Thursday, December 24, 2009

We're Here

We arrived at our new home, in Seattle, 11 days ago. (That's us down in the corner.) Even though most of our belongings are still in boxes, we managed to make our way downtown for dinner one evening. (At this point, I still had not been able to find any boxes with pants that fit me - thank goodness for safety pins!) But, since Grandma was visiting and deserved a dinner out - out we went.

We set up a fresh Christmas tree and decorated it. I even managed to make Charlotte a promised Christmas present...Even when a mommy doesn't have time to make anything crafty between moving and a new baby, when her daughter looks up with doe eyes and asks, "Can you make me a purple scarf for Christmas, Mommy?" Who can say no?

I didn't have a pattern. But I recall liking the half double crochet stitch and the shell stitch. Using an "I" hook, I chained 109 stitches, made 4 rows of half double stitches on each side and finished with the shell stitch for the border. At a finished length of 3 inches wide by 40 inches long, the scarf turned out sweet and petite, just like my girl.

Our boy, Henry, is 3 weeks old in this bath picture. He's already changing and growing a bit. But compared to my husband's hands, he is still very tiny indeed. We wish everyone a very blessed and Merry Christmas in celebration of our savior's birth!

Friday, December 4, 2009

He's Here

Henry Samuel was born on 11.30.09 at 8:16 a.m. weighing 8 lbs 3 oz and measuring 19 1/2 inches long. (He was over a full pound lighter than predicted.) He's beautiful and perfect and sweet. He is also beloved by his parents and his big sister...
Here's one last pic of me before we went into the hospital on monday morning...

We were all ready to meet each other. He wanted out as much as I wanted him out. For the most part, things went smoothly. I'll have to update you with the birth story another day because we are all still very tired. And happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9 Months

This is my 36 week photo. I'm finally 9 months pregnant - and I certainly feel it. Today was my ultrasound to determine baby's approximate weight. Our "big boy" is definitely big. He's already 8 lbs 1 oz - inside the womb! (This is a 1/2 lb heavier than my daughter was at this stage. She was 9 lbs 11 oz at birth.) So, he's on track to be 10 lbs by my due date. (The doc doesn't want us to wait that long, so a c-section is on the books about a week early.)

Even though most of my time is spent lying down in bed... In the last couple of weeks, my husband and I have put our house on the market, held an open house, accepted an offer, held a moving sale, started packing boxes and celebrated our 5th anniversary. (I went and gussied myself up by removing the Breathe Right strip from my nose before our picnic dinner in front of the fireplace. Why is it so hard to breathe during pregnancy??) My dear H never complains... he even told me that I looked nice.
Here we are saying our "I do's" 5 years ago. Just thinking about this moment makes me feel the same overwhelming joy that I felt that day. (H, you really are the best!)

Over our anniversary dinner/picnic, we talked about how we would never have thought we'd have (nearly) two children, be selling our house and moving out of state (say it like George H.W. Bush here) at this juncture. We may feel a little overwhelmed, but we're happy.

We've also decided to forego being apart in December. We're all making the trek up to Seattle together. We'll be on the road December 10th. The countdown has begun...

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Honeymooners

Today, my husband accepted a job transfer (out of state) to Seattle, Washington.

We are excited about the change that God is bringing in our lives. We are also feeling a bit overwhelmed due to the timing of our move.

December will be a long transition month for us. We have to sell our house, pack everything in boxes, oh, and have a baby. Our second child is due December 9th and my husband must report to work, in Seattle, on December 14th. We will likely be separated for several weeks until I am able to travel up with our children. This may be the hardest part of our journey as we are always together. Since the day we started dating, we've seen each other everyday, except one.

We are especially happy about the city we're moving to, as we honeymooned in Seattle nearly 5 years ago. We're really not beach people... we're more forest-y people. It's a good fit. Now we just have to convince all the grandparents the same thing :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

32 Weeks

Can you hear the sound of my tin cup raking back and forth across the steel bars?? Only 55 days left of this pregnancy - where I feel like I'm doing time. Ok, maybe not San Quentin kind of time, but definitely some kind of county lock up. I'm hoping there will be time off for good behavior.

