Wednesday, December 28, 2011

making a shopping cart cover

so i'm off on break, and i thought i'd try making this shopping cart cover from the crafty gemini:

but, being 30 miles away from the nearest fabric store, i looked at what i had on hand. i had exactly enough fleece left over from sam's halloween owl costume to make one 42 by 45 side (her measurements from the video) and the elastic, along with some thread.

the cover in the link is gorgeous, and mine is just plain brown fleece. if you don't care about "gorgeous" or if doing this cart cover seems daunting (i saw others that had binding and fancy all kinds of things, and i didn't even want to go there), then you can try my adaptation. (of course, you can use whatever kind of fleece you like - pink, patterned, etc.)

follow the directions in the video to around 2:57. i didn't use a second piece of fabric (i didn't have enough, and i wanted to try a short cut), so i stopped after this and cut out the circles for the legs and the slits for the straps.

then i pinned around the outside edges of the fleece, giving it just about a one-inch hem (give or take a bit) all the way around. it's curved on the "corners," so you will have to do some "folding in" - basically pleats along the curves (i think i have around 6 to 8 pleats on my cover) to keep the hem going around the edge without just running off. please excuse all of the "quotation marks."

here's one of the little folds - note the imperfection (you will never notice it when you are grocery shopping - i promise)

here are two very near one another, already stitched

one fold will do, because fleece doesn't fray, so you don't actually need a hem - the "hem" you are making is the casing for the elastic that will hold your cover on the cart.

this will need to be sewed (i used a machine) all the way around, EXCEPT for an opening maybe 3/4 to 1 inch wide to thread the elastic into the hem.

start back on the video at 7:40. here she shows how to run the elastic through the casing. BE SURE to pin the end you are not threading to the fabric or it will go inside the hem and be nearly impossible to get out. use a large safety pin as your threader if you have one, but a smaller one will do as well (it's more tedious with a smaller safety pin, and you may wish to stop for a coffee break at some point in the threading process; that is ok).

you can stop following the video at about 9:13. i didn't stitch the rest of my hem shut because i did it so differently than she did in the video. i just left it with that tiny gap in the stitching. if you aren't sure how to make your machine zigzag stitch, look at the manual to your sewing machine or google it, and be sure to adjust your tension accordingly. i am still learning how to use mine, and i wouldn't come close to being able to explain it.

i did do a zigzag stitch around the leg openings and the slits for the straps, but this is completely unnecessary.
(please note, it is not stitched SHUT. i basically added a little border.)

is this the prettiest cart cover ever? no, but it IS easy, it may have taken around 2 hours (probably less if i worked straight through) to finish, and it does the job of covering the germ-covered front cart basket so that you can get groceries and your child can ride along without chewing on the handle of the cart.

got it? awesome! now go make one, because it's way cheaper than buying one! if i can do it, so can you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

sam's first christmas

sam opening a book from us on christmas eve:

sam wanted to talk about his first christmas on the way home today:

we have soaked up every special moment with this little boy this christmas. i hope your christmas was as joyful as ours was.

Friday, December 16, 2011

sam laughing at calvin, 5 months

sam loves calvin. calvin has played by making this funny growl noise since he was about 3 pounds. sam thinks it is hilarious when he growls and flips his toys around.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

keeping christ in christmas

this morning on the news, they showed a display someone had put up of a skeleton dressed in a santa outfit hanging on a cross. whatever statement some wannabe artist was trying to make, exactly, is lost on even this art major. someone commented on the station's facebook page about it, something to the effect of, "for heaven's sake, it's christmas, not atheistmas!"

um...did you mean "it's santamas?" because the last i checked, santa was not born in a manger, nor did he die on the cross for my sins to rise again and make every sad thing untrue (a song lyric i heard this week and really loved). not that i mind santa, but the statement made absolutely no sense whatsoever. christmas and Christ have nothing to do with santa, but this person acted as if this demented piece of "art" compromised christmas and threatened the christian faith.

lately, as with each december in this social media age, i have seen a lot of facebook posts about being darn sure to say merry christmas instead of happy holidays. i'm not trying to say there's anything wrong with posting that with the motive of making sure that Jesus is the center of attention at christmas.

here's the thing: Jesus should be the center of our attention always.

saying "merry christmas" in december is not just some tradition to keep. if the only time you are concerned with keeping Christ in anything is at christmas time in the phrase "merry christmas," then it shouldn't matter to you if people say "happy holidays" or even nothing at all.

yes, it is important for our society to acknowledge christmas and not just gloss over it and lump it together with other december holidays. however, if you are glossing Christ over for the rest of the year, then you aren't showing anyone WHY it is important to keep Christ in christmas, and instead you just look like a jerk.

Jesus will make an impact through us if we live for Him and follow Him. if the only way people know you are a christian is by your demand to be told "merry christmas" instead of "happy hanukkah," then you are doing something wrong.


(please no hater comments about santa or saying "merry christmas" - if you came out of this blog mad about what i said about either, then you misunderstood what i wrote.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

big laugher

here's our big boy laughing it up at his daddy. he is definitely his dad's boy. (i must also note that the color of our walls is not what it appears in this weirdly colored video. lol.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


it was our big day in the IVF process: egg retrieval and attempted fertilization. (romantic babymaking, let me tell you.) we tried just two.

one egg disintegrated. one fertilized. and so we had sam, just hanging out in a petri dish, dividing cells and stuff.

here he is on 10/29/10:

and here he is on 10/10/11:

he is the sweetest, most content, awesome, super cute baby ever in the world. we love him a whole lot. he is worth every tear, every test with just one line, every temperature chart, every doctor appointment, every needle, every surgery (there were three!), every time i sobbed and prayed like hannah - and oh did i sob and pray like hannah.

and now we have our samuel, too.

God is the God of impossible things, and He had a plan for His glory in our little boy's creation.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

the end...of 2006

i'm sure the super classy stupid boy would have talked to me in person if he lived around here, but he didn't. (actually, i'm not so sure he would have...but anyway...) the boy had been visiting the church at christmas, too, while he was home on leave. the friend request came in august, so i guess i at least left a lasting impression.

well, you know how the internet is - you have to be safe and people are quite creepy, so you shouldn't accept friend requests (is that what they were called on myspace? i can't even remember) unless you know the person. or maybe you can if their brother is one of your new friends from church that you met through your cousin.

it doesn't hurt if the person is wearing camouflage AND has a guitar in their profile picture, either. (the guitar wasn't his. i asked. in his defense, he wasn't posed with it - it was in the background. ha.)

yes, this is still about God, but He works in mysterious ways.

so this boy decides to come home over labor day weekend to see his cousin before he went away to the navy. and the boy met me at...sigh. i'm wincing. (some of you already know why.) pinch penny pub! super classy, again. and so the girl who didn't care much about God met a boy who didn't either.

but the stupid boy and the dense girl got along well. actually, i. was. smitten. like in the most improbable, totally silly way.

and for about a month, fun and happy phone calls were made across the country, over the pacific ocean, there and back again. and while i let my whole heart get wrapped up in pursuing this boy, i wasn't pursuing God. but here's the fun part - He (capital H) was pursuing me.

i was plenty old enough to know better than to get so caught up in a person in such a short time, but i didn't pay that any mind. i also didn't give much thought to God - at all. until one night, the boy broke up with me.

i was pretty sad. like in a really pitiful, awful, i-can't-believe-she-liked-him-that-much-and-they-only-saw-each-other-twice kind of way. but there was a much bigger reason for the pitiful depth of love i fell into.

i was driving to work and for some reason i had scanned the stations and come across a christian one. as if it were by chance. broken and low, i hadn't gone looking for God. i looked for anything else but God.

