Tuesday, January 29, 2013

8 Weeks Out

Well, here we are at the 8 week mark already! In my last post I predicted finishing Carsen's big girl room right on today's self-imposed "deadline." I am a little bummed to report that it is not totally finished. All that's left is paint, and the color matcher machine thingy at our Lowes is still broken. I think I'll probably just go to the next closest store which is only about 15 minutes away and buy the paint there. I could also go to Sherwin Williams and pay more for the paint, or to Home Depot and have them color match it to one of the brands they carry. I hesitate to do that only because I know that Lowes has a zero-VOC paint+primer in one for a very decent price and I don't know if SW or HD have a similar product for a similar price, and I don't feel like doing the homework to find out. So we're a couple of days over our deadline, and I have to make a 15 minute drive to get the paint. Whatevs.

Additionally, while we've been held up with the paint issue, you may recall that we will be hosting Josh's friends for a Super Bowl party this weekend. That means I am in power-cleaning mode during nap times this week with a detailed list of what needs to be cleaned/straightened/tidied/etc. before we have company. I love the fire-under-your-tail that having company provides! My house always gets whipped into shape faster than you can say Martha Stewart when we're planning to host company. Why, then, it does not look like that all the time is explained simply by the fact that I'd rather play with my toddler than wipe down baseboards. Just sayin'.  Point being that some of the items from farther down my Baby Prep To-Do List are getting marked off early. For example, I did a pretty thorough deep-clean of the kitchen today that should require very light weekly maintenance from this point. Now I don't have to worry about doing that in a few weeks. Tomorrow I'll be tackling the living room, and later in the week I'll be doing a good cleaning of the floors. This is not to say that things won't need cleaning for the next 8 weeks (I wish), just that doing a thorough deep-clean in those rooms now will leave me with just easy maintenance for the weeks leading up to Reagan's birth and those shortly afterwards.

I'm also making decent progress in the baby-book overhaul (working on that mostly after Carsen goes to bed at night). I'm excited to share that when I get things a little more put together. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Big Changes in the Big Girl Room

Things are coming along quite nicely in Carsen's big-girl room and it looks like we'll be finishing it up right on the 8-week mark (Tuesday)!

So far we've bought wood, cut the pieces needed for the wall treatment, and applied them all the way around. Next up we need to sand some edges, fill in any gaps in the woodwork and walls (since neither are ever perfectly straight), and then paint. I'm anticipating the wood needing two coats of primer + paint, and the walls taking one. We have the white paint we'll be using on the bottom half of the walls but the color matcher at our Lowes has been broken so we haven't picked up the mixed paint which will be going on the walls above the woodwork. The color we're using is called Open Air by Sherwin Williams (swatch below). I'll give details on how we did the wall treatment in a later post!

Paint will be going up over the next couple of days and then we'll just have textiles, decorating and accessories left to do in there. While important, I feel like I can get those things done over time without an imperative deadline. She has bedding on the bed and shades on the window, they just aren't necessarily related to the new color scheme.

Say tuned for the mostly-finished product in a few more days!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Bowl!

It's a great day in Baltimore! After an extremely emotional season full of ups and downs, victories and major challenges, the Ravens have defied every analyst, pundit, and statistic out there. We're going to the Super Bowl, and we could not "B-more" proud!

"We will win." 
-Anquan Boldin 

"We fear no team." 
-Bernard Pollard

There's no doubt, we're playing for Ray.

The heart & soul of this team

Every Ravens fan expected a nail-biter. We've been here before.

As the 2nd half ticked by and Brady threw INTs instead of TDs, it started to sink in.
We capitalized on turnovers, Joe kept his cool, and we put up more points. Finally, about half way through the 4th quarter it began to look like time was running out for the Patriots to catch up to us. As the clock ticked away we were just waiting for our moment to jump and cheer. A Carey Williams interception in Tom Brady's endzone was the perfect moment.

It was amazing to prove all the analysts wrong, to beat Tom Brady in Foxborough, and most of all to give Ray Lewis one more game - the Super Bowl.

We're very excited to be hosting our group of friends for the Super Bowl party. It's going to be one heck of a day. As if a Super Bowl isn't amazing enough, we'll be playing against the 49ers who are coached by our coach's brother, and it will be Ray Lewis's final game of his career. I know every team works hard all year to go to the Super Bowl. Every player wants that experience, and of course everything else that goes along with playing in or winning that game. I just can't help but feel like we have a determination this year that other teams do not. We have overcome so much just in this season. Then came the announcement of Ray Lewis's impending retirement a few weeks ago. I know every team wants it, but I just can't imagine they want it as bad as we do right now. Sending Ray Lewis out on the highest possible note is a whole lot of motivation. And we're that strong a team. 

