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Has it really been a month?

…since I’ve written a post? Over the past whole three months, I’ve wanted to write so much more than I actually have. But, at the end of the day, it is hard to pull myself away to write. Baby2 is growing so fast I’ll miss something if I blink and Kiddo1 is just blowing me away with his awesomeness lately. But, before I completely forget everything I had better take some time to get my thoughts down, so here’s a huge wrap up of things from the last month or so…

First, Baby2 is so freaking amazing. She will be three months old this Thursday. She holds her head up on her own all the time now. She barely lays her head on my shoulder anymore! Only when she’s super duper tired will she give in to a little head support assistance. She’d much rather be looking around and taking in all her surroundings than laying down like a little newborn. Sheesh, we’ve totally outgrown that phase. She likes to “sit” or “stand” while we hold her sides. No more craddle baby hold for her, much to Mr. Handsome’s dismay.

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For awhile there she was not having much of tummy time – it is still hit and miss but I see more hits than misses. She’ll lift her neck and legs until she looks like a little airplane about to take off! It looks like she’s gearing up to roll over soon, although I’m sure it will be several more weeks until that milestone. At least I hope so! Don’t grow too fast baby!

She smiles and it is so freaking cute. When I come home from work and met her eyes for the first time she gives me a little grin and it just melts my heart every time! Of course the second I pull out a camera the smile fades so it has been difficult to get many of them captured! Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAlthough, the other day I put her down in her crib for just a moment while I put some laundry away in the bedroom. I caught her smiling and looking up at her mobile. That made me pretty happy since I spent so much time on making that dang mobile with its huge balls! Baby2 was just looking at them and waving her arms and smiling. Super cute!

This week I’ve been trying so hard to get her to laugh. I really don’t want to miss that first laugh but I know that I will miss some firsts while I’m at work. Knowing that Mr. Handsome will witness what I don’t does soften the blow a little bit, but it still stings. Most of the time going to work isn’t too hard, but I’ve had a couple days in the last month that I really haven’t wanted to leave. Last Monday was one of those days. When I got home I learned that Baby2 didn’t have too easy of a day herself. We commiserated a bit and felt better.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppWork is great; really, I have it pretty easy. I have a nice room to pump in and I’m down to using it just a couple times a day. Pumping is usually pretty fast for me. It probably takes longer to walk to and from the room than it takes to actually pump! I keep my pump parts in the fridge all day so I only wash once when I get home. It saves so much time that way! I’ve been meaning to write a whole post dedicated to pumping but I’m not sure if I really have enough content for a whole post. I just pump and that’s it I suppose. I wish I had some pumping buddies, though. For a few weeks there was one other woman who used the lactation room but her son just turned one so I think she graduated. Good for her, though; knowing another person made it a whole year of pumping is really good motivation for me! I’m surprised more women aren’t using the lactation room. There are several new moms (or second- to fourth-time moms) in the building but I’m the only one still breastfeeding. I’m sure they have their reasons for not pumping, and I’m not judging them at all! But it’d be nice to have some company sometimes. Not to pump-in-tandem, that’s kind of weird, but to relate to and what-not.

Breastfeeding itself is still going really well. Baby2 doesn’t seem to have any confusion between the breast and bottle. I know I could use the bottle more on weekends but I like keeping the bottle use to times that I’m literally not around and can’t feed her. I like feeding her myself. I don’t want Baby2 to get too comfortable with the bottle so that she starts to prefer the immediate let-down and faster flow. Although, I shouldn’t be too worried. She doesn’t seem to really dig the bottle too much. She’s still eating a little less than I’d like her to during the day. I’m certainly not worried about our frozen stash, though, since I’m probably adding more to it than taking away. We use frozen milk on Mondays and freshly pumped milk Tuesday through Friday. Then on Friday afternoon I freeze the leftovers. I’m usually freezing between 20 and 50 ounces per week. Doesn’t look like I’ll be finishing off the frozen stash any time soon!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppBaby2 is still eating plenty overall, though. She certainly goes through enough diapers to convince us that her eating habits are quite healthy! Thank goodness for cloth diapers. I figure we’ve saved at least $200 so far, if you don’t count the cash I spent on building our cloth diaper stash, of course. I suppose if you count that then we’ve almost broke even. I don’t count the laundry spending because we don’t pay for water and the detergent is only half used and it cost like $10 or something.

We are still using prefolds and covers and I really love this method. We have about ten pocket diapers that are just starting to fit Baby2’s little frame. I have used the pockets a few times and they almost always leak for me. Maybe I leave her in them too long, I’m not sure. But I can never tell because the pocket material wicks the pee into the soaker so fast that most of the time I can’t tell if she’s wet. But when I use the prefolds they aren’t usually too soaked she’s not siting in wetness a lot. Who knows, but I’m thinking I’d like to sit with what works and keep the pockets in “reserve” status for when I’ve forgotten to finish up my cloth laundry. We wash just about every day, sometimes every other day. Most of the time that frequency isn’t too annoying. Sometimes it’s just like, ugh, laundry, you know? No one likes doing laundry all the time. You just tolerate it I think.

