Apr 25, 2016

Upcoming Maternity Break

So far this year I have been pretty good at sticking to my resolution of posting twice a week (with the exception of being sick a couple weeks ago). Some posts have been easier/more interesting than others, but I’m happy that overall I’ve stuck with it even when things have been crazier than usual.


Of course, all of this is about to change. Soon. I’m 37 weeks pregnant this week, which basically means that our second little boy could arrive safely at anytime now (though hopefully he stays put for another week or two). I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by.

How am I doing? Honestly? I’m exhausted. And I need to use these last few weeks to focus on myself and our family. I need to take more walks, stock up on whatever sleep I can get, rest my aching body and soak up as much Oliver time as possible while we are still a family of 3. While I don’t plan on disappearing from this blog entirely right this second, posting is going to be more sporadic and then at some point in the near future I will drop off for a blog maternity break. I promise to share a photo of our newest member of the family when I have a chance.

We are ready for his arrival. The nursery is done. His clothes are organized. I’ve washed (and will probably rewash yet again) all the linens in the room. The baby gear is all pulled out and ready to go. I even packed my hospital bag over the weekend, just in case. I’d still like to get our raised bed garden planted, take Oliver on some family outings, and go on a few more special mother-son dates just the two of us. Babies come in their own time so we’ll see what happens, but we’re ready.

Apr 21, 2016

Spring!

Spring has slowly been unfolding in our yard. I love all the flowering shrubs, the bulbs and perennials that have started to come up. I'm especially pleased that I took the time to plant more daffodils and some tulips in the fall - they have come up! These photos have been from the past several weeks, it's just so lovely to watch everything come back to life.





The asparagus came up! We can't harvest it for another couple of years (it needs to get established first), but it's really cool to see!





My tulip bulbs in the backyard survived the winter and potential critters! So far they have come up pink and orange in different shades - so pretty!





The trees are also flowering. The dogwood is just getting started and the red bud tree is once again covered in bright purple blossoms - it's so pretty!


Apr 19, 2016

Baby Blanket

I finished our baby boy's baby blanket! I'm really happy with how it came out.



The blanket is large for a baby so it will work into his preschool years (I did one like this for Oliver and he still uses it in the winter).


I meant to post this last week but I came down with a wicked cold. Oliver had it first and it gave him an ear infection and bronchitis, but he bounced back really fast after that. I fared better (no antibiotics) but it made for a looooong rough week. Mike ended up catching it too. I felt much better by the weekend, but suddenly came down with laryngitis on Saturday! I still have it today. It's surprisingly hard to wrangle a 3 year old when you can't speak above a whisper and are a super slow pregnant lady that can't keep up with him.

Apr 11, 2016

The Decorated Nursery


The nursery is *mostly* ready for our new baby! We didn’t make a ton of changes in here, but I finally finished redecorating in anticipation of our second baby boy’s arrival next month. The crib is back, we replaced missing artwork and put up new mobiles. We patched and repainted some holes and scribbles on the walls. I filled in the pocket shelves and bookshelves with a few things (since some items went to Oliver’s big boy room) and rearranged the rest so that it all feels fresh.





My nesting instincts are kicking in - I have the urge to dust, vacuum and rewash everything in here on a daily basis - so right now everything is nice and clean. All of the baby clothes are washed, organized and put away. All of the cloth diapers have been rewashed, stripped and put back together in the tiniest size (we plan on cloth diapering this little guy just like Oliver once he’s big enough). Even the closet is well organized with room to spare (in truth all of our closets have recently been reorganized… Nesting! Our upstairs has never been so orderly!).





I’ll share the new baby blanket later this week too, the final touch to the room. We still have plenty to do to prepare elsewhere - all the gear in the attic (like the infant carrier and swing, etc.) needs to come down and get washed. There are bottles and containers to sterilize, gifts to organize (we feel so loved and supported!), thank you notes to write, car seats to install, hospital bags to pack. At least the mountains of pre-baby paperwork are done. I also have a strong desire to clean out the freezer and basement deep freeze (nesting!) one of these days, but I’m hoping over the next few weeks to take it easy and celebrate our little guy’s impending arrival. Before we know it, we’ll be thrown back into the chaos of having a newborn… only this time with a preschooler to take care of as well!

Apr 6, 2016

Tiny Tomato Plants

Mother Nature is playing a cruel trick on us this week and turned spring back into winter. The kind of winter that's hard on all the flowers. The daffodils are drooped, the magnolia trees turned brown, my quince is nipped, the flowering cherry trees and ornamental pears are dropping petals. Things are still pretty, but I'm desperate for the warm spring weather to return.

Inside, the 8 tiny tomato plants we started from seed are doing well and growing quickly.


When it's cold like this, it's hard to imagine starting the garden soon. Hopefully this is our last cold snap of the year though and we can still plant these (and the rest of the summer seeds) in early May.

