Wednesday, October 25, 2017

 Non-Toxic Ways to Clean Baby Toys

Today's post is a reader submission from Sophia at Tidy London Cleaning. As a new mom, I loved that she chose to share about healthier methods for keeping your baby toys clean and ready to go for your little ones! Take it away, Sophia!

When you are having a baby, your entire perspective of the world changes. Once you realize that your baby’s health is the most important thing, you will start to pay attention to many things that have never come to your mind before. I know that you are trying to provide only the best things for your child and toys are one of the best ways to spoil your little precious angel.

However, babies often love to put everything in their mouths and this is just a simple way for bacteria to enter your child’s body. This is why you must make sure that your baby’s toys are always clean and disinfected. If you are worried about harming your baby with harsh chemicals, I have the right green cleaning methods for you. If you use your own homemade cleaners for your baby’s toys then you won’t have to worry about any bacteria or toxic ingredients.

Plastic toys

Plastic toys always end up in your baby’s mouth and after that they lay on the floor for hours before he or she plays with them again. If you think of all the bacteria that can easily harm your child this way, you will definitely look for an easy way to quickly kill every germ.

We have many years of experience that show that the best and most toxic-free way to disinfect the plastic toys is to let them sit in a boiling water for about 5 minutes. After the time is up, remove them carefully and let them cool off. You can also wash the plastic toys in the dishwasher. Load them on the silverware rack and use the gentlest cycle to wash them. Once the washing is done, let them air dry.

Wood toys

Using water is not a good option for wooden toys as they can be easily damaged. This is why you can make your own DIY cleaning solution from one cup water and one cup distiled white vinegar. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray it on a clean cloth. Use the cloth to wipe the wood toys or any other hard toys, for that matter. This cheep green cleaner is a great way to get rid of any bacteria.

Stuffed Toys

Stuffed toys can be easily stained and bacteria and dust mites can be easily attached to some fabrics. However, this doesn’t matter to your baby. I am sure that your child has favourite stuffed toys which he or she will never let go. Most toys have a tag with instruction about how you should take care of them. However, if there is no tag there is a simple way to take care of most of your baby’s stuffed toys.

You can load all of the stuffed toys in the washing machine and use baking soda and white vinegar to wash them and disinfect them properly. If the fabric toys are heavily stained, you can sprinkle the spot with baking soda and add about half a cup of vinegar in the washing machine during the rinsing cycle.

There is no need to go overboard with the cleaning and turn into a clean freak when it comes to your baby’s toys. After all you can’t prevent every stain or germ from getting on the surface of the toys. Experts recommend to clean the toys which are more regularly used, otherwise known as the toys which stay in your bag with the baby’s essential items, once every week. If you use these homemade green methods to clean your baby’s toys you can be sure that it is protected from germs and it can play with his or her favourite toys anytime.

Tidy London Cleaning

Thanks Sophia! It's awesome to have some tips for cleaning Adaline's things without using too many chemicals around her little baby skin and lungs! If you're in the London area and need some cleaning services, be sure to check Sophia out. Until next time...

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Newborn Must Have Items

Newborn Must Have Items

My daughter turned 5 months old this week and is out of the newborn phase, but looking back there are a lot of things that I felt like were incredibly helpful that I might not have realized before she was born. I wanted to put together a list for you of the things that we used regularly when Adaline was first born. Stay tuned to the end for a couple baby pictures!

Muslin Swaddle SwaddleMe Halo Sleepsack

What I would tell you is to not go too crazy buying a bunch of one type of swaddle before baby is born. Buying one of a few types and then figuring out what works best for your baby is a better option. We enjoyed regular muslin swaddling blankets the first few weeks home from the hospital (she was 6 pounds and too tiny for the velcro kind yet!) and then later we really enjoyed the SwaddleMe ones, and the Halo brand. A great hack for the SwaddleMe is to put a burp cloth behind them and wrap their arms, and then swaddle normally. It prevents baby from being able to bring her arms forward and escape. Ha! The miracle swaddle has this feature built in, and doesn't have velcro. This makes it a bit less secure and made me a little nervous about excess fabric (our girl is a super flailer when she sleeps) but it wasn't really an issue and the lack of velcro meant that it was less likely to really wake her when we unswaddled to change her diaper. The features we enjoyed with these Halos were the zipper that you could unzip from the bottom (aka, change the diaper without undoing her arms and waking her) and the fact that you can choose to swaddle arms out when they start to roll and can't be swaddled anymore. Which brings up a point--once your babe can flip over to her tummy, it's no longer safe to swaddle as the restriction of her arms will prevent her from being able to get back to her back and causes a suffocation risk. Our girl started to roll at 3 months, and then it was bye-bye to all the other swaddles except the Halo--and we got her some Zippys as well. More on those in a later installment!

