Mama time

Between the second car and new medication, I am a much happier, more relaxed mama. I estimate that I have roughly 7 more hours each week during which I can enjoy our little dude, tackle projects around the home, actually cook dinner for our family, and even tap into hobbies and interests I enjoyed before E arrived on the scene.

Today, K, E and I went to a Mom 2 Mom sale, where we acquired some clothes in the next couple of sizes from what E is currently wearing, as well as a few toys. He’s so much more active these days – whew! – and needs more stimulating and interactive toys. We know that he truly enjoys music, so this is one of the toys we picked up (sweet – only $2!):

E's new toy

In addition to cooking more dinners for K and I, we’ve begun introducing solids to E. I’m really enjoying preparing wholesome, tasty food for E. We’re attempting more of a baby-led weaning approach, where E has more empowerment over his food experience, though we are introducing solids in a slow, choosy way because K has a family history of food allergies. We are also doing more purees for now because E can’t yet sit up – he’s so close – and there’s more of a choking hazard if a little one can’t sit up and spit out whatever might be in his/her mouth. So far, E has enjoyed applesauce and bananas. His two favorites were ginger-spiced, roasted carrots, which he kept cramming in his mouth while making “come to papa” eyes, and quinoa risotto, which made him squeal in a voice I’ve never heard before or since. Here are a few photos for your enjoyment:

carrots2

carrots1

carrots3

carrots4

This afternoon, K took E to visit his parents and gave me the gift of some mama time. I spent part of it attempting to make a wool diaper cover from a sweater I acquired at a local resale shop. It was my first try and I believe it’ll be too small. I’ve decided not to be upset about it, though, because it inspired me to get my sewing machine out of storage for the first time in months, gave me a chance to get reacquainted with it, and helped me to better understand how to make a wool diaper cover when I get the time to try again.

How do you spend the little bit of down time you have? If you don’t currently have any down time, what do you daydream about doing during down time you will hopefully one day have?

Advertisements

The Long-Awaited Nursery Reveal

It’s official: the nursery is now mostly complete. I say “mostly” because we are still waiting on the crib skirt to arrive and, because we recently ordered it as a part of our massive Amazon nursery completion order, it likely won’t be here until after our Little arrives. K is trying to convince me that Falco won’t mind.

The nursery is yellow and grey with chevron details. We opted to paint the nursery a cheery but not juvenile looking yellow (Sherwin-Williams Harmony low-VOC Acrylic Latex paint in Lantern Light Eg-Shel). We did this for several reasons:

  • Grey paint is notoriously difficult, as it typically reads as either blue or mauve, depending on the undertones and light in the room.
  • We wanted the paint to be able to easily transition as Falco gets older.
  • We wanted the paint to read as neutral, since we’re renting and didn’t bother to ask our rental agency if we could paint the room (yep, we’re total rebels).

IMG_1570

Crib: babyletto Hudson 3 in 1 in grey, purchased via Zulily for a $60 reduced price. Woot!
Rug: Mohawk Yellow Ziggidy, again purchased via Zulily.
Baby quilt: Designed and constructed by an amazing friend.

mobile, crib and picture

Fitted crib skirt: Sewn by me using a free online pattern with Keepsake Calico Gray & Yellow fabric.
Mobile: Designed and constructed by me
, using various fat quarters, polyfill, ribbon and a yellow yarn-wrapped embroidery hoop. It was inspired by my favorite song I sang as a child (and can’t wait to sing to Falco), “You Are My Sunshine.”
Print: Purchased and framed by K’s Aunt K (the one who hosted our family shower), designed by Ellen Crimi-Trent. K’s Aunt saw that I had posted a similar print to Facebook with the intent of creating a craft that was inspired by it, tracked down the artist, and placed the order via her Etsy store.

IMG_1582edit

Shelves: IKEA EKBY TONY/EKBY BJÄRNUM (previously purchased, used at my former job and repurposed).
Piggy banks: The Sponge Bob one was gifted to us by my mother at our family shower. It belonged to my late grandmother, who used it for her Bingo winnings, which are also enclosed. The other one was hand painted by me during a holiday outing with my coworkers. One side says, “[Falco’s] 1st Car Fund.”
Sign: Designed and framed by a friend. It says, “E is for… [Falco’s intended name, masked for privacy/anonymity.]”
Bunny lovey: Gifted to us by K’s cousin at our family shower. It matches an adorable stroller blanket.

IMG_1562

Dresser: IKEA HEMNES 8-drawer dresser, purchased by K’s parents as a Christmas gift.
Changing pad cover: Aden + Anais 100% Cotton Muslin in Safari Friends Giraffe.
Afghan: Handcrafted by my mom and gifted to us at our family shower.
Garbage can turned diaper pail: iTouchless Deodorizer 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Touchless Trash Can with Carbon Filter. There’s also a yellow wetbag inside.