Due to a mild kind of chiropractic care, nutritional support, epsom salt baths, a pregnancy support belt, nightly back massages from my dear H and lots and lots of prayer, I've been able to get about 6 hours of sleep a night - on average. It is making a world of difference.

When I'm pregnant, I never feel like I'm really in my own body. It sort of feels like one of those giant sumo wrestling suits people put on. See it here. Only you have to add nausea, heartburn, sleepless nights, muscle spasms and what feels like mild internal organ trauma. Yeah, that about covers it.

Even though "I hear the train a-comin', It's rolling 'round the bend..." is swirling through my head, I know this is all worth it in the end. (Johnny can be so therapeutic sometimes.)

* Side note - This week we had a severe wind and rain storm. I watched from my front window as a tree limb fell directly on top of my neighbor's car. Fortunately, no one was hurt. It was almost unbelievable!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Delicious Celery Soup Recipe

Ok, so I'm momentarily out of my slump and ready to post an amazing find... celery soup. I know, I know, it doesn't really sound that exciting, but this is truly delicious.

I'm not a celery girl, but my husband is a celery guy. So, after visiting the local farmer's market this weekend - and coming home with mounds of produce - I needed to utilitze a head of celery. (Can I just tell you first that I'm still giddy about buying 15 pounds of butternut squash for .50 cents a pound?!)

This recipe jumped out at me and I dove in. It was so good that I had seconds... then half of thirds. Here's what you'll need: celery, onions, apples, garlic, parsley, chicken or veggie stock, milk and olive oil. I followed the recipe exactly and can't recommend it enough.

My husband likes chunky soups and I prefer pureed soups, so I made both, at the same time. I just dished up his bowl, then fired up my new hand blender and pureed mine (thus the pic of two different bowls of the same soup.)

Here's my cost breakdown: We purchased two heads of celery for $1, a bag of onions for $2, five pounds of fuji apples for $2... So, for a family of three, this will feed us for two meals. Our per meal cost is roughly $1.75 - for two adults and a toddler!

Mega bonus: it's healthy. I'm positive that we'll be revisiting this recipe even after my strict diet comes to an end.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some News at Week 28

Recently, I stood near two friendly couples. One of the husbands asked me, "How many weeks left?" I replied, "Not weeks,... months. I have 2 1/2 months left." The other three immediately turned around to join him in staring at me with their mouths open. One woman squeaked out, "Are you sure they haven't made a mistake??" Yes, I'm sure. And about 2 weeks ago, another woman asked me the same thing. My belly is big, but what do you expect?...I'm pregnant.

This past week has been rough. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. There were so many risk factors: I'm over 35, previously had a baby over 9 pounds, diabetes runs in my family, I'm hypoglycemic (pre-pregnancy) and I weighed less than 6 pounds when I was born. These factors all contribute to a diabetic cocktail.

Even before my diagnosis, I had put myself on a strict no-sugar diet. I wanted to prevent this sort of thing. It happened anyway. It's still tough to talk about.

We just want a healthy baby. December can't come soon enough.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thrifty Workspace

Recently, I came upon this oak sewing cabinet on craigslist. (I've been searching for a cabinet for my freearm machine for nearly 2 years!) The cabinets I found were never quite right... either they weren't made for a freearm machine, or they were just plain too expensive.

This cabinet (with an electric lift) was $50 and included a vintage Elna sewing machine! Since I prefer my trusty Singer machine, I enlisted my dear H's help. He fired up the power tools, removed the Elna machine and mounted the Singer. Isn't she lovely?
Now I have drawer space, spool racks and double the workspace. And we have our kitchen table back ;)
In recent days, I haven't been able to sew... but the projects are piling up and this workspace is so inviting! Thanks to my dear H for making it all possible.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting Clumsier

This is not an ancient caveman's drawing of a foot. It's my drawing of a foot. My smacked-by-a-wooden-chair left foot.

