Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I have been having fun taking maternity pictures, and I hope to do it weekly from here on out. I had professional pictures taken during my first two pregnancies and I have several of those hanging in the bedrooms, plus I'd like to frame a few of the ones from this pregnancy. I'm not really sure how to display them all though, without our bedrooms looking like some sort of creepy shrine to my being pregnant.For the last month or so, Noah has been getting up before 5:30 a.m. every morning, and he doesn't take very kindly to my trying to cuddle him back to sleep. I am very much NOT a morning person and this is really starting to wear on me. I don't want to get up before sunrise every day. The last two days he has slept until almost seven, so I was feeling relieved that I'd get to start sleeping longer again, but this morning he was ready to go at 5:04 a.m. Yuck. I keep wishfully remembering the days when Emma used to fall asleep nursing sometime around midnight, then I'd stay up until 2:00 or so, and then we'd both sleep until 10:00 or 11:00. My body clock is much more suited to that type of schedule.

Emma seems to be having the time of her life at my mom's house. Noah and I are driving there this afternoon and I'm very excited about seeing her again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I am having serious quilt issues. Way back in October, I started a twin size quilt for Noah. I finally finished the top awhile back, but I didn't have the fabric I needed for the backing or the binding. I decided to buy more of one of the prints I used in the quilt for the binding, and going off the small piece I had left of that fabric, I bought all the fabric I needed to make a pieced backing to match. Well, apparently that particular fabric is nowhere to be found anymore. I tried three local quilt shops, looked everywhere online, and even posted ISO threads on a couple sewing forums. Nothing. So now I have all this backing fabric and nothing that matches it, and I keep thinking and thinking about what I can do for the binding. I don't have enough of any of the fabrics I used to make it, and I can't seem to find any more of the ones I think would look okay. Arrgh.

After mulling that over for way too much time and coming up with nothing, I decided to start on a baby quilt for the new baby. I finished the main part of the top, then went to add a couple strips of border around the edges. For the life of me, I couldn't get the borders to lay flat. I soon realized that I had cut the pieces on the bias incorrectly, making them too stretchy. Gah! I detest seam ripping, and a perfectionist I am not, so I generally do not re-do anything unless it's pretty awful to begin with. Unfortunately, this fell under that category, so I got out my seam ripper and removed the borders. After a bit of online searching, I dug up a few tricks to help me apply the borders to a too-stretchy middle, and last night I redid the borders at least somewhat successfully. I was going to add two - a white and a green - but decided to just leave the white one because adding another would probably exacerbate the problem. I should have gone to bed then but I was pleased with my progress so I decided to stay up and sew the whole thing together. I squared up my top, batting, and backing, then pinned them together and sewed all around the edge. As soon as I finished that, I realized I had put the batting in the middle, which means that when I turned it right side out, the batting is on the outside where it obviously does not belong. Ack! I was so frustrated at this point but I was determined to get it done before I went to bed so I sat there and ripped out the entire edge seam. Then, I lined them up again, pinned them, and sewed it all together again - only to find out that I did the exact same thing with the batting! AAAAAHHHHHH! Someone should probably make sure I don't do any driving or operating of heavy machinery because obviously I have lost the ability to THINK! By that point I was so tired and annoyed that I stuffed the whole quilt in the trash can and stormed off to bed. (I had just taken out the trash so I knew it was only a clean, empty trash bag in there otherwise I probably wouldn't have thrown it away. Still, the act of shoving it in the trash can was oddly satisfying. I did get it out of the trash this morning, though.) At some point I hope to actually finish this quilt, but it may be awhile because I probably need to just step away from it and take deep breaths for awhile.

Luckily, even though I may not be accomplishing much, there are others around here who are. I don't think I've mentioned on here yet that a little somebody learned to walk!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Remember a few weeks ago when Emma spent her very first night away from me? Suddenly she seems to be growing up so fast, because last night she left to spend the next five or so days at my mom's house. She is going to VBS with my mom at her church next week. My brother commutes to Kansas City from halfway across the state, so he drove her back to his house after work last night, and then my mom picked her up from there this morning and took her home. Noah and I are going to drive there on Wednesday or whenever Emma decides she misses us too much, whichever comes first. I got a little choked up as I watched her drive away with my brother last night, especially when I saw her in the backseat, bravely trying not to cry.I think she'll do okay because they have lots of fun stuff planned and she's been excited about this for a long time. She packed her suitcase about a week ago and then kept adding things all week so by the time we were ready to go she had a suitcase and about six laundry baskets packed with stuff she just had to bring. She kept coming out of her room with some random book or toy that hasn't been touched in two years and saying, "Well, of course I need to bring this!". In the end I told her she needed to narrow it down to her suitcase and one laundry basket, which she did finally manage to do after lots of discussion and indecisiveness.It's been weird having Noah here all alone, and I am feeling a little bit sorry for him because he will never have the opportunity to be the only child. Obviously we pay attention to him normally, but I can really tell the difference in how much I am able to dote on him when he is the only one here. I'm happy that Noah and I have this chance to spend some one-on-one time together, although I am sure we will both be excited to be reunited with our sweet Emma in a few days.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We've been busy lately, but a good type of busy, with lots of fun stuff to do. We spent a few days down at Table Rock Lake, which was pretty relaxing and awesome. There was lots of time for swimming,
playing games, napping,boating, and tubing. Even Emma (who is notoriously un-brave about many, many things) gave tubing a try, and needed only a small amount of coaxing to do it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to hoist oneself out of the water and onto one of those things while pregnant?Yesterday we had another fun day, filled with some of my favorite things. A trip to the Farmer's Market, some fabric shopping, some yarn shopping,meeting Steve for lunch, a little ice cream,and the Royals beating the Cardinals for the second game in a row.

