Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bedrooms Complete

Finally knocking out Evan's bed brings his big boy room to completion.  I now have both kids' rooms ready for our next family phase.

Here are a few before pictures of his room along with pictures of the bed I purchased on Craigslist for a whopping $25.

I painted the bed dark blue to match the color palette of the room.  It's a great kid's bed - solid wood with additional drawer storage underneath.

The rest of the room came together pretty easily.  I've never been one big on themes.  I picked the robot bedding primarily for the colors, but Evan also appreciates them along with many other things.  That is why I stuck to a color theme rather than a specific character or idea.  You'll notice cars, airplanes, kids art, photographs and many other contributing features.  Sticking to a robot theme would not have been an accurate reflection of Evan.  I would have at least had to go with cars and trucks if I were gonna stick to any one theme.

Here is the completed room:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beyond Adorable

I decided to try another sewing project to make use of the left over fabric I had from MJ's nursery.  Because I am one of those mothers who is totally guilty of letting their child run around in only a diaper at home, I thought I could at least make a cute diaper cover that could pass as being partly dressed.

How cute will MJ look in this?

You can see that my stitching is still far from perfect and it took me way longer to make this than the average person - but seriously, so cute, right?  I have found so many adorable sewing projects that I will hopefully get around to trying. But being a newbie time is a must.  I was able to get this finished today because I am taking care of my sick little boy (again) who only has the energy to lay in the bed and watch tv.  He has an ear infection and a fever and is not at all happy about it.  But how sweet does he look?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Music to My Ears: Dilated

Just went in for my weekly check-up and found I am already dilated - just 1 cm, but my cervix is also soft.  MJ has dropped some since my last appointment too so that is yet another indication that labor is right around the corner.  I was having mild to medium crampage yesterday, but what I thought could be contractions ended up being diarrhea (if you find this detail gross, my apologies - this is for my record).  The diarrhea continued until this morning so I decided to google its connection to labor.  And what do you know?  Diarrhea is a sign of labor.  My doctor referred to it as "nature's enema."  She said she had a patient two days ago dealing with the same symptom and she was delivering a baby 48 hours later.  Whoa, dude!

Another bit of information my doctor shared with me is that they will do an induction at 39 weeks if I so desire.  I'm hoping I will go into labor on my own before then, but I imagine I will probably take them up on that offer if I haven't.  I will say the convenience of planning your own birth is quite remarkable.  So much for spontaneity, I guess.

My mind is reeling now with everything I need to get done before MJ decides to make an appearance.

  • Pack a hospital bag
  • Purchase newborn diapers
  • Not much I can do about the infant carrier I ordered and still waiting on - oops.
  • Have someone on call to take care of Evan
  • Make sure camera/video are charged
  • Get my remaining magazine assignments completed
I'm sure I've forgotten several important things - but oh well.  We're about to have a baby! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ropes Course Challenge

I've mentioned before how much Evan loves visiting Dada at work.  Between his fascination with the friendly ducks, his curiosity in the ropes course contraption and his confusion with people zipping by on the zipline he has more than enough to keep himself occupied at the Soar + Explore Hut - but especially today.

Today Evan had the opportunity to satisfy that puzzling curiosity he has with the ropes course.  Robert decided he would strap him in a harness and take him up to face his fears - we've been convinced for a long time that those don't exist for Evan.  This experience however confirmed two things for us:  (1) Evan is extremely independent and wants to do everything on his own - even if it is completely new to him.  And (2)  Yes, he does actually show caution when he is unsure of something.  The ropes course was just uncomfortable enough for Evan to request to get down.  He never demonstrated fear - more like uncertainty.

Nevertheless, he enjoyed  his time with Robert and I'm sure he'll make a go of it again the next time we make a visit.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Y'all Ready for This?

I've been procrastinating for the past week on getting the nursery completed because I had one project left to complete - the crib sheet.  Not only would be this be the first crib sheet I've ever sewn, but this would be the first thing I've EVER sewn on my own. I didn't even own a sewing machine up until this week (thanks, mom, for the early Christmas gift).  So I literally had to teach myself how to use a sewing machine before I could even begin.  I found that threading the machine was more difficult than the actual sewing part, but I'll save everybody from those boring details.

In just under an hour (and I'm sure this can be done a lot quicker once you know what you're doing) this is my finished product and I am more than pleased with it.

Of course there are imperfections in the stitching and the fit isn't perfect either, but the average person would never know.  It looks great in the crib - as does the crib skirt which I made completely sew free! 

And with that I can now reveal the finished nursery - please excuse some of these pictures.  The nursery only has one window so the lighting is poor.  Maybe one day when I acquire a more advanced lens and an external flash I can produce better indoor photos - until then, this is what you get.

What do y'all think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Measuring Big

Should we really surprised by this?  I mean it's not like we haven't heard that phrase a million times before.  In fact, that phrasing was used during so many visits when I was pregnant with Evan that it's become an expectation even now.  We were also informed that MJ may possess the all too familiar Evans' family trait - the monster melon.  Yay, I thought.  Delivery should once again be as pleasant as ever!

