Saturday, July 28, 2012

{Baby Update} 39 weeks + maternity photos!

I'm taking the time out of {Bringing Home Baby} to post an update!!
If you missed this week's posts, check them out.
Month by Month Onesie Tutorial
My Baby Must Haves
Don't Waste Your Moola

There are more {Bringing Home Baby} posts coming next week!  Keep your eyes out for them :)


Well, we made it to 39 weeks...much to the surprise of many people!

And we had a fun maternity session a week or so ago with my favorite photographer.  If you live in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati...check her out!  She's awesome.


Progress
At my 36 and 38 week appointments, I opted in for the oh-so-fun internal exams.  I've been 2-3 cm dilated since 36 weeks, 50% effaced, and his head is already at 0 station.  Guess that explains the horrible nerve pain that I've been feeling non-stop since he "dropped" around 36 weeks.    To many, this doesn't seem very exciting, but coming from a girl who's only been dilated to "maybe a cm" with the other two pregnancies before going into labor, this is super exciting for me!  Heck, I'm already further with this one than where I got my epidurals with the other two!


Prepping for Knox
I have finally made progress in preparing!  We officially have all of the 0-3 and 3-6 months clothes washed.  All of the blankets are clean and waiting for our little guy!  The bassinet is set up and ready for our little man.  We've purchased the very few things we still needed {aka wanted}.  His room is now painted and ready to turn into a nursery as soon as big brother and sister's new shared room is done!  I'm feeling pretty prepared!


Is this it?
While my plan is to labor at home for a long time, I've had several nights in a row where I wonder if labor is starting.  Last night, I slept in 15 minute increments...yeah, it wasn't fun.  The contractions were strong enough to keep waking me up {plus I had to pee 5 times}, but they weren't enough to be considered "painful." And they came very 15 minutes like clock work.  

Even though the same thing happened with Grayson {until the night my water actually broke}, I still keep getting a little excited that each night/day might be the big day...we'll see!

Don't forget to follow on Facebook to keep up with baby updates!  It's much easier to post there than here from the hospital ;)




Friday, July 27, 2012

Our week via {Instagram}



This first one wasn't from this week, but we snuck away for an anniversary date night earlier this month.  After contemplating dinner or a movie, we decided to try something a little different.  Dinner and a movie at the same time!  We have a really cool theater that has deluxe seating with wait staff to wait on you during the movie.  It was a super fun experience!  We saw the Incredible Spiderman, which I was sort of dreading, but REALLY liked!


Layne decided that Knox needed a sticker too!  Can you tell that is butt and back are on my left side in this picture!?!  Holy lopsided belly :)


We decided to do One on One dates with each of our kids before baby brother arrives!  It was so special for each of them.  This will definitely be a tradition that we continue!


Obviously, we painted pottery for Layne's date and went out for pizza!  She had such a special night until she found out that brother was staying with mamaw and papaw and she got a teensy bit jealous ;)


We followed Friday night pottery painting with a Sunday Cincinnati Reds game with my boy.  He was all decked out in Reds gear.  Dad even had to get him a new glove...you know, just in case we got a foul ball hit to us.  Poor kid thought that he was going to get to play baseball...not watch it.  After he got over the initial disappointment that he didn't get to play, he had a blast.  Including a Lemon Chill, Dippin Dots, and Cotton Candy.


Momma decided she was going to try to walk this baby out, so we made the day a little more special by parking across the river in Newport, Kentucky and walking across the bridge to get to the game.  It wasn't too bad on the way there, but the 1.5 to 2 mile walk back was a little rough since I had one giant 15-20 minute contraction.  We did luck out tremendously by getting shaded seats.  They were just close enough to see the action, but just far enough away to be out of the sun!


Monday was the weekly OB appointment!  38 weeks here.  Still hanging in there.


And it is VBS week at church!  Grayson is taking a few minutes out here to pose with his ammunition {aka marshmallow} used in a catapult game.  This guys is officially still too young to go, but momma is allowed to take him and tag along.


Sister was making cards for kids in Africa as part of their weekly ministry.  All of the offering they bring in is going to buy mosquito nets for families in Mali.   I love watching them have so much fun and excitement!  And I love how it raises so many good questions in my big girl's mind.  We've had some great discussions on the way home every night.


