Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a day of rest + the final countdown

Last night, or this morning really, I woke up at about 1am and just couldn't get back to sleep. I ended up being awake over two hours, and watching Juno from start to finish.

I had every intention of waking up at my normal time and trudging through the work day, using the exhaustion as practice for how I'll feel when baby comes. But I just couldn't do it. When the alarms went off this morning, it just wasn't happening. I emailed my boss that I was using one of the personal days I have saved for just this type of situation, and I picked the perfect day to stay home. It's cool enough outside to open the windows (my favorite, the birds are chirping, and I have plenty of food, fruit, and third trimester + raspberry leaf tea to keep me busy.

I also plan to use this day to tie up some final things on our baby to-do list. Some of our final outstanding items are:

1. Hanging the diaper bag hook in the laundry/craft room.

We have a very open floor plan on our first floor, so Will and I both go out of our way to make sure everything has a specific spot. If not, the whole house just starts to look cluttered. I picked up this hook from Anthropologie, and I think it will do nicely.

2. Calling UHC to figure out breast pump options.

Nowadays insurance covers electric breast pumps at no cost to the mothers. I was thrilled to hear this news, as I really didn't want to drop a few hundred dollars for something I may or may not use very often. I've got the prescription from my OB, now I just need to find out which pumps/stores are covered by my insurance, and we'll be in business. I also purchased a single, hand pump to keep in the diaper bag. I plan to use this for travel and emergency pumping situations.

I plan to exclusively breastfeed as long as possible, and hope to make it to at least six months. I also do not want to kid myself in thinking that I want to be tied to my baby 100% of the time. I already love Norah more than I thought humanly possibly, but being home that much just isn't for me. Enter pumping. I want to be able to leave bottles with babysitters, or have Will participate in bedtime, without me having to be present every time she's hungry.

3. Meal planning

I really need to sit down and plan a good 10-15 dinners to prep and freeze for after Norah is born. I get super anxious when I feel like we don't have decent dinner options and have to resort to fast food, and I do not want to be in that place when baby arrives.

My Mom will be staying with us about a week, so we are covered at least that long. She also is going to prep a ton of meals for us to freeze, so that will be a huge help. We'll also have Will's parents just down the road to help if we need dinner, but I want to be over prepared.

I know I will prepare a few pastas and soups, but I am really drawing a blank as far as what other meals freeze well. Any ideas/suggestions on what your go to freezer meals are are much appreciated!

4. Having the carseat checked out by the fire dept.

Our travel system. Obviously hasn't gotten much use yet, but we love it so far.

This one is pretty self explanatory. We installed it on Sunday, so just need to make sure it's done correctly. It's so weird driving around with a car seat in the back, but weird in the most awesome exciting way. I cannot believe I'll be toting her around sooner rather than later.

5. Final nursery order.

There is an adorable cross (below) that we want to order for Norah's room, so I will probably be pulling the trigger on that today. We actually have the same one in our room (but of a little boy, not girl) that Will has had since he was a baby. I also hope to find a mirror, and possibly one more shelf. Maybe some prints? We shall see!

And that's all she wrote. Here's to surprise days off during the week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Norah's Nursery Reveal

I've been planning this nursery since before I was even pregnant. When I found out we were expecting, I was really hoping for a girl, so my focus has always been pink and white. I knew right away I wanted those two colors in the mix, without being too pink. Once we found out we were definitely having a girl, it was game over. I still have a few finishing touches to add to the walls as far as decorations go, but I want to wait until we spend a little more time in the room to decide exactly what I want to add. Without further adieu, I present, the most wonderful room in our house.

First up, the closet. I am so thankful for walk in closets in all of our bedrooms. It really helps keep the rooms uncluttered.

flying pig decoration picked up from City Flea 

closet dividers - etsy

We may eventually add another row of racks below the high ones. I can see it being necessary as she gets older.

pink hanging storage - restoration hardware
chalkboard sticker labels - etsy

cubbies - old, possibly wal mart
pink baskets - babies r us 


Yes, we received TWO pair of Uggs for Norah at our showers. I love all the cuteness!

