Tag Archives: baby

2012: A Life Changing Year

It’s hard to believe that almost exactly a year ago we found out that Sammy would be joining our world. Looking back, 2012 had some fun pre-Sammy highlights: ringing in the New Year with my family in Seattle, a tour of Dave Ramsey’s headquarters during an awesome trip to Nashville, a beautiful excursion in Ireland that included two nights in a Ritz Carlton suite, and months of preparation for the arrival of our little man. But my favorite part of 2012 were the final 17 weeks, starting with this moment:

Baby's First Photo

Baby’s First Photo

The day after Sam was born doctors told us there were some things wrong with him. As his mom, I cried quite a bit those first couple of weeks because I just wanted him to be healthy. I spent more time in doctors’ offices since Sam’s arrival than my entire 33 years. He had just about every part of his body scanned and poked, but thankfully he’s growing and developing perfectly. Every Friday at 10:07 am my iPhone beeps letting me know that my son is another week older. I spend a few minutes reflecting on this wonderful and perfect gift I’ve been given.

week 1

Every week we take a photo of Sammy in his crib with a clipboard declaring his age. It’s amazing to see how much he’s grown.

week 5For the first six weeks of his life he wore a Pavlik Harness, which you can see in his week 5 photo. He had to wear it 24 hours a day so correct his hip, which wasn’t securely in socket. This meant no baths, no pants and no kissing his sweet little toes. I remember how glorious it felt when they took his harness off for a few minutes at Shriner’s hospital and I was able to hold him without any straps or Velcro in the way.

week 10By week 10 doctors switched him to a Rhino Cruiser which he only wears at night. Doesn’t he look good in pants?

week 15It’s been amazing to watch him learn and change. He loves to smile and see other people smile. He’s figuring out how his hands work and seems to have a growing interest in his feet. He really only fusses when he’s sleepy or tired. Otherwise he’s a happy baby who has brought so much joy to our lives. I’m not really sure how I lived so many years without him but I’m incredibly thankful to start 2013 with little Sam in my life.

 

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Nesting Like It’s My Job

Sammy's NurseryOn top of my duties as a writer I’ve taken on another job: nesting. I started way back in March when my baby was just the size of a plum and now on the eve of his arrival I can say that I think my to-do list is down to just a few items. (The main one being pack my bag for the hospital.) I hear that not everyone gets the urge to nest, but I definitely did. Back in the spring I started cleaning out closets, one-by-one, sorting, purging, organizing, scrubbing. And perhaps my favorite part, labeling.

Once the closets were done I hit every other space in my house. We even removed everything from our kitchen cabinets, scrubbed them, put down shelf paper and carefully put everything back. To which my sister says, “who does that?”

Then I started working on the nursery, researching, planning, assembling, styling, rearranging. I put my coupon skills to work to become an expert on diapers and wipes. (My threshold for diapers is 10-15 cents and for wipes it’s a penny.) I now have 791 diapers in various sizes and 1,336 wipes ready to go.

My nesting didn’t stop there. Starting in late July I began a freezer meal plan. Once or twice a week I doubled a recipe and put the extra in the freezer– labeled of course– with specific instructions on defrosting and heating. We installed our car seat bases and had them inspected by EMS workers. We interviewed pediatricians. I even have about 50 jars of baby food in my pantry, which were about a nickel each thanks to coupons. I’ve put anything that isn’t nailed down through the washing machine and even cleaned the inside of my dishwasher. Even that one has me wondering, “who does that?”

Sam's LettersIn terms of work, I’ve been adding extra to my plate for three months so that I could actually take a maternity leave. Since I’m self-employed my boss (yes, that’s me) isn’t required to give me one. But, thanks to my kind editors, perhaps the biggest weight off my shoulders is knowing that I can take time off and I will still get paid because the work has already been completed.

I partly blame Pinterest for my onset of pregnancy OCD and partly my excitement. I just want to be able to give little Sammy my complete devotion. I want to soak up every moment without worrying about running to CVS for toothpaste (I’ve got ten tubes in my stockpile) or to the grocery store for paper towels (there are 22 rolls in the basement.) I would never be so bold as to say I’ve got it all together. I know enough to know that there’s plenty I don’t know. And that’s OK too.

I’ve heard a million times that once my baby arrives I won’t even have time to shower. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be an exception. Because of my enthusiastic prep work, perhaps I’ll be able to enjoy my new baby and an occasional shower. But I guess if I have to give up the shower I will survive.

