20 Weeks: Baby Bucket List

One of the questions many couples ask themselves before having a baby is if they have had enough time to build and share their marriage before two becomes three. Sometimes this list, whether mental or written down, helps couples figure out if they are ready to start a family [yet sometimes you don’t have a choice – baby is already on the way!] I’ve heard it called the Baby Bucket List.

For Matt and me, getting settled into our careers was the most important factor in our timing. We never had a baby bucket list, per se, but our first 5 years of marriage were packed with fun. Rather than focus on things we never got to do before baby [ahem, travel to Europe], here are some of the things we DID do to enjoy our time together to the max. Of course every day at home is a joy, but many of our most exciting moments occurred while traveling near and far over the past 5 years.

Starting with “I Do”

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Newlywed trips to Asheville, the beach, and Savannah

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College reunions

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Wine festivals

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Ski trip


Beachy times


Visits to Boston, Charleston + Jacksonville

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And to New Orleans + Bermuda + Charleston again!

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A visit to Yellowstone

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Drinking 1,000 beers

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Lots of crazy fun family times

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A 5-year anniversary trip to Sonona


Opening a business (!!!! big one !!!!)


Buying a house


Babymoon to Jamaica


And the fun doesn’t end when the baby arrives…

…we just have a new little person with whom to share our lives!


20 Weeks: Mentally Prepare

I was sitting low and deep in a squat in yoga on Tuesday, nearing the brink of my squat threshold. Our instructor, Jen, was guiding us through breaths and encouraging us not to let up.


And that’s when I gave up, my muscles tight and quivering, and stood up for a second to rest my legs.

And it hit me: this is labor training. Not just physically, but mentally as well. If I can’t even hold a squat for 10 breaths, what does this say about my preparation for regular contractions that could last for hours on end and that have no quick adjustment for relief?

A little later in class we did a similar stretch for our feet. I have really tight feet (from my foot surgery) and could not endure the 2-minute hold without a few breaks to relieve the pressure. (But you see – I am making excuses for my weakness!)

I generally think my pain threshold is pretty high. I tolerate headaches, menstrual cramps, stubbed toes, painful surgery foot stiffness and sore muscles well, although I do turn to medication when I need to be in my best shape such as during a special event. For years whenever I have stubbed my toe or knocked a body part into bruise territory, I have breathed through the pain like I’m in labor… “for practice.” I do pretty well in these situations. When it comes to emergency pain – glass in the hand, fingers stuck in a door, needles jabbed into the flesh –  I don’t do well at all, but those are not “natural” pains. They break things. The pain that comes with contractions doesn’t mean that something is wrong, unlike a lot of other types of pain.

Every labor is different, and there’s no way to know what to expect or how I will react. If I’m nauseous during labor [highly likely] or have a complication that causes another degree of pain somehow, I think I will be much less likely to make it through naturally. I have always said that the thought of an epidural needle going in my back scares me more than my own body contracting to push a baby out. Midwives and natural childbirth enthusiasts will tell you that labor is natural. You do [usually] get breaks in between so it’s not a constant pain. It’s pain with a purpose.

But so were those squats! And the pain from them was probably nothing compared to what labor is like. I’m going to try to get through all 10 breaths without a break next week and work on my mental as well as my physical preparation for what’s to come.

And to make the practice even more appropriate – we just hired my yoga teacher as our doula! So excited about that because she totally rocks, comes highly recommended from some of my mama friends, and her physical approach is just what I was looking for.

20 Weeks: Rearranged!

As I hinted at in my KERF post last week, I spent a day putting together IKEA furniture and rearranging the nursery last week. Backbreaking I tell ya!


When I decided to purchase the smaller Hemnes dresser from IKEA, the room arrangement options opened up since the smaller dresser fits well where the crib was. The crib is also in a better location, according to all you experts, and now away from heating vents, windows and curtains. I am SO GLAD I did this because I like the nursery a million times more now!!

Particularly the view from the hallway. The bed looks so much prettier from the side than from the foot:



This little nightstand was a perfect small addition beside the bed. I repurposed the lamp from the basement. Lucky me that it’s grey already! Same with my little clock.