All this information was gathered at my 36 week appointment yesterday.  This appointment officially began "Baby Watch 2010" with the first check of my cervix.  It was luckily not in any shape to have a baby yet, but from this point on it will be checked on a weekly basis.  We also had an ultrasound done which confirmed MJ is positioned correctly, head down, and ready for delivery.  They estimated her current weight between 6 1/2 and 7 lbs.  I'm hoping that means her birth weight will be in the 7 1/2 to 8 lb range - and for recovery purposes I'm begging.

I gained a whopping 1 lb in the last two weeks making my weight gain total 31 lbs so far.  Not too shabby.  At this point however it wouldn't matter if I was 10 or 20 pounds heavier - uncomfortable is uncomfortable.

I can honestly say that I am ready for all that comes with taking care of an infant.  My only experience has been Evan and that was the hardest job I've ever had to date.  I'm confident that MJ will be easier, but any way you look at it night feedings can take their toll.  Luckily we are able to have Evan in his program which will make things a lot easier those first few weeks.  I will also have my mom here as she has decided to move to the area in just a few weeks.  YAY!!!!  I couldn't be happier to have my mom in the same town, not only to help me with a newborn, but to be a permanent fixture in Evan and MJ's lives.  Having grandparents near by is really special for a child.  I was not fortunate enough to have that so I am extremely happy that my children will.

So in just 4 short weeks Robert and I will be moving my mom here and welcoming our baby girl to the family.  Man, time really does fly!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Buzz's Roost to Star in Barry Levinson Film

"A couple weeks back, there was some really early word that Barry Levinson would be making a film with sci-fi overtones. Called Isopod, the movie was reportedly a thriller that would shoot in the Carolinas. Now there’s a lot more detail, starting off with a title change: Isopod is now called The Bay.  Screen Film says that The Bay features “the aftermath of a viral outbreak on the Eastern Seaboard. The story is told via a series of recordings on camera phones, 911 calls and other scraps of video as the town of Claridge, Maryland is engulfed by chaos.” What’s more, the Paranormal Activity team of Oren Peli, Steven Schneider and Brian Kavanagh Jones are producing alongside Jason Blum. That’s an interesting detail, especially when taken together with the revelation that the film will be built in part from lo-fi pieces of footage and civilian reports."  Source:

This is all taking place in Georgetown, SC and one full day of shooting was done inside of Buzz's Roost and on the rooftop deck.  Talk about some great advertising!  Check out the photo gallery in the Sun News.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another First for the Week

The first week of school brought on Evan's very first fever accompanied with a non-stop flow of snot that I fear may come as a permanent part of the daycare package.

This week Evan has suffered his first school related injury.  He apparently took it straight to the face/head from a girl.

I received the call from Miss Aimee this morning informing me that Evan had been hurt on the playground but seemed to be ok.  He was evidently strolling by the swingset not realizing he was in the direct path of one of the swings.  "He literally got a shoe straight to the face that flipped him completely over," said Miss Aimiee.  My first thought was and where were you when this was happening?  But then I stopped myself because I know all too well how quickly these things happen and I certainly can't be throwing around the blame that easily.  Unfortunately, as a mom it seems to come naturally.  I was reassured that he was fine, but that she would keep an eye on him to make sure he showed no signs of a concussion.

When I arrived to pick up Evan I signed an injury report with the realization that it wouldn't be the last one I would see.  I also realized that I need to toughen up if I'm ever gonna survive this daycare thing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Here's What We're Working With

These are the key components of MJ's nursery.  Obviously accessories are not included here other than a few art prints.  But based on my own personal challenge to achieve a budget friendly design that is both modern and stylish, this is the cost breakdown.

  1. Gulliver Crib - IKEA - already had
  2. Confetti Forest White Fabric by thebline - Spoonflower - $36 for 2 yards 
  3. Berry Chevron Fabric by thebline - Spoonflower - $36 for 2 yards
  4. Hot Dot in Sky Fabric by Heather Bailey - Etsy - $7.50 for 1 yard
  5. Hemnes Dresser - IKEA - already had
  6. Art Work x 6 - Feed Your Soul -  Free Download
  7. Wooden Shelves (painted white) - IKEA - $6 for 2
  8. Snille Visitor Chair - IKEA - already had
  9. Scalloped Accent Table - Wal-Mart - $25
  10. Regolit Pendant Lamp - IKEA - $10
  11. Bentwood Rocker - Craigslist - $20
  12. Zinnia Path in Spring Fabric by Paula Prass - Etsy - $13 for 2 yards
  13. Leather Pouf - Target - $20
  14. Expedit Bookcase - IKEA - $69

Let's quickly revisit the final cost of the fabulous nursery Sarah put together for me - also excluding most accessories her total cost was roughly $3500.  The total cost of my nursery ended up being a modest $250.  My cost includes all art work and wall hangings.  I may have an additional $30 - $50 in other accessories which still brings me in under $300.

