Aquarium…here we come!
I was so excited to take the day off from work on Emily’s actual first birthday so we could be together doing special things the whole day. When I was thinking about what would be fun for Emily, the Baltimore Aquarium came to mind. She is finally old enough to appreciate looking at all the fish, and it sounded like a fun adventure for her birthday.
Emily excels at the whole stranger anxiety thing that babies have going on. She started early at 3 months, and at almost 14 months, the “stranger danger” is still going strong. People are welcomed into our home with blood curdling screams of terror (so nice). This always makes me a little bit nervous when we go out, but when we got to the aquarium, Emily did great. In fact, I think she enjoyed the people watching more than the fish watching. The funniest thing she did happened in the darkest areas of the aquarium. In the Baltimore Aquarium, you start at the top of the building and wander down ramps that go past huge tanks with sharks, and fish, and other ocean creatures. It is fun because you can look all the way down form the top to the bottom of the building. Anyways, this area is pretty dark to really highlight the tanks. I guess the dark helped our shy little girl come out of her shell, because every time we would enter a dark area, she would suddenly start talking in the loudest voice we had ever heard come out of her. It was hilarious. I know we were getting looks from people wondering who this kid was that thought the dark, quiet areas of the aquarium were the best place to really start babbling at the top of her lungs, but it was great to see Emily just having a good time and come out of her shell.
Her favorite part of the aquarium (other than the dark) was the jellyfish. She loved watching them float up and down under the black lights. Mesmerizing. If only I had a tank above her crib, maybe she would be content to just stare at the jellyfish when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
Looks like she had a fun and busy day…
Emily is 11 months old today, which means I am in full birthday planning mode (not to mention freakout mode because how could my baby already be on the verge of one year???). Of course I will have all of the details for the party after it happens, but here is a sneak peak…
I still have a lot of details to figure out, and I have to keep my perfectionist side in check because your baby only turns one once and it would be easy to get stressed out while trying to make it perfect.
Happy last month of your first year Emily!
Life will never be the same.
Baby E is now 8 months old! The time has flown by, but it also seems like a long time ago that we were taking the pictures above. It has been an amazing journey so far. I never knew how sleep deprived I could be (or how delusional my husband could be in the middle of the night), and I never knew how happy one smile could make me feel. Each day is a new adventure as E becomes more and more her own unique person. She has opinions now and is better at communicating her likes and dislikes with squeals, screams, and laughter.
The hardest lesson for me in this transition (other than coping with sleep loss) is the loss of my personal time. I like to accomplish many things each day and love working on my projects, but now I have to remind myself that I shouldn’t feel bad when I don’t get things done because E is a big accomplishment and spending all of my time with her is the best project. Even with this blog I have to tell myself that it is okay that I haven’t posted anything for long periods of time because my time is spent with this amazing new person in my life and nothing is more important than that. I never imagined that 8 months would go by without posting, but taking more time to live life and less time to write about it has been the priority since E was born. Honestly, I have been writing this post for about 5 months and have changed the first sentence from 3 months to 5 months and now 8 months. At this point, I am finally regaining some personal time as E becomes more independent and has started taking naps (sleep is definitely not her strong suit).
I am so excited to be days away from baby’s first Christmas even though I know this Christmas is more for me than for her. It has been wonderful bringing the tree into our house and lighting it up for the first time and seeing her reaction.
Hopefully I will be able to start posting more frequently soon. For now I wish everyone a very happy holiday with friends and family.
Look out Martha!
My sister threw me the most amazing baby shower! She always claims that she is not good at putting these things together, but she far surpassed anything I have ever seen. Take a look…
The idea of hanging gifts on the clothes line was so cute.
Check out the mint chocolate owls she spent hours making…
And this amazing “Welcome Baby” sign. She wanted to use the baby’s name, but we aren’t revealing that until the baby arrives.
We had amazing food catered by Pain Quotidien
…and of course a photo booth since that is my husband’s business…
My sister put out a scrap book for everyone to put the photos from the booth in with messages. She also put out paper and an owl bank for people to write down wishes for the baby and insert them into the bank. Another great idea she had was to have people bring a book for the baby instead of a card (which is how I got so many books for my front facing bookcase).
We played one game at the shower, which was great. My sister found an old book about pregnancy and we had to fill in the blank for excerpts from the book. Here are a few samples:
As you can see, the answers were pretty interesting and everyone enjoyed the game.
