Max’s Room

It’s done.  Finally have things hanging on the walls, books on the new bookshelf (or on the floor in front of it), and toys in their respective places (spread across the floor).  It’s the one room I wanted to be completed first so Max would have a place to play and make a mess, without having to worry about getting lost amongst the boxes.

Let’s take at look at what I’ve done, shall we?You’ll remember that we painted the walls before moving in, the blue and the chalkboard.  The chalkboard wall is a big hit, if you can’t tell.  I’m so glad I chose the black chalkboard paint.

This chair.  I LOVE this chair.  It swivels and rocks.  I prefer it to the rocking chair, especially for those middle of the night feedings, I actually fall asleep in it.  It was in the basement, and Rob’s parents didn’t want it anymore so it became ours.

This room is a little bigger than his last room, and allows for much for play space for throwing toys and books and socks and clothes.

I hung a lot of the artwork above the changing table, where I thought it looked good, but it turns out to just be one more distraction and one more reason to not use the changing table anymore (That is in addition to the fact that diaper changes quickly turn into acrobatic displays of attempted base jumping and parkour).  I have a couple of crafty projects in mind for more artwork for here.

The two cross stitch pieces were made by my BFF Joy Bush.  You can, and should, check out her Etsy shop here!  The painting is the Mother’s Day gift from Rob, and the photo of Max and Rob on the wood plaque is my Father’s Day gift to Rob.  I took the photo of the M at the Portland Children’s Museum.  Rob constructed it at the giant Light Bright installation.  And of course there’s the Rob and Erin baby photos, where we’re posing similarly, and the photo of Max also in the same position.

The closet doors were ugly, and not very stable so I took ’em out.  The curtains are the brown ones from the living room at the old house.  I don’t think they’re permanent, but I can’t find anything else I’d like to put there.

The shelf above the bookcase houses the vintage lunch boxes we bought before Max was born, the vintage toys (the fire engine and Cookie Pig) Rob gave Max for Christmas, Rob’s old Ernie doll, the Precious Moments figurine that topped the cake at the shower my mom threw us.  You know, the ruin-able things.

We had to get an actual bookcase (a Billy Bookcase from Ikea) because his little library was growing quickly.  In fact he’s inherited my books from when I was a kid including some of my favorites There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos, my series of Pudgy Books, A handful of Roald Dahl books, and the Beatrix Potter collection of books.  Oh yeah, and my card collection, in that Lion King Trapper Keeper.  I totally collected Lion King, Ren & Stimpy, and Beavis and Butt-Head cards.

We did anchor it to the wall, and it’s a good thing we did, because he is already attempting to climb it.  This is the age where that helmet would come in really handy.

On top of the bookcase sits the frames my mom got us/Max with some of my favorite photos, and the little book my mom made of Max’s first week of life.  When I want to make myself cry I look at it.  The photo of Rob and Max was taken at Kenilworth Park by our old house when he was 8ish weeks old.  The photo of Max and myself was taken on our second wedding anniversary at the Kennedy School.  The photo on the cover of the little book is the picture Rob took on his phone right after Max was born and sent out to friends and family announcing his arrival.

My only issue with this room is that it gets pretty cold.  We’re not sure if the insulation has deteriorated, or if that’s something that can even happen, or if the heat vents are blocked up a little.  In an attempt to seal the heat in I purchased one of those plastic over the window kits from Home Depot.It was super easy to put on (as opposed to the  tinted window covering we used at the old house), but didn’t do what I had hoped it would.  It definitely stops the draft, but the room is still cold, especially at night.  Now, I know you’re thinking But what about poor Max?  Isn’t he cold?  No, he’s not.  Thankfully he is his father’s son, and the kid holds heat like an oven.  He’s always warm.  I check his fat face and hands throughout the night and they’re always warm.  Eventually we may look into new insulation for the room, but not before we cross off all the other possible causes first.

I had a lot of fun putting his room together.  I wanted it to be a space where he could spend his play time, and also be a room that will grow with him.  I mean, what kid doesn’t want walls he can draw on?

Nesting, nesting, nesting!

