Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Dresser

Danny and I finished up the last step of our dresser makeover tonight, so I thought I'd share the dresser story with you. As always, scroll to the end if you just want to see the dresser.

I know I've mentioned that we already own a mid-century dresser that I ruined with paint a few years ago (ugh). Here she is:

Back when I was feeling ambitious, I planned on refinishing that sucker—but as time wore on, the thought of all that stripping and sanding and priming and staining became overwhelming. Plus, if we used that huge dresser, we wouldn't be able to put anything else, like the Ikea Expedit, on that wall.

I searched Craigslist relentlessly for nearly 3 months—to no avail. The very same day I gave up and decided to just buy a changing table from Target (Seriously. Like, 3 hours after Danny told his mom she could buy us a changing table), I stumbled upon this stud (and his taller brother that'll go in our bedroom) on Craigslist:

Looks way better in this "before" photo I took than it did in real life.

I don't know why my gut told me to check Craigslist one more time, but it did. They're in very good condition, and we snagged them both for $200.

However, they looked very dull and dry, which this picture captures nicely:

I also wasn't a fan of this:

Freaking Formica!

...or this:

Disgusting drawer liners.

...but I knew we could remedy these situations.

We borrowed some supplies from my friend, Melanie, who happens to know and love all things furniture.

First we scrubbed the dresser down with Murphy's Oil Soap. Next, we applied Howard's Restor-A-Finish with fine-grit steel wool, then wiped it dry. Last, we polished the entire surface with Howard's Feed-N-Wax. This process really brought the piece to life, and it took less than 2 hours.

I removed the gross drawer liner and replaced it with some pretty gift wrap I found at T.J.Maxx.

I ordered a cut-to-order piece of laminated vinyl from Chic Shelf Paper to cover up the Formica and help tie the piece in with the crib. I have to be completely honest and admit that there are bubbles all over the surface of that thing, and try as we might, we can't get rid of them.

Anyway, this isn't the most fantastic picture in the world, but here's the final result:

All shiny and lovely.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

35 Weeks = Baguette

Today's a really happy milestone: 35/35; I'm exactly 35 weeks pregnant, and I have 35 days left until my due date. Booyah!

Anyway, right now, Arlo's about as long as this loaf of garlic bread:

Windy and rainy. I'm tired of Cleveland ruining my bump photos.

I probably don't need to tell you that I'm improvising again this week. I charged through the grocery store like a tape-measure-wielding maniac until I found something that's about 18" long.

Arlo's been having lots of hiccups this week, which is strange and adorable. I was wondering if I'd ever get to feel baby hiccups, so we can cross that one off the list. By now, most of his physical development is complete, and his main job is to put on weight. Easy, fella—I've seen those cankles (and Lord, do I love them).

I've had a pretty good week—a little of this, a little of that... lots of exhaustion... about what you'd expect of an 8-month-pregnant body. I try to keep things in perspective and treat every painful leg cramp or trip to the bathroom as a little reminder that I'm pregnant with an awesome, healthy baby.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Lighting

We've been busy working on the nursery lately (almost done!), but I haven't been sharing much of our progress because I don't want to give away too much too soon. Since the pendant's on the ceiling, I can show you that without revealing too much of the room.

Anyway, I knew I wanted to make a statement with the ceiling fixture, but I didn't want to spend a fortune. When Danny and I saw the Knappa Pendant at Ikea, we knew it was the one. Interesting + $25 = Come to mama.

When we got it home, though, we were bummed to find out that it's meant to be plugged into an outlet and hung like this:

Ugh. Ikea directions. 

That wasn't going to fly, so we enlisted the help of our handy friend, Joe, and he figured out a way to hang it from the existing ceiling bracket using a $17 "pendant fitter" from Lowe's.

I should mention that putting the actual pendant together was a nightmare in itself. Just as I was contemplating shoving all of those stupid little pieces down the garbage disposal, Danny (and YouTube) came to the rescue.

Here's the end result, which I adore:

Can you see those birch trees in the background, you sneaky devil? 

Thanks, Joe!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

34 Weeks = Bowl of Oranges

Today, I'm 34 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and Arlo(!!) probably weighs just under 6 pounds now. The 8 oranges in this bowl weigh a total of 5lbs 10oz. I'm just improvising this week—and will probably continue to do so—since the fruit comparison charts I was using are nonsensical and really annoying.

I'm sure I looked like a lunatic when I was weighing these at the grocery store, swapping them out and trying to find the perfect combination for this week's representation. It took longer than I care to admit. (And my eyes say it all here. I can hardly stay awake.)

