Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Four Months

(Yes, I am ridiculously behind on this. She turned four months old on November 13. But anyway...)

She is now 15 lbs., 23.25 inches and looks awesome in a tutu.

Elizabeth is growing increasingly fascinated by the television, which is causing Lee and I to reflect more on Elizabeth's presence when we watch South Park. Will her first word be "Beefcake"? We hope not. But it is kind of hilarious to watch her stare so intently at football games and sitcoms. In general though, we're trying to keep her from watching much TV at this point. Partly because of all that research that says that babies shouldn't watch TV until they're two, but mostly to avoid having to watch Dora the Explorer for as long as possible.

Her head control is awesome (Did we discuss this last month? I feel like she's been doing this for awhile. It all blurs together.) at this point and she's getting better at sitting. She rolls over rarely, but apparently rolling over has more to do with personality than development. I read that somewhere...

She had her first cold, which even though I called the pediatrician twice about it, was super mild. It never seemed to bother her and she never had a fever, there was just snot pouring out of her nose for a couple days followed by a cough. Sucking snot out of baby's noses is surprisingly fun. Well, for me at least; she hates it. I'm almost a little sad she's well now because I want to suction more stuff out of her nose.

Unfortunately, she no longer sleeps through mass. Bummer. Please share any tips on what to do with babies in churches that don't have cry rooms or nursery programs.

This past month saw two major holidays: Homecoming and Halloween. Elizabeth was so excited to get her first glimpse of Centre College and met many adoring fans at her future home-away-from-home, the ADPi house. (I'm not already planning her bid day or anything. I don't get misty talking about being there when she runs to the house and how I'll have my chapter letters ready for her. I didn't set aside a box of ADPi things for her before I even met Lee. I'll love her no matter what she decides and clearly she should make her own choices, but...)

For Halloween she was the prettiest mermaid ever. We were going to drive around and visit family until I realized that it's impossible to buckle a mermaid into a car seat and there's only so many times I want to redress my mermaid (none), so we stayed home and visited our neighbors and handed out candy.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Three Months

Yesterday Elizabeth turned four months old, but she keeps me pretty busy so let's go back in time and pretend it's October!

This month she discovered toys and the joys of putting things in her mouth. It started one morning at mom's group when she was sitting in my lap, playing with my hand and the next thing I knew she was sucking on my finger. Her princess has been her favorite toy and she's also started to enjoy her baby gym.

She went to her first wedding this month, although I fed her in the car during the ceremony and she slept in her carrier through 95% of the reception.

We moved her out of the pack-and-play in our room into her crib in her room. As fast as she's growing, I always think she's growing much faster, so it seemed like any day now she would very likely break the 15-pound weight limit for the bassinet. She of course still hasn't hit 15 pounds, although we are now only ounces away. I also felt bad because the pack-and-play's bassinet wasn't entirely level so she would always slide down to the middle at night with her face smooshed against the mesh side. She's doing very well in her crib and the hardest adjustment has been hoisting over the crib's side, which is much higher than the bassinet, to get her in the crib without waking her.

This month also marked her first projectile vomit. She didn't appear to be sick, but still managed to spew, spew, and spew some more over the edge of her high chair tray. It was like a disgusting fountain of undigested breast milk. Once we got it cleaned up (Thank God Lee was home!), we had to comment that we were pretty proud of her impressive vomit skills. It takes so little to amuse us sometimes.

So. Much. Cute. It is a daily struggle to not eat those cheeks. I handle the temptation by kissing them constantly.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Elizabeth's Birth Story Part 3 (The End)

Despite getting one of the “expectant mother” spots at the hospital, I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be able to walk all the way in. We got me a wheel chair, which was more uncomfortable than the car and went to registration. They quickly showed me the way upstairs and said they could take care of the paper work there.

We got to the Labor and Delivery desk and… no one was there. At this point I am Captain Not Happy and kept calling, “Hello?! Hello?!” and was just about to tell Lee to go ahead and wheel me back when nurses appeared. Not just any nurse either, but the nurse I fell in love with on our first tour (We wound up taking like 4 hospital tours.) and would have booked to my labor nurse right on the spot if you could do that sort of thing. And here she was to be my nurse!

I hadn’t been able to find my birth plan before I left but it didn’t matter. This is why I love my midwife and Clark Memorial. They asked if I wanted a tub room/ no drugs, I said yes, and that was all they needed to know. They had a tub room available but no telemetry monitor and took me there to get set up. I guess I looked far enough along in labor to skip the whole triage check.

About two minutes after I entered the room and had finished telling them that I would like to continue laboring in my own clothes, my water broke. Just pop and whoosh. I went ahead and changed into their hospital gown then. They got me in the bed to check my dilation (which is really one of the worst parts of the whole thing. I’m convinced our bodies were made to deal with contractions, but not anyone’s hand going up there.). I was at 8 and they asked me to give a little push and I opened up to 10! Success! The staying-home-as-long-as-possible plan had gone perfectly and I arrived at the hospital just when I wanted to.

Even though I could’ve technically started pushing then, I didn’t. I was a little unclear as to some of the reasons why. I’m not sure midwife was there yet and doula was still on her way (What do you know she had another client in labor at the same time and was leaving a third client’s emergency c-section to come meet us. I’m just thankful she made it because it would’ve sucked without her.)

So they took more blood, got my hep lock on (The only needle I wanted.), took care of some paperwork and got me my wristbands. They didn’t have any telemetry monitors available so I stood next to the bed, kind of leaning on it, while they hooked me up to the external monitor. The only part that was really a hospital annoyance was the monitor. They kept me hooked up to that for a while because they couldn’t get the reading for long enough because the belt kept slipping. Or something. But the readings they were getting suggested that everything was fine. Not that I really felt like moving that much anyway, at that point. This stuff took about an hour to an hour and a half. It seemed that we were waiting for something but I don’t know what. I just leaned into the bed for the contractions. Lee kept pushing on my back, which still hurt but at this point I wasn’t sure if it was because of labor or because Lee had been pushing on it all day.

I was eager to push or get in the tub so they checked me and I was at 10! Push time! Do I care that I didn’t get tub time? No. Just get this baby out!

At 7 pm-ish I started pushing. I was hoping I’d be one of those people who pushes for 30 minutes. I told myself it would all be over in an hour.

