While out shopping at TJ Maxx…

Kevin: Look at this…this pillow is ruined. It is stained or discolored or something.

Me: No…that is an ombre effect. 

Kevin: I am supposed to pay $20 on a pillow that looks like I was in charge of doing the laundry…no thanks. 

Me: It is trendy.

Kevin: That isn’t what you said when I ruined the towels and all those clothes the last time I did laundry – they all looked just like this!

Me: Well aren’t you crafty. 

Kevin: Apparently! 



On one of the many shopping trips we made for the nursery and Noah’s room at TJ Maxx..

Kevin: I will not push this cart.

Me: Okaay… Any specific reason?

Kevin: It is bad enough I am here in this store…but to have a gigantic sign on the cart that says, “I break for high fashion”. I have to put my foot down somewhere.

Me: It’s ok, only real men take their very pregnant wives to TJ Maxx.

Kevin: No, only smart men don’t say no to their very pregnant wives who want to go to TJ Maxx.

Me: That is also true.

Blinded by love.

Have you ever found such a bargain that your brain forgoes all rational thinking and you act upon your shopper survival instincts (which tend to have a prescription of rose colored glasses)? Yeah, that’s me. Which brings us to the story of the set of kitchen blinds that were 9 inches too small for our windows.
I found them at one of my all time favorite stores, The Christmas Tree Store. Don’t let the name fool you, I did. For about a year I drove past the oddly decorated building which looked like it had been plucked straight from the North Pole which in July is a little off putting. I figured it was a store that was geared toward Christmas fanatics year round. Don’t get me wrong Christmas and I have a very special (semi-fanatical) relationship but I reserve my holiday mania from the first leaf falling to the New Years ball dropping. It never occurred to me to go in the store until I received a flyer in the mail.
The Christmas Tree Store is much like an outlet store (talk about the way to my heart). They have everything you could imagine from all the stores I love, including blinds. I had been on the hunt for a pair of natural bamboo stick blinds for our kitchen which happens to have custom 105 year old windows, which don‘t play nice with today‘s common blind measurements. That basically translates into…$$$. Well shopping there one afternoon a couple of months ago I stumbled upon exactly what my heart had desired. They were originally priced at $80 a piece and were on sale for $5.99. I grabbed them and dashed to the check out…not thinking (or letting myself think) that they were not going to fit no matter how much my heart willed them too.
I got home and rushed to the kitchen with the blinds still in there boxes and held the box up to one of the windows, and that should have been that. I should have returned them to the store after seeing they were almost a foot too short for the window. That is what I should have done…but this is what I did.
The next day I went back and got the last set they had. I raced home and retrieved my gardening tools and a measuring tape and had at it. Yeah…$18 dollars is a great steal for blinds, not for a pile of bamboo sticks on my living room floor. I had to make this work. Kevin came home admits my venture to see me and our living room covered in sticks, dust and blind string. There are few things men want to walk in on there wives doing…crazy home projects (while holding 2 foot long garden shears) is one of them. He offered to help and when I said no, he took a big sigh of relief and told me it was probably for the best that I didn’t because he had no idea what I was doing and told me not to get hurt.
Cutting a million little sticks in a straight line in exactly 9.2 inch strips is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but I did it. I felt victorious. I grabbed my drill and a couple of brackets and screws and mounted blinds together and hung them…and was left with this unsightly result.

To say the least not the look I was going for. We tried to cover the gap with curtains, pulling them up, down, gluing them and nothing seemed to work. Then one day I had a design epiphany.

I picked up some ribbon, preformed blind reconstructive surgery with some hot glue and scissors and was left with a result that I am proud of (ok, in love with)…

So..add 1.50$ worth of ribbon to my $18 dollar total (and a little bit of labor) and I still think I got quite the steal!

Whoa, belly!

