Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great Expectations

Well I am 36 weeks and 4 days! I have about 10 good, real contractions each day now. And I am already starting to dilate and efface. Baby Watch 2012 has officially started!!! I am keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed until Sunday, when I hit 37 weeks and officially become full term. I had Ava at 37 weeks (the DAY I hit 37 weeks!) but I would really love Archer to stay in a little longer. Being a "wimpy white boy" and all!

I have been reflecting back on when Ava was born a lot lately. Before I knew that she had special needs. Before I had ever heard the words "Angelman Syndrome." I had such high expectations for her life. I wanted her to love the Lord, be a kind person, bring joy to those around her- things I still expect from her. But I also wanted her to go to college, get married, have her own family... expectations that had to change last October. Letting go of those hopes and dreams for her life were hard- one of the hardest things I have done- and I still have moments when I think about her not having a wedding day or knowing the love and joy of becoming a mother...lets just say that sometimes, my heart still breaks a little (or a lot) for those moments lost. But I also realize that having to let go of those expectations for her life has made me a better mother for both her and Archer.

You see, I know that, when Archer is born, I am going to want the same things for his life that I wanted for Ava's when she was born. But I am not going to expect them. Life- ALL LIFE- is a gift. And just because someone isn't born to live the life we expect doesn't mean that they are not born to live the life GOD expects! Ava taught me that. She teaches me a lot. So when we welcome Archer into the world, while there are things that I hope and pray for his life, my one and only expectation is for him to grow into the man the Lord wants him to be.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Archer's Nursery: {Semi-Reveal}

I was really going to wait until we had Archer's crib in his room, but we have hit a speed bump with Ava's bed- ahhh, the joys of designing your own furniture! So I decided to go ahead and show off his room, sans the crib (for now). You will just have to use your imagination on what it will look like after his crib is in place! And I promise to show the pictures after his bed is moved into his room! But here is the rest of the space!!

And you will have to forgive know I am a horrid photographer!!! Sorry!!!

This is on the wall as you enter his room. It is his daddy's flight patches, framed out in trim and paint.

As you enter his room... I am still deciding on a rug, if I do one at all. Rugs on carpet- although I have always had one in Ava's room- seem redundant and annoy me to clean.

To the left of the closet- the letters are just cardboard letters from HobLob painted to look metal!

Chest of Drawers

Closet wall

I just love this poster!

Plane "dive bombing" above the chest of drawers.

up close

Frame box and map print letter above his crib area.

This is where his crib will live!

Corner next to his crib,  with his soda shop table and chairs.

Two planes "dog fighting" above his table and chairs. Our resident pilot hung these and got creative with back stories for them!

Window wall.

My friend Amanda made this adorable banner for his shower, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that it HAD to go in his room and exactly where to put it!!!

My thrift store lamp revived and adorable frame!

Ava's favorite part of the room (besides his closet!)

We hung the mobile above the chair.

Changing table.

And that is it! Oh, one more detail...

Hook for jacket or bag...isn't it adorable! Found it on Amazon! It is hanging below the FLY letters! Just too cute!

Hope you enjoyed your tour of Archer's {almost finished} nursery! I will post photos of the crib when we get it in place!!! Can't wait for my baby boy to be here and enjoy his new room!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{Lots of} Progress: Nursery

Well I am happy to report that, at almost 34 weeks, the nursery is all but finished!!! "All but" because Ava is still using the crib right now. But her big girl bed is just about there, and so I know it won't be long before we have the crib in it's new home as well!!! Saturday and Sunday I worked hard (with a LOT of help from my mom and Cole) and got the board and batten done. Then I painted the board and batten and picture frame boxes Tuesday night. Then yesterday morning, Cole moved the furniture into place for me and we set to work getting everything put up one the walls (the blue has been painted for weeks so no waiting! YAY!) and putting things away and accessories out. As much as I had been itching to work on decorating it little by little, I kinda love that we had more of a "load in" like they do on design shows! It was fun seeing the room in my head take shape!!! I am waiting to share the pictures (sorry!) until it is totally finished. Like I said, we need to get the crib in and then hang up the model planes and the mobile. But that is it!!! The rest is FINISHED! Sweet Archer won't come home to a construction zone!!!

