Friday, November 20, 2015

Baby Maeve - Newborn Photos

I have a lot of catching up to do! My baby just turned 6 months and I'm just now showcasing her newborn photos.

Let me tell you something about doing photography, it's like having your husband being a plumber. Your plumbing never works! And since I do all my own photos, I always put things off... I'll get them done soon, no big deal and then time is gone.

I managed to get her photos done, but then they set and waited for me to give them proper attention. I will pat myself on the back for printing them and sharing them with one Grandma... and then I completely failed to get them to the rest of the Grandmas. Dang it.

I wanted to do cute, swaddled baby photos, but it's like she sensed her Mother was trying to do something and refused to fall asleep.

These photos are actually my second try on a completely new day.

The first day I tried to do photos I spent 3 hours on them and for the whole 3 hours I breast fed her without a break. She never slept, she just nursed on and off. As soon as I would try to move her away from her food source, she'd go nuts and we'd start again.

I wanted to use her quilt in my photos. I saw this adorable photo online with the quilt folded under the baby and the baby all curled up on top.


Not happening.

She loved to curl up in the fetal position and lay on her tummy, but she refused to do it that day. She loved being swaddled and wouldn't let me swaddle her either.

She just wanted to eat, eat, eat! Again. Clearly we were already hitting a growth spurt. Oh the fun!

My husband came in the assist and captured a few candid photos that I love. This one of her screaming really sums up our first few weeks together. We didn't have any trouble breast feeding but she was colicky. I tried changing my diet, we did gas drops, gripe water but nothing helped. Just lots of holding, bouncing and patting.

My poor baby.

But despite that, I love her so much. I still kiss those cheeks everyday and tell her how much Momma loves her.

And while her photos may have not been what I planned, they still turned out beautiful! I love them and that, of course, is all that matters.

- Amanda

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weight Loss Journey Check In

So I'm changing things up a little on my journey here. It's been hard for me to make the check in every single week.

I have a baby that isn't completely fond of sleep or being put down, so when she finally naps and my arms are free, logging weight is the last thing on my mind. [Typically I'm more focused on messes in the home or making time to spend with just my son.]

I'm going to continue tracking, but my check ins will still be more spread out. I still want to stay accountable and watch myself, but I want to give myself a little grace to live life too.

Current Stats

Current Weight: 145lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost to Date: 3lbs


Nothing changed since my last check in, disappointing but okay. I'll get there, even if it's a slow process! Just when I thought I could get into the groove of exercising a couple of times a week because the baby was napping consistently, she quit on me. She started fighting her naps and started waking in the middle of the night to play. Figures, right?

But there is a reason this is a journey. A journey takes time, it doesn't happen quickly. I'm not racing to a goal, I don't want to crash diet myself down to a size. I know me, I'll eat myself back to where I started even faster. So I have to give myself grace, I have to give myself time.

- Amanda

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Maeve's Birth Story

I did really well keeping up and documenting my pregnancy and then bam, baby, I fell behind. Literally, the baby arrived.

Last time I talked about my pregnancy I was sitting in the middle of my 36th week and praying she'd want to make an appearance soon.

Week 37, cervix high, no extra dilation.

Week 38, cervix high, no extra dilation.

Week 39, cervix high, no extra dilation. Time to talk about inducing.

I'm not a huge fan of inducing, I induced with my son and it was a long, 2 day long process. It was uncomfortable and spending any extra time in the hospital is just not my preference. He still ended up coming on his own, so the whole thing was a waste.

But he was 9lbs 5ounces, a bit big for a 5'4 gal to push out. So I was already aware that my Doctor wanted to talked about induction if we neared 40 weeks, because I'm small and have a history of big babies!

We discussed it and she put in a call at the hospital to schedule me in for May 14th, two days before my due date. This was about 6 days away, still plenty of waiting time and time for my husband to clear his schedule with work.

And then May 13th arrived.

I woke up that morning feeling my usual cranky, achy self. I love being pregnant but this part is not my favorite. I planned to spend my day prepping my son to go to my parents, where he would be staying while we were in the hospital. I also was making sure we had everything we needed.

We were scheduled to check in at the hospital at midnight.

And then a funny thing happened.

I went to the bathroom and there it was, the bloody show. Gross, I know, but it's all part of the process!  And silly me, I didn't think much of it. I mean, plenty of women have it and still don't go into labor for weeks.

My husband came home early to help me get things together. We finished setting up our room to accommodate the pack and play, loaded up our bags, cleaned up the house and tried to relax.

But I couldn't relax because I was starting to have pain. Nothing serious, but a couple of contractions here and there. I was timing them, but they weren't very close and then they were and then they weren't.

Around 5 my mom picked up my son, told us to call her if anything happened and off went my first baby to await the arrival of his sister.