and driving, alone, feeling abnormally devastated, i heard a song. call it cheesy, but there it was, a song about how the past didn't matter and how God loved me anyway. and it occurred to me what i'd done. i'd messed up over and over and over again. i finally realized i actually needed God. (that's the thing about growing up in church - it's hard to see that you NEED to be saved sometimes.)

i was just almost at the four-way stop in desoto. it was october. i needed to be saved, and i was. God came and took my heart for His own. and i still mess up every day, and the story isn't finished yet.

the other story isn't finished either. about a month later, the boy and i were talking again. by january of 2007, just four months after i'd met him, i found myself tearfully praying that he would be safe during his deployment to iraq. i was driving. i suppose God waits until i am driving to speak because that's the only time i shut up long enough to listen. i had just crossed the bridge on the black top on the way to my parents' house. i knew the boy would be ok in iraq because i suddenly knew i was going to marry him.

there's a lot of 'story' between then and now, but that's the boy's story to tell. he says he will maybe do a guest blog on his christmas break, so be watching for that. (sorry to start the story so far from then, but i couldn't tell MY story without telling some of his. such is marriage.)

here are some of the lyrics to the song i heard that october day in desoto. i'm sure some of you have heard it before:

Its been a bad day, you've been looking back And all you can see is everything you wish you could take back All your mistakes, a world of regrets All of those moments you would rather forget I know it's hard to believe Let me refresh your memory

Yesterday is history And history is miles away So leave it all behind you Let it always remind you of the day The day that love made history

You know you can't stay right where you fell The hardest part is forgiving yourself But let's take a walk into today And don't let your past get in the way

2005 to the summer of 2006

my cousin invited me to church and introduced me to his friends. looking back, i was embarrassing and obnoxious...i would not have introduced me to anyone. i even got invited to movie nights and various other things. i went. i liked my new friends, but i wasn't serious about church or pursuing christianity.

i went to church with my grandparents - the same place where my cousin went - on some sunday mornings. i was sure to go on the sunday before christmas, and i had to wear my red sweater (i still have it, i still love it, and i still wear it at christmas, fyi).

meanwhile, i kept living my life however i wanted. i became less selfish by some miracle from God and spent more time with my family and took school and work seriously but didn't find my meaning in it (though i did have a lot of fun with both since it was all photography). i wanted to get married eventually but had no prospects, so i spent a lot of time going on awkward first dates (and sometimes second, third, and fourth) and wishing i hadn't. (don't feel bad, there's comedy in it. i could probably write a series on that. ha.)

i continued to develop those newer friendships and sort of went to church, sometimes. it was a very legalistic thing still - i went, but there was nothing really going on in my heart. i was far from living my life the way that i should have been. little bits and pieces come back to me, but it was a blur that last semester. i worked hard on my portfolio and job applications and in may of 2006, i graduated college (round one...). i finally decided after just a couple more first dates that i could be single for a while.

and of course, after that sentence, you had to know that some other stupid boy would come strolling into my life by way of a friend request on myspace (classy, i know) because he saw me in church wearing a red sweater at christmas. (and of course, after all these mentions of stupid boys, you're beginning to figure out who also had a tendency to be rather dense.)


Friday, October 21, 2011

was it 2005?

i think it must have been.

when i was six years old, i decided i wanted to get baptized. in the church i grew up in, nobody said "get saved." it just wasn't the way we said it. whether or not i did the deciding is up for debate, as you will see as the story eventually unfolds (i'm still reformed, but it's really hard to tell and i lean toward "i decided" in this case - you'll see why).

this, of course, was not 2005. this was, i think, in very early 1991. so my parents and i talked to the preacher, and i still remember the talk. we discussed "no turning back," and that my life was now headed in a new direction. pretty deep for a six-year-old, but it seemed simple enough to me. of course, i didn't understand the depth of it (i still don't now, and nobody fully does). but it wasn't as simple as i thought.

i was a legalistic child. i mostly did what i was told except for fighting with my brother. i knew right from wrong and by the time i was a teenager i was convinced i was an authority on it. i knew what was expected of me from the words in the Bible, and so that's what i tried to do.

i remember tugs at my heart, crying, thinking there was something more when i was around 13, and again when i was around 15 or 16. i didn't really know what to do about it, but it was incredibly upsetting and i couldn't figure it out, so i just waited for it to "get quiet" and went on like i had been.

one high school graduation, several bad relationships, and a few years of college later, i found myself with low self-esteem, bad habits, and a lot of idols. i remember sobbing on a bench in the communications building to a friend over a stupid boy, going days without really talking to my family, and drowning myself in work and school, among other things.

finishing out the last year of my first degree, i wound up in a history class that i didn't even mean to take. i wanted the second part of western civ, and in my ignorance i took the first. it was a terrible class (the teacher told us that the united states had better never go up against iran or we would lose - i'm not even kidding), but in that class i sat by my cousin, who i didn't know before then except that we were distantly related, and we became very good friends. i remember talking to him about my life, and i'm pretty sure about yet another stupid boy.

he brought me a bible with smiley post-it notes inside marking the verses that he thought would help. it was an orange new testament, pocket-sized.

i'd read the verses before, but unlike before, i hadn't been following my Bible laws to keep me from needing to read those verses. (legalism is like that, you know.) too bad that at that point, i didn't really want to read them, and i didn't think i needed to anyway. i was just going through a normal phase of bad habits and i'd grow out of it and just be a christian again. later.

that was 2005.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


ten years ago, it had a totally different meaning. a friend was someone you spent time with, understood, cared about, and just generally lived life with, and who did those things for you, too.

now 'friend' has gone from noun to verb, and ironically, the verb form requires much less action.

add as friend. click. done. you have friended someone.

we all have more "friends" than ever.

but it would be so awkward if in real life when someone said something we agreed with, we just stood there and gave them a thumbs up. you definitely would not want to go around poking people (get your mind out of the gutter if it went there, though you don't want to be doing that either).

so why do we carry the facebook friend principle into our "real lives?" why is the value essential to true friendships not placed there? why is it easier to click "like" than to actually speak to someone?

i should probably say that i am a friender. if i have met you once during the current facebook era, you are or have been my "friend." i may not even recognize you if i saw you in person again, but i will add you on facebook. that's just how i am. i think it seems like the friendly thing to do.

it's also a great way to keep track of people from the past or who live far away - for example, friends from high school that you might not see, but you get to watch their kids grow up in their photo albums and read about what is going on in their lives.

but the problem occurs, i think, when there are people that you clearly should be living life with as friends, and instead, you occasionally "like" a post or creep on their page.

i think it's probably something a lot of us find ourselves doing, either out of habit or on purpose, or both.

just something i've been thinking about. now i'm wondering who will be the one who just stands there and gives me a thumbs up when i'm talking.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


it's my "golden year" - so they say. i don't really know what that means except that my age and the day of the month are the same. maybe i will win the lottery or strike oil.

anyway, i woke up to little baby noises and peeked into sam's bassinet and he was waking up, all wrapped up in his sheet, cooing and being happy. we "talked" for a minute, and then justin came in from the living room. i'd heard him making noise in the kitchen. i picked up my literal bundle of joy and went to the kitchen with him to find a mixing bowl with eggs in it and a box of dark chocolate fudge cake mix. :)

justin finished the cake and sam and i chatted on the couch until it was time for him to eat.

that's pretty much my morning aside from folding laundry with justin and drinking coffee.

while we folded laundry i asked, "do you remember what i wanted for my birthday last year?" he said he didn't. i said, "it was the same thing i wanted for any present for anything."