Arlo can recognize simple songs now, and he's urinating about a pint a day. He's just jammin' and peein' and having a grand old time in there.

Let's zoom in on that thing.

My symptoms haven't been too terrible this week. Aside from incessant peeing (waaaaay more than a pint a day) and exhaustion, I had a weird episode of seeing cloudy spots when I was driving home from the mall on Sunday. Supposedly, blurry vision is common around this time, and is caused by a combination of hormones, fluid buildup, and lack of sleep. At least I know I'm probably not going blind, thank goodness.

40 days to go!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's in a Name?

Poppyseed, Appleseed, Sweet Pea, Blueberry...Watermelon…

Baby Boy, our son, our dancer, Little Man, Guido…

Our fighter, our trouper, our miracle…

The one who saved me:


Thursday, February 14, 2013

33 Weeks = 5-Pound Weight

Today, I'm 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and at this point, babies weigh between 4.2 and 5.8 pounds, like a durian. Yesterday, the ultrasound tech guessed that Guido is about 5lbs 2oz. right now, so I really phoned it in this week and busted out a 5-pound weight to represent him. This was better than trying to hunt down a durian, whatever that is.  

By now, Guido's eyes are open when he's awake. His skeleton is hardening, and his brain is developing like crazy.

When I think of symptoms, "sweaty" springs to mind—along with exhausted, stretch marks, linea nigra, heartburn, swollen feet, and round ligament pain. All that said, I really do feel fine overall. Just not as fine as I did a couple weeks ago... and I know I'm just going to get more uncomfortable as time goes on. Sign me up!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Breech-ish Baby

We had an appointment today, at 33 weeks and 1 day, to see where exactly Guido's hanging out in there. He did move slightly—but in the wrong direction. Naturally. He's somewhere between transverse and breech now. We'll discuss this issue at my next appointment in 2 weeks.

Aside from that news, it was a pretty uneventful appointment. We did get to see our little chubs, though—and he was as uncooperative and camera shy as always. We've still never gotten a good glimpse of his face, but this just means we'll be extra surprised when he arrives.

I love that his nose somehow looks like both Danny's and mine here. (And only a mommy could look at a photo this distorted and cry because her baby is so beautiful.)  

The ultrasound tech (I first typed "ultratech sound," which made me laugh out loud just now) estimates that Guido is currently about 5lbs 2oz, meaning he's measuring approximately a week ahead. He'll most likely be pushing 9 pounds at birth if he continues to grow at the rate he has been.

I always assumed I'd have smaller babies because my mom and sister did, but this dude apparently has other ideas. Do your thang, Guido.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baby Shower (Short Version)

Our amazing friend, Melanie, threw us a baby shower today, and Danny said it best when he called it "the shower to end all showers." Seriously, it was something you'd see in a movie and think, "Oh, right, like anybody actually has a baby shower like that!" It was incredible.

The spectacular Mel!

Our very talented friend Sarah, of LuSarah SEAS Photography, took lots of pretty pictures of the festivities, so I'm going to do my real baby shower post when she has these ready for the world to see.

For now, just know that this was one of the happiest days of my life. I haven't found the words to express how fantastic it felt to celebrate this baby with our loved ones. I'll probably never find the words, but I'll do my best when I write my "Baby Shower (Long Version)" post.

I won't make you wait to see a picture of our loot, though!


Another point of interest is that after a few drinks (Did I mention that this shower lasted for 6 hours and turned into a baby party?), Danny accidentally referred to our baby by name in front of about 7 people. I don't want this group of people to have to keep it a secret from our other friends, so you can expect me to share his name with you sometime in the very near future.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nursery Stuff: CHAIR!!

Well, it just so happens that my 100th blog post (!!) is a super exciting one. Okay, maybe I kind of planned it that way, but still.

Remember this post, where I explained how important a sturdy, well-made, beautiful chair is to me—and admitted I'd be splurging in this department? Well, in case you don't feel like revisiting the post, here's the chair I claimed I'd be buying: 

Monte Joya Rocker

I tried to talk myself out of it last month. I really, really did. The $1k price tag was just so hard to swallow. Then, somebody warned me that rockers slide all over the place, so gliders are the way to go. Then, I happened upon a reviewer who complained that the chair was too narrow to comfortably accommodate a nursing pillow and too short to allow her to rest her head against the back .  

Unfortunately, the nearest store that carries the chair is 7 hours away, so we couldn't go check it out for ourselves. I'm crazy, but not crazy enough for that kind of drive. Instead, we contacted the only store in Ohio that carries the brand (not the specific chair), and learned that they carry the Grano Glider, which is basically the glider version of the Joya Rocker, as far as appearance and dimensions are concerned.