Many of you know that as pregnancy progresses, your dexterity and grace are lost. They've been replaced by bumbling, uncoordinated lumberings. Such was the case a few days ago when, as my daughter sat eating lunch in said wooden chair, my foot seemed turbo-propelled by some invisible super-magnet to collide with the corner of the chair leg. It stuck between my second and third toes (as the arrow indicates.) With the collision, there was a loud SNAP.

I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move.

My husband came running and helped me limp/hop to the sofa. My daughter helped by dropping a 2 pound ice pack directly on top of the toe. My middle toe turned a bit purple and is still uncomfortable to walk on, but doesn't seem to be broken. It's a miracle.

A day later, I tried, unsuccessfully, to drink from a glass. Doesn't seem difficult, does it? But when I started pouring before the beverage hit my mouth, I made a one-in-a-million shot. Straight down the neckhole of my shirt, I poured my juice all over my bra. Now, if I had tried to pour it there, I probably would have accidentally made it to my mouth.

In my last pregnancy, doorways suddenly seemed so narrow. By the time I delivered, my shoulders were black and blue from cutting every corner too short while walking through my own house. Sometimes I would even bounce off the corners a little bit - sort of like a bumper car crash.

I've never been a butterfingers, but holding on to anything seems an impossible task these days. Whatever it is, if I touch it, it will most certainly somehow end up on the floor. I've forbidden myself from carrying eggs, touching crystal lamps or bringing heirloom jewelry anywhere near the bathroom sink.

These pregnancy afflictions seem universal... why is that??

Thursday, August 20, 2009

6 Month Pic - I Need To Sleep

This is my week 24 pose. For some reason, I look a lot smaller in the picture. Our boy is growing big, very fast. And he doesn't sit still. There are lots of karate chops, long elbow scrapes and bladder stomps. As of now, I consider him either a kung fu fighter or a hockey player. No one ever thinks of ninjas as babies. But, they were once... and I think I'm growing one.

Sleep eludes me. Aside from nausea and heartburn, my famous leg nerve and muscle twitches are back whenever I lay down. This first appeared in my previous pregnancy. If I stand up, no problems. If I lay down, pain, twitches, spasms and kicks. All mine. I sleep 3-4 hours a night. (Which is still better than the 1-2 hours every other night in my last pregnancy.) After losing so much sleep, you start to lose your marbles too.

The first time around, I remember "inventing" a sling-type contraption that hung from the ceiling and fit around my underarms to hold me in the standing position so I could sleep without spasms. I just didn't know what to do with my floppy neck, so the idea was left in my imagination. I should have invented this thing between my pregnancies - while I had my right mind. If I could physically kick my own hiney right now, I would.

Currently, I'm trying to come up with a way to sleep in the tub. With water. It keeps the weight off of my nerves and I don't experience spasms. Problem is, I get a huge kink in my neck after 10 minutes. I've looked for an giant inflatable bath pillow wedge, but I don't think anyone's invented it yet. I told my husband about wanting to sleep in the tub and he replied, "I have. Twice. Once, I woke up naked and cold in an empty tub." What?! Think those were his college days? Nope, he was 5. Just when you think you know a guy, you hear about his tub napping days...

If any of this is wandering or unclear, so sorry, but I'm sleep deprived. The horizon is in sight and baby is healthy. Enough said :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Birthday Dress Or Two

For my birthday, my husband ordered the japanese sewing book that I've been dreaming about. Isn't he the best?! Here are some highlights:
Tunics, pants, purses...
scarves and skirts. This book has it all - except english. I'm hoping that the step-by-step photos speak the international language of "you can really do this."

The rest of my dear family gave me fabric store gift cards. Yay! I have been aching to sew. There are plenty of items in my queue, but without a doubt, some of these dresses now top the list. I'm trying to get prepared for the next whole hour that I feel well, so I can make it to the fabric store.

Thanks to all my loved ones for a very happy birthday :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

True Blue

(photo courtesy of
We are happy to announce that we are expecting a baby boy! There's a high probability that he'll be a fisherman like his papa.

Pregnancy diet update: Raisin Bran tops the menu for now. Also, I can't seem to eat/drink enough dairy products. Milk, milkshakes, cottage cheese, milk... you get the idea.

