The Nursery Plan For Baby #2

Ever since the start of this pregnancy, there’s been this urgent sense of “we need to figure out where we’re going to stash this baby” in the back of our minds. Originally, we were hoping to do a basement remodel or attic expansion in order to add a couple of extra bedrooms to the house, but we ended up putting those plans on hold for mostly financial reasons (more on that here and here). So that brought us back to square one, and we were left to make any nursery plans fit the space we already have.

Luckily, we do have a bit of extra space in the form of a “tandem room” right off of our bedroom — we’ve been using it as sort of an office nook since we moved in (or more accurately, we put a desk in there but hardly ever use it and it just gathers junk) so it seemed like the perfect space to convert into a nursery for the new baby. Below is a colorful floor plan of the house showing the new nursery location:

Floor Plan With Nursery

In case it isn’t evident from the floor plan, it’s completely open to our bedroom (not even a door or anything, so in some ways it’s sort of like one big room with a dividing wall). Also, the space is tiny — only 6.5 feet by 10.5 feet — but based on some preliminary measurements, I’m pretty sure there’ll be enough room to comfortably fit a crib and rocking chair in there. Ideally we would also like to have a changing table and some storage as well, but it will really depend on how well we can Tetris those things in.

After months of procrastination, we finally managed to devote some time to cleaning out that little room this past weekend. I never thought it was particularly bad, but once we started cleaning, it started to feel like something out of Hoarders. Why do we have all this stuff? We haven’t listened to actual physical CD’s in like eight years! And why did I save this empty box full of other empty boxes? Etc. etc. etc.

So in conclusion, the room itself is still in too embarrassing of a state to post a “before” picture — that will be coming at some point in the future when the rest of the furniture and other junk is moved out. In the meantime, just to get ahead of things by a few miles, we already have a theme in mind as far as nursery decorating goes. It all started when we were at that hot air balloon festival for the Fourth of July and picked up this colorful souvenir:

Hot Air Balloon Spinner / Wind Sock

It’s a windsock spinner thingy intended for outdoor use, but it seemed like just the sort of cheery, colorful item to hang in a future nursery — so it’ll be serving as sort of a jumping off point. A hot air balloon theme seemed like it’d be pretty cute, and not overwhelmingly gender-specific (which is something we were drawn to when setting up Lillian’s nursery as well).

But like I said, all of that is getting ahead of things a bit — at this point, being 31 weeks pregnant, I think I’ll be pretty happy if we can get a crib in there before baby arrives. So much to do, so little time!


30 Weeks Pregnant (And Starting To Feel Like It)

I’m now 30 weeks along with this pregnancy (going on 31 weeks as of tomorrow). To mark the occasion, here is another “baby bump” picture, originally posted on Instagram:

30 Weeks Pregnant

Me with Lillian (and Piggy, her current favorite stuffed animal).

I’ve now graduated to every-two-weekly doctor’s appointments, and toward the beginning of July, I took the one-hour glucose test at my 28-week appointment (where they feed you a really sugary beverage and then test your blood sugar an hour later in order to screen for gestational diabetes). Everything came back normal with that, so that was a relief.

As far as baby’s health goes, everything there is looking good so far as well — good heartbeat, growth is right on track, no abnormalities or problems detected. There was also an ultrasound at that previous appointment that took a bunch of measurements and such, and baby’s weight was estimated at 3 pounds 5 ounces, which falls at the 77th percentile.

As far as other pregnancy updates go, here are some random bullet points:

  • Fruit baby resembles this week: A cucumber, according to, since I guess the average cucumber is closest in size to the average baby at this stage of pregnancy (15.2 to 16.7 inches, 2.5 to 3.8 pounds). Although interestingly enough, I found this article about some freakishly large and possibly record-setting cucumbers measuring 43 inches in length (!!!) — thankfully I don’t think I’ll need to worry about this baby growing that large!
  • Animal I feel like this week: A big lumbering dinosaur. I’m starting to feel pretty huge these days, and bending over is getting a lot harder than it used to be, and I’m starting to do the pregnancy-waddle thing more — which in fairness usually has more to do with stiff/sore hips than the hugeness, but still. *insert dinosaur sounds here*
  • General comfort level: On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being “not pregnant” and 1 being “worst pregnancy-induced discomfort ever,” I’d say I’m at about a 7 or 8 most days. So not too bad! Still doing most of the same things I was doing before (such as working full time, walking two miles a day, and wrangling a two-year-old) despite often feeling like a big lumbering dinosaur while doing it.
  • Sleep: Good! I’m happy to say I’ve been having no issues with falling asleep or staying asleep, or even needing to get up multiple times during the night to go to the bathroom, etc. The biggest threat to my getting a good night sleep these days is just plain staying up too late, doing things like surfing the internet or writing this blog post.

And in the “preparing for baby” category, here are a few random updates on that front:

  • Hospital pre-registration: I actually got all the labor and delivery pre-registration forms filled out and turned in today, which feels pretty good to have gotten out of the way — apparently I didn’t get around to it until the 36-week mark when I was pregnant with Lillian, if this old blog post is any indication.
  • Child care arrangements: Upon learning that there was a spot open in Lillian’s daycare, we decided to go ahead and put in the deposit to reserve it. This may seem a bit premature (considering that we have a few more months before this baby is even due) but it’s a relief knowing we’ll have reliable, high-quality childcare lined up.