This entire time we have been working on the nursery, we have been fighting one form of sickness with Ava or the other. Bless her heart! She had an awful stomach bug that just wouldn't leave for about two weeks, and then last night she was up until about 2 am screaming. We think it is an ear infection and we are headed off to the doctor today to find out and hopefully get some medicine. I am so tired of my baby girl being sick!!! She had a myoclonic seizure episode day before yesterday- the first of that kind- and I was told by other AS parents that those can be a sign of impending sickness. Sure enough.... but at least now I know! And her neuro has changed her seizure medicine so hopefully that will remedy any other episodes we have like that.

I promise to share pictures of both kids rooms as soon as the beds are in place!!! I still haven't hung anything on Ava's walls (except the peg board and window treatments) so her room is still very, well, GREEN when you walk in. I can't wait to get her MASSIVE white bed in there and some things on the walls to tone it down a bit! HAHA!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting There...

This weekend was much more productive than I expected, and as a result, we are nearly finished with the board and batten on the walls! Ava did much better Saturday and yesterday with the nail gun noise. I think that it was because she didn't feel good last weekend when we were trying to work on it. Saturday, my mom came over and we finished putting all of the rails up. Basically we did everything but the top trim and the picture frame moulding. Saturday night after Ava went to bed, I got busy and caulked everything that we had done to that point. Sunday, I was able to get the top trim up (with help on the angles from Cole- I am horrible with angles) as well as the picture frames! Then last night- after folding 4 baskets of laundry and doing the dishes/cleaning the kitchen- I finished caulking and got the room ready for paint! YAY!!! I plan on painting all this week during nap times. Cole asked me if I was nesting. I told him that I knew it wasn't nesting because I wasn't feeling compulsive about it. I just want it finished!!!

I really didn't want to share any pictures of the room until it is totally finished, but last night I propped the airplane panels (which I have now decided will go above the changing table...) on the top rail just to get an idea of how it looks. I snapped this picture with my phone, so sorry for the poor quality. But I am so excited! I can't wait to get it all finished!!!! YAY!!!

The panels will be hung on the wall, of course. But I am so glad that they are as big as they are! I had worried they might be too big. And they were, for what I originally intended (you may recall I was going to hang them above the closet doors). But I think they are going to be great here and give the room some much needed balance, since all of the other walls are pretty "heavy" aesthetically.

And even though the room isn't finished, I wanted to go ahead and give the details of the products and budget. I know, when I read a blog about a room redo, I am always interested in where something came from or how much something cost, so I wanted to do that for Archer's room.

Furniture: The crib, changing table/dresser, and chest of drawers are all from the Bonavita Peyton collection. This is the furniture that Ava used, and we will use it for all of our kids. We bought ours from a local children's boutique (Pickles and Ice Cream), but you can get them online too. All three pieces ran us about $1700.00. Which is a lot for baby furniture, I know. But it has held up really well, is extremely well made, and will convert to "big kid" furniture when the time comes.

Glider: My parents got us our glider as a Christmas gift the year before Ava was born. It is a Shermag brand and has an ottoman. We really love it! It is really comfortable and locks in place so tiny fingers don't get smashed once they are mobile. I have no idea how much ours was, but Target has some in the same brand for around 160.00-200.00.

Board & Batten: We ended up spending about $130 on supplies for the board & batten. We were lucky in that my dad had all of the tools we needed and we didn't have to rent or buy any. We went with the cut up MDF boards, and had we not done the trim at the top and the picture frame mouldings, we could have gotten everything for around $80. But I am glad we topped it off with the piece of trim. A little more work and money, but it makes a big impact!!!

