Tag Archives: baby

the baby’s room

A few year’s back I saw this blog post on a baby girl’s room and I loved it. The room is cheerful and bright for a child, but also fits in with the rest of their home. It was a room I would love to spend time in, not just tolerate for the kid. When I first started thinking about the martian’s room I knew I wanted it to have a similar look and feel. I’ve said it before and I totally own it – I’m an executioner, not a strategist.

In late summer Greg and I went to a Neil deGrasse Tyson lecture here in Seattle. It was hands down the best lecture I’ve ever heard – I would go sit through the exact same one right now just to hear it again. During the Q&A, a woman asked him something along the lines of how he defines success and his reply stuck with me. He said he measures his days as successful if he’s learned something new and if he has done something to make someone else’s day better.

In my head that translated to be kind and be curious. And that is exactly what I hope for for our kids. First and foremost, be nice people. I’ve been the nice girl tormented by the mean girls and, sad to say, for a brief period in junior high, I was on the flip side of that coin. Being kind is way, way better. And curiosity. I don’t care what he (or she) is into and I look forward to watching it change over the years, but I hope he looks at the world like it’s full of possibilities waiting to be found.

All that to say, those were my two influences on decorating this little room in our house. I should also add that I had the goal of buying as few baby only pieces of furniture as possible with the hope that most things can be repurposed once we no longer need a nursery. IMG_8852_edited-1Here’s the room from the hallway. We don’t have yellow hall walls, I’m just an amateur photographer trying to deal with a basement room on a half sunny winter Seattle day. Believe it or not, the walls in the hallway are the exact same color as the baby’s room. Time for a photography lighting class, perhaps?

I am so excited to bring the black and white Crate and Barrel rug back into our home! I loved it in our office, but it wasn’t realistic with how often shoes and muddy doodle feet walked on it. Down in the baby’s room, though? Totally will work. I even went with the 5×8 instead of the 4×6. More stripes is always a good thing.

IMG_8868_edited-1The right side of the room. I used the throw pillow (formerly of our couch, but displaced when we got a new rug in the office) to pick colors for the room. I figured I like the pillow, so as long as everything I put in the room matched it, I would like it too. The side table will be perfect for collecting stuff as I nurse and then can easily move into other areas of our home in a few years. I loved the whimsical look of the lamp. We’re still trying to find the best positioning for it to be accessible but not shine directly in our face. The striped basket is full of swaddle blankets and burp cloths, two things I’m told we can’t have enough of.


This pillow makes me happier than a throw pillow should. But it just screams cheerful.


I love these digital prints I found on Etsy and printed on our home printer. The “Adventure Awaits” was a no brainer given my OLW this year. The shop was having a two for one deal on digital prints and I had two large frames. I picked up the bear to add a little California love to the room. Lauren pointed out it also adds a little UCLA love, too. We’ll start early with proper loyalties.


I was going to try to paint “be kind” and “be curious” script art myself, but then I found that Kal Barteski had this print that wouldn’t involve any doomed-from-the-start DIY. Sold. Combined with the two other sentiments, this wall is my favorite. I think it speaks just as much to me as to the baby.


And there’s the crib. I wanted a non-toxic crib and there are two options, really. Spend $800+ on something fancy or go to IKEA and get the wood one (no paint, no varnish, no glue) for $70. Sold. I love that it’s so plain and simple it doesn’t become the focal point of the room. Greg did his fatherly duty and put it together, documenting the process here. The baby will be sleeping in a pack n’ play we borrowed from friends in our room for some amount of time post-birth and will eventually move into the crib. That could be on the second night s/he’s here or in 18 months. I’m trying not to control things that I have no experience with yet.

IMG_8859_edited-1Then we get to the fun stuff. The bookshelf had been in our garage for a few years but wasn’t a necessity (more like a place to collect junk) so we cleaned it off and brought it back in the house. The top bin holds all the stuffed animals that we’ve been gifted. After finding a stuffed bear a little damp and laying in the hallway one day, I realized we’re going to have to do some training with Alfred. All the toys in the house are no longer his. So for now they are tucked away out of view. Thanks to friends and family, we have a great little library collection going. The building blocks have the elements from the periodic table on them, a Christmas gift to baby from Greg. He sadly couldn’t find the flow chart baby blocks that we came across online in stock anywhere. #nerdbaby

Untitled-1One of my first purchases for the baby was the globe. I get that the kid is not going to understand it for years, but I still like the idea of him (or her) loving Seattle but realizing there is a whole big world out there. The little giraffe is made by women who work for the Kenyan organization that one of my good friends is the US director for. I became obsessed with finding old school wooden toys for the baby. I love how they look and that they are simple. (The bottom right basket in the shelf is full of hand-me-down regular newborn and baby toys, which I’m sure the baby will love way more than my Esty finds.) The penguin is a gift from my good friend in San Francisco; it’s so adorable it finally got me excited about buying baby stuff when I received it.

