Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm in love. (and a give-a-way!)

Sigh. My girl (a girl!!!!) is so cute. Seriously. Just look at her.
Things couldn't have gone better on Monday. When I first heard her cry I joined in. My heart was full to bursting over meeting this tiny creature. We waited for so long (ok, I know many MANY people have to wait longer, but when you're going through infertility, any time at all feels like decades). And seeing my girl for the first time was an amazing experience.

And a girl! I wanted a little girl so much. A boy would have been ok, but my little girl is perfect.

And now, here for this blog, I officially dub her 'Lil Flower. Girly-Lou really wanted a girl named flower. Since I'm not so much into strange names, I thought having that be a blog name would be a bit more appropriate. The 'Lil is short for Little, since she is little, but also because she has my name for a middle name. So she's a little me. And so cute. Look again.

Sigh. (I have no idea why that last photo is turned. But anyway)

Ok, now for some funness. As you may recall, I'm in a test kitchen for a culinary mystery series. They are awesome! And the third book just came out. And I have a copy. You know you want this. There are some amazing recipes in here (like the devils food cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. to. die. for!).

*blurb for the series: Sadie Hoffmiller is a 50 something widow with a talent for sticking her nose into places. She has a talent for putting the facts together too, and helps the police solve a few crimes, even when the police really don't want the help. Although this is the 3rd book in the series, it works fine as a stand alone book too. Josi Kilpack is an amazingly talented author. Her books are well thought out, engaging, and just plain fun. I love how easily she throws a wrench into her stories you'd never see coming (I seriously loved this book!)

So in honor of my adorable baby girl, you can have your own copy. Just leave me a comment. Tell my why you want this book. Or how cute my girl is. Or why you like reading my ramblings. Or ask me a question.

Only requirements - make sure there's a way for me to contact you in case you win. And make your comment at least 1 full sentence long. Don't just say "You're cool." We're all over that whole year book thing, right?

You have until 8:00 pm central time Feb. 8 to comment. I'll pick one at random to win.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


It's finally here. Tomorrow, whether I like it or not, I will have a baby. A tiny little helpless bundle to take care of. I did not think I'd make it this long - I was so sure this one was coming early. But here I am, less than 10 hours away from meeting this new member of our family.

So many people have asked the same questions over and over.

"Are you ready?"
"Are you nervous?"
"Are you excited?"
"Do you need anything?"

How do you answer these questions? Let me try.

"Are you ready?" Well, what do you mean? The nursery is assembled, diapers stockpiled, a small amount of formula ready. The baby has clothes to wear, a place to sleep, a car seat, blankets, burp clothes, pacifier, lotion, soap. The kids are at Happy Mom's, my bags are packed, and my abdomen scrubbed according to regulations. Am I ready to not feel fat and ugly all the time? Am I ready to start getting my body back (at least be small enough to not injure myself getting in and out of our tiny shower)? Am I ready to finally know if we're having a "Little Flower" or "Blue Junior" (yes, those are the blog names, based on what my children in reality want to name this one). Am I ready for the sleep deprivation, the aches, the flood of hormones? Am I ready to fall in love again? Am I ready to be responsible for another life again?

Can you ever really be ready?

"Are you nervous?" Nervous about what? About the c-section? About not being able to go from siting to standing or the other way with out immense pain for weeks? About if nursing will actually work this time around? If Buddy, who took 18 months to toilet train, will start reverting like all the experts say to expect (like happened this morning . . . .) If my kids will be jealous with all the attention the new one will get. Or the other way - if they love the baby so much they smother it to death. To be out numbered now? To not have enough hands to hold everything, to fix everything, to help everyone? If the baby will have problems, if I will have problems, if something happens so that this has to be our very last one?

What is there to be nervous about?

"Are you excited?" Excited to hold my baby? To have that new baby smell on my hands? To finally decide on names? To count fingers and toes and hair color and eyes? To not feel like a beached whale? To not have constant cramps with a real contraction every 3 hours - just enough to be miserable, but not enough to do anything about it? To not be a pregnant hormonal freak (I know my hubby's excited for that one, even if it does get worse after.)? To be a family of 5? To feel that overwhelming joy and angst at this new responsibility?

There is almost too much to be excited about.

