Friday, February 22, 2013

Gearing Up For the baby m

Let's see.  I'm 39 weeks today.  I'm wholly content to keep this baby in my belly until Devin comes home.  And yes, he just left.  It's just going to be a trick to see if I can keep this baby on the inside.  My body keeps thinking it should be gearing up, so I keep telling my body to quit jumping the gun.

We're as done with the nursery as it's going to get before the arrival of baby m, I'm afraid.  But, it's perfectly acceptable per my terms.  I was hoping for some closet doors, but oh. well.  Observe:

We also did some maternity photos at the temple last Sunday.  You know, for fun.  Or not.  I wasn't happy about doing them.  Bah Mat Photos.  But, I think they turned out pretty good.  Devin was saying that he thought we'd be sorry if we didn't do them, especially since I really haven't allowed many photos of myself to be taken whilst in this condition.

See now?  Look at all this baby m stuff in one post!  Devin is out of town on his 2-week hitch until March 6th.  That means baby m can come on March 6th after 2pm.  I just keep telling baby m, "Stay in there and bake, baby m.  You can do it."  And if it's a boy, we'll call him Atticus and if it's a girl, Tennyson.  Yeah, we went all literary like that.  And I bought a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird because apparently I need NEED Need to read it if I'm going to name a baby after the character everyone THINKS he'd be named after (which clearly if I haven't read the book, would not be the case, right?)

What We're Reading: Babywise.  Together.
And to baby m, Phillip Pullman's Grimm"s Fairy Tales.  Not gonna lie, they're pretty rockin'. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mama & Cubs

I've been working on some of the photos I took in Africa to make prints for the house.  I particularly like the way this one turned out.  It's happy, dynamic, and strangely captures the emotions I associate with that moment in its pixels.  This mama lion was hiding her cubs and protecting them from us in the big bad vehicle. I am hoping to get a set that I really really like ready for the office.  I think they could be fun on top of the bookshelves.  Here're the cubs I've been working on.  I'm tempted to put them in the baby's room, but they just don't match the feel I want for that room.  I'm sort of a huge fan of this picture... but Devin took it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Progress On The Nursery

I haven't written since we announced we were preggers or since we went to Africa.  So sad.  Oh well.  Thought I'd post some pictures of the Nursery as it's coming and how it came.  Devin is doing a FANTASTIC job with it and I'm totally proud of him!

Starting off, here is a BEFORE we moved in picture of the room (yes, those are bars on the window:)

Here is a pic of what we transformed it into pre-baby on the way:

Installing solid wood floor (Brazilian Chestnut)

Painting the accent stripey wall (Isn't he looking totally pro?):

 Adding curtains that the very very awesome Tawnya slaved over for me: (and deciding the best way to hang them because I'm drapery retarded, I swear)

Adding some furniture like a rocking chair and side table and floor lamp:

That's where we are right now.  Next steps?  Build crib.  Order buffet/changing table (you know so that it's not always just a changing table but can be repurposed as a piece of awesome in the dining room).  Place zebra rug... when it arrives from Africa.  (yeah, Devin murdered one just for the baby's room. *sigh* I condoned it because at least it would be something I could decorate with successfully, y'know... unlike a shoulder mount.)  Oh, and start buying stuff for baby registry.  So fun.  (not really)

We're driving everyone but us crazy with the whole not finding out what gender the baby is until it pops out thing.  But you know what?  We think it's a better surprise that way.  Plus, it's our decision and all.  So there.  Ha.   The nursery will be accented with pink if it's a girl and with happy blue if it's a boy.  And we'll see about the art.  I'm thinking high-contrast gender neutral.

What We're Reading: Shesten - Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Devin - rereading The Mallorean by David Eddings

Website of the Week: Um. The link to the real wall color on the wall count?  It's "Intense Teal by" Behr, but I can't seem to get a photo with the color correct in it.  Teals are apparently very hard to photograph because even this swatch to the left looks too blue to me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

H+R 4ever: A Bridal Shower

I threw a bridal shower for my soon-to-be sis-in-law not this last Saturday but the Saturday before.  

Their wedding colors are black and red so we did strawberry, blackberry, and angel food cake skewers...

Milk for the oreos... and straw toppers that say H+R 4ever...

 The food table... keeping with the black and red theme: red velvet cupcakes, cinnamon bears, black and red licorice, black olives, jicama, grape tomatoes and red bell peppers, oreos, watermelon, skewers, and the random spinach artichoke dip.
 (i had fun stacking oreos)

The party favors: ring pops that say H+R 4ever and on the back they say "He liked it so he put a ring on it.  Thanks for popping in."
 The jams I gave as door prizes.
 The book of advice attendees left for Heather...
 Decorations: heart damask

What We're Reading: Shesten - Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Devin - I'm sure it's another Robert Jordan Wheel of Time Volume.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Chard is Failing! The Chard Is Failing!

