Monday, June 8, 2015

The End Is Near

Saturday marked 38 weeks for me and this (not so little) bean. That means that in two(ish) weeks, we will have a real live baby to take care of and I am so excited to finally meet him. Now days, I have not shortage of concerned and caring people in my life, asking how I am feeling and I go back and forth between being overly jovial and replying "Great! Everything is wonderful" and just grunting in reply. Mostly, though this is how I want to reply to everyone:

We are ready for this baby. His nursery is done, his clothes are washed, we have bottles and binkies and swaddle blankets and baby moccs (SO MANY moccs) coming out of our ears. Now all we have left to do is wait patiently. Except, waiting patiently has never ever been one of my top skills in life, so I'm basically working my way down this list of natural ways to go into labor my friend Karissa sent me. The list is literally the funniest thing I've ever read. Run up and down stairs? FAT CHANCE. Tell my body to go into labor, but also don't think about labor. Perfect. Have sexy time? Not a chance at this stage in the game.

I did try the walk thing, and me, Ronnie and Jak took off for an hour long walk yesterday morning and when Jak kept stopping in the cold, wet grass to lay down and roll around because he was so exhausted, hot and out of shape, I seriously wanted to join him. That one hour walk plus thirty minutes of grocery shopping after literally put me out of commission the rest of the day and all I could do was lay on my couch like a beached whale and try and not spill my extra-large blue rasberry icee on my self.

Speaking of that icee, what I really NEEDED was a Tigers Blood sno-cone, and one of Ronnie's friends who was coming over to watch basketball agreed to pick me up one on his way over. He went to three different sno-cone shacks before giving up since it was Sunday and the world was against me. Bless his heart. The icee was delish, but I am going to need that sno-cone in my life tonight because its all I can think about. 

OH. Its also my last Monday in the office, praise, glory, hallelujah. I am running out of clothes that fit this huge belly and I'm not sure I can come up with five work appropriate outfits this week. I almost spent too much money on size large maxi dresses at Target this weekend until I realized I was being a crazy human and since I have less than two weeks, I can suck it up and do laundry more than once a week. Starting next week, until whenever baby makes his appearance, my work is gracious enough to let me work from home and I cannot wait. I think they're tired of hearing me complain and secretly can't wait to get rid of me. 

This was quite possibly the most pointless post I've ever wrote, but a quite accurate depiction of where my head is at. I keep telling myself less than two weeks til baby is here, but we all know most first baby's are quite comfy up in that womb and are in no hurry to exit, so I am trying to prepare myself for a July baby so I am not disappointed if this baby is a tad bit late. Ask me how that is going on June 21st. Or don't because the questions are already coming and I'm trying to have a happy heart about my well meaning friends and family who are just real excited to meet this little guy.

This week I am going to try and make a real attempt at putting together a coherent blog post. I have been meaning to post his coming home outfit for the past couple weeks, so maybe this week will be the magical week where I can find enough energy to do more than lay on my couch every night after work. No promises though, friends. 

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Friday, May 29, 2015

37 Week Bumpdate

Size of the baby: He's likely over six pounds, and apparently the length of a swiss chard. Never have I ever known what that vegetable looked like until I looked it up today, but that's about 19 inches.

Gender: A little prince 

Maternity clothes: Currently growing OUT of all my maternity clothes. Maybe TMI, but if I am at home I am likely not wearing pants. I've started stealing Ronnie's t-shirts because they're way more comfortable than my own clothes.

Movement: Every single second, basically. He is an active guy, which is perfectly fine for me so I never have to worry if he's doing okay in there!

Sleep: I will take as much as I can get! I am waking up constantly to pee and to adjust and get comfortable, but I also have been napping whenever I can.

Nursery: It is DONE! You can see the nursery reveal here.

Craving: Diet Coke, ice cream, and pineapple.

