Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Decidedly Domestic

After my doctor's appointment today--at which I was told that LE is pretty happy with her current situation--I decided to run some errands and then go home to peruse some more domestically oriented tasks.

The first thing I did was to bake some chocolate chip cookies. My sugar intake has been sorely curtailed since I have had to deal with gestational diabetes, but my doctor has assured me that things will be "back to normal" when LE comes.

Once that was done, I tackled washing baby bottles. I had NO IDEA that there were so many little pieces involved in bottles these days! After sterilizing and washing the bottles, I set them up on the counter to dry. I have a feeling that this will be a common sight in our house for a long while to come!

The hope is that LE will arrive next week. So, between now and then, hopefully, I will be doing more cooking and cleaning in preparation for the newest member of our family!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nesting, Smocking, and Other Maternal Pursuits

Yesterday marked my 38th week. Over the past several weeks, I have spent time making sure that everything is set up and in its place in anticipation of LE's arrival. I've been cleaning the house, washing clothes, towels, blankets, and linens, and just generally trying to keep things arranged in some sort of order.

In addition to that, my friend, Julie, asked me if I was interested in taking a smocking class with her at The Smock.ing B.ird. My family and most of my friends know that I LOVE cross-stitch, so this seemed like a good way to extend my needlework abilities. Plus, I had previously learned to smock during a summer class WAY back in 8th grade, but I didn't remember much of it. I thought this might jog my memory.

Over the three night classes, I learned some general geometric stitches. I started smocking a white bishop day gown with a dark and light pink design for LE. and finished it a few days after the last class.

Full Design

Closer View


The gown is currently at the store being put together and I've started a new day gown in mint green with a white and pink design. I want to take the stacking class on the 29th of this month so I can learn to make all the little figures like boats, trees, bunnies, and such. Of course, this is all dependent upon when LE decides to arrive. I also want to take the bishop construction class, but I have a feeling I will have to wait awhile for that one since the next class is in March and I have a feeling that my hands will be EXTREMELY full at that time! So, I guess I'll tackle that one at a later date.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Preparations Continue

After Thursday's baby shower, Ken and I went to one of the stores where we were registered to find a car seat. The one I had originally picked out was nowhere to be found in the southeast and I didn't want to take a chance of not having one when we needed it. After looking around the store for awhile, we settled on one that was close to what I had originally chosen.
Since I had to administer the ACT Saturday and I knew that would take most of the day, I decided that Sunday would be the day that I would tackle installing the car seat in my car. Thanks to my friend Julie, who had given me some pointers about what to do, I knew that I needed not only the installation book that came with the seat, but also the owner's manual for my car to see which seats were suitable for installation.

After reading both manuals and looking over the illustrations, I put on my coat (it was still not quite 40 degrees outside), and headed out to the garage to begin the installation. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and it took me less than 3o minutes to get it latched into place and check it to be sure that it wouldn't wiggle or wobble. I was pretty proud of myself! I wanted to be sure that I could do it on my own.

The finished product

Now we are just the much closer to bringing home our little one when she arrives!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Family" Means Many Different Things

This past Thursday, my second family--my friends and colleagues at school--had a baby shower for me. For the past fourteen (!) years, these folks have been a major part of my life, and, as my principal puts it, we truly ARE a family. I am so grateful to all of them for the wonderful afternoon and the gracious gifts I received. I CANNOT WAIT for LE to get here so that I can introduce her to them all!

Everything was so nice and the food was DELICIOUS! We LOVE food at school, so when we have a party, we go all out! I could not have asked for a better afternoon to share with my friends and I'm glad that my mother was able to be there too.

(And I loved seeing LE's initials on it)

Wonderful gifts from my friends and colleagues

I'm so glad so many people were able to be there!

A typical look between mother and daughter
(I'm sure that this will come back on me in years to come!)

I can't remember what made me laugh so hard that I lost my breath, which, in turn, made me gasp for air, snort (!), cry from laughing even harder, and then be MORTIFIED that I had made such a gaff! (Hence, my face, neck and chest turned bright red as a result.)

I had such a wonderful time and I thank everyone who helped plan the shower and all those who attended for such a lovely party! Love my extended family!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"And In The Mo'nin', I'm Makin' WAFFLES!"

Santa Claus brought us a "professional" waffle maker for Christmas--the kind you see at breakfast bars in hotels and such. Ken has been DYING to try it out. So, while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I bought waffle mix. He was THRILLED and spent the rest of the evening quoting "Donkey" from Sh.rek (hence, the title of the post).

He fired up the waffle maker this morning and proceeded to make a mess pretty decent waffle. (Next time, I think I'll watch more closely when he's pouring the batter onto the iron!)

In Progress
(Please note the amount of batter UNDER and ON the waffle iron.)

The Waffle Created Especially For ME!
(I'm not a huge fan of syrup, so I used butter and a little powdered sugar instead.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A First Attempt the Second Time Around

My great aunt, Annette, was one of the most interesting people I've ever known. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for me to spend time with her and my great uncle, Julian, at their house in Montgomery, in their "garden" in Perry county, or at their lake house on Lake Jordan. I learned all kinds of things--how to ski, how to eat vegetables right out of the ground after bumping a little dirt off them, and a wide variety of crafts, particularly how to knit. Annette had made several different crafts for me when I was growing up, particularly several afghans that I still have and cherish. Annette's hands were always busy doing something--shelling butter beans or peas, cracking pecans, and playing cards--so when I saw her knitting a blanket, I decided I wanted to learn to do that, too.

Well, patience has never been one of the easiest virtues for me to come by, and knitting takes concentration and focus for a beginner. I learned the basics, but never really "got into it" like I did cross-stitching. One year for Christmas, Annette gave me The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework which included just about any kind of sewing you could imagine. I have poured over the pages at various times in my life, but couldn't bring myself to pick up knitting again...until Christmas Break this year.

I decided that I wanted to knit a baby blanket for LE before she arrives. Since we had decided on pink and brown as the accent colors for her room, those seemed like the perfect colors for a blanket. The day we got out of school, I made my way to Mich.ael's and wandered up and down their yarn aisles trying to find the perfect colors and textures for my very first adult attempt at making a blanket. I finally found some yarn that was soft and not too thick or thin that I thought I would feel comfortable working with, bought it, and came home to search the internet for an "easy baby blanket." (Some people's ideas of "easy" are obviously VERY different from mine!) I found one that only used the knit and purl stitches (the only ones I felt comfortable enough with to start) and didn't seem to be too big as a finished product and I got to work.

That first day, I would knit a few rows, think they didn't look right and then unravel them. After working for about half a day, I had completed five knitted rows and I hadn't even gotten to the true "pattern" that the instructions called for! I was bound and determined that I WOULD do this, though, so I plodded on through. At the end of the two week break, I had finished over half the blanket and felt like I was accomplishing something. I finally finished the blanket this past Thursday night, binding off the end and weaving in the stray threads. I am so proud that I have something that I have made to give to my daughter!

(If you click on the picture, you can better see that the blanket does have a pattern.)