I love that all of the Hemnes furniture is lined with yellow + white already! Saves me lots of time : )


I did have one major snafu – I put this screw in from the wrong side and the crappy IKEA screws strip SO easily that I could not get it back out with a screwdriver, drill or pliers. Luckily the drawer still opens and closes, it just sticks a tiny bit. But also luckily this is not a drawer I will be using all that much.


New in the closet is this $99 Brimnes chest. I’m glad I went with this instead of that big vintage yellow one because it fits better than I think that one would have (and was half the price!). Also really glad I didn’t get that vintage dresser in that same post – I think it would have been too short.


I plan to store extra clothes and things in this guy


Building it took longer than the dresser! And the bottom handle cracked when I screwed it in. Sadness. But that’s Ok.

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I’m not quite sure how I will use this hanging shelf system, but I added some boxes that fit well inside:


The closet is ready for things! [Still also SO glad we took the door off! I cannot imagine the room with that door to open.]


Building the Hemnes dresser came next. I was proud of myself for doing this solo!


I followed the directions SO closely, but IKEA pictures are still not easy to interpret, and I have no idea how these screws ended up on the outside instead of the inside! Not worth taking the dresser apart for though. I will just paint them white.


I also made a mistake when building the drawers and got a little too self confident and found myself with drawers with holes on the inside instead of the outside so the tracks could attach! I had pounded the plastic nail-screws in already, so there wasn’t really an easy way to fix this.


But I finally had the bright idea to drill through from the other side and fixed the problem! Whew.



I filled the big drawers with 2 sets of cloth Skubb boxes – lots of organization ready for tiny socks and diapers!


I bought these blue chevron-like boxes for the top of the dresser. Love!


Door-side of the room [wall décor TBD]


Bed view:


And relocated crib!



I bought this little yellow table…not sure if it will stay, but I liked the color. Beaker like it too.


HAD to have these cloth veggies! I saw a similar product for $40 online recently and these were just $7!


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I moved the rug so it’s tucked under the bed and JUST clears the entry door. Much happier with the rug location now too!


So happy with these big changes. Now we just have a bunch of small things to do! Things like more wall décor, a few book shelves (I bought some Ribba shelves), possible curtain change, new shades for the ceiling fan, all the baby stuff (!), etc.


And hopefully someday, we will get to add the baby too!


Saturday Snapshots

Calm Before The Storm

A Rose By Any Other Name


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20 Weeks: A Rose By Any Other Name

I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to name my kids someday since I was little.

I had many dolls and animals. Their names were: Janie, Sarah, Doodles, Bocker, Beaker, Churton.


We have been bouncing around names for months now. There are a lot of beautiful names out there, but very few I can imagine actually choosing.

I tend to like names in 3 categories [So the name websites indicate!]:



H i p s t e r


A few of the girl names I like a lot [note Matt vetoed a few of these right away, but I’m including them for fun! We have a harder time liking the name girl names than boy names]


Ruth [Ruthie]












At least for now, I won’t get to use any of those!


Boy names we’ve tossed around have included [please note this list MAY or MAY NOT include the name we like the most at the moment, so I’m not really looking for feedback : )]



Max [Maxwell is Karen’s maiden name]


Davidson [nod to ye alma mater!]



Basil [pronounced like the herb, not like the Austin Powers character]



Churton [street I grew up on]

Boy names I’m finding are so much harder!!

Family Input

My mom actually came up with the name Baker. Pretty appropriate for our family! In fact, she now calls the baby Baker Wheatsworth when she talks about him! I hope she’s not disappointed that Wheatsworth is not on the above list : )

Before we found out it was a boy, my Dad had suggested Dakota Savannah after our two most popular bakery items!

Karen suggested the name Breád Dakota. Here Bread is pronounced “Bree-ahd” in a fancy way.

Matt’s dad [Mark] likes Mark – but spelled non-traditionally for us new-age kids like this: “Mharche”

One thing’s for sure: we won’t be sharing the name with anyone until he is born!

