Sunday, January 22, 2012

Noah's Nautical Nest

Hi friends!
We finally finished up with Noah's nursery! Without further ado, here it is!

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My goal in the room design was to have the space feel bright, cheerful, happy, warm, boyish and welcoming. I decided to go with a nautical theme this time; whereas the original nursery didn't have a set theme. I wrestled with the idea for a while because I didn't want the space to feel unoriginal or boring. So, I decided on the green and orange color palette to go with the Robin's Egg blue walls (that we kept from sister Paige's original room). I also decided to go with a more preppy look for the space; again trying to avoid obvious solutions. My original idea was to do lime green and navy blue together, but the navy just seemed so dark and moody. Thus, the orange came into play.

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The first item I decided on was the roman shades. I chose a sort of preppy yachting stripe but in a lime green. I ordered the fabric and had them made byWindows by Melissa; The rest of the room design evolved around those shades; since they are a focal point. I then chose the rust-orange striped rug to contrast the shades. I knew the patterns were very strong so I decided to go with solid colors for the crib, changing pad, and glider.

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Lastly, we chose the accessories that went on the walls to give it the nautical and preppy touches. Chris caught the Dolphin fish hanging over the crib in Bermuda 24 years ago. It's been hanging in his parents' house in his original bedroom so we reclaimed it and put it here. Don't worry, it's secured very tightly and expertly! We then found buoys, a life preserver, a ship steering wheel and a cool seagull hand-screenprinted poster by Wayne Pate. The green whale decal completes the look. I tried to keep the accessories to the orange and green theme where possible. To add interest between the windows, I found some white wooden letters for Noah's initials at the craft store. I spray painted them with a glossy pumpkin orange color. I suppose they add a preppy factor to the space? I'm not very preppy so it's hard to say!

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I needed a nightlight of some sort and I remembered my parents had a light-up globe for us kids while growing up. Luckily, they still had it stored away! It was just what I needed to fill the space in the corner under the whale to add some interest. At night, it adds a low peaceful glow. Perfect for feedings and diaper changes without being too bright!

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I thought there was a lot of white going on in the space. I wanted to add a more nautical dark wood color here and there…evoking an old fashioned ship. The steering wheel was a start. So I added a dark basket hamper and found a matching magazine holder to use a trash can. The lamp and dark wooden base once belonged to Chris' beloved grandmother. I added a new shade and lined it with some green ribbon decorative tape (for interest).

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The rocker/glider decision was tough. I wanted lime green. But most places didn't have one that was affordable to us. But I didn't want a neutral color like most chairs come in. So, we went with orange in an affordable style. I was disappointed to find, when the chair finally arrived, that the white piping it was supposed to have was also orange. Oh well. I didn't want to send it back and wait another 2 months for it to be fixed so we're living with a solid orange chair. No biggie, I suppose. Sigh. The white piping would have added that preppy edge I wanted. Hmph. I added a lime green pillow to break up all that orange. It's a comfy spot for feeding, reading and snuggling and that's what I care about most after all.

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So, that's the grand tour! I hope you like it! I love being in there. That middle-of-the-night feeding isn't so bad when I have such a cheerful and cozy space to look at.

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Here's a photo of Paige's nursery before everything moved to HER new room so you can compare the 2 different rooms:

