on that photo book.  I want Roo to be able to look back at it some day and see how much love and attention went into welcoming her into the world.

Some changes happen in an instant and others we aren't sure will ever actually come to fruition.  Then there are changes like this one where we know it's coming and when (at least we have a ball park timeline).  These types of changes allow you time to look around you and soak everything in. 

Talks are a little deeper, Laughs are a little lighter, and hugs are a little longer.  And I love all of it.






Thursday, June 18, 2015

NEVER TOO LATE: EASTER 2015


Well, this post is terribly late, but as I was going back through pictures the other day I realized I didn't want to forget Easter 2015.  I'll just blame it on Roo for my lack of gumption the past few months:)

I love what these pictures capture for our family: cuddles with sleepy babies, the sheer delight in hunting for Easter eggs, how my brother is one big kid (which I love), and that we all really enjoy being together.

Being about 17 weeks pregnant at the time, I was just beginning to show and cinched my belt up tight so that people could see my growing bump.  The thrill of what was in store for us became real that weekend when we were thrown into a house full of toddlers.  Crying, laughing, yelling, excited toddlers running around.  I had to take naps just watching them expend all that energy.

At one point, Wade and I looked at each other from across the room as the toddlers circled us.  I can't remember a time I could read Wade's mind better than in that moment: Can we really do this?

But then the older ones left, and we were left with the littlest who began playing quietly by herself.  One alone we can handle (or so we think now:)

We were learning a valuable lesson.  Embrace those crazy and energy-filled moments, because there will also be quiet times that will be fulfilling but also make you yearn for the excitable moments when you're all together again.

We watched the cousins play together that weekend and smiled knowing that our little one would soon be among them.  Chasing behind them, yelling at them to wait up, and getting big hugs from her older cousins.

It was a surreal moment and made me want to freeze everything as it was, just for a little while longer.

But it also made me want to speed up time to Easter 2016 when Roo is in these pictures, and we can look back and remember how things used to be, remark at how much has changed, and be thankful that some things, like our family, are still the same.

Monday, June 8, 2015

MAKING PROGRESS




I've talked here before how I've been nervous about getting everything done before the baby makes her debut.  Top of the list to get done has been the nursery.  Previously, this room was my husband's haven.  A place for him to live out all those boyhood fantasies of having an entire room dedicated to video games.

So for years, he scoured Craigslist, Goodwills, and garage sales to bring home just about every game system and game from the 80s and 90s created.  I exaggerate, of course, but when I would walk in there, it would certainly seem that way to me.

So many games.

Seriously, how many games does one grown man need?

Well, I guess I shouldn't be talking since I've amassed quite the stockpile of fabric and felt.

I had been starting the conversation of moving his stuff out of the room months ago.  In his mind I have 3 months left, which equals 3 months to finish things.  Wrong-o, buddy!  We need to get things done now so that I can still move around and add the fun stuff before I can't get off the couch.

After trying to get me to put it off another weekend by saying I needed to rest (I'm not falling for that anymore), he moved everything out of the room and we painted it.  A nice blank slate.  Perfect for adding fun touches of color.

The below pictures are how the room looked before.



And now it looks like this...


This is a pretty grainy shot from my phone, but better pictures are coming as we start adding things to make it Roo's room.

I'm not a big fan of home improvement projects, but with every swish of white paint over the blue, I felt an overwhelming flood of emotion that we were making this our daughter's room.  It still seems strange to say that.

Now I'm entrenched in deciding on crib sheets and the color to paint a dresser that will be the changing table.  Sometimes I feel paralyzed by the choices, but my mom has been so patient and helped me narrow things down.  I don't want to jinx it, but I feel like we're fairly close to getting things finalized.

A big THANK YOU to my mom and dad for helping us paint, keeping us on track, and for putting up with sore backs.




I'm linking up today with Life of Meg!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BUMP UPDATE: 18-20 WEEKS









Oh, man.  I'm behind in posting these pictures.  I'm already at 23 weeks, but I wanted to make sure I didn't lose sight of this special time.

How far along:  I was about 19 weeks when these pictures were taken, so I'm calling this the 18-20 week update.

Baby size:  Tomato

Maternity clothes:  I managed to squeeze into this yellow dress that just has a higher waistline.  The zipper didn't go up all the way in the back, so I added the shirt over it.  As I outgrow all my clothes, I find myself wondering if I'll ever be able to fit back into them.  I've been collecting for years, so it would be a pain to not be able to wear a lot of what's in my closet.  

Feeling:  I thought I was all the way through the morning sickness part, so I didn't take my B6 vitamin one night.  Honestly, I thought it was more of a placebo at this point.  Boy, was I wrong!  I threw up a bunch the next morning and have since taken that as a lesson to keep taking the pill.  I'm wondering now if I could stop since I feel a lot better, but am still a bit gun shy.

Cravings:  Breakfast food!  Bring on the scrambled eggs and hash browns!!  We've made quite a few trips to IHOP recently.  It's been the first meal in months where I felt really satisfied afterwards.  Do they put something special in their eggs?  I read somewhere that they put pancake batter in there, because other eggs do not compare.  At least I'm getting some protein since big hunks of meat still turn my stomach.

Random Thoughts:  During this time, we went in for our mid-pregnancy ultrasound.  I was so sure we were having a boy that I was just waiting for the tech to say "boy!" at any minute.  When she got to the right spot, she asked if we were sure we wanted to know the gender.  We said yes, and our mouths about dropped to the floor when she said she was 99.99999% positive it is a GIRL!!  Read all about it here.  The most important thing to us, though, was that our little babe was healthy.  The tech found a small cyst that she said not to worry about and that would most likely go away, but that we needed to go in for another ultrasound the next week.  Even though she said not to worry and the doctor said the same thing, I vacillated between being rational that everything would be fine and very worried.  We went in the next week for the ultrasound, and the cyst was already gone.  Thank goodness!  We felt extremely relieved and thankful that everything looked good and healthy.  I guess the worrying is already starting.  I find myself constantly worrying if she's moving enough, if I'm eating enough vegetables, if some crazy lady pushing on my stomach caused any harm, etc.  I suspect this constant worrying will only intensify once she's actually here, and I have to worry about keeping her safe outside of me.  Geez, Mom!  It really makes me sorry that I would always forget to call you when I got back to college that I was there safe!!  I don't think I could have understood your level of worry until now:)