Wednesday, March 27, 2013

mama confessions : six tips to feeling attractive {no - SEXY!} in the third tri

Yes, I said it.  The 'S word.'  Sexy.

My first pregnancy I don't remember feeling like a total slob.  This is probably because I was still working a normal job where I got dressed in nice, tailored clothing and wore heels.  I put on makeup every day.   When my Hubby left for work I wasn't in a bathrobe, my hair a crazy mess, with dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep (since I slept much better last pregnancy.)

last pregnancy - 40 weeks
This pregnancy I have, in general, felt not sexy.  I'm not saying I look ugly or that Hubby is not attracted to me - I just feel really, really blah.  

I am sure I am not the only mama who has felt this way during pregnancy, particularly in her third tri.  Right?

So in an effort to feel a little better about myself I searched for ways to 'get my groove back' in this third trimester of pregnancy...

1. Self tanner.  I feel better tan.  If you feel sexy pale, more power to you; however, I am willing to invest in bronzer or going for a spray tan if that is going to help me feel sassier.
my go-to "insta-tan" bronzer
wearing pink {and lipstick} really helps :D
2. New clothes.  Not talking about going on a major shopping spree here.  Even a new necklace or boldly colored scarf from Target can help.  Since I have sworn off clothes shopping until after this pregnancy, I satisfied my urge for a new outfit by unpacking all my maternity spring and summer clothes.  I have a LOT of cute dresses that fit my bump (or mu-mus as I like to call them.)  I tried a few on and felt sexier.  Now the weather just has to cooperate...

3. New hair style!  Again, trying to be thrifty I did NOT go to the salon, rather I colored my hair at home.  By myself.  Red!  Okay, well, technically it is 'dark auburn brown,' which is not extremely red, but redder than I have ever gone before.  I have previously written about my wish for red hair.  Turns out I LOVE IT.  I feel sexier as a redhead.  It really doesn't look drastically different, and maybe others think I am cuckoo for doing it...but it is fun and definitely makes me feel sexier.  Score. {will post pics soon when I have the time to take with decent camera!}

4. Have more sex.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are not feeling sexy and then realize you  really haven't been having sex with your husband as often as usual, it may help to increase that.  Even when you are ginormously pregnant I am pretty sure your husband is into you.  So forget that you are overly exhausted, bloated, and hormonal...and just do it.  Just sayin'.
Source: Greta on Pinterest

5. Work out.   Getting sweaty at the gym makes me feel a million times better.  It is not just a body thing, but a mind thing.  So get those endorphins pumping!!!

6. Be happy.  Audrey Hepburn said it best when she stated, "Happy girls are the prettiest girls." I am definitely guilty of getting stuck in a negative rut.  I'll fully admit I can be a terrible nag, and a world-class complainer sometimes.   I don't think nagging and complaining on occasion are awful things, unless they take over your mindset completely.  (In fact, I think people who are ALWAYS waxing positive/roses and sunshine are rather dull/fake/trite.)  However, finding things to be happy about even when the weather sucks, your house is a complete renovation disaster, you have cankles  AND you resemble a waddling hippopotamus is crucial.  So I've been trying to be more laid-back and positive about the things I can't control, and focus on the good things!  There are many!

So that's my list.
What makes you feel sexier when in a rut... 
(preggo or not)?

Friday, March 22, 2013

ikea kiddo table redo!

When I saw this Ikea table "hack" I knew I had to do one for little Cormac's toddler room!

The 'Latt' table and chairs from Ikea are only 19.99, and come unfinished so you can paint them to your little heart's desire.  I love that Ikea started carrying a lot of unfinished products...since I bet a lot of customers got sick of trying to paint the laminate! 

*waves hand wildly and points to self*

Anyway, I wanted him to have a little table for his room, and this fit the bill.  I painted the table with Valspar "Classic Navy" which I bought a sample of, the table top with chalkboard paint that I already had, and the chairs are "Proper Gray," which I also had already.

So the project cost about $22.

And he had fun 'helping' me. 


Please ignore his messy room.  It is currently having an identity crisis as to whether it is a toddler room or a nursery.  And really, the room will be neither.  (In the end, it will be our master bathroom.)  The color schemes are at odds with each other, made worse by the green tiled fireplace.

Buuuuut he looks like he is enjoying himself, anyway.  :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

one year ago : we were in t-shirts!

When I look at my iPhoto "last twelve months" folder and this video comes up from almost exactly a year ago, it makes me want to cry - a little.

The weather last winter was warm.  We were in T-shirts in March.  We were jovial and lighthearted!  We were running with the running stroller every day.  A rainy day didn't get us down.  No way - we were lovin' life!

Lately it has been gloomy, rainy, snowy, cold, blech...every day.

{well....the weekend was 70 degrees and beautiful. a - snow again!!!?!?!}

Spring, where are you!?!?!  This isn't Minnesota.  I feel a little cheated.  I moved "South" for a reason.  Well, and my hubby.  :D

Hope it is getting warmer where you are!

Monday, March 11, 2013

the renovation : back unit - the 'before' tour!

