Friday, October 7, 2011
The other day my friend Marilyn brought me lunch and surprised me with four of these cute owls. She found them at JoAnne's fabric store and they are meant to be x-mas ornaments, but I am going to turn them into a mobile for Luke's nursery. I wanted to find some wooden craft owls of some sort to make a mobile, and these are perfect! Thank you Marilyn.
I decided today to go ahead and get to work on them. Hey, it's something I can do sitting down. I'm painting them the same colors as the owls on the Robert Kaufmann fabric I'm using in the nursery...turquoise, red-orange, yellow-orange, and lime green. I have not quite figured out how much detail to include on the front of the owl so I chose to paint the backs first. That gives me a good chance to get the colors just right too. The round belly of the owl is meant for a photograph, but I've decided to place the Robert Kaufman coordinating chevron striped fabric in the center of each one. They are going to be so cute. It feels good to be accomplishing something today.
I've read that babies can't really get the benefit of a mobile until they are three months old or thereabouts, so I'll have plenty of time after he's born to pick out and assemble the rest of the mobile. For example, finding different ribbon or thread and getting rid of the red ribbon on them now and deciding exactly how to hang them.
On Saturday I was more uncomfortable than ever. I was quite emotional and was feeling strange feelings in all sorts of places like my lower abdomen. On Sunday, I was still having the achiness and I also developed a horrible, throbbing headache. It was similar to a migraine but without the light sensitivity or nausea. I went to bed with the headache and it returned the next morning so I called the doctor's office and told them about all that was hapenning with my body.
They called back within twenty minutes and wanted to see me ASAP. Scary. I got cleaned up quickly and drove to my husband's office and he drove me to the doctor's office. Well, everything with Luke still looked good. I was good too...urine good, blood pressure good, etc... I had started to dilate, though. I was at 1 cm. I guess that is the cause of the achiness I felt and am still feeling.
Doctor wanted me to continue taking the meds and continue staying off of my feet as much as possible. After this coming Monday she wants to take me off of the meds and let nature take its course since I will be 36 weeks. As of today, I am beginning my 36th week. I am not happy with just letting labor occur this early, so I intend to continue sitting down for a little while longer.
Being stuck sitting down really stinks, though. For one thing, it's uncomfortable. My neck, hips, and back hurt from just sitting or laying and Baby Luke is getting so big that finding a comfortable sitting or laying position is difficult. He is still trying to dig up under my ribs, but as long as he's way up there, he's not trying to come out! When he finally drops, my worrying about him coming too early really is going to go through the roof.
Secondly, because of my procrastination, there is a lot left that I wanted to do before Luke's birth date and now that I can't be up moving around, it isn't going to get done. The house may not be as clean and organized as I want it, I may not have cooked some good food and put it in the freezer, and I may not have completed all the cute projects for Luke's room, but none of this is end-of-the-world type stuff. Luke is not going to know the difference, and Lee and I will manage. But, it stinks that my nesting instinct is kicking in and I can't really act on it.
Sitting down has given me time to read and re-read some parenting books like Happiest Baby on the Block and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. I guess I need to get a copy of Babywise too because I hear a lot of parents rave about it. At this time I can also be thankful for the return of fresh television programming and my friend and neighbor Marilyn who brings me lunch and watches movies with me on occasion. And, I'm actually posting on this blog again :)
Monday, October 3, 2011
A few weeks ago Lee and I did a maternity photo session with Amanda Campbell of Chasing Daylight Photography. She did our amazing photo session back in the Spring as well. I've already booked her for photo sessions to document Baby Luke's first year. If anyone needs some good photos taken, Amanda is your woman!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the shoot:
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
At least I'm feeling better this week. My iron was low so I went on supplements, and I guess they have kicked in because my energy is back. I was up at four o'clock yesterday morning putting away clothes. I then went to the gym for about an hour and then walked each of the dogs (it was really nice and cool).
