Packing for the Hospital

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It’s hard to write about anything else on here lately besides baby stuff and impending motherhood. It’s kinda on my mind a lot. I will be 37 weeks tomorrow and anything is fair game at this point. I read somewhere that you should have your hospital bag packed and loaded in the car at 35 weeks which seems a little extreme to me. For my own sake, and maybe for someone else out there, I’ve laid out a few basics and essentials that are going in my bag (the contents of Alan’s bag are not yet determined, and we haven’t rounded up hospital snacks yet either) that will help me in labor and in recovery.

I want to mention just right off the bat that the plan right now (and I know plans often don’t go according to plan) is to labor at home for as long as I can (comforts of home include a ball, our entire streaming library, the cat, etc…) and go into the hospital when necessary, where I will labor and deliver unmedicated. That’s my hope. We’re grateful to be birthing at a place that will allow us to have snacks, dim the lights, wear whatever I want, a tub, a ball, aromatherapy… Basically any tool you could need. The only anxiety I have is that I don’t know when it’ll happen, but I’m not scared about birth because it’s one of the most natural things a woman will do. I want to be an active participant in this process! And I hope it goes good so I can write about it here afterwards. Namaste.

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  • Laboring clothes. What seems like forever ago, I was reading The Fresh Exchange’s post about what was in their hospital bags, and she said she’d bring her own clothes to labor and deliver in, which I thought sounded rather precious at the time. Now I understand that it’s an option that comes highly recommended by doulas and midwives: labor in your own clothes. You could wear the hospital gown, sure, but those are for the sick, and you’re not sick, you’re having a baby. Many “what to pack” lists will have a bathrobe on them. I don’t like bathrobes and don’t have one, so I thought I might just use a cardigan, until I found this ultra cozy sweatshirt-bathrobe hybrid from H&M. I also got a t-shirt dress, for modesty. I also have a pair of cozy socks. Everything is cozy.
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  • Tech supplies. One of the last things on my to-do list is to show Alan the ins and outs of DSLR use so he can take some candids during labor and afterwards. I’ll probably also want to take some portraits of the fresh baby too! I also have some spa/meditation playlists saved on Spotify I’ll be pumping through the hospital-provided speakers (I also have my Skyrim soundtrack OF COURSE). Other comfort measures we’ll be using is ambient lighting, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy. Call me crazy, but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing how it all goes.
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  • For postpartum clothing, I have nursing tanks and bras, as well as maternity leggings and shorts (I’m really not a gown girl and prefer to keep it tight). I have a cozy cardigan as well! These will be my clothes for recovering in the hospital, and my “going home outfit.”
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  • For during and after labor, I have this toiletries bag of essentials, including face mist (it’s heavenly!), Burt’s Bees (I’m told delivery rooms are very dry), hair ties, lotion, soap, cucumber face wipes, and a tooth brush.
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  • My trusty water bottle will be at my side the whole time. Laboring is really intense and it’ll be imperative that I stay hydrated.
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  • Baby needs a going home outfit too! I have a couple little sleep suits (with mitts!) in NB and 0-3 mos, since we don’t know how big this baby will be (I’m guessing it’ll be big – I just found out Alan was almost 11 pounds hahahahaha). I also have a couple little hats and a swaddling blanket from home. They give you that stuff at the hospital, but I figure it’ll be nice for baby to be wrapped up in things from home.
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Bonus Arya lookin’ salty pic. She’s been using my maternity pillow as her own personal nest all these months. Not only will the new baby disrupt her home and her entire life, but I won’t be using the pillow anymore and she’ll have to figure something new out. Poor sweetie.

Entryway Revival

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I’ve had many projects around the house this summer, from finally organizing my office closet, to our child’s nursery. There’s also some smaller stuff, like redoing this area in my house that for lack of a better option gets the label of “entryway.” Our house is strangely laid out. The garage exits into the kitchen/kitchen nook area. I suppose you could call it a “mudroom”, but that would suggest it is its own entity, when really it’s just this big wide open space that we’ve never been totally sure how to use. I know – boo hoo, too much space in the house.