Symptoms: My symptoms include feeling really, really pregnant. My legs and feet and hands are swollen and standing up for more than about fifteen minutes makes me feel like I ran a half marathon, but other than the normal 9 months pregnancy aches and pains, I am doing good!

Exercise: I took a walk on Monday if that counts for anything.

Ronnie is: Reading baby books to our little guy in the evenings, and sometimes he says "HELLO BABY. This is your dad." In a really loud, booming voice. And I just about die laughing every time.

 Looking forward to: My work baby shower today! My girlfriends threw me an incredible shower last month and today my coworkers are throwing me a shower and I seriously am so touched by everyone's kindness and support, it makes me a little emotional. And of course, looking forward to having our baby in our arms finally!

Best moments: Yesterday was the happiest mail day ever for me and baby! I ordered some nice pj's to wear after delivery in the hospital from Victoria's Secret, these Little Unicorn swaddle blankets came, and my friend Stacey delivered the best little care package with baby moccs, magazines, bubble bath, chocolate and a candle. Ronnie also installed the car seat which makes this whole baby thing SO REAL to look in the backseat and see it just waiting back there for him to make his arrival!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baby Boy Nursery Reveal

I am so excited to share with you what I have been working on for the past almost NINE months! A couple weeks ago I shared the Nursery Sneak Peek, and now the nursery is finally done and I am basically satisfied with it, aside from a few minor details I may adjust (like the shelf above the changing table).

I really never had a certain "theme" I wanted to decorate the nursery in. I scoured Pinterest, stalked other blogger's nursery reveals, and paid attention to what caught my eye and I settled on a navy blue, grey, and white theme with dark furniture, and I wanted this little guy's nursery to reflect some overall words and ideas to live by. I also knew that the room wasn't big by any means, so I didn't want to overwhelm the small space with too much clutter and busyness and did my best to keep it somewhat simple + peaceful for a little one.

After we painted the wall (okay, we hired someone to paint it because neither of us is as meticulous or patient as you have to be to have perfect stripes on a wall) the first thing I bought for the nursery was the big, gorgeous BRAVE sign from House of Belonging. I was drawn to the wood sign because it was exactly what I want for my little boy. To be brave, even when he's afraid. To be courageous, even when the world is dark. For him to bravely be himself in a world that pushes us to bend to others ideas and expectations.  For him to boldly and bravely pursue Christ, living a life that glorifies Him.

Baby Boy Nursery

I happen to absolutely adore the women behind House of Belonging. It is a custom, hand-crafted shop and each piece is created with love, custom made and unique. The owner of the shop is one of the most inspiring women I've had the pleasure of meeting, and her daughter does the design work of the gorgeous pieces. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by Tiffini on their Instagram account, her faith and love for Jesus is written all over her words and her work. I had a hard time just ordering one sign, and I came really close to ordering this Peter Pan piece for the nursery, as well as this the Romans 12:12 piece for my living room but my lack of wall space + budget forced me to reign myself in!

  Baby Boy Nursery Baby Boy Nursery Baby Boy Nursery Baby Boy Nursery Baby Boy Nursery

Once I had the sign as the central focal piece in the room, I easily started collecting other pieces of decor that fit in, like the Be Strong and Courageous sign designed by Lindsay's Letters, the globe + world map, the tribal prints from West Ember Studio. The ottoman pictured here was one of the most difficult pieces to find, and is actually the second one I purchased. I bought one and didn't love it and then when I saw this little floor poof at TJ Maxx, I snagged it and returned the first one.

Ironically, the day after I took these pictures, I found the most perfect navy blue side table + gray and white lamp for the nursery. I had been looking for what felt like forever for a small side table that wasnt too big and was the right color for the area that I basically gave up and told myself I would just put a lamp on the window seal if I needed a lamp for nursing in the middle of the night. Of course, I found the perfect pieces (ON SALE) right after I gave up, right? It turns out that photographing the nursery is no easy task because A. the room is pretty small, and B. the lighting has to be just right because of the way it comes in through the big window and creates terrible shadows for pictures. Being 9+ months pregnant, I couldn't find the energy or motivation for retaking, re-editing, and resizing all of these pictures so you just have to take my word for it that the table and lamp are a great addition to the room.

