Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nursery "Reveal"

I love when people title posts with the word "Reveal". It makes me feel scandalous for reading. I love a good scandal. Just kidding; I'm really boring actually.

Anyway, I figured since I did this post with lots of inspiration for my little guy's would-be nursery I should do the right thing and follow up with a post of how everything actually transpired. This is especially helpful because now that we have worn in the newness of it all {I have a 6 month old. How can this be?!?!}, it will be nice to weigh in on how effective my 'vision' has been in the overall efficiency of the room.

*there are links to the things we purchased throughout. I included them in case anyone is searching for the same thing.*

Here's a reminder of my vision for Daxon's room:

Let's start at the beginning. His door. Thrilling, I know- you can loosen the grip on the edge of your seat.
This pin was my inspiration for a little door decoration. I thought it would be easy. We had some branches just hanging out in the back yard that had been cut from some of our trees so I went out and snapped off some twigs of varying sizes and thicknesses and brought them in. I picked up a press board "D" from Hobby Lobby and sat down with those items plus my glue gun and thought I would spend a little time doing a neat little craft for my sweet little boy that was jumping around in my not so little belly. Boy was I wrong. Being the perfectionist -to a fault- that I am what I thought would take an hour or so turned into an afternoon marathon that ended with sore hands, burned fingers, and a huge mess bit of bark & hot glue on my kitchen table. And floor. And clothes. And probably my hair. Result though? I love it! It sets his door apart and I love the little pieces of moss and variation of colors on the bark. A fun introduction that lets you know behind this door is the room of a woodsy kid whose name starts with D. Awesome.

The view as you walk in the nursery:

We are very blessed with such a generous family. Our crib, dresser, and chair were gifted to us by my dad and stepmom. The Babyletto Hudson pieces were my dream furniture and I feel so so lucky my family made those dreams a reality! Overall the crib and dresser have held up very well and we love them, but they do scratch easily on the wooden parts. The changing table frame comes off when it's not needed anymore and will be stored away for future use. The crib converts to a toddler bed and a daybed.

My mom made the quilt and gorgeous name sign with some reclaimed wood from my grandparents' barn, and we purchased the cardboard die cut deer mount from the Etsy shop Cardboard Safari. The nightstand and lamp were both clearance -holla for a few dollas off- Target purchases. The shade on the lamp was originally a bluish gray and clashed with the wall color, so I watered down some of the latex paint used on his closet and gave it a face lift. The deer print blanket was a clearance -who loves clearance? I do!- purchase from Babies R Us and I sewed the pillow cover from leftover fabric used to make the quilt.

The rug is one of my favorite things about his room and was purchased from Ikea. I cannot wait to watch him play and make up fun adventures with his toys using the neat patterns on it.

I made the mobile from a bag of decorative spheres purchased at Ikea, some twine, some yarn, and an old embroidery hoop. I just wound the hoop with the yarn (periodically hot gluing it down), fastened the twine through the spheres and tied them off with triple knots and hot glue where I wanted them (and I used varying lengths to create some interest) and strung more yarn in a few places (again, securing with hot glue) and hanging it by a heavy duty ceiling hook. Dax could swing from this sucker and it wouldn't fall. And while he hasn't swung from it yet, he does love watching it sway when I tap it and set it in motion.

My mom gifted us this print from Katie Daisy's Etsy shop. I swear I could find a place for everything she creates. It's all beautiful, but this quote is especially close to my heart and I hope Dax feels the same way as he grows up and visits his grandparents. They all live close to or in the mountains and seeing them truly is going home. Excuse me for a sec... I think I have something in my eye. *Sniffle*

Okay, moving on.

On the wall next to the chair-

The curtains were another purchase from Ikea. I'll do a recap of our babymoon sometime before we have our next kid, but on the way back from it we stopped at Ikea in Charlotte and purchased the things referenced here. I love these curtains! We also purchased the blinds and they do a good job of blocking light when needed, and the curtains cast a beautiful glow. Dax loves staring at the trees and birds when we're hanging out in the recliner. 