Nursery


Sources are below:
Wall color: #618 Benjamin Moore "Robin's Nest" (we painted in 2008, so I don't know if it's part of their program now?)
Crib: Oeuf (we got it as a gift from my in-laws when our first little one was born)
Dresser: IKEA Malm Dresser (we covered the drawers in a natural seagrass wallpaper I scoured online for. Can't remember the source for the wallpaper now though! sorry)
Bookcase unit: IKEA Expedit
Glider: Buy Buy Baby
Roman Shades: Windows by Melissa, custom creation (she was great to work with!)
Striped Rug: Rosenberry Rooms
Changing Pad cover: Buy Buy BabyCrib Bedding: Carousel Designs (they make custom crib bedding and you can choose any combinations of things! Love the website and the swatch came within 2 days!)
Toys in Crib: Both the Fox (the large version) and the Monkey rattle came from Bla Bla.
Willow Hamper and Magazine Holder: Pier One
Light up Globe: Storage at my parents' house. It's from my childhood, so all kinds of countries are on there that don't exist anymore. U.S.S.R?
Whale Decal: Little Lion StudioLife Preserver: Nautical Decor Store
Ship Steering Wheel: Nautical Decor Store
Dolphin Fish: Chris caught this Dolphin fish in Bermuda 24 years ago now
Seagull Screenprinted Poster: by Wayne PateBuoys hanging in corner: Nautical Decor Store
Wooden Initials on Wall: Michael's Crafts
Lamp: Family heirloom, shade is from the craft store and the ribbon tape is by the Martha Stewart line at Michael's crafts
Toys on Bookcase: Blue knitted bird rattle: Bla Bla, Little green car and little red fox pull toy: Grasshopper store

