17 August 2014

Game on!

What's one of the hardest games in humanity? The waiting game. For someone who plans everything and tries to constantly be fully prepared, it is excruciatingly difficult to wait for an event over which I have no real control and which will profoundly affect my life. In case you're wondering why the blog has been so quiet, it's because I've been playing this game.

While I don't have cute newborn photos to show you (yet!), I will give you a fun little little comparison in one of my favorite maternity dresses...both taken as pregnancies coast through the middle of week 39 and approach their official due dates. Madeleine was born on her due date, and I've sworn that this baby would be early through virtually the entire pregnancy.

Last time:

This time

Barefoot and pregnant. Waiting and waiting and over analyzing everything. That's what I'm doing these days. I am so lucky to have such good company (Denaye and Nico in addition to George and Madeleine) as I go through this time.

Stay tuned for cuter content in the days (??) and weeks ahead. 

08 August 2014

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal

Happy Friday! 

I have a little treat for you: photos of our completed nursery! Remember the preview, nearly five months ago? I've already shown you a lot of the individual projects, but let's have a look at how it all came together.  

You've already seen the mobile and the crib skirt and sheets, but this is where the magic is going to happen. Do you hear that, Baby Boy? You're going to be a great sleeper, just like your big sister.

The camera in the corner is a webcam. We're using the same model we have for Madeleine, and we securely link it to a free app on our phones, which is only viewable in our home.

The blue bear was a gift from a friend, and I'm so excited that he'll have his own bear after seeing how much Madeleine adores her Gund.

Right next to the crib is the chair we moved in from Madeleine's nursery. We want Madeleine to move to a new bed on her own timing, so we opted to only minimally reuse key items. This chair is amazing for nursing, soothing, and occasionally catching some ZZZZs with a newborn (it glides, swivels, and reclines), and now Miss M has a lower chair that is better suited for her reading. Happiness all around. I can hardly wait to curl up in the chair with Baby Boy and his houndstooth quilt

A couple of weeks ago, I strategically planned for Madeleine to paint in the colors of the nursery. She loves painting and enthusiastically complied with my wishes. 

Then, I surprised her by displaying a few of the pieces in the nursery. She is incredibly proud of her art work and points it out every time we go in the room. Turns out, it goes really well with the inspiration art piece and the bunting I whipped up.

Remember those built-in shelves and bench? This is how they turned out. We have plenty of space to store things as our needs change, and it's been fun to have a place to display things after a shelf-free nursery. 

The green light on the bottom shelf was made by George and should be a nice way to get a bit of light at night without turning on the overhead lights.

This is the fingerprint guestbook that the ladies made for me at my baby brunch. It's flanked by a kiwi that I convinced Madeleine to hand down and an owl door stop that I painted.

This silver dollar is one of the most special parts of the nursery. It has a long and meaningful history with George's father's family with roots here in Seattle. For the past four years, I've been waiting to find the right place to display it, and I think this is just right. It's "mounted" using museum wax to a piece of the fabric used for the window cushion.

I sewed the cushion for the window seat from an outdoor fabric meant to be fade- and stain-resistant, so I hope that it's true to its promises. Making my own piping and sewing on such a large scale were definitely some new challenges for me, but I really enjoyed watching this piece come together. It's not quite as tight fitting as I might like, but I'll take it!

On the other side of the room is the changing station and dresser. 

In the frame at the left, I've displayed two Hawaiian postcards. We found out that a new member would be joining our family on the morning we returned from our trip to Maui, so I thought it was fitting to include a little Aloha in the room.

We'll eventually be adding a diaper pail to this space, but it's currently backordered.

Of course, I took advantage of an excuse to make another divided basket. I'm pleased with how this one turned out, and I discovered that the "scraps" from making crib sheets are the perfect size for the interior lining. Score!

And, yes, that is an industrial container of hand sanitizer. We are ready!

Behind the door, at kiddo height, we hung these three lil' owls. 