We have used gas drops more than gripe water, but both can be helpful when baby's have some indigestion and can't pass gas or poo without straining and fussing a lot. We don't give these super often, but if her tummy is hard and she seems to be pushing without much success, we'll give her some gas drops and she usually passes a big poo within a couple of hours and gets much happier. :)

Babies poop on everything. Isn't parenthood glamorous? We have a big red bucket under the sink in Adaline's bathroom, and when she poops on something we toss it in there, and then once it's got a few items I use some OxiClean and hot water, leave it for a couple of hours, and then drain and wash the items in the washer. Knock on wood, we haven't had anything stain yet!

If you're having your first baby, it can be intimidating to change regular onesies on such a tiny person, especially when they're doing the aforementioned pooing (and peeing) on everything at regular intervals. Our girl would wait until Daddy was changing her diaper before letting it all loose. He didn't have a lot of experience with babies and would get pretty frustrated. After a few days of this, I hopped online and ordered some of these kimono styles to change her more easily without having to maneuver her head too much.

When she wasn't in kimono tees, Adaline was in onesies with attached mitts. She would scratch up her little face pretty regularly otherwise--even with freshly trimmed nails it was hard to get her not to grab her little cheeks. I had a hard time finding kimono tees with mitts, or else we would have had those. The built in mitts were handy because, again, she was pretty small and the newborn mitts were too big for her and would fall off. Elastic socks worked better, but built in mitts on onesies worked the best. After a few weeks, she learned a bit more about her hands and we don't have this problem quite as often now so she's been mitt-free since about 7 weeks.
As a first time mom, I was surprised to realize how much breastfeeding needed to be learned, as opposed to feeling really natural. (More on this another time). Once I got a couple of nursing positions down (football and cross cradle are our faves) and learning exactly how to position pillows or a Boppy (I also ended up with a "My Breast Friend" that I keep at my in-laws for when I nurse her over there when I pick her up after work) I didn't want to mess with a system that worked. Babies don't have any head control and it's exhausting to hold them in the perfect position for 40 minutes without a pillow for support. I've done it a few times when necessary but I didn't love it. As she gained more head control and generally feels a bit less breakable now, it's not quite as important but still my preference to have a nursing pillow! Even if you're bottle-feeding, some extra support is handy.

Ladies. More breastfeeding talk. If you nurse your babe, your nips will be sore for the first several weeks and will continue to need extra moisturizing for the entirety of your breastfeeding journey. I tried several different things and found that, with the exception of the time period that I had a cracked nipple and required an antibiotic cream, coconut oil has worked the best for me. Plus I love that it's totally edible so it's okay that it's moisturized and absorbed into the skin that baby attaches to.

As promised, here are a couple of Adaline's newborn photos, as well as one taken in August when she was about 4 months old. We are loving being this adorable little girl's parents!

1st & 2nd pic C/O Ciana Cloud of Jeff Cloud Photography
3rd pic C/O Patricia Sandoz

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Favorites Lately

Favorites Lately

I actually wrote this post at the beginning of April, but then I had a baby and never published it! So take this all from a 9 month preggo standpoint. 

Big Little Lies (book)
This book got turned into a mini-series on HBO, but for those of you who don't have HBO or want to shell out for the app, just read the book! It's extremely intriguing and kept me hooked--in fact, I just went out and got two more books by the same author!

The Nightingale
This was a heart wrenching book about what it was like to be a citizen in France during World War II. Told from the perspective of two estranged sisters in very different situations but each with a surprising amount of strength. 

This is the glider we got for our nursery and I am in love, y'all. It looks great, it's super comfortable, and it has a good ottoman. Plus it wasn't thousands of dollars like the ones I kept seeing online. Aint nobody got time (or cash) for that!

I used a yoga ball at work throughout pregnancy for at least a couple of hours a day--it was really helpful for my hip and tailbone pain--and I bought one for labor/bouncing a sleepy baby as well. 

I LIVED in this tank for the last two months of my pregnancy. Super comfy. I have it in black and white, but it looks like it's only available in navy stripe, red stripe, or gray right now. Plus it's $5-$12 depending on what color you get!

