January 30, 2009


The nursery is now 100% painted, and holy mother of pearl, it is orange! It's a little bit shocking when you first walk in and flip on the light, but I think once there is art up on the wall (covering a little bit of it up!), and furniture in here, it will be better. And I really do love the colors- so bright and cheerful and fresh. It's perfect, I think.

We were planning to sell the chair above to make room for a rocker or a glider, but I'm having second thoughts. It's such a cozy chair and I've never sat in a rocking chair that I liked, so it doesn't really make any sense to me to get rid of comfy for not-so-comfy, just because it moves. We'll see.

And those are the curtains that I made for the closet from inexpensive lengths of fabric from Ikea Junior. I still have a little bit left, so I can use the same print for other things later, maybe pillows? Obviously, if Junior is a boy, the curtains will have to go to be replaced by ones featuring robots or guns or Starwars creatures or something. 

I'm still really loving the blue rug in here- it's a great contrast to the orange and gives me more options for decor. The blonde wood furniture is really working in here too, not as stark as white, and a good variation from the darker wood of the floor. Not too matchey-matchey, which I think is best.

I'm really anxious to get a crib in here so it starts to feel more like a nursery and less like a weird orange sitting room, but I cannot seem to wrap my head around all the options and the gravity of that decision. I have a hard enough time making decisions as it is, and that's just in the bread aisle at the grocery store. Factor in the many hundreds of dollars that the crib will cost, whether it should convert to a toddler bed or not, if it's a brand that's been recalled, if the side should lower or not, etc... it makes my ears bleed. 

I've literally spent hours comparing models online, and I always end up in the reviews section where each one ends up sounding more awful than the last. Even if most of the people gave it four point seven-five stars, it's that one pissed off person who warns against it that I focus on. This piece of furniture could theoretically kill my child, after all. And that's when I know I have to just turn the computer off, because at least at this point I can still recognize when my crazy is showing. I wholeheartedly blame my mother, queen of the crazies herself and the woman who could probably find the evil in a rainbow or a bucket of puppies if you gave her two seconds to think about it. Thanks, mom!

January 28, 2009

money shot

I tend to be a bit of a romantic, and I'm attracted to the idea of antiques, to old-fashioned concepts, and the simplicity of what I imagine life to have been like long ago. As a result, I love baby names that remind me of my grandmother and always thought that it would be so exciting and fun to be surprised by the gender of my baby as s/he was making their grand entrance into the world.

Cut to reality- me fourteen weeks along in this pregnancy and going insane with curiosity about this child growing inside of my belly. I can't bear the idea of waiting four more weeks to know the gender, forget waiting until the thing emerges! My idealistic, romantic notions can only be stretched so far before even I think they're ridiculous.

So bring on that ultrasound! I can't wait to get a peek at what's happening in there. And don't you dare cross your legs in modesty when it comes time for the big reveal, little one, or your mommy is going to be very disappointed in you.

January 27, 2009

chicken tikka masala

When I was catching up on my blogs the other day, I starred a post that one of my faves wrote about a recipe for tikka masala and naan. Since hubs and I both love Indian food, and as I've mentioned before, Baby likes it spicy- I decided we needed to try it out ASAP.

Alicia promised that it tasted just like it does at her favorite Indian restaurant, and not to be afraid of the whole diced jalapeno that goes into the pot. I wasn't (hubby sure was though) and it did. This was an amazing recipe. The chicken was really tender and flavorful thanks to the soak in the yogurt and spice marinade, and the sauce is just perfect. It seems like it's going to be painfully spicy as you're putting it together, but it's not. It's wonderfully complex and creamy and just delicious. I will absolutely be making it again.

The naan, on the other hand, was a different story. I killed the yeast with too-hot water as I was proofing, and although I knew I did it, I didn't dump it out and start over like I knew I should. I just let it sit, hoping it would rise, and then ended up running to the store for suitable naan right before dinner anyway. I will be trying the recipe again though- I will not be beaten!

I always do that- try to approach baking like cooking, as though it's not the carefully orchestrated scientific process that it is, and more often than not, I end up disappointed. I'm so anal about details, it's really kind of odd that that doesn't seem to transfer to the kitchen when it comes to baking.

In other news, the final two walls of the nursery are painted and the curtains for the closet are made. Progress! Photos to follow shortly, once the damn snow goes away (again) and there's better light. You know, actual SUNSHINE!? I'm so ready for spring. Enough with the snow. Enough.

January 23, 2009

two down, two to go.