IMG_1561edit

Vintage diaper pin decor: Ballard Designs, gifted to us by my parents as a nod to our intention to cloth diaper.

new cat bed slash changing pad

Kis thinks this changing pad is a kitty bed. Can’t say I blame him.

IMG_1576

Floor lamp: Nickel-plated IKEA ALÄNG. We also purchased a matching table lamp for later use when Falco is in a big kid bed and has nightstand that we also purchased.

IMG_1563

Rocking chair and matching ottoman (previously shown): IKEA POÄNG, birch veneer with Lockarp gray cover, purchased for as a Christmas gift from my parents.
Bookshelf turned “diaper tower”: IKEA HEMNES in white. Shown is only a small portion of our cloth diaper stash, just enough for Falco’s smaller sizes.
Throw blanket: Frost chevron gray by THRO, purchased via Zulily.
Diaper bag: JJ Cole Mode in Mixed Leaf, purchased by a family friend.
Toy bin: Purchased by K’s mom and filled with an assortment of toys we purchased and acquired as gifts.
Philly LOVE ornament: Purchased for us by a dear friend.
Vintage rolling curtain: Came with our glamorous home rental.

elephants from Grandmas

Elephant plushies: Purchased, separately and independently, by each Grandma-to-be.
Baby book: Purchased by K at a local boutique.

prints

Prints: Designed by a dear friend (the same one who designed, “E is for…”).

What do you think? I’m pretty excited about it and can’t wait for our Little to join us!

Note: the following post, Our Birth Plan, is password protected as some of our future posts might be. We would love to continue sharing details with our treasured followers, so please request a password by emailing us at thefalcoproject (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

Purchases for parents-to-be

Last night, K and I went to Kohls to take advantage of some of their Black Friday sales that they actually launched before Thanksgiving.

With a rapidly increasing pace at my job, I’ve been enjoying an iced coffee each morning as a way to help me focus. I’ve been in the market for a really good deal, especially with holiday sales, on a Keurig, which I feel would be a lot more convenient (and necessary!) for me once we have a newborn. After a lot of thorough research, I determined that Kohls had the best deal. The model with the best reviews across multiple websites, the B40, had a regular price of $119.99. They had a 15% off coupon, dropping the price to $102. Kohls was also offering $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, dropping the price to an unheard of $72.

There’s so much on which we can spend our $30 in earned Kohl’s Cash, like holiday gifts, or another necessity – manternity clothes! We saw on the Kohls website that they had a pair of neutral looking pregnancy pants available in plus sizes, so since we were in the store and it wasn’t yet nutty with holiday shopping, we asked an associate to direct us to the maternity section. Unfortunately, this request caused a lot of confusion, as they’d apparently temporarily pulled their small maternity section off the floor to make way for all of the Black Friday specials that they were setting up around the store. I truly expected that this would mean we were out of luck, but the associate offered to take us into the stock room to look at the maternity racks and pull any products we might like to try on or purchase. Even though it meant them having to drag the racks out of a truck where they’d temporarily stashed them, the Kohls associates acted like they were totally happy to help. It was such an amazing customer service experience, in the midst of such a hectic time in their business, that I honestly intend to write a note to the store manager about it.

K tried on the pair of pants and I’m so very glad that we pulled multiple sizes from the stock room, as the sizes run smaller than they claim to on the Kohls online size chart. The pants were a great fit, a good value at $29.00 (WITHOUT a coupon!) and very gender neutral (when not worn with high heels):

more manternity pants

We’ll likely purchase a few pairs of these pants as a staple for K’s work wardrobe. While we were at the store, K also tried on some sweaters and button down collared career shirts from the Men’s Big & Tall section and found a few items that would definitely work with a prominent and growing baby bump. I chuckle whenever I think about what an associate must have thought when he found both maternity pants and men’s business clothes in a singular men’s dressing room stall.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Gratitude, week 14

What a rollercoaster of a week! I received some great news, then some terrible news that turned out just fine. Before I put the cart before the horse, I should get to the point of this post. During this fourteenth week of our pregnancy, I’m thankful for:

  • Learning that our ginger kitty is going to be okay! Earlier this week, K took him to the vet because we thought he had a UTI. The vet discovered that his bladder was blocked and needed to cathederize him. After draining his bladder, the vet discovered what he believed was an inoperable bladder and/or colon tumor, which he believed was causing the initial health concern. The vet couldn’t get his X-ray machine to work in order to confirm the tumor. Once the machine started working again, he discovered, much to our great relief, that the kitty didn’t have a tumor after all. He was just severely constipated, which has been an ongoing issue. I was so happy to hear this news that I cried!
  • We had another lovely low-key weekend that allowed us the opportunity to tackle some of the longstanding to-do’s on our Falco list. K and I went to our local IKEA store to look at and confirm some of the nursery furniture items we’ve been considering for a while. He also called a painter that his mother recommended and scheduled him to come out for a quote tomorrow evening. Today, I spent about two hours sewing a fitted crib sheet for Falco. Kitty assisted me in this endeavor:

    Kitty loves to help me with crafts!

