Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Thirty

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Posted by Rebecca, March 6th, 2012

I’ve left the 20s and entered a new leading digit.

I also switched to a maternity shirt this picture, which just fits so much better than the non-stretchy one I was squeezing in before. The next time I do one of these series I’ll be sure to start with a super stretchy shirt as opposed to a baggy shirt with not much stretch.

Now that I finally look super pregnant and the elderly women in the hair salon told me I was cute when I walked in (even without makeup and in baggy sweat pants), I feel a little sad that this is almost over. Though I am well aware and anxious that I will soon have an adorable baby I’m dying to meet, part of me is like holy crap, how am I 3/4 done already?? You wait so long to not feel sick, then to have a normal looking bump and then… it’s almost over.

Here’s to hoping the next 5 weeks treat me well– I get some good nights of sleep, my ankles stay manageable most of the time and I’m able to enjoy my last 1/4 of pregnancy.

A Crown Update

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Posted by Michael, February 20th, 2012

After we finished the framing of the built-in cabinets in the new office, Rebecca and I realized we better get moving on the baby’s room which included doing a paneled accent wall as well as crown molding.  This weekend was all about the crown molding and we wasted no time diving in the project.  After getting a few corners and long strips of molding in place, Rebecca and I realized we were in over our heads.

There were gaps everywhere and it felt like we were resorting to the “yeah, we can caulk that, right?” line over and over again.  Heck, I joked with my brother today there there would actually be more caulk on the walls than actual molding.

It was that bad.

You see, I was never one to really read manuals or the fine print.  So when I was reading the manual on how to cut certain angles, I overlooked the section on HOW TO PROPERLY CUT CROWN MOLDING CORNERS.  Good thing Rebecca is the brains around here, but bad for me since I’m essentially becoming my mother more and more these days.

After doing a celebration dance, Rebecca made ANOTHER discovery of my stupidity.  Not only does the manual tell you how to make the cuts, but the necessary angles needed are marked on the miter saw.  I knew this, but I didn’t realize that where the numbers are wasn’t exactly where the saw needed to be — instead the saw needed to be on the tick-mark that represents the numbers.  Numbers were off to the side of the tick-marks; an additional 3% of space.  Silly me.  At one point Rebecca asked me how I graduated high school.  Then she realized I copied off of her my senior year of math class.

SO ANYWAYS.  We ripped down the round 1 of molding  (including that horrible example of a corner above) and decided to start over with our new found knowledge (thanks to Rebecca).  We decided to start on the opposite side of the room and sure enough, our first corner with the proper cuts was absolutely perfect.

We worked around the room and finished about half of it.  There are some spots where caulk is needed, but these areas are the result of the ceilings not being totally straight.  I can say that confidently now.

I’m off to buy some more molding tomorrow to finish the room (yeah, we wasted way too much crown with attempt #1).  Then we’ll do some caulking and give you another update.

Twenty Five

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Posted by Rebecca, February 1st, 2012

Last week while we were on vacation, I hit my 25th week of being pregnant. Don’t worry, I remembered to take a belly picture…

Despite the fact that I was wearing a black shirt, I still could not abandon my usual black shirt and jeans photo. You guys won and the standard uniform stays!

I know right? That belly is huge this month! I officially switched to maternity jeans for this picture and the non-maternity shirt is seeing it’s last days too. If I was facing forward, you’d see that the shirt is now so low cut that it’s scandalous.

I took this picture when we got back from vacation, so I was less than a day shy of 26 weeks… and suffering from awful sunblock skin. I have super sensitive skin and despite the fact that I always buy sensitive, anti-pore clogging sunblock, it always turns my skin into a mess. Thank goodness I decided to do this series in black and white, so my lack of pregnant glow this month isn’t as noticeable…

More than halfway done with the pictures already!

Yeah, I’d say I popped….

The Belly Series

7 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, January 19th, 2012

First, thank you all who came back after we went dark yesterday to protest SOPA and PIPA. It was a last minute decision so I apologize for not posting a warning, but I felt it was important to support something Mike and I believe in. Though I didn’t see any other house blogs go dark, if these laws passed we would without a doubt be affected, if we could even exist. So thanks for your understanding 🙂

On to the fun! I always knew that when I got pregnant I would want to chronicle the growth of my belly. Some people cringe at this thought and believe me, my self-esteem is not at its highest right now. But I felt that some day I would look back at these pictures and be thankful that I documented this time. I chose to take a photo every 5 weeks so that it would be frequent enough to capture growth, but not so frequent as to be difficult to maintain. Plus 5 weeks is easier to measure than months, which vary depending on how you count them.