How 'bout that for budget friendly?  I'll be posting pictures soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wall Flowers

I am not sending the message to MJ to be a wall flower - I'm simply digging the beauty these big blossoms add to the decor of her room.  I currently have these hanging over the crib.  They are safe and make a nice, bold statement on a rather drab colored wall.  And these only took me about 20 minutes to make.

My friend, Amanda, referred me to a blog called Made that I absolutely adore.  The author of this blog has several tutorials listed ranging from sewing projects to craft projects to demonstrating techniques.  I came across her tutorial for the wall flowers and immediately knew I wanted to incorporate them somewhere in MJ's nursery.  How I was going to do it was the question.

In the beginning I had planned to hang a pendant light over the crib in lieu of any artwork on the adjacent wall.  But somewhere along the line I decided to move the crib to the other side of the room which exposed even more wall behind the crib.  I felt that wall really needed something more - and here enters wall flower idea.  I also decided I wanted to frame the flowers rather than hanging them freely.  That's my need for structure coming out in me, I think.  I found a frame at Goodwill for $2 and painted it white.  After painting it I noticed a crack running along the top side - but honestly, it was that much more appealing to me.  The flowers are made using napkins.  You literally fan fold the napkins, scallop the edges and secure in the middle with a twist tie.  From there you simply separate and pull up on each layer of napkin forming petals all around.  They really are incredible for the little amount of time that goes into making them.

I will share a few other wall art ideas I put to use later.  I'm now working on the crib skirt which I'm really excited about.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recovered Rocker

With only five weeks until my due date I am scrambling to get the last few things completed in MJ's nursery before her arrival.  My goal for this nursery was for it to be as budget friendly as possible while still having a basic design in mind to follow - reference here.

I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do.  Initially I made a list of various items I was planning to purchase such as bedding, an upholstered glider and artwork.  But to add a more personal touch I decided to do a lot of these things myself.

The first DIY project I took on was finding a rocker to recover.  I've always liked the bentwood rockers that seem to show up on Craigslist quite a bit.  I came across one selling for $20 and it appeared to be in pretty good shape.  My plan was to paint the chair, but when I got it back to the house I realized it was in fantastic condition - the finish was almost flawless.  Even though the maple colored wood is not my favorite I decided I could work with it.

The next step was finding a fabric to recover the seat and back of the chair.  I already had my bedding fabrics picked out so I knew what color palette I was working with.  I decided on Paula Prass' Zinia Path in Spring.  The colors were perfect and I felt it would bring in just the right amount of femininity I was looking for.   What do you think?

I have a few more projects to share over the next few days - hopefully the nursery will be ready for its big reveal in the next couple of weeks.  I think I said that about Evan's room and I still haven't finished his bed yet.  That's also on my things to do this week list.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

That Didn't Take Long

It only took three days in the presence of germy kids for Evan to be sent home with a fever.  I picked up an extremely snotty, congested boy on Thursday who never led on for a second that he wasn't feeling well.  He had a fever of 102 degrees and was apparently breathing heavy and slobbering during nap time which prompted his teacher to take his temperature.  He was not allowed to return to school on Friday.

It's been a couple of days and it seems Evan is beginning to feel better.  No more fever, reduction of snot, but still congested and coughing.  I'm assuming he'll be okay to return to school on Tuesday.  I was so happy to have my mom visiting on Thursday because I was a complete newbie to dealing with a sick child.  This was the first fever Evan has ever had and he did not handle it well on Thursday night and Friday.  Nothing seemed to make him happy and he fought me tooth and nail on every little thing.  Mom helped me keep my cool which I appreciated very much.

I have a feeling these early dismissals from school will be more frequent than not.  Evan's immune system better be ready for a beating because that's exactly what it's gonna get these next few months.  It's a good thing I have a few months before I go back to work.  Evan may be spending more time at home with me after all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Leave it to Mimi to put a smile on Evan's face - and a layer of pure sticky delight.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And We're LIVE

Robert is a local celebrity - or so he thinks.  Ten seconds on live television can really pump up an ego  (Just kidding, babe).  With all jokes aside, Robert did a great interview for Wonder Works and really represented them well.  The TV network only showed a few seconds of his interview, but it was still fun to hear that familiar accent coming through the TV.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bi-weekly Check-Up

The 34-week marker has come and my bi-weekly check-up has gone.  My doctor seemed pleased with my progress today.  Everything seemed to be on point which made for a very short visit.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for my next appointment where we will check on MJ's weight and positioning.  If all goes well according to my birth plan MJ will be head down and ready to rock and roll.   None of this I think I'll stay in here for as long as humanly possible.  My plan is 38 weeks - do you hear that MJ, my sweet?  Make Mama happy!