The nurse from the tour had gotten caught up with someone else’s birth so now I was with a new nurse who was delightful. I was a little bummed, but new nurse was awesome and I love her and if it hadn’t been awkward would have probably given her lots of hugs afterward. (Of course, after all she saw of me why not hug?!). I was very concerned because my midwife wasn’t there yet but apparently it was fine for me to go ahead and start pushing. Perhaps they knew that it was going to be awhile. If they knew that, I’m glad they didn’t tell me. ;)

Lee was behind me and I propped my legs up on the squat bar and started pushing. Just like we learned in class, pushing is a bit of a relief. The hard part for me with the pushing was A. Holding my breath. Seriously. That was ridiculous. It felt so natural to exhale and moan/scream but no, I had to try to hold my breath. And B. OMG my thighs were so sore from my tendency to tighten them during contractions all day (I know, bad Katie.) so holding them up on the bar was miserable. Honestly though, at the point the worst parts of labor (For me, everyone feels it differently.) were vaginal exams and how tired my thighs were.

I kept pushing. I kept begrudgingly holding my breath. I felt like I was doing a horrible job but nurse, doula and Lee kept encouraging me with each push like it was my first. They were amazing. Seriously. In my head I felt like I wasn’t doing a good, but all I heard was praise and encouragement. So much excitement and praise and encouragement.

After an hour, there was still no sign of Elizabeth. I was trying to remember the cons of using a forceps or vacuum because I was sure that I was an insufficient pusher. Nurse and doula would help me stretch my legs. Lee would help me hold them back. Seriously, at this point I had no idea how I could hold my legs back and hold my breath and push. I was exhausted. I hadn’t really gotten any real length of sleep the night before. Doula kept the ice chips coming and the cool wash cloth on my head.  I kept glancing out the window. Our room had a beautiful view of downtown Louisville. By sunset, I told myself, she’ll be here.

And sure enough, probably around 8:30, my midwife, who had been wearing dress pants and a fancy top, got a big hospital cover up thing on. She pulled out a fancy wand to adjust the lights (which were still dim) so she could see my lady bits better. My support team was getting more and more excited. More and more people were in the room, quietly getting together trays and equipment. I knew we were finally almost done. No one seemed to mind anymore when I would scream instead of holding my breath while pushing.

My doula said she had red hair but I kept thinking, “Are you sure that’s not all the blood?” I also remember my doula saying that the reason pushing was taking a while was because she was sunny-side-up. But we were starting to see that that was not the case. I reached down to touch her head. It was much squishier than I imagined. And then two more pushes, what literally felt like the biggest poop of my life – so poetic I know. But so. Much. Pressure. -- And she was out. 8:48 p.m.

They laid her on my stomach and wiped her down and sunctioned her like they were changing tires on NASCAR or something. It was so quick and efficient. She didn’t cry right away but my midwife assured me she was fine and then a few moments later, she cried.

Then I got briefly distracted by my midwife asking for some local. I did not feel myself tear, but I did feel the stitches. Then they were pushing on my stomach which was horribly uncomfortable.  And after all the labor and birthing, you just want comfort. Just snuggles some Panera (I wanted Panera so bad!), not stiches and pushing on my tired tummy. But I had my baby. It was so surreal. And I think I was too tired to really know what to do or think next. She was huge. We were all surprised by that. I really wanted Panera. It was all I talked about while pushing, but Panera was closed. I was so hungry. I got some orange juice and a granola bar. My doula helped me start breastfeeding. Really, she did it for me. I was so exhausted. I just kind of watched.

We had probably a good hour to snuggle like that. My nurse came back and we handed Elizabeth off to Lee so I could go to the bathroom but I still wasn’t really into the idea of standing. They got me some more orange juice and an IV with fluids and Pitocin. Our family came in to visit briefly and ooh and ahh over baby and get our McDonald’s order. My nurse and I tried to go the bathroom again and I made it this time. She helped clean me up some more and E and I were ready for recovery. I was so weak I wasn’t sure if I could carry her, even in the wheel chair, to recovery. But Lee couldn’t carry her while walking (Apparently you can’t transport babies by foot around hospitals.) so I managed it. It really wasn't that hard after all. ;)

Lee went with her to the nursery. We all waited outside to see how much she weighted! 9 lbs 6 oz! (And 21.5" long and 14.5" head circumference) They found a 3 month shirt for her to wear and some size 1 diapers (The NB diapers they had in the delivery room were too small for her and kind of made her look like a sumo wrestler.) Probably around midnight I got my McDonald’s. I don’t know if I was still feeling wonky from the minimal food I had eaten that day and loss of fluids or if it was just late night McDonald’s, but it did not taste very good.

I was feeling so exhausted in about every possible way one could be exhausted. And really, you can only be so comfortable with an ice pack in your mesh underwear, but I had done it. I had given birth and lived to tell about it. And, minus a second-degree tear and a general desire that the whole process had been a bit quicker, things really couldn’t have gone more perfectly. And speaking of perfect, have you met my daughter?

Part 1   |   Part 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Elizabeth's Birth Story Part 2

Wednesday, July 13

The contractions continued through the night. 10 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart. I would wake Lee up so he could push on my lower back during them. We would switch sides of the bed so I could rotate which side I was sleeping on and Lee could easily get to my back. My back was still hurting during contractions, but I felt pretty good in between contractions and it was not nearly as horrible as Sunday. Thank goodness.

We called our doula to talk strategy. She suggested we take things slow and that I rest a lot so I did. When I got tired of lying down I tried sitting but that was very uncomfortable. I’m not sure about all that sitting on pillows for the past two days to help the baby turn, but sitting now felt horrible, with or without the pillow. I spent one contraction on all fours but that was wretched. And I know you’re supposed to try something for more than one contraction but that's easier discussed during birth class than actually done.

Lee was generally running around the house, bringing me something, heating up my rice pack, getting our stuff together for the hospital and I would scream “Lee” or “Contraction” and he would come running to push the heel of his hand into my lower back.

Lee made me some toast for lunch and I remember watching the fun wedding entrance dance and my favorite version of Party in the USA on my iPhone because they make me happy. It’s a random detail, but one I want to remember.

I wasn't sure how well things were really progressing because my contractions  were spaced out differently according to what position I was in. If I was lying  down they were 6-7 minutes apart. If I was walking they were 3-4 minutes  apart. I talked to my doula some more. Our goal was to stay home as long as possible, but the tub at the hospital was really sounding nice. Our bathtub isn’t that comfortable when you’re not pregnant, but somehow Lee and I managed to squeeze in there. It felt a little better and I went to lie down some more afterward. This was at 2:30 or 3.

