Tuesday, October 19, 2010
That extra half has become important to me again lately. I'm 31 1/2 weeks pregnant. That half means I'm that much closer to having a baby who is older and less likely to have any problems breathing or eating on his own, which is why I'm strapped to a hospital bed at the moment. The doctors tell me that each day I'm pregnant is one less day that the baby will have to spend in the NICU.
Through all of this, I was curious as to what the goal was since I have little to look forward to each day other than breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was unsure of whether the doctor wanted me to stay in bed for another 8 1/2 weeks as my body slowly becomes one with the mattress, or if they had a different plan in mind. The doctors tell me the plan is to make it to at least 35 weeks, which is when I gave birth to my daughter in my last pregnancy. She was born perfectly healthy with no complications, but apparently little preemie girls do better than preemie boys. The nurses here actually refer to the preemie boys as "wimpy white boys." Probably because they'd rather lay around on their uterine water beds and eat all day rather than bother with being born. Typical.
For now, I'm just counting my blessings as the days continue to pass and I continue to stay pregnant. Plus, the daily naps don't hurt.
Monday, October 18, 2010
- 6:30am: Wake up tangled in my Snoogle (giant pregnancy pillow resembling a huge, cushy candy cane) and bed sheets, feeling slightly hung over from my nightly dosage of Ambien.
- 6:40am: After an epic battle similar to World War I, but without the aid of neighboring countries, manage to free self from the giant pillow.
- 6:45am: Browse the menu on my side table for the 80th time, even though I have the entire thing committed to memory. Wrestle with the difficult decision of whether to order Raisin Bran or french toast sticks. Choose french toast sticks after deciding bed rest + Raisin Bran=recipe for disaster.
- 7:00am: Turn the TV on to TLC to watch "A Baby Story." Watch as multiple women undergo horrible labors that last for 3 days without epidurals. Decide watching this show was probably not my best decision considering my state, and that people who decide not to get an epidural must be at least a little crazy.
- 7:45am: Food arrives. Try to close my eyes and pretend I'm at IHOP. Nurse comes in and checks my blood pressure. Decide that if this same service was offered at IHOP, people would probably eat a lot fewer Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity's.
- 8:00am-12pm: Spend morning switching between TLC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and Food Network. Become very knowledgable about giving birth to multiples, species of animals living in the Amazon, luxury yachts, and how to make a mean chipotle.
- 12:05pm-12:45pm: Order lunch and take an unreasonably long shower since it's one of the only times I'm allowed to stand. Consider attempting to trim hair with toenail clippers. Decide to have husband bring real scissors later to avoid the risk of making myself look like a little boy.
- 12:45pm-2pm: Eat lunch and turn on computer. Facebook stalk everyone on my friends list (hey, I have a lot of time on my hands here. No one is safe.)
- 2:05pm-4:45pm: More television time mixed with occassional book reading.
- 4:50pm-6:30pm: Husband and daughter come to visit. Spend most of the time watching Fresh Beat Band and trying to convince my daughter that the bathroom is not an amusement park. Say goodbye to my family.
- 6:45pm: Eat dinner and make a mental note to never order the turkey and stuffing again, unless I have a sudden craving for shoe leather.
- 7pm-10pm: More TV time.
- 10:05pm: Nurse brings medications. Fall asleep in an Ambien daze.
- Rinse, repeat.
The nurses have been coming in each day to check on me and make sure everything is going well - and probably to make sure I haven't become a zombie yet. A pregnant woman roaming the halls in search of brains is probably not good for the hospital's image. My nurse this afternoon gave me this piece of advice: "Let's keep it boring."
No problem. I've had lots of practice.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I'm not sure how much I've mentioned previously about the complications I had with my daughter when I was pregnant with her since I started writing this particular blog after she was born, but I'll try to make a long, drawn out story short. While pregnant with her it was discovered that I have a small cervix. For those of you who aren't up to date on female anatomy, the cervix is a very important part that helps to keep the baby in. For women with a small cervix, that means there is a very good chance of having a premature baby. Unfortunately, I am one of those people.
At 25 weeks pregnant with my daughter, my cervix became so shortened that I was forced to go on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy, which ended up being 10 more weeks until my daughter made her way into the world in all of her impatient glory after only 30 minutes of pushing. See, I'm great at the whole labor and delivery thing, but I'm not so good at the whole staying pregnant thing. Which brings me to recent events.
