Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Accept This Mess

Hello, my name is Faith, and I am an organizational freak. I cannot claim to be a neat freak. Just one look at my office will tell you I'm not quite that, but I do like for everything to have its place and be in that place. I do not like seeing piles of mail or dishes or clothes where they do not belong. I am a firm believer in The Container Store, all organizational articles written in Real Simple magazine, and Martha Stewart's pantry would probably make me cry.

With that said, I am learning to accept the mess my house has currently become. We've been receiving boxes  from Internet orders as well as trying to get the nursery together, all topped with my inability to stay on my feet for long bouts and working my tail off to get projects finished. In the wake of all this mini-chaos, the house has become a little less than perfect.

The girls will be arriving soon, and I know that I will not have the time to load and unload the dishwasher, put away everything I use, or generally tidy up at the end of the day. So I'm looking at this current pre-baby mess as practice for the sure-to-be-bigger baby mess. I am trying to clean a little bit at a time, but it's not the kind of organized I like. And I must learn to get used to it.

I also have to get used to letting someone else do it. Oh, I'm that too--a control freak. I've been very good (I think) lately about letting Tim do more stuff without making comment. My mom and my brother came over and folded clothes and vacuumed. I kept my mouth shut except for the big thanks I gave them as they were leaving.

So, as I prepare for parenthood by reading baby books, buying baby things, and putting together the nursery, I'm also learning what messy is. And how it's OK...sometimes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coming Down to the Wire

Today, I am 34 weeks and one day. If I go full term, I have six weeks left. If I go twin full term, I have three weeks left. Either way, the girls aren't far away from being in my arms instead of protruding from my belly.

I must say that I have been blessed with a very easy pregnancy--no morning sickness, not too much discomfort and only a week of bed rest. In fact, the worst of it has come in the last couple of weeks with the increased swelling (even my jeans are tight below the knee) and the increased leg/back pain. (I long to lie flat on the floor and swing my legs to one side as my back readjusts itself.)

Thinking about how blessed I've been with this easy pregnancy has started to make me worry about my parenting of newborns. Is Karma going to find me? Am I going to end up ripping my hair out and having a complete meltdown the first few months of their lives because I had it so easy for nine months? I know it sounds a little silly, but it's starting to manifest as a real fear in my brain.

I've got tons of support from family and friends, but I can't help but think that about the overwhelming responsibility to two newborns! Part of me says, "You'll just take it one day at a time and will be just fine." Another part of me says, "You'll never sleep, the house will be a mess, and you will have a breakdown over the whole thing." Both sides of me are probably correct to an extent. I can't stand disorganization--either in physical messes or in situations--so I'm sure I will lose my mind from time to time because I just can't grasp control. I'm just hoping that every time I look at Mac and Cheese's little faces, it will all melt away. Dirty dishes, stacks of mail, unkempt hair...I just won't care, right? Because a little chaos is worth it just to have them look at me as if I'm the greatest person on the planet.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mac and Cheese Perform!

The lighting and quality is not the best. The music is a little over-dramatic, but I still think this is a good representation of what the girls do around bedtime...or when I'm sitting at my desk working...or when I'm on the sofa watching TV or...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is That Necessary?

When Tim and I registered for baby items, we used multiple sites to put together a list of the necessities--pajamas, diapers, onesies, car seats, strollers...the list goes on. But after the shower, when we started looking at the stuff we needed to buy, our list miraculously got shorter! There are a few things, though, that I would like to ask veteran Moms if I really need.

Crib Mobile
If you have yet to figure it out, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm a bit of decor junkie. I want everything to look a certain way and not be overly babyish for the nursery. Crib mobiles are the biggest culprit of babyish things. I have yet to find one that clips on the crib that I like. I would really prefer one that hangs from the ceiling if I get one at all (much like the one there to the left from Liv's Lullaby Shop). Lately, every time I see one I like, the price tag blows my mind, and I instantly think, "I could definitely make that myself for much less."

Do I really even need it though? And if the answer is yes, do I need two of them?

Baby Towels
We received some baby washcloths as shower gifts, so we bought a couple of hooded towels to finish the set. But how necessary are these little cute towels? Would a cotton adult towel not serve the same purpose? Plus, I could really swaddle a naked little one in an adult towel while a baby towel would just loosely be wrapped around her.

