Archive | July, 2010

The Curtain Project

29 Jul

Well, folks, it has begun.

My first attempt at sewing in at least 10 years.  I used to sew quite a bit.  My mom taught me.  She used to make us dresses and curtains and really anything you can think of.  Every Easter and Christmas, my sister and I would have new, handmade dresses courtesy of my mom.  So she taught me how to sew.  The first dress I made was a green empire-waisted dress with white piping along the empire seam.  It was made of some green linen that was left over (or never used) by my mom from some project back in the 70s.  Awesome.  I loved that dress and wore it all the time.

Fast forward a few years… I went off to college and living in a dorm room, there wasn’t room for a sewing machine, or much time for sewing either.  Not that there was a spare machine just sitting around somewhere.  So  since then, I haven’t done much sewing.  But, curtains seemed do-able enough, so here I go, trying my hand, once more.

Here’s the fabric I settled on (finally):

It’s from Joel Dewberry, for those who are interested.  I bought it from etsy, and I have a TON leftover, so if anyone needs some, let me know!  Or maybe I’ll try my hand at making a dress (or 10 – because that’s how much extra fabric I have) for the little one.

I thought it was going to be slightly more blue than it is, so since it’s a little more green than the walls, I thought it needed something to break it up from the wall, so it doesn’t look funny.  So I scoured Jo-Ann fabrics and found a piece of orangey-yellow fabric with little tiny white stars to use as trim.

Yesterday I pulled out the sewing machine.  My sister graciously passed it on to me, since she’s in med school with little-to-no time to sew.  It was my grandma’s, then my mom’s, and then my sister’s.  And that makes you think that it’s one of those sewing machines in a table that you power by pedaling with your foot.  But it’s not.  See, my Grammy loves sewing machiens.  She currently has probably the most expensive, state of the art, sewing/embroidery machine out there.  So the one I have, despite having been passed through 3 hands before getting to mine, is still a computerized one, capable of embroidering designs and doing many different stitches.  I only use one stitch though – and that’s the straight one.  I’m not good enough for all that fancy stuff.

So here’s where I got to yesterday:

So far so good!  I still have to hem them (and maybe put some of the yellow on the bottom, I’m still undecided, but open to opinions), finish the side edges, and sew a rod pocket in the top, you know, so I can hang them.  I’m pretty excited about how they’re turning out though.

Maybe the nursery will come together after all… I was starting to wonder.

…to be continued….

My Daughter, the rib-spreader

28 Jul

So, tell me, all you mothers out there,  is it normal to feel like my ribs are being sliced apart with a knife (read: my daughter’s foot)?

It reminds me of when I was an engineer designing medical devices.  I know that’s a strange statement to make.  Stick with me though.  You see, in order to test said devices, we had to go do surgery on cadavers.  Yes, you read that right.  Dead people.  I have seen more than my share.  There’s a technique that surgeons use in order to reach the chest cavity when they don’t want to crack your sternum… it’s called a thoracotomy.  Basically, they cut between two of your ribs and then spread them apart.  It’s supposed to be a smaller, less painful way for them to get where they need to go to perform whatever surgery it is that they need to do.

Now, I have never had this particular technique performed on me, but I would say, it probably isn’t as painless as they say.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like.  But that’s the only thing I can think of to approximate the feeling of my baby girl trying to poke her way out from between my ribs.  As though it wasn’t already difficult enough to breathe when your lungs are being shoved up into your chest and not given the room that they need to expand.  Add on top of that having asthma.  And then a baby kicking them and trying to disconnect your muscles from your ribs with her surprisingly strong little toes.

Man.  I’m looking forward to the day I can breathe again.


28 Jul

There’s a good reason for the lack of posting lately. We were on a road trip!

Joel is a BIG St. Louis Cardinals fan, so since our California vacation got cancelled in April (Napa Valley and pregnancy just really don’t mix well), we thought we’d take a little trip out to STL to see some games and then stop in Chicago on the way back to see my cousin Stefan and his wife Lauren.  We even scored some tickets to a game there (cubs/cards) thanks to Joel’s dad!

