Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Long Awaited Nursery

Before I start I have to appologize for the outrageous typos that have been in my posts lately.  I hate when there are typos and I usually proofread everything...even casual emails so when I scrolled back through my last few posts before this one I was kind of embarassed.  My excuse is that my computer battery is shot so often I type as fast as I can if my computer is not plugged in.  I promise to change my ways. 

Since this baby was announced back in July/August people have been asking, well I should say WOMEN have been asking, if we have nursery theme or decorating ideas or if  have assembled the nursery yet.  I have been thinking about it and looking at Pinterest and at bedding sets and cribs online for months without committing to anything.  Also, it was hard to work on a baby's room when I wasn't here.  Well, here I am, I will be 36 weeks along as of my appointment tomorrow, and we are finally getting ready.  The crib is in transit and according to the tracking number, it is out for delivery in Bismarck as of this morning.  I hope it comes soon so I can leave the house!  I don't want to miss this delivery! 

I painted the room light aqua, one of my favorite colors, when we moved in here and that is how it will stay.  It took forever to find some baby bedding that I liked but I finally succeeded and I liked in person as much as I did online.  I should add that although I refer to "I", Justin has not been completely uninvolved in this.  He said he would like brown accents with the aqua and there are brown accents.  Also, he has been involved in the crib process which was so confusing and irritating that he finally said "just pick something" which was exactly what I was thinking.  Crib reviews are all over the place.  One reviewer says a certain crib is cheap and low quality and another says it is a fine piece of furniture that has held up through multiple children.  One says the stain of the wood looks orange and fake and another says it looks beautiful and natural.  One says assembly was so easy that a solo pregnant woman could do it and others said that the directions and assembly were impossible.  So I finally just picked one and hopefully it turns out!  It is on the way from Amazon. 

Here is a little preview...of course I will debut it all at once when it is all together...assuming that happens before the baby comes! 

These vallances came with the 9 peice bedding set.  The backlighting from the morning sun makes it hard to see but they are brown with owls and trees on the printed part.  We ordered those blinds and they were delivered yesterday.  We already had those curtain rods from the half-a$$ed curtains I sewed for that room two years ago.  I was too lazy to line them and they are now very faded.  Oh well...I envisioned myself making curtains for this room but the fabric selection at Bismarck's two chain fabric stores is less unique than the baby sets you can find at Target (the only place in town to buy baby stuff besides Walmart, it seems!) so the Interet was a better option.  Also, I don't like making curtains.  I hate the precision of measuring and knowing that they should be lined and not wanting to line them and making sure both sets are the exact same length. 

These cute kitten pictures are from old calenders that my mom always has in her kitchen.  She has for years.  I always give them to her for Christmas.  They fit in a special frame.  I usually would never pay full price for a calender but one year we waited until the 75% sale after the new year and the only calender left that fit in the frame featured paintings of Civil War battles.  The cat paintings are by an artist named Lowell Herrerro.  Another cheap decorating shortcut by me...I think they are so cute though!  I love the one on the top right with the kitten in a baseball hat!  There will be other things hung on the walls as well but I am not sure what yet...

So that's what's happening here! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Laundry Room

I had no idea that he wanted to do this until just recently, but Justin has been thinking about redoing the floor in our basement laundry room for awhile.  It was not awful, but not great either.  There was some old, discolored linoleum covering the area that always looked kind of dirty even if it wasn't and made you feel like you should wear shoes down there.  We covered some of the area with carpet scraps. 

I was hesitant to start this endeavor because all the experience I have with tearing out linoleum has been unpleasant and involved scraping.  The hours I spent scraping carpet pad that was glued to our bedroom floors when we moved into this place is not far from my mind either, even though that was more than two years ago! 

Oh well...my cumbersome size makes me out of commission for jobs that involve prolonged hands and knees activity so this project was all Justin.  

It came up pretty well in one evening so that part wasn't so bad...

