Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Thoughts

I was going to do a "Five on Friday" posting but I'm not sure how many things I have to blog about today so instead I just decided to compile some photos with some thoughts. Here we go....
1. Last Friday we took Eva bowling at Main Event for a family day. We realized that with the holidays we hadn't really done a special family day since we went to the zoo back in November. Bowling with a three year old is cute. She really liked it although she did get worn out about half way through. We probably won't get to do a lot more things like this for a while so I'm glad we took her and got to giggle at how funny it is to watch a small person carry a 6lb bowling ball.
2. This photo is pretty much how my week felt. Upside down. I started having real contractions on Monday so we got to spend several hours Monday night at the hospital and then have made multiple doctor trips this week. Basically Jensen is doing fine but I have to take yucky medicine to try to delay labor and am not supposed to do a lot. I'm not on strict bed rest but I'm not supposed to run a bunch of errands or clean my house or anything, just mostly hangout out sitting or lying down for the next 10 days. It could be much worse, but it is still driving me crazy a bit. Thankfully, I can say that in all the craziness of this week, I have really not been worried about Jensen. Maybe for a couple of minutes when I walked into the labor and delivery room and saw that tiny newborn crib box next to the bed, but really overall I have so much peace about him. All through this pregnancy I have felt that peace. Everything may not be perfect or go just like I have planned it, but I've really always had that peace of Christ that Jensen was created by God and that I don't need to worry about him.
3. Which brings me to my next point - marry well. If I could give young girls one piece of advice it would be to always seek God and spend time with him. If I could give a second piece of advice it would be to think carefully about who you choose to date and marry. Our marriage isn't perfect but I am so thankful that I decided to marry Ryan Bradley. Even though he has been given a lot of extra responsibility at work he has still tried so hard to help out with everything at home this week. He knows that it is hard for me to let go of the home and he been such a huge blessing. Last night he vacuumed, made dinner and folded the laundry just so that I wouldn't be stressing about these things getting done.  This morning he got up and took Eva on a date to go get donuts and run around at Cabelas. My love language has always been quality time but I'm starting to see that I also really appreciate acts of service. I may resist a bit when he tells me to stop doing things and rest but on the inside I love and appreciate him so much.
4. They say it takes a village to raise a child. They were right. Especially my child and especially when I can't do a whole lot. We are always surrounded by so many people who love and will help with Eva, but it has been especially helpful this week. It is hard for me to ask for help with Eva because I'm her mom and I want to be the one who is able to do everything for her in just the way I know she needs it done. But sometimes you have to call in for backup. I really appreciate all the family and friends who have offered to help us out over the past week.
5. I had to throw this one in here. Eva may not be the next picasso, but she has just recently started drawing stick figures to represent people. She drew this one this week and said, "It's my Daddy. He likes blue." I realize that there are some way more advanced artists out in the land of preschool but I was proud that she did this on her own and put thought into it.
6. Does anybody else ever feel like raising little people is hard work? Oh my goodness. I love this girl. More than anything. But some days....she can raise the bar on throwing a fit. I've read up a lot lately on the best way to respond to kids in the midst of their "I'm-crying-because-you-wiped-up-water-beneath-my-paper-so-I-had-to-wait-to-use-the-marker" emotional breakdown.  I just want to share this so that other parents reading this can remember that they aren't the only ones. Based on what I've read our kids will probably turn out to be normal, functioning humans who don't melt down when their bandaids fall off their fingers.
7. Finally, I ask for prayer. Please pray for this big girl who is so excited to meet "her new baby" but isn't quite sure how to navigate being anxious over the changes in our home and having to let her Mama rest so much. Pray that her little heart doesn't doubt that our love for her never changes and that her brain doesn't melt when she is allowed to watch way too much TV. And pray for the tiny one inside that giant belly, that he will be able to stay in there and grow a bit longer, and then he would be born so healthy and strong because he will need to be strong to keep up with his sister. Lastly, pray for the tired Mama who loves her babies so, so much and is trying to balance life.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nursery Reveal

I am so excited to share these photos of our little guy's new nursery!!! The term "nursery" almost seems silly to me because I really planned and designed this room to grow with Jensen. Maybe not until he's 18, but hopefully through his childhood years. I used these rooms as inspiration {Pinterest 1, Pinterest 2} and then made it my own creation based on what we already had, our budget, and my own artistic skills. My first priority was color scheme {red, navy, bright yellow} and then I mixed in various little boy themes {airplanes, vintage, sports, cars, etc.}.

