Getting Ready for my Little Monster: Decorating Baby’s Bedroom

I have been anxious to get baby boy’s bedroom decorated and ready for him to come home to, or as my husband said recently, “nesting like crazy.” Part of it is because I am excited, part of it is because I want it to be done if he were to be born early. My cousin recently had a baby girl born several weeks premature due to preeclampsia, so not having things done or close to done for him makes me feel nervous.

The room has been used for the past two years as a guest room, so we had to do some rearranging and take all of the furniture that was in the room downstairs to an extra room in the basement that we had previously used for storage.

When we moved into our house this room had been wallpapered with a tacky striped paper and a sports-themed border. We removed both and painted the room a greige color. I didn’t want to repaint the room since we had so recently painted it, so we left the walls as they were. I found some cute vinyl decals of monsters on Wal-Mart’s website.

I painted two pictures to hang in the room, based on a similar project I had seen on Pinterest.

I found a cute monster-themed alphabet print in Etsy and framed it.

A fingerpainting that my nephew had made and had given to me for Christmas was already hanging in the room and I decided to leave it because it is colorful.

I couldn’t find any fabric with monsters on it at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby, but found some with a cute pattern at JoAnn’s on an out of town trip. I sewed a valance for the curtains using it. It turned out to be a little long, but it will do. The blue curtains had already been hanging in the room.

 

We brought in the crib and rocking chair formerly in Abby’s room. Before Abby was born I had recovered the rocking chair cushions in gray fleece. The bookshelf was my husband’s from when he was a kid.  I would like to paint it but I’m not sure I will get that done any time soon. I added a couple fabric storage cubes with monsters on them from Dollar General. The other I had and previously used in Abby’s room. The teal hamper I bought at Walmart.

Right now the room is a little bit crowded because the swing and Pack and Play are being stored in there until the baby arrives, then they will be moved to the living room for use.

Did you go through a nesting phase while you were expecting?

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Making Friends

I have written about this subject before, so please forgive me if it seems duplicative or redundant.  

My husband has friends he is able to call and talk to, go out for a beer with, hang out with, or workout with.  I don’t have any friends like that.  I will say it plainly, it sucks.  

It just feels weird, nay, wrong, to honestly say that I have no friends.  It’s lonely.  It feels pathetic. 

It would be nice to have a mom friend to have play dates with or to be able to say, “hey, my kid just did ____, has your kid ever done that?  What do I do?”  I would like someone to go out to lunch or coffee with, someone to call after I have had a bad day, or to call if I know that she’s had a bad day.  I would like someone to talk to about important things, random things, dumb things.  

When you’re a kid it is easy to make friends.  There are kids in your neighborhood to play outside or ride bikes with.  At school each day you are in classes or riding the bus with the same kids.  If you are on a sports team you are always around the same group of kids.  When you are an adult it becomes different.  How do you make friends after a certain age?  Real friends?

Yesterday I picked up Abby from the local aquatic park where she had been swimming with her fellow daycare kids.  As I was pulling out from my parking spot I noticed the mom parked next to us.  She appeared to be close to my age.  She was carrying a young baby boy and leading a toddler girl.  Wrapped around her waist was a Star Trek beach towel.  I immediately thought, she looks like someone I could be friends with.  We seemed to have several things in common.  But how weird would it be to stop the car, get out, and start up a conversation with this random stranger in a parking lot, “Hey you don’t know me, but you look cool.  Can we be friends?”  I would look like a crazy person. 

So how is it done?  I don’t know.  Honestly, it is a question that has always baffled me, but I never had an issue until after high school. 

When I first started working at my current place of employment sixteen years ago, I worked with a very sweet lady named Kathy.  She mentioned to me several times that she thought I and her daughters would get along very well and she wanted us to be friends.  Finally I gave in and accepted her invitation to come to her house and hang out with them.  The whole evening was totally awkward.  We didn’t have anything in common and struggled to make conversation.  It was worse than a blind first date.  

I have tried to set up a game night at my house on a weekend and invited people, but it never really works.  I tried joining a mom group but there was not much interest and it disbanded.  

I don’t know, I guess I am at a loss at what to do.  

Have you ever felt this way and overcome It?  What did you do?  

A Long Time Away 

Photo by Viktor Hanacek. From http://www.picjumbo.com

It has been over a month since I last published anything.  I have been amazed each day to see that my page has still been visited – thank you to those of you who have.  

