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Friday, May 11, 2012

A smile.

I always wish I would’ve kept better track of Anna’s milestones.  I used to keep them saved in a Word document, but when my laptop crashed, I lost everything.  I’m sorry, Anna.  Don’t let my lack of posts about your early months make you think mommy loves you any less. 

Since the Internet is forever, I’m going to keep track of J’s milestones on my blog.  I figure this is the fool-proof way to keep track unless blogger goes out of business. 

First milestone…

Granted, he’s not smiling in this picture, he’s looking more like Dr. Evil than anything else, but I promise you he did look at me and smile for at least 20 seconds today.  He was wide awake, too, so I know it wasn’t a gas smile.  I’m looking forward to many more smiles!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baby J’s nursery details!

I’ve gotten quite a few emails/messages from people inquiring about the details of J’s nursery.  I know that when I was in the planning stages and using Pinterest day and night, it was always so frustrating when I’d see something I loved and not be able to find any identifying information about where it could be purchased or how it was done. 

Let’s get started.

The walls/Paint:

Some of my closest friends came in to town to help me paint the walls and kick start J’s nursery decorating.

Brown paint color: PARK FOUNTAIN (Valspar, Lowes)
White paint color: WEDDING BELLS (Valspar, Lowes)

We kind of winged the paint job since we honestly had no idea what we were doing, but my friend Beth took what she learned at my house through trial and error and created a fantastic tutorial on how to paint beautiful stripes.  Check it out here!

We only painted one main wall in stripes and painted the other walls in Park Fountain.  I think this gives the room great balance and doesn’t overwhelm the small space.  The stripes actually make the room look more spacious!


Due to the layout of the room, it’s hard to get a decent shot):


The bedding/crib details:

The first official purchase I hade for J’s nursery was the crib bedding.  I scoured Craigslist for a few days and came across this entire bedding set for $45.  At the time, it was retailing in stores for $300, but it looks like it’s been discontinued most places or is selling for about $150 now.  It was a fabulous score for me since the bedding was in mint condition and fit perfectly with the modern/funky theme I wanted for the nursery.

I found the set online here.  You may be able to find it somewhere online cheaper than this.  Just type in Dwell Chocolate Dots crib bedding

Here’s the bedding in the nursery:

The crib is a Sorelle Gia crib that I purchased from before Anna was born.  It’s held up very nicely, and is super sturdy and solid.  I highly recommend this line of furniture. 

The dresser/changing station:

I’d say the one thing that caused me the most angst with this nursery was the dresser/changing table.  The matching dresser to the crib is still in Anna’s room, so I needed to buy a new one.  Since funds were limited, I wasn’t able to find anything I liked in stores or online, so I improvised and hit the local thrift shops. 

I found this beauty in need of some major TLC:

And turned it into this (with Joe’s help, of course):

We decided to keep the original hardware pulls since they were still in great condition and looked fabulous with the paint.

Total cost: About $100 ($70 for the dresser and $30 for paint/supplies)

I’m not sure of the paint color name since it’s not listed on the can top, but here’s a picture of the numbers.


The curtains:

I’d have to say that other than the dresser, the chevron curtains are my favorite feature of the nursery. 

Since they’re hand made by my good friend Kent, you won’t be able to find them in stores, but I purchased the fabric from HB FABRICS on Etsy.  It was $8.75/yard, and I needed 7 yards of fabric.  The ceilings in the nursery are 10’ high, and I wanted to hang the curtains about 10” above the top of the window and have them drape.


The artwork:

I was able to DIY the artwork in the nursery based on some images that I found on Etsy.  I love being able to customize them to my exact needs and play around with the design elements a bit. 


The original design is from Trendypeas on Etsy. 

The original design is from Urban Tickle on Etsy.

The frames are just some old frames that I found around my house that I spray painted with Valspar Exotic Sea. 

Image from

The J on the top is just a last minute thing that I decided to do.  I just bought a letter from Michael’s and painted it with some left over paint I had from another project (that just happened to match perfectly).

The little bunting at the bottom was made from the left over scraps that were used to create these letters:

I decided to frame the J at the very last minute and am very pleased with how it turned out.  I was lucky that the J fell smack dab in the center – it was a happy accident that I couldn’t replicate if I tried.

My sweet friend Allison made each of these letters for the nursery using this as inspiration:

Instructions can be found here

My friend Allison is also making the artwork that will hang behind the crib.  She hand-painted all of these canvases, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out!  Since my husband is a huge car enthusiast, I wanted to incorporate his love of muscle cars into the nursery.  He already has visions of working on cars with his son (and daughter). 



The orbs:
The orb and star cluster is pretty darn amazing (especially in person). 

Blue orbs are from the Martha Stewart Crafts Celebrate line – blue accordion lanterns (looks like they’re discontinued or out of stock most places).  I got these from Overstock, but they only have the green set left.   It was about $14 for 6.

The other lanterns (brown and orange) are from  This place had the best prices on orbs, super fast shipping and a great selection of colors.

The star lantern was purchased from Ebay. It was hard finding an aqua star, but this seller came through.  

The bird mobile:

IMG_7806I stole idea from and made a few modifications.