As the end draws near, I find myself doing more and more work to get this house ready for the baby.  Rob has been also been working really hard on the furniture, stripping and sanding it.  It’s taken three different types of paint stripper to get the stuff off because of the beveled spindles on the changing table and rocking chair.  After he strips the paint, I repaint which has been killing my back.  But that’s my own fault.  We still need to finish the rocking chair, but it’s too cold outside for the paint stripper to work properly and using that stuff indoors is a death sentence.

We bought the dresser probably a year ago at an estate sale, without a real use in mind.  We just liked it and the price was right.  It’s an antique, and a little beaten up but it looks pretty nice repainted.

The second drawer down is missing the bottom right corner.  Oh well.  We’d like to put something on that plaque on the second drawer, but can’t think of what.  Any ideas?  I would say his initials, but we don’t know what those are yet.

*Side note: I think the calibration on my computer is screwed up, because the walls are not as bright yellow as they appear on here to me, and the images look a lot better on my camera.

We bought the changing table and rocking chair from a family on Craigslist for $40.

I’m pretty pleased with the way it came out, and I’m eager to finish the rocking chair.

I also received the cloth diapers I ordered a few weeks back.

I bought a dozen of the bumGenius Elemental One-Size.  I did a lot of research into cloth diapering to see what was available and these seemed to make the most sense for a lot of reasons.  1) These can be used from birth until he’s out of diapers.  They have snaps on them that change the size of the diaper as the baby grows. 2) There are no inserts or plastic covers needed.  It’s all in one piece.  3) They had rave reviews from families who’ve used them.  I’ve actually used them on the kids I’ve babysat for-very easy.  I even got a sprayer that attaches to the toilet to remove the poop properly.  I also got a wet/dry zip bag to attach to the side of the changing table to put them in after being used.  I anticipate us using a mix of disposable and cloth, but if we can get into a cloth groove that’d be great!

In addition to repainting the furniture I’ve been putting things in their respective places.  I’ve gone through all the clothes we have, sorted them by size and put them away.  This kid has a lot of clothes already, especially newborn through 6 months.  He’s also got quite the shoe collection.  Not sure where I’m going to put those yet.  Still need to figure out the closet organization.  With doing all of this, I guess you could say I’m nesting.

Here’s last weeks obligatory belly shot:

It’s not until I look at the photos do I realize how big I am.  Looking down all the time, I underestimate just how large my belly is.

I’ve been feeling pretty OK the last couple of weeks.  Except my back is just killing me.  I want to high five any pregnant woman who has to work or take care of kids while feeling this pain.  The worst part is, there’s very little relief.  I get temporary relief when I do the stretches I’ve learned in our birth class, and acupuncture does help, but if I’ve done too much work in a day I suffer that night.  And let me tell you that taking Tylenol is so not the same as popping 4 Aleve.  It barely helps.  It will be nice to not be carrying around all the extra weight.  Speaking of extra weight, I weigh more than I ever have in my life, and rightfully so.  I think a part of me thought I would be worried about my weight while being pregnant, but I was excited when I hit 200.  It was a number I’ve never reached, so it was kind of like a milestone of sorts.  I’m not worried about getting back to pre-pregnancy weight after he’s born.  It’ll happen, or it won’t.  Whatevs.

This weekend we’ve got our second baby shower at my mom’s house.  We’re very eager for it because there will be a lot of people we don’t see often there including my cousin Kristin who lives in Las Vegas now, and Rob’s brother Chris and his wife Kristin and our nephew Asher.  I’m excited to see what my mom put together for us, and I know she is too.  I’ll be sure to fill you in with all the deets soon!

8 Weeks/55 days

Only 8 more weeks of you having to listen to me talk about being pregnant.  Then the real fun begins.

So I’ve been keeping busy around the house, nesting I suppose.  Last time I wrote the crib we got was not going to work.  We returned it, and got a new and blue one!

The other one was waaay too green (it actually showed up yellow in photos).  This blue is perfect.  After getting the crib set up, I managed to knock out some curtains.  I found two sets of vintage Sesame Street sheets on Ebay and snagged them for this purpose.  I bought some plain white panel curtains from Ikea and sewed the sheets to them.  I replaced the blinds as well, and both the new blinds and curtains are making the room considerably warmer.  I love how our original windows look, but they really offer no insulation.  This last weekend my mom took me to Babies R Us and bought the crib mattress (thanks mom!).  He officially will not be sleeping in a dresser drawer.

