Monday, November 25

Bright and Whimsical Woodland Nursery

The crib sheets are washed and the pictures are hung. THE NURSERY IS FINALLY FINISHED! This room has completely lived up to my expectations and I can't wait to share it with you!


Crib: Babies R Us, no longer listed




THE VISION
When planning our nursery I kept a few things in mind:
1. We want to keep this room as a nursery for future Vaughan babies instead of starting over next time. I needed something that I wouldn't get tired of and that could easily be converted into a girl's room in the future.
2. I wanted to strike a balance between whimsical and sophisticated. Nothing too stuffy or cartoony.
3. I wanted fun colors rather than the traditional baby blue or neutrals. This room will spend most of its life in chaos rather than serenity - might as well embrace it!




I bought this frame from a local artisan for dirt cheap!


THE THEME
A long time ago I pinned a link to this adorable woodland mobile on Pinterest. The animals were the perfect blend of cute and cool, and I felt like they could work for a boy or a girl. I wanted to incorporate the woodland theme without having it plastered on everything, so I mostly limited it to accents and artwork.


The color in this photo is way off. See the first pic in
this post for more accurate paint color.

THE COLORS
I was having a hard time picking the right colors when I rediscovered another Pinterest jewel. I used it as a guideline for the colors of everything in the room, although I got a little loose with this since the exact colors are basically impossible to find. I didn't want to leave the room the same builder's blah as the rest of the house, but I thought it would look weird to have only one room painted a bright color, so I compromised by painting an accent wall and the inside of the closet. This nursery might be a little loud altogether, but I'm really glad I chose fun, unexpected colors.


Baskets: Home Goods and Joann
Squirrel Toy: Zulily
Lamp: Gordmans
Shelf: our own

THE PROJECTS
My motto for decorating: why buy something ready-made when you can toil away for weeks on it and still spend almost as much?! But really, I do like making things to my own specifications and it definitely paid off in this room. Even if I have lost a little sleep over it.

The mobile. My mom worked her magic to make even cuter versions of the felt animals in mobiles I'd pinned. For a woodsy look I hung them from a sturdy grapevine wreath (remove any pieces that could possibly fall off first!) with thread. Michael strung the whole thing up with fishing line to a hook in the ceiling.
I LOVE IT!




The crib skirt. Baby bedding is seriously expensive and the color selection is limited. I knew I wouldn't use bumper pads, pillows, or quilts that came in a standard set, so I chose to make my own crib skirt and use a neutral sheet. I followed the basic instructions in these tutorials, but fancied things up a little by adding an accent fabric and quilt binding. Heat N' Bond is my new favorite craft supply!
"The Easiest DIY Crib Skirt Ever" at Variety by Vashti: http://varietybyvashti.org/2013/04/14/diy-crib-skirt/
"How to Make a Crib Skirt" from Young House Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=B4HD0f6DVBk
*Note: I recommend hand sewing ties onto the crib skirt rather than just using Heat N' Bond. Some of my ties have started coming off, hence the rumpliness at the corner.




The book shelves. Ikea spice racks are popping up all over Pinterest in the form of low-profile bookshelves, and for good reason. At just $3.99 each, these babies are a steal if you can get your hands on them. Ikea doesn't ship them, but Michael's parents were sweet enough to bring us some from Atlanta. This was one of the easiest and most satisfying projects I've ever done! All we did was spray paint them a deep purple and attach them to the wall. I especially love that he'll be able to reach the bottom shelf easily once he starts crawling.




The verse. After hours of searching the internet we couldn't find the original image for the verse art I had pinned, so I traced the letters onto canvas using carbon paper and painted them in. Thanks to my friend Amanda for the idea! The method is the same as what I used for my pallet wall art, only I used cheap acrylic craft paint. It was time consuming work, but I think the result is fantastic!




The name letters.
I initially set out to make awesome textured letters like these using woodland themed materials (sand, moss, feathers, etc.), but the frames and letters I could find were small enough that I worried they would look sloppy if covered. So I kept things simple and used cork scrapbook paper (who knew they made this?) as backing and just painted the letters a deep purple. Craft glue holds it all together. I kind of wish I'd gone with a brighter color, but it's growing on me.




