Sunday, January 31, 2010

How did they DO that??

We have gotten a lot of really really neat things for the baby, including an amazing amount of useful stuff (we really only had to buy furniture to store it all in!) and a lot of really CUTE useful stuff.

As for our wedding, I have been amazed at the generosity of our friends and family.

And the few local friends who have kids really came through too - we got bags and bags of used clothes from one friend and an entire basement full of baby playthings from another (and they even came over to help us put it together!).

Several of our presents were handmade, which really blew me away. One friend sewed cute little things on the front of some onesies (flowers on one, a guitar and embroidered 'Rock Me' on another). One friend knitted a hat and some booties:

She obviously used some kind of hallucinogenic yarn which I thought was especially neato.

Another friend crocheted a star blanket and made a matching card:


On the inside it said: "Every SuperGirl needs a blanket that tells the world she is a SuperStar!!"


The knitting and crocheting is so far beyond my skill level that I just gaped at these things and wondered what planet I visited when I found these friends. And they are even machine washable!!

Spring garden

In Seattle, January = spring.

So our neighbors kindly pointed out to us that the garden looked like it could use some help (they were offering, actually) and the Studly Hubby jumped right on it - he got advice from them, paid close attention to it, then went out as soon as the rain let up and went crazy.

I should have taken a before picture, but here it is in progress:

And our cute house (with the blue door):

Note the Studly Hubby on the right trimming away, and you really can't see it but behind the pink flamingo in the front yard is a pile of weeds about waist-high (this is the hard part about gardening in Seattle - keeping down the weeds).


He isn't even crabby... and he normally doesn't like to garden. He was gardening so hard he even gave himself a blister. Something must be putting him in a good mood these days...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another baby shower!!

A lovely friend of mine in Seattle decided to host a baby shower for me. We made it NO BOYS so it could be extra girly - and it was! I can't believe how many friends I've made here!!

The host of the shower, she was so great to do this! She put out a beautiful display of food and flowers:

And even made cupcakes! With little babies in them. She put some of the babies head-first into the cupcakes because she said they had 'cute butts' that needed to also be visible.

Then she got on 'The Bump" (spawn of "The Knot") and found some great ideas for baby shower games - they ended up being super fun! The first one was for everyone to take bets on the width of my belly (at it's largest), and EVERYONE guessed over (some more than others, ahem). My belly is actually 39.5 inches around. The winner was a four-way tie (all guessed 42 inches, strangely). The largest guess I think was 65 inches. I guessed 58 inches. Clearly I don't have a good perception of my own belly.

The second game was for everyone to try out baby food that had the labels covered up. About half of them were so gross they made me gag! The only one I guessed right was the 'spaghetti' one.
And the last game was to make 2 words taboo: 'cute' and 'baby' ... everyone gets a pink clothespin at the beginning of the party and if someone says one of those words they lose it to the person that calls them out. What made this one fun was that people were constantly erupting in excited babble and grabbing for clothes pins all around me. Of course I lost mine immediately.

I got some awesome presents too! They girls got together to get me a breast pump, which I had been festering over because they are so expensive... and in addition to that I got lots of other cute things including some awesome party dresses for the girls, some totally cute onesies (including some that were home-decorated!!), an elephant mobile (cuter than I ever imagined), books and some blankets and sheets for the crib.

And I won an award for best mom-to-be at the party!!


Thanks R for hosting such an awesome party and thanks to everyone who came! I had a blast!!!

34 weeks!


We missed a few weeks! We've been busy. But at least we got one in last weekend. I'm almost full-term! And I am finally really showing, as my doctor said last week.

I've had a few of the usual pregnancy complaints but nothing too bad. I learned a neat trick from my baby book too: if you start to get a cramp in your calf (common pregnant lady complaint), FLEX your toes (the opposite of pointing them) to help release your calf muscle - it really works!

Today we had a photographer come out to our house to take pictures of my baby bump! When I scheduled it as part of a 'newborn package' I had no idea how good of shape I'd be in right now but my baby bump was looking super-fine today and I even fit into some of my old pre-pregnancy jeans for the photos. Our photographer is very creative and takes REALLY cute baby and baby-bump pictures. And the Studly Hubby was looking very Studly in a shirt I actually ironed for him and a fresh haircut... hopefully we got some good pictures!

Nursery!

The Studly Hubby and I have been working hard on the nursery over the past month. It involved several hurdles - first, we had to get our junk out of the baby's room, which meant we finally had to buy furniture for our room. We've been putting this off for years, but it turned out it was pretty easy once we finally committed.We found a really beautiful furniture set! And it really makes me feel like a grown-up to have some real furniture.