Here's what my unemployment has amounted to so far. Half the nursery painted and I think it looks pretty good! It's bright and cheerful, and can be gender-neutral depending on the rest of the decor. Things like the pillow cover, found at Ikea for just $1.99, can really go either way. Everyone loves red and orange!

And despite the fact that we still don't know for sure that she's a girl, I also picked up some pink and orange striped fabric for the curtains on the closet, and I have a floral pattern picked out for the window. Gus thinks I'm crazy when I say that I know she's a girl, but I do. Now everyone can bear witness when I eat my words when we get the ultrasound in a few weeks.

January 22, 2009

trimester one? check!

So as has become my bi-weekly ritual, here's the belly at week fourteen. First trimester down the drain, Baby approximately clenched-fist size (according to book), and bump rounding out more and more all the time.

The coming months are supposedly the "easy" trimester, which makes me feel a little guilty, because this has been pretty much cake all along. My biggest complaint remains my runny nose, and even my appetite has picked up steam a little bit. Not everything sounds revolting any more, so you can expect that belly to continue to grow full steam ahead!

And, as nice as it's been to sleep in the last few days, I have really got to get myself a job ASAP. I'm going to lose it if I have to spend too much longer unemployed, and the longer I wait, the worse I feel for my potential employer. At this stage, I can only give them six months, and that just sounds terrible. I wouldn't hire me! Temp work is in my future, I think.

January 21, 2009


It's a really good thing that Baby is going to come pre-programmed with that whole hunger-alert system. Poor kitten wasn't so lucky, and last night as I was getting ready to get into bed at eleven, I realized I hadn't fed him. Since 5:30 AM. And technically, I hadn't fed him then, hubby did.

Sometimes it's the little things that make you question your abilities.

Sorry Loki! I promise to try harder to be a better mommy. Or, you could just learn to feed yourself. That might be easier.

January 18, 2009

Baby's first rock concert

Hubby and I took Baby to the Paramount last night to see O.A.R. Well, I guess technically Hubby and I went to the show and Baby really just tagged along, but still- it was an exciting night for all of us!

The show was open seating on the floor and reserved in the balconies. Even though we've been to shows at the Paramount before and vowed never again to sit in the balconies, there was no way my old ass was standing up with the fifteen-year-olds for an entire concert, so I went for the reserved seats. Unfortunately, it seems that the seats in the balcony have gotten even smaller since our last visit, and even with my short legs I was hitting my knees on the row in front of me. Poor hubby's got a foot on me, so I could only imagine his discomfort.

To add to the enjoyment of sharing such close quarters with four million of our closest friends, some poor lush a couple rows up apparently had one too many appletinis, and before the opening act had even wrapped up, they had shared the contents of their stomach with the floor and seat in front of them. In case anyone wasn't sure what had happened, the kid in front of me was nice enough to take a picture. Oh, the generosity of strangers!

Although the show was enjoyable, we both decided that seriously, we're never again going to sit up in that balcony for any reason. For real this time. Outdoor venues are really the only way to go. The last time we saw O.A.R. it was at Marymoor park, and we were ten feet from the stage enjoying a picnic and a beer. Seriously, no contest.

January 17, 2009

cheeky monkey

For Christmas I requested and received this book from my mom.

It's Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones and it is chock-full of adorableness. I love that since her fabric is so modern and cheerful, nothing comes across as too sickeningly baby-ish.

There are a lot of projects that I would love to make from the book, but until we know Baby's gender, I'm hesitant to invest too much time or money in things that might not prove to be appropriate. I decided to start with something fairly easy and small, which I can gift to someone with a girl if our bundle of joy ends up having the other kind of parts.

The Cheeky Monkey Laundry Bag starts with a simple design, just a drawstring bag with an opening in the front to put the laundry through. The monkey is what made it irresistible, and as a bonus, I got to do machine applique for the first time, so this project was totally worth it.

And the fabric isn't too terribly girly, so I guess we could still use it if Baby's a boy, at least until he's old enough to know the difference.

January 11, 2009

progress in the nursery

So here's the "library" relocated to a new home downstairs. It seems so much smaller against the vastness of the new space than it did in the tiny room upstairs. We'll be adding some lighting soon, because this is already a really dark room, and the dark wood bookcases haven't done anything to lighten it up.

And here's the empty hole where the shelves used to reside- ready for the transformation into nursery. First comes the paint, which we're currently working out.

As is usually the case, I'm leaning toward dark and bold, while Gus is drawn to a more muted version. I think we have agreed to paint the majority of the room the color that Gus selected and do one accent wall in "my" orange. It's a good compromise, and when I play with it on Color Smart on Behr's website I really like the results.