Baltimore is a fun place to be during football season, but for the next two weeks leading up to this Super Bowl it's going to be unbelievable. You can bet that my jersey will not go back into the closet but instead will hang on a knob on my dresser drawer. My "playoff purple" nail polish will go untouched despite the fact that 3 weeks in, it's in pretty rough shape. I will not wear my Ravens socks. I will drink out of only our Ravens glassware. Buildings everywhere will be lit in purple. Cars will be decorated. Flags will fly. We will observe Purple Friday, but will probably wear purple any chance we get. Store shelves will be packed and promptly cleared of any and all things purple. 

It's a good time to be a Baltimore fan :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Prep To-do List

Well, I'm 30 weeks pregnant today, which means we have just 10 weeks until the due date! Time to get crackin' on the baby-prep to-do list. I mentioned I'd share my to-do list when I got it together, so here it is. I'll preface it by saying that I'm positive other things will be added along the way. Also, it is set up as a countdown by weeks. Since I am trying to work on whatever I can whenever I can (in the general prioritized order they appear on the list) the items listed for each week are what I want to have finished by that week, not what I'll be starting that week (I hope!).

8 Weeks
-Carsens room: painted at the very least, possibly textiles (quilt, bedskirt & window valence) depending. I have no delusions that there will be art on the walls and shelves perfectly styled/accessorized by this point. I'd be totally impressed with myself if I got her book shelves up.

6 Weeks
-Set up baby book: since I won't need to fill in that much at this point I'm hoping this won't be too tough to have done. And if it's there, hopefully it will be even easier to keep up with.
-Create hospital playlist: you know- music for labor, delivery and beyond

4 Weeks
-Hair cut: nice & short, because who knows when I'll be back for another one! And less hair = less care.
-Install infant car seat base
-Finalize "the plan" for day-of: double check with our on-call folks and make sure we're all on the same page for when it's go-time!
-Print & post babysitting info: essential info for whoever will be staying with Carsen while we're at the hospital (we have 3 couples who have very generously agreed to be on stand-by, and our parents as emergency options/place-holders since they'll probably want to be at the hospital)
-Pack bags: packing early minimizes chances of forgetting something important. Make a "last-minute" list to leave on top of the bag so I don't have to remember that stuff when the time comes either.

3 Weeks
-Laundry: clothes, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, etc.
-Fill dresser & closet
-Set up/clean baby equipment: swing, pack 'n play, toys
-Clean nursery: dust, wipe, vacuum etc. since it has been unused for a while
-Stock changing table

2 Weeks
-Set up bassinet: requires rearranging our room slightly, so its something we'd rather not do too far ahead of time
-Clean house for minimal maintenance: to make sure nothing is in desperate need of cleaning when a babysitter gets here or right after the baby arrives. Sort of a mini "spring cleaning."
-Stock essentials: mainly for the babysitter, but also for when we get home. I'd hate to have a babysitter show up and we're fresh out of milk or toilet paper.

I cut things off at 2 weeks because I'd really love to think that I'll be totally ready at that point, and since you never know when babies are really going to arrive it's good to allow for an early bird. I'd also like to have a little bit of time to relax so I'm not stressing over a to-do list until the last minute before labor. Luckily most of this stuff is pretty easy and I could knock out a whole section in one day if needed. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I'm sure there are a few things that will be added along the way, too. There are probably also some of you who can look at this list and think of half-a-dozen things that are missing. If that is you- speak up.

So that's basically what I'll be doing for the next 10 weeks! I'm hoping to keep the blog updated throughout, but if it gets spotty at least you'll know why :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh, Why Not

It's 11:00 on a rainy Monday night, I'm eating peach pie, and I thought you should know this. Well, this and the fact that I am multi-tasking my pre-baby#2 to-do list (lots of hyphens...). As of tomorrow we are just 10 weeks (ish, because you never really know) away from the arrival of our new baby. I might be having some slight internal stress over that. I think having the holidays right in between "too early to worry about that stuff" and "OMG we're running out of time!" has kind of thrown me off. The items I'm trying to work on simultaneously right now are Carsen's room and her baby book. Seems kind of an odd to-do list as we're preparing for a second baby, but both are actually re-do's that I'm worried won't get done after the baby is here. I hate planning projects that never get done.