The dresser is awesome! On the changing table are his changing pad, wipes, hand sanitizer, and lotion. In the top drawer we keep extra supplies as well as hats, baby leggings, burp cloths, and socks. The middle drawer houses his pajamas and the bottom drawer houses his casual onesies. The cabinet has a shelf in it where we keep his abundance of bathing supplies. On the bottom are all of his extra crib sheets and receiving/thin blankets.

Above the dresser is his peg board! We purchased it at Lowe's and my mom free-handed the deer in chalk and then painted it. Talent, pure talent. I bought the set of baskets at Wal-mart and they are SO handy! In the big one we keep his diapers. The middle holds face wipes and diaper cream, and the small one houses q-tips. Those came in handy while taking care of his circ & belly button at first, but are now used to put on diaper cream when needed. The vintage license plate was found by Josh, and the frame is one of the items I used to tell him I was pregnant. :) Ah nostalgia. I made the little name banner with some $1 playing cards from Target, some letter stickers, twine, and leetle baby clothespins. The 'a' in the corner came from this Christmas wreath.

His closet was a definite labor of love:

We took out the wire shelf and I used painter's tape to create the herringbone pattern. Josh painted over it with some navy mistint paint we got for $5 at Lowe's. After it was dry we installed the wooden shelf and curtain rod. We have one more that we have debated hanging up below the shelf but we have yet to make a decision about that. The two cubbies are ClosetMaid storage solutions we got at Lowe's and the hamper came from Target. On the shelf we are keeping extra toys and books as well as his shoes. In the cubbies are some of his bigger clothes as well as extra jackets and sweaters.

Next to the closet:

This is where we keep his toys and books. The cubbies are another ClosetMaid purchase and the fabric drawers are great for hiding lots of toys and maintaining an organized look. The deer drawer and green drawers came from Target. The navy blue ones came from the Dollar General and are just as nice as the Target ones, but half the price. We don't use the humidifier all the time, but it's been helpful the time or two that he has gotten stuffy.

The final view in his room:

The mama/baby deer frame was a thrifted treasure I found about a year before I even got pregnant. The two frames on the right are these that I thrifted and made over. They hold and engagement photo and a wedding photo. The collage frame in the middle has our favorite newborn photo of him in the middle and photos of Dax with us and each set of grandparents. I made some cute printables to take up the last few frames. I'd love to eventually turn this into a full blown gallery wall with 8x10 versions of the printables. We'll see.

And there we are! I feel like as his nursery evolved I wanted it to have a more muted and calming tone to it while still feeling like a fun space for a little boy. I love this space and spent most of my time waiting for his arrival rocking in the recliner and dreaming of his sweet face. Now that he is here we have made wonderful memories in his room and have tweaked things here and there as we see a need for more storage/function. I look forward to seeing this space evolve further as my sweet baby grows into a toddler and boy and develops his own tastes and preferences.

Here's hoping I get back in the habit of sharing fun family memories within this little slice of Internet soon.

Until next time,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Our Anniversary- the sequel to the sequel

I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging regularly, and (knock on every wooden surface available) I will be able to soon because Dax slept through the night for the first time last night!!!!!! Shock and awe, people. Shock and awe. I feel like a new woman with a mushy belly and super cute sidekick. He's discovering the world around him at an alarmingly fast rate; and while I miss my sweet bundle of newborn squishyness, realizing there is life outside of "I have a newborn" exhaustion is pretty awesome too.

Last week Josh and I celebrated THREE years of marriage!!! <-- three exclamation marks for posterity. On the actual day (the 18th- a boring Wednesday), we celebrated by sharing sweet messages throughout the day. Well, okay so they weren't sweet so much as we didn't bicker. Same thing. Josh brought home dinner from Copper River and we ate some delicious food and hung out with our main man Daxon. It was pretty awesome.

We were baaaaabies.
Then on Saturday, we packed up -what felt like our entire house- and dropped kiddo off with Josh's parents so we could spend the day together. I only called a million few times to check on him and my wonderful mother-in-law entertained my paranoid new mom questions and sent me pictures of my babe enjoying the day being shown off to anyone who would hold still.

our sweet boy is so very loved!