Overall, the shower was amazing and lots of fun!
Let’s see what we have accomplished
So far we have the baby’s room cleared out and about half of the play room.
My husband worked very hard tearing out the existing closet shelves, sanding down the walls and painting them before we had the new closet system installed. Here is the closet with the shelves torn out before sanding and painting:
And here is the new and drastically improved closet:
The double hanging bars, drawers, and shelving have made the closet so much more efficient than before. Plenty or space now for all the cute baby clothes.
Out with the old…
In with the new…
Done. We got a dresser/changing table used on craigslist and put a fresh coat of paint on them and bought the crib on overstock.com.
Done. Got a cotton rug on overstock.com. I wanted to stick with natural materials for rugs to try to avoid off-gassing of chemicals.
I wanted to add a personal touch to the room with some homemade art for the wall. I went to Michael’s and picked out paper with different patterns and textures that would go with my color scheme, and I picked out a shadow box frame (super cheap thanks to those reliable weekly 40% off coupons). Then I went to work with my scissors…
Next I put the pieces together.
Sticking with the owl theme. I wanted a family of owls to represent our new family so I added 2 more owls and branch.
And here it is in the baby’s room framed in the shadow box…
Little did I know at the time that my brother-in-law was crafting a similar idea. He used torn paper to create an amazing owl for the baby’s room.
I also knew I wanted to do some sort of wall decal for the room. I found the perfect decal here: Trendy Peas
The decal came in several pieces and was super easy to put up:
First I cut the paper up into smaller pieces to make it more manageable to peal each piece off.
Next I put up the tree:
Then came the owls:
And finally the leaves:
The curtains are how the whole owl theme got started. I fell in love with this super cute fabric and the owl theme was born. I sewed the owl fabric with a panel of green at the bottom and green pompoms going between the two panels to make the curtains.
And with that the room is complete. So here it is again…Before
You may be wondering about the rose colored chair in the corner that does not fit in with the theme at all. This was my grandmother’s chair that I got when she passed away, so for sentimental reasons I wanted to put it in the baby’s room. I have thought about making a new cover for it, but the task intimidates me and there are other things that are higher on the priority list. So it is staying the way it is for now.
Some details for your viewing pleasure…
I really wanted to get a bookcase for the room where the books face forward because it not only looks nice, but it allows children to really see the books and pick out what they want to read (or pull them all off the shelf one by one as has been done by several one-year-olds who have visited). I got this one on kids.woot.com.
With only 1 month to go until our little baby arrives, we are feeling the pressure to get everything ready.
We have finished painting the room, and it so bright and cheerful now compared to what it was (dark tan).
We also had the new ceiling fan installed – nice improvement.
You can also see the green color we painted on the ceiling in this picture.
While my husband has been busy painting, I have been refinishing the dresser knobs that came with the used dresser and bed stand that we bought. Going with the owl theme, I found this stamp at Paper Source that I just couldn’t resist. By the way, the problem with going with a popular theme is that there are a lot of things you can’t resist and your theme gets out of control very quickly. Anyways, here is the stamp:
First I painted the knobs white (it took several coats to cover the original design). Then I stamped them with a permanent black ink and colored them in with stamp markers. Finally, my husband sprayed them with a shiny clear lacquer.
Big Changes Coming!
Now that the holidays are over and things are settling down, it is time to turn my focus to what this year will bring…a new baby! My husband and I are having a baby in April – our first baby. Having made it through the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, I have reached the “feeling good” part of pregnancy and feel the urgency of getting lots done before the “feeling really big and uncomfortable” phase of pregnancy kicks in. Of course designing a nursery is every domestic diva’s dream. It gives you permission to get a little bit crazier, try different colors, wall decals, etc. And everything is so cute! So that brings me to my inspiration and jumping off point…
I found this fabric at fabric.com and immediately bought a ton of it since it was not going to be in stock again. The owls are so cute, especially the one with argyle, and I like the colors too. So this became the jumping off point for the nursery. The colors will be light turquoise, light green, and white – nice and gender neutral. I decided that it would be fun to paint the ceiling a color instead of just plain white, so the ceiling will be light green, and the walls will be light turquoise. The furnishings are all going to be white. So as a person who is obsessed with making lists, here is the to do list for the baby’s room:
Stay tuned to see the progress on each of the items. Oh the anticipation!