Posted in baby

Changing Table Face Lift

Between buying a house, moving expenses, and doctor’s visits during pregnancy, budgeting is of the most importance right now. We moved from a 700 sqft. apartment to an 1800 sqft house, so to say it was a bit empty is an understatement. We aren’t willing to break the bank and go even deeper into debt filling a house with furniture if it isn’t a necessity.

However, we know everything for the baby needs to come first. He will be here in a little over a month, or sooner, and we’ve needed to put any and all extra money into getting the things we need. I was looking for a dresser changing table combination to make organization easier. I found a new one I liked for over $200. I decided to peruse Nextdoor for furniture. I posted an ISO post and listed everything I was looking for. My neighbors certainly delivered. Between cheap dining sets and couches we found quite a bit of items. One of which was a dresser and changing table combo that looked in great condition. It was $50 and a cherry wood color. I wasn’t a fan of the color so I knew I’d want to update it a bit.

My poor husband and father-in-law picked this up for me and apparently it is unbelievably heavy. It’s not our typical Ikea furniture where you can lift it by yourself. Now, I know, some of you all will be mad because it is a lovely dresser, but it isn’t my style. It did have lacquer on it so I knew it would be a challenge. The other fun part was that the drawers wouldn’t come out. We tried everything. So, I had a bonus challenge of painting drawers while still part of the dresser. I was at least able to get the fixtures off so I didn’t have to worry about that.

I did my research and found that Zinsser makes a primer that will stick to surfaces without sanding. So I bought a can and started priming.

Once I finished the nightmare of priming around drawers. I let it dry overnight. You only need to let it dry 2 hours, but I’m pregnant, it was hot and after priming I was exhausted.

I bought a sample of HGTV paint at Lowe’s in Naval. I ended up having to go back and get a second sample to be able to finish. I did 2 coats to make sure that everything was covered.

This dried for about 24 hours as well and then I did a Polycrylic seal. I knew that it was going to have spills and everything else happen to it since it is a changing table so I wanted to protect the paint. I let this cure for about 48 hours before replacing the hardware.

The original plan was to put new knobs on the doors. I had found some space themed pulls I was really excited about. However, they didn’t really fit and I couldn’t find the right screws to make them work. So, I kept the original pulls.

Once everything was together the wonderful men in my life once again had to move this from the garage to upstairs for me. It was terrifying to witness, but they did it! Overall the project cost me about $80 including the dresser which I feel is pretty good since I was going to drop $200 on a changing table dresser that wasn’t nearly as good of quality.

This was my first piece in a long time. Doing it while 7.5 months pregnant was exhausting, but I love every second of it. I had forgotten how much I love working on these types of projects and can’t wait to find some more!

Posted in baby

Preparing for a Baby on a Budget

These past few months have crazy. Last year, we had decided our goal would be to buy a house in 2020. We had also decided that we should start trying for a baby, because we knew it may take awhile. I thought at least a year or more with my PCOS and everything else going on. Well, both ended up coming to fruition this year which was extremely exciting and overwhelming. Both things, however, are very expensive. I will write more about our house buying adventure in another post, but for now let’s talk baby.

Baby Luca will have a room of his own, but not until he is at least 6 months. We have a bedside bassinet to keep him in our room with us until then. So, to save on money and try to keep to a budget we planned out all the big things we absolutely needed for the baby before he arrives. My husband is an accountant and we have a spreadsheet for everything. At first, I will admit, I hated it. Now…I’m a convert and it’s quite satisfying to see numbers balance or find you have extra money or that you’ve saved money!

Our spreadsheet looks like this:

It’s just a rundown of the big ticket items we absolutely need before the baby arrives. This is also including a rough estimate on what we may spend on diapers for the first 3 months and enough clothes to get us through a few months.

Yes, we still have a little bit to go but so far we are staying under budget for a couple of reasons.

1.) Shopping sales and using coupons. Thank goodness for those monthly BuyBuyBaby 20% off coupons. That alone saved me almost $80 on our car seat and stroller! Luckily, we are also about to hit another holiday sale weekend with Labor Day as well. So hopefully, we can grab a few more deals this weekend.