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Noah's Birth

One Week Old
"This kid is definitely coming tonight. Mark my words. If he doesn't come tonight I will be shocked." I said those words to Chris as I was draped diagonally across our bed at 7:30 pm on Friday, January 13th. I just couldn't be bothered to move anymore. I was in a lot of pain and discomfort. I felt sick. I actually fell asleep right there, having a painful contraction for good measure.
I startled awake at 11:15 pm with a horribly painful contraction that was long and painful enough to make me need to sit up and get out of bed. I limped to the bathroom to get some water and just shake it off. A few minutes later, another contraction hit long and hard. And repeat. And repeat. I finally woke Chris up and said "Honey, it may be nothing yet but I'm having painful contractions every 5 minutes and I need your help timing them…I'm in too much pain now to focus."
Not long after that we were bustling around packing our bags for the hospital. Having been through it before, I knew I really only needed my toothbrush, contact lens case and glasses. I grabbed at some comfy clothes to come home in and some outfits for the baby for good measure and we called our awesome neighbor. She had volunteered to come in the night to be here for Paige in case I went into labor. Arriving just after 12:15 we gave her some basic instructions on things and off we went! (We'd called the doctor in the meantime who recommended we go ahead to labor and delivery to be checked out).
I knew it wasn't a false alarm. I was in too much pain. I could barely pack that bag with those few items! We enjoyed clear highways all the way to the hospital, although every bump in the road was like torture on my body. I remember leaving the car, waddling through the doors and thinking that I was leaving a former life behind me and leaping out into an entire new realm that would include another whole member to our family. Forever editing our family tree. My fears melted away as excitement and purpose took its place.
We came in and settled into our spacious birthing room. After a million questions and some settling in, the nurse checked to see how far along I was. I was only 75% effaced and one centimeter dilated. Ugh. But, the contractions were regular enough to keep me there until my doctor arrived in the morning. We'd have to stay the night. She offered me a narcotic to get me through the pain but to also help me sleep and maintain my energy. I agreed; as I was in so much pain but knew I was a long way off before having a baby. I still hadn't really slept much since I'd only just gone to bed! It sucked. I would fall asleep for 10 minute increments and startle myself awake in paranoia. I couldn't relax! The drug (can't remember the name of it) made me so nauseous and confused. My vision was blurred and I felt so panicked. And I still felt the pain; although I must admit the edge was taken off. I spent most of the night in that state and I felt miserable in the morning.
I was so excited to see the doctor but was bummed when the nurse came and said she was going to see all her postpartum patients first before checking in on me. She'd wanted me to have plenty of time to progress before she decided whether I would go home or not. I was sweating, crying, and groaning in pain and just wanted to be checked for progress! After a lot of screaming and yelling through contractions on my part the nurse was begging me to take another narcotic. I adamantly refused and begged her to stop asking me to take it. She was convinced I had a long way to go and needed my rest. I was convinced that I would spend another 7 hours wanting to barf and jump out a window at the same time. No dice.
Another scream of pain on my part and the nurse decided we'd waited long enough and she checked me. Only 1 centimeter dilated but more thinned out. I could NOT believe it. No real progress? After screaming painful contractions for hours? I felt horrified. I didn't think I could go much longer without going crazy. She told me to try and relax until the doctor could come. (hee hee, good one!). When she finally arrived I was praying so hard that I'd progressed. Sure enough, I was 3 centimeters along. WOOOOO! She said I was officially in active labor and would be staying. She said "You can have your epidural soon! But the head is still really high and I don't want to break your water yet because of it. Also, you'll need to have 2 bags of IV fluids and a bag of penicillin BEFORE you can have the epidural." WHAAAAAT? Yep. The nurse had just recently told me that I'd tested positive for Group B Strep and the baby needed to have IV antibiotics while being birthed. I love how they were just telling me that news. Why hadn't I known sooner? *eyeroll* Furthermore, I was freaked out about how long it would take to absorb all that stuff before I could get my pain relief. Let's just say there was a LOT of crying, breathing, squeezing, grunting, and eventual screaming for God to help me before all those fluids were absorbed!
Once I had my precious epidural (hello, old friend!) I was able to settle down and relax. The started me on some pitocin to help get the contractions more strong and regular. All I needed to do was wait and and be calm. I switched laying on my left side to my right in efforts to help the baby move his head down which seemed to do the trick because my water broke and it wasn't long before I could feel pressure down in my nether regions. I'd recently been checked and was found to be 6 centimeters dilated so it seemed to be moving fast! I could feel the head in there and let the nurse know. She fetched the doctor and sure enough, I was 10 centimeters along and ready to push! It was now 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, January 14th. I had only just gotten my epidural at about 11:30 am or so. Nice!
Everyone got ready and I watched all the excitement in a good mood and pain free. I felt the big urge to push by 1:45 and only had to go through 3 sets of contractions before I felt baby Noah's body slip right on out of me at 1:59 pm. My body felt instant relief and a rush of elation. I looked down and saw the doctor cleaning out his mouth and nose. Chris cut the really thick and sturdy umbilical chord. I cried. The nurses then whisked Noah over to the warmer area to do the Apgar tests and other things. I noticed his little chest was heaving so fast. They noted he was having difficulty breathing and it was common for boys born at 37 weeks. I felt so worried and my throat clutched. I wanted to see him. I wanted to hold him. Instead, I was watching his little chest rise and fall so fast. I could hear is little voice grunting and squeaking for air. They decided, after some tests, that he was getting enough oxygen and said I could hold him for just a minute or two. They put him in bare skin on my chest to help him warm up quickly. He snuggled right against me and seemed to calm a bit as I spoke. His eyes rolled all around to look toward me! Tears streamed down my face in disbelief that he was finally here! All too fast, they took him away for the next two hours for testing, stabilizing and all that jazz over at the nursery. The nurses all assured me that this was normal and he was going to be just fine; so I began to feel a bit better. My mood also improved when I was allowed to order my meal! I hadn't eaten since dinner on Friday evening so I was more than ready! (lol) Noah eventually came back to the room; still unbathed but was ready for his first meal. He took to the bottle right away and sucked contentedly with these little squeaky gulping sounds. I felt so much love flood through my veins right then. I thought I might explode. I began to cry again; a joyful cry of course. He was real. He IS real. He is here. And he is so very loved. He always will be, forever more.
One Week Old

Here's some fun photos; he's now a week old already! sigh.
Elvish

Daddy Snuggle

huh?

Cutie Butt

Sweetie Feet

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome

The Me and Wee family is proud to announce our newest addition:
Noah James Carty
Born on Saturday January 14, 2012 at 1:59pm
3 weeks early!
7 pounds, 12 ounces.....20.5 inches long


Noah

We are home now and resting...acclimating and healing. We are in love with our little fella!! He's quite dreamy, sweet and lovely. I know I'm in the first week honeymoon stage so I'm enjoying the peace while I can! :)
I'll be back soon with his birth story!