A boy. Oh boy. It's still sinking in. It will be interesting to see if he likes milkshakes as much as his mommy does :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

18 Weeks

Here's the latest belly pic. If you look closely enough, you may notice that my belly button has started to poke out. I'm not even half way through yet!

Being pretty much housebound, I'm going through serious thrifting and crafting withdrawals. Yesterday, I couldn't take it anymore. Since Charlotte was with her grandma for the morning, I jumped in the car and drove to the nearest thrift store (5 minutes away). While I felt sick driving and walking, it was momentarily forgotten about when I spied this miniature blue guitar for C.
(That's a 12 inch ruler next to it.) Charlotte likes her papa to play his guitar. She sits and strums whenever he puts it down. So, when I saw this mini blue version - I snapped it up for $3.00. When she woke up this morning, the first thing she said was, "Mine guitar!"

If baby #2 turns out to be a drummer, we may have the makings of our own Partridge Family band. Sans the patchwork bus.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Views

This is my view for about 90% of the day. Isn't it lovely? I mean it. While I am sick, my husband has not only been taking care of all the household and child duties while working full time, but he just painted our bedroom a soft shade of robin's egg blue. After 4 years of white walls, my dear H asked, "Do you want me to paint the bedroom?" (Incredibly, he has amnesia about the 387 times I've brought it up.) "Sure, that would nice" was my response. Done and done!
Here's a belly pic. I'm 3 1/2 months along. Yes, I cropped out my face again because my hair isn't combed, no makeup and I'm not smiling. Told you I'm a grumpy pregnant lady. Although, it's hard to be grumpy in my new blue bedroom :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby Update - 12 Weeks

Hello, and yes, I'm still here. I've been sick and decided to not give you a play-by-play of how things are going. I've been very unproductive and so I have nothing to post in the way of craftiness, recipes, etc. My menu lately has consisted of Cinnamon Life cereal three times a day and mango-flavored coconut water - to stay hydrated. This is not a diet I recommend, if you can help it.

Baby is 12 weeks now and growing strong. Of course, Baby is also big for this stage of development. My husband and I are not surprised because we just grow gi-nor-mous babies. (Our first baby was 9 lbs 11 oz despite my not being able to eat any food for nearly the first half of my pregnancy.) We are both 5'5" or less in height. But our 2 1/2 year old daughter wears a 4t. I'll probably be wearing her hand-me-downs before long.

The ultrasound tech was kind enough to give us a 3D pic of the baby "just for fun". Wow!
Bad news: I feel like I've been pregnant for 9 years. Good news: Baby is healthy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Seven KFC biscuits in two days. Yup, I'm pregnant. And at least I'm able to eat something.

Thank you for all the kind thoughts and well wishes. Thank you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby #2

Yes, we are excited to announce that we are expecting baby #2! At only 8 weeks, I know it's early to share. But, I've been absent from this here little blog and now you know why.

The photo looks a little "blob-y" but the head is to the right. We did see the already-formed arms, hands, legs and feet. Due date: December 9th.

After having hyperemesis gravidarum for the duration of my first pregnancy, we were positive that Charlotte would be an only child. Then we changed our minds. The desire for another baby just outweighed our fears of possibly having HG again.

Hyperemesis includes paralyzing nausea (my saint of a husband slept on the floor for 7 months) and severe vomiting for the entire pregnancy. This is waaay more than morning sickness. I was also unable to eat for the first 4 months of my pregnancy. Somehow, I, and the baby, survived on a few Ensure supplement drinks and Gatorade. Any food that I tried to consume would be immediately purged. Hyperemesis can also bring sleeplessness, depression, dehydration (warranting IV therapy), double vision (no tv or books!) and despair. The only relief comes when you give birth. I never suffered any post-partum depression because I was so darn happy not to be pregnant anymore!

It's a rough road and yes, I've been really sick. I'm a very happy mommy, but an unhappy pregnant lady.

