Friday, July 26, 2013

A Place for Baby to Sleep.

In about 12 years, girls everywhere will be swooning over Prince George, the way my generation swooned over Prince William. Sure his hair line has receded quite a bit, but he's still a rather hansom chap if you ask me. Prince Harry of course has become the better looking one over time, but I remember my days of dreaming to be in the place where Kate is now. I bet their nursery looks beautiful with pieces picked out from all kinds of exotic places.
Though picking out nursery furniture has been described to me as being stressful. And I don't doubt it, I mean all those things are expensive and can really add up. I searched through some stores to see how much it would cost to set up a nursery and here I have provided one example of a lesser expensive store (Ikea) and a more average to expensive store (Sears)
If I go to Ikea and pick out average priced items, plus a can of paint, the average cost of a nursery would be roughly $800-$900.
If I went to Sears and picked out the same average priced items it would cost around $1500
Of course I'm not saying that everyone spends this amount of money on a nursery, but if you were to purchase all your basics brand new, these are roughly the costs.
 This includes the following items:
  • crib
  • mattress
  • sheets
  • bumper pad
  • change table
  • mobile
  • curtains
  • glider/chair
  • dresser
  • change pad
  • diaper pail
  • rug
  • some decor items such as pictures
I think we can agree that these items are the basics a parent would put in a nursery. I have put all those items in my nursery but I have thrifted/refurbished as much as I can ( though there were a one or two items that I bought brand new):
  • crib- free
  • mattress - $70
  • sheets- $10
  • bumper pad- $10- second hand
  • change table- $50 and mine doubles as a dresser
  • mobile-not there yet, plan to make one out of an embroidery hoop and some left over fabrics.
  • curtains- $6
  • glider/chair- $50 on reupholstering 
  • dresser...included in change table cost
  • can of paint- $18
  • change pad- $5
  • rug- $25
  • diaper pail- $8
  • decor- $7
Total: $261

And here is what I ended up with:

Let me tell you a bit about what is in each picture starting with the top left (yes I did just look at my hands to contemplate my lefts and rights)
Top Left:
The crib was free. A friend at work no longer required it, and gave it to me. Often you can find free cribs on Kijiji also. The bedding was a gift too, a very beautiful gift. I originally made my own bedding. The chevron quilt which hangs on the back of the crib and the dust ruffle which is now a ruffle on the bottom of my glider stool. The feeding pillow was purchased second hand and I sewed a new cover for it.
Top Right:
Curtains: I bought the fabric for these curtains at the Fabricland on Upper Ottawa st in Hamilton. The top floor is full of discount fabric, and I always tell people to get their fabrics there. I paid $3 per metre for that fabric and the hoops I had laying around the house ( they were a Value Village purchase from a while ago...I knew they would come in handy!)
The glider: This chair was left in my house when we purchased it just over a year ago. I thought it was an ugly chair. However, I made use of it by reupholstering it with a bright fabric to add a bright pop of colour to my nursery. The fabric once again, from Fabricland on Upper Ottawa, and cushioning which was the more expensive part, from the same street, different store. I feel like I could have done it cheaper with different cushioning, and so this project cost me $50 plus $6 for the stool, after reupholstering cost,  which still isn't terrible considering a new glider and stool would cost around $200
Bottom left:
The dresser/change table: This is by far my favourite nursery transformation. I purchased the dresser for $40 at Value Village, more than I would normally pay for a furniture item, but I saw great potential in it and I knew it wouldn't be a toss out item after the baby grows. It used to be bright white with a honey stained top and ( I don't know if you can see it) a decorative strip of wood between the top and middle drawers also stained in a golden honey colour.  While purchasing this item, another customer also interested in the item suggested that I should leave the honey coloured as is, and then paint the rest black with an antiquing /whitish crackle...Of course I smiled and said that I would consider it, but seriously... that would look terrible, it's a good thing I purchased the item and not him, I just saved it from time travel to 1995!
I ended up painting the entire thing to an antique white and got rid of that horrid honey colour, and then added some grey stripes and a touch of colour to the knobs. I wouldn't have done it this way if it wasn't going in a nursery, But personally I think this is more nursery appropriate than honey and black.

Bottom right:
The basket on top of the dresser, which holds my diapering stash, is a diaper basket that has been passed down and used by multiple generations in my family. 
As for the diapers: ( I think I already covered a lot of this in a previous post, but here is a quick summary)
The average cost  (according to this blog)to start up is about $450. (not including laundry costs). 

How I did it:
7 flip style covers: (some were on sale)  $80
2 king sized 100% cotton bed sheets from my local thrift store cut up and sewn into 44 inserts -$10 
5 6-pack stay dry liners, I sewed mine directly onto the inserts  $30
total: $120

add on the costs for my home made newborn diaper covers (I made 7): ~ $50
new total $170

I know it probably doesn't compare to Little Prince Georges new room, but I absolutely LOVE my nursery. I think that if I had bought the big pieces brand new, it wouldn't feel the same, and wouldn't match anything in my house or my lifestyle. If I could change anything about it, I would paint the glider and the crib both antique white to match the dresser, but I simply don't feel like it, not at 9  months pregnant.


