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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:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

A baby’s-eye view

 Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

To Do List: End of Third Tri Update

Might as well do a final check of the to-do list (even though I did just check it a couple weeks ago). I feel pretty well accomplished and ready for this little girl to make her appearance, but let’s see how my December self feels (because I made the list that long ago!).

A recap of the First Trimester list, all complete:
  • Research hospitals and choose a midwife, with birth plan in mind COMPLETE, and I’ll post about it in a couple weeks once my regular appointments begin (I finally posted about group appointments just a few weeks ago.)
  • Start a pregnancy journal STARTED, and this Sunday I’ll post about the journal I selected
  • Start a photo journal STARTED
  • Find a social pregnancy group FORMED MY OWN
  • Download pregnancy apps for iphone DOWNLOADED (three!)
  • Schedule first appointment/ultrasound FINISHED
  • Write down questions for midwife QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERED
  • Get on a kegel schedule SQUEEZING CONTINUES FROM TTC
  • Get on an exercise schedule (cardio) COMPLETE (although I’m struggling to stick to it, but I cardio it up when I can)
  • Plan meals/eat well A WORK IN PROGRESS (but I’ve made vast improvements over my pre-pregnancy habits)
  • Start a blog COMPLETE!
  • Decide whether or not to do the NT scan COMPLETE (and we declined)
  • Find some books about the next few months/year COMPLETE (and book reviews will begin on Sunday)
  • Start a name list BEGUN

The Second Trimester list:

