Friday, June 29, 2012

Home Tour: Kid's rooms!

Today at Kelly's Corner, we are showing our kid's rooms!

I've shared pictures of Grace's room before, but here are a few just in case you missed them. I really wanted something that would grow with her. Also, I love the look of murals but I have no artistic ability, so we chose to go with a decal from Etsy. We have had tons of people ask if it was hand painted!


My mom and I made the letters of her name using scrapbook paper and Modge Podge.

 My grandmother made the curtains and dust ruffle for us.

I am so happy with the way it turned out and I know that she won't just grow out of it in a year or two.

Now we're in the process of planning Connor's room. Currently, it is our guest room and it will need a total transformation before his arrival in the next 4 months. We are still in the initial planning phases but I will share a few of the ideas we have! We have decided to go with a puppy theme and my entire inspiration is based on this adorable rug:
The rug is an accessory of a bedding set that costs nearly $200. I will not be buying said bedding set because I am cheap and do not see the need to buy the set when we will not be using the comforter or the bumpers for safety reasons. So I found some fabric at Hobby Lobby that we will be using to make a crib skirt and valences for the windows.

I then found these adorable dog prints from Etsy that I just have to have to hang over his crib!


You can pick from a wide variety of dog breeds. We will of course be getting a Corgi and a Black Lab print, but I still need to decide on the others and the background colors.

Finally, I am on the hunt for a decal with his name to go over the changing table. This is my favorite so far but I'm not totally sold on it:
Obviously we would request boy colors, a different font, and no flower but I think it fits our concept well.

That's what I have planned so far. Of course it could all change tomorrow if I find something I like even more!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Operation Smile!

Recently, I heard about a great charity that really touched my heart called Operation Smile. Operation Smile changes children's lives by providing safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Here is a little more info about their organization:

"Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft — often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places these children are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a normal life. That's where they come in as an international charity providing much needed surgical services. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. As one of the most prominent children’s charities in the world and with a presence in over 60 countries, they are able to heal children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future."

How amazing is that??

With the current economy, we don't always have the funds to donate as much as I would like to amazing charities like this one. So I was excited to find out that a great company, CampusBookRentals, donates between 35% to 45% of every textbook rental to Operation Smile. I remember paying an insane amount of money for my college textbooks and I wish I would have known about renting textbooks online back then. For example, one of my library school textbooks, Foundations of Library and Information Science, can be rented from CampusBookRentals for $19. It's $65 on Amazon and I know for sure that I paid way more than that for it from my University bookstore. Of course, the bookstore only gives you $5 when you sell it back to them so why not save money and rent! 

By simply renting a textbook online, you are not only saving tons of money, you are helping make a huge difference in a child's life!


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 21 weeks

 BabyFetus Ticker

How far along? 21 weeks 4 days

Weight gain/loss: +5 lbs.

Feeling: Pregnant. My hips and back hurt. By the end of the day, I can barely walk. I'm exhausted. But I'm finally feeling pregnant and not just fat!

Maternity clothes? Yes.

Sleep: Not great. My hips hurt so bad that I'm only able to sleep on my left side.

Food cravings: Still Pizza Hut! My sweet tooth is finally starting to return after 5 months, I really have been wanting ice cream and doughnuts!

Gender: Boy!

Movement? Yep. He is way more active than Grace was. I had an anterior placenta with her so I barely felt her at all until the end. I feel him moving all day long and I can already see him moving from the outside.

What I miss? Being able to walk without pain at nights.

Best moment this week: Figuring out the theme for Connor's nursery!

What I'm looking forward to: 4th of July and my appointment next week.

Next Appointment: July 5th

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Home Tour: Our dining room!

I'm linking up today again to Kelly's Corner for her home tour! I love seeing people's houses and with all of the new visitors I got last time I linked up, obviously other people do to! This week we're sharing our dining rooms.

This is a combination of pictures from before we moved in and now.

This is our entry way showing where our dining room is. It is right off of our front door. I like that it is open to the rest of our living space, but that it still feels like it's own room. I love all of the windows in our dining room! Also, the light fixture in the dining room is my favorite in the house. Don't get me started on the horribly ugly one in the entry way!

Taken before we moved in
Finding a dining table that we liked was a challenge. The room is square and a rectangular table would have felt awkward. Finally we found a rectangular table with a fold out leaf that made it square at Nebraska Furniture Mart. We leave the leaf in all of the time to keep it square. We love it and it fits our style perfectly! 

Taken when we bought the table
The rest of these images are from today. Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary, so I got beautiful roses :) 

I love calla lilies, so when I saw this artwork at Kohls, I knew that I had to have it!