For most of the time living here, it’s sort of been our trash/recycling area. Alan had this old cedar chest which we put four small trash cans inside, and that became our recycling system. Once we went to single sort though (which was like, 4 years ago I wanna say) it made a little less sense, but by gum we stuck with it. Putting the Stendig calendar on the wall above it at least filled out the space with something interesting-looking.entryway-10And we had a nice enough looking trash can and this plastic basket bag from Ikea to hold cardboard… All in all, it’s a lot of room to be taken up by garbage. I floated some ideas to Alan to convert this area into more of an “entryway” where we would move this bench under the window, dubbed the “shoe zoo”, to under the calendar. Because, it makes sense to have the place you put your shoes on be right by the door where you’re about to leave the house, right?

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The bench originally acted as auxiliary seating for our tulip table, but mostly was just a place to dump stuff like the Sunday paper and shopping bags. Also, too many shoes (wherein Alan is the main culprit 99% of the time).

My other thought was that we would move our Eames hang-it-all from all the way across the room to next to the bench, where the big painting of dots resides currently. Because where you put your coat and where you put your shoes should be in the same place, and that place is next to the door, right??? That idea is on hold for now. But then I stumbled upon this random photo on my pinterest feed  which called out to me because of the white walls and tulip table. We don’t have ANY house plants. We’ve had some aloe plants here and there but they died pretty quick. And I’ve always loved the look of Fiddle Leaf Figs in many a blogger’s home. Our house doesn’t have good light, and fortunately, they don’t need much. Just water and some brightness. The kitchen gets a lot of sunlight later in the day, which seemed perfect. So, I shopped for some sexy planters and found this one at West Elm that I thought fit in with the rest of the house nicely. entryway-15I then went with Alan to our local garden store and I found this nice little plant for about $100. It’s an investment for sure for two people who have never successfully kept a plant alive. I’ve managed to keep it alive for almost a month so far though! I even bought a little watering can to go with the planter. entryway-16entryway-14

As for trash solutions now, we consolidated everything into one can and put it by the fridge (which makes sense, to have the trash be nearer the area where we cook, and not have to walk all the way over there. The old cedar chest got a cleaning and became storage for games and Magic cards down in the basement.

Fourth Trimester #MomStyle

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It’s coming, friends. It’s just about a month until my due date, though I can’t possibly imagine myself getting any bigger (at my last appointment I was measuring at about 36cm, which is more or less dead on; my mom insists I only look about 6 months pregnant. Hey, I’ll take it). I’m fatigued on a daily basis and while sleep should offer respite, I wake up in so much discomfort in my hips. So, I’ve got the finish line in my sights, and thinking about what I’ll be wearing once baby arrives. I’m stoked to be having a baby in the fall; it’s still nice enough out for walks, and I get to be super cozy. Like, the coziest I can possibly imagine. I’m looking at mainly slouchy clothes in dark neutral colors, hopefully to conceal stains more and because I’ll still have a belly (and likely some – TMI – tenderness down below) for a few weeks afterwards. I also acknowledge that this mood board looks really Mommy Blogger-like.😭😭😭

Anyway. I want ways to continue to feel like myself even though my body will have been (and continue to be) put through the ringer. I’m not necessarily a woman who needs a shower or makeup every day to feel put-together, but having comfortable, snug and shapely clothes area  must to make me feel like a person.

  1. Truth be told, I have a lot of hoodies. A zip-up one would be more conducive to nursing too, but this just looked tooooo cozy to pass up on. It’s even called the Cozy pullover hoodie and it’s at Gap.
  2. I featured this diaper bag in my backpack roundup a couple weeks back, but it’s worth sharing in this post too. It’s just so damn chic. It looks nothing like a diaper bag, but it’s also super well made and – bonus! – comes with a little travel changing pad and straps to clip it to your stroller.
  3. A cozy cardigan will be clutch for loafing around the house with little one. It’s even got pockets, which is amazing because I haven’t had front pockets since I started wearing maternity jeans. So nice to have a place to put my phone and spare pacifiers. And you can’t go wrong with thumb holes.
  4. NURSING: Of course, nursing tops are going to be crucial. I picked up a couple of these from Target. It’ll probably be the first thing I put on after giving birth (and after a shower… of course). For other nursing clothes, I allowed myself to splurge on one of these neat little shirts (and a pullover) from the Swedish company Boob. Bonus: the best nursing bra I’ve found is from a similarly named company Bamboobies.
  5. Comfortable shoes like these wool runners from New Zealand-based company All Birds will be great because I don’t need to wear socks with them (honestly huge plus) and they’re cushy and comfortable enough to wear for literally hours and hours. They’re basically slippers.
  6. I have a feeling these skinny joggers will be just what I need to bridge that gap between ultimate comfort and casual-cool. I want cozy pants, but I don’t want bagginess.
  7. Speaking of snug clothes, maternity leggings will still be very valuable in the weeks following birth. I’ll want some room down there, but I want to feel tight and secure as well.
  8. I have a zillion gray t-shirts, but none so soft, casual and feminine as this boxy tee from Alternative apparel.
  9. And once I feel I can wear jeans again, I’ll be sure to get some with stretch.

