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?