Designing the Nursery—Part 1

As you may know, Bean needs a room. After 10 years of living with all boys, I am bound and determined to exercise my right to girly-fy something in my house. I’ve already got the inspiration; it’s the execution that is proving to be elusive.

After an inordinate amount of internet surfing, I fell absolutely in love with this bedding from Polka Tot designs, and thought I found my jumping-off point.

And then, I had a much-needed budget reality check, and decided that I better start back at square one.

Before we get to all that, let’s take a look at the room in question. Bean’s room was our former office, which in some past life, was probably a bedroom. Technically, the room had a closet, but the former owners of our home converted the closet into the laundry, because it is deep enough for the stackable front-loading washers and dryers. I am eternally grateful that they did, because otherwise, it would be a trek to our detached garage and back for clean clothes, and my abject laziness would have rioted.

Here’s Wall 1:

 

It has great windows and built-ins, but has an extra door to the rear of our house, despite the fact that we also have an exterior door in our kitchen. To the left, you can see the aforementioned closet-now-laundry. The color scheme in this room is the same as the ENTIRE house (white walls, beige/brownish trim). Trust me, the previous owners were really into this color-scheme, down to the flowers in the landscaping. My husband and I have left it alone since we’ve moved in, mostly out of laziness. However, every room is the same, and we are getting kind of tired of it.

Here’s Wall 2:

This is the wall the crib will go on. The door pictured here leads to the kitchen.

Wall 3:

This is the weird wall. As you can see, the entire wall is built-in storage (and those cabinets are REALLY deep), so I’m not too concerned about the lack of closet issue. In fact, I can probably run a rod through one (or all) of them for hanging up clothes. However, those windows look into the dining room, so some type of curtains or window treatments will be necessary. The catch is ensuring whatever I put there looks good on BOTH sides, because I will be able to see it in the dining room.

Finally, Wall 4:

This wall is also tricky, because putting furniture on it that won’t hinder opening the cabinets on Wall 3 is a challenge. The small cabinet by the door is a former built-in ironing board thingie, but it now houses some very small shelves. Good storage, but limited uses. The door leads to the Heathen’s room, and you’ve already met the laundry closet.

Other than the gorgeous crib, this room is a weird, blank canvas.

Now, we just have to figure out what to do with it.

A Little Less Frantic

It’s been a busy time around our house. Thanksgiving was a big success, the holiday decorations are up and we’re ready to settle into the Christmas season. Our November felt almost frantic, and after a few pregnancy driven melt-downs, I finally realized that something just had to give. Despite what my OCD says, I just can’t get everything done, all at once, all of the time. If I don’t ease up on the clangor of the running “to-do” list in my head, I’ll go bonkers.

Also, for reasons that will remain unmentioned (mostly because the amount of swear words I may use would bump this blog above its’ usual PG-13 rating), I’ve had to switch doctors for Bean. Changing OB’s more than half way through my pregnancy is not exactly what I wanted to be doing, but with both Bean’s and my health on the line, I need to have a little faith in the person who will be playing grown-up Operation on me in a few short months.

The past couple of weeks have been an exercise in slowing down. My husband and I are making a big effort to inject more calm, family time into our weeks and weekends, even if it is just 45 minutes to watch a Christmas special with the heathens. It also helps that Mom is back in town (yay!), so I’ve had a huge helping hand around the home front. We’ve baked cookies, shopped, wrapped presents and indulged in hours of Christmas movies and music. I still have to be in bed absurdly early, but that’s just because Bean likes to tap dance the second I’m horizontal…sleep is fitful when there’s a dance party in your stomach.

As for my homemade Christmas gift plan, I am still on track, even if I am knitting like I’m on speed. Assuming I can finish up all the projects that are still outstanding, I will have concocted hand-crafted Christmas gifts for almost every person in our family over the age of 10.

Once I finish my Christmas crafting bonanza, I’ll be free to start all things Baby. At some point, the reality that I’ll be giving birth soon will hit us, and we’ll finally have to do some important things…like find Bean a place to sleep, or buy even the first onesie.

But that’s a post-Christmas concern. For now, I’m going to make some hot chocolate, turn on my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies and relax.

And knit, of course…

Trying to Snap Out of It

Fall weather FINALLY arrived this week, and after my first cup of hot chocolate, I feel like a new Mama.

