20 June 2008

takin' her sweet time

(Image from alree30's flickr photostream)

Tuesday was our "due date", a concept that J has now declared an evil conspiracy. I keep telling him that she will show up when she is ready, but he will have none of it. He has tried bribing her, egging her on with challenges, singing to her, enticing her with all of the fun things we are going to do, but nothing has worked yet.

I have felt pretty calm and unpanicked the whole time, which makes me really happy. In fact, up until this week, I hadn't felt any sort of indications that things were happening. This week however, it has been really interesting to feel the movements and changes that seem to indicate subtle but monumental shifts are happening. Dropping down; more pressure; an energetic burst of laundry, dishes, general cleaning; contractions that carry on for longer periods.

We have definitely been trying a few things on the list of "jumpstarts". I walked the golf course twice with J, got a pelvic adjustment at the chiropractor, the old "what got you in, will get you out" technique. We are meeting with our birth coach tonight to get a few more tips, all to keep J from losing his mind and avoid our scheduled induction next Wednesday.

So, any day now, we will be no longer pregnant, cuddling that little bean and soaking up the euphoria. We'll keep you posted...

16 June 2008

more house projects galore - the living room

As I said in my last post, my mom was a painting machine when she was up here a few weekends ago. One of our "sell this house" strategies is to tame our colorful eclectic palate so that it appeals to more people. Thus the pale yellow kitchen and now, the taupe living room. I have to keep telling myself that even though it seems a little dull, especially compared to our warm pumpkin hue, it is a better color for a sale. This way if someone walks in and tries to picture how their navy couch set will look, they won't immediately start to picture a Denver Bronco theme or anything. Also, while the pumpkin made it feel warm and cozy, the taupe makes it much more open and airy.

So, here are a few pics of the newly repainted living room, set with some before pics of the pumpkiny-goodness...

these two are photos from before we purchased the house...
these three were the wonderful pumpkin we have had most of our time here...

these final three are the new taupe...

14 June 2008

more house projects galore - the kitchen

My parents came to town last weekend, bringing all sorts of gifts and treasures. Being self-employed carpenter/cabinetmaker/house painters, they bring a lot more expertise to the house remodel then either the sweet husband or myself. I am also fairly limited in the housework tasks that I can perform right now, so having some good help was awesome. Dad had meetings most of the weekend, but mom did some serious painting. She finished all of the little projects that had gone undone, the bathroom ceiling, trim and door; the cabinets that I had started a month ago, but that still needed one more coat; the linen closet doors. Then, after all of the little pieces were done, she tackled the living room, repainting the whole thing.

They also brought along the cabinet doors that they had whipped together one weekend. I'm not kidding, I sent them dimensions on Friday and they were done by Sunday night. Not just built, but sanded and painted. Not only that, they aren't just "whatever we can afford" doors, they are exactly what I wanted, the cabinets that I want to have in any house I live in. Just simple, shaker style, painted cabinets with basic finger hold cutouts, no handles or knobs, nickel hinges. Just clean crisp lines.

We also repainted the kitchen about a month ago so that it would look bigger and more open. We both really love the red, but we also really want it to sell when we put it back on the market. So we went with the pale yellow that we used in the laundry room that is right off the kitchen. Here are a few pictures of the kitchen, starting with the before shot...

09 June 2008

a quilt and an apology

My parents came this weekend and brought the quilt that my grandma had carefully pieced despite her initial hesitations. The pattern was a little sketchy, my prep work less then ideal, and the fabric wasn't very "baby". Despite all of those challenges, my grandma was able to put together an incredibly beautiful quilt. It is amazing! The colors are perfect, it is big enough to fit a twin bed someday, but perfectly crib-sized when folded in half. She even had it quilted, which I didn't expect. It is so beautiful and perfect. So, here is the quilt...

And here is the apology...
Through my sewing class I learned a few things that I should have known before I attempted this project. It would have made my grandma's task much easier. Things like "prewash your fabric", "straighten your fabric before you cut it", "use the iron", "measure twice, cut once". So, grandma, I am sorry that I didn't know this stuff first, which made things much harder then they should have been and thank you for making such a wonderful quilt for our baby.