This time around, my husband and I were aware of my incompetent cervix. I approached each monthly visit with my OB tentatively, always with the thought in the back of my head that things might take a turn for the worse like they had the last time. But when I made it to 26 weeks with still no sign of a singular complication I thought, "maybe this time things are different!" And they were, but only until this past Tuesday at my 30th week appointment when it was discovered that my cervix had shortened from a normal length of 3 cm to a mere 6 mm.
I can't tell you how disappointed I was at that moment. Disappointed that things were, in fact, NOT different this time around. They were just the same.
And so I was wheeled off to the labor and delivery wing of the hospital to make sure I didn't go into early labor. And that is where I sit now (still pregnant, thankfully.) It's been 2 1/2 days since I was brought here and part of me still can't believe it's even been that long. I feel like I've been on a roller coaster, one that I can't seem to get off. Despite everything though, I have found a lot to be thankful for.
- My husband. Because of these sudden events, my poor hubby has had to take over a ton of responsibility, including being the sole caretaker of our daughter while I'm at the hospital. If you see my daughter and her hair resembles that of a Troll doll, I take no responsibility.
- The support of some amazing friends. In the past 2 1/2 days, I've had friends come visit me to keep me company, paint my toenails, bring me foods I've been craving, help my husband care for my little girl at home, bring me reading materials, and handle my vomit container after I got sick. I don't know what I did to deserve such awesome friends, but I know that I'm eternally indebted to at least 9 people, and I'm ok with that.
- Prayers of family. There's nothing like the knowledge that your family loves you so much that they have an entire state praying for your health and that of your baby. Between mine and my husband's family members, we pretty much have the entire East Coast praying for us.
- Solid food. When someone tells you you can only eat ice chips for a day-and-a-half it's amazing how good a mediocre cafeteria hamburger can taste.
- Hot showers. There's nothing like a good, burning hot shower to make you feel human again. It's probably good for the people that have to be around me as well.
- Animal socks. Really, how can I stay down when I'm wearing monkeys on my feet?
- I'm still pregnant. Thankfully, this little guy decided it would be ok after all to stay in his uterine home a little while longer.
The continued good health of my baby is what this is all about. While it's so hard for me to be away from my husband and daughter and the comfortable surroundings of my home, I know I'll look back in just a few short weeks after I'm holding this little boy in my arms and say "it was all worth it."
And this will be just another small hill in my journey.
Friday, October 8, 2010
In this post, I explained how I found a great tutorial for quilted bibs in one of my craft books. I used the same idea and made some coordinating quilted burp cloths. These burp cloths make adorable gifts for any baby boy or girl depending on which fabrics you choose. The possibilities are endless.
Here's what you need:
- Cloth diapers
- Scraps of 5 coordinating cotton fabrics (I just dug through the remnant pile at Hancock Fabrics)
- Rotary cutting tool and mat
1. First, cut out all of your fabric scrap rectangles (use a rotary cutter and cutting mat if you have them. It's much easier that way.) My rectangles were approximately 2 inches wide by 4 inches tall. You can cut some of your rectangles in half to make your final quilted pattern look more interesting, or cut them any sizes you prefer to make your own unique quilted pattern.
2. Lay out all of your pieces on top of your cloth diaper to make sure the pieces are long enough and that you have them in the pattern you want. Your outer edges may not all line up exactly (see picture below), that's OK, you will trim them after piecing them together.
3. Piece your scraps together by placing them with the right sides (or the sides with the pattern on them) together and sewing the edges to join. Repeat until all scraps are sewn together in one long rectangle. Iron flat.
4. Trim the edges of your pieced together rectangle so that both sides are straight and even. Use a ruler and your cutting mat and rotary tool to do this, or use a ruler and fabric marker to mark a straight line down each side, then use scissors to trim the extra.
5. Lay your burp cloth flat and pin your rectangle of scraps to the middle of your burp cloth. Using coordinating thread and a straight stitch, sew lines 3/4 of an inch or so apart from one end of the burp cloth to the other, making sure to backstitch some on each end to secure your stitches. For mine, I used a zig zag stitch to enclose the outside raw edges of the fabric rectangle and give it a nice decorative look. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you could also stitch all around the perimeter of the burp cloth with the coordinating thread to add to the look.