Next we moved the Studly Hubby's old dresser into the baby's room and almost instantly filled it up with baby clothes - all of them were given to us at our shower or by friends with babies - and I have to admit it was awfully fun folding and sorting all those cute baby clothes!

Then we hauled all the junk out of the baby room that was in there so we would have some room. This is what the nursery looked like before:

It took us a few weekends to sort it, then we were set back another weekend by a friend who brought over a whole truckload of baby things... but eventually we got it all put away (she had to come back later to help guide us through the pile).

Then the Studly Hubby got to work putting together the crib and the changing table, and we bought decals from Dali Decals for the walls, and some other decor from Ikea.

Finally, it was starting to look like a room and not a storage facility...

Yay!!

At the very end, we put up a picture we got from a local art festival by Justin Hillgrove's "Imps and Monsters" collection - I got it because it reminded me of the Studly Hubby early in the morning but then we thought it would be good for the baby's room to ward off any real monsters.

The Studly Hubby put together a bunch of pictures of the nursery using Microsoft's PhotoSynth program - if you download Silverlight you can walk almost all the way around the baby's room!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New crib!!

Beautiful, huh? The Studly Hubby put it together all by himself without even complaining.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Skirt!

A while ago (March-ish) I got together with some girlfriends to sew skirts but then abandoned the project for about 9 months while the pile of fabric I had bought sat crumpled up on my closet floor.

With a baby coming I had an urge to get this thing finished. It seems quite likely that I'll never finish if I don't before the Big Deadline.

I couldn't get myself to haul it all out and get started on my own so I invited the girls over again for a follow-up party. This time I invited more people and we got even more focused - everyone brought their own project and materials and after about an hour my entire living room was covered in crafty projects (mainly knitting and sewing, and one embroidery project and one giant pile of paperwork project). I was very glad to have some help with the sewing, for some reason it really freaked me out at first and I needed lots of moral support. However after I got rolling it got a lot easier. And it was so much fun that I finished the skirt (the next day):


Here it is! I used the 'honeycomb stitch' to decorate the bottom hem (in more detail below) - it took me a while to figure out how to make my sewing machine do this but in the process I discovered all kinds of neat things I never knew I could do - and practiced switching out the thread color a few times for good measure.


I even sewed in a 'hidden zipper' - something I never thought I could do!! I was really proud of myself.

Unfortunately when it was all done I couldn't try it on or show it off because my big belly got in the way. It still takes me so long to make these things that I thought it would be best if I just stuck with my original non-maternity plan so I can wear it this summer (I followed another one of my skirts for a pattern, below, and also had checked the size way back in March after I got the pieces cut and pinned, so hopefully the size will be close).

The skirt above was also hand-made and bought at a used store in Seattle. It is RikA RikA, a brand that is sold in boutiques around the US but made locally. This skirt was both a pattern and an inspiration, and also WAY better done than mine, but in making my own skirt I have become much more appreciative of a well-made garment like this one!

Friday, January 01, 2010

FINALLY got caught up!

I finally got caught up! Lots of new posts below, all from our adventures over the last month. 2010 is beginning today and I wanted to start off with my blog all caught up.

A lot of people like to do a 'year in review' type post on New Years which I'm sure I've done before but our year was so big I don't feel like I could ever do it justice with one post. I'll just have to trust that you have been reading my blog and remember all the good stuff. Here are some key words to help jog your memory:

Baby
Family reunion, trips to the midwest
Busy busy spring
Even busier summer
New house, big move
Same jobs
Vampires
Nice rainy slow fall
Nesting

Hope you all have great plans for 2010!

Christmas Festivities!!

For Christmas this year we stayed in Seattle. I'm so glad we did - as usual, snowstorms locked up the midwest and would have made traveling really stressful, plus I'm pregnant, AND all our friends were in town this year!!

This is us with our posse:One among us owns a house and offered to host Christmas dinner on Friday. On Thursday, we had everyone over for lunch before we all headed down to the Seattle Center (Space Needle) to do some Christmas ice skating, carousel riding, and hot-chocolate drinking.

Unfortunately the ice skating rink closed right when we got there, but we avoided a tantrum with the promise of double carousel rides which seemed to satiate everyone.


Next we headed indoors where they had set up an awesome tiny-town with a running train set (and conductor!) and nearby hot chocolate brought to us by Starbucks. We loaded up and took the tour of the town. Each of us found something we really liked. We picked out where we would live and keep our horses and go out to play. Even the adults got caught up in the fantasy - I read all the newspaper articles about the 'townspeople' and one of the dads discovered a ravine that he explained to us would be perfect for dumping all the garbage he had at his house.


The village - doesn't it look real from this vantage point?

