Master Bedroom: New Bedding and Curtains

How’s that for a creative post title? Killing it. We’re coming up on our 1 year anniversary of living in this house, and so I’m trying to get progress photos taken in every room…so get ready for small updates on the house  and a house tour of sorts over the next few weeks.

When we moved into our house last June, the master bedroom had yellowed-by-the-sun faux wood blinds, white frilly sheers and plastic hardware including curtain tiebacks. Works for some styles, but not mine. We took the curtains down immediately and eventually removed the hardware before we had the room painted last November. The blinds are still up there while I decide what I want in their place (I’m leaning towards bamboo for the texture).

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For my birthday, I asked for new sheets for our bed and new shams. I loved the shams, and was getting tired of the quilt (still love it, but like the option to change it up), so when the duvet cover that matched the shams went on sale, I waited for a free shipping day and ordered it. I also bought long navy blue curtain panels (at IKEA) and new hardware and B hung those a few weeks ago…and our master bedroom changed dramatically with those two changes. I also bought some new, graphic lampshades for our existing lamps and moved the white drum shades to my green living room lamps that were in need of new shades. Just little, pretty inexpensive overall, tweaks. I have an evolving vision for this room – eventually I’d like to go away from our matching dresser and bedside tables. They were some of the first things we purchased for our last home before we really had a keen sense of what our style is – and it turns out our style is a little more eclectic than matched furniture sets – I’ve always called our style “Urban Cottage” and I think that’s still on the money. And that boxspring needs a tailored bedskirt on it as opposed to a cheap sheet, but we’ll get there.

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So that’s where we are for now. I’m still hunting for a navy accent pillow to anchor the bed and the bedskirt, and the furniture is absolutely fine so if we find something more our style, great, if not, oh well. It will continue to evolve, but that’s where our bedroom stands almost one year in. Here’s a peak at it on move-in day.

Peter’s Nursery: Gray, Blue and Rugby Stripes

You all saw the blank slate nursery that was ready for #3 to be born so we could personalize it based on the baby and their personality. I had no real clue what to do with the room if Peter was a girl, though I’m sure I would have figured it out, but I was ready to run with a boy nursery plan when Peter was born. It’s mostly done now…I have a few projects to finish up, but I figured I’d share it now and share updates later.

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Peter’s nursery is very similar in shape to the nursery at our last house (here as a nursery for Thomas, here as a nursery for Nell), it’s just about 21 square feet bigger and has a wall in front of you when you enter, so we kept the furniture layout pretty similar because we knew it worked. Crib on the far wall, changing table on the opposite wall, chair floating in front of the big window.

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The bookcases we bought to flank the crib in Thomas’s nursery are some of my favorite things in the house. I adore them. But I wasn’t feeling the same layout for them, so I chose to just install one on the wall as you walk into the room. I’m planning to add a giant P for Peter above it soon, but taking three kids to Hobby Lobby is torture. If they don’t have a cart that fits at least a car seat and a toddler, I’m not going there anytime soon. That’s why Costco and I are so close these days. And you guys know I’m frugal – if I can make it myself, why pay major markup for something? But I’m tempted to just order the giant Pottery Barn P already painted navy blue and call it a day…sometimes $60 is worth your sanity, right? I digress.

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Peter’s crib is the same one that Thomas slept in. Thomas likes to tell Peter that a few times a day. “Your crib used to be my crib Peter. It was never Nell’s crib.” Siblings, man. Pete got his own crib sheets though. 3rd baby has to have a few things that are just theirs.

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We moved the IKEA Jenny Lund chair from Nell’s room to Peter’s room before his arrival, but I bought the pouf for an ottoman the week after he was born when it was on sale at Target, and I’m smitten with it. My mom made Peter a gray and white strip quilt just as she did for Tom and Nell.

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My absolute favorite piece of furniture I own is that $30 vintage dresser I found on Craigslist when I was pregnant with Thomas. It’s been the perfect changing table for all three of our kiddos, and I always remember putting Casco in my little red bug and racing to South Denver to pick it up after work one day. I’ve realized that I like at least one piece of old furniture in every room. Not beautiful, ornate antiques…I’m not fancy enough for that. Farmhouse style, simple, sturdy antiques. That dresser will always have a place in any home I live in, hear me now. I’m looking for a small scale, industrial-esque shelving unit to go above the dresser. I know exactly what it looks like in my head, just haven’t been able to find it in reality yet.