6. Place baby on burp cloth, pat away!
Pretty easy, right? I love these because they're so unique; you'll never find ones like them in any store. Let me know if you have any questions! I don't consider myself the best teacher, so if I've confused you in any way let me know :)
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Chrissy and I have been friends since we were 17 and 18. We've been through a lot together, but besides all of the history we've shared, one of the biggest things that has kept us so close is our sense of humor. Chrissy is the only person I know who is as weird as me, and yes I mean that as a compliment. Don't get me wrong, my husband is pretty weird too (love you!) but Chrissy and I take our weird humor to a different level. Once when we were younger, we dressed up in my brother's clothes and walked around Wal-Mart looking like thugs. Yes, we were 18, old enough to know better. Another time, we smuggled Chrissy's cat into Wal-Mart in my sweatshirt, just to see if we could get away with it. We did. We did a lot of stuff at Wal-Mart apparently, which included digging through the bargain movie bin for treasures like "The Never Ending Story 2." By the way, there's a reason that movie is in the bargain bin.
Chrissy is also the only other person I know who holds a conversation by talking about whatever comes to mind in rapid successtion - regardless of whether the topics relate or not. From the time I picked Chrissy and Nate up from the airport until we got back to my house half an hour later, we had covered everything from Jersey Shore to church and raising children. Believe me, there are few people in the world that can understand the link between those 3 topics easily.
I had a great time while Chrissy and Nate were here, it was just nice catching up face-to-face instead of talking over the phone states apart.
We went to the zoo...
...and saw a panda who conveniently decided it was nap time while we were there.
We played some football...
...and Nate even pretended to tolerate Haley (not something easy for an only child to do.)
Even though Chrissy and I are both much older now and have kids of our own, there's still a lot that has stayed the same. I guess us weirdos have to stick together, right?
Sunday, September 19, 2010
My husband and his family are HUGE Steelers fans. I don't think I ever knew what a "fan" was until I met my husband. His love for the Steelers means when they win a game, he's on cloud 9 for the rest of the night which is great for me. But if they lose, I get Grumpy Husband who mopes around the house for the rest of the day and then goes to bed at a rediculously early hour because he's in a bad mood. Good thing they won the Super Bowl 2 years ago or he might have secluded himself in the house forever.
For his birthday this past year, Pat's family got him a Steelers jersey. Haley got one recently too, thanks to an awesome garage sale find courtesy of my mother-in-law :)
With my husband's love of the Steelers and the discovery that Baby #2 is a boy, I knew I had no choice but to make Connor a Steelers-themed baby room. I bought 7+ yards of Steelers print fabric on top of some gold fabric and other materials and set out to make matching Steelers stuff for Connor's Steelers/football baby room, including bumpers, bed sheets, a dust ruffle, and a Boppy cover. I might also throw in a blanket if I'm not feeling completely worn out by the entire ordeal.
Knowing this was going to take some time, I began with the bumpers and I'm proud to say I finished them in about a week's worth of sewing after Haley's gone down for naps and bedtime. I used Sew 4 Home's crib bumpers tutorial and they turned out great!!
The back of the bumpers is gold like the piping on the top. I'll have to get better pictures once I finish everything and can actually put it all on the crib. The actual sewing part of the bumpers wasn't difficult, but the measuring and cutting part was what took the longest. I'm extremely happy with the result though, I'd recommend this tutorial to anyone who would like to make their own bumpers (and at a fraction of the cost I might add.)
More baby room decoration updates as I continue to finish the projects!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Well, some things are done...I have some boy clothes and a lot of essentials left over from when Haley was a newborn, but Connor's room isn't ready. We plan to put him in the room that Haley is currently in and move her to a toddler bed in one of the other spare rooms...but she's currently occupying the crib, and I'm not so sure she's ready to make the big move yet. So with that in mind, I've been feverishly working on Connor's Steelers themed baby bedding so that it will at least be ready by the time he comes, even if he has to sleep in the Pack 'N Play bassinet for the first month or so. I'll have pictures up soon of my progress, but it's taking some time...which seems to be slipping away more and more lately, which is funny because it drug by with my last pregnancy. It's exciting and scary at the same time! Soon, we're going to be a family of 4. FOUR. I can't wait.
