Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Couch Debate Solved

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves with quite the conundrum. For the first time in our married life, we were getting ready to buy our own furniture. For these past years, so much of what we own is a hand me down. Not complaining because we’ve inherited some great pieces, but getting ready to put money on the table for something we picked out…well it was a little daunting to say the least.

With our hands in the Remodeling/Design fields, it is really easy for us to love so many types of design. There are aspects of eclectic, modern, and traditional that we love but the question remained “do we want this in our house?” In fact so much of my home boards on pinterest are not really our style, just things I find appealing. So after my last post on couches, we hit the stores the next day to revisit our choices.

What did we find? We ruled them all out. We did what? Yup, we threw out the choices and started over. And headed back to visit the same stores all over again in hopes that something would stand out. But before we headed out we spent some time revisiting our style.

I have a folder that I unearthed full of magazine clippings. Before pinterest:) And there was a common theme. Even Alex agreed when he saw them. There is a style we both love. Classic, comfortable, and a touch beachy with some eclectic mixed in. Think Cape Cod meets Ina Garten. Every photo I unearthed sported a slipcovered white sofa. Knowing that wasn’t going to happen since it’s not Alex’s first choice, we compromised. Getting in touch with OUR style definitely helped our quest for a couch. So back out we went with inspiration in hand and we fell in love with this beauty:

It’s the Rowan from Pottery Barn in a beautiful oatmeal linen. We fell in love as soon as we sat down. Swoon! But we didn’t stop there. The couch needed a friend; we found one with this chair:

Feminine, tufted, and has nail head. Perfect if you ask me. The tudor armchair just happened to make the list as well in a gorgeous cream twill. The light color sets off the brass nail heads. PERFECT!

We bought our rug a few months ago and we’re certain it’s going to look great with the new pieces:

Very neutral, very calming, very cozy…perfect for our north facing, dark living room. Now to pick the paint color and start gathering accessories. I can’t wait until this room begins to set the tone for our home. Now if only the floors would re-do themselves:)

In case you are wondering, there’s going to be a new house rule: No eating or drinking anything but water in our living room! Not at all worried about this little one coming along. 8 years I watched BOYS, from very young to pre-adolescent and their mother furnished their house with gorgeous pieces. They learned where they could play and how to enjoy the nicer rooms in their house. And anyways, no young children eating on the couch is always a good rule in my book. Because if they do, it’s always messy and you know who has to clean that up! And if in the end it gets dirty, we made sure the pieces were easy to clean, so we’re not worried.

After all that style soul searching we can’t wait for them to arrive. We know we’re headed in the right direction and I’m hoping to have a style board of the coming space in a few weeks!

Do you know your style? Are you modern, eclectic, traditional, or mid-century or a mix of many?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baby B - 20 weeks

We’re halfway there!

This past week went by in a blur. So many fun things were happening around here and I will never complain if the weeks go by quickly. Every week gets us closer to meeting our daughter!
Highlights this past week included watching a friend’s son be dedicated followed by a great lunch with friends, small group, buying baby things, homemaking group, and shopping with a good friend. There was a great sale going on over President’s day at USA Baby and Alex and I took advantage and scored a great deal on a glider. It was a little nerve wracking making the final purchase, considering it cannot go back, but in the end I’m really excited about our choice. It is definitely the most comfortable chair I have sat in and combined with it’s traditional looks and great charcoal linen fabric, I know it will look great in the nursery!


How big is baby?

Baby is almost a pound and is as long as a banana…around 10 inches. The measurements now change from ‘crown to rump’ to ‘crown to foot.’ Hard to believe something as long as banana does not quite weigh a pound and yet her little body is functioning just as ours are. Amazing! And this baby girl is not short on movement. Every morning and evening she’s squirming around in there, moving, flipping, and kicking. Feels great to feel her:)

How am I feeling?

Tired. There’s only one word to describe this past week and that is it. First trimester exhaustion has come back. At my 20 week appointment they did some blood work to make sure everything was functioning right, but everything looked very normal and I’m sure I’m just bound to have one symptom tag along. Fatigue it is. Taking every opportunity to just rest. Other than being tired, I’ve been feeling really good. I’m very happy that I made it to the Y 12 times this month and am looking forward to getting there often in March as well!

How am I changing?

