Category / Kiddos

it’s gender reveal day! (free printable)

gender reveal free printable

I designed this little handout for tonight when we get the grandparents together for our gender reveal, and it was a fun way to let everyone cast their “educated” guesses, based on the results of some old wives’ tales!

For your reference:

  • more morning sickness versus less = GIRL
  • conceiving ON your ovulation date (not before) = GIRL
  • salty cravings = BOY, sweet cravings = GIRL
  • baby’s heart rate is OVER 140bpm = GIRL
  • Mom’s skin getting worse (breakouts, oily) = GIRL
  • a dangled wedding ring going in a circular motion = GIRL; back and forth = BOY
  • check the Chinese gender chart to learn GIRL/BOY prediction

I made a generic version without our details included, so you can print for your own purposes — simply check the boxes according to which way each tale points, and let guests cast their votes at the bottom. Happy guessing… and revealing! ūüôā

Click the link below¬†to access the PDF and print away to your heart’s content!


girl nurseries

As a follow-up to the boy nurseries post, I have also been collecting ideas for some baby girl rooms. I really have no hunch one way or another, but we’ll know in one short week which gender to design this room for!

I love corals as a fresh spin on the idea of a “pink” room…but mixed in with lots of energetic citrus-inspired colors. (Perhaps like a certain blog palette? Clearly I’m drawn to the combo of warm, bright hues!)


 Flower tie-back | Oh Love print | Crib
Fierce print | Clock | Dresser | Rug

I also love the idea of going totally opposite of what you might “expect” in a girls’ room with a non-traditional palette of purply-blues and/or vibrant aquas — combined or separate, I’m not sure. I don’t have a full board for this option, but here are a couple images/ideas that are in line with what I’m thinking…










boy nurseries

Now that we’re closed on our construction loan, it finally feels more “real” that our next home will actually come to be, and while we may not move in before baby’s arrival, it won’t be too long after. So without a physical room to play around in, I’m resorting to inspiration boards and lots of Pinterest.

I’ve been thinking of nursery ideas for both boys and girls, but the boy stuff seems to come easier to me. I have two concepts I love for a little guys’ room. One plays off our word “adventure” for the year, and brings together ideas of travel, discovery, and seeking experiences.



Map letter | Sailboat sheets | Ceiling compass medallion | Personalized map art
Adventure banner | Crib | Whale pillow

The second concept encompasses bold pops of kelly green and graphic black and white treatments, with nods to the more “GQ” side of boys (if anything like his daddy, a son of ours would love clothes, James Bond, cuff links, and all other things “gentleman”.)


Tee pee | Mustache pillow | Lamp
Gentleman print | Quilt | Crib

maternity style.

pink blush


I was funny about buying anything for baby before we had our first doctor’s appointment, but when it came to myself, I was all about hitting “add to cart” on some bump-friendly items for me.

It was nice to take advantage of some fall/winter clearance still around in May, knowing that by fall, I’d be plenty ready for some roomier, long sleeved things. And with our trip to Florida in late September in mind, I’m keeping an eye on summer deals, now. I am ALL about not spending a fortune on maternity clothes. Obviously, the time frame to wear them is short, and let’s be real, they just aren’t as exciting as regular clothes!



I know I’ll grow into (and then perhaps out of!) the first batch of items I’ve stashed in my closet, but to begin, I wanted a set of mega basics, with which I can mix in as much as possible with accessories and non-maternity items I already own. I’m fortunate to work in a casual office, so other than an option for the occasional corporate office visit, I’m happily sticking to comfy casual for the coming months.

Burrito Belly | 14 weeks

14 Weeks…a.k.a. “Burrito Belly”

EXISTING closet — Here’s what I’m hoping will help carry me through the early months of “burrito belly”:

  • Leggings/cropped leggings¬†
  • Linen roll-waist pants — I found these non-maternity gems at Old Navy and bought in three colors to get me through summer!
  • Empire waist dresses and tunics
  • Tunic length tanks and tops
  • Maxi dresses
  • Maxi skirts
  • Stretchy workout clothes
  • The famous belly bands in black and white (Target¬†BeBand) for extending the timeline during which I can keep wearing my regular pants

PURCHASED — Here’s what’s on tap for later on:

  • Long tanks for layering (a variety of colors) – love the PureBody from Gap Maternity, as well as from H&M Mama
  • Denim button down (Gap Maternity)
  • Grey and black leggings (Liz Lange for Target and Gap Maternity)
  • 3/4 sleeve knit grey dress (Liz Lange for Target)
  • V-neck tees in various sleeve lengths/colors (Old Navy Maternity)
  • Black jersey 3/4 sleeve dress (Gap Maternity)
  • This dress and this one (Pink Blush) for some upcoming dressier events



And in related news, one of my very favorite bloggers, who is a few weeks further along than me, has started a series called¬†“Dressing the Bump” — LOVE her tips and resources for both cute maternity items and things that help bridge the gap from your normal wardrobe!

gender neutral baby gifts that are NOT yellow with ducks.

I’m not knocking ducks. Or yellow, OBVIOUSLY.

But when it comes to shopping for a baby without knowing if it’s a boy or a girl, your options are often limited to those two details. In the early weeks of not yet knowing the gender of Baby S, I still had to get my shop on. Here are a few of the fun items I stumbled across, that can go “boy” or “girl” — without sacrificing style!


Burp Cloths from Little Doe Design Co.

I tend to favor bold patterns and bright colors over pastels (most of the time), so these black and white, graphic prints spoke to me. Plus, the chenille side is super soft and absorbent.










Baby Gap Apparel

I think Baby Gap does a better job than most at designing patterns that can go either way. Lots of sweet grey/white patterns, stars, and this little doodle drawn fish print sleeper I brought home with me a couple weeks ago. Plus, their baby garments are notoriously known to wash and wear well over time.


Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets 

If there’s ONE item I heard about over and over from friends who’ve had babies, it’s to invest in some of these muslin swaddle blankets. The thin fabric is enough to keep baby warm and content, but without overheating. You can swaddle with them, cover up during nursing, throw over the carseat to keep the sun out, or use them for playtime. They feel incredible and only get softer with time. There are so many sweet patterns to choose from (boy and girl themes, but also tons that can go either way).



Minnetonka Fringe Booties

I know, baby shoes are impractical, blah blah, but sometimes for winter babies, they stay on better than regular socks. And either gender can pull these off.¬†Plus, they’re just beyond adorable. And they will likely show up from my UPS guy. ūüôā

Anyone else have a go-to gender neutral baby gift??

first trimester truths.


Thank you for all of the kind comments and emails about our news. I promise this won’t turn into an all-out baby blog going forward (and after this one, I’m done posting pics of sticks I’ve peed on!), but you’ll have to forgive the next few posts, including this one, as they’re a product of this secret we’ve been keeping the past several weeks, but couldn’t talk about!

We had a scare early on (more on that below), which prompted us to wait a while to tell even our immediate family. Because of this, there has been no one but Page to listen to my little outbursts as I’m learning my new body and lifestyle during these early months, and there have been some scary and joyful moments we had to keep to ourselves early on, neither of which I want to forget. Below are some of the little stories that I couldn’t yet share in the early weeks, but want to blog and remember…

1. The first person I told was my dental hygienist.¬†Not that she and my dentist aren’t great people, but it was hardly the romanticized version of “sharing your news with your inner circle, first”. What can you do, I had to let them know so I wasn’t given x-rays and fluoride treatments…it was still a fun moment full of hugs. ūüôā


2. Fake drinking is tricky business. Within days of learning our news, I had to master this art for a variety of events from my sister-in-law’s graduation to a work cocktail hour and dinner. It can be done — but you either commit to getting to an event dorky-early (so you can befriend the bartender and swear him to secrecy) or you team-drink with your hubby, taking fake sips off a drink that matches his, and swapping when no one is looking so they both empty over time. I think Page was okay to take one for the team on this. ūüôā I also took tacky to a whole new level on more than one occasion, carrying my drink to the bathroom with me, so I could pour it down the drain. Eventually, I got more lazy about covering it up and figured eh, soon enough people will find out anyway!