My contractions stopped for a full hour at one point and then started again. I had my husband take me out for a burger so I could get in a good meal before I was cut off for induction.

I kept logging my contractions on my phone, as I sat at the bar waiting for my burger, trying to act normal. They hurt, they were very uncomfortable but I wanted my food. And I had to have my food!

We got home around 7, I walked to relieve the pain and settled in on the couch when I was tired. Still tracking, but nothing consistent. My contractions would space like this: 15min, 4 min, 20 min, 10min, 5min, 6min, 10min, 30min, 7min, 5min and so on, up and down like that.

Around 11p.m. I started having trouble catching my breath, so we decided to go ahead and go. I'm glad we did because we barely arrived when it began to pour rain.

It's May in Oklahoma, we're lucky it was just a thunderstorm, nothing more. (Tornado baby!)

By time we arrived we were only 30 minutes shy of our midnight arrival, so they had me wait until Midnight to get signed in and hooked up, but they gave the pregnant lady a bed.

My nurse was shocked when she went to put the heart monitor on my stomach, she assumed I was carrying baby weight with that big belly. But no, it was a nice solid tummy with a big, happy baby inside. I recalled her telling me, "Honey, you are too small to be having babies this big!"

She was an amazing nurse and I really wish she would have been on through my delivery.

By 1 a.m. I was starting to cry and whimper. They decided to go along with my induction because I still had not dilated beyond a 1 but I hadn't even received the pictocin at this time.

She called the Anesthesiologist for me.

At 1:30, I was starting to scream a little with each contraction, I received the pictocin at this time. Oh the torture.

By 2 the Anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural, this was hard. I kept contracting every few minutes but needed to relax and hold still for the process. I'm in pain, I'm hot and I'm sweating buckets, I can't relax.

The first question the Anesthesiologist asked when he arrived was, "Don't you have an induction tonight?" Yea, that's me. I'm progressing MUCH faster than expected.

Once I received the epidural, my nurse wanted to check my dilation again. And now that I couldn't feel much, she decide to see what the hold up was. And then she found it, the little hand that had decided to rest above the little head and keep baby from dropping. I felt a soft pop as she gently pushed the hand down and suddenly I'm dilated to a FIVE.

The rest of the night kind of flew by, at some point my water broke and by 5 a.m. she had shut the pictocin off because my own contractions were taking over. I was dilated to a 9, my water broke and I was feeling like I could push. I recall my mom texting to see if she should come up, I told her no, nothing happened yet. And a few minutes later I texted her back and told her I was wrong! I'm a 9 and the water broke!

And then it happened.

She went to check my dilation and felt an ear instead, baby had turned.

The stubborn child rolled onto her side, not impossible to give birth that way, just not pleasant.

I wanted to cry or maybe I did.

I had to lay on my side and wait and pray that baby would turn back.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

She took her time but by 6:30 she had turned back, they called my Doctor and she was on her way in.

When the time came, it went so fast! They told me to push, wait, push, wait, push.... and wait so they could clean baby's face but never mind, she squiggled herself out the rest of the way! That girl does things her own way, move out of the way.

They told me I pushed for less than 5 minutes, way to go Maevey!

And so, at 8:47 on May 14th, 2015 we welcomed our daughter Maeve into the world. Maeve was a whopping 9lbs 9ozs and 21 1/4 long.

She is an absolute joy, though more difficult than our son ever was. We couldn't imagine our lives without this new little ray of sunshine! We finally feel complete as a family, before I always felt a little empty because I wanted another child so bad. I love my son, he really lights up my earth and I wanted him to have to chance to be a big brother and have a sibling to share the world with.

Right now, he's not completely fond of someone that does nothing but poop, cry, eat and repeat. But she's growing so fast and getting to that playful stage, I think he's starting to come around, just a little.

He may even be giving her kisses on the top of her sweet little head. Don't tell him I told you.

And that is the story of Maeve's grand entrance into the world.

- Amanda

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weight Loss Journey: Week 2, 3, and 4

Oh no... I fell behind!

I've been meaning to check in but wouldn't you know it, as soon as Mom wants to go on a diet, a tooth comes in... make that two teeth. And do you know what teething babies do... or don't do? Sleep!

It's super hard to not eat bad when you're just tired and really don't want to prep a proper meal. I like to eat my feelings and I get sad when I don't sleep.

Add in one more fun factor, a visit from Aunt Flo too. Boo.

But despite all that, Week 2 check in!

My Stats: Week 2

Current Weight: 143lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost to Date: 5lbs


Boom! Still lost two pounds aaaaaand I put on my pre-pregnancy jeans and I could button them!

Talk about something to celebrate. Those jeans were kind of loose on me when I got pregnant, but I will gladly take it!