In the meantime while I've been running around like a madwoman cleaning and making baby bedding, I've managed to work in a couple projects, one which is an apron for my Mom's birthday....which was in July (I know I know, it's September.) Anyways, I found some fabric in my favorite colors - brown and blue - and made THIS super cute Ruffle Apron from One More Moore. I really wanted to keep it for myself, but I did end up with some leftover fabric, so I may just make a second one soon. Soon being after December when Connor is born.
I love how it turned out! It looks more like a skirt than an apron, if it were me, I don't know if I could bring myself to get any food on it. Oh, and see the belly? It was impossible to get a picture of me wearing the apron without the belly getting in the way. I guess I probably should have picked a shirt that coordinated better with the apron :)
So here it is, your apron is finally on the way Mom! You should probably try it out by baking me some cookies....for the baby of course.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
We packed so much stuff into 4 days: shopping, yard saling, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, 2 birthday celebrations, a trip to Kennywood Amusement Park, a visit to Treesdale for canoeing, and plenty of hang out time with family. It was a great final getaway before the baby comes, and Haley had SO much fun
getting an ice cream mustache at Kennywood...
...canoeing on the lake with Cousin Lena...
...wearing a crown made of wildflowers...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The book has so many cute projects that I haven't tried yet from crib shoes to blankets. There was one project in particular, a quilted bib, that I've been wanting to try for months so my mom's request was the perfect opportunity to try it! It took a little more time than usual, but the result was sooo adorable and worth the extra time and effort!
I went to Hancock Fabrics and bought 5 different fabrics that I thought would look cute together, but you can always use whatever scraps you have laying around. The only other materials needed were some bias tape to line the edges, flannel for the back of the bib, and string. I love that this project can be done with things I have just laying around. Best of all, I used the same quilting technique and made some adorable coordinating burp cloths!
They're almost too cute to let your baby spit up on. Would you like to know how to make some quilted burp cloths of your own? I sense an upcoming tutorial...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
My daughter LOVES these things, they're like healthy baby Cheetos. (I won't lie, I've eaten a few myself and they are pretty tasty.) We go through a can or two each week, depending on growth spurts/pickiness. With all those Lil' Crunchies she's downing, you can imagine how many cans we throw away. I'm always misplacing my daughter's hair clips and pacifiers, and a thought came to me: rather than tossing them, why not use the cans to make something useful?
In the tutorial below, I'll show you how to turn something destined for the trash into a storage container for all of your toddler's (or your own) little knick knacks using only a few simple supplies.
You will need:
- Lil' Crunchies cans (or any other container you have laying around like a coffee can, peanut can, etc.) cleaned out and dried
- Assorted scrapbook paper for covering and decorating your containers
- Mod Podge craft glue found at your local craft store
- Acrylic paint, gems, or other items to decorate your containers (optional)
First, you want to measure the width and height of your container. When measuring height, make sure you measure the approximate height of your container's label and not the whole container itself. You'll notice in the pictures that the cans have metal bands around the tops and bottom, you want to make sure you don't add these area's into your calculations or you'll end up overlapping the bands with scrapbook paper. The Lil' Crunchies container I used was about 12 3/4 inches wide and 4 inches tall.
Second, cut out your scrapbook paper and attach around the perimeter of your container by gradually coating the can in a thin coat of Mod Podge one section at a time. Make sure you take your time with this, you don't want to smear extra glue on the outside of your scrapbook paper (speaking from experience here :) If your scrapbook paper wrinkles as you're attaching it, carefully peel back that section and smooth it down again with your fingers. Don't use too much Mod Podge. This will lead to more wrinkles and soggy paper. Some wrinkles will happen, you just want to avoid as many as you can :)
Third, use extra scraps to decorate your containers wherever you want and attach with Mod Podge. I put a border at the top of one of my containers. You could also cut out some flowers or use stickers or other scrapbook decorations to jazz up the containers. The sky's the limit! You could get really creative with these depending on your interpretation. I didn't have the
Fourth, cut out some circles (or whatever shape you prefer) out of scrap paper to use as labels for your containers. I used a coffee cup to trace a circle, but you could use whatever happens to be laying around. You could also make your own label by using Photoshop or Word and pasting it on. Next, take a Sharpie marker to write the contents on your labels. I have boy handwriting so if you're like me, you can find a fun font on Word to use as guidance. Mine still came out a little funky, but hey, that's the charm of handmade stuff right? Attach your labels to the cans using more Mod Podge.