Josh and I then trucked it up to Asheville for the day. Nursing/pumping mamas- going out for the day is a whole new ball game when you have to plan your schedule of events around pumping breaks. Kudos to all ladies who do this. Pumping in the car was a new experience as well. I managed though and we had a great time!

We parked downtown and walked a bit, taking in the sights of a neat craft fair going on in a little park. I say it was a craft fair; for all I know those people are there every week, but it was cool nonetheless. We then ate lunch at our favorite- Tupelo Honey Cafe. Hang on while I wipe away my drool just thinking about it. I've never had anything I didn't love and their raspberry tea is the bomb.

These ladies were happy, happy, happy. Never seen one of these before!
After we walked around downtown for a bit we found our way to Mast General Store. I know some of you may be laughing at us wondering why we didn't just go to downtown Greenville. We could have done the same things there. I know, I know. We like what we like, and we liked that we could enjoy those things in a different place. It gave the experience a whole new vibe and felt like we were really far away, but enjoying things we loved that were familiar, which was cool. At Mast General Store I scored some Earl Grey lip balm -it is sooo good- and we indulged in some glass bottle soda.

We tried to keep our anniversary celebration as budget friendly as possible with me on maternity leave and this was so much fun, but pretty cheap as well.

After we meandered around downtown we made our way about 10 minutes out to the WNC Nature Center. If you like zoo type activities or have kids that do, check this place out! It was so much fun! We took a ton of pictures here and can't wait to take Dax when he's old enough to really enjoy it. Josh's favorite parts were the otters and the bear and deer. Mine were the snakes, pumas, and bears. Really cool. It's got enclosures you walk around and visit like a zoo, but the enclosures really embrace the natural landscape and you feel more like you're on a nature trail than at a zoo! Our only regret- they don't have a gift shop. That's the cheesy tourists in us though. We ended our trip by stopping at a roadside produce stand and buying some delicious boiled peanuts!

 Couples who enjoy being weird together, stay together. 

All in all we really enjoyed our day away. I was so excited to get back to my munchkin and smother him with obnoxious mommy kisses, but it was really nice to spend some quality alone time with my love to reconnect after surviving the first two months as parents.

Our lesson for this year I will be writing in our wedding photobook is this- All good things happen in God's timing. This lesson was and is being taught to us on lots of levels; Dax being a big one.

We can't wait to see what next year's anniversary adventure holds for us. I love you Josh and am so thankful you chose me to be your baby mama. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Baby Story

I'm blowing off the dust from my poor neglected blog to share what I have been soaking in and savoring for the last little while. The story of my son's arrival. *disclaimer- it's long.*

My little's name is not very traditional; it's not something you'll find in baby name books and if you do there is no "meaning" behind it. In truth I had a student my first year teaching with that name. He was an awesome kid (and I'm sure still is) and I loved his name. It always stuck with me and was an immediate favorite for a boy name when Josh and I found out we were pregnant.

So, I have decided to assign his name a meaning based on the lesson God chose to teach me through praying and waiting for, carrying, and delivering this bundle of joy. Forevermore the name Daxon to me will mean "patience".

After 2 years of waiting, praying, believing, and working with my doctor, God blessed us with our miracle. Then we waited to find out he was a boy. We waited anxiously to feel and see him move. We waited to find out whether or not I was diabetic. We waited to find out whether or not he was too big. We waited for labor. And most of all- we waited for April; for springtime and the Easter bunny and the greatest gift we have ever been given.

Sweet little profile.
I loved being pregnant. LOVED. IT. I had a very smooth pregnancy that was boring and predictable, for the most part. Second trimester was spent dealing with headaches/migraines and getting a horrible virus that just about ruined Christmas for me. Third trimester started and the headaches disappeared and left a sweet spot for me in pregnancy.  As my belly grew and my baby boy wiggled and we prepared I fell more and more in love with the new chapter in our lives we were about to embark on!