When it came to the crib, I basically knew what I wanted right away, before I even saw it in the store. Mostly white linen. Pale pink and gray accents. Something that would grow with her out of the infant stage, and allow me to change the sheets up yet still look good together. Nothing themed or too matchy matchy.

sleep sheep - gift
embroidered N pillow - gift
embroidered nGp pillow, bunny, sheets, quilt, bumper, bed skirt, mobile - pottery barn kids
crib - target

As far as the glider, this was something I kind of compromised on. I wanted something big and cushy. Unfortunately, the room just wasn't big enough. Or we didn't think it was at least, and I didn't want to risk having to exchange something that significant. Also, the gliders I liked were not cheap, and in case you didn't know, babies are expensive. I decided to go with this simple, wooden glider to save space and money. It turned out to be just the right size for the space, and super comfy.

extra quilt, giraffe, bird house shelves - pottery barn kids
glider - target
chandelier - ikea 

side table, picture frame - home goods
curtains - pottery barn kids

toy basket - pottery barn kids
dresser - ikea
ubbi diaper pail - amazon



This cubby system is probably my favorite piece in the room. From the moment I saw it online, I obsessed over it. Just had to have it. I chose the rest of the furniture in the room around this piece, and sacrificed my big comfy cozy glider so we could fit it nicely.

I know this is a piece that will grow with Norah, or another future member of our family for many years to come. I could also see it going into a craft area or play room down the road, and I am glad we got it.

nightlight on far wall - restoration hardware
cubby system - pottery barn kids


music box - pottery barn kids 

pacifier dish - home goods

headband holder - etsy
lamp, tooth fairy doll - pottery barn kids
pink frame - pomegranate and lime (local shop) 

trash can - pottery barn kids 

holly pup - not available

A lot of these items came from PBK, and I admit that was my go to store for most things, since I knew what kind of style I wanted. But I also tried to make sure we had plenty of little touches from boutiques, our nurseries as kids, my sister's nurseries, etc, so the room would be special just for our girl.

I love the way it turned out, and I can't wait to spend countless hours here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

crunch time, a wedding, and other updates

As of Friday, I am 35 weeks into this pregnancy. For some reason, this seems like a really big milestone to me. Maybe because if you look on the calendar, it's just about a month off. Maybe because I'm just 2 weeks from being full term, so really it means we could be heading to the hospital sooner rather than later (though I know it could also be 6 more weeks). Maybe because this is when I start weekly OB appointments. I can't really be sure. All I know, is this is the first week it really seems like crunch time. Like "holy molly maybe I should stop wishing the days away".

These pictures are totally unrelated to this post, but I had to get them in. Crazy beautiful sky we had a week or so ago. Will managed to snap a few pics. 

Friday also held plenty of other exciting things for me. I found out my next door neighbor will be welcoming a  baby BOY this winter. I was pulling for a girl so Norah would have another neighborhood bff to add to the list, but a boy will do just as well :) I love all of our neighbors, including this couple and their 2 year old twin boys, and can't wait to raise the two newest additions to the 'hood together.

Friday was also my best friends wedding. I've mentioned here before that a couple of my high school friends have made their way to Cincinnati for this chapter in our lives. I feel very lucky to have old friends around me, and even luckier that one of my best friends fell in love with a guy in the same circle of friends as Will, and now they are married. They met at the same bar we did (not on the same day- that would be just too weird), and live just a few miles up the road from us.

We kicked things off with the rehearsal the night before. Friday was spent getting ready, chatting with my closest friends, and celebrating the happy couple. As expected, the wedding was a blast and Julianne looked beautiful. I wish I could have celebrated a little harder, and it was a long day for this pregnant lady, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

 I will say that the bump really made it's presence known that day more than ever before. Changing in front of people, sitting on the floor, standing for long periods of time, and toting around tons of bags all day really was probably not my smartest idea. I didn't really attempt to take it easy, not wanting to do anything differently than any of the other girls, and it kicked my butt.