This is Gray and Miss Lucy {our BFF's daughter}...isn't she adorable!  Future husband and wife, maybe? :)  They just kept hugging and kissing each other.  It was too cute!

{Bringing Home Baby} Don't Waste Your Moola!


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Similar to my Must-Have list, I also have a list of products that you can totally do without!  As I said before, every momma is different...and I've seen many of my items that I could live without on other people's must-have list.  To each her own :) 

Here's my list.

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1 Diaper Pail
Total waste of money.  It was expensive with expensive refills.  It was not easy to use and still was stinky.  We just took the trash out each day when they were little babies...and once they were bigger {and stinkier}, each dirty diaper was tied in a plastic bag and taken out to the trash after changing.

2 Boppy Pillow
I never used my Boppy pillow for nursing.  It was just awkward and uncomfortable to me.  One of my best friends used hers so much that it had to be replaced with her second kid.  She took it everywhere with her. We did use it as a support for when our babies were just starting to sit up on their own :)

3 Bottle Warmer
I registered and got one for a gift, but never used the thing.  We were exclusively nursing most of the time, but when we weren't, we used room temperature water.  No use getting a baby used to "warm" milk because it's not always available that way {for a bottle at least} :)

4 Store Bought Baby Food
This stuff is EX. PEN. SIVE.!!  We just made our own baby food with Grayson and saved around $500 during his first year.  I'm not a super crunchy, organic momma, but this was something simple that I could do to save a little dough and be a little healthier for my baby.

5 Wipes Warmer
No explaining needed.  Unless you are storing your wipes outside in your car in the middle of January, they are warm enough for your baby's tushy!

6 Changing Table
Bought one from Ikea for $100 and never even took it out of the box.  We just changed the baby wherever we were at in the house.  On the bed, couch, floor, etc.  Sure, we put a blanket down to protect from any messes, but we never used a changing table once.

What do you think?  What are your "do withouts"?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} Month by Month Onesies Tutorial

This post was originally posted over a year ago, but I had to post it again for our {Bringing Home Baby} series.  Here it as as originally posted!
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When I was invited to an upcoming baby shower for a friend at church,
I knew that I had to make these adorable onesies.
For the life of me, I can't remember where I originally saw this idea,
but it wasn't my original idea.

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I was also dying to use my new Cricut Expressions that my awesome hubs got me for Mother's Day.

This is probably self explanatory to most, but I'm going to walk you through it anyway!
Like I said, I used my Cricut, so I'll give you instructions for using one & instructions if you don't have a Cricut.

{You need}
Onesies! {I used Gerber onesies sizes 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 12 mths}
Fabric scraps {or 1/4 yd is more than enough}
Heat N Bond Lite
Scissors
Sewing Machine {Or Needle & Thread}

{Cricut method}
To prepare your fabric for cutting, iron your Heat N Bond Lite onto the wrong side of your fabric following the instructions on the package.

Remove the back paper. {Trust Me. Do it. You don't want to scrape the backing off the cutting mat like my sister had to.}

Lay your fabric with the Heat N Bond down onto your cutting mat. Now cut out your numbers!
Here were my settings:
Pressure - 3
Speed - 2

For my set, I used the following cartridges & settings.
{I apologize for my lack of knowledge on what the cutouts/shadows are called!}
1 - Plantin School Book (Shadow)
2 - Celebrations (Shadow)
3 - Plantin School Book (Shadow)
4 - Mini Monograms (Full Cut-out)
5 - Celebrations (Shadow)
6 - Mini Monograms (Negative piece only)
7 - Celebrations (Full Cut-out)
8 - Celebrations (Full cut-out)
9 - Celebrations (Cut out only)
10 - Plantin School Book (Shadow)
11 - Plantin School Book
12 - Celebrations ( 1 is cut out, 2 is shadow)

{For those without Cricut}Check out my instructions on how to applique here.
Just use Word or some other program to type and adjust the font and size of your numbers.
Then follow the instructions in the applique tutorial.

Once you have your numbers cut out, iron them to the center of the onesie.

Sew around the edges of the fabrics with your machine or by hand. I personally did both depending on how complicated the number was.
Certain designs were easier to sew by hand {although it is definitely more time consuming}.

To cuten {that's a word, right?} it up a bit, I wrote the following saying to go with it.

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I printed this up on white card stock. Layered it with a cute piece of scrapbook paper.
And stuck it right on top of my pile of onesies before I wrapped them!

