Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Elephant Mobile

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well on this cold morning (at least if you are on the east coast). I forgot to turn my heat on last night and we woke up to a pretty cool house. It was hard getting out from under the covers.

In my last post, I promised to update you on some of the ideas I have been working on for the nursery (now that the world knows the baby is a boy). This first project was started about 3 weeks ago, shortly after we knew the gender. Our theme for the nursery is blue + gray + elephants. My inspiration came mostly from pinterest (shocking).

Some examples:
Blue Elephants

Artwork

Inspiration Board

And there are many more examples out there. In fact, searching for "blue nursery" gives you a lot of elephant inspiration. Since I love elephants and think they are adorable for a baby, I decided to go with the theme. I actually bought the fabric from the first picture (the gray elephant print) to make curtains and a crib skirt (because I am crafty like that and don't want to spend $130 on a crib skirt). 

Back to the project at hand, I really wanted to make a mobile for the crib, since (a) buying a mobile is expense and (b) I am not a huge fan of the ones out there. I picked up some fabric quarters and eighths at JoAnns to make the elephants for the mobile. 

For the pattern, I started with this pattern, which I found online. I ended up lengthening the nose so it curled up more than it does here, but I just did that part by hand. 

 I bought the hoop from JoAnns for about $2. I debated on the hoop size a bit, but I wanted something that could fit a decent amount of elephants and wouldn't look too small next to the crib. I think this was around the right size, but could have been slightly smaller. I bought plain white ribbon and carefully used hot glue to glue the ribbon around the hoop. I used a dot of glue to start and then twisted the ribbon around the hoop. After the start, I would use a small line of glue and then twist about 3 turns of ribbon onto that glue and repeat.

For the elephants, I found the easiest way to cut them was to have the fabric folded during the cut with the elephant pinned to the fabric. I cut about 1/4" from the edge of the pattern to allow room for my seam.

I then sewed right sides together, leaving room for stuffing in the back end.

Flipped around (pre-stuffing). For the stuffing, I used a small rod I had to push the stuffing into the nose area. This process made me feel like I was violating the poor elephants. Once I had the stuffing the way I liked it, I sewed up the rear end (hiding stitches as best I could - not one of my sewing strong suits).

I neglected to take a picture of the process for the ears, but I basically cut out a shape that was about right for the ear size and used that as my pattern. The ears are cut from felt and sewed onto the sides of the heads after I stuffed the elephants. I sewed the ears by hand. 

All my elephants. I tried to use patterns in the blue and gray theme that would be visually stimulating for the baby. 

You can see the completed hoop in this picture. I used ribbon for the structure that goes up to the music box. You can either hot glue the ribbon or tie it to create the structure. I found that hot glue worked better.

I used thread (doubled up) to attach the elephants to the mobile. Attaching them and getting the length right was rather tedious. I also had to find the right center of gravity for the elephants so they didn't tip forward or backward. I think it turned out rather well.



Here is the assembly all together. This is in the closet of the nursery (not the final place for the mobile, but we need to paint the walls first. The white walls give a better background for seeing the whole thing.

The music box was a purchase from ebay. You can search for mobile music box and grab one for about $15. I liked this one because it plays a variety of songs and isn't the wind up kind.

Here is the final product in action! I am pretty excited to see it when we have it set up over the crib and have the walls painted.
video

Speaking of wall colors, we currently have a plethora of paint samples chilling on our walls. I think once we have the walls primed, I will get a few samples of my favorites and paint them in a bigger area. I am having a tough time deciding between more of a blue-gray wall color or one that leans more towards aqua. I think I'll end up with a blue-gray color, but we shall see. More on that in another post.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baby Gender Reveal Party!

For those of you who saw our facebook announcement, you now know that J and I announced that we are expecting a baby BOY! We have actually known for 4 weeks now, but were keeping the news until we shared it at our gender reveal party this weekend. We are super excited! The anatomy scan went great and baby is looking nice and healthy (and measuring about a week ahead of schedule).

Back to the gender reveal. I started planning it weeks ago by painting wooden eggs as party favors. I thought with this weekend being a week away from easter, the egg idea would be a fun take home gift.

Party favor bags

I asked guests to pick a side by wearing a clothespin with their guess. I gave some old wives tales to help people out with their guesses.

The spread for the party. We also had guests submit boy and girl name ideas, which ended up being really fun. In the back left, we had cake pops made for the reveal. I am kicking myself for not taking a close up of the cake pops. The inside was blue for the reveal.

The reveal!


