There’s a Light

After what felt like a sometimes quick, sometimes long 9 months, we finally have an end in sight.

We have scheduled a C-section for April 10th.

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35 weeks. Photo courtesy of H&J Creative Studio

I know that was our original due date so it shouldn’t seem like such a big deal, but it is. A due date is just a guess. It’s an approximation. But the baby could really come at any time. But scheduling surgery, now that’s definite. Granted, the baby could still come anytime before the 10th but at least we know it won’t go any longer than that.

Which is a big relief for me.

I am ready to be done. You just reach a point where enough is enough. I’m not sleeping well. I feel like a beached whale. Things hurt. Clothes don’t fit (I seriously have only 3 pairs of pants I can wear at this point!). The time has come.

I had my last OB appointment yesterday.

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My weight gain has slowed down (which is shocking to me since I’m eating like it’s going out of style). As everyone keeps saying – I’m all baby.

And it’s a big baby.

They had us do another ultrasound (we did one at 22 weeks and one at 32 weeks) to check the size. 

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8 pounds 6 ounces.

To put some perspective on that, Isabella was 8 lbs 4oz when she was born at 41 weeks (which is 2 weeks later than where we are now). So if we let this kid go another 2 weeks, it could easily be over 9 lbs.

They also discovered something else in the ultrasound.

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3D of the baby’s face with an arm partially in front

The umbilical cord is wrapped twice around the baby’s neck.

When I first heard this, I panicked and thought we would need to do an emergency surgery or something but my doctor assured me that there’s nothing to worry about. This happens all the time, particularly in really active babies like TTB. There can sometimes be issues during a vaginal delivery if the cord starts to pull on the baby’s neck while it’s going through the birth canal but you just don’t know until it happens. And if it does, there are things they can do. Plus, there’s always a chance the baby could unwind itself as it moves around these last few days too.

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Photo courtesy of H&J Creative Studio

So, we were left with a decision. Keep waiting and see if this kid tries to come out on its own or schedule surgery. Given the size, umbilical cord situation and the fact that I haven’t progressed any in the last week, we thought it made the most sense to go ahead and schedule the C-section.

Next question was – for when?

We could really do it for any time next week but I have this hang up about not wanting to choose my child’s birthday for them. I’d rather leave it up to the universe. So I was indecisive. The doctor suggested we go ahead and just schedule it on the due date, which made sense to me. (Actually, we haven’t officially set the appointment yet. I’m still waiting for the hospital to call me back and confirm).

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Photo courtesy of H&J Creative Studio

When the doc did the cervical exam, she went ahead and stripped the membrane too. Basically, that means she stuck her finger through the cervix and scraped it around the sac of waters to separate the 2 from each other.

Yes, it was painful.

Doing this is thought to get things moving along a little bit and encourage labor. I actually did start having contractions last night. I’ve been having Braxton/Hicks contractions for a while but the ones yesterday were more intense and regular. I started timing them and they increased from every 30 minutes to every 10. I seriously thought maybe this was it – that we were starting labor! But when I went to bed and laid down, they all stopped and I haven’t had one since.

My body just likes to mess with me.

So, here we are. 5 days away from having a new little guy or gal in our family. 5 days seems like a really long time to me right now. As I was lying awake in bed last night, I could not imagine how I’m going to get through these last days without going crazy. Today it seems better in the light of day and I think if I stay occupied with Isabella and family fun, plus take lots of naps and rest, it’ll all be fine.

And the next thing I know, we’ll be a family of 4!

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Photo courtesy of H&J Creative Studio

 

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Stats | Nursery Reveal | 34 + 6 = Holy Cow!

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Stats

I hated statistics class in college. But just for giggles, I’m gonna throw some numbers at ya.

38

46

2

75

3:30

0

What do all these numbers mean?

Well, here’s a hint on the first one!

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38 weeks today. That means 2 more weeks until I’m technically “full term”, although really anything after 37 weeks is considered full term in the practical sense.

So far I’ve gained 46 pounds.

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Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic but you get the idea. I’m big. Although, I only feel big where my bump is concerned. I don’t feel ginormous all over like I did with Isabella. Most of the weight is concentrated in the baby area!