The new covering is vinyl that looks like wood. The pieces come in long planks and they are thin and flexible kind of like linoleum.  For a low budget floor covering, I think it looks pretty good!

This is the inside of the storage space under the stairs...we have filled this area up with crap from floor to ceiling!  You normally can't even see the floor so take a good look!

All done!  I respectfully shot an angle that didn't reveal Allan's bathroom area (behind the freezer). 

Another shot of the storage room...

He worked on it all weekend and finished around 4 this afternoon...what a whirlwind project! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back in My Sewing Room

When we got married I picked out a very pretty bedding set with sheets and pillow shams and a duvet cover.  It is named "Sea Reeds" and I was in love with it.  Well, that didn't work out very well.  First of all, decorative pillows aren't much good when someone never makes their bed (yes it's true).  They just end up on the floor all the time.  Second of all, Justin ruined the sheets by washing them with a dark purple blanket and now they are pink and the blue pattern looks purple.  Finally, the down comforter was too hot even for me so it ended up on the floor and eventually we shoved it in the back of a closet.  So much for that. 

I recently found it when I was cleaning and got sad because I really did love that Sea Reeds collection.  So I put the down comfortor back in it's zipper bag (which was also in the closet strangely enough!) and bought a cheap thin fleece blanket at Walmart for $10. 

If anyone has used a duvet cover before you know that they are kind of annoying.  Whatever they cover never stays in place and usually ends up bunched up at the bottom.  I searched online for a solution and there is a product to keep blankets in place-some kind of clips-but they got bad reviews.  Someone suggested sewing little ribbon ties inside at the corners and tying the blanket to the cover.  That sounded promising.  I thought, since I have sewing ability, that I would sew button holes in the blanket and then the holes wouldn't get misshapen!  Perfect!  

There are my ties!  Lucky me...my friend Kari just gave me a box of sewing supplies from her grandmother's house and there were many cards of seam binding ribbons and other materials that would be suitable for making ties and there was a light blue one!  I added seven ties instead of just four at the corners.

Then everything went downhill.  I read the directions about making buttonholes in my machine manual and it turns out there is a specific setting for button holes in fleece or plush fabric!  Ugh this did not work...the fabric wouldn't feed and ended up getting mashed in the feed dogs so bad that I had to cut the blanket and then dissasemble part of the machine to get the jammed fabric out.  I put it back together and tried it on a normal piece of fabric and it worked perfectly!  So I tried again on the blanket and once again it was jammed and once again I had to cut the blanket and take the machine apart. 

After that I decided that this stupid $10 blanket was not worth messing up my machine.  Repair shops are not always cheap and they have weeks of a wait.  You wouldn't think that there are that many broken sewing machines out there but there are.  Sewing machine issues always remind me of that elementary school science unit and early introduction to physics...the 6 simple machines.  Recall those?


If I recall correctly, these six mechanisms are the basis for all machines.  Well, actually, I don't know if these machines translate to more modern machines like my ipad but as far as physics goes they make up most machines such as motors and vehicles and assembly lines and things that brought advancement to civilization.  Including sewing machines and all of their complicated, perfectly timed functions.  I also remember that even the simple machines are not perfectly efficient.  Sewing machines certainly are not always efficient.  Anyone who has spent time with one knows the feeling of being DONE and having to just shut it down for awhile and come back later.  They can be very frustrating. 

I ended up just cutting holes in the blanket and reinforcing them with some zig zag stitches.  It should work fine for now! 

While I working on this project, Justin came home with the long awaited focal point for his basement...

Yayyyyyy....At least it is not upstairs.  I am adamant about these things.  Guess who is afraid of it?  Allan of course.  I was worried he would try to jump up on it and perch because he likes to get to high places so I snuck downstairs to spy on him.  When I flipped on the light he was on the couch staring at it with his tail all puffed up like a scaredy cat.  It was funny although I felt kind of bad for him! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shower Weekend

This weekend I had two baby showers!  Yeaaahhh presents!  Meanwhile, Justin was with his friends at Lake of the Woods.  We hardly gave each other a thought all weekend!  Both of us had a blast with our pals. 

