Living Room Progress – Still a Work in Progress

We met the neighbors behind directly behind us the other day, and they are a nice young couple who put recently just put in a chicken coup! I am so envious of their chickens, as I’ve been asking Chris if we could do this for months. I mean, I don’t plan to clean the chicken coup – that would be Chris’ job – but his excuse for not building me one is that  it will be too big of a mess. I’m hoping Tommy and Dani (our neighbors) make it look clean and appealing enough for Chris.

We’ve been discussing our home exterior more and more as the weather turns warmer, but there is still much to do on15-color-yellowground-1108-xlg the interior. And while that’s the case, I’ll share a few photos of our living room. First, I should mention that every room in our house (except the kitchen) was a yellow/beige color. And not the pretty kind of yellow/beige (if that even exists). So when deciding how to decorate the living Chris suggested we just paint over the color, and I’m SO glad he did.

After painting our ceiling and walls, the biggest obstacle was covering our hideous eye-sore of a swamp cooler. If you’re not from Colorado (or another state with an arid environment) you most likely don’t know what a swamp cooler is. It’s basically an evaporative cooler that cools air through the evaporation of water. Despite my overwhelming desire to  desire to take it out of the wall, I know I’ll be thankful for it in the summer time. So with the help of my brother’s wife’s mother (I know you had to think about that for a second) and her creative catering and party planning friend, I was able to successfully cover my ugly swamp cooler AND put together a few items I already had to semi-complete our living room.

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Can you guess where the swamp cooler is?? It’s behind the big map. Yeah – that’s how big it is. I purchased several maps from http://www.paper-source.com for $4 a piece, put poster board behind it ($.25), attached magnets ($2) and snapped it onto the swamp cooler (I should mention that the swamp cooler cover is metal). The additional frames surrounding the swamp cooler are map from our travels, money from our travels and a collage made by a very special person.

IMG_9557I should also mention our unusual pendant lamp. Our living room is dark and in need of all the light it can get. A hanging light was definitely the best option, but I definitely did not want to pay a lot of money for one. So, the solution was a $5 pendant light chord from Ikea, an awesome vintage lightbulb we found in our basement and a $3 lamp shade from Goodwill that I ripped the cover from. I covered the metal of the lampshade with yarn and the light chord with twine. And voilà – a $10 hanging lamp. We still need to hide the chord coming down the wall and hide the wall outlet with a floor plant. But those are minor details…

On to my favorite piece in the living room – our dresser turned TV stand! I IMG_9560LOVE this dresser. There’s an adorable mid-modern furniture store down the street from my house that was having a 50% off sale; so I got this gem for $75. It took a little convincing for Chris to go for it, but he did and I don’t think he regrets it.

We don’t ever want the TV to be center of our living room or our lives. But we do enjoy watching SNL and, Chris, the occasional baseball game, so we do own a TV. Among the globe I found at a flee market and Chris’ field guides (including Rocky Mountain Scats and Tracks) held between the extremely heavy jade lions he brought back from China – the TV isn’t much of a centerpiece. Also, above the TV are a couple other maps I bought for $4 and attached to poster board.

Lastly, can’t have a map themed room without some vintage luggage. Chris’ mom and grandma were here a couple weeks ago and seemed very puzzled that I would use these as decoration – since they use them for traveling. Oh well. Not everyone can get my decorating style. But I will tell you that the adorable blue vanity case is hiding diapers and wipes for a convenient changing station in the living room.

So these are the living room highlights! Again, the house is still work in progress but Chris and I are slowly making it our home.

39 Weeks Preggo

39 weeks has brought the “I’m so done with this” attitude. Truly, I have little to complain about. I don’t feel sick, I’m not too IMG_9550uncomfortable, I’m sleeping pretty well and I have zero heartburn. So I’m basically throwing myself a huge, unnecessary pity party because I feel as though I’m entitled. And while it may not be anything new – I’ve been particularly emotional, crying about everything and nothing.

