She's Here!

She's Here!
Elizabeth Blake 5lbs 14oz. 9-14-12

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Elizabeth's Suite

I started this during bed rest and never published it!

Sorry this is late...the last few days of bed rest took a toll on my body. Literally any activity made my BP shoot sky high, causing major dizziness, headache and overall ickyness. I was good to get photos of Izzy's room completed. Good news is that she is here! The next post will chronical her "Birth"Day and of course more pictures than a Cosmo photo shoot. Prepare yourself for Mommy over load :-)
Elizabeth's Room

7th Week Heaven

It’s been 7 weeks since Carson and I officially became parents…believe me, it still scares the beJesus out of us. The first few weeks are complete survival mode and all about making “Little Izzy” happy!  It also seems that a lot of my friends are either trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or have a newborn/infant…which is the idea behind this blog post. I have compiled a list of must-haves and other helpful items I’ve used to help make this thing called Mommyhood more enjoyable.  No need to work harder when you can work smarter! I encourage my other Mom/Dad friends to add to this list or give opinions! New Mom’s or expecting?  You’ll read all of this and say to yourself, “OMG! OVERLOAD!”  I did the same thing to every other info blog, but I figure, if you use one of these items or heed some of our advice, I’ve helped out. Also, you will figure out what works for you! It has taken us 7 weeks to start feeling comfortable in our new roles and routine…but be flexible…it constantly changes. It’s fun, emotional, scary and down-right nasty at times… just remember… your parents did all of this for you, and they survived, we will too! J

Kelsey & Carson’s SURVIVAL ITEMS:

1     1. A & D Ointment
I owe this one to my Mom and Sister. This bottom barrier cream makes life better…bottom line (no pun intended) if you don’t use this on your baby’s bum, you’ll be scraping dirty bits off their sensitive parts and then most likely get tinkled on and or really tick off your tot. Use it…ALL over their bottom…Poopy doesn’t stay still.

2. ITZBEEN Pocket Nanny…
Tovah Robertson…you’re a saint. This nifty little gadget keeps us on a schedule. I found that lack of sleep caused poor memory and I couldn’t tell you when the last feeding began or how long it took. The Pocket Nanny has 4 timers…diapers, feeding, sleepzzZ and a bonus…I used it for pumping. It also has a breast feeding function switch. This little bad boy blinks when it’s time to eat again….Carson and I constantly say, “WHERE’S the TIMER!? What’s the timer say!?” Our life depends on it J and so does Izzy's!

3    3.  MammaRoo… 
The amazing modern swing. It has 5 different settings, Car ride, ocean wave, kangaroo, tree swing, -6 speeds and corresponding sounds and an adaptable iPhone connector. Izzy has BAD reflux, which means after a feeding, she cannot lay flat for 40-60 minutes without spitting up and being in immense pain….The MommaRoo is an angled, baby soother…. I want a Roo for myself. Perfect for when Mommy needs a shower!

     4. Boppy…
You’ve probably heard about this, but it’s great! You wear it around your waist or in lap to help hold the baby. I found it is useful for pics or tummy time! Belle really likes laying on it too...For that I am thankful I have multiple covers to change out and wash.. I have found I can feed her without it, but when I’m tired or my arm is tapped out, I use it. Great for grandparents and tummy time too!

5.     \5.Swaddle Wraps-Aden + Anais….
My favorite baby item & Life saver. Thin, but warm enough and easy to do a proper swaddle. I’ll post a link to a helpful video…also the nurses will show you in hospital…or you’ll figure it out! J These can also transform into a MommySling!

6.      6. Wubbanub Infant Pacifier
Binkeys… (Soothee)
At first I swore my little one would STRICTLY breast feed and NOT have a binky for 3 months…whatever. You gotta do what ya gotta do. The pediatrician put it perfect, “ We do things to soothe ourselves, twirl hair, bite cheek, twiddle thumbs etc. and babies need soothers too!” Trust me. We like these because they are easy for Izzy to “hold” and don’t fall as easily. Oh and get two at least…always need a back up!