"Do you need anything?" Do you mean besides 12,000 diapers? And in reality, a whole heap of formula for when nursing fails again. And more patience. And sleep. And for our van, which was rear-ended 3 weeks ago to finally be out of the shop so we can all fit again. And way more money than I really want to spend for doctor's bills. And for it to be Thursday already so I can be home and resting and start the process of our new "normal" life.

Nope. Not a thing.

Ready or not. Here baby comes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My otomotomotoman

Yesterday I mentioned that I finished one of the 68 projects I've wanted to create for my house.

I found this tutorial here.

And fell in love.

In our new place, we're actually sort of kind of setting up a nursery. This is a new thing for us. When Girly-Lou was born, we were in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. She was in the second bedroom, but so was all our extra storage and my sewing stuff. When Buddy Boy was born, he shared our bedroom. Hubby and I are rather excited at the idea of the baby having its own room.

But we're not going overboard. Oh no. I have great amazing decorating ideas for both kids bedrooms, one boy and one girl. So the bigger room will have two kids in it. But we don't know if that will be for boys or girls yet. So really, this nursery isn't decorated, just set up with the necessary stuff.

On of the last things I needed for this nursery was a place to put my feet up while I feed the baby - especially at night. I've never really had a great set up for this, but usually ended up ramming my feet between the bars of the crib. (which, by the way, really hurts if you fall asleep that way for a few hours!)

So, without further ado:

My ottoman:

Now, please know, this is the first time I've ever attempted to upholster furniture. And it's not the best job. But it's cute.

I didn't have a real milk crate, so I got a storage crate from Walmart. It's not as stable as I wish, but it works. Going for cheap, the side batting is actually two ratty old towels, and all the fabric are remnant scraps from Joanns. I also picked 2" foam for the top, and kind of wish I would have only done 1" - it's super thick. I sewed the shape for the outside and the lining, but everything is just glue-gunned on. I did add the feet on that she talked about - just a 2x4 scrap we cut into 4- 2" pieces and nailed on.
crate: $5
foam for top: $6, used 40% off coupon, so $3.5
fabric: $5
hinges: 1.5
batting: free
plywood top: scrap lumber = free

Grand total: $15. Much better than the $70 ones I was looking at online!

Tips: Do the steps in order that she gives. I made my top first (since I needed to know how much fabric I would have left for the sides), and made my top way too big. And when she says cut the wood slightly bigger than the box, make your slightly bigger like 1/4 inch. Otherwise you'll get to spend 20 minutes with your blow dryer heating up all that glue to rip it off. Looking back, I kind of wish I would have made the whole thing out of our scrap plywood so it would last longer. But if you have access to some real milk crates, I think it would be very sturdy for a long time.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today I:
*rocked my son
*organized my digital scrapbook files
*backed up my computer
*caught up with my friends blogs
*tried to perfect a cookie recipe
*finished reading a book
*made breakfast for my crew
*did the budget
*re-wrote my master to-do list
*made 3 trio block creations with my kiddos
*finished an awesome project (I'll blog about that one later!)
* and did the dishes.

And it's only 8:30. Amazing what you can accomplish when insomnia hits at 4:00 in the morning!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is this thing on?

Hey world! I'm still alive!

I know, you were all overcome with worry for me. Really, I could feel it. More than a week with no contact from me - I'm sure most of you were exhibiting signs of withdrawal. Either that or wonderful hopes that I was just in the hospital.

No such luck. In reality, I've been tired, cranky, and finding WAY too many new drool worthy blogs to occupy my time. Instead of updating you with wonderful/thought provoking/hilarious/carefully crafted posts, I've just been reading everyone else. Especially those crafty ones. I find myself dreaming about fabric and nail guns. I've got some MAJOR projects up my sleeves, all of which require too much money to start today, or more time than I currently have, or at the very least a non pregnant body to accomplish!

But don't you worry - every single one of those obstacles will be overcome. Some much sooner than others- especially that last one. I'm just about at the finish line with this pregnancy, and wishing so much that I'd already crossed it! I'm ready to meet my little baby. I'm ready to stop gaining so much weight. I'm ready to stop going to the bathroom 20 times a day. I'm ready to start reclaiming my body. I'm ready to sleep on my stomach again (although that one won't happen pain free until this fall or so.)

