19 Weeks: Beautiful Nurseries

Designing a nursery can be almost as overwhelming as being pregnant. There is so much to consider and so many beautifully designed nurseries out there. I don’t anticipate ours to be designer worthy with hand-stenciled walls (or even freshly painted walls!) or elaborate themes. I just don’t have the energy, patience or money to put into it. That said, I hope it will be a lovely space for Baby KERF to reside 🙂 And I hope the little things will add up to a nice space.

I’m generally not one for themes, and I prefer designs to nouns. Our nursery “theme” is simply: soft colors, chevron patterns, and white + grey. I’ve had fun with the small changes I’ve made so far though!

If you’d like some nurseries to drool over, check out these beauties that I’ve found on the internet with similar colors to ours:

Project Nursery Oliver

I just love how light and bright this is, and that’s my rug!! I would like to paint a piece of furniture yellow like the one on the right.

Apartment Therapy: Zoe’s Room

This room might be my favorite of them all. I just love the colors for a little girl and they have used the space so well. And that’s my rug again!

Project Nursery Ariston

Yellow, grey, white, chevron. That’s the bedding I have my eye on! Similar curtains too.

Project Nursery Domasom

Absolutely love the greys and orange in this nursery. I think that’s my crib!

Project Nursery Modern Koala

I love the flags!! And the light grey wals.

I may not need a corner-to-corner design overhaul, but I do need this!!

Carousel Designs Crib Bedding

And a set of these in yellow!

 

19 Weeks: Elimination Communication

We are definitely planning to use cloth diapers in our house. There are so many different brands these days and so many women are doing it that while I know it’s a bit more work than throwing plastic in the trash can, I’m committed to trying it. For both the planet and for the cost savings over time. We’ll probably use disposables for the first few weeks, but hopefully once the cloth fits and we get used to parenthood, we’ll convert to cloth.

Thanks to Stephanie, we have a head start on getting to know brands and having a stash to work with right off the bat! When we found out we were having a boy, blog reader Jen emailed me to see if I had plans to donate the girly diapers. She has a newborn baby girl and was hoping to learn more too. I probably would have put these on my little boy to be practical, but in the spirit of paying it forward, I sent Jen a stack of pink 🙂

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Tutorials

I have to say, I have no idea what to do with the diapers I have. I can’t really figure out how to get the inserts in there. And I’m pretty scared to see how our washing machine handles poop, especially when solid foods are introduced.

But thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, I’ve stumbled upon these super helpful posts on processes and brands. All it takes is one blog post to make something scary seem approachable!

More Like Home

Daily Garnish

Young House Love

Neverhomemaker + This One

Concrete Runner

Run Ma Run

Girl Evolving

Side Of Sneakers

Please link to yours below if you have one!

New Kinds

One compromise that I think are pretty new are the G-diapers with the biodegradable inserts that you can throw away or flush. You’d still have to buy the inserts, which aren’t reusable, but the environmental impact is still drastically reduced. I watched a You Tube video on how to use them and it’s still a bit messy because you have to tear the inserts apart before you can flush them, but definitely a newer option out there.

Elimination Communication

But perhaps the answer to the question of how to handle the poop is to not using either disposables or cloth. I was recently introduced to something called Elimination Communication. Have you heard of it? Parents train their infants to go to the bathroom in the toilet while they hold them over it. And to put it simply, it’s kind of like dog training. You watch your baby closely for cues that they have to go and hold them over the toilet, make a ‘ssssssss’ noise and they let it out. They do still wear diapers because there are usually some “misses,” as they call them, but the diaper changing is much, much less of a strain and potty training usually happens much earlier.

There is information on this site, and I also met a woman in Cville who started doing it at 4 months at a baby fair. And Pregtastic did a very helpful episode on it that explained it in everyday language.

It makes a lot of sense to me. According to the episode, babies are aware of when they are going to eliminate. They are in control of their bladders and bowels. But we train them to ignore these cues and go in a diaper whenever they want. That makes real potty training pretty difficult because we have to un-train the behavior of going whenever they want and re-train what was natural to begin with!

The experts recommend starting EC around 4 months, but you can start earlier, and there are a variety of ways to do it. Since an infant can’t sit on the toilet yet (or even a potty chair), the parents sit with the baby backwards on the toilet and make the sounds (ssss). Watch this video to see it in action!

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I have no idea if I’ll do this full time (it is possible to do it part time) but I’m definitely going to give it a try!

19 Weeks: In Da Crib

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!!!!

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Hard to believe since I had so much trouble with this crib being out of stock! I liked all of the cribs in the Baby Mod line, but when I saw this one in cool grey, I knew it would be perfect for us.

Baby Mod Modena 3-in-1

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I didn’t do a ton of shopping around because this one just seemed to fit the bill so well off the bat. And the price – at $199 – was rockin’! Matt had it assembled in about 20 minutes one evening!

