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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Our Nursery is FINALLY done!

Y'all....39 weeks.  Talk about the biggest slacker first time mom EVER.  Normally first time moms (or so it seems) have their nursery set up and ready to go by 30 weeks.  I mean anything could happen so you have to be prepared. Right?!  Well, not me!  But alas, our nursery is finally finished and Ella Paityn is still I call that a success.

We don't have a huge amount of flexibility because we are in a rental.  Our landlord wouldn't care if we painted and nailed, etc. but I don't want to have to undo what was done when we move.  So we went pretty simple and use lots of Command strips/hooks!  (Thank you Kim Barrett for getting me hooked on the "velcro" Command strips.)

We bought all of our nursery furniture from Buy Buy Baby and got a transitional set which we LOVE!  It was definitely an investment, but it was also something that I can see Ella Paityn using through high school and then eventually taking with her to her first home.  After all, that is what I did :-)  The crib converts to a toddler bed, then full size bed.  The changing table/hutch converts to a dresser and bookcase.

I made the crib bumpers and crib skirt and my mom made us two coordinating sheets (one in gold dot, the other in a green leafy fabric).

The tassel bunting, gold circle bunting, mobile, and pictures were all decorations from my New Bern shower. I gave Kim my "inspiration" and she took it and RAN!  I am so thankful because our walls would be completely bare otherwise. This is the view as soon as you walk into the room. Imagine there is a beautiful ruffled valance over the window because that is what's to come!  My mom is currently making it and is going to bring it to hang when EP is born :-)

The precious "bally" banner hung across the front of the crib was also made by Kim and part of my shower decorations. 

Inside the crib (for now, don't get all crazy on me!) is a crocheted afghan that was made by Ella Paityn's Grandmommy (my MIL). It is absolutely gorgeous and I LOVE the lacy border.  Sitting on top of the afghan is a bunny doll that Ella Paityn's CeCe (my mom) handmade for her. The blue pad is a sheet saver. 

If you turn around 180* and face back towards the door, this is the view.  We have the Mamaroo that we bought (a space saving swing) as well as the string art that Jacob and I made together. There are well over 500 nails in that sucker.

Behind the door we have EP's baby carrier that we can't wait to use!!  Inside is the newborn insert (that my sweet friend Shamar gave to us) so hopefully we'll be able to use it as soon as she's brought home. You can also see the door latch cover that I made to match the bedding.  More to come on the piggy bank :-)

Turn back around and face the crib, and this will be to the right: 

Ella Paityn has two piggy banks.  Would you expect any less with her Daddy raising hogs?!  The silver piggy bank was given to her by her Mom's college friend, Grace, and it has her monogram engraved on it.  The big white piggy bank was hand-painted by her Mom's best friend, Rebecca, and it is gorgeous.  Rebecca was very critical of her work, but as you can see above-- it is amazing (and matches the nursery decor).

The white lamp used to be a hideous vintage gold color with a purple "stained glass" lamp shade with 4 inch bead trim hanging from around the bottom.  Y' was a thing of sheer beauty.  I held on to the lamp only because my sweet Granmom gave it to me.  I always said, "one day...." and had great plans for it.  Well, when we found out I was expecting, I knew that I wanted the lamp to be in the nursery.  So after many coats of white paint and a new shade, Ella Paityn has a pretty lamp in her room that spent many years in the mountains of NC in her great Granmom's house. 

This is inside the closet door. We are 100% sure that EP has more clothes than Jacob and I combined....especially when you consider that they are in 3 month increments.  I also made a TON of interchangeable headbands with bows/flowers.  All of those flowers/bows/headbands cost less than $25 to make! 

If you turn to the left of the room, you will see EP's changing table and hutch.  Eventually this can convert to a dresser and the hutch comes off, gets attached to a base w/ feet, and becomes a bookshelf. On top of the hutch is Ella Paityn's "Pop Belly Pig", bought for her by her Pop (my dad). 

And if you turn around to walk out the door, you will find a protective Daddy (who is very good looking) and a precious piece of artwork.  This canvas was handpainted for EP by her BFF, Claire (Rebecca's daughter).  

Well, thanks for stopping in!  Hope you enjoyed the tour :-)

Greenville Baby Shower

I have been meaning to do this post for....well, forever.  But, life happened and so I'm just now getting around to it.

On Sunday, March 22 my sweet sister-in-law, Laura, and my MIL, Mrs. Lydia threw me a beautiful shower in Greenville.  It was so much fun and there was a great conglomeration of family and close friends there.  From my side, my Aunt Tina surprised me and came all the way from Kernersville along with my cousin Jenna. From Jacob's side, we had lots of cousins and aunts. Side note: Jacob's family is MUCH larger than mine and my family is literally spread from NC to TX to GA to PA.  Also there were some of my friends from college, Grace and Suzanne, who came from Raleigh and Chapel Hill!

The shower was at Laura and Parker's house and everything was gorgeous!  The decorations were amazing and all handmade.  You can read all about Laura's DIY efforts here.  And I may be slightly unreliable when it comes to food taste right about now, but the food was SO.GOOD.