Overall Baby2 is a pretty good sleeper. She started sleeping in six to seven hour chunks several weeks ago, which was an awesome pre-return-to-work present. Since she hasn’t been eating as much during the day now though, I think she’s eating a bit more at night so she’s up more. I say I think because once she gets up the first time I keep her in bed with me so she could be eating every hour and I won’t really realize it because I hardly wake up anymore. I just pull out a boob and she does the rest, for the most part. Mr. Handsome kind of laughs at us (and spends a lot of time on the sofa with the dog!) but this is the method that nets me the most shut-eye so it is what it is. And I’m sure Baby2 is enjoying the snuggling. I might be enjoying it as well!

Finally, I know I don’t spend too much time on this blog talking about Kiddo1. I think that’s just the nature of starting as a pregnancy blog – I’m used to dishing baby stuff all the time. But this blog is really about having two kids with a crazy age gap, so I’d better get some more Kiddo1 memories down here!

So far there isn’t too much age gap drama or fun to report. Kiddo1 doesn’t do too much with Baby2 yet. She really isn’t all that interesting to him. He likes when she smiles so I think once she starts really laughing he’s going to have a good time trying to get her to do that.

4A2B0FC6-85B6-4642-BDD9-9ACFC880214C-1729-000001CE3E669687Right now he seems to be having a really good time getting involved at school. When he started kindergarten he said he really wanted to be a playground helper and safety helper once he got to fourth grade (which is when kids can start doing that at his school). Now that he’s in fourth grade he is doing both jobs and seems to be having a great time at it. He is so good with helping the younger kids at recess. Sometimes there’s a disagreement or something and he tells me how he helped. He’s such a good kid – he is going to be so awesome with Baby2 when she’s a little older and needs his help.

Finally, Kiddo1 went and got himself elected to Student Council this year! I believe fourth grade is when they can start doing that job, too. Mr. Handsome and I were so excited for him. We’re interested to see what is going to be his “thing” in school. For us it was always music (and also sports for Mr. Handsome, for me my second love was dating sports boys, haha). Kiddo1 is a little into music, not so much into sports, so we’re wondering if maybe school politics would be his thing. He now has this whole handout/book about public speaking, crafting an argument, etc. We got so excited when we saw it!

Overall things are quite awesome. We are loving our new life as four. Mr. Handsome and I love having a baby around (maybe too much!). Everything she does makes us appreciate life, appreciate Kiddo1, appreciate what we have that much more. Of course some days are a challenge but they are far between the good, amazing regular days. I can’t ask for much more!

The New and Improved Mobile

Even though the nursery was finished a couple weeks ago, I wasn’t entirely happy with the mobile I created. So, I improved it. And probably just in time, too! I was having some mild contractions the other night when I was hanging the last few balls. (One thing about this project that I will miss – all the awesome ball jokes Mr. Handsome and I have been slinging at each other.)

For the before pics, check out the nursery post linked above. I’m focusing on the after here!

photo-5 I added 4 new balls: two yellow ones, a purple and a turquoise.

For the two new yellow ones, I used a different technique than with the first ball, which took almost three whole days to complete. These last two went a lot faster! I finished them in about a day. I took a strip of 2″-wide fabric, folded it in half (hot-dog style) and wrapped it around the balls, securing with a dab of hot glue every few inches. I should have taken some pictures during production so I could share a little tutorial, but I was really focused on just getting these done! I was able to use up some leftover yellow fabric (that I had planned on making a crib sheet out of, but then I liked the red sheets too much).

For the purple balls, I took away the one very textured ball I had up and replaced it with two simpler balls. They’re just white paper lanterns covered in purple tissue paper by using Mod Podge glue. They took about an hour for the set – way, way easier than covering the balls in tiny bits of crumpled up tissue paper like I did for the first purple ball I used. I lost some texture but saved myself from losing some sanity, so win-win.

The turquoise ball was just a leftover that I hadn’t hung yet. Now I have 11 balls strung up there. I hung them with simple hooks and some thick white sewing thread (the quilting kind, extra strong). The yellow ball in the middle is extra reinforced between two hooks and lots of thread because it is super heavy!

I feel really finished with the decorating now. I’m not even itching to do any other projects, which must mean we’re super close to meeting our little girl, right?!

Here are some more views of the ball-o-rama:

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A baby’s-eye view

 Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

A Nursery Is Born!

After a few months of on-and-off labor, a nursery for Baby2 has been born! I’ve worked on little projects for this space when I have time in the evenings and on the weekends (which really isn’t too much free time now that I look back!). There were lots of little projects that led up to the completion, too.

Like I said in my last post about completed nursery projects, I know that Baby2 doesn’t really care what kind of space she sleeps in and gets changed in, as long as it’s safe and warm! But I didn’t get to do much nursery decorating when Kiddo1 was born so I guess I just wanted the experience of making a baby space this time. So I started with a couple simple projects and, knowing me, things quickly ballooned from there! I can say that I’m at a point where I’m comfortable stopping (except for maybe the mobile, below!) so it’s time to show off what I’ve been able to finish!

Our space is small, as the only room we’ve got right now is in Mr. Handsome’s and my room, but Baby2 would likely stay in our room for the first few months anyway. Perhaps this winter or next spring we’ll look at getting ourselves into a bigger place!

Photobucket Anyway, there are two bits of walls that Baby2 gets. On the changing table side, I first framed these two Degas posters back in late March during Spring Break. While that was only three months ago, it seems like ages!

I picked up the small lamp from a thrift store a month (?) or so ago; I cleaned it up and added a shade which I covered with red tissue paper (using Mod Podge, which is probably now my most favorite adhesive) to match the paper lanterns over the crib.