Around 3:30 the contractions started to feel a bit worse, but they were still about 6  minutes apart. I finally got up, uncomfortable in bed. I walked around  downstairs a little bit. Sitting was miserable, lying down was miserable. My contractions were now about 3 minutes apart and even Lee commented that they seemed to be getting worse. I asked Lee to make me a baked potato, my go-to sick food. I asked Lee to feed me the potato because I  just wasn’t able to at that point, but still hungry and wanting to stay nourished. Lee somehow got me propped up sitting on the Boppy on my desk chair  and leaning into the side of the couch. At 4:30 we called doula. She said to call her back in 30 minutes if this kept up.

We learned in birth class that knowing the moment to go to the hospital is  different for everyone. My doula knew it was time for me to go to the hospital when we called her around 5 and I shared that I would very likely die in the car on the way there. Mostly just because I could not conceive of sitting for any length of time. So Lee loaded the car with the stuff we had been collecting throughout the day (We brought so much stuff and hardly used any of it. Like the iPod player and video camera.), laid down some plastic and towels in the passenger seat incase my water broke, and we headed to the hospital.

My  hospital is located just across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. To get there, you have to drive through Spaghetti Junction, where 71, 64 and 65 meet to create a general Big Hot Traffic Mess that peaks at rush hour. I had said several times that we would factor rush hour into our decision to leave for the hospital, but  here we were, 5 p.m. and pulling out of the driveway. Fortunately, we got there  in 30 minutes which is great timing. In the best of conditions it takes 20 minutes. We listened to Terry Meiners in the car.

One  of the rationales for waiting so long to leave for the hospital is that often  if you leave early in labor, the excitement of going to the hospital can slow  your contractions down. If you leave later in labor, it’s more likely that  things will continue at a nice pace. The moment we started to walk to the car, the contractions felt easier. The drive wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Lee reminded me to breathe slowly, which I thought I had been doing, but apparently hadn’t. It’s amazing how much actually breathing slowly can help. I was sure that we had left for the hospital too early and I told Lee that if I wasn’t at least 7 cm dilated I would be very unhappy. He reminded me not to get caught up on centimeters and we’d deal with whatever happened.

Part 1   |   Part 3

Monday, October 31, 2011

Elizabeth's Birth Story Part 1

And 15 1/2 weeks later, here I am to finally tell you the story of Elizabeth's birth. This is not well written and it is horribly long. But I love birth stories and I know at least one of you really wants to read this (Hey Amy!), so let's begin...

A. Why can't I take cute self-portraits?
B. Good grief I was huge. I did not like being pregnant. Well, the second trimester was pleasant.

Saturday, July 9

We had some friends over this evening and grilled out. After everyone left I started to feel kind of crampy and began to wonder if maybe this was it. It was a couple days after my due date. I took a bath and while I sat in the tub I realized that the cramps seemed to be lasting for only a minute or so but kept returning at regular intervals. Per my midwife and doula’s recommendation, I decided to ignore this as long as I could and went to bed.

Sunday, July 10

Probably around 2 a.m.-ish the contractions were becoming difficult to ignore. My free contraction counter app said they were about a minute long and 7 minutes apart. I kept trying to sleep but was miserable. I was very distressed because while I
knew labor wouldn’t be easy, I suspected it to be manageable. I thought I would ease into it and have breaks between contractions to rest and regroup. But that was not what was happening. I was feeling the contractions in my back and once the
contraction was over I continued to ache until the next one came. I remember trying to rock in the glider in Elizabeth’s room, miserable, and feeling somewhat panicked that I was already just a few hours into this and already thinking about getting an epidural. While I know there’s nothing wrong with epidurals if you want one and obviously I wasn’t avoiding one to prove a point, I was not happy to think about all the people who said I couldn’t do this and that I was already agreeing with them.

I let Lee sleep awhile, knowing that this would be a long process for him too, and finally woke him up, maybe around 5 a.m. to help me get downstairs so I could watch Arrested Development. It seemed like a good distraction. Shortly after getting downstairs, I threw up. Eww. During a contraction my free contraction counter app informed me that I had used up all the contractions that come with the free app and I would need to purchase the $1.99 app to keep tracking. This was not a good time to hear this information. During a contraction is a horrible time to try to recall a password.

Lee got me settled on the couch and I told him he could go back to bed. When I finally called my doula at 7 a.m. and told her what was going on, pausing in the middle of our conversation to vomit again, she said that labor was probably starting but it sounded like at this rate labor might take a while. She also noted that if I’m vomiting it’s probably because I need to chill out. She
recommended I lie down on my side and switch sides every 30 minutes to help the baby to turn and decrease the back labor. (Babies are supposed to be facing your back for the easiest and most comfortable exit. We guessed she was facing
my front, since that causes back labor.) So I attempted to chill out, set my phone timer to 30 minutes, and went back to bed.

I got a bit of rest and my contractions started to slow down. I took some Tylenol or Advil for my back. We called our parents and I emailed my friends to let them know that labor was starting, but after a few hours the contractions were infrequent, maybe one or two an hour, and by 5 p.m. they had stopped.

Monday, July 11

I was on a mission to get Elizabeth turned and facing my back. I took naps, rotating sides every 30 minutes. I sat on pillows to keep my hips higher than my knees. I went mall walking/shopping with a friend.

Tuesday, July 12

Sometime in the early morning I started to have contractions again. Tolerable contractions with nice breaks in between. Just l had expected. Just like what I felt prepared to deal with. There were maybe 2 an hour. Lee called work to tell them he wasn’t coming in. We called my doula who assured me that Lee should really go to work because 2 contractions an hour isn’t anything to stay home for. So Lee went in to work. I sat on pillows, slept on my sides, tried to get some things done around the house. I called my mom and we talked about how we hoped the baby wouldn’t be born on the 13th. In the evening, I started to give up on sewing, partly because sitting on pillows was getting ridiculously uncomfortable, partly because the contractions were coming a little more strongly, but still maybe only 3 an hour. Lee and I watched some TV and went to bed around midnight.

Part 2   |   Part 3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garden FAIL

Remember when I planted a garden? Even though all previous plant experiences had been a bust? Even though I was very pregnant and only about to get more pregnant? Even though I was about to get very distracted by a co-dependent tiny human? Yeah, that didn't end well.

I've gotten a few cherry tomatoes out of it and one pepper. While this is pretty much a 4x4 disaster zone (Like so much of the rest of our yard, but that's another story.) at least it's a start. I'm really optimistic that next year I will try again. And maybe someday I'll keep up with my garden for a whole summer. Maybe even a fall planting. I'll take it one summer at a time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birth Announcement

I was so excited about sending out birth announcements, but after reflecting on how much they cost and how everyone we would send one to has already seen her pictures, it seemed pretty pointless. By the time I reached this conclusion though, I had already designed the card. To not waste the cuteness, here it is:

birth announcement

If you don't get the "Three Is a Magic Number" reference, you should really watch more School House Rock.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Months

Elizabeth is two months old!