The last time I remember feeling good. About 38 weeks.
Two weeks before my due date my blood pressure began to play games. I was swollen, but what pregnant woman isn't at 38 weeks? I was still working, but each day felt like a marathon. The stress caused my blood pressure to rise at work to uncomfortable levels, but once I got home or to the doctor it came back down. After a week or two of that my doctor recommended I stop work. I was instructed to rest and keep my feet up. And I did. You would think those two weeks would have been a dream- enjoying time to myself and preparing to meet my baby; watching tv and taking naps. It was awful. I was experiencing something called "prodromal labor"- it basically means false labor that has no certain starting or stopping point. I was having consistent, painful contractions on and off; so much so that we did end up at the hospital once but there was no significant progression that would allow active labor to start. For 14 days I fought through night after night of contractions, back pain, and only 2-3 hours of sleep. I couldn't sleep lying down so I was confined to the recliner in the nursery. I became an irritated, swollen, miserable, pregnant mess. I wanted my baby to come on his own, but I also had a hunch that wasn't going to happen unless my water broke. With every contraction I could feel him move down, but as soon as it was over he would move back up. Someone was enjoying his bouncy waterbed.

left- juuuust waiting right- the bump picture that ended up being my last day of work

At my 40 week appointment my doctor told me to hang in there. He felt sure labor was just a couple days away. Until I went to my 41 week appointment. I was still a few days shy of 41 weeks, but my swelling had begun to get worse and was now "pitted" (meaning if you push down on it there would be a dent left behind- it was weird), and my blood pressure was continuing to shoot up and come back down to normal. At that appointment my doctor, Joshua, and I felt although baby was content- my body was done and to keep any serious complications from arising I was sent to the hospital that evening to begin preparing to be induced.

left- our last family photo as two! hello puffy everything. right- on our way to the hospital

We got settled in a high risk room for the night and it took SEVEN different sticks into my arms and hands to get an IV placed. Yuck.

the view was beautiful!
 left- got in a fight with a porcupine. and lost. right- here we go! nervous and excited parents to be.

We tried to get some sleep because we were supposed to be transferred to labor and delivery and pitocin was supposed to be started by 6am. Hence the use of the word "supposed". Turns out the full blood moon was quite effective and every single l&d room was booked. Until 12pm. Once we got moved and settled into the new room they checked me- I was 3cm and 50% effaced so they got the pitocin started but did not break my water. Doctor didn't want to do that yet and I agreed, but silently I knew that my waterbed loving baby wasn't going to get moving while he could still bounce around in there. They cranked the pitocin up and up and up. They chased Daxon around in my belly. In fact they came in and did a brief sonogram to make sure he was still head down since they were having so much trouble keeping track of his heartbeat. They cranked the pitocin more. No progress. Family came and went. I got frustrated and overwhelmed. We had all waited so long and the waiting seemed like it was never going to end! I felt like a pot of water on the stove. Everyone watching and waiting for me to boil. At 7 pm it had been well over 24 hours since I had eaten or drank anything, so they decided to take me off the monitors and pitocin and give me the evening to eat and drink and rest. I was so incredibly grateful for that. I ate everything in sight (because I knew the next day I would be back to ice chips and popsicles) and drank as much water and coke as I could to stave off a caffeine headache (spoiler- didn't work). And we slept.

Early the next morning, it was game on. I was making sure my bladder was nice and empty and my doctor popped in pumped and ready to go and carried on a conversation with me while I finished my business. It was hilariously awkward but it made me laugh and I knew today would be a great day. They hooked me back up. He was still being really stubborn and hard to keep up with, so when my doctor came back to check me, he also broke my water and put an internal monitor on Dax so I could move around without worrying about losing his heartbeat with the belly monitor. That was a great thing because it was just as I suspected- as soon as my water broke labor hit. And it hit hard! I progressed from 2-3 cm to 5cm in about 30 minutes. Without his squishy waterbed baby boy decided to surrender and come on down. I labored without pain medicine for a couple hours. I hated laying down and did best standing and rocking back and forth. I gladly took the epidural around 6 cm. My family began to arrive and were thrilled to see things progressing- the atmosphere was excited and energetic- we knew today would be the day.