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The whale changing pad was just fun, so I bought it. It’s from the same collection of sheets that he has and was his baby gift from my parents, but I like that they’re not matchy-matchy…just coordinated.

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And although I love everything in the room, I think the rugby stripe curtains make it. Caroline and I made them when Peter was one week old. Because we had nothing better to do with our time. We cut a king size duvet in half and hemmed the edges. Peter’s window has a shade that pulls down that darkens the room, so we didn’t bother blackout lining the curtains, but I can always add blackout liner later if needed.

So that’s Peter’s nursery. It’s come along way from the bright blue make-shift guest room it was when we moved into the house 11 months ago.

Sources:

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl color matched in Behr paint

Bookshelves: Target circa 2010 (but knock-offs of these Pottery Barn shelves that are still available)

Crib: JCPenney 4 years ago

Sheets and Changing Pad Cover: Land of Nod

Crib Skirt: Pottery Barn Kids, no longer available

Chair: IKEA Jenny Lund

Ottoman: Target

Rugby Stripe Curtains: DIY from king size duvet cover (available at Target)

Updates

  • We had a great Easter (a week and a half ago now)…busy, but good. Starting with the kids coming down Easter morning to their Easter baskets. Side note: Our stairs have this diagonal in them for the bottom four steps. I’ve never loved it, but it wasn’t a deal breaker…I’d just prefer a more traditional staircase. But, Easter morning, I realized it’s perfect for three Easter baskets. It would fit four…but B says our stairs accommodating an extra Easter basket are not a compelling reason to keep having more kids. So there, one holiday transformed the way I feel about that crazy staircase layout. IMG_9203 The Saturday before Easter, we dyed Easter eggs using Kool Aid. It was perfect, and I’ll never dye eggs with one of those kits again!

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Easter morning, we woke up for Easter baskets, then booked it to church to get there at least 30 minutes before Mass was slated to start. The great Catholic dilemma arose as we arrived in time to hear the Homily and watch the 7 am Mass receive Communion – if we’re there in time for the Homily and Communion, do we call it attending and leave with the early birds? Or wait for our normal 8:30 Mass.  We waited for 8:30…but the debate absolutely took place. We love the church we’ve found and the community we’ve established going to church there for the last three years, but they could use some work on their time management. After Mass, we rushed home and before hosting B’s parents for brunch, we grabbed a quick family photo: our first, I’m ashamed to say, of all five of us (bonus that Casco posed!) since Peter was born.

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  • So that was Easter…Next up. Peter. We are loving life as a family of five, but it’s been loud :) . Peter is colicky and has reflux, but we’re doing whatever we can to get to the bottom of it to make our little guy more comfortable. I’m back off dairy (as I was with Nell, but for different reasons) and eliminating other foods from my diet, and we’re gonna get to the bottom of it.
  • I’m working out daily and eating clean to get back in shape (well, the clean eating was dictated by Peter, but the getting back in shape is a bonus) after Peter’s birth. My go-to workout after every pregnancy is the 30 day shred…and I’m so sick of it. But I’ll see it through the 30 days and post results here similar to what I did 3 years ago when I’m done. I am so passionate about not dwelling on body image – we have a daughter, and sons, who we want to raise to be healthy and confident young people, so I’m focusing more on being healthy than being back at my exact pre-pregnancy weight.
  • I loved Sarah’s thoughts on technology and kids from Monday. I’ve shared before that we really try to limit screen time and technology with our kids, like, the TV is rarely on unless there is a hometown sporting event in the background, and even then we turn it off if we notice Thomas paying too much attention to it. We started letting T watch an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, or similar, about once a week a few months ago so that he’d know what his preschool classmates were talking about, but otherwise we keep screen time to a minimum. I don’t say this to declare our way the only way…or even the right way. It’s just what works for us and what feels important to us.  But anyway, coming from a technology minimalist mindset for kids, I really enjoyed Sarah’s thoughts on technology for me to process as our kids get older, so thought I’d share if anyone else was interested.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Peter’s room is ready for me to take pictures of, so hopefully I’ll get to that in the next few days!

