Monday, March 31, 2014

Welcome to the world Charles Benton Otto!

Charles Benton Otto graced us with his presence last Monday, March 24 at 2:30 a.m.  He weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was about 20 inches long.  The little guy made his debut 9 days late, but we have already forgiven him!  

He has way lighter hair than we expected and one of the first things everyone notices are his really long fingers -- perhaps we have a little athlete on our hands?  It's safe to say we are already wrapped around his (long) little fingers.

No birth story yet, but here is a photo overload.

Josh has been so incredible -- it's true you totally melt seeing your husband hold your baby.  I didn't know I could possibly love him more, but this last week my heart is about to burst!

One of my best friends, Rachel, came over right when we arrived home from the hospital and I'm so impressed with the professional-like photos she captured.  I'll treasure these forever!

Charles came home in the same outfit Josh left the hospital in 33 1/2 years ago.  Love the giraffe that ties in so nicely with his nursery.

Olivia is extremely fascinated by him and so far has been a great big sister.  If he cries, she desperately tries to alert us. He actually has been pretty mellow and a good sleeper during his first week.

She even tried bringing him one of her toys to pacify him.

I cannot believe he is already a week old!

We are beyond thankful to God for blessing us with this beautiful baby boy.

Thanks so much to all our family and friends who have done so much for us.


Monday, March 17, 2014


Hello!  I'm officially now into week 41 and still pregnant.  I've been a pretty happy-go-lucky pregnant lady, but my patience is running out.  I've tried a lot of the old wives tales and nothing has worked.  I have literally walked miles and miles every single day, eaten pineapple to the point it burned my tastebuds off, tried spicy Mexican, spicy Thai, spicy Chinese (all only induced serious heartburn), consumed many glasses of raspberry tea, eggplant parmesan, wheeled mulch all over our yard 9 months pregnant, had my membranes stripped twice, you name it!  I think I'm drawing the line at Castor Oil, that freaks me out a bit.  If you have any new ideas, feel free to send them my way. 

The dreary weather on a Monday only increased my funk, I said a prayer for patience and decided to make myself some chocolate chip pancakes for dinner and serve it up on my fine china.  This may have been my first craving -- better late than never.  Considering Josh doesn't like breakfast at breakfast time, this was dinner for 1 (well 1.5!).  Sorry, babe.  

I am trying to be very, very thankful that the ultrasound today showed a healthy baby boy.  He will be here soon and I know he will be worth the wait.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

One more baby post

After seeing these highchairs featured at many first birthdays and across Pinterest and blog land, I decided to take the highchair I'd registered for off my registry and start hunting for an old wooden Jenny Lind.  I ended up finding one locally on Craig's List for about $50.  I've gotten safe paint (in BM Hydrangea Blue) and a food safe sealer and plan to work on it during maternity leave (not that the little guy will need it for a while).  Has anyone tackled this project?  Any advice?  I plan to use this as my everyday highchair, not just for birthdays.  I want to find a new strap because that part of it being old really grosses me out.  

I'll report back once I complete it!

Last Thursday evening, we were blessed with another fun baby shower.  My mother-in-law, Jean, graciously open her lovely home and invited family and some of her friends and neighbors over to celebrate Baby Otto.  It was a wonderful evening -- this baby is spoiled already!
(I wish I'd taken more pictures, but here are a few)

The delicious cake from Edible Art matched the invitation (from Charlotte's)

Jean and some of her friends

Thanks to all the ladies who came that night!  I feel very blessed.

I promise not every post will be about babies, but maybe writing about it again tonight (after being a slack blogger!) will get him to come on out.  The spicy food, pineapple, walking, etc. don't seem to be working...


Nursery featured on one of my favorite blogs!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
I was so excited to have an email from Julia Ryan this morning asking if she could put some of the pictures of the nursery on her blog.  Naturally, being the gifted photographer she is, she brightened my pictures up and made them look a million times better than my originals.  If you aren't already, make sure you follow along with Julia's fabulous lifestyle blog (formerly known as Pawley's Island Posh) here.

Thanks again for the kind words, Julia!  