As promised, I am back with a tour of the back unit of 'the dream home.' 
We rented it out as a two-bedroom apartment for seven months and then let the renter out of the lease early when I found out I was preggo to start the renovation process.

Since moving in, we have lived in the front unit...basically another two-bedroom apartment.

It was definitely interesting going from living in a full-sized home for five years to a two bedroom apartment with a giant dog and a toddler.

But the sacrifice has been worth it!!!!

Progress is now being made on the back of the house so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...having a full-sized, four-bedroom, 2.5 bath family home.
Our 'dream' home.

I showed you the front unit in this post.

Now, here is what we are working with in the back...

As you enter you have the future dining room...which sported this black wall when we purchased the house.  Yikes!

Can you even tell there are awesome floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases to the right and left of the arched doorway????  The bookcases, the extra-wide arched doorway and the door transom window were selling points for me in this room.
 As you exit the dining room you can look back and see the doorway which will lead to the front of the house, connecting the main floors.

Which brings us to the back kitchen - our future family room!  This will be our casual living space, which I am so, so, so excited for!    We have since sold everything you see in this photo, so it is literally a blank canvas.  Just try to imagine a cozy sectional, huge coffee table, new flooring and some great accessorizing. :)

This built-in cabinet will stay, though, with a little re-vamping!

Now we head up the stairs to the "kiddo wing."  I like this staircase because it winds around with several they can never fall too far.  ;)

(Looking back down the steps at the storage closet, former laundry closet, which runs the length of that wall.)

When you get to the top of the steps, there are two bedrooms to the right and left, as well as a bathroom in between.  The bedroom to the left will eventually be Cormac's room...

Don't be jealous of that awesome ceiling fan!

There are small his-and-her smaller closets in his room, to the right and left of the arch.

Here is the view from his room - our backyard space.
Yes, needs a lot of help!  Future project!

Here is the bathroom.  Not very big, but a four-piece, with clawfoot tub, which I love!

Then, finally, this is the future nursery...

There is the doorway that will connect the upstairs of the two units.

Baby will have the best closet in the house, at least at the moment!
Cormac likes to be put in this closet with the doors closed, and then burst out of it unexpectedly.  Love that kid.
The room has a little private deck coming off of it, another feature I love.

The door and window looking out on the small deck.
Sorry this is so dark!  I didn't use the flash, the light fixture sucks, and I took the photo straight into the natural light...oops.
So there you have it!   
Progress made with the kiddo rooms is that all the carpet and subsequent linoleum has been ripped out and toe-kick trim being removed to make way for the hardwood floors.  We are going with various widths of wide-plank heart pine to match the flooring in the other bedrooms upstairs, stained in a mid-tone honey color.  Installation should be complete by April 15th.

After a bit of a mess made by Cormac and I on the walls, the wall colors for the bedrooms, bathroom and hallway are decided upon.   
Painting will ensue this coming weekend!
Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

{28 week bumpdate}

yup, those are bra straps showing.  just be thankful I'm wearing one.
Hello, third tri!  Please, please go by quickly!
I am ready to be done being pregnant.  Truth be told, I was ready a LONG time ago.  I am ready to work on getting my body back.  I am ready to drink wine.  I am ready to be able to bend over and pick things up.  I am ready to have some energy back (well, after the baby starts sleeping through the night.)  I am ready to be a mama of two, and not be pregnant again for quite a few years, if ever.  Sorry if that is not the ooshy-gushy swooning you expect of a pregnant woman...but the truth is all I can offer in good conscience.  And...

"...our cup overflows!"  to quote my mama-of-four sister.  I totally agree.  And while I am thankful to God every day for this unexpected second pregnancy blessing, our 'cup' can stop flowing for a while.  :)