On Saturday my favorite roommate (Ashley) and my sister hosted a shower at Roommate's house.  Our friends from through the years were in attendance.  My favorite gift was this diaper bag.

Diaper bags can be a challenge because many of them are really dowdy and babyish.

Winnie The Pooh Diaper Bag
 Or...they are high fashion and expensive...

 This one is ONLY $325.00...

So...the one I got from my lovely friends and sister is from the company Petunia Pickle Bottom.  I am not crazy about that name but I love the products.  Check out the website...

That wasn't the only excitement...instead of a card everyone brought a childhood storybook to write a message in.  Now we have the start to a library!

Notice that orange plush thing on the chair...that is a cat pillow chum "Allan"/my sister gave me.   He will be back later in the post. 

Did I mention that Roommate is also pregnant?  Haha!  Don't we look "glowing" and maternal!  It is her second so she actually knows what she is doing.

On Sunday Justin's mom and my sisters-in-law hosted a shower.  My sister-in-law Kelsey is also pregnant!  

 It was a great weekend and everyone was very generous.  This is getting very real!  AAAhhhh!!! Only two more weeks until I am considered full term and after that anything could happen!  Yikes!  And we still don't have a crib!  AWESOME!  I think we are going to get one tonight...

There were several stuffed toys among the gifts from this weekend and guess who decided they were his right away...

He really wanted to play with this duck!  I eventually hid it from him so it didn't get hurt!

Yes, that is the pillow pet!  It is about twice his size but that didn't seem to matter!

Look at all that stuff!  That is just from Sunday (minus the duck). 

And...none for Allan!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Allan's Antics

I bought my nephews Christmas books for Christmas this year (along with a toy...they are toddlers after all!  Books don't always cut it!)  I bought one of them this book callsed Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens.  It is a real tear jerker.  It is about a kitten born on Christmas day who is shunned by the othe cats in the barn because he is green and red.  He decides he is going to hide out from then on and lives out in the cold scrounging for food and without a family.  The next Christmas Eve, he finds a litter of orphaned kittens (normal colored) and decides they need to find a home with lots of love and warmth, like he would have liked to have.  He sees the lights of a farm in the distance and leads the kittens there, believing that the family there will adopt the kittens.  he gets a surprise, however, when the family doesn't chase him away in disgust because of his appearance and he finds a note for him under the tree rewarding him for his selfless act.  Awwww...happy ending. 

After Christmas, I found the book on a table of 50% off Christmas merchandise so I decided to add it to my own children's library.  We had Christmas books growing up and it was a fun part of taking out the decorations.  There was also a matching stuffed toy to match the book that I hadn't seen when I bought the book for my nephew.  It looked like a Christmas version of Allan so I purchased it as well.  (That is a google image...I didn't take it).

Allan has been going through a kitten like phase where he likes to carry large items around in his mouth like they are his prey or something.

This is the tail I made for my Halloween costume this year...he dragged it out when I was cleaning the closet. 

This is a golf club cover that my brother gave me for Christmas.  He found it among my gifts soon after I got home after Christmas. 

So I was kind of mortified but not really surprised when he dug in the shopping bag and found poor Mistletoe.  What a brat...doesn't he know what that poor kitten has been through?!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Everyone has asked if I have started the "nesting" phase yet.  You know...this is the time before a baby comes when a mother feels restless and prepares for the baby by getting a nest ready.  I have seen this behavior in mother cats when I was growing up on the farm many times.  They would walk around acting really wierd and you could tell the time was near.  Some of the longtime residents trusted us enough to let us nest for them by providing a box with some old towels.  Others chose nests in questionable places...one mama had her babies on a pile of hay (good nest) that happened to be located in the header of the combine (dangerous nest).  One indifferent and experienced cat just popped them out on the steps in front of the door...no nest to speak of!  Our docile golden retriever and the mother cat's brother were keeping a disinterested watch. 

