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Liam’s Nursery

20 Mar

Check out more pictures and a breakdown of everything in the room on Hellobee!

Photo by Michelle

And now we wait…

19 Mar

Let the waiting games begin!

On Friday, we went back to the perinatologist and found out that all my resting a drinking has paid off and my fluid levels have increased. They’re still low, but not dangerously so, which means little Liam can stay put for a bit longer.

We also finished the nursery and my dear friend Michelle took pictures of it on Saturday! Now that it’s done, I’m not sure I know what to do with myself. It was all I thought about for so long and now it’s ready for a baby!

I have a few more papers to grade, but I’m hoping to be able to drop those off at work on Tuesday, just in case the baby comes early because I know once he is here, grading papers is the last thing I’ll want to do.

I’ve been having contractions just about every day, but nothing huge or consistent. They feel like bad menstrual cramps, so I hope they are working to get my body ready for labor. Now that I can’t work, I feel like I’m wasting time off without spending it taking care of the baby, so I’m anxious for him to arrive, whereas I wasn’t so ready when I was still working. I’ve decided that if I’m dilated at least 2 cm, I’ll consider an induction before my due date (which is in just two weeks!), but if I’m tightly closed or just at a 1, I don’t want to induce because I worry that it might lead to a c-section in that case. I see my OB this afternoon, so I’ll likely have a better idea of my progress and options after that.

This week, I plan to go out to lunch with friends, meet my husband on his lunch break to visit my favorite burger joint, Umami burger, and enjoy some alone time before everything changes. If we don’t have the baby by the weekend, I hope to be able to score tickets to see The Hunger games, as I’ve recently gotten hooked on the books. I finished the first one really fast, but I’m trying to pace myself through the second and third because I want to make them last.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the nursery shoot this weekend, taken by Michelle.

Happy Presidents Day!

20 Feb

It’s unusual for my husband to have these Monday holidays off with me, so we’re taking advantage of the extra time by getting lots and lots of stuff done. Only 6 more weeks until my due date (!!!) and we’re feeling the pressure to get everything ready for baby Liam’s arrival. Here’s our weekend:


my husband cleaned the house and made breakfast

we went to Ikea for a light fixture and spare parts for the dresser

I organized shower gifts while my husband sanded/fixed the dresser

so many books! I thought this was all of them, but found about 8 more after I took this picture.

we had friends over, went to lunch and the plant store

I took my stepsister to work, picked up my brother, and traded cars with my mom

I picked up the rocking chair from the upholsterer

my brother painted his canvas (more on this project soon)

takeout and a movie for dinner

Sunday (after a terrible night’s sleep)

we stained the dresser

dogs painted a canvas

husband painted a canvas

we went to lunch at a new place

we had this yummy platter of meat, cheese, bread, and spread from a French restaurant that just opened nearby – delish!

went to Babies R Us to return/exchange/purchase some items (wasn’t a very fun experience and my husband has sworn never to go back)

more organizing in the nursery while my husband worked on the dresser

my husband left for a work event and I ate leftover takeout

graded papers and early to bed

Plans for Monday…

my husband will finish the dresser and do yard work

more organizing for me!

Target for essentials

start packing hospital bags (feels too early still, but I can write a post about it and just pack the things I won’t be using until then)

OBGYN appointment

either a movie (I really want to see The Descendants) or more organizing

more grading

WHEW! I’m tired just thinking about it all. Nesting is a funny thing: once you get the urge, you just can’t stop. I’m really excited that the nursery will be done in the next couple of weeks and can’t wait for Michelle to take pictures of it for us!

Nursery Update!

5 Jan

It’s not finished, but it’s getting pretty close! Before this room was the nursery, it was a guestroom and it looked like this:

It was a little bit granny, a little bit 7 year old, but it served it’s purpose as occasional guestroom and my laundry area. I used the closet in this room and got ready in here every morning. Once we became pregnant, we started the process of changing it over to the nursery. First, I had to move my clothes into our master bedroom closet. Then, we had to work on flattening the walls. You can’t really see the texture in the above picture, but look here:

Ick, right? The process of removing the texturing is quite long and difficult. With the help of my father-in-law, and several weekends of me nagging and my husband grumbling, it started to disappear:

After the walls were smooth, it was time to choose a paint color, which you can read about here. We chose Benjamin Moore’s Polar Ice and my husband got to painting.

Then, it was time to add trim around the closet and crown molding to the ceiling:

Thanks to my hard working husband and his super helpful dad, the room was painted and ready for furniture by Christmas! This week, my husband put up the picture ledges we’re using as bookshelves, so here’s what it looks like now:

We moved the cowhide rug that Emily gave us from our dining room to the nursery because it wasn’t too practical in the dining room as the chairs would always get caught on it. Plus, we needed a rug for this room and I thought this one would be cute. The picture ledges are from Ikea, as is the rocking moose (which I got two of for Christmas – thanks mom and husband!) and the reading lamp.