She is getting smilier everyday! I'm loving it and everyone just swoons when Elizabeth smiles at them. She's gurgling and smiling at Lee right now. So often I look at her and get U2's "The Sweetest Thing" stuck in my head.

Today we started wearing size 2 diapers. We wear cloth most of the time (see above) but use disposables when it's laundry time. (E's about to grow out of her prefolds and we need more covers anyway, but I'm toying with switching to pockets and being ridiculously indecisive about it. Feel free to advise.)

After trying to get some tummy time photos today -- she hates being on her stomach unless she's on me or Lee -- she started to cry and I rolled her back and kept snapping. I want to remember everything, even her wails and tears.


She calmed down quickly. She's a pretty happy baby most of the time, but we have our teary moments. And our moments where we fluctuate between happy and sad every few minutes.

Her head is getting pretty strong and sturdy. She's watching things move; she watches me. She's kicking and squirming more and more, becoming more resistant to being in her Moby wrap at times. Before too long we'll be able to keep her legs out of the wrap and I think she'll like that. She gets more beautiful and perfect everyday. I was always so afraid that I wouldn't handle her growing up well, and while I often want to just keep her in this tiny, snuggly state, I'm also so excited to see what the next month brings.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three Years

I'm a pretty indecisive person. But marrying Lee was one of the best and easiest decisions of my life. Mom was right: when you know, you know.

The past year has been one of the better years, since now we are three. Watching Lee be a dad is pretty much the best thing ever, and in case I had any doubts before, I know now that I have definitely picked the best partner for me.

Happy anniversary, Lee! You are always awesome, but this past year you have had to go to birth classes, watch birth documentaries, rub my back every 7 minutes for 17 hours of labor, help me assemble postpartum diapers, walk a screaming baby around the house for 2 hours so I could sleep, grill me countless hot dogs when I was too tired to cook, and comfort me when I was an emotional, sleep-deprived sobbing mess. I love you so much!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting It Together

I like to think that I wasn't naive about the challenges inherit in having an infant. Yet, I find that it's about 150 times harder than I imagined. This week we had a reunion of some of the families from my Bradley class (During class we were couples, but now, we're families. Funny how that happens. ;) ) and one thing we talked about was how we spent so much time getting ready for the birth and not nearly enough time getting ready for the actual baby. I have the gigantic Dr. Sears Baby Book which I was determined to read cover-to-cover (ha!), but by the time Elizabeth was born I had only read about baths and diaper changes. Nothing on sleep and breastfeeding. You know, the important things.

I think I thought she would sleep more during the day and when she was a wake it would be a breeze to do things with her in the Moby wrap, but

A. She doesn't always want to be in the Moby wrap,
B. I don't always want her in the Moby wrap (It's hot, tight on my chest, and sometimes hurts my back.),
and C. There are some things you just can't do, or are extremely difficult to do, with the Moby (like dishes, cleaning bathrooms and carrying  a laundry basket).

Like right now, Elizabeth is in her bouncer because earlier when I sat down at my computer to write this post (Which was about an hour and a half ago. We've had to eat and change diapers since then.), she didn't want to be in the wrap. Now she doesn't seem very happy in her bouncer (Although she slept in her bouncer from 9 pm to 4 am last night!!) and after every sentence I type I have to reach down and give her her pacifier back. She seems so happy once she gets her pacifier, but that dissolves within 60 seconds. This is how things don't get done.

Life is tricky lately. But very, very blessed. Look! Baby smiles:

I'm trying very hard now to get back to doing things, and the first of the month always seems like a great time to start fresh. Sweet baby girl is priority #1, but it's time I start tackling my very scary to-do list. Really, it's for my own sanity and happiness. So today I got a planner. It's still blank (I've been trying to fill it out all day, but you know...), but I'm about to  map out some daily goals and menus. Hopefully life will start to find more of a productive routine, and be filled with more pasta dishes and less hot dogs and nachos. Although Lee does grill some pretty fabulous hot dogs.

P.S. We are back in the Moby now and seeming much happier!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome Elizabeth!

In case you missed it on Twitter or Facebook, or didn't assume it from my continued absence, on Wednesday, July 13 at 8:48 p.m., Elizabeth Anne was born. The birth was wonderful and Elizabeth is perfection. There are times of the day when I might not say that, but overall she is the most wonderful, sweetest blessing. When she starts to wake up I'll lie in bed a little bit longer not wanting to get up, but then I see that gorgeous face and I'm ready to go.

While I knew things wouldn't be easy, having an infant is pretty challenging. I hope to be back soon with the whole birth story and more pictures. In the meantime I'm just trying to stay clean-ish, fed and reasonably well-rested. ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sugar Scrub: Cheap, Easy and Tasty

homemade sugar scrub

When it comes to beauty products I generally stick with the basics, but my favorite non-necessity in the bathroom is sugar scrub. I haven't had any for years because I'm cheap, would rather buy a new pair of earrings, and am too lazy to use it when I have it. Which is why making my own sugar scrub is pretty much the best idea ever. I really want to host a baby or wedding shower now just so I can make up lots of these as favors.

I used this recipe and added a couple drops of lavender to recreate my favorite Bath and Body Works scent, lavender vanilla. (I probably should've started with one drop of lavender since I made only half the recipe.  They're not joking when the say to go slowly with adding the essential oils.)

And yes, this also makes an excellent snack. But not after you add the essential oils. ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

37 Weeks

Seriously?! 37 weeks?! That's a lot of weeks. Here's a picture from last week because we forgot to take one this weekend.


We're a bit distracted lately. Seriously. I have a hard time focusing and I'm blaming baby. I find that for cleaning, setting a timer for 25 or 30 minutes helps. Sadly, I discovered this after 3 unproductive hours of attempting to clean. Today has been pretty productive, but then I slept a lot last night. Maybe I just need more sleep, which is of course getting trickier because I keep waking up. I don't have to pee. The baby's not kicking. I just wake up. Actually, the past couple nights it might have just been our weather radio's fault. (We need to find the "Only Wake Me Up for Warnings" button because if I don't need to go to the basement, please just let me sleep.) The best sleep I've had I woke up to realize that *gasp!* I was lying on my back. (Don't worry, my midwife assures me that it happens and isn't a big deal if you sometimes sleep on your back because I don't have any risk factors that would make that extra dangerous. But should still be avoided. I didn't realize I was such a back sleeper until I realized you should avoid back sleeping during pregnancy.)