This is the view when you open the door to Jensen's room. The crib and changing table were both used with Eva. I sewed the drapes myself! I was pretty proud of how the turned out for it being my first attempt. I orginally really wanted navy striped drapes but I'm actually glad I went with yellow to contrast the rug. Also we will have black out curtains behind them, but I took them down to let the natural light in the room for theses photos.

PS Part of the fun of this post was using the new Cannon EF 50mm 1:1.8 lens that I got for my birthday. I feel like I am no where close to being a good enough photographer to be worthy of this awesome lens, but you have to start somewhere. So if you see a photo that looks especially cool, I probably switched to this lens.
The bunting banner above his crib was one of the few things I actually ordered from Etsy instead of sewing myself. I wanted a mixture of patterns and by the time I figured in the cost to buy strips of different materials plus the time it would take to make this, and questioning my ability to cut a perfect triangle and then sew it evenly, I decided it was way cheaper and easier to order it. Even the husband agreed on this one.
For crib sheets we went with geometric patterns from Amazon. We also have a fun navy print but this is what is waiting for Jensen first. 
I love this rug. I debated about getting a rug for a while....I wanted it to be the right size and some rugs are sooooo pricey. Then I found this one on Amazon and decided to put it on my registry. I am so glad I did! It really pulls the room together and makes the room actually seem bigger. 
This is our changing area. Nothing too fancy. The shelves above were left in our home when we purchased it so I chalk painted them red. The picture board on the right was from my room growing up. We actually have a bigger one in our guest bathroom that matches that we use to hold all of Eva's bows. 
I found this great changing pad cover at Kohls. The ones we had for Eva were pink and green so Jensen needed one that was more manly. 
I found this laundry basket at Target. I like how it mixes the navy stripe with the khaki and I thought it looked good to contrast the yellow vertical stripes on the curtains. 
How cute is this train? My mom picked this up in Kansas City and I think it is perfect. 
Okay, so I honestly do not love bracket shelves. This also came with our house and I had originally planned to take this down. Then I thought about how I would be leaving holes in the wall that would need to be fixed. And I do like that it has additional shelves that we can put up if we need more spaces for things like toys or books. So I kept it.
These model airplanes were put together by my late grandfather. I really like the idea of mixing in a few heirloom pieces to give the room a bit of vintage feel.
I already shared this silhouette photo of myself on Instagram and Facebook but I wanted to show it  one more time. Guess what? My husband took this photo of me using my iPhone 5s. I found a blog that gave tips for how to do this on your own, versus with a paid photographer, and it worked really well! I downloaded 2 camera apps to get the look I wanted and it was so easy. I took it exactly one month before Jensen's due date so that I could remember how pregnant I was right at that moment. I'm sure one day we will relocate this to somewhere else in our home but for now it is perfect for the nursery.
My old baseball glove. I know, I am not athletic, so I'm not sure why I had this little glove, but my grandparents saved it for almost 30 years before giving it to me. It even has "Katie" and "1987" written on it so I guess I got it when I was about 4 years old.
This book makes me laugh. Ryan's brother Greg gave Jensen The Dangerous Book for Boys for Christmas so I figured it needed to be displayed somewhere until he is old enough to enjoy it. 
The final corner includes my dad's old dresser that I chalk painted and our gallery wall.
For the top of the dresser I found an inexpensive lamp from Target and a vintage looking clock from Amazon. I may have spent way too much time a little bit of time searching for just the right clock. I know it's just a small alarm clock but I wanted the look to be just right and I wanted an auxiliary connection for my phone or iPod. Then I finished off the dresser with a bomber plane model that my was part of my grandfather's collection. It even has a tiny man glued to the back left that looks like he is about to jump out! How cool is that? I might still find a way to suspend this from the ceiling near the window but I haven't decided so for now it has landed on the dresses.
For the gallery wall I mixed some old frames that I chalk painted in red with a few new brown frames. I used a wooden classic sports picture and printed off a few free prints from Pinterest. Then I painted a big yellow sign! Okay, I saw this a while back on Etsy but for the size of the products I could find I felt they were way too expensive. Then I remembered that I had some extra wood and yellow paint in our garage. I wish I could have artistically painted on the lettters but I cheated and used a sharpie. Regardless, I like it. It's not perfect but it's for a little boy's room and little boy's aren't perfect, so it works right? 
My wonderful husband managed to fix the broken springs inside our glider so I am happy to use the same one I used with Eva. Instead of a nightstand I got a faux leather storage cube that my mom had and wasn't using anymore. I actually like this idea because it is easy to store extra blankets or bibs inside so that everything is right there when I'm nursing.
My final piece of art! I made this all by myself. I took an old canvas that a friend was throwing away and painted over it to make it my own. When I first showed Ryan my idea sketched on paper he lovingly said, "It looks like something a kid would draw." Then I reminded him that Jensen would be a kid so I was completely okay with it looking like a simple drawing. I think he caught on to my vision :) So yes, it is simplistic, but I really like it. And I painted it myself so that means it was made with love, which is absolutely the best kind of artwork.

