Monday, November 30, 2009

Anticipation

Signs of growth 

Sighs of relief

Deep breaths

Tingle of anticipation




We found out at today's ultrasound appointment that BGV did make a marginal gain in her abdominal circumference.  I was not impressed by the very small number (she falls in the second percentile), but my specialist was ... to the point that she is now recommending an induction later this week, Monday at the latest ... rather than tomorrow.  Which means BGV gets a few extra days to grow and allow her lungs to mature a bit more!  Of course, that also means continued monitoring and more doctor's appointments, but ... whatever ;)  I should know the official "plan" tomorrow after seeing my OB for another non-stress test and cervix check ... woo hoo!

At this point, I have completely embraced the idea of an induction.  So many of you shared stories and insights to help me to get to this better place!  I know that drugs will initiate what my body already knows how to do I will trust my body as well as very close monitoring of the baby to see us both through to the very best possible outcome.

Ah, the anticipation of meeting her ... and sharing her with all of you ... is really starting to make me crazy ... in the best way!

Nursery Craftiness

With impending induction weighing on my mind, I had a bunch of nervous energy to focus on ... a bit of Nursery Craftiness.

For the most part, BGV 2.0's nursery is just a hand-me-down from her big sister, the first of many, I am certain! If you'd like to know more about the Alphabet Art created by family and friends across the country, click here.

I already love this room so much, which is why I've done minimal touches for the new baby ... but I did make an effort ... and I've been feeling quite crafty ...

First of all, I made BGV her very own set of curtains - just like the ones you see here. Hers are navy blue with four stripes: red, yellow, green, and blue.

I also bought a new piece of storage - for the hundreds of baby toys and books. This was a Craigslist find, and it's perfect!

Then, I took these two 16 x 20 (super cheap) frames, original finger-paint artwork by my talented two year old, and some letter stickers to make this ...




Can you see what it says? Baby Sister ... I am so clever ;)
Oh, and there's a glimpse of the curtains and storage, too.

And finally, my little late night masterpiece ... created between the hours of 11:00 pm Saturday and 1:00 am Sunday ... a wall mobile that will hopefully calm a fussy baby.




Where did this idea come from?!  Well ...

There's this website - http://www.fussybaby.net/ - it boasts "free artwork to soothe the savage beast" ... how's that for a catchy slogan?!  From this site, you can print high-contrast images that are "proven" to capture baby's attention, which enables them to calm down.  I can't remember how I found out about this, but I used the images with NHV, particularly while she was being changed, and well, hate to sound all info-mercially, but ... it worked.

I just printed out the "poster" and had it next to the changing table; she loved looking at the black-and-white images.  For BGV I decided to take it a step further ... I added ribbon because I am obsessed with ribbon right now and a few other random items found around the house.

Since babies like shiny things, I used CDs as the circles, added a layer of bright paper circle, and attached a high-contrast, circular image to the center.

I cut cardboard into squares, painted them black, added some scraps of colorful paper, and attached a high-contrast image to the center.

All attaching was done with Modge Podge ... love that stuff!

I installed the ribbons directly to the wood trim with hot glue and secured the ends to the wall with some putty-stuff.  Viola!

I can just picture me pacing around the nursery.  BGV hoisted up on my shoulder with the Fussy Baby Wall Mobile just at eye-level.  She'll be calmed within minutes, and my sanity will be spared.  Wishful thinking, huh?!




Sunday, November 29, 2009

All About MEme: Excuses, Excuses



with MommyBrain and SupahMommy

 

Dearest MEeps ... 

get it, MEme + peeps = MEeps?!

I am throwing the pregnancy card ... 

because, well, I can ... and I may not be able to for much longer. 

I am a whopping 36 weeks pregnant after all!

And, no lying, I am - this very minute - 

counting and timing contractions.

Not sure if this is actual labor (probably not) 

or just a Seriously Pissed Uterus (SPU) ... 

an upgrade from my previous GUS (Grumpy Uterus Syndrome).


Just so you know I am not a slacker  

(that's my little pet name for SupahMommy)

in between contractions and deep breaths, 

I am decorating for the holidays,

cleaning house from top to bottom, 

framing finger-paint art for the baby's room,

making a crafty wall mobile for the baby's room,

packing and repacking bags for the hospital,

organizing the linen closet,

snuggling with my sweet girls,

and motivating my husband to finish painting already!


There you have it.  My excuse(s).



SO WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE THIS WEEK?  
WRITE A NOTE EXCUSING YOURSELF FROM MEme MONDAY.  


ANYONE .. .without an excuse will be forced 
to mop my floors and clean three digusting toilets ... 
before I return from Labor and Delivery!