Paint: 4 gallons at $20/each. We used Glidden Paint+Primer+Fill, and I was really pleased with it, as was our painter that we hired to do the navy. The top is Glidden Rich Navy & the bottom was a custom match to our trim color. Hiring the painter only cost us $40, and was worth 10x that!!! He is awesome and is super good! 

Curtains: I found the curtains at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for about 29.99 per panel, which is a great price for 84" length! I bought two panels, and will use them with the rod and sheers we already had in the room. I am still undecided on the window treatments, but these were an economical solution that I won't feel too guilty about changing later if I decided to do so!

Bedding: The bedding for the room came mostly from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. The bumper was a bit of a splurge (compared to some) but honestly it was the only one I could find that I really loved. It was $139, and the mobile (also RHBC) was $49. I got them both 20% off during a friends and family sale! YAY! The crib skirt is being made from a RHBC sheet set that ran us $129. A little pricey, but worth every penny when you see how cute it all looks together! Plus we had a lot of the fabric left, so I was able to do other things with it like cover a lamp shade and little chairs! I got the crib sheets from Target for about $15 each. They are just solid navy and I couldn't bring myself to spend $44 for ONE crib sheet from RHBC!

Accessories: I am doing this all from memory, but I will do my best to run down the list... this will give you some hints as to what is in the room, too! ;)

  • LAMP: $7 at Habitat for Humanity Restore, plus a $12 cover it yourself shade at hoblob, plus metallic spray paint.
  • FLY letters: 3 at $2.50/ea from hoblob, plus metallic spray paint (???)
  • GLOBE: $10ish at Habitat for Humanity Restore
  • "A": $12 at hoblob, plus modge podge to apply map (which was free)
  • KEEP CALM PRINT: $16 on etsy, plus $26 for frame at hoblob (on sale, marked down from $50.00)
  • AIRPLANE PANELS: I honestly don't remember too well, but I want to say I spent about $30 on the entire project. The real cost was time, labor, and mess!!!
  • METAL PLANES: various prices, from $6.00-$20.00 at hoblob, although I lucked out and bought mine from a friend of a friend who was selling the same ones I had been eyeing at the store! I got three for the price of one!!!! SCORE!

Hopefully soon, I will be sharing the final pictures!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

{Lack of} Progress: Nursery

I have had several people ask me how Archer's nursery is coming... well, let me tell you- it's not! I had grand ideas of having all of the boards on the walls so that I could use this past week to caulk and paint and that we would be putting the finishing touches on it this weekend! HAHA! I crack myself up!!!

We started working on it last weekend. It was a bit ill-fated from the start, I am afraid. I started using furring strips, but after sanding, and sanding, and- yes- more sanding, I realized they were just too rough. So we went back and got MDF boards cut into strips. I painted those and we got to work. But sadly, Ava isn't a fan of the nail gun or air compressor. So while I have most of the top rail boards cut, only two are on the wall as of this moment. Cole is back on hitch at work, and it is definitely a two person project. My mom has promised to come over tomorrow (Saturday) and help me make some progress. So I am hoping that works out, somehow. Still not sure what we are going to do with Ava? Oh, and I forgot to mention that Ava came down with the longest, worst stomach bug (not the vomiting kind- the other kind...) that same weekend. And is just now getting over it! YUCK!

The good news is that, after we get the board and batten complete, it is time to put the room together!!! SOOO excited! Especially since we have about 4 weeks until I am "full term" (37 weeks pregnant- which is when Ava was born!). I still think Archer is a little more comfy and will stay put longer than Ava did. Hope so! Looking at the calendar for December, we don't have time for him to come before the induction date! HAHA! Oh well! He will come when he is ready and we will welcome him no matter when that is! I am secretly hoping he comes on 12/12/12! What a cool birthday that would be! And the last time anyone this century has such a birthday!!!