Rob dug out this sweet piece of awesomeness: the Disc-O-Kid.  The kid’s got his own record player as well as a few albums Rob has picked up at thrift stores and the bins.  I gave it a good clean up, it was pretty dingy, and looks as good as new.  The needle needs a little extra weight, but we can work with that.  When it plays, there’s a light that flashes on the reflective background like at a disco!  We’re gonna have a disco kid!

Rob’s also been picking up children’s books and even comic books for the boy.  It’s pretty sweet, and I can’t wait to see him read to the bebe.

I hit 31 weeks last Wednesday.  I also discovered that I had stretch marks.  I thought I was going to be in the clear, but noooooo.  They’re fairly small and are only on my lower belly.

Yesterday made 32 weeks.

I had my 32 week appointment today.  It was supposed to be on Tuesday, but my midwife was sick, and out for the week.  So today I met with another midwife.  She was older, and very attentive, which is a big reason why I chose to use midwives in general.  She did do an internal exam, yay!  (that is to be read sarcastically)  I went in with my list of things I’ve been experiencing, and questions I had and some of the aches and pains lead her to do an exam just for safety.  When she checked me all was fine, no dilation, and she said everything looked as it should.  Thankfully Rob was there to hold my hand because I get really anxious about vaginal exams.  The exam itself wasn’t too bad.  Really it’s just the medieval torture devices they use to perform the exam.  Hopefully, if you’re still reading this you don’t care knowing about my dilating cervix.  Just know that from now til I give birth I will not spare you any detail.  I don’t mind sharing if you don’t mind reading:)

The last 2-3 weeks I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure when I stand up and walk, and the urge to pee is constant.  For a while I had been feeling him up in my ribs, which is not pleasant, and suddenly all his movement is really low and on the sides.  I came to the conclusion that he had “dropped”, settled into the birthing position lower in my pelvis.  I got my confirmation today when she felt around the outside of my belly that he is in fact head down and she said she “can feel little appendages”, hands, in my lower abdomen on the left and she felt his backside along my right side.  His heart rate was good, and my belly is measuring right on track*.  Before we left we scheduled the 3 remaining appointments up until my due date.  At the next appointment the run a test for Group B Strep, wherein a large Q-Tip swabs the inside of the vagina and another in the anus.  Don’t you guys feel like our relationship has gone to the next level?  I’m reeeeeally looking forward to that.  To make up for that, we do get to see the baby again on ultrasound at the next appointment to make sure he’s still head down, and if he’s not, they drug me up and somehow turn him.

Our Bradley class is going well.  This week we went over the labor process and discussed different options and obstacles we may encounter during it.

*A quick note on my belly: When people remark on how “small” they think I’m measuring, I want to tell them to fuck off.  Excuse the language, please.  I’ve had a handful of people say this to me, people who’ve had kids and people who haven’t.  I know that sounds harsh, but it is very difficult to want to be nice to people who like to give unsolicited advice on my pregnancy.  You are not my doctor.  Every woman is different, carries her pregnancy differently and has a different experience all together.  If I want your advice or opinion on how big or small I’m measuring, I’ll ask.

Besides all this pregnancy stuff I really don’t have much going on in my life.  Oh wait, I am going to see comedian Marc Maron tonight!  That’s exciting and not baby or pregnancy related.  I’ve been watching Rob attempt to beat the very last level in Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Perfect Run in the Grandmaster Galaxy.  I gave up on that game when I couldn’t for the life of me get past a level.  I forget how far I got.  But watching Rob play this level is just as intense as playing it.  I just watched season 4 of 30 Rock on dvd, that was nice.  I’m on season 2 of Roseanne and that’s going great.  I’ve also been enjoying watching my pals play dodgeball.  I miss playing dodgeball, but I’ll return to the team one day!  I think that’s all I’ve got for now.  Until next time!