The crib was given to us by our neighbor, which I wrote about here. My husband already used the conversion kit from the company to make it a fixed gate crib, so we don’t have to worry about safety issues.

I decided to leave the mirrored closet doors because they make the room look so much bigger and babies love looking at themselves in mirrors.

Want to see some baby clothes cuteness?

Here’s what’s in one half of the closet. The other half still has some of my clothes like my wedding dress and other special occasion dresses that will stay there until… we move? Or I get rid of them? I figure a baby doesn’t need that much closet space and we can put extra supplies up top and in this white dresser that’s completely empty right now.

Cute baby clothes! We actually have much more than this, but this is just the 0-3 and 3-6 month stuff (except that big jacket on the far right) that was either handed down or given to us so far. I know we’ll get many more clothes and I’m pretty proud of myself that the only item of baby clothing that I have purchased is the Raider’s onsie I gave my husband for his birthday.

We’ve been handed down so many adorable baby shoes, including these tiny shark chucks! All of the other bigger shoes and clothes are in a big storage container, organized by size.

Here’s what still needs to be done or purchased for the room:

– Hang curtains – I have the curtains and rods, they just need to be hung and hemmed.

– Obtain dresser for the big empty wall to use as changing table.

– Obtain glider for the corner with the windows.

– Obtain lighting fixture to hang from the ceiling. I’m liking this one or this one.

– Move the tree stump side table from the living room to here next to the glider.

– Add more books to the shelves – should be easy as both of my showers are book-themed.

– Art on the walls – my Northern CA shower will help with this. More details later.

– Make a mobile – I keep changing my mind on what I want to do, so who knows when I’ll finally finish this.

– Make a giant ruler to use as a growth chart.

– Maybe get some toy storage. I really like some toy boxes on wheels with a chalkboard front that my brother has in his room, but I have to convince my mom to give them to us 😉

And I think that’s it! I’m so excited with the progress we’ve made and I can’t wait to see the rest come together.

Paint! Finally!

14 Dec

After many weekends of work, my husband finally finished flattening the walls in the baby room. He also installed  new insulation in the attic, which is accessed through the baby room closet, so our house will be toasty warm (and nice and cool in the summer) just in time for baby’s arrival.

So… colors. About a month ago, we went down to a local paint shop that carries Benjamin Moore paint. I like their selection of colors the best, but their prices are quite high, so we just wanted to get swatches there and then take them to Home Depot to be color matched.

After debating and consulting friends, we settled on Glass Slipper, Polar Ice, Summer Shower, and Lily White (from House Beautiful Magazine) all by Benjamin Moore. Then, I headed to Home Depot to get some little $3 sample jars so we could paint swatches on the wall.

The room isn’t primed yet, and it will take several coats of primer and paint because the plaster used to skim the walls sucks up the paint like a sponge, but here’s an idea of what the colors would look like on the walls.

I wore a heavy duty mask, so as not to inhale paint fumes. Sexy, huh?

We painted little abbreviations of the colors under each swatch so we’d remember which was which.

Watch out!

Ok, so here they are. From left: Summer Shower, Lily White, Glass Slipper, and Polar Ice.

And the verdict? We ruled out Glass Slipper right away because it was much too gray. Polar Ice was next to go because it was too dark. Now, we’re left with Summer Shower and Lily White. We both keep going back and forth between those two. They’re very different, but we like something about both of them. We have to decide soon, though, because we’re hoping to get it painted before Christmas (oh please oh please).

So, what do you think?

Here a picture of just those two without flash.

Wow, you can barely see Lily White in this one… maybe that’s a sign?

Tell me what you think. And we don’t have time to go get more samples, so it has to be one of these.