IMG_8862_edited-1And lastly we have the dresser / changing table area. We are cloth diapering so the top drawer is full of diapers; I have newborn clothes in the second drawer and 0-3 month in the third. Future sizes are all stored away in the closet (door on right) to be pulled out when needed. I don’t love the decor above the dresser but I’m feeling done so for now it’s staying. The map is of the US and its meant to be cross-stitched as you visit different states. We’ll see if that happens someday. We already have plans for at least three but probably four states this year (if the first trip isn’t an epic disaster), so maybe I will be motivated to update it every few months. Once the baby is named I might do something with it’s name above here as well.

We will be using disposable diapers for the first few weeks and they are stored in the little turqouise IKEA cart. (I’m obsessed with these carts and own one in each of the three colors they currently produce.) We also have disposable and reusable wipes with the diapers, and once I get around to making them, the other baby cleaning products will be stored on top as well. Nursing supplies are on the second shelf and baby health care items on the bottom. We have a second cart in cream upstairs that has diapers, wipes, nursing supplies, burp clothes, and blankets. I’ve heard from several people that we will be very thankful to have a baby station on both floors.

So that’s it. Room three of six in our home is decorated and I love it. The countdown is now to three weeks at the very longest before we can bring the little one home and put the room to use. Also, that means my countdown to sushi is three weeks. It’s the one pregnancy ‘rule’ I followed and I feel like I should see it through now that I’m so close.

The Goods

As usual, I waited for everything to go on sale (minus IKEA and Amazon) and use eBates whenever I can for the automatic rebate.

rug // crib // sheet // striped blanket // paper poufs // rocker // foot stool pouf // lamp // side table // ‘adventure awaits’ print // bear print // large frames // ‘be’ print // ‘you are so loved’ print  (no longer available) // ‘see the world’ print // white frames // striped basket // curtains // bookshelf (similar) // large baskets (container store) // globe // california toy // rainbow wooden stacker // wooden toys // periodic table blocks // cart // dresser // changing pad // US stitch map (Happy Mail by A Beautiful Mess – no longer available)

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incubating: weeks seventeen to twenty

We’re at the halfway point of this journey. It’s starting to feel a little more real as I physically change and preparations are under way, though it still hasn’t actually hit me that we’ll be in charge of raising a tiny baby into an adult starting in just twenty weeks.

This four week period was incredibly busy with travel three out of the four weekends, with back to back weddings the last two weekends. No wonder if flew by. Greg and I had a few fun date nights together. We saw Neil degrade Tyson speak and then we folded laundry to celebrate our second anniversary. It is the cotton anniversary, after all. We had grand plans to celebrate in San Francisco, but I wasn’t feeling great so we opted for staying in and watching TV. Basically we already have a newborn. datenightsPregnancy wise, there were two exciting changes this month. First, my size. I’m choosing to see this as a positive. I woke up one morning (the Friday of week 17 to be exact) and suddenly looked pregnant. Excuse the work bathroom selfie, but I had to snap this to send to my mom. Holy cow, there’s a baby in there.

















You can see the difference as well in my “official” weekly photos, Martian did some growing in week 17! I also love that you can start to see the change in our weather. We’ve gone from summer to fall in Seattle. I’m welcoming the cooler temps but I miss the long days and bright sunshine. Can’t believe next spring it will be #50mileswiththedoodleandmartian. Maybe I need to work on a new hashtag. week17to20

The second exciting pregnancy change is that I can feel Martian! Around week 17 I decided the little flutters were most likely the baby and since then they have gotten a little stronger and more frequent. We haven’t managed to time it well enough for Greg to feel yet, but in the last week they’ve become strong enough to feel externally. I hope he gets to experience it soon.

The most exciting event of the month, besides seeing so many friends and family at weddings, was our anatomy scan during week 20. Martian was much more of a mover than during our 12 week scan, which was a lot of fun to watch. Everything is looking great with Martian and with me. No gender surprises were ruined. In fact, the technician mentioned that it would have been difficult to find out had we wanted to know. The lab does not send gender in their report, so even if she did figure it out, our midwives are not aware. It’s nice that there isn’t the chance they might accidentally slip and tell us.

Our favorite two shots from the scan are below. The lab’s printer was out of ribbon and instead they gave us a CD with every shot on it. Here s/he is saying hi and giving us a good look at his or her profile. Can’t wait to meet you in 20 weeks, Martian! (I called it “little buddy” during the ultrasound. We’re going to need to work on separate nicknames for the baby and the dog.)
waving_edited-1 IMG_6121_edited-1

incubating: weeks thirteen to sixteen

Catching up on documenting the beginning of my pregnancy, before it is over. I’m twenty weeks and it continues to fly by ridiculously fast. I am not going to point out that this is halfway only to jinx myself into enjoying 42 weeks, but twenty already?!?