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The stats:

  • Crib converts to a toddler bed (toddler rail included)
  • Remove the toddler rail and the crib converts to a day bed.
  • Fixed-side crib ensures stability
  • No moving parts, all sides are stationary
  • Four mattress-support positions allow the crib to adjust as baby grows
  • Made of sustainable pine wood from New Zealand
  • Beautiful non-toxic finish
  • JPMA Certified
  • Meets or exceeds all U.S. safety standards
  • Uses standard size crib mattress

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And it really couldn’t match the rug more perfectly!

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At first I felt like it was a little claustrophobic, but I’m totally used to it now.

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Beaker has been perched atop our bed for a week [LOST fans, he’s been saying his name is Jacob!]

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But he decided to relocate once he found the crib assembled.

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We also hung curtains!! The white ones that used to be in our room. We ended up taking down the shutters down for safety and clutter purposes. I know many of you have recommended black out curtains, and we’ll probably add something else later, but one step at a time! 

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The room is so much cozier now!

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Especially with the matching closet curtain

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I also know these curtains are not a decorator’s dream for length. I took out the hem as some of you recommended and it probably will fray in time, but again, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

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[Argh curtain rods are expensive!!!!]

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By luck of the draw, I own this little clock in the perfect grey matching color!

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A question to ponder: to paint the fan, remove it and replace it or leave it be to match the brown bed….

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Coming along! Karen and I are going to IKEA this week for a dresser!

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19 Weeks: Belli Skincare

As you’ve probably sensed, I’ve been addicted to Pregtastic podcasts. I’ve listened during many-a-walks, while cooking dinner and while in the shower. The information featured on the show – from chatty Ups and Downs to the serious medical issues discussed — has been wonderful.

I listened to these two episodes earlier this year about skincare during pregnancy:

Safe Skincare During Pregnancy

Skincare Concerns: During And After Pregnancy

Not surprisingly, I hadn’t given much thought to the products I was using. I generally lean toward more green products free of sulfates and parabens (Alba Sea Minerals is my face care favorite, and I love Organix shampoos and handmade soaps), but not everything I use is considered natural.

The Pregtastic episodes featured Dr. Jason Rubin, founding physician and medical director for Belli skin care as the first expert, and the second show featured his wife, Annette Rubin, co-founder of Belli, sharing some skincare advice. The team had me convinced I needed to try their products – especially with the smell testimonials from the Pregtastic panelists in the room! Every single ingredient in Belli products has been scientifically tested to be safe for pregnancy, so there is no reason not to feel great about slathering the products all over your skin. Read their FAQ for more information on the safety and research behind the products.

A big bonus: Pregtastic listeners get 20% off with the coupon code Pregtastic, a huge plus considering these products are not cheap!!

I mentioned in this post that I went to ULTA to give the products a smell before ordering, and Belli got a tip from my KERF link and offered to send me a bundle to review. I couldn’t wait to try them, so I accepted, with the promise to write my thoughts on them on BERF.

I don’t think I have ever been more excited to receive a package in the mail!!

 

After a few weeks of using them, here are my thoughts:

Acne Cleansing Facial Wash [$22]

I learned from the episodes that most acne medicines, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, are not safe during pregnancy, and ironically many women see an increase in acne from all the hormones. What’s a girl to do!? The Belli facial wash uses lactic acid to clean and prevent bacteria build up, which is considered safe. I really like it, but it isn’t as heavenly in smell as my sea minerals : )

Smell: Like lemonade!! It has a combo of green tea and lemon peel that I love.

Plus: A little goes a very long way.

Would I Buy Again? Yes

Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub [$19]

Possibly my favorite product, this scrub smells amazing – of a sweet peppermint. The micro-beads are small enough that the scrub doesn’t hurt my face at all. And a little goes a long way.

Smell: Peppermint and WONDERFUL!

Plus: I don’t use this everyday, so it is lasting a long time.

Buy Again? Yes, but I’d make it last a looong time since it’s more of a want than need!

Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator [$32]

The facial moisturizer is probably my least favorite of the line. Not because it’s bad, but I’m just not wild about the smell and I find that it’s a bit difficult to manage. It comes out REALLY fast and I’ve made quite a few messes in my bedroom with it squirting all over. I’ve learned to open it upsidedown! It’s a thin consistency and more of a serum than a lotion. I don’t think it moisturizes my face as well as a lotion would (my face is usually really tight after a shower) but once I put the sunscreen on (below), all is nice and comfortable.

Smell: Lemony/Chamomile (which I don’t love in general)

Cons: A bit too liquidy for my taste, but a little goes a long way.

Buy Again: Probably not.

Anti-Chloasma Facial Sunscreen SPF-25 [$24]

This is the best facial suncreen I have ever used. In the past I’ve worn traditional sunscreens (from brands like Aveeno and Neutragena) designed for faces. I have no idea if those are safe for pregnancy, but based on the info in the podcast, I’m guessing they are not. I also tried a natural, zinc-based sunscreen last year (Alba Mineral Vanilla) and it left my whole face white! It was also very hard to rub in. The Belli brand is more like a tinted moisturizer so it doesn’t change the color of your skin, and it blends in really well. Really like it!