"a baby," he replied, "yeah, i almost used that to get off the hook for getting you something." (har har. he didn't really - he got me a very pretty fossil watch that i just lovvve.)

i never dreamed i would be 27 before i'd get that gift (a baby, not a watch...), but God is sovereign and sam is only the person he is because we had to wait for him, and we sure do love the person he is. :)

onto another thing:
birthday deals.

i googled this a few days ago and got a few blogs with pretty great lists of things you can get on your birthday. some of the deals were not in our area, but you may want to do a search for those if you will be out of town on your birthday.

the best deal as far as dinner? sign up for the houlihan's email list and they will send you a coupon for a FREE entree up to $15 for your birthday. that beats out dessert and a song, let me tell you.

lonestar sent one for a free appetizer with purchase of an entree, and dairy queen sent one for a free blizzard with the purchase of a medium blizzard. old navy sent $15 off of $50. swag bucks gave me 50 swag bucks.

alrighty, off to other eating cake.

Friday, August 26, 2011


i accidentally took this very short video when i had the camera set on video instead of a photo setting.

he. is. fabulous.


Monday, August 22, 2011

the last 6 weeks (almost)

our lives have changed quite a bit in the last six weeks. coming home from the hospital felt overwhelming at first, almost crushing. i remember justin and i looking at each other a little helplessly and wondering aloud why we didn't stay another night at the hospital where we would have at least had some backup with the nurses being there.

but, they let us go, and we went because neither of us were sleeping well there with beeping monitors, blood pressure checks, and those irritating leg things that keep you from getting blood clots continually inflating and deflating. we just wanted to go home.

and they actually let us take sam home with us. let me tell you that as a first time parent, being entrusted with a baby *does* seem like a small miracle. so there we were, just the two of us, trying to take care of a baby. initially it felt like we would never get used to it.

we got huggies diapers, which happen to have "wetness indicator" lines, and they constantly indicated wetness, which resulted in constant changing.

we religiously fed him every 2-3 hours, setting alarms to wake up in the night to feed him.

at first, recovering from the c-section, i was on medication that knocked me out, so i slept through any alarms or crying. poor justin - but he did his nightly single dad gig well until i was able to get off of the medicine. then he still had to wake me up (i still insist the evening before that he wake me if it is my turn and i'm not awake) because i was sleeping so well NOT being 39 weeks pregnant!

we swaddled. well, justin swaddled. he still swaddles much better than me. what is so hard about wrapping a baby up tight, i don't know, but i'm not as good at it.

we got peed on - probably daily. that commercial where the baby's pee comes out with the force and distance of water from a fire hose is pretty accurate. somehow he always needed to pee in the short window of time it takes to wipe and swap diapers. this is because, i think, he peed every 30 seconds. if he didn't pee during the change, his diaper was no more fastened and the wetness indicator changed colors.

the worst, though, was when the diaper was "mid-fasten" and his 30 seconds had elapsed. at some point, we gave up on the changing pad cover - wiping the plastic is easier than washing the cover - and we gave sam a lot of "baths."

i put baths in quotations because you're not supposed to submerge a baby's healing belly button (or boy parts, for that matter), so we did the warm washcloth bath. he hated it and cried through most of it until he got wrapped up in the hooded towel.

he started out a smiley baby, and no, he didn't have gas. he would grin in his sleep when you rubbed his hair, and sometimes he would even giggle and smile - i said he was dreaming of his momma.

if you have never had a newborn, i must say that all of this seems to take over your life - from cooing at your most-gorgeous-baby-you've-ever-seen to feeding to changing, and then you wake up at 11 am after taking a nap you didn't mean to is definitely a blur.

and then somehow, there's a routine. the baby is more predictable, and you know his cries (and grunts and whimpers and coos) and what they mean, and the wetness indicator says his diaper is actually STILL dry!

we are actually on our second box of non-huggies (which work just as well). he gets changed when he needs it and there's no wetness indicator glaring at us. he doesn't do the 30 second pee anymore either, so we get peed on a whole lot less. however, if you have a little boy, do remember to "point it down" during re-diapering, or you might get a wet surprise right out of the top of the diaper. (i also decided it was time to bump up to a size 1 - tear, tear, he's getting bigger - because he was able to pee out the side of his diaper. i swear it was like there was no diaper at all.)

we no longer set an alarm to feed him. they told us to do this at the hospital, and maybe initially a baby who has lost weight needs it to get back to birth weight, but after a few weeks i think it's the dumbest thing a sleep-deprived parent could do. he wakes us up when he wants to eat and it's usually more like five hours instead of three, which is glorious. he eats while staring at either us or the light, whichever he finds most interesting at the time, and he usually still keeps those hands by his face.

we stopped swaddling because he wanted to sleep in his swing for a brief period of time, but we went back to swaddling. if you have an infant who will tolerate it, don't stop swaddling. he didn't sleep as well without his arms being trapped where he couldn't smack himself in the face or knock his pacifier out. when he's wrapped up he looks like a little worm or something in a cocoon, and it makes me giggle every time.

he now lovvvvvvvvves baths. i love giving him baths because he is just so stinking content and he just looks around quietly with his big beautiful eyes...sigh. don't even get me started on that soft brown hair. anyway, he loves baths now that they are actual baths and he can stay warm and happy.

and do yourself a favor - get hooded towels. you don't really need them to effectively dry a baby, no, but they are so cute that i feel like i might die of the cuteness, and that cuteness is a fun experience for every parent.

and baby lotion. oh baby lotion. the smell of a clean baby is something close to heaven.

also close to heaven - getting a smile in response to just being MOM. be still, my heart. he coos and "talks" to us about whatever is on his baby mind. i just love it.

i also love watching justin be a daddy. at first, it was so busy, we felt like we didn't even have a marriage, so to speak. but every day it got a little more normal, and then better than what had been "normal" for our lives - the new normal of being husband and wife AND dad and mom.

oh, and calvin is getting along just fine. he likes sam, but we aren't sure he knows he is a person or if he thinks sam is either an animal or a toy. he does not like for us to sit sam on him, and he will run away if we try. (yes, i pester my dog.)

so we are a happy little family. we are so thankful that God has blessed us with sam.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

our july 13

i began fasting at midnight the morning of july 13, doctor's orders. we went to bed, me large, uncomfortable, and pregnant. we got up that morning, i don't even remember what time, and got ready to leave for the hospital. justin pulled into the circle drive by the automatic doors at the registration desk and let me out and then parked the car. they sent us right to labor and delivery. it was 10 am.

they took us into the triage room, which was full by the end of the morning with myself and two other moms waiting to have babies. i got hooked up to the standard machines, baby's heartbeat and movements, mom's belly (i did have a few small contractions), and an iv of something to replenish my fluids. they did a quick ultrasound to make sure sam was still breech. he was.

everything was going on time and as planned until about 45 minutes before my c section was about to start. a nurse came in and told me that a mom in labor had a baby in distress and that my c section would be bumped back an hour to do their c section and clean up the operating room. i didn't mind being bumped for that reason, but it gave me plenty more time to freak out and get hungrier. i was almost in physical pain from the anxiety - i'd never had a c section, didn't want a c section, and again, i was really, really hungry. around 12:30 or so, the nurse came in and told justin to get into his scrubs.

then it went pretty fast. she came back and told me it was time. we tied up the back of my gown and she held my iv bag. justin followed as we walked to the operating room. he had to sit out on a stool and wait while they did my spinal block.

the spinal block involved me sitting up on the operating table and sort of hunching over, slumping my shoulders, and "relaxing" while a guy in green scrubs stuck a needle into my spine. i write it in this tone so that you can sympathize a bit. i was just a little afraid. or maybe a lot. "ok a little pinch and that's the numbing," he said. then i had a shooting weird feeling down my left leg and i jumped a little. he asked which side i felt it on, then adjusted his needle. then they helped me lay down. it took less than a minute, probably.

they brought justin in and he sat by me and rubbed my hair and held my hand. i was still pretty afraid and he knew it.