This foundation looks great in photos, looks great when I'm dry or oily, when it's hot outside, over nearly all of my primers...basically it's one of my top picks all around for foundation!

I've been dealing with some redness and "mask of pregnancy" discoloration on my face, and this really helps correct that! I also enjoy the texture of it--smooth like a silicone but doesn't chunk up as easily under water based foundation as some silicone-y primers do. Also, can't beat $6!

This gives me a lot of length & drama, and my lashes need all the help they can get! Plus, it comes in a travel size, which I am all about when it comes to mascara. They usually last me three-six months, which is about when a full size dries up on me anyway, so why pay for the extra product if you don't get to use it?

Dried Mango
I mean, I am extremely pregnant. You didn't think we were going to make it through this list without a food item, right?

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adaline Kay: Birth Story

Adaline Kay's Birth Story

Welcoming Our Baby Girl!

It seems like it's been forever since I've been here on the blog! I took some (unintentional) time off after our little girl was born (although if you follow me on Instagram, I've been posting over there a ton!) I knew I'd slow down, but didn't quite realize exactly how the first few weeks with our newborn would go! Today she is two months old, which blows my mind. I'll go into more detail about some of the hurdles we're learning how to overcome in future posts, but today is all about our birth story!

Grab a snack--I was in labor for quite a while! This post will also contain a bit of oversharing. If you're not a fan or cervix checks or breastfeeding, time to sign off now. :) But I'm sure you're prepared for that--it is a birth story, after all!

(If you're catching up on our baby journey, you can see our pregnancy announcement here, and our 15 week bumpdate heregender reveal here 21 week bumpdate28 week bumpdate32 week bumpdate37 week bumpdate, Welcome Adaline Kay, or our office to nursery progress post here.  I also have a post on office maternity outfits if you'd like to check that out too!) 

April 18th

I'd been having some Braxton Hicks contractions late in the evening, but since I'd been having them since about 34 weeks and I was now at 40+2, they didn't seem out of the ordinary and I wasn't keeping track of their timing or frequency. I went to bed around 10 and Ricky came in around midnight. 

April 19

4:45 a.m: I woke up to a little "twinge" contraction. I felt like I needed to get up to pee, but when I moved, there was a trickle. Moved a little, trickle a little. I woke Ricky up and, surprisingly calmly, said "My water just broke. I think we're having a baby today."
Ricky said "Ok, ok, ok," a few times and then grabbed me a towel so I could get to the bathroom and change. Fortunately, I had put been putting puppy training pads under the sheets since about 35 weeks just in case my water broke at night. I was also keeping one in each of our cars, in case contractions started at home, to put under me on the way to the hospital. 

4:50 a.m: I got dressed in comfy black cotton pants, a sports bra & v-neck tee, and a zip up hoodie. I grabbed our hospital bags and pillow, boppy, and yoga ball and put them by the door, double checking to see if we had forgotten anything on the checklist. I know most people end up needing to pack their "everyday" stuff like a phone charger and toothbrush but I had gotten extra of those items so all we needed to do was grab the bags and go. (I had kind of assumed Ricky might be running around in panic mode and planned for that possibility. Fortunately, he kept it together surprisingly well!) Ricky got dressed, checked to make sure there were no dirty dishes and took out the trash. We grabbed our bags and phones and hit the road!

5:15 a.m: On the way to the hospital, I called my mom and let her know my water had broken and we were on our way in to the maternity ward. I was calm. She was calm. Ricky was calm. I thought it was weird, ha! This was a momentous, life changing, bodily-traumatic occasion! But then Ricky stopped for a green light and I realized how nervous he was, and it all seemed normal again to me. Mom & Dad live about 6 hours away, and I knew my mom would be helpful and supportive during labor.

5:33 a.m: We got checked into a labor and delivery room. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart still at that point. Ricky went back down after checking me in to move the car from the entrance to a parking garage. I had two nurses at this point, but Julie, a slightly gruff but clearly very experienced woman, was clearly the one in charge. She seemed like she knew what she was doing. 

5:37 a.m: I called my in-laws, Rick & Wendy, to let them know the show was on the road! I told them I didn't think it was happening very quickly, but I later found out they came and sat in the waiting room anyway, excited for their grandbaby! Ricky got back to the room and got out our Canon to take photos throughout labor. 

