Archive | April, 2011

7 Months, and counting…

27 Apr

Today, Clara is 7 months old.

In honor of the big day, she decided to wake up at midnight and each subsequent hour until 4:15, at which point she stayed awake for at least an hour, and then again each hour until finally waking for the day at 7:30.  I guess she was so excited she couldn’t sleep.  Me, on the other hand? Not so excited about being up all night.

Today I am doing several things:

– Raising her exersaucer to the next height adjustment.  She is too tall for the lowest setting now.
– Baking muffins for Joel’s exam weeks so he’ll have breakfast while I am out of town. (Clara and I are escaping for the majority of the exam torture.  Mom and Dad are excited to see her for several days, and I will have built in babysitters for my wedding this weekend. Win-win.)
– Cooking several dinners, again so he will have something to eat while I’m gone and not have to order pizza every day.
– Having lunch with some long lost friends.  Well, not really lost… just long-time-no-see friends.
– Craft and Fabric store-ing.  I’ve finally decided on a piece of art to make for the living room wall by the TV, and I need some cording to finish up a quilt I’m working on.  My first one.  And it has been done twice now because I didn’t know the cardinal rule of quilting is to cut your pieces accurately and straight.  Live and learn.
– Photo shoot for Clara’s 7 months.  Maybe I’ll get some fun fabric at the store to use as a backdrop.  And then to make her a dress from?  Or something fun like that.
– Doing laundry so I can re-pack again… did I mention that I hate packing.  It’s maybe the worst part of going on a trip.

Oh, and in other news, Clara can now feed herself.  She’s been enjoying puffs for a while now, but we had to feed them to her.  She would just open her  mouth and eat them from our hands like a little birdie.  I’d usually put some on her tray to keep her occupied while I got her food ready.  Today I did just that, and happened to glance up as she picked one up and put it right into her mouth.  Happy 7 month birthday, Clara.  Way to show off.
Just ignore my terrible high-pitched baby voice please…

Long time, no see…

27 Apr

Well, hello there.

Since we’ve last talked I’ve taken a trip to Iowa, we’ve had a tornado, and another trip to Miami, with trips to Charlotte and Wilmington in between for photo shoots.  Whew!

No wonder I couldn’t keep up.

More on that later, though.  There’s quite a story for each!

Let’s talk about dinner.  What did you make tonight?  I was uninspired until I took a peek in the freezer and found some mahi mahi fillets I picked up at Target a while back, and remembered a recipe Beth told me about while we were in Miami.  I think Mark (her husband) uses tilapia, but since I have mahi, that is what we will had tonight.  Baked with pesto, served with a salad.  Yummy, and healthy!  And even Joel ate it… and he doesn’t eat seafood except sushi (only tuna and salmon), and the occasional specially cooked shrimp (Jon Gould’s prosciutto wrapped boursin cheese shrimp).  That is amazing!

I’ll leave you with a few photos and a promise to write again soon.  No really.  I will.

Is there anything cuter than a baby in a bathing suit??

30 in 30

16 Apr

So… yeah… about that.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t make it for a full 30 days.  Not even close, actually.

I promise I had grand intentions.  But perhaps my planning was slightly lacking.  I decided to do this in a month of complete craziness, including the beginning of wedding season, rather than one of my slower months.

I will try this again, but I think I’ll try to have my posts planned out in advance – at least topics to write about each day.  I find it a bit difficult to sit down and figure out what to write about when I don’t have it planned out and I’m pressuring myself to write every day.  So we’ll try again sometime.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I missed a day

11 Apr

Well, it was bound to happen. I haven’t gone to bed yet though, so does this still count for Sunday’s post?

Either way, I don’t have much to say today.

I’ve been working on a presentation to give on Tuesday for a MOPS group about taking pictures of your kids. I can’t believe I am voluntarily doing a talk. I hate public speaking. To the point that I get so nervous I want to throw up. Yeah. So Tuesday should be interesting.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend. Happy Monday.

Baby Sling

9 Apr

I was hoping that today’s weather would be sunny and beautiful, but no such luck.  Since it was a dreary day, I decided to do a few crafty things around the house that I’ve been wanting to do.

