Thinking about Nursery / Toddler Room Decor

We haven’t officially moved yet but all of the work we contracted has been completed. I will post pictures at some point, I promise.

All the furniture (the existing furniture of my mom’s) has not been moved into place and without our stuff there, it is hard to figure out where things will land somewhat permanently. We’ve only really set the furniture in 1 room – the dining room.

But now it is time to think about the new baby’s room and what we’re going to do with Annmarie’s new room. We don’t have a ton of money to spend so the idea of completely overhauling Annmarie’s current stuff is out of the question. We also don’t have a ton of free time to peruse thrift stores and makeover existing furniture (as I so longingly see on home improvement type blogs). We also want to make the transition from our current home into the new home as smooth as possible. We felt keeping her familiar things would help with the transition.

Just as a refresher, this is Annmarie’s room:
Nursery

Nursery

These pictures were taken pre-birth of Annmarie so the room is a lot messier. We hung some additional pictures but the overall look of the room is the same.

We’re keeping Annmarie in a crib for now. She doesn’t try climbing out of it and she isn’t showing any other signs of wanting/needing a “big girl bed”. I also want to keep all of the artwork. However, there are some shelves that run along the perimeter of the room so the idea of recreating a “gallery” wall seems like it won’t work.
Childhood Bedroom - before
(the room looks different now – new paint color and hardwood floors but you can see the style of shelf that runs along the room).

I thought we’d just move her artwork to be displayed on the shelves. The idea of putting stuffed animals or toys seems silly since they’d be so far out of reach for her.

We have a large bird/tree decal on her wall now and would like to install a similar type of decal. I’m not sure if I want to use the same one though.

I really like this one (but I don’t like the price especially since I can find the same bird/tree decal we use now for only $32):

And since the whole room is hardwood floors, we need to find an area rug. I saw this one on Rugs USA but the largest size is only 5’5″ x 7’9″:

We also need new blinds, curtain rods, etc. These things are adding up quickly.

As for the new baby’s room. We want to go gray and yellow. The walls have been painted a very light shade of gray. There is only 1 small window and it is located in the back of the house where there is a big tree. Basically this room feels very dark.

We want to get a white crib (I’m a big fan of white furniture in a nursery). I want to reuse my old dresser (partly because my mom is having difficulty letting it go) but want to paint it white. However, I’ve been reading through tutorials on painting furniture and it just seems like a pain in the ass.

I’d LOVE to get a yellow chevron rug but have only found non-soft versions online (or they are outrageously expensive). I also love this rug from Rugs USA:

Unfortunately, it is backordered until mid November and the site won’t even let me put in an order for it.

I’ve been eyeballing this yellow rug but don’t LOVE it.

But again, we’re trying not to break the bank here. We still need to buy an area rug for our new room and at some point, we need to update the kitchen.

I’m not sure if we’re going with a “theme” for the new baby’s room. I’ve seen elephants pop up when looking at gray and yellow rooms. But I don’t know. Around this time last year, I had a pretty clear vision of how I wanted Annmarie’s nursery to look. With new baby, I just have a vague idea and am also consumed with keeping costs down. Any suggestions? I’m looking for some cost-effective inspiration!

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Pregnancy Update (because apparently I’m terrible at updating people)

The other day I posted this picture on Instagram with the following caption:

“AM insists on eating frozen waffles. She takes a bite out of each one then places them on my belly.  My belly has become her food shelf. #pregnant”

I got a few comments asking me about the baby’s sex and that’s when I realized that I really dropped the ball with this news.  I guess in the age of social media and everyone oversharing on Facebook or Twitter, people expect this type of news asap! (me included, btw)  But after my dad died, I got really turned off by the idea of posting these types of things on Facebook.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love reading everybody else’s updates but I really didn’t want to read through comments from old acquaintances that I haven’t spoken to in years (and yet somehow accepted their “friend” request).

Also – I belong to a private group on Facebook with other women that are all roughly due around the same time.  I commiserate and share pregnancy updates with them (so I guess in my head I am already sharing updates through social media).

With all of that said… I’m going to provide some updates.  I remember my blog turning into a pregnancy blog when I was pregnant with Annmarie.  I don’t want to give off the impression that this pregnancy is any less special.  So here we go (feel free to close the browser now!).

