Sunday, February 19, 2012

nursery – fill up the room

We have a room.

We scraped the ceiling free of its disgusting popcorn.

We painted everything.

Now we had to work on getting her moved in there which meant a little bit of furniture.  I wasn’t keen on putting her in there with just her crib. 

I had originally wanted to do one of those “find a dresser on craigslist and paint it” things.  Like from Domestic Adventure here.  But then I thought about my personal track record with painting drawers… ok, I’ve only done it once but, seriously, the darn thing gets stuck all the time.

So off to IKEA for the dresser that was partially the inspiration for our own custom made dresser – the Hemnes 8-drawer dresser in white.  And a chair and ottoman – we’re cheapish and just went with the Poang chair and ottoman.  I really wanted to like the Poang rocker but it costs a heck of a lot more than the standard Poang frame.  We went for the medium brown finish – it screams IKEA enough without being birch finish.

The dresser was by far the hardest piece of IKEA furniture that I have ever had the pleasure of helping to assemble and we have a lot of IKEA furniture in our house.  Here’s a few pictures:
Sort the pieces.
Sort the bits.
Which we cleverly, at least we thought, sorted into a breakfast tray.
And begin.
And more…
And more…
And nearly there without drawers.
We actually moved it into her room without the drawers.  I was attempting to line the drawers with pretty paper and it was taking me way longer than I expected.  So we didn’t build the drawers for a few more days.

There she is rolling around getting the lay of the land.  I actually had to take the crib apart and put it back together to move it from our room into hers.  I managed it pretty well by myself but I was afraid to put the mattress platform in without Will for fear that I would scratch the crib.  And I’m not sure why I only have a picture with the footstool in it and none with the chair.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

a quick question

This question is mostly directed at my mom since she is my long distance (hopefully soon-to-be local) decorator.   Hi Mom!

It’s about our living room.

Here’s our living room:
Over that rattan chair to the right of the picture (with a table and another rattan chair next to it out of the frame) is a big blank wall – I’m not sure why I don’t have a picture of it.  The picture you see on the wall is a framed picture of an actual London Underground map.  It’s the only picture on the walls at the moment.

We tried to make this work:

But it’s WAY too big…. like cover the whole wall plus 2 out of the 3 light switches.  Oops.  So it’s upstairs.  Will likes to wander into the front bedroom and study it.

Then I was thinking of doing this:


It’s maps of where you met (Maryland), where you got married (NJ), and where you honeymooned (NZ) but the more I thought about it, I don’t think it would take up enough wall space.  I still love the idea though.

So here’s my new idea. 
Now, these are just temporary for now (held up with binder clips and pushpins) since I would definitely get them framed properly if this is what we decide to do.  It’s DC Metro map and a NYC Subway map – also authentic like the London one.

What do you think?  Yay or nay?  Will it be too much if I get them both framed like the other one?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

nursery – ah, color!

I had a color scheme in mind right from the start – green and brown.  Gender neutral without a bit of yellow. 

Yellow – YUCK!

And, well, it doesn’t hurt that green is one of my favorite colors with which to decorate.

So I gathered things here and there.  Bits of brown and bits of green.  By the time we got here, I discovered that I had like 12 different shades of green in all this stuff. 

This seemed to complicate matters when trying to decide what color to paint the walls.  I couldn’t paint them green because I would inevitably clash with something that I already had for the room and any shade of mocha or tan just seemed boring for a baby’s room.  So I just forgot about it and went on with other projects  and life.

And it hit me.

Why not paint the walls the lovely aqua-y color of the blanket that Granny had knitted for her?DSC_4399
ok, so this picture doesn’t do the color any justice.

Aqua’s gender neutral enough for babies, right?

It had even been staring me in the face since before she was born.
See the blanket – green, brown, tan, and AQUA!  Made for her by my sister.

But how to decide on a specific color?
Grab a bunch of different paint chips and throw them on the floor with the blanket, of course! 

As I walked over it during the day over several days, I would just nix a few here and there until I got down to 2-3.  Mom and I had talked about painting the crib wall a darker shade and the rest of the walls a lighter shade. 

But in the end, there was one that I really liked but I was afraid that I was going to be too much color.  And it wasn’t part of a set – just a one off paint chip that was the perfect color.  So I had Lowes mix the paint at a half tint for the majority of the walls and “full strength” for the crib wall.  It’s Valspar Weathered Glass.