Come back, link up.  Visit some blogs and give some comment love.  


See you next week ... maybe ;)


XOXO ~ Supah and MommyBrain





Middle of the Night

It's 5:00 am now.  Technically not middle of the night ... anymore.

But NHV has been awake since 2:30 am, and that's sure as heck middle of the night.  I don't know why she's awake, and nothing I've tried has put her back to sleep. 

I've tried leaving her in her bed, tucking her in - again, changing her jammies (because my mom once told me that a wardrobe change can make all the difference), letting her cuddle in our bed for a few minutes, talking through her day, rocking her in the glider, ... it was quite interesting to fit all three of us (Natalie, me and BGV) all in that chair.

During all of that two-and-a-half-hour rig-a-ma-roll, I've heard these phrases - more than once - and it just makes me laugh to think about what it going on in that cute little head of hers:

"I seep in mommy daddies bed."
"Mommy, cuddle."
"Want different binky."
These are all typical things she says if she wakes up in the middle of the night ... and goes right back to sleep.  

"I sawl yights after dinner."
We saw a holiday light display, and clearly it was memorable.

"Elmo and Natalie half kin."
This is from a recent episode of Sesame Street; during which Elmo talks about skin.

"I watch Barney on com-puter?"
Darn that YouTube; it's just so addicting!  And darn that purple dinosaur; I cannot stand him!

"I no say hi to Santa at Kids Quest.  I a yittle bit afraid."
Our trip to the children's museum included a walk through the mall - where Santa available for a photo-op.  Natalie did not want to say hi to him ... she skirted a good 50 feet around.

"Babee sistas room looks pretty."
A very sweet observation made while being rocked in the nursery that once belonged to her.  Makes me smile to know that she considers it to be baby sister's room now.

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I had to come downstairs for a glass of chocolate milk.  Seems both my girls are being rather demanding tonight! 

Daddy is reading her a few stories now; we finally gave in and turned on the lights ... that's like breaking a cardinal rule or something, right?

Hoping this works ... I'm exhausted!  If I remember correctly, newborns just eat and go right back to sleep ... no two-and-a-half hours of game playing and entertaining, right?!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

One Year Ago ...

I was boarding a flight to be with my best friend and her little man Big E during his recovery from open heart surgery.  I can't believe it was a year ago.  Despite the circumstances, it is one of my most cherished Thanksgiving memories.

Taking that flight meant leaving my husband and one-year old daughter to fend for themselves on Thanksgiving.  Most of that fending took place in the form of a prepared meal from the local market.  And they did just fine without me. 

Taking that flight also meant being with someone I love very much at a time when she needed me.  What a powerful and amazing feeling ... to know (or at least hope) that my presence could make a difference ... lift a spirit, bring a little sense of calm, be a familiar face, give a hug, ...  

As soon as I landed, I was able to see Emmett  - amongst a tangle of tubes and wires - in the hospital.  I held his mommy's hand while we watched his heart rate on the monitor.  I did my best to understand the medical explanations and concerns. I kissed Emmett's swollen eyes and whispered any words of encouragement I could muster for this sweet little fighter.  I fought back tears and tried to comprehend how and why such a thing has to happen to anyone ... let alone the baby boy of my best friend.

It seemed impossible that we would have to leave Emmett lying there by himself (with a full staff of nurses and doctors caring for him), but eventually we did tear ourselves away and walked reluctantly to the parking lot.  After all, it was Thanksgiving - and we did have much to be thankful for - but we also had empty stomachs.  I considered it part of my mission to make sure Missy and her husband had some semblance of a turkey dinner.  As we drove around the town, just about everything was closed ... except a Marie Callander's restaurant.  Hey, her pot pies aren't half bad, and her Thanksgiving dinner was actually pretty good!  We shared a bottle of red wine and a hot meal, and that was all that really mattered for about 60 minutes of our lives.  We reminisced and laughed and felt thankful to be together.

After many nights at the Ronald McDonald House,  it was decided that a hotel room would be a welcome change.  Missy was able to take a hot bath, one of her favorite treats.  And we were all able to get a good night's sleep before heading back to the hospital to see Emmett.  His condition had actually improved over night.  He could open his eyes some, and boy, did he light up when he saw his mommy and daddy.  Despite all the tubes, Missy was able to hold him in a chair and give some snuggles.  What a beautiful moment to see Emmett back in his mommy's arms, back where he needed to be ... suddenly, everything was right in the world! 

I also introduced Emmett to a new little friend, a lion that he still carries around today.


 
The remaining hours before my return flight were spent just marveling at Emmett's bravery and reveling in his improving condition.