I failed my first glucose test so I had a gestational diabetes scare, but my test results from the 3-hour test came back great, so I celebrated with sweet tea for lunch and a Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen in the afternoon...pass the sugar :)
I've been thinking a lot about Luke's baby book the past couple of days. I bought a lot of stuff from a scrapbooking kit called Forest Critters before I even became pregnant. My plan was, and still is, to make Luke a homemade baby book from the kit. It is so cute...owls, squirrels, deer all in the bright colors of his nursery. That is a huge project in and of itself. At least it doesn't have to be done before he gets here. I would like to get a good start on it though.
Let's see, what else do I still have to do: FINISH THE NURSERY! I still haven't cleaned out either of Luke's closets. My goal is to get one completely cleaned out for him and finish cleaning out the other one as needed as he grows and accumulates more stuff. Speaking of stuff, my first baby shower is this Saturday so the stuff is going to start pouring in. Where to put it?
Both closests are filled with crafty stuff like scrapbooking supplies, photos, and wrapping paper and gift bags. I plan on moving most of the scrapbooking stuff to the office area in our mudroom. I've already cleaned out those cabinets, but now what do I do with the stuff I cleaned out of them? Eeeek!
I have a few projects I want to do in the nursery as well such as making fabric-covered letters to spell out "Luke", hanging floating shelves, and getting picture frames with mats that I can cover in the fabrics from his room. So much to do. Oh, and I want to make custom items to hang from his mobile. The good news is that he will be perfectly fine if I don't get those things done.
Eeeeeeeeek! Did I say that already?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
At the beginning of my pregnancy, before the "morning" sickness got really bad, when I was just a little queasy first thing in the morning, I was making mango smoothies for breakfast. Yesterday I really wanted ice cream, but instead I made a mango smoothie. So yummy and it satisfied my ice cream craving and even gave me a little ice cream headache because I used frozen mango. Here's how I make it:
Mango Smoothie (serves one)
handful of frozen mango chunks
milk, 1/8-1/4 cup
plain yogurt, about 1/4 cup (I used 3 oz Greek low-fat yogurt)
1 pack Stevia, or you can use Splenda, some honey, or other sweetener of choice
drop of vanilla extract
ground flaxseed, about 1/2 tablespoon or so (great brain food for baby!)
Put mango and milk in a blender (I use a Magic Bullet for my smoothies) and puree/pulse until mixed a bit (you may have to add a little more milk depending on how frozen the mango is and how stubborn your blender is). Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy. Mine is usually a bit thick at first so I eat it with a spoon like ice cream and then slurp the rest as it melts.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
It was one of the best meals, if not the best, we ate during our two-week stay in Italy. I wanted to eat at Cibreo after reading great reviews in travel books and online. One thing it is known for is yellow bell pepper soup. I was really looking forward to trying it but it wasn't on the cafe's menu. I did have their tomato-bread soup and it was divine. It was a very thick pureed soup with loads of flavor. When I came back from Italy I did an online search for yellow pepper soup and found one that is supposed to be like Cibreo's. You can find it here.
I altered the recipe (I usually do alter recipes) a bit including omitting the spinach. It was delicious. It had a thick, creamy consistency like the tomato-bread soup I had at Cibreo and was filled with flavor. Because I omitted the spinach it was a beautiful yellow color. As you can see from the picture above, this time when I made it I added the spinach. It was not as visually appealing as my first batch, but man was it good! I also used one red bell pepper in addition to the yellow one because that is all I had on hand.
There are two ingredients in this soup that may sound a bit strange: nutmeg and lemon juice. Don't even think about omitting these! You will be amazed at what a difference just a touch of both makes to this soup. I add them both at the end after all the other ingredients are pureed and heated again. I also use white onion instead of red and red potatoes instead of yukon gold simply because that is what I usually have in the kitchen.
Looking at the recipe I used as a guideline, I noticed they call for 6 cups of veggie broth. Don't use this much. I used just enough broth (this time I actually used vegetable stock) to reach the top of the vegetables.
