Nesting in June

This month, we are in the process of both re-doing Baby I’s room and setting up the nursery for the new family member. I guess you could say I’m in full-fledged nesting mode, but I don’t think I can really attribute that to pregnancy, to be honest. Pregnancy just gives my ideas a deadline and an excuse to make things happen for real.

In June, I traveled about three hours to IKEA (or, Mecca) twice. Three hours both ways (and these were both day trips) is not the most pleasant thing when you’ve got to pee every hour, your hips hurt, and your feet swell, but these trips were super worth it.

It's like a beacon on a hill.

It’s like a beacon on a hill.

I got some really practical (and practically-priced) things for both rooms. Here are some of my favorite picks:

LACK side table in pink

1. LACK side tables in pink for Baby I’s room

HEKTAR Lamp

2. HEKTAR floor lamp for a punchy statement in the nursery

RASKOG

3. This RASKOG cart will serve as the perfect diapering/odds and ends station in the nursery

Trash baskets

4. I bought two of these trash baskets for Baby I’s room, and they’re perfect for holding her books!

I can’t wait to show you my purchases in action when I finally post Baby I’s room reveal (hopefully soon!) and the finished nursery (fingers crossed that gets done before baby comes).

And while I’m on the topic of buying things, I thought now might be a good time to share the things I’m buying/wanting for baby #2. When it comes to buying baby gear, I tend to sway more minimalist, but I definitely have a few things I’d really like to get that aren’t bare necessities. I also have a pretty tight budget to keep in mind. To help with Baby Gear Envy, I tend not to even look at the high-end items. With that in mind, here’s what I’m lusting after:

Bassinets aren't necessary - I didn't have one with Baby I - but they sure can make life easy. Now that we have the room for one, I'd really like to get one. This bassinet by Chicco is really cute, and reasonably priced.

Bassinets aren’t necessary – I didn’t have one with Baby I – but they sure can make life easy. Now that we have the room for one, I’d really like to get one. This bassinet by Chicco is really cute, and reasonably priced.

An infant carrier is SO much easier at first than a convertible car seat. Graco seats are classic and one of the most affordable options out there.

An infant carrier is SO much easier at first than a convertible car seat. Graco seats are classic and one of the most affordable options out there.

If more than one person will be chauffeuring your wee one on the regular, definitely invest in another base for your infant carrier.

If more than one person will be chauffeuring your wee one on the regular, definitely invest in another base for your infant carrier.

You'll get differing opinions on whether bouncer seats or swings will keep baby happier. I got a bouncer seat for Baby I at first because they're smaller and cheaper than swings. But - surprise! - Baby I didn't like the bouncer. She adored a swing. This seat bounces AND swings, so I won't have to gamble this time around.

You’ll get differing opinions on whether bouncer seats or swings will keep baby happier. I got a bouncer seat for Baby I at first because they’re smaller and cheaper than swings. But – surprise! – Baby I didn’t like the bouncer. She adored a swing. This seat bounces AND swings, so I won’t have to gamble this time around.

Since Baby I is still little enough for a stroller, it'd be nice to have a double so I can take both kids out at once. This one allows for all different configurations, including letting your big kid ride standing up, and accepts the Graco infant carrier I like.

Since Baby I is still little enough for a stroller, it’d be nice to have a double so I can take both kids out at once. This one allows for all different configurations, including letting your big kid ride standing up, and accepts the Graco infant carrier I like.

Really, of those things, I only need the car seat. Baby I had an infant carrier, but we traded it in at Babies R Us a couple of years ago in order to get a discount on her convertible seat she uses now. Other than the big gear, what I absolutely need to get ready for the new baby is pretty minimal – diapers, wipes and clothes will pretty much do it.

If you’ve had – or take care of – a baby, what gear could you never live without? What do you regret spending money on? And, most importantly, what are your thoughts on IKEA??

My First Experience with Blue Apron

I must be a real Millennial, because I am getting SO INTO subscription services. Dear readers, you are probably already familiar with my undying love for Stitchfix. I actually don’t even enjoy shopping in stores anymore (for clothes anyway) because getting clothes shipped to me that are already my style and size is so much more comfortable. Also, I like pretending I’m super rich and have a personal shopper/stylist who does this for me all the time.

Something that lots of my mom friends (okay, two of my mom friends and lots of mom bloggers whom I happen to read) have been doing for their sanity is having their groceries delivered. This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile, because as a full-time working/grad school-attending mom, the whole meal planning, grocery store shopping routine monopolizes my time more than I’d like. Well, there aren’t a lot of good options for grocery delivery in my area, but during my search, I stumbled across services like Blue Apron over and over.

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Pregnancy Reflections – First Trimester

Now that I’m over the halfway mark in my pregnancy and things are going a bit better than they were in the beginning, I thought it might be a good time to write a “wrap-up” of sorts about my early pregnancy experience this time around.

(Again, I feel the need to add the disclaimer that I promise pregnancy posts won’t totally take over my blog. Feel free to skip this post if it’s not your bag. I will be sure to mix up my post topics often!)

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Book Review: Landline

LandlineWell, Dear Readers, I’m less than a week from beginning the summer semester, and I only read one book (I attempted another, but had to put it down. I hate doing that, but life’s too short for bad books, ya know?).

So anyway, I don’t want to give away too much about Landline, but basically, it’s about Georgie, who is married to Neal and has two kids, and is also a career woman with a best friend/co-worker who has high expectations for her professionally. Over one Christmas, Georgie gets a huge project dropped in her lap, and decides to stay in California¬†while her family goes to the Midwest without her.

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Grad School Semester #4 Recap

I am just nearly finished with my fourth semester in grad school! This semester was a little lighter on the school workload front, but much heavier personally, so I don’t have a near-perfect GPA anymore, but I’m still doing well, so I’m not upset.

I had a speech class, which wasn’t my favorite. The act of making speeches wasn’t all that bad, but the class was online, which makes it sound super convenient but it was NOT. I had to borrow my mom’s camera every time I needed to make a speech (thanks, mom!) and then upload it to the site, which was not the most sophisticated I’ve ever interacted with. On top of that, there was MUCH more busywork that I expected. There were two chapters of textbook material to read each week, and then a mandatory review module on the (clunky) site, a quiz, a discussion post…it was just a lot. I think, had I been a traditional undergraduate student, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but as an adult student, well…

notime

But, I also had a practicum class. And that was a much different experience. I was placed in a high school media/English classroom for two hours, two times per week, and I mostly just observed. The school structure, administration, teacher and students were all amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It’s funny, because when I think of my own days in high school, I mostly just cringe. I felt trapped and was just ready to move on. But returning nearly 10 years later…it just amazes me how much potential these almost-adults have, and how wide open the world is to them, and how much they have to look forward to (is that too corny?). I would love to have a role in guiding them someday. That’s the end game!

All in all, this was an okay semester, but I am super grateful to be almost done. Just a test for my speech class stands between me and an entire three weeks off before summer classes start! Time to start thinking about what I’d like to read/review for fun during that time. Any suggestions?

Psst: if you missed my last blog post – I don’t think the notification email went out to everyone – you might want to check it out. There is some pretty big Life News involved.