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Otto Bean Nursery

The countdown is officially on -- 10 days until my due date.  The nursery is pretty much ready and my co-worker (she's become a good friend!) who is going to be managing a lot for me while I'm on maternity leave just spent the last two days going through everything with me and hopped back on her plane to ATL tonight.  I'm now trying any and all old wives tales to try and get the baby to make his debut.  Any tips or tricks are welcome :)

View from the hallway door

Let's take a look at a few pictures during the renovation process of this room.  These are all from March 2012, what a difference two years makes!  It had a little porch off the back of the house.  Not something we wanted our children enjoying off their bedrooms...asking for T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  We bumped out the room and got rid of the porch, thus making room for the jack-and-jill bathroom that now connects the nursery to my office.  Overall the room stayed roughly the same size.

Josh is standing on the wall where the glider is now.  You'll notice this double window is now a single window.

This is the wall the crib now flanks.  The door is gone and two single windows are on this wall.  Closet remained in basically the same spot as shown on right (two double doors that open).  You'll see this one day once I get a bit more organized.

Wall with closet doors and door to hallway

Here is my original inspiration board I posted in October.  As expected, some things I stuck with and some evolved.  Overall, I stayed true to the same color palette and tried to keep it not too theme-y or baby, but did end up with a number of elephants and giraffes around the room.

Continuing with how it looks now - view from jack-and-jill bathroom.

Standing by the closet doors

The piece I'm using for the changing table was the very first item I bought for the nursery.  I got it at Furbish's big tent sale (50% off) and couldn't love it more.  I think it could be used as a server or bar down the road or could easily stay in a child's room too.  Very versatile!

The mobile took a few months to finally arrive from Lithuania, but it was worth the wait.

I need to work on styling this little shelf once I have some pictures of the baby and other trinkets.

Someone is getting quite used to the room and thinks all the toys are for her.

Note: I refused to pay full price for many of these items.  I became obsessed with watching sites and waiting until I could get 20-30% off (on average) with promotions and bought them over the last 6+ months.  Some were Christmas and shower gifts as well.

1 Giraffe Painting - a collaboration between my parents and one of my most cherished things in the room.  The frame is from my favorite place for frames - Jerry's Artarama. 
2 Jenny Lind DaVinci Crib - Amazon (love this and the pricetag, only thing I changed was the casters - see that here)
Glider - Pottery Barn Kids Comfort Swivel Rocker (cream twill with white twill piping)
6 Changing Table - Furbish (can't find it on the website, but locals - they still have one or two in the actual store, but you will have to pay full price, unlike my tent sale find!)
7 Throw on Glider - Furbish Herringbone Throw (can't find my color online) so soft and it's washable!
8 Elephant Table beside Glider - I spray painted an elephant planter I already had, but you could get the Serena & Lily Ellie Side Table for the same look
9 Baskets on changing table - Serena & Lily belly baskets (holding diapers and other changing needs)
10 "Naps fix everything" print - this was a shower gift from a sweet friend
11 Changing pad and cover - Serena & Lily nursery basics diaper changing pad aqua & insert
12 Elephant mobile - Etsy (do allow time for shipping to US and I'd recommend paying extra for expediting, but can't recommend this mobile enough).  My mom gave me the little bunny rattle and I decided to attach to middle for a little color.
14 Pendant Light - RH Baby Spence Pendant - this and the giraffe painting are definitely the two things that people immediately comment on when they've come in to see the nursery.  I liked that it was different without being too frilly and girly.
15 White lamp on changing table - another favorite item - from Printer's Alley here in Raleigh (gift from my mother-in-law) and have also seen it at Acquisitions in Raleigh.  I can't find the name brand listed on it though, so unable to locate it online.
16 Baby Wardrobe - family piece that I painted and changed the hardware on - details here
17 Animal prints above wardrobe - The Animal Print Shop's babies collection (I framed them myself from Bed, Bath & Beyond for a fraction of the cost)
18 Brass Giraffes - from Cotswold Market in Charlotte (one of a kind, but have seen other great brass animals in this Etsy shop)
19 Elephant Hamper - Home Decorators Collection Animal Hamper - large and in natural finish.  I love it so much I may end up moving it down to the den to house toys and baby items
20 Giraffe Rocker - from one of my best friend's mom's as a gift, but similar here 
21 Crib Sheet & Crib Skirt - Serena & Lily Aqua Trellis crib sheet and I made the crib skirt (no sewing) - details here 

I think that covers the list.  I had so much fun working on the nursery and it's now become one of my favorite rooms in the house.