"ok feel this cloth, it's cold. tell me when it stops feeling cold." in my head i thought, oh no, they are going to make me tell them when i am numb using only this. eventually it felt not-so-cold. meanwhile, some nurses made a giant barrier over my chest with blue material so i couldn't see the surgery. it wasn't just a short curtain, this thing went probably 2 1/2 feet up from my body.

dr. scheider said, "ok, do you feel this pinch?" i said, "i don't know...kinda." she said, "you're numb. i pinched so hard you'd want to smack me." i laughed. she said, "if you're laughing, you're numb."

the next word i heard, spoken quietly, was, "incision." it seemed like no time passed before someone said, "ok, you're going to feel some pressure, we're going to get this baby out." i looked at justin with wide eyes and squeezed his hand. it didn't hurt, i just felt pressure.

then someone said, "well happy birthday!" i looked at justin wide-eyed again with my mouth gaping. then i heard sam scream, a short little, "ba!" then another and another, until he was crying. and so was i. a nurse said, "time of birth, 1:19."

justin got up to take some pictures as i'd asked him to do as they weighed him and cleaned him off. he brought the camera to me and showed me, but i couldn't see it well enough to see what he looked like. then there he was, in a little hat, held next to me by the nurse. i kissed him and pulled him close to me to snuggle. in that moment i learned immediate love beyond what i knew i could feel for him even as i felt his kicks in the womb. he was healthy and good. i didn't know who he looked like. then they took him to finish up with footprints.

they gave him to justin to carry to the nursery to get his bath and get all of the other things done that they do to babies in hospital nurseries. they were putting me all back together. i had asked about keeping sam in there with me, but they acted like it wasn't ever done that way, so i just let them do their thing. i wanted him to get done in the nursery anyway.

finally someone got a hospital bed for me and they rolled me onto it on some kind of board, from what i could tell. i didn't have to do a whole lot in this process except lay there. they wheeled me down the hall to recovery. justin came back and held my hand and told me they were giving sam a bath. someone gave me medicine through the iv. i asked for sam after a while, but they said they weren't done yet. it was around 2:15.

they rolled me through the halls again, past the nursery and a crowd of my family waiting at the window to see sam. they pointed him out to me. i saw him but felt groggy. then they had justin push the lullaby button, which i was glad of, because i wanted to hear sam's lullaby. they rolled me into the hospital room and gave me a cup of ice chips. they were the best ice chips i'd ever had at that point.

by this time, the spinal had mostly worn off. i could move my legs, and i was quite loopy with whatever was going into and out of my system. my face started to itch. our families had come into the room and seth laughed at his sister looking like an addict withdrawing from something...itch itch itch.

FINALLY, around 3:00, they rolled sam's little cart in. i was so happy. they handed him to me, and everyone took pictures. then everyone left so i could feed him. our boy. i couldn't believe it.

yesterday we went to the doctor to get my staples out and pulled around in that same circle drive by the same automatic doors. it was 10 am. sam was in his car seat instead, and justin and i were kind of different people than we had been just one week before at that same time and place. we were officially dad and mom now, and though this is a blog, there really aren't words to tell you what that means - but it is good.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

sam at 37 weeks

sam at 37 weeks is breech as can be. also, in the words of the ultrasound tech, for as small as what i am, i grew a bigger baby.

sam is anywhere between 6 lbs 9 oz and 7 lbs 7 oz, which is pretty big for three weeks before the due date apparently.

sam has a TON of hair.

unfortunately he did not get his father's head size and instead got his mother's melon head. i nearly had a stroke when the measurement on the screen was 9.87 cm across. dr. mulch jokingly said that maybe he is breech for a reason. no wonder it feels like he is breaking my ribs - he has a wrecking ball on his shoulders.

sam had his arm up over his face for the 4d pictures, but there is still one that is adorable. for those of you who "just can't see it," i photoshopped the "parts" so you could tell what was what.

and so here is the photo of our beautiful, precious, stubborn, large-headed baby boy:

i cried. he is wonderful.

dr. mulch said we need to have made our decision in a week for my 38 week appointment. if sam is still breech, we can either schedule a c-section for 39 weeks or try external version with induction at 39 weeks. (version is where they squish him around and try to make him turn, then induce labor and hope he stays head down.)

obviously there are risks and drawbacks to both. there is enough amniotic fluid for him to turn. the placenta is in the front, which makes version more difficult. if version doesn't go well, it could mean an emergency c-section, which means being under anesthesia and justin not being able to be there for what may well be our only biological child's birth.

with a scheduled c-section, you have the healing, the scar, and the terror (it scares the crap out of me). still, i would be awake and justin would be able to be there. it's just so "extreme" compared to natural birth. also, i couldn't even try to get pregnant for a year - which i'm not betting can even happen between breastfeeding and endometriosis, but that's a touchy subject for a girl with infertility (limiting something that is already so limited).

or he could turn. statistically by this point, chances are that he will not turn, but he technically still could. i've heard stories of babies turning this late or later, but it doesn't seem to be that common.

so we have no idea what we want to do. we go back and forth about it, and i've heard everyone's horror and success stories about all of the options. [please note, i am NOT delivering a breech baby "naturally." that is way too risky for my liking. if you would like to do that yourself, feel free.]

so what i will ask is that you please pray for us, that sam will turn head down, and that if he does not, that we will be able to reach a decision that we have peace about.

we are very excited to meet him - maybe even in just two weeks if he decides to be uncooperative. i can't wait to hold and snuggle my little boy and feel his soft hair and kiss his little cheeks. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

36 weeks.

last week at my appointment, the doctor squished around on my stomach to see how sam was positioned.

most of you know how hard it was for us to get sam IN there, so it should be no surprise that at 36 weeks his head was way up in my ribs instead of down. of course if he doesn't turn, she said we could manually try to flip him from the outside (version) or do a c-section. (picture me looking tearfully at justin as the doctor finishes examining me...terrified.) i pray that any difficulties getting him in (or out) are the extent of his stubbornness. i can dream.

i have been putting an ice pack on the top of my belly to "encourage" him to flip around. i have been doing inversion techniques - or rather, one technique. starting with my knees on the ottoman (the couch is too tall), i bend at the waist with my head straight down and support myself with my elbows and head from the floor. this is supposed to stretch out any uneven ligaments or whatever it is holding everything in place in there. i hold that for about a minute and a half and then justin helps me stand up (that is a tough pose to get out of with a big belly) and that is supposed to relax everything back into the right place.

i woke up this morning at four needing to pee - this is a regular occurrence. i felt "funny" so i laid on the couch for a second and started squishing around on my stomach. no more head in the ribs. or so i think. and is that a round head way down there? maybe. i can't tell.

i went back to bed and there were kicks and punches (which are which depends on if he actually turned) in places that there hadn't been, and then he got hiccups and they were completely opposite where they normally were.

something is in my ribs that can actually make popping sounds against them depending on how i move. kind of gross and weird, i'll admit. it is firm, but doesn't feel round like his head did, and it's in a different spot. i'm a bit terrified of how large he is if it's his leg, but it might be part of his back...who knows.

so today i am waiting on my blood work to come back to see if something is wrong with my gallbladder. i have all of the symptoms, so it would almost surprise me if there wasn't something wrong. then tomorrow is the ultrasound to check sam's position and find out for sure what that popping thing is in my ribs. i am really excited to see him - we haven't seen him since february. i really thought they would do more ultrasounds than this, so it is going to be really great to see him. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


the bookshelf, and my old elephant bank that matched the nursery theme.

