Tag Archives: nursery

Baby Time

Baby Time

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I swear there is a good reason. I’ve been quite busy trying hard, and eventually having, a baby. Last thursday we had a follow up appointment with our doctor who confirmed that Junior was still a big baby, but that he hadn’t grown to abnormal proportions and I should still have no issue delivering. After Hubby and I left, we went straight into town to try out a gelato place that is gaining popularity for their baby inducing gelato flavour. I’m of course skeptical, but would a pregnant lady turn down her hubby buying some gelato? I think not. I polished off a small tub of the spicy chocolate flavor and my mom came to pick me up to return me home while hubby went off to work. That afternoon my mom and I worked furiously on organizing the garage, hanging tools and work benches, trying hard to start my labour without overdoing it (before someone has a fit).
At 11:30 pm that night (which by the way was April 11th which was my guess as to the actual birth date) I felt the first contraction. By the next morning, after careful counting and documentation of the little cramps, Hubby and I were on our way to the hospital. Having never given birth before I had no clue what a contraction felt like, so we cooly spoke with the triage and were hooked up to the monitors. They confirmed I was in the beginning stages of labour but since I hadn’t started to dilate they sent us home. With a different description of pain level and contraction speed in order to return. Sigh…. so anti climatic. We drove home for a sleepless night of counting contractions. By the next morning I was hugging my kitchen island crying with every contraction. There was no way that I hadn’t gotten to the point where they could admit me. We got back in the car and headed back in. I was 3 cm….I needed 4 cm. Instead of driving back out to the country we stayed with my dad, and a few hours later, as I found myself kneeling over the pull out couch, Hubby insisted it was once again time. I was finally at 4 cm!!! Once admitted I was hooked up to all the bells and whistles and after the 3rd epidural I was flying high, not feeling a thing, but that also meant that I wasn’t dilating fast. It was until about 11:30am on Monday April 14 did I start pushing. At 12:58, “Junior” was born, a full head of hair and weighing 9lbs and 1oz. Hopefully by now you’ll know I haven’t named him “Junior” and in fact he has a great name, but Junior will be his blog name.
Our baby boy was pretty darn healthy except for some low blood sugar that had him staying an extra day at the hospital on IV, but that cleared itself up and we’ve been home, trying to sleep, and trying to get into a routine since thursday night. I’m beyond exhausted and my body is broken for sure (doesn’t help I’ve put out my back hunching over bassinets, nursery beds, and carrying a 9 pounder).

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The Nursery: Big Dreams, Small Budget

The Nursery: Big Dreams, Small Budget

Paying a mortgage and being on maternity leave, can leave a mother beyond stretched for extra cash. In fact, I have no clue how single mothers can do it. It’s quite unfair. Our government has made it impossible for mothers to make extra money on the side (if they find out, they take dollar for dollar from your EI payments) and unless you are one of the lucky few that has top-ups from work, you earn about 55% of your wage on EI, which I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this just doesn’t pay the bills especially out here in the country! Thankfully Hubby has an okay job, but in this day and age that can always change in a second. In such a progressive time, I’m not sure why Employment Insurance leaves moms out to dry. My rant aside, I’ve always been a thrifty person, so even if I was rich and rolling in mega paychecks, I think I would still be re-using, up-cycling, and gladly taking hand me downs.

Here is a list of things we did to cut costs for our baby prep:

1. Shop ahead and shop sales: Stock up during your pregnancy on items you will need, and buy them on sale. You know you’ll use those diapers, and all that cream, so if you see a deal, snag it!

2. Check your local “used” website: This saved me some mega bucks and I found items such as baby carriers, curtain rods, mobiles, dressers, and a few outfits, all for a small fraction of anything new. Make sure you thoroughly wash everything of course and if you plan on haggling the price down, make sure you do so before you show up at the sellers doorstep. We even found a free chair on our local Kijiji site, and in order to have them hold it for a few hours, we offered to pick up some lattes as exchange. You may want to save and get a deal but never forget that these people need to make a few bucks too, so be courteous!

3. DIY wherever you can: Can’t find the perfect crib skirt to match your décor? Make your own from a single bed skirt picked up at your local thrift store (I sewed mine in less than 30 minutes). New curtain rod doesn’t match the rest of the room? Paint it. Use what you can and just make slight adjustments to make them fit. And check out Pinterest for amazing tutorials to make cute baby items. Also, check out out the picture of my mobile, I couldn’t find an owl mobile that I liked so I bought a used one from Kijiji which was a Winnie the Pooh theme…. I snipped the teddy bears off it and exchanged them for cheap owl christmas ornament that we found and touched up. And yesterday I went to my craft store and found the perfect sticker to cover the Pooh Bear sticker on the sound box… it says “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale”.

4. Talk to friends and family: Even more so than a wedding, you will receive so many hand outs from friends and family at this time. Everyone loves a new baby, and most moms have tons of stuff to hand down to you. We luckily received our crib and change table from good friends, and so many outfits from pretty much every mom I know. I think Hubby and I only bought a handful of new onesies. Make sure you clarify if these items are gifts or are to be returned after you are done using them, and keep them as clean as possible if that’s the case. My crib already came pre-chewed by the past toddler, so I plan on simply making a crib teething guard to cover the existing fang marks and to prevent any further damage in case my friend wants it back.