I haven’t published anything for several reasons.  I ran out of ideas for a while.  I went through a period where I thought maybe I wouldn’t come back… my readership isn’t very high, would anyone really notice?  Would anyone really care?  Does what I write about matter to anyone?  I was ill with bronchitis for over a month and felt too awful to do anything beyond the everyday necessities.  I felt stressed and a little depressed due to work, worn out and exausted from being pregnant and running around after a toddler.  Meh.

But, after much consideration, I decided to return.  My writing may not mean much to some, or most, but if another mom can identify with it, and me, then I feel like I am making a small difference and that makes me feel good.

So I guess you are stuck with me. 

I look forward to updating you on my latest thoughts, what’s been happening with my pregnancy, what’s going on in our family, and more.  Stay tuned!  

Blueberry Banana Breakfast Cookies 

This morning I experimented and created some breakfast “cookies” for Abby.  She loved them and was pretty stoked that she was allowed to eat “cookies” for breakfast.  With no added sugar and being full of fiber, I had no hesitation when Abby asked for more.  

These are a softer cookie, not crunchy.  I can think of other ingredients to add to change them up a little, like raisins, dried cranberries, or mini chocolate chips.  I have a bunch of bananas that will soon be overripe, so I plan to make more and freeze them.

Ingredients 

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 c oats
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 c blueberries 
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Directions 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients and drop by spoonfuls in a cookie shape onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes 16 cookies.

Enjoy!

Good Morning 

Good morning! 

Whew, what a rough night.  Abby woke up twelve times during the night, eleven times after I had gone to bed.  Her fever finally broke around 3:00 a.m.and I slept (kind of!) more peacefully after that.

Abby really hasn’t ever been ill too much, so I am still relatively inexperienced at taking care of a sick child.  Last night she had the highest fever she’s had since she was twelve weeks old and had an infection that required a spinal tap and hospitalization.  I was worried, especially since I didn’t know what we wrong.

I’m not sure if it was a stomach bug or her teething, or maybe a combination.  A couple of children at her daycare were ill this week.  At her 18 month well child check on Monday she had molars coming in and this morning she showed me two new teeth had broken through on top.

We’ve been up since 5:00 a.m. and she has been singing and being goofy.  She’s  been dancing and running around like a wild child.  My living room and her bedroom look as though a toy tornado hit them.  I can tell she is feeling much better!

This momma is super tired today… thank goodness for coffee! I don’t know how I would function without it sometimes.
I hope you all have a great day!

A Dark Cloud

Photo by Christian Gertenbach. From http://www.unsplash.com

Bleh.  Today I just feel bleh.  I feel like there’s a dark cloud hanging around.  Maybe it’s the weather and bleak gray winter atmosphere outside.  Maybe it’s just work and feeling overwhelmed by my job responsibilities and ongoing projects.  Maybe it’s housework and all the personal things I would like to do and feeling like there is not enough time in the day or money in my wallet.  Maybe it’s just PMS.  Maybe it’s boredom as I sit in a six hour training, only two hours of which applies to me.  Maybe it’s dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and fear with our country’s current political events.  Maybe it’s just that I am on day three of a continuous headache.  Bleh.

Thoughts on Having a Second Child

Photo by Rachel Walker. From http://www.unsplash.com

Recently my husband and I had the talk about if we should start trying to conceive a second child.  People have started to get nosy and ask if we are trying or say comments like, “Abby needs a little brother,” or “You should start soon!”  We’ve waited the obligatory eighteen months that my obstetrician advised us to wait after my emergency C-section.  We haven’t officially started to try to get pregnant, but we haven’t tried not to either, figuring it will happen when it happens. 

The subject hasn’t been far from my mind.  Here’s a list of what I have been thinking about.