6:03 a.m.: The nurse (Julie) seemed to think my amniotic fluid bag was still intact. I felt pretty sure I had been leaking for the last hour and it was definitely fluid. They took a swab to test and make sure. Otherwise, she told me I might be going back home until my contractions got closer together. She thought she could feel the membrane and it wasn't broken. I was fairly indignant about this for some reason. Not sure how I felt about Julie. She checked my cervix and I was about 1 cm dilated at that point. 

6:37 a.m: The amniotic fluid test came back positive. I was there to stay! The nurses called my doctor, Dr. Lovegrove, to let her know. I was ridiculously happy I hadn't got in to labor two days before  because she would have been out of town and I really like and trust her, and wanted her to deliver Adaline. 

I really liked the yoga ball for labor--bouncing made me feel like I was doing something
besides just waiting for another contraction. 

7:00 a.m: The nurses change shifts at 7. I want to say this one was named Sarah, but I can't remember for sure. She'd been there 5 years or so, and was extremely sweet. 

7:50 a.m: Because I was still only 1 cm and contractions were about 7 minutes apart, they decided to start me on Pitocin to strengthen and speed up contractions. I had heard Pitocin kind of sucks, plus it starts the "cycle of interventions" and prevents you from being able to spend the early part of labor in the tub, so I wasn't thrilled about this. However, I also know that once your water breaks, the chances of infection go up so we needed to get things moving. I started bouncing on the yoga ball we brought to help things along. During my contractions, I counted my breathing (in, 1, 2, 3, 4, out 1, 2, 3, 4) and usually held Ricky's hand. I was dilated 1.5 cm at this point. 

8:28 a.m: I called my sister Kaylyn, who was about a 7 hour drive away, and we texted my two sisters-& brothers-in-law who live in town, as well as our connect group friends. 

9:02 a.m: The nurses told me if I didn't make it to 2 cm dilation and my effacement hadn't progressed when Dr. Lovegrove got there, she might need to use a Foley bulb to artificially dilate. I had done too much online research during this pregnancy and never heard anything fun about the Foley, so I was really hoping to avoid that. 

9:30 a.m: I took a break from the yoga ball and laid down on my side in the hospital bed--I was already tired and knew I probably wouldn't be getting much rest anytime soon. 

10:15 a.m: Dr Lovegrove arrived, let me know the possibilities (including Foley bulb, which she was surprised I'd heard of) and then checked me. I was about 2 cm (yay!) and she could feel the amniotic sac. Turns out the nurse and I were both correct and I apparently had multiple bags of fluid, which is unusual but not abnormal or anything to be concerned with. Dr. Lovegrove prayed with Ricky & I, which is one of the many things we love about having her as our OB. 

11:10 a.m: I felt another "break" of water (possibly a third bag, possibly just another "pocket" from the first one) and this time when I got out of bed, we noticed the fluid had a greenish tinge. That's an indicator of meconium (the baby's first fecal matter), meaning the baby had a bowel movement in utero. That's a little scary because the baby practices breathing by breathing in amniotic fluid, and if she breathed in the meconium she could get an infection in her lungs. The NICU team had to be put on standby for the delivery and would take her if necessary. This was really the first time I got worried about the birth, I teared up a little and prayed with Ricky. 

11:30 a.m: I got a straight catheter (administered by a nursing student) to check for protein. Super fun. Back to yoga ball. 

12:25 p.m: The nurse checked me, and I was still at 2 cm so the upped my Pitocin level. Also, this nurse's cervix checks were a little more gentle than Julie's, but took longer. You win some, you lose some. 

Super flattering labor photo. Let's add fluid for extra puffiness to the 40+ week pregnant girl!

2:30 p.m: Progressed to 2.5 cm. I started trying the "hands and knees" position which seemed like it would be easy but is surprisingly hard on the knees during labor. My contractions were definitely getting closer together and more intense. 

2:55 p.m: The baby was being monitored by a heart monitor on my belly, and she had been consistently moving around and making it difficult for them to keep track of her. So at this point, they inserted an intra-uterine monitor which is attached to the top of the baby's head to monitor her more consistently. They also included some monitor for me that would show the level of the intensity of contractions, since they thought maybe my contractions weren't intense enough to progress my cervix. The monitor showed that they were plenty strong, and perhaps my body was just being stubborn.

3:20 p.m: Pitocin level increased. Also, my parents arrived! Dad hung out in the hall and Mom came in the labor room with Ricky and me. Ricky thought it would be a good idea to socialize with her and crack jokes. He was confused why I wasn't laughing at his hilarity. I informed him that just because I was breathing through contractions rather than screaming did not mean I wasn't in pain. 

