Monday, May 31, 2010

The Nursery: Progress

Disclaimer: It's mortifying to post some of these pics, but you won't know how far we've come, unless you see where we've been!


Here are pictures of the room that will be the nursery-- it has been my sewing room/craft room/junk room/room with the door always shut and it's only gotten worse over the past few months, because baby stuff has been added into the mess. The more stuff that we tossed into this room, the more overwhelmed I felt about tackling it. (Please know that the rest of our house, while messy at times, never looks this bad!!)

Wow. It's horrible, I know.

So now, the AFTER-- Cleaned, scrubbed, painted, swept, rearranged and so much better. We have quite a bit more to do, but we're on our way--and even though we had to give up the whole holiday weekend, it was worth it.

We went with a light sage-ish green paint-- soothing.

Don't let this pic fool you-- the room is tiny.

Big empty wall, waiting for the crib-- picking up next weekend!

A small round nightstand will sit to the right of the chair & ottoman (which need to be cleaned).

Still needs a fresh coat of paint, but stocked changing table! Bottles, Tiny Gdiapers, Small Gdiapers, 400 inserts and a breastpump. Will eventually replace the clear boxes with cute storage containers-- baskets or canvas boxes.

One of our favorite little touches.

To Do

So, there's a lot left to do, but the rest of it feels fun-- getting the room cleaned and painted was the overwhelming part. Here are our remaining projects:

We're picking up our crib next weekend & putting it together on Father's Day weekend.

I need to sew our crib bedding. I picked out this rocket fabric that I love and will make our crib skirt and crib bumpers out of it. Planning on making a quilt to throw over the chair and if I get really ambitious, I'll attempt a fitted sheet. Otherwise, we'll just use green or white crib sheets.

We plan to install beadboard around the bottom half of the walls-- my dad has agreed to help with this when they move here later this summer. The wainscoting will be tall-- 4 feet high on top of our 5" baseboards, so it will be tall enough to come up behind the crib. (This is taller than your standard chair rail, of course.)

We need to install plantation shutters on the windows-- these are more expensive than blinds, but no cords = no safety hazards.

Then we'll add some fun accessories-- We bought this rocket lamp recently.
I'd like to replace the massive fan with something sleek, like this:

Still hunting for some other things-- like a mirror over the changing table, something behind the crib (monogram or wall quote) and a book rack on the wall next to the glider... but it's coming along and my hope is that it will be the perfect blend of a cute cottage style room with a few modern twists!

I'll update as things come together!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Itty Bitty Pics

I love photographs of babies. So, when it came time to try to check some things off our Before Baby To Do List, finding a good newborn photographer was one of the top things on my list.

I am so psyched that we were able to book a session with Stephanie Fisher who specializes in newborn photography and schedules her sessions 6-10 days after birth. I think her shots are precious and timeless and I can't wait to have some amazing of pictures of Liam when he's this tiny!

(All pics copyright Stephanie Fisher.)

I can't wait to use one the photos from our session on our birth announcement that we picked out from tiny*prints.

So much to look forward to!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Latest Obsession

I had a horrendous day at work today.

But, my latest obsession is cheering me up tonight. Last week in FL, I was introduced to Gymboree for the first time. I'm in love!! Their newborn collection is not huge, but the stuff they do have is so soft and sweet, I can't resist. After getting an e-mail about a Memorial Day Sale, I picked up another 3-6 month outfit for Liam, along with a 6-12 month outfit.

Later Gator reversible jacket, reversible pants & socks.

Little Peanut onesie, pants & bib:

The dangerous part? I spent enough money (both last week & this week) to earn Gymbucks where I get either $25 off a $50 purchase or $50 off a $100 purchase in July. The the bad news is that I'll probably use them, but the good news is that I'll save quite a bit on anything that we might need.

Just looking at these sweet clothes makes me so excited to meet the little boy who will be here in a few short months!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

24 Weeks!

24 weeks! I can't believe that there are only 16 more weeks to go... some days, that seems like years away, but most days, I'm in a panic, wondering how we'll ever be ready!

I've really put off starting on the nursery (and posting about it, too!) but we need to get on with it-- our crib arrived yesterday and the room is still a mess. So, over the long weekend, we'll do some major work cleaning, organizing and painting-- hopefully we'll be far enough along that Rob & my dad can put the crib together when my parents visit for Father's Day.

This week, baby is the size of a foot-long hot dog:

And looks like this (so cute!):
Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby isn't just sitting around (on your bladder) doing nothing, he's working hard preparing for life outside the womb—perfecting his lungs and packing on the pounds. He'll gain ½ pound this week alone.