The second time I made this soup (this was my third attempt) it was a massive fail. I had taken it to a dinner party too. I think where I went wrong was adding too much broth. It just diluted the flavor of the vegetables. I'm glad I've redeemed myself with this soup tonight. As you can see from the picture I had more tomato bruschetta. The basil had gone bad, but it didn't need it. The tomato was so delicious.
If I ever make it back to Florence, and I sure plan on it one day, I am definitely going to try to taste the yellow pepper soup at Cibreo. Until then, I'll keep making it at home. It will be a great soup to feed to the baby when he starts eating solid foods since it is not too spicy or hot and packed full of veggies.
The picture above features bruschetta we actually grilled, but most nights I just toast up the bread in the toaster oven and get it in my mouth as fast as I can. It's real simple:
Slice some crusty bread and toast or grill it. If grilling it, use low heat and brush the bread with olive oil first. It only takes a minute or so on each side on the grill. Slice a good tomato (by good I mean a tasty one from your own garden or the farmer's market and not a supermarket tomato that tastes more like water than a tomato...heirlooms are great). I squeeze out most of the seeds before slicing. After slicing season with salt and pepper. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone cheese (ricotta, goat cheese, or a nice slice of fresh mozzarella would work too) on the toasted or grilled bread. Top with a slice or two of the tomato and then add some fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
I have run across peach-tomato salsa in the past while searching the web but never tried it. Since I had tomatoes and peaches I needed to eat I decided to try it. It was pretty good. I'm not gonna lie...I was a bit skeptical. We ate it on top of grilled tilapia. I added onion to the salsa which turned out to be a mistake. Here is what I mixed together for the salsa minus the onion:
1 peach, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used a yellow heirloom tomato)
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely ( I used a few rings from a jar)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tablespoon or so of chopped parsley (I'm sure cilantro would be very good as well)
drop of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients and place in the fridge until ready to eat. My tomato and peach were both very juicy so I had a very juicy salsa. It went very well with the grilled fish. Very light and summery.
What did I have for dessert that night? One yummy, juicy peach in all it's glory. I've been eating at least one peach a day. I bought them to grill and top with balsamic glaze and mascarpone cheese, but they are so good just as they are that I don't tamper with them.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The baby gave the nurse a hard time at my appointment this week. She was trying to get a heartbeat reading, but the baby would just not be still long enough. He started kicking, though, and would kick right where she pressed the wand into my tummy. The wand and her hand would move up and a funny sound would come through on the monitor. I would get tickled and then that would make a funny noise as well. We finally got a reading. His heartbeat is now at 145.
He and I are still doing well. I did gain 7 pounds in only 4 weeks (3 more than I need), but I'll start watching my intake of sweets (I need to stop baking cakes and whatnot) and other junky foods. I've also been really good about exercising this week. Been to the gym three times and water aerobics once. My neighbor went with me to water aerobics and loved it as well, so now I've got a buddy to go with me and keep me motivated. My body feels so good that I think I can keep it up. Wish I was as motivated about cleaning and organizing the house.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I found the cutest owl-themed baby boy clothes at Babies R Us the other day and added them to my registry. But I was afraid they would not be available by the time my baby showers aproached, so I went back and bought them myself. They were just too cute to pass up. There were four outfits, but I used some will power and only got three. They are made by Koala Baby and are organic.
I bought all three outfits in different sizes. This one is 0-3 months.
This might be my favorite one. I just love turquoise. This one is size 6-9 months.
Lee thought this outfit was hideous. I think it is adorable. I bought it in size 12 months...I can just picture the little guy trying to toddle around the house in it.
I keep telling Lee that I am making a concentrated effort not to overdo it with the owl theme, but I could not pass up these adorable little outfits.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
The crib is on its way and might even be here this afternoon! It is the Mercer Modern Convertible Crib by Babyletto. I purchased it from BabyEarth.com but they also have it at Target.com (same $399 price tag, though).
