Home Sweat Home

The nursery is “done”! Done for now that is. Since we had just embarked on the quarter round adventure the weekend before Amelie’s arrival, the nursery was completely torn apart the morning we headed in to the hospital. Hubs, the dear, hustled home on the fourth day of our stay to finish it up and put it back together.

Let’s start with a before:

And now the after, come on in!

So, what did we do? Obviously, we ripped out the blue carpet and got new laminate floors in Walnut Plateau, from Home Depot. Then we painted the walls too many times, finally settling on a beautiful gray called Ashes, by Behr. Hubs installed a new drum light from Lamps Plus (luuurve). I hemmed the curtains (from Ikea) with good old fashioned hem tape. And you remember when I freshened up this free table and scored that adorable little lamp at Goodwill, right? And then, there’s the quarter round. Isn’t it pretty?

To the right is the changing table (ie the green beast that took me months to finish):

The dresser was from my first house (also from Ikea) that used to be blonde. The paint color we used is Green Energy by Behr. I love it. Cross all of your fingers and toes that it holds up!

A volunteer makes these little booties at the hospital and one of our favorite nurses snagged a pair for Amelie.

Hubs picked out the art from Etsy and hung it while I was recovering in the hospital. *sigh* It’s so sweet.

Here is the left hand side. Our crib and rocker are from Ikea as well.

It’s all a little bland. I didn’t want to add big heavy art above the crib (for fear of it falling on her one night) but this wall sure needs some spice. Maybe a stencil? Also, the blonde legs of the rocker clash massively with our floors, but I never got around to doing anything fun with it. Maybe one day. Maybe not.

Our other Etsy find got plopped into a frame from Target I had bought years ago but never got around to filling:

Here’s the wall opposite of the window, sporting a mirror we already owned.

The right hand door is the closet. Open that and you will not come out the same person. It needs a complete overhaul. We are storing tons of crap in there, on the floor and smashed into every crevice. I have dreams a beautiful closet system with spunk but for now it just looks like crazytown.

Still to do:

  • replace outlets and covers (the existing ones are grungy)
  • address the closet
  • add finishing touches to the dresser (if I can muster up the energy)
  • possibly paint the doors
  • fix the blinds (they are much too long)
  • add hooks, pillows and other accessories

Truth be told, we’ve totally set up base camp in our bedroom rather than the nursery. That’s where we change her and where she sleeps because I don’t like being too far away from my sweetie for now.

And, you can’t have a nursery post without a picture of the little baby! Here’s my snuggle butt, just 6 days old.

She makes it feel complete. *gets mushy*

Friday Tidbits

Well, Miss Thang is just over 2 weeks old.

The time has stood still in some moments and snuck by much too fast in others.

Although my days/nights tend to blur together, I did come up for air and remember it’s Friday and wanted to wish you all a sunny happy weekend.

All the best and baby toots,

Candace & Amelie Quinn

I got showered.

These days, that’s a notable accomplishment. But lucky for you, I’m talking about being showered with baby goodies.

As you know, my Mom and Grandma threw me a baby shower when we flew home to Minnesota. Just lookie how pretty!

Do you spy the onesie cupcakes and baby tree centerpiece? LOVE. It was a very sweet day with loving family, lots of games and good food.

Then there was the surprise shower thrown by the high school girls on my track team (#almostpeedmypants):

Between the two showers, the gifts folks mailed to us and the hand-me-downs we’ve scored, we were (and still are) completely humbled by everyone’s generosity. Love you guys, for reals. *sniffles*

Today though, I wanted to show off a few of our extra special gifts: the homemade ones. I cannot believe the craftsmanship, the love, the time (and the money) that went into these gifts for us. #breathstolen

First up is this crocheted blanket from our friend Danielle (my old running buddy). You’ve seen it before in this post, but I wish you could see it in person. It’s gorgeous, darling. I think it’s the perfect size to drape over the stroller, especially for cooler spring mornings.

Next up: a patchwork quilt made by Hub’s aunt Molly. It has ruffles (ruffles!!!). Oh gurl, you know I love me some ruffles.

