Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 2 of Baby Registry

My mom, sister, and baby Nicole came over yesterday to help me register for our baby girl. The goal of this trip to Babies R Us was to get the baby "must haves". My sister just had baby Nicole in March, so between her and my mom who watches Nicole four times a week, they were both a wealth of information. Last week, Jeff and I registered for the big items. Yesterday, it was all about baby bottles, baby care needs, and baby activity items.

Baby Bottles:

I decided to go with the Dr. Browns BPA Free plastic bottles. I have heard these bottles are great. They have several more working parts to clean, however, I am willing to take the extra steps for a good bottle. My sister is currently using Advent bottles and is just not happy with them. They are prone to leakage if you are not careful and Nicole has actually developed a rash on her neck from the milk leaking down her chin and pooling in her neck. Poor little thing. Needless to say, my sister is in the process of buying a whole new set of bottles.

Baby Care Needs:

Yes, I decided to register for a baby wipe warmer. I know there is a lot debate on whether or not this is a necessary baby product. After discussing it with my sister, she explained that she wish she would of had one, especially when Nicole was first born. The cold wipes would provoke Nicole to pee all over her so that was enough reason for me to sign up for this item. I registered for the Especially for Baby Wipe Warmer with Light.

My sister and other new Moms that I have spoken to have provided me with mixed reviews on the necessity of a Diaper Genie. They are not fans of dealing with the twist top, especially when you are in the middle of changing a messy diaper. I was so excited to see that Diaper Genie has come out with a new product, the Diaper Genie Elite. My sister says the foot pedal idea is genius and not sure why it was never designed this way to begin with. I am willing to give this new version a go.

Since our little girl will be born in the middle of the Cleveland Winter, I found a JJ Cole Bundle Me to be very necessary. And how cute that it comes in pink???

Baby Activity Items:

Looking through my registry now, I realized I purchased several of the Fisher Price Rainforest items. They were just so cute and all received great reviews.

Fisher-Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek-a-Boo Soother:

Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym:

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo:

I couldn't resist registering for a pink Bumbo seat, they are just too cute!

Take care,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where I Live Wednesday: Laundry Rooms

The idea of this post is to feature my laundry room, however, I am going to feature mine AND my friend Jenna's over at The Hamlett Daily Dose.

I haven't done too much to our laundry room except to paint it. The paint color we chose is Behr Provence. It's a beautiful french blue color and I think it really makes the white cabinets pop.

We also purchased a new LG front loader washer and dryer shortly after we moved in.

The builder installed these beautiful white cabinets, these were actually something we upgraded because the standard cabinets looked like cheap particle board. I wasn't in love with them at all. These were beautiful and sturdy!

The cabinets are great for laundry and cleaning supply storage.

The laundry room isn't big at all, hence the reason I haven't done much decorating or added any additional shelving. Currently, I have no shelving or drying racks to hang any laundry on. My "drying rack" for the past year and half has been little peanut's vacant closets. Since her closets are already starting to fill up with precious pink clothes, my "drying rack" will have to move back to the proper location, the laundry room. What an idea! Here is the small, unused space in our laundry room just begging for me to do something with:

Here is where Jenna's laundry room comes in, she seems to have had the same vacant space that we have, and look at the changes she made!!!

BEFORE: The empty space in her laundry room which mirrors mine:

AFTER: Look at the custom shelving that her husband built over a three compartment laundry sorter. It's genius!!!

The little baskets in the cubby holes are for baby gear. This would be perfect for when our little girl comes!!!! I need to get busy and start some planning. Thank you Jenna for your wonderful inspiration!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 1 of Baby Registry

Jeff and I had a great time registering for our little girl. We were at Babies R Us for three hours on Saturday and only managed to register for 20 items. We spent a lot of time playing with the travel systems, we REALLY looked like amatures trying to take the infant seat off the stroller, close up the stroller, then attempt to put it all back together. I am sure it's a quite a different experience with a screaming baby!! We had a great time though and left feeling a bit more knowledgeable about baby products! Thank God for the staff and Babies R Us, we pretty much needed a full time assistant walking around with us answering all of our questions!!!! We ended up going with the Graco Quattro Deco line for the Travel System, Pack N Play, Swing, and Infant bouncer. I really liked the pattern of this set, it's polka dot, but also browns and blue in case we have a boy in the future. Jeff and I were exhausted and both complaining of sore backs by the end of the day, we didn't even attempt to check out Pottery Barn Kids or Berg's Baby Furniture. This is going to be a long procss, but one we have been dreaming about for years. I am headed back to Babies R Us this weekend with my Mom and my Sister, the new baby experts in our family to tell me what I REALLY need.

