Monday, March 28, 2011

Tweet Baby Girl: Little Things

I've been meaning to post some pics of some projects I've been working on for the baby shower I'm hosting this weekend, but I've barely had time to stop and snap some pics.

Here's a sneak peek:

Banner to hang from the mantle.

Topiary Food Labels.

Custom Chocolates for the favor bags.

Favor Bags.

So much more to come, but it may have to wait for pics of the actual party. I've got a lot of little things to finish up this week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Details

You guys are awesome.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my "coming out" post. To old friends who offered their support as they always do, thank you. And to new friends who took the time to say, "Congrats!" and "I understand!", thank you, too.

I'm a really lucky girl.

I'm lucky for lots of reasons. I'm lucky to have a husband who truly cherishes our child. I'm lucky to have parents who absolutely adore their grandson. I'm lucky to have a fantastic support system (both online & in real life) to get me through times of uncertainty. And, I'm lucky that all of these people will be cheering me on along this new chapter in our life.

So, on to the details!

No. We weren't on birth control & we were not trying to get pregnant. I was still breastfeeding Liam (although not often enough to use this as a birth control method, I knew that) and my period had not returned since giving birth to him-- Actually, I haven't had my period since Nov 2009 & it looks like I probably won't get it for another year or so at least. We had discussed possibly trying for baby #2 when Liam was around a year old & because of the trouble we had the first time, I did not want to take any hormonal birth control that might mess up my cycles once they returned.

So, how did I find out I was pregnant?

Several weeks ago, my sister in law Barbara called. You might remember she was pregnant with Jack while I was pregnant with Liam. I couldn't get to the phone when she called, so she left a message. I have a feature on my phone that translates voicemail messages into texts. It's terrible and it gets 90% of the words wrong-- the one word it did understand was PREGNANT. I called her back immediately & she told me that my brother in law's vasectomy (done the day before) went well...but that it was a few weeks too late because just took a test and found out she's pregnant!

She was shocked. I was shocked. I tried to offer some encouraging words...I said things like, "This baby was meant to be!" & "It's a blessing in disguise." I asked her how she had suspected that she might be pregnant & she said that not only had her period been late but also she had been really hungry and her skin had been different.

I hung up the phone.

Then I thought about the whole carton of Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream I had eaten the week before (Samoas, mmmm) and how terrible my skin had looked. Still, I wrote it off. A few hours later, I just had this nagging feeling that I needed to put to rest, so I decided to take a test.

I didn't have any HPTs-- all I had were some left over OPKs, so I decided to take one of those. It turned positive immediately. The whole time we were trying to get pregnant, I NEVER ONCE saw that damn digital smiley face, yet there it was. I came out of the bathroom (probably white as a ghost) and told Rob. He said, "Don't you think that you're probably just ovulating? Aren't the chances better that you're ovulating than you're pregnant?" No. Since you only ovulate for about 24 hours in a cycle, the chances that I chose test on the exact day were pretty slim. There was about a 1/30 chance I was ovulating-- and about a 29/30 chance I was pregnant.

We already had plans to go to the park with Liam for a picnic, so we went ahead. I tried to put it out of my mind. We had a great time & even went out for ice cream after. On our drive home, I stopped at the drug store and picked up two boxes of tests. When we got home, I considered waiting until first thing the next morning, but I rationalized that I had four tests, so if it was negative, I'd just test again in the morning to confirm.

Oh, but it wasn't negative...See that line? It's faint, but it's there.

I texted the pic to Barb who called me and wanted me to get the digital to confirm. (Something I never did with Liam.) So, I did & this is what I saw:

Stunned. We didn't really say much in those first few moments. Then Rob said that while this was a surprise, it was ultimately great news. (He's had a great attitude about this!) I started crying, flooded with all kinds of emotions: happiness, guilt, excitement, fear. It was a lot to take in. Over the next few days I took 4 more tests to confirm.

Monday morning I called my ob/gyn and asked to be seen. They had me in for a beta which came back at 112. They then told me that they'd see me in a month for my first appointment.

