Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Monthly Budget Update – June 2016

For a while there I was beginning to think this month would be my first month with absolutely no purchases to speak of. Kind of surprising when you consider the sales going on and the fact that my birthday lands in this month, less so when you consider I’m at home recovering and looking after an infant.

Fortunately my son sleeps like a champ in the car, which makes getting out of the house periodically possible. I was able to power browse the sale racks at Banana Republic for some summer clothes that fit my current shape. Several armloads of clothes later I managed to turn up a couple items I liked.

Cap Sleeved Dress

Banana Republic Magnolia V Neck Cap Sleeve Dress $69.29 (reg $168.00)

I originally fell for the wrap front dress in this pattern, but sadly it doesn’t work on me at all. This short sun dress was a better choice. It was already marked down ~$50, with an extra 40% off that price. It’s been perfect so far, and I’ve worn it several times since picking it up already.

Banana Republic 2

Banana Republic Pink Stripe Cotton Short $14.69 (reg $77.70)
Banana Republic Long Sleeve Dillon Linen Shirt $59.85 (reg $99.75)

The shorts were another sales rack find. They were also marked down ~$50, with an additional 50% taken off at the till. They’re a heavy cotton spandex blend, so if I do find they’re too loose later on in the summer I can take the waist in on them. The shirt does actually have long sleeves on it, I just cuffed them to the elbow when I tried it on. It’s a light, comfortable shirt that I think will be quite versatile year round. It’s a little loose given that I picked a size that would fit my bust properly, so I’ll be taking the waist in on it.

Swiftly Crew Neck & Align Crop

Lululemon Align Crop & Swiftly Tech SS Crew

As noted above, it was my birthday this month. My husband balked at the idea of buying his newly postpartum wife workout clothes for her birthday, but I assured him that was exactly what I wanted. I tried on the pants over my hips and the shirt over my bust while I was still pregnant so I would have a better idea of what sizes I needed.

Define Jacket

Lululemon Define Jacket $3.95 (reg $123.90)

My mother in law put some cash in a card and told me to treat myself for my birthday. They were sold out of this jacket in my size the day my husband went shopping, but I managed to find it marked down a couple weeks later. Between the sale price and the splurge money, I spent less than $4 out of pocket for it. Score 😀

Tiffany Pearl Earrings

Tiffany Pearl Stud Earrings

These were a gift from my son 🙂 According to my husband “he got to them first”.

For an infant who was only ~1 week old at the time he bought them, I have to say he has good taste 😉

May I say it’s a little disorienting being on the receiving end of a card that says “Mom” on it? For a split second I thought the card was for someone else. Usually I’m the one writing that on the card.

I’ve been wearing my grandmother’s pearls for the last year, but they always felt a little too large for me. These ones are a few millimetres smaller and feel like a much better fit 🙂

So all total, I spent a total of $147.78 this month, compared to the regular retail value of $469.35.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $188.30 (Apr) – $286.83 (May) – $147.78 (June) = $127.00 remaining

That’s more money left over at the end of a quarter than I would normally expect. Because of how I structured my spending this year, lumping it into quarters, I found I felt the need to spend the money because it was the end of the quarter and wouldn’t roll over this month. I had to remind myself that just because I’ve set myself a clothing budget doesn’t automatically mean I have to spend it. It’s something I might take into consideration when I structure my spending budget next year.

I’ll be linking up with the lovely ladies over at Franish again this month. If you want to see how other people spend their money and build their wardrobes, I’d suggest checking it out!

How did your June go? Did you find any good deals this month? What did you find? Do you ever feel compelled to spend money simply because it’s there to spend? How do you deal with those feelings?



Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Reality Check

So who here bounced right back into pre-baby shape immediately after giving birth? Anyone? Anyone??

*crickets*

Didn’t think so.

I knew logically that I wouldn’t be bouncing right back into shape, but part of my brain still held onto the idea that I would be the unicorn that did exactly that. Maybe it was just the fact that this was my first pregnancy, so until it actually happened I had no idea what to expect in terms of body changes. I gained a bit more than was recommended, so I’m still currently sitting 13lbs higher than I was when I first got pregnant. Go pizza and ice cream cravings.