04 June 2008

baby birdy lamp

The baby's room is getting closer to completion and I am really happy with the results. My parents are coming this weekend with the quilt that I thrust on my grandma and the leftover fabrics. Once the fabric comes back, I will finish the bird silhouettes and flowers.

Also, I will be sure to post the pics of the quilt of that next week, along with an apology to my wonderful, patient grandma for not ceremonially burning the whole project in the backyard. It turned out to be much a much more involved and challenging project then I anticipated (which is normal) and it was only exacerbated by my lack of knowledge and skill in "prepping" the project for her. But, I have heard that it looks amazing and I have no doubts.

The folks are also bringing a rocking chair (if it will fit in the car), which belonged to my great aunt. It will fit nicely in the corner for some rockin' baby snuggles.

The cloth diapers are all pre-washed, the clothes are all folded and hung.

I just need to finish the crib bumper which will match the quilt, hang a few coat hooks, put up curtains, and start on the shadow boxes hanging over the crib.

The one missing piece is a lamp, for quiet, late night feedings and such. I love me some lamps and have an eclectic collection spread throughout the house and tucked away in storage in the basement, but none of them seem quite right. I had tossed around the idea of buying a short-term fill in until I could find "the" lamp, but hadn't even found that yet.

Then this morning, I was reading through some of my favorite blogs and I came across a post about Blossom Home, a cute little shop south of San Fran, on Home, by Sunset mag. I had seen the shop before on sfgirlbybay and had fallen in love, but this time, it was light shafts and angels singing as I spotted this photo:

The perfect lamp for my babe's room. I really like the orange, yellow and green, but any of them would do the trick. I emailed Sylvie right away to see if they were still available. Fingers crossed...

ETA: Sylvie emailed me back and the lamp is still in her shop. And, it is a lamp and a night light, with the night light inside the little egghouse. How fun is that?! Tomorrow it will be mine...

01 June 2008

mama craft

One of the fun perks about this whole mama business is getting to dive into some new crafty projects. There are all sorts of fun new sewing projects; toys, clothes, curtains. And everything is cute...

I wanted to show off a few of my recent mama crafts.

The first project is a set of foam-filled, flannel blocks. This idea was inspired by Nature Babies by Tara Jon Manning, which I picked up from the library a few weeks ago. It features a lot of knitting projects using organic materials along with some other crafty projects. My blocks were not made out of organic material and were definitely a variation on her "soft play blox" but the general idea was there. I added the ribbon tags to make them easier for little hands to hold onto.

This next project is one of my favorites. Have you ever done something creative or crafty that turned out way better then you expected and you are just so proud you could sing? That's how I feel about this project, which is not totally complete, but you will get the idea.

The inspiration for this project came from Inke, a dutch company that creates silhouettes of animals, trees and birds from vintage wallpaper. I used this idea and instead took fabric that is in the baby's quilt or complimentary and used print outs of bird silhouettes to trace and cut out of the fabric. I love birds and thought that it would be a fun, quaint idea for the babies room without being too cutesy or childish. I also cut out some gigantic flowers to sprout up around the room as well.

To stick them to the wall, I used homemade liquid starch, which was simple, non-toxic and when you want to take them down, you just spray with water to loosen and peal them off. You can reuse them and you just have to wipe down the wall with water. You can find examples around the web of people using this technique to cover hideous rental walls entirely in fabric.

To make the starch, just mix 4 cups of water with 4 tsps of cornstarch in a pan over med-high heat on the stove. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and it starts to simmer. Pull it off the stove and let it cool completely before you use it.

Then you just dip the fabric pieces in the starch, squeeze out the extra and smooth it onto the wall. It will dry and adhere to the wall. This mixture shouldn't damage your paint or surface.

I am really happy with the baby's cheerful, colorful room, now we just need to get the baby to go with it...