Um, what?! I guess I got spoiled handling the beginning of my first pregnancy with our RE, who I adore... I know that this is their standard practice with ob patients, but it wasn't enough for me. I asked them to do another beta so that I could confirm my numbers were doubling. They refused! When I asked why, the nurse said that it was not necessary because I did not have a history of miscarriage. No, but I do have a history of infertility and anxiety!! I explained that I was having a hard enough time with this surprise pregnancy and that I really would like some reassurance that things are progressing normally (so far). Again, the nurse refused.

I hung up and called my RE. I explained that I was a former patient & that I had a surprise pregnancy. I told them that I wasn't happy with the care I was getting from my ob & asked if they'd do a beta. Their response? Of course! I went in that day for a second beta and the result was 193. I was a little worried about this number (my betas more than doubled with Liam) but the nurse said that as long as the numbers increased by at least 60%, they were fine. Anything over 175 would be acceptable-- she also mentioned that since the bloodwork was done in two different labs, there could be a slight discrepancy in the measurements.

When they called with the results, they scheduled an ultrasound for two weeks later-- hallelujah! Since my doc is only in on Mon & Tues, and two weeks would have fallen on a Thurs, we had to push it to the next Monday--so that's April 4th. Not as early as I'd hoped, but it's still a full week before my ob/gyn appointment.

So that's where we are...trying to wait patiently for April 4th. I'm staying really busy & it's helping keep my mind off of things. I have a baby shower for a friend's twin girls on Saturday & the baby shower I'm hosting is the next weekend. (I'll post some pics of projects soon.) Liam & work keep me busy enough that there's not a lot of idle time to wonder how things are going in there. I hope the little bean is growing perfectly!

Since I haven't had a period, I can't say for sure how far along I am until the ultrasound dates the pregnancy, but I believe I'm around 6 weeks now. I'm starting to feel tired & my stomach is staying pretty unhappy, but neither are as bad as they were when I was pregnant with Liam... Although, I may just not be far enough along yet to really feel it.

I'll keep you posted with any updates!
Thanks again, friends.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letters to Liam, 6 months

My Little Liam,

Happy Half Birthday! Has half a year really gone by? Our time with you has passed so quickly and it seems impossible that you are already six months old!

You are getting so big! At your six month appointment, you weighed 15 lbs, 2 oz & were 26 1/2 inches long. What a huge jump from where you were two months ago! A lot has changed in those two months.

I recently stopped breastfeeding you, which was a tough decision for me, but you don’t seem to care. You love your bottles & seem so happy and content now that you’re having formula. Although I really wanted to make it to a year, it didn’t work out that way. I wanted to see us both healthy & happy and switching to formula at this point was best for everyone. You can hold your own bottle & soon you’ll start using a sippy cup.

You’re eating EVERYTHING! In addition to rice cereal, you’ve had bananas, apples, pears, prunes, peaches, sweet potatoes, green beans & sweet peas. You open your mouth wide and reach for the spoon every time. Soon, you’ll be feeding yourself. You’ve been eating store bought organic baby food, but I just bought a baby food maker & I made your first batch of sweet potatoes this week! You loved them.

Last Friday, you got your first two teeth! I couldn’t believe they came in so early, but after a particularly fussy day, I felt your gums and there they were. You’re rolling from back to belly & you’re finally figuring out how to roll from belly to back. You’re getting so close to sitting up & when you play on your belly, you’re figured out how to bunch your knees under you and rock—I bet you’ll crawl early. It’s simply amazing, watching you grow.

We finally moved you into your crib! You did so great—it was much harder on me than it was on you, to let you go. Some nights I hate that you’re not sleeping soundly in your bassinet so close to me, but here’s a confession: Every night, I sneak into your room before I go to sleep and watch you—just to soak up these fleeting moments of your babyhood. I touch your hair, stroke your cheek, kiss your hand & I always tell you that you’re the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

Every day with you is more amazing than the one before & I know that the next 6 months will be as perfect as the last.

I love you, my little cupcake.


These pictures are getting more & more difficult to take as you get bigger! Often, our pics look like these:

or these!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joining the Club

In 2009, I paid my dues to the IF Club.
In 2010, I entered the Mommy Club.
In 2011, I might be joining a new club: 2 under 2.

