First harvest

Imagine my surprise when I took a garden stroll this afternoon and found a whole bunch of ripe strawberries!!

(technically this isn't our first harvest, as we've had lettuce for a while now...)

Can't wait for dessert tonight!


getting ready...

With just two and a half weeks until my due date, I've been a sewing and laundry fool lately! Here's some of what I've been up to...

Cloth diaper covers all washed and ready to go. My super sweet coworkers gave us 12 weeks of diaper delivery service, so the only thing we'll need to worry about for a while is taking care of the covers and the service will handle the rest. Sweet!

Changing pad cover and a back support pillow made out of uber cute turtle fabric with a coordinating large dot fabric. I used this tutorial for the changing pad cover, and it was surprisingly easy...except for threading the darn elastic through. If I make another one, I'll probably cut a strip of elastic that's longer than 36 inches to make it not fit *quite* so snugly.

Three dozen cloth wipes to use instead of disposable wipes. Two dozen flannel-on-flannel and one dozen flannel-on-terry, all made with (somewhat girly) flannel and terry cloth that I've had in my stash for a really long time. My original intent was to use a serger to make these, but that didn't really work out so I just went with a zig-zag stitch around the edges. They've all been washed at least twice, and so far they seem to be holding up well (I can deal with a few random threads).

Super simple blankets made out of a yard and a half of seersucker fabric. My friend Natalie suggested this to me as a good lightweight blanket for summer babies. Wait, even though today is the summer solstice I don't think it got above 55 degrees today...so will summer ever really come to Seattle this year?? Who knows, but at least I'll be prepared with lightweight blankets if it does!

And finally, a few burp cloths made out of my favorite flannels that I've been hoarding for quite a while. The two elephant burp cloths are a little smaller than I'd like, but that's all the flannel of that print I had left and I was determined to use it! :)

So that's where we are. The nursery isn't quite complete yet, but at least most of our other preparations are done!


break out the tissues...

In honor of Father's Day coming up tomorrow, check out this link (click on the bottom of the screen to advance to the next pictures). It's a compelling look at a man's days with his ailing father. Beautifully photographed, touching, heart-wrenching and a wonderful reminder to savor the beauty of life rather than just focusing on how hard the day-to-day is.


belly pics - 36 weeks

Alternate title: March of the Penguins (since that's what it looks like when I "walk" these days!)

Here I am at 36 weeks pregnant. Just one more month to go!

Lately I’ve had a bunch of people say “Aren’t you just SO READY to be done with all of this?” in a very sympathetic voice. Honestly, I’m good. If you’d asked me that same question during the first trimester or even through most of the second trimester I would have answered with a resounding “YES!” and probably sprinkled that answer with a few choice words about how much I was never going to do this again. But I think my body just took 4 or 5 months to get used to being pregnant, and now that the extreme exhaustion and out-of-control groin/ligament pain has mostly subsided, I really don’t mind being pregnant (for the most part). Here are a few of the positives (so that I can remind myself in the early days, should we decide to go down this path again in the future):

• You get a lot of special attention. While I might not always like the constant “How are you feeling?”-type questions, I do appreciate the fact that pretty soon people will stop asking about me and start asking about the kiddo all the time so I’d better enjoy it while it lasts.

• A new perspective on my body. People, let me tell you...I may not like looking for maternity clothes or spending money on such a temporary wardrobe, but what is nice is that I don’t feel nearly as self-conscious about my body anymore! I have a baby bump now instead of a spare tire, so it’s much easier for me to wear more form-fitting shirts and not fret about what I might look like to other people. I kind of like feeling secure about my body image again, as it’s been quite a long time since I had that sense of confidence.

• My back. I’ve struggled with lower back pain for years and years. I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this, but my back has, overall, felt pretty good since I’ve been pregnant! I even did more to prep the veg garden this year than I did last year, and my back didn’t give out on me a single time. Not sure if I’m just being more careful or if the baby gives me super powers...

• The hubs. It’s been such a pleasant surprise (to both of us, I imagine) to discover how much K likes me being pregnant! He’s constantly telling me how cute my belly is and how he thinks pregnancy agrees with me. He’s always been a very complimentary guy, but he’s even more so now and that’s been very nice. I sure did get lucky in the husband department. :)

So there you go – a few of the better aspects (for me, anyway) of being pregnant. So if you’re thinking of asking me if I’m “so ready” to be done...you can rest assured that my answer is “Nope!”. We can’t wait to meet the little guy, but not until it’s time. If he’s anything like his stubborn mama, I’m sure he’ll come into this world on his own terms and that’s just fine by us.


Shower time

Last weekend my friends Amy and Leslie put on a wonderful baby shower for us, and it was hosted at our house! To prepare the house, I basically hijacked my dad and stepmom for a few days beforehand and had them working night and day to get ready for guests (actually, it wasn’t quite so extreme as that...but it was close!). A majority of the work was done in the kitchen – walls were painted, tiles were cleaned and counters were scrubbed (pictures to come, in another post). Plus the hallway and dining room were painted, the kitchen carpet cleaned, the yard cleaned up (we FINALLY had a dry-enough day to mow our jungle of a yard!), they helped me take all three of our pets into the vet for their annual check-ups and some work was done in the nursery. Needless to say, I think they were probably pretty darn tired and ready for a break when I dropped them off at the airport early Monday morning. Thanks, Dad and Barb, for all the help...we love you to bits. Next time we promise to not work you so hard so you can have some free time to do other things, like head up north to spend some quality time with the rest of your Seattle-based family. :)

Now, on to the shower! Amy and Leslie did such a great job, and they made the shower exactly how I wanted it – not too baby shower-ish, but more like a casual party/BBQ with family and close friends. Let’s start with the invites, thank you cards and favors – how cute are these?

Amy looked at this photo to see what fabrics/colors I was using in the nursery, and she designed the invites and coordinating thank you cards herself. She went to a ton of work cutting out all those little felt turtles and assembling the invites, so it’s a good thing we didn’t invite that many people!

As for the decorations, they kept it fairly simple with a sign out front and a super cute clothesline of baby clothes strung across our living room ceiling. The tiny little clothes are adorable, now we’ll just have to see if our little guy is actually little enough to fit into these newborn and 0-3 mo sizes! :)

For food we had a great variety of Costco trays, Amy’s secret recipe (and oh-so-good) chicken wings and Dan’s famous (and always delicious) kabobs along with a tasty vanilla cake. Yum!

My nephew especially loved the cake...

We played boys vs girls for Baby Pictionary and while I don’t think we actually declared a winner, I’m pretty sure the girls did a better job overall of more quickly guessing what was being drawn each time.

Then we got to the gifts! We were blessed by the generosity of our friends and family, and got several of the cloth diapers that we’ve registered for in addition to some uber cute clothes and some other essentials that we’ve been hoping to get.

And here's a WHOA MAMA shot of just how big I've gotten. This was on Sunday, just shy of 36 weeks. I went to lunch with a good friend of mine this week whom I hadn't seen in a few months, and she was like "Wow, you are HUGE!" LOL! :)

So a big huge thanks to Amy and Leslie for organizing such a sweet and fun day for us, to Dan and Tim for manning the grill like a couple of pros, to Dad and Barb for coming up early and helping out so much around the house, and to everyone else for coming to the shower and sharing in our special day!