Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby Hiatus

Just letting you know that I'll be taking a small little break to have the baby. She's going to be here any day and I'm busy getting things in order for when she arrives. Don't worry! I'm not leaving - this blog is still too new! But I don't have the time to type up scheduled posts for the next week or so right now. If you need to get a hold of me, any of the buttons on the right will do that, or comment to a post and I'll definitely respond back!

I've got a lot planned for this blog. I've got two excel spreadsheets to keep track of couponing shopping trips that I'll be putting up for download, a neat little update to my pantry, an update on my Project Life album, some freebie Project Life fillers too! I'm currently reorganizing and finding a new way to store my DVDs that I'm going to share once I'm finished, the progress to my office cleaning, some product reviews, and even have a few gamer related posts that I'd like to write up. There will be more posts coming up in the next few weeks, but I wanted to mention that it'll be slow since we're about to have a huge adjustment to our family.

Subscribe to Facebook or the RSS to keep updated. See you on the other side!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tips For Packing Your Hospital Bag

Getting excited about the arrival of our new daughter! The due date is around the corner {March 3rd!}, which means I need to be ready at any moment to go. After having Little Girl, we realized we had packed way too much and not what we ended up actually needing. Here are a few tips for packing your hospital bag. I'm by no means an expert, but I hope my advice can help you out.

Enter my new favorite thing on the planet: my Vera Bradley Weekender in Clementine. My mother got it for me for Valentine's Day, and its replacing an old blag travel bag that I've had for probably close to 10 years. Its absolutely tiny and most of it has been ripped and chewed on by our cats. Now that my husband and I are married and we've got children, I think its time to let that thing go...and maybe toss it into a fire while I'm at it.

When it was getting close to my due date with Little Girl, I scoured the internet looking for what I needed to bring to the hospital when I went into labor. I wanted to be ready. What I found were lists upon lists upon lists of many, many, many items that I needed to pack. I combined what I had read and had a large bag at the ready.

Then we actually went to the hospital. Less is more. We've learned our lesson!

Here are my essentials:

- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, brush, and hairdryer
- PJs & Slippers
- Baby's take home outfit {at least two different sizes}
- An outfit for leaving the hospital
- Entertainment: Nook & Nintendo 3DS {a DVD, tablet, or netbook are also good options}
- Empty Bag
- Pillow & Blanket
- Baby Book
- Camera
- Chargers AND an Extension Cord

That is honestly all you really need to bring. Its a very short stay, so you don't need to pack a full suitcase. My hospital requires me to stay two nights, but some may only keep you 24 hours. Double check with your doctor if you're unsure. I know that I'm unable to breastfeed, so a Boppy and/or Breast Pump are not needed in my case. Even if they were, you can actually rent breast pumps at most hospitals if you don't want to pack yours. I have a preference in pillows, so I bring mine everywhere I stay over night. After the delivery, down there is quite uncomfortable and it will be checked consistently by nurses, which means that a pajama gown the entire time is really the best option. I will bring a pair or two of my own underwear, but I don't expect to use them until its time to leave. They give you these fantastic mesh panties that are comfortable and you won't care will be ruined {cause ruined they will most likely get}.

My biggest advice: take advantage of everything they give you. Every. Single. Thing. That brings me to the empty bag I included in my list. Whenever they bring me items like bottles of formula, diapers, blankets, helpful medicated toiletries for down there, I will toss as many of those items into that empty bag and send them home with my husband each night. The next day: rinse & repeat. You're already paying for it, so why not take it? And those little liquid 2 oz ready-to-drink formula bottles are life-savers! Newborns will drink 1 oz every couple of hours, which is kind of hard to mix with powder. Take advantage if you are supplementing or if you're unable to breastfeed. I'd take them for emergencies anyway.

One other piece of advice I have about staying in the hospital. Let the nurses take your baby for at least one of the nights. You'll be so exhausted after having the baby, you'll need your sleep. Yes, people talk about bonding, etc, but babies can sense anxiety and frustration in their mothers. If you're tired and frustrated, your baby will fuss, which is an endless circle of anxiety and no sleep will be had by anyone. So, let them take your baby and watch over him or her for at least a few hours while you get your sleep. It won't be the end of the world and you have the rest of your life to bond. You're going to be encountering upcoming months of sleepless nights, so its best to relax and let medical professionals watch over your little one while you recuperate.

Now that we have already have a daughter that will be joining us during the day while I'm in the hospital, I'm not quite sure what to do with that situation. I know she's going to want to see the baby, but since we're all going to be at the hospital most of the time, she'll get bored. When she gets bored, she gets into everything. Especially when attention is not on her.