Every day I have a pretty set routine. Wake up for my “pre alarm” (I set my alarm an hour before I actually have to be up so I can fake sleep in for an hour) then I reset my alarm wake up again and snooze for 15 minutes. This last little snooze gives me the “oh crap I am late” get up and go I need to be able to cloth and ready myself for the day. Everything fits into a very specific time slot, hair, make up, finding odds and ends for work and shoving them in to what Kevin has named the bottomless pit (my purse), getting dressed and then saying goodbye to hubby and pugs (add in a minute of seriously contemplating forgoing all adult responsibility and joining the pug life of sleep all day everyday) then out the door and off to work I go.
Except there is one problem, one growing problem. I had already worn my one maternity shirt that is work appropriate for the week yesterday. So this morning I went to throw on a sweater and well it didn’t go over my belly. Then I grabbed another and another until I found an out fit that I could work into submission, it was that or I was going to be wear Kevin’s shirt that I steal from time to time (ok…all of the time, even if he is wearing it). I had a mild panic attack at the thought of having to go to a work meeting today in a football shirt but luckily cardigans are very pregnancy friendly.
Even though Noah has made him self quite a home and bump to go along with it I haven’t had to wear maternity clothes up until apparently now. I belong to a couple of mommy to be websites that send updates and tips every week and what to expect…I guess I should have given their advice about my weight a little more weight. They all explained that I should be ready for my belly button to pop (which hasn’t happened yet) and my pants too. That little Noah was going to double in size this week. I am not bigger anywhere else so I didn’t really notice. My wedding rings still fit perfectly, my jeans still zip and none of my clothes have really put up a fight with the bump until now.
So this week I will head off to purchase some maternity staples to cover my bump so I don’t have to show up at work in one of Kevin’s Bengals shirts and a pair of sweats (although I think I would be much more productive!). I am just happy that my day is over and my husband’s shirt and sweats are totally in the dress code for dinner in the Teall house tonight.

Project Nursery.