Usually our vacations are a little more geared toward me than Joel.  Think sand, surf, fruity drinks, pools, general relaxation, and laying in the sun.  Joel’s not much of one to lay out in the sun, but he’s a trooper (read: he watches movies inside while I enjoy the sun).   So this time, our vacation is (very much) geared toward him.  See, I like baseball, but I’m not what you would call an avid fan.  4 games in 4 days is more baseball than I’ve seen in my entire life.  But marrying Joel kind of made me into a Cardinals fan by default.  I’m not sure how it couldn’t.  Joel is constantly telling me about the players, their stories, their stats, how they did in the game last night, who got called up, traded, sent down to the AAA team… you get the picture.  But because he’s so excited about it, it’s easy for me to achieve a moderate level of excitement as well.  And I will say, watching baseball live, in the stadium, is MUCH better than watching it on TV.

Welcome to St. Louis!!

Who knew that my new favorite thing was headquartered directly across the street from the Cardinals stadium?!?

We got to see 3 wins out of 4 games against the Phillies in St. Louis.  We had some pretty sweet seats while we were there, too.  Outfield seats:

St. Louis is a great city – if I had to live in the midwest, I think I could live here.  It’s clean, feels safe, and everyone is super friendly.  No, really.  They are maybe the friendliest people ever.  And they have some amazing food here!  We’ve experienced several excellent meals (aside from ballpark fare, which is good in it’s own right) – at Joe Bucks and Pappy’s Smokehouse. And leave it to my husband to take a picture of me eating…. 🙂

Also, if you’re going there, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is a required stop.  Talk about awesome!  I had the Cindermint concrete (think Goodberrys, for all of you NC-er’s, but BETTER!).  Yummm!

Also, people here know how to drive.  I don’t know who designed the curriculum for the NC driver’s ed program, but they need to consult with the people who do the same job in the midwest.  People there know to use their signals, to GET OVER when they’re not passing in the left lane, that a flashing red light means it’s a 4-way stop, and who has the right of way at a stop sign.  Really people, these are simple simple concepts.  Could we get a little of that in NC please?

We took a tour of the stadium and got to go on the field and sit in the dugout.  I think Joel was in heaven… the only thing that would have been better was if Albert Pujols had walked into the dugout while we were there.  He might have had a heart attack.

For the last game, we had AMAZING seats right behind home plate in the Cardinals Club area of the stadium.

From St. Louis, we headed to Chicago.  We got to see Stefan and Lauren, and they let us stay at their place, even though they were headed out to the lake for a weekend with friends and family.  It’s an awesome condo about 6 blocks from Wrigley Field, and they left us a list of all the great Chicago places we had to try out while we were there.  We feasted on Chicago deep dish pizza from Giordano’s (excellent) and Chicago style hot dogs – mustard, onions, slices of tomato, a pickle spear, spicy peppers, green relish, and celery salt – from Murphy’s (which has 2 locations in Japan, of all places).  I skipped the relish – sorry if that means I didn’t get the full experience.  I was feeling adventurous, but maybe not quite that adventurous.  It was good though.

We rode the L downtown and saw the art museum and the museum of contemporary photography.  The contemporary photography museum was disappointing to say the least.  It was more like a gallery with one guy’s very strange work.  Call me uncultured, but adding random colored circles over the faces of the subjects in the photos doesn’t really improve the quality of art to me.  It’s kind of like the modern art movement.  I can paint a canvas red and put a white stripe on it.  Maybe I just don’t get it, but it doesn’t seem very inspired to me.  I’m sure there are those people out there who would argue.  That’s fine – to each his own, right?

Sunday night, we headed over to Wrigley for a Cubs/Cardinals game.  It was a beautiful night.  After a week of temperatures around 100 degrees, the heat finally broke, and we were treated to a lovely 75 degree evening.  I, for one, was extremely thankful.

It was an awesome game – it went to extra innings, but the Cardinals pulled it out in the end.  I have to say, baseball at Wrigley is a completely different experience from a game at Busch Stadium – really different.  But we had a great time, and got to walk back to the house wearing our cardinals gear with our heads held high.  So great.  Amazing how, somehow, the Cubs fans still tried to heckle us, even though they lost.  But whatever.

On the way home on Monday, we passed by the most humongous wind farm I’ve ever seen.  And they were putting up more turbines – LOTS more – beside the ones that were already operational.  It was kind of cool, and I wished that my real camera wasn’t in the trunk… but the iPhone did a pretty decent job.  We must have driven through this for about 6-8 miles.  Crazy!

It was a great trip!  You know that feeling at the end of a vacation though, where you’re just ready to go home?  You miss your own bed and your own shower.  I am so happy to be home, but had a really fun time.