  • Fluff mail! I squealed like a kid at Christmastime when our postal carrier delivered two cloth diaper related package yesterday afternoon. Included in the bounty was two dozen seconds of Green Mountain Diapers unbleached prefolds, five Sunbabies pocket diapers that were customized with hip snaps, and five bamboo blend inserts. Lately, K has been searching the internet for cloth diaper related obsessive disorders because I’ve been spending so much of my time researching them and shopping for deals with co-op groups. It’s been a blast for me, though, and I think actually seeing some of this cuteness arrive in the mail put K’s mind at ease.

I’m still hopeful that K will have time to post about coming out to his bosses at work, which happened last week, and about meeting with his aunt on Tuesday. So many exciting things on the horizon, friends!

Researching child care options

Yes, I’m nuts. If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a week, you’re probably already aware that I’m a fairly Type A person and appreciate research and organization, especially when the topic is making me anxious. I’d rather spend my time researching information about a topic than obsessing about “what ifs.”

Even though we likely need a child care provider until approximately August 2013, one of the largest expenses we will face as a dual income family is childcare, and this stresses me out beyond belief. Also, every cloth diapering parent I’ve spoken with has said that finding a child care provider who will accept a cloth diped kid is extraordinarily difficult. One of the main reasons why we’ve decided to cloth diaper Falco is to save money, so I refuse to spend money to build my cloth stash, only to turn around and buy disposables for half of our kid’s life.

Using the Great Start Connect website, a resource for parents and guardians in the mitten state to help them locate potential child care providers, and cross referencing their online records through the Department of Human Services, I began my child care provider search. After pre-screening many of these possible providers, I began placing phone calls to ask some questions. I left a ton of voicemails, but of the seven in-home day care providers I spoke with, every single one of them were amenable to cloth diapered kids in their care!

I learned that there was something else I should be worrying about instead. In our state, in-home day care providers can accept up to 6 children at one time, but only two of them can be 18 months of age or younger. This means that there is a large shortage of in-home child care providers for people seeking care for their babies. Many providers I spoke with agreed that it was early for me to call, but thought it was a great idea because these openings fill up so quickly.

We also discovered a local daycare center that focuses on an eco-friendly value system, and they’re located right around the corner from us! They happily accept cloth diapered children, use eco-friendly cleaning products, serve only organic food (including homemade, organic baby food), and teach children about the environment through a series of lessons, including interacting in the organic fruit and vegetable garden that is located behind the center. The ratios of staff to children is the absolute best and the center looks impeccable and uplifting.

Sounds perfect, right? Sadly, in addition to all of these aforementioned shared values, they also pray before meals and spend time each morning reading Bible stories “that teach kindness, compassion, good manners, caring for others, etc.” According to the center’s director, “It is a very simple and age appropriate part of our curriculum and we like to offer it not as a means to convert any child to our faith, but to introduce them to simple concepts about God and His love for them.” WHY?! K and I intend to introduce Falco to a wide array of spiritual paths from the place of appreciation, awareness and celebration of diversity, and we want to instill values, ethics and morals that are not necessary based on faith or organized religion. While we wouldn’t mind having this sort of care for a baby, we’d prefer to not have a toddler or older kid be exposed to lessons that are so far outside of our comfort zone.

All of the information I’ve gathered so far and will continue to gather as time marches on has certainly given us much to consider!

Lazy weekend

So far, this has been a lazy, rainy fall weekend.

We woke up early this morning and went to two Mom to Mom sales. We were one of the first to get into the first sale, and we were able to successfully make up for our recent mistake of not grabbing for sale tags of larger items we were considering before moving on. If you don’t do that and still expect the item to be there once you’ve decided, you’re totally out of luck. At the first sale, we scored an adorable green and brown Graco pack and play with bassinet for $30 and a minky, gender neutral Baby Gap outfit for $2. The second sale wasn’t as spectacular, at least it wasn’t by the time we got there, but we ended up with a cute array of pants and overalls, mostly in 6-12 mo sizes, for about $12. On our way out, I turned to K and said, “I really can’t justify spending full price on baby clothes. Hell, I don’t even pay full price on my own clothes and I’m not constantly shitting myself.”