Sticking with the black and white theme in the dining room, I decided to print and frame some of my pictures that I took during my year studing in Europe. These frames include pictures from England, Scotland, France and Italy.


That's our dining room! Style wise, it's one of my favorite rooms in the house.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Muppets

Grace is obsessed with the Muppets. She sings and dances along. I was able to catch some of it on video this morning. Please ignore the large amount of toys strewn across the room.




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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Words, words, words

It's amazing to watch a toddler's mind develop. Lately, Grace has been picking up words very quickly and she has a few new ones each week. She watches our lips move and tries to repeat what we say. So far, her most consistant words are:

Dada, mama, dog, Doc, Bubba (Buddy,) ne (again,) ball, hi, bye bye, papa, duck, roar, meow, and bawk.

The last 3 are obviously sounds that animals make, she will do them when you ask her what sound a tiger, cat, or chicken make (most of the time.) If you ask her about any other animal, she will tell you they say meow. For a long time, all animals said roar according to her so we're making progress!

We are pretty sure that she has said other things including ma (grandma) and cup, but she doesn't repeat them often enough to be sure.

This week is the first time we've heard her start to put words together in phrases. She saw Mike for the first time several mornings ago and said "hi dada." She still babbles a lot and later that day was looking straight at Mike saying "babble babble babble dada, babble babble." She was very serious about it and was certainly trying to tell him something important.

Tonight she was eating her dinner and asked me "Bubba?" I couldn't quite understand her and asked what she wanted. She then pointed to Doc who was sitting on the other side of her chair and said "Doc" and then looked around and asked again "Bubba?" She was asking where Buddy was. The dogs always sit around her chair while she's eating hoping that she'll feed them. He was sitting under her chair so she couldn't see him. When I called him and she saw him, she happily continued eating.

It's great that she's learning to communicate with us. It's starting to make life easier and I've been trying to work on words like drink, eat, diaper, nap so that she can really tell me what she needs.

I've been trying to get her to talk on video, but of course as soon as I turn the camera on she starts whining and wanting to steal the video camera. So the best I could do for you today is a cute picture. I hope everyone is having a great week!

She loves her Elmo chair!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

20 weeks: half baked!



 BabyFetus Ticker



How far along? 20 weeks

Weight gain/loss: +3 lbs. Finally starting to gain weight.

Feeling: Grumpy. Most days are ok, but Grace decided to wake me up at 5:30 this morning and then I couldn't go back to sleep. My sciatic pain has started to improve some although I'm starting to wonder if I'm getting carpal tunnel, my hands keep falling asleep. I still have a day once a week or so where I'm nauseous. My hormones are going crazy making me an emotional mess. Poor Mike! I know I'm being crazy but I really can't help it.

Maternity clothes? Yes.

Sleep: Not great. It's hard to get comfortable.

Food cravings: Pizza Hut pan cheese pizza.I want some now!

Gender: Boy!

Movement? Yes. All the time! He is so active and he kicks hard. I think it's going to start getting uncomforable soon but I love it right now.

What I miss? Sleep and feeling in control of my emotions

Best moment this week: My good cardiologist report

What I'm looking forward to: Our "staycation" weekend coming up soon. It will be our first weekend away from Grace,

Next Appointment: July 5th

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Repeat c-section vs a VBAC

I had a cardiologist appointment today and am happy to report that my heart looks great. Everything is functioning normally!

Most of my appointment was spent talking to my doctor about the debate I've been having with myself over my impending delivery method. My high risk OB has said that she would leave the decision up to me. She is extremely pro VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean) and has even written articles against c-sections. She understands their necessity in some situations and agreed that it might be best for me, but she wanted me to discuss it with my cardiologist before making any decisions. I, of course, being the librarian that I am, have researched both methods to death. I know the risk factors and statistics of each. But I still couldn't fully decide which would be best.

A little quick background for new readers, in October of 2011, I experienced stress induced cardiomyapathy (also called Takotsubo or Broken Heart syndrome) during a standard lathroscopic gallbladder removal. My heart stopped functioning properly and my blood pressure plummeted to extremely dangerous levels. I was quickly stabilized and spent 2 days in the ICU. I am now fully recovered but am being closely monitored by a high risk OB. Read more info here if you are interested!

Fast forward to today. There is no info on Takotsubo and pregnancy. The research simply hasn't been done because it is so uncommon for people my age to be diagnosed with it. I will most likely be a published research study following Connor's birth! So my cardiologist, one of the only leading experts in Takotsubo in the world, is making his best educated guess. He believes my episode was caused by a combination of emotional stress, the death of a good friend and attending her funeral the night before, and physical stress, the surgery.