I’m definitely showing more. I know I say it every week but this past week I heard it the most from those around me. I love this belly that just keeps getting bigger:) At my 20 week appointment I was measuring right at 20 weeks which eased my mind! The other change I’ve been noticing…my super innie belly button has just now popped enough that when standing it protrudes past my belly. Just a little. My tastes have also been changing once again. That sugar I couldn’t stand the first 19 weeks, well now I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly. In moderation:)

Little Tidbits:

Weight gained:  1 pound, total of 9
Items purchased:  Tons of diapers and wipes…love the coupons!
Excited about:  Fabric samples arriving in the mail and getting started on the nursery!
Days until vacation:  23! Florida here we come:)
Things for this week:  Schedule our birth classes…exciting!

Thanks for everyone’s feedback on newborn sizes…feel so much better! Now for this week’s question, what baby items could you NOT live without?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finding Balance



I’m not type A.

If you know me well you are not at all surprised. Most days I’m behind on things, treading to keep my head above water. I drop the ball, forget things, am absentminded, and am often off in my own world.

Add pregnancy to the mix and well, it’s been a little crazy around here. I am exhausted. The three week reprieve I had from exhaustion has passed and I’m back to sleeping 8-9 hours a night and running our of steam by lunch. I remember years ago pulling all nighters, working full-time while in school full-time, and still maintaining a social life. Even then I never felt like this.

And yet, I try not to make pregnancy an excuse. Our house still needs to get clean, we still need food on the table, and disorganization/messiness drives me crazy. Not accomplished as they may have been pre-pregnancy, but they need to be done. These past couple of weeks my computer has put me to the test. I could write and dream, catch up on life, research baby things, the whole bit and before I knew it I was rushing to get to work, get ready, read my Bible. I loathe rushing. We’ve arranged our life with margin, something Alex and I crave.

And yesterday as I sat in Bible Study, my study unfinished, not because I didn’t have time, the Lord softly convicted my heart. And I already knew change had to come. I know it will not get easier when the baby comes; I’ve watched two toddlers and a newborn from sun-up to the time reinforcements come through the door. I’m not na├»ve about what life will look like in a few short months. But I want to be prepared.

So I made a rule and asked my husband to help me. You see, my non-type A personality is not naturally prone to organization or schedule. I’m more apt to have piles everywhere, but I will know where everything is! So we help each other, because that husband of mine is beyond Type A. Opposites really do attract:) Task at hand: I asked him to help me ban the computer before 11 am. Today was the first day.

After waking and getting out of bed by 7:45, I finished cleaning all three bathrooms, loading/unloading the dishwasher, my quiet time with ample time for prayer, a load of laundry done, others folded and put away, cleaned the kitchen, and got ready and ate breakfast by the time it was 10. Amazing what one can accomplish without the distraction of a little black box of entertainment. Since I amazed even myself, I grabbed my computer a little early and it felt good.

I’m not sure where you are on the Type A – Non Type A scale, most I know are like my husband, but if you tend to be like me, I just want to share there’s hope for us. There’s hope, praise the Lord, there’s hope!

In the next few months before baby girl arrives, I’m hoping to re-connect with the schedule I had before I was pregnant, modified of course. Days of the week for certain activities, a cleaning rotation, more creative meal planning, and figuring out how to keep this big house clean. 

When I get my plan together, I’ll happily share. Because maybe all of us outliers or not, can encourage each other toward finding balance in our lives, in our homes, in our hearts. And most importantly, finding time to put God first. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Baby B -19 Weeks

Week 19 update means one thing; we’ve hit the mid-point of pregnancy. (Remember, I write these on the back end, so today I turn 20 weeks!) Best part of week 19 was right in the middle. Level 2 anatomy scan and seeing the pictures of our little one unfold in front of us. What met us on the screen was one happy little GIRL. I’m still over the moon knowing this little one is a girl!

2012-02-15_004(ultrasound pics of baby girl at 12 weeks (left) and 9 weeks (right))

Our friend Gina did an amazing photo shoot following the ultrasound and I wouldn’t change that for anything. We know what she captured is incredibly special and we are really grateful for her! It was so much fun to open our eyes and see pink. I’m pretty sure we both had a hunch it was a girl but now that it’s official, it’s fantastic! With just one little niece on my side, my family was over the moon.  In fact the first day we were talking with our little one and one of us said: “Silly little girl…” which caused us both to burst into laughter. We happen to love Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and ever since we saw it, one line stuck with us. Here’s the clip; start at 2:50:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory–Wonka’s Welcome

Other fun things this week, daddy came home from his trip and we were so excited to see him. It’s so much better having Alex home instead of gone; we missed him! And I definitely started shopping for this little one…first purchase, a little pink snowsuit for this next winter. It’s so cute!