I am feeling more confidant lately that the little flutters and popcorn movements from my belly lately are from my little girl. She has a tendency to use my bladder as a pillow so as I crawled back into bed from my 2am potty break, I really felt some popcorn near my belly button. I just laid in bed listening to the noises of the summer bugs coming from our woods and feeling my little girl tap around in there. It was really cool, for once I didn't want to fall back to sleep!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let the Fun Begin!

Now that we know that we are having a healthy baby girl, I can allow my mind to wander to the fun part of pregnancy. The nursery!!!! I started to look around this week and I really thought I would find a lot more than I did. I am not big into themes or animals, I am more into colors. Initially I really wanted a brown and pink nursery, however, this set from Pottery Barn is starting to sway my focus for now. I am not 100% yet, but it is just so pretty, I can't stop looking at it.

It's the Sophie Bedding collection and I am in love with the all the polka dots. The kicker are these matching polka dot window treatments.

Tomorrow Jeff and I start Day 1 of registering and picking out furniture for our little girl. I am going to make it a point to stop by Pottery Barn Kids to take a look at the bedding, I would love to see it in person. I am certainly open to suggestions, where did you find your nursery bedding? I have come across so many beautiful nurseries in the blogging world that I would love to hear your suggestions too.

Take care,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A New Look for Karen

Hello Friends, I finally found a new blog template that I am happy with and can accommodate all of my Blogging needs! If you follow me through Google Reader, please step out for a moment and check me out!!!! If you are not currently signed up as a Follower, please do!! I love reading all of your comments, so please drop me a line and let me know how you are all doing and where you are from. I am amazed at how many hits I receive a day from all over this beautiful country or ours and from all over the world.

I am so touched that you are interested in my daily life and my dream in becoming a mother. I absolutely love reading about all of you and learning about your interests, your beautiful families, and your great taste in home decor. I feel like I don't tell you enough how much all of you are appreciated.

Take care,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Please Pray

I have really enjoyed getting back into blogging, I have come across a lot of amazing women lately through blogging. Women who have inspired me to be a better person, Christian, wife and future mother. Katie is one blogger who has really touched me. Please pray for her and her young family. Katie lost her baby girl recently through complications that occurred at the end of her pregnancy. I can not imagine the pain that she is going through and my heart just breaks for her.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wedding Weekend

Jeff and I drove down to Parkersburg, West Virginia this weekend for my cousin Amy's wedding. It was a beautiful weekend for a wedding and treated it as a little getaway for the two of us. One of the few remaining before our little girl arrives.
My cousin Amy along with my Aunt Beth and Uncle Ray were amazing hosts throughout the weekend. After arriving at the hotel on Friday evening, we headed over to the rehearsal dinner at the Blennerhasset hotel. It was a very warm, Southern evening. My favorite kind of Summer weather in my opinion. I just love when it's so warm in the evenings where you don't even need a sweater. The stickier the better even though my hair seems to have mind of it's own in that kind of heat and humidity. The rehearsal dinner was held in this beautiful tent where we enjoyed a delicious meal and live entertainment from an outdoor patio.

Jeff and I at the Blennerhasset hotel.

The happy couple, Amy and Anthony.

On Saturday, Jeff golfed at the country club with the men while my sister and I hung out by the pool. It was a hot one so we were in the perfect place to relax and catch a few rays before the main event.

My sister and I at the Club.

The wedding ceremony was Saturday evening and Amy looked stunning! I loved her dress, it was perfect for her. They were married at an old methodist church in downtown Parkersburg, the same chuch both her parents and her grandparents were married. At age 4, I was the flower girl at my aunt and uncle's wedding. It was amazing to be back there thirty years later attening my little cousin's wedding at a place that was such a fond childhood memory for me. In addition to saying the traditional vows and also wrote their own words to say to each other during the ceremony. I was really touched by what each of them said to each other, you could really tell they were really in love and would never take for granted the love that they shared for each other that day. I just held Jeff's hand feeling everything that they felt for each other. After four years of marriage, I fall in love with Jeff more and more every day and can't imagine my life without him.

Amy and Anthony coming out of the church.

The reception was immediatly following the ceremony. We had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family. Amy and Anthony even performed a little hip hop dance number to the Michael Jackson hit "The Way You Make Me Feel". It was adorable, I wish I had it on video.

Amy and Anthony cutting their beautiful cake.

My mom and my sister.

The happy parents-to-be.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

21 Weeks and My Home Away From Home

Princess is 21 Weeks today!!! I am so excited that we are over half way there. Just think, in three weeks, she is going actually able to survive out of the womb, but obviously we don't want that to happen just yet!!! I really can't wait to meet my little girl, I have been simply giddy ever since we found out that we are going to have a little girl. I feel like I can bond with her even more now that she has an identity. I have to say that my blog name poll results are in line with what Jeff and I have been thinking for her name. We love Jillian and it seems to be the front runner so far. The only argument is that Jeff wants to name her Jill and I want to name her Jillian. I just feel the name Jillian is so pretty, we plan on calling her Jill, but we will let her choose if she wants to be called Jill or Jillian when she is older. I am slowly starting to feel more buzzes or flutters in my belly. I believe what I am feeling is her but it's still so hard to tell for sure. Darn anterior placenta. Today was a big day for these random twinges so I am hoping this is the beginning of some more consistent movement that I can feel.