Guests



Me and my friends. :)



Baby Boy!


The party was a great success and a lot of fun! I pretty much had felt from day 1 that it was a boy. It explains why I have been feeling so terribly sick (the women of my family tend to be sicker with boys). And it gives me hope that I might not be so sick for the next pregnancy (fingers crossed). I am super happy about having a little boy and so is J. We were both pretty thrilled after the ultrasound. I'm still feeling a little nauseous these days, although nothing like it was even a few weeks ago. I also seemed to have "popped" and have a considerable bump. It makes me feel rather huge and my back has started hurting. As the weather warms up, I am reminded about how not fun this summer is going to be (although I am sure it will all be worth it). The party was truly very exhausting for me though, and I spent most of today resting and recovering from all the excitement. It's amazing how much harder entertaining is now-a-days (although it was definitely worth it - it was a very fun time). I'm working on nursery ideas so stay tuned... :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blessed

This past weekend was awesome. The best weekend I have had while pregnant. J and I decided to finally have the get away we had planned for early December, which we canceled because we found out I was pregnant. We stayed in a lovely B&B in Luray, VA. We had reserved one of their cottages, which meant we had an entire mini-house all to ourselves. Our cottage backed to a small farm with lots of cows. It had just been birthing season, so there were all these baby cows that were playing. It was really enjoyable to watch. We found some nice local places to eat, and breakfast was delivered to our door via picnic basket each morning. It was so lovely just to get away from all the busyness and just be with one another.




On Saturday, we decided to go to the Luray caverns. It was off-season, so we had a pretty small tour group, which was nice.



I think one of the funniest parts of the tour was when our guide asked if anyone has any questions. A little boy raises his hand, and you can just tell that the mom is so happy her son has taken an interest, so she's encouraging him to ask his question. His question: "When is the tour going to be over?" haha. J and I got quite a kick out of it. The poor mother was mortified. The rock formations were really cool, and a little creepy. But, it was amazing how big the caverns were.

I loved the drapery rock formations. So neat.



After lunch, we did the garden maze at Luray, which is essentially a corn maze with trees instead of corn. It was actually really fun to do, especially since nothing was crowded.

I was actually pretty tired by the time we got back on Sunday, despite how relaxing the weekend was. I was so happy we did the trip and J and I agreed that it was a lot of fun.

I am feeling... okay. I still have nausea, especially in the evenings. I threw up Sunday evening, but I had gone a whole week without doing that, so that was fine. I am kind of accepting this low level of nausea as a new normal for me. I was reading back through my journal on Sunday night, and I came across one of my prayers, dated 11/3/2013 (excerpt): "I pray that you would guide us in the decision to have a family. And I pray that direction would be made clear." My pregnancy started 8 days later. That just amazed me. As much as I have struggled through the past 19 weeks, we have been extremely blessed. God has given me strength and perseverance that I have never known. And I am finally feeling a few kicks. :) So, no matter what happens, even if I am nauseous the rest of the pregnancy (as some women are), it will be okay. I love the little life inside me. There is a ton to do before August, but I am so excited to meet this new member of our family. Our anatomy scan is Friday. I have been so nervous about it. Not because of the gender thing. But because I want our little baby to be healthy. And I have to keep remembering to just trust God through it. He got us this far. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Puppy Love

Hello! Can you believe it's snowing? Again!?! Ugh! I am SO over this winter. It doesn't help that my morning sickness pretty much started with the cold and lasted the whole winter. I think I have a mental association between snow and throwing up. Hopefully, this is the LAST one! As promised, I am back with a post about the stuffed puppy I have been making (and you can too!).

I showed you these in progress pictures in my last post.


I made the puppy using Haan Crafts. Here is the final result!

The puppy backstory: Back in December 2012, J's mom sent him home with a box of old stuffed animals from his childhood. When we were going through it, J exclaimed, "Puppy!" (this would be the puppy on the right in the picture below). Puppy was not quite finished though, and still had some straight pins in him. He was a home economics project back in middle school. I sewed him up (and fixed some less than quality stitching). Well, then I wanted to sew a puppy of my own (at $10/pup, the price is right). So, I sewed the puppy on the left (let's hold off on the judgement - J and I are young at heart). When I found out I was pregnant, I realized our kiddo would need a puppy of his/her own. So, I ordered a new kit from Haan.


The new puppy turned out quite a bit bigger than the other two (I guess I didn't use as thick of a seam), which has made us giggle a bit. The "baby" puppy is bigger than the other two. :)

Anyway, we love our new puppy and hope our baby does too!