I finished the dresser over Memorial Day weekend, complete with pink drawer insides! The top right drawer is stuffed with cloth diaper prefolds (on their second round of washing prep, out of five rounds! More about that later). I finished the changing pad cover just a couple weeks ago – luckily I made two so Baby2 won’t feel guilty pooping on them (because, you know, I’m sure she’d care about that).

PhotobucketAlso, I hung up a little hook for a hanger so I can hang up her outfit of the day (well, the outfit she’ll be starting in, at least)! One of baby’s very first outfits is all hung up and ready to go! Well, I still have to wash them all, but I’ll get to that…

Speaking of clothes, how cute are all these?! I found tiny little hangers for them and made myself a small rod to fit in our IKEA bookshelves so I can display their cuteness.  Many thanks to the friends who have given us such adorable stuff! Baby girl clothes are so much fun to buy. It’s a good thing I can’t make up my mind about how the weather will be and what sizes to buy her because I would have WAY more clothes at this point than I do.

PhotobucketOn the other side of the room is Baby2’s sleeping space. The IKEA crib was outfitted with a crib skirt back during Spring Break. I got the fabric on Etsy and spent the next several months covering everything with it! Other than the crib skirt and the changing pads, I covered some throw pillows and a Boppy pillow with it too. There’s a small amount left over so we’ll see what gets covered next!

The Picasso poster was the very first nursery project I finished way back in early March (when I also got the inspiration to do a huge mobile!). It was also my first attempt at framing. I framed three more posters after that! I have a couple more I’d like to do someday, but they aren’t getting done anytime soon!

PhotobucketHere’s a baby’s-eye-view of the giant mobile! I’m still not completely finished with it, but I’m allowing myself to call it done for now. It has been way more work than it probably needed to me, mostly because I make things more complicated than they need to be!

These balls started way back during Spring Break, too! I finished the yellow one then. I’d like to make another small yellow one, but we’ll see how much I feel like doing that over the next few weeks… The purple one is small but so are the little bits of crumpled up tissue paper that are covering it. Making the ball covering takes so much time. I’m definitely not making another purple ball!

The red balls were super easy, just some cheap, white paper lanterns, red tissue paper, Mod Podge and a couple hours of gluing fun. The turquoise balls came as is.

PhotobucketHere were are as a family of three… and a half! Not too much longer and there will be a baby to occupy this little space.

Yesterday was also Kiddo1’s last day of third grade (yikes!). I always take the first and last days of school off from work, which is why I had the extra bit of time to get the final touches finished up. I’m pretty glad it’s at a point where I can call it finished!

Baby Gear Obsessions: Home

This is the last post in a series about baby gear that I’m, well, obsessing over a bit. I’ve covered transportation and feeding items, now for the home stuff: crib, changing accommodations, bathing, play and cozy stuff. We only have about half of the items covered in this post and we haven’t actually used any of them yet so, again, these aren’t really reviews or anything, just stuff I’m lusting after!

Crib

A good crib is important to me but not THAT important. I’ll explain. First, the crib is important because that’s where my baby will sleep most of the time. I’ll save my opinions on sleep for another post so I don’t get all off topic, but it is important to me for baby to learn to fall asleep in her own bed.

On the flip side, I don’t think cribs are that big of a deal. First, I don’t like cribs all that much – they look like little baby jail cells and they kind of freak me out. Second, I don’t like to keep them around all that long. Once that baby can climb out of the crib… what are they going to hurt themselves on more? The fall from the top of the crib three or four feet high or the fall from a toddler bed a foot off the ground? Kiddo1 was in a toddler bed at around 18 months I believe, which I guess they say is pretty early. I know this crib won’t be used for too long so I don’t want to put too much of an investment into it. We don’t need anything fancy here! I also tend to stay away from convertible cribs because I figure we’ll just end up getting a new bed in a year or two anyway.

Since it is advised that new cribs are preferred by the experts over a used crib (with the whole drop-down side controversy and all that going on), I’m looking for something:

  • Inexpensive
  • Yet safe
  • Simple design (we can dress it up with bedding)
  • Variable mattress heights (to discourage the aforementioned climbing out thing)

PhotobucketThe IKEA cribs did it for me. Less than $100, solid wood where it counts (I like to have solid wood where pieces connect/screw into each other because it makes for a stronger connection), a choice of very simple designs and the mattress has two height settings.

We got this crib from IKEA which isn’t the cheapest $69 crib but is the close second (we spent as much on the crib as we did the crib mattress! Which is okay with me because the mattress will stick around to be used with the toddler bed too).

This particular style does convert to a toddler bed but we’ll see if we end up using that option or not. I liked the white finish because it goes with anything! I thought about painting it when we first got it but I don’t want another project (although, after we finished the dresser Mr. Handsome thought we should paint everything bright colors!).

Changing Table

With the exception of a crib, I like furniture that I can keep for awhile. We’ve had our couch for almost nine years and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! So the idea of getting a traditional changing table just doesn’t work for me because I don’t know what we’d do with it once diapers go away.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Here’s our set-up with cloth diapers and wipes in a drawer.

A dresser, on the other hand, is an item that we can use for a while. We all have dressers for our clothes and stuff right? (Well, Mr. Handsome and I use shelves for our own clothes, but Kiddo1 has a dresser.)

