Thursday, January 31, 2013

Playing Games with Two

My husband.  Golly gee, I just love him.  I've been mooning over this guy, and lucky enough to hold his hand, for over 10 years now.  FOR-EV-ER.  He's pretty much my favorite, bar none.  Even when he says atrocious things like "No, that's not too much cleavage.  There's more coming out of the arm holes than there is in the front, anyhow." 

Bless him.

Anyhow, my biggest concern with the arrival of this new baby is that I'm going to have to share.  Him.  My favorite person ever.  For the past 5 years, as long as we were at home, it was just the two of us and I had his undivided attention (assuming I could hide all of the electronic gaming devices, but that's a story for a different time...).  And now, when we're home, I'll have to split his attention with a tiny human.  Horror of horrors, I tell you what.

However, what's done is done, and I'm sure it won't be as big of a sacrifice as I'm building it up to be.  Or if it is, we won't mind because we'll be so head-over-heels in love with this mini "us".  But as I've mentioned, life will change.  The number of spontaneous trips will dwindle.  Nights "out" will become memories.  We don't have family around, and although there are several lovely people who have offered to watch our progeny for us, I just know that we probably will not take them up on their offers as much as we could/should.

In preparation for such an event, we've made a short list of spur-of-the-moment things we can still do with a baby.  
  • Easy hikes to local waterfalls
  • Visits to the lake
  • (paved) Bike trails with a pull-behind cart
  • Picnics
  • Backyard bonfires
  • 22 pistol practice Walks in the forest
But for nights when we need to stay in, we need ideas too.  I found this list on pinterest, but I wanted some other options, too.  That's where the games come in.  I love board games.  I do.  And so does Handsome.  You wouldn't know it by our extensive collection (Two.) but we do enjoy them.  Problem is, I always forget what games are fun with only two players.  Of course, we could invite people over, but then I have to share my darling husband's attention, and we all know how I feel about that. (see above)  So I've compiled a compilation of two-person board games.  

Boggle .  Jenga .  Scrabble .  Yahtzee .  Battleship .
I know he'll cheat at all of them, but that's part of the fun.
I'd love it if you have any other suggestions.  Y'all have been so helpful with the "What I'll Miss" question that I thought I'd throw another one your way.  But before you mention it, let me tell you just how much of not-a-chance there is that D & I will play Chess.  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Not Happening.  I'm not a chess fan.  Really, I don't like games that require intense strategy or thinking.  Makes me go crazy.  Please bear that in mind ;)
<3 M.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I'll Miss

I'm still pregnant.  In case you wondered.  39 weeks, 1 1/2 days, to be precise.  Also known as "very pregnant".  Sometimes people feel the need to reassure me that it's not abnormal to go past your due date, especially with your first child.

On average, 10 days over.

I want to cut those people.

There is good in this, and I strive to see it.  My baby is safe and healthy, getting pudgy and, as some unthinking (obviously male) editor of reminded me yesterday, approximately the size of a small watermelon.  REALLY?  Watermelon?  That's the fruit/vegetable that you felt it was appropriate to compare this bambino to?


I digress.

As I was trying so very hard to say, I'm doing what I can to enjoy this time.  The fact that my life doesn't revolve around 2-hour feedings, the fact that I can go back to sleep in the morning after Mr. Fireman goes to work.  The general quiet and ability to go grab icecream and a movie on the spur of the moment.  I know these things will change, and I'm pretty sure they will be missed.  So I'm trying to savor these final days of Him & I, of "just us" even though this babe has been a spector in our lives wor, well, about 39 weeks and 1 1/2 days.

But the hardest part, especially with a first baby, I think, is knowing what you'll miss.  I'm sure there's things I'm doing without any fanfare that are actually lasts that should be savored.  Did I just make my last cinnamon rolls without interruption?  Did Duke & I just take our last walk up and down our hill?  Feel those tiny feet Ninji-chop my ribs for the last time?  I love to celebrate, and I'd like to appreciate what I have going on here, but there's much I don't know.

So what will I miss?  What should I savor?  What are some lasts that could get overlooked, but should not?

