Saturday, September 29, 2007

She's Good People

I tried the Lentil Sausage Soup that Ouiser recommended the other day. Unlike Ouiser, I did have leeks on hand, but the two recommended by the recipe was not enough to get 4 cups. I needed more like 4 leeks. But I made up the lacking 2 cups with the abundance of onion I had. The recipe recommends 3 large yellow onions to make 4 cups, but I got 4 cups with 2 onions. The celery and carrot estimates were right on, though. It was especially good with the recommended parmesan sprinkled on top, so make sure you don't skip that, if you try it.

The hooded towels are finished, in all their glorious hoodiness. I kind of wish they made these for adults, they look so comfortable to me. They'd have to be much, much bigger. In fact, these look to me like they will be huge when Baby Girl first arrives, but all the better to swaddle her in. In fact, the hood looked strangely small to me when I first cut it out, but now I think it just looks small in comparison to the size of the towel. Hopefully they'll keep a little of the wet off us. They were ridiculously easy, for anyone who's thinking of making some.

Also silly easy? Burp cloths. I didn't really make these, I guess, so much as embellish them, but either way, they have been fast, easy, and pleasing. I got some flannel on sale at JoAnn's. A quarter-yard made 2 burp cloths and cost about 60 cents each. The cloths themselves are the cheap, bird's-eye cloth diapers. The kind you don't dare use for actual cloth diapering, but that are supposed to make great rags, burp cloths, changing pads, etc. They're prefolds and I just topstictched the flannel onto the center panel of the diaper, so there are lots of absorbent layers in that middle part. I considered folding in the thinner sides and sewing the whole thing up as a more narrow rectangle, but decided that extra width may save some shirt sleeves during the spit-up process in case one's aim is a bit off. Anyway, I got through these before my back was getting to me, so I'll finish up a few more tomorrow for a nice, round dozen. Should be plenty, no?

Last, but so far from least, this sling arrived from Stardust Shoes yesterday!

Back in July I saw this beautiful baby sling that she had made and posted about. I asked her for any tips regarding a good pattern or how to make one size-appropriate for a 5'10" slinger, such as myself. Instead she offered to just make me one! I can't get over how generous she is. It's awesome, Stardust! I love it! And I love blogland so much, where women just do these things for one another, out of pure good-heartedness. She doesn't even know me. I'm blown away with the thoughtfulness and the time she took to make it.

(By the way, in purusing Stardust Shoe's blog tonight, I discovered she just recently created a tutorial for the very same burp cloths I made above! You can find it here. And there's another tutorial by her for appliqueing onesies. Remeber I tried that a little while ago? Looks like I used a similar method, though I still need more practice. She's also updated her cloth baby shoes tutorial, which I plan to reattempt someday soon.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Next We May Tackle Around the Corner

The last three days have been blessedly improved regarding pregnancy pains. My personal theory is that maybe the baby moved and isn't putting so much pressure on my pelvis anymore. Or maybe all that rest finally is paying off? I don't know, but it's put me in a much better mood, and I've been able to get around the house more easily, so am getting more done.

Last night we brought Chewy to play with his friend, Josie, while we had dinner with a friend. They're so cute together. Our friend even filled up Josie's kiddy pool so the two could "swim," which really means "jump in an out, splashing each other as much as possible, then go try to jump on the humans and watch them scream and run away." It was a good time for all.

This is a work-in-progress: the hooded bath towels. Horrible lighting. I'll try to remember to take another when they're done, and in sunlight. I didn't really use a pattern; these go together so easily. But there is a very detailed pattern here, which I used to get an idea of how big the hood should be.

These are a couple of pictures for the nursery. The frames were from the shower Scarlet Lily threw me in Ithaca. The Husband spraypainted them to coordinate with the nursery and I made some matting changes and voila! The first is a pointilism I did in high school.
The second is a Kathleen Lolley print.

The Husband and I had the second childbirthing class on Saturday. My poor, poor ADHD Husband. It was so painful for him. The lecturer tended to go over things a little, uh, overly thoroughly, then immediately follow them up with videos repeating the exact same information she'd just covered. It was a wee redundant. But it's over and we did get a lot of good information out of it.

Saturday evening my coworkers through me a baby shower (yes, that's three and counting, but they've all been around a dozen people, give or take. Some of the Mexican families here have showers with over 50 people, so this seems more reasonable to me.). It was lovely and fun and so good to see all those women. And we got some great loot, of course.

I've managed to accompany the Husband and Chewy as far as the mailbox (about half a block away) for the last three nights in a row and intend to keep it up (so ambitious, I know!), so we're off for that "hike" now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Nerve

Okay this is addicting. Last week Blogger launched a slide show that displays all the pictures being uploaded. Apparently, they've had it going in their office forever, but just brought it public now. I love it! It's almost hypnotizing... Go try it. But only if you have an hour or so to spare.

