May 30, 2009

he's a natural

In my constant quest for bargain baby gear, I spent some time yesterday afternoon checking out some new (to me) kid's consignment stores in the area. My new favorite is Me 'N Moms in Ballard. It's huge and if there were still very many things that we were looking for, it would have been an absolute gold mine.

Fortunately for our bank account, I was really only looking for a Moby wrap or an Ergo carrier, and I was successful. I found a Moby in perfect shape, just missing the instruction video, so I pulled the site up today and had Gus give it a try. Once it was tied on, of course he needed a baby, so Winnie the Pooh was happy to step in to help him out.


Half an hour later, I came downstairs to find him on the couch watching tv and still wearing his "baby"!


"It's comfortable. This is easy!"

Hopefully with a heavier and slightly more wiggly test subject, Hubs will still find the babywearing thing acceptable. He looks so cute doing it!

May 28, 2009

32 weeks


Today marks the start of the 32nd week and the beginning of the eighth month! The time has gone by so quickly, I can hardly believe that we're so close to actually having another human join us in our home.

New fun things that have happened lately include occasionally waking up with numb hands or a calf muscle cramp, both likely due to excess fluid retention and general pregnant-body weirdness that is both normal and to be expected. 

Also fun to note is the shape that my belly button has taken on, which although not fully popped out, is totally weird looking and all stretched out. 

Since the start of our Bradley class, Gus has taken his new role as coach quite seriously and has been great about reminding me to do my exercises and even takes me for an evening walk. One time he did have to bribe me with ice cream, but hey, he's just doing what he has to do. 

May 27, 2009

chunky monkey

It turns out that there are perks to nesting! Over the weekend when I was cleaning out the basement storage room in a fit of organizational zeal, I uncovered a box of old family photos.

Now, I knew that Gus was a bit on the chubby side when he was born- he was two weeks late after all, but holy mother of pearl!

Please direct your attention to the precious little rolls of baby fat that are adorning those chubby thighs.


And those puffy little cheekies! I think that we can be quite sure that our child will likely inherit those, considering that mine were/are quite chipmunky too.

But I really do hope that Lincoln decides to be born before he has a chance to cook long enough to reach the 9 pounds 9 ounces that his father did. My body would be grateful.

May 26, 2009

busy weekend!

This lovely long holiday weekend was absolutely jam-packed with fun and accomplishment.

In no particular order, we:

1. Installed irrigation to our vegetable beds and pots.

2. Visited the University Farmer's Market.

3. Had our first Bradley Childbirth class.

4. Ate delicious homemade ice cream at a previously undiscovered local gem called Full Tilt (they have pin ball and ice cream!).

5. Ate amazing steamed and seasoned shellfish at another previously unknown spot called Crawfish King (a New Orleans themed restaurant in Chinatown! Awesome!).


6. Installed cool lighting in our back yard, giving us a nice "outdoor room" feeling.


7. Had a bbq and a bonfire to test out our new space.

8. Reorganized the storage room to bring some order to our chaos.

9. Began tiling a table for the deck that has been a work in progress for at least a month now.

10. Slept in late and stayed up later.

11. Installed the car seat base in the car just in case we need to make a hasty escape to deliver Junior early!

12. Tracked and caught a free-range bunny with our bare hands (and some snap peas!).*

13. Discovered that there is a brood of chicks living in our bird house!


14. Rested, relaxed, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Hope your weekend was wonderful too!

*In the interest of full disclosure: The bunny lives in the classroom where our childbirth class meets. He escaped to the garden outside and Gus volunteered to be bunny wrangler to safely deliver him back to his home. I just lured him with peas and cheered from the sidelines.

May 21, 2009

nursery re-org

We've been contemplating replacing the giant overstuffed chair and ottoman in the nursery with a glider, but they can be crazy expensive and I haven't been able to find a used one that I liked at a good enough price to convince me to make the switch. At least not until yesterday, when I visited local kid's consignment shop Again & a Gain and found this simple beauty for just $60.


The upholstery is a little faded, and it's not my favorite shade (dark green), but it's in fine shape and it does the job. I could easily make new covers for the cushions, and I may do that depending on how motivated I'm feeling in the next few weeks and if I can find a fabric that I love.

The chair in the corner will make a perfect place for nursing and rocking the little one. I have all the nursing and pumping gear and a stash of burp cloths right at hand so I can settle in and relax with Junior. There's also a reading lamp and room for a glass of water so I can stay hydrated while the little monkey dines.

