Nursery preparation: I have almost finished the nursery. Matthew did some work on it this morning as well. I am so excited for it to be finished and ready for Jackson. Some crafts I did to cut costs: I saw these adorable initial prints on etsy that I loved for his monogram above the crib. The prints were $50 each! Ick. So... I decided to make something similar. I bought some shadow boxes, wooden letters, craft paper, and stickers. When all was put together... I had three lovely frames with a "J', "M", and "I" respectively. I love how they turned out! It was under $25 total for the entire project. I also wanted a large print or canvas I could use with a quote or verse for Jackson. I thought about purchasing a large canvas and painting something, but then realized I had a large frame with professional artwork in it that wasn't being used. I never really liked the picture of trees in the frame, but it was a hand-me-down from my parents so I hadn't bothered to change the artwork. I plan to either have printed or make out of posterboard a print with a variation of Luke 2:52 for Jackson. The "wisdom", "stature", and "favor" will be larger and centered and the other words will be smaller. Hopefully it'll turn out exactly how I want. For the changing table, I used old mailing boxes to hold diapers. We are cloth diapering and I have close to 30 newborn size and will have 30 one size once I've finished purchasing them. I have around 18 one size right now. I could buy bins... but we have so many different sized boxes from baby things that I figured why not cut costs? I am looking for cutesy wrapping paper to wrap the boxes in to match the nursery. I also needed more storage in the closet, so I used some plastic drawers that were previously in the office in the closet. The perfect place for Jackson's pants and extra items we don't need quite yet (like extra shampoo, etc).
Preparing for baby: We rearranged the nursery furniture. It was Matt's idea because he didn't like walking into the room and having the changing table immediately to the left. It seemed cluttered to him. Well, after we moved things around it does feel much more open. We also now have room for a bookshelf! It will have some bins for his pacis and bibs and also room for all his books. I love books and cannot wait to continue adding to his library. I also have been ordering more diapers as the colors I want come in stock. I have received some checks from work to reimburse my gas and mileage for trips I've made. You get $0.555 per gallon when you use your personal vehicle so I receive more than I actually spent on gas. I used that money to add to the diaper stash. It is incredible how much you can spend on diapers... but it would be so much more if we were doing disposable. I also placed orders at Target and Babies R Us for some necessities we had not received yet. Very thankful for the 10% discount coupons we received and gift cards from friends and family. I sold some books to Amazon and once that credit I has been added to my account I will order the last few items we need before he arrives. Almost completely prepared for baby!
Maternity Photo Shoot: On Sunday we had our maternity photo shoot. Matt was such a champ! It was very cold outside (it ended up snowing later that night!) but we toughed it out for some super adorable pictures. There have been so many comments on the pictures so far. My friend, Danielle, took the pictures for free for us, but she does have her own photography business, D.Christine Photografie. I highly recommend her for any and all photo shoots: engagement, wedding, bridal, family, infant, maternity, just for fun. She is so talented and so much fun to work with. The pictures were exactly what I wanted- a warm, romantic feel with some vintage-y appeal. The below pictures are all from the shoot. There are some more and she's still editing more, but these are some of my favorites so far!Pregnancy symptoms: Now that I am in the home stretch I have begun having some more of the typical symptoms. No new cravings or aversions. My feet and calves have swollen slightly. I can still wear all my pants and shoes, but I can definitely notice they are not as slim as normal. Since my belly is so big, I have to have help from Matt to put on my socks or boots! I normally wear flats to work so it's not such a big deal. I have been drinking much more water. It's hard getting in around 10 glasses a day! Plus, that means I have to constantly pee which is not convenient in my office! At least I no longer am a call center agent. I don't know how that would work with the constant restroom breaks! I have also begun having random bursts of emotion. I have tried to compose myself fairly well about the uncertainty of our future. On Sunday I was feeling very emotional around lunch time and felt horrible for crying. I didn't want Matt to feel bad about not knowing about the Army and being unemployed currently. We have enough money saved to cover our expenses while I am on maternity leave, but I was still emotional about the entire situation. I cried for about 5 minutes and then was fine. Very sudden and random. Understandable in the circumstances, but I want to be strong and supportive. Last symptom: I have reached 25 pounds of preggo weight. Supposedly my weight is supposed to cap pretty soon or possible lower as I get closer to delivery? I hope so. I would love to stay right at 25 lb.s or lower. That was my original goal. I am also creeping up on Matt's weight! He is a rather small person himself, but I don't want to weigh the same as my husband!
Blessings: Even though it is slightly stressful, it has been such a blessing to have Matt home. I enjoy spending the evenings with him. He has taken up most of the household chores including vaccuuming, mopping, grocery shopping, going to the post office, laundry, dishes, and cooking dinner. It was so nice to have a long day of work on Monday where I had to travel out of town for the day and to return home to an excellent dinner! He had made some new dishes he never made before and it was all so delicious! He is such an amazing husband and I cannot wait to watch him interact with Jackson. Another blessing, having such caring and supportive family and friends. With our current financial situation being what it is we have been so blessed to have most of the baby things covered from showers or other gifts. Plus we have had some more recent financial blessings towards the "baby fund" that are so helpful! This is why we are not super worried about the job situation. God will continue to look after us and our growing family.
Dr. Appt: I had a Dr. appt yesterday, which will be a common story throughout the next month of weekly appointments. Had my Group B Strep test done. After my examination the dr. was surprised to find that I am 2 cm dilated and the baby is at a -2 station! He was actually able to touch the baby's head! While I know that the next 8 cm could take awhile to dilate, that is still encouraging! The Dr. said that is more progression than normal at 36 weeks. He said his day at the hospital this week is Sunday, but he would prefer not to see me then. He said to rest up this week and then come next week when I'm full term I can have that baby any time! I will certianly begin walking, jumping, anything I can to help that baby be born! So exciting (and nerve-wrecking) that it's so close! I have definitely been having contractions daily, but still not painful or close together by any means. I asked the Dr. about the thumps I feel on the left side of my ribs. I had thought they were knees or elbows, but then wondered if they were feet. The Dr. confirmed it was little Jackson's ankles I had been feeling. I knew it was something with a "crook". So incredible to be able to feet the bend where his ankle is so clearly!
Dreams: I had an interesting dream last night, probably due to the news from the Dr. I dreamt I was at my old house and was in the bathroom. I decided I wanted to hold the baby so I birthed him. It was simple and no pain. I held him for a bit and planned to "put him back" when I was done. Strange how dream world works, eh? So I was holding him and his legs were perfectly formed and he was breathing just fine. His arms and hands, however, we more like flippers. His face also didn't look too human. More like some kind of sea creature. He was completely healthy other than that. So he needed to cook a little longer so his arms, hands, and face could finish forming. Definitely not the regular order of development! Right before the dream ended I remembered the check to make sure he was a boy! No doubt about it, all boy! I have been a little nervous that the u/s was wrong and he's actually a girl! I would love having a girl, but would be slightly stressed since all our baby things are blue!
We are so excited that we have a month or less left before meeting our little guy. I'd be happy if he came next week or even 5 weeks from now! I hope he doesn't take the full 6 weeks the Dr.'s would give him before inducing. I would prefer not to be induced if possible. Can't wait to see what happens in the next couple weeks!
So glad we were able to do this shoot. I love these pictures! Can't wait for our newborn shoot for Jackson and then family shoot when he's a couple months old!