Baby Swings
We didn't register for any. We haven't even thought about purchasing any. My nephew has two that he's outgrown. I also have a couple of friends who no longer use theirs, so maybe we'll give them a try that way. We opted for bouncers instead. They're smaller, more portable, and would seem to do sort of the same job. I understand that some babies absolutely love swings, but the idea of having two of those in the house makes my clutter alarm go off big time. Is that selfish?

Crib Bumpers
This is a controversial topic. There are two camps on the crib bumper topic. Some parents swear by them because they don't want their little ones banging their heads against the crib rails or getting little limbs stuck between the bars. Some parents think they're extremely dangerous and can lead to SIDS because babies can roll over into them and suffocate. My argument is much simpler. Crib bumpers costs a whole lot of money. We bought our crib sheets and skirts from Carousel Designs. The sheets were $16 a piece, the skirts were $49 a piece. The bumpers were $69. Granted, that's only $20 more than the skirt, but remember--I'm buying two of each. Saving myself $140 was nice. Also, Carousel's prices are very good; most bumpers start at $100. If it turns out these girls like to roll and kick a lot and need some cushioning, I will lay down the money for the bumpers, but right now, the cribs are bumper free.

Diaper Pail
After looking at the pros and cons of so many diaper pails, I decided to just buy a nice trash can. The trash can ended up costing $65, which is more than the leading contender in diaper pails for me (the $39 Diaper Dekor). Alas, the Dekor, just like the Diaper Genie and the new Munkins Arm & Hammer pail (the runner up on my list), requires special cartridges. I decided, in the long run, paying a little more for a simple trash can and these lovely bags would be cheaper. On top of all that, the trash can's dimensions work for the room and its stainless steel exterior is nice to look at.

Convertible High Chairs
This decision has pretty much been made, but I wanted to share it anyway.

I looked at A LOT of high chairs. I wanted one that would grow with my girls, store easily and be easy to clean. First was the the Chicco Hero Highchair. It met all my criteria, so I didn't mind the $120 price tag. Next was the Graco Blossom 4-in-1. It was a little more versatile than the Chicco (it has a toddler seat and a booster!), so I didn't mind the $180 price tag so much. I even checked out a bunch of hook on seats to save room. (These were quickly nixed since so many parents complained about them ruining tables or not detaching at restaurants.)

Finally, I realized that saving some money now might be better than investing in their feeding ritual futures. Tim and I decided to register for two Ikea ANTILOP chairs. With the tray, they are $25. That's $50 for two easy to clean, easy to move, easy to set up high chairs. No, they don't recline or turn into booster seats, but they're durable and inexpensive and perfect for what we need. I would like to thank Pam for recommending these little gems. Thank you, Pam!

So these are the items I'm either up in the air about or just plain said no to. What do you think? What did you do? Will I change my mind in the future? Are there other items that should be included?

I know that all babies and parents are different, but this is a forum for advice and discussion, so please, pass on the advise and discuss!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Now It's Uncomfortable

Yesterday, I hit the 31 week mark. This week, according to
  • Mac and Cheese weigh more than 3 pounds and are 11 inches long from crown to rump, about the length of a bunch of bok choy.
  • Their reproductive systems continue to develop.
  • Their lungs are now more developed but are not completely mature.
  • As trillions of brain connections develop, they are already using all five senses.
They're the size of bok choy! This is particularly funny because Mom was saying how nice the bok choy looked at Publix yesterday, so I have a perfect picture of bok choy in my head. :D

If I actually make it to 40, I have nine weeks left. NINE! If I make it to my goal of 37 weeks (ha! I know. Goals in pregnancy!), I have a month and a half left. It's so close...

In my OB rotation, Dr. Dykes told me that I'm about the size of a full term singleton mom, so I'm sure people look at me and probably wonder how I can possibly be out and about when I could burst any day. But walking around for short periods of time actually makes me feel better.

I also regularly get "are you ready for them to be here now?" My answer is usually no. Mostly because I still feel like there's a lot to do to prepare for their arrival, plus I want them to stay inside as long as possible to insure they don't have to stay in the NICU for very long (or at all).

Give me another day or two, and ask that question again. I think my answer might change.

