Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Just a Minute: March 2013

I'm remembering these later and later each month. I would not be surprised it I skip April's all together (not that I won't have a good reason for it). 

reading...I finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, which I've been reading pretty much the whole month of March. I finished it with the same feeling I had when I read The Forgotten Garden by Morton. I didn't dislike it, but I wasn't really sure that I'd count it among my favorite books. I don't know if it's a product of the author's English literature vein of writing, but I have a hard time truly liking her main female characters so then I find I'm not very attached to them. I can't figure out what kept me from really liking this though because looking back, I liked all of the author's plot decisions.
watching...After the Downtown Abbey season ended, I left my DVR recording of PBS's Masterpiece Classic on and accidentally recorded Mr. Selfridge with Jeremy Piven. I watched Part 1 the other day and liked it overall. It's another good period show with fun costumes and set design. My only complaint is the weird smile that Jeremy breaks into anytime his character is uncomfortable (at least six or seven times in Part 1). It rather makes him look like a mangy werewolf. all those old wives tales on how to bring about labor. Sadly, doubting that any of them are effective. Eating the hell out of spicy foods just in case.

finishing...trying to fit in all of those last minute things (eye doctor, dentist, buying birthday presents) that are easier to do now while bringing the baby along is still somewhat simple and contained. Still need to get that car seat installed though (or we may be tossing it in the car on the way to the hospital for Nathan to tackle in the parking lot).
sewing...I bought fabric to make this dress in two sizes as a baby gift for a friend at work. She's having a second daughter, so I'm making matching dresses for both girls. Unfortunately, that fabric has sat next to my sewing machine for more than a month as my time sans baby has dwindled down to single digits (slight exaggeration, as single digits starts day after tomorrow). Maybe working on them this weekend will help me keep my mind off the beached whale feeling I am now living with constantly.

cooking…One of my new favorites to make with dinner is cauliflower puree. It basically ends up tasting like mock mashed potatoes, but is healthier so you don't feel as guilty for the pat of butter that goes in. Here's how to do it: take a head of cauliflower and separate it into florets. Steam florets until their color becomes slightly more translucent (about 6-8 minutes, depending on size of florets). Throw drained florets into a blender and blend with a tablespoon of butter and a little milk. Salt and pepper to taste. It will be a little less thick than mashed potatoes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

"I Don't Understand Why A Muscle Contraction is so Painful"

or Just One of the Entertaining Things My Husband Said During Birthing Class

Nathan and I had our 2-day parenting class this weekend. Though we did learn some useful things, they could easily have fit in a two or three hour class rather than the 12 hours we spent in a basement at the hospital. It was just short of torture because the weather this weekend was positively gorgeous.

To add salt to the wound, on Saturday, the second our car pulled into the garage, it began to rain. Nathan did some general yard work anyway. I stood on the covered porch and watched most of it.

One of the obnoxious openers to the class was that we had to say one interesting thing about ourselves as an icebreaker. Nathan told the class that he planned to bike up to the hospital for my delivery (jury's still out on that one), and that he was packing his clubs in the back of the car so that in case the delivery was a long one, he could head out the back door of the hospital onto the course for a quick round of golf (straight up no on that one). I pointed out that he was clearly in need of the parenting class.

Needless to say, we were probably the most entertaining couple in the class. (And likely also the most disruptive...) Many of the videos and pictures we were shown of couple interactions during labor and what to say and when to say it were so effusive and over the top touchy-feely that we did some quiet giggling and eye rolling picturing Nathan trying to do that in the midst of my labor.

We were chosen to demonstrate a position on the birthing ball to the class that required me to be sprawled across it with my behind to the sky while he molded my hips for what felt like an eternity. I suppose that may have been payback for the giggling.

I did come away from the class feeling confident that I can make it through most, if not all, of the birth naturally, which is what I had been leaning toward initially...(I cry when the dentist gives me gas, I can only imagine what a semi-paralyzed lower half will do to me emotionally!), and feeling very confident that Nathan will be supportive and keep me laughing in the delivery room (that is, if he makes it on his bike in time).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Confessions of a Craft Addict


So yes, Eleanor may be born any day now, but I still may have just signed up for this:

Every month's box comes with instructions for an actual project that uses the craft supplies in the box, but you can always go off book and make something completely different with your supplies. Whimseybox's blog is full of DIY Craft Projects that people have shared. Love this idea!
How could I turn down the opportunity to not only get mail, but mail that would be a random collection of fun craft supplies?

PLUS, I got $5 off! You can too, even if you only sign on for a single month.

I have received two out of my three boxes for my 3-month subscription (April's just never came), and I feel compelled to mention that I'm relatively unimpressed. In theory it's a really cute idea, but in practice it does not feel worth the money. The supplies are minimal, the projects are dated (lip balm and a ceramic planter, both popular on the craft blogs and Pinterest ages ago), and the service is unreliable (though the customer service after is polite and does fix things). Also, make sure to note that even if you sign up for a limited subscription, it will automatically renew at the end and charge your card. (Why have a subscription period option then? I don't understand the automatic renewal.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Conversation #18

Me:(Always tearfully these days): Nathan, I need you to say that I'm beautiful even though I have elephant cankles...
Him: You are.
Me:...and that you love me very much even though my face is fat.
Him: But no, it's not very.
Me: (Pause. Less tearfully.) Close, but that's not exactly what I was hoping for.
Him: Sorry, I think you're beautiful, and I love you very much. I hope you don't have to do this much longer.
Me: Me too.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Showers

My family threw us a baby shower last weekend, and it was marvelous! Not only did I have all of my family around me for a long weekend, but friends came from quite a distance away to help celebrate Eleanor's imminent arrival. We had a book theme, which contributed to us receiving a whole shelf of fun books (with surprisingly no duplicates!), but we also received many other wonderful gifts.

I made a few book illustration garlands, one appetizer, and the shower favors, but other than that my mom and sisters did everything. Nathan and my dad even found time to build some gorgeous bookshelves around the top of the baby's room and the sunroom before the shower.

I am a lucky gal.
Some of the guests busily decorating onesies.
Finished onesies

A few of the decorations.

Some of the gifts we received...

Nathan and Maybe testing out the baby carrier.

The spread of goodies...

The farthest traveling friends
(though my sister-in-law, sisters, and
cousin win for longest distance overall).