Category Archives: Oh Baby

March 13, 2017

Baby Shower Registry Faves!

It’s going to be a really busy but really fun week here at Chez Gummerman—it’s my shower weekend!! I have a bunch of special friends that I’m so excited to see coming to celebrate our little one at Elsie’s house as well as a full house of rotating guests over the course of the next week. I’ve been working on my registry for literally months now (I can’t “just pick” anything, I have to research every choice so it takes forever!!) so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite items on the list!

1. I’ve actually been able to find a good deal of organic or wooden non-toxic baby toys so that’s been a big plus. I figure this little guy would be good to pack in the diaper bag or keep Bebe busy in the carseat for a bit…
2. My registry has maaaybe 50% books on it—there’s so many that I loved growing up, I just put every one I could think of on the list! Lots of Madeline books since she was one of my faves (maybe the start of loving all things French?) and I can’t remember what happens at the end of this one, so I’ll be excited to read it too.
3. This 100% cotton bunny blanket seems perfect for tummy time and I see other moms lay their babes on this size blanket at the “baby-friendly” barre classes I’ve been going to—so cute!
4. Got lots of recommendations for these Undercover Mama nursing tanks when I asked you all for advice on Instagram so I’m gonna trust the experts and see if they become one of my faves too!
5. Since I’m planning on being a breastfeeding/working mom, I got an electric pump to use most of the time (the Medela Freestyle was recommended by my midwives) but I’ve heard a hand pump is really, well, handy too. Our breastfeeding class teacher swears by this one…
6. Most of my registry is made up of basic onesies, but I did add a few sweet summer outfits for Bebe. It’s actually a bit hard to find cute summer outfits for under 3 months, so I’m hoping this one will fit her while it’s still warm out. That pom-pom trim is the best!
7. This highchair is probably the registry item that I’m most excited about. I mean, look at it, it’s beautiful!! I would probably have that in my house if I didn’t have a baby around and it matches our dining room chairs almost exactly so that’s a big plus too. It is more expensive than most other ones I’ve seen, but it’s something I’m going to have to look at for a looong time so it’s worth it! My mom said she had a rather impractical antique high-chair for us just because it matched her dining room set—it didn’t even have a tray on it, they had to push us up to the table so we wouldn’t fall out!
8. This diaper pail came highly recommended by a friend of mine with a new baby. I love how sleek it looks and you can use it with a cloth diaper bag too once we switch over to cloth diapers a few months in.
9. I love these wipes because they are 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract! I may try making my own wipes eventually to see if I like that process, but I may just stick with these if we love them.
10. Are you surprised I have cat related clothes on the registry?? Didn’t think so. Can’t wait to see this one on her and it’s organic as well.
11. This brand has some adorable bath toys that are made from natural rubber and are free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates—YAY!! I also got their sweet turtle too.
12. There are a lot of ugly baby items out there, but the sleek design of this bouncer is something that I can totally see around our house. I’m really trying to pick out things as much as I can that blend in with our decor (like the highchair) the same way I do with all the cat necessities around the house.
13. This portable highchair was also recommended to me by a new mama. I had actually already pinned it to my baby board so I was happy to see that someone I knew liked it. It’s a great option to take to restaurants or other people’s houses and I’ve seen people using them when we eat out here in Nashville.
14. These diapers were the top recommendation for a more natural/eco friendly option by one of the Mommy blogs I’ve been reading (Mama Natural) and they have great reviews online as well. Like I said above, I’m wanting to try cloth diapering eventually, but using disposables for a bit will make our giant life change a bit simpler for the first few months.
15. I just love little newborn hats!! I love babies with lots of hair but Todd and I didn’t have much so she may be a hat baby for a while.
16. Mama wears muscle tanks in the summer almost every day so I thought Bebe should have some too! I don’t think I have one in that shade of pink yet though—lucky girl!

Chances are you are either making your own registry (or will be in the future) or have a baby shower to attend soon so I hope you found something that you love too! I’ve been working really hard on what feels like juggling a million things at once lately, so I’m looking forward to kicking back and hanging out with friends and family for a few days to just breathe again for a bit. Can’t wait!!

February 17, 2017

Make Your Own Organic Maternity Pillow!

So, if you’ve ever been pregnant (or currently are) then you are already aware of the extreme need for a pregnancy body pillow. Maybe that sounds a tad overdramatic, but I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about until I got my own and just having a long pillow to drape your body over and put between your knees can really help with trying to get that pregnancy sleep while you still can.