When people start nesting people speak of putting the bedding on the crib, washing cute little outfits in sensitive skin forumula detergent, and cooking and freezing meals for those first hectic weeks back from the hospital.  I wish my nesting was like that...actually I don't think this is nesting at all.  I am just dealing with things that need to be addressed after living out of a suitcase for the last year.  For example...

I spent yesterday afternoon sorting and filing bank statements, student loan documentation and insurance information from the last year.  The bag pictured is just from the past six months or so...I found another stack in the basement by the file cabinet and there were some stray envelopes in my computer bag and on the kitchen counter where the mail ends up being piled.  Ugh I hate filing.  I know some people get a kick out of that sort of organization but I am not one of them.  It is definitely a  chore.  I can't think of a time when I have had to reference anything in my file cabinet and this makes it very tempting to just throw it all in the trash.  I love whoever invented paperless statements (my bank and student loans are now done this way) and I don't care how much woe it is causing the US Postal Service.  I had so much crap to go through that I ended up filling a whole garbage bag with paper waste just from the enveloples and excess paper that comes with most bank and loan correspondence (NO I don't need another brochure or letter about your privacy policies!)

I kind of started going on a tear in the basement after I finished filing.  I spotted a camera box (It is always hard for me to throw the boxes from phones and cameras until I am sure they are working and then I, apparently, forget I have them).  The box was for my first digital camera that I got for Christmas in 2004.  Since then, I have had two other cameras and my new Christmas one is my third.  It still had all of the manuals and cables.  That went in the trash.  I also found the box for a phone that I had three phones ago.  The box contained informational cd rom cds that I never even unwrapped.  Yikes.  I also found something funny...an empty checkbook full of carbon copies from the days before debit cards.  It was from spring of 2005 which was my last sememster of college.  During this semester I had the easiest classes ever and didn't study AT ALL...I wrote my papers and went to almost every session of class and took notes but those classes were so easy that just going to class was enough to be able to breeze through the tests.  What I did do was drink and my checks reflect that.  There were at least two checks a week to Buffalo Wild Wings and the Turf and several to the Union check cashing counter.  I'm sure that cash went right to Chub's, the Turf, or various liquor stores.  Ahhh what a life.  When I saw the dates I actually remembered what I was doing at those places those specific nights. 

Another thing that had to be addressed was putting away the Christmas decorations.  I think everyone can agree that, while taking out the Christmas decorations is a fun and festive event, putting them away is a huge chore.  Blaaahhh I don't enjoy it at all and it is also kind of sad and anti-climactic.  And yes, I know that the letter "a" on the TV stand is backwards...that has been fixed!

I did get quite a bit accomplished over the last week.  The soon to be nursury was filled with bags of my clothes, shoes, books and other items that I had brought back with me.  It was also full of gift bags from my shower.  A few weeks ago, we had a false alarm that my parents might be visiting so Justin packed all of the baby stuff we have received and accumulated into the closet and it was so full that the doors were about to bust off their runners (seriously).  As I have mentioned before, every drawer and closet was at full capacity so I filled my trunk with donations for a second hand store.  When I dropped it off, I saw that the store's donation area was not lacking because there was a mountain of bags of donations piled up to the ceiling and I am not making that up.  I was tempted to take one of my bags and just fling it up there to see where it landed!  So I guess we are not the only ones with some household excess. 