Other highlights this week:

Things are starting to get a little crowded inside the old womb as baby grows bigger and bigger. Your ribs are probably pining away for the good old days when they didn't have a foot permanently lodged between them. Hate to break it to you, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Your baby's ears are fully functional now. And since they are, you may notice that loud noises and sudden movements can startle the little bugger. He's getting used to the everyday sounds inside the womb: the sound of your heart beating, your lungs inhaling and exhaling air, the growling of your stomach because your partner promised he'd be right back with that double cheeseburger and he's taking forever! He'll even be able to hear your voice when your partner finally arrives and you ask him where the bleep he's been! So talk nice!

Baby's got a fully developed inner ear now. This means his sense of balance is working and he can tell whether he's hanging upside down or right side up. He can also feel you moving, so go ahead, pop in your favorite tunes and boogie.

Your little Wiener schnitzel is about the length of a foot-long Chicago hot dog and weighs about 1 1/3 pounds."

24 Week Belly Pic

I promise to post pics of our progress this weekend!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I got home late last night from my girls' weekend in FL with my adorably pregnant sister in law, Barbara. We couldn't have had a better time! As you can see, the oil spill has not reached Destin:

The weather was perfect every single day and the water was crystal clear. We took walks on the beach:

We went out for dinner (Don't ever tell two pregnant women that you offer "All-You-Can-Eat" Crab Legs! We sat there for two hours and ate three buckets!):

And when I forgot to re-apply my SPF30 and ended up looking like this:

we went shopping at the outlet mall. Since we have quite a few baby outfits (like 10!) for 0-3 months, I started stocking up on some larger sizes to put away for later. It was so much fun to buy actual little clothes (instead of sleepers) for him. Liam now has outfits for next summer's beach trip!

We slept late and stayed up late. We laid by the pool, sipped (virgin) frozen drinks, went to the spa (massage & facial!) and ate ice cream every day. Thursday, as I laid perfectly still in the sunshine, I could feel Liam kicking (fairly hard) in my belly. Thoughtlessly, I laid my hand across my tummy and I felt a slight bump from the outside for the very first time. The next day, with my bathing suit tight against my tummy, I saw a slight shake when he kicked. It won't be long before those kicks get stronger and stronger-- what I can barely feel now, will become unmistakable in the next few weeks...

When I got home last night, Rob felt his son kick for the first time. Magical.

It was a fantastic trip and a much needed break. I feel relaxed and ready to face my last 5 weeks of work (post on that soon), then the final two months of preparing for the baby. This trip came at a wonderful time and I had so much fun hanging out with my sister in law, who I rarely get to see. The fact that our babies are due 9 days apart is really special, too-- I can't wait to add pics to Liam's baby book so I can show him his aunt Barbara and I, pregnant together.

Thanks for a great trip, Barb! Love you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

23 Weeks

Thank you, everyone, for your sweet comments on my last post-- it was tough to write and it's been a difficult week. We're doing ok and I know that things will get easier, but right now, it's just really sad. I'm just trying to focus on the happy things in our lives... Liam has been tap dancing in my belly all week. It still takes my breath away every time I feel it. On to the update!

This week baby is the size of a book:

And looks like this:

Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby's got a while to go before his lungs will be ready for air and is practicing his "breathing" on the amniotic fluid—sucking it in and out of his lungs.

Other highlights this week:

Fat production is in overdrive at this point (for the baby, not you! Well, OK, maybe for the baby and you). Your baby will basically double in weight over the next four weeks! You'll be happy to know the same won't apply to you.

Your Mini is starting to look more like a newborn as his skin becomes less see-through. His body is looking more proportional now, although his head is still kinda big compared to his cute little body.

Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book."

And, is it just me, or did the belly practically double in size this week? Woah.

Off to FL tomorrow for a vacation with my SIL! Two pregnant ladies enjoying the beach, soaking up the sun. I plan on drinking a lot of (virgin) pina coladas. Can't wait!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It really, really hurts.

This has been a really rough week, and while writing about it would be good for me, I haven't really felt like posting. I just couldn't do it. There are several things I need to post about, but I can only tackle one thing at a time.

We lost our beloved dog Tate this week.

Anyone who has a pet knows how difficult this is-- You adopt a shelter puppy, bring him home, and he becomes a part of your family. Much like a baby, once he comes, you can't remember what life was like without him.

I adopted Tate from a shelter in Charleston in 2005-- he was an adorable energetic mixed lab with black and white tuxedo coloring. I saw him and instantly fell in love, but walked away that day, wondering if I was ready for the responsibility. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't believe that I had walked out of there and left him behind-- I was desperate to bring him home with me. It was a Sunday and the shelter was closed, so first thing on Monday morning I went back and got him.

He was a difficult (but typical) puppy-- he took over a year to house train, chewed up all of my shoes and generally drove me crazy... but one look at that sweet face and all was always forgiven. He had a fantastic and sweet personality, and his small size made him seem like a new puppy, even when I'd had him for years.