5. Have a shower: It’s OKAY to ask, it’s OKAY to register (just don’t go hog wild or be too picky!). Maybe like me, you have no clue what you “need”, so being open to a shower allowed my friends and family to gift me items that they think is important to a new mom and baby, AND I snagged that awesome diaper bag I was eyeing. Make sure you send thank you cards so keep track of what everyone gifted you! And don’t forget to send thank you cards for items that are loaned to you. It’s a nice added touch. Which reminds me… I’ve got to get some thank you cards out to my work peeps!

6. Second hand shops: No, no, no… don’t you dare stop reading….get back here! Yes, I said it… second hand shops are awesome. Think about it… do the math… a baby has soooooo many outfits… baby might wear an outfit once and never wear it again since they grow so fast. Your local thrift shop will have racks upon racks of used baby clothing that look brand new. Throw on top of that semi-annual sales and you have mega deals! Be selective when you go, and buy for all ages up to a year. And of course, wash whatever you buy.

7. Be realistic: If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Don’t expect other’s to buy it either. Baby doesn’t need 125 sleepers and 20 pairs of shoes, so resist the urge no matter how cute they are. Budget for essential items that you may not receive for your shower. You will need car seats and high chairs and monitors. And you need to prioritize those items over that giant stuffed teddy bear you really want for the nursery. To help out, we basically registered for only essentials, and a few inexpensive items, and as an added personal note on our registry we mentioned that gift certificates to box stores or grocery stores were very much appreciated. Where we live, we are limited to one store for baby registries and the prices are stupidly high. Receiving gift certificates to other stores meant we could get essential items on sale somewhere else, or simply buy much needed groceries and diapers.

All in all we may have spent about $50 on decor, including curtains, new rod, an owl statue, and the mobile. My dad offered up some paint he had in his basement and he even found someone who tinted it for him. All the furniture is second hand and the dresser we already had. I spend $100 I think on the second hand but perfect condition glider and the mural I did myself with a bit of Hubby’s help. Of course I wanted the nursery to be totally adorable, but in the end you have to remember that in a few years Junior will want it painted over and he’ll outgrow all the furniture before too long.

I hope that the above points help out, as we all need to remember that having a baby isn’t JUST about adorable outfits and a Pinterest-perfect nursery. Someone has to pay for these little thugs to get through school, and I hear teenagers eat a lot of food. Budget now and stay thrifty and we might just make it through this without putting ourselves into too much in debt!

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A Baby Shower in the Country

A Baby Shower in the Country

Moving out of town while half way through a pregnancy sure isn’t the ideal choice for most, but for Hubby and I it was worth it. Financially it was good timing, and I wasn’t so tired or too large to have the move hinder me too much (or me hinder the move). And other than lifting a few ultra heavy boxes there wasn’t much I was limited from doing. But nowadays, at 7 months pregnant I do find myself getting very tired, and going up and down stairs makes me feel like I just ran a marathon (doesn’t help that I wasn’t in the best of shape before the pregnancy). I’m glad we’ve settled in before I get too far along. One of the first things we did upon moving in was paint the nursery.

Hubby and I aren’t the traditional “cutesy” people. No teddy bears of Winnie the Pooh for our kid. We like the more modern, trendy look. The nursery walls are grey with white trim and the curtains are a layer of white sheer mesh and a pale green solid. We’ve accented with some green, yellow and a bit of blue snuck in the décor as well, which is fine since the original blue carpet is going to stay for now. We have a touch of an owl theme and the mural boasts two owls keeping a watch over Junior’s crib. I think we did a fine job of it. This past weekend we cleaned up the house, finally unpacked some of the last boxes and put the finishing touches on the above mentioned mural and thankfully we got everything done.

Sunday, after picking up a friend in the city, I came home to a driveway filled with familiar cars and a surprise baby shower in my own home. Alright, so having a shower at a house in the country isn’t convenient for everyone, but a lot of people organized rides, trudged out in the snow and by the end of it, it was certainly nice to bid everyone farewell and sink back onto my own couch for a relaxing night… no packing up of gifts or hauling things through the snow. If it’s planned well, a shower at the expectant mom’s house works quite nicely (but luckily/thankfully we cleaned!!!).

The shower was filled with laughter, fun games and snacks, lots of wonderful gifts and sooo many cute outfits that elicited the usual “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” from the gaggle of women. Amongst the top gifts of awesomeness, I am very thankful to have received a diaper bag, so I can finally start putting together my hospital bag, and my sister crocheted a very adorable owl hat for Junior; I think it might just make its way into the hospital bag for Junior’s ride home (pictures will surely come later). As well, two dear friends of mine, created a scrap book, all ready to insert pictures into. I love the idea of scrap booking but I never get around to it. The book was perfect and dummy-proof and the guests at the event signed one page in preparation for a group picture to be glued in. They even left a few pages at the end blank and promised to return to help me complete the book. Very thoughtful!

It was also convenient to have the guests over since many had not seen our new dwelling. I dutifully gave many tours and proudly showed off the nursery which Hubby had thoughtfully closed off to prying eyes until I was ready. I even got the nod of approval from my Aunt to host the family Christmas at our house. I can’t wait to have everyone over again soon!

PS. After a rough start, the snow blower started up for Hubby and he did an excellent job of plowing the 1 foot deep snow off our driveway early on Sunday morning, and next on our must-purchase list is a parka to keep him warm. He was covered in snow, and shivering cold but I didn’t hear a single complaint.

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