So I wanted to use a dresser as a changing table just like we did for Kiddo1. Just put one of those contoured changing pads on there and you’re good to go. I like to add a small lamp for midnight changings and a mirror to entertain a squirmy baby. When diapers are no longer used you still have a very functional piece of furniture. Score!

Bath

fisherpricetubAre those little baby-sized tubs really needed? I don’t know. We used one with Kiddo1 and I did like some things about it.

  • I don’t have to fill the whole tub with water
  • Less water means less splashing
  • The tub is raised up a little which saves my/Mr. Handsome’s back
  • Baby sits at a nice and comfy reclined position and has head support
  • My hands are free to grab soap, fill a cup with extra water, distract with a toy, etc. (of course never take your eyes off a baby in a bath!)

Although some people say bathing with your baby or using the sink is just as good. I would think bathing with your baby would be hard because they get so slippery! Would it take longer? And the sink is only so big and offers no support for babies who can not yet sit up. I’m willing to try these things… but we did register for a baby tub anyway.

Not one of those crazy baby spas with the jets and all that though! Those things crack me up! I’m okay with the $20 plastic version.

Play

PhotobucketWe registered for (and my mom already bought) what I think is a pretty kick-ass play mat. We didn’t do any research on this one, we just picked whatever what was at Target and not COMPLETELY covered in pink. That ended up being this Little Einsteins Ocean Play set. This thing looks even more awesome now that it’s in my house. I want to bust it out and turn on all the lights and music and just zone out.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI’m also a little obsessed with all these wooden toys that have come out lately (I make it sound like simple toys are a Brand New Invention, don’t I?). I very much disliked all the battery-powered plastic toys that Kiddo1 received. These wooden toys don’t have the plastic chemicals and I think they foster more creativity too.

I’m loving toys by Moby, Haba and Manhattan. The adorable carrot and strawberry are by Under the Nile – they’re for teething mostly (for chewing, not eating! Hehehe).

Bouncy Seat

PhotobucketI have some requirements for a good seat:

  • Distraction Factor: I like if it has several “distraction” settings like music, varying intensities of vibration, a toy bar, etc.
  • Versatility: It’d be awesome if the seat can rock and bounce and maybe achieve world piece. Do it all seat!
  • Sun shade: In the summer I’ll want to take it outside so baby has a nice place to sit while we watch the older kids play or read books or so I can just generally sun myself and baby can be protected.

I like this bouncer/rocker combo by Maclaren. It vibrates, plays music, bounces, rocks, has a toy bar and plays music. Can I get an adult-sized one of these?

Cozy Stuff!

I could go on and on about diapers, clothes, pacifiers, all those good things, but this post would be like 5,000 words if I did that. So instead I will focus on my current accessory obsession: blankets.

I have two kinds I’m loving: the Aden + Anais lightweight cotton or bamboo sets and the heavier Moby wrap blankets.

adenanaisI love the softness and weight of A+A: perfect for a summer baby. I can not stop hearing good things about this brand too. I have a three-pack of bamboo blankets and am registered for a bunch more. You can never have too many blankets right? Oh and the prints are adorable!

When I went to a local boutique to spend a coupon I was dead-set on getting a wrap but these blankets kept calling out to me. Of course, the sales lady said they were their most popular item (she’s got to say that, right?) but she also mentioned they get softer each time you wash them. I was sold. I’ve heard good things about them on a few blogs that I read too. All these people can’t be wrong, I’m sure of it.

I put my three-pack of blankets through the wash last weekend. A whole lot of fuzz came off but the blankets seemed to actually fluff up a bit and, get this, they actually did seem softer! Maybe the sales lady at that boutique was on to something…

PhotobucketThe Moby blankets are great for nighttime swaddling when the temp dips a bit. I think they’re great floor blankets too because they’re relatively thick and good sized. Also, I love the bold colors! I’m not a fan of pastels and it is SO unbelievably difficult to find bold-colored baby blankets (especially for girls). These Moby ones look awesome and will fit in well with my bold-colored nursery.

One more thing about the Moby blankets… they come with a matching newborn hat! Instant outfit, right? I want three: Eggplant, Pacific (pictured) and Natural.

Wow! Lots of stuff for baby! Hopefully I’ll get to review a few of these items after we’ve used them for awhile – assuming I 1) buy them and 2) have the time to review once Baby2 arrives!

I Sewed!

My medium is typically paper, not fabric, so sewing is a little daunting to me. Fabric stretches and moves around too much! Perhaps that’s why I’ve put off my sewing projects for so long! But this weekend I swallowed my pride, took out the machine and got some stuff done!

I finished four projects and seven items this weekend (that’s the great thing about sewing – it does go fairly quickly once you actually get going!): two changing pad covers, three throw pillows, a crib sheet and a Boppy pillow cover (I finished the crib skirt over spring break). I feel such a sense of relief getting these projects behind me! I get so into the whole “project mode” thing that I take on too much and I’m too stubborn to back down. Another thing: I understand that this nursery isn’t necessarily for Baby2. It is and it isn’t. Yeah, it’s for her in that she needs a place to sleep and all that, but she can’t appreciate the colors and fabrics and what not: all that is for me, let’s face it.

With that disclaimer aside, on to the finished project pictures! I can’t figure out why they’re coming out a little blurry, but you get the picture (haha). The red also looks really bright in these pictures but it’s actually a pretty deep red…

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The dresser was finished last weekend and we hung a mirror on the wall over it because babies like to look at themselves (and hopefully this will distract her and keep her from wiggling too much!).