Smell: Like a day at the beach – love it.

Con: Expensive and I use it generously. Wish they made it affordable enough for the whole body! I suppose I will just turn my limbs white from a zinc product for whole-body coating.

Buy Again? Yes!

Elasticity Belly Oil [$39]

This product is designed to minimize (not prevent) stretch marks. This is the article Belli cites to support that the formulation in the belly oil reduces stretch marks, and there was a significant reduction in stretch marks. From what I hear, stretch marks are mostly genetic, but reducing their severity can be controlled with topical products. I’ve been putting the oil on my breasts, stomach and hips, where I have had stretch marks in the past. We’ll see how my body does!

Smell: Lovely lavender essential oil – a bit strong at times.

Con: The oil spritzes out, which I like, but it comes out hard so it sometimes sprays on things. It also makes me feel pretty oily for a little bit, but it hasn’t been a huge deal. It lasts long!

Buy Again? Yes.

All Day Moisture Body Lotion [$19]

Absolutely love this lotion! The lemon smell is awesome – like a lemon cookie – and the lotion is great. I feel good about putting all over head-to-toe because I know it’s safe. Lotions can be sketchy and full of perfumes and unknowns.

Smell: The best part! Lemon desserts!

Plus/Cons: None, other than it’s not cheap.

Buy Again? As much as I love the smell, I might search for a less expensive natural lotion.

Stretchmark Minimizing Cream [$49]

I haven’t tried this yet because I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I get stretch marks first! But the research numbers sound promising. It is very expensive though!

In addition to the Pregtastic discount, you can also purchase the products in sets, which reduces the price. For face, body, and more.

Belli products are pricey, but they are very high quality, well researched and safe. And for almost all of them, a little goes a long way, so they are lasting a while. There is also a Baby Line, which I bet smells amazing!

19 Weeks: Positively Pregnant II

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As I mentioned in my KERF post this week, I’m finally starting to really feel pregnant on the outside. Those around me are telling me so too. The bump is rounding out, and I imagine this is the beginning of a growth spurt!

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The baby’s movements are also really fun. They are unpredictable and still a bit subtle – I usually have to be sitting down or just being still to feel them. [Edited to add I was just changing the laundry and got punched right when I bent over!]

A few nights ago I got in bed and felt him move and Matt got very excited to see if he could feel it from the outside, but after 10 minutes of hand-to-belly waiting, we actually fell asleep with his hand on my stomach : )

The movements began early on as vibrations, taps and little pops but as of this week they are more like tugs or punches. It feels like a part of my bump hardens or tightens when he moves across, although I don’t think it’s really getting hard like a contraction or anything. That’s just the best way I can describe it. I think it’s just the pressure from inside. Love the feeling so much!

I’ve started to cup my stomach when I walk upstairs or am just a bit tired sometimes. Not that it’s heavy or anything, but I think I let it hang out more during these times so it feels good to give it some extra support. Maybe I should get one of those belts to wear when it really does start to get heavy?

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I’m feeling really good in general, full of energy and with almost zero food aversions. Sleeping is going OK again and other than a few minor symptoms, nothing is bothering me. I must be in that sweet spot of the second tri! Even felt good enough to run a bit this week, which says a lot about my energy levels.

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I’ve read on some of my apps that the baby’s senses are fine tuning and he should be able to hear my voice. But I haven’t actually talked directly to him out loud yet (only a little in my head Smile ) I still feel a little bit like I’d be talking to myself, but maybe when he’s a little bigger, it will be more like he’s listening. Perhaps I should start with singing!

Matt and I have started testing a few of the names we like. Picking a name is going to be hard, but we have narrowed it down to a handful, all pretty non-traditional. One just feels more right than the rest, but it’s so difficult to really decide. I imagine we won’t officially declare the name until we see him for the first time, so we won’t be sharing it to family or the internet until that day. But the name at the top of our list plus the middle name we’re leaning towards together have a lot of meaning that just kind of happened by accident, and I’m excited about that!

We’ve also started giving him a personality and acting like he’s here, making decisions and giving opinions . “The baby is tried today. The baby would like cheese for dinner. The baby really likes this song.” It’s been fun and a way to get used to there being 3 of us.

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Sucking in doesn’t do much these days…might just stop adding in this photo because you can’t really tell I’m sucking in anymore other than my lame facial expression in these photos!

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I hit my stomach with the bar in Body Pump this week two times in a row. Must be grow time!

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One week till I’m halfway there! SO hard to believe!

19 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots

CRIB!

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Somebody wants to move in…

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Adorable onesie gift from KERF reader Sarah’s Etsy store, Chickadee Station!
Can’t wait to meet my little eggplant.

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Totally bought this lotion at a baby store for ME because I just love the smell so much!
I like to smell like a baby : )

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I can’t believe how much my bump changes throughout the day! On this morning it was nearly flat when I woke up and much more rounded and poking out in the afternoon! I know the difference doesn’t look like much to you, but it was huge difference to me that day!

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Happy Saturday!