When we got home, we lounged around, got caught up on recorded television shows, did a few chores, and took naps. I showered in preparation of a sleep study (oh joy), then promptly discovered a flea on our youngest dog. K helped me corral the menagerie into the gated kitchen, where I then applied a flea treatment while K took cover in the bedroom to avoid the terrible chemicals. Of course, I accidentally doused myself in said chemicals, so I had to take another shower. Never a dull moment in our household.

The only silver lining of the annoying sleep study tonight is that it’s located by a ton of large baby stores that we don’t have closer to our home. We’re going to leave early for the test, have dinner, and shop around a little bit before I must have all of those sexy electrodes and sensors attached to my body. While the majority of my weekend has been monopolized by this study, at least the rest of the weekend has a slow, easy pace, which is such a relief after this hectic week.

Gratitude, week 11

It occurred to me that we really didn’t write so much this week. We’ve been pretty busy, but not so much so that I’ve felt overwhelmed. During our eleventh week of pregnancy, I’m thankful for:

  • Having very few plans this weekend, which allowed us the time to relax a bit. We also had time to thoroughly clean more of the nursery-to-be. The only part left to do in that space is to figure out where to put the supplies that are currently housed in the part of the room that is formerly known as my craft corner.
  • Going to a cloth diapering class at a local crunchy store.The class really confirmed that all the time I’ve been spending lately researching cloth dipes has translated to a lot more knowledge than I’d realized.
  • Feeling calmer about the OB we’re seeing. Until our appointment last week, I had a billion fears about our OB, that she would insist on a totally medicalized labor and delivery where K would be strapped to a bed and unable to naturally manage his pain. Obviously this fear was unfounded and a product of being an anxious first time mom-to-be, and I’m so thankful for that.

There isn’t a ton going on in the next couple of weeks. K and I are just working quite a bit and focusing on the start of our second trimester on October 25. It’ll be here before we know it, thankfully!

Bargainista Mommy-to-Be, an update

As you may remember, I adore saving money. For me, being thrifty where I can is an essential part of my values that allows me to be able to spend the difference where I want or where saving isn’t always possible.

We’ve been stocking up on needs for Falco by going to thrift stores, perusing Craigslist ads and the BabyCenter Cloth Diaper Swap (approval needed to join), buying on sale/clearance, and going to Mom-to-Mom sales. After coming home from a Mom-to-Mom sale last weekend, I spent some time organizing and taking an informal inventory of our Falco supplies thus far, which will help inform future shopping needs. Below is what we have so far. Please note that Falco’s signature colors are clearly yellow and green.

Clothing and accessories (spent approx. $150 total):

Clothing, zero to six months0-3 months:

  • 6 sleep outfits, including 1 sleep sack, 2 swaddle sacks, and 3 sleep-to-play outfits
  • 9 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 1 adorable owl hoodie
  • 4 pants
  • 1 shirt/short outfit
  • 3 hats
  • 15 pairs of socks

3-6 months:

  • 3 sleep outfits, including 1 sleep sack and 2 sleep-to-play outfits
  • 19 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 5 pants
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 sweater outfit
  • 1 hat
  • 12 pairs of socks

Clothes, six to eighteen months6-12 months:

  • 1 sleep sack
  • 5 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 1 pant
  • 18 pairs of socks

12-18 months:

  • 1 sleep sack
  • 4 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 3 shirts
  • 1 neon yellow tutu

Cloth Diapers (spent approx. $150 total):

  • 10 Thirsties Duo Wraps (snap), size one (6-18 lbs)
  • 1 Thirsties Duo Wrap (snap), size two (18-40 lbs)
  • 2 Kawaii Baby pockets, one size (8-36 lbs)
  • 1 Fuzzibunz pocket, one size (7-18 lbs)
  • 20 Osocozy unbleached prefolds, infant (6-16 lbs)
  • 12 Dandelion Diapers organic cotton blend prefolds, size two (7-15 lbs)
  • 6 misc. brand bamboo pocket inserts
  • 1 misc. no-brand pocket

Shopping list:

  • Pants
  • All clothing, sizes 6+ months
  • A few Snappis
  • 12 small prefolds
  • 18+ snap AIO’s and/or pockets (I’ll go with new Alva pockets through a co-op if I can’t find good quality used)
  • 24+ larger prefolds
  • 12+ Thirsties Duos, size 2
  • Pack-and-play
  • Tummy tub
  • Space saver high chair
  • InGenuity Cozy Coo Sway Seat