Nell’s Room: A Pattern Explosion

When we moved into our house last June, I immediately knew that the room with the built-ins and window seat would be Nell’s room.  When we found out I was pregnant seconds after moving in, everyone questioned if we shouldn’t just move Nell to the guest room and keep the “nursery” (as it was for the previous home owners) a nursery. But I felt strongly in the beginning that Peter was a boy (and then talked myself out of being convinced of it for most of the pregnancy) and I just had this picture of Nell in her room and the boys in the two rooms across the landing from Nell’s room. A girl’s wing and boy’s wing, if you will.

 

Anyway, this was Nell’s room when we moved into the house last June. Under the chair rail was a sage-y green and the top of the chair rail was yellow. The window seat was covered in jungle fabric that tied those colors together well, but Nell’s turquoise crib (my $69 painted IKEA pride and joy that we painted long before Pottery Barn Kids was jumping on the painted crib bandwagon) blended into the green too much and looked more green than turquoise with the colors. Plus, I had firmly established Nell’s color scheme as shades of blue and coral, and yellow and green didn’t work well with that.

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Making Nell’s room her own was a very long process. In September, my mom and sister primed the green and painted the yellow gray (Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore). When B flew out to DC for a wedding in November, my mom and I put up beadboard wall paper on the bottom half of the walls (the same weekend my mom and B’s mom ridded Peter’s room of the cobalt blue paint).

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We still had so far to go. This room needed color and pattern (and perhaps photos taken during daylight hours). I knew Nell’s room would be navy and turquoise with pops of coral, so immediately after we moved in last June, I ordered this Ikat print for the window seat and seven of these seaglass bins for under the bench. And that’s as far as I got until the painting happened last Fall. In February, we started to finally put the pieces into place when we moved Nell’s dresser and chair to the guest room so it could become the nursery, and the double bed from the guest room to Nell’s room for her to grow into and for guests. Did you follow that? Phew.

Enough talk, here’s Nell’s room as it stands today:

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painted ikea crib

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Bookshelves

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So much of what’s in the room are things we already owned or I relocated from Caroline’s basement.  In fact, the only thing we purchased was the bedding. The room will continue to evolve – I’m sure in the next year sometime, the crib will come down, and artwork will change, but for now, we’re calling it done. And so, that’s Nell’s room. It’s a vibrant, colorful room and it fits her personality (and wardrobe) to a tee.

Industrial Exterior House Lights

Remember last week when I showed you our new paint colors and promised an update on the exterior lights with closeups? Well, I forgot that I had a colicky one month old (my normal blogging hours are before the kids wake up or after the kids go to bed, but those are Peter’s designated screaming time…so, yeah), a demanding 22 month old who is testing the waters and needs consistency and discipline to keep her from becoming Michelle Tanner (cute and funny and allowed to get away with s**t because of it and therefore eventually an out of control tween – our #1 goal in raising our daughter? Discipline so that she doesn’t become an Olsen twin. Or Lindsay Lohan.) and a stoic, rule following, almost 4 year old who just needs to be wrapped in a hug and told how important and special and wonderful he is. 3 very different personalities demanding attention over here at the McKevitt house these days. Happens. I’m a big believer in blog reciprocity – if you comment on my blog, I comment on yours. And hopefully vice versa. But right now the majority of my blog reading takes place at 2am…and my iphone doesn’t allow me to comment on blogger blogs for some reason. And by 6am, I forget what I’ve commented on and what I’ve just read. So don’t hold it against me, okay? One day soon, I’ll be a good blog friend again.

 

Anyway, our house. Originally, our lights were what every builder in our town installed on houses in the 90s and early 2000s. I called them the Olympic torch lights. They’re sitting on the workbench in our garage so that I can donate them for someone craftier than I am to transform, but I considered keeping one in case Tom, Nell or Peter ever has to play the Statue of Liberty in a school play. I don’t make fun of the lights to put down any previous homeowners: the house was built in 2oo1, and this was what the builder was offering. It never crossed my mind to change out the builder lights at our last house until we were close enough to moving that I didn’t want to put anymore money into it. And then the second homeowners made lots of changes to the house that are what made us buy it – hardwood floors throughout the entire first floor, built-ins in Nell’s room, etc. And I’m pretty sure, looking at all the other torch lights in our neighborhood, they painted these Oil Rubbed Bronze from brass to make them less prominent. But since we were painting, we decided to update and go with a style we like all around.

exterior lights before I showed you all the lights I was considering in this post and decided on this industrial style exterior light from Home Depot. It was the biggest scale of the three similar styles I liked best, which was important to me. I also liked that it had a dawn-to-dusk feature. We’re not good about remembering to turn lights off during the day, and so my electrical engineer husband opts for leaving our exterior lights off so we don’t waste precious commodities (and money). But I like the security of having lights on at night…so this works well for us.