4:30 p.m: I moved back to the yoga ball, and got even more Pitocin. My sister also arrived around this time. 

Kaylyn joined us for the festivities

6:00 p.m: I really needed to get up and walk around, so the nurses kindly found me a monitor that could be attached to my IV thing and walked around with me. 

6:30 p.m: Dr. Lovegrove returned and checked me--I was about 4 cm. The contractions were getting pretty strong by this point and I knew I would want an epidural before I reached the transition stage (7-8 cm). I let the nurses know that I would be needing the anesthesiologist at some point in the near future. 

7:00 p.m: Nurse shift change--Julie is back!

7:30 p.m: Julie came in and let me know that the anesthesiologist would be going in to a surgery in the next hour and would be unavailable for a while. I decided to go ahead and get the epidural at that point. I'd been in labor for at least 15 hours unmedicated at that point, and I knew that studies suggest that once you're at 4-5cm, epidurals don't tend to slow labor down. 

7:50 p.m: The epidural is administered. Shockingly, the easiest part of this whole process. Also, I started to realize around then that unless baby girl got it together pretty soon, she was going to be born on 4/20. Boo. 

8:00 p.m: The nurses determine I need to take a break from Pitocin and use an oxygen mask for a few minutes. This freaked me out a bit. 

8:45 p.m: Julie checked my cervix, which was waaaayyyy less painful now with the epidural, and I was unfortunately still around 4 cm. Fortunately, I felt much fonder of Julie at this point but I was still disappointed I had't progressed more. The anesthesiologist came in and reminded me that I had a button to administer more epidural when I needed to (since I hadn't pushed it yet).

10:00 p.m: Ricky's note from 10 o'clock reads "Pen". I don't know what that means, and he doesn't remember either. But apparently something significant happened around 10. Maybe I received penicillin? they had talked about that possibility due to the water breaking so many hours before, so it would make sense.  I do know the anesthesiologist came in around this time and reprimanded me for not hitting the button to give myself another dose every so often. He said it is easier to stay at a manageable level of pain than to try to manage intense pain later. I don't remember what amount of time he told me (every 1.5 hours maybe?) but I started taking his advice. 

11:30 p.m: Julie checked me again, and I was between 4 and 5 cm. She let me know that if I didn't start progressing soon, the baby might be coming out another way. I was not happy to hear this info--I really, really wanted a vaginal delivery. I appreciated that Julie was trying everything she could think of to make that happen for me though. Since I wasn't in much pain at this point, I took a little nap to get some strength for pushing. After all, I'd been in labor for 19 hours. I kind of dozed off and on with Ricky & my mom in the room, and Julie coming in every so often to check on me .

April 20

3:00 a.m: The baby's heart rate, which had been a little worrisome at times throughout the labor, started to drop to scary levels. Julie called Dr. Lovegrove and it was decided that we were having a C-section. I was pretty upset by this but of course knew it needed to happen if the baby was in distress. Ricky got scrubs to change in to, I got hooked up to a bunch of things and wheeled to the OR.

Trying not to freak about the C-section

3:27 a.m: As they were wheeling me in, I could feel my teeth start to chatter and feel tears rolling out of my eyes. I had never had major surgery before and was so emotionally unprepared for a C-section. The pregnancy had been pretty uneventful, the only real bummers being extreme nausea and insomnia, so I had been kind of expecting an uneventful delivery as well. Plus, Ricky didn't get to walk back to the OR with me for some reason, although he arrived a few minutes later. Dave, the anesthesiologist, clearly felt bad for me and kept telling Dr. Lovegrove that he could tell I was scared. He was right, but I was right there-I could hear him! I appreciated that he was trying to be empathetic though.

Our first family photo

3:32 a.m: Ricky arrived in the OR and immediately took my hand and tried to distract me. He asked me questions like "What do you think she'll look like? What do you think her first word will be?" to keep my mind off of my body. He also took a couple of photos, as he had been doing during labor. It was a big help in calming me down. I could definitely still feel the surgery, feel the cutting and tugging and the final pull that delivered our baby.