Now, I'll admit, week 3 I was not good. My husband and I were out shopping Sunday and I got a pumpkin spice latte. He was home sick Monday due to his asthma, so I got a pumpkin spice latte. I had a bad nights sleep one night and the next day, he brought me a pumpkin spice latte. Coffee shop Saturday? Yes, I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

And it shows.

My Stats: Week 3

Current Weight: 142.5lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost to Date: 5.5lbs


Well, it's a loss right?

This week, ohhh, it's hard to look. I've had Chinese food, a burger, pasta and lordy, all that darn halloween candy!

My Stats: Week 4

Current Weight: 145lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost to Date: 3lbs


Ugggggggh. I'm angry, I'm upset, Noooooo. But this is how it goes.

All honesty, I'm really in need of a boost, I've been looking into something to get me there. I'll keep you posted on that. I feel like my body is just a little off right now, like its not processing foods as well as it should, you know? With recently having a baby it could be a number of things! I have a Doctor's appointment this month, I plan to talk to my Doctor about my weight struggles. Maybe look into having my thyroid checked and such.

But for now, I'm upping my exercise and trying my hardest to eat well. It's that time of year that it just becomes flat out difficult to do so if you love food, at all. A

And I love food.

See you Friday!

- Amanda

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weight Loss Journey: Week 1

The Baby has arrived, I've recovered, I've been released by my Doctor and I've procrastinated.

But it's finally that time, to be responsible, take care of myself and get the weight off.

My current weight is not bad at all, heck, 90% of the time I would say weight is just a number and doesn't have any value when it comes to my overall health. It doesn't matter if I weigh 200 or 110 if I'm not healthy.

I can admit, I've been ignoring my health, eating what I like and trying my hardest not to care that NONE of my pants truly fit at the moment. I can wear my pre-pregnancy jeans by using the old hair tie trick to "button" them, but I cannot brag that they actually fit.

One thing I am certainly aware is that having a baby makes your body change. It took 9 months to get here and it's going to take time for things to get back to normal. I did not have six-pack abs when I got pregnant, so I should not suddenly expect to achieve those results.

My stomach is stretched and squishy, it's gone in a ton, but it needs it's own time to heal. I'm aware I have minor diastasis recti, that takes time and careful exercise to heal.

My hips are wider, because I ate a lot of brownies and because they naturally widen for child birth. Once again, they take time to do their thing and heal up.

My breasts... they've been breast fed on and, well, let's just not talking about those.

There are many things I cannot control, things that need time to heal. But I can start making diet changes, crack down on myself and work on my health.

So, obviously there is a something special I'm going to do, right? Something I might be selling, something you will have to find the money to buy. Right? RIGHT? Everyone is all about their magic pill, shake, wrap, etc these days!

Nope. None of that.

I'm not saying none of that stuff works, but quick fixes don't change lifestyles.

So, then it's a diet trend! Paleo? Gluten Free? An oldie but a goodie like Atkins?

Nope. None of that.

I know people that have done all of the above and done great things for their life and health! But I also know many that crash and burn so hard off those super strict diet plans. I know myself, I know I love food and honestly, I will crash and burn the first time a chocolate cake passes by.

So what am I doing?

Walking and counting my calories.

Ewwwww. Calorie counting. I honestly tell anyone that asks that it is horrible, it is miserable and I hate it. You know why? It makes me super aware of what I am putting in my body!

With calorie counting, I have a limit to how many calories I can eat in a day. So I have to think carefully about each and every piece of food that goes into my body.

500 calorie breakfast with a 400 calorie latte? I'm nearly out of calories for the day. Good bye lunch and dinner!

Now I would not starve myself of a meal to reach the goal, but I'm never going to achieve my goal by eating like that.

I'll probably do just the opposite and gain weight like that.

But I can plan carefully. Maybe I want a latte on a Saturday morning, then I'll make the best choice possible. Get a small, maybe get skim milk. At the end of the day, I may still end up going over, just a little, but as long as it isn't a day to day thing, I'll be okay.

If I make weight loss a total punish to my love of food, I'll hate it and eventually quit.

With the holidays coming up, there will be a lot of temptation, I may not lose anything the entire time. But I can watch myself, balance myself and keep myself from gaining weight.

And how much does calorie counting cost? Well, it can be free! There are many free apps like Lose it! or My Fitness Pal that are free to use, sometimes they charge extra if you want additional features. I personally will be using the fitbit app, you can use it without a fitbit, but it's much for useful with the tracker. I have a fitbit flex I bought last year, obviously that cost something. But I purchased it at a discount for participating in a wellness event at my husband's employer.  But you don't need one by any means!