I think the impending baby is starting to take a toll on Lee's usually sharp mind as well. We left the house yesterday to run errands and we had decided it would be best to go to Fantastic Sams first and then Babies R Us. About a minute later, Lee is asking me the best way to get to Babies R Us and we are about 2 minutes from Babies R Us before we realized we were going to go to Fantastic Sams first. Not a big deal, but I had to rush through Babies R Us to learn that Fantastic Sams isn't open on Sundays. Lee thinks the order we took our errands turned out for the best, of course.

At least for now, I am loving washing the baby things and putting them away! I think this is about the only time I'll be able to say it so I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Technically, Elizabeth could arrive anytime between the next 1-5 weeks. What bugs me about this is that I'm starting to outgrow a lot of things. (Oddly enough, the things that fit me best at this point are a pair of pre-pregnancy sweat pants, a pre-pregnancy skirt and Lee's T-shirts from high school.) If it's just going to be another week or two, I can tough it out. If I knew now that it would be a month, I'd probably pick up a couple things. Let's think positively and stretch my stretchy skirt as far as she'll go!

I think I've decided what my absolute least favorite baby comment is. So far this has only come from strange old men, which might make it better? Or worse. But the absolute worst comments are "You know how that happened, right?" and the similar "What'd you get into?" Umm...I know my fingers are swollen so I'm not wearing a ring and I hear I look younger than I am, but what do you want me to say?! Yes, I had intimate relations with my husband of two years?! We are 27/28-years-old and have a house and that's our only debt and we are happy, responsible, God-fearing people. I guess they think they're being funny but I really don't appreciate what they're implying. It's just rude. And creepy. And if I don't know you, there's no need to say anything at all. Seriously, is there any way to even respond to those comments?

Speaking of implying things, I realized that I went out the other day without my ring (because of the swelling) in Lee's high school t-shirt. That probably looked kind of sketchy.

Last week I got the best package in the mail: One of my friends had organized a long-distance library shower. She collected books from friends from California to DC and boxed them up and sent to me. It was the cutest thing ever. If you have a pregnant bookworm friend I highly recommend you do this for her right now.

I'm trying to decide the best way to preserve Elizabeth's first year. I'm kind of obsessed with this daily baby photo project and Elise's wedding album. I've narrowed it down to doing daily pictures, probably in our arm chair so there's a size reference. I bought a cute 8.5 x 11 binder to store the photos in. I want to a sentence or two with each picture about the day. Now, do I do all the layouts electronically and print them like Elise did or do I want to scrapbook it a bit more so where would be handwritten notes, which seem more personal? Thoughts? Also, if your in-laws got you an awesome photo session for a baby gift, would you want those photos taken really early on, or maybe a few months out when baby starts to smile? I guess you run the risk of baby not smiling on cue, but I think I would rather wait a couple months for fun facial expressions.

For someone with good dental hygiene, my gums are receding a bit more than me or my dentist would like. Apparently this could be caused by grinding my teeth or clenching my jaw a lot. I'm pretty sure I don't do either, and Lee says he hasn't noticed me doing any of that. Yet for the past few days, I have noticed myself clenching my jaw a lot. Is this pregnancy related or am I just losing my mind? I ask myself that about a lot of things lately.

I don't know if I the whole "I'm having a baby thing" just hasn't hit me yet, or I might actually be feeling pretty calm about labor. I hope it's the latter. My main goal is not to panic. As you learn in Bradley classes, fear causes tension which causes pain. So no fear for me, please. Wednesday I have my "almost baby time" appointment with my doula and I'm so excited about it. I think she's super cool and if anyone can take me from "not too scared" to "genuinely excited that I'm giving birth!!" it's her.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Custom Invitations: Flowers and Poetry

One of my friends asked me to design the invitations for her daughter's first birthday and of course I was thrilled to!

My friend wrote an adorable poem and I just decorated the rest of the postcard.

first birthday invite

I also made this card for a friend's baby shower.

welcome baby shower card

I'm hoping to adapt these two designs into something for my Etsy shop, which desperately needs an update. That's on tomorrow's to-do list so hopefully it will get done!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hello, Summer

I was chatting with some friends the other day about how we got no spring this year, but really, when have we had a real fall or spring in Kentucky? There's summer, winter and in between you get a little bit of every season. A few teaser days of wonderful spring/fall weather, interspersed among winter/summer relapses. So now that we're reaching the 90s most days, let's look back at some of our beautiful springtime blooms. We have a lot of landscaping work to do, but there are lots of blooming things to entertain me while we decide what to do with the rest.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Nursery Plans!!

*drum roll*

After much debate and purchasing of fabric swatches and pinning of various inspirational photos, I am ready to reveal the decor plans for Elizabeth's room, a.k.a. 500 things Katie thinks she is going to sew in the next 5 weeks.

Here is her room before and where it stands today. (Special thanks to my dad and Lee for getting it painted while mom and I went to a shower and ate cake. Yummy yummy cake. And I brought home tons of fabulous baby things. If Zoey did not shed so much, I probably would have already tried out half of it on her. I'm sure Zoey would love to ride in a baby swing while wearing a sundress.)

I wasn't a huge fan of the shade of pink the previous owners had chosen, not to mention the 500 nail holes that needed to be filled, so I went with a khaki. The blue box in the bottom right corner are the new blinds we'll be putting up because I hate the pink fabric ones. (We're actually replacing all the fabric blinds. They were so tricksy to peek out of.) You can see the random miscellaneous pile of Rubbermaid tubs that have been living in here since we moved in that we still haven't found a home for. Also note the adorable llama painting in the glider from a very talented friend. Adorable! What little girls' room doesn't need a llama?! Love it!

In case you're curious, the crib is the Alpha crib by DaVinci, chosen for it's real wood and non-toxic finish. Because I'm paranoid, the crib mattress is organic. The glider is a hand-me-down. We're still looking for a white dresser that can double as a changing table with some extra room on top to store diapering supplies.

I'm planning on recovering the glider and making the crib skirt and bumper. I've got the fabric for it, so now to find the time and courage to proceed. None of it should be that tricky, but I'm still nervous. And the picture didn't turn out super well, but the flowers on the crib skirt are coral and yellow.

A few other projects include decorating white, floor-length curtains (with black-out panels) with pink and yellow yo-yos (like this) and brown buttons in the center, sewing little baggies to organize Elizabeth's stuff in my purse, and making some cloth wipes.