The first week after giving birth we had a house full of guests, and to be quite honest I was uncomfortable sitting, standing and laying down (yay?), so I didn’t bother to take any pictures of myself during that time frame. Besides, I had a newborn to take pictures of! In the interest of being an #honestblogger though, this is what my postpartum body looks like a couple weeks out. My abdomen is lightly engaged, so I’m not letting it all hang out, but I’m not sucking it in hard either.

10 Days Postpartum

10 Days Post Partum

17 Days Postpartum

17 Days Postpartum

It’s a bit of a departure from what I’m used to dressing, and to be honest I haven’t found a lot of the online advice to be overly helpful. Most of the advice I’ve found centers around wearing tops that drape from the bust to conceal the belly, but when you’re rocking mammaries that would make a holstein jealous, that does little more than make you look bigger overall. Especially when you’re short and have hips. It seems like pregnancy dressing has moved away from the muumuu look, but postpartum dressing is still stuck there.

I’ve tried putting together a couple outfits that weren’t straight maternity clothes, but so far I haven’t been thrilled with the results. I know that’s partly due to my dissatisfaction with my current physical state, but it’s also because certain wardrobe items just don’t fit properly right now.

The munchkin is in the middle of a fussy growth spurt right now (I’m currently typing with one hand), but I’m going to try to get out to find a pair of jeans in the next couple days. Who would have thought I’d ever be happy mom jeans were in style? Ha! We’ll see how this goes, but I’m thinking high waisted is definitely the way to go at the moment. I think blazers are going to be my friend as well.

What was your go to style of dressing after having a baby? Did you find yourself reaching for certain pieces over and over?



Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Who Am I? – Third Trimester Recap

Holy three months batman.

I know that the trimesters are all basically the same length, but man did that last one feel long. The last month especially. I blame the discomfort.

Early on in the third trimester my maternity jeans stopped being comfortable. As my belly started protruding more, I found the underside of it got really, really sensitive. Sitting at work while the zipper of my jeans rubbed against my skin was extremely uncomfortable, and occasionally downright painful. Soft fabrics against my skin became the name of the game. Anything else stopped being worn in short order, as you may have noticed.

My hip flexors started locking up on me when I was walking in this trimester, especially the one on my right side. I had to start taking shorter steps or else I would trigger it. I also started dealing with some joint pain, which is quite normal due to the joints loosening up. A friend of mine said her midwife recommended taking lecithin capsules to help with the joints. I asked my OB about it, and while she said she’d never heard of lecithin being used for joint pain in pregnancy she didn’t think it would hurt either. So I gave it a shot and started adding a gel capsule to my daily vitamin routine. I did start to notice my joints were less sore after taking it, so that was a win. As for whether or not it was a placebo effect I don’t know, but if my brain thinks my body has pain and taking a capsule makes my brain think my body doesn’t have pain then I’m still getting to the same end.

All things considered, I managed to maintain pretty solid mental clarity throughout most of the pregnancy. That being said, around the middle of the 7th month I did start to notice a bit of mental fog starting to set in. It was frustrating! I take a lot of pride in my work, and in order to maintain a certain standard I found my work would take me longer than it usually would. I could still keep up, but I wasn’t happy with my efficiency.

On a happier front, the munchkin was moving like nobody’s business! Munchkin’s moves were definitely visible from the exterior, and my boss commented on how quickly it was moving. I managed to get away without any sharp kicks under the ribs, but there was lots of stretching going on and lots of kicks to the side. It was fun playing with the limbs, because you could push on them and they’d push back. I’ll be honest, sometimes I was pushing because I was uncomfortable, but other times it was totally a game. There was at least one instance where it felt like the baby was pitching a fit, with all of the limbs just giving it their all for about a minute or so, but fortunately that was earlier in the trimester while there was still a little room to move in there. Another interesting movement came towards the end of the third trimester while riding in vehicles. If someone stepped on the gas or the brakes too hard, I could feel all four limbs bracing themselves, which I thought was absolutely adorable.