Which is why the doctor wants to do another ultrasound next week for a growth check. It’s not that she thinks the baby is huge but because I’m trying for a VBAC, they have to be very careful about every little measurement. It’s a game of centimeters, as she put it. So if the baby is just a centimeter or 2 turned in the wrong direction, they won’t risk it. Same for size. If they think TTB is going to be big, they won’t let me go vaginally. Next week, 39 weeks, is the big decision point. If I’m not progressing by then, they’ll go ahead and schedule a C-section instead of waiting any longer. If I am progressing, they’ll let me go up to 41 weeks.

Today, I was dilated almost 2 cm and 75% effaced. That’s progress! The previous 2 weeks I was showing no progress at all so this is good news. The doctor was able to get her finger just barely through the cervix and feel the baby’s head, which means TTB is down and moving the right way.

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Now, does this mean I could deliver at any moment? No. The speed of progression is different for every woman. Some could go from 2cm to 9 overnight and others could take another couple weeks. My body seems to take a long time so I’m not loading the car with my bags or anything just yet.

Throughout this pregnancy, I have been plagued by insomnia. The kind where you can’t go back to sleep once you get up in the middle of the night. It’s frustrating but I deal with it. The odd thing is that almost every time this occurs, it’s when I wake up at 3:30 a.m. If I wake up at any other time, I’m usually able to fall asleep again right away. But there’s something about the 3:30 witching hour that keeps me up. Wonder if this means something? Maybe it’s a premonition of the time of morning when the baby will come. Guess we’ll find out!

The “0” refers to the number of days I have left of working in the office. From now on, I’m going to work from home. CJ was actually surprised to hear this because with Isabella, I literally worked right up to the end. I was scheduled for an induction at 5:30 am on a Wednesday and worked until 5pm the day before.

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But things are different this time. For one, Isabella was showing no indication of coming out. At my 41 week appointment, I was only 1 cm and not budging. So I knew I was pretty safe in being at work and not going in to labor. Also, I was a contractor then so I didn’t have as much flexibility.

This time around, I have both the means and opportunity to work from home so I’m going to take it. I will be much more comfortable.

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It was kind of weird to leave work today knowing I wouldn’t be back to that building ever (we’re moving to a new location during my leave) and wouldn’t see most of those people until July. Surreal, but also good.

It means we’re almost there.

Many have said they think the baby will come this Easter weekend. While that would be kind of neat, I also want to have a nice, uninterrupted holiday. Sort of one last hurrah with our little family, until it expands to be a little bit bigger.

And I know Isabella does NOT want her Easter egg hunt ruined!

Happy Easter weekend to you all and who knows, maybe my next post will be to report baby arrival news!

Previous baby babblings!

Nursery Reveal! | 34 weeks | Update in pictures

Update in Pictures

It’s been a couple of crazy busy weeks.

We celebrated CJ’s birthday.

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Had a family baby shower!

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Saw The Lion King with Isabella, my mom, sister and nephew!

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Isabella looks really evil there…I think it was her “Mom leave me alone” look.

I had my 36 and 37 week doctor appointments (not on the same day obviously). All is well but still no progress on moving the baby out!

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Quite a difference from when I wore this same shirt at 11 weeks!

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We took a tour of the hospital where the baby will be born.

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I may or may not have created a panic when I checked in on Foursquare from the hospital, without explaining why we were there. Oops. Guess that’s probably not a cool thing to do to your friends when you’re this far along!

My work friends threw us a surprise baby shower and we got this amazing quilt that my friend’s mom made!

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Here it is all unfurled.

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And in the nursery…Isn’t it gorgeous!

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Also, I was driving to work and realized that I have forgotten how to swaddle a baby. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU SWADDLE A BABY???

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Google for how-to videos on “swaddling”.

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34+6=Holy Cow! | Isabella’s Birth Story | Growing Up

TTB Nursery Reveal!

The time has finally come for me to show off the nursery to everyone!

I have to admit that I’m really happy with how it turned out. I think I have decent taste in decorating but I don’t consider myself an expert at it or anything. Still, I’m proud of myself for this one. I had ideas in my head but nothing laid out or pulled together until the end. And I love it!

I would say 99% of the items in this room were either reused from Isabella or made by me. She has been so good about sharing her old stuff. There were times when she would see something and say, “That’s mine!” but once we explained that the baby needed it now, she was cool with it. I’m very grateful that we didn’t have any temper tantrums or squabbles with her over any of the “stuff”. In fact, a lot of it she was more than happy to share and even offered to bring in extra things! Such a sweet girl.

There are 3 items that were new purchases (not counting things like ribbon or scrapbook paper, nor am I including the paint) and 1 that we still have left. I’ll point them out as we go on our little tour.