I just love this crib, and it is going to match the vintage dresser and chest of drawers I'm using in the nursery well once I have the sides and drawers painted white (I'm leaving the tops brown). You can see a picture of the chest of drawers at the bottom of an earlier post.
I love that the crib has the drawer at the bottom. I plan on storing extra sheets, blankets, etc... in there. It also comes in all white or all brown. The toddler rail is already included as well. Thank you to my parents for buying this for us.
I'm still undecided about whether to have a bed skirt made for it. Maybe I'll wait until I get it assembled (until Lee assembles it) to see whether it really needs one or not.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Lee was out of town last night, so I was on my own for dinner and I was craving Italian food. I had some leftover Publix 5-grain Italian bread, plenty of tomato sauce (I buy it in bulk from Costco)and then I went back to Publix to pick up some fresh basil, feta cheese (pasteurized since I'm pregnant), spring salad mix, and some other goodies.
This was a really quick and yummy dinner to throw together.
Baked Feta in Tomato Sauce
Prepared tomato sauce (I used a little over half a 14 oz can)
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces (2-3 large leaves or equivalent in small leaves)
Red pepper flakes, 1/4-1 tsp depending on how hot you like it
Minced garlic, about 1/2 tsp
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Small chunks of feta cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup
Extra-virgin olive oil, a tsp or so
Crusty bread for dipping
Preheat oven to between 375 to 400 degrees F or use a toaster oven like I did (no preheating required).
Place the first five ingredients in an oven-proof casserole dish (mine was about 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide) and stir. Place feta cheese on top of tomato sauce and drizzle with olive oil. Heat in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes. Stir and enjoy with pieces of crusty bread (I like to toast my bread for a few minutes on each side first).
This is one of my favorite ways to dress spring salad greens. The vinaigrette recipe below is appoximately what I made last night and was enough to dress 2-4 salads. You don't need much...just enough to lightly coat your greens.
Simple Green Salad
Juice of one large lemon
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tsp
Spring salad mix
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese
Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl (I usually mix my dressings in my 2-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup). While you whisk the first three ingredients, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This is your vinagrette.
Top your spring salad mix with the vinaigrette, capers, and some freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Simple but delicious.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I know that Baby Luke is an active little fellow because my lower abdomen gets real tight and a bit uncomfortable at times due to him growing and turning about. But night before last I felt him kick for the first time. I was in bed trying to go to sleep, but I guess he thought it was party time. He kept me awake on and off all night long and into the morning kicking. The kicks can be felt from outside my belly but they are real subtle. They feel to me like a really soft thump or flutter, almost like really strong, rogue heartbeat. I have continued to feel them on and off throughout the day and night since that first night. I guess I will eventually get used to them and hopefully they won't keep me up at night. They are reassuring, though.
As you can see from the picture above, I definitely have a baby bump now. I wear it proudly. Here I'm sporting my favorite pair of maternity jeans and favorite black tank. I love the high stretchy band on these jeans. I'm not going to want to quit wearing them after I have the baby...they are so comfortable.
This whole thing has been getting very real lately. I woke up this morning feeling a bit stressed out. I have so much to do before Luke gets here and I've got school work to do at the same time. It's only one class, but man do I not feel like thinking about that right now. I think I'll take Fall semester off. Everything was made even more real yesterday when I made some purchases from Etsy for Luke's room. Here's what I bought:
How cute are these brass owls that I got from Bloomdar Vintage? The handles on Luke's dresser and chest are brass, so the owls will go very nicely sitting on top of one of these.
The perfect first stuffed animal for Luke's nursery because it has both the fabrics I'm using in the room. It can double as a pillow and is from Bellamina. She also makes bookends and doorstops, but I'm trying not to get too carried away.
Every room needs storage, right? These fabric bins are so adorable and can hold toys, diapers, or whatever else I need them to. I purchased them from Baffin Bags.