I also find it helpful to log my calories before I eat, I can always go back and fix them if I eat more or less. But failure is more likely if I eat to my hearts content and then see how bad I did. By logging ahead of time, I can get an idea of my limit and eat a proper portion. For example, I used to eat a Clif bar at breakfast, but one bar is 250+ calories, before I even have my coffee and creamer! So I'm given the choice to eat a smaller portion or find a different breakfast. I don't even want to touch fast food because one meal is bound to throw me over my entire days limit. But I could look up a grilled chicken sandwich from Chic-fil-a, see the amount of calories, pass on the fries and soda, and keep my calories in check.

And walking? I try to get in at least a 2 mile walk about 3 times a week. It's not much, I know, but it's better than sitting on the couch. I don't get a lot of time to exercise right now, my son is too young to walk all the miles and by time my husband gets home, it's already getting late so I just get in what I can. Obviously that could be remedied with a gym membership but once again, it's getting late and by time I drove to the gym, did my workout and came home, everyone would be in bed. I don't want to sacrifice bedtime with my children or the little time I have to spend with my husband these days.

I would normally do a home exercise, but as I mentioned above, with the diastasis recti, I am trying to be easy on my abs. Crunches are a bad idea and can even make the split worse, so I'm trying to work on healing before I push it.

And that's about it.

I'm blogging about it for the accountability. If I'm putting this on public forum and logging my weight each week, I'll feel a little pressure to work on it.

Similar to Weight Watchers, except I don't have a group to go to every week. I'm just checking in here.

I'll be weighing in every Friday morning. I have my goal set at 2 pounds per week, which is super tough, but the overall idea is just to get the weight off.

My goal is to reach 135lbs, it's not super skinny but it is a comfortable weight for me. From there I can continue to focus on fat loss and bring muscle building in when I'm ready. I worked so much with weights last year, I was getting tone and thin but my weight stay around 138 and I was happy with that! Because the number no longer mattered when I was healthy and getting my body in great shape. I just want to lose some of the weight before I start adding the muscle back in. Gosh I miss my strong arms and my butt, it actually got bigger but it was soooo toned. Thigh gap be damned, give me muscle.

This week, my stats are at the bottom of my post since I wanted to explain myself and start my journey off. Next weeks and the weeks that follow, it will appear at top. So you aren't forced to read about my week if you just want to see how I'm progressing.

I started counting about 3 weeks ago, but I was super lenient on the first weekend, I gained what I lost immediately. Followed by week of "so upset I no longer care" and then a marathon of sewing week where I just forgot. But I'm back on it this week and I'm sticking to it, no more weekends of cheating.

My Stats: Week 1

Current Weight: 145lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost To Date: 3lbs


Wish me luck! Participate in the comments below! Eat a donut for me!

- Amanda

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Maeve's Baby Quilt

Baby Maeve's quilt was the most difficult project I ever had to complete. Probably because being pregnant really just made me want to nap, like all the time [thank you anemia!].  It was a struggle to convince myself to sit down and work on this. I wanted it done by time she got here but ohhh, I just didn't want to touch it either.

I managed to power through and get it done, I'm so glad I did. I just hugged it, all the time. I wanted nothing more than to cuddle my sweet baby girl and she was being stubborn about arriving. So until that time, I had a blanket to hug.

I made her quilt using vintage sheets I collected from sellers on instagram. I collected these sheets two years before she was even conceived and called them my hope scraps. I wanted a daughter badly, I love my son but I yearned to have someone to put in dresses and top with bows.

I looked at many designs and finally decided to do this "zig zag" because I wanted to quilt it to look like arrows. I didn't go native with her nursery design, at all, but I'm so eclectic I wanted to add a piece of that in subtly. My original idea for a girl's room involved lots of yellow, though I strayed from that later on, I still kept the yellow in her quilt with pops of pink. I love how the quilt is set off against her blurple wall, so it was a total win.

Once I got my pieces together I just wasn't happy, it wasn't complete. So I began experimenting with different designs for a border. The down side of using vintage sheets was my limits, I couldn't just run down to the fabric store and pick up more of this or that, maybe grab another coordinating fabric. Nope, I was stuck with what I had. But I couldn't make it work so I began to dabble with solids and decided to do this black and white border.

If I recall right, I had already picked the polka dot binding, so that's why I was drawn to the black and white "stripe." It turned out great, I've received a lot of compliments on the pop the border makes, so I'm glad I went with my gut and did it.

The polka dot binding was originally going to be my small touch of black and white, but when I put just that against my blocks it seemed like it still didn't quite work. Which is why I added the small border and then the binding. Now I love it!

I also finally learned to slip stitch my binding on to make it seamless and pretty. It's a little wonky, but it was my first try. I've done it on a few blankets since then and it looks great [Yes, I've made blankets since my baby was born. Mom needs a hobby!].