The first thing you pass upon entering and last thing you see when leaving is another special part of the nursery. This horseshoe came from my grandparents' farm, and it still has remnants of dirt caked in the shoe. 

Phew. You made it through the tour!


Ceiling Paint: Misty Gray (2124-60)
Trim and Cabinet Paint: Super White (PM-1)
Crib and Dresser: Pali Lucca Collection
Sheets: Homemade using this tutorial
Crib Skirt: Homemade
Mobile: Homemade
Chair: Best Chairs Tryp
Quilt: Homemade using this pattern
Brown Picture Frames: Aaron Brothers
ABC Print: Children Inspire Design
Bunting: Homemade with Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric
Beaver Tote: 3 Sprouts
Clear Globe with air plant: World Market
Owl Bookend and Decoration: World Market (actually a doorstop)
Grey Felt Bin: Target (a long time ago)
Jacks: World Market
Cushion Fabric: Sunbrella Spectrum Mist
Olympic Peaks Art: Metsker Maps at Pike Place Market
Changing Pad: Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad in Sable
Wipe Holder: OXO Perfect Pull in Aqua
Laundry Basket: Target
Owls: World Market

And now...time for the favorite part game. What's your favorite element? For me, it's a toss-up between the mobile and Madeleine's art.

(Psst - In case you're wondering, this is the nursery we prepared for Madeleine's arrival.)

05 August 2014

Madeleine's Bus Adventure

One of the more ambitious items on the summer bucket list is taking Madeleine on a bus downtown. Here's why: we live about 30 miles from downtown with limited public transportation; it's been a hot summer; and I keep getting more pregnant by the day. But, Madeleine loves various forms of transportation (and vehicles in general), so I was bound and determined to make this happen. 

Enough stars aligned last Thursday that we did it. Come along for a look at our adventure! 

Waiting for the bus: 

An hour later, and we were finally downtown. Madeleine was totally mesmerized by all of the vehicles, people, buildings, you name it. I thought she might be a bit shy, but she was actually really excited to say "hi" and wave to anyone who would make eye contact with her and wanted to explore as much as I'd let her. 

We decided to have a morning snack (sugar and cinnamon pretzel treat for our special adventure) while we watched the Monorail.  

On our way out of the shopping center, we stopped to browse and ended up buying a new Pete and Larry book, one of Madeleine's favorite series right now. 

Then we headed back down a bunch of escalators to catch our bus home in the bus tunnel. 

We were definitely approaching nap time by the time we headed home, and I was so grateful that we had two seats for the two (and a half) of us...unlike our ride into town. 

It was the Thursday before Seafair weekend, which means Blue Angels practice and lots of vehicular and marine traffic. The weather was beautiful, and it was fun to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels as we crossed the 520. Madeleine was rather taken with the "special planes" and quite pleased that they made an appearance over our house this weekend, too. 

Madeleine loved riding on the bus, seeing the other vehicles on the road with us, and telling me when people were getting on and off the bus. 

Clearly, her urban adventure made an impression. 

After well over an hour and a half on our bus, we were let off at the last stop...which is when I learned that the very same route number that we took into town would not take us back to the park and ride where we'd left the car. Thankfully George was able to swing by and shuttle us back to our car, but it wouldn't have been an authentic experience without getting stranded by Seattle's screwy public transportation system. 

I had so much fun with my little girl, and I loved seeing her react to new surroundings. Any inconvenience it caused was totally worth it! 

What adventures are you taking this summer? Are they all going as expected?

31 July 2014

Baby #2: Final Pregnancy Update

Well, here we are on the home stretch and time for a final pregnancy update. My due date is less than a month away, and I've gotten the all clear for labor to proceed whenever it should begin. I'm hoping he'll hold off for another week and a half or two, but we'll see.

How are you feeling?
It depends on the day and sometimes the moment. Earlier this week, I was a real bundle of joy as I was fighting a cold, exhaustion, and lack of space. I feel like my internal real estate is fully occupied, and that can sometimes be pretty uncomfortable. Generally, I'm feeling pretty good with a little more tiredness each day and a 4pm heartburn alarm clock, but I'm grateful for the occasional bursts of energy when they come. While I am uncomfortable a little earlier than I recall being with Madeleine, I still feel incredibly grateful to not experience really nasty pregnancy symptoms like back pain and swelling.