My hope is to take one day next week to do nothing but sew, sew, sew. It sounds splendid. Sadly I haven't spent any significant time with Laura my sewing machine since Halloween (Things I can tell you now but couldn't tell you then: That was the day we found out we were pregnant!).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hair Psychology 101

Over the years I have realized that my hair style tends to operate on a growth-chop cycle that takes roughly 2-3 years to complete. Most significant cuts tend to coincide with various major life events. For example:

For 6th grade graduation (Where I grew up 7th grade was when you made the big move to middle school.) I got contacts and lost several inches of hair.

Freshman year of high school I had my first boyfriend and my first nasty breakup. I celebrated the discovery that I deserved better with a new haircut.

I graduated from high school, saw Sliding Doors and made a bad choice. This is when I learned that having Gwyneth's haircut doesn't mean you will look anything like her.

Senior year of college is a bit of an anomaly. Fortunately I went to a college where donating your hair to Locks of Love was the cool thing to do, (Well, so was beer pong so don't give them too much credit, but they are a wonderful institution.) so I just did that out of the kindness of my heart. And most places will give you a free or discounted hair cut for donating. ;)

In 2008 I returned from my honeymoon and decided to test Lee's love by making another donation to Locks of Love. Fortunately, he stuck around. (Yes, Lee is one of the 97% of men who prefers my hair long, but copes very well with my tendency to whack it all off.)

I think there's something about fresh starts and new hair cuts that just go together. I also think that it has something to do with my tendencies to play it safe. I'm not much of a risk-taker and while I really do think that's totally fine, there is a tiny part of me that wants to rebel. I'm not sure from what, but something in me wants to go "crazy" every once in awhile and that generally results in dropping enough inches of hair to no longer have a ponytail.

So here I am, about to have my first baby. All this to say: I cut my hair. I like it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

34 Weeks

33 and 34 weeks

When I'm home Zoey stays within 5 feet of me. Except for when she's sleeping in. Seriously. She will stay in bed for hours after I get up. She's actually in 80% of my bump photos, and normally I crop her out, but I left her in this time for added amusement.

I think my hormones have realigned a bit so I feel less grumpy which is awesome. I'm not a fan of being grumpy.

I watched Pregnant in America this weekend and was disappointed that there weren't as many births in it as The Business of Being Born, which I think is a sign of personal growth. I love watching how the mom's face instantly changes from all the tired frustrations of labor and pushing to the extreme, sublime joy of holding your baby. It makes me cry and reminds me that it's all worth it. (Both documentaries are excellent by the way and get a big thumbs up, but if nipples and crowning heads creep you out, you might want to stick with Pregnant in America.)

The dark nursery and baby craft fabric is in the laundry at the moment! Can't wait to start sewing!

I haven't asked about the estimated size of the baby and I don't plan on it. I'm not sure if my midwife will just tell me but I might ask her to not tell me. It's normally just a guess and if she says anything over 8 pounds it will make me unnecessarily nervous. If I can make it, I can get it out. At the 20 week ultrasound she was "normal" so that's all I need to know. I don't plan on finding out how dilated I am either, unless we're running far enough past my due date that we're starting to discuss induction. I do like to ask if she's head down though, and so far so good, to the best we can tell.

After some confusion, Elizabeth's middle name will be Anne. Someone asked the other day, Lee and I exchanged looks, and Lee answered Anne. Problem solved.

I picked up some cloth diapers the other day and some fabric to make cloth wipes with. I'm so excited about them! I just got 15 prefolds and 2 covers (a Flip and Econobum) since a friend might have some I can have and I've heard that different brands work better for different babies depending on leg chunkiness and potty habits so I'll wait a bit before we commit. I think I definitely want to stick with prefolds though because they're so deliciously cheap. And look at these cover options! OMG the cute!

I haven't worn my wedding ring for a couple days. I was just taking it off when I go for walks because the exertion makes my hands swell, but I had trouble getting it off the other morning when I was getting ready for church and since then I've left it off. I'm paranoid about it getting stuck, but I miss it. Maybe I'm being too paranoid about it?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

32 Weeks

We are getting increasingly lazy about taking weekly pictures...or biweekly pictures for that matter. It doesn't help that I'm spending more time in sweat pants. So here's Lee and I at a wedding this past weekend! (Confession: I've always been a bit anal about the separation of brown and black. This is the only thing I have ever disagreed with Stacy and Clinton on. It even goes so far that I regret not wearing my hair up at the wedding because I hate the way my brown hair looks when it's down against a black top. Note: Khaki and camel go lovely with black.)

32 weeks

I'm getting tired of being pregnant. It's not that I'm that uncomfortable, I just miss my normal clothes. This sounds shallow and vain and horrid but, I miss skinny me. I don't like not being able to run or eat raw fish or drink too much wine. Recently at a bachelorette party a dear friend had no one to do tequila shots with her and I totally would have! What a tragedy! I'm tired of the extra attention. I'm tired of strangers touching me. I felt the same way toward the end of our engagement: I just want life to go back to normal again. And I know things are never going to be "normal" again, but I'm ready for the new normal.

At this point my biggest fear of birth (and Lee's) is me being afraid of birth and dissolving into a state of panic. So far though I think my fears are staying reasonably low. As suspected, I'm still more afraid of needles than actually pushing out a tiny human, which I think is a good sign.

We have a pediatrician! (We actually have two since we're giving birth in an Indiana hospital and our Louisville pediatrician can't go to Indiana for the in-hospital things they do.)

I have fabric for the nursery! Finally! There are many important baby decisions to make, and I'm sorry to admit that this is the decision I devoted the most brain power to. I should probably save my apologies for Elizabeth. Pictures and more details on all those plans will hopefully come around next week.

Baby shower 1 of 2 is this weekend and I'm super excited. It's actually a shower for me and one of my oldest friends hosted by two of our other oldest friends. There's something quite wonderful about knowing someone since kindergarten and still being a part of each other's lives over 20 years later. One of the hosts has a 1-year-old and I remember meeting him and thinking, "I first met his mom when she was closer to his age than our current age." which just seems crazy. In four years there will be a kindergartener running around whose mom I played with in kindergarten. Crazy. Awesome, but crazy.

I joined the Louisville Mommies forum yesterday. Part of me feels like a total dork, but all of me knows that it's important to know other moms in the area. Or at least that's what I gather from friends who have lamented not having other mom friends.

Friday I hit the 33-week mark, which means we are definitely in the single digits for weeks remaining! Wow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recent Accomplishments

I've spent 2011 freelancing and trying to get an Etsy store going. Since I only work at the coffee shop a couple days a week and Elizabeth is currently as low-maintenance as she'll ever be, this seems like it should be relatively easy. But now it's May 17 and I feel like I haven't made it nearly as far as I wanted to or should have. Some of it is my fault, sleeping in and such. Then there's the gray area where I occasionally play the pregnant card and can't decide if that's good that I'm recognizing that I might need an extra break, or if I'm just milking my current condition for another nap. And some of it, I think, is just things taking longer than anticipated.