On Christmas morning we opened presents with our friends C & R and their daughter L who came down from Vancouver to visit and bring us some ketchup chips. L got a pink tutu skirt from us and some tights and a stocking full of surprises from Santa.


She's originally from Brazil so she and her parents were excited to learn that Santa does a lot of things differently here in the US (like fill stockings and come down the chimney!). L couldn't believe it when Santa ate the cookies she left out (and wrote her a note! and left the front of the fireplace open!), and we adults figured out a big secret to Santa's success - he drops presents off in Brazil DAYS before Christmas, leaving lots of time to visit kids in the US in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve.

After we opened presents, the Studly Hubby whipped up his favorite holiday dish, chorizo stuffing, and we took it and a bunch of other food over to J & C's house where their kids hadn't even gotten 1/10 of the way through their pile of presents under the Christmas tree. Even then, they had plenty of new things for everyone to play with.

L and her best Christmas friend H with their pretty new scarves and a pile of toys.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner with lots of amazing dishes (with a particularly outstanding pile of desserts - a vegan yule log, cherry and pumpkin pies and homemade whip cream!), and then we all went out after to walk it off down the block where there was a pretty impressive Christmas Lights show.



All in all it was a great Christmas! And I don't have pictures but a great big THANKS to all the people who sent packages of great presents for us to open on Christmas morning - it gave us lots to play with over the weekend after everyone left!

31 Weeks


Taken Christmas weekend

Christmas House and a changing table

I've been spending a lot of time lately psychotically nesting. Partly I'm just trying to get organized, partly I am venting nervous baby-anxiety, but mostly I am finally ABLE to nest somewhere nice and beautiful because we finally live in such an awesome house.

Here is our living room all decked out for Christmas. We bought a really divine purple rug from Crate and Barrel right before Christmas and it totally brought the room together.


The Studly Hubby also put up Christmas lights around the outside of the house for the first time this year. We got all LED lights and hung LED Santas in the window (which you can't see here but they are cute). After Christmas I plan to put all the lights around the back deck for a year-round light show.

We also have gotten a start on the baby's room:

Last weekend the Studly Hubby put together the first furniture piece which was a changing table we got at our shower (see two posts below). It's really pretty! Next up: crib, bookshelves (glitter purple!), and a dresser.

Scrapbook Party!!

I actually pulled off a girly-themed party right after Thanksgiving. I hosted a Scrapbook party from Creative Memories (the 'digital diva' party). I invited over about 15 women-friends (the men went downstairs to the man-cave) and we listened to a presentation about the software and goofed around together before and after. I was the only one that bought the complete software package so it wasn't a great sale for the Creative Memories rep (in red in the picture below), but there was a lot of interest and several people said they would probably buy after Christmas - so hopefully I will get my 'scrapbook buddy' eventually. Meanwhile I have gotten the software and used it to make Christmas cards and now I am working up the nerve to start making a baby book. It IS super fun, and there's lots to do with it!

This is everyone squeezed into our living room. Thankfully multiple people didn't mind sitting on the floor.

The party was SO MUCH FUN we decided to host a follow-up craft/project party this weekend so people can bring their various projects and spend the evening in each other's company trying to make some progress on their crafts. The Studly Hubby is even going to join us and work on some website-making business he's had on the back burner. For the party I am going to pull out a sewing project from last spring - I keep forgetting how to use my sewing machine so it's nice to have some other girls around to help me out.

Baby Shower #1 - IOWA

I've gotten really behind on my blog posts - and now that I have a day off I might finally get some old stories posted. Sorry they're so late!

Over Thanksgiving we had our first BABY SHOWER!!! The Studly Hubby's Studly sister hosted it. Studly Hubby sister - she remembered all the details, even the sign!!

She rented out a party room and decorated it with lots of cute goodies and supplied food and beverages for all, and we had a great time visiting with all our friends and family who could make it. What a blast! Thanks Studly sister-in-law!!

Food table - complete with a chocolate fountain! The chocolate fountain required a little bit of head-scratching to get it started but it was finally figured out and ran smoothly and provided chocolate nourishment to all afterwards.


We got a load of cute baby things to open up and 'oooh' and 'aaaah' over - I actually worried that people might get bored while we ripped through it all. Thankfully the Studly sister-in-law provided us with a king's hat and tiara to wear so everyone could be properly entertained.


The nice thing about having both families in the same place is that we could get everyone together at once and some of my family got to come too. That's me with my Studly Mommy and Studly Grandmommy (her mother). What's really neat is that my mom was the first girl in her generation, as was I, as will be our daughter.

What a crowd!!! I never knew we knew so many people.



This is most of the Studly Hubby's Studly Family (the Clean-Up Crew, after it was all done). Everything was done so smoothly I didn't even know how to help! It was really amazing.