Now there is one last area to address and it will be the worst...it is the room that even well intentioned people end up filling with junk that they don't know what else to do with and hastily stash it "just for now" and there it stays.  This room is our basement guest room (soon to be only guest room)/my sewing room.  This is where we have our gift wrapping and my old law books and the closet is stuffed with summer dresses and shoes and old coats.  It is such a mess that you can barely walk in there and the expansive sewing counter that I was so excited about is piled high with debris.  I worked on my annual Christmas card scrapbook last night and I had to haul all of the materials upstairs because there is no room to work in that room.   Bllaaaaahhh double blaaahh it is a mess and I am dreading cleaning it up down there.  Eventually the twin bed in there has to come out and the guest queen bed will go in, taking with it space.  It is not going to be fun. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Texas

As promised, this is the continuation of the Texas post from a few days ago.  Justin and his travel friends started driving back early on Sunday morning my flight didn't leave until Monday so I was able to see some sights in Dallas.  After dropping my aunt and uncle off at the airport and eating lunch (and trying to shop but finding that Texas has similar Sunday morning shopping laws as ND) we took our rental car to downtown Dallas to see the Sixth Floor Museum.  If you didn't know, this museum is dedicated to John F. Kennedy and the museum is located in a government building which was formerly the book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald hid on the sixth floor among boxes of books and (supposedly) assassinated the President.  Strangely, the rest of the building is still used for regular old business.  Just the sixth floor is the museum. 

It was pretty fascinating especially if you are a person who is interested in history.  My parents had seen it before and they said it wasn't boring the second time.  When you arrive you are given a head set and a narrator guides you around the museum to look at displays with pictures, videos, and other information.  There are mini theaters for longer videos. 

Outside the museum you can walk around Dealey Plaza where people were watching the presidential motorcade.  You can also speak to crazy conspiracy theorists who camp out there all day talking their crazy talk (although I admit the different theories are interesting...the museum covered many possibilities).  There is an X on the spot where it happened and I went out and stood on it like a tourist.

You can't see them but there were quite a few people visiting the site that day taking similar photos.  This is still a open street in Dallas and I bet people who live around here find the street very annoying and most likely avoid it.  Fortunately, it was pretty quiet on the streets on Sunday afternoon!

Here is a view of the plaza with a huge museum in the background.  We didn't have time to see much because it was almost closing time but that place looked beautiful from the outside! 

They flight on Monday went smoothly.  The major complication was that I had to wear my mom's boots home because mine wouldn't fit (hers had zippers).  Yikes. 

I made it home on Tuesday and was very happy to be there. 

How cute is he?!  Haha...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Back!

It has been quite awhile since I have contributed anything here!  I have missed it!  Life has been really crazy and I have been travelling around since before New Years and living out of a huge suitcase that contained my whole maternity wardrobe.  My car has looked like a bag lady lives in it.  But I have finally arrived home.  I have not, however, settled back in because I have alot of crap to unpack...I am almost tempted to throw it all away!  HA!  Everyone knows that won't happen...I am not exactly a minimalist...

Anyway...we spent the weekend watching NDSU play in the FCS championship game in Frisco, TX!  Oooh this was a fun weekend.  I have never been to Texas and I love seeing new places so that was exciting without the game.  Justin drove with his cousin and two friends.  They left on Thursday night and arrived the next day after a 16 hour drive.  I flew with my parents and we left Friday very early in the morning and arrived at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport around lunchtime.   

Here I am in the back of our rental car while we were waiting for my aunt and uncle to arrive.  I wouldn't have shared this picture except that I look huge in it.  Everyone thought I was crazy to fly because there is a consensus that pregnant women are not supposed to fly, expecially during the later months.  There are concerns about blood clots, swelling, and the change in pressure causing the onset of labor.  I talked to the doctor about these things and she said it was OK for me to fly so I got a note in case anyone gave me any trouble at the airport and headed up in the air!   

