My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

Please enjoy the musings and updates and leave me a comment if you'd like!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

October to December

G's first birthday party was a blast! James and I completely forgot the camera, so I'll have to get some photos from my mom, but it was awesome! G's godparents, James and I spent hours cutting out all the decorations, and my dad sacrificed unburned fingertips to hotglue the water bottle labels on. G's godparents were amazing: they organized the whole thing, from invitations to getting balloons, to the cake and the adorable little cards that identified the food. The theme came together wonderfully, and I think the room at the church ended up looking great! The original plan had been to have the party at our house, but all our stuff was in boxes, so that idea was scrapped. Another friend loaned us a high chair since we didn't have one, and G had a BLAST squishing and smashing his cake! Godfather got it for him; that particular cake from that bakery is a tradition in his family, and we felt honoured to be included in that tradition.

We left the next day and spent 4 days driving to Alabama. Four days of 10+ hours in the car with a one year old aren't fun, trust me. Seven states, lots of fussing, hunger strikes, complete meltdowns (not all from G) and uncomfortable, interrupted sleep with a cranky baby in the bed and we arrived at camp. The house wasn't quite ready for us when we arrived, and we're still working on getting things done, but slowly it's coming together. G's room is almost unpacked and we just got 4 huge wardrobe boxes out of our room, making it feel like more breathing space. We got the Christmas tree and lights up, and now that all the boxes are in the den instead of the living room, it feels a bit better. After I finish G's room (mostly packing up baby things he's outgrown) I'm planning on tackling the ridiculous number of books we have to unpack (at least 12 boxes). They'll go on our shelves in the den. Pictures will follow when the place is a little more put together and the dining room table isn't a complete disaster.

It's been interesting. Everyone keeps saying it must be a real culture shock for me, but it doesn't feel all that different; just a lot more fried food. It's always hard to move, but because I don't know anyone in the area and have no way of meeting people, it's been very difficult for me. We ended up putting G in daycare so I could work on unpacking, but we haven't been happy with it and are in the process of moving him to a new one. I hate moving him from one to the other because he's had a bit of a rough time adjusting but there was just something that made me uneasy about the first place we went. The place he's going isn't my first choice either, but after being asked if I could take him home on our second day because they were understaffed and finding out that they were closing three extra days before New Year's due to being understaffed, I felt like it was time to get him somewhere else. Since we'll be here for registration next year, it'll be easier (yes...I have to register my >2 year old for daycare, and we're currently on 3 waitlists...ridiculous).  I think the hardest part for me is that I can't even find an Irish or highland dance class, and I'm really missing that part of my life. I'm planning on starting yoga, and I've had a few vague job prospects as well. Michael's was looking for a crochet teacher, but they're so busy that they haven't taken the next step they need to complete, and in January I'm going to start shadowing a vet/vet tech to see if that's something I'd be interested in doing. So eventually I'll be more settled, but right now, all I have is a house that needs a lot of TLC.

Overall it's been good. James loves his job and is already making great progess: his first event, Winter Woods, consists of 3 mini camp sessions for middle schoolers, high schoolers and young adults, and he already has over 50 middle schoolers registered, with more on a waitlist. This is a huge improvement from the 12 people they had last year. I'm so thrilled for him because he's finally doing what he really loves and feels called to do. He's very much in his element and I know that he'll continue to do great. We've found a sitter, and were able to have our first "just us" date night in I honestly can't remember how long. We went to a Mexican restaurant (pretty good), had margaritas ($3.99 and it wasn't happy hour!!) and saw the movie Frozen. 

Other news:
-G has molars coming in. One is in completely, and I just saw/felt the other 3, plus the cuspids. Teething hard right now!
-FIRST STEPS! He's been walking assisted since about 10 months, and had just graduated to only needing to hold on to one hand, but he finally took his first independent steps between me and James the other day (12/15), and he was already so confident! 
-G regularly refuses to let me feed him, and is getting better with his spoon. Almost all his meals require a spoon, though he disagrees, and I'm finally giving in to the mess :)
-I started watching Doctor Who, and I'm really enjoying catching up! I should be there by Christmas for sure! 
-G has been sleeping through the night regularly since starting daycare. Maybe it's because they do one 2 hour nap a day, or maybe just because he was at that point, but we are so grateful!
-I have been posting the patterns I've come up with on Ravelry, and not only have people downloaded the free ones, but I've also sold one of them twice! It's not much money (less than $2), but it makes me happy that someone liked my pattern enough to purchase it!
-G's first time trick or treating was this year. We only stayed out about an hour, and he was carried, but I think he had fun. I know I did! We ended up with a lot of non-candy items, and apparently it's a thing here to give those to the really young ones
-Our professional one year/holiday photos came back! They couldn't be more awesome! Here are my favourites: {Credit: Alison Conrad of Alison Kay Photography}

Monday, December 16, 2013

Splatter Pearls

I love pearls. They are, after all, my birthstone. I used to think that June really got jipped in the birthstone department, since pearls aren't really a stone (and I didn't like them at the time), and the alternate stone is one almost no one has heard of (Alexandrite). Now, I love them and love that June is unique in the respect that we get this awesome thing from the sea instead of just a normal gem.  So now I have pearl necklaces, earrings and bracelets and love to wear them. But though they do go with everything, they are a bit formal and sometimes that's just not the look you're going for.