There's one thing I don't want to tell the little chickens.  It's that the swiss chard is failing.  It's bolting.  Like crazy.  And their favorite treat is going to go away in a few days... maybe a few weeks.  They go crazy for the stuff:

Aven is the white one.
The dark brown one is Aeris.
The gray one is Alianna.
The bigger brown one is Alexa. 
Yes, Devin named them after characters in his Fantasy novels.

Anyway, nothing much exciting going on around here.  I've been down after surgery, hanging out with the kitties and trying to love my life.  My very sweet mother-in-law came down to take care of me after surgery when Devin had to leave for work.  I appreciate it more than she'll ever understand, and love love love her for helping me out on such short notice.  

I have been moving around pretty good the last few days, but still battle with dizzy spells.  In between those spells, I got to plant a few things... Alabama Black Butter Beans, Succotash Beans, and Chinese Red Noodle Beans as well as a couple of varieties of summer squash.  

Other than that, Devin put a set of shelves in the pantry.  I'm excited about it because that means that I can actually can some more stuff now.  I have room to put stuff that I've canned!  So, I'll be finishing off at least the 65 cans I have left to reach my goal this year pretty soon I hope.

What We're Reading: Devin- The Wheel of Time Vol. 1 by Robert Jordan
Shesten - The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Been A While

I haven't been canning lately... I feel kinda burned out.  So many so so so many batches of jam and preserves and pickles.  So I'm taking a break.  Which isn't all that smart because it's starting to heat up around here.

We got chickens.  Yeah. Chickens.  Easter Eggers.  And then two died, so we bartered with some neighbors for a few more.  And then another one died.  *sigh*  And then Devin named them after characters in his favorite fantasy books.  And that might not have been the exact order that things happened in, but give me a break.  There are chickens in the back yard.  And I took some pictures of them and played around with them and made them retro artsy fun.  So, here you go... Aven is the white one.  The brown bigger one is Alexa.  The reddish smallish one is Aeris.  And the yellowish smallish one is Alianna.

The most important thing about the chickens though?  Devin loves them.  And since he loves them... I try to too.

As far as the house goes, Dev is still building the first set of shelves for the pantry.  I got all fancy pants on him and made him inlay mirror into the shelf ledges and it takes him a very long while.  Well, that and we took a semi-spontaneous trip to Wichita.  I mean it wasn't like overnight or anything, but it was two weeks in advance that we decided to go.  And I'm glad we did.  It's nice every once in a while to powow with someone who is married to someone so very very like my hubs.  It's amazing what sharing a room growing up will do to you.

I took some fun engagement photos for the bro and his fiancee yesterday.  Some of them turned out pretty cute.  I was skeptical about their choice of a parking garage to frame their pre-married life and all, but it turned out fine.  They're not finished by any means, but they are still kinda fun this way.

What We're Reading:
Shesten - Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
Devin - The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To Tree Or Not To Tree

I'm a bit addicted to The Bachelor.  It's sad.  But true.  I just had to admit that in a public forum and humiliate myself, really.  Who will win Ben's heart?  Enough already.  I'll stop now.

I've been pretty sick this week, so I haven't done anything but hang out with some friends so that I could get them sick too.  I'm such an awesome person that way.  I know.  But before Devin left and before I got sick from him, I made a round of grapefruit syrup, another couple of batches of Tangerine syrup, and a bottle of preserved Tangerines with rosemary.  When they're done being preserved, I think I'll throw a few in the crockpot with some chicken breast and serve it with rice... it's sounding really good to me.

The night before Devin left, he and our friend Greg chopped down the Mulberry in front of our house.  They had a lot of fun with it.  Don't worry, we're not just overt tree murderers.  The tree had some damage near the bottom, and we were afraid a storm would come and blow it over onto the house.  AND, we just planted a whole heap of new trees to try to make up for it anyway.  And I'm sending off for apples either today or tomorrow.  So, we're not murderers.  We did it in self-defense.
But I did tackle one project this week.  Going through the stuff I jarred up last year and didn't use.  Like the pickled bell peppers that I didn't like because they tasted like apple cider vinegar and not like peppers at all. I mean, they're pretty, but I'm never going to eat them, ever. And the pickled eggplant.  Because really, you can only eat so much of it before it becomes well, disgusting.
I also emptied out the old Classico jars from our fridge and washed and sterilized them so that they'll be ready to can in again.  Because guess what?  Classico jars are Atlas Mason jars (which just so happens to be one of my favorite brands of Mason jars).  The ones you buy in the store are 24 ounce jars (2/3 quart) and the ones you buy at Costco are 1 quart.  They're shaped a bit differently and it takes a few uses to get the adhesive off the sides of them, but man, they're handy.  And, it's a practical implementation of reduce, reuse, recycle, even if I'm horrible at remembering that I already have an open jar in the fridge.

The countdown to chickens is well under way, and I'm going to admit right now that I'm a bit freaked out about it.  A lot freaked out about it.  Awesome, right?  Devin may or may not be home to take care of the little chirpers and while I'm increasingly coming to peace with the fact that we're going to have chickens in the back yard, I'm also increasingly anxious about having chicks in the master bedroom.  Aye aye aye.

What We're Reading:  Shesten - The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Devin - I haven't a clue.