How are you sleeping? 
I've been sleeping pretty well, especially considering the crazy insomnia I experienced during my pregnancy with Madeleine. I find myself making more than one bathroom break more and more nights, but I'm usually too tired to do anything other than pass out again. I find that I get some benefit from napping, even when my mind is going too much to actually let me fall asleep, and I definitely miss naps when I'm working.

Are you still doing yoga? 
Yes, I try to catch both classes each week for about four hours of weekly yoga total. To be honest, yoga is pretty much my only activity, though I did rock an hour aerobics class at 33 weeks. I credit yoga with keeping me feeling strong and limber even this late in the game.

How's your appetite? Cravings? 
I go back and forth between having light nausea/lack of interest in food and wanting to eat everything in sight. George may disagree, but I haven't really had any strong cravings this pregnancy.

Are you seeing the same doctor you did with your pregnancy with Madeleine? 
No, for better and for worse. I loved the OB who followed my pregnancy with Madeleine, but I knew I needed to give birth (and attend the 83 prenatal appointments) a little closer to home now that we live farther from the freeway and have a Madeleine on the scene. For the first half of the pregnancy, I saw an OB about half as close to home, but I chose to leave her after it became clear that we had different ideas of how the birth would ideally go. I'm now happily established with a midwifery practice that delivers at the hospital 10 minutes from our house. I'm definitely in the right place now, though I admit to missing my OB who was one of a kind!

Have you had contractions? 
Oh yeah. I had my first bout of contractions at 19 weeks. Fortunately, they didn't really come back until little over a month ago. At this point, I'm having contractions on and off almost constantly. They could get stronger, closer, longer and turn into labor at any point...or continue to be sporadic for the next month or more. In other words, the fact that I'm having contractions isn't necessarily a sign that labor is near.

How are you handling the heat?
I'll admit it: the heat has been harder than I expected. I do think that being pregnant in the heat is slightly more comfortable than having a newborn sticking to you in the heat, but being pregnant in the heat requires careful management to not put the baby at risk. During the few weeks of heat we've experienced this summer, I have struggled to stay fully hydrated and have ended up spending a lot of time enjoying the cool comfort afforded by our heat pump and the shade in our backyard. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a toddler who follows directions and plays independently so that she doesn't have to sacrifice too much when I don't want to be very active.

Are you nesting?
Ha! Have you seen the blog lately? I've spent most of my nesting energy in the nursery, which is very nearly ready for its occupant to arrive. George and I have been working through a huge laundry list of house projects - everything from inventorying our wine to organizing our paperwork to cooking food for the freezer to changing out some hardware - and we're making progress but not quite done. Surprisingly, my nesting is much less cleaning-related this time around. I must be getting used to having a toddler!

Does the baby have a name? 
I believe so. Now let's just hope that he looks like his name when he is born!

At this point, we're on full baby alert with our bags packed and friends keeping their phones on for the call to come and get Madeleine. In the mean time, we keep plugging away at our to-do list and enjoying every moment with our first born.

What is your must-do to prepare for baby's arrival? 

And, in case any readers are also preparing for the arrival of a second child, check out this humorous look at the "adventure" that's about to ensue.

29 July 2014

A Mini For My Mini

Madeleine is such a little mommy. She loves taking care of her dolls, which includes giving them heaps of cuddles, reading and singing to them, putting them down to bed (laying them face down and covering them with blankets so that no body parts are showing), feeding them, changing their diapers, taking their clothes on and off (mostly off), and taking them for rides in her doll stroller.

When I saw that I had some squares left over from baby brother's quilt, I knew I had to make Madeleine (another!) quilt for her babies. This is a little one - just about 22" square - and super simple, but I hope that she is pleased with receiving a new doll quilt when her baby brother arrives.

How do you use quilting leftovers?