On the back, I originally planned to use this vintage poppy sheet I had, but I just could not bring myself to cut it. So I used solid white cotton, because it was the easiest match I could make last second. I probably could have shopped Etsy for more vintage sheets, but I wanted to get this baby done.

I love how the quilting looks on the back. I quilted with pink and yellow thread, so the colors show on the back. It's easier to see in real life, sorry.

I also chose to use a thick batting inside to make the quilt super puffy, the idea being that baby will play on it more than she will sleep with it. It's too big and heavy to be in the crib with her, so I planned for it to be more of a play blanket instead. I lay it out on the living room floor for her to play on almost everyday.

Plus, it's super fun to squeeze, like a stuffed animal.

I am really happy with how this turned out. It's far from perfect because I struggled with the vintage sheets so much, some of them stretched as I worked and made the quilt less than a proper rectangle. But that's okay, it's made with love, from Mom to Baby.

It looks beautiful in her room and works with the sheets I received as gifts, a yellow zig zag and a gray with white polka dots.

I'm glad I held on to those vintage sheets for so many years, I started to have my doubts about having another baby and then once I was pregnant, I kept thinking: "What if I have a boy!?" I suppose I would've been making new plans.

This is probably my last quilt for this year with the holidays moving in. No one else has announced a pregnancy at this time, so maybe, just maybe, my next quilt will be for me.

- Amanda

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What's In My Bag? The Baby Bag

Greetings! Hello! I am alive!

While I was still working on blogging all about baby coming, baby made her appearance!

I'll talk more about her birth coming up, but right now I wanted to catch up on my posts that I already had ready, just not written and scheduled. Plus, I have a new little thing coming up as it's time to work on that baby weight, I don't have a ton to lose [though I don't think anyone has every had to lose a whole TON] but talking about it and checking in somewhere really helps me stick to it. Plus, my weight loss doesn't have any gimmicks. Hooray! No expensive products necessary, just diet and exercise. But maybe, just maybe, I can make something of it, share some recipes and tips that help me.

So, to the baby bag! I'm going to tap into my sleep deprived brain here and try to remember what I wanted to talk about here.

I already showed you my bag and what was in it. I did actually get to carry that bag to the hospital and most of all I wish I had more snacks. Go figure. Birthin' babies makes a gal hungry, so does breast feeding them.

So the first thing you need is a bag, of course. I would say there are NO wrong choices when it comes to choosing a diaper bag. I had it a little easier and I didn't have to pick one! As soon as my friend, Mary, found out a baby was on the way, she began plotting to make a pony bag. The announcement that we would be having a little girl cemented that plan.

I could not be happier! I get compliments like crazy on my Pony bag, plus it has proven itself durable and useful. I was showing it to another friend that recently announced she is expecting and she loved that it's design would make it a great overnight bag for the little lass in the future. Hooray for Grandma's house!

If you interested in this bag or one like it, they start at $60 and they can be customized almost limitlessly. Her facebook page is the best way to contact her: Mary El Designs

Otherwise, pick what you like. Baby bags can get expensive QUICK, but set a budget for what you want and shop around. Prior to knowing about my pony bag, I was eying these to die for leather bags... until I saw the $400 price tag. I don't even buy purses that expensive, I wouldn't do it for something that's going to carry baby goods and in the future, toddler goods. I don't want juice in a $400 bag, but a small child will need juice. Pony bag will be much easier to clean, granted, I still hope we don't get juice spilled in it.

So that is my baby bag and this is what I packed...

Look at all that cuteness! We have here:

  • 2 Receiving Blankets
  • 2 Swaddling Blankets
  • 2 Newborn Onsies
  • 1 Set 3m Onsie with Pants
  • 1 Night Gown [0-6 months]
  • 1 Footie Jammy with Hat [for going home, size 3m]
  • 1 Pair Socks
  • 1 Pair Mittens
  • 1 Pair Slippers
  • A Set of Bows
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby Grooming Kit 
That's it! You'll notice I do not have diapers or wipes. The hospital will supply diapers and wipes during your stay, in my experience, it has always been pampers. So you do not need to bring any unless you are A.) Set on using a specific brand or B.) Cloth Diapering. I have no experience with cloth, except I do know that sometimes small babies don't fit them in the beginning. Just something to consider and plan for just in case.

Now, if I could go back and change anything, I would add to the bag. 
  1. More onsies! Our stay was a little longer than I would have liked, so extra onsies had to be picked up.
  2. More mittens! She had scratchy little nails and loved to run them all over her adorable little face, she needed all the mittens we could get.
That's actually it, that's the only stuff we needed more of, so not bad.

One little thing we had brought to us during our stay, were these swaddlers by Summer Infant. They're called SwaddleMe and I loved them so much. I had a hard time keeping the blankets tight on her, but these were so easy to put on her and kept her happy [Thank you, Grandpa!]. I was pretty sad when we outgrew them, mostly because she wanted to move and wiggle, so we stopped swaddling. 

