Our Visit To Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm

Ever since Lillian was a year old, we’ve had a running family tradition where we visit a pumpkin patch in the fall. Last year, we visited County Line Orchard (details in this post), and the year before we visited Stade’s Farm Market (details in this post). And this year, we continued the tradition with a visit to Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen, IL (a little under an hour southwest of us) with our three-year-old and new little baby in tow.

Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm

Our visit was on October 19th, meaning Rosemarie was just over one month old at the time. We’d been picking a different pumpkin farm every year, just to try something new, although Bengtson’s happens to be the one my family used to visit every year when I was growing up. I hadn’t been back there in probably 15 or 20 years, and a lot has changed from what I recall in those hazy childhood memories.

Autumn Pumpkin Farm

(Lots of pumpkins! Originally posted on Instagram.)

There was no shortage of pumpkins to be seen upon arrival, including pumpkins that had been arranged into fun shapes like a totem pole with gourds to make up the faces:

Pumpkin Totem Pole

And those giant boulder-looking things behind the totem pole in the photo above are actually real pumpkins — probably some of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen! Here’s Joe and Lillian posing with one of them for scale:

1600 Pound Pumpkin

For anyone curious, here’s a closer view of that sign — 1,692.5 pounds of real pumpkin, grown in Wisconsin and weighed at a Great Pumpkin Commonwealth weigh off. (Check out that website if you’re interested in seeing some truly gigantic pumpkins — the record is apparently over 2,000 pounds, making this one only modestly large by comparison!)

Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Weigh Off Sign

There were various Halloween-themed displays, like this animatronic skeleton band:

Skeleton Band

And the gigantic “Fun Slide.” Lillian wanted to go on this slide from the moment she saw it, since she loves slides and this has gotta be the biggest one she’s ever seen in her little life:

Gigantic Fun Slide

So I took Lillian on the slide while Joe stayed with the stroller and Rosemarie. The line was fairly long, and it took us a full 30 minutes to get through it, which must have taken all the patience a two (going-on-three) year old could muster. (Though she was remarkably calm and patient during the wait — must’ve been the promise of a ride down that gigantic candy colored slide awaiting us at the end.)

The way it works is you ride down the slide on these burlap blankets, and the littler kids had the option to ride on their parents’ laps, so me and Lillian went down together. Joe managed to capture this photo just as we were reaching the bottom:

Going Down Fun Slide

Not too far from the gigantic fun slide was this little play area, with colorful pumpkin play houses, and a much smaller frog slide:

Frog Slide

Another thing they had in plentiful supply (but not pictured in this blog post) is port-a-potties. These could be found all around the farm in clusters of three or four, and while on the one hand it was convenient to never be too far from a bathroom, on the other hand, if you’re visiting with a newly-potty-trained little one, the novelty may be too hard for them to resist. (Or at least that was our experience — Lillian must’ve insisted on using 5 or 6 different port-a-potties during the few hours we were at the pumpkin farm.)

Towards the end we went on the requisite hayride, which involved wooden seats in carts pulled by a tractor (so no actual hay, which I do remember existing during visits here as a kid):

Hayride Wagons

I also have distinct memories of an actual pumpkin patch, but I guess with suburban subdivisions pressing in from all sides, there must not have been room for that anymore. Instead there was just this field with pumpkins that had been brought into it:

Pumpkin Field

In all fairness, there was really no point to having the tractor ride, since the farm really isn’t big enough to need it. Walk another 20 or 30 feet to the left in the above photo and you’ll start running into the play area with the frog slide, and the gigantic Fun Slide beyond that — we actually walked through the pumpkin patch a few times before taking the tractor ride there again for completeness sake.

Overall, Bengtson’s Farm as it exists now seems to be very different from the place I remember visiting as a kid (mostly in the sense of it being smaller and more artificial)… but I don’t think those differences are too big of a deal for the next generation of visitors. Lillian had a blast.

Sitting On Pumpkin

And speaking of pumpkins, we couldn’t resist dressing Rosemarie up in this adorable pumpkin baby costume for the occasion:

Holding Pumpkin Baby

I would say she’s a little grumpy about the costume, but Rosemarie has had one of the grumpiest poutiest little baby faces ever, pretty much since she was born. (She does smile sometimes, I promise! Even if photographing it is as difficult and elusive as photographing Bigfoot.)

Pumpkin Baby!