As luck would have it, the store is only a half hour or so away from us, so we headed on over to give the glider a test drive.

Danny chilling in the glider and loving it. 

In short, we were blown away. Yes, it's small, and for larger people, it would be a problem. It's perfect for us, though, and while it may not look like it in the photo above, the back of the chair is the perfect height for us to rest our heads against. I was almost sold on the glider, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life wishing I'd just gone with my dream rocker.

I contacted Land of Nod, and they told me that if I ordered the Joya Rocker and wasn't satisfied, they'd send a truck to pick it up and return it, free of charge. I'd only be out my original shipping fee of $90. Sold.

I decided to go with the heather gray, though, because I couldn't help but think the charcoal gray would be covered in white spit-up and all kinds of lovely things that the lighter gray could better mask. 

Anyway, here she is in Guido's nursery: 


I removed a couple of items from the scene, because I don't want to show you too much nursery at once. 
I repeat: OMG.

We try to keep the door shut, but if it's ever open for any reason, this is surely happening:

I knew Edgar would try to steal this chair from me.

And when Edgar isn't in the chair, Maynard is, and I was lucky enough to catch him mid-yawn for you tonight.
Judging by this picture, you'd never know that he's the cutest cat in the world.

Admittedly, the rocker does slide around a bit, and I think I'll have to find some kind of little rug to put under it. I know the charcoal would have looked even better in the room, but I think the heather gray was the way to go. This chair is gorgeous—and extremely comfortable—and I can't wait to rock our baby boy to sleep in it.

Oh, and I'll be amazed if I ever regret spending $1,000 on this sucker. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Guido's Mommy?

I’m obviously not just realizing this, but the other day, it really, really hit me that, soon, it won’t just be Danny and me. I won’t share with you the incident that sparked this understanding, but just know that it was hilarious—and wildly inappropriate for this blog.

In 7 weeks or so, it’s not always going to matter what Danny and I want to do. Guido isn’t going to care that I need to have a dance party in the kitchen with my husband right now. Danny and I won’t be able to decide on a whim that if we don’t go somewhere for dessert immediately, we’ll die. 

As much as we love to support small businesses, we really can't get enough of Applebee's Triple Chocolate Meltdown.

No more spontaneous naps or impromptu other-things-people-do-all-over-the-house-when-they’re-in-love. Guido will be our first priority.

I’m absolutely not saying this is going to suck. If I haven’t made it clear yet that I’d do anything for our baby, then this blog is a big fat fail. Our tiny little family of 2 (and a bunch of animals) is becoming a less-tiny family of 3 (and a bunch of animals). It’s awesome and exciting—but it’s going to be such a huge change. A change we're ready for, but still. A change.

I think what freaks me out even more than all of this is the fear of losing my own identity. Maybe “fear” is too strong of a word—but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot.

Months ago, I happened upon a blogger who, in her blog description, said something like, “I’m Cara. Well, for now, anyway! Soon, I’ll be Aiden’s Mommy!” (I changed both of those names because I’m not a complete asshole.) Ummm, what? This is exactly what I don’t want to happen to me. I want to be Guido’s mom and Amanda—forever. And I want to be awesome at both of those things, not just one or the other.

We see this all the time. People aren’t always as blatant about it as “Cara,” but think of your newsfeed on Facebook, for example. I’ve been referring to it as “Babybook” for a couple years now. As soon as some people have babies, they lose the ability to update the world about anything else. It drives me insane, and I unsubscribe from all of these people—and no, I don’t make exceptions. (I’ve unsubscribed from my own sister.) I’m not Facebook friends with your baby. I’m Facebook friends with you. (And why is your profile picture a photo of your baby? That isn't you. I'm confused.) I don’t need to know what your kid is wearing every Friday. Get a blog, and when I feel like looking at random babies, I'll go read it. I'm less bothered by people who post about their babies as well as other things.

I’m sure a lot of this annoyance stems from my miscarriages—and remembering how gut-wrenching it was to see baby after baby after baby in my newsfeed during my darkest hour. (While we're on the subject, get your ultrasound photos off Facebook. You have no idea how much you could be hurting somebody... and if you've suffered a loss and still have ultrasound photos on Facebook, double-shame on you.)

But I didn't like being inundated by baby photos and totes adorbs stories before that. It's so strange that people think their entire friends list cares that much about their baby. They don't! I promise. Do these look-at-my-baby-right-now-all-the-time people have nothing else going on in their lives? I'm sure being a parent is freaking incredible, but have they all become just parents? Have they lost sight of who they are as people?

