For the past few months I've accumulated a few items of importance. Some I had on hand and others were purchased and have now become the supplies of pregnancy. It's a list that's specific to me but I think it's general enough to help you or someone you know survive the fun and magic and all that of being knocked up. Maybe you can even put together a little present for a friend you know is pregnant with some of the items included in the list.
1) Epsom Salts: Around the second trimester your body starts aching because your belly is stretching and your muscles get sore. One of the best things to help this and all muscle aches is to just sit in a nice warm bath with epsom salts. If you can stand smells, a few drops of lavender or peppermint will help relax you even more.
2) Be Band: Before you commit to maternity pants you might feel like using your regular pants as long as possible and who can blame you, I mean, you spent all those months running and working out to fit into the size 6 pants. Well this little contraption helps you keep wearing them!
3) Haagen Dazs or Ice Cream: Ice cream in general is heaven but especially when all you want is dairy. I chose this brand because they have the least amount of chemicals and can be found easily in stores but if you want to make your own or know of an even better more natural brand, go for it.
4) Nightlight: You'll be going to the bathroom in the middle of the night a lot.
5) Good Hand Lotion: Your hands will get really dry. Go for something unscented since you have no idea what sort of smells will trigger nausea.
6) Good Earth Tea Sweet & Spicy: I went mostly cold turkey on caffeine but this tea is so dark and tangy that it makes you feel like you're having something caffeinated. All the stuff in it is helpful with an upset tummy and smells so dang good.
7) Face Wipes: Sometimes you'll get too lazy to wash your face but trust me, you need to clean it up, acne is a big problem during pregnancy.
8) Stretch Mark or Cream: I went with Mother's Blend since it was the only thing available at Sprouts but whatever floats your boat. Though stretch marks are genetic and you can't do squat to prevent them in those cases, you can at least help minimize them and the itching that inevitably follows.
9) Boppy Pillow or Some Body Pillow: I am getting close to buying the cumbersome pregnancy specific one but I'm gonna go grab a regular body pillow. My acupuncturist (yes, I go to an acupuncturist, remember, I'm a hippie) recommended the act of hugging the pillow somehow releases tension in your back and putting the pillow between your legs releases the tension in your hips since you're doing a lot of side sleeping. Luckily Matt and I are not really sleeping snugglers, we got a big bed so we can each sleep on our own side so the pillow won't come between us too much.
10) Gin Gins Ginger Spice Drops: Miracles. I usually suck on one on the drive to work to avoid having to pull over and barf. The whole "ginger ale" phenom didn't work on me, these suckers are actually loaded with ginger, so dig in. I also really like Reed's Ginger Candies.
11) Sour Patch Kids: This I can't explain but I read I'm not the only one. When I get little bouts of nausea and there is nary a ginger candy in sight, these guys hit the spot.
12) Good Water Bottle: You need to drink a LOT of water period but especially pregnant because you get bloated from your digestive system slowing down and you need to help it out with liquid. Grab yourself a pretty bottle and drink yourself lots of water.
13) Acetaminopen (aka Tylenol): Headaches. You can't have ibuprofen and a bunch of other drugs but tylenol is okay. Talk to your doctor first of course.
14) Peppermint Tums: Heartburn. Acid Indigestion. You're gonna need some tums. Plus they have calcium and the pepperminty taste is good.
15) Travel Mouth Care Kit: You're gonna be doing some barfing. And if you're out of the comfort of the toothpaste and toothbrush in your bathroom, you're gonna want to spare others around you with smell of your barf breath.
16) Saltine Crackers: You'll grow to hate them near the end but they're pretty helpful in the beginning. I would set my alarm a few minutes before I woke up, nibble on a few, wake up, then go to the kitchen and eat some yogurt. Usually these things would appease the alien and I could make it without barfing but there were days when nothing helped.