Anyway, that was our pumpkin patch trip this year! And a long-overdue update to this blog, which unfortunately has been getting put on the back burner lately. While it may be tempting to blame this on the time-demands of having a new baby, the truth is that Rosemarie has been similar to her big sister in terms of being a fairly easy baby, and with Joe being a fantastic dad who shares in the baby-rearing duties 50/50, we’ve really been taking it all in stride.

No, admittedly the big distraction for me over these last few weeks has been job-related: I learned firsthand how stressful it can be to go on a (short, carefully-planned) maternity leave only to find that your job isn’t coming back when you expected it would, and to suddenly find yourself scrambling to do freelance work while sending out job applications. Thankfully it turned out to be only a delay rather than an outright layoff in my case (knock on wood) and it’s a relief to be settling back into things without having to worry about the possibility of unemployment at a time when our family just got bigger and we gained all the additional responsibilities and expenses that go along with that.

So that’s another thing to be thankful for — and just in time for Thanksgiving! Have a happy turkey-eating holiday, everyone!

Rosemarie’s Birth Story

It all started on September 16th, three days before the due date. As mentioned in my final pregnancy update, I was feeling pretty anxious to get baby out — partly due to those pesky pregnancy-related discomforts, but also a nagging sense of concern the longer the pregnancy went on. Lillian had weighed exactly 9 pounds when she was born at 38 weeks, and despite conflicting and potentially inaccurate estimates from the ultrasounds during this pregnancy (they were guessing just under 8 pounds as of a week before the delivery) I had the gut feeling that Baby #2 was on track to be as large or larger.

But even if the doctors shared those concerns, a potentially large baby is not considered a legitimate medical reason to induce labor — and with a completely closed cervix, my doctor actually recommended against it, insisting that it would be better to wait for labor to start naturally to avoid increasing my risk of having a C-section.

Even so, I was adamant that I wanted to induce labor anyway. (Which I realize is the stark opposite of many birth stories I’ve read, where the doctor wants to induce but the patient would prefer labor to start on its own.) Somewhat reluctantly, the doctor agreed, but it would be considered a purely “elective” induction, and that’s how I got on that waiting list mentioned in my 39-week pregnancy update post. The way it works, the hospital only has a certain number of slots available for inductions, and the ones considered medically-necessary (of course) get a higher priority than the elective ones, so I wouldn’t know until the day before if a slot had opened up for me or not.

So on Tuesday morning, I called the doctor’s office to see if I’d been moved off that waiting list, so as to be on the schedule for an induction for the following day (September 17th). The answer was no. They said they’d call me back that afternoon if anything changed, and I hung up from the call feeling frustrated and powerless and all kinds of emotional (which I can probably blame on pregnancy hormones).

I had heard that walking can help get labor going, so rather than sitting around helplessly, I decided to go for a walk. A long walk. To the nearest mall, 3.5 miles away. My mom had come over to keep me company, and thought it was crazy, but I promised to call for a ride if I got too tired or went into labor or whatever. And with that I crammed my swollen ham-like feet into a pair of sneakers, put my favorite angsty self-pity music on my headphones, and started walking.

About two hours later I had made it all the way there, and it was actually a pretty nice walk — almost entirely quiet residential streets with sidewalks, and I got to cut through a park I’d never visited before, and the weather was perfect for being outside. It was admittedly pretty tiring, but I think having a concrete destination in mind motivated me to keep going longer than if I’d just started walking aimlessly around our neighborhood.

And in a bit of uncanny timing — just as I arrived, I got a phone call from the doctor’s office saying that a slot had opened and I was on the schedule for an induction, at 2:30 AM that same night (or the next morning, however you want to look at it). I was ecstatic. The walk didn’t make me go into labor, but it ended with exactly the outcome I wanted, other than maybe that ungodly hour we’d have to show up at the hospital.

I invited my mom to meet up for lunch at what’s probably the last surviving Quizno’s anywhere in Chicago, and then rode back home with her, since it would be a little crazy to walk 3.5 miles twice in one day while 9 months pregnant. We swung over to her place so she could pick up a few things, since she’d be staying over at our house to watch Lillian while we were at the hospital, and I spent a good chunk of the remainder of the day taking a nap.

Joe and I headed out a little after midnight, and stopped for a very late “dinner” at Steak N Shake (dining room open 24 hours!) since I’d been told I wouldn’t be allowed to eat after checking in at the hospital. We were settling into the labor and delivery room by 2:45 AM, and shortly afterward the nurses had started an IV with pitocin drip. (Interestingly enough, at the first cervix check I was already 3 centimeters dilated — so either the pitocin started working really fast, or all that walking did help something after all.)