Chris even caught the tear in my eye! Way to go honey! lol
Just Born

Yummy! He scarfed his meal right in.
First Feeding

Happy Daddy!
Happy Daddy

Noah and his parents. He's happy to be with us before he thinks we're lame.
Us

Mama's Boy
Mommy and Noah

Paige is beyond elated about her brother. All she talks about is Baby Noah.
Paige is excited

She's so proud.
Big Sister

Nana and Grampa Cassidy watched Paige for us while we were away and enjoyed their first visit!
Nana and Grampa

Getting another peek before my sleeping pill kicked in.
Love

Morning snuggle
Snuggle

Ready to brave the New England winter. Warm enough?
New England Winter

Look how cute!
Home at Last

Paige adores him already.
Sister and Brother

Maren is concerned and protective and sweet to him.
Doggie love

See you here soon!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us! I'm excited to share how we move forward.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

37 Weeks and a Letter

37 weeks

Dear Little N.,
I was driving home in the dark from dinner with a newly pregnant friend last night and thought about you the whole way. My head swirled with many thoughts, but mostly about the fact that you are indeed a tiny little person inside my tummy who I am going to meet in about 2 weeks thanks to a pending induction. I wondered what you will look like, what you will feel like, and what your personality will be like. Everything began to feel so real and so profound. I've been scared to let myself get excited. You are almost here though and I'm allowing that excitement to seep in.
As I was driving, on the radio, the song "Lightning Crashes" by Live came on. It always seems to come on when I'm going through some sort big thing in my head. Like a sign from the angels reminding me of the miracles of life and the "bigness" of it all. That song never fails to move me to tears. I think about endings and beginnings and all the moments in between. Sometimes I worry about life ending too soon with all my intentions along with it. There's nothing more sad to me. I also think about new beginnings; like your impending birth, and all the possibilities your (and our) future holds.
Here are the lyrics for you to read; they discuss how while one old mother dies in one part of the hospital (her children are grown and she's lived a full life, albeit one with things left undone or unsaid); there is a birth for a young new mother in another part of that same hospital. Everything she has waited for is just beginning. The cycle of life is ever present and bigger than all of us.

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
her placenta falls to the floor
the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

lightning crashes, an old mother dies
her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes
the confusion that was hers
belongs now to the baby down the hall

oh now feel it comin' back again
like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
I can feel it.

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she's been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes
pale blue colored eyes,
contains the circle
and puts the glory out to hide, hide

I've carried you in my belly all this time; keeping you safe and warm and fed. I've been endlessly aware of how your arrival is going to permanently change the lives of your sister, Daddy, and Mommy in such a profound and exciting way. Sure, I've been nervous and scared. But not about YOU. Just about what it means for me to give you and your sister my ALL. Will I be enough? I hope so. I don't want to let you down, ever. I'm so excited to peer down at your little face and get to know you. To look in your pale blue colored eyes and see the circle of life. I'm excited to include you into our family forevermore. What is to come?

Your sister is thrilled you are coming. She talks a lot about being able to give you a bottle and help you sit in your high chair; even if that isn't for a while yet. She's also excited to pick out your outfits and help with your diapers. Isn't that nice? You'll have to remember that when you feel like giving her a hard time. Your Daddy has been endlessly excited about you coming; he loves to think about all the fun we will all have together.