I can't wait to see all the adorable monthly pictures. I so wish I had this for my babies!

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} My Baby Must Haves!

Earlier this week, I shared my nursing must-haves, but I also compiled a list of my other favorite baby things!

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I wish I had read and listened to more moms when I was preparing for my first baby.  There is so much that we bought and received that I could totally do without {Post on that coming next week!!}!  There were some things though, that I wouldn't have wanted to live without...although you definitely could :)
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Keep in mind that every momma and baby are different.  And my must-haves may not have been used at all by others :)  I know that my must haves were very different than some of my best friends and sisters.

We bought one of these used on Craigslist for $50.  What a lifesaver!  I wouldn't have been able to take both kids anywhere by myself that didn't have shopping carts.  I still use it with my almost 5 and 3 year olds to keep them contained :)

With fussy, reflux babies, this seat was a must for us.  We always had to keep them upright after feedings {including at night} for the first few months.  Layne slept in this for the first 4 months of her life and Gray did for a long time too {he outgrew it so fast...my little chunker!}.  Plus, I think something about all that vibrating soothed their little tummies.

Yes, we are kinda, sorta germ-o-phobes in this house.  Especially with little babies!  Everyone has to wash their hands before holding them for quite a while.  These wipes were a gem for when we were out and about.  My husband will applaud me for considering these one of our necessities :)

As I just mentioned, my babies had reflux terribly.  These bottles were awesome to help keep gas out and keep my babies' tummies.  This time, I don't know that we will use them much since I'm not going back to work for a year, but these are still in my must haves!  And they are BPA free!  I had to trade in all of my non-BPA free ones for BPA free ones when Layne was a baby.

Yes, my babies were breastfed.  And yes, they still used pacifiers, contrary to what every breastfeeding expert says.  We never had nipple confusion.  Layne started out with the hospital (Soothie) pacifiers and I hated them.  She couldn't keep them in, they were ugly, and they were so hard to find.  We switched her at 6 months and started Grayson on these from the get-go.  I also felt better using the "Ortho-Pro" ones that they weren't hurting their oral development :)  {Grayson may or may not have used pink ones half the time}

These were a must-have for us for the first few weeks.  My babies loved to be swaddled.  I could have done without {and hated, actually} all of those swaddler things.  We liked the good old receiving blankets.  These were also great too to help absorb some of those lovely yellow, seedy blowouts that we had!  Usually we only got on the jammies and blanket, not on our sheets!  Click the link above for the tutorial on how to make the one in the picture from Sew Much Ado.

7 Food Processor or Blender
I'm not picky...any food processor or blender will do!  We made all of Grayson's baby food.  Why?  I'll be totally honest...because it was cheaper!  Like a lot cheaper!  You could easily save over $500 in the first year of your baby's life by making your own.  There's other advantages too.  It's healthier, you can control the quality of food that he's given, better selection, and it's tastier! 

I loved to carry my babies.  It was soothing to me and them. Plus...I dare you to try to fit a trip full of groceries in your cart with a toddler in the seat and a car seat in the front of the cart.  The Hotsling is pictured above {and I can promise you I never looked like that carrying my baby :)} and I had a sized one (different than their new adjustable ones).  I loved this sling for the earlier stages.  It was great to wear to the store or out places to keep people from looking and breathing all over your baby {I mentioned that we are germophobes in must have #3, lol}.  I loved the Moby Wrap later when the baby was bigger and had better neck control.

I'm pretty much a car seat snob.  You can read my opinions on car seats here.  There aren't many things I'm passionate enough about that I will tell you my opinion on unsolicitated, but car seat safety is one of those things.  And while this car seat costs a pretty penny, it is totally worth it to me to have the safest car seat possible for my babies!  Plus, it will last them for YEARS...5 to 70 lbs!  No need to ever buy a booster seat unless you want to. And it stays rear facing until like 40lbs {Neither of my kids are 40 lbs yet!}.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} Birth/Newborn Picture Ideas

Welcome back to our {Bringing Home Baby} series!
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One of the things that I am most excited about this time is the birth!  And having a birth photographer! Kristan has taken our pictures the last few times and I love her work!  She even did our pregnancy announcement and we're doing a maternity session later this week!

Here's some inspiration for what I'd love out of my birthing session and future newborn sessions.