But that’s about as far as the preparations have gotten so far. When it comes to getting the house ready or preparing a nursery, pretty much nothing has happened yet, so we’d better get on that — I’m sure these next 10 weeks will fly by sooner than we know it!


Our Fourth Of July at the “Eyes To The Skies” Hot Air Balloon Festival

After the fun we had last year with our Fourth of July visit to the “Eyes To The Skies” hot air balloon festival, we decided to go back again this year — and make a full day of it, rather than first getting there in the evening like we did last time. To kick off another photo-filled post, here is a preview of some of the crowds at the festival with a couple of hot air balloons overhead (previously posted on Instagram):

"Eyes To The Skies" Hot Air Balloon Festival

Unlike last year, when it was too windy to launch any of the hot air balloons, this time we got to actually see some take off, which was pretty cool. But the balloon launch didn’t happen until after 6:00 in the evening, and we arrived way earlier — around 10:30 or so in the morning. It was actually pretty empty when we first got there!  Read the rest of this post →

New Glasses

In addition to celebrating the 4th of July (which I’m hoping to blog about soon!) a few other notable things happened this past weekend. Like we took a random day trip down to Springfield IL, stopping at a small children’s museum along the way. And in the mundane barely-blog-worthy category, I got new glasses.

My vision has never been particularly terrible, although the pesky Department of Motor Vehicles decided a few years ago that I need to wear glasses in order to drive legally. And I wear them pretty much all the time anyway, just for general clarity purposes. But it had been ages since my last eye exam (about five years, I think?) and I’d started to notice myself struggling more to see road signs, and hunching closer to the computer screen in order to read text on there, even while wearing the glasses.

The other issue was that for the past few months, my old wire frame glasses were no longer sitting right, to the point of making sores on the bridge of my nose. One evening, Joe saw me dabbing at my face with a blood-stained Kleenex, and was like “Sarah! For &@$! sake, go get new glasses!” and it was hard to deny he had a point — if it was just the frames it might’ve been feasible to look into having those adjusted or repaired or something, but coupled with the vision issue it tipped the scales toward actually getting new ones.

So off to the eyeglass place I went. The eye exam indeed revealed that I needed a different prescription from what my old glasses were using, and the eye doctor seemed slightly horrified at how sore my nose looked under the old glasses. She recommended lighter-weight plastic frames, but I didn’t really care for the way any of those looked when trying them on, and ended up going for a very lightweight, yet sturdy-feeling titanium pair with a somewhat different shape than my old ones — the photo below shows a comparison (the old ones are in front):

New Glasses And Old Glasses

I think it’s kind of nerve-wracking trying to pick out new eyeglass frames — just the feeling of “this is going to be part of my FACE” so you have to choose wisely. (On a side note, I did try contact lenses briefly way back when and found them to be generally a bit of a pain, so these days it’s glasses for me all the way.)

Anyway, here is an Instagram photo I posted a few days ago wearing the new glasses:

New Glasses

I like to think the decision turned out okay, and most importantly, the new frames are super comfy and the bridge of my nose is already as good as new. And with the updated prescription everything is super clear — I spent the first few days admiring things like the texture of tree bark, which at some point must’ve started blurring into the background, and I’m no longer am squinting at the computer screen, so hooray for that.

Interestingly, though, I’ve heard some things about how pregnancy can cause blurrier vision, sometimes to the point of requiring a different prescription for glasses according to WebMD — and while I’m pretty sure that in my case the difference has been slowly developing for a while now in that long gap since my last eye exam, I guess it’ll be interesting to see if my vision changes noticeably after this baby is born, or if the prescription will need to be updated again at that point. (Hopefully not!)

But anyway, that concludes the rambling story of one rather mundane thing that happened this past weekend — a (belated) post about our Fourth Of July adventures should be coming shortly! And in the meantime, has anyone out there had issues with vision or eyeglass prescriptions changing during or after pregnancy? I’d love to hear any thoughts or stories in the comments.

A Day At The Carnival, Toddler Style

A few weekends ago, we heard about a carnival in Elk Grove Village, one of the suburbs of Chicago, and decided to go check it out. I was admittedly pretty excited about it — it was the first time I’d been to a carnival in years, and the first time Lillian’s been to a carnival ever, so we thought it would be fun. This post tells the story of our adventures from that day (with way too many pictures!)

As far as preparations for visiting a carnival with a two year old, we actually passed on bringing the stroller, since we seem to be using it less and less lately — Lillian seems to prefer walking in most cases. She’s also been getting to that age of not taking afternoon naps as reliably as she used to, and not seeming to need them as much, but we made sure she got one that day because we knew we might be out on the late side. We ended up arriving at the carnival around 6:00 in the evening.

Skipping ahead, here’s a peek at the Ferris Wheel at around sundown (which you may have already seen if you follow me on Instagram):

Carnival - Instagram Edition

When we first arrived at the carnival and were buying our tickets, one of the first things I noticed was the “Fun & Safety” guidelines posted up on all the rides. Pregnancy was one of the things that warranted a recommendation not to go on the rides, along with such serious conditions as heart trouble, high blood pressure, recent surgery, bone injuries, and being barefoot.  Read the rest of this post