Here is what I looked like as of Tuesday, October 9, 2012:

picture of me at 25 weeks pregnant

I am 26 weeks pregnant.  Please ignore how exhausted I look.  So much is happening with getting my mom’s house ready, prepping to move, etc.

I found out the sex of baby #2 in August and am sorry I did such a terrible job spreading this news.  We’re having another girl!  I knew it.  I was so positive we were having another girl that I didn’t even need the sonogram tech to tell me.  I am thrilled.  If you recall, I wasn’t so thrilled with the news that Annmarie was going to be a girl.  But now that I’ve been raising a little girl, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And as a person that grew up without a sister, I really wanted Annmarie to have a sister (but I would’ve been just as happy with a boy!).

Sadly – we haven’t done much in terms of prepping for this baby.  It is tough when you’re focusing on moving and whatnot.  We haven’t even given much thought to names.  I remember agonizing over this with Annmarie.  I also remember starting her nursery 3 months before she was born!   Things are definitely different when you’re pregnant with your 2nd child.  I’m not as worried about things.  I know everything will work out.  I was even moving some furniture this past weekend!

This pregnancy still feels a bit harder physically than with Annmarie.  I can’t run anymore.  Running leaves me feeling terrible cramps and like everything will fall out of my vagina (sorry for the visual).  So I’m just using other cardio machines (bikes, ellipticals) but can only manage to do so about 3 times a week (vs working out 5-6 days a week with Annmarie).

My heartburn is still a little out of control but I’m better at keeping it at bay.  The secret?  Not gorging myself all in one sitting.  It is all about spacing out meals and eating them in smaller chunks.  I also crave way more sweets this time around.  Milkshakes and ice cream are my number 1 thing right now.

So there you have it.  I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m just tired and stressed but most of that doesn’t have to do with being pregnant.  I worry about what life will be like with 2 children and worry about how Annmarie will handle all of the big life changes that will hit her in such a short amount of time (moving and having a sister).  Annmarie loves babies right now and there are 2 new ones at her daycare.  I’m happy that she’s getting a lot of exposure to babies right now but am not sure how it’ll translate to her own sibling.

So there you have it!  What’s going on with you?

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Living with Mom

My mom has been staying with us over the past week while some renovations are being completed in her home.

In that time frame she has…

(1) Criticized me for not cooking dinner for Jeremy. Whaa?! I don’t recall having family dinners EVER. And I try to tell her again and again that I just don’t really cook because Jeremy does not like my cooking. It doesn’t offend me. Believe me, I’m not that great. Jeremy is the cook in the family.

(2) Told me my house is dirty. This is coming from a woman that I have found to be a borderline hoarder. However, she did clean up some crud in my fridge so that was nice.

(3) Strangely rearranged items. I’ve come home to see Annmarie’s blankets hanging strangely around her crib, towels in weird places and a water bottle that was on my bedroom dresser in the fridge. Does it weird me out that she’s going through my house? Sort of but at the same time, she lost the spare key so she’s essentially stuck in my home for 9+ hours a day. I’d probably do the same thing.

(4) Told me my hair isn’t shiny. This came up yesterday. She said, “I noticed your hair isn’t shiny anymore. It is because you don’t use enough conditioner.” Thanks, mom.

(5) Overheard my neighbors having sex. She’s been sleeping on a futon in our basement. It is butted up against the wall we share with our neighbor. I guess their bed is also butted up against that wall. She said she heard the “squeaking sound” of “you know what”. Hilarious. She asked if they were young. They’re not. And not that I picture lots of people doing the deed… but these are people you NEVER want to imagine doing the deed.

(6) Complained about my diet. She has told me that I am “so different” from how I was raised because I don’t eat meat. She thinks I eat weird things that aren’t her “style”.

(7) Taught Annmarie the word “candy” because she gives her a lollipop ALL THE TIME. Now Annmarie sees Grandma and asks, “Candy?” Fantastic. I see a future filled with cavities (like I had).

(8) Lost track of Annmarie IN THE HOUSE. Perhaps I am exaggerating here (and that she was still waking up from a nap) but we had asked if she was okay watching Annmarie Saturday morning so that we could quickly run some errands (all related to the renovations). She agreed. We said we’d be back around 11am so we could feed her and put her down for her nap. We got home at 11:10am. My mom was fast asleep on the sofa and Annmarie was nowhere in site. Upon being asked, “where is the baby?” she responded half-awake, “baby? what baby?” Want to talk about panic? Annmarie was napping in her crib but it was filled WITH EVERY GD TOY IN HER ROOM. She basically had nowhere to lay except on top of her toys. I still have no idea what happened there.