one of sam's giraffe toys.

sea turtle and cloth diapers.

another giraffe toy and the quilt i made sam.

the crib.

dresser and wall hanging.

storage cart and bookshelf.

closet doors and trim, crib, wall hanging.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

8 months/35 weeks.

wow it has been a while since i blogged. the school year wound down, and i was doing a LOT to prepare for my maternity leave at the beginning of the year next year.

i have been spending most of my time being an uncomfortable pregnant lady. i was sure the doctor was wrong when he measured my belly two appointments (three weeks) ago and said i was measuring small. everything i have read says that the size of the baby and the size of your belly are not necessarily related. at my next appointment (last week), the doctor was another doctor in the rotation, and instead of loosely and gingerly measuring my belly with a tape measure (yes), she squished around on my belly.

and she said sam feels a bit above average, "a pretty good sized baby." not that i want him to be enormous. i'm not a large girl...normally. but he FEELS like he is enormous, and i don't have a whole lot of room for him in my 5'2" body. (watch, he will be 6 pounds and i will look like a whiner. but the doctor said the mom's birth weight - and that of her family - is a big factor in the baby's weight, and i was just shy of 8 pounds and my brother was just shy of 9.)

sam doesn't move around as much now, because he is running out of room. of course. he still gets the hiccups and wiggles and kicks so hard my entire stomach shakes, but it doesn't happen as often as it did in the 22-week to 32-week range. (this is all new to me, and i try to describe it because it is nearly impossible to imagine how it feels unless you have done it and your pregnancy is similar to mine, as i hear they are all very different.)

another thing that is happening to me is horrendous heartburn and numbness/tingling. the heartburn is best tackled with baking soda and water, which is totally disgusting but it works. the numbness is from sam being heavy enough to rest on some important blood vessels and make my hands and arms stop feeling like they are fully functional - and sometimes my legs, too. sometimes it helps to change positions or get up and do some small activity, but other times it just hangs around.

starting next week, my appointments will be weekly and i will get checked for "progress" in the nether regions. they will also check to see if he is in position, which i am unsure of - i feel like he is sideways a lot, but today he feels head down. then at 37 weeks, if he hasn't decided to come yet, i am supposed to be getting an ultrasound to get a very general idea of how big he might be, just in case we want to adjust the birth plan accordingly for the health and safety of both of us.

last night we made our birth plan! and we also started packing our hospital bags, just things that we can do in advance. i can't believe we are so close. yesterday i cleaned and organized so much in the nursery while justin was gone to class that i passed out on the couch as soon as he got home because it was the first time i let myself sit down.

of course, we had my shower, and it was just wonderful. some super awesome friends put it on for me and they did a fabulous job. :) we got a ton of baby things and a ton of gift cards, which we have been slowly spending and are taking a shopping trip tomorrow to get more things that we need with them.

yesterday i put sam's booster seat in the dining room chair. i realize i won't need it for a while, but i needed a place to put it to get it out of his room, so i set it up...and then i cried. it is all so exciting, but still so unbelievable because of our journey to this point. it feels like it can't be real...even when he kicks me in the bladder and i swear i will pee right then and there. (i haven't, but seriously wow bladder kicks will let you know that you are not in ultimate control of your life.)

this blog feels a bit scattered, but that is an accurate portrayal of life right now. seriously, you should see the nursery. so i'm off to go work on that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

my first walgreen's blog.

so this afternoon justin and i went to walgreen's. i must say that i am not impressed by the generosity of the people who shop there, because 24 hours into the sale, there are shelves completely cleared out. that aside, here's what we did:

3 old spice body washes: on sale for 3/$10, plus $3 register rewards
with coupons: buy one get one free old spice product ($3.33), and $1 off of two old spice products
total: $2.67 for three old spice body washes.

2 softsoap body washes: on sale for 2/$6, plus $4 register rewards
total: $2 for two softsoap body washes

2 pantene pro-v shampoos: on sale for 2/$7, plus $1 register rewards
with coupon: $3 off two pantene products
total: $3 for two pantene shampoos

2 red baron pizzas: on sale for 2/$5.49
with coupon: $1 off a red baron pizza
total: $4.49 for 2 red baron pizzas

i am pretty excited, especially about the old spice. i told justin i am on a coupon high.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


my grandma had a lilac bush in her yard when i was growing up. well, the lilac bush was older than me, and probably older than my dad. i believe the lilac bush began life being owned by my great grandma. it moved i suppose when they did, out to the farm, just near the well, close to the house.

after we bought our house, justin and i would go on walks or go running. down the street from us, someone has a lilac bush. walking by, the smell of it sent me right back to playing at my grandparents' house as i grew up - sitting in the living room talking, eating powdered donuts and drinking capri suns, stomping around in boots during the flood when the carp swam in the front yard, exploring the white shed looking at all of the "stuff" (including the grill that is currently on our patio and is older than i am), walking through the dirt-floored red barn with tools and that old green car, just wandering around aimlessly.

i didn't realize it until then, but the smell of the lilac bush had a strong tie to my childhood in the country. justin said, "oh, that smells good." smiling, i said, "it's lilac. it smells like my grandparents' house."

the lilac bush died last october during the fire - it was too close to the house to survive.

this year i had no idea what to get for mom for mothers' day. i thought of several things that i decided against for one reason or another. finally and typically, we were browsing through rows and rows of plants - roses, rhododendrons, hibiscus, petunias. no, no, no, no.

then i saw the small section of plants, pinkish and purplish flowers in bunches, and the familiar smell - lilac.

we smelled that smell the whole way home from the store, and today i gave mom her lilac bush. i told her i remembered the smell from my grandma's house, and now sam would be able to do the same.

mothers' day.

it's mothers' day. it's weird, because it is a GOOD day. last year at this time, i was nearly convinced i would never be able to have a baby. i was losing sleep, charting temperatures, and taking clomid (which didn't work and made me crazy). i was a nervous wreck. i was sad...devastated, every month. every single month. i remember one line after one line after one line.

after a lot of struggle, a lot of sin and battling sin, a lot of anguish, many trials, more prayers than i can count, more injections and pills and doctors appointments than i care to remember, it was october, and we had one baby - one teeny tiny little baby, living and thriving and growing in a petri dish miles away from where we were. yes, it's very weird.

and then november came. i took the tests to make sure i wouldn't get a false positive - one line, which i actually wanted to see. then that sunday morning was the faintest, tiniest, hardest-to-see second line. the baby made it. against everything, the baby made it.

i remember the pain of the last mothers' day. i remember wanting to disappear. i remember being miserable and wanting to cry all day. i remember how much it hurt to long for a child and to not have one. i remember feeling like God didn't hear me, and that if He did hear, He was saying no.

and this mothers' day, i am a mother. i got the geranium from church (for some reason i thought they were begonias). lots of people have told me happy mothers' day. :) it is incredible. i am still in awe. i can't believe it - i can't believe i'm actually here. we painted a nursery a couple of months ago. for real. constantly sam reminds me he is here by wiggling, kicking, hiccuping, rolling. wow.

