Maternity Leave Superlatives

It has been exactly 8 weeks since my last day at work. Part of me feels like the time has gone by supersonically fast and the other part feels like it has been forever since I’ve been there.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m surprisingly feeling pretty okay about it. But what in the heck have I actually done in the last 8 weeks?

In the style of my favorite blog, here are my Maternity Leave Superlatives:

Most Productive: Using the time that I was stuck at home without my baby to unpack the house do home improvement projects. One of my favorites is the den!

Most Repetitive and Annoying: All the calls I’ve had to make to various insurance companies. After having Jack I kept receiving bill after bill for things that should have been paid through my insurance. After literally dozens of calls, we finally figured out that although my doctor’s office updated my plan number, they did not update the claims address. Now, the bills are finally being paid and I no longer have to freak out when I get one in the mail for thousands of dollars.

This is my Nana from my wedding in 2008

Most Heartbreaking: The death of my grandmother.  She had fought back so many times before, and I really thought she was going to pull through again this time. I’m just thankful that she was able to meet Jack before she passed away.

Most Amazing: That I rock at being a mommy. Somehow I found this deep pit of patience that I’ve never had before. I can magically deal with the cries and screams and somehow know how to make it all better. I really thought I was going to be bored out of my mind at home for these last 8 weeks, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of hanging out with Jack.

Winner of the “I said I’d never do that” Award: After years of saying that I was never going to be one of those people who posts a zillion pictures of their kid on Facebook, I can now say that my foot is firmly lodged in my mouth because I totally do it too. I try not to be too obnoxious about it, but with our family spread out all over the place it really is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone.

Happy (Belated) Easter!

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Kid Room Decor: Monkeys, Giraffes & Babies

Okay my fabulous Pocketful readers, here’s another decorating post for you – the nursery.

We weren’t really sure if we were still going to be in the rental apartment when Jack was born, so I started working on my nursery plans while we were still there. However, just in case we moved I made sure not to spend time on anything that couldn’t go with us. So, when we moved into our new house we had all the pieces I needed to put the nursery back together, we just needed the time to do it.

Well, you find time when your baby is born two months early! Within a couple days of my return from the hospital, we had thrown everything back together so that it was ready for Jack’s impending arrival home.

Luckily, the room was already painted a neutral brown tone with fun green carpet (well, fun if you’re doing a monkey and giraffe room). I really didn’t have the time or energy to paint another room, and I definitely did not want any lingering fumes left in there for my little preemie baby.

Here is a shot of the room before I prepared it for Jack:

What’s funny is that they already had a safari theme going on, or at least a huge wooden giraffe hanging out in the room. I would have loved it if they left that behind, but they totally took Hector with them (yes, I named their giraffe Hector).

Here’s the nursery after I finished with it:

Here are my favorite parts about the nursery:

I found a few jungle-ish fabrics that I loved and created a cute little pennant to hang over Jack’s crib. There are lots of tutorials online to show you how to do this, but I just kind of made it up as I went along and love the finished product. I also framed three of the fabrics as ‘art’ and hung them over the changing area.

So, I have an issue with spray paint… I LOVE to spray paint things random colors. So when I saw a drab wooden nightstand at Goodwill for $30 I immediately took it home so that I could sand it down and paint it a fun color. Love, love, LOVE this nightstand and it almost ended up in our hallway instead of Jack’s room.

The best part of the room is that we now have a baby home to enjoy it! Here is Jack on one of his very first tryouts of his new crib.

Speaking of my little stinker, he’s calling me with his request to be fed — so I’d better run! I’m thinking my blog posts will be ending quite abruptly for the next few weeks, um, months…

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I’ve Been a Busy Little Bee

I had Jack about two weeks ago and was released from the hospital a few days later. So for the last couple weeks I’ve been home and not working.

I haven’t really been blogging, only that one post about Jack being born. I’ve been pretty much missing from Facebook other than a few Jack-related updates and pictures. I haven’t even really been emailing any of my friends, who are used to getting a buttload of emails from me each week.

So what in the heck have I been doing?

Well, a good portion of every day is spent driving to the hospital, hanging out at the hospital with Jack, and driving back home. That probably takes up about 5 hours each day – especially considering that the NICU is closed between 6:30 – 7:30 each night, so my husband and I use that time to go and grab a bite to eat before returning to the hospital.

For the rest of my day, I’ve thrown myself into getting as many projects completed as possible.

So for the past 13 days I’ve been working on the house, getting as many random appointments out of the way as I can (eye doctor, vet, dentist, etc), and buying everything we need for Jack once he comes home.

My first large project was our den. The space is a bit odd and the previous owners just amped up the awkward with their random placement of a small couch and TV. I could not wait to get my hands on the place to change it up and make it feel like home. In fact, I had already decorated it in my head (and sketchbook) before we even owned the house.

A few people have asked for me to post my projects, so here is the before and after of our den.

Here is a shot of the den from the listing online, before I got my hands on it:

And here is my “after” shot from a similar angle:

Oh, actually I should start with the fact that the room is not entirely finished yet. Although Potter has a little corner to himself now (which my husband says looks like Potter’s Pleasure Palace with the hanging candle lights above his bed), that area will soon be built-in bookcases. I just need to buy the supplies and find the energy to build them.

Another view:

Yes, that’s a crapload of boxes out in our sunroom. I think we finally found a taker though, so someone will get some use out of them!

Other than the lack o’ bookshelves at the moment, I’m pretty happy with the way the room turned out. I love the bright white trim and blue walls. The super comfortable chairs make it nice to hang out in front of the fire with a cup of coffee, and it will be even better when Jack comes home to join in on the snuggling.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the room:

My Awesome Rug. I love my rug! I looked high and low for one that I liked as much as the West Elm version and finally found this one. And yes, those are Potters little feet — he likes the rug too.

My flying pig. No explanation needed, who doesn’t like a flying pig??

My Wish Tree. I love, love, LOVE my wish tree. My awesome and thoughtful friends who threw my baby shower had the attendees each write out their wish for our baby. They were so incredibly, tear-inducingly sweet that I was super happy to find a space where we could walk past them each day.

So there it is, my first house project. Well, my first house project that I’ve blogged about. Since this project has been completed (last week), I’ve also hung a bunch of pictures everywhere around the house and finished Jack’s nursery. So, more pictures coming soon!

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