Thursday, April 26, 2012

cora's first week...

Here are a few instagram pictures from cora's first week of life....

This week has been full of struggles with breastfeeding, tongue-tied-ness, sleeping, inconsolable crying, nocturnal-ness and figuring out life once again. We honestly had no idea how hard this would be, the first few nights we felt all alone that our baby was trickier than others... but this was just silliness, having an infant takes adapting. But it has also been the most incredible seven days of our lives. Matt and I can't stop smiling or laughing at how sensational our little daughter is. We made this little human.... pretty freakin cool. Her little facial expressions, squirmy body, and adorable graspy hands bring tears to our eyes, she makes us so happy. We love her. So, all three of us are adjusting this week number one... thank goodness for maternity and paternity leave, this time is so very precious.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

our spud is born!

[welcome to the world cora elm]

She is beautiful and healthy....and all ours.

Cora was born on Wednesday April 18th 2012 at 4:49 pm.

She is 7 pounds 10 ounces and 19" tall.

She is perfect... We are in love.

I can't wait to tell you all about the whirlwind that our little 3 day old baby has created in our world. She is nothing like we expected...nor is parenthood... nor is the extreme almost unfathomable love and joy that she brings to our lives. These are the best days of our life, without question. Please bare with me as we attempt to leave survival mode, and come back to life.... blogging and all.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

[week 39]

Yikes... I made it to week 39?! I thought for sure I was going to deliver early. Guess not! This little spud has some brain growth to do, I suppose.

It has been hard to just let my body do its thing. I have these irrational thoughts that maybe if I run up and down the stairs 10 times (who am I kidding, waddle slowly), bend over to do laundry 2 times and eat 5 fork-fulls of spicy chinese food I will send myself into labor. Like it's a silly math of those long frustrating word problems. Well, it's not. She will come when she is ready OR...I will be induced around week 41.

So we have been doing last minute projects, just trying to get ready. Each time I have an hour or so of painful contractions...I rack my brain trying to think...if this is it, what do we for sure need to get done before we drive into the hospital? So then it prompts us to finish up some lingering to-dos, because it wasn't it.

However, we have matt's family in town.... and my parents come this upcoming weekend...and my sister the week after... and matt's sisters in May. I can't wait for this little party to get started, a cora-welcome-to-the-world party. We are o-so ready.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

hospital bag -packed!

[an over-sized tote bag I whipped up...and the most adorable PJs with fold-over mittens that I seam-ripped off the "brother loves me" or something patch from carters...and don't be fooled by the colors or toy trucks....we are still having a girl]

I thought this was a little silly... why would you pre-pack a hospital bag? Laboring isn't really as quick as the movies show it...oh water broke and race to the hospital... I think most people have hours of laboring at home. But, then the closer I got I realized, wow...I should really pack a hospital bag. What if I didn't have my chapstick? Yoga pants after delivery?...would I have to resort to my butt hanging out the back of my gown? Yes, I needed to pack a bag, stat.

So after referring to a bunch of fellow bloggers lists out there... I compiled a list of what "necessities" I needed to have. There are a ton of over-packers in this world, I am not one of them...nor am I a minimalist. I like to go tent camping... with our truck....and wine...and nice cheeses and meats...and dog beds... and an air mattress. That's my style of camping, so I find this situation rather similar. Matt calls me moderately moderate about everything in life... usually with some type of frowny face. He is more on the extreme/excessive side of things...he likes to live large, which is something I love about him. Can you tell I am processing how our life of two-dom will be rapidly changing to a family of three soon?! Anyways, I digress.

I like lists... they make me happy... so here is mine...

Hospital Bag:
  • camera- a point and shoot for matt to use...that does black and white for my unflattering labor pictures.
  • music- our iphones with playlists and pandora and little speaker
  • camera and iphone battery charger
  • chap stick.... maybe two of them.
  • my own disolveable zofran... can I take this while laboring? My least favorite thing in the world is vomiting. I will ask this of our midwife next appointment
  • snacks- I get rather cranky without food...crackers, cheese, granola bars, peanut butter, veggies
  • matt's swim trunks for the standing jacuzzi
  • matt's change of clothes/ pajamas
  • matt's toiletries
  • after delivery lounge wear... fresh, clean yoga pants, tank top, sweat shirt
  • flip flops
  • travel sized: shampoo, conditioner, face soap, face and body lotion, tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant
  • makeup (the little makeup I do wear, I don't want to do without)
  • hair dryer and curling rod (if I didn't have a short-styled hair cut, I could do without this stuff...but alas, I do. No ponytails for me)
  • spud journal to write about our experiences that I don't want to forget
  • one newborn pajama and one 0-3 pajama to go home in... extra snugly with fold over mittens and footies
  • one blanket to swaddle/cover her on our way home
  • infant nail clippers (this is silly, but the hospital can't cut your baby's nails, and I think it would drive me crazy...some of them are so very long! I don't want her to scratch herself)
  • car seat safely installed in car
  • box of candy for the nurses...maybe I like this sentiment because I will be a nurse soon? But screw it I like it, and I'm doing it.
Stuff I don't think I need:
  • pads, underwear, my own hospital gown... this birthing process and recovery is bloody and gooey. I'd rather use their disposable gear or they-wash-it clothing
  • diaper bag, lots of baby clothes, pacifiers, diapers...they supply all of this
  • breast feeding pillow- I think I can manage without the boppy pillow. They have ample pillows to use and prop in any way imaginable.
  • books, movies, magazines.... we have each other to be entertained, I think.

