Friday, May 27, 2011

Design Your Own Diaper Bag

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

Woodland Finds on Etsy

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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Not-so-strange Cravings

I mentioned in the last post that I haven't had any strange cravings, but I am back to having my normal cravings. I've always wanted what I want when I want it when it comes to food. I get hankerings for different types of food like Mexican, Chinese, or Indian. Right now everything I can think of that I want to eat is not in my house. And there is plenty of food in my house to eat.

At the moment I am craving food from what my husband and I affectionately call the "taco truck." Its real name is Taqueria El Cazador, located at 3414 Governors Drive in Huntsville. It is actually a bus not a truck. Oh my does it have good food. They serve authentic Mexican food (I'm assuming it's more authentic and I've been told it is...I've never been to Mexico)that comes with delicious spicy pickled carrots, onions, and jalapenos. I usually order the chicken enchilada meal or the chicken tacos or tostadas. I participated in a friend's post on Facebook about the "taco truck" the other day. Now when I see anybody else on Facebook who also posted about the "taco truck" I immediately want to get in the car and go get some tacos. It's going to be really hard not to go to that bus tonight. I usually go to a Mexican grocery store right down the road from the bus and grab a Mexican lime soda to accompany my meal so I'm craving that as well.

I also get cravings for very specific things from not-so-near restaurants like beef nachos from El Palacio in Ozark, AL (5 hours away)or shrimp, crab claws, and onion rings from McLins in Daleville, AL (also about 5 hours away). My husband and I both still get cravings for dishes we ate while we were in Italy. Some days I think hopping a plane and flying upwards of fourteen hours would be worth it just to have stewed rabbit from Cibreo in Florence and a glass (or three) of delicious Italian red wine.

Worse than craving food that is clear across the state (or the world)is getting cravings for food that I can no longer get no matter how far I drive or fly. For example, craving food from restaurants that are no longer in business. Jade Palace, a wonderful Chinese restaurant that was in Huntsville until a few years ago, made the best Kung Pao dishes. They even made it with tofu and extra vegetables just for me. Mayas, a Mexican restaurant in my hometown of Enterprise, AL had some of the best Mexican food I've ever tasted. It closed several years ago as well, but that hasn't stopped me from craving everything from there including the salsa.

I also frequently crave food that both my grandmothers made. I often long for my maternal grandmother's chocolate pie and my paternal grandmother's fried chicken, spaghetti, banana pudding, and chocolate layer cake. Even if I had the exact recipes for some of these things, they just would not be the same.

Now that my appetite has returned my cravings seem to be heightened. I am very susceptible to suggestion (like the Facebook-induced cravings mentioned above). Whenever I see someone on television drinking wine I want some (really crappy since I'm pregnant and can't have alcohol). I watched the entire Twin Peaks series on Netflix recently and the characters on the show were always drinking coffee and eating cherry pie. I still want me some cherry pie. I've never even had cherry pie before, but I really want some. I'm not a big fan of coffee either, but watching them drink coffee made me want some too.

Well, I shouldn't complain. At least I am eating and enjoying food again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thin Mints in May

When I got pregnant I lost four whole pounds (unintentionally of course). Two months of boot camp and cutting out regular sodas could not even accomplish that last year.

The first few weeks of my pregnancy went well. I felt good, ate well, and even walked the dogs several times a week (often the only exercise I get). And I pretty much knew I was pregnant a week or two after conception, so I starting behaving as if I was just in case (no medicine, quitting the caffeine, trying to eat nutritiously, making sure not to skip the prenatal vitamin, etc...). I don't know if I am that in tune with my body or if my symptoms were just that obvious. The very sore and aching breasts were my first dead give away.

A few weeks later my whole body began changing and my whole relationship to food changed as well. I suddenly had no desire to eat...anything. There is still, as I type, a box of Girl Scout cookies (thin mints) on my coffee table. While an empty box still sitting around from February would be nothing out of the ordinary for me, a box that still has cookies in it is totally out of character. You know something is up when I don't even want cookies. As a comparison, the samoas, or whatever they are called now (out of p.c. reasons I guess), were eaten in all of two days before all of my bodily changes. Sweets don't usually linger in this house. Ask Lee. He knows he can't leave sweets around the house to save for later. There will be no later. They will be in my stomach. He can't leave cash around either, but that is a whole other matter.