IMG_5908_edited-1During week 13 I went back to work after my sabbatical. I went back on a Wednesday which made it slightly less painful, though it was still hard. The fatigue was going strong and I was generally exhausted from nearly three weeks of travel. As my sister pointed out, at least I had pretty nails.

Then the magical fourteenth week happened. I’ve spoken to many women who said they woke up one day and felt normal again. I never believed them and then it happened to me. It was amazing. I woke up one day during the fourteenth week and and I just felt… normal. Like a human again. Have I mentioned it was amazing?

IMG_5910_edited-1I started prenatal yoga at 13 weeks and I love it. It’s not a ‘tough’ workout, but stretching and focusing for 75 minutes once or twice a week has really been a great outlet. I haven’t met many women yet due at the same time, but I’m hoping as we get closer more will start attending. I also started walking more, especially around Green Lake with Alfred, and doing Barre3 prenatal workouts online. I feel really good when I workout and eat well. I don’t when I don’t. Funny how that works.


At the end of week 15 my brother and sister and their families came to visit. I realize now that I never posted about it. I am so excited that next year martian will have all these older cousins to play with and learn from. Watching Maks and Alfred become friends made me so excited for martian to arrive and to watch Alfred with him or her. IMG_5993_edited-1

I have no idea what happened to my pictures of Avery and Benji. This is the only one I could find, which is Joey and Britt dealing with a blowout outside of one of the open houses we visited. Having three kiddos two and under in the house for a weekend was so much fun and yes, definitely eye opening. We’re in for a wild ride and I’m so excited about it! Greg is very excited as well, and armed with a dust buster.


Around week 14 I bought the first (and still, at twenty weeks, the only) baby item. If martian turns out to be a boy this is what he’ll come home from the hospital in because I’m obsessed with it. And honestly, at the rate I’m accumulating baby gear, if martian is a girl she’ll probably come home in this as well.


Martian is definitely growing! My 16 week appointment was quite uneventful, which is always a good sign. I heard the heartbeat for the first time outside of an ultrasound. We also got word that our blood tests did not show any markers to be concerned about.

I’m finally caught up! Today is our twenty week appointment and includes the anatomy scan. Since we’re not finding out the gender I hope we at least get to take a few peaks of the martian without ruining the surprise. And of course, more than anything, I hope we see a healthy, growing baby. 

incubating: weeks eight to twelve

Catching up on documenting the beginning of my pregnancy, before it is over. I’m eighteen weeks and it is flying by ridiculously fast. 

Weeks eight to twelve were definitely the physical low point of my pregnancy, though I wouldn’t say they even came close to being bad. I’m so thankful I didn’t deal with much morning sickness. For a few weeks I would get queasy in the afternoon, which went away once I ate dinner. However, the fatigue. Oh. My. Gosh. I did nothing all day, slept all night, and still woke up feeling like I’d run a marathon the previous day. It was rough.

I’ve shared a ton of pictures from these weeks as they coincided with my sabbatical. The first week was four days of in-class sessions for my NTP program, including my midterms. That was exhausting. I came home every night barely able to speak. Adding mental fatigue to the physical fatigue nearly put me over the edge; two days of recovery later, I was mostly ready to start traveling.

This is also the period during which I had strange food aversions. Coffee didn’t sound good at all (I mostly drink decaf, even prior to pregnancy) and “hunks of meat” were gross. All the steaks and pork chops I saved in the early part of the year for summer grilling are still in the freezer. Eggs were my best friend. There were days where I ate them for all three meals.

In a strange twist, dairy wasn’t an issue at all in my first trimester. I’m willing to admit I enjoyed a few lattes. Spoiler alert: this does NOT hold true in the second trimester. My thought is that my dairy issues didn’t actually go away. During pregnancy your immune system is less reactive so that you don’t turn on the baby. I’m not positive and haven’t had time to research, but I’m guessing that immunity starts to return once the baby is established as not being a bad foreign invader. So now all cells are back on board to attack at the earliest sign of dairy entry. IMG_5628_edited-1There is one member of the family who might not be super thrilled. This is the face I imagine he makes when he thinks about losing his only child-hood. He followed me around like crazy the first few weeks of my pregnancy, and did the same thing with the first pregnancy as well. It’s interesting because he is WAY more into Greg than me normally.