17) Greek God Yogurt: Yogurt was my morning cure-all in the beginning. Still is. More so I'm realizing a lot of the brand yogurts are full of chemicals that are really unnecessary for yogurt. Greek God is my favorite right now, I recommend it.
18) Soy Candle: You're gonna be gassy. Spare your significant other the pain of walking into a room where you've been creating a dump with your farts. Light 'em up. (Sorry honey).
19) Gummy Pre-Natals (with DHA & Folic Acid): Prenatal vitamins, while incredible for your nails and hair, are pure evil. If I could have found vegetarian gummies I would have chowed them down instead of the puke that I have to swallow everyday. You have to take these vitamins, make it mildly pleasant for yourself just make sure they have 100% Folic Acid and DHA. Another word on pre-natal vitamins, I take them at night because of the morning sickness (and it would be pointless to take something you're gonna toss in the toilet anyway) but now things are getting better I might switch back to daytime since that's the best time to take vitamins when your body needs them and absorbs them better but a lot of women do like I do and take them at night to keep them down. Also, washing them down with anything but water helps the situation too.
20) Waste Basket for Car: You may puke in the car. Be ready.
21) Pantyliners: So fun filled pregnancy fact: if you sneeze or cough, you may pee a little. If you puke really heavily, you might pee yourself. In the beginning it was so bad I was wearing straight up feminine pads but now things are better so it's just pantiliners. I like natracare 'cause they have no chemicals or bleach. In the same vein, I also have a spare set of leggings and undies in the car in case I'm away from home and pee myself when barfing (it did happen, yes.)
22) Hemorrhoid Cream: I mentioned the slowing down of your digestive system, did you guys not put it together that dropping a deuce would become a challenge? Yeah…
23) Nasal Rinse Kit: There's this thing called pregnancy rhinitis and it makes your nose all stuffy and such. Guess who got that too? Help yourself out and rinse out them boogies.
24) Girlfriends: Not just the fun read "A Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" but have on hand a few friends that have been pregnant recently you can ask embarrassing questions to or a few girlfriends you can tell hilarious or embarrassing stories that will appreciate them because they love you.
I hope I properly scared/educated you guys on the fun things that happen during pregnancy and give you a little glimpse into the stuff I've been dealing with. If you have any ideas of things to add, shoot 'em my way.
Pregnancy ain't for the weak my friends. That's why women do it.
The other day at Ikea I came across a very charming little living room that featured the same sofa we have the Karlstad (in the prettier lighter gray) and showed off the new customizable Besta. Which I'm a big big fan of since I'm a big fan of customizing furniture to suit your lifestyle.
I really like the TV unit situation they had already because it was chock full of storage behind doors and a touch of open shelving for use to display pretty things.
In the living room currently I've been scheming in my brain that behind the sofa, instead of the the sofa table we have now it would be great to have some sort of large cabinet to make room for storage that can be hidden behind doors (aka unsightly kid things). With the loss of the guest room, I'm trying to maximize store possibilities everywhere in the house and this little combination seems just perfect:
They even placed it right behind a Karlstad sofa so I know it's already the perfect height and since it's right at the entrance of the house, the fact that the doors SLIDE so you don't have to open doors and block the entry sealed the deal. It has two sliding doors so you can always have one exposed section and in this case, they left pretty glass drawers open for things you may need to access often which would be perfect for our receipts and sunglasses and what have you.
Leave it to the Swedes to read my mind and needs perfectly.
They sold out of the Kate Spade calendars so I went with one from Rifle Paper Co (one of the cutest stationery stores around bar none). I went with the American cities one since Matt and I won't be able to go anywhere in July due to the arrival of a certain someone around America's birthday. Ironically, the month of January was New York, as if to remind me where I was not.
The winning city for this year was either going to be a road trip of the South or Austin. Maybe next year we'll do Texas with a little cowgirl or cowboy in tow...