The shelves below are a couple of pieces that I nabbed from work during our going-out-of-business sale. The shelf on the right was in my office holding a bunch of junk and files and I never really even got a good look at it until it was all cleaned off and ready to sell. It has nice round corners and I thought it would make a nice bookshelf for the nursery. The other one held the timeclock, and since it matched I just figured I would bring it home and we would figure out somewhere to stash it. 

The lamp was in my office too, along with the painting by my dear friend Jenna. I love the way the teal works with the orange, so I think the new home for the painting will be in the nursery too. The prints in front of the painting are from Etsy seller barkingbirdart. Once they're framed and hung I'll take a better shot of them.

We currently have a big purpley-blue wool rug in the room that I purchased from a display sale when I worked at Nordstrom. It was a serious steal, a thick pile West Elm with the $490 price tag still attached that I only paid $20 for. I think it will stay, and I'll use the colors from it, the painting, and the prints to choose the fabrics for the curtains and the bedding. I'm thinking bright, mis-matchey prints in warm and bold colors. I think it's going to be really cute.

January 8, 2009

12 week belly

Well, as you can see, there's definite pooch action happening here. It doesn't look like pregnant belly, more like tubby ice-cream belly, but it's a belly nonetheless.

Hauling this giant belly around has completely exhausted me the last few days. I think I could probably crawl into bed at 7 pm and sleep through until morning. I'm so tired!

January 7, 2009

If your gonna have a baby, might as well make some money while you're at it.

I think tomorrow I'm gonna start some betting pools at work. Birth date, weight, length, number of hours in labor. I think these are all good things to start betting on. Is there a website for this? If not, I think there should be. If there are fantasy football leagues and online card rooms, then I think there should be online baby pools. Seriously. I know the market for this is bigger then co- workers. I think family and friends should be able to get in on the action as well. 

Frick, of course someone has though of it. Babypool.com has thought of it (amongst others). I love America.

piece of cake

So tomorrow starts week 12 of this little adventure. The first trimester is practically in the bag, and I gotta say, I think I've been really lucky. I know so many pregnant women suffer immensely during the first three months, and I almost feel bad complaining about my one week of nausea during which I vomited approximately 1.5 times and basically just felt kind of "icky".

We've been to the first doctor's appointment, were still ill prepared despite the countless weeks of waiting for it to just get here already, and of course forgot any question that we might have wanted to ask. We heard Baby's little heart thumping through my belly, along with the wind-storm sounds of my arteries pumping blood down there to make sure everything stays healthy and grows up big and strong.

We found out that our doctor is also pregnant and will be giving birth in May, but will be back in plenty of time to see me through the end of my pregnancy without missing so much as a beat. That obviously made me feel a little inadequate, considering I can't even imagine trying to work the new human into our life and then return to a normal job EVER. But I guess there's a reason I didn't choose medical school. Those guys just work too damn hard, and I'm winded just thinking about it.

So far my own job search has been less than fruitful, and I'm really hoping that something will come up before the belly becomes too obvious.

Also, why do we have to wait TWO MORE MONTHS to find out the gender of the baby? All this waiting is just torture. I'm ready to decorate now, and I really think medicine should have advanced to a stage where these things can be investigated far earlier. I have a magazine with actual color photos of babies in the womb- are you telling me that they can't run one of those into me and give me a little sneak preview? I'm sure my insurance covers that type of thing.

January 6, 2009

The Workplace

I shared our news with my cubemates today. They were happy and excited and even managed to get over the fact that someone's gonna need to pick up a little extra work when I'm tied up with birthing stuff. I'm a designer of sorts and my cubemates are all creatives as well so once the initial medical mumbo jumbo was dispensed with, everyone launched right into baby names. As I've mentioned before, Lulu has girls names picked out so I told them to work on boys names. 

Now I think it's worth noting that we often have conversations in my corner of the office about Star Wars and Star Trek. While I was away on business one time my cube wall was decorated with a poster designed by a co worker that had a picture of Capt. James T. Kirk on it with the phrase "I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am" underneath it like a Despair, Inc. poster. What I'm trying to say is- we're nerds. So I wasn't at all surprised when names like Jean Luke, Wharf and Annakin were tossed out there. Then there was "King" which would make baby King James. Then Odin, which would work since Odin is the Norse god of war and our cat is named Loki after the Norse god of mischief (we don't have any Norse blood in us if you were wondering).