I liked the more natural look of the twigs since the brown matches the bedding/crib.  I added the mini-orbs to fill it in since I only ordered 6 birds (I would recommend 8 for this project).  I got the orbs from  The twig circle is from Michael’s. 

The birds are from The Fish Box on Etsy.  Melissa was wonderful to work with, and the birds turned out so beautifully!  Plus, her prices are incredible!  
The center of the wreath is just a regular pom tissue ball that I made from a YouTube tutorial.

The pillows:


My friend Kent sewed these pillowcases for me and embroidered them.  I couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out!  The aqua dot fabric is from  The striped fabric is from Studio 25 Fabrics on Etsy.  The Chevron is remnant fabric from the curtains from HB Fabrics on Etsy.

The changing pad:
Kent also made two changing pad covers for his changing pad.
The fabric used is Kaufman Minky Cuddle Night Owl Orange/Brown from

This is the other changing pad cover she made me.  I don’t have any photos of it without Joseph on it.  :)

It’s Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot Turquoise from

The rocking chair:
Joe’s grandmother gave us an old antique rocking chair that she purchased a while back.  I love the clean lines of it and think it fits nicely in the nursery. 

IMG_8856 Eventually I’d like to add some bookshelves to the wall next to the rocking chair, but I have to wait for Joe to get motivated to do this.  I should just empower myself and learn how to cut wood on my own.  This is the tutorial we will use: $10 ledge shelves


IMG_8853 The beautiful blanket draped on the chair was hand-made by my good friend Alyson.  This is the the pattern – Chevron Baby Blanket pattern.

Aly informed me that this was actually the back side of the throw, but both sides are so beautiful that it was hard for me to tell!

The rugs:
I found the orange rugs at Big Lots.  They were $5 a piece.  What a steal!

This blue rug is from Hobby Lobby for $14.  I love how it is in a star shape and is the exact aqua color I need for the nursery!


The lamp:

I just found a lamp that I’d been storing in the attic and painted the base with the Valspar Exotic Sea spray paint.  I didn’t have to prime or sand the base at all.  It went on evenly and dried very quickly.

The old car on the dresser:
I found this at Hobby Lobby and fell in love with it immediately.  I love the rustic look of it and how it ties in nicely with his nursery.  I think it was about $15, but it was 40% off the day I went. 

There are still a few more items that I’ll be adding over time, so check back soon.  Hopefully I’ll have some bookshelves installed in the near future.  I think that will be the finishing touch on the nursery!

Please let me know if you have any other questions about any of the features of the nursery.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One month under my belt.

Today marks Joseph’s one month  baby-a-versary.  I can’t believe he’s already been here four weeks nor can I believe I’ve managed to survive these four weeks with a newborn and unruly toddler.  Now only did I survive, I conquered.  I am woman, hear me ROAR!

I’d like to say that it was a rough, baby boot-camp experience, but Joseph has gone pretty easy on me, so I really can’t complain or take credit where it’s not due.  My daughter, on the other hand, has been a crazy little bi-polar toddler who has taken me to the depths of insanity and picked me back right before I hit the brink.  Little did I know that my biggest beef in these early weeks would be with my precious, angelic (snort) daughter. 

This is a typical day in my house:

Baby wakes up.  Anna wakes up.  Baby is hungry.  Anna wants to hold baby.

”Mommy, please I hold the baby?”
”No, Anna, I have to feed him right now – you can hold him in a few minutes.”
”Mommy, I want to hold the baby NOW!”
”No, Anna, he has to eat.”

Anna turns into Reagan from The Exorcist.  Sans pea soup or peeing on the floor in front of party guests.

The tantrums last for about 10 minutes.  Then I have to hear how she’s no longer my friend, how I’m mean, how she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore.  I have a toddler/tween hybrid.  Not fun.

Oh well, outside of her tantrums, she’s actually a tremendous help.  She’s fetched me many diapers, wipes, burp cloths, Boppy pillows, glasses of water – you name it – she’s my personal gopher.  She also loves her brother more than life itself, so those moments where she’s not throwing a tantrum are quite sweet. 

eIMG_8639 eIMG_8647

Yep, she even changes diapers!

IMG_8722 She got to feed him his second bottle even though she was a bit distracted by the tele.

eIMG_8703 Then she helped me give him his first bath.

IMG_8688 She actually got in with him as well and didn’t even splash him once!



IMG_8679 He was a little unsure at first, but he quickly warmed up to the idea of a bath, and now I think he’s a huge fan!

IMG_8704 So fresh and so clean.

IMG_8708 One can never have too much baby feet.  Much like cowbell.

Random photos:

IMG_8724 I finally found a swaddle he can’t break!  My little baby burrito.

eIMG_8739My littlest Sproleja!  Meet the newest member of the Who Dat Nation.  We still love the Saints!

eIMG_8740Yep, those baby legs are ridiculously huge on him.  Special thanks to Liz at Bon Temps Beignet for the adorable onesie and my good friend Mandy at This Girl’s Life for the adorable hat!  Who dat!