Like most women, I didn’t manage to avoid the stretch marks. Surprisingly though, they ended up making their appearance on my bust (33 weeks) before I had any show up on my belly (35 weeks). The marks on my belly initially started showing up on the underside where my jeans had been rubbing. As for whether or not that had anything to do with them or if it was just a coincidence, I don’t know. Another possible coincidence had to do with how the baby was laying. More often than not I had the back pressed up against my right side, while the little feet kicked and pushed on the upper left side. The stretch marks also started out heavier on the upper left side, which I thought was interesting.

I had heard about women getting varicose veins in their legs during pregnancy, so I wouldn’t have been too surprised if some had shown up. What I didn’t expect was spider veins in my lips. They weren’t large, and there weren’t a lot of them, but I did have a couple small patches of veins show up along the edge of my upper lip. You wouldn’t notice them unless you were looking for them, but I could definitely see them.

I was aware that my hips would get wider, that my ribcage might expand, and there was the potential for my shoe size to increase, but I honestly didn’t expect to encounter wider shoulders. Due to my overall weight gain, I started carrying fat on my upper arms and back. I’ve NEVER carried weight there! As a result, some of my jackets with narrower shoulders became too tight. They looked alright when I was standing with my arms at my sides, but if I raised my arms because I was typing on my computer at work or driving home, they pulled tight right at armpit level. Didn’t see that one coming.

I thought I might be able to avoid melasma, or the pregnancy mask, just due to the fact that I’m fair skinned and it seems to be more common on those with darker skin tones. For the most part I did manage to avoid it, but I noticed in the last week that I had actually acquired a smattering of what appeared to be freckles across the tops of my cheeks. Oh well. Going into summer freckles don’t look out of place, so I’ll take it.

All in all, it was a hell of a 9 month span. Those top 10 lists of things to expect during pregnancy don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the changes you go through. Not even close.

First Photo

It was all worth it though 🙂



Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Sleep Tight

I’m always intrigued to see what other people’s homes are like, because there is so much variation depending on where you live in the world. On one end of the spectrum, you have massive, immaculately styled nurseries the size of my first apartment, and on the other end you have the co-sleeping parents living in single bedroom apartments with their whole family. I’d like to think our nursery is somewhere in the middle of the North American spectrum.

I posted a sneak peek of the nursery on Instagram a little while back when we finished putting the decals up on the wall, and I figured you might like to see a little more of where I’m going to be spending the bulk of my time for the next few weeks/months.

Nursery Details

Even though we found out the gender of our munchkin with a reasonable amount of certainty around the 20 weeks mark, I still wanted to keep things fairly neutral. Grey walls and light wood furniture with white and green accents. I realized afterwards that the colour scheme was actually quite similar to the one we chose for our wedding. What can I say, when you know what you like…

Nursery Details

The major furniture pieces all came from IKEA. The bookshelf is actually about 10 years old, I bought it for the kitchen of my first apartment when I was in university, and it’s served multiple uses since then.

I didn’t know IKEA made rocking chairs, but apparently they’ve come out with a rocking version of the poang. We opted for the leather cover over fabric because we thought it might be easier to wipe up wet spills that way. Whether or not that was a mistake remains to be seen. My husband has already claimed it as his video gaming chair once we’re done using it in the nursery. The knitted pouf is from JYSK. I know it looks brown in the photo, but it is actually grey in real life.

The blanket and stuffed animal were gifts from my mother-in-law, who towards the end was convinced we were having a boy. Don’t worry, the blanket won’t stay in the crib until he’s a little older.

Nursery Details

The mattress was from IKEA, while the crib sheet was from a store called Buy Buy Baby. I found the store name to be somewhat off-putting, but I’ll admit they had literally everything you could possibly think of. The only thing I walked out of there with that wasn’t on my original list was a small bottle drying rack, so I figure I did alright.

Back to the stuffy though, meet Goose:

Nursery Details

Goose the moose.