She found the idea on Pinterest, which makes her computer savvy AND talented. Plus, flannel is just delightful and the pattern mixing is as sweet as can be.

My friend Mindy made burp cloths. They are even reversible, with a different pattern on the back. I especially adore that they are Colorado themed with bikes and owls and wild flowers.

It was a sad day when Little Miss spittled on them but we’ve been using them like crazy.

My Grandma had this blanket made for us and my MIL made us the sock monkey.

The blanket is nice and puffy – it reminds me more of bedding than a throw plus it’s so SOFT. I admit, I’m not looking forward to our house being inundated with primary colored toys and Dora everything- but this sock monkey is my exception. I LOVE this little guy.

My MIL also made us a big stack of burp cloths, except these are huge (and backed with terrycloth). Honestly, I can think of about a billion uses for these but they are especially nice to put down on the changing pad to protect it from accidents -or use as a changing pad itself around the rest of the house since they are very thick. BRILLIANTLY awesome.

My friend Connie made this ultra modern blanket. Baby and I both drooled over the bird print especially (she didn’t mean to). The combo is cool and pairs nicely with the dresser I DIYed for her nursery. This gem got packed in my hospital bag.

One of my track sweeties knitted us this hat. Oh the cute, I can hardly stand it.

I like that it’s not overly girly since she has lots of pinky things; it’s a fun change of pace. Amelie wore this home from the hospital to keep her snuggly from the blizzard that was raging around us.

My head coach Tricia, had her MIL make this itty bitty blanket for us.

It’s just right for upcoming summery days when she needs protection from sun and something cozy to snuggle in, but it’s still breathable and light. It’s awesomesauce.

And lastly, this.

Frank (my manager back from my engineering days) and his wife Laura made this. My heart stopped. Everything about it is stunning.

Do you know how delicious minky fabric is???

I know, it seems like a lot of blankets. I’m being completely candid when I say that each is perfect in their own way and since I have loads of snuggles to get in with this baby butt of mine, I’ve been using them all. Truly.

Knowing that people took the time to make these beautiful pieces for our little baby makes my eyes cross and my heart swell. I’m so incredibly thankful.

Dressing The Bump

I’m far from fashionable so I decided why not write a Dressing the Bump post as if I know what I’m talking about? Alrighty then.

Besides my general fashion ineptness, there are a few things to consider before proceeding:

  • This is my first baby and she’ll be born in the spring (pregnant August-April).
  • I’m not carrying multiples…obviously that makes a huge difference.
  • I’m on a budget.
  • My clothing “needs” may be wildly opposite of yours.
  • Every person and each pregnancy is different, duh.

FIRST TRIMESTER: Oooh, finding out! It’s the BEST. The rest of the time though, it’s mostly the yucks. For me it was late summer, so truthfully I wore mostly comfy workout clothes and jeans only if I was feeling fancy. I worked from home during the day and drug my exhausted butt to practice each afternoon. I was far from showing but battling tummy bloat and generally feeling not awesome.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. Resist the urge to buy anything maternity (if you can), especially if it’s your first pregnancy. I think you can get away with shopping your closet since you usually only gain 3-5 lbs the entire first trimester.
  2. Hi there, elastic waistbands! These are your very best friends. I suggest yoga pants, skirts, leggings and stretchy jeggings, and soft shorts. Low-rise is your best option if you need more “structured” bottoms. Some may need maternity jeans right off the bat, but I was able to hold off until well into my second trimester. Either way, don’t squeeze your bloated butt into stiff jeans that hurt – you are already uncomfortable enough. Pack them away!
  3. Enjoy loose tops that mask the belly bloat/constipation. This could be as simple as a loose T shirt, flowy shirt or a summery dress.
  4. Comfortable, soft, no fuss clothes (and minimal accessories). Skip stuff that requires ironing (I always do anyway) and wear clothes you could sleep/drool in (maybe even puke in if you’re feeling really rotten) because who knows when you’ll have a moment to sneak away and sleep in your car. You’ll want to be ready to take advantage!