It’s worth mentioning that this wardrobe is doubling as my late-third trimester capsule wardrobe as well. With the temperatures finally dipped below 70, it’s become cozy central around here. Bonus “bump” pic:img_7253

Five Years

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2011

Today marks 5 years since we closed on our house. I can’t believe I’ve lived in this house since I was 23! The weekend we moved in we were able to unpack some whole rooms and others never got totally unpacked (the guest room, for example, became a dumping ground for every unwanted thing and weird decoration until it eventually was designated as the nursery this year). The photo above and a few others of lesser quality are ones I took during our appraisal. While we haven’t changed much structurally, we’ve put a lot of love into this house over the last 5 years and really made it our own.

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Kitchen/Kitchen nook c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Living room, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Dining/Living, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Dining Room, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Main bathroom, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Master Bedroom, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Sad basement, c. 2011

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c. 2016

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Back yard, c. 2011

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c. 2016

Baby Party

BABYSHOWER-11A couple weekends back we threw ourselves a little baby party, as a way to hang with a bunch of our friends, eat some good food and for me especially, to decorate the hell out of the house. Man, is there anything more satisfying/stressful than putting together an awesome-looking spread? Plus I was excited to design up some invitations which we sent in the mail and everything. It was all pretty legit (p.s. the tiny cat is absolutely the #1 best feature of the invitation). The script font and botanical illustrations were purchased on Creative Market.BABYSHOWER-1BABYSHOWER-5BABYSHOWER-6The lighting in my house is soooo bad, so these aren’t the *greatest* photos, but I had to get a bunch of this dessert table. I already had all the slab platters and the cake stand (and I used an unfinished slab I still had plastic-wrapped from Michael’s in my craft box to give it a little lift). I got the bunting and table runner from Minted. The chalkboards (also from Michael’s) were leftover from our wedding. The donuts were from Bogart’s.BABYSHOWER-3BABYSHOWER-4I saw something like this on Pinterest and decided to make my own. We weren’t explicitly asking for gifts, and the only group activity we did was baby trivia in the style of a pub quiz (which was hella fun and people really went with it!) but I did mandate that everyone fill one of these out. After the party ended, Alan and I went through and read them out loud to each other. Some of them were sweet and sincere and others were silly and snarky. It was a nice way to wind down from the madness of throwing a big party and see how much our baby was already loved.

For the food, we wrangled Adam, chef extraordinaire (and my sister’s boyfriend), into making some delicious pork sandwiches (and he went above and beyond by additionally providing homemade pickles, cole slaw and ratatouille). WE provided potato chips and Top the Tater, and some potato salad from Target which people said was good (I hate potato salad). BABYSHOWER-7BABYSHOWER-8I got the gold balloon letters on Amazon (they sell pre-packaged “BABY” sets, and I got some 40″ balloons for the yard, not pictured). Everything else I had, apart from the greenery. The night before, I picked up a bunch of Eucalyptus, Israeli Ruscus and Baby’s Breath and put together my own little bouquets for around the house. Cost only about $25 and it really looked lovely. BABYSHOWER-10I know that etiquette dictates that mothers-to-be shouldn’t throw their own Baby Showers, because it looks like a gift grab. Instead, etiquette dictates that you ask someone to throw one for you. Which, to me, seems way more uncouth. “Hey, do you want to spend a bunch of money throwing ME a party?” I had the opportunity to throw a shower on my terms and do it how I wanted it, and it was great! We gave the option for people to bring gifts, but made it clear there was no expectation of them. The flip side of course, was that it cost money, and I was exhausted playing host while pregnant. A few friends even stepped in from time to time to rally people for the group trivia or even give me foot rubs when I had a charley horse! It was all about having the friends we value come into our home so we could be like “Hey, you guys are important, and we hope you’ll be in our baby’s life.” PLUS I was excited to wear a pretty maternity dress and try out a new hairstyle, and I’m grateful to my friend Niki for documenting it!Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.05.44 PM

p.s. if you care to see where I got my party inspiration from, I have a little pinterest board here.

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