I’ve been wanting to switch over to all organic or non-toxic options when it comes to where I sleep and being pregnant has made choosing what I’m breathing in all night all the more important. I really wanted an all organic pregnancy body pillow and while there are “organic body pillows” for sale out there, I realized that as I read the product description carefully almost all of them are actually regular poly-fil type filling with only an organic cover. Not good enough Bro. I did find one that was organic inside and out, but it was expensive and just a long straight pillow, not the C-shaped kind I was looking for. I was really trying to avoid an extra project at the moment so I caved in and just bought a regular pillow thinking, “How bad could it be for a few months?” As soon as I pulled the pillow out of it’s plastic bag, the chemical smell was overpowering to say the least. I had to let it air out for a while before even trying it out, and while it was comfy, I couldn’t get over the fact that I was breathing in all that gross smell all night long. Blech.

SOOOO, I decided that if I really wanted my C-shaped all-organic natural pillow, well, I was just going to have to make it myself. Here’s what I did in case you want to make one too!Since I already had the pillow and pillow cover from the chemical smelling pillow, I used it as a partial template before I took it back to the store (at least it would do me some good!). Before tracing it, I laid on it for a bit to decide which parts I wished were longer/shorter/fatter/smaller so I could adjust the actual shape and make the pillow that I really wanted. If you don’t already have a pillow that you’re replacing to trace, you can get a pattern here or here or search the net for one that’s more your style (preggo pillows come in different shapes and configurations).I bought an organic cotton sheet set to use as the fabric for the pillow cover and just flattened out the fitted sheet to use as one side with the flat sheet as the other (just pin them on top of each other so you only have to cut your shape once). A full size bed set was large enough to make the pillow but if you want to also make a washable cover to put on top of the cover that holds the filling, buy a king set so you have enough material. I pinned my cover together around the edges after cutting my shape out and I was ready to start sewing!To make it easier to stuff the giant pillow, I first installed two zippers into my pillow (one at the top and one at the bottom). I figured if I ever wanted to just adjust the stuffing amount at the top it would be a giant pain to only have a zipper on the bottom and vice versa, so that’s why I did two.Once the zippers were in, I finished sewing all the way around the pillow with a 1/2″ seam allowance to match what the zipper areas were, and then use my serger machine to serge the edges for extra durability. Make sure to unzip one of your zippers a bit so you can still get into the pillow once you close it up! It’s really hard to unzip a zipper from the wrong side. If you don’t have a serger, just do two rows of straight stitching around the pillow about 1/8″ apart if you want to give the seams some extra strength. Once the sewing was done, I turned the pillow right side out and pressed the seams flat with an iron. Now my pillow was ready to stuff!
Since choosing the stuffing was a big reason I wanted to make my own, I chose raw organic cotton fiber as the filling. The raw filling does have some hull pieces in it which I was concerned may be a bit pokey, but most are too small to feel and if there ever was a bigger piece, I just picked it out as I stuffed the pillow. The next stage up in filling is cotton batting (it doesn’t have any pieces or hulls in it), but it started to get more expensive, and I hoped it probably wasn’t worth it and I think I made the right decision. I had no idea how much I would need to fill the body pillow, so I ordered 12 pounds and figured I could use any leftovers for future pillows as needed. I would say it probably took about 8 pounds to stuff the pillow to where it is now, but I don’t like a super full shape, so you may want more if you do.

The cotton also tends to settle a bit as it gets fluffed up when you put it in and then tamped down again as you sleep on it a few nights, so don’t worry if it flattens out a bit at first. I’ve added more to the pillow twice, but since I have a top and bottom zipper, it’s really easy to do and I can just add more to one spot as needed. So glad I did the two zippers!As you can see, I look pretty comfy-cozy in this guy! No gross smells either. In fact, the cotton had kind of a nice natural outdoorsy smell that was kind of pleasant the first couple of weeks, so that was an added bonus. Cotton stuffing is a bit more dense feeling than if you are used to sleeping on a down pillow, so that may take some getting used to if you really need a super soft pillow. I’ve read that using wool is the closest you’ll get to a really soft pillow, but it can also have a, uh, “sheepy” smell to it, so that’s something that might put you off…

If you wanted to make a second cover that can be taken off to be washed (which I think I’ll do soon), use your original template and make a second cover that’s just a tiny bit bigger than your first cover, but make it an envelope-style pillow at the fattest end of your pillow rather than using zippers to make it easier to make and take on and off.