The closet. This room is not large, so I decided to use the closet as a changing area. The original plan was to leave the closet open, so after we took off the doors we painted it the same color as the accent wall. My sweet husband made shelves for organization bins and we stashed some diapers underneath those. No matter how I arranged the hanging clothes and bins, the closet always looked a little cluttered. So we added curtains using a basic tension rod and a small hook for stability. I didn't love them at first, but now I think they kind of make the room! I love the soft flowiness they give and we can easily tuck them behind the door frame on curtain hooks. We'll probably leave them open as much as possible for quick access to the changing pad, but it's nice to be able to close them for a tidier look.



The best pic I could get of Michael's custom closet shelves
Bins: JoAnn

Dresser: our own

Other handmade items. I'm certainly not the only one who's been crafting for this sweet baby boy. 

The beautiful quilt on the crib was custom made by Michael's mom. I absolutely love the pinwheel pattern and that it's not super babyish. It'll be used for years to come.




The adorable ottoman was made by my sweet friend Amanda out of an old table and foam. She's so creative! I love the fun woodland fabric. Without this ottoman our rocking chair would be just about useless. It takes some serious momentum to get it going!




The sweet woodland quilt (folded in the picture) was made by our friend Ms. Connie, who can embroider and applique like nobody's business! This blanket is so soft and I love that it's lightweight enough to carry around. 



Thanks so much to everyone who gave us gifts, gift cards, and money to make this room come together!

It feels so good to be completely done! Even though the baby will be sleeping in our room for a while, having the nursery finished makes me feel like I'm ready to bring him home. At least once I finish cleaning my baseboards, reorganizing my cabinets, and freezer cooking! You might say I'm nesting a little. : )

Wednesday, November 20

37 (Almost 38) Weeks Pregnant

35 Weeks - the last time stuffing my
puffy calves in my favorite boots!

37 Weeks - daylight savings makes it hard
to get a photo before dark


The Bump: It's pretty huge! I know that I could be bigger, but I've definitely reached the point where nothing seems to fit me well. By the end of the day my upper belly and back are aching just from holding up my heavy bump.

How Far Along? Almost 38 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +37 lbs! I've gained about 12 lbs in the past 6 weeks! What?!

Maternity Clothes: I'm running out of options that fit comfortably, much less look cute. And the only shoes I can wear are tennis shoes, Toms, and flip flops (too bad it's almost Thanksgiving). I only have two days of work left and then I think it's gonna be all sweats, all the time!

Baby Related Purchases: We bought a few essentials that we didn't get from showers and have finished buying for the nursery. We just have to finish hanging a few things and we'll be done!


A sneak peek of the nursery - more to come later

Stretch marks: Somehow I haven't gained any so far! I was sure I would.

Sleep: I usually do well, but sometimes I wake up a few hours early and can't get back to sleep. I'm looking forward to sleeping in starting Saturday and lasting till our sweet boy is here!

Movement: Some days I only feel a few stray kicks or hiccups and other days it feels like he's trying to bust his way out. It's amazing how much longer he is now. I can feel him hiccup, punch, and kick all over my abdomen at the same time.

He loves to keep his hands in front of his face. At every ultrasound
we've had to wait for him to move for a picture!


Look at that mischievous grin!

What I miss: Having energy. And not being hot and sweaty all the time.

Cravings: Cottage cheese with pineapple, any type of sweets, and Dole orange, pineapple, and banana juice - I'm rationing myself so I don't turn into a whale!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Braxton Hicks contractions. When they come on I just want to curl up on the couch (and hurl).

Gender: It's a BOY!!!

Labor Signs: The doctor said I'm 1 cm dilated and plenty effaced. I've lost my mucous plug, which I've always thought is a seriously gross thing to share with other people, but I'm excited! Haha. I had lots of Braxton Hicks with nausea and crampiness on Sunday and Monday, but I've only had a few since then. 

Symptoms: Pelvic joint pain, which was excruciating for about a week, but has gotten much better. Swelling, heartburn, random aches and pains.

Belly Button In or Out? In and staying the same. Even as my belly gets bigger my belly button seems determined to stay in. It gives my belly a funny dented shape.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I'm excited, but sometimes I forget that this is all for a baby. Sometimes it just feels like my body is falling apart! Also, leaving work on Friday is going to be a big mix of happy and sad.