Taking the old giant chair out of the room really opened up a lot of space, so I'm really happy that we made the swap. And of course, since one change begets another, I spent the morning rearranging the rest of the room in a whole new configuration. I moved the changing table/dresser station into the corner where the old chair once was, and the new glider to the corner formerly housing the little bookshelf. That meant that the bookshelf had to go where the changing table once stood, and ta-da! Suddenly everything fell into place.


The changing table had been taking up too much room in the area right inside the door, preventing it from opening all the way and just making everything feel crowded. With it moved into the corner, there's much more room for organizing diapers and keeping everything within reach but still tucked away neatly.


Also now on prominent display is the new quilt that was handmade for us by the talented lady who gave birth to Gus so many years ago. She chose the perfect colors to complement the room, and of course it features happy little monkeys too! It's just beautiful and it really makes me want to try quilting myself at some point.


The nursery has really turned into a cute and cheerful place, and so far it seems that there's a place for everything, which makes me really happy. It also kind of makes me want a creamsicle, but I don't think that can be helped. More photos here if you haven't gotten your fill.

May 20, 2009

fun in the garden

In case you were worried, my suffering at the nursery the other day was not for nothing. We ended up with a whole cart full of goodies before we left, and thanks to a 20% off coupon from the entertainment book, we didn't even have to feel that bad about it.

We did manage to select a fuschia basket before the little weirdo ran us off, and I can't wait for it to bloom out. There are a couple of flowers on it and TONS of buds, so it should be providing a veritable feast for the hummingbirds before too long.


We also decided to do a little bit of experimenting in the garden this year. We wanted to plant the cucumbers and squash that we picked up a couple weeks back at the Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale (which was AWESOME, by the way), but we were fresh out of space. Gus suggested we grow them in a Topsy Turvy because he saw an infomercial when he was on his business trip, but we are loath to add something so hideous to our yard, despite how great it might work.

We were both plotting in the back of our heads how we might be able to DIY a similar type of growing system in a more attractive package, so we spent some time wandering the nursery looking for inspiration. We ended up with a simple hanging rattan basket with a plastic liner. Gus cut some holes in the side like the new and improved version of the Topsy Turvy, and voila, we have ourselves a hanging cucumber and squash factory.


Honestly, I have my doubts that this will work, but what the hell. We added a couple of fuschias to the top so if nothing else it will be pretty and the hummingbirds will benefit. I'll keep you updated on the success of this little venture, and who knows, maybe if it works you'll see the not-so-ugly-turvy on television at 3 am someday!

May 16, 2009

please also point and laugh

Today I got to experience first-hand what it might feel like to be a rare species of baboon at the zoo or perhaps even just your average midget.

Hubby and I were perusing the hanging fuschia baskets at the nursery when I first noticed that I was being observed. He was standing a few feet away, eyes trained on my midsection. I smiled, made eye contact, and he nervously retreated. 

We moved on to a different area, chatting and comparing the lovely plants hanging above our heads. Soon I noticed that we were being circled, and those same eyes were boring into me once again. He kept coming closer, as if he was trying to gain the confidence to reach out and poke me with a stick. I smiled again, laughing self-consciously and looking to Gus for a little direction.

"Hey, what's going on?" I finally asked, a bright (fake) smile plastered on my face.

"Um, nothing..." he stammered and then ran away.

Gus and I looked at each other with wide eyes- "wtf?" clearly written all over our faces.

This circling and staring continued for almost five minutes while we selected our basket until I finally just couldn't take it anymore and we had to retreat to another area of the nursery to escape his prying eyes.

Once we were safely out of his earshot and sight line we started trying to figure out what exactly had just happened. Hours later, I'm still wondering.

First of all, yes, it was a child. Now, I fully understand that children aren't always the most graceful creatures, and they maybe haven't been exposed to everything and of course they're naturally curious. It would have made a lot more sense to me, and been a lot less creepy, however, if the child stalking me in the nursery would have been oh, you know, two years old instead of at least ten like my little pursuer was. 

This kid was definitely old enough to have at least known why I have a giant belly- I'm sure that I'm not the first pregnant woman he's ever seen, and yet he was looking at me like he had never seen such a marvel in his life.

It even would have been better if he would have put his curiosity to good use and maybe asked me if I had a baby in there, instead of just circling around and staring at me like that. At first I had to wonder if I had a huge mustard stain on my belly or if my zipper was down or something, but no. The kid was just a freakishly impolite little bastard!