I decided to choose the chevron blanket from Urban Tot that was featured in my last post. I just love this fabric. The reverse side will be a soft, fluffy fabric that is cream in color.
I fabric store in Fayetteville, TN (about 45 minutes from my house) has ordered the owl fabric and it will be in mid-to late July and I'm waiting for the chevron fabric to come back in stock from an online seller so that I can make a bed skirt and curtains from it. I've still got to get in that room and clear it out before I can turn it into a cute nursery. But first I've got to study...I've got a test to take by Monday.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
During the ultrasound yesterday Baby Luke was quite an active little guy. He was rolling and flipping and moving his arms about, and he flashed us several times. I am relieved to finally know the sex and to learn that he is developing normally. I am almost in my twentieth week but Baby Luke is measuring a week or so ahead.
Now that I know he is a he, I can get serious about designing the nursery. I have decided to start over and put the vintage fabrics I have been collecting into storage. If I ever decide to have another baby and it happens to be a girl, I'll pull them out and create the nursery I initially envisioned.
I am still sticking with a woodland theme and I'm also going to keep a color palette that is gender neutral and very colorful. I have found some cute Robert Kaufman fabrics created by designer Ann Kelle that I would like to use and have included pics of them below. I just love the cute owls and the colors.
I love the colors in these fabrics. I really like the turquoise and orange, but that is too close to orange and blue and we are a crimson and white household. I think I'll pull out the turquoise, red, yellow, and brown to feature in the nursery. Pretty much the same colors I was going to use before.
I already found some really cute items on Etsy that are made with these fabrics.
This rag quilt from Humble Pie Originals is just perfect. I love it!
I am just loving the chevron pattern. This is such a cute blanket from Urban Tot.
A boppy cover and mobile from Snowflake Crafts. The mobile is part of a set that includes a quilt, pillow, and crib skirt. I do want to have a crib skirt made...probably out of the chevron fabric. This boppy cover has minky fabric in brown on the reverse side.
Check out this great mega set! Humble Pie Originals makes this as well.
This sensory toy/lovey is made by MB Designs. This is so colorful and it proves that a wide range of fabrics and textures will work wonderfully with these three Robert Kaufman fabrics.
Now I just have to track down the fabrics to purchase them and find someone to sew some stuff for me. That is if I stick with this theme. I'm really loving it right now, though.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
My best friend Jennifer visited me this weekend and was such a big help. She did the aisle-by-aisle thing with me at Babies R Us so Lee wouldn't have to, went with me to Motherhood Maternity to get some more clothes, helped me organize and determine what I still need to add to my baby registries, and she helped me clean out the master bedroom. This last one was a tough chore for me to do by myself, but now that it's done I feel that I can begin to tackle the rest of the house.
Jennifer is also helping to throw one of my baby showers (looks like there might be 3 or 4), and she remembered me telling her way back when about a cool idea I got from a blog...I think it was the Naughty Secretary Club blog. The idea was to have shower attendees help decorate onesies for the baby. Jennifer went ahead and brought me some craft paint and brushes that she had, but she also brought me some canvases in smaller sizes like 8x10 that she also had no need for anymore. The light bulb went off in my head...instead of decorating onesies, my shower guests could help create artwork for the baby's room.
So, I have another item to put on my before-baby-gets-here to-do list. I will come up with a design to put on several of the canvases (I'm thinking of a cohesive grouping of some sort that incorporates woodland critters), draw it on each canvas, and then at my showers my guests will all get to pick up a brush and some paint and contribute to the artwork. I love this idea. I really wanted some activity for my showers, but I'm not that big into the more common shower games, especially the one where chocolate is melted into diapers. I already told some people that if that occurs I'll leave my own shower. Gotta draw the line somewhere.