Like the maniac that I am, instead of resting on Saturday, I decided to make Will take me to Homearama. I look forward to this all summer long, and Will and I have gone together the past three years. The homes were beautiful, and I got in plenty more exercise. At this rate I think I may walk this baby right out of me. We were so famished afterwards that we decided to have dinner at Bravo, then get ice cream to take home from The Creamery. Both were delicious, and we crashed the moment we got home. 9:00pm Saturday night bed time, don't mind if I do.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get comfortable all night long. That combined with a pretty serious case of heartburn had me up on and off all night long. Luckily we had nothing on the calendar Sunday, so I was able to relax and get plenty done around the house.

And that my friends, was our jam packed weekend. Just a few days until my 36 week appt (it's scheduled for Thursday morning) when I should be checked for progress for the first time! I know this may lead to no news, or news that means nothing… but it could also lead to news that means something. So I'm still excited :) A couple of weeks till we're full term. And one month till Norah's due date. My to do list is still pretty long, and I know with work and baby classes and life- these days will fly by.

Here's to the home stretch!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

pregnancy update: 34 weeks

How far Along: 34 weeks and a few days. Less than 3 weeks until we’re full term, and less than 6 until the due date. I’ve felt like time was at a standstill lately, but these are finally some numbers I can get excited about.

Size of Baby: This is all over the boards. Somewhere around 18+ inches, and 5+ pounds. The size of a pineapple.

Crazy hair and sleepy eyes. But before work, I'm just lucky to have gotten a picture.

Gender: All girl.

Weight Gain: 35+ pounds? My doctor hasn’t brought up the fact that I still have over a month to go, and am already past the recommended weight gain. If they don’t have an issue, neither do I! I am starting to wonder where exactly all this weight is going. I know one place, and it rhymes with “class”. But the rest is all belly. Either I carry weight better than anyone in the world, or this baby is going to be huge.

Feeling: Excited. Achy, and pretty uncomfortable and fatigued. But mostly excited. I am so ready to meet her.

Maternity Clothes: That’s all I can fit, less a few random pieces I still squeeze myself into.

Nursery: All finished. I may add a few more wall decorations, but still on the fence about that. I plan to post about it next week!

Symptoms: Flat/protruding belly button. Aching back/neck/shoulders. Moderate to severe heartburn, depending on the day. Having to roll/expend way too much energy to get from laying to sitting or sitting to standing. Forget laying to standing.

Baby is still not head down (I don't think). I’m pretty sure she’s in a transverse (sideways) position. Doc doesn’t seem too worried about this either, for now. I am excited to see if she has flipped by my next appt. I was supposed to begin bi-weekly appointments as of 32 weeks, but they said I was doing so well I could hold off a week. That was very bitter sweet news! I go back again at week 35 (this Friday), then should be scheduled for weekly appointments (I hope), which I cannot wait for.

Sleep: I am waking up about once a night, but I can usually get back to bed pretty easily, so no complaints.

Cravings: Cereal, ice cream, peaches, and watermelon.

What I Miss: Being able to move. Being remotely comfortable. Like at all. Summertime adult beverages. It won’t be long now, so this is getting easier to cope with.

Best Moment This Week: Just being closer to full term has me pretty darn excited. Packing our hospital bags is also a close second. I’m so tired, it’s hard to get too excited about anything, but looking at her little clothes all packed away was definitely a special moment.

Looking Forward To: Being full term. Have I mentioned that? ;) Homearama + my best friend’s wedding this weekend.

Thankful For: My usual number one remains the same: health for me and the little monster. And a supportive husband. Also thankful the humidity has died down a bit (for now). It was a hot couple of weeks for this lady!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

one crazy week

Just a few things today.

Though I don't think the weeks could fly by fast enough for me at this point, the last few work days have seemed like they lasted 10 minutes to me! I certainly hope I'm not jinxing myself. It's so crazy to think that in approx 3-6 weeks, I will have a baby!

Tonight I am meeting up with a whole bunch of Cincinnati bloggers for dinner, and I can't wait. I love meeting new people, and can't wait to see so the other pregos of the bunch.

