Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maternity Must-Haves

I can't believe that in less than two months, this baby girl will be out of my belly and in my arms!  I have been so blessed in this pregnancy that I can't thank God enough.  It has been smooth, sweet, and (for the most part), comfortable.  As I near the end, I thought I'd share a few key things that have made my pregnancy easier and more enjoyable.  I'm one of the last of my friends to have a baby and most of my readers are expert mamas, so thanks to the moms who have gone before me and given me advice on all of these "must haves"!

::Target Body Pillow::
Everyone says a pregnancy pillow is a must, but I was horrified to discover that pregnancy pillows cost between $55 and $75.  Wha??  I went to Target and found this extra long body pillow for $9.99.  It is AWESOME.  It's from the college and dorm room line, but I'm not picky. Around here we lovingly call it "The Great Wall".  It does the trick - I sleep like a baby on my side.

::Target BeMaternity Seamless Maternity Tanks::
These camisoles are worth their weight in gold, yet they cost only $16.99.  I have a white one and a black one, and I wear them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, no exceptions.  If one is dirty, I will literally do the laundry right then so I can wear it.  It's that important.  These tanks are super lightweight, completely seamless, very long, and tight enough to hold everything in but soft enough to be luxuriously comfy.

::GAP Supersoft Maternity Leggings::
My daily uniform includes these GAP leggings + the seamless camisole + a long sweater or tunic of some sort + flats.  It's a winner every time.  I love these leggings from GAP because they sit below the belly (very comfortable) and are longer instead of cropped.   They are nice and opaque and have survived many, many washings.   Love them!!

::Club Soda::
I have not missed alcohol, but sometimes, I am a bit jealous of Brent's wine or margarita.  Club soda has been my mocktail of choice.  A few times a week, I have a "drink" with some sort of fruit juice (my faves are cranberry, cherry, grapefruit, and pomegranate), a splash of lime juice, and club soda.  I'm not gonna lie - it doesn't taste like a margarita, but at least it gives me something fun to sip while others are enjoying a drink at home or out in a restaurant.  Plus, this club soda is calorie and sodium free, so it's better than a regular soda!

::Online Shopping::
I have always loved online shopping, but as a pregnant lady, it's beyond awesome.  I designed my entire nursery and registry online, and I can order things in my pjs at my kitchen table without driving around all day.  We ordered just about everything for the nursery online.  It's pretty fun when giant gliders, ginormous rugs, and everything in between just show up on our front doorstep each day.  All we have to do is bring them inside!  (Don't mind if I do!!)  I'm also doing most of my Christmas shopping online.  You can call me lazy, but I'm calling me pregnant.

I decided early in my pregnancy that I didn't really want to or need to read about pregnancy.  I mean - there's a baby in there.  It's going to grow.  There's not a whole lot I can control about it.  It's going to come out.  And then... I'm going to have a real, live baby.  And what will I do at that point, pray tell?  Explain to her everything I learned about being pregnant?  I think not.  I decided instead to read some actual baby books.  Babywise has been great and has helped me feel a lot more prepared.  I like to have a plan.  Even if it doesn't work out perfectly (it won't), I feel good about the plan.

::Old Navy Maternity Skinny Jeans::  
I am in love with these jeans.  They are so stretchy and comfortable, yet form-fitting.  They are skinny enough to fit into boots for fall but not too tight.  They have a full panel, but I like to fold it down to make them more low-rise.  I wear these pretty much every day, so I've gotten my $34 worth.

::Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter::  
Maggie gave me this lotion for my birthday, and I use it religiously every night.  It smells great and is not greasy.  Who knows if it prevents stretch marks or not, but I don't have any yet!  Plus, there is really no downside to lotion, right, so why not?

::Happiest Baby on the Block::
This was my other pick for a pre-baby read, recommended by many moms and my obgyn.  I have heard great things about these techniques, and I think they sound awesome!  I'm ready to try them!

My friend suggested I stock up on Tums, so I purchased a value pack, and good thing I did!  These things work wonders, and I'm thankful that just one or two will fix my issues!

What were (or are) your pregnancy must-haves?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dallas Shower

Last week, Brent and I did the full "Texas Tour" seeing all of our immediate and extended family members in Houston and Dallas.  It was quite a whirlwind, but it was good to see everyone since this is our last trip before Baby N arrives!  While we were in Dallas, my mom and sister threw me the most adorable shower for family and a few close friends.  They worked so hard on the details, and it was PERFECT!  Here I am in all my glory at 32 weeks.

The invitation was adorable.  My mom made it to match my nursery colors.

My mom put up the cutest decorations!  Pink overload, of course!
It was wonderful to spend some time with my family.  Here's my sweet mom and Grammy.  I also got to hang out with my cousin, Melissa, who is expecting a boy in February!!  As kids, she and I dreamed of doing everything together as adults. Two years ago in Houston, we lived on the same street, and now we are expecting our first children within one month of each other!  Crazy, right?  

Grammy, Mom, Aunt Robyn, and Aunt Susan

Our good family friend, Marianne, came to the shower.  She has lived two doors down from us for almost 28 years!   Julia and I used to play with her kids when we were little.  I also got to see my sweet friend Marisa from junior high and high school!  She came with her precious daughter, Lucy.

The food was delicious.  I was so impressed with my mom for making this three layer lemon coconut cake with homemade icing!!  Isn't it beautiful?  The table set-up was so pretty, too.

Me with my mama and sweet Grammy serving fruit salad

Aunt Robyn was the punch master.

All of the presents were sweet and thoughtful.  One of my faves was this one.  My mom found the dress that both my sister and I came home from the hospital in!  It's a hand embroidered rosebud dress, and it's so precious!  It will be pretty cool for my daughter to come home from the hospital in the same dress that I did!

