Saturday, June 27, 2015

The (Mostly) Finished Nursery

At this point, all I want is for this baby to show up. We've been ready for weeks to meet him and hold him and stare at him all day and love him. And now I've reached that point in pregnancy that I knew I would reach -- the time has come that I'm ready for him to learn to use his own body and no longer occupy mine. 

It has been an easy and (dare I say it?) enjoyable pregnancy, but ever since hitting 38 weeks, I've been ready to move on to the next phase of this journey. Plus, my feet are super puffy. 

So, while we wait on Baby Bear to make his much-anticipated arrival, here are some pictures of the nursery progress. 

Richard designed and measured and built and tweaked these shelving units until they were perfect. It makes the closet a much more usable space for the nursery rather than just having the previous closet set up of one closet bar and one shelf on top. 

I got those baskets on a great 50% off sale at Michael's, and you can't tell from the picture, but they're a nice, dark denim. I love that they're soft enough to not have sharp edges for when he's more mobile, but they're sturdy enough to hold their shape. They're currently holding extra diapers and wipes, a few things that we won't need until he's older, and so many blankets made and given to us with so much love! 

Seriously, the number of homemade blankets that we've received for him has warmed my heart so much! I can't wait to hold him in each blanket and tell him about the person who made it and how they've impacted my life and how much they love him. Homemade blankets make me tear up, y'all. (It's the blankets and not the hormones, I swear.)

And this is a blank, gray wall. Actually, it's where the mini gallery wall will go when I get around to filling in the frames, getting the missing frames that we still need, and actually putting all of those things up on the wall. It will happen. Some day. 

This is also the Ikea Malm dresser that used to be one half of our bedside table set (we've since replaced them with much, much smaller bedside tables). At the time that I painted the dressers, I freaked out and said that I hated the color because they looked like they belonged in a nursery for twin baby boys (since we have two of these dressers). Then I learned to like them, and I felt like the bronze hardware helped them out. 

And, now, I have a dresser that's the perfect color for a baby boy's nursery! 

We also got the Ikea Raskog cart, which I was so pleasantly surprised to find is now only $30! I've always known it as "that $50 cart from Ikea," so when I found it on their website for $29.99, I was so happy! 

Speaking of inexpensive and awesome things from Ikea, I was inspired by the nursery dresser organization of Chelsea, and so I bought two sets of the Skubb organizers and even had some left over after using them in all three drawers. Some people that have been impressed by the dresser drawers have asked how the organizers fit so perfectly in the drawers. And, well, it's really just because Ikea organizers are made to fit Ikea dressers. So, yeah. Nothing I did to make it fit so nicely. 

Top drawer (and a baby bump!): diapers (little, tiny, newborn ones right now!), wipes, diaper creams, sound machine, and some room for any other miscellaneous things that we find we'd like to have within close reach. 

Middle drawer: swaddling blankets (galore!), newborn onesies, some 0-3 month onesies, baby socks and hats, burp cloths. 

Bottom drawer: crib sheets, 3 month onesies, boppy cover, 0-3 month & 3 month onesies, 0-3 month pants (such tiny pants!), more burp cloths. 

And this is a combination of sweet thoughts from more people who love Bear already! The garland is wood burned and painted pennants made by Emmy (here's more of her awesome wood burnings!) for my baby shower. The art block is a Curly Girl Design and was a gift from my dear friend, Jessie. 

Between these two pieces and the soon-to-be-a-real-thing gallery wall, I feel like we've been able to add some color to the gray-tone room. Plus the baby blue dresser helps.  

Ready to pop! 39 weeks and counting! Come on, Baby Bear!

We still have a few things to get done in the nursery, but that shouldn't hold you back, Bear! We'll gladly welcome you to this world even if the window trim isn't painted yet! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Beginnings of the Nursery

I started this post way back when, and I guess it's time to finish it and post it now that this baby is almost here! So, here is the beginning of the nursery, the mountain accent wall. 

The finished wall! I love it!

Now that we've moved the guest room down the hall to craft room, we have an opened room for the nursery. This room, the smallest of the bedrooms, was always intended to be the nursery. When we first moved in two years ago, we decided that this room would be the eventual nursery and that we would tackle it last -- you know, with the idea that we would have the rest of the house "done" before we needed a nursery. Ha!

