It’s Friday, it’s Friday! Woo hoo! How are you doing today? I’m really excited for this weekend to come and go because on Tuesday, we will have that big ultrasound that will let us know if we are welcoming a baby boy or a baby girl in January. Monday begins week 19, I’m pretty much halfway through pregnancy already and so extremely in love with being pregnant – despite that the first 16 weeks were hell on earth with illness. It’s been better but I’m still nauseous daily and feeling only momentary bursts of energy.
I’m definitely no where near feeling the amazing energy that everyone promised me would be the case right now. But I do have a bump (which I’m quite proud of) and I have had some friends rub my belly (which I love) so I know I’m looking a little pregnant by now which is really nice. I bought and wore my first maternity dress and though the stomach part has plenty of room to grow into, I’m in love with my stylish gray knit dress. It will look so cute with tights and boots this Fall. I think being pregnant is wonderful, it’s like you can finally not give a crap about your weight. You can love seeing your stomach get larger without guilt and when people see it, they don’t think, “Oh boy, lay off the chips”, they think, “Ahhhhh she’s pregnant, how cute!”. How can anyone not love being adored for having a big stomach?
My appetite has returned but only a little – though I’m not losing more weight so that’s good. I was worried for awhile after I dropped 20 pounds in my first trimester. Yet, I’m only growing in my tummy – no where else – and only slightly, a pound or two. The best thing is that I crave salad, quiche, fruit and healthy drinks. Everything else turns me off. I can eat salmon and eggs but not chicken or turkey. I haven’t had cheese in months, no desire for it. I don’t eat bread, it turns me off whenever I see bread or sweets in the bakery. Candy repulses me – like I cannot have a tiny piece of chocolate without feeling like I’m going to spiral down into total nausea again. If I even think of pasta I feel queasy, so none of that either. It makes me laugh because this baby seems to be whipping mommy here into great health and good shape because I only crave healthy stuff. Ice cream also makes me sick, imagine!? I definitely am the exception when it comes to pregnancy cravings, all of my girlfriends only wanted sweet food, or salty food, or both. And they ate and ate constantly, some craved McDonalds and other craved cake and candy. But here I am, craving a big slice of watermelon.
Could be worse. And for this I am actually quite grateful.
I have so much to plan now that I am close to hitting the halfway mark. Organizing my home. Cleaning out the room that will become the nursery. Buying furniture for the baby, and other necessary things… Touring and selecting the hospital. Etc. etc. etc. I have a lovely midwife now and the program in Germany allows for you to have your midwife and your OB/GYN working with you simultaneously whenever you need them throughout pregnancy, then after the baby arrives, insurance here covers 100% for the midwife coming daily to the house for the first 10 days after birth to coach you on everything from breastfeeding to changing diapers, and they can administer acupressure or acupuncture, etc. After those 10 days, you are allowed up to 16 more paid home visits by your midwife for the first 6 months. I will also be receiving free post natal therapy for getting my body into good shape, flattening my stomach and feeling good again after the birth. It’s such a beautiful arrangement for which I am so grateful! If we were below a certain income level (which we are not), we would also get money every month from the government called “Kinder Geld” to cover expenses for the child from diapers to babysitting services and whatever else. It’s amazing how the German government has these special services in place for families.
So that is my pregnancy update! The moment we find out the gender, I’ll let you know. I can’t wait to begin shopping for adorable little mini outfits. Until now, I’ve purchased nothing for the baby but I’m getting ready to begin ordering sweet stuff the second I know what we’re having. I still don’t have names decided, though I do have a very short list, yet nothing is coming to me yet… Maybe later right? There is still plenty of time!
I’ll be back in a moment with another post or two before I let you go for the weekend. See you soon!
HOW ARE YOU DOING?!?
(image: holly becker)
Well this is a first. A blog post about nursery design. You can tell someone is pregnant around here, eh? :) After all of your supportive and helpful comments in my baby announcement post, I decided that I’d occasionally share some of my nursery and kid’s room inspiration going forward to encourage new moms, moms-to-me like me and to even shine some light on the topic for those of you who aren’t mothers (nor plan to be) but are still curious about how to pull together a nice nursery. Whether you want children or not, I think every woman has a least a friend or two who has children and this is where you can be the become the coolest auntie ever with your amazing knowledge of nursery design (smile).
