Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baby's Nursery

When deciding on a nursery theme for our baby, we had to go neutral because we did not find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  I love the way the nursery turned out.  Because I found some "dog" printed fabric and "Doggie" was my childhood stuffed animal (seen resting on the bed), the nursery took on a slight "doggie" theme!  The colors are bright orange (Tennessee represent), yellow/"old gold" (Iowa represent), and green (Austin-y!) with a neutral gray walls.  I feel like it's relaxing yet cheery.

Before - chair rail removed, light blue and dark blue paint.  This room served as a nursery for a baby boy for the previous home owners

Elijah's Nursery

An Overview - we wanted to keep this room as a guest room too, so the trundle bed stayed.  I simply placed fabric in the embroidery hoops over the bed.  I made the pillow cases on the bed.  Note the baby half swaddled.  This is the only way to take pictures - in the liveable moment

changing table and dresser - the dresser is a CraigsList find.  I painted it white and added these adorable hand painted knobs found on Etsy.  We also have knobs on the closet door, though I didn't get a good picture of them. 
LOVE these dog butt hooks from IKEA

After the first night of changing diapers in Elijah's room, both Andrew and Elijah did not enjoy the bright overhead light illuminating the room and burning their retinas in the darkness of the night.  Andrew went to IKEA the next day and found this great lantern to give the perfect soft glow for those special diaper changing times.  The framed owl is a gift tag from Baby Gap, I believe.  
Nursing Nook - shelves from IKEA.  My mom made the slip covers for the rocking chair (she is very talented!).  Andrew made the little table out of a plant stand (CraigsList find) and piece of painted plywood.  Great Aunt Martha made the sweet yellow blanket.  We enjoy many hours of rocking to sleep and nursing in this comfy chair. (closet doors as seen in the "Before" are to the right of the chair)

Gift from Auntie Beth - Story People hail from Decorah, Iowa.  The lovely quote states "For a long time there were only your footprints & laughter in our dreams & even from such small things, we know we could not wait to love you forever."

Grandma Brown adds her loving touch with a quilted piece

Crib from IKEA - I know, I know there shouldn't be animals in the crib for risk of SIDS.  Elijah doesn't sleep here yet.  I made the crib skirt!

Monday, March 4, 2013

What I've Learned So Far

I started this post when Elijah turned 3 months he's 4 months old and I suppose I can continue to add to the list "What I've Learned", but I will end the list at 5 far.  
How much a baby changes - since he was born 4 months ago, Elijah has grown 5 inches in length and gained 8 pounds (over doubling his birth weight!).  We are able to leave him alone in a room for several minutes without him crying (ie I can go pee without needing to take him in the bathroom with me).  He has found his feet and hands.  He can lay on his tummy and making crawling motions.  He grasps and holds objects.  He puts everything in his mouth.  His personality is starting to shine through.  So neat to see all of the changes since he was a squishy, wrinkly newborn.

Never ever judge a fellow parent for his or her parenting skills, techniques, or crazy quirky tricks - Parenting is hard work (says the mom of a four month old - and I'm sure it just keeps getting more challenging the older the kids are.  A 4 year old with a pacifier.  A teenager playing with an iPhone in church. Using a jogging stroller in the grocery store.  Watching TV.  Eating habits.  Disciplining.  I'm hoping that all of these scenarios and parenting techniques which annoy me have explanations behind them, and the parents are truly doing the best with what they have. 

Babies need to be put to sleep because they don't know how to do that themselves - This is definitely my biggest challenge.  I expected that when Elijah is tired, I would be able to put him in his crib and he would go to sleep.  Just like on TV right?!  Not really.  We now have figured out the perfect combination of soothing remedies to sway him into "la la land" - tight swaddle, white noise (there's an App for that!), dark room (blackout curtains), and a little bit of jiggling.  I have been tempted to use "sleep training methods" to get Elijah to sleep on his own, but for now I will happily hold my baby until he is in a deep sleep knowing that someday soon I will miss these moments. 

That I would sleep so much less - It comes with the territory of being a parent, right? Sleep deprivation makes us physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued, right? Loss of sleep for me is a sacrifice for my baby who needs me during the night, and have become OK with that.  I think that my body is adapting to functioning on less sleep.  I have a daily morning cup of coffee, and sometimes a chocolate treat in the afternoons to keep me going.  I hear that the sleep deprivation does not end until the kids are 18?!

 My life would change SO much - So true on many levels.  I don't work as a physical therapist everyday.  I'm not as social as I once was.  I don't exercise or eat as healthily as I once did.  I don't have time to do the things that I want to during the day and night.  And just like sleeping less, I've become OK with the above.  Though I was not prepared for this major life change of having a child, I would change or trade any of it for the world.  By parenting and raising Elijah, I feel as though I am making myself and the world a better place.