<3 M.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Going to the Mattresses :: Prayer

There have been good parts about the 650+ miles Handsome and I have lived away from family.  We built a strong foundation for our marriage, just the two of us.  We don't have a whole lot of outside pressure.  We get to do exactly what we, as our own little family of 2 (and 9/10), desire.

So there have been times when there's silliness going on up "home" and we're both glad to be out of it.

And then there's times when those miles suck real bad.  Times when all you want is to be with your family, to feel their hugs and be able to offer practical help and just gather together.  This would be one of those times.  Our family is in the midst of what is nearly a laughable amount of tragedy and sadness.  There's a cringe before we answer the phone, because even though it doesn't quite seem possible, there might be yet another piece of bad news waiting on the other end.  And there is.  

The latest piece of news is cancer, out of the blue.  Not that it gives much warning, but it still just seems... unbelievable.  What was supposed to have been a very happy time for some of our relatives has turned into a nightmare.  And we can't even go hold their hands or make them soup or take our shift with the baby-watching.  We just pray.  And pray and pray and pray.  It's time to go to the mattresses, as it were, and not leave until God has heard.  

Please.  Go to the mattresses over this with me.
<3 M.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby Brain

I don't know how other women do it.  I'm at a loss here.  I'm 100% distracted by having this baby, and I can't seem to do anything that requires brain power.  I can think about prepping for the baby.  I can think about getting the house ready for the baby.  I can even think about buying and making things for the baby.

Researching things associated with my PhD?  Nada.

I start to think about stuff like supply chains and computer programs, and then all of the sudden it's "I should make a boppy cover!"  Or "I forgot about that onesie I wanted..."

It doesn't help that nearly all of my prego friends have had their babies already, included my due-date buddy, as of this morning.  Their little girl is beautiful and wonderful and out in the wide world.  And all I can think is that my baby could be in the outside world, but chooses instead to flip and kick and hang out inside-o-me-belly.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ready Or Ready :: My Gray Nursery

My bags are packed.

The snacks are for me.
Not for Handsome.
He can get his own snacks.
I told him his job during labor is to sneak me food.
I will eat if I want to, people.
What are they gonna do, kick me out?
I'm ready to go.

It's piled here beside the door.

Can't wait for you to wake me up and say "It's time!"

(Are you following me, here?  To the tune of "leaving on a jet plane".  Everybody now!)

Aaaand... I'm done.  I'm over this.  Pregnancy was fun fine, and now let us move on to the next stage.  Hello!!  Baby!?  Anybody listening??

That's been pretty much my tune these last few days.  We hit 37 weeks a little while back, so we are full term, locked and loaded, just waiting on go.  And yet "go" doesn't seem like it will ever come.  People ask me if the baby has dropped.  I don't know.  I like to imagine it, but should the kiddo still be able to kick me in the ribs if he/she has dropped?  And then this morning, I swear, it felt like I had a gravitationally challenged child inside of me, as he/she was definitely not lower than normal, but higher.  Again, similar to trying to throw a cat into a tub of water, this kid was climbing the walls in there.

You're welcome for that mental picture.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grown-Up Decorating

I'm a terrible decorator.  It's an actual deficiency.  Although I won't say that it's my mother's fault, it's my mother's fault.  She didn't really instill a love of decor in me, and I never thought it cultivate it myself.  So as I've had this home of my own and attempted to make it look more like an adult's abode and less like a college crash pad, it has been an uphill battle.  I've made some mistakes, although I've mostly done nothing which is attested to by the overwhelming number of bare, contractor-beige walls that characterize our home.

But two weeks ago, I went out on a limb.  I bought curtains.  Now, we had curtains already, but I disregarded the "do not machine wash" label and the blackout backing stuck to itself and ended up horrible.  We hung them back up anyhow, as some curtains are better than no curtains at all.  But I had some Christmas $$ burning a hole in my pocket, and I found a slew of great deals for World Market, including but not limited to: 10% off your order, $10 off orders of $30, and 10% cash back.  Oh, and the curtains I bought? 50% off.  Even with shipping, I paid less than 45% of the total price.  I was a bargain samurai.