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B installed the lights the day the painters finished and I adore them. gray house paint industrial lights

The Home Depot reviews are mediocre, but that’s based on a motion sensor feature we don’t use (motion sensor lights freak me out…probably the point, huh?) I will say, we accidentally had them set to motion sensor the first night and they seemed to work fine. So I love the lights, and I’d buy them again in a heartbeat.

So that’s the latest on our curb appeal updates. I love my Dark Sky Association approved lights – they definitely make our house more “ours” and less the now defunct builder’s.

The Games We Play: Preschool Edition

B and I love games. We play Gin Rummy together frequently. Bananagrams. Scrabble when we have hours. We adore playing games with friends, too. So when it came to playing games with our kids, we were all about it. But, because B and I are game people – we wanted to like the games we play with our kids, too. From my babysitting days, there are plenty of games that kids love (and that I loved) that are a bit tedious for adults. Candy Land comes to mind…

So anyway, here are our current favorite games to play with Thomas, who is 3 and a half. Nell, at one and a half, “plays” some of these too.

favorite-games-for-preschoolers From top to bottom (no affiliate links, just linking for your convenience):

Uno Moo: This is just fun. Thomas loves this game and is obsessed with skunks suddenly as a result of it. Nell also loves the game – she plays with us and on her own, but one of us helps her by giving directions like, “Nell, play your yellow chicken now to knock out Thomas’s blue chicken”.

Spot It, Jr: Santa put this in Thomas’s stocking and it’s been a favorite since Christmas. There are a couple different games you can play with it, and it goes quickly. B and I have played a couple nights after the kids are in bed, too. This is also our go-to gift for Thomas’s preschool classmates.

Zingo: I bought this based on Sarah at Clover Lane’s suggestion at Thanksgiving to play with Thomas and my nieces, and it’s a definite family hit. I couldn’t figure out what was so great about it from the description online – sounded like a fancied up bingo (it is). But way more fun than Bingo, plus it’s quick and just competitive enough for little kids without overwhelming them or making you “go easy” on them.  And I feel like my kids are now going to have a leg up on their nursing home buddies in their old age. Preparing them for life right here. Preparing them for life.

Alphabet Memory: I’ve mentioned before that we play a shortened version of this game. And honestly, Memory is not my favorite. But it’s so good for kids – it teaches focus. We pull out the letters of Thomas’s name when we play most of the time, and every now and then will do the whole alphabet, but that’s still a bit complicated for him.

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel: Since I mentioned this over a year ago, I doubt it needs much explaining, but it’s a really fun game, and goes relatively quickly, too. Thomas received this for Christmas when he was 2.5, but Nell can play this one by herself with very little direction from us, too, so it’s nice to have a game that the four of us can play together since so many of the games are a little beyond Nell right now.

Sequence for Kids: This is our newest game acquisition, and it’s Thomas’s current favorite. He loves “blocking” us from winning, and it teaches strategy – which is beyond Thomas right now, but something we talk about and work on. We play this at least once a day right now.

So those are our current favorites, what about you? Any great games you’ve played lately (kid or grown-up, I’m always up for suggestions in either category!)?

Operation Curb Appeal: Gray House Paint

I thought about holding off on this post until the grass is green and the trees have leaves, but in the spirit of sharing things as they happen, here’s a big curb appeal update before Mother Nature kicks in her contribution. Last week, we had the exterior of our house painted. The faded brown paint needed to go and I knew that our house hadn’t been painted since it was built in 2001 so was likely on the HOA’s list for needing to be painted in the next year when we bought it last summer. You can read about my initial plans for the house paint – at the time I didn’t think we’d get to paint the house any color but one of the many tans or browns that the HOA currently had available, but I attended the annual meeting in January where they were talking about adding new colors to the scheme and was excited to see that they were including a few new colors to liven up the neighborhood. I jumped on the gray option (our HOA limits how many houses can be painted a color in a general area, and I knew I wanted our house to go gray), immediately submitted my proposal to paint, and lined up our painters. We also had our garage door replaced since the old one had holes in it and was falling apart, and replaced the outdoor lights.