Her poor little head-you can see one of the scrapes in this photo

3:45 a.m: She cried immediately and loudly, a great sign. Tears started pouring out of my eyes again at the sound. Ricky went over to her and took a few photos, and stayed with her until she could be brought to me. He told me that she was turning towards my voice and rooting in my direction. I was happy that even with the C-section, the team was able to honor my requests of delayed cord-clamping, and some skin-to-skin contact. We were also hugely blessed in that she hadn't aspirated any of the meconium and the NICU team wasn't needed. However, I was definitely bummed that for several minutes after she was born, I couldn't see her and she was with other people.
When Ricky brought her over, he laid her on my shoulder/chest area and she nestled into me. The feeling was indescribable. Unfortunately, after a few minutes I got nauseated, and Ricky had to pick her up so I could throw up the ice chips I'd had during labor. It passed quickly, and we were rolled into a neighboring room once my midsection was stitched up. It struck me that removing her only took a few minutes, but stitching me back up obviously took much longer.

Her basic mood for the next few weeks

4:40 a.m: In that room next to the OR, we had our first breastfeeding session, and she latched on well and fed. I'm pretty sure I cried again during that time. I had been so concerned that due to the C-section she wouldn't be alert enough to latch, but she seemed to not have any problems. Dr. Lovegrove came in and let me know that my upper pelvic bones are too narrow inside and that's why I never progressed--Adaline's head was in position but couldn't move any lower due to the bones. She had a pretty big hematoma (cone shaped bruising) on her head and a couple of large scrapes from the bones. She'd also rubbed off nearly all her hair during labor, leaving her with a funny little patch of dark hair on the back of her head. Unfortunately, she told me that any future children I have will need to be delivered via C-section as well. Even though I know that what matters is delivering a child in the way that keeps the mama and baby the healthiest, I am really disappointed that I will never have a vaginal birth. I'm still coming to terms with that fact today. The upside, however, is that next time I can bypass the 23 hour labor and go straight to the C-section.

Learning to nurse in the recovery room.

4:55 a.m: Adaline, Ricky & I moved to the recovery room where we would be for the next 3 days. My parents & sister were there waiting, but they basically just said hi and then left us so we could nurse her and try to get some rest, which we appreciated. Ricky's family had been in and out of the waiting room all day and I'm sure they wanted to meet her, but Ricky told them I was resting and that they could see her later in the day, so they went home to sleep as well. By noon the next day, she'd met all her grandparents, one great-grandparent, and all aunts & uncles except one (who was at work).

Precious little girl!

Whew! So that's our birth story. I will be back soon with updates, as well as nursery photos, baby organization, our experiences with CMSPI & reflux, and more!

Please share any birth experiences you'd like in the comments--I love reading about births!

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Welcome Adaline Kay!

Welcome Adaline Kay!

Last Thursday on April 20, 2017, we welcomed Adaline Kay into the world. Our delivery didn't go quite as planned and we ended up with an unscheduled C-section after 23 hours of labor. But we ended up with a beautiful baby girl and we couldn't be more in love with our little miracle! Right now we are getting settled in at home and learning more each day about Adaline and about what our new "normal" is. I will post our birth story soon, but for now here's a picture....the first of many!

Love you baby girl!

(If you're catching up on our baby journey, you can see our pregnancy announcement here, and our 15 week bumpdate heregender reveal here 21 week bumpdate28 week bumpdate32 week bumpdate, 37 week bumpdate, or our office to nursery progress post here.  I also have a post on office maternity outfits if you'd like to check that out too!) 

You can stay up to date by following me on FacebookPinterest, Instagram & Twitter and subscribe at the top right of this page. Sharing is caring :) 
If you're a brand or company and would like to do a collaborative post, review, or advertisement, please contact me at



Monday, March 27, 2017

37 Week Bumpdate

37 Week Bumpdate 

#LittleLorimer #AdalineKay

Hi all! I'm so excited to be sharing my next bumpdate with you! It's crazy to think that this might be the last bumpdate on the blog--only 3 weeks to go until my due date. I'm trying to plan to be pregnant until 41 weeks so that I don't get discouraged if Easter rolls around with no baby in my arms, but really any time could be showtime at this point!

(If you're catching up, you can see our pregnancy announcement here, and our 15 week bumpdate heregender reveal here 21 week bumpdate, 28 week bumpdate, 32 week bumpdate, or our office to nursery progress post here.  I also have a post on office maternity outfits if you'd like to check that out too!) 

Photo from yesterday morning at church--37 weeks exactly!
Guys, I won't lie to you--being 37 weeks pregnant is pretty uncomfortable. Sleeping is definitely getting more & more difficult, and I'm experiencing a fair amount of pelvic & tailbone pain. I added a chest infection on last week, so I was a pretty sad sack for a few days. I'm recovering from that, which helps, but I still feel a bit like a turtle trying to roll over or get up from the bed!