A very sweet friend asked me my “secret” for my comfortable pregnancy – particularly for my apparently super-human ability to not swell up like a balloon during my last weeks. So here’s my recipe for a lovely pregnancy:

  • Good genes. Pregnancy is just poison to some women. But not me.
  • Get in shape. Before we decided to start trying to have a baby, I knew that I wanted to be in prime baby carrying condition. Not sure what that looks like – but basically, I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself I could be. So I started running and eating super healthy a year or so before we got pregnant.
  • Stay in shape. I walk every day 2 to 3 miles. As I’ve gotten bigger it’s been more on the end of 2 (mostly because I have to pee so bad by 2 miles I can hardly walk anymore). I also do prenatal yoga most days. I do not know how women do pregnancy without prenatal yoga. I found a series of 5 videos that I do religiously and to which I owe most of my comfort in pregnancy.
  • Water and more water. I drink a disgusting amount of water. AT LEAST 3 liters a day, but most days it’s closer to 4. We had an ultra sound for the first time since 18 weeks 3 weeks ago and the midwife kept commenting on the amazing amount of fluid I had for Grace and how healthy it is. Considering the amount of water I drink – she should literally be swimming.

So, that’s my advice for all you pregnant women and those who hope to become pregnant. It’s pretty basic – but sadly, many care providers during pregnancy do not encourage these things as they should. When we were seeing an OB I was NEVER asked about my diet or exercise routine. Because healthcare providers aren’t talking about these things they are failing mamas! So I’ll get off my soapbox now…

38 Weeks Preggo

[Note: this picture was taken days ago – since I’m 39 weeks tomorrow!] 38 weeks and no baby. I often get questions IMG_9540like, “Are you feeling close?” or “Do you have a feeling of when she’ll come? Like a mama’s intuition?” To the first question I say – no. I don’t feel near miserable, swollen or cranky enough to be close. To the second question I say – no. If she has sent me a personal note with the date of her arrival I would have told you. And PS – thanks for making me feel self-conscious about my “mother’s intuition.”

Pregnancy also must put a huge sign on my head that says, “please tell me your horrific birth story.” It seems like the worse the story the more anxious people are to share. WHY? The teacher of my natural birth class says an appropriate response is, “I’m sorry that happened to you. But that’s not my story.” I prefer, “that sucks. Now shut up.” And no, I haven’t actually said that to anyone.

When Chris tells people that we’re delivering at the birthing center he says he often receives the following response, “oh yeah… my wife said that she didn’t want drugs. She’ll change her mind.” To which he wants to say, “you don’t know my wife.” But really… drugs aren’t even an option at the birthing center. And even if I do need to be transferred to the hospital and have drugs – at least I tried. And that will be my birth story.

Again, to quote my wise father [and Grace’s Poppy]: opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and they all stink.

In other news, today Chris and I practiced folding up the stroller and putting the car seat into the stroller adapter. Needless to say – the directions were easier to follow than the Pack N’ Play. It took us an hour to set up the Pack N’ Play. The directions were very minimalistic and gave extremely unrealistic expectations of it’s ease to set up. Lies. If you ever need to put together a Pack N’ Play – call parents who have done it before.

We cannot wait to meet our little girl! Please join us in praying for my continued good health, for Grace to be a healthy and happy baby, and for a safe and natural birth at the midwifery.

37 Weeks Preggo

I’ve hit two major milestones in my pregnancy this week. The first is that I was able to use my belly as a table for the IMG_9538first time – resting my bowl of pretzels on the baby bump. The second is that I now waddle. I guess the waddle is to be expected when a baby’s head has dropped so low that it’s practically between your legs.

With emotions at an all time high today, I’m feeling a bit of anxiety about Grace’s arrival. We’re mostly ready – if you can say ready is having the car seat installed, an excited daddy and a clean house. My sister-in-law sent me a link to a hilarious blog today. If you are a pregnant mama I’d encourage you track your pregnancy with woman’s verbose and witty take on pregnancy.  For her week 37 entry she says:

Despite feeling whale-ish and slow and awkward, and despite not even remembering the last full night’s sleep you got, many pregnant women get a burst of nervous energy in the final weeks. You’ll get the patronizing “oh, you’re just NESTING” from everybody else, but not from me. I understand. There are fingerprints on those windows and unless you just go get the Windex right this minute you’ll be looking at those fingerprints six months from now oh my God get the Windex right this minute WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR.