Carsen's room, like I've mentioned, is planned but I need the time to get it done (that is, not when she's sleeping in it and not when she's awake and running around my ankles. You tell me when that is). It's small, so I'm hoping it won't take too much time. I am insisting we go to Lowes tomorrow for some supplies I need so that is not a hinderance when I'm ready for them. I may also delegate some of the textile work (quilt, bedskirt, window valence) to my mom if I start running out of time.

The baby book re-do is actually going well. I think since she was our first, when I sat down to make it originally I tried to include too much (like half a million photos). Then I also had a store-bought baby book that I used more for recording milestones and such and I really just want that stuff in one book. I've decided to try to save myself some time by printing a lot of the page labels with some cute fonts I downloaded. Too many times I get annoyed if my own handwriting doesn't turn out perfectly, or it looks different one night than it did the night before. I can't stand that, plus hand writing everything takes a lot more time. So I'm working on typing up all the little labels I'll need on the pages, then I'll assemble the pages and fill in the photos. I'm limiting 1-2 photos per occasion to try and be reasonable and efficient. The plan is to use the same layout/template to put Reagan's book together, hopefully much more easily.

In other getting-ready-for-baby news, we're now officially on the 2 week schedule for doctor visits. I think that has also contributed to my sense of urgency. We have our next appointment Wednesday. So far everything has looked and sounded perfectly on schedule. I passed my glucose test with flying colors also, which was a relief since last time my sugar was somehow low and I had to go back for the 3-hour test. At this point I don't think I need any other testing or blood work! I've been feeling really good other than starting to run out of room for bending, reaching, sitting, and breathing. That's kind of annoying at times (shoe-tying is the worst) and much more of an inconvenience since I have a toddler to take care of this time. It's getting pretty hard to bathe her, dress her, put on her shoes, help her use the potty/wash her hands, lift her in/out of the car or high chair, and pretty much anything else that requires me to bend in half at the waist. I've also switched to eating small, protien-based "meals" 4-5 times a day. Sometimes it's an apple and peanut butter, or cottage cheese and fruit, or a hard-boiled egg. I just can't fit a big meal in there and I get super uncomfortable if I eat too much at a time. It's nice not ever getting super hungry though. I may even keep up that pattern once she's born. Lord knows you never get a hot meal with an infant anyway ;) The up side to getting bigger is that I can feel Reagan moving around almost constantly which is both fun and reassuring. While I'm somewhat uncomfortable at night I still feel like I'm sleeping pretty well, I haven't had heartburn or many of the other issues a lot of people experience later on in pregnancy. I'm just hoping my energy stays up over the next 10 weeks so I can get all the things done that I need to!

I should probably start by getting to bed....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Where to Begin

So the Christmas decorations are packed up and put away. Christmas gifts have all found their new homes, and plenty of older, unused/no-longer-needed items are bagged for donation. I've also sold $50 worth of items I cleaned out of my closet- woot :) 

Now that the holidays are over and cleaned up after, it's time for baby prep! We are just 10 and a half weeks away from our March 26 due date and starting the process of making our house ready for Reagan! You wouldn't think there'd be much to do the 2nd time around but there is actually a decent to-do list. Pretty much the only thing we don't have to do is put a nursery together and make big purchases. Though we do have to put Carsen's big-girl room together which involves paint/wall treatments, making a blanket (I'll explain why when I blog it), making a window treatment and matching bed skirt, adding book storage and some kind of seat (I'm thinking just a bean bag) for a reading corner, hanging photos/art/shelves. So that mostly makes up for not having to do a nursery. Some of it doesn't have to be done before Reagan arrives though, so that helps.

To get ready for Reagan, we need to do things like...
- Pull out, clean and make a place for baby equipment like the swing and pack & play
- Pull out, clean and set up the bassinet
- Install the infant car seat base
- Pull out and wash clothing, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, etc. then stock dresser & closet
- Clean the nursery since it's not currently being used
- Make plans for Carsen for when we go to the hospital

I'm certain there are some others that I'm forgetting because it's late. I also have a non-essential list that includes getting a playlist ready for the hospital, making the baby book, and changing out the photos & accessories in the nursery that were Carsen's for ones that will be Reagan's. 

