Monday, September 30, 2013

The Nursery

The last eight months have been filled with fantasizing about the nursery and then slowly making and buying items to carry out the ideas in my head. I feel almost sad in some strange way that it's basically "complete" other than a few minor details. It has kept me busy and given me an outlet for my creativity.
I knew from the start that I wanted to do a "cotton candy" colored theme with turquoise and pink. It took me forever to decide on bedding but I finally went with "My Baby Sam Pixie" set and got a great deal off Amazon. I created the wall art from items from Michael's and purchased sweet prints from various shops in Etsy with quotes I liked. I really wanted "girl power" quotes that will be inspirational for Avery even though she won't be able to read them until probably long after they are taken down.
I feel like everything I did in the nursery is meaningful, however, there are a couple things that are more meaningful than others: I framed a picture of my mother pregnant with me and then framed one of me pregnant as well.
I also put my doll that my Great Grandmother made for me that has her name on the back in the crib. I will probably take it out but I like to see it on display for now. It's a beautiful keepsake:)
Some of my favorite details are: the toy box I made, the laundry basket I picked up for a great price at Home Goods,and the framed "For Like Ever" print above the rocker.
By the way, the not-so-attractive wire you see hanging from the ledge on the wall is the awesome video monitor my parents bought us. It fits perfectly on the ledge and gives the perfect view inside the crib.
I am having a lot of trouble sleeping these days so I often go sit in the rocker, listen to music, and just enjoy the beauty of the room. I'm looking forward to spending much more time in it when she gets here. Of course, she won't be sleeping in the crib at first but we will be in there to change clothes, change diapers, rock, and read:) Don't even get me started on the adorable outfits hanging in her closet that I have matched with bows hanging around the hanger when I can't sleep. Yes, it's true:)I know she won't appreciate this nursery but I plan to keep the pictures for her in a keepsake album and let her know when she's older how much time I spent creating the room for her while anticipating her arrival:)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What I Want for my Daughter...