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Found: Modern White Crib at Walmart

If you’re a fan of modern design you know that for some reason when you tack the word “modern” onto a product you end up adding about 50% to the price. So when I was searching for a modern white crib I started to get a little concerned that I was going to have to fork over way more than I wanted to. But then through a miraculous Google search I stumbled across a place I never shop: Walmart. And I found this little lovely:

Baby Mod - Olivia 3-in-1 Baby Crib

Baby Mod – Olivia 3-in-1 Baby Crib

Although design is usually the most important thing to me when shopping (besides price) I knew I also had to consider whether or not the thing was doused in chemicals or covered in lead-based paint. Thankfully it’s not! I was happy to see that it almost has a perfect five-star rating from people who have purchased the crib. And I also thought it was interesting to see that the Walmart version, which is $269, is the exact same as the babyletto Modo 3-in-1 Convertible Crib found at other retailers. The biggest difference was about $110 in price. They’re even made by the same manufacturer. Can you tell the difference?

babyletto-modo-3-in-1-convertible-crib--espresso--best-price-8

babyletto modo 3-in-1-convertible-crib

I am not a Walmart shopper for many reasons. Probably at the top of the list is that I just don’t like being there. It feels cluttered and chaotic to me, but since I ordered the crib online I only had to spend a few minutes in the store picking it up from customer service. It was easy to put together and currently waiting patiently for the baby it will soon hold!

Sam's New Crib

Sam’s New Crib

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From Office to Nursery

I have begun the exciting task of turning my home office into Sam’s nursery. Here’s how the office looks now:

My Home Office

My Home Office

I still LOVE that Graham and Brown wallpaper– I even spotted it in Jeff Lewis’ house on an episode of Flipping Out. The white shelves will also stay, but everything else is pretty much on its way out. Here’s a visual plan I created:

Sam's Nursery Inspiration Board

Sam’s Nursery Inspiration Board

I basically built it all around the Skyline Nursery Collection from Dwell Studio. Since my husband and I love travel and NYC we thought it would make for a fun nursery theme. Here are a few of the tasks we have planned:

  1. Swap out light fixture with painted chandelier
  2. Move out most of the furniture
  3. Add a second dark gray Ikea curtain to each window
  4. Paint the inside of the closet a fun color to match the room
  5. Have our talented friend Barb at Knack Studios refinish a vintage dresser we own that will serve as storage and a changing table
  6. Create some handmade art
  7. Buy custom blackout shades— we have these in our bedroom and love them!
  8. Add a dimmer switch
  9. Refinish rocker/glider we found on Craigslist for $40
  10. Buy a rug and a few other accessories

That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? I hope to keep you updated on the progress as it happens so stay tuned as my office transforms into Sam’s  sanctuary.

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I’m Coming Out of Retirement

I’ve decided to pull a Michael Jordan and come out of retirement. After nearly a year and a half of silence, I’m going to start posting on The Honeymoon Phase once again. There are many reasons for this move, but the main one is that I need a place to express some of my recent and impending creative projects that just don’t have a home anywhere else. Plus a lot is going on right now and I want to make sure I catalog it all as best as possible.

Although so much has happened in the last 17 months (I started an online business, I was on the Today Show, my nephew was born, I traveled to Africa and a whole bunch more stuff) the biggest news is that I am expecting my first baby. Sam is due September 7, 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited.

Baby Sam, April 25, 2012

Baby Sam, April 25, 2012

So far I have had the best pregnancy. No sickness, no pains, no weird skin rashes. The toughest thing has been trying to find a pair of cute, affordable white maternity skinny pants. We did have some scary moments when our 20-week ultrasound revealed that Sam had some cysts on his brain and a calcium spot on his heart. We went to another doctor for a closer look and learned that these are two markers for a genetic disorder like Downs Syndrome. But Sam is developing normally in every other way so we are confident that he will be just fine. Many normal babies have these markers too and can grow out of them before they are born. They don’t impact function or development at all. No matter what we know that God made Sam in His perfect image and there’s nothing more we can ask for then that!

Sam's First Shoes

Sam’s First Shoes

I bought him his first pair of shoes this week. I found them on clearance at Michael’s for $2 and at first I thought they were just decorative little props for a scrapbook or shadow box, but they’re not! They’re real! Baby feet are shockingly tiny and I can’t wait to see Sam’s little toes in these! And that’s definitely worth coming out of retirement to talk about.

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