I've been getting frustrated on a daily level too. It seems practically impossible for me to ever complete a full day's to-do list on that day. I'm currently still working on yesterday's to-do list. By the end of most days, I'm grumpily stewing over the one or two things I haven't done and seem to have completely forgotten the things I did accomplish. I'm starting to think I set my daily goals too high, which is why this week I only have 3 tasks per day. We'll see how that goes. They are generally not small tasks.

So in the spirit of being positive and spending more time celebrating accomplishments than cursing things still not done, let's look at what I have accomplished so far this year:

+ I'm still growing a tiny human, who seems to be as healthy and happy as a fetus can be. That's pretty impressive by itself.
+ I've filed all the paperwork and general nonsense to be legally self-employed.
+ I designed (several times) my own website in WordPress after years of being in Blogger. (Actually I just redid things a bit a couple weeks ago if you're reading this in Google Reader or something and haven't seen the changes yet. I think it's pretty adorable but welcome kindly-worded feedback.)
+ I have an Etsy shop and sold something to a total stranger.
+ I have mostly re-instated my daily(ish) chore chart, which means my back doesn't hurt horribly after cleaning and the house is generally cleaner.
+  I have gotten one small, recurring freelance writing job and one large, one-time web writing job.
+ I'm working part-time at a coffee shop which is actually kind of fun. Sometimes I think that if I was there for more than 10 hours a week I wouldn't like it as much, but that's irrelevant.  I prefer it to several jobs of my previous jobs. I'm sure the free coffee and day-old pastries help a lot too.
+ Nursery progress is finally (!!!!!!!!!) being made. Crib and mattress are in the mail. Fabric has been selected. There is a legit plan. (More details next week I hope.)
+  Thanks to the first time home buyer tax rebate, we're doing a lot of stuff around the house which is very exciting. Boo on painting, but yay for shopping!

So really, it's been a pretty productive year. And as I keep reminding myself, despite the doubts I have on the subject, I'm sure I will find a way to actually get things done even after Elizabeth is here. (Or at least there are a few kind friends who have told me so.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No More Frustrations (ish)

I was grumpy last night. After making Lee listen to my list of grievances, I felt it was time to whine to the Internet. I wrote the post, complete with a picture of a grumpy lolcat. In the spirit of good juju or whatever, I did conclude the post with things I'm thankful for, but the bulk of it was whinewhinewhine. I set the post to publish this morning.

Once the post was finished though, I had a pretty good night. I was productive and figured out some tricky web things that had been giving me trouble. I asked Lee for help but he was about 2 seconds away from sleep so obviously not interested and promised to help me tomorrow and then I went on to solve the problem on my own. Three cheers for me. There is much celebrating when I solve my own technical glitches.

Then I woke up to some very bad/very good news. Like "Something pretty crappy and scary happened, but everyone is okay, including my loved one." After a few tears of fear and relief and me chanting "prayers prayers prayers" in my head because that was all the eloquence I could muster at the moment (God is quite familiar with my general lack of eloquence though so that's cool.), I didn't really feel like listing my grievances anymore. They were lame.

So instead, here is a happy lolcat. My favorite lolcat ever to be exact:

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

And here is my list of my things I'm thankful for, because they are much more important (although occasionally trivial), more wonderful and more plentiful than any of my grievances.

+ Saw the midwife this week and Elizabeth is healthy and lovely. I was reminded at least twice of why I absolutely love my midwife and why this is one decision I feel 100% wonderfully certain about. (Unlike nursery colors. ;) )

+ I think we're only a few episodes away from Castle and Beckett finally getting together. Or at least kissing. I'm calling it for the season finale. About time, but I'm always a sucker for the will-they-won't-they fictional relationships.

+ My friend's bachelorette party was this weekend which pretty much meant slumber party at my place which was awesome. I miss having girls around to swap clothes with and stay up until 5 a.m. fretting over life's decisions that cannot possibly be solved at that time of morning, especially when tipsy (not me of course), but oh how we try. I pretty much have the best friends ever. Just saying. And best husband, who kindly helped me drive everyone to and from the bars and let us blare rap music and giggle and stay up late talking when he wanted to go to sleep.

+ I finally got some slip covers for the couches and will post pictures of them soon. I need to get them ironed which means I need to buy a steamer and we're about to do some other projects so I figure we'll just wait for the big reveal. But I don't have red couches in my green living room anymore! Thank goodness!

I hope you have many more thankful things than grievances today. If you're going to be grumpy about anything, may it just be Miley covering "Smells Like Teen Spririt". (Sacrilege!) She should really keep it to "Party in the USA", because that's...umm...maybe one of my favorite songs. Although most of the credit for that goes to this video:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thoughts on Running

At various points in my life I get it in my head that I want to be a runner. Not necessarily a fast runner, or a long distance runner, but someone who can comfortably run a 5K in 30 minutes. And maybe does this several times a week. And maybe because she does this, she can age without gaining a lot of weight and without curbing her mint Oreo consumption. Providing of course that when she's not eating Oreos, she's eating fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats.

Lee running

Look at Lee running a mini-marathon. He's kind of disgusting awesome like that.

I'm wanting to run again. Of course I can't run right now with the pregnancy. (It's not that pregnant women can't run, but they shouldn't start running during pregnancy. It's cool if you're already doing it.) So I keep thinking about how I'll start running again after pregnancy. I'll get new shoes and start the Couch to 5K program I had some success with a few years ago (if I can find it). Running can be my 30-minutes of escape from baby for some glorious me time and some quality daddy-daughter time for Lee and Elizabeth. I've even been looking for a 5K to sign up for this fall. I've been working on getting in a more consistent walking habit (It would help if the rain finally stopped. And if I wasn't lazy.) so it won't be as big of a deal to add in some running in a few months.

We'll see how I feel about this in a couple months. ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Scheduling Conflict

My Dear Elizabeth,

Your dad and I are so excited about meeting you! And while we still have tons of stuff to do to prepare for your arrival (like pick out your nursery's color scheme, get you a place to sleep, clean clothes, clean diapers, etc.) I wish it was tomorrow because I really like baby snuggles and I suspect your baby snuggles will be the best thing ever. Your dad is a pretty awesome snuggler, but I suspect you are the best snuggler ever in the history of the world and I'm really looking forward to that.