And then we painted.
So here’s the blank slate again…
I started with the half tint walls since there were more of them. DSC_8425
Same looking back toward the door – don’t worry about why the closet doors aren’t primed, I’ll get there. DSC_8428
Both colors up and ready for trim painting.DSC_8446
All done!

Ok, so I really thought that I had pictures from when I first started cutting in because it FREAKED ME OUT!  The color just seemed to be SO much color!  I’m a little afraid of color.  But I kept on painting and I was ok with it.  When I was done, I freaked out again.  But as my mom said “it’ll look different when all the stuff is in there.  So I calmed down a bit again.

But I’m used to it now and love the color! 

Now, unfortunately my attempt at an accent wall kind of failed.  You really have to sit there and study where the walls come together to tell the difference.  And you probably have to have a decent eye for color or you won’t see it at all.  Oh well.

As a kind of bonus, it kind of turned out to be nearly Tiffany blue.  hehehe.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a break in breck

oh wait… that makes it sound like someone might have broken something in Breckenridge.  Not so.  Simply that we were able to take a break and get away for the weekend in Breck.

Wait… that sounds like we went just the 2 of us.  Not quite.

ok… the weekend before last in honor of my impending 32nd birthday, we were finally able to take Will’s friend up on his offer to have all of us come up to the mountains and visit him while he’s living in his family’s vacation home.  Unfortunately for him but fortunately for us, he’s currently unemployed.

So we headed out on the Friday morning and got up there in 2 hours.  While it was snowing.  Apparently the snow showed up just for us ;-)

We didn’t do much and that was FANTASTIC!

We hung out at the house most of the time.

We went for a walk.
Miss Pea all bundled up in her snow suit in the sled.

Looking back at the house. 
Time to lay down for your nap… 
And… out.

The next day we got geared up and went snowshoeing.

She’s asleep in there and had been for quite awhile.

For the afternoon we headed into Breck itself.
isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!
There was a Mobius Strip as part of the 2012 Budweiser International  Snow Sculpture Championships. DSC_9523
She was asleep again by the time we got to the Breckenridge Brewery. DSC_9526
Mmmm… yummy shoe. 
You want to try it, Daddy?

And then we had to leave :(
So… who are you again?  And what is that on your face?
I guess he’s ok, Mom.
and some extraneous gorgeousness of the mountains before we got stuck in traffic for 4.5 hours to get home.  Note to self: ski/mountain traffic is exactly like East Coast beach traffic except during the wrong season.

Now… all those pictures should make up for all the wordy, boring posts lately. :-D

baby crap – feeding, the early days

Let me start by saying that it’s amazing how much effort goes into feeding such a tiny little being.  And then follow that with as long as the baby gets fed, it doesn’t matter how you feed him/her.

I am fortunate in that for the most part breastfeeding came easy – not to say that it was natural at first or that we didn’t have our problems and don’t have our own quirks.  My reasoning… mostly because it’s cheaper and I’m lazy.  It’s cheaper because you don’t have to buy formula or a ton of bottles.  It’s lazy because, in my opinion, there’s nothing easier than offering a baby a boob at 3am or when she’s screaming her head off over God only knows what this time.  There’s no having to make and heat a bottle and all that jazz.

Ok, so if it’s that easy why do you still have to buy stuff?  Cuz you do.  Just the way it is.  Or at least that’s what we’re all lead to believe.

Feeding Pillow

I asked for and received a Boppy.  And… I hate it.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m short waisted or if it’s just too firm and rounded or what but I hated feeding with it.  I think it may have to do with it being too rounded because I have to admit that I was jealous of friends who are on their second kids and their Boppys seem to be much flatter – not sure if that’s just from use or because they’ve changed the design.  In the end, I gave it up for 2 reasons: 1. it wasn’t comfortable for me and 2. she got diagnosed with reflux and I ended up having to feed her at an angle (so that her head was higher than her tushy) which really wouldn’t work with the Boppy or any other breastfeeding specific pillow.  So I just used regular bed or couch pillows under my elbow for longer feedings and now I don’t use anything though I’ve found I’m a lot more comfortable if I put one knee up towards me.

But we’re keeping it and will be putting it to work for all its alternative uses which we pretty much ignored with Miss Pea.