{Last pregnancy's 28 week post...makes me miss long hair!  Grow hair, grow!}

Rants {the crappy stuff}:
  • Sprained my ankle, have an ugly swollen/bruised foot.
  • Have had a super-gross, nasty cold for about three weeks.  I am sick/injured this pregnancy constantly, it seems.  
  • Sick of winter!!!!  SAD {seasonal affective disorder} seriously kicking in.  I need sunshine and warmth, please!
  • Sleeping still very, very difficult.   Just have a hard time getting to sleep, or back to sleep.
  • A little heartburn...and that familiar overly-full feeling that the third trimester brings.  You want to eat more, but feel like you will burst or vomit if you do.
Raves {the happy stuff}: 
  • Visited my sister in Montana -- so much fun hanging out with her, a fellow preggo!!!
  • Cormac laying his head on my tummy randomly to 'listen.'  Not sure what he is hearing, but he does this a lot and it makes me well up with tears sometimes.  Also, everytime we go in the future nursery room he points emphatically to my belly.  Kinda awesome!
  • Having a fabulous excuse to be super lazy and sometimes crumple on the floor in tears.  And eat a lot.  Or try to.
  • Reading some GREAT books on natural childbirth.  The Birth Book by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, as well as Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth.  Also, really enjoyed the documentary The Business of Being Born, produced by Ricki Lake.  Who knew laying on your back to give birth is completely unnatural, and vertical squatting is the way our ancestors did it?  I didn't.  Let's see if I can squat this baby out, shall we?  :D
Weight gain: 23 pounds total.  According to my midwife's previously stated goal, I can only gain two more pounds.  Um, yeah right!  I should actually gain 1 pound per week the rest of my pregnancy.  I am totally okay with that.
Nausea:  Only one morning, because I didn't eat enough and then took my prenatal vitamin.  Oops. 
Skin: Same old thing.  Will be nice to be able to use helpful skin-clearing products again.  Oh, and the pregnancy hormone line on my belly starting to show!
Boobs:  Now know the meaning/feeling of 'heavy hangers.'  Ugh.  Not as fun as one might think.
Cravings:  I just want a giant margarita the size of my head.  With lots of salt on the rim.  And a bowl of chips/salsa.   
Aversions:  Ha ha.  Wait, was that a joke?
drink my morning cuppa joe to survive.  put my feet up whenever possible.
Exercise: Took a week off due to sprained ankle and Montana trip.  Slowly getting back into it, but taking it a slightly easier as far as resistance/intensity.
Dreams: Had my second pregnancy/baby dream!  In this one I was delivering naturally, and it didn't hurt at all (hence why it is called a 'dream.')  The baby comes out, and it is a girl.  I can't remember how I felt about this in the dream...
Clothing:  I am squeezing into anything that will fit/cover this body.  None of my coats fit anymore.   I only button the top two buttons, even though it is cold. Finally got a larger sports bra and a couple larger workout tops.   It needs to get warm so I can break out all my mumus!!!!  
Heartbeat: 146
Baby movement: This baby moves way differently than Cormac did!  No frequent, tiny hiccups like I always felt with Cormac...or slow and steady rolling from one side of my tummy to the other.  This baby has mostly giant, belly-shaking movements and jabs!  And the kicks to my bladder are very, very strange feeling.  Eeek!   Also, I wake up from his/her movements a lot.  Or just wake up a lot and immediately feel my tummy shaking.  I'm not sure which. 
Gender speculation: I am utterly confused.  While in Montana I went with my sister to her ultrasound to find out her baby's gender...and the tech {their personal friend} offered to do one on me too!!!!  I somehow remained strong and declined.  Then when we went shopping I bought a baby girl dress and a cute, flowery blanket...just in case!
Baby names: Same story - both boy and girl are 100% decided.  Even got sister's approval.  It is written in stone.  HINT: None of the names start with a vowel.  Also, the middle name is both literary and a nod to Hubby and my love for camping.
Hubby feels: the pressure of getting the house ready for baby!!!  Enough said.  
Bump progress: 
My belly is low and flat in front this time, instead of the high, perfectly round basketball I had with Cormac.  And if it was even possible for my belly button to pop out (it's not) then it would be popped completely.

Just in case anyone cared to know.

Monday, March 4, 2013

the renovation : kitchen reveal - so far!!!

Okay...the kitchen is not really done.
There is actually still a lot more that needs to happen.  The backsplash grouting needs to be finished.  The walls painted.  The library ladder/rails installed.  The huge doors dividing it and the living room put on barn door hardware.  The fireplace wall...well, something needs to be done, but we are not sure what.  Plus, we still haven't decided 100% on what we are doing as far as painting the wood trim, or leaving it how it is. pregnancy and impending due date dictate that the kitchen needs to pause in order to prioritize the bedrooms in the back half of the house, which is now vacant/no longer a rental.  The two upstairs bedrooms back there need new flooring and definitely a fresh coat of paint!  We also need to open up the doorways that lead to the back of the house.  Phew.

In this post I gave everyone a look at our 'dream home' that we purchased a year ago and moved into in September {right after I got pregnant unexpectedly!}

Since moving in all we have worked on is the kitchen...which, in my opinion, is the most important room in a house. We had the cabinets and granite professionally installed, while Hubby did the plumbing, electric, appliance install and backsplash.

I am excited to reveal the renovated kitchen!  In it's current, somewhat finished state.

The kitchen BEFORE - set up to accommodate a rental, and a business rental at that.  So - boring and very basic.  We were able to easily sell all of the appliances and cabinetry (and fireplace!) on Craig's List to add to the reno fund:

BEFORE - a space just begging for more cabinets and new appliances:

AFTER - a little open shelving and wine storage for visual interest:
that candelabra was a $14 antique store find! not sure if that is its perma-home...but I am in love.
There is that eyesore of a fireplace wall!  What would you do?  We are thinking we will either expose the original brick underneath, remove the green tile and create a more updated tile fireplace with a new mantle.  Maybe hang an oversized piece of art above and/or a metal pot hanger.  Or re-drywall it and paint.  Maybe a huge statement chalkboard wall?  I'm open to suggestions.
the cabinets to the right of fireplace are our pantry area, since we do not have a walk-in pantry.
BEFORE - Just a whole lotta boring empty space:
AFTER - More cabinet storage space than I will ever need...which I love!

BEFORE - So much wasted space!

AFTER - I'm in love with the island.  Huge, square and with seating for four:

So there is what we have so far.
Moving on now to the back unit of the home, to open up the doorway on the second floor and unite the home.

Tour of that space (the before!) coming soon!