3.¬†Decaf coffee…is bullshit. Thankfully, when I got to my nine-week appointment, my doctor assured me that I had permission to drink a cup a day of the real deal. I may or may not have resisted kissing her, and then hit up the Starbys drive-through on my way home. (On a related note…non-alcoholic wine is a total letdown as well!)

baby shopping

4. I didn’t cry when we found out.¬†I always kind of thought I’d cry when the day came that a test came back positive. But we were so shocked, more than anything. And kind of just didn’t believe the test was right. We knew that pregnancy was a small possibility, but SO small that I had actually taken the test more to “rule out” that pregnancy was what was going on with me during a stomach bug. We hadn’t actually entered the phase of really “trying” yet and I think because of this, we weren’t yet in the mindset of longing and wanting enough to have tears of joy and relief. (Obviously, we are thrilled and grateful for the news, but I share that story for anyone else who might feel bad that they aren’t sobbing over their EPT stick!)

5. I had to look my mom in the eye the day after we found out. And say nothing.¬†It was WAY too early to share the news even with family, and we weren’t even out of the¬†woods of it being only a chemical pregnancy. I was still processing the news myself, let alone ready to process how to tell anyone else. But as events would have it, my parents came to Des Moines the week we moved, which happened to be the day after we found out with a home test. There’s something about moms… you just assume they know everything, instantly. In fact, when we were sitting at the half-packed house discussing what else was going to go/sell/head to storage, she asked about the grill on our deck. She said something like, “well, you know that’s not good for you now”, referencing some recent report about grilling and carcinogens in meat, but my brain shot straight to, “why? because I’m pregnant? because you KNOW I’m pregnant?!” I think I played it cool, but I felt like the truth was written all over my face.

6. The whole ultrasound experience was a whirl of information. We tried to make the necessary plans and lifestyle changes, but did little more than that between the time we found out, and our first appointment at nine and a half weeks to confirm there was indeed a beating heart in there. I experienced bleeding and cramping just shy of week six and was told by the doctor’s office that it was a bit too early to verify either way via ultrasound.We know so many who experienced the common, “it went away” scenario, and we approached the next weeks until our first appointment with a lot of caution. It didn’t become real for me when saw two pink lines on a stick. It became real when we finally got to see this wiggly little nugget squirming around on the ultrasound, and the flickering of its heartbeat.

It was a good moment I’ll never forget and we laughed joyously at both being able to SEE some real proof of this tiny person, and at the miracle of it all. As soon as the ultrasound screen roared to life and we saw what was clearly a moving, lively fetus (yay!), we immediately spotted what appeared to be a second (empty) sack on the ultrasound. Between that and the cramping/bleeding I experienced three weeks prior, we were told that while there’s no way to know for certain, it’s quite possible the pregnancy began as twins. From learning our baby was in great shape, to learning we likely lost a second, this was a lot of information to get in a single minute – I think I’m still processing this one – but it was all in all a wonderful memory of relief and happiness.


Baby S Heartbeat

7.¬†Hearing the heartbeat = top ten coolest moments ever.¬†Thanks to a friend at work who loaned us her at-home doppler, we were able to find the heartbeat in the eleventh week, at home, knowing that Page would be out of town for the next regular appointment in which we’d have otherwise heard it for the first time. We were prepared for it to not work well (the home ones are sometimes unreliable) but it came through, loud and clear, in the 170s, and we raced to record it on our phone. (You can download the sound byte by clicking the audio link above!)

8. Ah, nausea, my constant companion. I felt GREAT through my first six weeks (fortunately, since we were moving and there was no time for pause!). Then, week 7 hit and for a couple days, I thought my life was over for the coming months. Fortunately I learned some coping mechanisms, but I was nauseous at some point every single day for about six weeks. I never actually got sick, or had any crazy cravings, it was more that NOTHING sounded good , and the scale has reflected that Рthe one ray of light in this situation. I was also WORN OUT by the end of the day and would collapse into bed super early Р9pm became the new 11.

popsicle stash

9. Just call me Uncle Si. You know how crazy old Si on Duck Dynasty always has his “tea cup” in his hand? That has been me, but with a huge pink tumbler of ice cold sparkling water. All. the. time. It’s what has worked for me to keep my stomach as settled as possible. My other go-to has been popsicles. God bless Costco on both counts.

