Friday, March 1, 2013

Sense of Humor Required

If I've learned one thing during my 37 weeks of pregnancy so far, it's that you have to keep a sense of humor. (Oh and one other thing... RELAX! Keep calm and know that 99.99% of the time everything is JUST FINE if you don't feel the baby move for an hour. Seriously. Side note: If you just can't knock your motherly instinct that something is wrong, by all means, call the doctor. It's why they get paid the big bucks.)

Between all the craziness that the hormones wreak on our body (what, you're not sweating under your boobs everyday?!) and how all-consumed we are with all-baby-all-the-time-brain, it's important to remember that millions of women over thousands of years have been through this too. We might as well keep it lighthearted and laugh at ourselves along this magnificent (and let's be honest, weird body-changing) journey.

Which is why I present my 3 favorite sites for preggos - straight talking, real life, in your face, non-sugar coated goodness. It wouldn't hurt your partners to read up on these either. These weekly doses of humor, inspiration, and good advice have made me laugh out loud and also have a few "ah-ha" moments. Sign up for their weekly email newsletters so they come right to you and your pregnancy brain doesn't have to remember them.

1)  Pregnant Chicken  ::  Specifically her Pregnancy Calendar, but the whole site is boss.
2)  Lucie's List  ::  Filled with loads of great tips nobody told you.
3)  Alpha Mom's Pregnancy Calendar  ::  This one doesn't have an email option, but totally worth bookmarking and referencing each week. Plus, the illustrations are awesome.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nursery DIY #3: Tag Blanket

These things are awesome. And SO incredibly easy to make. I've made them for friends over the years and now I had the chance to make one for my little munchkin. (Side note: There is a company that makes these and has a trademark on the name "Taggies", so from here on out, we'll be referring to this as a "tag" blanket instead. And I've heard of many a DIYer getting a cease-and-desist for selling them, so let's just keep this to a make one for yourself/gift operation, ok? Ok.)

If you want a step-by-step tutorial, follow this link here. The only small change to this tutorial is that I double top stitch the blanket after turning it right side out. I like the way it looks and gives some added stability to those ribbons.

Tag blankets are designed to be either baby lap size or even smaller. I tend to make them around 12x12"-ish. Again, nothing about this is rocket science. Just adjust as you see fit. Use whatever ribbons you have on hand (as long as there's nothing that can peel off and/or pose a choking hazard. Babies like all different textures, patterns, and colors of ribbons so go hog wild! Their little hands (and mouths) have a field day with these things.

A close-up of the flannel because it's frackin' adorable.

For this one, I used some flannel (always prewash your fabric!) that I picked up on clearance years ago and some ribbons from my stash. Total cost to me now = zilch ("Taggies" brand blankets tend to run $10-20 depending on the store and the size). Moral of the story - I'm sure you have bits of fabric and ribbons here and there that you could put together to make one cute little tag blanket. And the whole project takes like 30 minutes, maybe. Whip up a couple extra while you're at it and you've got some upcoming baby shower gifts covered. Whoop whoop!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Showered with Love

To say we're incredibly grateful would be an understatement. Not only were we completely spoiled by all the amazing gifts for Baby Jerger and our family, our hearts are bursting with love and joy for all of our friends and family who steadfastly show us such support and care. Our little guy isn't even born and yet he is loved beyond belief. It's incredible to know he'll be completely encompassed by warmth and love at every turn (well, until those little brats surface on the elementary school playground).

Yes, I volunteered to help Mom bring in some of my presents. ;-)

I had two amazing showers: one with my mom, girlfriends, co-workers, and Zumba loves (many of whom cross many of those categories!) and another intimate shower with Jay's close family. We simply cannot say enough "thank you's" to everyone and since pictures speak louder than words, here are just a few of my favorite photos from my first shower.