Here are Joseph’s 1 month photos (with Anna and by himself):

IMG_8751 They were both thrilled.

eIMG_8777 His tie says 1 month even though it’s hard to make out.  I need to work on this for next month.  I’m just learning how to use my camera.

So, here’s my monthly update about baby J.

Joseph is the sweetest little baby.  I know lots of moms probably say that about their children, but I really mean it.  The only time he fusses at all is when he’s hungry.  He’ll even sit in a dirty diaper without complaining.  I’m like, “DUDE, what the heck?!  Speak up, little one!”  His cry is a little insane, though.  He sounds like an injured bird.  Not a little bird like a blue jay, but a huge, gawking bird like a buzzard.  SQUAAAAK.  Yeah, I like to avoid that at all costs, so when he cries, he promptly gets the boob. 

He’s more awake lately which is difficult since there’s not much you can really do with a newborn.  Joe bought him a swing since Anna broke our last one, so I’m counting down the days until I see that beautiful box from Amazon.  I think he’ll enjoy being in a swing vs. his Rock N Play Sleeper thing (which we love, by the way).  He needs some movement to be content.  Since he won’t take a pacifier (EEEEK), and I don’t want to be his human pacifier, I figure a swing is the next best thing.  I appreciate the Attachment Parenting method, but it’s just not for me, so holding him all day is not an option.

I am kicking ass and taking names when it comes to breastfeeding.  Actually, baby Joe is kicking ass since he’s a perfect little latcher.  I’ve even nursed in public a few times, well, mainly in my car, but I’m definitely feeling more empowered every single day.  I did have a bit of a bad experience the other day at my OB check-up.  As soon as I arrived there (with both kids in tow, no less), J started with his buzzard cry, so I had no choice but to give him the boob.  I went into the bathroom to get situated and cover myself with my hooter hider.  When I came back out in the waiting room and sat down, this older couple sitting across from me promptly got up and switched seats to the other side of the waiting room facing away from me.  It made me feel really embarrassed and like I’d offended them. 

I was not exposed in any way at all as I was covered with a huge nursing cover.  However, after talking it over with my friends who are all pro-BFing, I realized it was their ignorance to be offended by a natural process, so screw ‘em!  

I’ve tried pumping in between sessions, but I guess at this point I’m making just enough to keep him satisfied and anything over that depletes my supply for his next feeding.  I’ve pumped only a few ounces for the freezer, and every time I do that, he cluster feeds for the rest of the day.  I don’t think I’ll ever build much of a freezer stash, so I may have to supplement with formula for a few days once I go back to work until I can pump enough for each day.  

I’m just glad that he’s able to go between the bottle and boob w/ no issues.  He’s had three bottles so far and has taken them with no problems and nursed shortly thereafter with no problems.  I waited until he was almost 3.5 weeks before I offered his first bottle.  It’s just so much easier to offer the boob and not worry about fixing a bottle that I was in no hurry and still wish I didn’t ever have to give him a bottle just because I’m so lazy.  

He’s definitely more awake these days.  I was concerned about his sleepiness in the beginning, but now he’s definitely coming into his own in the awake department.  He’ll go about 3 – 4 hours in between feedings at night and about 2 – 3 hours during the day.  When he’s done feeding, instead of going right back to sleep, he’ll usually just look around for a while or fuss again and want more.  I’m still pretty lucky that he sleeps for 3 hours spurts during the night.  He even went 5 hours one night!  Let’s hope that he’ll go that route again soon. 

Joseph’s 1 month appointment is tomorrow.  I’ll post back his stats once I get them, but I know he’s definitely gaining weight.  

He still has eye gunk, so I need to find out why it’s not going away and what the heck it is. It may be a clogged duct like Anna had. I’m not sure.

His belly button stump fell off at exactly 3 weeks. I was so glad to see that nasty thing go away!

His 1 month appointment went very well.  He’s had some spit-up issues (think Exorcist projectile vomiting episodes) a few times, but his Pedi assured me that as long as it’s not a daily occurrence (which it isn’t, thankfully), that it’s probably just reflux.  He doesn’t act like he’s in pain when he has the episodes, so I’m going to hold off on any reflux medications until absolutely necessary.

The eye gunk is a clogged duct.  Anna had the same problem.  These usually resolve in a few months, so I’m not too concerned.  I’m supposed to massage the corner of his eye three times/day to help release the tears. 

Head: 14 3/4 (50th%)
Weight: 9 lbs. 8 oz. (50th%) – this is a gain of nearly 2 lbs. in two weeks!
Length: 22 1/4” (75th – 90th%) – tall just like mama!

I managed to bring both kids to Target by myself.  My mission was to buy cat food, but I walked out $75 poorer and almost forgot the cat food.  It was a nice experience because Anna was well behaved, and Joseph slept the whole time.  I was absolutely terrified to make this outing on my own, but I knew I’d have to do it eventually, and I had cabin fever and was desperate for some Target popcorn.  

Now that I’ve broken the “mom of two who brings her kids out in public” fear, I feel like I’m a real mom of two now.  It’s certainly not easy getting to places on time with two kids, but I did manage to get to my OB appointment FIVE minutes early!  I was so proud. 

I covered this at the top of my blog. :)

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