I'm 8 months pregnant and officially the size of a small solar system. I'm on disability and home every day so I have A LOT of time to notice my ginmrmous belly and wonder how much bigger it can possibly get. I'm also finding myself becoming more and more connected to my baby girl, Avery. She moves around and kicks like it's her job! I have moments of finding myself saying aloud, "Avery, that was hard on Mama. Take it down a notch". She doesn't seem to listen:) I find myself talking to her aloud here and there while I'm alone and doing things around the apartment or driving my car. Just little things like, "Mama is crazy, isn't she?" I made a playlist on my phone of lullaby songs combined with sweet love songs that I want her to know and I play the playlist often. I'm hoping she knows the songs when she's out here in the world and is comforted when I play them. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mama. What I hope to be like. I What I want to teach Avery and I constantly wonder who she will be. I've narrowed down to seven most important things I want to teach her and model for her:
#1.) Most importantly, I want her to be kind. I want to teach her to be kind to others. I want her to notice the kids on the playground that are alone and don't have anyone and go talk to them. I want her to comfort her friends when they are sad and to smile sweetly at those around her. I want her to be the opposite of a diva, basically. I see those awful baby onesies that say stupid things like, "Diva" and "Born to shop" and I think, why on earth would I want my precious little girl advertising that? I want her to love on others and I know that will only occur through my example. Gulp. #2.) I want her to know she is loved and to feel special. I want her to know that her parents are her biggest fan and that we think she is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have thought about having little girls since I was a little girl myself and I've often thought about what things I would say to my girl(s) so they know how crazy I am about them. One of my favorite movies is "Hope Floats" and mostly because I love seeing Sandra Bullock's character learning to be a great mama. She messes up at times but her heart is in the right place and she tries so hard to show her daughter that she's special. My favorite part: "You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don't know, special. But I'm not. I'm just... I'm just an ordinary person. And that's OK. Because... you make me special. Don't you know that? Don't you know that you're everything in this world to me? And we're gonna make it through this because we are a team. Birdee and Bernice, the coolest chicks in Smithville. So don't you ever think about leaving me again... because I need you. I love you." #3.) I want her to love God. I don't want her to be religious or spiritual necessarily. I don't care if she knows all the right Bible verses or Bible trivia like I did as a child. I want her to LOVE Jesus. To know that He loves her and love Him back. That's really it. The rest is just the product of that love. #4.) I want her to be strong and confidant. I've always been strong I think. I haven't always been confidant. I think it's "normal" as females to go through stages of this. But all in all, even when she goes through those awkward stages we all go through or gets hurt by a boy, or makes some big mistakes, I want her to be strong and believe in herself. I think this comes from a lot of love, support, and challenging her as parents. I don't necessarily want to instill straight up feminism, but...well I guess I do. I want her to know she is capable of being whoever she wants to be and to know that all it takes is hard work to get to wherever she wants to go. I want her to be selective with boys and to know when she deserves better. I want her to never feel inferior to a man or even to another woman. I want her to be brave. I want her to believe she is capable of being someone important. You get it... #5.) I want her to make mistakes-and learn from them. I'm the middle child and my experiences growing up are completely different from my other four sisters. We have the same parents and lived in the same house but if we told you our stories growing up, you would think we were raised on different planets. My experience was that I was a good kid with a good heart who wanted to do the "right" thing but wasn't a total robot. I had good friends that kept me grounded and I think that was huge. My parents wouldn't let me have a boyfriend until I was 16 but I did anyway. I know, such a rebel. I made out with him and fought with him and exchanged "I love you's" and was totally blind to the fact that he was clearly cheating on me. I fought with friends and liked boys that didn't deserve to be liked. I dreamed of going away to college but didn't because of a boy. I didn't make any HUGE mistakes in high school. I saved those for adulthood:) I would say my greatest mistakes have been giving too much of myself to guys that did't deserve it. I longed to be loved and to find "the one" and got really hurt and lost in the process. I hurt not only myself but others as well. I didn't listen to that voice inside that told me to stop and made some really stupid choices. But I will say this, I have very few regrets. I am thankful for the experiences because they shaped me into who I am. It will hurt me to watch Avery make poor choices and get hurt but at the end of the day, I will be thankful for those mistakes as well because hopefully they will shape her and make her even stronger. #6.) I want her to decide for herself who she will be and what she believes. I will instill my values and my morals in her from the very beginning. I will model what I think a loving, good, and strong woman looks like. But as Avery grows, I want her to find these things on her own. I hope that she loves God but not because I do. Because she finds Him on her own and finds that she needs Him. I want her to decide what kind of man (or woman) she will end up with. I want her to decide her own career. I want her to have her own style and her own interests. I don't want to force things on her or ever make her feel like she has to be a certain person to make me happy. I want her to be HER. Whatever that is. #7.) I want for her to not get married until she is at least 25. Now this sort of contradicts my desire for her to be herself and decide things on her own. If I truly want her to be an individual with her own mind than of course, I can't stop her from getting married at the ripe age of 23 like I did or God forbid, 19 like some people I know. So while I want to trust that she will make the right decision, I really, really, really, really, really want her to wait to get married. I know my experience is mine and some of my closest friends got married very young and they are still happily married. But all in all, I don't want that for her. I want her to form who she is before settling down. I don't want her identity to be defined by her relationship. I don't want her to get hurt and later down the road recognize that she doesn't even know who she is anymore. I don't want her to go through divorce like I did. I don't want...her to hurt. I want for her to go to college wherever she wants to go and travel if she wants. I want her to date a lot so she gets lots of experiences with all different sorts of people. I want her to develop her own goals, mind, beliefs, identity, and then-then when she is more developed, fall in love and then make that commitment. If my parents had forbade me from getting married so young I sadly wonder if I would have rebelled and done it anyway. I won't tell her she can't. But I will tell her about my experiences and instill in her that she is her own person who is strong and able to take on the world and I hope, I hope...that results in not getting married too young. Sigh.
I just want my little girl to make a positive impact on this earth. There's so much ugliness out there and so much pain and people are so lost and angry. I just want her to add somehow to the good in the world. I want her to make some small or large dent in making the world better and lessening the burdens of others. I can't wait to meet her and I know I will fail as a mother over and over. We all do. But I won't give up. I will love her unconditionally and be her cheerleader as she develops into the woman she is meant to be.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Projects Shmojects