Then, once we knew Emmy would be moving in with us, we the first functional guest room would be occupied semi-permanently. So we outfitted a second guest room! But only barely. It was just all of the necessary furniture and function, no real design or aesthetic to speak of -- mostly because we knew that it would be the nursery before too long.  

Throughout the time that this room housed the second guest room, I never could really get started on any nursery ideas. Something about not having the blank walls or the empty room kept me from visualizing any possible outcomes. Or maybe I just thought it would be too much mental work and decided to wait for the clean slate of an empty room. Either way, the room now holds the assembled crib, the unassembled pack and play, half a closet of adorable baby clothes, a bookshelf full of kids books, and so much potential.

I have blank walls and a semi-empty room to work with! 

This is my best "before" photo which doesn't even show the room in it's original state of "guest room/catch all."

I originally thought that I wanted to do the nursery loosely Narnia-themed. I really like muted tones and soft colors, so I didn't want anything bright and over-the-top. And since we want this room to be the nursery for future kiddos, I didn't want anything too gender specific. 

I thought about doing an accent wall, but the ones that I was most drawn to were the wood plank walls. And we already have one of those, so I ruled that out. I liked the idea of an accent wall with wallpaper or stenciled designs, but I didn't really fall in love with any of them. I don't love murals because I feel like they're a lot of work that would need to be painted over down the line. Plus, they can feel really dated really quickly. 

Then I saw this picture on Pinterest. 

And I fell in love. Those mountains! Those grays! 

So Emmy and I took this wall as our inspiration and set to work. We free-handed the lines for the mountains, one layer at a time. We started on opposite sides of the wall and met in the middle so that each layer looked distinct. 

Then Emmy and our 16-year-old (very talented artist) cousin spent one Saturday painting the different layers. They started with a dark charcoal gray and a white and just mixed the two as they went along to achieve the different tones. 

The artists! I don't think they intended to match (in fact, I'm certain that they didn't plan that), but Go Tigers anyway! 

They made sure to paint a "swatch" of each of the shades that they mixed so that we could get a good color match for a gray for the remaining three walls. I was a little nervous that the gray still wouldn't be a good match, but it turned out great! I'll post pictures of the "finished" nursery soon. (I put "finished" in quotations because I don't think I'll ever get that room completely finished. This baby will be here before I get it completely done, and then, once he's here I don't think the trim paint or the other lurking final details will matter that much to me.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Maternity Photos

So, I know I've posted a bunch of my baby bump pictures over the weeks and months (I'm getting better at those mirror selfies!), but here are some real-deal maternity photos!

I never thought I would be one to get maternity pictures taken because I don't normally gravitate towards being in front of the camera (i.e. I'm pretty awkward with a lens pointed at me), BUT I did think I would probably want some newborn photos taken after Barrett is born. 

My friend Cecelia recommended her niece, Alex Tenser, to me as a great photographer. Alex does a package deal of maternity photos and a newborn session, so I thought I'd go for it. I thought it would give us a nice chance to get some professional photos of our growing family -- Richard, Lola, me, and this ever-growing baby bump!

Well, let me tell you, Alex works some magic! 

The day that we got photos was SUPER hot -- like 90+ degrees and what felt like 100% humidity. Seriously, I got out of the car and bangs were instantly stuck to my forehead -- perfect for photos, really. 

So, I was afraid that I would look profoundly sweaty and also that my discomfort from being anxious about looking sweaty would show. 

Nope. None of that. She did such a great job, and I really love how the pictures turned out. I feel like we look like ourselves, and we don't even look sweat-head or uncomfortable at all! Plus, she got some great shots with Lola looking at the camera. That sweet pup. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

May Baby Bump!

Guys, we are so close! It's a little bit hard to go back and post these pictures of the baby bump changes through May when I'm so focused on the month of June and Barrett's impending arrival! 