All in all, however, having my mom stay with us hasn’t been nearly as annoying and awful as I thought. Sure she annoys me but I thought I would have strangled her by now. Maybe living together won’t be as awful as I imagined? (fingers crossed)

And because I prefer posts with pictures, here are some recent photos of Annmarie:

This probably isn’t a good parenting thing but I let Annmarie play with some of our gadgets. I’d rather show her NOT to throw these things or how she can sort of use them in case she gets to it and I’m not around. She’s been really into the point and shoot camera lately. I was impressed when I caught her taking a photo of herself.
Taking a self-portrait

And then laughed out loud when I saw the result of her self portrait:
Result of AM's self-portrait

The other day she insisted on wearing her bike helmet to daycare. I actually tried to take it off of her head before she left and she flipped out. So off to daycare she went…
Safety First

She’s really into sitting in the utility sink in our basement. She saw us bathing the dogs in it and now thinks of it as a fun new spot in the house.
Hanging in the sink

She’s really into putting on our shoes. Strangely, she LOVES putting on my rain boots. Her legs are barely tall enough to fit but she loves it. I love it because it keeps her still for a minute.
Rain boots

AM grabbed this pillow at Ikea over the weekend and wouldn’t let it go. I tried to switch it out for a smaller and cheaper pillow. She wasn’t having it. It has become her new thing at the house.
New pillow

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I Appreciate Politeness but…

I totally understand that we’ve come to a point in society where people know it is generally frowned upon to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. You never want to assume and then realize that you are wrong (because not only do you feel like an ass, you’ve probably hurt a woman’s feelings).

However… there is a point where politeness just seems ridiculous. On Monday, I received a “Congratulations!” from someone. I hadn’t realized that I never spoke about my pregnancy to this person though I don’t see them much. She proceeded to say, “I thought maybe you were pregnant but wasn’t sure so I didn’t want to say. But when I saw you put on that support belt at the gym, I knew.” (btw – I am back to wearing a pregnancy support belt at the gym for when I run jog).

But seriously?  You “suspected” but didn’t want to say anything?  This is what I look like right now (excuse the terrible phone pic taken in the gym):

I am 23 weeks pregnant. I am beyond the halfway mark and with this being my second pregnancy, I started showing MUCH sooner.  I’ve looked like this for quite some time now.

So while I appreciate the politeness of not assuming… COME ON!

Incidentally, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in awhile that didn’t know I was pregnant.  And she said, “Wow – you must be due very soon!”  Yeah… I have another 4 months.

It really is amazing how by not sharing this news on Facebook, I’m met with lots of “whoa!  I had no idea!”  How did people communicate this type of news in the olden days?  :-)

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Demo has begun

For the last month or so, we’ve been talking about moving into my mom’s house. We abstractly spoke about the renovations that needed to take place and then spent the last month cleaning out and/or packing up my mom’s house.

Demo started yesterday. And while I still have a lot of mixed emotions about moving, renovations sometimes make me giddy. I love before and after pictures. I love that some of the stuff that has driven me crazy for years at my parents’ house will finally be fixed (or at least updated!).

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any “before” pictures (when all of the furniture was still in the rooms) so I know my before and afters won’t necessarily be as dramatic.

Currently, the non-master bedroom full bathroom is being completed renovated. They demoed the entire room yesterday. I didn’t stop by the house to see it but Jeremy did and sent me this pic:
Demoed bathroom

That, my friends, is a nearly completely gutted bathroom. Apparently they realized that the ugly tiled floor was original to the house (they were concrete tiles that were several inches thick and were laid into a mesh flooring thingy). Crazy, right? They also discovered that the bathroom cabinets were blocking an air duct. So a/c and heat have been blowing directly in the back of a cabinet FOR YEARS. The shower was leaking internally (and that’s why there is no subfloor). Basically this bathroom desperately needed to be gutted.

I can’t wait to share the “after” pictures (but that probably won’t be for another week or two due to the work having to stop to accommodate the flooring guys).