Nursery Paint Colors

26 Oct
Someone wonderful got me a subscription for House Beautiful magazine recently and I get so excited each time I see a new issue in the mail. In the latest issue, there is an article about paint colors that look beautiful in every light. I had an idea of the direction I wanted to go for paint colors in the nursery, but this article came at the perfect time to solidify two great possibilities.
One thing I wanted to keep in mine while choosing paint colors was that they should go well with the rest of the house. Remember our living/dining room color? It’s a dark purple. Our entryway is now a light gray and our kitchen and hallway will be the same color. Our master bedroom is staying white, due to the paneling, and my husband can’t stand painting another room, so our office will stay sage green. I remember when we were looking at houses to buy and there was one with a PINK room, a BLUE room, and a YELLOW room. Each one screamed it’s designated color and the whole effect was a bit nauseating. I’m hoping to avoid that same vibe, but I still want to have fun decorating.
For a girl, I wanted something with a peachy-pink hue, but I didn’t want it too girly. This is one color that was featured in the House Beautiful article and I really love it. It looks a bit different in the magazine, so I hope the name is correct!
Benjamin Moore’s Sheraton Beige
For a boy, I wanted something light with a grey-blue hue. This color could easily work for a girl as well, but since I’m going gender neutral with so many baby items, I’d like the paint to be a bit more feminine if we have a girl. This color is so calming and serene – it would be perfect for a baby boy’s room.
Benjamin Moore’s Lily White
I’ve also decided that we’ll use the cowhide rug from our dining room in the nursery, since it is a bit small and awkward under the dining table – the chairs catch on it all the time due to it’s curvy shape. Cowhide rugs are everywhere lately, so I feel like it will bring a fresh modern feel into the space.
Now I need to start making inspiration boards! I’ve tried polyvore, but does anyone know of a better site for making interior design inspiration boards? I don’t have photoshop, so it has to be something free online.
Do you like the colors? What about the cowhide rug idea?

And we have a crib!

17 Oct

Let me tell you something about our neighborhood: it is awesome. Everyone on our little street knows each other. I think this is rare for a Southern California neighborhood – I’ve never known or been friendly with my neighbors my whole life. Each day, right before dinner time, a bunch of the moms on our street gather on the sidewalk and the kids play in someone’s front yard. We really are blessed to have found a house on a street like this.

So, when we told our next door neighbors we were pregnant, they immediately offered us their pottery barn crib that they had in their garage. Their daughter is now 9 years old, so I was a little worried about the condition of the crib and said I’d look at it, but didn’t make any promises to take it off their hands. I’m picky about certain things for the baby; there is a specific stroller I’ve wanted forever, I prefer a dresser to a traditional changing table with baskets underneath, and I want a really comfy upholstered glider. However, I’ve never been very picky about the crib. I want something sturdy and gender neutral. Other than that, I don’t really care what it looks like. I’m not a fan of matchy-matchy furniture sets (all the furniture in a room in the same wood and finish), so it didn’t really matter to me what color or finish the crib was. I knew I would just plan the rest of the room around it.

Without further ado, here it is. Thanks Greg, Janet, and Charlotte!

I like that it has a traditional shape, but doesn’t scream any particular decade. The color is nice and medium – not too light or too dark. It is in excellent condition (no teeth marks or anything) and the mattress even looks new. 

The dogs approve!

Honestly, at this point, anything free is a major plus. We can’t be too picky when it comes to things we can’t afford. That said, I really hope we get everything off our registries because so far that stuff isn’t being handed to us for free!

I thought about getting a dresser off craigslist and painting it, but after dealing with a few cuckoo sellers, I realized it would be not much more expensive and a whole lot easier to buy something from Ikea. Here’s my choice for a girl:

I love the pulls and curved legs of this dresser. The height is perfect for a changing table and the drawers would hide all the necessary equipment.

Here’s my choice for a boy:

This dresser is often pictured in nurseries on the net. The drawers slide really easily and all that storage space is invaluable.

I chose black dressers because I knew I wanted some black furniture in the room. The glider I registered for is gray and I’ll hang white picture ledges for my dream book wall. I’m planning on moving the tree stump side table from Emily into the nursery for next to the glider. This way, we have a mix of colors and finishes, which I think is important so the furniture in the room doesn’t look like it was picked out of a catalog, but collected over time.

So, what do you think? Would you take a crib for free, or would you rather buy a new one?

Favorite Nurseries

20 Sep
I’m finally at the stage where I feel like I can finally think about decorating a nursery. I’ve collected inspirational pictures for a while and throught I’d round them up here to share with you!
Favorite Girl Nurseries:
From here.

I love the dark grey accent wall and bright colors of this room. The handcrafted details make it feel so cozy and inviting.

This is just so gorgeous and feminine and soothing. I LOVE that 3D tree and the lavender color palate. Now that our living room is purple, though, I’m not sure I want a purple nursery.

From here.
My favorite part of this nursery is the textiles. I’d love custom bedding and drapery, but we’re on a serious budget, so we’ll either go very cheap or very DIY (or both).

Favorite Gender Neutral Nurseries:

Doesn’t this room make you want to curl up with a book and mug of hot cocoa? I love the fabrics and neutral grey walls.

From here.

I am definitely doing bookshelves like these on one wall of the nursery. I found white picture ledges for cheap at Ikea and I’m going to collect my favorite picture books to display on it (maybe a shower theme? bring your favorite children’s book?).