Since it makes me happy to review lists, here’s what I planned, what I’ve done and what’s left to do in the nursery:

  • DONE: Make matching pillows out of the crib skirt fabric (three 12″ square pillows and one bolster-type long, round pillow).
  • DONE: crib sheets (although I only made one crib sheet instead of three because fabric is almost more expensive than just buying sheets but I really wanted a red one to match everything. I’ll buy two white ones to use a back-ups).
  • DONE: Attach wheels to the bottom of the crib to make it easier to move around the tiny nursery space.
  • DONE: Find and refinish a dresser to use as a changing table.
  • TO DO: I bought a lamp from a thrift store that I’m fixing up a bit (a small lamp for the changing table so we don’t have to turn on the overhead light during nighttime changes/feedings).
  • TO DO: I’m in the midst of hanging the paper lanterns (some bought some made) for the giant mobile piece.

While I can’t wait to finish, I also wonder what will occupy my time and thoughts once I’m done and have no baby yet! I guess I’ll just have to relax or something!

Scones and Dresser

In Friday’s update post I promised to post about some scones I made, so I’m finally getting to that now! It’s been a busy weekend… but, first – the scones!

I found this receipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog and I have reposted it here. It is mostly a verbatim repost but I did modify it slightly after perusing the comments.

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Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/2 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar*
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cup (136 grams or 4 3/4 ounces) fresh raspberries
3/4 cup (189 grams) greek yogurt (6 oz)*
1/3 cup (79 ml) heavy cream

* parts that I changed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together.

With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first) and use the blender to both cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in raspberries and use the blender again to break them into halves and quarter berry sized chunks.

Without a pastry blender: Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries on a cutting board and stir them into the butter-flour mixture. (Mine turned very pink by adding the raspberries this early. In my next batch I’ll probably add them later so the dough is more marbley like the photos on Smitten Kitchen’s post.)

Both methods: Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula. Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. This is a pretty thing.

With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating them, so they can set a bit more. I know, way to be a big meanie, right?

Do ahead (I took this route so they could be fresh-baked in the morning): Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the frozen, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.

I also added the lemon icing for some more sweetness, because even though I doubled the sugar in the original recipe these scones still weren’t sweet enough for me! This is my own recipe:

Lemon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk

Adjust the milk-to-powdered sugar ratio to achieve the desired consistency. I wanted more of a glaze than a fluffy frosting so I used a teeny bit more milk. Just stir and stir until the lumps smooth out and it is ready to go!

……..

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppIn other news, this dresser that I have been working on forEVER is finally finished! I’ve been sanding this thing sporadically over the last month or so (this picture was taken after I had sanded half of the drawers). My goal was to get it all painted by this weekend because the baby stuff we’re accumulating needs a home!

It took some serious perseverance and carefully watching of the weather but it all got done. The weather this weekend was so unpredictable. It looked like it was going to rain but aside from an intense thunderstorm on Saturday night we stayed mostly dry. I started painting on Saturday around 2 and brought everything in around 7:30, about 30 minutes before the storm started. Whew!

Anyway, here it is! I added some glass-like pulls that I thought we a bit more girly and, as a last-minute addition, I painted the insides of the drawers hot pink. The pink doesn’t really go with the rest of the color scheme but I think it’s a nice surprise when you open the drawers.

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On Sunday I applied a coat of sealer so the paint won’t scratch too easily and I let it sit outside to air out for awhile. As a result of all that work I rested a ton today, taking a nice long nap on the couch and generally neglecting all my duties and other projects. This week I’ll be sewing so hopefully I’ll have a post in a week about more accomplishments!

Friday Update: Week 33

apple-alu-keyboardBaby is 17 inches long this week! The keyboard that came with my iMac is also 17″ long. I’m currently typing this post on my iMac but I usually use my iBook because, well, I like to sit on the sofa and be comfortable. My iBook won’t turn on and that is upsetting! It’s only five years old! Stay with me buddy. Although I would love a new one of these! (Haha NOT going to happen!)

Another week down, only seven more to go! Seven! But I am focusing more on the weekend ahead. I have so much to accomplish – thank goodness I have three days in which to do it!

  • My number one project is finishing up the dresser that I’m refinishing. I’ve been sanding it all down by hand with little strips of sand paper because I’m too cheap to buy even one of those  sander things. I’ve been trying to wrap that up for days but it keeps raining this week so I’m stuck. I can’t sand inside! Then I need to fill all the scratches and dents with wood putty so it looks all smooth and pretty again (I found this dresser on Craig’s List so it’s a little beat up). Then I will paint the whole thing and attach new drawer pulls that are all pretty and girly. Finally a place to put all the clothes and diapers I’ve been accumulating!
  • I also need to finish the giant mobile I’ve been toiling over for weeks. Most of it is installed on the ceiling, I just need to adjust a few things and decide whether or not to make just one more yellow poof like the one I made over Spring Break (which I will try to do but after I finish a plethora of other projects).
  • Then there’s the sewing. Oh so much sewing. I want to make pillows, a cover for our Boppy pillow, covers for the changing pad and a couple sheets.
  • Finally, I found a cute little lamp at a thrift store for three bucks so I’ve got to fix it up and get it in place. Plus install a couple new mirrors to replace the full-length mirror I had to take down in order to get Baby2’s furniture in the right places. Aaand hopefully take pictures of everything so I can write a post about our finished nursery. Don’t hold your breath, my list is daunting!

