Friday, June 27, 2014

Baseball Nursery Reveal!

At last! The nursery is finished and I am ready to share it with you! And not a moment too soon, am I right? I mean, my due date is Tuesday. So, you know, procrastination and such. But, we did it!

I really debated what to do as the theme for Plus One's nursery, and ultimately decided on baseball. With his due date being so close to the Fourth of July and right in the midst of baseball season and summer, it just seemed fitting. We had a lot of fun with this theme and did quite a few DIY projects. Ultimately, I think it paid off - I love the finished product!

Of course, with this pregnancy we once again found ourselves in a position of having to carve out a corner of our own bedroom as the baby's "nursery." You may recall we did that for Ellie when we were living in a (rather compact) one-bedroom apartment in Hoboken, and this time around, we still have a few months left on our two-bedroom apartment lease. Luckily, in both instances, we have had room to spare in the master bedroom and were able to make it work.

To refresh your memory, this is what our bedroom looked like before:

Looking into the room from the door

Another angle

Lucky for us, we are still living it up college-style in our bedroom and do not actually have a bedroom set to call our own, which leaves plenty of room for baby furniture. So, with a little rearranging and the addition of much furniture, this is what our room currently looks like:

NOW looking in from the door - a bit more stuff, eh?

Another angle

Yeah, buddy! Baseball nursery!

Let's take a closer look, starting with the section of the room I love the most: the dresser/changing table and scoreboard:

My favorite part!

The dresser is the Ikea Hemnes dresser in blue (obviously) and we love it. It's such a great size - plenty of storage for all of Plus One's clothes and then some. Everything he has is in there (nothing even hanging in our closets), including clothes, diapers, spare wipes and diaper pail bags, and all his toiletries, accessories and bedding. This dresser was our first Ikea furniture purchase and Eric was quite pleased with how easy assembly was. To make it a little more baseball-y, I picked up some wood knobs from Home Depot and painted them to look like baseballs instead of using the knobs that came with the dresser.

My painted knobs

The knobs in action

The changing pad cover coordinates with the rest of the bedding, which is the Bacati Boys Stripes and Plaid set (available at Babies 'R Us).  I was surprised how difficult it was to find bedding I liked! Most everything that was sports-related had ALL sports, not just baseball, and anyway, I wanted something more subtle - just red, white and blue-ish colors, really. Finally, I found this set which fit the bill and wasn't a bajillion dollars. Yay! Also topping the dresser is a baseball lamp from Hobby Lobby.

A closer look at the dresser

The scoreboard, of course, is my favorite part of the whole nursery and is definitely the piece we worked the hardest on. I hope to put up a post about our DIY process a little later, but for now, suffice it to say it was a bit of work but so worth it.

Please, be impressed with our craftiness.

Of course, the "Baby" is there as a placeholder - the baby's actual name has been edited out because it is still a secret until he's born! But "Baby" will be replaced with his name, and all the other numbers have meaning:

  • The Cleveland score is 0722, which is my birthday (I'm the Indians fan!).
  • The Tampa Bay score is 1201, which is Eric's birthday (he's the Rays fan!).
  • The "At Bat" and balls/strikes/outs make up Ellie's birthday: 29 is her birth date, and she was born in March (three balls) of '12 (one strike, two outs).
  • The Pitcher numbers are 8/18, which is our wedding date.
  • The Runs/Hits/Errors portion is the "iffiest" of the number play, because it was a late addition and by using our birthdays as the current scores, we were locked in to the first numbers. The CLE line is meant to represent 1-19, the date Eric and I got engaged. The TB line is just a scrambled 1-4-3, a/k/a old school pager-speak for "I love you!"

I had originally planned to leave the scores blank and fill it in with Plus One's birthday and stats, but the idea of leaving this thing unfinished made me twitchy. So, we found numbers that are meaningful to our family instead!

Let's continue on, shall we?

The crib is the Storkcraft Tuscany 3-in-1 Crib in white. We had a little problem with assembly on this crib, and the back board cracked a bit while we were putting it all together. Storkcraft sent out a replacement part...eventually. They were quick to respond to our email inquiry but it took some time to actually get the part here. In fact, that is why the nursery wasn't finished until this week. But, it's done, the crib is repaired, and we really like it. Again, the bedding is the Bacati Boys Stripes and Plaid set. The tin pictures over the crib are from Hobby Lobby, and you may recognize Mickey Mouse in the corner - the same Mickey from our gender announcement!

The crib!

As we continue around to the window, we come to the glider and well, basically, the nursing station:

I'm looking forward to rocking another baby in that glider!

We brought the glider in from Ellie's room (originally bought second-hand at a consignment store in Hoboken) and it is currently sporting the quilt from the bedding set. We put a little shelf next to it with various bins to hold nursing supplies, my pump, snacks, my Kindle, etc. The shelf is topped with a baseball frame (again, from Hobby Lobby) holding both an old Little League baseball card of Eric, and a childhood picture of me that Eric had made into a baseball card as my Mother's Day gift! (I've never been on a baseball card before!) There is also the autographed baseball "guest book" from the baby shower.