5/1/15 -- 31 weeks 4 days (Emerald Isle trip!)
5/2/15 -- 31 weeks 5 days (EI trip -- maternity tankini woohoo!)
5/4/15 -- 32 weeks
5/5/15 -- 32 weeks 1 day

I started the month of May in Emerald Isle where I got to visit for a few glorious days -- and I got to try out my maternity tankini! I also tried out the whole dig-a-hole-in-the-sand-so-you-can-lie-on-your-stomach trick, and that was surprisingly awesome. Worth going all the way to the beach. I seriously fell asleep immediately after lying down on the towel over the hole in the sand. 

During May, we've also managed to mostly finish up the nursery -- I'll post the in-progress pictures soon. 

5/6/15 -- 32 weeks 2 days
5/7/15 -- 32 weeks 3 days
5/8/15 -- 32 weeks 4 days (kayaking around the neighborhood lakes)
5/9/15 -- 32 weeks 5 days (Baby Shower #3 -- work friends!)

 And I got maternity pictures taken, and I love them! I'm not usually comfortable in front of the camera (having a mirror for selfies helps -- then I can see if I'm making a weird face or showing any double chin or things like that), AND the day that we chose for pictures was about 90 degrees in the evening and at least 100% humidity. So, my bangs instantly stuck to my forehead and the rest of my nicely straightened hair curled up in weird places. All that to say that I was afraid I would look a) very sweaty and/or b) uncomfortable from being afraid that I looked sweaty in all of the pictures. 

But Alex Tenser did an awesome job, and I love the way the pictures turned out. I'll post some pictures/link to her blog when the pictures are up. 

5/11/15 -- 33 weeks
5/13/15 -- 33 weeks 2 days
5/17/15 -- 33 weeks 6 days
5/19/15 -- 34 weeks 1 day (maternity photo shoot day!)

I've still been feeling pretty well, and it's still been a blessedly smooth pregnancy. I have welcomed more heartburn (fingers crossed for some hair on baby's head!) and a major increase in Braxton Hicks. Baby B has hiccups almost every day now, and he's moving around quite a bit even though he's running out of room in there. 

5/21/15 -- 34 weeks 3 days
5/23/15 -- 34 weeks 5 days
5/24/15 -- 34 weeks 6 days
5/26/15 -- 35 weeks 1 day
5/27/15 -- 35 weeks 2 days

Baby Bear will be here within a month!! His due date is this month, but we'll see if he listens and comes on time. I am SO excited to meet him and hold him in my arms and touch his tiny little nose and fingers and toes and ears and ohmygosh! Hurry up, baby Barrett! We love you so much already!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Craft Room in Progress

My beloved craft room is going to be a shared space now. Not that I didn't share it before -- everyone was always welcome! (Seriously, come do crafts with me!) But now it's going to function as another guest room since we will need the second guest room to become a nursery. 

Freshly painted and with everything shoved against the walls -- it's practically clean!

That was the plan all along, we just knew it would take some creative rearranging to make the space functional as both a bedroom and a craft room. So, in order to get a feel for the available space and where the various pieces of furniture would fit best, I measured the room and drew the layout to scale on some graph paper. Then I cut out to-scale shapes to correspond to each of the pieces of furniture that we would need to accommodate in that room. 

This way we were able to get a good feel for how the furniture layout would work. 

So professional and technical -- like everything we do. 

Richard wanted to go ahead and paint the walls while we were already going to be rearranging all of the furniture. So I picked one of the fourteen choices from the dining room, and we went with Behr Sage Tint. He painted the whole room in an afternoon, and I absolutely love it. There's so much light in that room, and that pale green just looks so good. 

Pre-paint and with lots of baby stuff spread out around the room -- we had to test out assembling the pack n play. 

Everything crammed into the middle of the room in preparation for painting

With the new, subtle paint color that I love!

So with freshly painted walls, Richard moved the guest room furniture to the craft room and set it up in two functional spaces. 

Oh yeah, and the finished window seats!

We have the bed in one area with plans to add a dresser that will double as a bedside table. And the rest of the room has the craft shelves and the futon still in usable areas. We also chose a spot for the TV that would be viewable both from the bed and futon which was a tiny bit tricky since the bed and futon are on opposite walls. Lastly, we have a space against the wall that leads into the hallway that will be my office area when we get around to it. 

There are still quite a few things to move around and get settled, but it's definitely on it's way to being a fully functional guest room AND craft room!