I decided to wear something as simple and classic as possible– and to wear the same outfit in each photo. I felt that this way, the picture would be timeless and it would be easier to see how much my belly has grown. I also decided to stand against a white wall and make all of the pictures black and white, to adjust for any differences in lighting, skin color, etc. I started by buying a one size larger black tee from Old Navy and paired it with my boyfriend fit jeans from American Eagle.

And all together now!

Things I did not anticipate:

1. Getting the WORLD’S WORST HAIRCUT during week 10.

My hairstylist is out on maternity leave and I took whoever was available. I asked her to take an inch off of the ‘do in week 5 (which was longer by week 10). She did that funny mom cut to my head, which I tried to hide with a flowered headband. And that’s a flattering picture of it. It was missing chunks all over and I was forced to pin back layers to hide it through week 20. I’ve been told it’s going to take a total of nearly 6 months just to straighten out the mess she made. Getting a haircut while pregnant was not a smart idea, bad enough my clothes are not fitting, now my head looks funny too!

2. Not liking my outfit.

Black shirt and jeans? Perfect, right? The truth was even in my 5 week photo when I wasn’t showing, this wasn’t an outfit I’d leave the house in. I usually always wear layers and would probably never just throw on jeans and a black tshirt without some kind of tank top showing or accessories. I also I bought the shirt a size larger and it was awkwardly baggy. I probably should have worn something fitted so that it was more obvious when my stomach grew and it hugged me in the right places. Plus I worked at Chili’s when I was in college and guess what the uniform was? Black shirt and dark jeans…I swear I haven’t worn the same combo since. I don’t think I would necessarily change the uniform concept I had though, just maybe spend more time finding something I liked more.

3. Needing maternity jeans after week 20

I thought those American Eagle jeans were in it for the long haul. RIP guys 🙁 Not that big of a deal though, I don’t think the denim swap will be noticable in future pictures.

4. Painting my photo wall

I was taking pictures in the new office every week, until we painted it dark blue. We had to squeeze into a white wall in the sitting room of our master and it actually worked out. The lighting seemed to be much better from the new angle.

I waited to share this idea until I started showing. I am actually 24 weeks now and I will need to add another photo the to the collection next week. I’m debating whether or not to change it up for the second half of my pregnancy… Maybe I’ll do a picture in my current favorite maternity outfit? Or start to accessorize the black shirt and jeans combo? I doubt that I’ll abandon the outfit all together, if for nothing other than to document for myself. Maybe I’ll do more than 1 picture every 5 weeks. Maybe strike a new pose or something. We shall see 🙂

The Crib Search

78 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, January 17th, 2012

Finally, I’m going to write this all out. I warn you that it’s long and not very full of pictures…

From the minute I found out I was pregnant (okay even before), I knew a solid wood and as eco-friendly as possible crib was on my list. It was the number one nursery priority along with an organic mattress.  I understand that I cannot protect my baby from every little chemical in this world, but I felt like the baby’s sleep zone was a good start. In the world of eco-friendly vs. non-eco-friendly, it seems as though you have to be one or the other. I prefer to take the stance of choosing what is important to me and doing the best I can.

Repeat, I do the best I can.

Things like formaldehyde and toxic stains and glues are scary to me. Cotton is not so scary and clothes are washable, so I don’t feel the need to organic-out my baby’s entire wardrobe. Strangely though, I often just like the look of organic clothing more than not. Like DwellStudio’s organic layette collection…

(via DwellStudio)

 I love DwellStudio in general but I particularly love their baby lines. Mmmm.

Anyway, I started our crib search on the good old internets, world wide webs. One thing I learned about baby things is that choosing them is about 90% research and about 10% walking into a store. So I googled and found various articles about what to look for in a crib. One consistent theme was solid hardwood.

MDF and particle boards are often held together with toxic glues. The glues can omit fumes over time and considering that babies spend a good amount of their first, impressionable years sleeping, I’d rather not have those fumes. I made solid wood the #1 priority in finding a crib and started with that.