Her favorite thing to do is color, so I bought her a few coloring books {Target dollar spot, oh yea!}, a brand new thing of crayons in the shape of cupcakes {Target clearance - my favorite thing}, and a cute little plastic bag to put all these goodies in. I'll throw a toy or two in there too that way she'll have something that's new for her, and hopefully she won't get upset about the new arrival. I'm hoping this works!

Does anyone else have any advice they'd like to share? Any tips, questions, or comments, just reply below! I'd love to hear from readers what their experiences have been like. I'd really love some advice from second {or third, or fourth} time mamas on what to do to entertain their other children and help make them still feel special when there's a new arrival in the family. Any help would be very welcome!

This post is linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons’ One Project at a Time, Lovely Ladies Linky, live laugh linky, Lamberts Lately's Create It Thursday, & Work It Wednesday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Master Bedroom Make-Over

Its amazing how just a coat of paint and some curtains can transform a room. We've lived in our house for about 4 years now and we still haven't painted all the rooms. Since our new arrival will be here any day now, my parents drove down over a weekend and we were able to paint this room in its entirety in just one Saturday. It took all day, but it got done! And I'm ecstatic that its finished. You'll see why below.

master bedroom make-over

When we moved into this house, it was a foreclosure. It looked as if the bank had hired someone to come through and do a quick 'clean-up' of everything. They had replaced the carpet, I think they replaced the counter-top, and, of course, spray painted the walls the ugliest coat of peach paint they could find. Not as bad as Smoker's Teeth Yellow, but enough to make me hate the color with a passion. My husband doesn't care, but he doesn't see the house like I do. If there's a roof - its good. Me? I'd like to not hate my walls.

These pictures do not do the ugly color justice. I wasn't able to get a true "before" set of pictures, but you get the idea.

master bedroom before make-over master bedroom before make-over master bedroom before make-over master bedroom before make-over

Notice those amazingly beautiful paint sample squares on the walls? They've been on our walls for at least 2 years. Yes. Years. We started painting the house when I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter, but we put off painting the rest of the house once she was born. With the arrival of our new daughter, we figured it might be time to knock out at least one more room, plus I was getting tired of looking at those paint spots on our walls.

This is the room now:

master bedroom after make-over master bedroom after make-over master bedroom after make-over

Our final decision for the paint was Olympic's Grey Marble. We used it in our Kitchen and we just fell in love with the color. I love me some grey walls. To me, this is a blank canvas.

olympic grey marble

Isn't it beautiful? It looks so clean!

As for the curtains, we didn't think too hard on them, but my mother and I found some that match the comforter pretty well at Target. They're the Threshold Strie Vertical Stripe Window Panels in Grey. They're great because not only do they match pretty well, but they give the room some texture and warmth.

master bedroom curtains

Next up is trying to find stuff to put on the walls, but as I mentioned in my post about starting Project Life, that will take me a while to do. Hopefully not too bad. The first thing I'd like to find is a print for above our bed. That dream catcher was just put there to have something, and its obviously not going to be permanent. Plus, that thing is super dusty and I can't get that dust off. That is permanent.

I know people say that paint is a cheap way to refresh a room, but it really isn't that cheap. Paint's EXPENSIVE. However, with the couponing that I do, I was able to get $50 in Lowes gift cards free. It cut the cost down in half, but that isn't saying much. There is also a $5 mail in rebate when you buy a gallon of paint, which I submitted. Always look for rebates! We had most of the supplies on hand. Here's a breakdown of what we did end up getting:

3 Gallons of Olympic Paint @ $25.97/each = $77.91
Wooster Rollers for textured walls = $7.99
3M Painters Tape = $5.88
Door Knob = $10.97
Total = $102.75 before the gift card

Photo taken from Lowes website.

One thing that I want to do around the house is change out the door knobs. As I mentioned before, the house was a foreclosure, and from what the neighbors had mentioned about the previous tenants, I really don't want to know what went on. The door knob to our bedroom looked like a screwdriver had been put to it and it had some really sharp angles. Now that Little Girl is able to get to the door knobs, I am concerned that she could cut herself on it. And honestly, I just don't like the copper ones we currently have. In order to ease the costs of buying all new door knobs in one go, I'm planning on getting one or two a month until I've replaced them all. I figured since we were already working on the bedroom, I'd go ahead and get our first set.

I'm seriously loving this change to our room. It really does make me feel like the house is starting to become more of a home.

Anyone else have a good weekend project? Any advice for picking out artwork? Share your advice, questions, and comments below!

This post is linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons’ One Project at a Time & Tickled Pink.