Physically, this pregnancy has been very hard. I haven't known pain like this…Torn labrum in my hip, sciatica in my back/both legs, rashes, routine pregnancy pain, etc. etc. But I know it will be worth it in the end if it means there is YOU. The past several months have been a roller coaster of emotions ranging from excitement, fear, anticipation, anxiety and happiness. What a ride! As we get closer to your arrival date, I'm feeling a deeper sense of peace and calm. I know I can do this now. You are on my side; I've felt all your little kicks and punches at the same times each day reminding me that you are here and you are ok. You are loved Little N. So very loved. Beautiful boy, I'm so lucky to get to be your Mama; that I've been blessed with the treasure that is YOU. I hope you love being with me (and us) too. Now come out already! We're ready to start our adventures with you!
Love you always and forever,
Mama

Monday, January 9, 2012

36 weeks

36 weeks pregnant

Here I am! The pic is from today at 36 weeks 3 days. My zeppelin belly is so heavy and I feel like the baby will fall out at any time. LOL. Still hard and extremely painful to walk and move. To the point that the doctor finally prescribed Percocet for me. I take it very rarely; only when I need it the very, very, very most. The other day I took one and it didn't even help. sigh.
And I have that horrible cold that's been going around. Sweet. *cough*cough*hack*sniffle*snarf
Did I mention I also have the PUPPS rash?
Yep, I'm ready for the baby to come.
The doctor said "Let's get you to 37 weeks and then we'll talk." Well, that's the end of this week! We shall see what happens!
I'm definitely not complaining; I guess I'm just looking at all the things happening to my body right now and hoping the baby is interested in making an entrance soon. I mean, LOOK at me! How could I possibly GO another 4 weeks? At an ultrasound I had 3 weeks ago, the baby was estimated to be at 5.5 to 6 pounds or so. And that was 3 weeks ago.
So, that's the physical update! I'm headed off now to finish sorting baby clothes in a mad nesting frenzy. MUST finish SORTING! Be well everyone!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Treasured Moment

Paige has many obsessions that ebb and flow...a few days on, several weeks off and so forth. Winnie the Pooh is one of those things. A while back we were sitting down to dinner and we tried to tantalize her to eat her chicken nuggets with honey "Just like Winnie the Pooh!" I coaxed. (She was in mid-obsession at that time.) We normally used honey MUSTARD for the nuggets, but we were ALL OUT. (crime!) We DID have plain honey, though, and decided to use Pooh's current celebrity status to our advantage. She seemed to jump on board and took a hearty dunk and bite. Promptly, she made the "face of disgust" like she'd just eaten an old sock out of Chris' gym bag. "You don't like it?" I asked stupidly. "NO!" she chanted. Chris walked toward the kitchen sink and said in his scandalized tone, "You don't like honey? What would Winnie the Pooh say?" Without missing a beat Paige smartly replied: "Ooohhh bother."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

This past Christmas was our first time staying home. We wanted to begin our own special traditions now that Paige is old enough to understand the things going on around her. It was so much fun! What made it even more special is that my parents came to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us; and my brother came down with his girlfriend on Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve found us decorating cookies and going to Christmas Mass.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

During the Mass, the priest had his pregnant niece "due in 4 weeks" and her husband bring the little baby Jesus figure to the Nativity Scene. I leaned forward intently to see what his niece looked like...did she look to be due any day? Nope. She was tiny. Her belly looked like she'd had a big meal! The lady next to me goes "didn't you say you were due in another 5 weeks or so?" She looked down at my belly and we grinned; realizing that my stomach looked like a zeppelin in comparison to this girl. Everyone I encounter insists I'm having twins and overdue. LOL. *sigh* I'm definitely defying gravity.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Day was so fun and P was so well behaved. She was so excited about everything going on...no tantrums for fussies. Everything went as planned and it was a beautiful day. All ended with a delicious meal: a filet Chris cooked with lots of yummy sides and desserts. Such a treat! After everyone left and P went to bed we looked at pictures and videos from the day and got teary. We are so very blessed and lucky. Not a day goes by where I don't appreciate what we have and the wonders in our lives. It's funny to think that next year at this time we'll have a son; Paige will have a brother. He will almost be a year old. What a difference a year will make!
You can view all the pictures of the fun here.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011
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