  • Budget evaluation (let’s make adjustments now where needed) COMPLETE, plus we figured out how much money we need to save between now and July so we can pay hospital bills and make up for my company’s disappointing maternity policy (see below) so that I can take at least 10 weeks off work.
  • More diverse exercises (yoga, swimming) STARTED, I love prenatal yoga and I love water aerobics!
  • Research childbirth class and sign up – We’re being major rebels here and opting out of a class entirely. We’re reading so many dang books and we’ve been through this before. I understand that a class would help, but I see it more as icing on the cake than a fundamental piece of the puzzle. Controversial!
  • Evaluate maternity wardrobe COMPLETE and I think I’m set for a least another couple months. I’m only nervous about the last month or so because I know I’ll be absolutely huge then.
  • Prevent stretch marks PREVENTING AS BEST I CAN
  • Check out classes such as bf, baby wearing, cloth diapering, etc. – Cloth diapering COMPLETE, breastfeeding and baby wearing classes are coming up in late May (we’ll miss the April classes, sad face). Update: we had to miss the May classes too, so I’m hoping the June classes will fit our schedules!
  • Brush up my knit and crochet skills and start some projects STARTED some ideas. Projects pending. Currently they’ve been tabled due to all the nursery prep I’ve been doing; I didn’t anticipate getting into it so much!
  • Research maternity leave policy COMPLETE but the policy is pretty disappointing. I get six weeks paid 100%. I could get up to 13 weeks paid but I’d have to have a medical excuse. Lame! I’m going to take 10 weeks regardless, though.
  • Dog training (stop jumping, door management) STARTED, Max is getting used to going to his crate when the doorbell rings (his crate is right by the door) but we do need to work on his responsiveness to “come.” It’s a safety thing at this point.
  • Learn the sex of our baby! GIRL!
  • Doula? COMPLETE; we had a lot of good conversations about this and how we both felt about what we need and want. Ultimately we’ve decided not to use a doula. Mr. Handsome is an amazing coach and I am a very independent personality. I know we’ll have to be our own advocates in the hospital this way, but we know what we want and don’t want and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
  • Register COMPLETE! We’re on Target and Amazon to appease our families, which are all out-of-state.
  • Nursery Ideas COMPLETE, projects started and quickly snowballing out of control.
  • Living Will IN PROGRESS! I’m so glad we got started. We outlined our final wills, we just have to fill in Baby2’s name and birthdate, once we have those, finalize who our executors will be if we’re both deceased (is it okay to use the guardian we’ve selected as executor, too?) and get a witness, sign and notarize. Then we need to start the living wills, too. Progress!
On to the Third Trimester list:
  • Finalize birth plan COMPLETE! Our plan is to have a waterbirth. My positive Group B Strep result shouldn’t interfere… too much.
  • Hospital tour, preregister COMPLETE! We took the tour in mid-June and completed our waterbirth class the week before. We’ll fill out preregistration paperwork at our next group appointment on Tuesday.
  • Plan for when labor starts How much can you plan for this, really? Hopefully I’m out of work by then, but if I’m not I need to just get out of there as soon as I can as I’ll likely be driving myself 15 miles back home.
  • Plan for Kiddo1 and Max while we’re at the hospital COMPLETE! We have four families lined up to watch our son (plus two more whose kids actually won’t be in town at the time but they’ve still volunteered to take them – awesome!).
  • Find out what the grandparents’ travel plans are COMPLETE! My parents arrive July 18th and it looks like Mr. Handsome’s have delayed until the 23rd (the day my parents leave) because his two older brothers will be coming then as well. I’m looking at, like, three solid weeks of family time.
  • Baby Gear, clothes COMPLETE! We’re covered for cloth diapers, that’s for sure! I’m not too worried about newborn-sized clothes because it’ll be hot so she’ll probably hang in diapers, light t-shirts and swaddle blankets for awhile. We’ve got our essential gear covered, too – car seat, crib, changing table (dresser), etc. I think we’re ready in this department!
  • Baby book COMPLETE! I settled on the Humble Bumbles journal. Review to come!
  • Decide if we want pregnancy photos We’re not taking any official photos for a couple reasons, mostly because we didn’t take any with my first pregnancy and I don’t want Kiddo1 to think that pregnancy was any less important. Also, we’ve been taking a lot of just regular pictures now that we’re out and about in the fabulous weather. I don’t think we’re really missing out on anything. I do want to take a bunch of nice family pictures once Baby2 arrives though!
  • Fill out cord blood donation paperwork/register COMPLETE! The paperwork came in the mail the other day and we turned it in at the hospital when we went on the tour.
  • Install car seat COMPLETE! Although getting to one of those car seat safety checks is a pain in the A for sure. The lines are ridiculously long (I have a friend who waited for four hours!) and the “private appointments” are difficult to schedule. Grrrr.
  • Pediatrician COMPLETE! We have a pediatrician for Kiddo1, of course, but I haven’t been all that impressed lately. I found a new one who has great reviews and is pretty close to us. I’m excited to meet her!
  • Make some frozen dinners Eh, whatever.
  • Wash baby clothes, blankets/sheets, prep diapers COMPLETE! My prefolds (cloth diapers) have been washed and dried six times per the manufacturer’s directions. All blankets, sheets, pillows and newborn- or 0-3 month sized-clothes have been washed, the other sizes have been folded and stored for the future.
  • Set up nursery/baby spaces COMPLETE!
  • Prep Kiddo1 for “culture shift” We’ve been talking him up about all the changes and I think he’s ready. We won’t know for sure until it happens but I’m confident. We ran into his second grade teacher last week and she just gushed about how great of a big brother he’s going to be. I agree – he’s going to be awesome. UDPATE: We got a present for him, too, that he can get at the hospital. We’re going to make it “from Baby2, to Kiddo1.” I’m excited for this moment!
  • Plan baby welcoming party for mid-August Looks like this is still the plan. We have to decide it we want it at our house/backyard or out in a nearby park. I can see the benefits of both and I’m having a very difficult time making decisions lately. Luckily this one doesn’t have to get done until after Baby2’s arrival.
  • Research c-sections and inductions, just in case COMPLETE and I’m ready to deviate from my birth plan if needed (but I don’t want to!)
  • Birth announcement (email, mail?) COMPLETE! We’ll send formal announcements to family while friends will get the typical Facebook update. I’ve already got the design queued up I just need a picture and some stats for our little girl!
  • Familiarize myself with contraction-timing apps Sure, I totally got this.
  • Pack hospital bag COMPLETE! Holy crap there’s a lot of stuff to bring. I consider myself moderately minimalist and I’ve still got three reusable grocery bags filled with stuff (although, in my defense, one entire bag is diapering supplies!).
  • Trial run to hospital COMPLETE! Mr. Handsome has got it down – stay left, follow the hospital signs and turn left at the gas station!
  • Clean house/have cleaned SCHEDULED! I found a couple Groupon-type deals so we’ll have the house cleaned and carpets shampooed in early July and then a cleaning again the day before our families arrive. They’re going to do our windows too! I’m so excited!