In comes this awesome tutorial I found. The author of VJuliet knocks off some Chanel pearls that look like they've been splattered with paint. They look awesome! Modern and funky, a completely different take on pearls, colourful and fun. I shared the idea with my mom and she sent me a bunch of glass pearls (I really don't think I could stand to do this to real ones) and decided I'd give it a shot. Since I have a massive nail polish collection I had pretty much everything I needed.

I started by stringing the peals onto a necklace. I strung all the ones I had and got them to a length I liked. I kind of like that they're different sizes instead of the normal uniform size strand. Then, as per the instructions, I took my nail polish and a straw and started trying to splatter. It was pretty much a failure. I tried taking a paint brush and splattering the nail polish. This also didn't work. I tried and tried and tried the straw, but just couldn't get it. I searched nail sites for splatter nail tips but couldn't find anything that worked consistently. Finally, I picked up some coffee stirrer straws at Target's food court a few days later. I figured maybe the smaller diameter would work. It did! I still didn't have as much control over the aim as I would've liked, but it did work pretty well. I used the colours in the tutorial (fuchsia, dark purple, blue) and added a pretty lime for a pop as well. I did do the two sides, though I would recommend doing four sides in the future for even coating. Or at least, make sure you get the sides too!

Closeup of the splatter on the pearls
I'm really happy with how my pearls turned out. I think they look awesome and really fun and funky. I like the longer length (and so does Grayson, unfortunately) and I think the colours come together nicely. I did have a lot of clean up though. The nail polish splattered beyond the confines of the magazine I was working on, I used up the entire sample size of the fuchsia polish and most of the purple as well, and I had nail polish all over both hands. It took at least an hour of airing out the kitchen to get the smell out too. Next time I think I'll put down wax paper (a few tacky spots picked up some magazine) and work outside with gloves on. But all in all, it was a super successful project, and I love moving things into my "Completed Crafts" folder :)

The aftermath of the magazine. Next time, wax paper for sure!

The pearls, all ready to wear

I like the length, but it's way too easy for G to grab!

In case you're wondering, the way I find all these awesome tutorials is by trolling (see definition 3) craft sites. Some of the best are Pinterest (of course, though there are copyright issues and not everyone links to a tutorial or real site or anything), CraftGossip, and Craftgawker. But the best by far is a Tumblr site called Truebluemeandyou. It is AMAZING, and my absolute favourite. There are other sites that I know have tutorials, and if I have time I check them out, but between the last three I mentioned, I've usually seen the newest posts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This Poem is AMAZING

A sorority sister of mine wrote a poem about motherhood and it is so amazing that I have to share it with you all.

I swear, even after reading and rereading it dozens of times, it brings tears to my eyes because it is so true.

Sometimes, when your baby has been screaming and irritable and almost bitten your finger off or pulled your hair out, it's hard to remember what an amazing blessing you have. Sometimes, when you just want to relax or go out to a movie without phoning twelve different people to babysit, it's hard to see just how wonderful being a mother is. Most won't admit to this, but I think that we've all felt that way. Whether it's realizing that your stomach will never look the same again, or trying to chase down that phantom poop smell, motherhood is hard and a HUGE change, no matter how prepared you think you are. BUT, and this is a MAJOR BUT, despite all the things that aren't picture perfect, it's amazing. Having your babe crawl into your lap just to be with you, getting those messy open-mouthed kisses, hearing them call your name or giggle when you make funny faces at them, even just watching them knock over the blocks you've built up at least 24's amazing. It melts your heart. There's nothing like it in the world. You think you know, you think you're prepared for it. YOU'RE NOT. It's SO MUCH BETTER, even the stuff that's difficult. Especially the stuff that's difficult.

And that's what this poem is. It's perfect. Here's the link for the original:

And here's the poem itself.

"If My Name Wasn’t Mama"

My fridge would be full of Chardonnay, not apple juice
My Google search history would be “shoe sales,”
Not “why is my baby pooping out full blueberries”
I would never have to know what oral thrush was
I’d eat more entree salads and a lot less half frozen chicken nuggets
Sleeping in on the weekends would be followed up with breakfast in bed
I wouldn’t have to use the hem of my shirt to wipe a runny nose in a rush
Or question the mysterious brown stain on my new work slacks
My car keys would never be found in the toy box after already running 20 minutes late
Phone calls  would last longer than 60 seconds
And my breasts would still hang where they should

I wouldn’t know the feeling of sweet-smelling baby breath on my neck
His hand wouldn’t reach out for mine when he meets someone new
The sun wouldn’t shine from the lilt in his laughter
I couldn’t listen to him talk to himself in his sleep and
No more 2am warm hugs after a bad dream woke him
I would not be able to whisper-sing “Hey Jude” into the blonde wisps of his hair
Or teach him what trees are or what sound a cat makes
I wouldn’t know the depths of his hazel eyes or the curve of his smile
Someone else would be called “Mama”
He wouldn’t be my little boy

If my name wasn’t Mama, I don’t think I’d like it very much

By Danielle Donaldson, posted on tumblr 10/4/13
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