Sleeping hasn't always been the best, but now it feels as if there's a bowling ball on my pelvis every time I try to turn over. If I sleep on my left side, my lower back hurts a lot. If I sleep on my right side, I somehow always tuck my hand under and wake up with big fat puffy hands and no circulation in the right one. Plus, sleeping on the right means I must turn over to get out of the bed--and there's that damn bowling ball again. (The upside is I've added an extra pillow to my routine, and the pain in my hips is all but gone.)

I've tried taking a nap in the recliner which is by far more comfy than the bed right now, but I can't recline completely since it creates this interesting sensation that my daughters are rolling into my ribs. For some, I'm sure this sounds fun, but it's really not.

I'm also experiencing this new pain that feels like I just rode a horse far, far too long. It only happens after I've been in one position for long periods of time--especially after sleeping. I've been searching online for answers, and I think it could be Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I, of course, will ask the doctor when I have my next appointment (on my birthday), but all those symptoms feel right. Hopefully, some of my physical therapy exercises from the days of bad knees might help relieve some of the pain.

I'm sorry to be such a downer these past two entries, but it's just been the way. Most of this pregnancy has been great. No serious pain, no morning sickness, no complications. I think it happens to most women, though--when the end is near, it's get a little tougher.

The wonderful thing, as it has been the whole time, is feeling little Mac and Cheese move. I can really just watch them now. I'll sit on the sofa and just stare at my belly. Most of the time is just a big thump here and there, but when they really get moving, it's like a dance party! I keep saying I'm going to get my camera and just have it ready so everyone can see, but I'm sure it's only fascinating to about five people other than Tim and me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

ISO: The Perfect Light

You would think, as you sit down to plan out your children's nursery, that you might have trouble deciding on colors or bedding or something like that. You would never think it would be too hard to find a ceiling fixture that would be fun and interesting for them, right?

Sooooo wrong.

Well, wrong in the sense that I don't have $200 - $300 lying around to spend on a light in a nursery...or a light in any other part of my house for that matter.

I thought my criteria were pretty simple: inexpensive (under $50), at least two bulbs, and appropriately cute for a baby's room. Here's some of the lights that I would've loved for the room.

From Lamps Plus, we have the Galaxy Chrome Ceiling the low, low price of $300.

This whole plethora of giclee shade lights that come in amazing colors and prints that start at $120.

I found a lot of pendants and mini-chandeliers, but when your husband has risk of hitting his head every time he goes in the room, I think those are out. Plus, the majority of them were very this one from Pottery Barn. I mean, I like it, but it wouldn't match the decor we decided to go with. Plus, the chandelier is $99 while each shade is $12. Yep...moving on.

So I decided to go with good ol' standby of Ikea. They have nice lighting that's usually far under the $50 range. I found two that were cute. The SKOJIG cloud light and the SMILA SOL sun light.

Such a joy! Both fell into the price range as well as meeting my other two criteria. Plus they both went with the theme of the room. We have hills and birds on the wall, why not have a sun or clouds on the ceiling? Perfect! So I put in my order for the Skojig with the always trusty guys at ModerNash. (If you live in Nashville, and you love Ikea, it is worth it to look up these guys. They are wonderful!)

The order comes back with all of my items...except for the light. It was out of stock. Nick sends me an email and says they'll pick it up on their next run to Atlanta. I go online to check the availability--it's out of stock and no date is set for restocking. Wonderful. Brilliant. The light I want is not even available at trusty Ikea, so I make a decision. The Smila Sol is still quite cute, so I tell them to pick that one up if the other light isn't available. A couple of weeks later, I get my Smila Sol...with missing parts. Ugh.

I send it back, get the new light, and voila! Tim installs it, and it looks soooooo cute. But then we turn it on.

It looks cute, right? Well, you weren't in the room. Since we'd chosen neutral colors for the walls, it gave the entire room this odd yellowish glow. The yellow birds and flowers painted on the wall turned neon and all the non-black furniture looked a little off. The light is meant for a room with cooler colors. The blues and purples and blacks looked great against the light, but sadly, that's just doesn't work for us.

So the search continued... And, once again, I kept finding nice lights outside of our price range or low-end lights that just didn't fit the bill. Finally, I decided that I wanted a cute light and I would stretch the budget a little. Turns out, it really does help! Tim and I finally agreed on a very cute light that we purchased from CSN Lighting yesterday for $75.

It still falls in my sky theme, and we love it!