Darling bedroom in Brussels via Milk.
Okay so I guess it’s best to say first that nursery design is completely new turf for me. I know how kid’s room design works but babies are uncharted territory. I also can’t find books that suit my taste because most nurseries are super theme-y or matchy matchy and that isn’t for me. I’m definitely not into the catalog look. When I search online for baby room inspiration, it seems photos come with a thousand comments from moms with a million zillion opinions – mostly critical or self righteous, which really surprises me because I never thought nursery decor was such a hot topic – almost like there is a ‘right way’ to create a nursery or raise a kid and if you aren’t following protocol as a new mom, then you have something to be ashamed of. It made me wonder if maybe you guys know of blogs that are encouraging and have helpful communities built around them that mostly share children’s room design? I’d love to find those. I digress… Back to my own thoughts on the nursery…
Colette Bream cushions on etsy
The best learning for me is always hands-on, fall down, get up again and keep trying – so I’m going to approach nursery design in my typical Holly style. I know color theory, how to create “zones” in kid’s rooms, I get the importance of a good floor plan but I’m following my heart with the rest and see where it takes me (and my wallet). So far it seems like the bed will be white and I’m thinking to go for a convertible crib that turns into a toddler bed later on. I’m also going for simplicity as one trip to the local baby superstore over the weekend taught my that every company in the world is trying to entice you into buying lots of product you don’t really need. I found a foldable baby bath that I thought was totally helpful and that won’t take up much room so I may order that soon. I also have my eye on a few strollers but at over ONE THOUSAND EUROS each, I’m thinking maybe I need to put more thought into my spending. As for room decor, I definitely am leaning towards grays, blues, greens and yellows for a boy and grays and for a girl – lots of floral Liberty prints, creamy whites, mustard, some red, greens, every color really but with a neutral base. My aesthetic is much more European – particularly English and French, not so much the typical American nursery with everything perfect and matching. That works for lots of my friends and it’s beautiful, but the rest of my home is so haphazard and mismatched, the nursery will most likely be the same – quirky and very much a reflection of my personal style. Then later, the little one can make their own decor choices but for now, it’s a room that I’m more than excited to get started on!
In this post, I’m sharing some of my favorite nurseries and rooms for kids that I’ve found online so far that click with me. I have NO clue if I’m having a boy or a girl yet, I’ll find that out early next month, so I’m not really thinking about “boy” or “girl” decor right now. Just focusing more on a vibe I’m going for, what I like, and how I imagine this new little room in my home.
Gorgeous monochromatic simplicity by kjerstis lykke. You can barely see it, but I love the old blue wooden cabinet.
Little french loft apartment nursery on Planete Deco.
Sweet art arrangement using simple washi tape by julias vita drommar.
Twinkle lights under a shelf near the crib from Sissy & Marley. I also love the little rug on the floor.
Sweet color scheme from Play Spaces on Pinterest. I also like the layered rugs though not so practical with a clumsy mom holding an infant! The mix of patterns is also so pretty.
Boy’s room in Brussels via Milk. You can totally see the English sensibility here – his mom is a Londoner.
What do you think of these rooms? Where do you go online for kids room inspiration? I’d love some tips!
My dear friends, I have some EXCITING news to share! In fact, over the years I always wondered when this day would come and it has and I’m so happy! As you know, I’ve been very busy since I started this blog over 7 years ago and was always very focused on my career first. It meant a lot to me to build something up for myself and over the years, I’ve made so many important, meaningful connections and some of the best friends I’ve ever had. But something else was always on my mind – kids. We knew that we eventually wanted children, well honestly only ONE child, but didn’t know when and frankly, we were having so much fun with our careers, freedom, traveling… We didn’t make it a priority. We were perfectly happy being childless for awhile. Our big plan, back when we lived in Boston, was to relocate to Germany to start a family where my husband was born and raised, so we moved over in 2009 but then my career really picked up, I wrote two books and we’ve been here for 4 years already and time just keeps passing by…
I’ve been talking to some really close girlfriends about having a child since the beginning of last year and they all gave me the same advice. Do it and stop thinking so hard. But it was only recently when I had a chat with a friend in America this past March, that the “baby advice” really sunk in. And though this will sound dramatic, her advice changed my life and I want to share it with you.