Regarding clothing, I need some opinions from the momma’s…I do not expect to have a baby under 7 pounds…should I even buy things in size newborn? Diapers in size newborn or size 1? Hmm. On to the good stuff…

How big is baby?

This week we learned that baby girl is spanning my abdomen. Head on the right, legs on the left, facing up at me and stretched out completely. My source says that she is as big as a mango, about 8 1/2 ounces and 6 inches, head to bottom. She can hear our voice, her arms and legs are now in proportion with her body, and the waxy coating called vernix is starting to cover her body.  She’s definitely found her rhythm and I can now see small movements on my belly as she punches her arms and kicks her legs. This is what she looked like by ultrasound:

and in 3d (stubbornly hiding her face):

How am I feeling?

This week I felt great. Not only was it so nice to have Alex back home but while he was gone I got into a great groove at the gym. Yesterday I spent my first day in the pool and it felt fantastic. Hoping baby girl ends up loving the water as much as her parent’s do! Finding out it was a girl ushered in its own emotions; will she like me, I hope she doesn’t make all the same mistakes, now I have to tell her about the birds and the bees. These were some of the thoughts that overtook my brain and then I remembered, one day at a time for today’s trouble is enough and He is going before me and will equip me with all I need. Helpful to remember we’re not alone!

How am I changing?

I’m pretty sure this was the week I popped. Nothing but maternity bottoms fit at this point and I’ve definitely heard my first few comments from strangers on the bump. I love it! Also I’m up 2 pounds this week so I’m sure baby girl just went through a growth spurt:) Yay for a growing girl!

Little Tidbits:
Girl things bought:   2
Nursery planned:   Yes! Now to start buying:)
Names under consideration:   At least 10…yikes! We’re stumped.
Cravings:   Fruit. Cannot wait for watermelon to be in season
Weight gained:  2 pounds this week for a total of 8

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Writing on the Wall

Overcast and dreary was the weather the day we found out just who you were. We knew you were special, created specifically for us, for this season, for this point in life. But we didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl.

The woman with the wand, guided the ultrasound and images of you took over the screen. Happy baby. Moving all about. Shy and stubborn all in one. We snuck a peek at your beautiful face before you huddled in safe, arm crooked near your face. And that is how you stayed as we watched the miracle of you unfold in front of us. Fingers, toes, heart beating quick. Images that show the Creator full force. He knit you together, perfectly.

”He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves us…”

His goodness towards your daddy and I is immeasurable. To think we get you, sweet baby, undoes us completely. And He loves you, oh how He does.

And once we were home, we giggled in anticipation. Then with eyes concealed, paint hit the wall, leaving the mark unveiling more of who you were. The camera clicked quietly as we opened our eyes to see beautiful you. 

Ballet slippers, the color we chose, the faintest shade of pink, met our eyes and we couldn’t hold our excitement in.  

Sweet baby girl, you are ours, and we cannot wait to meet you!

Go here for the full reveal: Gina Zeidler Photography

Monday, February 13, 2012

What Old Wives Would Say

Boy or girl?

Let’s consult the professionals…

Wives Tale                                                    Answer        B/G
Heart rate 140+ girl/under 140 boy?            HR: 155       GIRL
Craving sweet or sour?                                 Sour             BOY
Breakouts or clear skin?                                Clear            BOY
Morning sickness Y/N?                                 None            BOY  

Craving citrus?:                                            1st tri yes    GIRL  
Graceful or clumsy?                                     Clumsy        BOY 

Well it looks like the old wives would predict BOY while most of you think it’s a GIRL! Guess we’ll have to wait a couple more days to see the writing on the wall. Either way, we’re ecstatic and cannot wait to know more about our little one:)

48 hours and counting:) 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby B–18 Weeks

Oh my, what a week! Best part about week 18; feeling this little one wiggle around:) On day 1 of week 18 I could definitely feel the baby movin’ and groovin’ inside and while watching TV that night, the moving turned to kicking. It was hard enough I could feel it from the outside and lucky daddy was able to feel it too! Believe me, daddy couldn’t be more happy.