My husband is a die hard Top Gun fan. You may have guessed that if you knew that our dog‘s name is Maverick.

So… our son’s first two friends in life will be Maverick and Goose.

#wearedorks

Nursery Details

I had originally planned on sewing my own curtains for this room, but two things got in the way. First of all, I couldn’t find a fabric I actually liked for the project. Second of all, buying the fabric and accoutrements was going to easily run us twice what it would cost to purchase pre-made panels. Something is seriously wrong with that picture, but that’s the truth. We ended up finding these white and grey panels at Home Outfitters and hung them from our existing rods.

The wall decals were an ETSY purchase. Growing up my husband and his father had a decal printing business in their garage, so suffice it to say he has lots of experience putting these types of decals up. The little leaves and birds are easy, but those trees? A pain. If you’ve never done it before I’d recommend giving yourself a LOT of time, and have an equally patient helper with you.

I read a little while back that aloe vera was a good air filtering plant. The nursery was painted back in March, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a little extra air cleaning while the paint cures. The plant and pot are both from IKEA. We’ll be painting the office after baby is born, so I’ll move it into that room then.

Nursery Details

The lamp and shade were repurposed from the master bedroom, while the humidifier we got on sale from Babies R Us. The bins in the book shelf are from IKEA. Originally they didn’t have what I was looking for, so we searched all over for suitable bins that would fit in the cubbies. We found some that were close, but were either a little off in dimension, a little off in colour or were too expensive. Then lo and behold on our last trip to IKEA we noticed they had come out with bins in the exact shade of green I was looking for. Sold! Rather than purchasing a dresser these bins will be used to hold both clothes and toys.

Nursery Details

A selection of reading material. When I first found out I was pregnant I went straight to the book store. Overwhelmed by the options, I purchased a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. One close friend told me to burn it. Another told me to take it back, and then loaded me up on reading material from her personal collection. I haven’t read all of them yet, but I can confirm that I did enjoy reading From The Hips. Bringing Up Bebe and How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm aren’t really instructional type books, but they were good for offering differing perspectives on how to raise children. Given that I’m likely to encounter some strong opinions on the right and wrong way to do things along the way, I’m glad I read these two.

Nursery Details

More IKEA. Actually, the changing pad and cover are both from Buy Buy Baby, but the changing table is from IKEA. We didn’t know what was going to work for us and what wasn’t, so I just grabbed a small handful of basics to get us through the first day or two in case munchkin came early. I plan on cloth diapering, but I was advised to use disposables for the first week or so until the digestive system settles itself out.

We’ve acquired a small handful of clothing items in various sizes. I think I purchased two of them…

The green braided item on the top shelf of the hanger is a baby wrap I’ve borrowed from a friend to try out, and the multi-coloured poufs beside it are actually toy blocks I made for my niece almost 5 years ago. I gave her half a dozen of them for her first Christmas, and kept a couple extras at home for her to play with when she came to visit. Now they’re in her cousin’s nursery 🙂

Nursery Details

Most of the diapering inserts I’ve picked up are cotton, but I grabbed some thicker ones in different materials to see what works best for us. My mom is planning on making some more out of flannelette she has at home, much like the ones she used with us when my sister and I were young. For covers I went with ones from Nuggles and Blueberry. Both brands integrated two gussets at the legs, which will hopefully help contain some of the blow outs I’ve been warned will happen.

I went with the snapped version, because the sound of velcro makes my skin crawl.

Nursery Details

And that’s the grand tour! I foresee myself spending a lot of time in here over the next little while, so I’m happy that we put together something I feel calm in.

To all you moms out there, what did you do for a nursery? What did you find you couldn’t live without, and what went unused? To the future moms, what do you think you’ll do when that time comes?



Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

It’s A…

It's a boy

Boy!

It's a boy

I’m currently at home recovering with our little bundle of joy. I do have some posts planned for the next couple weeks, but I might be a little slow on replying to comments (what else is new?)

How perfect is it that we found a blue graffiti heart right after our maternity photo session?