That's my baby bag! Everyone is going to tell you different things you need and don't need, just go with your gut. Everyone has different experiences, different needs. I took pretty much the bare bones because I did not want to haul a bunch of stuff to and from the hospital. I'm simple, I like to keep it simple.

I'll tell you all about Little Miss' arrival soon, as she was as stubborn as I predicted, oh the fun!

- Amanda 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

What's In My Bag? The Hospital Bag

Hi there!

Still pregnant over here, I mean, we're barely tapping 38 weeks but I feel so very pregnant. The good news? My body is doing all kinds of not so beautiful things over the past few days that lead me to believe we are close!

But at the same time, she can stay snug in there for a few more weeks if she wants. It's all about a healthy baby, no matter how done I am with being pregnant.

I've been having an increase in contractions so I decided it was probably time I packed up my hospital bag.

I like to wait until the last minute on important things like this.

While, I knew most of what I wanted to take, I took time to peruse the internets and pinterest to see if there was anything clever I hadn't thought of.

A few blogs reminded me of little things I forgot while others just blew me away. How much stuff do you need to have a baby!?

With my first, well, I said I like to wait until last minute. I just threw things into the bag before running to the hospital. Big mistake, I didn't grab a brush or make-up, while I could shower, I still felt messy the whole time. It's not important stuff, but after having the baby, it would have made me feel tons better to put on some mascara and brush my hair.

So I'm still a simple lady, my list is simple, the things I packed are simple. My bag is half empty and I'm planning to stay in the hospital for a few days! I can't pack this light to stay overnight at my Grandma's... mostly because that requires outfits and planning. This is all about comfort.

There is no right or wrong list, some of us just desire more or less than others.

Here is my simple bag:

Above we have my basic necessities and needs for the hospital.

Pictured are...

  • My Robe - Mostly incase I have to get up and walk around in that backless hospital gown
  • A Large Pajama shirt for after birth. Some women choose a gown, I just wanted a big, oversized comfy shirt.
  • Yoga pants, a t-shirt and flip flops for going home [I'll also take my tennis shoes if I feel up to it]
  • Maternity dress just incase I don't want to wear pants
  • Socks
  • Glasses [all my solution and such for contacts is in the make-up bag]
  • Phone and charger
  • Cheap Toiletries
  • Make-Up Bag so I can feel nice after birthing a baby, 
  • Face wash and lotions
  • Headbands and Ponytails for before, during and after birth
  • Boob care, nursing pads and sweet lanolin to relieve the itching and aching [get these even if you don't want/plan on breastfeeding, you'll still need them]
  • Embarrassingly large maxi pads for the after birth [If you're having your first baby, then warning! You get a gross, heavy, period like time after birth while your body clears everything out]
  • Any and all prescriptions or vitamins, like prenatals. I have to take iron and vitamin c because I'm anemic. 
Not pictured...
  • DERMOPLAST pain relieving spray. The hospital should give you some, but after pushing a baby out of your nethers, this is so relieving.
  • Granny panties [or those gross ones for THAT time of the month], I kept mine out of sight because ew.
  • A comfy bra or nursing bra - Choose something WITHOUT an underwire, your breasts swell, you swell and a wire is really uncomfortable. I, personally, just chose a comfy, non-restrictive sports bra [the kind for girls with small/no boobs] for comfort. And it stretches to breastfeed, so it's an all around win for me.
  • Camera, if you have one [make sure it's charged and has an empty card!]
  • Pregnancy Pillow, some people prefer a regular boppy pillow, but I like the big one I can squeeze the life out of
  • Snacks. You don't really need much, I'm packing a few snickers and a couple of clif bars. You're not suppose to eat during labor, so these are pick me ups after baby.
And that's it!

That is all I'm taking. My husband has been instructed to pack himself a bag, though we live close enough to the hospital, he'd probably rather come home to shower and change. But I'll make sure he has pajamas and a change of clean everything, because I love him.

Also, it's thoughtful to get a roll of quarters for the vending machines so your spouse/partner/child/parent can easily get a snack from the vending machines if needed. Or for you, you'll be hungry.

I suggest browsing around and checking different lists, mine may actually be too much for some Momma's or not nearly enough for others.

DO consider that your hospital visit may be prolonged if you have a c-section or baby has any complications. I was there for 5 days because I induced, the first time failed and my water broke in the middle of the second attempt. And then my son had jaundice, so we stayed while he was treated.

Good luck!

- Amanda

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bump and Baby Update: Week 36 and Final Bump Photos

So here it is, I've reached that point where I just can't pregnant anymore. I have to, but doing anything more than being awake and taking care of the day to day is beyond me.