To me, one of the best things in life are relationships.  What is even more fun is when relationships start overlapping and falling in multiple categories.  And I can honestly say that I am blessed that my sister-in-law is not just a sister-in-law.  And my MIL is not just a MIL.  They both mean so much to me and I'm thankful that we are not just family, but that we are great friends.

Here are some pictures from the festivities (that are definitely stolen because I accidentally left my camera in the car....that Jacob drove off in).  I have a few more pictures to upload, but I am waiting to get them from my mom!

We got TONS of fun and useful presents at this shower and we are so, so thankful to everyone who came, showered us with gifts, and for the hostesses with the mostesses. :-)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Summer Cuties

I may be a little biased, but I have 2 of the cutest nieces ever!!  Unfortunately, one of them is older so it is very difficult to find her clothes to match baby clothes.  But if I could, I totally would!

In the meantime, though, I knew that Ella Paityn would need some kind of bathing suit-ish type outfit since we spend a good amount of time at the river in the summer. I found this little rash guard, swim diaper, and bonnet at Buy Buy Baby and KNEW I needed to splurge and get one for EP.  And how much more fun would it be if Ava Kate had a matching set?!  So the girls will definitely be stylin' and profilin' this summer <3

Another bump in the road

On Monday, April 20 Jacob and I went to the maternity open house at the hospital to see just exactly what to expect.  While at open house, I began feeling TERRIBLE.  In fact, the nurse who was leading it even asked me after it was over if everything was okay because I looked very concerned- whoops!

I started feeling very lightheaded, nauseas, and had a terrible pain in my chest that radiated all the way to my back right shoulder blade. We went home and I laid down on the couch thinking it would get better.  Well, it didn't and I spent the entire night awake, wondering if I was having a heart attack or dying.  Both seemed pretty plausible at the time.

I called in sick for work on Tuesday and called the doctor as soon as they opened.  The doctor said it sounded like gallballder attacks so they got me an appointment for an ultrasound first thing Wednesday morning.  After a while on Tuesday, I started coming around and actually considered cancelling my appointment.  Well, Tuesday night....same story.

My ultrasound came back looking normal, but Mandy (my midwife) wanted to run some lab work as well, just as a precaution. Well, Thursday afternoon I got a call saying that my blood work had come back and while my white blood cell count looked great, my liver enzymes were double what they are supposed to be.  Mandy was concerned and scheduled me for additional labwork on Friday to make sure that they were not increasing above safe levels.  If they were, it meant early induction.  The "i" of course, I was a mess. I don't do very well with surprises.

They think the only possible cause is from repeated trauma to the legs, kicks, and positioning. Mandy was also confident that this is pregnancy induced and would be corrected after delivery.

I took the day off of work Friday because Jacob had a work trip to Greensboro.  So on our way, we stopped off at the vet school to have my mom run my blood work.  We won't talk about how she almost faxed the doctor over results that said I was a "non-neutered male"!  Mandy texted me shortly after and said my results were still double what they should be, but that they were stablized for now.  She scheduled me for a follow-up appointment on Monday to be re-checked again. So now, we're just in a crazy wait and see mode.  Either way, we should have a baby by Tuesday, May 5....hopefully no earlier than Monday, May 4 though (because my type-A schedule oriented mind has trouble comprehending that).

Until my next appointment......

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Maternity Pictures

One of our friends, Bridgett Melton, took our maternity pictures for us.  We first met Bridgett and her now husband, Leo, when they moved in across the street from us on Kinsaw.  She is getting her photography business back up and going and for a good reason-- she's great!  We had such a good time and she even bought the dress that you'll see me wearing in some of the pictures!  So, so sweet!  Bridgett's photography business is Bridgett Baysden Photography...go check out her beautiful work!  When these were taken, I was 35 weeks.

The locations that we used were downtown New Bern, the Brock Mill Pond, and a friend's wheat field in Jones County.  Thank you Bridgett for doing a fabulous job!  Go check out her website or facebook page!

BPP #3 (Week 36)

How far along? 36 weeks

What's baby up to? Ella Paityn is weighing in over 5 pounds at this point....maybe even over 6.  We may get updated measurements at our next appointment on Wednesday!  At this point, most of her development is complete and she is just putting on the pounds.  Please be kind, little girl :-)

BPP Appointment: Ella Paityn did a great job this week and scored all 8 points within the first 5-10 minutes of our ultrasound.  You should have seen her "breathing" away....that little diaphragm pumping up and down is such a sweet sight.  Our new sonographer, Emily, also broke out the 3D ultrasound again!  Unfortunately, this isn't the most opportune time to be doing one of those because she is so cramped in there.  We weren't able to get any really good pictures or views because EP had her hands all up in her face, as usual!
Total weight gain: 20 pounds :-(

Maternity clothes? Yes

Symptoms: Finger/toe/knee pain (midwife called it pregnancy arthritis), congestion, and just general discomfort moving around or finding a good sitting position

Sleep: Not too bad :-)

Food cravings: None!