SECOND TRIMESTER (the fun one): Hopefully, you are feeling much better. You’ve finally shared the big news and you are sporting a baby bump instead of a poop baby. For me, it was late fall/winter. I couldn’t wait to snag some maternity clothes but truth be told, a lot of my shirts still fit because I’m short (5’3″) and the current styles tend to have some length to them normally. This may not be the case for you.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. Even though you are excited to dress the Bump, have a clear PLAN and wait for sales. IMO, Old Navy and Gap have the best options for basics and are always running some sort of ridiculous sale (wait for at least 30% off). If you stick with a few essentials, I honestly think you can get away without buying very many pieces yet still look cute and fresh each day. My go to “uniform” was a maternity tank (love when the ruching hugs that sweet bump) and a cardigan that I already owned. I own four maternity tanks (dark grey, heathered grey, white, and navy striped) that I’d remix with different cardigans.
  2. Speaking of: stripes and baby bumps go together like Tupelo and honey. You must wear stripes, this is certain. It’s SO CUTE.
  3. Know your needs. I picked up three sweaters (cream, gray, and black) on clearance from Target. Then, my MIL bought me two more by Motherhood Maternity. Turns out, I had gotten a seasonal job and could only wear black so my other sweaters didn’t get as much wear as I had hoped – but I washed the black sweater every time we did laundry. For me, I could have easily gotten away with less – for you, it might be the opposite scenario if you have to head into the office each day.
  4. As for bottoms: Along with the sweaters, my MIL picked out a pair of black maternity pants. My job only allowed dark wash jeans or black slacks and so I wore the crap out of these pants. They tucked wonderfully into boots and I felt comfortable bending down or hustling around since the demi panel kept them in place. Again, know your needs – but black is always a nice alternative to denim.
  5. Black leggings were another great score for me. I bought a thicker pair from Kohl’s LC Conrad line (non maternity, but fit great) and I was gifted a thinner/spandexy maternity pair from Target. You can dress these up or down and they are so comfortable. I’d recommend you have a pair no matter the season – they look great with boots or flats or flip flops. If you feel self conscious of your expanding bum, maternity tanks typically run on the long side and will cover any non baby bump lumps. Plus, they doubled as workout pants too. I didn’t do any serious running after 6 1/2 months, but these worked great for yoga, walking, biking, etc. Oh, and also? I wore them as pjs too!
  6. Maternity jeans were hard for me to find but somehow my SIL bought me a pair from Old Navy that fit like a dream and I’ve been living in them. They are a dark wash stretchy skinny jean (the Rockstar full demi maternity jegging, I believe) and I don’t mind wearing them over and over again. I personally think you can get by with one or two pair of denim if you have black leggings to throw in the mix. 
  7. If you are not living in a state of pre-pregnancy denial like I was, you’ll probably have to invest in a bigger bra. If I had to, I’d only buy one (in nude racerback style), since that’s what I wear most often. I didn’t have to buy bigger undies either (because I’m a boy briefs kind of lady and those run roomy), but you may have to pack away your “pretties” and grab some nice cotton cozy ones in a bigger size.
  8. Accessories! This is the fun part and why I think you can get away with a minimal maternity wardrobe. Your “uniform” can take on new life with scarves, jewelry (especially statement necklaces), headbands, shoes, and bright skinny belts (worn just under your boobs to accentuate your bump). Neon is all the rage these days and this is how you can work that in. Plus, unlike your other pieces, you can wear these accessories long after pregnancy.

THE THIRD TRIMESTER: This is when most ladies get quite uncomfortable again. You are packing on the pounds much faster, your belly skin is tight and itchy, and you probably don’t sleep very comfortably.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. I’m hoping most of your maternity wear from the second trimester will carry over like mine did. It will if you stick to ruched tanks that have some give and stretchy bottoms. It seems so hard to justify any more shopping when you are so close to giving birth, so try to hold off.
  2. While accessorizing was loads of fun earlier on, your fatigue is probably creeping back in and the extra weight can be hard on you. I’d go back to streamlining accessories – keep it minimal and easy so you don’t have to think too hard.
  3. I didn’t have to, but depending on your weight gain and/or general swelling – you may have to buy bigger shoes. Make sure they are comfortable ones!
  4. Comfort is key (again). Anything that even slightly irritates you, take it off and pack away!