Baby Boy Nursery

His closet is still somewhat of a work in progress, but all the cubbies + baskets makes my organized, type A personality go all heart eyed. In the lower baskets I have one bin with bibs, one with toys, one with shoes, and one with swaddle blankets. In the blue bins on the top shelf, I have six month and up sized clothes, extra diapers/wipes, winter/other off season stuff, etc. I am so in love with kids books and have to refrain myself from buying a new book every time I walk into any store so I know that the shelf with the moccasins will eventually have more books in it, but it looked silly empty so the Freshly Picked Moccasins got their own cubby for now.

Thats his nursery in all its glory-now all we need is a BABY!  If you're looking for gorgeous wall decor for a nursery or maybe even for a master bedroom or your living room, go check out House of Belonging. They've generously offered to give my readers a special deal-15% off any sign in their shop with code CHOOSELOVE15! Check them out on Etsy + Instagram if you love gorgeous pictures of beautifully designed and decorated spaces with encouraging and inspiring words. If you're like me, you'll find at least three things you need for your home within five minutes!

Also, if you're interested in knowing where I got any of the products a good first guess is Target (all the big furniture + the rug) but feel free to ask me in a comment and I'll happily tell you! Again, the amount of time + energy to list every thing in the pictures seemed too overwhelming but if you have specific questions, definitely ask!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Bringing Home Baby | Nursery Sneak Peak

I have been hard at work getting the nursery ready for little baby Rasmussen. It has easily been one of my favorite parts of this pregnancy, dreaming up the design and feel and then little by little, piece by piece, watching that vision in my head come to fruition! My dream for the nursery was a space that is cute enough for a baby, but also mature enough to not have to do an entire overhaul on the nursery when my little baby starts to grow into a big boy. When I was creating the nursery, I wasn't drawn to any certain themes, and I wanted to avoid the cartoonish bedding/decor sets that are in all the big box stores like Target and Babies R Us, so I chose a color palate, and then started looking for decor that would work together and symbolize who Ronnie and I are as a couple and baby's parents, as well as what we wish, hope and pray that his life holds for him.

Baby Boy Nursery Prints
When I came across these prints on Pinterest, I pinned them immediately. At that point, I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl, but I knew that if it was a boy, these prints had to go in the nursery. Be Brave, Dream Big, Stand Tall and Find Adventure. This is my hope and prayer for my son, and once I found out that indeed I was carrying a son, I got to work on my nursery inspiration board and loved how well the colors of the prints complemented the navy and grey color scheme I'd chosen for the nursery. Here is a little sneak peak of one corner of the nursery, and I can't wait to show the rest of it to you guys soon!

Baby Boy Nursery Prints Baby Boy Nursery Prints Baby Boy Nursery Prints

The designer of these prints, Sammiey from West Ember Studio sent me the kindest email back in January, thanking me for including her shop in my Nursery Inspiration Post, and instantly, we clicked. Sammiey is easily one of the kindest people I've come across in this blog world. Sammiey is a talented designer and photographer, and when she was pregnant with her second baby, one of her friends pinned the tribal print set, and it went viral and her little Etsy shop took off and her business grew. It allowed her to quit her job at a bank to stay home with her little ones and start her photography business in Washington.  All of the proceeds from her shop go to allowing her to stay at home and be with her babies and THAT is something I am so thrilled to be able to help support. 
I can't wait to show you more of the nursery in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for a full nursery reveal. Until then, go check out West Ember Studio and browse all the amazing products she has. Sammiey has generously offered to giveaway one 8x10 print of your choosing. Entering is super easy with minimal entries, so make sure you go visit West Ember Studios and find a great print for your home, nursery or office! Use code HELLOEMBER for 10% off your order to celebrate her new website's grand opening.