Any prayers and positive wishes that you send our way are greatly appreciated. We are truly happy to be expanding our family!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grandpa Makes Pop-Ups

Charlotte's artistic Grandpa made her this Wizard of Oz pop-up card. C loves pop-ups. Despite being opened and closed numerous times and being poked with little fingers, this one is holding up nicely.

You see, Grandpa docents at an art gallery. They recently held a Dr. Seuss exhibit and welcomed the pop-up creator of "Horton Hears A Who Pop-Up!" - David Carter. Our girl even received an autographed copy...
Thank you, Grandpa. Here's a peek at the inside of this incredible book...
If you're not familiar with "Horton Hears A Who" by Dr. Seuss, I highly recommend this tender-hearted story. Even at 2, she seems to understand the message, "A person's a person, no matter how small."
The Seuss exhibit spurned Grandpa's interest in homemade pop-ups and more shared craft time with our girl. I believe C made this Noah's Ark pop-up with the grandparents...
If you're interested in making your own, here's a link. It's a great project for all ages. It seems that once you get the hang of it, you can easily branch out with your own designs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Triple Thanks

A couple of months ago, I was reading Cider and Faun when I stumbled across an offering. Andrea was giving away some tea she could no longer drink. I dropped my name in the bucket because my husband is addicted to Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings. She recently sent me a box of Candy Cane Lane and a huge bag of Mighty Leaf loose tea plus some postcards and a bookmark of her art. Her delightful etsy shop is located here. Thank you, Andrea!

Another special thank you to the Jane Austen fan writemeg for featuring one of my Pride and Prejudice bracelets on her blog here. You can also check out her etsy shop here. She crochets ipod covers, scarves and more!

And finally, thanks to Deusprovidebit for including my vintage orange napkins from acornpudding in their Impromptu Tea post.

It's a joy to connect with other tea-drinking Jane Austen fans. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Boring Ol' Clean Floor

Yes, this is a boring picture of my clean kitchen floor. I've not been the craftiest of gals lately. Sometimes, day-to-day life takes priority over therapeutic craftiness. So, I'll show you what I've been up to instead.

My floor was in dire need of sweeping and mopping. Within 1 minute of sweeping the floor, there were 17 crumbs of hot pink play-doh under one chair. After re-sweeping, I got out my spray bottle and a rag and got to work. My floor hasn't sparkled in a long time - thus this picture. It's proof that it was clean, once.

I use vinegar and baking soda to do all my household cleaning. No need for expensive, chemical-infused cleaners when a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half water will do the trick. I believe that Martha is a fan of cleaning with white vinegar, so who am I to argue with a walking domestic dictionary?

Since I am not a big tv watcher, it's rare for me to catch Martha's show (is it still on??) It was tough for me to watch her back before Charlotte was born. I can't get over the fact that she pronounces the "h" in the word herb. It makes me shudder. After all, she's not british. Even I don't pronounce it this way when I'm talking to myself (see #5 of this post).

Right after I finished mopping my floor on my hands and knees, I wrangled the dog and my daughter out of the kitchen and got distracted. My face felt dry due to recent windy weather. I went into the bathroom and smeared lotion all over my face, before I realized that I hadn't yet washed my hands after cleaning the kitchen floor. I guess if vinegar and water are good enough for the floor...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bargain Breadmaker

My best bargain of the weekend garage sale roundup included this Breadman breadmaker for $5.00. I've been wanting to try my hand at breadmaking for some time, and now, for about the price of one loaf of bread - I'm on my way. There is a small manual included, but not much real breadmaking info. If any of you have breadmaking ideas or tips, I'd appreciate your input!

A few other scores include these two 4-5t sized coats for Charlotte at .50 cents each.
Lastly, I picked up this mega carton of Play-doh, 50 different colors in all, for $1.00. C's been rolling, cutting and squishing ever since! Hopefully, with my breadmaker, soon I will be too :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Never-Ending Candy Colored Scarf

This scarf has taken my nearly 4 months to complete. Granted, I haven't worked on it very often... but now that we're rounding the corner to spring, it's ready to wear. What's my excuse? I reeeally don't like to knit. I keep trying to like it, but I just don't enjoy it. Why don't I just stick to crocheting?