This isn't going to fly in the Celis household, mark my words. Yes, Danny and I will share the occasional photo of Guido on Facebook, but even after Guido is safely in my arms, I'm going to be me: still irreverent, with the same interests I've had forever—and I'll always find this hilarious:

And don't worry. Danny will still post photos of monkeys running away with puppies, our cats cuddling on the couch, idiotic vanity plates, and what he's eating for dinner. He'll still complain that nobody can spell, the bank's new radio ad is awful, and Scooter destroyed his <insert expensive item he uses every day here>. He'll still be a well-rounded person—and a better parent because of it.  
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a dance party to attend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

32 Weeks = Papaya

Today, I'm 32 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and our baby boy is just shy of 4 pounds, much like this papaya:

That lovely fence belongs to the neighbors, not us.

At this point, most babies are preparing for their descent by getting into the head-down position. I can't tell where Guido is right now, but I'm hoping like crazy he's been visiting the same pregnancy websites I've been—and is doing exactly what he's supposed to do. We have an ultrasound next Wednesday, so we'll know what he's up to a week from now. I really, really hope he's flipped by then, and if he hasn't, I'll do all kinds of crazy acrobatics to encourage him to get into position. I'm seriously not in love with the idea of a C-section. It's still early, though, so I'm trying not to stress too much.

Symptoms? Oooh, Lord. Heartburn. Lower back pain. A horrible gas bubble (??) or something in my stomach. Congestion. A cold that's been around since Christmas. I've been a mess. Nights, in particular, are rough—and I haven't been sleeping well at all. Mama's tired.

Danny just loves when I steal his hoodies. Shh. Don't tell him. 

I've been doing a low-impact pregnancy workout DVD most days that focuses mainly on stretching and core exercises, and I do think it's alleviating some of my back pain. When I first bought the DVD, I fast-forwarded through it quickly (I may have been sitting on the couch, eating ice cream at the time) to see what I'd be dealing with the next morning, and I was disappointed. I thought it looked way too easy and would be a big waste of time. Wrong. Everything's a workout when you're off-balance and toting around this kind of poundage. It's definitely easy, but it's not too easy, and it isn't a waste of time.

Lots of excitement happening! Guido keeps getting awesome gifts in the mail from people who love him; every few days, something I've ordered for the nursery is being delivered; and! My baby shower is this Sunday. I don't remember the last time I was so pumped about something. Danny and I can't wait to celebrate this boy with our loved ones. It's going to be amazing.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nursery Stuff: Rug

Here comes another too-long post about how I arrived at a decision. Scroll to the end if you just want to see the damn rug.

When I first started thinking about the nursery, I was pretty certain I'd end up purchasing a turquoise shag rug—this one, to be exact:

Sparkles Turquoise Shag Rug 

Once I actually started executing my nursery plans, though, I realized neither size was quite right. I didn't mind the under-$200 price tag of the small one (2.8 x 4.8), but my gut told me it was too small—and the large one (4.7 x7.7) was definitely too large, and at $500, too expensive.

Plus, it was obvious that the color of this rug wasn't quite right. It didn't match the bedding or any of the other pops of teal/aqua/turquoise that'll be in the room. Back to the drawing board. 

Danny's had his heart set on a shag rug since the beginning, so that was a requirement, and then, it became clear as day: I needed a 4x6, light-gray shag rug.

I searched and searched, and lost hope several times, and finally, last week, Urban Outfitters added this to their website:

Lux Shag Rug

Shag? Check. Light gray? Kinda. 4x6? Okay, I have to give a little. 3.6 x 5.6 is close enough. With a 10% off coupon code I found online, it came to $197. My goal was to stay below $200, so props to me.

It arrived in no time, and when I finally got it out of the crazy plastic packaging, I definitely wasn't impressed. It looked mangy and drab, but there was no way I was going to go through the hassle of sending it back—so I dragged it into the room anyway, and once I started fluffing up the fibers, I knew we'd be okay. 

Pretty! (And excuse the random piles of things.)

It's super soft underfoot, but it does slide around a lot, and I'll need to buy a rug pad. I like the size and the color (but it's a lot lighter than it looked on the website—which made me happy, but could probably piss some people off), and while it's far from perfect, it's about what I expected for the price.  

I wish it were denser. It's very easy to make "bald spots" in the rug.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my purchase, and as you can see, so is Scooter.

When I told him to get off my rug, this was the best he could do.

While I was in the middle of writing this post, I received a very special delivery for the nursery. You can probably guess what it is! Stay tuned.