Now I just have to keep cleaning and organizing the house so I can make a space to start creating the design for the nursery art. And, I need to wait until a week from today when I hopefully find out the sex of the baby before I start getting too carried away with the design plan and artwork...wait, too late for that :)
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This is a nursery like no other. It is full of vintage goodness and designer flair. It looks really high-end, but it was done on a $1000 budget and most of the projects were DIY. The colors are so 60's and 70's and it is filled with vintage furniture, but it looks amazingly modern. A job well done to this family.
I found this room this morning on HGTV's Rate My Space. I've been having second thoughts this weekend about the design plan for my baby's nursery, so I decided I'd browse around Rate My Space for some inspiration. Specifically, I'm worried that the vintage fabrics I have been collecting are more on the girly side and may not work as well in a boy's room. I only have a little over a week until we hopefully find out the sex of the baby, so I should just settle down and wait until then to start worrying about the design plan that I've been putting together for over a year. But, I can't help myself.
I love, love, love the wall art. This is totally a project I could start and actually finish. I don't know that this fits in well with my nursery theme, but I'm thinking I could do a project like this for the living room using our last name.
The details and accessories in this room are fabulous, especially the pillow. To see more views of this room go here.
I do wonder how this room will look when it begins to fill up with a hodge-podge of toys and other baby and kid-related items, but I am still totally in awe and will use the great ideas I see in this room as inspiration for other rooms in my house.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
This living room seen here.
I always feel at war with my living room. The main problem is space planning. I have a few things in the room that I like but it still needs a lot of work. One thing I'm obsessed with right now is putting things on the walls like photographs and artwork. If you have ever been to my house you may have been surprised by the very blank walls. The only thing on the living room wall currently is a 2010 calendar purchased in Italy that is still on the month of May (Maggio in Italian). Lee and I had beautiful photos of us made recently, but I need to order the prints and figure out how I want to display them.
This room found here. It's a Pottery Barn room.
Another Pottery Barn room seen here.
I like lots of different design styles, but I think I feel most at home with a cottage or country feel. I like a lot of Pottery Barn rooms as well. The rooms in this blog post represent the feel I want in my living room.
A Florida beach house seen here.
Friday, May 27, 2011
For the stylish, handmade moms out there, Watermelon Wishes on Etsy allows clients to send in the fabric of their choice and voila, a custom diaper bag complete with stroller straps. It also comes with a matching changing pad, diaper clutch, tote for mom, memo pad cover, and a key fob. Price is $130, which is not bad for all of that. Oh, and did I mention that the bag contains several pockets to help mom stay organized?
Want to truly be color-coordinated? Why not have a baby sling, carseat cover, nursing cover, etc... made out of the same fabric? There are plenty of sellers on Etsy that make these items.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
This adorable growth chart wall decal can be found here. The colors are customizable as well.
These great art prints are from Neve Designs.
Graphic Spaces makes bookends out of a variety of forest critters and even makes a bookshelf to match. The owls are my favorite.
I really want a bird mobile made from the vintage fabrics I've collected. I love this one from Baby Jive.
Here is a very practical woodland-themed item from Potato Patch. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get when it comes to organization.
This adorable owl plushie is from Fong Studio. I'm hoping to have one of these made from my vintage fabrics as well. I'm just loving owls right now.
More owls. This fabric basket is from Blota. I think fabric baskets are great organizing tools for nurseries. Maybe I should have some of these made special as well.
This adorable acorn hat can be found in Adrienne Kinsella's shop. I'm already getting way ahead of myself and thinking about what I want baby to wear during his or her infant shoot. There are so many cute hats, diaper covers, and booties out there for babies.
These are just a few items I fancied when I did a search for woodland items on Etsy. Only a couple of these will make it to my baby registry. It would be easy to go overboard on the woodland theme. I have found plenty of stuffed animals, wall decals, onesies, and blankets and other woodland-themed items on Etsy that may also make it into my registry.
I've got to really get serious about putting together my registry because one of my baby showers will happen in July or August. Invitations will need to go out next month after I hopefully find out the sex of the baby. I hope baby is cooperating on that day, becasue I am ready to start buying some of those adorable baby outfits I keep seeing.