As for how I am doing (if you are curious)... On the whole, I am doing better. I went 6 days this week without throwing up. I was a little disappointed to lose it again, but I wasn't all that surprised. This week (week 17), I have started craving meat. Considering this is supposed to be a food aversion, I find this a little weird. I am thinking it means I am low on protein. But, I have been eating a lot of eggs, chicken, and beef this week. It's weird, but carbs kind of gross me out right now. Except fruit. I am enjoying fruit at the moment (especially watermelon and bananas). I also really enjoy celery and milk (considering I never really liked bananas, milk or meat before, I find this all a little funny). I am continuing to workout nearly every day, which is nice. When the weather was nice, I would take some nice walks. Walking has helped with the nausea and my overall mood. It's nice that it's a little lighter later now. I did have a vivid dream that our baby was a girl. It surprised me quite a bit since I have been thinking it’s a boy. I am getting so excited for the gender scan. I wish it would be here sooner! I have felt some movement, but it's sort of feels like being tickled from the inside. Nothing strong yet. I do have an anterior placenta, so that may be why I don't feel too much yet. I'm hoping I start feeling more consistent movement soon though! Oh, and 2 nights ago, something a little funny happened. I was sleeping and must have had a nightmare (common in pregnancy), and I started screaming in my sleep. Well, this woke J up:

J: "What's wrong?"
Me: "There's someone in the hall?"
J: "Who's in the hall?"
Me: "Mimes"
J: "What?!"
Me: "Mimes" (I fall asleep)

When we talked about it the next morning, I could not stop laughing about it.

Anyway, hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Organizing, rearranging and cleaning

Hello readers! Enjoying Spring Forward? I must admit it took me by surprise. I had a friend stay over, and I was super confused when she wanted to say goodbye at 8:30 when she said she would leave at 9:30. It took me another hour to make the connection. I am looking forward to some daylight in the evenings though.

I'll update you all with some pregnancy and house updates. I took this photo around 16.5 weeks (I'm now 17 weeks). I'm definitely getting a bump, although I've only gained a pound since my 12 week visit. I'm still heavier than I have ever been in my life, so that's a little weird for me.

 I'm still vomiting. That seems to be the question that everyone has. "Still?" "Yes, still." I'm going longer, though. I can go 2 days without throwing up. The third day isn't so great though. I still have a lot of nausea. But, I still have hope that it will get better. I have been tremendously touched by the people who contacted me after my last post. You all have encouraged me and helped me through this rather difficult time. I really love you guys!

J and I are in the process of getting the house in order. I have been slowly fixing things around the house. Like this hook for our bathroom that I had broken (I forgot to show the fixed hook but you get the idea).

And I patched up some cracks in the walls.


I'm also in the process of making a puppy for the baby. I'm going to dedicate a separate post to this once it's done though.


We (J) also did a fair amount of re-arranging in the basement. We are slowly moving everything from the baby room down to the basement. The big picture moved to the opposite wall from where it was.

And the TV stand was moved from the extra bedroom to the pool room, where our old TV now lives. I actually like this arrangement way better than the way we had it before.


This will be where the big bookcase will go.

J moved the white bookshelf from the baby room down to the extra bedroom.


This will be where the desk will go. (By the way, anyone in the area should feel free to volunteer to help J move the big bookcase and desk down 2 floors. We can pay you in beer). :)

I've also been making the house a bit safer for us. For one, I installed a new fire alarm/carbon monoxide detector down in the basement.


I also installed a carbon monoxide detector on the main floor and bought 2 new ones for the upstairs (since the ones we have currently are a bit dated). J has also been what I can only assume is the equivalent of nesting. He has been organizing and going through all his papers and random items that we moved here and haven't looked at since. It's really nice to have the house finally organized instead of having stuff in random places all over the house. We also realized there is a fair amount that we don't use and can either store in the attic (sentimental value) or donate to goodwill. We both went through all of our old college notes and got rid of stuff that we both thought we would never need again. Doing that freed up space in our bookshelves, which was really nice. Our joint goal is to have the baby room empty by the time I hit 20 weeks (in 3 weeks). Once we know the gender, I know I will want to start painting and getting the nursery ready. :) I'll keep you guys updated as we get the house in order. Last Friday, I finally got motivation to clean, and I cleaned the whole house top to bottom (which made throwing up on the bathroom floor on Saturday night even more frustrating). I figure this delays me a little while before hiring a maid... Until next time!