I love having the C-shaped pillow since I turn back and forth between my left and right side all night (although I try to stay on my left most of the night since I know that’s better) and most nights I turn to the opposite side only to find that Todd is using it as his body pillow and I have to kick him off of it—HA! Anyways, if you’ve been struggling to find an all organic (inside and out) body pillow for pregnancy (or want to pin this for future use!), I hope this DIY can help you too! Now go get some sleep!

February 13, 2017

Month By Month: The Second Trimester!

It sounds totally CRAZY to admit to myself, but I am officially in my third trimester! I know eventually you get to a point where it feels like you’ve been pregnant forever, and while I certainly have been ramping up my aches and pains, it still feels like time is flying by. This past trimester has been SO different than the first one so it’s been interesting to see what each new month brought my way…      Dress/ H&M (similar here), Boots/Aldo, Jacket/Forever 21 (similar here), Sunnies/Forever 21

Month Four: This was the month that my first trimester severe nausea finally got kicked to the curb. After trying all the natural remedies I could find for weeks on end (to no avail), I started taking an anti-nausea medicine (Diclegis) in my third month and it was the only thing that actually made a difference for me. I didn’t feel 100% on it, but I could function enough to get through the day which had been such a struggle for the months before that. I continued taking it into my fourth month and by about 14 weeks I started feeling the best I had in a long time. Not wanting to take the medicine longer than I had to, I started to taper off the dosage a few weeks later as I was more sure the decreased nausea wasn’t just a fluke. Since the Diclegis is essentially vitamin B6 mixed with an anti-histamine, I added some B6 into my suppliment routine as I weaned off the medicine to ease the transition and it really helped a lot. I still had a return to some pukier weeks as I stepped down the Diclegis, but I noticed that if I ever forgot to take the B6 that day it was WAY worse so it seemed to make a big difference overall.                         Dress/H&M (similar here), Boots/BCBG (similar here), Hat/Forever 21

Month Five: This month had some fun moments! I was wondering when I would start to feel some kicks so I kept looking for those “flutters” you are supposed to feel before the kicks start. The butterfly feelings never came. Instead, one night around 18 weeks I was lying in bed (still dealing with 2 hours of insomnia before falling asleep most nights at that point) and I detected what felt like little “heartbeats” really low in my pelvis area. It was kind of like when you can feel the throb of your heartbeat somewhere else in your body (like when you cut your finger) and since it wasn’t fluttery at all, I wasn’t really sure what it was. Once it continued happening three nights in a row, I was much more convinced that was the real thing and I was shocked when Todd could already feel it from the outside on the third night. I guess I thought most moms can feel the small movements for weeks before anyone else can, so I couldn’t believe Todd could feel them too!

This was also the month that we had our anatomy ultrasound and found out on Christmas with my family that Bebe Gummerman is a GIRL! Well, they are 90% sure anyways. I feel like I should reserve a small part of my brain for them to be wrong on that—it happens! By the end of this month I was definitely starting to get some energy back and feel the most “normal” that I have since the pregnancy began. Some days looking down and seeing the belly would even surprise me since I felt good most of the time. I did start having some of the round ligament pain that comes with your uterus stretching so much, and while it was pretty uncomfortable when it first started, it tapered off rather quickly to small random moments rather than hours at a time.                   Dress/Zara, Boots/Public Desire (similar here), Sunnies/Local Boutique Store

Month Six: Since I was feeling so much better and getting into the later stages of pregnancy, I started going to a prenatal yoga studio that I LOVE here in town. I’m really wanting to keep that up during the last trimester as well, and it’s become one of my favorite things that I do for myself. We also took our Babymoon to Palm Springs this month and it was so good to sit in the sun and hang out with friends. I know it was relaxing because my annoying eye twitch that I’ve had for the last 2 months went away while I was there and didn’t return for a few weeks after the trip as well. It’s definitely back now, so maybe I need another vacation? I do still keep up the B6 to keep the nausea at bay, and while the trouble falling asleep at night is so much better, my sleep during the night gets more and more restless with being hot, uncomfortable, having to pee, etc. I know that will probably only get worse and a lot of people think it prepares you for the baby, but I’m definitely treasuring those daytime naps when I can fit one in! Also, the low back pain just kicked in the last 2 weeks so I’ve been trying chiropractor, yoga, back braces, heating pads, foam rollers, birth balls…just about everything I can think of. Some days it’s not so bad but I’ve also had some moments of literally limping around the house because the pain is so sharp—OUCH! Baby has also started moving a lot more and I swear she’s doing tae bo in there some days. Oh, and baby hiccups now too!? How cute!