And so I showed the curtains to handsome before I bought them.  And he says to me "Really?  You're going to go with a pattern?" and I defended my choice with a simple "Yes, yes I am."  To which he responded "Well, if you want to decorate this place like a preschool, that's your choice."  

The pattern in question?

Oh, this just <sarcasm alert> screams "preschool", doesn't it?
Good thing I ignore most of his lies.
And so the curtains arrived and I put them up and you know what?  I don't regret them at all.  I think they're fitting in quite nicely, and in the one corner of the room, it actually looks like maybe an adult or two live here!

I mean, it's no staged-window from WM, but it works for me.  In fact, I made it work for me by frankensteining an extra curtain pannel onto either side of this window's set of curtains, because my window is just so dang big.  And the patterns don't quite match up.  And maybe that is a wee bit preschooler-ish.  But whatevs.  I'm making strides towards adulthood, I can feel it.

Off to eat my milk & cookies!
<3 M.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Distracted to Tears :: Freezer Meals

Perhaps it's a consequence of waking up 7 times last night.  Perhaps it's the rain and the overcast skies.  Perhaps it's the weight of the growing To Do list.  Perhaps it's the uncertainty that hangs in the air, similar to the smell of smoke that we can't seem to get rid of after using our fireplace last week.

Whatever it's cause, I'm 100% distracted.  Edgy.  And I don't like it.

I know that I need to get my math on for a meeting tomorrow.  I know there's things to prep and freezer meals to make and laundry to do.  I know my dog needs to be walked.  I know all of this.

Yet all I want to do is go back to bed, snuggle up under my flannel sheets, cry a little bit, and sleep the afternoon away.  That's normal, right?  Normal or not, I refuse to do it.  I've got stuff to do, dangit, and I'm going to do.  I won't feel better until I get some of that To Do list whittled down, and that's just the way of it. (Type-A personality, anyone?)

So as a start, I've printed out papers that I need to edit.  See?  That way, I can close up this machine and work on paper and not be distracted by all of the more-fun-and-less-demanding things the interwebs have to offer.

I've also compiled here a list of meals I plan to make & freeze.  So for the remainder of the afternoon, rather than crying into my pillow, I'm going to make a shopping list, shower (that's sure to lift the spirits, right?), shop, eat lunch, and do some cooking & freezing.  Then I'll nap, if I still want to.  Then I'll edit the papers and then hit the hay.  It's not flashy, and it's fairly routine; but hey, it's a Monday.  And if anything gets done today and there are no tears by this evening, I'm putting it in the win category.

(An Ambitious and Probably Unrealistic) List of Meals To Make & Freeze:
Also, any freezer-meal-making people out there?  Any suggestions?  I've never done this before, but thanks to an over-inflated sense of capability, I'm sure I can do it.  But just in case, any suggestions?  (BTW - we're blaming that attitude on my mom's relentless encouragement.  Thanks, Mom!)
<3 M.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Little Gift :: Baby Presents

It seems like everyone I know in real life is having a baby.  Now quite everyone, but a lot of people.  I can list 8 people I personally know whose bambinos will be born +/- 6 weeks from mine.  As a result, I've been making a lot of baby presents.

One of my favorites was this quilt, the pictures for which were taken in possibly the WORST light ever.  It almost feels like an accomplishment to take such terrible pictures.  Fortunately for me, has some great free photo editing software, and you'll never have to see them in their un-edited state.  Really, it's fortunate for you, too.

I loved this quilt.  I made if for a sweet little almost-six-month-old who has just the right complexion for the peach and the lilac.  Really, she's gorgeous.  And although it's sort of silly to think about matching a quilt to a baby's coloring, this one just seemed like "her" to me.  And then when I had made it all up, I considered keeping it.  I did.  Except who knows what my baby's skin tone will be ;)

I'm pretty sure the ruffly quilt is the last quilt I'll make until my babe shows up on the scene.  It's just getting too difficult with this huge belly to lean over and pin and things.  So when I got an invitation to yet another baby shower, for a friend who I had already given a baby blanket to (because I just can't wait!), I decided to go small-scale and whipped up this little diaper clutch.