Last, use more scrapbook paper, acrylic paint, and any other decorations you may have to spice up your containers! I cut out some flowers from scrapbook paper to add to my "Pacifiers" container and used white acrylic paint to paint some dots on the label for my "Hair Clips" container. I also made a "Tooth Brush" container and cut notches in the lid with an X-Acto knife to hold my daughter's toothbrush so it doesn't have to lay on the dirty counter.
Voila, new storage containers for your loose knick knacks and less garbage in your trash can! Easy right?
These would make really cute storage containers for an office as a candy jar, container for paper clips, rubber bands or pens, at home for loose change, spare keys, or beads and other craft supplies.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
This was taken about 2 weeks ago, and boy oh boy has he been kicking up a storm and making his presence known in there. Connor is approximately 1 pound 4 ounces as of 2 weeks ago. At almost 24 weeks pregnant, I'm feeling lots of movement and the occassional hiccups. At my last appointment, my doctor told me it's normal to not feel the baby moving every day. I can safely say this is not a problem for me.
I have a feeling this little boy is going to be ALL BOY. Now I just have to start making the Steelers-themed baby bedding I've been talking about....time is passing too quickly and too slowly simultaneously! Argh!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
If you've never seen this movie before (lucky you, I can recite the whole thing from memory), it's a toddler movie made to introduce small children to their first sounds - baba, mama, ball, and for some reason "marionette" (where do these producers get off thinking "marionette" is a simple baby word anyway??) The main character of the movie is a bee who buzzes around and makes cute little squeaky noises while sniffing flowers and doing other bee-like activities. Pat and I have been forced to watch this movie so much that we just refer to the movie as "The Bee," as in "Haley, want to watch The Bee again for the tenth time today?"
With all this love for The Bee, I wanted to make Haley a Bee of her own! Now let me first say I realize this looks nothing like The Bee from Baby Einsteins, I wanted to try out a pattern of my own.
Bee has big blue eyes and enjoys long afternoons in the garden. She loves honey and buzzing around in the warm afternoon sun.
While I was at it, I thought it would be fun to make Haley a bee-themed shirt to go along with her stuffed Bee. Using some free clipart I found, I made a cute design with a bee and flower and used freezer paper stenciling (I know, yet again) to stencil it on a onsie I found at Wal-Mart for $2.00 - you can't beat that!
You want to make this cute shirt for your kiddo now don't you? Even if you want to make it for yourself don't worry, I won't judge you :) I don't know any fancy way of uploading the file, but I'll attach the picture below if you want to right click and save it to your computer and print it out in the size you need. If you need a refresher on freezer paper stenciling (or if your new to it) just go to my tutorial on freezer paper stenciling here to learn how to paint it on your shirt!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
They're pretty, don't get me wrong, but I learned very quickly how many weeds a garden can produce in a very short time. Weeding is a full time job, and I couldn't handle keeping a house, a toddler, and a weed-infested garden at the same time. I think my other problem with flower gardens is that they don't seem to give back like fruit and veggie gardens do. I would much rather pick a ripe cantaloupe from my garden and happily eat it feeling like all my hard work paid off. With flowers, you pick them and put them in a vase, just to have them die a short while later. What I'm trying to say is basically that I'm a lazy weeder. And I'd rather eat cantaloupe.
My flower garden did do well for awhile...that is until the crazy Tennessee rain storms kicked in and made the weeds sprout more than the flowers. I had good intentions, I tried to weed when I could, but I just couldn't seem to keep up. Eventually, one side of my poor garden was so overgrown with weeds that Pat just put it out of its misery and mowed over it one night as he was cutting the lawn. The remaining flower garden lives on in weed-infested misery though, doing what it can to survive despite my neglect. My fruit and vegetable garden on the other hand? Well, that's another matter.
This is actually a picture from over a month ago. We had some heavy rains recently and ever since then, the cantaloupe plants seem to have a mind of their own. So far, we've managed to get 2 ripe fruit from them but as soon as those two were picked, I've found about 12-15 new cantaloupe growing.