Side note, apparently I started growing sideburns of long peach fuzz on the sides of my face?? Had to get a lady face shaver for that. But my leg hair has almost stopped growing and has become really fine so I think it all transferred from there. GOOD GRIEF!

Anyways, like most pregnancies (I assume) there haven been lots of sweet moments mixed in with weird/painful things as well. I’ve been starting on some nursery projects so that’s been exciting and I’ll share my vision for that room soon! Onto the third trimester my friends!!

February 6, 2017

Mommy + Me: Valentine’s Day!

I’ve already had quite a few people assume that I’m going to dress our little girl exactly like I dress myself, and let me tell you up front, they aren’t wrong! Of course she can pick out her own clothes once she gets interested in doing that, but until then, I guess I get free reign to choose. I saw a few things that would be cute for a Valentine’s Day outfit and I couldn’t help but check and see if there were any mini-me versions floating around and it turns out there are!

1. Pink Furry Coat: Mommy version + Baby version
2. Red Dress Shoes: Mommy version + Baby version
3. Red Romper: Mommy version + Baby version
4. Heart Print Outfit: Mommy version + Baby version
5. Pink Moto Jacket: Mommy version + Baby version

The Nashville February weather so far has had a day in the 30’s and a day in the 60’s so I figured I could technically wear any of these options at some point this week. Can’t wait to have matching outfits that Bebe will (probably) be embarrassed of someday, but what’s the fun in parenting if you can’t do some things to amuse yourself as you go, right?

January 23, 2017

Our Babymoon to Palm Springs!! (Part 2)

It’s not over yet! There’s still a few special spots to show you on our tour of Palm Springs. Just when you thought things couldn’t get anymore colorful…
The rainbow details at the Saguaro hotel are AMAZING! We had tacos at their restaurant El Jefe twice while we were there. Get the guacamole and horchata, they are so good!

So fun to have our pals on the trip with us! This white dress was the perfect 70’s vibe with the lace details and the belled sleeves. So much of Palm Springs combines a boho woven feel with mid-century so I was glad to have one look that paid homage to that part of the city.

For a fancy dinner night we went to a place called Melvyn’s that Frank Sinatra used to frequent back in the day. It certainly looks like it hasn’t changed much since then (which is part of its charm) and they still do all the “fancy” table side service for different dishes. I got the Steak Diane because that was Sinatra’s favorite, and while it was a fun place to try, the food was just ok and we actually had a rather bad end to the meal due to some incredibly rude waiters so I don’t think I would go back next time…let’s just say Frank would not have stood for it, so neither did we. HA!

I had a hard time finding a fancier dress that would fit properly so thankfully Elsie let me borrow her giant sleeved pink dress for the occasion (not sure where she found it but this dress looks like the same one). The sleeves are amazing but you do have to be careful when you eat out in it, the sleeves try to get into everything!

For our last brunch before we hit the road we went to King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel. It’s a great 70’s motel/diner vibe and the ricotta pancakes were incredible! I highly recommend them. We also walked around a bit and the whole grounds are really fun to roam through. They have some really great outdoor fire pit spots there as well and the hotel backs up right against the mountains so it’s a really pretty view.We also stopped to see the Cabazon dinosaurs on our way back to the airport (they are right off the highway). If you don’t want to pay to go up into them you can still get really close and take pictures. I have a giant photo of this T-Rex in our living room so it was really fun to see him in person! Heeey buddy! Todd got a Jurassic Park style photo of us running away from him, which turned out pretty hilarious if you ask me…preggo running = funny, but not so graceful.
We also went to brunch place called Cheeky’s while in town and they have a cute patio with a pretty mountain view as well. They also have a salted butter waffle that I was v happy with—need to make that at home soon! We were supposed to do a solo date night just Todd and I on the last night, but we were so tired by the end of the trip that we decided to stay in and order pizza instead. He mentioned it as a joke, but I was like, “YES, PLEASE!” and I was so glad that we did. I’m pretty lazy at heart when you really get down to it…

Overall, we had such a great trip eating at new places, getting in some pool time, driving around to see some amazing houses, and just relaxing with our friends. I know it will be a lot harder to do these types of trips when Bebe gets here, but I hope we still make the effort to travel for fun from time to time—it’s so good for the soul!

There’s one very important event that I left out which I’ll share with you in another post (it deserves it’s own). Any idea what it is???