This week is one chalked full of excitement for us. Maybe a little too full, but what can ya do?! My refrigerator is empty due to literally no time to go to Kroger, but my calendar is full. Last night we had a breast feeding class at the hospital. Tonight is the above mentioned "blate". Tomorrow I have a hair cut after work. Thursday is a rehearsal for my best friends wedding (EEK!) and three of our mutual friends that are also in the wedding will be crashing at my house. Friday we interview a pediatrician, I have my 35 week appointment, get to find out the gender of my next door neighbor's baby who is due just a couple of months after me (fingers crossed for a GIRL- Norah needs another neighborhood bff), and last but certainly not least- the wedding.

That said, I have slacked on my bump updates and uploading pictures, but I hope to be back in the swing of things next week when things slow down just a bit. Maybe I'll actually post the nursery reveal!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

a day in the life

Linking up with Leslie today for a peek into my day.

6:15(ish) am: One of my 5 alarms go off.  I spend the 6:00am hour cuddled under the covers checking Instagram, Facebook, emails, and my pregnancy apps. All while Will and the dogs snore away. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

7:00am: Let the dogs outside, rush to get ready for work, and try to throw together some kind of breakfast, lunch, and snack to take to work. We have a pretty yummy cafeteria at my office, but it is also pretty expensive. If I can supplement what I buy there with some fruit, oatmeal, granola, and leftovers from dinner- it saves me a lot of dollars.

On this particular day, Will is traveling for work. So I am also responsible for prepping the basement/laundry room for the dogs, making sure they have food, and that the house is good and locked up for the day.

8:10am: Make it to the office, check emails, and prepare to hire the movers and shakers of the world. I work as a recruiting specialist in the corporate office of a material handling company. My coworkers are awesome and I am lucky to spend a lot of time at work laughing (sometimes because things are funny, sometimes because I am losing my mind) and enjoying my day. There is never a dull moment in recruiting.

12:00pm: Lunch with the ladies of the HR dept. We usually eat in the above mentioned cafeteria, and I look forward to this little break every day. Occasionally I work through lunch, or run errands. My office is about 25 minutes from our home, and there’s a whole different list of options for shopping in this area that I like to take advantage of from time to time.

5:00pm: Wrap up whatever I need to finish for the day, and prepare to brave the traffic to get home.

Normally I avoid after work errands at all costs, but on this day I have a 6:00pm pedicure appointment at the pregnancy spa down the road from my office thanks to my awesome husband. While I wait for the appointment I stop at Whole Foods for a slice of pizza and two mini pastries. They were absolutely delicious, and the perfect way to start my night of relaxation.

6:00pm: After work I let the dogs out, feed them dinner, check the mail, then decompress by sitting on the deck and catching up on blogs, social media, whatever it is. I also start dinner around now, and try to check off one thing from my to-do list. Dinner could be anything from frozen pizza or hamburger helper, to homemade pasta sauce or meatloaf or soup. Just depends on my mood. The to do list item might involve cleaning, prepping for the baby, or ordering one of the ten million little items we still need for the house.

8:00pm. After dinner I usually try to do something outside. Whether it’s go outside and chat with my next door neighbor, walk the neighborhood, or just spend more time on the deck. Fresh air is my best friend in the non winter months. If it’s raining or too humid, Will and I just hang on the couch until bed time.

10:00pm: I hit the sack (if I am lucky to make it this late). I’m not much of a napper, but when it comes to bed time- I don’t mess around.

And that’s all she wrote. We have an awesome weekend planned, so TGIF friends!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

awesome recipe alert: one skillet sausage pasta

I recently saw a recipe on Pinterest that looked amazing enough to actually try.

Unfortunately, the recipe I pinned was a broken link. Fortunately, I found a similar recipe via good old Google, and it did not disappoint. I followed this recipe from damndelicious.net to a T, except for a few minor details.

their version:

-I used shells instead of elbow macaroni
-Used mexican cheese blend as opposed to pepper jack
-My sausage was of the smoked turkey sausage variety.