10.¬†Telling work was nerve-wracking.¬†This was the toughest place to keep quiet, because I spend so much of my time in our small office. For weeks,¬†I felt like I was wearing a sign that said, “I’m pregnant!” between frequent trips to the bathroom, suddenly rejecting coffee (and all food for that matter), and downing sparkling water and saltines like it was my new career path.¬†I never worried they wouldn’t be supportive or excited, but delivering news to coworkers comes with this major sense of responsibility. It’s hard to JUST focus on the good news, without weighing it down with worries about maternity leave, hiring a temp, redistributing workloads, and not being able to travel in the later months. The time will come for those discussions (sooner than later, I’m sure!), but in the meantime, work has felt like a load off my shoulders to not be secret-keeping on top of everything else to do between 8 and 5 each day.

11.¬†Telling our families was a lot of fun.¬†Being married for nearly seven years, we have chosen to keep it “just us” until now, and shared that decision openly with our families. We had recently alluded to some changing priorities, but the news still brought some sincere surprise, which made it fun. It worked out well that just as we approached the end of the first trimester, we would see both sets of parents in person — mine when it just so happened that my brother and sister-in-law were visiting from Korea (the first time in a year and a half!), and Page’s parents, when he went through his hometown on the way to his guys’ trip for the year.


12.¬†You DO start to feel better.¬†There were weeks I thought I might never, but like clockwork at twelve weeks, I had a full day without any of the “icks”. Then the next day, I had the tiniest bit, and by the third, I was back to feeling fine. It just suddenly dissolves, food smells, tastes, (and agrees) right again, and my evenings no longer revolve around crashing in bed at 7pm to watch¬†Orange Is The New Black¬†as a distraction from feeling awful. Hellllloooo, second trimester. I am more than ready for you!

the expectant father

13. I’m excited for Page. We were never that couple that went on and on about family plans, in part because we’ve been so happy with “just us” until now, and in part I think we didn’t want to jinx anything. But now that we’re here, I almost feel like we’re getting to know this new dimension of each other and at the same time, it all feels completely natural. While he’s been very guarded during the first trimester until all checked out okay, he’s also been visibly excited, which has been fun to watch.

If you know Page, he doesn’t do ANYTHING halfway, and he hates to be out of the loop. So I ordered a book just for him, after scouring reviews (this one won major points from dad reviewers for being one that doesn’t “talk down” to fathers-to-be — seriously, what’s that about?!). I knew that, at the risk of driving me crazy with all his new “expertise”, he’d devour it willingly. The above image warms my heart — he reads it unsolicited, folds down pages, and keeps it next to the bed. It’s a small indicator of just how amazing a parent he will be to this new person on the way.

Anyone else have first trimester truths to share? I know I’m not alone! And, to play along with those who blog their pregnancy stats, here’s my current rundown:

How far along: 13.5 weeks
Gender:¬†I have caught myself referring to Squirt as “he” – but we’ll know for sure in about 2.5 weeks!
Weight gain: ¬† None – thanks to eating very little for two months, I’m down about 6 pounds from when I first found out
Maternity clothes: nothing yet, but some stretchy waistbands and comfy maxi dresses are always welcome!
Stretch marks: No
Belly button in or out: in
Sleep: falling asleep quickly and deeply
Best moment so far:  seeing 9- and 13-week ultrasound pictures and telling friends and family
Worst moment so far: cramping/bleeding scare at 5.5 weeks, getting poked in four spots before a successful blood draw for our first trimester screening (and eventually having it drawn from the back of my hand РOUCH!)
Miss anything: red wine
Movement: not yet
Cravings: fruit, sometimes donuts
Queasy or sick:  queasy most days until week 12, now feeling great
Looking forward to: 16-week gender appointment with both sets of parents and seeing our house start to take shape

our next adventure.

“Adventure is out there!” — Up


Amidst the excitement of planning the next house, I’ve been reminiscing about the first one we owned together, and sold this Spring. So many moments, big and small, were celebrated in that house, and we met so many wonderful neighbors that I know we will keep in touch with as friends. We entered our thirties in our first house.¬†¬†Page learned a lot about home DIY, and I learned a lot about finding my style for our home and how to pull it all together.

We also shared a very important moment, the week we moved out, and I’m eternally grateful we could do so within the walls of our first home…

photo 4

It truly is a year for adventure, and while we were genuinely surprised that it happened faster than we’d “planned”, (yes, we’re cutting it close on the building of our next home!) we are excited and grateful to welcome Baby S come early January.


Cheers (with a preggatini!) to the building of our next adventure and the arrival of our greatest one yet…


 Fathers Day 2014 | 10 weeks