My supply shelf, if you will

Baseball guestbook and parent baseball cards

We also put up some black-out curtains, the baby's first year calendar and the painting Ellie made for him (once again, name has been censored!).

Fancy toddler artwork!

And, above that little shelf I mentioned is yet another DIY project: the baseball bat mobile. I was inspired by this one that I saw on Pinterest, and decided to make my own version. I found the little bats at Hobby Lobby, stained them and had my stepdad attach the hardware to hang all the pieces. The baseballs are little foam balls from Party City, and the baseball cards are ones from Eric's childhood collection: Manny Ramirez from the Indians (for me), Raymond (the Rays mascot) from their inaugural season, Don Mattingly (Eric's favorite player growing up) and Mickey Mantle (classic baseball). Personally, I think it turned out rather cute!

The mobile!

Another look

And there you have it, folks! Plus One's Baseball Nursery. Now all we're missing is the angelic baby who sleeps 12 hours straight in that crib every night! (Because as we all know, there's no crying in baseball! Ha!)


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Threesome

This morning Eric and Ellie headed off to my mom's house, where Ellie will be staying until Plus One makes his grand entrance. After he is born, my mom will bring her back up here to meet him.

I have been an emotional wreck about the whole thing. The idea of being away from my baby girl for an indefinite amount of time, added to knowing that when she returns, her entire world will be changed and she has no way to anticipate that, is just too much for a 39-weeks-and-2-days-pregnant lady.

I know it will be okay. I know it will. I know we'll find our new normal and although it may be rocky at first, in time our new normal will be even better than the old normal. But today....oy. It's tough on this mama.

Last night we made sure to do something fun for our last night together as a family of three: we had some pool time after Ellie's nap, then had pizza for dinner in front of the TV as we watched Sesame Street. Ellie has been having some rough nights of sleep lately but last night she slept better than she has in weeks...I'm telling myself that was her way of telling me that she's going to be okay. She has also been throwing out unprompted "I love yous," happily commenting on her "family" and she told Eric that "Daddy and Ellie are best friends!" So she's either doing her best to reassure us or to rip our hearts out. Maybe both?

While Eric shuttles Ellie down to my mom's house today, I'm planning to treat myself to some Target shopping that does NOT involve prying Dollar Spot toys from a two-year-old's death grip, and then will clean up the house and tie up loose ends so that when Eric returns this evening, all we have left to do is wait on Baby Boy. And what better way to do that than on a date? We have dinner and movie plans tonight! And I know my mom has a ton of fun activities planned for Ellie, one of which includes a new swimming pool. So, I know this separation is a good thing, ultimately - we'll all get just what we need while we wait for Plus One.

Unfortunately, that just doesn't make it much easier to be away from my baby girl.

Our last family photo as a threesome, taken at the pool last night

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Park Hopping

Since moving to Jacksonville, I have made it my quest to find fun things for Ellie and me to do during Eric's working hours, and we have been pretty successful, I'd say. We have a fairly demanding storytime schedule and try to find other fun things to do as they pop up, too.

One resource that has helped me in my efforts is the Jax Moms Blog, which has pointed me in the direction of a number of fun outings. This summer, they've started a rather fun Jacksonville Park Hop, in which each week, they meet up at a different Jacksonville-area park with a different theme and fun activities (and an ice cream truck!) for the kids. Ellie and I went to the first one ourselves, and all three of us made it to the following two.

The first park hop was held at Sunshine Park in Jacksonville Beach, with a "Get Cool" theme. Ellie and I had a blast! We played with chalk and the various water and ice bins they had for the kids to dig into, ran around at the playground, hit the swings, shared a raspberry fruit bar from 3 Moms Ice Cream Truck, and splashed at the sprayground.

Our first park hop!


Yummy ice cream!

Cooling off

Unfortunately, that outing ended in tears after a tumble on the sprayground (mixed with general fatigue), but we had lots of fun up until that point!

The second park hop location was Clarke Park in Orange Park for "Bubbles of Fun." Once again, we played at the playground, ate some ice cream, and ran through bubbles.


Despite her tortured expression, she actually asked to do this.


"I'm a cowgirl! Giddyup!"

The most recent park we went to was 9A Baymeadows Regional Park for "Sand, Sun and Fun." They had lots of sand and water bins set up, some swag for the moms (free samples of Winn Dixie brand baby products), and free ice cream courtesy of Community First Credit Union. Ellie was particularly all over the place, playing on the playground equipment, swinging, eating her ice cream, playing with balls and sand and parachutes and such. Lots of fun!

More yummy ice cream!

"Share your ice cream with your parents" is a very important lesson to teach your children. Priorities!

Riding a "snake"

The belly, man. It's not messing around these days.

Sweet girl!

This has been such a fun summer activity! Of course, we're going to be sidelined for a little bit now, but hopefully we'll be able to make it out for another one or two at the end of the summer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

39 Weeks + Family Beach Day

Today I am 39 weeks pregnant. Say what, now?