There's just one concern I have about your arrival. See your due date is July 7 and you and I both know that due dates aren't a terribly exact science. In fact, it's most likely that you'll arrive a week after that. And I'm totally cool with that. Which brings me to my request: can you please hang tight until about 3 p.m. on July 15? That should give me plenty of time to either go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at midnight or the earliest matinĂ©e, depending on how much energy you've left me at that point.

Me at Platform 9 3/4. For reals.

You might have figured it out by now but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and this is the last big Harry Potter event (Unless there's a book 8, which if it happens, I will literally wet myself with joy.) and it's so bittersweet and exciting. And if you're already here by July 15 then it will be tricky for me to get to the theater in a timely manner because I can't leave you without your only food source for the length of a Harry Potter film. And I'm not sure I want you to experience the terror of Voldemort yet so I probably shouldn't take you to the theater with me. And technically you owe me because I put off seeing the last Harry Potter movie for two weeks because I felt so icky and tired and incapable of going to a theater thanks to you. And while you're totally forgiven for all that (and that I won't be able to fit in my Harry Potter t-shirt), it might be nice if you could let me see this one on release day.

So that's all. Keep growing and getting cute in there and we'll see you in July. Preferably after I've seen the last  Harry Potter movie. ;)

All my love,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

28 Weeks

Hello, Third Trimester!

28 weeks

Some think this sounds morbid, but honestly: I'm relieved to know that if for some reason I went in to labor right now, Elizabeth would very likely survive thanks to modern technology and NICUs. I'd infinitely prefer she stay where she is for another 12 weeks, but it's a small comfort. Like making it through your first semester and knowing you have a much lower miscarriage rate.

Apparently, Lee and I both thought Elizabeth's middle name was going to be something different. I thought we had decided on Anne; Lee thought we had decided on Jane. Now we're open for debate again. Thoughts? I'm not sure if Vince Gill's song Liza Jane helps or hurts my affection for Jane. I also thinking naming my daughter after my favorite fictional character and author seems  a little much for one name. Of course I also adore Anne Elliott so the alternative is naming her after two of my favorite fictional characters. I have long considered Anne as a potential name though, before I knew and loved Anne Elliott, so does that make it less weird? In college I made calls to high school students encouraging them to come to Centre, and one girl I called was totally named Elizabeth Bennet LastName. It could be a family name, or maybe her mom and I should be friends.

Lee finally felt Elizabeth move. It was exciting.

I have my glucose test this week and I handled the blood work portion like a champ, meaning that I did not make Lee speak to me in his squeaky voice. He did have to sit right next to me though and I squeezed his hand.

I was kind of getting tired of reading birth books, even though I've only read 1.25, but I think I'm going to power through them. The more I can hype myself up mentally for this birth thing, the better. Lee and I agree that the only thing between me and my happy fuzzy image of a natural birth is my tendency to panic. I'm so good at panicking. I really do believe birth is largely mental so I will indoctrinate myself with everything (ish) Ina May ever wrote. (And yes I know that birth is unpredictable and the only thing that matters is that we all leave the hospital alive, but I also think it's important to have goals and plans for accomplishing large feats, like helping my tiny human out of my belly and into my arms for snuggles. Very much looking forward to snuggles.)

I have been consuming a ridiculous amount of candy and root beer floats lately. This prompts the following conversation with myself:
- You really shouldn't be eating all this candy.
- What Elizabeth wants, Elizabeth gets.
- You know you would never actually give Elizabeth this much candy.
Then I nom away anyway.

The nursery color scheme thoughts that have been floating in my head were finally starting to form into a solid plan...until Joann's sold out of my favorite yellow fabric. I'm hoping the room will be decorated by the time she's five. Basically we're looking at pink/yellow, teal/yellow or teal/pink.

I painted my nails last night for what is probably the last time before baby. I could barely reach my toes. Lee has been informed he might have to take over the feet grooming for awhile. I can't remember if I've told him he's also going to have to start bathing Zoey and scrubbing the bath tub because leaning over the tub is unpleasant. Hmm... Maybe he'll think of bathing Zoey as a form of torture and enjoy it.

Slightly-baby related news: I've been wanting to improve my photography skills for sometime but really haven't. I have oodles of online tutorials and articles bookmarked for me to read and study but I still haven't sat down to do it. So I signed up for a one-day, four-hour class at a local camera shop. It's not until June 25 so just in time for me to be ready to take oodles and oodles of baby pictures. (I kind of want to do a photo series like this one.)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Craft Project Three Years in the Making

I can't remember where I first saw it, but for the past three years I've been wanting to staple some chicken wire to the back of a photo frame to store and display my earrings. It should've been simple enough but I didn't have a staple gun or chicken wire and these aren't items you can buy at Michael's with a 50% off coupon. These items required paying full price at Lowe's and three years ago I didn't know my way around a Lowe's, or how helpful the staff is when your husband sends you to buy some PVC pipe and you wind up needing a hack saw too and what's a hack saw?! We got a frame as a wedding gift that I knew would be perfect for this project, but without the staple gun and chicken wire, my earrings remained in their tiny bowl for me to dig through in search of matching pairs.

When we moved into our house 11 months ago, I discovered some chicken wire the previous owners had left behind. I still didn't have  a staple gun.

Finally last week I pulled out the chicken wire to squirrel-proof my garden. After three years, I decided it was finally time to get a staple gun and complete my long-awaited earring display thingy.

Ta da! The frame has gotten a little scuffed up over the years so I'll probably paint it eventually, but at least now I can see and locate all my earrings! (Well, not my hoops but I only have a couple pairs of those so it's okay.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Garden is Growing!!

On Thursday I planted our garden and I must say, I'm ridiculously proud of it. For someone whose idea of enjoying the outdoors involves drinking on patios and whose idea of getting "my hands dirty" involves a sewing machine or glue gun, I feel like this garden is a big step in the direction of...I don't know...the direction of facing my bug fears in the name of cheap, readily available, quality produce?! Lee measured, placed the large metal rods and tilled up the ground, but I did everything else. And it turned out awesome.

The tomatoes and peppers we'll be growing from transplants starting next month (like my chart told me to), but here is everything else, neatly planted and labeled in their square foot of space.

To protect my pride and joy from squirrels/rabbits/opossums/mice, I fenced it in with some chicken wire. Only cut myself twice! I'm particularly proud of the fence. It seems so handy of me. I also sprinkled cayenne and pepper around the edges because I've heard that helps too.

As of today, the cilantro and broccoli were sprouting!! Despite the fact that my container plants have failed in the past, I seem to be a natural at in-the-ground gardening.