Eeek, that’s it! Are we really done? Well, I guess there is one more thing left to do – have this baby already!

To Do List: Mid-Third Trimester Update

We passed the “mid-third tri” mark two weeks ago, but better late than never, right? Obviously I’ve been procrastinating as I knock out some of the more fun tasks of nursery decoration. But normal things must get done nonetheless!
 
As I look at this list now, which I created way back in December, I remind myself that sometimes I add things to lists just for the sake of adding things to a list. Some of these tasks aren’t really do-or-die, you know?
 
Anyway, let’s review what’s been done and what I have four (or less?!) short weeks to accomplish…
 
A recap of the First Trimester list, all complete:
  • Research hospitals and choose a midwife, with birth plan in mind COMPLETE, and I’ll post about it in a couple weeks once my regular appointments begin (I finally posted about group appointments just a few weeks ago.)
  • Start a pregnancy journal STARTED, and this Sunday I’ll post about the journal I selected
  • Start a photo journal STARTED
  • Find a social pregnancy group FORMED MY OWN
  • Download pregnancy apps for iphone DOWNLOADED (three!)
  • Schedule first appointment/ultrasound FINISHED
  • Write down questions for midwife QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERED
  • Get on a kegel schedule SQUEEZING CONTINUES FROM TTC
  • Get on an exercise schedule (cardio) COMPLETE (although I’m struggling to stick to it, but I cardio it up when I can)
  • Plan meals/eat well A WORK IN PROGRESS (but I’ve made vast improvements over my pre-pregnancy habits)
  • Start a blog COMPLETE!
  • Decide whether or not to do the NT scan COMPLETE (and we declined)
  • Find some books about the next few months/year COMPLETE (and book reviews will begin on Sunday)
  • Start a name list BEGUN

The Second Trimester list:

  • Budget evaluation (let’s make adjustments now where needed) COMPLETE, plus we figured out how much money we need to save between now and July so we can pay hospital bills and make up for my company’s disappointing maternity policy (see below) so that I can take at least 10 weeks off work.
  • More diverse exercises (yoga, swimming) STARTED, I love prenatal yoga and I love water aerobics!
  • Research childbirth class and sign up – We’re being major rebels here and opting out of a class entirely. We’re reading so many dang books and we’ve been through this before. I understand that a class would help, but I see it more as icing on the cake than a fundamental piece of the puzzle. Controversial!
  • Evaluate maternity wardrobe COMPLETE and I think I’m set for a least another couple months. I’m only nervous about the last month or so because I know I’ll be absolutely huge then.
  • Prevent stretch marks PREVENTING AS BEST I CAN
  • Check out classes such as bf, baby wearing, cloth diapering, etc. – Cloth diapering COMPLETE, breastfeeding and baby wearing classes are coming up in late May (we’ll miss the April classes, sad face). Update: we had to miss the May classes too, so I’m hoping the June classes will fit our schedules!
  • Brush up my knit and crochet skills and start some projects STARTED some ideas. Projects pending. Currently they’ve been tabled due to all the nursery prep I’ve been doing; I didn’t anticipate getting into it so much!
  • Research maternity leave policy COMPLETE but the policy is pretty disappointing. I get six weeks paid 100%. I could get up to 13 weeks paid but I’d have to have a medical excuse. Lame! I’m going to take 10 weeks regardless, though.
  • Dog training (stop jumping, door management) STARTED, Max is getting used to going to his crate when the doorbell rings (his crate is right by the door) but we do need to work on his responsiveness to “come.” It’s a safety thing at this point.
  • Learn the sex of our baby! GIRL!
  • Doula? COMPLETE; we had a lot of good conversations about this and how we both felt about what we need and want. Ultimately we’ve decided not to use a doula. Mr. Handsome is an amazing coach and I am a very independent personality. I know we’ll have to be our own advocates in the hospital this way, but we know what we want and don’t want and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
  • Register COMPLETE! We’re on Target and Amazon to appease our families, which are all out-of-state.
  • Nursery Ideas COMPLETE, projects started and quickly snowballing out of control.
  • Living Will IN PROGRESS! I’m so glad we got started. We outlined our final wills, we just have to fill in Baby2’s name and birthdate, once we have those, finalize who our executors will be if we’re both deceased (is it okay to use the guardian we’ve selected as executor, too?) and get a witness, sign and notarize. Then we need to start the living wills, too. Progress!
On to the Third Trimester list:
  • Finalize birth plan
  • Hospital tour, preregister COMPLETE! We took the tour on Tuesday and completed our waterbirth class the week before. We’ll fill out preregistration paperwork at our next group appointment on Tuesday.
  • Plan for when labor starts How much can you plan for this, really? Hopefully I’m out of work by then, but if I’m not I need to just get out of there as soon as I can as I’ll likely be driving myself 15 miles back home.
  • Plan for Kiddo1 and Max while we’re at the hospital
  • Find out what the grandparents’ travel plans are COMPLETE! My parents arrive July 18th and it looks like Mr. Handsome’s have delayed until the 23rd (the day my parents leave) because his two older brothers will be coming then as well. I’m looking at, like, three solid weeks of family time.
  • Baby Gear, clothes COMPLETE! We’re covered for cloth diapers, that’s for sure! I’m not too worried about newborn-sized clothes because it’ll be hot so she’ll probably hang in diapers, light t-shirts and swaddle blankets for awhile. We’ve got our essential gear covered, too – car seat, crib, changing table (dresser), etc. I think we’re ready in this department!
  • Baby book I’m struggling finding one – I have too many requirements! When I find it I’ll review it. You can be sure about that!
  • Decide if we want pregnancy photos We’re not taking any official photos for a couple reasons, mostly because we didn’t take any with my first pregnancy and I don’t want Kiddo1 to think that pregnancy was any less important. Also, we’ve been taking a lot of just regular pictures now that we’re out and about in the fabulous weather. I don’t think we’re really missing out on anything. I do want to take a bunch of nice family pictures once Baby2 arrives though!
  • Fill out cord blood donation paperwork/register COMPLETE! The paperwork came in the mail the other day and we turned it in at the hospital when we went on the tour.
  • Install car seat We need to do this this weekend I think.
  • Pediatrician COMPLETE! We have a pediatrician for Kiddo1, of course, but I haven’t been all that impressed lately. I found a new one who has great reviews and is pretty close to us. I’m excited to meet her!
  • Make some frozen dinners Eh, whatever.
  • Wash baby clothes, blankets/sheets, prep diapers IN PROGRESS; I have put my cotton prefolds through a couple loads already (they say you should wash your natural fibers five or more times, with drying each time, before you use them for maximum fluffiness and absorbency). I’ll do a couple more loads today and a load of newborn clothes too. The blankets that we have are washed and ready.
  • Set up nursery/baby spaces COMPLETE!
  • Prep Kiddo1 for “culture shift” We’ve been talking him up about all the changes and I think he’s ready. We won’t know for sure until it happens but I’m confident. We ran into his second grade teacher last week and she just gushed about how great of a big brother he’s going to be. I agree – he’s going to be awesome.
  • Plan baby welcoming party for mid-August Looks like this is still the plan. We have to decide it we want it at our house/backyard or out in a nearby park. I can see the benefits of both and I’m having a very difficult time making solid decisions lately. Luckily this one doesn’t have to get done until after Baby2’s arrival.
  • Research c-sections and inductions, just in case COMPLETE and I’m ready to deviate from my birth plan if needed (but I don’t want to!)
  • Birth announcement (email, mail?) COMPLETE! We’ll send formal announcements to family while friends will get the typical Facebook update. I’ve already got the design queued up I just need a picture and some stats for our little girl!
  • Familiarize myself with contraction-timing apps
  • Pack hospital bag
  • Trial run to hospital COMPLETE! Mr. Handsome has got it down – stay left, follow the hospital signs and turn left at the gas station!
  • Clean house/have cleaned SCHEDULED! I found a couple Groupon-type deals so we’ll have the house cleaned and carpets shampooed in early July and then a cleaning again the day before our families arrive. They’re going to do our windows too! I’m so excited!