Not to mention getting in some quality time with family and friends too! My moms group has an outing to the “What to Expect” movie so fingers crossed that people actually show up!

I’m excited for the weekend but I will look back on this week for just a few things:

  • Total weight gain: 26-27 pounds, the scale moves. Not surprising given the below cravings, (lack of) exercise and baby’s own half-pound gain this week!
  • Cravings: Still smoothies, I love them and it is unfortunate that a Jamba Juice is so close to work, but my old boss kept talking about wanting scones the other day and how I should make some (I’m like the team baker) so I did make some this morning and I wanted to eat all of them. I will post pictures later today (no time now!). I’m trying not to go crazy over carbs since my midwife gave me the okay to eat more of them!
  • Coolest symptom: It’s difficult for me to think of something other than baby kicks because she’s moving ALL THE TIME now. But generally I feel great, physically (so I should be exercising, dang it!). I’m sleeping very well provided I’m not woken by my bladder or other interruptions because I have not been able to return to sleep in those cases. I’ve had some extra early mornings at the office because of this.
  • Lamest symptom: I’m plagued by small, annoying things really. These things don’t really bother me all that much so I must remind myself that things could be a lot (a LOT) worse so be grateful. Grateful I tell ya! Still short on space between my belly and boobs, but I’m either getting used to it or it’s suddenly better. The midwife says I’m carrying really low and I was like. “What the hell are you talking about?!” But after looking at my pictures, I know she’s right, baby is pretty low.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): This week I have nothing, literally no logged exercise time. Total fail two weeks in a row! I spent a lot of the weekend walking around but I’m not counting that. I will be better next week. I WILL!

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He or she is rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look. Your baby’s skeleton is hardening. The bones in the skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap. This makes it easier for your baby to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as your child’s brain and other tissues expand during infancy and childhood.

Spring Break Projects Wrap-Up

What a week it has been! I’ve been on a self-imposed Spring Break from work this week while Kiddo1 is on his school break. I had a long list of projects to accomplish plus some fun family stuff, too. Here’s what when down, and what is still left on the table…

Weekend

I spend the weekend gathering and organizing supplies for all the projects I planned on doing. I received a few deliveries of supplies on Friday but I had to wait until Monday before I had everything in hand (stupid UPS doesn’t delivery on Saturdays, but FedEx did bring me something so I like them). I spent a lot of time at the local fabric store and art supply store, but surprisingly I didn’t spend all that much money. Yay me! Besides gathering supplies, the weekend was spent relaxing (gathering energy) and we all went to a cloth diapering class with my moms group.

Monday

Monday I didn’t get too much done on my projects. I took Kiddo1 to the dentist in the morning (FOUR cavities! Someone needs to get better at flossing because all the cavities are between his back teeth). We also went to the zoo with one of Kiddo1’s friends. It was a beautiful day so it was great to walk around outside. Unfortunately everyone else in the city felt the same way! The zoo was crazy packed but we ended up spending two or three hours and saw almost everything.

Tuesday

Tuesday I finally got a project started and finished with the framing of three more posters. I had already completed framing a Picasso print a few weeks ago. This time I framed a Kandinsky for Mr. Handsome and I’s room:

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Apparently I couldn’t even wait until we were don’t hanging it before I started taking pictures because the level is still hanging out there… This one has white mats only because the color scheme of Mr. Handsome and my room is all white (I think it’s peaceful that way).

Plus I finished the two new Degas prints (still waiting to be hung) that I ordered for Baby2:

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They should bring a little more girlyness to the space! I chose red for the mats because we’ve got this red, mustard, turquoise thing going on. I seem to be gravitating toward the primary colors once again (Kiddo1’s room was straight-up solid, bright primaries while this one is a bit darker/bolder).

I added up all my framing costs and figured that finishing four posters costs a little less than $200 which was still significantly less than the $300 the framer wanted to charge for one framed poster. My cost includes all four frames, the mat cutter, all the mat board, the frame hangers and the Degas prints I bought (I’d include the cost of the Picasso and Kandinsky prints I already had but I’ve had them for so long, I have no idea how much I paid for them). Not bad, huh?

Also on Tuesday, we bought a crib! This is our first major purchase for Baby2 (if you don’t count the minivan), so we congratulated ourselves. I wanted it so I could make and attach the crib skirt that I had planned for this week. Kiddo1 and Mr. Handsome put it together (they were adorable) while I worked on my framing. It’s sort of weird having an empty crib hanging around… but it isn’t really empty as it is filled with supplies for my projects (and slowly filling up with completed projects that need to be hung or placed!).

Wednesday-Thursday

On Wednesday I started working on the poofs I had planned for the huge mobile of paper lanterns. I did a 12″ paper lantern (this tutorial is for 6″ and 9″ lanterns) and it took literally all day and well into Thursday, too. I had already cut three yards of fabric into circles over the weekend, so all I did Wednesday was glue, glue, glue. On Thursday I cut three more yards of fabric into circles and finally finished in the afternoon. I want to do three of these (a 10″ and an 8″ too) but we’ll see how that goes… Here’s how the first one looks though!

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I freaking love how it turned out, even though it took two days to do. The texture is just amazing and the size and color are eye-catching for sure. I hope the other two yellow poofs will go faster because they’re smaller, but I’m not going to count on it. At this point I’m more worried about my fabric costs than the time I have to spend on it!