I also starting to wonder about my Mommy intuition with this child. First I was sure I was having twins - nope. Then I was positive I would go super early - I only have 11 more days until my c-section. I've also been positive that I'm having a girl. With the rate I'm going, I'm going to need to do some major shopping in a few weeks! The really hard part about that is Hubby finally agreed to my girl name! Ok, it was only because he finally gave up finding a name he actually liked. We're still debating 3 boy names, so if anyone wants to put their 2 cents in, feel free.

Maybe this pregnancy was to teach me that I really should stop assuming things. And patience. Isn't that what every child teaches a parent? There is never enough patience.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

random ramblings

I feel like it's been ages since I posted anything. In reality, it's been a week and a half. But my sense of time is a bit skewed. (19 days - just 19 more days!). It feels so strange that it's a new year, but I really don't have any resolutions to make. Nothing formal, not really anything informal. I'm not trying to loose weight (for 19 more days any way), or get super organized, or write a novel or anything people normally resolve to do. Everything in my life is centered around this little one that's about to make a debut (19 days!). But I'm not obsessing (did I mention it's only 19 more days?). Really.

As part of that whole not obsessing about the baby thing, I did not do a thing to set up the nursery until about a week ago. I had this theory that if I didn't prepare, then the baby wouldn't come super early (hooray! we passed the preemie Girly-Lou point!). But now that we're down to less than a month, I started panicking a bit. I do tend to prepare super early (crocheting Christmas presents in January sound familiar?), and felt I better get a move on.

So cleaned out our storage bedroom, dejunked the kids clothes, set up the pack 'n play, and started planning. There are so many thing to buy that I really hadn't thought about. Like a dresser. Um yah, place to actually put all those stinkin' cute clothes might be nice. And a chair. A place to sit to feed the baby in the middle of the night is also a good idea. I'm really into the idea of reusing stuff (aka just plain cheap), I've been scouring Craigslist for some great deals. Totally scored on the chair (a $10 wing back!), but bombed on the dresser. We instigated a new plan instead.

I bought a 9 hole cubby thingy. It so pretty and shiny and new (and SERIOUSLY cheaper than buying a new dresser!) We've needed some major organization for all the toys at our house (Hubby has been saying for 5 years that he just needs a snow shovel to clean them all up.) So the plan is to use it as a dresser until I find something better, at which point it will become toy storage. Perfect.

But that brings me to what I've really been obsessed with lately: boxes and bags. The cubby's holes are very empty - they need some adorable fabric boxes to fill up. I found a few on a great sale, but kind of wanted to make my own. So every box that comes my way is getting a major overall. Seriously. The Chex box I emptied yesterday I've already converted into a tiny fabric covered one to keep those tiny socks in. I've got an old wipes box holding all the burp clothes. The bottles are hanging out in a regular cardboard box we received Christmas presents in. That awesome sized box my new exercise ball came in - sitting on my bed awaiting inspiration for the perfect place to be used. Maybe I've caught the New Year's bug after all - I'm certainly into organizational bins right now. Just for really, really cheap instead. (aka I spent $10 on 3 fabric boxes, and haven't spent spent a nickle for anything else.) And now having spent 15 minutes looking for that great picture, I'm even more inspired. Happy Mom, could you save some cereal boxes for me? I know your crew empties them a bit faster than mine, and I now want 6 bajillion cereal boxes worth of these creations!

I'm also obsessing with bags. Mostly diaper bags. I already mentioned that drool worthy one, which I did NOT win. (But I think my in-laws are giving it to me for a happy baby present!). Everywhere I go I find myself drawn to the bags - purses, diaper, tote, anything. And with each one I think "would that be a great diaper bag?" I'm always too cheap to actually buy one, but I'm on the hunt.

Online too. I've bookmarked a dozen different bag tutorials in the last week. I've got all these awesome ones - now I just need to commit to one and buy some fabric!

Elsewhere in my life: I've discovered prenatal yoga. Oh, my muscles were so happy to stretch like that! I've eaten way too much chocolate. And read too many books seriously fast (like the almost 400 page one I read in 3.5 hours last night.) And I'm seriously craving strawberries right now.

And I have less than 3 weeks until I get to meet my baby!
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