One of those things was to remake my baby sling.  My friend, Melissa, helped me make it not too long after Clara was born.  It’s great, except for my choice of fabrics.  The one I originally chose was really thick and had some spandex in the mix somewhere, so it was pretty stretchy.  The way this one works, you can pull on each side and the middle separately to tighten and adjust how the baby sits in there.  But with the stretchiness of the fabric, the fabric would stretch out instead of adjusting in the rings.  So, I decided to take the rings off the old sling and use some new, non-stretchy fabric to re-make it.

Here’s the old one.

So I just got out my seam ripper and took out the one major seam and took the rings off.

And then I got started on the other sling.  This is just a piece of cotton broadcloth.  It’s about 2 feet wide and probably 4 or 5 feet long.  I made it extra long so I could add pockets at the end.  I hemmed each edge.

To get it ready for the rings, here is what you do:

Find the center (fold it long-wise and press a crease in the center to make it easier, then unfold)
Fold each edge to that center mark.

The fold to the center one more time.  You will end up with a long, skinny folded piece of fabric.



Then pin all that down and sew right across the top.  (Only sew one short edge – the other one will remain open.)

Then you’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Slide the rings over and fold that end over a few inches.  I think mine is about 3-4 inches here.

Pin it like this.  And then sew across again.

That’s it for the ring end.  Now, the other end.  This is totally optional.  You can just be done at this point if you want.  I wanted to add some pockets so I can use this to throw my wallet and keys in and just run into the store if I need to make a quick trip.  On the last sling, I just folded up the end and sewed a few lines down the edges and the middle of it to make some pockets.  This time, I thought I’d try to get a bit fancier.  I had a bit of flannel leftover from another (unfinished) project, so I thought I’d use that.  I cut it about the height I wanted the pockets and folded over the top and hemmed it.  Then I placed it on the bottom edge of the sling and folded enough over onto the back side that I could sew it down.  Pin and sew.

The I folded over the side, trimmed, pinned, and sewed that as well.  Repeat for other side.

Then I sewed a few lines down the middle making a total of 4 pockets (you could do as many as you want), trim all the strings, and voila!  A sling!  So easy!

Macbooks and Babies Don’t Mix

8 Apr

Last night Clara and I were hanging out on the couch downstairs while Joel was doing homework. This little girl is getting super strong. I had her sitting on my lap when all of a sudden she used her little legs and launched herself out of my lap and onto the couch.

This wouldn’t have been a problem, but my laptop was sitting right there, and she knocked her head on it.

It scared her more than anything, I think. She cried. I cried. But she’s fine. There’s not even really a bump today. But if I’m being honest, I went in to check on her more than a couple times last night.

We also went to the doctor this morning and found out that Clara has an ear infection. I remember getting them all the time when I was a kid, so I’m sympathetic, and also really glad she made it this long without being sick!

It’s Friday! What do you have planned for the weekend? I’m hoping to be able to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather! Happy weekend!

Pinterest, a world of awesomeness

7 Apr

Do you know about Pinterest?

Oh, you didn’t?  Well, you’re welcome.  I’ve just introduced you to the most incredible inspiration board/bookmarking site ever created.  And I’m sorry, because you will lose hours browsing the amazingness.

I’ve never found a great way to keep track of all the projects I want to work on.  I’d bookmark them, save copies of the pictures to my hard drive (never to be seen again), or just file them away in the great filing cabinet in my mind (also never to be seen again).  Until now.

Pinterest lets you create different “boards” for different types of things.  You can have a DIY projects board, a sewing projects board, a books to read board, and on and on and on.  And as you browse around the internets or read your blogs in your reader, you can “pin” things to your board.  And the best part is that it saves an image of whatever you’re looking at, along with a LINK back to the original post!  Never again will I look at a random DIY project picture on my computer and think “hey, that’s cool.  i wonder how they did it” and then spend hours trying to find it again.  Now I just have to check out my pinterest boards and there it is, complete with link back to the instructions!  Wooohooo!

Just a few of the fun projects I want to try to do soon!

Hey, it’s Wednesday

6 Apr


My baby girl is still sick.

We have several friends who have kids that have had major illnesses, chronic conditions, extended hospital stays, or major surgeries. Clara just has a cold, and it makes me so sad to see her sick. I don’t know how they’ve handled it. And it makes me wonder a little about how we’ll do when Clara has to have her surgery for that little spot on her head.