Forgive the random pics – I tried to show you ones you haven’t seen before in my Baby Bump posts…turns out these few were hard to come by!

Anyone have tips on dressing post-partem? I assume a lot of comfy pants, easy-access tops and old underwear that you aren’t afraid to toss after everything “heals”?

Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: I feel good and although I’m anxious about giving birth, I’m very excited to meet you-know-who. Wonder what this little person that I’ve been carrying all of these months is all about?

The Science: Baby Center recap – 39 weeks. Basically, we are on the home stretch! Ohmergerd.

Body morphing: I’ve noticed a “drop” in her position. She’s always been cozied up a little low inside me, but now I have much more room up by my sternum. No more rib punches or shortness of breath! One of my track kids asked “Seriously Coach, how do you not tip over!?”. I told her that was a good question! I think having disproportionately big feet have helped.

She’s still moving a lot (which is a good sign) and just being generally adorable. I got measured at the doc last week and I’m 33 cm (I think, if I remember correctly), which is bigger than last week so that means my tummy is still growing. YAY! Happy news.

Sexy stuff! To your relief (and mine), nothing new to report! It’s about to get real sexy up in here when she arrives. I can’t wait to overshare that awkwardness.

Food drama: Another reason I think Baby dropped is that I can eat a lot more now…and I’m actually hungry again. This is a big change from a week ago where I’d eat five Cheezits and accidentally ruin my dinner because of it.

Exercising? Silly exercise! I’ve been sleeping more instead.

To Dos: Hubs and I started installing the quarter round in the nursery last weekend. Talk about “cutting” it close (har har). The cuts turned out to be fairly easy (even I learned how to use our new saw!) but nailing the quarter round into the wall? A nightmare. I don’t get why it’s impossible (are our walls made of concrete!?!) but I couldn’t even manage to sink one nail and it took Hubs two days to attempt the rest of them. We’ll be purchasing (renting? borrowing?) a trim gun for the rest of the house because that was a royal pain. And we still have a whole house of quarter round to do, hooray!

Hubs and I have been taking a few minutes after dinner to pick up our piles and put stuff away as if we are going into labor that night. It doesn’t replace the massive amount of deep cleaning that our house desperately needs, but it ensures we don’t come home to complete madness when the time actually comes. It makes me feel a little better anyway.

And randomly: I don’t want to forget this so I figured I’d add it in here. One of Hub’s “duties” is to rub my belly with lotion after a shower (or anytime it feels tight and itchy). He warms it up between his hands, talks to her and massages her so gently. It’s ridiculously sweet. I love these moments. I can’t wait to see him interacting with her on the OUTSIDE. It’ll make me a total goofball, this is certain.

Update: We woke up early on the day of our 39th week and I found that I was bleeding, so we packed our bags and headed to the hospital! More details to come…

Raves & Faves: MARCH

Here is my Top 7 (yes, 7) list of March loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *claps*

1. I spent a lot of time cooing at (and organizing by size) all of our sweet baby girl clothes. My little baby is a lucky lady!

2. We received the Bentley of strollers (and car seat) from my track sweeties.

I’m still in shock (!!!).

3. I can hardly focus when this song comes on the radio. LUUUURVE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBUU7AOiiv0

Update: here it is live at the Grammys instead of the boring video above. #mindblown

4. I met up with my old running buddy for a coffee date on a snowy Sunday seeing how we don’t get to spend our morning sunrises together anymore.

My drink was almost too cute to sip on and the company was divine. I miss her.

5. Hitting up the Old Navy/Gap sale, where I scored a handful of cutsie workout clothes. Pray that they fit post baby, it’s hard to tell right at this moment…

6. JELLYBEANS. I could not stop myself. Why are they only a once a year thing? It’s just not fair.

7. Hubs and I had the most wonderful Easter Sunday. The weather was gorgeous, we went on an easy hike, we made delicious food (that generated loads of leftovers), I snuck in a nap and we watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones.

It was the perfect day.

How is it already April!?! *panics* Hopefully they’ll be two birthdays to celebrate within our little family this month?

Want to check out 2011 March Raves & Faves? How about 2012 March Raves & Faves? Yeah, I didn’t bother with the click through either.