I’ll share some current “before” pictures of all of the rooms without furniture (just the paint, wallpaper and carpet) so there’s at least SOME before/after shots.

But now that this has started, it really means that we’re moving. UGH.

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The Cookie Monster

While I keep trying to stay positive about the move to my mom’s (an extra set of helping hands!), there are some things that I’m dreading.

She has turned my daughter into the cookie monster.

Granted, AM learned the word “cookie” from us (I’m assuming). But she knows that grandma will give her a cookie (or lollipop) if she asks for it. Unfortunately for us, AM can perfectly express that she wants a cookie now.

Btw – we totally let her have a cookie here and there. My mom? She will give AM as many cookies as she asks for (especially if we’re not in the room). It is hard to resist though because her saying “cookie” is (in my humble opinion) one of the cutest things in the world right now.

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Charm City No More

I’ve mentioned in my last few posts that some big changes were happening in the Charm City household. I guess it is about time I start spilling the beans on these so called big changes.

We’re moving. And as the title of this post suggests, we’re moving out of Baltimore City.

I know I said I was ready to move but this move is bittersweet. I wish I could say we found our dream home and some unbelievable price. That is not the case at all. In light of everything that’s happened (you know, my dad dying and all), we’re moving into my mom’s house. This was not an easy decision but it is the right decision for a number of reasons:

(1) it is incredibly difficult to manage my mom’s finances when I’m not with her. She’s like a damn teenager that doesn’t understand the importance of paying bills on time or how to save money. For friends that have been subjected to my bitch fest phone calls, you know how stressful this has been for me. My parents weren’t the most fiscally responsible people so just to stay on top of some of these things has been a nightmare.

(2) my mom is having a really hard time living alone. She’s painfully lonely. She was with my dad for 42 years. So for 42 years she hasn’t been alone and being in the home she shared with my dad for 27 years is painful for her. She initially asked if she could live with us but our house is a shoebox. It just made sense to move into her house.

(3) we always knew that at some point my mom would be living with us. It was clear she’d outlive my dad and wasn’t capable of caring for herself. We always planned on finding a house with an “in-law” suite. The timing of my dad’s death just happened to fall during a time where we couldn’t really afford to move into a desirable house with an in-law suite.

(4) my mom needs some financial help. While we aren’t taking over all of her payments (car, car insurance, etc.) – we’ll be taking over some of the smaller basic items like phone, cable, internet, gas & electric.

Since we are moving into my childhood home, there are quite a few changes that need to happen to the home. My parents hadn’t really updated the house for 20 years. They did some minor updates in the early 90s and then recently had their kitchen “redone” (I put this in quotes because the person they hired to do the work did a HORRIFIC job that we’ll be redoing).

So, since I didn’t want this to be just the death blog, pregnancy blog or mommy blog… I’ll be adding home improvement to the list of things I’ll be blogging about. While I really am not looking forward to living in my childhood home, I am somewhat excited to update this house since there are design choices that have driven me crazy for a number of years.

We’ve been spending all of our free time trying to clean out my mom’s house and prep it for renovations. Last week I had the bright idea of trying to take down the wallpaper in my parents’ old bedroom.

Taking down wallpaper

While we have declared that we’ll never paint again (we’ll always pay a pro – it isn’t worth the headache of painting something ourselves anymore), I really wanted to figure out where we could save some money so I suggested we try taking down the wallpaper ourselves. I could tell that this particular wallpaper wouldn’t be terribly difficult to remove (and I was right) but it was still a pain in the ass. I’m not sure if you can tell, but my parents wallpapered IN THEIR CLOSET. Who does that?! It took us ALL DAY to peel down this wallpaper despite most of it coming down in sheets (there were a few sticky areas that required scoring and scraping). We didn’t even pull it out completely in the closets because it would require us to take down the closet shelves, rods and doors.

This will be my life over the next month or so before we do the big move. Expect lots of pictures. I love good before and after pictures.

And since I won’t be living in Charm City – I’m thinking about changing this blog name to something else. I can’t think of anything great though. I had one name but it is taken in WordPress so I’m kind of stuck. Any ideas? (and in case you’re wondering of my blog name, I was thinking “Just Kim” since that is my name and I often have to say “It is just Kim, not Kimberly”).

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