My due date is two months from today. Noah made his appearance almost two weeks early, and if this baby does the same, I could be holding a new baby in my arms in around six weeks. Gulp.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yesterday we made pitas from my wonderful bread book. It was from the Light Whole Wheat basic recipe, and they turned out absolutely perfectly. I can't believe how easy they were! We used them to make yummy tuna salad sandwiches for lunch yesterdayand equally yummy pizzas today. Mmmm! We will definitely be making those again.Noah is learning lots of new tricks, most of which involve climbing and make me very nervous. We have a little kid-size table in our living room and his new favorite thing is to climb up on top of it and look out the window. He likes to yell at the neighbors and bang on the window when anyone walks by, which is very cute, but the whole time he is up there I'm just waiting for him to fall. He has already fallen off twice without sustaining any major damage, but I will continue to be nervous about it until he is just a little more steady.

Monday, June 09, 2008

We have been buying delicious raw goat milk from a local farm for awhile now, but recently found another source that is cheaper and also has a closer pick-up spot. This new farm also offers raw cow milk and I thought it would be fun to get some of that so I could skim the cream off the top and make butter. Well, it was fun, but I think we did something wrong because the butter we got was not so great. We mixed and mixed and mixed the cream and nothing much was happening, so I switched to my hand mixer to see if that would help, and it still took forever. Finally after about 30 minutes (I think it's only supposed to take 5 or 10), our cream split into half butter and half buttermilk.We did our best to strain all the buttermilk out of the butter, at which point we were supposed to be able to knead the butter while rinsing it with cold water. For some reason our butter was still so mushy that there was no way anyone could have kneaded it - it would have been like kneading mayonnaise. So, after all our efforts, this is what we ended up with:
A very small mound of very mushy butter - not too impressive. It did taste pretty good, but after a couple of hours was turning brown, which means we did not get enough buttermilk out and it was starting to go bad. Bummer. I don't know how to get out more buttermilk than we did, though. I imagine we'll try it again to see if we can get better results, but I'm pretty disappointed with our first attempt. The buttermilk, however, did make some delicious pancakes!
Emma had a show at Deanna Rose this weekend, and afterwards we decided to stick around and do a little fishing. Steve and I were bragging about our fishing skills, and we were both sure we were going to catch more fish than the other. We got a pole and he went first. After quite awhile, he hadn't caught any fish so I told him to hand it over and watch how it was done. I couldn't catch any fish, either, even though the little kids by us were catching fish all over the place! Emma wasn't interested in fishing, but we eventually persuaded her to try it. About two seconds after she dropped her worm in the water, she had caught a fish! In the end I think I caught three, Steve caught two, and Emma caught eight! So much for our fishing expertise!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

After reading a few blog raves about it, I ordered the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. I have only made two loaves from it (a boule and a baguette) but so far I am very, very pleased. This bread is unbelievably easy and unbelievably delicious as well. This idea is that you mix up the dough and then you can store it in the refrigerator for up to fourteen days and just tear off a chunk and bake it whenever you want a fresh loaf of bread. There is no kneading, so even making the dough at the beginning (especially since I just threw it together in my mixer) is very simple. The book says you need a baking stone and a pizza peel, and while I did go buy the baking stone, I've been using a cutting board instead of a pizza peel and it's working just fine. Now I just need to learn to can so I can make a bunch of jellies and preserves to go with this yummy bread.

Two of my friends have just begun selling their awesome handmade items. You should go check out the adorable little wooden dolls on Blessing Mama's Etsy page, and then go look at Jaime's affordable and funky slings.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Some random stuff...

~ I thought buying a regular swimming suit was pretty difficult, but it turns out that buying a maternity suit is even worse. At one point before I went shopping I thought maybe I should make the most of having a firm stomach right now and get a bikini. I tried one on and, um no, that was probably the worst idea ever. And really, someone should tell the people who make maternity tankinis that the tops and bottoms need to be available separately because not everyone is the same size on the top and bottom. After visiting four different stores and trying on a ridiculous number of suits, I finally figured out that my best option was to get a regular non-maternity suit with a size small bottom and size large top. Oh, and one more thing - if anyone reading this ever opens up a store, please make sure the doors on your dressing rooms go all the way down to the floor. I promise you, anyone who is trying on clothes while also spending the entire time trying to stop a determined baby from crawling underneath the door and escaping will really appreciate it.

~ Cherries. Oh cherries, how I love you so! I cannot get enough cherries these days, and since they aren't in season for all that long, I am making the most of it while they are. This means the kids ans I have been making a trip to the store pretty much every day, just to get cherries. Yum!

~ I sewed something! Nothing big, but still something. My friend Allison gave me a tying kitchen towel that she made awhile back, and I've been wanting to make some more for myself. I used an old bathroom towel for the bottom, and it was SO hard to sew through all those layers. It took forever and I think my thread broke about a million times so I swore I wasn't going to make any more. However, now that I've been using this one for a couple days, I love how thick it is so I may still attempt a few more.~ Emma has so many toys that I've tried my best not to bring any more toys into the house, which means that we have a houseful of "girl" toys and no "boy" toys. I hadn't thought about this before and really, I don't see anything wrong with boys playing with play kitchens and doll houses and dolls. Still, a few weeks ago when we went to my mom's house, my brother made fun of Noah for showing up with a jeweled lavender seahorse phone in his hand. Then later, my dad found a little toy Bobcat and gave it to Noah to play with. Noah enjoyed pushing it around so much that when we got home I bought him a couple little trucks, and he loves them. He spends a good part of each day pushing those trucks around, saying "RRRRRRRRR". So cute!