The other day Matt mentioned an idea that made so much sense I didn't realize how much I'd already been sold on it awhile ago. He said that when we re-did the backyard (which we are trying to do before the end of May) he didn't want to use a lot of grass because with the dogs, he didn't want them to ruins it. To which I say, yes, no grass. Who needs grass? We have a nice patch in the front yard to picnic on but the backyard is begging to be the hang out lounge-y space for young and old and we don't need grass for that! I didn't even realize how much the idea has been percolating in my cabeza until I looked at my pinterest board and realized I already dig the backyards with mostly a lot of greenery and a place to hang outside and enjoy the beautiful California weather instead of being cooped up inside loving the air conditioning. A big outdoor living room.
And of course my favorite backyard inspiration is grass-less.
And Michelle before you crucify me with "BUT YOUR KIDS NEED GRASS!" Remember, the front yard has a nice big patch (that's gated!) with enough room for sprinkler running and we have a big park with a playground not even a block away. So there.
It was a little sad to see it go but it had to happen. It's crazy how much room there was once it was removed. Oh yeah, there's still another queen mattress that was ours before we upgraded to the California King. This mattress we're hoping will end up with my sister Liz. And right where the mattress is is where I hope to place the crib.
We went to Ikea and bought a few boring but important items and I spent the evening organizing a dresser that really is in no rush to be organized. I dunno… somehow opening up a bag of newborn diapers and putting them in a drawer helped set in the reality of a baby. Like I've posted in the ideas for a nursery board I plan on sticking a changing pad on top of this dresser so I wanted to keep items we'd need for related to that kinda thing here.
On the top left little box where I have one tube of sunblock I want to add baby first aid stuff and medicine, the little box in front of it will have baby butt stuff like diaper rash lotions and such, the box next to those will house wipes, next to that I want to have a few clean up rags, and next to that eventually the cloth diapers. I've heard the first few weeks thought babies are too small for them so I grabbed a few Seventh Generation newborn disposables for the beginning.
The bottom drawer will house the teeny but often needed things like socks, mittens, swaddle blankets, onesie tops, and PJs. Michelle said that after a few weeks we'll get into a routine of how we do things with the wee one and I'll shift things accordingly. Hey, organizing something twice? F.U.N. The PJ in there was a gift and will be worn by our baby regardless of gender.
To the left of the dresser where I cleverly placed this chair I hope to put a glider chair thing and I'll keep that round table to put baby feeding items and move that lamp and go for a floor lamp with a dimmer instead so I don't worry about knocking over a lamp at 3am.
The little basket underneath might house nipple things like pacifiers and other boob stuff 'cause yeah, this semi-hippie really wants to give it a go with breastfeeding. I mean you can't beat the price: it's free!
Tee-hee. Little baby shoes.
I really hate this lighting thing so I hope we'll get something a little nicer in here and I really want to install some sort of dimmer light for the room so when I go into the room I won't blind the kid. It's probably too young to understand the phrase "striking"!
We'll need a rug. The current rug that's in the living room might be moving into this room. And I am painfully aware that it is a creamy color and babies are gross but… meh.
The closet is pretty much a disaster zone and I have big plans for this space. It's actually a sizable closet, especially for someone that's going to be under three feet for about 3 years. My friend Milena is a professional organizer and she's looking to add nursery organization to her portfolio so she's gonna help me out for the cost of a lunch or two.
ABC poster all ready to go. J is for Juice Cleanse.
And because I'm a lunatic I went ahead and took the guest room stuff out of here and played with the arrangement of what it would look like if it was all kid'd out.
I moved the movies to the top shelf and put only the Disney ones on display with the other kid movies hanging out behind dumbo. The second shelf I put stuffed animals I already had for fun.
This is the child's book collection already. And there's actually MORE in the closet too. I think I'll take out the bigger kid ones and leave here the baby ones eventually but for now, it's fun. The bottom shelf I think I'll stick a few baskets and put baby toys like rattles and such.