Tate was a great companion-- the year I brought him home, I went through a particularly difficult breakup and he comforted me in every way. He was a reason to get out of bed in the morning (Take me out!) , he laid on the bed with me every night, and he was always ecstatic to see me walk through the door at the end of the day. I treated him like my baby--even throwing him a 1st birthday party, inviting all of my friends and their dogs for doggie cake and ice cream.

The next year, Tate and I moved into a new home and Rob came into our lives. While Tate loved the attention that Rob gave him, he wasn't so sure about him becoming a regular overnight guest. Accustomed to sleeping in my bedroom (on the floor usually, on the bed on special occasions) he wasn't thrilled when he was banished to the living room. He let us know by peeing on the floor directly outside of the bedroom, so that Rob (or I) would step in it first thing in the morning. Made me mad then, makes me smile now. Not to worry, Rob and Tate became fast friends and the three of us went everywhere together from the beach to the dog park.

A few months after Rob became a regular, we decided to add another family member. Tate loved his little sister and immediately the two became inseparable. Little did we know, that the little sister would grow to twice the size of her big brother.

The next year, the four of us moved to Alabama and into a new home. One day, Rob went to let the dogs back inside and screamed for me. We found Tate laying on the back deck, unable to stand, limbs rigid, mouth foaming, shaking uncontrollably. I had never seen anything like it and I was absolutely terrified. We wrapped him in a towel and when it was over a few minutes later, we took him to the emergency vet.

It was a seizure and there really wasn't much to be done. The vet told us that it could either be epilepsy or it could be something more serious. She told us that we could start running some very expensive tests like a CAT Scan, but she was very honest that even if they found something, the outcome would basically be the same. We talked about it and knew that if something was really wrong and there wasn't anything we could do, it would be best not to know. Tate was not in pain, not suffering and once he came out of the seizure he returned to his hyper self within minutes. And after all, there was still a good chance that the seizures would come and go, and Tate would lead an otherwise healthy long life.


That was two years ago. Tate had a seizure about every 2-3 months. Most were mild and lasted a few minutes. Each time, I would grab a towel or blanket, wrap his rigid little body in it and cradle him to me-- petting him, whispering to him and telling him that I loved him and it would be ok. He would come out of it a bit confused and tired, but otherwise fine and he let me hold him like a baby until he was ready to run.

Tuesday morning, I fed the dogs and left for work, patting Tate's head as I left, telling them both that I loved them and I'd see them that night. I went to work and afterwards, went to my swim class. I ran a few errands after that, getting another maternity suit for my beach trip with my SIL next week. It was around 9pm when I got home and when I opened the door to let the dogs in, Chloe came in right away. Tate did not.

I didn't think much of it at first-- I thought that he must have been interested in something in the yard and he'd be in soon. A few minutes passed. I stepped onto the deck and called his name into the dark yard. Nothing. I thought, maybe he'd gotten shut in a room in the house that morning. I checked our bedroom, downstairs, the guest room. Nothing. My stomach sank. I grabbed a flashlight and started scanning the yard, but I stopped myself before I got too far. Rob was out of town & I couldn't do it-- I couldn't be the one to find him.

I called my cousin and her husband who live down the street and asked them to come over. Together, they went into the yard and found him curled up next to a tree, already gone. In complete shock, I went into survival mode, helping them find something to put his body in so that he wouldn't be in the yard. The boxed him up and placed him in a utility closet beneath the house until Rob could get home Wednesday.

After they left, I lost it. While his condition certainly clued us in to the fact that something could be wrong, we were not prepared for this. I called Rob at his hotel, hysterical, and told him what had happened. We talked and I cried until 3am. I didn't go to work on Wednesday-- just cried off and on all day. Rob got home on Wednesday evening and took care of him. He took Tate out and looked over his body to make sure there were no wounds that we needed to know about (snake bite? dog fight?) but his tiny body was perfect. He buried him on the side of the house next to the puppy.

I'm sure people are wondering, after what happened with the puppy, do we believe that the dogs could have gotten into a fight? No. Not only did Tate not have a single mark on his body but Tate and Chloe have been brother and sister for three years and have always gotten along. Chloe would regularly clean Tate and lick his ears. They couldn't stand to be apart. If Rob took Tate on a quick run without Chloe , she would sit and the door and whine until they returned. If Tate went outside, Chloe followed. She followed him everywhere. So no, we know she didn't have anything to do with this.

We're left with a big hole in our lives right now. The house which was once full of energy seems uncomfortably quiet. When Chloe barks, there is a second bark that's missing. When I let her outside, I'm constantly listening for a scratch at the back door that never comes. There are two bowls for food out on the porch and two dog beds in the living room. I'm still finding his hair everywhere in our home and instead of annoying me, as it always has, it makes me tear up and miss him so much. Tate was a fantastic dog and we will miss him terribly. And although I'm sure we will eventually get Chloe a companion, he will never be replaced.