I found myself becoming extremely frustrated that many brands did not blatantly say whether their cribs were 100% solid wood or not. Of course there’s Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Land of Nod (Crate & Barrel’s kid store) that boast solid wood furniture, but they cost $700+ for a crib. I heard that DaVinci cribs sold by Babies R Us were 100% solid wood, but I couldn’t find it stated on their website. You would think that such a selling point would be screamed from the rooftops “HEY NEUROTIC NEW PARENT, THIS CRIB IS SOLID WOOD!” Though I did catch many brands use terms like “solid wood with MDF parts”, which I took as a no thanks. Needless to say, crib hunting has been one of the more tedious of the baby product huntings I have taken on in the past several weeks.

Oh yeah, another the thing about finding a healthy (or least toxic) crib…it’s still a piece of furniture that you have to like, right? Many of the eco-friendly cribs are unfinished since paints and stains typically have some VOCs. But I don’t want an unfinished crib, I want a dark stained crib. So here I was, like a balancing scale, weighing style, safety and cost.

I started reading some threads on eco-friendly message boards and found some brands. I believe I googled “DaVinci cribs solid wood?” to find a discussion that mentioned that DaVinci was made by Million Dollar Baby. BAM! Starting point. So I went to the Million Dollar Baby website. Sure enough, solid wood, non-toxic finishes and I loved the Annabelle crib….

(via Million Dollar Baby)

 I googled the name of the crib and found that it was retailing for about $350… yay affordable! So I hunted down a semi-local retailer… okay it was in Delaware. Which sounds far but it’s really less than an hour from us since we live fairly south these days. I figured during one of the days between Christmas and New Years we could take a nice little ride there so I could pet the Annabelle crib in person. Nice little ride turned into pouring rain, traffic, a nasty soda from Wendy’s which left me dying of thirst and a whole lot of disappointment. The store was not as appealing as it seemed and guess what? They had just taken the Annabelle crib off the floor that week. I literally walked around the store for about an hour wanting to like another crib but not a single one was my style. Not. One.

I wouldn’t say the entire experience was a waste though. From the sales person, I learned that every single crib on their floor was solid wood. Some were around $300 and some were more than $1,000. There was one I was so-so about and figured if I found nothing else, it would work. I took some flyers with some brands as further jumping off points as to which companies used solid wood in their cribs.

As I hung my head and got back in the car (soaking wet) to sit back in traffic, we decided to stop at Buy Buy Baby on the way home. Very early in our crib search, we had seen at least one crib there that was listed as solid wood. I figured I’d go look at that one again, even though it was about $500. We walked around Buy Buy Baby reading tags and saw that the some of the brands sold in the smaller, family owned store we just went to were also at Buy Buy Baby. Namely, the crib I put on my “if I find nothing else list” which was the Bonavita Hudson crib…

(via Bonavita)

Then we spotted this one crib that caught our eye because of the way it looked. It was traditional, yet modern. When we looked at the tag we saw that it was made out of 100% solid wood. The company also plants 10 trees in a location of your choice for each crib purchased. Hello eco-friendly! And the best part? It was $299.

It’s the Stratford convertible crib by Baby Appleseed (yes, that’s a crappy iPhone picture of the info sheet I took from the store). We wanted a dark wood crib, but not cherry colored. Originally, I wanted something with solid panels on the back or sides but I decided I’d rather have something convertible, which solid panels on the sides are not. I initially liked very straight lined cribs, but as I looked at them in person and realized that we would be doing very straight lined molding around the room, I warmed up to the idea of a curved back. It seemed that this crib had the best of everything—slightly curved back, but straight front and legs, convertible yet solid panel in the front. Safe, eco-friendly, stylish, affordable? Sold.

The downside is that it’s sold in store only and I cannot find any decent pictures of it online. Guess you’ll just have to wait until we get it (or go to Buy Buy Baby again and snap a picture of it). We’re probably going with a Hemnes dresser from Ikea to round out the room, either in the brown/gray color or painting it a gender-specific color. We’re planning on going with a non-rocking Ikea chair and with that, all of the furniture in the baby’s room should run us under $1,000. Not bad, considering I was ready to accept the fact that I’d be handing over nearly that much for a solid wood crib 🙂

Ps- for anyone looking for some solid wood brands I came across here are a few in a quick list…DaVinci (who also makes the very popular Jenny Lind crib), Bonavita, Baby Appleseed and Million Dollar Baby (manufacturer of DaVinci)

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