 

Here’s what our house looked like when we bought it. It was a very faded brown that had some yellow undertones in certain faded patches. And some patched paint that was a totally different color than the rest of the house. The trim color was also only one shade lighter than our house color which I didn’t love – I like white trim – and the accent color on the door and one pair of shutters was barely darker than the house. It was monochromatic to say the least.

House Before

And here it was in February, with my commentary of all the things that I wanted to change called out:

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And here is our house now. My friend Jules was over the day the painters were finishing up and as she left she said, “Em, this looks like a house you guys would live in, now.” And she was absolutely right…it’s very much us. We went with a deep charcoaly-blue accent color on the door and shutters, and added shutters to the porch window and big upstairs window to balance the house and extend color. You all helped me decide to bring the shutters to the second floor, and it was absolutely the right call.

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It was such a dramatic change that at first I didn’t know what to think. But as the week went on, I knew the gray with white trim and navy accents were the right call. It plays up the craftsman and cottage elements of our home and feels much more like us. And I’m quite smitten with the new exterior lights that B put up the day the painters finished up (I’ll do another post on the lights and the before and after this week – just need to get good close-ups of the new lights first).  Here’s another angle in a the bright afternoon light (which makes the gray look lighter than it really is):

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It’s not unlike our old house. And I’m good with that, because from a curb appeal standpoint, I adored our first house. And now I’m loving our second house from a curb appeal standpoint, too. The outside of our home means so much to me – it sets the vibe as people arrive at our home for the first time or the hundredth time. We still have some work to do: We’ll either remove or replace the storm door (undecided – maybe remove it and if we miss the breezes replace it? We love the functionality of a storm door and the cross breezes they allow from the front to the back of the house, but prefer the look of a solid front door), add some greenery and color with flowers in planters and in the surrounding landscape and pay a little attention to the porch furniture and layout. But the garage door, paint and lights were the biggies on our list for this year, and we’re loving the outcome.

My Boys

I was really worried about how Peter’s arrival would affect Thomas. I knew Nell’s world would be temporarily rocked, but I also knew that she’s young enough (not quite 21 months older than Peter) that she’d quickly get over it and will honestly not remember life before she was the middle child. Thomas was over the moon about the idea of a new baby from the moment we told him. He’d ask us all the time when the baby was coming, and checked the calendar frequently to see when March was coming. He told me that he wanted the baby to sleep in his room – in his arms – and actually cried when B set up the crib in the nursery. I was worried that the reality of a new baby would not quite meet his expectations – especially since his memory of Nell joining our family is limited {at best – I’d say his “memory” of Nell being born is all thanks to our family photo albums, not his actual memory} since he was just shy of 2 when she was born.

IMG_8707 I was also worried because Thomas desperately wanted a brother. Not because he doesn’t love his sister, but because “I already have a sister, so now I need a brother.” And also, because he apparently has Manning brother-esque dreams for himself and Peter {we’ll worry about the fact that my sons playing football terrifies me and I’d rather they just be great soccer players and then become football kickers/punters in high school should they still have football dreams later}. I actually started to second guess our choice to keep the baby’s sex a secret until delivery because Thomas was so set on having a brother. We talked a lot about how the baby was going to be either a brother or sister, and either one would be wonderful. And I know that B and I would have totally handled Thomas being the older brother of two sisters well and made him so proud to be our boy, I know that it wouldn’t have really been an issue. But I was worried all the same about his sweet, sensitive heart.

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Well, all that worry was unnecessary. As we went into the final weeks, I was pretty sure we were having a boy (my original gut instinct has been right every time -  I never wavered on Thomas being a boy and told everyone that we didn’t know but that he was totally a boy, but with Nell and Peter I was never certain enough to shout my predictions from the rooftop, and I did a lot of second guessing my gut instinct throughout each of those pregnancies, but always went back to my gut instinct when asked right before delivering what my final guess was). And when Thomas and Nell came to meet Peter in the hospital, their reactions were priceless. Nell was interested for a second and then just wanted to snuggle with me and be held by me and ride the hospital bed up and down. I was happy to oblige. Since we’ve been home she’s far more interested in “Pete the Baby” (as opposed to her other favorite Pete – the cat) and she loves to look at him, kiss him and hold him.

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And Thomas? Was over the moon. He hasn’t stopped grinning from ear to ear since Peter was born, and he requests to hold him, kiss him and teach him things all the time.

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And Peter seems pretty content to hang out in his big brother’s arms.