When we arrived at our hotel (which was full of NDSU and SHSU fans but wasn't the main headquarters for the alumni activities such as the pep rally and dance on Friday night) this truck was parked in front.  I added this picture because, although I couldn't enjoy my belvoed Bud Light, everyone else sure was enjoying themselves because the hotel ran out of beer at the pep rally, and so did many of the restaurants and bars in the area.  Any of the midwestern favorite domestics (Miller, Bud Light, Coors) were the first to go, followed by the Mexican beers like Corona and Dos Equis.  Soon all that was left was a beer called Victoriana or something.  It was pretty crazy and I was pretty jealous of all those happy people!  

Notice my boots...those are my beloved Fryes, which were supposed to be part of my western outfit for Friday.  I wore them on the plane and now realize, that although my feet and ankles don't look swollen, something is really going on with them because those boots did not feel the same!  Getting them off and back on for airport security was an ordeal and even the calves felt tight.  They are going in the closet until further notice!   
Here is a shot of the pep rally.  It was a huge ballroom and was so packed you could barely move in there.  This is supposed to show the marching band and cheer team. 

We finally reunited!  In this photo I am wishing I had cuter clothes to wear (specifically NDSU clothes).  I had to have a last minute wardrobe change because my original outfit was based around the boots and that wasn't happening. 

After the pep rally we went to a few bars around the hotel.  This was all located in a magical, upscale neighborhood with tree lined streets still lit up from Christmas and New Years.  On Friday it was 70 degrees so everyone was mingling outside.  It was really fun.  As the evening progressed I started crashing due to the whole waking up at 3 a.m. to catch my plane and then being packed into crowded places with drunk people and having my uterus brushing against strangers every time I moved.  That feeling makes me cringe for some reason.  I think it is because the skin is so tight and also it just makes me self concious to be so big.  So, in this picture I look happy but was was actually ready to fall asleep. 

Tailgating was crazy.  There were so many Bison fans there that it felt like a regular game day at home except with more excitement.  While Friday felt like summer, Saturday was pretty cold with highs in the 50's and this temperature wasn't reached until the afternoon (the game started at noon). 

It was kind of strange to tailgate with a rental car and to not have all of our usual amenities!

 More tailgating...the only bad thing about the morning was the bathroom situation...it was pretty desperate!  I'm glad I wasn't drinking alot of beer.

As you probaby heard or saw for yourself, the game was won!  I couldn't believe it!  I didn't know what to expect and SH was very hyped and also undefeated!  UNTIL NOW CLOWNS! 
There were security guards situated around the field to prevent the winning fans from rushing out but people started jumping over the railings anyway until they finally opened up a gate.  I think there was concern that we would take down the goalpost or something but that didn't happen. 

Just when this celebration was happining, the sun came out after the skies were overcast through the day.  There was confetti spraying into the air and the usual celebretory atmosphere the band played and the team took it all in.  It was quite an  experience...I am glad we were there to see it in person. 

After awhile the players came onto the field to talk to people and celebrate with their families.  My mom made my cousin and I pose with this star player who I won't name in case he or someone he knows searches for him on Google and comes across this and thinks its creepy!  I love this picture!  I told him that my mom always refers to my unborn child as his name because she is a fan...haha.  I'm sure he thought it was wierd but who cares!?

This game was on ESPN 2 so many people were watching at home.  During the game my brother texted this photo.  He spotted Justin and company on the TV and paused it and sent us a still photo!  Haha! 

Justin is in the yellow and his friend Aaron and cousin Ryan are to the right in the green.  

Also, my mom was spotted in a photo from a photographer's website.  On closer inspection, I saw my cousin in the lower left corner and my dad standing with his head turned.  Of course, it was copyrighted but you can see it my clicking on the below link...it is number 37. 


This is getting pretty long so I will do a continuation tomorrow with some other Dallas trip highlights!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Frisco Bound!

I know I have been missing for over a week...sorry! I hope no one was worried! We went to a wedding in MN over New Years, and I have been taking a class this week and have been away from my computer and easy Internet access...and I will be waking up in about 4 hours to head to the airport to fly to Texas for the NDSU game! So I will catch up later!