Baby N has so many loving aunts, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great aunts.  She will be one spoiled little girl!  Thanks, mom and Julia for the shower!  Love you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nursery 2.0

Although I was pretty excited about nursery 1.0, the design has been revamped into nursery 2.0!  (Y'all didn't really think I would be satisfied with my first design, did you?)  :-)  Hours more on the internet, and we've got our final game plan.  The impetus for the change was finding The.Perfect.Crib.  I was all about my white Target crib for a while... until I saw this one.  We were registering at Buy Buy Baby, and we both fell in love with the Bassett Baby "Ava" crib they had on display.  It has an elegant, unique back piece, and it's the most beautiful dove gray - perfect for our nursery colors!  As my mother-in-law pointed out, it's "fit for a princess".  So, yeah, we had to get it.  We also got the matching dresser.  Since we essentially swapped white furniture for gray, I had to nix my gray rug and gray glider.  That's a lot of gray.  I went back the drawing board and decided on a lighter shade of pink for the rug, a lighter shade of yellow for pillows and accessories, a gray damask ottoman, and a cream-colored glider.  We are so excited about how it's coming along!  Everything looks fabulous against the pale yellow walls we already have - "whisper yellow" from Behr.  The pieces are coming in slowly one at a time, so there's not much to see quite yet.  I'll be sure to post actual pics soon, but here are the new inspiration boards!

1::  Ava crib from Bassett at Buy Buy Baby
2::  Mia chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids (probably won't get this until we move in May, though)
3::  Trellis Moroccan rug in Bubblegum from RugStudio
4::  Rockabye glider in Buckwheat from Target
5::  Gray modern damask pouf ottoman from Zeldabelle on Etsy
6::  Ava dresser from Bassett at Buy Buy Baby
8::  Gray and yellow zig zag bedding from Carousel Designs

Smaller touches:

1::  White picture ledges for displaying books from Amazon
2::  Custom wooden monogram from Charming Little Nest on Etsy (We need to name her first!)
3::  Handmade flag banner in our colors and patterns made by my mama!  (Pic is just an example - mine will be pink dots, yellow chevron, and gray chevron.)
4::  Handmade yellow chevron pillow for the glider made by my mama!  (Pic is just an example - mine will be rectangle and a lighter yellow chevron pattern.)
5::  Mirrored lamp base with yellow shade from Target for side table
6::  Mercury glass lamp base with natural shade from Homegoods for changing table
7::  Toddler chair / rocker from Homegoods (You can't tell in the picture, but it's mini and so cute!)

Random Extras:

1::  In terms of other touches, I'm not doing a theme, but I have fallen in love with the cute owls that I've seen everywhere.  I bought this super soft stuffed owl at Pier 1.
2::  I also picked up this white owl figurine from Marshall's for the side table.
3:: I found these cute soft-sided Paris bins at Marshall's - perfect solution for chic organization in the closet!

I'm planning on the following DIY projects:
1::  Pink felt flowers for natural lamp shade
2::  Hand painted canvas with owl and Baby N's name
3::  Canvas with wooden letters spelling out a verse

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall in Durham

Durham in the fall is magical.  When I go for walks, I don't even want to listen to my iPod.  I just walk, look, listen, pray, and enjoy.  Something about fall makes me want to Praise God!!!  Every evening the neighborhood is chilly and smells like smoke as people come home and light their fireplaces.  Now through December is truly the "most wonderful time of the year"!!  Here are some pics I snapped with my iPhone on my daily neighborhood walk.  That's our church in the first picture.  I love that it's at the end of our street!  In the last picture you'll see the sign for our neighborhood... Watts-Hospital Hillandale, est. 1908.  We just LOVE our neighborhood.  It verges on idyllic!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby's First Shower!

Last Saturday, Baby Norwood was showered with love and gifts even though she is not even born yet!  She is one lucky girl, huh?  My wonderful mother-in-law, Vicky, and my sister-in-law, Wendy, have a group of precious friends who were kind and generous beyond words to host this beautiful shower for me while I was in Houston.  Words can't express how grateful I am!  Baby N and I felt very loved.

Here are the beautiful details of the shower decor.  It was over-the-top pink!  Some of the ladies who hosted the shower are interior decorators, so it was pretty much amazing.
More precious details including the blessing tree
The food table - lots of delicious desserts and finger foods!  With plenty of pink, of course.

Terry serving champagne punch (not for me, sadly) and the amazing desserts!

Sweet Cookie: Vicky's good friend, one of the nicest people I've ever met, and one of my biggest fans.

(L) My beautiful sister-in-law, Wendy (R) Wendy, Vicky, and my mom

The lovely ladies who hosted my shower:  Shirley, Cookie, Terry, Rose Marie, and Wendy

YES Prep North Central friends "Pears", Lora, Erica, Stephanie, Michelle, and Rachael.  So grateful they made the drive to Sugar Land!  Best  people to work with ever!!

Guests chatting and eating

North Central friends during gift opening

My fabulous course leaders Crystal, Allyson, and Dillon.  So blessed to have them on my team!

One of the gifts that brought everyone to tears:  A hand-stitched lace christening gown made by Brent's grandmother who passed away over a year ago.  She had been working on it and saving it for our future children!  It is INCREDIBLE.  What an heirloom to have forever!

There were PLENTY of adorable little girl outfits.  At the end, Lora said, "Does your daughter have even one pair of pants?!"  I got more wonderful gifts than I can picture or list here, but needless to say, the nursery is getting stocked quite well!
I'm so glad that my sweet mom could come for the shower.  I have been missing her, and we hadn't been together since our New York trip in July!  Love you mom!

It was a fantastic weekend, and a great memory of my first shower for my first baby!!
Site Design by Designer Blogs