I've seen countless women dig into their creative and crafty side when they become pregnant and/or become a mom. I never understood it. Ooohhh, do I get it now! I'm on bed rest for two months before my delivery date. Talk about making me crazy! I'm not one to be able to sit around, staring at the television, and eating chocolate. Although I appreciate those moments:) I need structure and human interaction. I need to feel useful and productive and it's killing me to just sit around! Everyone tries to make me feel better saying things like, "consider it your job to lay low and keep your baby from coming too early". While I appreciate the attempts, that does not help ease my restlessness. I also have an anxiety disorder on top of it totally unrelated to the pregnancy so put it all together and I'm a hot mess! All that to say, I have to have at least one plan per day. Doctor appointment, lunch or dinner with a friend, visit with Grandma, store with the hubs, go to my bff's house, whatever it may be...I just need one thing to wake up for. I also need projects. So I've been crafting. The nursery is almost completely DIY projects and it continues! I thought I would share a few of my projects.
I have been trying to figure out how to store Avery's toys and I don't want to spend what it costs to invest in a legit toy box. At least not yet while she has hardly any toys and obvi isn't playing with any yet. I went to Joanns and bought a square basket/crate thing that already has a bit of a shabby chic look to it. I picked out letters in a cute font, painted them pink, and wood glued them to the box. Tada! I can take credit for an adorable toy box that required very little work!
I wanted to have some form of door decor for Avery's room and I spent a lot of time skimming Pinterest for ideas. I wasn't a huge fan of really any of them. So I sort of threw together my own idea. I had fun picking out the stick-on cupcakes and the pink and white polka-dot ribbon. To be honest, it didn't turn out quite the way I would have liked but it's good enough:)I wrote Avery a little note on the back "made with love by Mama" so in the future she knows where the crafty items came from:)
I had a lot of fun with wall decor. I made some adorable frames for the wall above the crib that feature an A as well as two prints off Etsy with quotes. I also painted a small shelf and decorated around it, including more prints with quotes off Etsy, pictures of my Mama pregnant with me and then a picture of me pregnant with Avery, and then some simple little other decorative items. I love that the walls are covered in sweet items I worked hard on just for Avery. I have a bit of an obsession with prints with quotes from Etsy and wish I had the computer software to design my own. I carefully chose feminist/pro strong women quotes that I want Avery to grow up reading: "Though she be little, she is fierce", "Oh the places you will go", "dream big little one"-I'm pretty sure these will inspire her even though she won't be able to read:)
Tonight I made these fun clothing dividers for the closet. I got the idea off Pinterest and have been wanting to make some for quite some time. I think all of us Mama's know we have clothes from newborn all the way up that we get as gifts or see in awesome sales or for me, something I just adore and can picture being adorable for next summer. So these dividers help me keep track of how much clothes I have in each size. I had a lot of fun designing these while watching "The Voice" premiere with my honey:) I imagine the projects will continue until the day I go into labor. I think I've filled the nursery with PLENTY of items and now need to venture out to items for the living room and dining room. I'm on the search for inspiration...

Monday, September 23, 2013

My birthday and a babymoon...

I'm so incredibly stir crazy from being on bed rest! My family is so blessed to have a get-away in Pacific Grove (between Monterey and Carmel)that we can use anytime we want. Justin and I decided to go to the coast for three nights and four days for my birthday. The weather was incredible and the scenery was indescribable as always. I was super bummed I couldn't do more though and most of the time was in the condo resting. But we managed to get a nice dinner in for my birthday, some time at our special spot at Cannery Row, saw a movie, and did a little bit of shopping.
I took this picture of me in the same spot I took one back in June when I thought I was really showing. That was nothing! My parents don't have a tv so we watched a lot of Netflix. Justin watched "Parenthood" with me last season but hadn't seen the seasons prior so we started watching from season 1. That is one of my absolute favorite shows!
All in all it was good to get away and spend some time together without any worries or responsibilities. I guess we can consider it our "babymoon" as it's the last time we will get out of town before Avery is born. Next time we go we will be pushing Avery around:) Craziness!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An introduction...

I used to blog. I used to blog a lot. I had a blog called "Fancy Pants" filled with pictures that inspired me, quotes, some personal stories, and random other things. Then I thought I was going to become a wedding planner and made "Fanciful Moments" and that didn't go anywhere. I did a couple others but my computer crashed and I haven't blogged in three or four years. But alas, I'm now 7 months pregnant, nesting, on bed rest, in a creative state of mind, and ready to get back in the blogging world. I love reading other's blogs and always wish my life was as interesting as it appears other's are. My favorite blogs that I've read over the years center around decorating the home, friendships and family (relationships), photography, weddings, babies, spirituality, and girls that are straight up real. I would like to my link to my fave ones right now but I seem to have forgotten how to do it:) So anyway, I'm Rachael. I'm turning 30 in two days and it's pretty surreal that I won't be in my twenties anymore. I married my best friend that I stayed in contact with long-distance via phone calls and letters and I must say that committing to him was the smartest decision I ever made. I am seven months pregnant with my first (and last) child. Her name is Avery Elise and she is currently kicking me in the ribs as I type. My favorite things in life are chocolate, hydrangeas, Oprah, decorating, and babies. I plan to blog about the nesting that I'm doing including nursery decor, pictures that I take of happy moments in life, life as a new mother, share recipes,and whatever else inspires me. I used to have quite a few readers in my hay day so here's to starting over and writing to absolutely no one for right now:)