I'd never made one of these before, and I would definitely make it differently next time.  It's not quite wide enough, and getting those 3 little newborn diapers in there (which are SO SO CUTE, btw) along with the wipes container is about all this little clutch could handle.  So I'll be revising my pattern, and trying again for myself or someone else.  Either way ;)

Now, here's my big question for you: If you've had a baby, what is the best gift you've gotten?  And if you've given a particularly rad baby shower gift, what was it?  Spill.
<3 M.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Homesteading Here I Come!

I love the idea of homesteading.  Living off of the land.  Being self-sufficient.  Owning chickens.  All of it.  In my homesteader dreams, there's always a warm breeze blowing through my hair as I crest the hill on our 140-acre property, on my way to the barn to check on the cows.  I gaze out over the fields, including the "back 40", see our horses frolicking and the corn growing high... It's lovely.

I felt like that the other day.  I swear, even though I was inside, the wind blew through my hair.  Wanna know why?  First, you have to promise not to judge.  I know people think I'm odd and different for these dreams that invariably involve me making life more difficult than it needs to be.  So promise.  Pinky promise.  

Okay.  I'll tell you.  I felt like Laura Ingalls, because I MADE BUTTER.  I did.  In my kitchen.  In less than 15 minutes.  It was, how can I put this without sounding cheesy (which I also believe I can make but that's a story for a different day), life-changing.

Want to know how I did it?  There was no blood, no sweat, and the only tears were tears of joy.  I got a Ninja for Christmas, and it is making all the difference!  It's so super cool!  I used the smallest container that it comes with, but next time I would use the middle-sized, just because the cream expands.  So here's what I did.  First, the ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 t Salt

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Not Nesting

My baseboards?  Still dirty.  Freezer meals?  Still just an idea on pinterest.  Learning to bake the perfect cherry pie?  Don't feel the need.  I'm pretty sure I'm not technically "nesting".  But what I have been doing is getting crap done, which I've always loved to do!
ASIDE: I have a problem with people telling me I'm nesting.  I don't know why.  I feel somehow that attributing my awesome success in the "getting crap done" department to "nesting" somehow diminishes what I was able to accomplish.  Like, "Oh, you climbed everest. But only because you're nesting."  No!  I did it because I'm a flippin' great mountain climber!  Do you know what I mean?  Does that even make any sense?  Either way.  
ASIDE: I think it also has something to do with people telling me that I was nesting ever since about week 22.  NO.  You're not nesting then.  You don't "nest" until right before the baby comes.  You're getting things done.  You're prepping for the baby.  You're being responsible and not leaving stuff until the last minute.  But you're not nesting.  It's just not true.
Okay.  WHEW.  Sorry.  Apparently I have a lot to say on the topic of "Why I'm Not Nesting".  Anyhow, I am getting things done, and that makes me ever so happy.  Mostly, I'm trying to get Baby M's room finished.  I know, the baby doesn't actually need a nursery, and that he/she doesn't care what it looks like.  I think we can all agree that a nursery is for the parents, and in our case, specifically the mom.  Handsome, well, I think the nursery is making it a little more "real" for him, but he would be fine without it.  Or a couch - he doesn't need that either.  Or a table.  Chairs.  Shelves of any kind... he's sort of a minimalist that way.

Let me start off by saying that the gifts that people have given this baby, the love already poured out, is overwhelming.  While I was up in PA, I got not one, but two beautiful hand-made blankets!  One from a very good friend (which I'll show you later...), and the other from a cousin who I like very well but rarely get to see.  She apparently doesn't hold it against me that we're hardly ever in the same state, let alone the same zip, as she spent hours of her life crocheting this lovely blanket!

I'm pretty sure no two are the same, although I'd have to keep careful count and catalog them to find out for sure.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE bright colors!
And, said lovely cousin was kind enough to use cotton yarn so that it won't irritate Baby M's skin.
I can't wait to bundle him/her up in this piece of art!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

When You're Having a Giant Baby

Normal things are difficult.