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!

The Name Game: Finalists!

It’s a good thing pregnancy is nine months long because it is taking us that long to figure out what to call this little girl! My constricting list of rules plus Mr. Handsome’s notorious indecisiveness makes for a long naming process. But I think we’ve come up with a fine list of finalists!

First off, we decided that Baby2’s middle name will definitely be Mae. This name has a lot of significance for us, but most importantly, May is the month we moved to our current city and found our sweet puppy Max a year later. We’re spelling it “Mae,” though, which is the way my great-grandmother’s name was spelled.

On to the first names!

  • Michelle Mae
    • This is the first name I really fell “in like” with. I like that Michelle is a once-popular name that is seldom used anymore. It’s got this 80’s vintage appeal that, well, appeals to me. Some may not like the alliteration with Mae but I think it’s endearing in a way. I also like that she could go by the distant nickname Ellie (I say distant because I do realize this is a stretch) but Mr. Handsome is not a fan of nicknames.
    • I think this is a great name on paper but something just doesn’t feel “it” about the name. In some dreams I call Baby2 Michelle and I do like it but I don’t LOVE it. This is a difficult feeling to describe. I would be perfectly fine with Michelle but not head-over-heals about it. Does this make any sense?! My mind is mush!
  • Lucy Mae
    • Oddly enough, this name was on my list of hated names, but Lucy is starting to grow on me so much! We’ve seen some strange omens, too: at Mr. Handsome’s restaurant, someone left behind a Lucy.com cloth bag the day I mentioned the name to him as a possibility. That week, I also somehow stumbled upon a Wikipedia article about Lucy Stone, who was an activist in the women’s movement and was “the first recorded American woman to retain her own last name after marriage.” I didn’t change my name either!
    • There are a LOT of words that Lucy rhymes with so Mr. Handsome is concerned about kids and their teasing. However, I think that if kids want to tease you, they’ll come up with something regardless of whether it rhymes or not. There are no teasing-proof names.
  • Lily Mae
    • Kiddo1 is desperate for a Harry Potter name to be used; he first suggested Hermione Granger but then I think he realized Lily is more realistic. This name flows well to me and I like that it is simple (one of my rules). Lillian was my grandmother’s real name (she went by Joy) so that’s cool too.
    • On the cons side, my grandmother went by Joy because she hated the name Lillian. Kind of makes me hesitant to use it to honor someone that hated the name, don’t you think?
  • Grace Mae
    • Grace was one of my grandmother’s favorite names (side note: I know what you’re thinking – just name her Joy already! Well, no. There have been two great-granddaughters born in the last couple years and they both have her namesake as a first or middle name. I think grandma is well-honored already and it’s time to share the love with other members of the family. Tangent over). I do like that it is simple, very classic and vintage-y.
    • Mr. Handsome points out that a girl in Kiddo1’s class is named Grace. She’s a nice enough girl so there’s no bad association with the name. I don’t think this argument holds much weight. I don’t feel like Grace flows as well with Mae as some of the other names, but that’s also a very small con.

PhotobucketI like all these names, I love one or two in particular, but I constantly question whether we’re on the right track or not. Mr. Handsome wonders why I (as opposed to him?) am being so wishy-washy. I described it like this: I like this boy, I love him, and I want to marry him, but am I SURE I’m making the right choice? I think this thought goes through every bride’s mind at some point during her engagement and it’s the same thing for naming a person. If I haven’t mentioned before, I see naming someone as a HUGE responsibility that I do not take lightly in any way. I think it is fair to question the decision a little, though I do not doubt that, in the end, we will make the right decision and not look back. We’ll see where we end up!

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…

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

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!