7.  Pampers Swaddlers Diapers vs. Huggies…(Pampers)
I may be stepping on some toes here but I have met a Huggie I like yet. So far, the Pampers have been winners for us. Izzy was in Premie diapers when she came home…didn’t graduate to Newborn until 3-4 weeks old. Every single Huggie, no matter the size fit her awkwardly…plus she had many accidents. The Pampers.Fit.Perfect. Plus they have this awesome color changing indicator…yellow= dry….green means = GO CHANGE ME! J

 8.Dr. Brown Bottles vs. Tommee Tippee….(Dr.Brown)

Okay if you’re “strictly breastfeeding,” don’t assume you need to skip this one. Be prepared for the day your child will need a bottle, or maybe that Bfeeding won’t work all the time. If you plan on returning to work, and won’t have access to your child, you WILL need some stocked bottles they like. It takes time figuring out what sweet baby likes, what you like etc. We love the Dr. Brown’s and I’ll just go ahead and say it, “I absolutely despise the Tommee Tippee bottles.” Why? Nipples collapse, bottles leak, she takes in more air…air = gas= fussiness=no sleep. The caps jam and makes for a frustrating middle of the night feeding… only good thing? The writing on the bottle is in black and easy to read.  Dr. Brown’s have lots of parts and are a pain to clean, but trust me, worth it.
     9.Medela Sanitizing Bags…(Medela)  
One of the greatest inventions since DVR… 5 bags to a package and each bag can be used 20 times. You wash bottles, accessories, pacifiers etc, toss them in the bag with water (read directions for amount) and nuke in the microwave…in under 3:00 minutes, the contents are sterilized. Love these!


10.Vibrating/Music Playing bassinet or play yard… (Chicco)
Her bassinet in our bedroom is a loan from my sister and it plays music and vibrates. We also use her play yard (featured above,) that has a bassinet feature. Izzy especially loves the nature noises and mobile of wild animals! Extra perk- it converts into a play yard  as she gets older!

Like I said before, you can take or leave this list! There are hundreds of other products we haven’t used yet, that may be just as good, if not better.  This is just what we have needed to make it through our first 7 weeks. Trust me, you’ll get  more advice  from everyone you know (wanted to not)…regardless, go with your gut,  remember that trial and error will happen, and try to take in every moment!
I have already packed up some of Elizabeth’s clothes since she’s growing so fast… I have to fight back tears every time. 

I will try to update more often…but Izzy is sleeping at the moment, and that means it’s time for me to sleep too! J

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"I wanna make this place your home"

August 2010-Move in day!

It's been two years since Carson and I purchased our first house! We loved the idea of taking a 60 year old house and flipping it...Call it youthful ignorance or just plain stupidity, we have learned many lessons, faced many obstacles and cried many tears...well to be honest, Carson hasn't cried, I have. But looking back, we are very proud of the work we've put into our little house on Hillcrest. We are not finished with everything, we still have the kitchen and our master bath to remodel...that will come later. I have a few before and after photos below. I am also working on a movie/slide show....funny what you accomplish on bed rest. We want to send a huge thank you for our parents for their help in this process. They tried to warn us how big this project would be, of course we didn't listen, but they still have helped out along the way. Looking back through these pictures, the Phillips Phillips song, "Home," plays in my head. Hence the title of my post. I tried to be ultra high tech and play the song during the post...haven't quite mastered it yet. :-) Enjoy!
Guest bath before:
Guest bath...that peach carpet again.

Guest bath-Canary yellow tile

Guest Bath-Canary yellow cabinets.

Goodbye carpet!

Carpet be Gone!
Guest bath after:

New cabinet/sink/mirror and lights.

We removed tile, replaced with bead board and new tile floor!

No more canary yellow tile!

Front bedroom(Nursery) before:

Front bedroom-now the nursery....PEACH CARPET!

We discovered wood floor!
Front bedroom (nursery) after:
Front bedroom, currently Elizabeth's room! (More pics coming!)

Family room before/move in day:
August 2010-Move in day!

Sea-grass wallpaper, peach & brown paint.
Family room after:
New sheet rock, no more sea grass ceiling, paint, lighting & decor!
You really have no idea how different this is, unless you've seen it in person!

Living/dining room before/move in day:

Dining room-Peach walls & mirrored fireplace.
Living/dining room after:

Master bedroom before:
Master bedroom-Sub Floors, flower wallpaper...forest green drapes.
Master bedroom after:

Middle hallway before:
Middle hallway-peach painted sea grass wallpaper, brown painted brick.

 Middle hallway after:


  Refinished hardwood floors, drywall/texture, paint and furniture.

 Middle hallway looking into dining from from family room!

Entry way!
Guest bedroom before...
Peach carpet.
Guest bedroom after!
The walls are not yellow...more of a cream. Mix of poor lighting and my iPhone!