I've been very specifically craving the salmon avocado salad from a local restaurant, but I've only given in a couple of times because it's not a particularly inexpensive place & Ricky's order is pretty pricey there too. It's so good though! I've tried to recreate it at home and it works, but they have a special dressing for it that I can't quite replicate.
More generally, fresh fruit & veggies have been a big craving, as well as chocolate. I bought a couple of chocolate bunnies to put out as Easter decor two weeks ago, and I have to tell you that neither bunny will be around for Easter. #ripchocolatebunnies

Size of Baby?
The average length & weight of babies at 37 weeks is 19 inches and between 6 & 6 1/2 pounds. I haven't had an ultrasound done since the 20 week anatomy scan (and probably won't unless I go overdue) but the external measurements have been right on so it's safe to assume Adaline is probably around that range. The apps say that this is the size of a winter melon. A what, you ask? Great question. Please see the below photo.

Huh? I've never seen one of these before. 

Size of Mommy?
I'm right at a 23 pound weight gain and the belly definitely feels heavy! I'm not sure how some women lug around twins or triplets at this point in their pregnancies, but props to them. I've also noticed that this is around the time that people are starting to ask me things like "Haven't you had that baby yet??" Look, I promise I'm not hoarding her in there! If this pregnancy feels long to you, trust me, I totally get it! People also like to ask if I'm getting much sleep, and then when I say it's getting harder, they remind me that soon I won't be sleeping at all. :) Joy all around. Just a couple of things to keep in mind the next time you're talking to a pregnant lady.

We've made a ton of progress in this area since my last bumpdate, some of which you can see in my office to nursery post. We've got all the main furniture (except for the changing table we're putting in the bathroom--it arrived damaged and had to be sent back) and it's all set up in the nursery. The last piece to arrive was the glider, which I am loving. All the baby clothes are washed & put away, hospital bags are packed (I'll do a post on those soon) and car seat bases are installed in our cars. We took our childbirth education class & hospital tour at the beginning of March, which I think was really helpful, especially for Ricky. All the Christmas decor is safely packed up in our outdoor closet which we recently cleaned out to make space in the baby's closet. We're not completely "ready" but if she decides to show up tomorrow we'll be doing okay.

To Dos?
We do still have a few things on this list. There are a couple of things I still need to buy, like nursing bras & tanks and a few more regular onesies. I also haven't put up decor in the nursery yet, or painted the Ikea spice racks I'm planning to use as baby book shelves. I've also been prepping at work, but I need to finish up a couple of projects & pick out a temp (hopefully by the end of this week!) just in case I go into labor a bit early. I'm honestly a little nervous about leaving my job for 8 weeks--that seems like a lot could fall through the cracks in that amount of time, even with a temporary worker--so I'm trying to create a document to explain most of the tasks that I'm responsible for. I've only been with UNL for about a year right now, which means that although I can figure out what I'm doing, I haven't been doing it long enough to know it backwards and forwards for explanation purposes. Wish me luck in this area!

Ricky and I are really trying to enjoy our last few weeks of just the two of us--we're so excited for Adaline to arrive, but we also know that it will change our lives forever and the things that we can do so easily, like date nights, will be tougher after she gets here.
Also, I'm honestly a little nervous about leaving my job for 8 weeks--it seems like a lot could fall through the cracks in that amount of time, even with a temporary worker--so I'm trying to create a document to explain most of the tasks that I'm responsible for. I've only been with UNL for about a year right now, which means that although I can figure out what I'm doing, I haven't been doing it long enough to know it backwards and forwards for explanation purposes. Wish me luck in this area!

Maternity photo sneak peek--taken at 32 weeks by Ciana at Jeff Cloud Photography--we love it!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Office to Nursery: Getting Started

Office to Nursery: Getting Started

One room that I haven't ever blogged about is our office/guest room--and there was a reason! It was a completely functional room (not in the below photo, but ya know, at some point), with a desk & filing cabinet in one corner, a twin bed in another (we also have an air mattress when we have more than 1 guest), and two bookshelves. However, it wasn't really ever "decorated". We had a few family & friend photos on the walls and some accessories on the bookshelves, plus a few throw pillows on the bed, and that was it. Ricky mostly used it as his study/computer gaming room (complete with his self-described "nerd stuff") and so it wasn't a high priority.