Let the countdown begin…

Rob and I just returned from our 2nd birthing class.  We are taking classes on the Bradley Method, husband coached childbirth.  Last week we kind of went over what the class was about, learned some relaxation techniques and discussed things that some of us our experiencing or will experience.  I am the 2nd farthest along in the class, everyone else is due April, May or even June.

Anytime the teacher asked if anyone had experienced what she was talking about or new answers to questions I chimed in.  I was the girl that I hate.  The know it all.  I told Rob after we left that I felt like the teacher’s pet cause I knew everything.  I like to think I’ve educated myself pretty well on pregnancy and childbirth.  I don’t understand really how one couldn’t.  We received handouts on diet, which should be high in protein according to the Bradley Method.  Score!  My diet is full of protein.  We also received handouts on things like perennial massage to help prevent tearing (Wooooo!) and a workbook with all the lessons we’ll be going over each week.  We also signed up to bring a snack for the 2nd class (tonight).  The teacher created a snack sign up list and gave a theme for each week, and the first weeks theme was eggs.  Naturally, we signed up for that one.  We met and chatted with the other couples, there are 5 more, and of course had a little ice breaking activity to get to know each other.  After last weeks class I felt really confident in our decision to take it.  I think Rob is going to be an amazing coach.

Last Wednesday I hit the 30 week mark.

My face looks ridiculous in this picture.

I’m starting to feel more “pregnant”.  I’m huffing and puffing with every step I take, especially going up and down stairs.  I’m peeing like crazy.  Putting on socks and shoes, and hell even my pants, is becoming a chore.  I’ve never been good at sleeping, as Rob puts it, but now my sleep schedule is so off I can’t remember the last time I got a real full night’s sleep.  Which is ok because I feel like this is just preparing me for the lack of sleep that is to come.  It would be nice, though, to have one night where I can sleep for 3-4 hours straight without having to wake up  to roll over.  My back is almost always hurting, and there is frequently a fist or foot (I can’t tell) scraping my ribs from the inside.  Aaaand y feet are swelling.  Only a little but thankfully my mom got me compression socks which are helping (thanks mom!)  I know it sounds like I’m complaining a whole lot, and I am, but I certainly wouldn’t change a thing.  I know in a couple of months these physical aches and pains will be replaced by new ones and I’ll have an outside baby!  I just can’t believe how much I’ve slowed down in the last couple of weeks.  I am that slow walking girl I hate getting stuck behind at the store, but that’s how goes.

Yesterday my mom took me to Ikea where she bought our crib (yay!).  My mom is a very aggressive walker, as am I normally.  I must get it from her.  But she definitely had to take it down a couple notches yesterday so I could keep up.  And Ikea was so incredibly crowded we couldn’t walk at a normal pace even if we wanted to.

So mom got us our crib, which we are so thankful for (thanks mom!).  Rob and I began to assemble it last night and pretty much within 5 minutes we realized that we had a dud of crib.  You know how Ikea furniture is pretty foolproof and comes with all the holes drilled for you?  Well, one of those holes, on just one on one of the rails, was about two centimeters too high.  We tried flipping it upside down, attaching it to the other side and whatever else we could think of.  It wasn’t going to happen.  So now we have to bring it back.  Boooooo!  This next one better be right dammit.  I’m in major nesting mode and I want to get some shit done.  We’ll take it back and hopefully get one with no issues.

Tonight was our 2nd class.  Rob and I brought this weeks snack based on eggs.  We made a breakfast quiche with bacon, sausage and cheese, and Rob made his deviled eggs.  Of course we used our chicken’s eggs for both.  Both were a big hit and we brought home no left overs!  This class we had three couples and there new babies from the last class come and tell their natural birth stories.  It was nice to hear each couple’s experience and how the pain was different for each woman and each woman had her own relaxation technique.  It definitely made me realize even more how this whole entire process, pregnancy and birth, really is different for each woman.