Anyway, enough talk. On with the show!

[Warning! Long post ahead! But don’t worry, a lot of it is pictures!]

Here’s what the room looked like when we started.

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Basically a plain old room (which used to be our office) with paint swatches on the wall (this is the one we chose).

And here’s what it looks like now!

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Quite a difference, eh? Let’s take a minute to see how we got here and then I’ll go around the room and show off some of the details.

The first step was to paint – obviously – which is CJ’s domain. It ended up taking longer than anticipated because we needed 3 coats of paint. That tan color doesn’t look all that dark on its own but when you put yellow over it, you find out how much shows through.

But at least CJ got some help from Samson.

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“What? I’m helping dad!”

Here it is after all the painting was finished!

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In the other pics the yellow on the walls looks a bit darker but that’s because I took them at night. This pic is the closest to the true color.

Now it was time to move in the furniture. All of it was already owned. The crib and changing table were Isabella’s and the bookshelf was an extra one we had in the office. This glider is the one we bought when Isabella was born and it’s seen better days. We plan to get a new recliner at some point when we have the extra money. For now this will do.

Then it was my turn to get in there and decorate!!

We decided to go with an Eric Carle themed room (he’s the author of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other popular children’s books). However I’m not one that likes to be too “matchy” or over-do a theme to death. So while we pulled in many elements related to his work and the caterpillar, a lot of the room is just built around primary colors.

Here’s what you see when you come up the stairs and look in the door.

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The master bedroom is directly to the left and the bathroom is immediately on the right, making this nursery room in an ideal location.

I love the bright red rug. This is one of the new purchases. I scoured the web looking for one that would be appropriate for a kid’s room, NOT have any design on it and be relatively inexpensive and came up with zilch. Then the other day while I was wandering around Target, I saw this rug and it was love at first sight – and on sale! My heart skipped a beat…

Samson likes it too.

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Now we’ll go around the room counterclockwise and look at the details. Here is the room when you come in and look to the right.

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Because the walls are all yellow, I tried to not use too much of that color in the decorating so you’ll see lots of green, red and blue.

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Everything here is pretty basic. Changing pad and cover (of which I plan to get a new one at some point, probably in red or blue), bins with diapers, toiletry items and music (still need to get a CD player – do you know how hard it is to buy just a CD player? Everything out there now is an iPod music player or something). Bottom shelf has baby toys. Some are ones that the kid won’t use for a while but they were the right colors so I put them out as more of a decoration for now.

The framed images above the table were my creation!

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Artwork that is strictly “words” is a big thing in the world of decorating right now (examples here and here) and I figured, how hard could it be to make? I basically took a couple excerpts from the “Hungry Caterpillar” book, laid them out in a fun way, with fun colors and printed them out. Took a couple hours just because I’m picky about layout and wanted to get them just right and aligned to work together. Then I just popped them in some frames and ta da!

I’m really happy with them. I like some of the subtle touches, liking matching the word “caterpillar” to the colors of the drawn image in the book and making up the word “butterfly” of all the colors. I also like how they both have dotted lines to tie them together visually. What can I say, my inner graphic designer (which was my major in college) had fun with this project!

The flower/butterfly decals underneath were Isabella’s addition. We moved those out of her room and she wanted the baby to have some. I thought that was so sweet of her so we’ll keep them in there for a while, even if the baby is a boy.

Continuing around the room…

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The afghan was made for us by a friend of mine from work. She knew the colors of the room but not the theme, yet I think the blanket ties in perfectly! All the little circles look like lines of caterpillars! I love happy accidents!

The big caterpillar banner was another of my original creations.

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Name banners are also very popular these days (see here) so I thought, hey, why not make one using circles to represent the segments of the caterpillars body! I used scrapbook paper in different greens and patterns to add interest and then of course used a red one for the head. Adding the eyes was a last minute idea and I like it. Isabella thinks we should add legs and antennae but I’m undecided. I don’t necessarily want it to be too literal…more like give a representation of the caterpillar.

But if she insists, I’ll give in because I want her to feel included.

The idea is that once the baby is born, I’ll add it’s name – one letter for each segment. But let’s face it, the last thing I will want to do with a new baby is a craft project so it will most likely stay this way for a while, which is fine too.

The mobile is also hand made by me.