  • I feel kind of sorry that #2 won’t get all the one-on-one attention that Abby has had for the as year and a half.  I also feel kind of sorry for Abby that she will have to adjust to sharing Mommy and Daddy with someone else.  I know it will happen eventually, but I feel bad rocking her little world.
  • I recently started a medication that made me feel constantly nauseous for a week.  I am not ready for the morning sickness period of pregnancy.  I had it for months.
  • I was hoping to be in better shape the second time around.  I wanted to work on gaining strength in my core, arms, and legs. Standing and rocking Abby for hours on end was brutal.  She never liked rocking in the glider and always wanted me to stand and rock her.
  • Abby is just now starting to sleep through the night or only wake up once.  Yes!  The thought of pregnancy insomnia and sleep deprivation from taking care of a newborn is a hard pill to swallow.
  • Can we afford a second kid?  Doctor visits, diapers, daycare… kids are so expensive!
  • Will Abby be jealous of #2?  I remember being excited when my mom was pregnant.  I wanted a sister to play with… then she arrived and was small, stinky, noisy, and took all my mom’s attention.  I wanted to send her back but Mom said we couldn’t.   I cut all the hair off of my Fraggle doll, Wembley, and got in trouble.
  • I dread telling my boss and coworkers when it is time to announce that I am pregnant, mostly because of the timing.  We are working on an intense year long project that I would (depending on timing) miss the last quarter or end of.  I feel bad because of the possibility of throwing more of my work onto my coworkers.
  • Because of this work project I will be required to put in a lot of extra work and overtime hours.  That is totally going to suck when I am pregnant, exhausted, and chasing a toddler around at home.
  • Will we be able to keep our current daycare provider?  Abby loves her and has never gone anywhere else.  I don’t want to switch to someone I don’t know if she doesn’t have an opening when it is time for me to go back to work after maternity leave.
  • I can’t wait to be pregnant again.  Aside from the morning sickness I loved just about every moment of being pregnant the first time.
  • I can’t wait for little baby snuggles… the new baby smell… new baby sounds… ahh….

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Someone did not enjoy her visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Photo by Kiel Emerson Photography.

It is December and there’s only a couple weeks left until Christmas.  The unseasonably warm weather we have been enjoying had finally turned cold and the first snow as fallen.  
I have decorated the house minimally, compared to normal, mostly because I haven’t had the time or energy to do it.  Everyone in our home has taken turns fighting colds since Thanksgiving. My husband and I finally decorated our tree two nights ago. We put the tree up in the basement this year, since Abby is mobile, curious, and ornery.  I figured that if it was in our living room like normal she would not leave it alone. 

I am not sure why but it has been hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Usually I excitedly decorate the tree on the day after Thanksgiving.  I have fun driving my husband nuts with singing carols all season.  We have a yearly tradition of making hot cocoa and driving around town to look at all the Christmas lights but this year we haven’t done that because it is impossible for Abby to see the lights from her rear-facing car seat in the back of the car. Normally I try to make a lot of gifts for my family but have just not had motivation or been ambitious enough to do it.  My shopping is usually done and gifts are wrapped under the tree by now, but nary a gift has been wrapped and only some items have been crossed off of my shopping list.  Trying to figure out the logistics of our holiday travel and how to attend three different Christmas celebrations has been stressful and I hate it.  I feel like no matter how I try to arrange things and make time spent together even between families, some people are willing to be flexible while others do not budge or consider trying to do anything different than the way it’s been done for the last twenty years; someone always ends up unhappy and disappointed.

Man, I really sound Ike the Grinch, don’t I?

This week I am making a greater effort to spread Christmas cheer.  Abby and I have watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.  We went to visit Santa, but Abby was terrified and wanted nothing to do with him, while last year she sat calmly on his lap and tried to pull a fist full of his beard.  I played Christmas music for Abby this morning instead of listening to our regular Sesame Street radio station. Tonight I am going to watch my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas, and wrap presents.  I am going to bake and freeze cookies- we have to have cookies to leave out for Santa, after all, don’t we?  

No Rest for the Weary

I have a cold and it stinks!  Abby was sick for over a week and I was exposed to my snotty, hacking sister-in-law and niece at Thanksgiving, so I knew that it was only a matter of time before it was my turn to get sick.

I stayed home from work with Abby on Friday and she only took two half hour naps, not nearly long enough for me.  I eventually put her in the Pack and Play with some toys and turned on Sesame Street while I lay next to her and slept for about fourty five minutes.  When she went to bed at 8:00 p.m. I went to bed too.

Yesterday she took two thirty minute naps but I was able to get her to snuggle with me on the couch and fall back asleep for about fourty minutes until my husband’s on-call phone rang.  

It is so hard to chase after an incredibly energetic one-year-old when your head is full of congestion and you have zero energy.  I feel like a zombie.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I were able to take some cold medicine, but since I am still nursing I am limited on what I can take.  Right now I am pretty much functioning on coffee and Tylenol.  I am incredibly grateful to my husband for picking up lunch and supper the last couple days

There are so many things I feel like I should be doing right now: decorating for Christmas, shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts, washing the mountain range of laundry that has formed in my hallway, unloading the dishwasher, and more, but I am going to turn on some Elmo’s World and veg on the couch for a while.