Soon the talking about baby names subsided after a list of about 30 were on the whiteboard and everyone kind of returned to work. I didn't like anything I heard except maybe Benedict. I like Benjamin, except that it's a bit bland, but Benedict's regal which I like, and it can be shortened to Ben which is great. 

January 5, 2009

Thanks Doc.

We saw the doc for the first time today. This was my first visit to an OB/GYN and I have to tell you, I can see why women aren't big fans. Don't get me wrong. Our doctor is a very nice woman. After some simple questions and history with the nurse, the doc came in and talked us through some screening tests and some basic pregnancy stuff. Then...there was an exam.

I've heard about these exams and I've heard they were awkward and uncomfortable, and I know I can't make the argument that an exam is more awkward for a guy standing in the room but I would like to say that it's awkward for us too. Luckily, the kind doctor had me move from the foot of the table to the head of the table before the exam so I didn't have to...um...we'll say look down the barrel of the gun.

Anyway, I would have sat anywhere in the room since I was still in disbelief that I had just heard a rendition of my child's heartbeat on some microphone/speaker device. My child's heartbeat. Our child's heartbeat. We've made a child and it has a heartbeat. Sure, It sounded more like putting a psychedelic sea shell to your ear then what we typically think of as a heartbeat. 

I heard my child's heartbeat for the first time today. 

January 3, 2009

nursery (before)

The room that we're going to be using as the nursery is the small room right next to our bedroom that is currently being used as our "library" (meaning simply that we have bookshelves in there). It's painted a nice stormy grey color that I love, but I think it's a little too drab and dreary for Baby.

The bookshelves are going to be relocated downstairs, and the comfy reading chair will be replaced with a rocker at some point. The desk that serves as our bar will be moved to the dining room lest Baby develop a taste for whiskey at an alarmingly young age, and we'll be left with a pretty much empty canvas.

Yes, that's him- Monkey's first Elephant. Adorable.

New curtains on the window, a fresh, bright coat of paint, and a whole lot of furniture we don't own yet, and we'll have a new nursery. Easy, right?

We've been waiting until the first doctor appointment to get the reassurance that everything is progressing like it should before we do anything to the room. That appointment is tomorrow, so you better believe that I'll be tearing those shelves apart within hours of the good news. I love to change things around and decorate, and what better excuse than a whole new human?

I'm leaning toward orange for the paint today. Granted, yesterday I was leaning toward aqua, but I really think orange. Or maybe a nice green... 

January 2, 2009

Dear Little One,

Dear my unborn, currently plum sized child,

You're going to be entering the world in about 30 weeks and I just wanted to let you know...Even though your extended family is pretty crazy, they're going to be great for you and to you. They're going to love you more then any child should be loved. They're going to give you everything you want, and probably more then you want. 

I get to hear your heart beat for the first time in a few days. I can hardly contain myself.

I love you,

January 1, 2009

I get to name something? Freaking Sweet!

I'm not a person that knows what they want from life. I have very little direction. I have an alright job with a pretty good company, but I don't think it's my life's work. I've always thought if I had any focus or ability to study, I would love to be an architect. That's never going to happen, but as a back up, I think I would like to be the guy that comes up with names for paint colors.

Lulu likes to talk about painting every surface that exists in out house. She wants to paint every room that is in our house even though they have all been painted in the last 5 years. I despise painting. It takes time, attention to detail and patience. If there isn't graffiti on the wall I see little reason to paint it. And in the case of the Graffiti, if it's good, I say let it be. Art's art. Anyway, The only redeeming value of painting is paint color names. Lulu can stand in the paint aisle at a local big box home improvement center (your advertisement here) and look at paint colors. I can stand in the paint aisle for about 7 minutes and day dream about being the guy that names paint colors.

There's a person somewhere that gets to come up with the name for the color between Spring Sea Breeze and Sea Foam Sherbet. There is actually more then one person out there doing this because there is more then one paint company. I think this would be my runner up dream job. It is for this reason that when Lulu told me she was not pleased with the boy name she thought she liked, and we needed a new boy name that I became excited. You see, Lulu has the names of her future offspring already picked out. I give her a hard time about it, but I understand having names you like picked out. When she told me she wanted to think about other names my mind started going crazy. I get to name something! Not just something, I get to think of names for my possible future son.

Now this is where Lulu just wishes she bought a baby name book and never mentioned to me that "Henry" needs a new name. I have always though "Hyphen" would be the best middle name ever. And now with celebrities naming their children everything from Apple to Zuma Nesta Rock to Bronx Mowgli, the precedent has been set for me to name my heir anything I freaking please. I'm going to come up with a list of names to share with everyone, but it's going to take me a little while.