Peter’s Arrival

My labor and delivery with Peter were super straight forward – and solidified my love for my OB and the nurses at the hospital where I deliver. It was the weeks and days preceding his arrival that were a little rough!

At 37 weeks I started having false labor contractions similar to those I experienced the week before Nell arrived – consistently about 5 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds to a minute. They started about 5pm and stopped around midnight and just never increased in intensity, so I knew they weren’t the real deal. But, I assumed at my 38 week appointment (which was actually at 38.5 weeks since my due date was a Friday and my OB takes Fridays off) that I’d be told this baby was coming soon – because I had one week of false labor with Nell and then she arrived on her due date. So I assumed #3 would follow the same pattern. But, at my 38 week appointment, I was dilated to a 1 and there was no sign that false labor had done anything. BAnd let me clarify – I’m a big proponent of keeping babies IN as long as they need to be in. But the nightly anticipation of whether or not this would continue and become real was putting me over the edge. For the next 4 days, I just ignored my contractions the best I could. I knew they were false labor, and didn’t want to put myself through another week of “Is it real or not?”. On Friday, February 28th I was 39 weeks and I told B I was having a baby that weekend. Not that I thought the baby was coming, but that I was officially 39 weeks so I was willing to try all the old wives tales to have the baby that weekend. I took Nell for a long walk after naps and had to stop every few minutes due to contractions. Got home and they stopped. On Saturday we woke up to frigid temperatures and snow, so we went to Costco just to walk the aisles. No progress outside of the typical, consistent but not increasing in intensity contractions.

Saturday after naps, our neighbors took Tom and Nell while B and I went out for one last date night before baby. We just did early bird special happy hour appetizers at a cute restaurant in a small town nearby, and were home by 6:30. We walked into our neighbors’ house to find them cleaning Nell up since she had just thrown up about 5 minutes earlier. Ugh. We were hopeful it was the Costco hotdog she’d inhaled earlier, but by 8:30 she’d had three baths and we’d changed the crib sheets 4 times and we knew it was a bug. I laid down with her in our bed at 8:30 and B woke me up at 9:30 to tell me he had to go into work to help with an issue that had come up, but to call him if Nell got worse. And as soon as B left our room, I started having intense contractions reminiscent of my labor with Nell. And I remember thinking…”I wanted a baby this weekend, but now we need to hold off and get Nell healthy.” B got called off on coming in about 30 minutes later, so he came home and as soon as he was in bed, I got out of bed and started walking downstairs. My contractions were 3 minutes apart, lasting about 90 seconds, and getting increasingly harder to breathe through, so I was absolutely certain we’d be heading to the hospital in the morning if not sooner. We handled a few more puke episodes from Nell, and finally I fell asleep between contractions. I woke up on and off, but knew they had tapered off as soon as I’d laid down (normal for me).

Sunday, Nell was no worse for wear but B and I were exhausted. We walked Target, got things done around the house, and I went to book club after the kids were in bed. I continued to have regular contractions, though not the same intensity as the night before. So, Monday morning, I went into my 39 week appointment (at 39 weeks 3 days) with absolutely no expectations. But I was dilated to a 3 (further than when I got to Labor and Delivery with Nell!) and my OB thought the baby would come for sure that week. I knew that she was off every Friday, and since she’d been on call the weekend before, I also knew that chances of her delivering #3 were slim if we got to my due date – Friday – with no baby in our arms yet. I had intended to ask her to induce me at 40 weeks 3 days (after a successful VBAC with Nell my OB agreed to induce me with low dose pitocin instead of scheduling a repeat C-Section if necessary) at this appointment if the baby wasn’t here yet by then – I was anxious, done with false labor, and felt better about asking her to induce me after my due date than before.

She beat us to it though. She offered to strip my membranes (I agreed) and told me she thought that with my progress over the week, that would start labor. Then she said she thought we should come in Wednesday morning to be induced if it didn’t do anything since she was on call Wednesday night and gone for the weekend and she wanted to be there for my VBAC. We talked about it briefly, knowing we could change our minds, and agreed to the plan because we also felt strongly about having my OB on hand – since I’d had a successful VBAC with Nell we weren’t too worried, but the chances of things going wrong with a VBAC had both B and I convinced that we wanted my doctor at the delivery.  And then I went home, my mom, the kids and I went for a long walk – I was definitely having more intense contractions than my normal false labor – not on the scale of Saturday night, but increasing, and I thought we were making progress. And at 4pm on Monday, I threw up. At first, I was hopeful it was the start of  real labor since I’d been nauseous before heading to the hospital with Nell and had consistent contractions for the last couple hours, but instead, it was the exact same quick, but mean, stomach bug that Nell had. Throwing up all night did nothing but exacerbate the contractions. B took Tuesday morning off to handle school drop-off, and my mom came up mid-morning to get Nell, Casco and Thomas – knowing that we were possibly heading to the hospital on Wednesday anyway, and giving me a chance to rest.