This is true and hilarious. I said to Chris last night that we needed to make sure the house was clean at all times. Nothing would be worse than coming home to a dirty house with a new baby. (Well, at least I would assume, since I’ve not done it before.)

36 Weeks Preggo

ONE more week and I’m considered at term – meaning Grace will have fully developed, healthy lungs, and will be IMG_9533able to survive on her own outside the womb. Wow. Now, we’re in no rush to get her out of there, but 39 weeks would be about perfect! It’s got to be getting close because I believe she has dropped, but I’m no midwife. When comparing photos from a week ago my belly is quite a bit different. Also – her hiccups are MUCH lower than a week ago.

This week we put together Grace’s nursery and finally hung things in the living room! We got our butts in gear because we hosted our first part on Sunday – a keg and wipes party. In response to those who asked why we were not having a shower in Colorado and when they could see our new house, Chris got a couple kegs of beer and guests arrived with wipes and diapers to see our house and celebrate the upcoming arrival of Grace. We had a ton of fun visiting with old friends and new friends and feel SO incredibly blessed.

On a completely unrelated note, I thought I’d share my new favorite song. I recently discovered the band Page CXVI, whose mission it is to sing and record hymns to make them known again. I love this hymn and I love their rendition; and particularly as I’m experiencing anxiety and anticipation about Grace’s arrival – it’s a comforting message.

Grace’s Shabby Chic Nursery

The long-awaited photos are here!! While it’s not 100% finished, it’s picture ready. Items left to do: rug and glider. The glider should be arriving shortly before or after Grace.

IMG_9520If you know me, you’ll know that part of the joy I have in decorating is doing it well… with as little money as possible. Embroidery hoops are cheap – especially when you have a grandmother-in-law who sews and a friend who hordes an excessive amount of them. The fabric in the hoops was all thrifted and includes pillow cases, fabric shower curtains,  and twin sheets. Each cost only $1-$3.

The mobile is an old lamp shade which I tore the fabric from and wrapped the wires in scraps from one of the pillow cases. I got the idea here. For the hanging pieces, I bought a HUGE book of scrapbook paper from Michael’s and some clear jewelry wire (which resembles fishing wire).

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IMG_9524We needed to figure out to do with the awkwardly shaped window in her room. The window is small and high – so it’s unlikely that anyone would be peeping into it – but it makes me feel better to have some sort of covering. I had tons of fabric left from the embroidery hoops so made a fabric garland using fabric strips, some lace ribbon and twine.

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IMG_9525With all the extra scrapbook paper left from the mobile I modge-podged paper onto some cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby (each cost $1). I was going to do the entire alphabet, but I thought better of the idea and thinking I might become hateful toward modge podge – and the alphabet – by the end of the project. So instead I simply completed the letters of her short, 5 letter name. And just to instill the English language into our sweet little genius, I bought a vintage-style alphabet poster that I hung from a wooden pant hanger. The poster was purchased from http://www.paper-source.com/ for only $4 [note: it’s actually wrapping paper]! I also loaded up on awesome maps for $4 a piece that are in my living room. This website is worth a look.

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Considering we received a TON of books from my baby shower we needed a bookshelf, and I wasn’t really loving any I was seeing while thrifting. Our living room makeover freed up a cheapo laminate bookshelf I bought at Walmart 8 years ago. Instead of throwing it away, I found a great tutorial on how to paint laminate furniture and enlisted my husband (dad of the year) to do the job. NOTE: do not do this tutorial if your an expecting mama. The fumes are are horrendous.

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And now for the changing area. Chris’s grandparents had this old dresser in their basement so we snatched it up! The changing pad (which is HUGE, by the way) doesn’t quite fit, but Chris will cut a piece of wood that will help stabilize it. No one wants a poopy baby falling off the changing table! The hanging dress is Chris’ family baptismal gown that Grace will wear at at her baptism. However, my baptismal gown (which was made for me by my Aunt Robin) will actually hang there once Chris’ grandma gets the puke stains out of it.

So that’s Grace’s room! Glad to have it [mostly] finished. More photos of the house coming soon!!