I just makes me want to cry when I see her so miserable. I guess that’s part of being a parent though. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do to make it better. That’s the hardest part.

Here’s hoping she’s a little better tomorrow….

Sick Babies are Pitiful

5 Apr

Oh it is so pitiful.  Clara is sick.

She’s had a low grade fever for a couple of days now, but today she started coughing this terrible sounding congested cough and sniffling.  She sounds a lot like the little snorty piggy baby she was when she was first born.  But it’s a lot more pitiful when there’s a 100 degree fever to go along with it.

The worst part is that there’s nothing I can do about it.  There’s no cold medicine for babies.  But the poor thing can barely eat her bottle because she can’t breathe.  Sad sad sad.

I just asked Joel for suggestions for my daily blogging.  He said I should write about what happens during the day.  And I laughed.  Because no one wants to read the same thing over and over for 30 days.  So I’ll only do it once.  Maybe tomorrow.

But, as I was laughing at him and telling him that no one would want to read day after day of that, I remembered something crazy that happened today.

I was getting all my stuff together and heading out the house for the gym this morning, and I opened the garage door to see… a large yellow lab staring right at me.  INSIDE my garage.  Like right by the stairs to come into the house.  Looking at me like he owned the place.

And, you see, this is odd because we don’t have any pets.

Joel had left the garage door open this morning when he left to go to school.  Normally, he’ll close it, but I was up already with Clara, so I guess it just slipped his mind.  And I think there was a box from Bojangles sitting in the garage that I had meant to put into the actual trash can, but never made it that far.  That must have been what the dog was after, but it must not have been enough, because he was apparently searching the garage for something else to eat.  He looked like a nice, well taken care of dog.  He had a collar on, but I didn’t get close enough to see the tags.  He ran away as I came out the door, and disappeared into the back yard.  Where he went from there, I have no idea.  My hands were full with a sick baby.

So, neighbors, if your yellow lab disappeared for a while this morning, he was in my garage.  And he probably ate some stale Bojangles fries and a biscuit.  ‘Cause, see, I just ate the chicken from the box (this should impress you… cause those fries and biscuit are dang good, but I’m trying to cut out some carbs).  Sorry about that.  I hope he doesn’t get sick from it.

I hope that Clara starts feeling better really soon, because the rest of this week is a little bit nutso…

See you tomorrow.


4 Apr

It’s funny how something like a smell, a taste, or a sound can bring memories just flooding back.

You know, like orange and vanilla = push up pops from the ice cream truck as a kid, or hearing a Foo Fighters song takes you back to high school… or whatever school you were in then.

When my dad came and fixed our mailbox, he brought me a pair of post hole diggers.  Post hole diggers, you say, what do they have to do with anything?  Well, it’s not the tool itself, but rather the smell that came along with it.  You see, they were my grandfather’s post hole diggers.  My Pop Pop.  My dad handed me those things and as soon as I smelled them, I was transported back to his basement in Cheraw, SC.  You see, there were two different smells in that house – cigarettes upstairs, and then the basement.

That basement was filled with history.  His WWII Army uniform.  Wood bodies and metal strings on his fiddles, guitars, and banjos.  The kind of dank earthiness that basements have.  Fishing reels, lures, hooks.  His old typewriter.  A world map from back when there was a USSR.  Thousands of receipts.  His tax returns from the first time he ever paid taxes.  Empty coffee cans and boxes – a product of growing up during the great depression in the Green Swamp of Brunswick County.  Oh yes, there was history in that basement.

And it had a certain smell.  I’m not sure I could describe it to you, but if you want to smell it, I now have some post hole diggers that smell just like it.

I could almost see him, holding that fiddle with his frail, old hands, but still playing it skillfully – always by ear, because he never read music.  I could almost hear those old bluegrass songs, the old hymns that he used to play.  And him calling me his “chanteuse” or telling me to give him his cough back whenever I was sick.  The Sunday paper on those old linoleum countertops, open to the crossword puzzle, dictionary nearby, and usually already complete.  The smell of fried shrimp or roasted oysters or fried flounder cooking.

Oh, it’s amazing what a smell can do.  That smell takes me right back to the middle of nowhere, rural Sakerlina, where I saw my first snow, learned to eat seafood, and learned my first guitar chords.  Mmm… I do love that smell.

Those are good memories.