This week’s picture was a little harder to come by since my trusty photographer is out of town. I’ve never had issues with the self timer but for some reason today everything was coming out blurry. So there’s not a picture of my head. It is what it is:(

While it has been a slow week, I’ve really enjoyed the company of this little one as Alex headed out west with some friends for the annual guys trip. We’ve missed him a bunch and are very excited for him to come home soon! I definitely tend towards introvert so every year I’m excited to have some time to myself. Hardest part: being vocal! I know the baby is beginning to hear things and if I’m not with others I tend to be pretty mute. So I’ve really been trying to talk aloud much more this week instead of just letting thoughts roll inside. But it’s so, so hard:)

I’ve also been really good about getting in some exercise. I’ve been to the Y 3 times this week to walk on the treadmill and just purchased a new bathing suit so I can get in the pool this next week. Let me just say, finding a one piece suit I feel comfortable swimming in while pregnant was not an easy or enjoyable task. But I did it:)

How big is baby?

Baby this week is as long as a bell pepper, approximately 5 1/2 inches from head to rump, and is weighing in at 7 ounces. Baby is flexing his/her arms and legs which I can definitely feel and his/her ears are in their permanent position. Also baby can now hear our voices! More to come on how I feel about this, but that’s a post in itself.

How am I feeling?

Feeling great although I’ve definitely felt some of the tiredness return. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier in hopes to get more quality rest. Being active this week and last has been great, although I’m still unsure how active to be considering I have been needing my inhaler if I walk too fast for too long. So unsure how I feel about having to use it so often. Hopefully swimming will negate the need for it. We’ll see this week!

How am I changing?

This week I’ve definitely noticed some things that may only be relevant to body types like mine at this point. Not only am I short (5’3”) but I’m also short-waisted. What does this mean: I’ve already been feeling like my uterus is impinging on my other organs. A lesson I’ve learned: I need to change my eating habits from eating 3 times a day to multiple times a day. This has been slightly difficult because I’m not always hungry when I should be snacking. So fruit, veggies and yogurt have become my friends for all the in-between times I know I need to get something in. Didn’t think this change would happen this soon!

Little Tidbits:

Weight gained: 1 pound this week for a total of 6
Registries created: 2
Days until the BIG ultrasound: 4!
Plans for Valentine’s Day: 0
House Update: Our RUG arrived…now for Alex to get home and lay it out!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Review of my Nook

I *love* my nook. There I said it. Last year when I received it for my birthday I would never have uttered that phrase. It was an impulse addition to my birthday list and when I received it, the initial excitement was there. But then it just seemed like too much work with little pay off and before I knew it I was back to the library picking up my favorites in hard copy.

It collected dust. For a year.

And then we went on vacation. Normally when we travel I either load up my bag with the longest books I can find or I end up scrounging book stores upon arrival for the cheapest books I can find. Then when the trip is over I just leave them and do not feel horrible. But this time I was determined to bring my Nook and I left all my books at home.

It was fantastic! Initially I was given the Nook color; after thinking about it for a few weeks, I returned it for the original. Reasoning: I’m on my computer a lot and I didn’t want to have glare issues or feel like I was behind a screen 24/7 when I was reading for fun. One other feature, that is now available on the kindle as well, was the ability to check out library books. Looking back I should have gone with the kindle; only reasoning, my parents both have one and I would have had access to all the books they purchase:)

Things I love:

-I can check out up to 12 books at a time from the library and the selection is vast—you get the books for up to 21 days.

-While lying in bed and lying at the pool I don’t have to worry about how to hold the book. I can hold the nook and turn the pages all with one hand.

-Books are relatively inexpensive; usually under $10

-Perfect for traveling…so long heavy books! It’s slim, small, and only requires a power cord.

-Multiple books are loaded so you can switch between them if you get bored with the one you are reading.

Things I don’t:

-To be honest, I really can’t think of any cons. 

So back to our vacation. Upon arrival I loaded my nook with books from our local library via the internet. This provided hours of reading pleasure by the pool, where I could read clearly with my sunglasses on, and never once did I have the awkward moment of trying to figure out how to hold the book and turn the pages. Instead I could drink out of my water bottle, hold a book, and turn the page all at the same time.

Ever since we’ve been back, I’ve been hooked. I’ve found so many gems on the library website that I now have over 8 books checked out with a few more on request.  I never thought I’d use it as much as I have in the past month, but I can’t put it down. It’s especially great right now in pregnancy when I’m laying in bed and don’t want to be on my back. The one hand feature really shines then!