These are my last maternity photos because I just will never be able to muster up the energy to do more. I can hardly sleep at night, I spend the majority of the night tossing and turning, trying to find a way to sleep that doesn't make me ache.

Speaking of aches, well, everything aches.

My feet and calves are swollen.

I rotate between being super hungry and super nauseous.

I am ready for baby to make her way out, which I pray is much sooner than later.

I originally wanted to go to a local park I love and take outdoor maternity photos, but every weekend it was raining.

Heck, it was raining the day I took these and it's raining today!

I put off the photos for so long that the outfit I originally put on and loved no longer would work at my size. The baby belly is increasing size quickly and I'm running out of things that fit.

Thank goodness I bought a comfy black dress! It goes with everything.

So, after many failed attempts to get out and do my photos, I gave in and did them at home.

At least I finished up her room and got to use that for my backdrop.

My son is super eager to help, so while I set up the camera and took care of the settings, he actually took my pictures. I mean, he pushed the button.

I shared a different photo on instagram a few days ago, mentioning how much I loved the photos he snapped when I wasn't ready. Sure, many of them weren't any good, but I had a few where I was giggling because he's a silly kid and I love having those genuine moments captured. It's a little story I need to write down for him, so he can remember that he got to photography his pregnant Mom with his little sister in her tummy.

And, of course, we have pictures with brother. I've gone out of my way to make sure he knows that he's a big part in all this. Having a sibling doesn't make him any less important in our lives, it actually makes him more important. We have little talks all the time about how special he will be to sister and how much I need his help when she gets here.

I still can't convince him to change diapers though.

These are just a few of my favorites, see my full maternity album over on my flickr: HERE

So here is hoping that in the next week or two I will dilate beyond a one, my water will break and I can share the joy of my daughter's arrival.

Then we can talk about sleepless nights with a baby!

And about all the wonderful baby days, I so look forward to the baby days.

- Amanda

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Baby Maeve's Eclectic Nursery

I can't hardly believe I accomplished it, but I've completed the nursery.

I don't have a single room in my house done, yet I managed this.

I go in there everyday and just sit, soak in the baby's room while it's quite and chaos hasn't arrived yet.

I'm pretty excited to show it off, except for one thing...

The room is too tight for me to use my camera for full shots.

I need a wide angle lens, which I don't have... so I had to use my, gasp, phone.

I might try to borrow a lens from a friend later, but for now, I have phone photos. First world problems, right?

The good news, I could still get detail shots with my camera. It's a little reprieve.

We'll begin with the not so pretty photos.

The crib wall is my favorite part. We painted the wall a navy blue, my husband calls it blurple. It has a purple hue to it and everything just pops off of it. [The color is from Valspar, it's called Dark Night... or I call it Dark Knight because I'm a geek and Batman is my favorite hero.]

I picked the little gold triangles up off of etsy and most everything else I already had, maybe gave it a fresh coat of paint, but that's it. [The triangles came from Classy Clutter Designs]

On the other side of the room I have her changing area and storage. We have her books, toys, blankets and other necessities stored over there. And I put up a few hooks to hang clothing, towels or bags on, right now it's just clothes.

Next door is a glider I picked up from my Mom. I wanted to recover it, but it was more work than I really wanted to get into right now. So I just tossed a bright afghan on it and moved along, maybe another time.

And lastly there is her vanity, I hadn't actually planned on the vanity. My cousin had it in storage and offered it to me because she no longer had a place for it. It's a beautiful antique and while it doesn't "match" the decor, it goes with my eclectic style. I definitely could not say no.

That's the broad view of the room, so let's see all the cute details! A friend made her a scrapbook, ready to go when she gets here and has pictures to add. I love it, it's great for a person like me that never finished her son's book... yea. The cute little crochet crown and booties came from my Mom, it's adorable and I had to put it out.

I have baskets under the changing table with little necessities in them. One houses all her diapering needs like, well, diapers along with wipes, rash cream and extra onsies in case of emergency. The other holds blankets, bibs, burp cloths and soft little toys if need should arise while changing.

Other items stored are light blankets and wooden baby toys. I also saved a spot to put the diaper bag, you can't see it very well, but it's a custom "My Little Pony" diaper bag that a close friend made me. It deserves a post of it's own, which it will get!

Above the changing table I have custom artwork displayed, by custom I mean, a friend bought me a vector set and I put words in, ha. And printed them at Walgreen's. I'm fancy like that.

This one is, "The Cause of Great Joy" which is the meaning of her name. There are several meanings to her name, but this is the one that stuck out to me. Probably because her surprise really did bring us a lot of joy... after the initial shock and "how did this happen!?" wore off.

In case you're wondering, I know how it happened. It's just that I naturally kept it from happening for 5 years and according to my calender, it shouldn't have happened. But I had some mad baby fever, so that probably did it.