I'm keeping the glass doors on it for now and will remove and store them when the kid starts to get mobile. The yellow toy box I think I'll keep.
And hanging on the door is a little outfit that Matt wore when he was a baby.
I know it's kinda way too early to be getting the room ready but there's still a lot to do so approaching it in bite sized pieces each time makes it feel manageable.
Funny thing about the future child whose gender we don't know yet. First off we have a girl name but no boy name. The girl's name determines pretty much the overall colors and decor of her nursery. Our girl name is Alice and I'm drawing inspiration a lot from the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland, which has been one of my favorite films for decades. Little Alice's overall color scheme comes from her outfit actually, and I always imagined a blue room with white bedding and a black crib.
My favorite thing about going with the Alice scheme is that on top of incorporating all the other cool elements from the film like a bunny rabbit, playing cards, roses, cool hats, dodo birds, an adorable cat named Dinah, a tea party (I MEAN, HELLO, COULD THAT BE MORE PERFECT FOR OLE EVY?), but if you recall at the end of the film, Alice plays a round of croquet with flamingos. I even have a fantastic version of the book I'd put in her room on proud display where the cover is what else but flamingos. And though I personally LOVE the color pink, I think I'd keep the pink in her room and wardrobe minimal.
Also the character of Alice in the film is a hoot. She's full of imagination, good intentions, manners, a dry sense of humor, and a sense of adventure, all great qualities for a lady. Especially my little lady.
For the boy baby we don't have a name and I'm all over the place with color and decor. Overall I like the idea of a sort of neutral palette with graphic details like stripes but I waft in between all the interests we want to force on this child like the solar system, comic books, rock music, robots, skulls, the ocean, great inventors, movies, toy story…
It's hard to narrow down one particular thing so I think we'll just try to incorporate it all. All the nerdy cool, awesome, fun, silly things that make a boy a boy.
We'll find out soon enough what it is but right now, it's fun to dream either way.
We spent the weekend in a zombie-like state, sleeping, eating (or trying to) but I did begin the project of clearing out the guest room. Though funnily enough clearing it out involved not the guest closet itself, at least not yet, but it did involve a few re-shuffles of the hallway closet. The top two shelves house the decorative items that I rotate in and out when I get bored or by season and are supplies for dinner parties, like candles and the like. The very top shelf houses a boatload of picture frames I cannot possibly use in this house and honestly need to just bite the bullet and go through them and just leave a few and give away the rest.
Since we're losing the guest room (and gaining a baby!) I wanted to hang onto a few guest room supplies for when the office is a guest room (and will house my mother during the first few days with aforementioned baby). The 2nd to last shelf was cleared of a few items and the towels that were formerly in the guest room dresser were moved into the bin instead. I've since found the twin of this bin in my closet so now that one has been brought into the closet to store the guest bedding. In the office I actually have another full set of guest room bedding that fit that couch perfectly but a) I just can't bare to part with that DwellStudio bedding and b) In case we get more than one set of guests and need to blow up the air mattress. Hey, I'm Mexican, never underestimate how many people you will need to sleep in a little house.
And predictably, during my re-shuffle, a certain nuisance found a cozy spot to snuggle.
So here's some of the remnants of the guest room all piled into a basket. I'll make it purtier and to go with the office decor later, something like this perhaps?
And the bottom shelf has electronics and often used tools.
Today we found a taker for our queen bed and they're coming to pick it up which means this nursery train is a chugging. Choo choo.
I was supposed to be on my way to New York by now but decided my body was gonna revolt (and already has) about all the work days in a row without time off so I asked if I could skip the New York portion which my boss understood and so this morning, we flew home. If it was just me I would have done it, I can handle no sleep and all that. But it's not just me anymore.
This week I'll be taking it easy, shopping for maternity clothes, and maybe starting a mini purge of things around the house to make room for little things. I've begun stockpiling baby wipes and already received a few baby things from my mother in-law so it's about time to start a big ole project before our little project arrives.