I have some more pictures from the “real” camera… but I have yet to download them.  I’ll be sure to share when I get them done though.  I don’t imagine Joel will want to wait very much longer before he adds some action shots of Albert in action to the walls of the man room. Baby girl already has a little cardinals gear and a nice, soft, fuzzy Albert Pujols bear to greet her when she gets here!

Wow, this turned into a really long post.  If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with me!

Freak Out Moments and Irrational Fears

24 Jul

I think I just about gave Joel a heart attack yesterday.

I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom – you know, that’s happening way too often these days (sorry if that’s TMI, it’s just true) – and the way our little girl was laying made it uncomfortable to really move at all.  Joel was still awake, being the night owl that he is, so he heard me when I said “ouch, that hurts.”

From the look on his face, you would have thought I’d just said, “Baby, grab the bags, we need to go to the hospital!”  It was a look of pure panic.  I’ve never seen that look on his face before.  Joel was a cop, he likes to fight people at the gym (in a friendly way), he’s not really afraid of anything (except mayonnaise – more on this later)… until now.  I think I might have found his weak spot.  I really thought he might start freaking out.  He didn’t even really say anything, just stared at me, mouth gaping, eyes wider than a deer in the headlights, and fear written all over his face.

Luckily for him, it had nothing to do with being in labor – just apparently baby girl didn’t want me to be moving around or something.  I’m really hoping that the classes we’re going to take at the hospital soon will help with that panicked look.  I’m not sure that I can manage my own panic and his, too.

Now, back to that Mayonnaise issue.  Yep, it’s true.  Joel, my superman husband, has an irrational fear of mayonnaise.  This is how bad it is:

– if there is mayo on, in, or even near something, he won’t eat it.
– if he suspects there is mayo in something, he won’t eat it.  This includes things that are white, but that are made with yogurt or sour cream.
– if he sees a mayo commercial on TV, he will make me change the channel
– it took me almost 3 years of marriage before I could even bring ANY mayo into our home.
– now he won’t touch anything on the shelf that the mayo jar is kept on
– when we go to the grocery store, in the condiment aisle, he will move as far to the opposite side of the aisle from the mayo as he can get.
– and he won’t look at the part of the shelf where the mayo is

Just in case you think it would be funny to try and get him to eat mayo without his knowledge, let me just warn you… if he ever finds out, it’s quite likely that he will come and find you and hurt you physically.

I can’t figure out where or how his fear developed.  It’s not as if he had a bad experience as a child, or got food poisoning, or anything.  It’s not as if he’s allergic to it.  Or anything in it.  I mean, what’s in mayo, really – oil, vinegar, and eggs?  He eats all of those things.

Who knows.  But I do have a jar of mayo in our refrigerator right now.  And yes, like a good southern girl, it’s Duke’s.  But I have yet to have my first tomato sandwich of the summer.  The tomatoes we’ve gotten just haven’t tasted great this year.  I think it’s time for a trip to the farmer’s market.  For tomatoes and cucumbers.  And peaches.  I adore peaches just out of the refrigerator.

Also, I am watching the last time trial of the Tour de France as I watch this… I used to ride quite a bit – before we got married, I rode my bike probably 3-4 times a week.  Maybe 100 miles a week or more.  I loved it.  I know that the Tour doesn’t appeal to the general masses – I never watched it before I started riding.  But there is actually a lot of strategy involved in a long race like that.  Crazy.  Lots of crashes, sprints, mountains (ick), and time trials.  I will never be good enough to actually race, but I hope to get back on the bike after baby girl gets here.  I don’t think I’d even be able to pedal these days, with my 32 week belly getting kneed every pedal stroke.  Oh well… one day…

For now we’ll just work on eliminating the panic….

3D Ultrasound!

15 Jul

See, all it takes is a day… I’m inspired, at least to show you these fun pictures we got at the doctor’s office today!

While we were getting these done, I started feeling really weird – short of breath and getting really hot, and then, when my vision started to black out, I realized I was going to pass out.  I guess baby girl is getting big enough to cut off my blood flow when I lay on my back.  It took about 3-4 minutes to start to feel normal again… but it was totally worth it to get these pictures.



14 Jul

I’ve got a bunch of posts half-finished, just waiting for the finishing touches, but despite several attempts, I just haven’t been able to finish them.  We have a fun trip coming up, so I’ll have some personal photos to blog then, but unless I get inspired between now and then, I’m sorry for the lack of posts. There’s a lot going on, many things in the works, so there’s no excuse for it, really, but I guess it is what it is.