So there. I love my nook. If you are at all interested you should check e-readers out…especially since the prices have dropped dramatically:)

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Great Couch Debate

We’ve been on a couch hunt for as long as I can remember. Until recently, the quest was moving very slow and leisurely, and now, we mean business. We bought the couch we have now 4 years ago when we flipped our first house. At the time we got a great deal at a furniture store down in Shakopee and I know we didn’t spend more than $400 on it. Needless to say, this couch was not built to last. It is incredibly comfortable but not very supportive and the cushions are getting all wonky.

When we bought our house we knew that one of our first purchases would be to replace our sofa for something well-built, long-lasting, durable, and comfortable. Thus begins the hunt. There are a few things we know we want and then there are things that can be negotiated between the two of us.
After searching through every furniture store in our surrounding area (at least it felt that way) we have brought the search down to 3. That is, until any other contenders get added to the mix.

Here they are:

The Hawthorne

The Carleton

The Avanti

Two of the sofas are from Ethan Allen and one is from Room and Board. We have a budget in mind and have been saving for years, so we just want this to be a wise investment. Right now, one issue we are having is over sofa cushions. At Ethan Allen we can choose the construction of the cushion as we would like it; we’re leaning towards down wrapped foam. At Room and Board the cushion construction is 100% down-blend. All down means finicky cushions that need extra care and we do not want to have crinkly cushions from the front.

So if anyone has a Room and Board sofa…will you give your opinion on the all-down vs. foam/down? Also if you can think of anywhere else to look please let us know! We’ve looked so far at Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Macy’s, Room and Board and Ethan Allen. Are we missing some hidden gem?

Also which is your favorite? We would change the colors of the fabric above but the shape and look would remain the same.

I’m beginning to think the hunt has only just begun…

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baby B–17 Weeks

Seems like yesterday that I was 4 weeks, having just seen the two pink lines. Crazy to think we are so close to nearing the halfway point…already! This week was ushered in by a cold. A nasty, yucky, cold that lasted 7 days before I waved my white flag and gave in to antibiotics. Best decision I made all week! Turns out my cold turned into a sinus infection. At least I gave it a valiant effort but on the flip side, I’m so thankful that I’m finally starting to feel better.

So needless to say, exciting moments this week were few and far between. Aside from resting as much as possible and working a little, other highlights included getting together with girlfriends and going to the movies with my hubby. Iron Lady was really good in case anyone is looking for a movie suggestion:) She was one tough woman!

How big is baby?

Baby is growing quickly…now as big as a turnip. Other suggestions for size include a baked potato and an onion. Baby made a huge jump in weight from 2.8 ounces to 5! In inches, baby measures around 5 and in a couple of weeks that measurement moves from crown to rump over to crown to foot. Can’t wait for that change! In other news this babe’s little body is getting stronger as its skeleton moves from cartilage to bone. Grow baby grow!

How am I feeling?

Now that I am on medication I’m feeling so much better! Other than being sick, I did make it to the Y twice this week, today included and I’m excited to get back in the pool to swim. Not sure I’m that excited to put my suit on, but swimming will feel wonderful I’m sure. I’ve enjoyed reading this book on Pregnancy and Exercise on my Nook…it was loaned from the library. Post coming on how much I love my Nook this week! I also received a fun gift from my dad and step-mom in the mail. Among some other great things, they sent over a body pillow…I never would have bought it for myself, but let me say, it’s amazing! As a back or stomach sleeper, I’ve been trying to switch to my side and this pillow has made that switch even easier!

How am I changing?

Much of the same this week…although I’m definitely noticing more of a pronounced bump. These past few weeks I could suck in the top part of my stomach and was able to better see the bump. This week sucking in is basically a joke. I can’t. Also my belly button is slowly beginning to flatten. At this point my prior innie is now almost flat and I’ve definitely been feeling some tenderness there. Not sure if it’s because I had pierced it in college and it’s the scar tissue that is sore or if this is normal for pregnancy.

Little Tidbits:

Pounds gained:   Held steady at 5
Maternity pants hemmed:   3…must learn how to do this myself!
Baby things bought:   Diapers! There was a great sale…
Days until BIG ultrasound:   11 :)
Gender thoughts:   I’m thinking girl…but have had friends say boy based on how I am carrying!

*By the way…there’s a poll on the right side of the blog if you want to place your vote on gender…will it be a boy or a girl :) *