So we went through each procedure in regards to their stress levels. With a scheduled c-section I will be under the physical stress of surgery. I will be closely monitored by both anesthesiology and the cardiology departments. Emotionally, I will be worried about the surgery and it's risks.

With a VBAC, I will be under the physical stress of labor. My chances for a successful VBAC are about 60% due to my previous labor experience.  Emotionally, I will be worried about the small risk of uterine rupture. Mostly, I will be worried about a failed attempt and the possibilities of needing an emergency c-section. The idea of going through an entire day of labor again with a failed epidural and then needing a c-section again scares me a ton. Even worse is the thought of needing to be put under for an emergency c-section.

Overall, my cardiologist believes that the emotional stress is what generally causes Takotsubo incidents and thinks that a scheduled c-section is in my best interest. I am a worrier and not knowing what will happen with a VBAC will cause me more stress than I need. I can prepare myself mentally for a scheduled c-section and it will be over extremely quickly. I remember during my c-section with Grace asking the nurse when they were going to start and she smiled at me and said "honey, your baby is almost out" and sure enough Grace was born about a minute later. After Connor is born, I know that my stress will be out the window and I will be too focused on him to think about anything else.

So, a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks is the plan. Sorry if this was long, but I know many people struggle with this question. It is an extremely personal choice and I know not everyone will agree with mine. But we think it's the best decision for us! I can't wait to meet our little guy! 

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Monday, June 11, 2012

When did that happen?

I had a moment today. One that I'm sure every mother has at some point. I looked at Grace and realized that she is truly a toddler now. She's no longer my "baby." I don't know why it hit me so suddenly and I know that my pregnancy hormones are raging so it made me more upset than I expected it to. Luckily she still loves to cuddle with me, but she is definitely becoming her own little person. She's got such a big personality and I can see glimpses of what she will be like as a "big girl." I don't know why I wasn't prepared for this realization. I have been calling her a toddler for months, but now that we're preparing for Connor, I miss her being so tiny!

My girl at 6 days old:


And now at 16 months old:


 She was telling me all about the video camera I think. Here she is mid-"sentence."


Please tell me I'm not the only one who has had this moment. Also please reassure me that I'm not the only one who got emotional over it. I love my toddler, I really do. She's so much fun. But I can't help missing her newborn days.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gender Reveal!

Thursday was the magic day I had been waiting for for weeks, the day of our big ultrasound!

Mike met me at the doctor's office and we were quickly escorted into the ultrasound room. The tech asked if wanted to find out the gender and I answered  "yes!!" She laughed and I explained that we are not patient enough to wait! So she set to work. Of course, she started all of her measurements at the head and worked her way down. This ultrasound is called an "anatomy scan" for a reason. They measure everything and check for any possible problems. So these measurements take a while, I was going crazy just waiting for her to work her way down. It's always wonderful to see baby moving around and from the very beginning, baby was not cooperating. The tech had a hard time doing her measurements because baby was being so wiggly!

So finally, she got to the part that we wanted to see and it was as clear as day. Before the the tech could even finish writing her "I'm a ...." note on the screen, I knew!

It's a boy!
His profile

We're thrilled! We both come from families with an older sister and a younger brother. It just seems right. Our little family will be complete! He will be the first grandson on both sides.

His name will be Connor Michael. Don't ask me where the name came from, we've just always loved the name Connor. We agreed that it would be our boy's name from the time we got married.

He is measuring big, about a week and a half ahead but we still expect that my c-section will be scheduled for the end of October.

He gave the tech quite a job trying to get a good view of his heart, he refused to lay in the correct position and then kept putting his arm in the way. I think we have another stubborn child on our hands!

It feels more real now that we can call him Connor. October does not seem that far away. Although there is a lot less to do than there was with Grace, we still need to plan a nursery and get clothes for him.

I can't wait to meet our son!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Our kitchen!

Ok, do you want to hear my goal for next week? Get back to blogging on a normal basis! I have a huge announcement coming tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that!

Today I thought I would link up with http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/ where she is doing a great home tour link up! I love seeing people's houses!

We looked at over 70 houses before we bought ours  (we were picky) and saw a ton of different kinds of kitchens. The one we ended up with is not perfect. I would love to redo the counter tops and back splash and we will at some point be replacing the hardware. I don't like brass and we are slowly changing everything in our house over to brushed nickel.

I must admit that these pictures were taken before we moved in. It looks so pretty and clean!



We do not have a table there anymore. That's Grace's play area when I'm cooking.

I will be sharing more pictures of our house soon!

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