Overall, the whole thing felt so much more relaxed than my first labor. Partly because it was all planned and scheduled, rather than unexpectedly rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night, and partly because I’d been through it before and had a better idea of my own preferences. (For instance, I knew 100% that I wanted the epidural, rather than the “let’s try to go natural if possible” attitude I went in with the first time, which ended in a big slice of drug-flavored humble pie.) By noon I was numb from the waist down, comfortable as could be, and spent the rest of the day chatting with Joe and watching TV and playing with my iPhone.

Labor In Hospital

(Yay for drugs! Also I’m a bit of a wuss who didn’t want to look at the IV, so my forearm is wrapped in a small towel here.)

Aside from not being able to eat, labor was just a big happy waiting game, counting down the hours and minutes until we could meet our new baby girl. Shortly after 8:00 pm, it was finally time to push. The doctor was called in, and various equipment and instruments were set up. The excitement built as the long-awaited moment finally arrived.

Things went smoothly at first. It only took a few pushes, and less than 10 minutes from when we started, to get her head out (which is pretty similar to how the pushing phase had gone the previous time). It was a little unnerving to hear the doctor mention to the nurse that there was a nuchal cord, meaning the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. And then things got a little scary.

“We have a shoulder,” the doctor said. She said this very calmly, in her typical warm smiley voice, but something instantly changed in the room. Joe, who’d been standing to my left, had to step aside as one of the nurses crowded in to help. Someone called in a code, and it must have been something the hospital practiced for extensively, because within seconds there were like eight people in the room. It’s sort of hard to describe because I don’t recall anyone ever rushing in — it was more like a bunch of extra doctors and nurses just materialized in there, like wild Pokemon.

Everything happened with such an air of calmness and confidence (and I’m sure it does no one any good to act any other way, least of all the concerned parents) though unfortunately I’d read enough about the whole childbirth thing to understand the seriousness of what was going on. It was shoulder dystocia, a complication where the baby’s head is delivered but one of the shoulders gets stuck, and it’s considered an obstetric emergency when it happens because the baby can get cut off from their oxygen supply and suffer brain damage or even death within a matter of minutes if they’re not delivered.

In our case, thankfully, it wasn’t severe and resolved fairly quickly — the doctor was able to perform some sort of rotation maneuver, and I pushed with all my might when they said to push, and she was out within about 30 seconds. It felt like longer, but in reality the whole thing was pretty much already resolved by the time the backup crew of extra doctors and nurses arrived to help.

It was 8:41 PM, and our little Rosemarie had arrived. They put her on my chest briefly right after she was delivered, and it was a wonderful emotional crying-from-joy moment to finally meet her. But she didn’t seem to be making much noise, and I remember that I kept asking “Is she okay?”

Within a few seconds they whisked her away to the warming table for examination, and in the chaos of it all Joe didn’t get to cut the cord as he had with Lillian. But she started crying heartily in short order, and while the team of pediatricians that had materialized in the room mentioned something about her right arm (I think there was initially some concern that the right shoulder might’ve been injured during that slightly complicated delivery), on further examination everything was found to be A-OK. Phew!

It was such a huge relief to have her out and safe and healthy. And upon hearing that she weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces, I have to admit I felt pretty vindicated in those concerns about her size and general anxiousness to deliver… If she almost got stuck now, I shudder to think what might’ve happened if she’d been any larger.

Baby (9 Pounds 5 Ounces)

The doctors all seemed kind of surprised at how big she was, and explained that larger babies can have trouble with their blood sugar, so they wanted her to eat right away. This turned out to be easy since our plan had been to formula feed from the start, so she got her first bottle within 20 minutes of being born. At the first glucose test half an hour later, they wanted to see it above 50, and it was 52 — so just barely in the safe zone.

(Baby's first bottle.)

(Baby’s first bottle.)

They got us moved up into the recovery room by midnight or so, and I was walking on air — we had our beautiful healthy newborn, and they fed me some warm macaroni and cheese (cafeteria grade, but it seemed like the most delicious thing ever after not eating for almost 24 hours). And I couldn’t believe how good I felt walking around the hospital room even a few hours later. I had no tearing at all, and never felt any need to sit on an ice pack or use one of those “cleansing bottles” instead of toilet paper. Weirdly enough, the worst pain I had in the aftermath felt like a bruise, as though someone had kicked me in the upper right hand side of the rump — not sure where that came from, and imagine it must’ve had something to do with how I was positioned in the bed during labor.