Also on Wednesday, Kiddo1 and I also took a bike ride around the neighborhood (yay I can still get on my bike!), got some lunch together and picked up some groceries. I had dropped off the car for an oil change earlier in the day and Mr. Handsome worked. A fairly productive day, really! But I felt like the week was slipping away too quickly…

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppSo other than finishing the first poof, on Thursday I took Kiddo1 to a skateboarding class at the community center. He learned a couple new tricks (of course he claims he already knew them, but whatever), gained some confidence with the ramps and spent a couple hours getting exercise and meeting new kids. Win! Later on we took a friend to the science center to see the traveling Lego exhibit.

The visits to a very crowed zoo and science center further reaffirmed my belief that I don’t want a stroller. I don’t want to disrespect the stroller parents, because of course strollers have their place, but the baby-wearing parents did look happier and less stressed. I may write a post about my feelings about my potential personal stroller use (or lack of use) in the next week or so. We’ll see.

Friday

On Friday, I took Kiddo1 back to the dentist to have his cavities filled. It was his first experience with Novocaine and he did a really awesome job. I was glad Mr. Handsome took the morning off to come with us, too, because I wasn’t allowed to be in the room when they were giving him the nitrous oxide. Kiddo1 needed a little support for the Novocaine shots shortly after.

Kiddo1 spent the rest of the day relaxing off the Novocaine so I was able to start and finish the three red lanterns I had planned for the mobile while watching movies with him. All that’s left to finish on that project are two yellow poofs and two small purple ones (I’m using a different technique for the purple ones than I had planned so I hope they don’t take as long). I’m not ready to post a picture yet so that’ll have to wait for the finished product.

Saturday

I spent most of Saturday struggling with the sewing machine that I bought so I could start the crib skirt. It bought a fairly crappy machine off Craig’s List fo $50. It was a mistake – I never got the thing to work right. I’m thinking of reselling it for parts. I did find another machine that I picked up on Saturday while Kiddo1 was at a birthday party. It worked perfectly, thank goodness! So I was able to start and pretty much finish the crib skirt in a few hours:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I used this tutorial but eliminated the trim pieces (for now – I may go back and add some trim in a to-be-determined color). Even though I haven’t sewed for several years, it was so easy! I finished it and attached it to the crib (with adjustable velcro) in just a couple hours.

I’ve also added more projects to my plate to be completed over the next few months – I always let these things escalated a bit out of control. So now I also want to:

  • Make matching pillows out of the crib skirt fabric (three 12″ square pillows and one bolster-type long, round pillow).
  • Make matching crib sheets (it looks super easy with this tutorial) out of some yellow, red and turquoise fabric I bought as backing for the pillows.
  • Attach wheels to the bottom of the crib to make it easier to move around the tiny nursery space.
  • Find and refinish a dresser to use as a changing table. (I think I found one today that I can pick up tomorrow! Mr. Handsome is totally hating Craig’s List right now, I know it.)

I am crazy. I know it.

Today I will be relaxing, aka taking a mini vacation from my vacation (and trying not to think about going back to work tomorrow). I’m a tad exhausted but I’m so glad I got some stuff done! I feel better about heading into the third trimester with a few accomplishments. Yay Spring Break!

Friday Update: Week 24

PhotobucketContinuing with last week’s baby’s-size-is-a-shoe theme, this week baby is about as big as a shoe box at almost 12 inches long! Here’s a picture of a Rocket Dog shoe box because I love my Rocket Dog flats!

This week I have noticed some nesting starting. Very light nesting, and it is mostly interior decorating thoughts than cleaning and organizing.I can feel myself starting to obsess – I know it’s bad when I have dreams about the supplies I’ve bought and the things I want to do with them. Fabric has been dancing in my head – it’s taking over!

Next week I’m off work for Spring Break, which is probably a catalyst because I want to get so many projects done in that time. Here are some of the things I’m hoping to accomplish:

  • Frame two new posters: I bought two new Degas prints because I didn’t think any of the art I already had fit the color scheme we’ve chosen for the nursery. Also, my currently held prints and general vision for the space isn’t very girly, so I figured some whimsical Degas dancers would feminize everything a bit. I’m excited to post pictures of those when I’m done!
  • Start the giant mobile that I’ve been talking about: I have a bunch of paper lanterns being delivered today and I already bought fabric for the poofs so it’s time to get started. I have two lanterns that I dion’t have to do anything to, two lanterns that I’m covering in a specific color with tissue paper, two lanterns to make poofs of and two that I’m going to cover in paper flowers.
  • Make a crib skirt (I foudn yet another awesome online tutorial): After weeks of obsessing and searching, I finally found what I think is the perfect fabric for the crib skirt, pillows and who knows what else. I ordered it from Mountain of the Dragon on Etsy. Monica was awesome and helpful, plus it looks like the shipping will be really fast. I was going to buy a crib skirt already completed from this fabric, but I wound up getting twice the fabric AND a used sewing machine on Craig’s List for even less than I would have paid for the crib skirt.
  • Since I want to make a crib skirt I’m going to have to buy a crib: I kind of wanted to put this one off, mostly because it’s going to take up space and looking at an empty crib for three months could be kind of weird. However, we need a place to put the stuff we’ve started to accumulate so I guess an empty crib isn’t so bad.
  • Get started on a crochet project.