After another day of regular contractions, and finally feeling up for eating real food Tuesday night, B and I figured we should just go ahead with the scheduled induction. I didn’t love the idea of being induced, but at this point, I was done with the 3 week long guessing game. We went to bed at 8:30 on Tuesday, and woke up Wednesday morning ready to go. We got to the hospital at 7:30, they started pitocin at 9 after checking me. I was a 4 – 5 and at that point admittable regardless of being induced or not. Low dose pitocin didn’t do anything for me – I was having regular contractions but they weren’t unbearable at all, and it didn’t help that baby kept slipping off the monitors when I was walking – and being a VBAC, I needed to be monitored. A little after noon my OB came in to break my water and mentioned that if this was how my last 3 weeks had been with consistent but not intense contractions, she couldn’t believe I hadn’t come into labor and delivery weeks ago. So anyway, my doctor broke my water and then…whoa. I immediately was having excruciating contractions. I had every intention of having an epidural again this go around, but didn’t want one until I needed one. And within a minute of having my water broken, we were paging the anesthesiologist. At this point, I noticed that B was not himself. The anesthesiologist came in to give my the epidural and B turned gray during the process. I would love to say that he was just getting jittery, but I knew that look and knew he was getting what Nell and I had. As soon as the nurses were out of the room, I told B to do what he had to do – if he needed to go sleep in the car, go home, go throw up – whatever it took. I remembered how miserable I was and knew he couldn’t power through it. I also knew that he would be devastated if he missed the delivery. He left the room a couple times to regroup, but was a trooper. And luckily, after my water broke, things went fast. My epidural never really took, and they couldn’t tell if it was the administration or how quickly I was progressing. Within 20 minutes I’d gone from a 4 to a 7. Nurses were in changing my position to keep the baby on the monitor, and were worried that baby’s heart rate was dropping a bit more than they were comfortable with. Turns out, Peter was just booking it to get to the world and was dropping faster than expected. At two, they checked me and I was complete. They called my doctor, turned off the epidural that had just started working about 30 minutes earlier and waited for my doctor and all the nurses to arrive. My doctor came in, B tried to rise to the occasion and I started pushing sometime around 2:30. At some point, B had to go sit down, and my OB commented that he didn’t look good. At 2:53, baby was out and my OB announced that we had a boy. B stood up – feebly – to come cut the cord and then ran back to his chair in the corner.

 

Peter wasn’t named yet, but he was on my chest immediately and he started nursing within about 10 minutes. My recovery from my c-section with Thomas wasn’t really that bad – I’ve heard horror stories about people not being able to go upstairs for weeks or months, but I was back to my old antics the day we got home from the hospital. But the hardest part of that c-section for me was what felt like an excruciating amount of time between Thomas being born and getting to hold him and feed him. After Nell’s VBAC, a lot of people asked me if I’d do it again. And recovery wise, I didn’t feel that there was one superior delivery method for me, but I would choose a VBAC every single day just to get to hold my baby immediately and nurse as soon as the babe is ready. So when Peter was placed on my chest, I relished that moment, knowing it was likely the last time, and knowing how lucky we were that we had a team that supported me in my desire for VBACs after a complicated first delivery.

It took us about 45 minutes to officially settle on Peter – which was our front runner of a few different boy names going into the hospital but we wanted to be sure before we committed – but that’s another story.

Peter Michael

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Peter Michael McKevitt (initials coincidentally the same as Peyton Manning McKevitt – absolutely not intentional). Peter arrived on Ash Wednesday – March 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm after a quick and relatively easy second VBAC.

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We are all over the moon – Thomas especially. He spent 5 minutes this morning teaching Peter how to pass a football. I’ll be back with more details on Peter’s arrival soon, but right now, B and I are juggling and snuggling our three babies (plus Casco!) and feeling like the luckiest people in the world.