The hospital had really nice private recovery rooms with pull-out beds, which is where Joe slept that first night. Neither of us had gotten much rest the night before, but even so, Joe sweetly volunteered to tend to Rosemarie during the night so I could get some rest. Although that didn’t pan out — the nurses kept coming in to check my vitals and monitor Rosemarie’s blood sugar, and since I was getting woken up anyway, I figured I might as well handle it. For her part, Rosemarie slept contentedly most of the time, just waking up every few hours for a bottle.

The next day, my mom brought Lillian to the hospital to meet her new baby sister. We weren’t sure how she would react to the new baby — she’d always seemed excited when talking to her about it beforehand, but it was hard to tell if she really understood, or if she’d be jealous, or something else. She was really quiet at first, after coming into the room and being introduced to the baby. Then, one of the first things she said, softly, was, “I want to hold her.”

So we got her settled in on the couch, and showed her how to support her head, and I think this photo accurately captures the joy of Big Sister proudly holding Little Sister for the first time:

Holding Baby Sister

What really melted my heart was the concern and protectiveness Lillian showed toward toward her baby sister, right from that very first visit. For instance, when the team of pediatricians came in to do one of their routine exams, Rosemarie had been sleeping peacefully, but (predictably) woke up and started crying as they started prodding her with thermometers and stethoscopes and whatnot. And without missing a beat, Lillian jumped up and picked up a half-finished baby bottle and rushed over to the bassinet, clearly wanting to offer it to that poor distressed baby to comfort her. (She wasn’t actually able to, and in reality the bottle had probably been sitting out for too long to be any good, but the gesture was the sweetest thing.)

While they were visiting, the newborn photographer came by to do the newborn photo shoot, something that was optionally offered by the hospital. We had declined getting any newborn photos when Lillian was born due to concerns we had at the time about any additional expense, and kind of regretted it, so this time we decided to splurge and buy one of the photo packages. I think they turned out well and were totally worth it, considering that we were able to get some pictures that we probably never would have otherwise. Here are a few of the photos:

Sleepy Baby

(All that hair!)

(Adorable tiny baby hand.)

(Adorable tiny baby hand.)

(Adorable tiny baby feet.)

(Adorable tiny baby feet.)

(The first photo of all four of us together.)

(The first photo of all four of us together.)

I sent Joe home with my mom and Lillian that afternoon. We’d already been away for so long by that point, and that way he could at least provide the familiar bath time and story time routine that night, and generally keep things as normal as possible for Lillian (not to mention get a better night’s sleep in our actual bed).

We were discharged at around noon the next day. We strolled out of the hospital together and walked the block or so over to the parking garage (drawing lots of stares, since I guess walking down the street carrying a tiny newborn isn’t that common even near a hospital) only to realize that we had a amassed a $150.00 parking bill over the past few days. Luckily we were able to go back and get the validation or maternity discount or whatever, which reduced it to “only” $72.00. And that’s what we get for having a baby at a hospital in the heart of downtown Chicago, where parking is a prized commodity.

Rosemarie is three weeks old now, and so far it’s been relatively smooth sailing. Her settings include “content and alert,” “asleep,” and “crying due to hunger and/or poopy diaper” — we’re keeping our fingers crossed that she will remain a relatively calm, predictable baby like her big sister was, but we’ll see how things go. (If it’s any encouragement, she’s already starting to sleep for four, five, or sometimes almost six hour stretches at night — perhaps one day I will learn to take advantage of these for sleep, instead of staying up reading TV Tropes or composing excessively long blog posts.)

And so far, Lillian has been nothing short of an amazing big sister. She’s always eager to help with Rosemarie in little ways, like giving her a pacifier (“paci-higher” as she pronounces it), or handing us things when it’s time for feedings or diaper changes. She talks endlessly about all the things Rosemarie will be able do when she gets “a little more bigger” — use the potty, eat potato chips, jump on bouncy castles, go in the swimming pool. By all accounts she even seems to highly recommend the Big Sister Experience to others, as I was told about this amusing little exchange between Lillian and another little girl her age by our daycare provider:

Lillian: You should get a baby sister too!
Other Girl: I think I want a puppy.

Anyway, that’s the lengthy and somewhat belated story of how we became a family of four, and our transition into life with two kids so far. (Two! That’s twice as many as we used to have!) There’s admittedly been a bit of a learning curve, for instance when it comes to packing up to head out the door or just generally meeting the needs of both at once, but we seem to be settling in well enough — only time will tell what lies ahead in this next exciting chapter of our parenthood journey!