I think that should keep me busy, but if it doesn’t I do have a few things to finish from my second trimester to-do list, including writing our living and final wills with Mr. Handsome. Plus doing a bunch of fun stuff with Kiddo1! Visiting the zoo is a given, probably the science center, taking the dog to the park, building legos, reading, bike riding, getting exhausted just thinking about it all, you name it!

Anyway, here are some things that actually happened this week (as opposed to things I’ve just thought of):

  • Total weight gain: 18 pounds (maybe 19, but I’m probably low-balling again this week). At least a full pound of that is all baby though, depending on which pregnancy app you trust the most. Baby will gain a quarter pound a week (!) for the next six weeks or so. Good luck to me in keeping my pound-a-week goal.
  • Cravings: Junk food, any and all matter of junk food. And not just the chocolate stuff but fried foods, cheesy/creamy foods (Mmmm, Panera Mac ‘N Cheese…), processed foods, all the good stuff. I’m forcing myself to eat a big salad for dinner tonight.
  • Coolest symptom: I feel like baby kicks have dominated this bullet for the last few weeks. This week they’re still pretty darn cool and I have noticed that they’re getting a bit higher in my abdomen. Other cool things also include the thicker nails and softer hair that I noticed a couple weeks ago. Mr. Handsome would probably put the huge boobs in this bullet too.
  • Lamest symptom: The linea negra is totally here, as I had speculated two weeks ago. This isn’t really lame, but it is the lamest thing I could think of. I had a very dark linea negra with Baby1 so I was expecting this! Also, the last two nights I have been woken at 2 am with what I can only imagine are Braxton Hicks contractions. I need to look into this further…
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): 215 minutes! This week I got a much healthier balance of cardio, yoga and weights, too, with 105 minutes of cardio (all elliptical except for 20 minutes of vigorous vacuuming), 90 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of arms.

Finally, Baby2’s happenings, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him or her at just over a pound. Since your baby is almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he or she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point. But your baby’s body is filling out proportionally and it will soon start to plump up. His or her brain is growing quickly now, and taste buds are continuing to develop. Your baby’s lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help air sacs in the lungs inflate once your baby hits the outside world. His or her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

One Nursery Project Down!

I’ve started to get a little antsy about starting to prepare the nursery for Baby2. I know we have another four months to go so I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm a bit, but I can get some preliminary sorts of things started right? I know I could just do it all now, there’s no harm, but I feel like I would be getting ahead of myself. Might as well stretch out the fun you know?

This past weekend I tackled a project that I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS. I have a whole bunch of art poster prints that I’ve been wanting to frame for so long. Mr. Handsome and my bedroom walls are covered in college-esque posters (still in their plastic wrap for ultimate preservation) of Picasso, Kandinsky and Munch. One of my favorites is Le Repos by Picasso. It hung over Baby1’s crib oh so many years ago. I wanted to use it for Baby2, too, but now that we’re a little older and wiser I thought I could make it look better.

I took the print to the local framer and they wanted to charge me almost $300 to frame it! Sure it’s fairly large at 24×36, but still. I eventually got them down to $150 for basically a “do-it-yourself” option where they cut the mats for you and dry mount your art and you put it together. A good savings but still out of budget.

My education is in Architecture so I spent four years of my life cutting mat board to build models. I figured, I got this. So I went to the art supply store and bought two mat boards and a mat cutter for $40. I also got a frame from that same shop for $20, and it’s a nice sturdy wood frame with glass so the price was really fantastic. I don’t think I should really count the mat cutter in the total price because I will use it again for other projects, but if I do count it the total investment tops out at $60 which is less than half of the frame shop’s even cheapest price.

After I bought the mat board I went back and forth with the color. Kiddo1 and I sat down and went over the colors we thought that would be best. He was really interested in helping with this project which was awesome! He had some good input too. Ultimately he decided that the mat color I had chosen was the best, so I felt better about that!

We also thought that the colors in the painting would be good for the whole nursery. Here’s what the finished product looked like (which I need to get hung ASAP):

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There’s so much glare from the glass… But I think this is pretty good for my first dabble in framing!

So the nursery colors will be a deep red, mustardy yellow, a deep turquoise and perhaps a splash of purple or maybe even hot pink (“because she is a girl,” says Kiddo1).

My next project is to start on the giant mobile piece. I have fallen in love with these – they’re so much more of a statement and focal point than your standard mobile. And I feel like baby can see the bright colors and big shapes better anyway. Here’s some of my inspiration from Pinterest:

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I like how the pink one mixes the paper lanterns and “poofs,” the latter of which there is a tutorial for here. I’m currently looking for the best place to buy some cheap paper lanterns (from the above pictures I’m thinking I’ll need about a dozen). I found this site and am searching for more.  Martha Stewart makes the accordion-style ones but I’m not sure if the blue set really fits the color scheme perfectly.

In the meantime, I have to find the perfect fabric to tie all these colors together. I’m swooning over the prints at Modified Tot on Etsy. Crib skirts (which is what I intend to make) are available but they are so expensive! So I will sharpen my DIY skills once again – too bad I sold my sewing machine four years ago when we moved.

And back to framing, hopefully I’ll get to one or two more posters before Baby2 arrives. I’ve got Von Gogh’s Starry Night and Kandinsky’s Composition No. 6 for candidates!