There are actually three of us at work who are all due within ten days from each other. This has really added a fun dynamic to my pregnancy. Janet is due on December 20th and Kara is due on December 30th. They are both finding out the gender tomorrow so I have been bouncing up and down all day with excitement for them. I can't say enough how happy I am to be pregnant. One horrible aspect of dealing with infertility and loss is having pregnant co-workers all around you as you trudge through each work day, one failed cycle after the next. When you are at work, you have to put a big smile on your face during their pregnancy announcement, witness their growing belly, donate money for a group shower present, and then hear about the birth of their baby. Before you know it, they are back from maternity leave with their desk spilling over with new pictures as you are still in the same situation that you were in before they even announced their pregnancy. I am just so overjoyed that I am finally pregnant and able to share it with two of my friends at work. It has certainly been something special. I feel that this was God's way and I realize even more now that having a baby is certainly on His time, not mine.

In honor of our three pregnancies, our co-worker has put together a three way baby pool. My Baby board is sitting right outside my cube and puts a smile on my face every morning when I come in. Here is a little shot of my cube, it is very much my home away from home. I spend a good 45 hours a week here as an Accountant for one of the biggest companies in Cleveland. Notice the adding machine immediately next to my laptop? Very necessary. One of these days I am going to burn the thing out. My cube isn't exactly the cutest cube on the block or anything, I would love to make it a little homier with a cute lamp or more picture frames.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where I live Wednesday: Master Bed and Bath

Jenna, over at The Hamlett Daily Dose hosts a home decor feature every Wednesday. I love personal home decor so I wanted to join in and support her blog. Our Master Bedroom is still pretty much a work in progress as you can see from the pictures below. Our nightstands have been recently purchased from WalMart and are a part of their new Canopy furniture collection. My plan is to purchase the rest of the Canopy Bedroom Set and replace the dressers that we inherited from Jeff's Grandma. The curtain rods are not exactly what I had in mind and are actually quite flimsy. I am hoping to raise and replace them with sturdier rods. I would also like to put chocolate colored valances in the master bath along with new matching towels and bath mat. It will come together eventually and I like what we have done so far. The paint color of the Master Bedroom is Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert and the Master Bath is the Sherwin Williams color match of Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage. Yes, there are a few pictures with and without curtains, as you can see I was mid assembly during the picture taking process!

Furniture: Canopy and donated set from Jeff's Grandma, Bedding: Hotel Collection) purchased at Marshalls, Throw Pillows and Quilt: Target & HomeGoods, Lamps: JCPenney, Circle Mirror: Target

Master Bedroom Paint: Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert
Master Bath Paint: Sherwin Williams color match of Restoration Hardware Silver Sage

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Day in the Life of my Neighborhood: Townhomes Spotlight

I know I always speak highly of our neighborhood so I thought I would take you on a three day tour. Our first day will feature the town home section of the neighborhood. Eventually the development will consist of around 600 units when it's all said and done. We are only at 134 units sold as of today so construction and empty land is what we will be seeing for the next several years. The three home styles consist of town homes, cluster homes, and single family homes. We opted for a single family home, it's more practical and a little bigger for a young, growing family.

The neighborhood will also eventually have a pool, clubhouse, and playground built once we accumulate more residents. Due to the economy and the slow growth of the area, those projects are being pushed into the future until things turn around.

When you pull into the main entrance of our development, you are greeted by the "Sales Ticker". Every resident is obsessed with it and it's a good day when you see the ticker go up!!! You really do feel the neighbors are in a better mood when it's a "sale day". Every conversation that day will start with "Did you see they sold another one? Fantastic, glad things are still moving in this economy". We were sale 87 as of July 2007, it is now at 134.

As you come into the neighborhood, to the far back and to the left are where the town homes are located.

There are only a few built so far, however, they seems to break ground every couple of months in preparation of future sales. The townhomes consist of four attached units. Notice the endless supply of lots and land? This will all be town homes one day.

One bonus of living in this neighborhood is that I am never short on home decorating tips or ideas which I constantly crave. The town home models are beautiful and offer a lot of great decorating space. There are two decorated models, the more contemporary:

and the more traditional:

I couldn't resist a quick pic of my bump in the town home bathroom!

I hope you enjoyed your tour, the next stop will feature the cluster homes, and then, the single family homes.

FYI: I am looking into upgrading to a new and improved layout. Please drop me a comment on the best places to find one!!!! Thanks!!!!!