God didn't say 'no.' God did hear. i am so thankful that His answer was this answer. i know we are blessed beyond what i can even say.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

almost 30 weeks!

i had no idea it would go this quickly, and i am sure the next ten weeks will seem to take forever and fly by all at the same time.

yesterday at work i had to fill out a medical survey. there was a whole section of questions asking me to rank the likelihood of me falling asleep during certain situations. ha! i just answered them as i would have in october.

of course, then there was the height and weight question. 5'2" women do not have good bmis at 150 pounds, so i hope they look at the area that asked if i was currently pregnant before they judge my bmi. (whatever. our insurance is ridiculous anyway, so it's not like it will make it any better or worse if they deem me to be healthy.)

no more progress on sam's room. we can't find closet doors that we like. yet again, the door opening is an odd size. imagine that, in this house. so we will keep looking. we got rid of the old ones (and put them in the office, which had no doors on the closet) because they are a million pounds and i could just hear them slamming on his little fingers and him yeah. (ask justin, he got a purple fingernail from those wicked doors.)

projects that are in progress in sam's room:
painting to hang on the wall
name letters to hang on the wall
installing new outlets and outlet covers

things to do:
closet (doors, put trim back up)
touch up paint
get curtains and hardware
put bedding on crib
wash his clothes and put them away
give birth...well, not yet. ;)

it still doesn't seem real that he is this close to being here. i think it will as time goes on, especially after my shower, which is in a few weeks. i am so looking forward to it. i am imagining i will cry about 57 times. maybe 58. i still can't believe it's all happening to me.

sunday is mothers' day. i have wanted to be a mom forever, but i have been "ready" for the last two mothers' days, and they have been tough. i am hoping to write another blog on that when it gets here, but needless to say i am thrilled and humbled to know that i don't have to cry sad tears this year. and maybe i'll get one of those begonias from church. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the lastest gem...

in middle school pregnancy conversations -

girl student: what are baby boomers?

me: well, all the men came home from the war and...their wives got pregnant. then lots of babies were born.

girl: ooooohhhhhh.

boy student (the same one who asked if i was in labor a few months ago): was your husband in iraq?

me: yes.

boy: did he just get back?

me: no. coming back from a war does not cause your wife to get pregnant.

oh my gosh, the things that get discussed in seventh grade.

Friday, April 29, 2011

old navy clearance, part 2

so since i went to old navy last week, i have been thinking how much i'd like that light pink sweater i found but didn't get. i talked justin into going with me today. the whole store is buy one thing get another 50% off, and they said the highest priced items are automatically the ones that are discounted. however, this isn't the case, as it would have been two dollars less than it was, but i'm still ok with the final outcome.

justin got a pair of black slacks, tan corduroys, and an orange sweater. i got two white cardigans and the pink sweater.

the breakdown:
black slacks: originally $34.50, purchase price $3.59
tan corduroys: originally $29.50, purchase price $2.97
orange sweater: originally $24.50, purchase price $1.25
white cardigan 1: originally $36.50, purchase price $2.98
white cardigan 2: originally $29.50, purchase price $2.95
pink sweater: originally $34.50, purchase price $5.61

total originally without tax: $189.00

what we paid with tax: $20.95

and i used my old navy card so i get points.

also interesting, right now when you open and activate an old navy visa, if you use the item for a purchase outside of the old navy/gap/piperlime/banana republic stores, you get a $40 gift card to use at any of the above mentioned stores! i think we may just charge the next gas purchase to get that!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

today is...!

the last day of my second trimester! wow! it is so hard to believe that i am this far along.

yesterday i checked the 28 weeks section of and exclaimed, "no WONDER it feels like he is kicking so hard! he is HUGE!" i don't know what i thought it felt like when babies kicked, but i don't think i imagined they had the power in their tiny limbs to do the things they do - and he has only just barely gotten big enough to hurt sometimes.

a milestone this week: he kicked and i wondered if i would pee as a result. (i didn't.)

i want to talk about an aspect of pregnancy that i don't hear many people talk about: the nose. what in the heck is up with my nose? or rather, what in the heck is UP my nose? seriously folks, it happens. sometimes it makes it hard to breathe and then i have to take time out for an extensive nose blow, which usually involves some sort of nosebleed (again, normal during pregnancy).

i have finished the giraffe and the crocodile in sam's painting. i only have the rhino left to do. i am pretty pleased with it so far. his room is coming along slowly...and by that i mean that we really have no time (or in my case, energy) to spend on it between work, school, and homework. someday he will get closet doors and trim around the closet and curtains, but i don't know when. it has been a really busy semester for justin and a really tired one for me, so it feels like we have projects that are never going to get done. i just tell myself that sam really won't notice if everything isn't finished in the house by the time he gets here.

that's about as much as i can think of to update now. my arms are feeling weak, which i hear is also normal because my (already low) blood pressure has dropped to nonexistent so that my baby boy gets the nourishment he needs, so i'll stop typing and go do something else.

Friday, April 22, 2011

my trip to old navy...

i have never just written a blog about the great deals i got shopping at such and such store, but i did so well at old navy yesterday that i am still on a bargain high, and i need to tell someone about it.

i stopped at old navy because justin had night class and i was not exhausted so i had some time to myself that i could actually use. i wanted to check out their baby clearance. on the way in, i stopped at the men's clearance section because i always get better deals for justin when he isn't there (he never thinks he needs any clothes). they had an extra 30% off clearance, so i was willing to get a few things.

flipping through the racks, i found a really nice maroon button down shirt and a yellow quarter zip pullover sweater.

then it was on to the baby section, where i found nothing. i went to the toddler boys section and found a cute 12-18 month zip up hoodie, though.

it's hard to try on clothes right now, but i still looked around for myself. i found an adorable argyle turtleneck sweater, a black cardigan, and a dress that i am wearing sunday for easter.

here's the breakdown:
maroon shirt: originally $24.50, purchase price $5.34
yellow sweater: originally $29.50, purchase price $4.39
baby hoodie: originally $16.50, purchase price $1.56
argyle sweater: originally $29.50, purchase price $2.19
cardigan: originally $29.50, purchase price $2.19
dress: originally $24.50, purchase price $5.35

original total cost without tax: $154.00
what i paid with tax and with 10% off for using my old navy card: $22.75

i am still pumped about it 19 hours later. :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

oh, i still have a blog.

i haven't had a lot to blog about really. i had some recipes i was going to blog, but i didn't like the photos i had to go with them. this is most likely because i've been really grumpy lately. i blame the progesterone. (which is also the reason i can't sleep...)

sam is doing well. his little heart checked out ok with the doctors in st. louis. we watched him hiccup. did i write about this already in a blog? it's been over two weeks, and most days i can't even remember what happened the day before. (progesterone again.)

sam is a kicker. an acrobat. a spaz like my little brother was - if this womb movement is any indication of how he will be in the outside world, that is. right now i can see my stomach wiggling all over, and i guess he is mad because i called him a spaz, because i think he is digging his elbows in. thankfully he isn't big enough yet to hurt me very often. every once in a while he will smash something that doesn't want to be smashed and it will hurt, but most of the time it just feels like a two pound baby is wiggling like crazy inside of me: weird, awesome, and a little bit like i'm going over a hill too fast and my stomach drops.

he is getting quite big though. he can stretch all across my stomach and kick/hit/elbow/roll/punch/flip in two places at once. at night he likes to kick and punch at the same time so i can feel him on both sides of my belly.

new aches and pains have also settled in. my hips and back frequently hurt, and apparently i'm having some contractions sporadically. if i walk too fast, everything inside me feels smashed, sam feels like he weighs about 40 pounds, and i get dizzy and see sparkles. so the doctor said for me to keep track of them and make sure they don't happen too often, because that wouldn't be good. otherwise i just have to do a better job of taking it easy when i go to work (which seems to be the only place i have them). i also had my first charlie horse last night, and that wasn't fun.

i finally chose a baby book for sam and ordered it ($10 off any baby purchase coupon in this month's parenting magazine!) and it is adorable. it made me cry, of course. (i cry in the baby clothes sections of stores. i think i cried when we registered for a changing pad. i just never thought it would be me, you know?)