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I just printed out images from his books, mounted them on scrapbook paper and strung them on some ribbon which was then tied to a hanger. About as basic as you can get. The backs of all of the images are either black with a white design or white with a black design, since babies don’t see in color right away. Plus it mixes it up a bit.

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It was actually Isabella’s idea to make this. We had made a mobile for her outer space room and she thought we should make one for the baby. I was toying with the idea too so that settled it! She “helped” me make it in the sense that she picked out which animals to use and where to tie them on.

Next to the crib is the glider and chalkboard.

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The red blanket on the glider was made for Isabella by another friend and she actually did use it a lot but has since moved on to other ones. So, since it was all the right colors, I put it in here! The chalkboard was Isabella’s too.

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My parents bought it when we went on our Michigan trip 2 years ago, as something to keep her busy in the car. She never really got in to it though. It’s the perfect colors for the room so I stole it!

(Poor kid is giving up a lot of stuff…but she’s also getting a lot in exchange so don’t feel too sorry for her!)

I think we’ll have fun writing different messages or drawing pictures on the chalkboard!

And in the last corner….

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The window is “naked” for now but we do plan to hang up curtains. Just haven’t gotten to it yet and I didn’t want to wait before showing off the room to the world! In the beginning we’ll move in Isabella’s curtains (she’s getting new ones for her room makeover). They’re purple so it works with the bright colors. Kind of a “girly” color so if we have a boy we will eventually change them out but it’s fine for the short term.

This is our make-shift dresser.

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I batted around the idea for a while of getting a new dresser (or a used one and spiffying it up) but decided to just use what we had. I figured the bookshelf with canvas bins would work just as well for now – plus it helps add more pops of color.

The bins were one of the other new purchases. Cost me $5 for each one (on sale!) for a total of $30. Not too shabby!

I added to them some tags that I made with leftover scrapbook paper from the name banner, so that everyone knows where to find things, since I hope to have lots of people over helping at the beginning.

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Also, I’m anal about organization and stuff… and we got a new label maker for free when we bought our printer so I’m label happy! Isabella has fun with it too.

The items on top of the dresser are a random collection of things.

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The little tree was purchased from West Elm for like $1.50 on clearance. I couldn’t resist. It’s cute! I thought about painting it but decided leaving the natural wood was a nice change to break up the colors. I can always paint it later if I want.

The book and little horse are both Eric Carle items. The book was Isabella’s and is well worn, which I love. The little horse was a gift from my mom to the baby for Christmas. And then the blue clothespin picture holder I found on clearance at Michael’s for $2 or something. I bought one each for the baby and Isabella since both their rooms have blue. The picture in it is a placeholder for now (preview from our pregnancy photo shoot last weekend with H&J Creative Studio!). I’ll probably change it up to a picture of the baby once born.

And finally the bookshelf on the wall!

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This is the last “purchase” for the room – $20. I wanted to display some Eric Carle books in a way that made them art all on their own. Figured facing them out on a shelf would do the trick. Plus I know we’ll read them a lot and they’re easy to access here when we want to. All of them were ones that we already had or were gifts at Christmas. The little caterpillar rattle was something Isabella found at Kohl’s and insisted we get for the baby. It was all of $6 so she didn’t need to do too much convincing. She likes to play with him too and who knows, he might even show up in some of those pregnancy photos!

Now, want to see something kind of sad?

Here’s the inside of the closet, on one side.

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Yep, we only have 1 ‘outfit’ for the baby to wear. Everything else is onesies or pajamas that are in the dresser. But I’m not worried, the closet will get filled in when TTB arrives and we know the gender. Still, I think it’s funny how empty it looks.

And there you have it! The baby’s official room for the next couple years. We redid the whole thing for about $100. Our plan is to move TTB in to the room next to Isabella’s after a while, once he/she is a bit older, so that they can be next to each other. But for now, this is it!

Not to toot my own horn too much but like I said at the beginning, I’m really happy with the end result of the nursery. It’s everything I had in mind with a few surprises I hadn’t planned on. And I think it will suit our needs perfectly.

For more baby stuff, click one of these links!

Isabella’s birth story | 32 weeks | 34 weeks

34 + 6 = Holy Cow!

34 weeks. This is a big milestone. If the baby is born at any point after this, it will most likely do just fine, even if it’s 4-6 weeks early. Phew.

We’ve come a long way baby!