This is actually my best friend and her sweet baby Lucy (Now 1!). 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} Chic Burp Cloths

Today we are back with another guest post!  If you missed it yesterday, Sarah from Simply Sarah Style shared some Beautiful Baby Showers.  They were such cute ideas!
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And today we have Natalie from Johnny in a Dress.  I *met* her about a year ago when she guest posted as part of our Sew Chic Upcycling week on Jenny's blog.  I have followed her ever since and she quickly became one of my favorite blogs!  We are due about a week or two apart and it has been so fun getting to know each other through our pregnancies!  Isn't she the most adorable pregnant person ever!??!

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Hey!
I am Natalie from Johnny In A Dress!


Today,
I am going to share with you how I made Hollis’s burps!






 
To make a super cutie burp you will need:
Thread
Cloth Diaper (Gerber makes packs of 10 that can be found at Target or Walmart)
Sewing machine
Scissors
Iron
Ribbon, Ric Rac, Pom Poms, etc. 
(any trim you would like to use to pretty up your burp)


Wash and dry your cloth diapers.
They will all shrink differently, so this is VERY important!
Measure your cloth diaper, cut your fabric adding 3 inches to the length and 6 inches wide.
(I usually end up cutting my fabric about 21 inches long by 6 inches)
Iron the long sides of your fabric down about 1/4 of an inch.
Then iron the ends of the fabric 1/4 of an inch.



If you want to applique or monogram your burp, now is the time!
I like to iron the edges THEN add the applique or have the fabric monogrammed because you can see the edges of the fabric and be able to place the name/initials accordingly.
FIY: make sure that your monogram is about 2-3 inches away from the short edge!


Now place your fabric face down and then lay the cloth diaper on top.
Fold the ends over the burp cloth and iron into place.


It should look like this:
At this point, it would be super smart to pin the fabric into place…
I was lazy and totally winged it…
Top stitch one of the short ends.
(Don’t forget to  backstitch!)



Then stitch both long sides into place.

At this point, I like to flip the burp over and top stitch the remaining short end.

Now you have a super cute burp!


If you want to make your super cute burp FABULOUS,
add pom poms, ric rac, ribbon, ruffles or a cute fabric flower!
I add these AFTER the basic burp is complete!


If it’s gonna wipe up spit… it may as well be cute, right?!
Here are a few I made for my baby, Hollis, who will arrive in early August:

Seriously,
these are so simple to make and are the perfect gift for a new baby!

Who wouldn’t want their baby to have the cutest burps on the block?!

I hope all of you to come by Johnny In A Dress to see other fun projects and ideas!
Thank you for having me today Sarah!
I can’t wait to see little man!
(Maybe Knox and Hollis can Skype soon!)

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Natalie, thank you so much for sharing this adorable tutorial!!  I love it!!  Go check out her blog, people.  She is definitely one of my favorites and I've loved getting to know her through sharing our pregnancies together!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} Beautiful Baby Showers

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Today, I'm excited to have Sarah from Simply Sarah Style here!  She has such a good eye for style and she's one of the best party planners that I know.  Check out her Circus Themed Co-ed Shower as an example.


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Hello!  I’m Sarah from Simply Sarah Style. I’m honored to be joining you today on This Crazy Blessed Life.  Sarah and I have known each since we were wee little ones! Our friendship started back in the daycare days full of dance classes and sandboxes.  Now as adults, we have both had our fair share of hosting baby showers.  Here is a roundup of some of my favorite, clever shower themes: 

Hooray for Baby!
I love the traditional use of the megaphone in this unique baby shower theme. The writer of the special events blog, Cake, hosted this shower using a gender-neutral color scheme and a DIY approach.  The invitation design below is even available at her Etsy shop for only $16.  Check out the full shower post




A Onesie Party!
A baby can never have enough clothes, right? Yeah, that is what I thought… so why not start the baby’s wardrobe with some precious originals! 

Keep guest entertained with a DIY Onesie Party as shown on the Moda Fabrics blog.  As the hostess, you provide the supplies (think stencils, fabric pant, iron-on transfers, etc.) and each guest can create a one-of-a-kind design.

For an alternative approach to a onesie party, ask each guest to bring a onesie that best represents herself.  The mom-to-be can try to guess which guest brought what onesie. Props to Oh Baby Custom Shower D├ęcor  for this creative spin to the onesie party!