Apr 4, 2016

Nursery Progress: The Baby Crib is Back

It’s official, the toddler bed has been disassembled and the baby’s crib is back in the nursery. The toddler bed was so low, I forgot how high the crib is. It looks a million times better with the height of the hanging artwork - the room looks so much more put together this way.


The bed linens are washed, I'm storing them in tubs under the bed for now to keep them from getting dusty. I’m excited to be a lot closer now to having the nursery “ready” for the baby.

Apr 1, 2016

Nursery Mobile: Paper Birds

When planning out the changes to the nursery, I wasn’t sure if it would be better to make or buy a new mobile. I loved the idea of making something special for this baby like I did for Oliver, but I was also tempted by the convenience of buying one. Especially since I feel like I have zero time these days. In the end though, practicality (cost!) and sentimentality (both kids deserve something made with love!) won out. I managed to put together a simple paper bird mobile using craft dowels, thread and coloraid paper leftover from my art school days (the paper, required for a class, was so expensive I never threw it out and I found it when we cleaned out the office).

The paper is one-sided and I also wanted to double-up for strength, so I folded each sheet in half and glued the sides together, pressing them under a book overnight so they were very flat. I drew three little birds on cardstock and cut them out to use as a tracing template, then traced them over the colored paper. Each bird was carefully cut out by hand.


To string them up I tried fishing line, thread and elastic cord. The fishing line was too strong for the paper, the birds didn’t weigh enough to straighten it out and everything stayed coiled from the spool. The elastic cord was too bouncy, I knew it would be hard to balance the mobile. White thread ended up being the easiest material to use, and while I originally wanted something clear, I think it came out just fine! Plus I was able to use a needle and thread to poke holes in the birds to string them up.


I think balancing the mobile was the hardest part of the whole thing. Each bird tied to the dowels had to be counter-balanced. I hung up my mobile pieces and added the birds one at a time and it was a pain. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, since I knew balancing the bottom would be the hardest part. Once everything was tied to the dowels and semi-balanced, I spent a lot of time adjusting each bird and dowel connection until the mobile was as balanced as I could get it, again working from the bottom up. Since the nursery has a ceiling fan that will be on all summer, I knew I had to glue the threads into place on the dowels or risk destroying the whole thing. I glued in stages to keep everything balanced - first the bottom birds, then the middle ones, then the top birds, letting each section dry completely before moving on to the next. After that I glued the dowel connections into place starting at the bottom, then the middle, then the top, once again letting everything dry in between. It took a couple of days to get it all glued down but gluing itself only took a minute each time.





I’m really happy with how it came out. The colors, the movement, the way the paper birds flutter in a way that only paper can. For some reason some of the birds came out a little pinker than they are in real life and the oranges are much brighter - in person the colors flow together really nicely in a gradient. The balance isn't perfect - I left it in a place where Oliver could reach it... and of course he couldn’t resist (the colors! The movement! MUST TOUCH!) so now one of the bottom dowels is off-balance again post-gluing, but it doesn’t bother me. When the whole thing is motion you don’t even notice it. And I like to think Oliver left his personal touch on it for his brother :)





Mar 29, 2016

Nursery Mobiles: Reusing the Birds

In the nursery I wanted to reuse the birds I made for Oliver that were originally on the big branch, but in a new way without sticks and branches.  I thought it would be fun to have something hanging from the ceiling over the changing area (like we did for Oliver). I decided to string them together vertically with fishing line - it's fun, eye catching and should be interesting for the baby to look at.


It's not in its final home yet (this corner is over the rocking chair), we have to fix the ceiling hook over the dresser first.


I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially since it took only a few minutes to do (since I already had the birds).


Mar 25, 2016

Happy Easter!

We hope everyone has a lovely Easter weekend! Ours will be filled with bunnies, egg hunts and quality family time.






Happy Easter!


Mar 24, 2016

Easter Basket

Oliver’s Easter basket this year looks like this:


I love the inexpensive felt baskets from Target, they are just so cute! This year they had these blue and pink bunny ones I couldn't resist. There's plenty of chocolate and candy - while it will be rationed, it wouldn't feel like Easter without some treats. As Oliver gets older he knows about candy and he's looking forward to it - I remember the same feeling when I was a kid! The jelly beans will actually go in the plastic eggs that the Easter Bunny will hide. Lastly there are a few non-edible goodies - a dinosaur puzzle (not shown), a robot lacing kit and a bug lit flashlight because Oliver has been asking for one for a while now (he's afraid of the dark and wants one to help protect him at night). I'm trying to keep it simple this year and not go crazy - I know some families do a lot more (which is of course totally okay!), but I figure Oliver has a birthday coming up soon and he's already so blessed with so much.

Georgia isn't being left out, she is getting a couple of stuffed dog toys. We just have to limit any other treats in her old age, but she will still have a good morning.