justin is currently applying the second coat of paint to sam's room. it is light green, and i think we are going to go with dark brown accents. [i love the color, but unfortunately i cannot recommend olympic paint. the coverage is terrible. buy kilz. (olympic isn't even VOC free - by the time you add the COLOR to the paint base, the VOCs are about the same. very nice "safe" advertising, olympic!) so if we run out of this can of paint, i'm going to get the same color from walmart in kilz.]

i am still looking for ways to decorate his nursery. i have some jungle things and his name to put up, but i'm ready to get everything in there and set up so we can see what we need to add to make it super awesome.

so that's that. 25 weeks tomorrow. exhausted as ever, so i'm going to lay down and rest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

pray for wyatt

i love my baby boy. i have never felt his soft baby skin. i have never kissed his face. i have never touched his fuzzy baby hair. i have never felt his fingers curl around mine. but i love my baby boy in a way i haven't loved before. i want to care for him and protect him.

i say these things to tell you this story:

this is wyatt. he is 16 months old.

on march 4, wyatt had a seizure. he had no history of health problems, no warning signs - it was totally unexpected. i can only imagine the fear that gripped his mom and dad as they waited to find out why. they stayed by his side as he laid in the hospital bed, tubes and needles and oxygen attached to his little body. after several hours, they were told that wyatt had had a febrile seizure, induced by a fever.

they were then sent to st. louis childrens hospital for further testing and monitoring. febrile seizures can happen with no serious cause and can be so minor that they cause no long term damage, and it looked like that was what had happened to wyatt.

but then they were approached by three doctors who told them that wyatt had no neutrophils. neutrophils make up more than half of the human immune system, and a healthy person has more than 1500 of them. they had to stay in the hospital in total isolation for wyatt's safety.

the low neutrophils and low white count, which he also had, could be indicative of several things, ranging in severity from a viral infection to leukemia. they are waiting for more information when they meet with the doctors again on friday, and in the meantime, wyatt has to stay isolated at home, and when he goes out to go to the doctor, he has to wear gloves, a coat, and a mask. wyatt's neutrophils have yet to come up. at their lowest they were 84, and at their highest they were 200.

wyatt's mom said that they feel afraid and helpless. i know they are hurting and their lives have been completely turned upside down. i know they want to make everything better, and they can't. i know they want to protect him from this. i know they love their baby boy so very much.

God is above the impossible. five months ago i desperately pleaded with you to pray, pray for us - pray for the baby that probably would NOT be to be, pray for the implantation that likely would NOT happen to happen, and pray for the baby to live and thrive and be healthy. against all odds, i am five months pregnant. God worked a miracle. God gave us a baby. God was above the statistics, God was above - and still is above - the impossible.

so now i plead with you to lift up wyatt and his family in prayer now and to continue to do so. pray that little wyatt is healed by the Almighty, above-the-impossible, loving God who created him. pray that good news comes friday as they go to st. louis again to talk to the hematologist/oncologist. pray for the doctors to have wisdom as they analyze wyatt's test results and to help him in the best way they can. pray that there is no cancer in wyatt's body, and that if there is, that God would take it away as only He can.

pray for wyatt, his twin sister, paisley, his dad, will, and his mom, rachel, as they go through this trial. pray that they are given peace and that they have answers soon. pray that wyatt is healed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"spring" break monday

justin and i had to go to st. louis today to get sam's fetal echo done. everything went well and his little heart looks just fine. he was very cooperative and held still and was in a perfect position for her to get all of the ultrasound pictures she needed.

the weather was interesting, though. in about nashville, it started to snow. between nashville and fairview, we saw six was possibly deadly. :( it was cold, soggy, slightly slick, and just nasty.

i really couldn't believe it was march at some points.

we went to the childrens hospital to get the ultrasound done. what a sad place - sad that it has to exist. my heart broke for the families that spend months there hoping for cures.

after trudging through lots of slush, being 40 minutes late for our appointment from weather and sad wrecks, seeing too many flags at half mast on the way, and walking through the halls of the hospital, we were very happy to have our good news that sam is healthy and doing fine. we headed back downtown for a lunch date.

we went to a restaurant on locust called rooster. i ordered a three cheese crepe and justin had a breakfast burrito crepe. both were delicious.

i thought the place was rather cute, and i would go again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

sam's quilt, part 2

i finished sam's quilt probably the day after i posted the first blog, but it seems like we have been endlessly busy since then. we are still, but justin is staining our new bedroom door, so i have some time to finish this.

after i did all of the quilty things in part 1, i trimmed the edges of the quilt. i cut off the excess batting and evened out the fabric.

i ironed the folds (note: NOT the creases, but the folds from being in the packaging) of the bias tape, then i stitched together my two pieces of bias tape by overlapping the ends, stitching, and trimming the excess. this made the tape into one long piece instead of two.

i began to pin the tape onto the back side of the quilt.

then i stitched the tape - just the one side - onto the back of the quilt.

after that was all done, i pinned the other side to the front of the quilt and stitched it. this process was harder than i thought and i should have taken more time and care with it, because it is easy to mess up. thankfully it ended up being fine.

so there is the quilt. i'm pretty happy with it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

march 8 and 9, 2008

three years ago in hawaii blogs: the final two.

march 8

hawaii is the freakin most beautiful place ever. i just watched the sun rise. by myself, of course, my husband is still passed out in bed because it's only 7am here. but it feels like 11 to me. the flights weren't bad - i read most of two books and watched the in-flight movie, and made small talk with old men, and i was here. tadaaa. minus those three hours sitting in lax bored to death, watching people run through the hall to catch a plane. hahaha. i giggled.
there are lots of birds awake, because i hear them all singing. it's so pretty. i wish i could describe the perfection of the temperature, and the way the sunlight hits the mountains, but i can't. pictures can't capture it, words can't capture it, you just seriously have to come.
kristy tagged me, so i have to write ten things...ok here goes.
1. i hate flying. the landing part is worst, it makes me sick and dizzy.
2. i burp a lot. it's the truth. don't get around me when i have any kind of cola unless you don't mind some belches.
3. i take an inappropriate amount of pictures. i might shoot the same thing 10 times just to get the right exposure, when i really needed to just do about 3.
4. i grind my teeth at night.
5. i cry easily.
6. i currently have an oat stuck in my throat, and it's annoying.
7. it bothers me that justin doesn't want to go hunting. i know it's so petty and hick of me, but it bothers me nonetheless.
8. i enjoy fishing, not just for catching fish, but for relaxing in the quiet. i also like to clean fish. not wash them, but fillet them.
9. i am a very fast reader.
10. i'm very messy. seth tells me that i'm so messy, justin will get tired of picking up after me. little does he know, we are both messy, so just don't come over to the apartment after may. hahaha.