I went from thinking about and wanting food during all waking hours to not even being able to enjoy watching Top Chef. Yes, just the sight of it bothered me at times. The smell really bothered me especially if it was meat. If Lee wanted to eat meat, he had to eat it for lunch while at work or cook it outside. One night he even took the toaster oven out on the front porch in order to cook some Italian sausage. He then ate his meal in the garage. I hear these pregnancy aversions sometimes linger long after the baby is born (even years). I may never want to eat Italian sausage again. It was never a favorite of mine anyway.

Although the loss of four pounds felt and looked great, it was worrisome. Even though I knew losing a few pounds in the first trimester was not going to be harmful (especially since I was a few pounds overweight from the onset), I couldn't help but worry. Would this last? Would I still not be able to eat entering my second trimester?

I am now in my second trimester, and I am happy to say that I am regaining my appetite. Things got worse before they got better, but they did get better. I have even regained those four pounds. I'm not ready to try any form of sausage yet, but I am adding more meat back into my diet. My insatiable sweet tooth seems to have returned as well. For maybe the first time in my life I will be able to enjoy Girl Scout cookies in May...and maybe June or July if I suddenly find some self-control.

I have not had any strange cravings yet (you know, like pickles and ice cream), but I still have about six more months to go. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Scary Tornado Day

Lee and I, the unborn, Lucy, and Anni and Deuce are all fine. We were very lucky. We had no damage to the house or property...only a few limbs were torn off of the trees. There are seven people confirmed dead in my county, Madison County. My best friend lives in Tuscaloosa and the roof was ripped off of her house, but she and her family are fine. It was a very scary day. There were tornadoes passing over my neighborhood and they were touching down only a few miles from us in all directions. I spent a lot of time in the closet that day with Lucy. I put the dogs in our bathroom, with is adjacent to the closet. I kept two blankets on top of me a good portion of the time. I kept one folded up above my head and another over my whole body and bunched up over my belly (gotta protect the little peanut).

Usually when when I hear the sirens, I'll go peek outside and see what it looks like and turn on the television to see where the tornado is, because it may be on the other side of the county. If it is close, I'll gather the animals and we'll head to our safe spots. I usually just sit in the middle of the closet for while and then go out and see what the sky is looking like. Not this last time. I put the blankets on me and huddled in the corner of the closet behind our pants (not the first time I've huddled behind pants...when I was living in Tuscaloosa I was in a Dillards when a tornado was passing over and we took cover behind the pants in the men's suit section). When I looked out the window as we headed to shelter, I saw that the sky was very dark and green in color with some strange looking clouds. This was no joke, so I took serious precautions.

We lost power that morning during that first round of storms. Power came back on mid-afternoon about the time school let out. My wonderful neighbor brought me a crank up weather radio before we regained power, and I was very grateful for it. The afternoon storms that came through shortly after we regained power were even worse than the morning ones. I sat in the closet with the radio and a flashlight for the longest time that afternoon as tornado after tornado made its way over and around us on all sides. I even heard what sounded like golfball-size hail for a few seconds. I would crank up the radio and listen as the meteorologist announced roads near my house where tornadoes were either approaching or either already on the ground. At one point, they announced that they were tracking something like eight different rotations. We lost power only a few minutes after the afternoon storms came through and it is still off. The entire county was without power for at least twenty-four hours. We are expected to receive power tomorrow.

Lee and I had plenty of food we could eat and we have a gas grill with a burner and an extra propane tank. Lee's been grilling up the meat from the freezer before it goes bad. He was able to get some ice the night of and put some of our refrigerated items in a cooler. Lee even made us orange rolls in the grill. I headed down to visit my parents in Enterprise on Friday (Lee wanted me to be comfortable). I was planning on visiting them this next week anyway, so I just get an extended visit.

These storms made me realize how unprepared we are for these situations. I need to purchase some weather radios for the house and keep some extra batteries around for flashlights. We need to have some cash readily available and I need to keep the closet and bathroom clean so we have safer, more comfortable weather shelters. This made me think about other safety precautions too, like fire extinquishers. We have one, but it is old. I need to purchase a few more and place them around the house.