I told her that I wanted to have a baby but needed to think about when the best time would be. “It can’t be this year”, I said, “because I have speaking engagements lined up and I need to finish writing my third book… And it can’t be in 2014″, I told her, “because my book tour will kick off in the spring and I want to go back home to Boston to visit friends and family”… I can’t, I don’t know when, I need to think about… These words were the opening line of every reason I had for waiting to start a family.
Yet I really wanted to have a child, not because I’m trying to fit some image of what a woman should be doing because honestly, I don’t care about what we should and should not be doing at “stages” in our life. I am a firm believer in timing and that YOU know when you should (or should not) do things and you have to trust your instincts on this stuff, especially the big stuff. And I’m not getting younger with each passing year, who is? So what would it be, I thought… My career or a child?
Then my friend tactfully, but firmly, spoke words that were honest, simple, and changed my life in the most beautiful way. She said that I didn’t need to choose to have a career or a baby. I can simply decide to have both. She said that I needed to give myself the permission to have both and stop thinking that a parent has to fit a specific mould. It’s okay to want a career and a family (men do it all of the time) and that I don’t need to give up one to have the other. I just need to stop stressing out over it, relax a little and give myself permission because I deserve to be kind to myself. She said I should support my own dreams – and that there are plenty of women who love their jobs and their children and have no regrets doing both and they still travel and have great careers. She told me if I was waiting for the right time to forget it, that it will never come. Gosh, after hearing all of that I thought, “Okay, time to make some changes in my life!”.
After our conversation, I started to feel more at ease. I began to cut back a little more on work commitments and take more vacation days and I started to say NO to things more and YES to only what I wanted to do. Her advice was already sinking in, I was learning to be kinder to myself. I stopped worrying about everything and I mean everything. I let stuff go. I stopped worrying about people I cannot change (including some of my own family members) and people I cannot help (friends who never want help yet complain for help constantly). I started to wander in parks and gardens more and burn time doing nothing so I could just think about the direction of my life.
And then, 3 weeks after our conversation and without trying at all – I got pregnant for the first time in my life without any effort other than the obvious. And five weeks after that I found out (and my husband and I jumped up and down!) through a home pregnancy test and now I am in my second trimester, I’ll be 15 weeks on Monday, and the baby is healthy and doing great.
BUT. It’s not been fun and games since week 6. I have had a really hard first trimester — I lost 14 pounds due to constant vomiting and exhaustion. I’m still constantly sick to my stomach but less tired (thankfully) and the feeling of being eternally hungover is starting to pass BUT I still feel quite seasick. My husband totally took over our household – which is a huge relief – so he is cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, running errands and talking so sweetly to me about our baby that I feel nothing but love. And I need that because sickness is no fun. I’m so glad that my husband is so loving and supportive. You really know if a person truly loves you when times get hard and you can no longer be 100% for them but they are still cheering you on and supporting you. You also really see a person’s heart when they are constantly tested as he has been without any support from me for the past few months. The house is spotless, laundry is done and the fridge is stocked. And I didn’t do any of it. This is really the best time of my life, despite all of the sickness, and I just had to share it with all of you. And by the way, the moment we find out the sex, I’ll let you know.
But my dear friends, when it comes to anything in life take it from me – be kind to yourself. We are often so easily kind to others but unkind to ourselves, without even realizing it. Think about that ok? And this isn’t my family planning advice, it’s more life advice passed down from my friend to me and now to all of you. And you know what? The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Who would have thought? And all I can think about is redecorating my home and organizing every room perfectly and creating a fantastic nursery, complete with this lovely bed shown above in this beautiful photo showing Nord Design bedding. It feels nice to have a shift of focus for now and I invite you all to share my little journey and if you are pregnant too, please let me know so I can cheer you on as well!
Much love, Holly
Hello gorgeous people! I’m still on vacation but when I came across this article today via Interiors and Sources I know I had to share it with you. This shop in Melbourne, Australia is called The Candy Room and it is unbelievably cool. I love the idea of using black vinyl wall stickers against crisp white as decoration, then allowing the products to shine in all of their colorful glory. This is such a clever concept. You can read more about it here.
Great, right!? You could apply this idea to a kid’s room or playroom at home as well, don’t you think?
See you next week, I’m back to regular blogging on September 3rd!