Cute as a Button!
I have seen this done in different ways, but always love it.  I think a “button” theme provides endless opportunities. After all, buttons can be found everywhere.  Check out a full post on “cute as a button” ideas by Sheek Shingdigs.


Baby-Q Bash!
I’m not sure it gets much cuter than a Baby BBQ.  Cristina from Le Partie Sugar threw the cutest backyard bash. Deck your outdoor area out with the mommy-to-be’s favorite cookout foods. You can even purchase the very same personalized Baby-Q invitations that were used in this shower here.



Which one is your favorite? I simply love them all!  We would love to hear about your clever shower ideas.

A special thanks to Sarah for allowing to me be a guest on This Crazy Blessed Life!

Sarah @ Simply Sarah Style
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Thank you so much, Sarah! Go check out her super cute blog!  She is mid wedding planning and I can't wait to see what themes and designs she chooses!

Monday, July 16, 2012

{Bringing Home Baby} Nursing Essentials

Yay!  I'm so excited for this series!  I planned this for the last 2-3 weeks before our Little Mister is due for a few reasons... #1) I'm likely still doing all of my final preparations to get ready for Baby Knox to arrive...like washing clothes, gathering our baby stuff, etc.  #2) I've obviously been totally obsessed with baby lately  #3)  I still have blog posts that will be coming for a while, even when I'm not "working" on them!
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I {love} nursing my babies.  It's a magical bond.  And so easy {no washing bottles, packing formula for outings, etc}.  Not to mention the financial benefits!

I nursed Layne for 8 months {stopped because of lack of supply because I wasn't pumping enough}. I nursed Gray for 13 months.  And now this little one!

A Facebook friend's posting the other day got me thinking...what are my nursing essentials?  I don't have many because...let's be honest, you don't NEED much besides what mother nature gave you!


#1 - Lanolin Cream

The first week or two of nursing is always tough {at least for me}.  And this is probably why so many moms give up so early!  I won't go into details, but this stuff is a necessity for me.  I just wish you could buy a tube half the size of the one they sell...after two weeks or so, I rarely used the stuff. 


#2 - A Good Pump

Most people don't understand, but nursing is all about supply and demand.  The more often a baby nurses, the more your body produces!  The less often your baby nurses {or if you supplement or bottle feed}, the less milk your body begins to produce.  For me, I used my pump for both!  Having had mastitis when Layne was a week old, my pump was used quite a bit right away for me to pump because it was so painful to nurse.  And with my first two, I went back to work at 6 months and my pump was used multiple times daily for the next 2-6 months.  I loved the Medela Pump in Style.  It has been through two babies with me and one baby with my sister and it's still going strong :)


#3 - Good Nursing Cover

I am all for nursing in public.  It bothered Matt a bit at first, but he got used to it :)  I rarely use a cover with friends and family, but when I nurse when we are out to dinner or at the mall, I do use one!

My favorite kind was just discovered, and I'm so excited to use this style this time.  Rachel @ Family Ever After shared her tutorial for a full coverage {front and back} with elastic and sewn in boning.  I loved the boning because I could see baby to get him situated, but I hated that my back was exposed at times depending on the top I had on.  Rachel also sells these in her Etsy shop for around $40 if you aren't a sew-er.

The ones with boning that I used before was from Uddercover.com.  They always have promo codes for a free cover {just google Uddercover coupon code} and you just pay $11.95ish for shipping.  **With that said, I've read some reviews recently on this site that were not so positive, but I had nothing but good experiences and I've ordered several for me and gifts.**

You can also make your own using these other tutorials!



#4 - The Nursing Mother's Companion

When I had Layne, the hospital gave me a small little book that had excerpts from The Nursing Mother's Companion.   We consulted this little book daily.  Being first time nursing parents, we had tons of questions!  Not to mention the fact that every. single. thing. that could complicate nursing happened to us. By day 5, Matt went out and bought this book.  And I've lent it or recommended it to sooo many nursing moms.


#5 - What can you do without?

Nursing bras!  I hated them.  I went to a specialty shop and was fitted for them.  I paid a pretty penny for my two bras that I bought.  I hated them.  They gave no support and I looked rather droopy.  I stuck to my regular bras and just lifted it up when I nursed.  No problemo for me :)