Right before we left for Jamaica, Greg and I went in for our twelve week appointment. This one included another ultrasound as they did a few tests to help us understand if we needed to be prepared for anything at the time of martian’s arrival. In just four short weeks martian went from being a bean to a little human. Here s/he is chilling out, arms relaxed behind the head. Seriously, whose kid is this? I doubt either Greg or I spent much time relaxing in the womb. People keep joking that we’re going to get a little Type A. But I think the joke will be on us and martian will be a little artist. There is nothing wrong with artists, clearly, just funny to think about ending up with a child with a completely different personality than we have.

weeks8to12I took a few belly pictures even though there isn’t much to show here. It’s fun to watch the progression each week. After week twelve I recruited Greg as weekly photo photographer to save us all from 30 weeks of mirror selfies.

Other fun memories I have from this time are starting baby name lists (no, we’re not sharing), announcing to more friends after the twelve week ultrasound, and getting to see all of our family in person after the big announcement. My twelve week appointment is also the time I said, “I’ve only gained five pounds!” and Greg replied, “Really?”. He’s since learned the proper way to respond to pregnancy weight gain announcements.

I can’t believe all this was already six weeks ago! With work and school (I know I sound like a broken record; I’m tired of myself, too), quickly followed by the holidays, I feel like martian is going to be here before we know it. Oh boy. Or girl. It’s totally a girl. 

finding out about #ourlittlemartian

I’m already in my seventeenth week with this pregnancy and should start documenting now or it will never happen. 

I had been having some weird hormonal issues for the first part of the year and was working with a specialist who recommended trying a specific oil to help with the pain. She told me to start as soon as I knew I wasn’t pregnant and to check back with her three months later. That appointment was on a Wednesday. I took note and headed off to meet Greg on Oahu for the weekend.

When we got home from the trip I realized that the pain I’d had daily for months was gone over the weekend. Knowing that we’d narrowed the pain down to a hormonal issue, the thought that maybe we were pregnant popped in my mind, but I tried not to get too excited. (This is a post about this baby, but as a bit of explanation for “not getting too excited”, we experienced the loss of our first pregnancy during the holidays last year.)

Greg was leaving for a longer than usual work trip on Tuesday, so I decided to take a test Monday morning even though it was a littler earlier than recommended. I jumped in the shower without bothering to look at the results. I had seen a lot of negative tests over the previous 10 months and wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise, there were two lines looking back at me when I got out of the shower.

I didn’t really have a brilliant idea for telling Greg since I took the test last minute. I stuck it under his wallet then weirdly sat at my computer in my towel waiting for him to come upstairs and get his things for work. As he put two and two together, I snapped this picture of him. I kind of love that our “The Best Is Yet To Come” print is the background. IMG_5422_edited-1That evening we took this amazing family photo of the three of us. Ha. I love our little family.

IMG_5430_edited-2Because I was only four weeks when we found out, the wait until our first appointment felt like forever. We went in at just after eight weeks and had a great first appointment at our midwifery clinic. We started the appointment with a breakfast date and a selfie in the parking lot. Let’s hope the photo documentation thus far is not a sign of the photos to come in martian’s life.


I talked the midwife into letting us schedule an ultrasound (typically they would not have done one until twenty weeks given that the practice is a little more hands-off/non-intrusive). With a prior loss, I just really wanted to see a heartbeat to make it seem real and ease my worries. We went in the next day and saw a tiny, mini human bean with a great heartbeat. Talk about relief and excitement.IMG_5602_edited-1

Telling our families was such a fun experience. Instead of waiting until we saw everyone in person we jumped on FaceTime later that night and went to town. We started with Mike since he is on East Coast time. Greg’s family was all shocked and it was fun to surprise everyone. We found out with the first call to my family (my brother and Brittany) that everyone already “knew” and were taking bets on when we’d let them in on the secret. Apparently not having a beer at my grandmother’s memorial was a sign of pregnancy! It was still fun to share and let the exciting news out to a few people.


one more photo

I shared pictures from our trip to Jamaica yesterday, but there was one I left out. Today I’m very excited to share it with you. IMG_5789_edited-1We were battling waves and trying to make it to dinner on time, so it’s not quite as perfect of a picture as I had in my mind (perhaps preparing us for the future?). In case it’s not clear, our exciting news is that Baby Martin (a.k.a. #ourlittlemartian on Instagram) will be arriving mid-February!

I’m hoping to do a recap post of the first trimester soon since I’m well into the second at this point and don’t want to forget it all. But for now, the important details: We are due 2/15, which puts me in my 16th week and baby at the size of an avocado. Our appointments so far have been great and I am feeling really good (so thankful).

Right now my goal is simply to keep up with life and make it through school (seven weeks to go!). Once I finish on 10/19 it will be full steam ahead with baby prep. I’m pretty sure the next 24 weeks will fly by given the holidays. I’m really excited that my least favorite season of the year will now have an awesome annual event!