 Front door..Belle looking for her Daddy! :-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School/Bed Rest :-(

My first day of school didn't go exactly how I had planned. I arrived early this morning to set up for our kiddos, but decided to have our school nurse check my blood pressure before school started... I had been battling a headache all weekend, as well as high blood pressure and wanted to make sure all was okay.
It was in fact high, (167/110) so high, they sent me to my doctor who sent me to the hospital. Carson and I waited in labor and delivery hooked up to monitors while numerous tests were performed to check on our baby girl. Good news, Elizabeth is doing well. Mommy is the one who needs to take it easy. I have been put on home bed rest until we deliver, which means, no school and no activity. I didn't even get to meet my students today. :-(
 I am looking on the bright side and know this is all for the best. I will do anything to protect my little girl. I want to make sure she is strong and healthy when she enters this world!

 I have to check my blood pressure from home and will check in with my doctor frequently- watching for other symptoms. I know it will all be okay and there is no use getting stressed or upset, especially since I am trying to keep stress from happening. I am leaving my classes with my dear friend and co-teacher Marianne! I feel terrible that I am missing out, especially these first few weeks, but she is an amazing teacher and will do a wonderful job! We worked hard to plan for this school year, but I can rest easy that it's all in good hands.
Most importantly, I just need our  little girl to stay put for a few more weeks...we need those lungs strong! I will keep updates on our blog and hopefully will add photos of the house renovation, new floors and other updates. I do have a sneak peek at Elizabeth's's not complete, but will be soon. My Mom and Carson will have to finish it up! Back to bed I go...this is already getting old. Need good books, movies and Netflix suggestions.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello 3rd Trimester!

     *I am doing multiple posts tonight since I am so terribly behind! It's been a busy summer! The next three posts are new!*

  Just 7 months ago, Carson and I found our we were going to be parents! It's hard to believe we're already knocking on the third trimester's door. We've had an eventful summer that has been stressful at times, but will be worth every ounce once our little girl arrives.
       I debated on announcing her name until her arrival, but in all honesty, I simply slipped on Facebook one day. Carson and I have been debating numerous names since May and finally decided on a simple, traditional name. Elizabeth Blake. Elizabeth is a family name, (my great-great-grandmother-Elizabeth Lee Eddlemon) and Blake is my middle name. We were calling her "Izzy Girl," for fun, but really liked the sound of it. Ultimately, it will be her choice and she will learn her name as Elizabeth, but I call her by her nickname. We'll see if it sticks!
       This month, I have had to really take a break and learn how to "rest." Normally, in the summer, I do this resting thing quite well, but being restricted to only light walking and no lifting (not even 5lbs.) it's been tough. The doctor actually said the words, "No house cleaning!" Wahoo...wait...My house needs some TLC. If I stick with doctor's orders, stay hydrated and keep my feet up, our Izzy girl and I will be just fine in our final 11 weeks.
         We did finally begin to register for our sweet angel and let me tell ya...that was an interesting/exhausting process. Babies need more than I ever imagined and then of course, there are so many precious outfits. Thank the Lord for my sister Kacey...she helped me maneuver the various aisles of bottles, burp rags and diapers. Our only roadblock is the change in seasons...Izzy will be here in the Fall and most of the stores are still stocked with summer clothes. As cute as they are, she won't be able to wear the current outfits until next spring. Regardless, I have a feeling between her two grandmothers, three aunts and Mommy, she will have a full wardrobe! :-)
*My friend Marianne McDonald took my first pre-belly pic. I was excited and bought maternity jeans a little too early!
                                                                  Here is my pre-baby profile.
Me now...I'm actually starting Week 29.

Life is just Beachy!

While Renovation Runge was well underway, we traveled to Sanibel Island in Florida for a few days of sunshine, relaxation and sand. What met us was tropical storm, Debby....which we all found humorous since my Mom's name is Debbie! Ha!
Carson and I joined my parents, my sister and brother-in-law and our two nephews, Beau & Will in the usual, beautiful Sanibel Island. Although there were gray skies and a wet forecast, we had a great time. Sanibel is known for white, sandy beaches, beautiful blue water and a low tide offering up some amazing shells. Plus, our sweet Elizabeth, who call call "Izzy" had her first unoffical beach trip. I can't wait until next year for her first vacation...hopefully Tropical Storm Debby or her other stormy friends won't meet us with 60 mph winds and endless rain. Here are some pics of our trip...I already want to go back!
Kacey, Me and Mom.
Believe it or not, we had to buy hoodies! It was sooooooo chilly in our condo since humidity was 100% and our sunset walks on the beach were extra breezy! Not sure why we did the number thing...

Before the storm rolled in...can we go back!?!
We were in our 26th week!
My Hunny! He was the best "sheller" of the group!
Our traditional "toes in the sand" pic!