Baby #2 Has Arrived!

She’s here! Rosemarie Ellen was born on September 17th, 2014 at 8:41 pm, weighing in at 9 pounds 5 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches long. (I already posted quick updates on Facebook and Instagram, but had to make sure to update the blog as well!)

Me and Rosemarie after the delivery.

Me and Rosemarie after the delivery.

Rosemarie arrived healthy and perfect, and scored 9/9 on her Apgars despite a brief (but scary) complication during her delivery. And I’m doing great as well — up and around, cleared by the doctor to drive, and generally feeling better than anyone has any business feeling less than 48 hours after pushing out a 9+ pound baby.

Here’s one more photo, taken from the same angle as the photo from Lillian’s birth announcement post:

Rosemarie Newborn

Couldn’t resist, and I love comparing the two baby pictures — I think they look a lot alike! Although Rosemarie’s hair seems to be darker than the blondish wisps Lillian was born with (which eventually turned red) so it’ll be interesting to see how that changes as she grows.

Anyway, just wanted to post this quick update. We’re getting ready to leave the hospital in a bit, so more details and pictures to follow shortly!

 

39 Weeks Pregnant — The Most Pregnant I’ve Ever Been

At around this point in my first pregnancy, we were already back home from the hospital with a week-old baby, so this is getting to be uncharted territory for me now. Here at 39 weeks pregnant, I’m gaining a new appreciation for the feeling of wanting to be “done,” and a newfound sympathy for those moms who go to 40, 41, or even 42 weeks in their pregnancies.

39 Weeks Pregnant

39 week baby bump photo — looking every bit as huge as I feel!

I’ve been on maternity leave for over a week now, which has taken some adjusting — even with doing some work remotely, it’s definitely shaken up the usual routine, and there’s been a sneaking sense of cabin fever creeping in. Then toward the end of last week I was knocked flat by a bad cold (no fever or anything, just really bad congestion) which interfered with my ability to sleep above and beyond the typical pregnancy-related discomforts — but thankfully, that’s subsiding now.

I’ve also pretty much given up on wearing shoes other than flip-flops, partly because my feet have been super swollen lately, but even if they weren’t, it’s also gotten really cumbersome to do the bending needed to put on any other kind of shoe. And heck, it’s not like I’m going anywhere. The only drawback is that the temperature here in Chicago has been falling into the 60’s and 50’s, which is getting to be about the bottom threshold of flip-flop wearing weather. (Hard to believe that summer is pretty much over already, and fall will be in full swing before we know it.)

On the medical side of things, my doctor’s appointment last Wednesday revealed no additional progress, which was pretty discouraging. Even so, an eviction induction date has been tentatively set for this Wednesday, September 17th (which would put us at 39 weeks + 5 days), though only if all the scheduling works out. Which is far from certain at this point, since apparently I’m only on a “waiting list” rather than anything more concrete.

I have to admit — when my doctor (repeatedly) brought up the possibility of a 39-week induction earlier on in the pregnancy, I didn’t realize there would be so much uncertainty and rigmarole involved in actually making it happen. If I had, I might’ve been able to plan things out differently when it came to arranging my maternity leave, or at the very least adjusted my expectations of how (and if) the whole induction thing was likely to go down.

But it is what it is, I suppose. It is nice to have gotten to a point where everything is pretty much ready to go — the nursery is ready, the car seat is installed, and I’ve even gotten a hospital bag mostly packed. (The first thing to go in was like 10 newborn-sized outfits, after that whole business of bringing Lillian home from the hospital in a ridiculously oversized outfit because we somehow failed to pack anything smaller when throwing things into the bag at 1:00 in the morning.)

And just to put an even more positive spin on things, it helps to try to focus on the grand prize at the end. Once we get to hold and cuddle this new baby girl, and introduce her to her newly-minted big sister, all these pregnancy-related frustrations and discomforts will become inconsequential things of the past. (Or at the very least, forgotten in that wonderful haze of new-parent sleep deprivation!)

Nursery Progress: Moving In The Baby Furniture (Tetris-Style)

We’ve reached the 39-week mark in this pregnancy, with no sign of baby’s arrival just yet! So it seemed like a good time for another nursery update post. When I last left off blogging about the nursery progress, we had finished cleaning out the room, patched the various cracks and cosmetic imperfections, and painted the whole thing a happy pastel yellow (more on all that here).