Yes, you read that right—I’m pregnant.

I’ve hoarded this secret for about a week now—Unsure how to share the news. This was not expected. We were not trying. We’re going with the word “surprise,” rather than “accident.”

Considering that my son has not even reached his half birthday yet, you might be wondering how I’m feeling about this. The short answer is that it depends on the day (hour, minute, etc). The longer answer is a bit more complicated.

On one hand, I’m thrilled—another baby!! I feel so lucky that we didn’t struggle to get pregnant with the second. What a blessing! I hope that everything is healthy & that my pregnancy goes smoothly. I hope that Liam and this child will grow up and be the best of friends because of how close they will be in age. Although I can never imagine loving another child as much as I love Liam, I’ve been assured that I will. I believe it. I hope that the size of my heart will double & wrap itself around this new baby. We knew that we wanted more children, and although we had no intentions of it being any time soon, life had other plans for us.

On the other hand, I’m struggling terribly with this news. I feel like I haven’t fully recuperated from my pregnancy, labor and delivery with Liam that happened less than 6 months ago. I’m absolutely terrified of the idea of caring for a newborn and a 14 month old simultaneously. But worst of all, I’m crippled with guilt thinking about how this will take away from Liam’s babyhood. I think about how fiercely I love him—so much that I don’t want anything (even my own second child) to take this time with him away from me.

Do I understand how nasty those words might sound to someone who is still struggling to start their family? Of course I do. I haven’t forgotten where I came from. But this place is for me to work through where I am right now—which is planted firmly in the middle of a confusing/happy/shocking/ stressful miracle. I’ve nearly driven myself crazy over every ambivalent, negative or guilty thought that I’ve had over the past week… trying (with gritted teeth) to convince myself that I couldn’t be happier about this. And that feeling will come. I know it will.

But for now? The truth is pretty simple: I’m overwhelmed. As I imagine most people would be in this situation.

After lots of late night talks with Rob, sharing the news with a few other IF friends & taking comfort in my family, I’m starting to cut myself some slack & not judge myself for what I’m feeling. My pregnancy with Liam was the result of working with a fantastic doctor after much longing, stress & worry. I had years to prepare myself for the moment I saw those two pink lines. This time, I didn’t.

Moments of happiness and peace have come in waves & I cling to them to get me through these early moments of uncertainty. Our first ultrasound is coming up soon & it reminds me what a miracle it was to see Liam’s tiny heartbeat flickering away on the screen for the first time. How could we not be in awe of the wonder of a new life, if all is progressing well with this baby? It seems impossible that we won’t be attached from that moment on, regardless of the shock that we’re in now.

I look at Liam and think, “If I love the next baby HALF as much as I love him, we’re going to be just fine.”

And I know we will be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bathtime Giggles

Look at that belly-- He's getting so big!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Daily Dose

My parents love Liam so much that they can't stand being away from him, even for a day. Every time they go out of town, they request a daily picture of him-- so I send them an e-mail titled "The Daily Dose." (I get in BIG TROUBLE if I don't send one, right Dad?)

Here was today's "Daily Dose" of Liam:

He just makes me melt... Almost 6 months old & I still can't believe he's mine.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby Banana

Move over, Sophie. There's a new teether in town.

I had to post pics of Liam's new favorite-- the Baby Banana. Made of soft silicone, it has two little "peels" that he can easily hang onto and little nubs across the top of the "banana" that massage his gums. HE LOVES IT. It's a bit easier to hold onto than his other teethers and weighs practically nothing. Plus, the little monkey looks so cute eating it.

Totally appealing (hehe) to teethers-- we can't recommend it enough!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tweet Baby Girl: Invites

I'm one of those freaks who really loves baby showers. So many people hate them, especially in the IF community (and I can understand why!).

Even while we were battling our fertility struggles, I loved them. I'm not saying that it wasn't a painful reminder of what we so desperately wanted but did not have-- it was. I just love the excitement. I love dreaming up a gift that the mommy-to-be will want and need. I love making it personal. I love marveling at the miracle that this little being truly is.