One or two of the women had music playing during labor and delivery, which is something I think I’d like to have.  At least right now I think I might like it, in the middle of labor it could very well be the last thing I want.  the other day I compiled a playlist of songs to play during L&D.  At first I was thinking maybe I should have a relaxing playlist.  That thought lasted for all of two seconds.  I don’t listen to relaxing music.  I couldn’t find one album in my iTunes library that could be considered “relaxing”.  So, I just put all my favorite songs on this list.  It’s over 8 hours long, which is good because first timers usually go for that or longer, and it has everything from The Rolling Stones and She & Him to David Bowie and Sleater-Kinney to Elvis and Styx.  The playlist is called Delivery Room Rockout.  And that’s what I’ll be doing, rocking my baby out.  Now I’m really curious to see what song is playing when he’s born.  Will it be something sentimental like David Bowie’s Heroes, or Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Across the Universe?  Or will it be something awesome like Salt n Pepa’s Push It or Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones?  Oh the suspense!  Rob wants me to include Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping, but I don’t think so.  It’s one of those little inside jokes that we have, I think he even mentioned it in his vows.  Maybe I should.  I’m just not sure I want that to be the first song my son hears.

So now here I am 30 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  That’s only 9 weeks and 3 days until my due date.  I’m going to go and let that sink in for a bit.

The Home Stretch

Today marks my 27th week of pregnancy as well as the first day of the third trimester.  3.  More.  Months.

It’s so close.  So very, very close.  I get more and more excited every day.  Even the days when my sciatic nerve pain is at it’s worst.  I’ve dealt with lower back pain since puberty due to my, uh, top heavy load.  But I have never in my life felt back pain like this.  I’m still going to acupuncture, which is helping tons, and yesterday I broke down and bought a maternity support belt.

Attractive right?  While it is a little bulky and causes my pants to slide down, it truly is a little piece of heaven.  I walked around shopping all day yesterday and I didn’t feel like dying by the end of the day.  The belt also is helping with some really awesome swelling I’ve had lately.  I’m even wearing compression socks.  Woo!  When I wear the belt it pushes my belly up so it sits like a shelf.  It’s also pretty constricting which makes the baby move a lot more.  Probably cause he doesn’t have all that extra room to squirm.

While I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy adventure I do try to sit and “reflect” I suppose on what my life has been like and what it’s going to be like.  But then I get easily distracted by something shiny and can’t remember 5 minutes later what I was thinking about.  It’s taken me nearly 5 hours to knock out this blog.  No joke.  Pregnancy brain is real people, and is not to be taken lightly.  I’m forgetting how to spell words, what day it is, and to brush my teeth.  Everything I had heard about this pregnancy brain I took with a grain of salt and thought it was just another made up something or other to throw on pregnant women.  I’ve never been so scatter brained in my life.  I sent out Christmas presents to Rob’s brother and his wife the other day that I forgot to wrap!  Oops.  Today I managed to schedule my next acupuncture appointment for the same exact day and time as my 28 week check up next week.  Luckily I caught it and rescheduled my acupuncture appointment before showing up to one and no the other.  This is apparently supposed to go away once the baby is here, but then there is something called “mommy brain”, and I will continue to believe that it doesn’t exist until I realize I have it.

I have my next appointment next week, but not with my midwife.  She’s out of town, so I’m seeing a male O.B.  I’m kind of curious to see how he does things.  The midwife did warn me that he will not sit and chit chat with us like she does.  He’ll basically measure me, check the heartbeat and ask if I’m having any issues and be on his way.  I also get to take the 1 hour glucose test which I mentioned in my last post.

This last weekend we painted the future nursery, currently serving as Katrina’s room while she’s in town.  It was Shauna’s room before this, and it was painted red.

Needless to say, we had to prime the room.  That actually went pretty fast.  Rob and I had that done in about an hour and a half.  That was Friday.  Saturday we had a little extra help from our friends.  A big, huge thank you to Katrina, Joy and Shauna, and I guess Mike too, even though all he did was come over and make coffee.  The room looks so fantastic.

Now, keep in mind that your computer monitor isn’t calibrated to match mine, so if it looks neon yellow just remember that I’m not that crazy.  It’s a pale-ish yellow.   I forget what it’s called though.

We’re going to paint the changing table, rocking chair and dresser we have brown, and accent the dresser drawers with blue.  The crib we’re getting is from Ikea.

I have a vision of what I want, and I can’t wait to make it happen!

Until next time…