I fully intended to go back to work sooner than it’s turning out that I will so I got a pump early on.  I went with the Medela Pump In Style.

Why this one?  Honestly, I can’t remember how I picked it.  I ended up buying it on sale in Target.  It’s been great.  I ended up having to pump fairly regularly for about 6-7 months because even though she’s a good eater, I was still having over production issues.  The only issue we’ve had is that I had to get another set of valves and connectors because we have had problems getting the parts apart after use and kind of damaged one.  When we have given her bottles (which has been infrequent), she’s taken pretty well to the standard wide nipple bottles that come with the pump.  Based on some internet reading, I did choose to go with the Lansinoh storage bags.  Word of advice – store them as flat as possible until frozen and then they’re easier to pack into your freezer and thaw when needed.

A few other things

One thing that I got from a friend that I found invaluable and an absolute lifesaver were the Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads.  She sent me a set and suggested that I bring them to the hospital which I did thankfully!  Even if you are just going to give it a try, these would still be handy.  I’m currently seriously debating breaking out my leftover pair – the girl’s got some teeth!

Seriously.  I can’t stress enough how amazing these are!

I found a nursing cover to be helpful.  I personally don’t care that it’s a right to be able to breastfeed in public – I still don’t think you should do so without covering yourself.  My girl likes to take a break and look around and that would just leave me exposed without a cover.  I trolled Etsy before making my choice.

It’s just helpful for making you and everyone around you just a bit more comfortable.  I know you can just use a blanket but for those early days when the feedings are long, it’s easier with a cover.  I can’t say that I’ve used it in a while since she feeds so quickly and is so interested in the world around her that I just it easier to feed her in the car or in the Nordstrom women’s lounge.

With the reflux, burp cloths became a key part of our wardrobes.  My mom made most of the ones we used.  White terry cloth on one side, white flannel on the other, and edged in white eyelet.

We probably went through 3-5 of them a day!  It got better when she was about 6 months old and the reflux got better.  Now we might pull out 3-5 in a week.  We also received a package of your regular old Gerber cloth diapers which came in handy for many, many things but also for when we just couldn’t get the laundry done fast enough – there were another 12 burp cloths!

And lastly, nursing bras.  I read this post on BabyCenter yesterday and I couldn’t believe how many commenters said that they didn’t need nursing bras.  I’d be curious to know how they did it but for me – nursing tanks and nursing bras all the way!  I only have one bra that I spent any real money on – it’s from Nordstrom and they fitted me for it (I won’t admit to the size because I was beyond shocked!) and I was exchanging a failed attempt at a strapless bra in hopes of getting into a pre-pregnancy dress for a wedding.  It’s really nice but I certainly won’t buy another.  I do however save it for when I’m going to be out in public for an extended period of time ;-)  Ok, I have two Bravado! seamless ones that are a little bit more expensive that I got in the hospital – those are great for boring around the house use because they’re super comfy but do nothing for the “girls.”

Mostly, I bought less than $20 nursing tanks and bras.  All but one of my nursing tanks are Gillian & O’Malley basic camis.  They’re great!  Very comfortable and provide easy access.  I could even buy my pre-pregnancy size and they fit with room to spare.  They’re great for under dresses in the summer, for when you just don’t want to show off your stomach, and under sweaters when it’s cold. My only beef, made obvious by the fact that she was born in the spring, is that they only come in white, black, grey, navy and dark purple.  I wanted a bit more variety of color for spring/summer.  I did buy one other tank that’s supposed to be fancy (I got it on Zulily) and I don’t care for it. 

Most of my bras are also Gillian & O’Malley.  I ended up hating the soft cup ones with a passion so they’re all in the basket to go to Goodwill right now.  The sleep bras are fine – I just didn’t need them for that long.  I have a couple cheapy Gillian &O’Malley lace underwires that are fine (can’t seem to find them online) and get worn regularly.  And since those don’t come in nude, I also have a couple from Motherhood Maternity.  If you use nursing pads, you can probably get away with more than one wearing between washing but otherwise, they get a just a tad gross on the inside and I would suggest only one a day.

I was going to do everything for feeding the baby all in one post but, um, this got long.  oops.  And it’s taken me like 3,000 years to write it so instead… baby feeding for the first 4-6 months!