There you go. My months of dreaming and planning and collecting all summed up. I'm only 5% sad when I walk into Hobby Lobby and see all the pink and gold things I would have used for a little girl's nursery. Just kidding....maybe 3%. I am happy with the way things came together to create a special room for our little guy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Baby Lunch

Last Saturday my best friends and I went to lunch to celebrate baby Jensen. We decided to go to The Chestnut Tree in Denton. I have not been there in years, probably since Ryan and I lived in Denton, so it was really nice to get to go back to an old favorite. My lunch was delicious, but my friendship with these girls is even more wonderful. We have been friends for 10 years now and I am really thankful to have each of them in my life. 
To make lunch extra special they brought in a vase of sunflowers - my favorite!- and ordered a chocolate raspberry cake for us all to split. 
They also spoiled me and Jensen with a couple of presents....one of which is supposed to be arriving in the mail soon. I can't wait to see what it is and open it! Nothing like lingering suspense.... Thanks so much friends!
Proof of our forever long friendship :) Before real life, husbands, or babies. I probably posted this on my MySpace page back in the day.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

50 days

Bump Pics: weeks 27-32

50 days. That is the most possible time we have left until Jensen is born. We have our c-section date scheduled and are counting down the days. 50 million weeks. That is how pregnant I feel right now. Ahhh, I just feel so many mixed emotions right now. In some ways I am so ready to be done but in other ways it feels like it will happen all too soon. Here is my 32 week update:

*Pants: They are necessary to stay warm but gosh I am so tired of wearing them. This is definitely the downside of being pregnant in winter. With Eva I could wear dresses the last month or so. I got some stretchy maternity "workout" pants back in November and these are my best bet. And by "workout" clearly I mean sleeping or bending down to pick up everything I drop.
*Sleep: I remember from being pregnant with Eva that sleep at the end of pregnancy is like a cruel joke. Your body is exhausted, you know you are going to be even more tired when the baby comes, you feel like you could literally fall over asleep at 7PM and yet at bedtime it is so hard to actually fall asleep and stay asleep, even when I am wearing my comfortable "workout" pants.
* Restless Legs and Leg Cramps: yay.
* Morning All day sickness: Yep, still there.
* Heartburn: I really didn't  have this with Eva so it was a fun surprise to wake up in the middle of the night with this. 
* Mid-night snacks: I've held off on this as long as possible but the past week I've started waking up starving in the middle of the night. Nothing like enjoying a bowl of cereal in the dark at 2AM. Gives you lots of time to think  :) 

I write all of this really not to complain, but to help me remember 3 months from now when I'm suddenly missing being pregnant. It's funny how quickly you forget the discomforts of pregnancy once you are loving on a cuddly newborn. 

Lots of people are asking me, "So are you ready?"  Hmm, let's define ready. We have a pack and play in the closet. I know the location of the pack and play sheets, although I should probably wash them. I have a few packs of diapers and LOTS of tiny boy clothes. I guess that's enough to be considered "ready." We cleaned out and organized the nursery after Christmas and I still have lots to get and do in there before it is really ready for me to enjoy for him. I think I'm supposed to register with the hospital soon and should probably look into packing a hospital bag in the coming weeks. And then there is the emotional aspect of being "ready." I am ready to kiss my baby. I'm not quite ready for the big life change of having a new person in our family. Honestly when I think about taking care of two kids it kind of overwhelms me. I know lots of moms have done it and we will adjust and things will be fine. It just kind of freaks me out. Also when I think about only have 50 days left with just us and Eva it makes me cry. Alot. I love her sooooo much and I don't want our relationship to change. I worry about her feeling left out or jealous. I hate that she has to be away from us for 3 nights when I'm in the hospital, especially knowing that even when we are all together back home things will be so different. I know having a sibling will be so good for her and ultimately she will love him and have so much fun with him. I know she will adjust and still feel loved and become an awesome helper. I'm just trying to soak in the last weeks of getting time with just me and her. I've also really enjoyed having some extra time with Ryan over the holidays. He is such a good husband and I know the extra stress that a newborn puts on your marriage so I'm thankful for the time we've had to just relax and laugh. 

I've been told that one day we will look back and hardly be able to image what our life was like before Jensen. I am looking forward to making sweet new memories as a family of four. The countdown is on....