march 9

630am, justin is still sleeping. we are going to church this morning, early service. i'm not sure whether we are going to hike or snorkel/swim today.
yesterday, we went down to hanauma bay and snorkeled. it's kind of tough to navigate in places, not because the water's too vast and deep, but because the coral is everywhere. you have to walk across it in some places. of course, this is after the eight minute video you have to watch that tells you not to touch the coral. it also tells you not to feed the fish, with a song in the background singing, "don't feed me, there's enough in the bayyyyy!" weird. i was cracking up.
so we rented fins, masks, and snorkels, slathered on sunscreen, and got in the water. we walked on the rocky bottom for about five minutes before we decided to put our fins on, which makes the going slower, but less painful. of course, proper fin locomotion is walking backwards, but i can't walk backwards on coral. i doubt anyone can. so we were stomping through the rocks, climbing over coral, and finally got our masks on and swam. snorkeled.
i bought a TEN dollar underwater camera (to go with the TEN dollar sunscreen) at safeway, so i was excited to take pictures of the fish. we didn't get far before we had to climb some coral again, and this guy by us said, "hey look at that eel," and there it was, like five feet from me, longer than my arm, looking slithery and awesome. it had some sharp teeth, or maybe i imagined it. justin was more scared of it than me at first, but i let myself think about it and i wasn't much of a fan either. i'm not even sure if an eel would do anything to a person.
we saw a GIANT red fish, i swear it was as big as my torso. it was enormous. little blue things, parrot fish looking things, and a scary camouflaged spiky fish just sitting on the bottom, waiting for something to eat. there were black fish with white stripes and white fish with black stripes. there were yellow fish, yellow and blue fish, and a big long white fish with shiny eyes. one fat little white fish followed me, and i'm not a fan of fish just hanging out by my legs, so i kicked at it with my fin. i'm not sure when it left, but i didn't like it being in my space. haha.
we finally decided to go back up, after i decided i didn't want to get bitten by a reef shark, or whatever else might have been out there farther, and after we were tired. i'm not a chicken. anyway, we went back up, checked our equipment in, and walked to the car. the car belongs to one of justin's friends, which is great because we don't have to rent a car. sometimes.
the key has a button on it. we had pushed the button when we left the car, messing with the key, but not knowing what it did. later someone would tell us it was a panic button, which i'm not sure i believe, but you never know. when we got back, the driver's side door wouldn't unlock, which happens sometimes apparently. my side would though. so i got in and unlocked the door, justin put the key in the ignition, turned it, and HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK...i think you get the picture.
alarm. finally it went off. by then, justin was on the phone with the owner of the car, who said to try again. i said, "no, that's what made it start in the first-" HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK..."UGH!" was my reply to the alarm. i messed with the so-called panic button, and happened to push it right at the same time the alarm stopped going, which was purely coincidence. justin decided it would be good to try the key again since "we had figured out how to turn it off" ahem. "i don't think it worked, i just think it was time for it to-" HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK. imagine my mood.
i told him if he did it again i would murder him right there in the parking lot. it finally went off, and i asked someone for jumper cables, but of course every car in the lot was a rental and nobody had any. finally the previous owner of the car called us, and told us to lock it, unlock it, and then turn it on, because he once had a car that worked that way. apparently the car we were in had never actually done whatever it was doing to us. so we tried it. i braced myself when justin turned the key.
and it worked. the car started. sigh. so we went to bubba gump's to eat. it was delicious but we spent too much and ate too little. still very good though.
i think i went to sleep around 4 yesterday afternoon, woke up a few hours later for papa john's pizza, slept again until 1030, watched tv while justin did homework for about two hours, and slept until 5 this morning. apparently jet lag and snorkeling are good for sleeping a lot.

Monday, February 21, 2011

sam's quilt, part 1

i decided before we knew sam was sam that i wanted to make a quilt for "the baby." as soon as we found out he was a boy, i chose some fabric for his quilt.

i bought a yard and a half each of the argyle and the light blue. the light blue is for the back of the quilt (30% off at hobby lobby). then i got batting. i got poly-fil, fairly good quality (from what i could tell) in the crib size, which was just big enough to fill the 44" x 54" material (i think the crib size batting is around 45"x64") and that was 50% off at joann fabrics. i also got pins, brown thread, and bias tape (not used yet).

saturday night i decided to start on the quilt. i ironed the material because it was a little wrinkly and i didn't want that to affect the quilting. justin vacuumed the floor for me, and i laid down the backing, then the batting, then the argyle top. the batting had some overlap, so i just tried to get it even from side to side and top to bottom.

after smoothing and straightening for several minutes, i started pinning. i started from the middle of the quilt and worked out to the edges. the pinning alone took me 45 minutes to an hour, which was a combination of that being how long it takes and being halfway to my due date. i would pin every few inches just to be sure it stays together the way you want. you don't want to put that much work into it and have it not stay in place.
(most of the photos were taken with my lensbaby with its 5.6 aperture because that's what i had on the camera.)

i chose the material partly because i liked it and partly because there were lines to follow when i would begin sewing. i have trouble keeping those lines straight, so i need all the help i can get. i began sewing down the edge of every third diamond, which ran my stitching diagonally across the quilt. i worked from the middle to the side, and then back to the middle to the other side, just in that one direction.

after that was done, i did the same thing in the other direction, every third diamond, working from the middle to the sides.

i must mention that you need to be careful of a few things. first, those pins will stab the crap out of your fingers and arms if you aren't careful. i had to get a bandaid when i was wrangling with it on the first few passes across the quilt. second, read your manual if you aren't familiar with the sewing machine. thankfully i adjusted the tension because it had been set to something i didn't need it set on. third, no matter how smooth and beautiful the front of the quilt may look, your quilt backing can pucker and make ugly little folds that get sewn right in. i have considerably less of those than i thought i would, so i am happy, but just be sure you are keeping everything smooth as you sew and remove pins. and last, if you want to get it "perfect," go slowly. i'm not a slow-goer, so my stitching isn't as straight as it could be, but that's ok with me. just a word of warning.

and here is a non-lensbaby photo of the finished little imperfect, puffy diamonds.

i still have to trim and tape and sew the edges. i'm pretty satisfied with the progress so far. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

it's a boy!

which everyone knows by now, but i haven't gotten to share all of my photos and info yet. ok, most of my photos...i am not posting ultrasound pics of his junk. i can't do that to him. lol.

the ultrasound lady told us that everything looks good. we looked at his heart, his stomach, his kidneys, his spine, his nasal bone, his arms, and his legs. she squished the thing around when she was trying to tell us if he was a boy or a girl for a long time, and she didn't say anything. i got worried that she couldn't see it. i said, "'s a girl?" (not for any reason but to get her to respond.) she didn't reply.

she prodded around some more. she finally froze a photo and typed "baby boy." i couldn't believe it. justin was really in shock because for two weeks he had assured me that it is a girl. for the rest of the time we were in awe over everything we could see and how healthy he seemed to be. we watched his heart beat and saw its four chambers. we watched him yawn. our incredible little gift from God.

and now for some ultrasound fun:

here you can see his good little spine. his face is turned away.

facing the wand. yes, he does look like a skeleton monster, but that's because the ultrasound isn't a real photograph. lol.

just baby sam, hanging out, looking skeletal. :)

with his arm bent and elbow touching his knee. look at that little nose.

sweet little profile and hand under his chin - you can even see his four fingers and thumb.

so we are, of course, very, very excited. we are very, very blessed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a little update

a week and a day ago, we went for a checkup. justin got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler for the first time. he was so excited; it was priceless.

the heartbeat was in the 150s and was very strong. everything seems to be going well, so that is good, and after everything we have been through, a bit surprising.

baby has not been as active as i had hoped, though i know that is normal. it is reassuring to feel him or her wiggle around sometimes, though. i know there will be a time when he or she is kicking the crap out of me and i'll wish i never said that. ;)

something i haven't mentioned before is our next st. louis appointment. yes, another one. this one is different, though. because both my dad and justin's brother were born with heart defects, we are having a fetal echo done to check the baby's heart. i am not really worried that anything will be wrong, but i asked the doctor what the benefit would be of getting this done versus not having it done.

he said, "well, it could be that nothing is wrong, but if you don't have it checked and the baby is born and something is wrong, the baby will have to be airlifted to st. louis for surgery. if something is wrong and you know beforehand, you will deliver in st. louis instead." the thought of having my baby taken away on a helicopter and being unable to leave the hospital to go be with the baby is totally and completely unbearable, so we are going to have it checked out. that appointment is just over a month away. again, i'm not really concerned that something will be wrong, but i have to make sure.

we find out if the baby is a boy or a girl in five days. i can't wait. i am so ready to start getting things ready around here, register for cute little baby things, and make things for the baby. :)