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And because Ollie, the diva of the house can't let me take a single blog picture without getting in the picture, here you go. Even he approves of the new prints in the nursery. He is 100% convinced the nursery is his room and that I've been furiously designing and decorating it for his enjoyment. He is going to be in for a rude awakening in a few short weeks!

Baby Boy Nursery Prints

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Motherhood Anxiety

Photo Credit: Day Three Studios
Pregnancy has mostly felt forever long to me, but on the other hand, the time remaining before I have a real live baby in my arms can be counted in days now, in single digit weeks. Yikes! I have been a tad bit really emotionally crazy lately, flip-flopping between "OMG I want my baby here NOW" to "I am SO not ready to be responsible for a real life living breathing tiny human." I basically have about 1000 fears and worries about becoming a mom, and although I know that God has perfectly designed me to be this little boy's mom, I still struggle with most of these things on a daily basis.
I am anxious because we have two animals, Jak and Ollie who both happen to really dislike children. Jak, our Australian Shepard is a gentle-spirited dog but he gets anxious so easy and when he is scared or feels threatened, that is when he turns aggressive. Our cat, Ollie is just a mean, spicy cat who thinks biting is for playing. My friend Lea was in town with her toddler who loved both the cat and dog and its safe to say, the feeling isn't mutual. I was a walking ball of nerves the whole time, praying that our dog didn't just run out of patience and snap at the baby after he lovingly pulled his fur for the fifth time in an hour. Luckily, he didn't but I already have anxiety about our son who will be harassing both the cat and the dog for many years to come.
There is a plethora of Pinterest "Post Delivery Survival Kits" that include really terrifying things like medicated pads and little bath things for your hoo-ha and spray bottles and numbing cream and generally stuff I was much better off not knowing even existed. Now, I know they're out there and that delivery is going to be traumatic enough that I am going to need those things. I just want to live in denial about the entire getting this child out of my body process because I am not ready to go there mentally. Also, though I appreciate the supportive comments from other first time moms who haven't given birth yet that try and reassure me it won't be that bad, I don't believe you! Moms who have been there, done that are ALL about those frozen medicated pads and that is terrifying enough.
I am really worried I am not going to be able to nurse my baby, and am dealing with a lot of fear and guilt when I think about having to formula feed. The medication I take to manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis hasn't been 100% cleared for breastfeeding, and miraculously, I haven't needed it while pregnant because my body has gone into remission, but my doctor has started mentally preparing me because most women flare in the immediate weeks after giving birth. At that point, I would have to choose whether or not to live with the pain and nurse, or take my medication and have to formula feed. I've always wanted to nurse my children, and have always imagined doing so, so I feel like I am going to have to grieve that loss if I am not able to. Other moms don't even mean to do it but they just assume I am going to nurse when we talk about all things baby and though its my hope and prayer I am able to, I also worry about looking like a "bad mom" which I know is prideful and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
I am sick to my stomach about our decision for me to go back to work after my maternity leave. Financially, me staying home full time isn't an option at this point, and it seems like I am surrounded by friends and acquaintances who all stay home, and again, I worry about not being as good as a mom if I leave my three month old baby with someone else five days a week. I think it may be a little easier if I had any close friends who also were working moms but I don't and I feel really alone in that area . Its also definitely hard to discuss with my friends who are (or will be) stay-at-home moms because they were able to make the decision to stay at home where I feel like that decision is really out of my control, and I just need to suck it up.
I am sorry about the downer of a post-these are just some of the fears that I have been working through over the past few weeks. As I prepare for motherhood, I don't want to document just the good things, I want to let myself feel the joy as well as the anxiety and see how God uses it in my life. If you have any tips/suggestions/insight I'd LOVE to hear, I am welcoming any advice or thoughts on any of these areas. If you're a mom, what are/were some of your fears before baby came?

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