Basically, at this point, it's just a waiting game. We're on Plus One's schedule, and every day I wake up wondering if this might be the day. Really, although if he came today I would be plenty prepared, I wouldn't mind if he stays put until his due date. Another week would give me plenty of time to tie up loose ends, finish up projects, get some rest, enjoy my current family, etc. So I'm putting my labor vibes out into the universe for next Monday! Join me, won't you?

As a general update, everything is still going very well. We have met the new doctor at our practice twice now and love her, we're squared away with our doula, major projects are finished (including the nursery - pics coming this week, barring labor before I get to it!), hospital bag is packed, and so on. As far as my physical state, I'm good. Like, surprisingly good. (Here's hoping that putting that in writing doesn't jinx it!) Sure, it's a trillion degrees and I'm constantly sweating, and my back aches by the end of the day - two very understandable and expected consequences of lugging a watermelon around in my belly in the heat of Florida summer. But by this point in my pregnancy with Ellie, I was miserable. I wasn't sleeping and was constantly uncomfortable thanks to heartburn, chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. I could only get relief by soaking in the bath so I basically lived in the tub, especially at night when everything seemed to worsen. This time, I haven't had any of that, which I am hoping is a very good sign of better things to come. In fact, not only do I feel better now than I did at this point in Ellie's pregnancy, but I even feel better than I did a month or two ago in this pregnancy. For a while I was really battling fatigue, sciatic and ligament pain, but much of that has subsided. Sure, I'm still tired, and I'll get some aches and pains here and there, and I'm having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, but on the whole it's much better than it was. I'm so grateful to feel this good so close to the end! It certainly helps me to stay patient while we wait for this little guy.

This week we are spending our last few days together as a family of three. The plan is to take Ellie down to stay with my mom on Thursday, and my mom will basically keep her until the baby arrives. We decided that was the best plan, both so that my mom wouldn't have to rush up here to care for Ellie as soon as labor started, and so that I can have a little toddler-free time to do whatever I need to do to prepare (sleep, float in the pool, walk at a brisk non-toddler-driven pace, etc.). And, I think she'll be able to show Ellie a significantly more fun time than I will be able to by the weekend. Of course, I'm going to miss Ellie like crazy - it's killing me to be apart from her for our last days as THIS family. But I do think this is the best plan, so, onward.

Until Thursday, we're doing all kinds of fun things. Eric's work is officially done so we're spending lots of time together, and we kicked it all off yesterday with a morning trip to the beach. We had lots of fun playing in the sand and surf together!

Shelling with my girl

Ellie loves to bury her legs in the sand!

Cute little toes poking out

"Daddy's gotcha!"

Silly kid

These two!

With my baby

Despite feeling pretty good physically, I am definitely a ball of emotions this week as we spend these precious days together as a family. As excited as I am to meet little Plus One and get to work settling in to our new family, I'm mourning the end of our current family, for lack of better terminology. I know this is normal, and I went through it while expecting Ellie, too; I essentially mourned the loss of the "coupledom" that Eric and I shared. Not because I didn't want to add a baby to our family, but because it was scary to go into the unknown, to completely change our family dynamic, when I knew what we had going on at the time was already so good. It's the same thing now. I'm so excited to add to our family but we really have a great little threesome going on, and it's hard to envision how it's going to be with that sweet little boy added to the mix. I know it's going to be wonderful, but we sure have had a good run as a threesome.

But for now, we enjoy each other as we wait for our new one. I have more things to write about this week, should Plus One allow it, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Swimming and Sweets

This past weekend my mom came up for a final visit before the baby comes. Eric was finishing his week of long work days for TFA, so the company (and help!) was much appreciated. We were able to get out and do lots of fun things, plus had plenty of time to just sit and chat, which was so nice.

My mom arrived on Friday and took Ellie to story time at Barnes and Noble while Eric and I went to my 38-week doctor appointment (everything is still going well!). Then we met Ellie and Grammy back at story time and went to the playground for a bit before coming home. That afternoon, after Ellie's nap, the three of us girls hit the pool for a little fun in the sun. We were trying out a new "puddle jumper" floatie for Ellie, and it was a major hit - she was a swimming fool!

Work it, girl.

Pool pals

Silly girls!

Loves it!

On Saturday, we went to a local candy shop called Sweet Pete's for toddler hour. Each child is able to decorate two cookies dipped in chocolate, then they read a story to the children. The shop itself was just adorable, and the event itself was a lot of fun. As one might expect, eating the finished product was Ellie's favorite part!

Sweet Pete working the chocolate

Master cookie decorator hard at work


Digging in

I think she approves of her work!

After candy storytime, we went to my friend's consignment shop for a bit, then out to lunch at Mellow Mushroom in Avondale. Despite devouring her pizza last time we were there, this time Ellie wanted nothing to do with the stuff. That is, until I boxed it up to take home - and then she scarfed it down in about five minutes, right out of the to-go box, because TODDLERS. After lunch, Ellie and Grammy donned their firefighter hats (figuratively speaking) and played in the fire truck for a while. Then it was home to nap!

I guess she just prefers her pizza to go.

Firefighters Grammy and Ellie, off to save the day!

The rest of the weekend was pretty mellow, and my mom left Sunday morning. It was a very nice visit! Thanks for coming, Mom!

These girls are buds!