...Any suggestions/thoughts from moms out there?!

Of course I will re-visit this list after delivery for what we really needed... and how I shouldn't have been so silly.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

[week 38]

Little spud is 38 weeks along! This week we had a few fun things happen to us...

I had a phenomenal hot stone massage. Oh my, I can't believe I have missed out on this method for so long. I go to an aveda salon/spa... and the hot stones are heavenly. I would recommend it! I left the table feeling... well....not pregnant. It was relaxing and very therapeutic.

I had my first nurse interview. This is something I had been dreading. Not only is it nerve wrecking for a real career type interview...but I am HUGE. Yeah, not my first choice, but it happened and it was fantastic. I don't know that I got the job, but it was a great interview and I feel less nervous now about subsequent ones. How many people interview for a job 38 weeks pregnant? Ha. Well, we did. I even felt okay about my interview outfit... big deal, seeing how I have been living in yoga pants and scrubs for the past 9 months.

This week may be my last prego picture? Not sure... but I will miss them. So I am relishing in the now. Which is probably why you are all inundated by my almost daily posts. I feel like I have so very much to get in before she arrives. posts galore.

Friday, April 6, 2012

spud box!! (a DIY co-sleeper)

[my dad and matt installing the spud box... in coordinating clothing and beards. nice job guys!]

My dad made Cora a fantastic and beautiful co-sleeper for our bedroom. It's made of pine that he ripped, sanded, and constructed into a "spud box." I got the co-sleeper idea from [here] a while back. I asked my dad what he thought about this project and jumped right to it! When my parents drove out to visit us they brought his creation. It's beautiful and will be incredibly useful.

As you can tell from the pictures, our bedroom is tiny. We have an older 1900-something house that we love for now...but the downside is... small rooms. We want to have Cora sleep in our room to be able to bond with her, provide for easier middle of the night feedings and have the benefits of co-sleeping for SIDS, etc. Pack 'n plays are too big, and why have something plastic when you can have a wood beauty? Plus we are two big people in a queen sized bed, cora needs her own space free of blankets and pillows to rest comfortably.

Spud box dimensions:
36" long x 16" wide with 12" sides

The two long slats slide under the mattress, and it has the two legs for support on the opposite side of the box. My dad says this project took him about 40 hours... but he is a perfectionist and chose to mill his own wood for the project. Hard to say how long it would take someone else.

My dad chose to make the 2 legs of the spud box with the ability to change the height. This will be great for when we move and *hopefully* upgrade to a bigger room with a king sized bed. This may be only a dream, but at least the spud box will fit regardless for our next babe too.


I bought 3" high density foam at Jo Ann's. This normally would be about $40 for this chunk of foam, but with those 50% off coupon is was $20...which I think is still pricey. So make the cuts wisely! The foam was cut down to 36" x 16" with just a regular sharp kitchen knife. Super easy.

Spud-box sheet:
I mentioned in the previous post how my mom and I sewed the fitted sheets. Really quick to make. I also cut down a vinyl fitted sheet that usually is for cribs to prevent spill-absorption. This layer goes under the fitted sheet so that it protects our foam from nighttime accidents/spill outs. One fitted sheet came down to about $5 to make and about $7 for the vinyl sheet at Target.

We can use this co-sleeper up to 6 months we think and for our next in-the-future baby...tater tot.

Next step:
Thoroughly clean bedroom and wash all new fresh bedding for Cora's arrival....oh yeah, and kick the dogs out of the bedroom. Something we have been dreading, we love sleeping in the same room with them. Which brings us to the next project- similar to the DIY dutch door....a DIY swing dog-gate for our bedroom!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

just waiting...

Um. Pregnancy is crazy. No, I am done talking about swollen ankles (for now)...but this unknown of when it's all going down is craaaazy. When am I going to go into labor? Will my water break? When will the last contraction I have start a rapid fire of consistent contractions that puts me into labor? This is exciting!!

Part of me wants this babe out... like now. I am ready to see her, I am ready to be out of this bulky immobile body, I want our blissful summertime to be here with spud in our arms. I want to see matt learn how to change a diaper and hold his tiny daughter in his big arms. I want this all now. So I dream of stripping membranes and inductions. Seriously.

Then the other part of me wants to relish in this time and put the side effects of pregnancy aside....and just be utterly present. I want to focus on her little body tossing around in my belly for these last days, to relish in matt and I being a two-dom, and process what is about to happen to us and our life. I also really want that thrill of...oh crap...this could be it! Let's go to the hospital!! ...instead of a planned induction. I really do want to be patient, but it's tricky!