Things like sitting.  And standing.  And lying down.  If someone could just suspend me in air for the remainder of this pregnancy, that'd be great.  M'kay thanks.

I hit full-term (36 weeks) tomorrow, and I've been told a few things.  Those things have been... interesting to hear.

There's the general things like "The baby should start to settle down now" and "The baby should drop and you'll be able to breath again".  Lies.  All of them.  This kid is on speed, and has 6 arms.  I am convinced of it.  It's like a cartoon in there, what with all  of the WHAM! and POW!'s going on.  Don't worry, little one, those are just my lungs, I didn't need them anyhow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

That Time I Posted a Video :: Influenster Vox Box

So... yeah.  Ha.  I got a VoxBox from Influenster for the holidays, and basically it's a box of new things that companies want to have reviewed.  And they send you this box, full of cool random things, and you review it.  One thing that you're supposed to post is a video of what's in your VoxBox.  And so I made a video today.  With no editing, and quite a bit of stammering.  Just so you know.  We'll see how this goes!

Also, I apologize if my voice doesn't sound like what you've imagined my voice to sound like.  I'm sorry if that changes things between us.  I know of at least one blogger who has a completely different real-life voice thank what I imagined her to have, and I really don't like her real-life voice.  Not that she can do anything about it.  And not that I'd tell her.  It's also a pretty safe bet that she doesn't read my blog because she's big-time.  But anyhow, if it's any consolation  I don't like the way my voice sounds recorded, either.  
<3 M.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Favorite Hobby

I've got a new hobby, y'all.  And, like most of my hobbies, it might make me seem a bit more like a grandma.  And maybe it's weird to be so good at being a grandma before I'm even a mom.  But whatevs.  I'm 82% sure that this is going to be my favorite hobby of the year.  At least the week.  Either way.

Wanna know what it is?

I love...

8 days ago, my MIL got me the extruder attachment for my KitchenAid.  Today, I made pasta.  Today, my life was changed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Fresh Start :: Hush

I went for a walk today.  In the rain.  And it was glorious.

There's just something about the rain and I.  We are simply bff's and there's nothing that can be done about it. I love the sound, the feel, the strength of water falling from the sky.  And I especially love the way it makes things feel new.  Smell new.  Be new.  And so it seems appropriate, on this first day of 2013, after surviving the end of the world, to have a bit of rain coming down from above.

It's a fresh start today.  Really, most days could be a fresh start, but today it seems that every agrees that the future is the most exciting thing.  I could do a look back on 2012, but honestly that year was just crazy, and I'm not real big on reminiscing.  Not especially introspective, I guess.  The girl I was 12 months ago is a far cry from the girl I am today.  Circumstances, habits, dreams, plans, pant size - all of it has changed.  

So instead I'll look forward, with a large dose of excitement sprinkled with some trepidation.  This year, we'll have a baby.  That is straight crazy.  I suppose I should put that on my list of resolutions, if I want an easy win.  Right next to "gain 10 more and then lose 20+ pounds" as they are both bound to happen with or without my say-so.  

The hubs and I spent the day hanging out yesterday, and made up a few more goals, but only a few.  Personally, I think I'd like to try more new food.  I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to that.  I'd like to read my bible more regularly, which I'm pretty sure has been on my list for the past 24 years.  But most of all, I'd like to learn to hush.  That's my world.  HUSH.  

I'm a do-er.  I don't generally like days where I sit around and just veg - I feel as though I have nothing to show for my 24 hours.  I do and run and talk real fast, and so very very seldom take moments to just hush.  To be in the moment, enjoy it for whatever it is and not worry about what it isn't.  To listen.  And that's exactly what I plan to learn to do this year.

The crazy in our house is going to go through the roof this year.  The stress is going to ratchet up and the pressure is going to mount.  All of this is going to happen at the same time as the quantity and quality of sleep decreases.  I know this.  It'll probably still shock me, but at least I know I'm 'bout to be shocked.  But still, or even more so, in this nutso time, I want to hush my spirit, hush my day, and live these moments.

May your new year start fresh, and may you find a moment of hush.  And may my baby quickly learn the meaning of the word as well :)

<3 M.
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