Remind me in a few years to be sure that our kid is spending at least two hours a day watching TLC. I think that perhaps a few episodes of Little People, Big World or The Eight Hundred Pound Man could have done this kid today some good.

May 14, 2009

30 weeks


Well, here we are at the start of the 30th week. Lincoln will likely be on board for another eleven full weeks, maybe longer! As you can see, space is at a premium these days, and my uterus reaches all the way up- I can feel his feet right up underneath my boobs when I'm sitting down now.

We met with the midwife again yesterday, and I'm really just so happy that we made the switch. She spent an hour chatting with us and getting to know our history and our pregnancy, and she even asked permission before she touched my belly. Something about that simple little act of courtesy really made an impression on me. She felt around from the outside and located his head, which is already down where it belongs. Of course it's early and he may not stay that way, but I like to think that he's an obedient little guy and he will!


I feel for you man.

Lately I find myself feeling quite sympathetic when I recall the 350 pound man that used to come buy curly shoe laces from me when I worked in the kid's shoe department at a local retailer.

image from www.quiltsjust4kids.com
I once thought he was just lazy, but now I totally get it. 

Shoes with laces suck. Buckles are even worse! At some stage, you just don't bend like you used to. For me, apparently, that stage is now.

May 12, 2009

the worst best news ever.

I got an email a couple of days ago that just about broke my heart.

My favorite band is touring this summer, and no, they're not skipping a stop here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Yeah, that's right, they're NOT skipping us. They're going to be at what might be my favorite outdoor venue playing what sounds like an amazing show with a bunch of other amazing musicians.

For demystification purposes, the formula is as follows: Counting Crows + Augustana + Michael Franti & Spearhead + Marymoor Park = crying a little on the inside.

So what's the catch? Why on earth would great news like this break my heart?

July 19th. That's why.

TEN

DAYS

BEFORE.

I guess it could be worse. It suppose it could be ten days after our due date, but seriously. I'm going to be as big as a house and primed to pop at any moment. There's assigned seating, which is nice, but will I fit in the seat? I've been to enough concerts to know that they pack those rows pretty close, not just in the elbow-to-elbow department, but you're lucky to get three inches between your knees and the back of the guy in front of you too. I have visions of the person next to me needing to get out to go pee and having to detour over the back of their seat because they're unable to get past the giant belly sitting next to them.

When we went to shows at Marymoor last summer, we just found a nice piece of grass about ten feet off the stage and made ourselves comfy. The bands we saw were smaller, and they didn't have assigned seating. We were able to enjoy practically a front-row view from a comfortable distance away with our little flat lawn-chair/towel hybrid things and a beer. Sounds great, but I'm not entirely sure that spending a couple of hours sitting on the ground is going to be more preferable to my massive pregnant body than a tiny chair will be.

But I just can't miss this show. Here's what Adam has to say about it in his blog:

This summer's tour is NOT going to be your usual opening band, set change, middle band, set change, headline band, go home. There's just gonna be 1 set and we're all just kinda gonna be 1 band.  It's going to be called:

"The Saturday Night Rebel Rocker Traveling Circus & Medicine Show"
I mean it when I say there isn't going to be any opening band. We're going to start EVERY show with EVERYONE onstage playing together. I'm not sure what's going to happen next but I think we‘ll probably play a set on our own after that so we'll actually be the opening band in a way, although guys from the other bands will probably be bouncing on & offstage helping out on different songs like the guys from Augustana did last Summer. I want to do all sorts of duets and trios and quartets of guys from all the bands on songs after that and throughout the show. Then maybe Augustana will play a bit by themselves with some more mash-ups after that and maybe we'll close the 1st Act of the show with a Spearhead set, but one in which we all eventually join them so that the Act ends with all of us playing something together. I don't know what that'll be, and I wouldn't tell you if I did, but I know there's a Spearhead song I REALLY want to sing on and that might be the perfect Act 1 closer.
Then there's probably going to be an intermission.
Can you tell we're still in the "winging it/what-the-fuck-are-we-going-to-do" stage of the planning process? 
Well, it ain't really any different from every other Counting Crows show for the past 18 years.
Then we're all going to come back on stage and do it again. Sort of. Hell, I don't know. What I DO know is that, no matter which band you come to see, you're not going to see less of them than you want. NOBODY is getting ripped off this summer. We're all going to be on and off the stage all night. You'll get more Counting Crows than you have in the past and you're also going to get lots of us playing with our friends in the other bands.

So yeah- see you there! I'll be the one in the muu-muu a few rows back singing along to all my favorites while enjoying a beer-with-a-k and poking some poor Counting Crows fan in the back with my popped belly button. Should be fun!