So the next step was to move in the various baby furniture we would need for the room’s incoming new occupant. The wish list of items we wanted to put in there looked something like this:

  • A crib
  • A rocking chair
  • A changing table
  • Some sort of table next to the rocking chair (for setting down baby bottles, etc.)
  • A dresser or drawers for baby clothes storage
  • Shelves for additional storage and/or decorative items

All of which may seem like a pretty tall order, considering that the room we were working with was only 6 feet by 10 feet. But we did manage do cram all of those things in (plus a bonus ottoman for putting up our feet).

Here is the view looking in to the room right now:

Nursery View (Yellow)

And here is a (badly warped iPhone panorama) photo showing the other side of the room:

Changing Table And Shelf

There’s no denying that it’s a bit of a tight fit, but it’s all there, and surprisingly enough it doesn’t even feel all that claustrophobic. For clarity purposes, here is a floor plan showing the current furniture arrangement:

Nursery Floor Plan

A few of the furniture items shown above were new purchases, while others we already had on hand. For instance, the crib got passed down to the baby after we upgraded Lillian to a big girl bed. (It sat disassembled in the dining room for a week or so, and when we finally got it put back together in the nursery, Lillian said, “You built the baby crib bed? Yay! Great job, mommy!” while clapping her hands. A little recognition is always nice!)

The bookcase had also been in our “office” for a year or two, just crammed with various hoarded junk, so it was relatively easy to clear it off in preparation for holding baby paraphernalia.

The glider rocking chair is new. We didn’t really consider re-using the big cushy Lazy Boy recliner from Lillian’s room, partly because we still use it while reading bedtime stories in there every night, but also because it has a large-ish footprint, and we didn’t have much space to work with in the new nursery.

So we paid a visit to Babies R Us to check out their selection of glider rocking chairs, and found that one of the least expensive models was actually quite comfortable. For some reason, though, they only had it available in a dark cherry / chocolate color — and while that wasn’t really our first choice color-wise (considering the whole yellow-and-white thing we had going on in the nursery), we were pretty much set to go for it, since it didn’t really make sense to pay considerably more for a different model just to get a different color.

But then at the last minute we looked online, and found that Amazon.com not only had the same Stork Craft Hoop Glider available in a bunch of other colors, but also for about $50 cheaper than what we would have paid at Babies R Us. So, we went ahead and ordered it in the “White/Yellow Gingham” color — and overall I think it turned out to be a great fit for the room, both size-wise and color wise.

Here is another angle showing a better view of the rocking chair:

Nursery Furniture (Yellow)

The ottoman also came included, and is really nice and comfy to rest your feet on and rock — though if it starts to feel like a tripping hazard or otherwise too much for this little room, we may have to put it away in the basement or something. As for the color of both the glider and ottoman, since it’s kind of hard to see from further away, here is a closeup showing the pattern and texture of the fabric:

Yellow Gingham Fabric Closeup

The little round table next to the glider was also a new purchase. We learned our lesson after trying out Ikea’s “Lindved” side table in Lillian’s nursery early on — that one was also round, and similar in shape and size, but made of metal, which turned it into something like a banging gong when setting things down on it. This one, the Winsome Wood Sasha Accent Table, shouldn’t have that problem since it’s made of wood. It also has the nice little bonus drawer (which in fairness isn’t big enough to store more than the tiniest things, maybe just a pacifier and burp cloth).

Side Table Closeup

And finally, the changing table, which was also new (specifically the DaVinci Jayden 3-Drawer Changer Dresser). It was just about the right size to cram in on the other side of the room, and in addition to providing a dedicated surface for diaper changes, it also included three generously-sized drawers for stashing all those baby clothes and related items).

Changing Table Closeup

Changing tables seem to be one of those items that lots of parenting forums and websites consider optional, but based on our experience with Lillian, we did pretty much 100% of diaper changes on her changing table (technically a dresser with a changing pad on it) if we were at home. So we knew we’d get a good use out of it, and by choosing a model that’s basically a dresser with a sunken top rather than just a table, hopefully we’ll be able to get some use out of it even beyond the diapering days.

All in all, I think things came together pretty well in this little room — it has pretty much the same amount of functionality and storage as Lillian’s nursery did, despite being barely more than half the size. So, victory! And the next steps (which we haven’t gotten started on yet) are the fun ones, to add some decorations and personal touches to the room… Plus, of course, the baby. Crazy to think that she could arrive any day now!