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My OB appointment today went fine other than that I had a major case of pregnancy brain. It didn’t help that they were running behind and I got called back a half hour late. We actually had some place to be (visiting a pre-school with Isabella) so I was worried I was going to be late. So, when they had me go in to the bathroom to pee, I was in a whole other world, my mind racing, and I proceeded to empty my bladder and completely forgot to pee in the cup. Whoops. My doctor just laughed when I told her and said it was fine. Since my health is so good it was ok to skip a week on the urine test.

Baby is doing well and starting at 36 weeks we increase the frequency of the appointments to every week. She’ll also start checking my cervix to see if I’m dilating. I still want to do a VBAC as opposed to another C-Section but it will all depend on baby’s size, position, etc. It’s a week by week thing.

In terms of weight gain, I’m up another 5lbs which means a total of 40lbs gained so far. I’m actually a bit disappointed by that. I really wanted to keep my TOTAL weight gain to 40lbs yet here I am, already there, and I have 6 more weeks to go. When I was in the waiting room a mom came in and looked about 26 weeks pregnant. She was definitely smaller than me. I was shocked when she said she was at 38 weeks! 4 weeks ahead of me and yet smaller! Then at the pre-school appointment, one of the teachers was pregnant although you could barely tell. She was so small that I was even afraid to say anything! She’s due in a month! How is it that I’m so much bigger? I guess my body just likes to put on weight. I know I eat my share of sweets and fatty foods but believe me I’m way better this time around. Yet I’m still gaining just as much weight. It frustrates me but in the end, I guess if my doctor isn’t worried, I shouldn’t be either.

I’m noticing that I’ve gained it in a different way though. With Isabella, I got big all over. I look back at old pics and EVERYTHING was puffy – face, arms, mid-section, legs, feet…

Here I am at 32 weeks with Isabella:

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Don’t you think my face looks puffier than it does now, at 34 weeks?

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This time around the weight has mostly settled in the “3 B’s” – boobs, belly and butt.

One of my good friends says that this means we must be having a “BBB-boy”, right?

One thing that is the same this time around is how active the baby is. Isabella was always moving and shaking in there and TTB is no different. This kid is constantly wiggling. I notice it the most when I’m lying down or sitting, which is a lot since I have a desk job. There are times when I’m in work meetings and not only feel major kicks but can see the movement too and wonder if anyone else in the room has noticed.

While sometimes the constant activity is annoying (like when I get kicked in sensitive organs and it hurts!) most of the time it’s welcome. Movement means that baby is healthy which is all that really matters.

In other news, the nursery is almost done! Theoretically, it IS done in the sense that should this baby pop out tomorrow, we’d have all the essentials ready to go. However there are a few final decorating tasks to be done before I’ll be ready for the big reveal! Hoping to get those done here in the next couple weeks so that we can relax about it.

Here’s a teaser in the meantime.

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Also, Isabella’s room is coming along nicely! It’s been painted and now we just have to decorate and re-arrange!

Here’s a preview of the color she chose.

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(It’s Cosmic Blue by Valspar. It’s a bit darker on the wall than it looks in that sample. We were really happy with how well it covered. Could have gotten away with only 1 coat but did 2 just for good measure.)

At first we were afraid it’d be “too blue” but I really love it now and so does she. Every little thing we add to her room gets her so excited – even something as simple as a new nightlight – which makes me glad we are doing this for her.

Speaking of Isabella, her big thing right now, as I dig baby toys and stuff out of the basement, is to claim them again as hers.

“Mommy, is this a baby toy or my toy?”

Well, technically, they were all hers but obviously some of them can be shared. But none will be used by the baby right away and she is all over that!

“I’ll play with it just until the baby is ready Mommy.”

Famous last words.

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She is getting very excited though. She likes to help me in the nursery with getting things organized or making crafts (pretty much all the décor will be homemade or reused, because I’m cheap!). She loves the Eric Carle “Very Hungry Caterpillar” theme too.

The other night we made a planets mobile for her room (which will be outer space themed) and as we were working she said, “Next we should make a hungry hungry caterpillar mobile for the baby!”

I actually already had plans to do that so of course I agreed that it was a great idea. Then she went on to say, “And after that we can make an Ironman mobile for your bedroom Mommy!”

Um…yeah…ok.

I said, “I’m sure Daddy will want that on his side of the bed…” to which she replied, “No, the Ironman one will be on your side and we’ll make a Spiderman mobile for Daddy’s side.”

I guess we have a super heroes bedroom in our future.

 

More baby posts!

32 weeks | The Big 3-0 | Isabella’s Birth Story