Maybe I need to start something like “Stuff I Like Sunday” like my friend Heather has, just to keep me on track.  Hmmm.  Ideas anyone?

Stay tuned… I’ll be back soon.


9 Jul

That’s when I woke up this morning. Usually I can roll over and get a couple more hours of sleep, but today it just wasn’t happening. So I just got up and started my day… maybe I’ll be able to nap later…. ?

On the docket today:
grocery store
clean the house
pampered chef party tonight!

Belly Mini-Photo shoot

5 Jul

While I was in Wilmington last week (Rachel, Millie, and I were doing a cute and dreamy styled photo shoot), Rachel took a couple minutes to do a few belly shots for me… These were done at 28 weeks

Thanks Rachel!! 🙂

Sugar Drinks and Glucose Tests

1 Jul

One word: yuck.

I should preface by saying that I am really thankful for doctors and medicine and technology and testing and all the things they can tell by looking at a little bit of your blood these days.  I think it’s amazing, and I would do any test they asked me to do to make sure that my baby is healthy.  But, I did promise you, dear readers, back at the very beginning of this blog, that I would be real with you.  So this is reality.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the completely ridiculous.

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of heading back to the doctor’s office for the notorious glucose tolerance test.  I had heard horror stories about the nasty stuff they make you drink, people not passing and having to go back for the 3 hour test, etc.  Honestly, I thought, really, the stuff can’t be that bad.  It’s probably just like drinking regular soda after you’ve gotten used to drinking the diet stuff.

Umm, I. Was. Wrong.

I have now joined the ranks of all women who have ever been pregnant and had to take this test.  These women know exactly how bad this sugar drink is.  If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.  The one they gave me was a 10.8 ounce, Fruit Punch flavored, thick, sugary bottle of nastiness.  And you have to drink it all within 5 minutes, but they prefer you to chug it.  Something about it metabolizes differently if you take your time versus chugging it down.  It’s kind of like drinking the syrup that goes into soda all by itself.  Thick. Sugary. Ick.

As I was sitting there in the lab’s little waiting area, trying to choke down this drink, one of the office workers walked by, and I guess the look on my face must have been terrible, because she knew immediately what I was having to do and said in true southern fashion, “Oh, I am so sorry, honey.”

I did manage to get it all down, and within the alotted amount of time.  And then the waiting began.  I was supposed to return to the lab at exactly 9:08 for them to check my blood for the test.  In the meantime I was to have an appointment with one of the doctors, so off I went for that part of my morning.  Talked to the doctor, but by the time she came in, my raging hormones in combination with coming down off the highest sugar high of my life had me feeling downright awful.  It was one of the quick visits, just a belly measurement, a quick listen to the baby’s heartbeat, and a couple of questions, and I was back out the door and walking down the hall to the lab.

Blood drawn, and a promise of a phone call the next day to tell me the results.  Well, today is the next day.  Just got my phone call, and I am SOOOO happy to report that all is well.  Glucose metabolism is normal, and I don’t have to go back for the longer, more torturous test.

My poor husband had to deal with the consequences of those hormones and sugar crash though… he came downstairs shortly after I returned home to find me crying my eyes out on the couch for no good reason.  I just felt terrible, and having not slept well the night before (I’ve been having a hard time with back and hip pain while I sleep) were a bad combination.  There wasn’t anything traumatic that happened or anything, and I knew it.  It leaves me feeling completely ridiculous.  But I guess those random crying spells are part of being pregnant.  Joy.  Lucky for me, Joel is really good at dealing with me, even when he can’t figure out a reason that I’m acting the way I am.

By the way, if you happen to experience the same kind of sleeping difficulties I have been having, I’ve found a couple things that help.  It’s not perfect, by any means, but at least I can get a few hours of good sleep now.  My doctor recommended getting a memory foam mattress topper, which I was skeptical about, since we have a Sleep Number bed, and that should pretty much adjust to anything I need.  But I went and got one anyway, and it really did make a big difference.  I just got one big enough for my side of the bed.  Also, a big, puffy pillow to put between your knees.  No secret, right?  Lots of people sleep with a pillow like that.  But make sure it’s big enough that it can also keep your ankles apart.  That helped significantly.  And when the bed finally became uncomfortable again in the wee hours of this morning, I moved to our recliner, which provided some relief and allowed for a couple more hours of sleep.  Yay!  And taking tylenol before I went to bed didn’t hurt either, I’m sure…