May 10, 2009

happy mother's day to me!

Gus is still in lovely Anaheim, so there was no one here to feed me breakfast in bed this morning on my first official mother's day. Instead, I snuggled in tight with Kitten nestled in the small of my back and slept until 10:30. Not ideal, but not a bad treat for seven months (so far) of hard work.

Hope you have a nice lazy day too! And call your mom. She loves you.

May 7, 2009

flannel bum wipes

All the advice that I've read about cloth diapering (and I've read a LOT lately) suggest that using cloth wipes when CD'ing is not only practical, money saving, and good for the environment, but it's actually easier since you don't have to sort the disposable wipes out to toss in the trash. 

I'm all for easy, so after snooping around on the internets a bit to see what kind are out there and how much they cost I realized that I can totally just make my own. There are a variety of fabrics out there that are being used for cloth wipes- including flannel, terry, velour, bamboo, cotton and I'm sure the list goes on. I decided to try flannel because it's inexpensive, readily available, and it rates high on the softness and durability factors according to those in the know.

I just picked up some flannel remnants at Pacific Fabric Outlet because I don't really care what the design is when it comes to butt-wiping material. I chose a couple of prints that felt especially soft and that you couldn't "feel" the printing on, because that just seemed kind of weird and like it might be uncomfortable.

I pre-washed and dried the material and then cut 8" squares. I was able to get 20 squares from just shy of a yard of fabric, and by stacking two together and sewing a simple zigzag around the edges I ended up with ten nice soft wipes for just a couple of dollars.



I think these will be perfect for cleaning up Junior's bottom once they're soaked in a little homemade wipe mixture and kept in a wipes warmer. The wipes warmer which, by the way, was actually vetoed by dear hubby quite vehemently. Perhaps it's a luxury, but I think Lincoln might appreciate a nice warm cloth on his bum instead of a cold wet rag.

Fortunately, moms come pre-equipped with veto override power, so stay tuned for the appearance of that particular piece of baby gear in the coming months!

May 6, 2009

it's practically a tradition!

It's not unusual for Gus to return from a business trip to find a freshly painted room or a minor remodel of some kind. Since I'm not one to disappoint, I broke out my brush and roller today and set to work on the wood paneled hallway that has been haunting our basement for far too long.

Although it wasn't the really dark wood kind that you could have found setting off the olive green shag carpeting in my own childhood home, it was still depressing and outdated and it just had to go. See:


Since paneling doesn't like to be painted very much, I primed it first with two coats of oil-based Kilz original to make sure my paint would stick. Even though it's not latex primer, you can still paint over it with regular latex paint, so I just used some off-white Behr that we already had from the stairway and hallway upstairs. I only needed one coat of paint thanks to my beautiful primer base, and now just a few hours later, we have a brand new hallway!


Now I just need to replace the icky ivory light switches and switch plates with white ones and hang some art on the walls. And then we'll just wait and see if Gus notices when he gets home!

handsome AND talented!

We decided pretty early on that we weren't going to buy a bunch of stuff for the baby that we didn't think we really needed, and one of the things that made it to that list was the changing table. Now, obviously we know that we do need to have a place to change the kid's diapers forty-million times a day, but we just didn't think we wanted to make room for a specific piece of furniture designed especially for that task.

Since we already owned a cheap Ikea dresser that we weren't using for anything important, we moved that up to Baby's room to use to store clothes and other gear. And, since it just so happens that the dimensions of the top of this dresser are almost exactly that of a standard changing table pad, we decided just to use that as our diaper station.

Gus, being the skilled handy guy that he is, had no trouble crafting me a little box to mount to the top of the dresser to simulate the ones that they sell at various locations for upwards of $100. And since it was custom made especially for me and I could, I requested an extra little space next to the pad section so I have a place to store diapers and wipes and all the little things that will be necessary to the task at hand.


The result is simple but efficient, and we'll be able to just remove it and revert back to a plain dresser once the diaper days are behind us. We added an organic changing pad and I made a cover from less than a yard of super-soft minkee and some fold-over elastic, and now we're set! No unnecessary extra piece of furniture, and very little expense. Just the way we like it.

May 5, 2009

vote for your fave!

The submissions are in- 100 tops were made for Rae's spring top week! You can go to this link to cast your votes- one vote in each of ten randomized groups. The deadline is tonight (Tuesday, May 5) at 11 pm Eastern.

You can also go to the flickr pool to see all the photos up close and read what their creators have to say about them.