For all of the essential items I am in the process of creating a week-by-week check list to make sure things get done in plenty of time. There are some things that can be done way ahead and others that I'd rather do closer to the due date, so the weekly list helps keep me from forgetting something until the last minute that I should have done earlier on. I'll share that list when it's done. 

Right now Carsen's room is priority 1. We need to buy our supplies and find a good time to work on it. Since she is already using her room I can't very well work on it while she's napping, and when she's awake... well, that would be impossible too. We might have to call in Nana to come over and play while I work. It's a small room so it shouldn't take a lot of time, I just need some kid-free time to do it. Once her room is painted I can work on the textiles easily during naps and after she goes to bed at night. I plan to have the progress posted as soon as things get underway! And for those of you who recall the major paint indecision I went through when choosing a color for our main level, let not your hearts be troubled. The color for her room is chosen :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Welcome, 2013!

I seriously love that "clean slate" feeling you have on January 1st. It's not as if anything has really started over. No past events have been erased. It's just a new day like any other. Yet for some reason it feels like one book has been closed and you're just opening the cover of a new one, fresh-ink smell and stiff pages. I love it. The calendar is clean and wide open, save for those handful of usually happy events you have planned well in advance like weddings, births, and vacations. Who doesn't love a calendar with only those great things on it?

We have a few things on our new clean calendar already that we're very excited for. The first of course is the birth of our 2nd daughter in March. Now that the holiday season is officially winding to a close, we'll be kicking the baby-prep into high gear for the next 12 weeks. Luckily her nursery is already complete from when Carsen used it, so that will just need some standard cleaning and filling back up with tiny baby clothes. We are planning to finish/decorate Carsen's new big-girl room though and definitely want that taken care of before the birth. Most of that planning is done though, it's just a matter of finding time to do the work.

After the baby arrives, we'll be settling into a new routine and adjusting to life with a toddler and newborn, but I'm hoping that within a couple of months that will include some time for me to start training again. Not only do I want to get back in shape post-baby, but I am making a second attempt to run the Baltimore half marathon in the fall. I had to stop training this past summer when I was hit with first trimester all-day-sickness and then decided to put off training until after the baby was born. Beginning my training in early summer will hopefully give me plenty of time to train at a steady pace and be ready in more than enough time for race day in October. Visions of my two girls and sweet husband cheering for me at the finish will certainly provide all the motivation I'll need :D

We are also in the planning stages of a family vacation with my mom, my sister and her kids. We try to do a big family vacation together every other year, and since Josh and I didn't take a vacation at all in 2012, we're especially excited for this one. Not to mention that Carsen really loved the trip we took in 2011, so with her being 2 years older this time I'm sure she'll have even more fun. We'll definitely be looking at the Outer Banks, NC as our location but haven't determined the details or dates yet.

While I'm not so much one for "resolutions" I do like to set some goals for a new year. Running the half marathon is my first for 2013, but you know I also have a list of house projects that I'm trying to accomplish! We shall see what gets done ;)  I'm trying not to fill my plate too full, but at the moment here's what I have in mind...
 - Finish Carsen's new room
 - Make new covers for our couches
 - Paint the kitchen cabinets
 - Harass Josh enough that the tile (now going on 3 years old) finally goes down!

While we're at it, I have a couple of crafty projects planned too!
 - Re-do Carsen's baby book (I have both a scrapbook and a store-bought 'baby' book and I'm not happy with either. I'm hoping to merge them and make one book I'm happy with!)
 - Pre-make pages for Reagan's baby book (at the same time I do Carsen's, maybe?)
 - Put files aside monthly for our 2013 yearbook (I'm terrible at this and am several years behind on yearbooks as a result!)

Since there are only 12 weeks remaining before we add a newborn to the mix, I'm not going to hold myself to any unrealistic expectations and will be re-evaluating along the way what might actually get done and what will have to wait. I know that training will take up a good bit of my time, and from experience I know I've tended to either train or work on projects - rarely both concurrently. In the past I've used Carsen's usually 2.5-3 hour nap time to either run or work on a project but who knows what things will look like with a 2nd baby around. Everything will have to be kind of up in the air and determined along the way. I'm ok with that though. Less can go "wrong" when your plans aren't set in stone anyway, right? That'll be my optimistic mantra for when something falls by the wayside ;)

What kind of fun do you have on your calendars so far for 2013? Anyone else tackling some home or craft projects? Training for a race or competition? Fun vacations in the works? Do tell :D