I called the OB yesterday, just to be on the safe side, because of some new, weird, sharp pains I was having in multiple places. They asked me to come in, just to be on the safe side. Baby and I are fine. It turns out, she is most likely sitting on or standing on or kicking or punching or resting her little head on my bladder, and pinching a very painful nerve. Lucky me! But it's nothing to worry about. So, what I thought was a pulled muscle is not a pulled muscle. This is good news because it means I don't have to be so careful of not reinjuring it, so I can try to take a walk or something if it feels plausibly doable. On the other hand, it's bad news because that means it's not going to get any better and who am I kidding about taking a walk? I can hardly walk to the kitchen from the couch. But now I know I could if I really wanted to try. Psychologically it's good. So, I'm not on official bed rest, but I've been officially told, "I don't want you in pain." Well, guess what, I'm in pain 24/7, it's all about degrees at this point. So, essentially, I am on bed rest, but what else is new? Seven weeks and counting...

Monday, September 17, 2007


This is a geography-based form of Tetris. I did the easy version and just let the states fall, which took about 7 minutes. The computer made fun of me. I didn't realize I was being timed and judged! So I did it again in about 3 minutes using my down arrow key. There are varying levels of difficulty and other continents and countries. Ouiser, I want to know how Mr. Ouiser does!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bed Rest Blues

You know those days when you're not what you would call "depressed," but your just kind of down and blue? Apparently, too much bed rest can do that to you pretty quickly. Or to me anyway. So haven't been able to bring myself to blog this past week. I've just felt so blah and grumpy and like I had nothing to blog about. Today I decided to start forcing myself out of it by doing a little sewing, a little baking, a little bloggind. I'm not feeling 100% better in this respect, but definitely improved.

After re-hurting my groin or pelvic muscles a week ago, I've been really trying to take it pretty easy, but without much improvement there. On the bright side, all this sitting around has improved the back pain, but pretty much every step is painful with the other affected muscles. I don't know what's going on. I doubt anything, but the Husband wants me to call the OB tomorrow just in case, so I will.

In the meantime, I got a few bibs done in the last week. They actually went together pretty quickly, but I didn't want to post them until I had them all done and the aforementioned blues were keeping me from wanting to set foot in my sewing room. They're a very slightly altered version of this pattern. I'm also in the process of making a couple bigger ones that wrap all the way around the neck and snap, instead of these little guys with the ties.

Ginger-carrot muffins made in an attempt to squash a brownie craving (the craving is officially not squashed, but it is put off at least):
They're pretty good; although, I wish the ginger flavor was a lot stronger. But the carrots and raisins (which I substituted as my grocery store didn't hace currants), are a classic combo.

And the promised picture of the baby clothes from that one yard sale I mentioned from last week.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Safety First

Apparently this is Safety Awareness Afternoon. Number 4, 716 on my to-do list: post a list of emergency numbers by the phone. Where better to look to make sure I don't forget any: my friendly neighborhood Internet! Here's what cyberspace had to offer for anyone interested in upping their safety quotient:

  • Not only should you have e-numbers posted by your land line, but also in your cell phone's memory, according to these guys. I think the ICE (in case of emergency) number makes a lot of sense, except that it would be The Husband, who's already listed under his own name and the phone won't let me enter it again. Hmmm.....
  • In addition to the basics (911, fire department, police, doctor, dentist), you could also list both in-town and out-of-town family/friends as emergency contacts.
  • Less important than the above, consider including animal control, plumber, electrician, etc. People you don't want to be hunting around for in a mini-emergency.

Besides the phone list, I realized that we don't have a fire extinguisher. Maybe we have one in the garage...but I'll be getting one for the kitchen. And carbon monoxide detectors for the two bedrooms. I read somewhere recently that you should replace the batteries on your smoke detectors twice per year. Isn't that why you check the battery? To make sure it's still working? Do we need to throw out perfectly good batteries? Any thoughts on this?

And finally, I'll be asking The Husband to show me how to check the temperature on our water heater. Apparently, I can kill two birds with one stone (baby safety and energy savings) by making sure it is set no higher than 120 degrees.

There. Nothing over-the-top, but things that I think are true essentials. Any other suggestions?

Can't They Just Stay Small Forever?