I used Lion's Brand Landscapes yarn in Rose Garden - two skeins. This is my own "pattern" of the stockinette stitch... 11 stitches wide.
- Row 1: k1, p1, repeat.
- Row 2: p1, k1, repeat.
- Repeat and repeat until you're sure you'll never be done with this blasted scarf.
- Repeat some more until you're sure that you never want to knit again.
- Finish off.
- Ignore the mistake stitches.
- Wrap around your neck and enjoy for 8 days until the weather will be too warm to wear it.

(P.S. The brown speckled Express sweater was thrifted for $1.00.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gray / Yellow and Gray / Pink

Is it gray or is it grey? Anyway, gray is my new everyday. I'm enjoying the comfortable-ness of gray with splashes of color.

The open jacket is new and (can you believe it?) store-bought, but the striped top is a thrift find, as are the sunny yellow necklace and clutch. I've been drawn to this combo more than once lately.

Then I came across pink perfection for spring...a pair of thrifted, never-been-worn, pink eyelet flats - in my size. I may have heard angels singing... They are perfectly matched with my new gray jacket, a garage sale top for .25 cents and thrifted gray linen crop pants.
Spring arrived, then backed out. It's toeing the line in our area, but I'm ready either way - with gray!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sonoma Chicken Salad

We interrupt my recent thrifted-clothing obsession to bring you this delicious recipe...

The Sonoma Chicken Salad recipe was found at Whole Foods. Of course, I made some changes, so I will post the recipe as I made it. (My picture really doesn't do the salad justice!)


3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tsp honey
s+p to taste

4 cups of baby spinach
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - shredded
1/2 cup almonds, some chopped
2 cups red seedless grapes, sliced

I premade my chicken in the crockpot at the beginning of the week, so just prepare the chicken breasts as you normally would... i.e., bake them flat with some water in a pan at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Toss main salad ingredients together, set aside.

In a bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad or stir to coat completely.

It filled all three of us up - with my husband commenting that he wouldn't mind eating this MANY more times :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reconstructed: Dress To A Skirt

Here's a dress that I thrifted this past weekend, but it was too big and had a halter top. I knew it could be altered without much trouble. (The white cotton crocheted cardigan is another thrift find for $4.00) Here's the dress print up close:
Cheery blue and green butterflies - perfect for spring!

I started by ripping out the seams on the side zipper, then I cut the skirt away from the bodice. I finished up the side seam (where the zipper used to be) then made a simple casing for 3/4" elastic.

If you're doing a waistband for yourself, take your waist measurement, subtract 2.5", then cut your elastic. Thread your elastic through the casing with a safety pin attatched to the front of the elastic (sort of like a mock needle and thread). It took even less time than I expected.

The inspiration for this dress purchase came from a butterfly-print scarf I've been eyeballing at Land's End in Sears. It's $29.50 here.
So when I came upon the butterfly dress for $5.25, I figured that I could make my own scarf. Then I fell in love with idea of a spring skirt. It seems that I got something better for less!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pink Tutu: A How-To

For the longest time, I've wanted to use Plumtickled's Tutu Tutorial to make Charlotte a tutu. Now I can cross it off my list. It's really quite simple. But, for those of you who don't like to click over, I am showing you the step's that I learned from Plumtickled.
First, get some non-roll elastic (3/4" or 1") and two spools of tulle: 6 inches wide x 25 yards. (For one tutu, I did all pink. For another, I used lavender and dark purple alternated.)

Measure the length that you want the tutu skirt. Double it and cut the spooled tulle into strips of equal lengths. (Example: I wanted a 12" skirt, so I cut 24" strips.)
Measure your girl's waist (or your own!) and subtract 2.5"-3". Next, cut your non-roll elastic to size. Zig zag stitch the two ends together to form the waistband. (This can even be done quickly by hand.)

Place elastic band over your thigh. (Great for holding everything in place.) Slide a strip under the band and tie in a knot. Repeat.
Solid colors, two-toned or multi colors all look great. This is an easy and inexpensive, quick Princess-pink-me-up for any girl! These are also perfect for last minute birthday gifts.
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