The past month has been quite a challenge for me. While my pregnancy has been smooth sailing thus far, my one noticeable symptom is persistent, crippling exhaustion. People are starting to wonder if I’m narcoleptic, because I sleep like it’s an Olympic sport. Between work, kids, and trying to keep my house under some semblance of control, I collapse into bed by 8:00 every night, while my husband wonders what the heck happened to his previously insomniatic wife. It’s as if, as soon as I eat dinner, someone flips the energy switch in my body to “off,” and I’m ready to be horizontal.

Somewhere between all of the usual stuff, I also volunteered to head help with the school’s Halloween carnival. Brilliant, I know. My only excuse is that I volunteered long before I knew there was an energy-sucking embryo in my body. Though I love helping plan one of the biggest events of the year, I live each day in constant terror that my pregnancy-addled brain is going to forget something really important. I’ve taken to carrying a post-it pad around, so I can jot down all the random things I need to remember.

Speaking of Bean, I have an ultrasound next Friday, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we can find out the gender. I plan on eating a handful of cookies, drinking some juice and dancing around a bit just prior to the scan, because I’m not above hedging my bets. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ridiculously excited.

In the meantime, I’ve developed an action-plan to get me out of my funk before Fall passes me by. I’m well out of my first trimester, and if the “pregnancy glow” won’t appear on its’ own, I will MAKE it manifest, by gosh! I’m going spend my weekend cleaning my house, getting caught up on all those things that have slipped through the cracks, and baking up some treats for the heathens.

In case you were wondering, I’m still trucking along with my homemade Christmas plan. This week’s project is a scarf for my brother-in-law:

I found the pattern on Ravelry, and with my craft store coupons, the yarn was less than $10 for the whole project. The colors are actually much darker and more muted than they appear in the picture, but my iPhone camera reacts badly to the fluorescent lights in my office. I hope to finish this by Monday, so I can stay on track for my frugal, crafty Christmas goals.

 

 

 

The Baby May Be Eating My Brain

I have a confession to make.

In the past few days, my attention span has shrunk to the size of a pea. Except when it comes to food…I can obsess about food until I am in tears and begging my husband to please, dear God please, go get me a Kicking Coney from Sonic.

When it comes to everything else however, I find it difficult to concentrate on any given topic for longer than two minutes. At work, I alternate between wanting to sleep on my desk, scouring the internet for nursery ideas and reminding myself that two extra large Oatmeal Cream Pies is enough for one day.

Damn you Little Debbie, and your crack-laced snack cakes.

At home, I look apathetically toward my sentient laundry pile with the faint hope that I’ll feel like tackling it soon. I may cook, but usually forget something important. Who needs vegetables anyway? I tune out whoever is speaking to me after ten words or less, because I’m prone to easy distraction. I don’t mean to, but my poor kids have carried on quite a few one-sided conversations with me this week because my brain acts like easily runs out of gas.

I hope this complete mental degradation ends soon, because my stint as an amnesiac zombie is getting old.

For These Small Things, I Am Grateful

Bean has appendages! And a new due date. The new, really official due date is April 6th, and by all that is holy, I am grateful. I now feel marginally less embarrassed about my epic morning battles to squeeze into my pants. The sooner I hit 12 weeks, the sooner that I can procure some maternity pants without looking quite as pathetic. Yes, I am shallow enough to admit that I would rather suffer in my torture pants for the next two weeks than be the girl who needed preggo pants before she even hit the second trimester. It’s a mental thing.

Bean!

Little Bean has a heartbeat!

And a new due date. Doctor says it’s looking like April 13th. Though I have no preference on the date per se, I am seriously bummed that it got pushed back a week. Somehow, already too-tight pants at 8 weeks seemed mysteriously less shameful than too-tight pants at barely 7 weeks. I may have to break down and buy something bigger soon, because I feel like I am cutting off circulation to the lower part of my body. I’ll have to figure out something before Sunday, because no way am I flying across the country in uncomfortable pants.

So far, early pregnancy has been smooth sailing, other than the fact that I am a narcoleptic grandma with a persistent hankering for a Volcano roll, a beef Mexi-melt with extra mild sauce and a bucket of frozen yogurt. All I want to do is sleep, eat, then sleep some more. Seriously, I fell asleep by 8:00 last night, and still felt exhausted when I woke up this morning. This is not the best scenario for a working mom who hasn’t exactly spilled the beans of her impending surprise to her coworkers. I am pretty sure people think I’m just getting chubby and lazy. Not to mention, I have two demanding heathens who need things like food, bedtimes and help with their homework.

I guess I should have figured that pregnancy in my 30’s was not going to be just like pregnancy in my 20’s.