Worries: Getting the house clean before he comes. Thankfully I'll have time off unless he comes early.

Best moments this month: Diaper shower and other fun with coworkers, good times with church friends, doing things around the house with Michael and going to see West Side Story. 




2nd Annual Haunted Hayride

Pumpkin carving at Brandi's house


Halloween at work with Bethany

Our last lazy weekend with just the two of us (and Fitz!)


My preggo work buddies - one down, two left to deliver!



Looking forward to: Meeting our sweet boy! Also, holidays and visits from family.

Size of Baby: About the size of a watermelon!

What Baby's Up To: Gaining weight, shedding lanugo and vernix, making lung surfactant, practicing breathing, sucking, and swallowing.

I can't believe he could come any day now!

Monday, October 14

32 Weeks Pregnant

Since my last post I've gone on a quick getaway with my hubs and a long road trip to Georgia. I've been too busy catching up on life (and sleep!) to post!



27 Weeks

28 Weeks - at our bed and breakfast in Oxford

30 Weeks - at my family shower


32 Weeks


The Bump: I love that my belly is big enough to fill out all of my maternity clothes. I haven't reached beached whale status, but I feel very pregnant, which is fun. I love seeing my belly move, but sometimes I forget it's there and bump into things with it!

How Far Along? 32 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss:+25 lbs! It seems like a ton of weight to gain, but I'm just glad to be within the recommend range. I actually lost weight last week despite eating like it's my job.

Maternity Clothes: Aside from lounge clothes and cardigans I'm strictly wearing maternity items now. I got some really cute things from A Pea in the Pod recently. I just wish the weather would cool down because I'm too hot to wear fall clothes comfortably. Oh, and my feet have been swelling enough to limit my footwear choices. I can barely squeeze into my favorite leather boots.

Baby Related Purchases: I received so many amazing gifts on my trip to Georgia! We've got just about everything we need except diapers. Yesterday I went through our baby clothes and exchanged a few things for different sizes. I also bought some basics like socks and pants, as well as an outfit to wear home from the hospital.


Unpacking shower gifts - such a blessing!

Michael's mom made this beautiful quilt in the nursery colors

He'd better be a Georgia fan!


Stretch marks: I don't think I have new ones, but I'm not worried about it. That's the good thing about having stretch marks from growing up!
Sleep: I slept terribly on my trip, but I've been doing better in general. I still feel like I need about 10 hours of sleep, but I'd wake up long before I got it.
Movement: Some days I swear he doesn't sleep! It's amazing how his movements have changed now that he's bigger and running out of room. One day he started getting hiccups and he's rarely missed a day since then.
What I miss: Wearing my wedding ring. My hands swell too much so I'm wearing it on a chain around my neck. 
Cravings: Sweets all the time. I've always had a crazy sweet tooth (except during the first trimester), but now I'm really indulging it!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: It's a BOY!!!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Heartburn, tired feet, swelling, being hot/sweaty, feeling like I'm going to pee my pants when the baby turns in just the right position.
Belly Button In or Out? In - getting shallower by the day
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy, but also tired and mellow. It was hard seeing so many of the people I love for only a few days on my trip. And sometimes I'm overwhelmed when I think of everything I'd like to do before the baby comes.
Worries: Getting the nursery set up, maintaining relationships with friends that I want to stay close to after the baby comes, changes at work, and planning for a very different holiday season.
Best moments this month: A quick trip to Oxford with Michael, Georgia/Alabama trip to see friends and family, baby showers, and fall festivities with coworkers

Sweet room at our Oxford bed and breakfast

Still waking up at breakfast

Rowan Oak - William Faulkner's home

Eating catfish at Taylor Grocery

One of the adorable dishes at my storybook-themed family shower

Great-grandmothers-to-be at my family shower

Shower thrown by my college roommates

Roomies!

Dinner with Priyal - my other roomie

In Augusta with my fun Doctors coworkers

Sweet, laid-back shower with Berea ladies
Eating lunch with my favorite fifth grader
Holding Thea's baby Nola fresh out of the oven

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa's new place

Fall dinner party with fun friends

Looking forward to: getting things done before my due date
Size of Baby: About the size of a honeydew melon
What Baby's Up To: Growing in length and weight, growing hair, opening and closing his eyes


Less than two months to go!