There's just something about a baby shower that radiates hope. Hope that the baby will be healthy. Hope that the baby will arrive safely. Hope that the mother will know how to use all of the gear she receives. Hope that this child will bring so much joy to everyone's lives. And what a celebration!! Especially for someone who has struggled to get pregnant.

I volunteered to host a baby shower for a favorite cousin who is due at the end of May. We set the date of the shower for the first weekend in April and I've been planning since Christmas. Once we confirmed that the baby is a girl, I settled on a "Tweet Baby Girl" birdie theme (idea from this website)-- the timing couldn't be more perfect. Heading into Spring/Easter, birds, nests & eggs are popping up everywhere, making my decorating job a lot easier and tons of fun.

But the event wouldn't be mine unless I went totally overboard with the DIY projects, right? I've posted about a few projects here and there, and I can't wait to show everyone all of the details that I've been working on for the last few months! I will definitely post pics once the shower is over, but hope to post about some of the little details as I finish things up over the next few weeks.

I finished the invitations this weekend, printed and trimmed them & dropped them in the mail today!

The top is the address label for the guests & the bottom is my return address label on the back of the envelopes:

And, here is the invite:

I'm really happy with how they turned out and can't wait to incorporate this sweet little birdie into some of the party decorations! More to come!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet Memories: Swinging

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt

(Liam enjoying his very first ride in a swing!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Design on a Dime: Ideas

Our bedroom is in desperate need of a makeover.

Ever since I saw Katie's post about her fabric choice for her nursery, I haven't been able to get the whole yellow & gray combo out of my mind. It's a perfect gender neutral choice for a nursery, but it's also a sophisticated and chic option for grown ups.

We bought our King sized bed right before Liam was born, but we never bought any linens. We had a King sized quilt that we had used on our Queen sized bed (sans bedskirt) but it ended up getting used to help move furniture when we refinished the hardwood floors (Oh, wasn't that fun?) which resulted in some pretty large holes.

The master bedroom has been our bedroom, Liam's bedroom, the dining room and the playroom for almost 6 months. It hasn't been neat or put together in a long time. But as we transition Liam into his own room this weekend (Yes, we're finally doing it at 5 1/2 months, don't judge!) I'm really wanting to reclaim this space and make it a room that is relaxing and appealing. We need a change.

Ahhh, but the cost.

We have a baby. I'm only working about 11 hours a week. Our makeover is not going to come via shopping spree at Pottery Barn, West Elm or Williams-Sonoma Home. Instead, I've been scouring Etsy for ideas, DIY tutorials online & local discount home stores to see what I can find. I have some ideas for upcoming projects (upholstered headboard, custom bedskirt & curtains, refinishing a vintage chair & lamps) and I thought it would be fun to blog as I go, then reveal some before and after pics when we're done.

So, on with the updates!

Last week, we bought new linens-- I'd had my eye on several things at Garnet Hill, but they're just too expensive. Props to Target for having some great inexpensive alternatives!

The linens are now complete, other than getting a yellow throw to go at the foot of the bed to tie in the yellow pillows. I have my eye on this one from Pottery Barn-- just waiting for a sale & one of my mom's preferred customer reward certificates to help make it happen.

We've been searching for a paint color to go with the bedding:

After putting 10 swatches on the wall, I think we've settled on one!
(The bottom row, far right)

I'd like to make an upholstered headboard (like one of these), so I've ordered swatches of these two fabrics to see if either of them will work with the linens and paint we've picked. (REALLY hope the first one works.) Additionally, since the quilt doesn't quite cover our box springs (which are an awesome shade of mauve), I'd like to make a tailored box pleat bedskirt. After making Liam's, it should be easy.

That's our progress so far. Once we get the fabric swatches and make a decision if they will work, I hope to move forward with the painting-- maybe as early as this weekend! Also, I have some great lamps that were a steal on ebay on their way to me right now. They'll need a serious paint job but it will be worth it-- I'll be sure to post some before and after pics.

Hope you enjoy watching our bedroom transformation-- I know I will!