Her name, obviously. :)

And to finish off my little set, I wanted to add a scripture, something I can read to her [and myself] during our long nights and early mornings. I originally was trying to come up with something to focus on joy, when the old song just popped into my head: "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

And that's how I came about using this specific scripture. I can't think of anything more soothing to read to myself when I'm exhausted and to read to her as she grows. I'm sure, just like her brother, we'll find ourselves a few songs to sing every night... it just won't be Christmas songs this time around. [My son was born a week before Christmas, so we sing Silent Night year 'round]

On the very end I have a few horses, they're a small part to a larger set of vinyls, but at this time I couldn't figure out how to put it all in. Maybe when she's ready for a big girl room, she'll want more horses and we can put the rest up. This was a gift a friend ordered me, she knew I liked unicorns but couldn't find any. I fell in love with the horses once she showed them to me, they tie in with a few more horses in the room.

Over on the vanity I have a tiara bowl full of bows I made... because I misplaced the little gold hooks I planned to hang them on.

I found instructions on pinterest to make fabric bows with a glue gun... duh. I put it off because sewing would take so much time. Now in one sitting, I whipped out 14 bows! This is a great thing, really, considering we only had 6-7 hair bows before this and they were all hand me downs.

Sometimes I think I might fail at this girly thing because I can't even buy a darn bow.

On the wall next to the vanity, I hung this vintage 1930's baby dress my Mom picked up at an antique market. It's the most amazing, adorable yet delicate thing I have ever held. The tiny lace and itty bitty buttons astound me. I have it on display, but I assure you, she will wear it.

I also have the flower crown I made for the maternity pictures I haven't taken because it rains every weekend. I'm about to just do them in home just for the sake of doing them before she arrives.

Onto her crib wall and we begin with the furry rocking chair. It's not really a furry rocking chair, it's a wooden rocking chair decorated by a 5 year old boy. I wasn't sure where I was putting the faux sheep skin, tossed it to the side, he picked it up and took it straight to the chair. Now it looks like some awesome piece of swedish furniture or something, I feel trendy. Never underestimate what a 5 year old can come up with. I added the jackalope, he's a family joke but I find him adorable.

Her white crib is from Ikea, I wanted something simple and how low their cribs set was a bonus to short little me. I struggled with my son's crib due to my height, but I can easily reach into this one.

I have her quilt on the side, I haven't gotten around to presenting it either, but it'll be there. I don't keep much in the crib aside from a few of my little woodland animals. I'm aware that nothing can be in there when she moves in, so why fill it with fluffy pillows or something I'll have to re-home later? Because, most likely, extra crap would just end up in the floor!

Above her crib I hung her sequin chipboard letters and a tassel garland I made with the scraps left over from the vintage sheets used in her quilt. I love how it turned out, it ties in her little quilt without everything getting too matchy.

On the shelf to the left side of her crib I have a book her brother specifically wanted her to have [heart melting], little fox I made, the bronze bunny comes from my Mom, the rose there is my belt buckle from when I showed horses as a kid and the two horses are my Breyers, gifted to me by my Aunt when I was... 8? 9? Somewhere around there.

And on the opposite shelf I have a painting from her brother's baby room, cute birdy vase I intend to put faux flowers in, raccoon I made, a bronze birdy I thrifted and that fox is from Christmas... he was so cute I kept him out.

If you have really keen eyes, you can find a little bit of geekery hiding out. It wasn't visible in the picture at the beginning, but I put a little triforce in there because I just can't help myself. Every time I see it, I start humming the Zelda theme.

The last wall is where her closet is and I didn't see much sense in taking a picture of a door. But I put up a little garland and hung all the sweet little cards she has received. As well as a copy of her baby shower invitation, because it was so cute. I'll leave all that in place until her first birthday and then we'll swap it out for birthday cards!

On the other side I hung a Shakespeare quote I saved, its pretty common around on Pinterest but I loved it, so who cares. I made my own artwork, if that counts.

And lastly a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte that the internets has altered and made popular. Again, I loved it, so I don't care how popular it is.

My husband and I laughed after I put these up, because I call her sassy. She is, poke at my belly and she'll punch back. But her name has ties to female warriors as well, Maeve, a Queen in Irish Mythology that went to war for a prize bull, this making her fortune equal to her husbands. And her middle name, Lorraine, refers to the region of Lorraine [in France] where the warrior Joan of Arc was born. So she probably will be a bit feisty, but she's a little sister, she'll need it. And I seem to be encouraging it with my "warrior princess art."

That concludes the little tour of her room. Like I said, I'm a little shocked that I managed to get it done ahead of time. I never had the opportunity to put together a nursery for my son, it was just a crib and rocker. And even since we've owned this home, I have not completed a single room in the house!

Now the wait for the baby continues.

- Amanda