The last photo of him in my belly- reppin' my tiger stripes. :)
This man. He was amazing. Such an incredible support and coach. And the Popsicle. Loved the Popsicles.
Labor with an epidural is incredibly easy- not going to lie. It's different for every woman, but for me I was thankful that I could still feel my belly contract. I knew when my contractions were because I wasn't too numb. It helped me still feel connected to my labor. Around 6pm the medicine began to wear off a bit and I requested a re-dose to get me through pushing because I was 8-9cm at that point and knew it would be soon. The lady that re-dosed me gave me waaay to much and to make a long story short- it stalled me at 9.5 cm for almost 2 hours. All I had was a "lip" (sorry if that's tmi) left and it took forever to go away. During this time even with the epidural I was feeling extreme pressure and began wanting to push. I couldn't yet and it got really intense having to work through each contraction moment by moment so that I would not get overwhelmed or afraid. Finally around 8pm the doctor checked me one last time and said it was time to go!!!

My nurse coached me on how to push and told me not to get down if it takes 2-3 hours to push since I'm a first time mom. I don't remember whether or not I told her, but in my head I knew it wasn't going to take that long. I was ready to meet my boy. The nurse counted the first few pushes. Josh, my mom, and mother in law took turns holding my legs, and my youngest sister dropped ice in my mouth when I requested it. I'll never forget us laughing in the midst of it all because she put hand sanitizer on her hands at one point and it made the ice taste awful! I made her wash her hands. I kept my eyes closed and focused solely on my body and the contractions, because at this point I could feel everything going on as my baby... umm... descended. They didn't tell me when to push. I told them, and at some point Josh took over counting down during my pushes and he was amazing! People could hear him up and down the hallway, and we laugh about that now but at the time I needed that. I focused on his voice and the doctor's voice. I yelled at the doctor "I do NOT understand why people do this more than once!!!!" after an intense contraction. Everyone laughed. The doctor belly laughed. "You will see why in just a few minutes," was his reply. I could hear things being set up and more people coming in and getting ready and knew I had to be getting close. Another push... and another... and another... and before I knew it I heard the most beautiful sound ever. I heard my son come into this world screaming. 50 minutes after I began pushing. Just call me Wonder Woman. They plopped him on my belly. Everyone was yelling and crying and talking about how beautiful he was and Josh was proclaiming over and over that Dax had his ears, but I couldn't see him! After what seemed like an eternity Josh cut the cord, they wiped him up, put a hat on him, and the doctor held him up and placed him on my chest. I wish I had something sappy to say about that, but my first reaction to seeing him was to say "THAT came out of me?!?!". He was huge. So much bigger than I expected a newborn baby to be.

After the initial shock I held him close, listened to him cry, and whispered "Happy Birthday" and "I love you" over and over as tears of joy ran down my cheeks. "I've waited so long to meet you!" I told him. I was finally a mama. His mama. Josh changed his first diaper while I continued to be cleaned and stitched. Then we had a blissful hour of time as just the three of us. We soaked it in. We were finally a family.

The nurses were wonderful and worked hard to make my birthing experience a proud one! They were very respectful of my wishes and so supportive. My doctors were phenomenal and my doctor (who got me through half my labor but did not get to deliver him) called us the next day just to say congratulations and check on me. I'm so thankful for that and felt so taken care of during our hospital stay.

Our world has been changed, but in the best way possible. Being parents is not easy, but all it takes is one little look into his sweet face and I would move Heaven and Earth for him. I was very scared of becoming a mom; scared I wouldn't know what to do. Admittedly sometimes I don't know what to do, but I always know what he needs and we are doing the best we can for him as his parents. I cannot wait to share more of these moments. I already feel like he is growing too fast, but I am so excited for each milestone and how the way we have fun as a family will change and evolve. 

Daxon, Welcome to this world. We have waited a long time just for you! You are my light and my song. Your daddy is crazy about you and you look so much like him. I pray we are able to raise you to be half the man he is. We can't wait to share life with you and teach you about Jesus and train you to be a loving, compassionate, respectful man. Thank you for being our miracle and making us parents.                                                                                               All our love, Mama & Daddy