Friday Tidbits

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m scooting off to a track meet this afternoon and it’s supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny!

This is my little DIY project for the nursery. Our previous homeowners left this table on the deck for us. It’s meant for outdoors and was a dirty speckled taupe color but we decided to “clean it up” with white spray paint and use it in the nursery.

Much apologies for the terrible lighting, I took these pics this morning and the nursery window is East facing.

Although not really my “style,” I think the height is perfect and it was free…can’t beat that!

That’s the lamp I scored at Goodwill last week for $3.99. It’s a baby blue with a grungy shade and brown cord but I think the size and curves are sweet. I’d like to redo that as well (maybe in a punchy pink?) but it works for now if I don’t get around to that.

The Ikea rocker needs some spunk too, but I doubt I’ll get around to that either. Go me!

Enjoy the weekend, my bloggies!

Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: After the drama of last week, I’m happy to announce that this week was wonderful. I’m trying to tuck any residual worries regarding Baby Girl’s size out of my mind and just enjoy these last few days/weeks of being pregnant. Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing and I’m sincerely trying not to take it for granted.

The Science: Baby Center recap – 38 weeks. I hope she was able to pack on chub since the last ultrasound but we won’t know until late next week when I have another one. Being that she is officially full term, she could arrive any day now and I must admit that I feel far from prepared (for birth and for everything after). But who really is ready for this anyway?

I can’t help but wonder what the heck this sweet baby belly of mine is going to look like all deflated, when there is no baby in it anymore. Oh my.

Body morphingWeight gain is ? lbs. I’m done with the scale; it’s causing me too much worry when I see any unexpected fluctuations (like the 2lb weight loss I saw this morning). I’m better off focusing on staying hydrated, happy and healthy then obsessing over a number, when I don’t even know how accurate it is to begin with.

Last week I thought I was having Braxton Hicks at night that were waking me but I’m not feeling those anymore and to be honest, I’m not even sure my suspicions were right in the first place. Of course my mind is cluttered with the anticipation of labor: Has she dropped a little? Do I feel different today than yesterday? Did she move enough? In general, I’ve been lucky and noticed no swelling in my feet or hands and feel very comfortable overall.

Sexy stuff! Ok, so I got my cervix checked again last week at my regular appointment and although it was not pleasant by any means, it did not hurt like it did when I was in the emergency room a few Fridays ago. Apparently, my cervix was very tender/grouchy (it was bleeding after all!) but that seems to have healed up.

I’m still having creepy dreams and cruddy sleep but I know I’ll be wishing for these nights back in a few weeks… :)

Food drama: The only drama I’m faced with is that I ate all of my jelly beans from my Easter basket and I need more. I hope I get some for my birthday…

Exercising? Hubs and I went on two walks Easter Sunday and I spent all day Saturday at the track. I’m moving and counting it!

To Dos: I’m assuming that each day might be the last day I’m able to get anything done for a while so I’m doing my best to get To Dos checked off. I paid bills and hit up the bank. We created a “distribution list” for our birth announcement . I painted my toesies (I know, I know). I did a big drop off at Goodwill (and scored a lamp for the baby’s room for $3.99 while I was there!). Our realtor-turned neighbors-turned new friends lent us an amazing amount of baby gear that filled in pieces we were still missing (like the Boppy! and Baby Bjorn!). Hubs installed our diaper sprayer and he started stocking our freezer with meals. We’re getting our all too friendly squirrels removed. It may not seem like much progress but it feels like it to me.

Still on my list: Thank you cards, insurance crud, paperwork, cleaning (our house is so dirty!), car maintenance, blogging…I keep reminding myself that every time I check something off, another will take it’s place. And that’s a good thing – it means life is moving forward.

And randomly: I snuck in some DIY this week too. It’s just a tiny project for the nursery. If I can get myself together, I’ll show you sometime…maybe a Friday tidbit?

One more thing. April Fools jokes: I’m not a fan, to be frank. I’ve heard the fake pregnancy one far too many times to bear and just recently, one of my track kids claimed his dog died. For a moment, I believed him. NOT COOL. Anyone else with me on this?