2.)Shop used when you can. When I found out I was pregnant I had a grand plan for the nursery in my head. All new furniture that I picked out online. However, after buying a house and realizing it was bit unrealistic to spend that much on furniture right now. I took to Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace. Nextdoor has been my biggest source of furniture. I found a dresser changing table combination that a woman was selling for $50. It’s in great shape, though there still may be a transformation of it later. Mainly, because I haven’t had a project in awhile. Needless to say, that used purchase saved me about $170 from my original plan.

I know I could easily spend several thousand dollars decorating for and preparing for the baby, but the reality is we need to prioritize and take a more minimalist approach. We need things that will make our lives easier and functional with the baby.

Posted in baby

Pregnancy During a Pandemic

The week of March 9th, I was feeling terrible. I was exhausted, and every time I tried to eat, I wanted to throw up. Nothing sounded appealing at all. I had meal prepped a bunch of breakfasts and lunches for me, all plant-based, and I was so excited for them. Then I literally couldn’t eat them. My husband, Carlos, was out of town for work that week. I texted him on Tuesday during my lunch break at work and told him how terrible I felt. He jokingly said, “Well, maybe you’re pregnant!”

I continued to feel like garbage all day. When I got home, I remembered that the ovulation tests I bought came with one pregnancy test and decided to check, just for fun. It was immediately positive; I didn’t even have to wait the full time the box suggested. I still didn’t believe it. With my PCOS and coming off of birth control, I convinced myself it would probably take a year or more if it were going to happen at all.

I talked to my husband that night, and he thought I was also joking with him! We agreed I should take another one. So the next day, on my way home from work, I bought one of the digital ones, surely those were more trustworthy. Again, it immediately said, “pregnant.” I took another one, just in case. Yup, positive! I was so excited and so scared all at the same time.

That night I got a text from work saying that due to COVID-19 precautions, we would be closing immediately and would have an extended Spring Break. Little did I know that we would not be returning for the rest of the year. Not only did I find out I was pregnant, but I also learned that COVID-19 was becoming a big problem. That was a little overwhelming to deal with all at once.

I had a doctor’s appointment the following Monday, and everything was okay. I was seven weeks pregnant, and the doctor’s office was pretty much normal, aside from asking me whether I had been sick or not.

The following weeks got a little crazier with the entire state shutting down and trying to navigate remote teaching for the first time. Though it was more crisis management than teaching, it was still challenging. We were quarantined. I knew nothing about how to be pregnant; I wasn’t with my students at school; I wasn’t seeing any people outside my husband. It was challenging.

There was a loss of normalcy from all sides. I couldn’t fill my time with the gym or friends. I wasn’t sure what my relationships with my friends would even look like outside of quarantine. I wouldn’t be going to happy hours; I would be the pregnant friend and then the friend with a baby. I was so excited and grateful for the baby, but I knew life was going to be different, and I needed to figure out who I was post-quarantine and post-pregnancy. People don’t talk about that often. It’s hard not to be filled with emotions, not only because of the raging hormones, but it’s a massive shift from not being a mom to being a mom. I’ve had 32 years of my life not being a mom, that’s a long time! Not only that, but enormous pressure to grow a human and not mess up. At least that’s what I’m always worried about.

Pregnancy has been a challenge for me. I can’t say whether it is because of the isolation of COVID or not, but it has been challenging. We try to go for walks every day to get outside and get exercise. I did get to see my friends for video chats, and then I finally got to see them in person for a gender reveal with them. I got to see my mom too a couple of times, which helped.

It still has felt bizarre. I haven’t been in the school for months, hell my entire pregnancy, so most of my co-workers will probably be quite surprised when I show up 6-7 months pregnant. What I cannot wait for is to meet my son finally. I also cannot wait for this pandemic to pass, but that one might take a little longer.

It has been a strange and wonderful few months with layers of emotion. We have a lot more amazing things ahead, which I will write about later. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and trying their best to be sane!