Tater-tot, we love you so much and cherish every moment you brought to our lives. You were our first baby boy and we will never forget you. Our hearts are hurting, missing you, but we know that you lived a happy life, and we were better people for knowing you. My sweet boy, you will live in our hearts forever.

Tate Peck

April 17, 2005 - May 11, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

22 Weeks!

So, I was prepared to write another post about a movement-less week, until yesterday, when all of the sudden...

I felt it.

I felt Liam move-- not the small flip flops and flutters that I've felt randomly throughout the past few weeks-- a real kick. A thump, thump that made me stop what I was doing, gasp, and touch my belly. It was awesome. I felt it two other times last night and once this morning. I can see my belly growing & I know that there's a little boy in there, but it still doesn't seem quite real. But now... Every time I feel that little thump, it's like Liam is saying, "Hi, Mommy!" It's overwhelming and amazing.

This week, he's the size of a stack of Oreos:

And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Your Mini's hands have grown bigger and stronger and the nerve endings in his fingers have developed his sense of touch. He's in there testing out his newfound abilities by touching his face and grabbing the umbilical cord.

Other cool developments:

You're already raising a little Einstein. Your baby's brain is developing at a clip this week and will continue to do so until he's five years old (so load up on the Omega 3)!

Baby's hair is now a short, bright white crop (Billy Idol, eat your heart out!). No matter what color it will end up—red, blonde, black—all babies' hair lacks pigment at this point.

Your baby has started growing taste buds and may be able to detect strong flavors in the amniotic fluid. If you could see inside, you might catch him sticking out his tongue for a taste and then grimacing, a sign that perhaps you should chill on the chili powder.

Your baby now weighs almost a pound and measures almost 11 inches from his head to his heel, which is how the Stretch Armstrong in your uterus will be measured from here on out. Up 'til now your baby's legs were curled tight up against his torso, so he was measured from his head to his bottom (or crown to rump) and not head to toe. This week your mini is about as long as a package of Oreos and as heavy as a large bag of tortilla chips. Who's hungry?" (Me! Always!)

I had my 22 week checkup this morning and everything looked great-- up one pound from my appointment last month, which officially puts me three pounds heavier than my lowest weight (-6 lbs), and three pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm happy that the weight gain is still holding off for now, but I know that one day (soon), that scale will creep up past the number I started with... and that will be ok. (I'm struggling with this a bit & it has nothing to do with vanity. I'm just very conscious of where I am, and I'm hopeful that the weight I gain during this pregnancy will be nothing more than what the baby needs.)

22 Week Belly Pic

Feeling great and can't wait to go to swim class tonight!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy (Almost) Mother's Day

Yesterday was my first unofficial Mother's Day. My parents were in town for the weekend and we all celebrated by going to brunch together. Rob gave me flowers and a card, and my parents gave me this adorable frame for the nursery!

My mom works at a super cute store that carries adorable frames, candles, stationary, Vera Bradley, and baby stuff (they sell my burp cloths and baby shoes!) among other things. She always orders the best custom frames from Elizabeth Ann for people as baby gifts-- When this one came in a few weeks ago, my mom quickly snagged it for me! It should look great in the nursery, which will be painted light green. Post coming soon about that-- but that green and white gingham fabric in the background is a sneak peek of our glider and ottoman.

I know that Mother's Day was a difficult day for many of you-- I thought of all of you yesterday and know how lucky I am to have something to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

21 Weeks!

Another week has passed and still no movement! It's driving me crazy that I haven't felt the little guy yet. I know it must be right around the corner, but it feels like the day will never come.

This week, baby is the size of a root beer bottle (How the heck can I not feel a root beer bottle moving around in my belly?!?):
And looks like this:

Baking Baby Blakely

"Chances are good you're feeling someone performing a round-off back handspring in your uterus by now. Is there any other feeling this cool? (Don't ask me!)

Other highlights this week:

By now your baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born. All his facial features are formed and hair is growing on his head. He's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck his thumb or yawn. Aww ...

Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. Ask for a listen at your next prenatal visit!

By 21 weeks, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news. The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.

Your baby now weighs between 10 and 11 ounces and is approximately 7 inches long—the size of a delicious, cold, frothy bottle of root beer. Float anyone?"

21 Week Belly Pic

And for your entertainment, Liam's growth spurts are leaving some lovely stretch marks across Mommy's tummy:

Oh well! I wasn't wearing any bikinis before and don't plan to after this. Speaking of bathing suits, today I throw on my maternity tankini and head to my first prenatal aquatics class. I'm a little nervous, but excited. I don't really want to get into a bathing suit (even in front of other pregnant ladies!) but I'm glad to get some exercise and I'm hoping to meet some ladies with a due date close to mine. I'll let everyone know how it goes!