Food aversions: Nope :-)

Movement?  Still head down and moving around often

Miss anything? Being able to get up and down comfortably without groaning, being able to legitimately hug Jacob (it just seems weird and middle-schoolish now) because there is a large bump getting in the way

Best moment of the week: A surprise baby shower at school!  My sweet friends outdid themselves with delicious food and sweet gifts. A good doctor's appointment with maternity pictures (will blog soon).

Looking forward to: Getting the nursery finished and checking off a ton of stuff on to-do lists.  We are also going on a shopping spree on Friday to get everything that we still need!  Can't wait :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Busy, busy, busy

We have about 30 days left and there is SO MUCH that has to be done.  It is very overwhelming to think about!  But we did get a few things done this past week over my Spring Break :-)

  • TAXES!! Now hopefully, we won't have to pay out and we'll get a whopping sum of $$ back!
  • Pressure washed the house 
  • Hung some pictures in the nursery (which still isn't finished....)
  • Assembled thank you bags for the L&D nurses
    • 2 Hershey bars
    • 2 Reeses cups
    • Starbursts
    • 1 pen
    • 1 chapstick
    • 1 pack of crackers
    • 1 pack of gum

  • Bought a "Pack n Play" for $50 off of Craigslist....actually we were going to buy a Graco Pack n Play but after we got to looking at it, we liked this brand a lot better for our purpose.  We wanted something functional for our room for the first month(ish).  But even more than that, we wanted something that I could take with me to the Farmers Market that would give her moving space, air flow, and shade.  Graco didn't offer anything with a large adjustable canopy over the playard. I found a Baby Trend Nursery Center at Walmart for $100 on clearance (very similar to the one below).  But then, I happened to look on Craigslist and found this basically brand new one for $50. Bonus points for it matching our bedroom :-)  We met the seller in the broad daylight.....with me, Jacob, my mom, and my dad.....with 2 people carrying concealed guns :-)  One can never be too cautious, right?!
  • Installed our diaper sprayer that was $45 off of Amazon....normally $70 in the store!

That's a few more projects to finish the rest :-)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

BPP #2 (Week 35)

My second Biophysical Profile appointment was today, and thankfully was more encouraging than the last one!  My stats....

  • Amniotic Fluid Volume (AFV)- 2 points 
  • Gross Body Movements- 2 points
  • Fetal Tone- 2 points
  • Fetal Breathing Movements- wait for it...... 2 points!!!  
Ella Paityn had us holding our breath again.  The first 20 or so minutes of the ultrasound was all fun and games-- talking, laughing, marveling as she rolled around.  Then the last 10 minutes set in.  I kept asking the sonographer "How much time are we at?"  because she has 30 minutes to accomplish the things listed above.  And as time ticked away, I began to get more nervous.  She was again, showing some breathing movements, but nothing consistent enough (30 seconds) to count for her rating.  FINALLY, in the last 2 minutes Ella Paityn's diaphragm began expanding and contracting....we all held our breath and didn't talk about it, until Emily said "She did it!  She just scored her last 2 points!"  Needless to say, we cheered and clapped.  When we came out of the room, my nurse was standing there listening in and said, "We wondered who was in there cheering!  We thought they may have just found out the sex of the baby."  I laughed and responded with something about how breathing is slightly more exciting than gender :-)  

While it is pretty hard to get good ultrasound pictures this far along, we did get one cute partial face picture.  Having said that, it is only partial because our little girl loves to keep her hands near her face.  The "blob" on the left side of her face is her fist balled up. 

Am I going to screw this up?!

Not only do I feel that way about parenting, but I also now see why people feel that way about cloth diapering.  At first these little guys were precious and small and perfect and required nothing but oooohs and aaahhs.  Now we are four weeks away from my due date and I figured I should go ahead and prep the diapers-- which means washing them.

Today I took the plunge.  Prior to this point I made fun of cloth diapering mamas who would leave the dipes in the package and just look at them.  Now I know why.  After you have taken them out of the package and washed them it makes them no longer sparkly and pretty, but functional and necessary.  But we didn't spend all of this money for nothing!

After going to Walmart the other day in search of a cloth diapering detergent (figuring I would strike out), I found this little gem.  No optical brighteners, no perfumes, no fabric softeners, and no dyes. Oh my gosh....I am becoming a hippie. No, but really.  Cloth Babies (the manufacturer of our diapers) recommends this kind of detergent.  When we first started exploring cloth diapering, it would actually void the warranty if you didn't use this kind of detergent.  And you know I'm not going to spend all that money just to turn around and void the warranty!!  In the past few weeks, they have changed that policy.  But, I had already purchased the detergent and it actually was relatively inexpensive.  $8.98 for 100 HE loads (64 regular) which brought a load price to $0.14.

For the first few loads, I separated out by color so I (hopefully) won't have any bleeding problems. Oh my goodness...there will be an infant wearing these in a month.  Many more loads of diapers to come :-)