From here.
I love the color of these walls and that soft white rug, but I’m scared of white rugs, especially with two dogs, so I’m not sure about that. I also like the pops of green, yellow, and orange and that cute lamp.

Favorite Boy Nurseries:

From here.

I am really liking big wide stripes right now and these in shades of blue are just lovely.

From here.

I really like the reclaimed wood wall in this room, but my husband has already vetoed it. It’s a lot of work and I might get sick of it quickly, so I see his point. But isn’t it cool?

From here.

I’ve always liked the idea of doing a sea themed boy’s room. I love that mobile and the soft blue walls, but other that that it’s a little too simple for my taste.
What do you think? Any of these catch your eye? 

>Wherein I turn my unborn children into nerds…

7 Feb

>Before I show you how I plan to completely nerd-ify my children when we have them, I have exciting news!

I won the Valentine’s Day flower delivery giveaway from Ali of His Birdie’s Nest!! I’ve never gotten flowers delivered to me at work before and I’m so excited!! Mys husband is also happy that he’s off the hook in the flower department for V-day this year. I told him not to worry since everything is so over-priced that day and I’ll be getting flowers from Ali anyway!

Ok, so back to my nerdiness…

Today while browsing through my google reader, I saw this photo posted by With Two Cats:

I clicked her link to find the source for the photo which led me to ohdeedoh, which led me to Elizabeth Sullivan Design. Isn’t it funny how one picture can really make the blogging rounds?

I’m so in love with this wall of books. I already knew I wanted bookshelves like this in our future nursery. I love the way they store the books so you can see the covers. Children recognize their favorite books based on the covers, not the title on the spine. When books are displayed this way, children are much more likely to take a book off of the shelf and read. Plus, it makes for a beautiful art display!

What do you think? Is this too much? Will my child have any chance at being cool with a book-covered wall in their room?

Design Fantasy: Guestroom… or not.

22 Sep

Our current guestroom is basically my room from when I lived at home in college, but moved to our house. We have decided that when we have a baby, that room will be the nursery. It is closest to our bedroom and the windows lead to the backyard, making us feel safer about our baby sleeping there. In our video submission for the design show, we said that the guestroom would eventually be the nursery, even though we’re not pregnant yet. We even pointed out the paint swatches I have taped to the wall (yes, I’m crazy, we all know that now, moving on). Ideally – and I know life doesn’t really respond to my plans the way I want it to – I would be pregnant by the time we film the show and they might design the nursery for us. If not, I guess they would design it as a guestroom or just leave it the way it is and not feature it on the show. For her first special, Emily did 4 rooms in Ian’s house, which is what I am basing all of this off of.

This is the room now:

Something else you should know about me: I really want a girl first. I love all things girly – the clothes, the dance classes, the doll houses and play kitchens. I’d love to have a boy, as well…. one day. My husband? Totally opposite. He wants a boy first. Either way, one of us will be disappointed. OK, back to my design fantasy…

This is my very favorite girl nursery, found on People Magazine. I love the lavender paint and the tree that is built off the wall and the birds and the fluffy rug and the chandelier… I just love it.

I really like this boy’s nursery from Restoration Hardware. I love the sailboat theme, but I don’t think it is taken too far. The bedding is still simple and not too cutesy (I dislike the bedding with pictures of stuff all over it) and the colors are muted enough to fit with the rest of the house.

Here’s the problem: even if by magic we did get pregnant before taping the show, we wouldn’t know if it was a boy or a girl for a few months (usually 20 weeks, right?). While I’d love to go all out boy or all out girly for the decor of the nursery, I really love the idea of a gender neutral nursery with just a few details that whisper “boy” or “girl”. Here are some of my favorites:

This nursery from the boo and the boy leans toward “boy” without screaming “BOY!” I love the soft blue on the walls and the white furniture.

This one is from spearmint baby. It has a similar wall color to the first one, but with the pink accents, it is obvious a baby girl lives here. I also adore the book shelves that allow the covers to be showcased. A reading corner is a must for me (I am an English teacher, after all).

While having triplets seems like my worst nightmare, this room (also from spearmint baby) is quite lovely. I feel relaxed and at peace when I look at it and hopefully my baby would, too.

Again, the light blue/gray walls and colorful accents make this room (from spearmint baby) sing. That poster with the little girl’s name and the alphabet is calling me. I want it.

This room from with two cats just feels home-y to me. The combination of fabrics gives visual interest and creates a very comfy vibe. I’d love to rock my baby to sleep in that chair.

I have loved this nursery ever since I saw it on design sponge and it led me to follow with two cats.

I love the neutral gray walls and bright colorful linens (though I’m not really a fan of orange). My husband’s parents also have a crib just like that that we could paint white.

Coming up next… Design Fantasy: Living/Dining room