The unknown is crazy. Could it be tonight? Could it be exactly on our due date of April 20th?! Maybe I will just have to wait and be induced April 27th? So Matt and I are feeling this unknown...and anxious to finish our long list of spud-to-dos. None of it absolutely has to get done, but it would be nice to check some things off our list. Maybe help us sleep better at night. HA.

So, time is ticking. Just like before when I was thinking every single day...maybe now I could be pregnant... now I fill my head with oh.... maybe this could be the day I meet our sweet cora.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY fitted crib sheets

As I mentioned my parents came into town to see the pregnant belly and help with some fun spud projects. My mom and I decided to make fitted crib sheets and fitted spud box sheets. It took us about a day to DIY our 4 fitted sheets. I made a few measuremental perhaps it could have gone smoother had I been 100% paying attention. But it was fun to make this together and turned out just as I had in my head for her room.
There are tons of great tutorials out there to make fitted sheets, and it's rather simple. (I like this one on danamadeit). I couldn't find sheets that I loved for the spud I decided we could make our own. I bought a twin size amy butler sheet set at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's normally $70 for the set, but we bought it on sale and with a 20% off coupon for $20! They are quirky, amy butler (my favorite) and turquoise! It was perfect because sheets already come super soft and high thread count- where fabric may or may not be....and even though its cute, it's expensive. So this route was the best for me.
A twin sized flat sheet can make 2 crib size fitted sheets, and the twin fitted sheet made 2 spud-box sheets. The spud box is similar in size to a long diaper changing you could potentially make those if you don't have a spud box to sew for :)

I had a hard time finding conversions for twin sheet to crib sheet (FYI- wikipedia's bedding sizes). We also re-used the elastic in the twin fitted sheet, I just cut it out and I had my own 1/4" elastic to thread through the whole fitted sheet casing. Some people choose to do just elastic on the corners, I like the look of elastic gathering the fabric through the whole sheet. I am sure the other way would be easier though.
Here are my dimensions...if it helps.

2 crib fitted sheets from 1 twin flat sheet:
-flat sheets are around 102" x 72", then we trimmed off all of the seams
-our standard crib mattress is 52" x 28" x 5"
-cut two rectangles of 68" x 44" fabric
-then cut 8" squares from each corner

2 co-sleeper fitted sheets:

-our spud box crib mattress/foam is 36" x 16" x 3"
-cut two rectangles of 48" x 28" fabric
-then cut 6" squares from each corner

From here I'd follow the tutorial for nice instructions on sewing the fitted sheets. 

[my mom smiling the whole project long... amazing to have the help and motivation!]

...I think it looks nice with the grey walls...not overly girly either. More pictures to come as we finish up the spud room!

Monday, April 2, 2012

stretch marks and other third trimester fun.

[why not throw up a non-glamorous shot of pregnancy?!... curlers in the hair... painting my nails outside with the dogs... trying to get some spring-vit D-enriched-sunshine?!'s me and the spud-belly in our final trimester together...thanks photographer matt]
Yup, I have the marks. I guess it's genetic... so I could use all the creams in the world (ok, I only used 3 of them religiously) and I would still get my destined stretch marks. I found these little squiggly red lines under my belly last week. I don't know why the ones on my hips don't phase me one bit...but on my belly?! Tiny bummer. I think my bikini days were over about 8 years ago....but I still like to do the float the river thing during summertime... and now I have lines that who knows how big they will get this month.

What other fun things can I reflect on this third trimester of pregnancy?!
  • close to 50 lb weight gain. Yikes....right?! I'm still shocked by this number, so I don't weight myself at home any longer. Once a week at the OB appointment is plenty.
  • swelling in my ankles that makes them feel like logs I voluntarily lug around.
  • pregnant butt...thighs...arms...face. Yes a systemic pregnancy. It has engulfed my whole body, there is nothing localized about this.
  • waking up every two hours to pee and potentially eat is a norm in our house
  • my energy level has drastically plummeted from my 2nd trimester bliss. It feels a bit like the first trimester except sleep is impossible and no nausea.
  • my pubic symphysis cartilage (that groin says "symphysis pubis dysfunction") feels like it's majorly bruised/ripping apart... I think a nurse at work described it as though you crotched-a-bike. Yup. Check! I got the dysfunction...that will hopefully be uber-functional next month.
I'm not complaining about any of this, pregnancy is just a trip. I wouldn't change any of it for the world... I will actually miss it when it's over. I have loved this process of growing our little human and I hope I this won't be our only time. But for those of you trying to get pregnant or early pregnancy I think its nice to have a realistic idea of what can happen. I know I searched the internet like hell to find the pubis-dysfunction because no one really talks about it. When does " my groin feels like it's severely bruised!" come up in conversation? It doesn't. It's more fun to talk about meandering elbows and rhythmic hiccups in the belly. So here you have it!