I also could have probably lowered the cook time by a few minutes due to shells cooking a tiny bit faster than elbow macaroni.

my version:

All in all, it was a huge hit! This made enough for dinner for two, and plenty of left overs for two (smallish) lunches the next day. Even better, it only dirtied one pan, a few utensils, and a cutting board.

I already had two friends tell me on Instagram that they tried it because it looked so good, and the recipe was a hit in their homes as well. Enjoy!


1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 package smoked sausage, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Add garlic, onion, and sausage. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned. About 3-4 minutes.
3. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, milk and past.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and summer until pasta is cooked. About 12 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, July 7, 2014

list, to-do's, and random thoughts

To Do's

There are a few "major" things on my to do list before we hit the 37 week mark. I'm 33 weeks and a few days now, which basically means it's game time. The list includes:

-having the house cleaned
-having the carpets cleaned
-packing our hospital bags
-installing the carseat, and stopping by the fire station to make sure it's been done correctly
-writing thank you notes from my last two showers

Thanks to the long weekend I've already managed to wash all of Norah's clothes and bedding, make a "last minute essentials" trip to Babies R Us, and place an order from The Honest Company.

my little helper
Will assembled the swing and pack n' play, and I'm going to borrow a rock n' play from a neighbor to see if we want one or not. Things are really coming along!

Baby  Research

I've been trying to do all the research I can to prepare myself as much as possible to make Norah's first days, weeks, and even months home as smooth as possible. This research includes friends, relatives, books, blogs, and whoever else I can solicit an opinion from really. A few blogs that have give me a lot of perspective are:

Spot of Tea Designs

I've used these blogs to help my create everything from my hospital packing list to our "must" have baby products.

I've also been CRAZY about reading birth stories. I've leaned more toward specific bloggers birth stories, as I find blogs specifically dedicated to birth stories tend to be focused toward natural birth or home birth and I want a good mix of everything Plus I will be at the hospital, and there will be an epidural, so those don't really apply to me. Mama and Mou has a ton of birth stories from different bloggers and they have been a huge help in preparing me for what to expect.

Third Trimester Thoughts

It really is true that your body will start "practicing" for sleepless nights around the third trimester. I swear whether it's me having to go to the bathroom, Will coming to bed late, the dogs wanting my attention for something, or no good reason at all- I manage to get woken up at least once a night. I don't even fight it anymore, and honestly, I don't really mind. I know this is only a small taste of what's to come. I actually almost enjoy the extra quiet time to myself since my day time hours are filled with so much hustle and bustle.

God bless the husbands of pregnant women. Obviously being prego is no walk in the park, but I also doubt it's fun living with a woman who packs on 30 pounds, can barley control any of her bodily functions, is raging with hormones, and is overall a mental basket case for the better part of a year.

Not sure if this is just me or not, but all of this baby-baby-baby on the brain has me thinking about babies plural. I am in no huge rush to have other kid, but I also don't want my kids to be too far apart, and I know we want 2 or 3. I also know I don't want to have any children past my early 30's if I can help it. Obviously I will take them when I can get them, but this is just what I think is best for me and our family. We will see how this first one works out of course, but I'm already excited to see our little girl interact with a sibling. After my body gets a break.

That's all for now folks. Thank goodness for a relaxing, fun filled three day weekend, and here's to another week of the grind.

Happy Monday! Linking up with Amanda.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

For the time being...

I totally do not have it together. It's like all I can do to get out of bed in the morning and make it to work at a reasonable time, looking half way decent. I am so torn between being 110% over the moon about our little girl and summer time, and being 110% over everyone and everything and just wanting this kid out of me!

I hate to wish away the days, and I know patience and appreciation are what I need to focus on right now. But that doesn't mean it is easy to do. I am going to try to focus on appreciating each moment of this pregnancy, getting things in order at work for my replacement, and just enjoying Summer.

I can't promise there will be any interesting blog posts here any time soon, but I do plan to at least write about the following in the weeks to come:

Nursery reveal
A fun Cincinnati blogger meet up I'll be attending
Products that have helped me get through pregnancy
What I'll be packing in our hospital bags
A few more weekly bump updates

Wish me luck!
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