With the ladies who helped put the whole shebang on... THANK YOU! <3
Sadly, no photos were taken at the Jerger family shower (kicking myself for not remembering!). It was a lovely day! But if I had taken photos you would have been graced with the lovely sight of "dirty" diapers from the melted chocolate diaper game. ;-)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Full on baby prep

Rocking the Moby Wrap in Newborn Care class. He's a natural.
Blogging has taken a back seat the past couple weeks as we're in full prep-for-baby mode! Newborn care classes, childbirth classes, ob/midwife appointments (every 2 weeks now!), baby shower, holy-moly-everyone-is-so-generous-now-I-need-to-find-a-place-for-all-this-stuff-ness. Busy. This week alone we have childbirth class, doc appointment, yoga, prenatal massage (a gift from the gods), a doula meeting, and out of town family coming to visit.  I'm trying to soak it all in though.

Time is flying... just 7-ish weeks left, what!?! I know that in a few months I'll look back at this time and realize how truly precious and leisurely this time was. Like right now - I'm lounging on the couch typing away while little one rumbles my tummy and makes it move back and forth, up and down, all over the place like his personal punching bag. And that's pretty cool. Oh, and Jay is going to get brownies because I've been craving one ALL DAY. That's pretty cool too. Can't wait to share some pics from my amazing baby shower... but first, those Thank You notes won't write themselves.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nursery DIY #2: Glider Rocker + Ottoman

Being the preemptive planner that I am, I knew someday we'd have a little bubba (at least I'd hoped), so over 2 years ago when a Craigslist ad appeared offering a decent shape $50 used glider rocker + ottoman, I jumped on it. These babies generally go for $150 at Target to well above the $350 range... and that's just for the basic ones, not like the super fancy upholstered ones from PB Kids that go for upwards of $1250. Although, if you're really determined, you can get that cushy tailored look by converting a basic wooden one (here's an example of that... talk about amazing!), but I was not that ambitious.

When Jay picked up that well-loved rocker 2 years ago and brought it home, I was a little bummed with how much extra TLC it was going to need. In fact, if I had been there for the pick up, I probably would have said thanks, but no thanks. Screws were missed or stripped, the finish was dull and dirty, and the cushions... oh my god, the cushions! Evergreen velour-like with worn no-traction velcro. Oh well, it was ours now and there it sat in the basement for 2 years.

Not the actual chair (I forgot to take a 'before' pic), but very similar,
thank you Google Images and whomever's chair this is.
I had grand visions of stripping, sanding, priming, and painting the wooden base a crisp white and then reupholstering new cushions in a fun bright print. Grand visions indeed. Upon further inspection, with a few screws replaced and some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser elbow grease (those things are indeed magic), she cleaned up quite nicely. Plus, I decided with all the moving 'glider' parts, I ran the serious risk of getting them gunked up with paint and then I'd really have a hard time. On top of all that, I didn't want the room to be too matchy matchy, so knowing we already had a white crib, I was all for mixing wood tones.

Reupholstering new cushions was also a bit too grand of an idea. How about just making simple slipcovers that I can take off and throw in the wash? Brilliant. I started with the ottoman (bad idea). You'd think a simple rectangle would be the easy place to start, but it wasn't. I ended up just sewing the 'cover' right to the old cushion since I couldn't for the life of me come up with something that looked streamlined and clean. Oh well, chances are much more likely I'll need to wash the chair cover over the ottoman anyway.  The chair covers were MUCH easier - I just laid the old cushions on top of the new fabric and left a couple extra inches for cushion height and a hem, cut, sewed around 3 sides, hemmed the 4th side with a few ribbons for cinching and voila! These still look streamlined even with the ribbons (to secure it to the chair frame) because the ties go in the back and then I tucked them in, so they're barely even noticeable.

In the end, I'd say a vast improvement! (For the first time in my decorating life, I wasn't afraid to mix patterns.... I think it turned out fun!) This really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Have you slipcovered something fugly and made it fabulous?

Chair fabric is "Gotcha True Turquoise" home decor weight fabric purchased from Warehouse Fabrics for a sweet deal of $7.47 per yard. This took about 2-2.5 yards of fabric or so, but I purchased more for extra projects.
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