Lastly And Lastly

And another non-negotiable: we’re hyphenating his last name to Younger-Monson. This isn’t up for debate, so while I know many of you probably have strong opinions about hyphenation, I’d appreciate it if you kept them out of the comments because we’re definitely hyphenating. We don’t think hyphenated names are the most beautiful either, but neither of us could imagine not having our last name as part of our son’s.

Since we got married, our families call us the “Younger-Monsons” and we both think that order of names sounds better than Monson-Younger. We debated for a split second to do something super creative and become the Youngsons, but since both Matt and I are very attached to our last names (why neither of us changed them to the other’s upon marriage) we didn’t think that choice really made sense, as it would mean a new identity for not only the baby but for us as well.

I WOULD like to hear your favorite boy + girl names! We haven’t really made a decision yet and I love hearing all the cool names out there.

Other 20 week Posts

Calm Before The Storm


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20 Weeks: Calm Before The Storm


I have a feeling that 20 weeks marks a calm before the storm. The storm of a big belly, less comfortable sleep, a looming deadline and then life with a baby! I’m really looking forward to all of these, but I’m also really trying to savor up these last few days (weeks?) with a relatively flat stomach, high energy levels and quiet time with my husband.


The highlight this week is an increasing amount of movements. They’re getting more frequent and stronger. Yesterday and today I actually noticed a kick from the outside, which was so exciting!! I spent about 20 minutes just staring at my stomach waiting to see if it would happen again. There wasn’t another quite as strong, but I definitely saw some shifts and kicks popping out.

My bump is also getting harder and poking out more. It’s been a really interesting shift. Some days I feel like my stomach is flatter, but harder. Other days it hangs out far and low. I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder to bend in half. I can still touch my toes and things, but it’s hard to breathe when I bend over – just a subtle realization.


Another new thing this week: I have a linea nigra!! At first I thought it was just a mark from a seam of my clothes because I noticed it when I first woke up in the morning and was changing. But it hasn’t gone away and I figured out that it’s actually part of my skin! It’s very light and not black – more like a faint tan, but definitely noticeable. I’m surprised it showed up this early!


I’ve been having some trouble with back pain since about 15 weeks. My lower back, the SI joint. I’ve been to see Dr. Tate (the chiropractor) twice (luckily my insurance covers something like 30 visits a year with just a co-pay) and he confirmed that it’s the SI joint and did a few adjustments on me. They really helped a lot. That coupled with a few prenatal massages make it better for about 10 days before I start to feel it again. I think it’s from standing too much like a ballerina with my back arched (from lax abs?) lately. Car trips make it worse (trying to sit so my hips are higher than my knees). IKEA furniture assembly made it much worse! But I went to see Tate on Friday and it’s been much, much better since.

I’ve also had a good amount of round ligament pain this week. At least that’s what I’m assuming the soreness and spasms in the muscles (ligaments?) on my lower abdomen are. One morning I made one cramp by stretching wrong. I’ve been doing strange lower body stretches for months. It’s weird – like I have restless leg syndrome when I get in bed at night and then in the morning I have to stretch my whole lower body or I feel too stiff. I fear that leg cramps are in my future, but I’ve lucky been able to avoid them thus far, which surprises me with the amount of cramp-promoting stretching I’ve been doing. The ligament pain feels better when I massage it, and it’s better since my appointment on Friday even though Tate didn’t adjust anything in the front.


For the most part I’m still not even close to filling out some of my maternity shirts. And now that it’s warm, I probably need a few more pairs of shorts too (I have a 30% off coupon for Old Navy I’m hoping to use next week!) I also really need new workout clothes. Because they stretch, my normal ones still fit, but they are just getting tighter and tighter and I could just use a bit more room!


It’s funny that the bigger my bump gets, the more I feel like my old self. I have very few food aversions these days, and I’m eating pretty normally. My appetite is increased and a bit unpredictable, but my energy is good, eating is good, things are good! Just enjoying it for now : )

20 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots


(or less….hopefully not more!)

Feelin’ energized.

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But also feelin’ stiff.


Feelin’ hungry [for vegetables and ice cream equally!]


And feelin’ really excited!


But most of all, feelin’ rounder.



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