Literally the only photo I can find of the office, and it's from right after we moved in &
I was unpacking & setting up the room & closet.
But that all changes now that we're turning it into our nursery for baby Adaline! Ricky & I spent a whole weekend a couple of months ago decluttering the closet, bookshelves & office supplies that were currently in there, and boxing up as many things as we could get away with. I did the same for the craft/blogging desk area in our living room.  Then we moved those boxes to our generous sister & brother-in-law's garage loft. We also lent them our twin guest bed & my little black blogging desk, which was a great win-win situation! We need to complete one final stage--moving the majority of our holiday decor into our outdoor storage space on the deck--and then the room will be "just" the nursery.

The closet on that same day as the photo above.
Glad to have a good sized closet to work with in this room!
We will still keep some holiday decor items, one set of guest bedding & the air mattress, and a few other small things on the left side of the closet. Then the middle and the right side will be all baby stuff. We've tried to "shop the house" for a lot of our baby storage solutions so that we could avoid needing to buy too many furniture pieces. So far we have a craft drawer set from Michaels in the closet that I used to have in my blogging area and a set of 2 two-drawer sets from Target that I originally bought in college and used to hold my "delicates" that have been relocated to another dresser (after a massive decluttering session!) in the closet. We've hung up her hanging outfits in the closet on baby sized velvet hangers, and I can't wait until the dresser is set up (should be later this week!) so I can start organizing her onesies, burp cloths, socks, etc.  So precious to see how tiny they are!

As far as the room itself goes, we were pretty slow with our shopping. For Christmas, Ricky's parents got us a crib & crib mattress, which we were really excited about! Ricky set it up a few weeks ago and it looks great. It was also kind of the moment where we started calling it "the nursery" instead of "the office". We also repurposed a bookshelf & a 9 cube cubby system the we already owned to use in there. They're dark wood instead of the white that I would prefer for that room, but I'm glad there's two dark items so that once we have some white items in there (hoping for a white dresser/changing table, a white nightstand, and gray glider) they'll balance each other out. In theory we could paint them but in reality we don't have an outside space that's practical for painting large items at the moment so that may wait until we are in a house.

We had our two baby showers in February, and received sooo many cute little clothing items, as well as lots of other helpful bath items, toys, diapers.... a big thanks to our family & friends! We were waiting until after the showers to make one big Amazon order, since Amazon offers a 15% completion discount on many baby items in the 60 days leading up to your due date--but you only get the discount for one order, so we wanted to use it wisely! 

Ok, here are some in-progress photos. There are still gifts and unopened boxes, so don't get too excited! This is just a snapshot of how it looks at this moment. We're 35+ weeks right now, so we really need to get moving but we've been waiting for furniture to arrive and be built!

The view looking into the room--that huge box is the dresser.
 We received our crib for Christmas from Ricky's parents, so it was the first thing set up in here. I'm in the process of washing the bedding, and am looking forward to seeing how it turns out with the crib skirt added on. So far it looks great--we love the white finish and clean lines.

The crib area, with a little nightstand to hold the humidifier & sound machine. Other items shown here include the monitor, auto rock'n'play, diaper genie (which will go next to the dresser) and the long skinny box standing up by the door is the curtain rod, with the curtains hidden behind the box holding the dresser. 

On the opposite side of the room, we have the bookshelf, boxes of diapers, and unopened boxes of stroller & car seat items. The boxes of diapers will be living in the closet shortly, and that corner will hold the glider and another small nightstand for a lamp and other small items. 

Another view--you can see the little nightstand in this one--it and the bookshelf are currently holding a lot of decor that will be put up around the room once we have the furniture placed. You can also see into the closet. We still need to move some things out of it, but the weather should be beautiful this weekend so we won't mind getting into our outdoor storage closet. I'm also loving that a whole shelf is taken up with baby books--I want her to love reading like I do!

And on the final wall, we have the 9 cubby unit that Ricky has had since before we got married, but with new cubby drawers in gray & pink. We also moved that decorative shelving on the left into this room from the bathroom for more storage and to free up space in the bathroom for a changing table (that will also hold all of Baby's bath time necessities). All the junk on the floor is hospital packing in progress. :)  

And that's the nursery so far! I'll be sure to share another update once we have everything organized & decorated. The good news is, even though it's not totally ready, we have the pack'n'play set up in our room, and we've got the car seat & some diapers & onesies, so at least the bases are covered if she decides she's ready to join the outside world. 

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