I feel like a veteran garage-saler now. We have learned the true benefits of early-birding. Saturday morning we scored a huge lot of baby clothes. The downside: almost all 0-3 sizes, which we needed least, and which she'll likely outgrow fastest. The upside: all spotless, all appearing to have been worn somewhere between never and maybe twice, some still with tags, and some really expensive stuff. There is no way she will get through all these clothes. I'd have to change her clothes five times a day and probably still wouldn't get through it all before she outgrew it. And probably half a dozen fancy dresses...too bad we don't go to church; I don't know where the heck she's going to wear them. The Husband suggested, "Fancy dinners?" to which I replied, "Who brings a three-month-old to fancy dinners?" "Oh, yeah." I'll have to post a picture of the shear bulk, when I have a chance. Right now it's all on my sewing room floor being sorted. I never would have bought so much--I was going through it all very selectively until she said we could have the whole lot for $25. It was too good of a deal; neither of us even hesitated. We're figuring that worst case scenario, someday we'll resell it at our own garage sale and make back our money.

Then it happened again this morning. "Fifty cents each or whatever you can shove in this garbage bag for $20." Sweeeet! This was better in some ways because I avoided the 0-3 stuff and focused on the bigger sizes. However, this was not the same high-end and brand new stuff I'd scored at the previous sale. Some minor stains, more typical garage sale fare, but still some great stuff. And some with tags.

And my mom warned me there's another box on the way from her garage saling expeditions, so we'll be swimming in clothes. Just avoid the 0-3 sizes from now on, please, Mom. We are so much more than covered.

Other highlights of the weekend: The Husband finished painting the nursery. He's letting it dry and ventilate. Still needs to replace the ceiling fan, outlet plates, etc. I don't get to see it until it's all done. Later this week or next he'll move the dresser back in. Maybe I can talk him into building the crib and the glider soon. Then I can get some decorating done, which I'm looking forward to.

We attended our first baby class at the hospital today: CPR. Took less than an hour. Next Saturday we have our first of two six-hour birthing classes. Sounds like a long day. I'll have to be sure to bring snacks. And water. And a pillow. Or two.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bargain Hunting

OB appointment today: we're both happy and healthy...and I talked the doc into another ultrasound. She still thinks the bun is a she. So the acupuncturist knows nothing. Unless two ultrasounds turn out to be wrong, which is possible and does happen. Especially in the case of a girl: the absence of anatomy is a lot harder to be sure of than the presence of anatomy. But anyway, I feel reassured.

And Mom, you should be proud. I am learning the art of yard sale-ing from you. Today I hit one where they told me I could take whatever baby clothes I could fit in a plastic grocery bag for $1. Most of the clothes were pretty worn, but there were some gems and my bag was fairly full. Tomorrow, the husband and I have plans for three more garage sales. We'll see if my luck holds.

Right now the poor dear has decided he might prefer to stay up all night tonight painting the nursery (he is a night owl), get up for the garage sales, then sleep all day. I think he's crazy, but as long as my nursery gets painted this weekend, he can accomplish it however he prefers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Christmas in September

The realtor agreed to pay for the paint to repaint the nursery, so that's $25 saved. And I'm spared the decision of a paint color. We just took a paint chip to the store last night and had them match the same white that the rest of the house is. I packed up everything in the room yesterday and the Husband moved out all the furniture and boxes last night. So today I'm going to try to tape up the room, get the outlet covers, etc. off. Whatever else I can think of that might be helpful. I was going to scrape off those wallpaper flowers, but then I read that pregnant women shouldn't do that in case there's lead in the paint, so I guess I'll leave that for the Husband, too. If all goes well, he's scheduled to paint Saturday.

I had a talk with the lead speech therapist I work with this morning. We decided that, even though I'm scheduled to work a few half-days per week for the rest of this month, I won't actually go in to work unless they call me the night before and tell me they need me. The back pain is just too unpredictable. I feel like my body's done with the work thing. Yesterday, I felt pretty good so I accompanied the Husband to the paint store, only to have significant pain set in after about five minutes of walking around. And I wasn't carrying anything, not even a purse. Some of that may be because I haven't exercised in a week and a half due to illness. I've been meaning to walk the dog, just a short walk, the last two nights, but have been so busy with other things that both nights I forgot until I was in bed. I'll try again tonight. It may be that I just need to build up the walking tolerance again. Or it could be that we're done with that, too, in which case I'll give the elliptical machine and swimming another go.

Because I found myself trying to ship a bunch of Christmas presents that wouldn't wrap or pack nicely this year, I solved the problem by whipping up a few gift bags from some fabric I had stashed. They were extremely easy and quick to make, though I did cut some corners: not pressing out my seams, e.g. (gasp!). *Note the tags made from old holiday cards posted about last year.

I also received some waterproof fabric I ordered for making a wet bag (for dirty diapers when out and about).

And these Baby Legs I ordered showed up! Very cute.