If you know me, you know how much I love to decorate. So take my love for decorating plus loving every second of being pregnant and give me one big room to dedicate to this bundle of joy….happiness overload. After anticipating and dreaming of Noah’s nursery for these past 22 weeks the nursery has now been started. It is pretty much all I have thought/talked about since we found out we were having a boy.
I have my Martha Stewart paint book and pottery barn kids catalog in hand and I am ready to go. I can see it all in my head as I dream about having Noah home… now only if that dream came with a color swatch from the paint color on the walls and the store that carries that perfect bedding lining Noah’s crib which was picked out before Noah was even on his way(yes I picked out my childs crib before we were even on the baby train).
I had a hunch that Noah was a boy pretty early on so their were no pinks flying around my head when trying to come up with the nursery. I received a catalog in the mail with dozens of nurseries and I fell in love with one…none of the other ones would do for my little Noah. It was a teal-ish room with amazing teal, blue and brown plaid curtains. I had to have them. I flipped to the page with ordering information…had a small heart attack and then had Kevin read the price to me to make sure I wasn’t having a pregnancy hormone induced illusion. Sadly I was right, $297 dollars for A SINGAL CURTAIN PANEL. Even if I had that kind of money to spend on curtains I don’t think I could physically write a check for one let alone the four panels I needed. My decorating heart was broken. My heart may have been broken, but not defeated. This was now a challenge. So I spent the next three weeks on eBay, overstock, and etsy and scoured every fabric store with in 20 miles of my house with no luck. Our families at this point even mapped out a plan to help find these curtains. At this point a little seed of defeat may have seeped in…but it didn’t matter I had to have these curtains. Option B…learn to loom fabric…plaid fabric. After another week of no luck I gave up. I figured we would just go in another direction and I would work with what I had…then a curtain miracle occurred. Kevin and I went out last week together to start shopping for the nursery and low and behold the first store we walked into there were the curtains of my dreams…and at 20$ a pack they were even better than the curtains in my dream because I wouldn’t have to sell a kidney to be able to afford them.
I grabbed the curtains and held on to them like they were spun of gold. I practically ran to the check out and as soon as we hit the car I had one of the packages open so I could enjoy the curtain in all its glory.
Next I whipped out the Martha Stewart paint book (yep I carry it in my purse with me). Every room in our house is painted from Martha’s paint line and you never know when I might be somewhere where I would need to reference our “Savannah moss” living room color or “Bedford gray” office. Not only that but as a child I wanted to grow up and be a professional Crayola crayon color namer. I use to spend more time reading the names and picking new ones for them then actually using the crayons…so walking around with the grown up version in my purse only makes sense to me.
After finding the perfect color to go with the curtains we headed to our next stop. As we walked around we started to realize that this store not only had everything babies r us had but target too….and for considerably less. As we were leaving we found the crib. Not only was it 100 dollars cheaper than at Target but the changing table was 40$ cheaper too! I literally jumped for joy and then right about the same time I hit the earth I realized we had our Honda and this no matter how crazy/desperate/excited I was it was not coming home in the Honda. We both agreed to shop around and come back for it that afternoon after we finished the rest of our shopping.
So next up…Target. I love Target, really at some points I could consider myself akin to the crazy Target lady. It is a problem. All of these years I have had no need for the baby section at Target…it was like a out of reach level in a video game…and now it was unlocked. So imagine my thrill when browsing the baby section that we spot our crib at not 300 dollars, not 200 dollars, but 130 dollars (insert mini Target happiness melt down) and the changing table was at it’s lowest price of 70 dollars instead of the crazy original price of 170 dollars . We found the nearest Target team member and had them go in the back to retrieve our treasure. Miss. Target team member wasn’t as excited as we were about our find and it took her quite some time only to return to tell us they didn’t have any in stock. We asked if she could check the other locations and with that we were gone.
They had one left at the next closest Target. We went home switched cars and raced back to Target. With my little “ready to buy” ticket in hand with crib and changing table bar codes we made our way to the baby section. We turned the corner where it should have been and it was gone. Nothing. No price, no display, no box no sale sign. Kevin couldn’t believe it and certainly didn’t want to go to another Target, who could blame him…three visits to Target in one day…he would deserve an award. I looked at Kevin and told him not to move and I would be back. With in seconds I returned with yet another Target team member in tow. I explained the situation and she called to the back over her walky talky and they returned with the most beautiful phrase a shopper could hear…”Yep, we have one left” (again insert the leaping for joy and Target happiness meltdown). Kevin and I proudly went to the register to check out our best Target clearance finds of all time. They rang them both up and we both looked at each other and looked at the boxes to make sure they were the right ones then looked back at the screen again. Crib: 100$ Changing Table: 50$. I love Target karma (Target karma happens when you faithfully go to Target only to find nothing trip after trip and then the Target God’s smile down on you with a super amazing Target treasure).
That night Kevin and I drove out to pick up a glider I had found online, originally priced at 300 dollars for 80 dollars and called it a night… only after accidentally missing the town it was in and driving for an hour and a half as opposed to 30 minutes…oops. We probably would have been more upset had we not been on such a money saving roll that day!
After we got home and placed everything in the room it all started to feel so real. We were becoming a little family. I will miss when Noah doesn’t consider me his home, but I can’t wait till he comes home to his room. There is honestly nothing like being able to always have him with me, especially now that he is kicking up a storm reminding me he is there every other second (especially when I have to pee). There is nothing like feeling him kick and bounce around. Feeling him kick can turn a bad day in to a wonderful one and an ordinary moment in to an extraordinary one.
The nursery is right next to our room and even though there is just a chair in there right now along with the crib and changing table in their boxes that is where you can usually find me. I can’t help but be overwhelmed by what is to come next. That soon this empty room will not only by filled with the perfect curtains, a crib and chair but be filled with a little person and all of their little things. It will be filled with cries, laughter, sleepless nights and memories. Until then I will keep feverishly decorating and nesting awaiting the first time I can bring Noah home to his room.