I got around to making the mobiles! Hoorah! I used a cardboard loop for one, and an embroidery  hoop for the other, some ribbon I had laying around, scrap fabric and buttons. I hung one mobile over the crib and the other over the change table.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

35 weeks and I can't "relax"

I'm due in 33 days. At my last appointment, my midwife, though I'm not supposed to quote her on this, said that there is a chance I could go as early as mid-July. This gives me about 14 days left to prepare! I'm pretty sure that we are ready to go. We have all the basics, put the nursery together although with one key thing (though not instantly necessary) not quite ready yet, I am unable to blog about it, but I am truly excited to share my nursery with you.
I don't think that I have really processed the fact that I am going to be going through a birthing process yet. I always get asked if I'm nervous, but in all honesty, I can't really tell you my feelings about it, because I have never experienced anything like it, so I can't really process that idea. I think I just processed the fact that I'm pregnant...and that took me 8 I have about 2-5 weeks left to try and process the birth? I don't think that's going to happen, so I'll just let it be. I bet that as soon as that first contraction happens, I'm going to panic. There's no turning back. But I am excited of course!
35 weeks and counting!

 Things that I look for ward to after pregnancy (aside from the obvious of getting to see/hold/get to know our new little boy):

  1.  sleeping on my stomach.
  2.  having the use of my stomach muscles again
  3. not looking like a beached whale/ turtle stuck on its back, whilst trying to get out of bed
  4. no more leg/foot cramps on a morningly basis (hopefully)
  5. room for my guts
  6. being able to breath
  7. being able to work properly in my garden
  8. being able to bend over
  9. breathing
  10. reaching my toes
  11. walking at a decent speed again ( this one is especially frustrating when you are used to being a fast walker)
  12. being able to shave my legs in a comfortable position
  13. fitting into more than two pairs of shorts. 
I tried "relaxing" the other day. Supposedly it's best to just put your feet up and take it easy during the last little bit of pregnancy. I'm usually out gardening or working away in the work shop with my power tools, but the other day I thought that I would try out this whole relaxing thing people keep telling me to do. So I spent an entire day lounging around the house, watching a movie, drinking some tea, soaking in the bath, looking up everything that exists on Pintrest, and anything else I could think to "relax". Let me tell you, I had never felt so exhausted in my entire life! I don't know how people do that?! so the next day, I harvested a bunch of veggies, prepared and froze those veggies, made dinner, bathed the dog and did a bunch of other things and I felt a tonne better! I need to accomplish something in my day in order to not feel exhausted.

Our most recent baby purchase was our car seat. We finally got one. We really wanted the Baby Trend and then we discovered that the Baby Trend car seat is not compatible with our Phil & Teds stroller.... no worries though, I come from a handy-man family, and my dad made an adapter than would attach the car seat to our stroller. Yay!
What I love about the Baby-Trend car seat, is the handle. Most car seats have a fairly plain straight across handle bar, however, the Baby-Trend car seat has a triangular handle so that you can hold it at multiple angles for an extra comfortable hold. 
Baby-Trend with triangular handle grip


Phil & Teds sport stroller bought off kijiji (with dad-made adapter)


A great combo!

I have also prepared everything for our home-water birth. At least I am hoping we have everything. I decided this week would be a good week to test the kiddie pool that we purchased for the occasion. Since it was 38'C with the humidity, and I was getting rather irritable, it seemed like a good time to soak in my new pool. Let me tell you, it was great. It felt like what a hot tub feels like on a cold winter night, but the opposite I guess. 
Did you know that it costs $250 to rent a birthing pool, not including the liner which you have to purchase? My midwife told me to just buy a kiddie pool for $30 instead, because they work just as well, and you can reuse it as a regular pool before and after the baby. Why would anyone rent one??
This is the pool that I got. That's not me, nor do I know who those kids are.
  My pool was covered with a tarp today because it has been so rainy for the
 past two days so I couldn't get a good picture of mine. This will have to do.

Remember how I made all of my own inserts for my diapers? Well I recently threw them in the washing machine to wash off any possible chemicals (from other peoples laundry soap since I upcycled used sheets from the thrift store). Good thing I did that because I discovered that a bunch of them started to fray in the wash. So my next step is to resew all around them using the new cutter edge foot that I purchased off e-bay for my sewing machine. If you don't have a serger/don't want to pay for a serger because they cost between $400 and $1500, then a cutter edge foot is the next best thing. Though not as good as a serger by any means, it can get the job done.  I also think that I might just sew all of my stay-dry liners right onto the inserts. But I haven't fully decided on that yet. 
one of these attached to a sewing machine
will solve a bunch of issues...for me at least.
Well that pretty much sums up the baby update, aside from the nursery....I seriously can't wait to post that!