Big E spent about another week recovering before returning home.  This was his first of three open heart surgeries.  His second is scheduled to take place a few weeks from now, and the final will hopefully happen this summer.

I am so thankful to know ...
the bravery of this little guy
the limitless love parents have for their children
the abilities of modern medicine
the miracles of compassion
the blessings of a healthy child
the strength of a friendship

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

D-RA-MA Queen & Whiplash

So it's official, BGV will further more be known as DQV ... she is such a freakin' Drama Queen!

I was not in good shape last night.  Panic set-in and I just couldn't get it under control. My cheeks were suddenly very flushed and fetal movement was faint and infrequent ... even when I jostled her a bit.  I came very close to calling my doctor, but CPV calmed me down. 

Finally at about 1:00 am, she had a little bout of hiccups and I was able to relax and get some much needed sleep!  I woke up a short time later ... to have a snack because I wasn't able to eat much in the evening ... just too upset and conflicted.  During that quiet time in the middle of the night, I looked at photos of NHV's birth and had an emotional breakthrough, an epiphany, if you will.  I took a very deep cleansing breath, and just felt calm for the first time in several days.   I woke up feeling the same way; relaxed, rested, and calm ... there were even a few peaks of sun through the clouds to punctuate my changed mood.

NHV slept her usual 12 hours, and CPV made us a delicious breakfast.  The morning was off to such a nice start ... and I headed out the door for my fourth doctor's appointment of the week.

The first twenty minutes of the "non-stress" test today were ... well, stressful.  While there was clearly a heart beat, there was no evidence of heart reactivity.  Of course, I wasn't having any contractions either ... after 12 weeks of non-stop, medicated contractions ... nothing.  We gave the baby a few gentle squeezes to get some reactivity, but none of it was unprovoked.  That 20-minutes of tape sent everyone into a panic and paperwork was started for an emergency c-section.

I stayed on the monitor for another hour, and guess what ... Drama Queen smirked her little smirk at all of us (perhaps even thumbed her nose, that little stinker), and her heart was perfectly reactive the entire time.  And the contractions made a come back, too. Her heart rate even sustained through the contractions, which was yesterday's red flag!  The doctors (my OB and one of her partners) were just shaking their heads and saying things like, "Can this even be the same baby?"  I went from sobs to smiles but remained cautiously optimistic because ... that's just how this pregnancy has gone ... one minute good news, the next we're scrambling to figure out an escape plan!  That's the whiplash of growing a Drama Queen in your uterus!

By the end of almost two hours, it was decided that the plans for a c-section would be set aside.  Monitoring will resume on Friday morning, ultrasound on Monday afternoon, and OB appointment on Tuesday morning to determine the "when" of the induction.  There is still a tiny glimmer of hope for a growth spurt. 

At this point, I am accepting the idea of an induction.  There is simply no reason to fret about it or fight against it.  Getting this baby girl into the world happy and healthy is my number one priority.  In the meantime, I am going to savor the next five days with my awesome husband and daughter :)

Thank you again for the continued love for me, BGV DQV, and my family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WW: Memory Lane

The upcoming arrival of my second daughter prompted me to take a look back at the first moments of meeting my first baby girl ... what an amazing experience and one I am very much looking forward to again!



For the latest on BGV 2.0 ... induction or possible c-section, click here.

You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
posts here and here.

More News About BGV 2.0


So yesterday's news of an induction rocked my world ... to be sure. 

Today's mention of a possible c-section just about did me in.  At least now that induction seems like a great option ... there's a silver lining, right?!


So why the possible c-section?
Well, during my non-stress test (such a freakin' oxymoron!) today - at my OB's office - BGV's heart was reacting negatively to the many contractions I was having.  Essentially, her heart rate would plummet at the end of each contraction.  These contractions - the ones I've been having since 22 weeks and stop treating with meds last week are still considered "pre-term labor" contractions.  As far as we know, they are not affecting my cervix.  If I am induced or go into labor naturally, the intensity and productivity of those contractions would obviously (and hopefully) change.  Increased contractions with a heart reacting like BGV's would not be an ideal situation.  It would put her in distress, a scenario my OB will not allow to happen.


Now the first non-stress test today lasted for 20 minutes.  I had two hard contractions during that time and both times BGV's heart rate dropped below baseline.  This was such a surprise to me because her heart  reactivity has been a point of praise from the doctors throughout all the previous monitoring.  Of course, I am now off my meds and having more contractions. A second non-stress test - this one an hour in duration (thanks, Janelle for keeping NHV) - was administered and the results weren't as dramatic but still not meeting my OB's expectations.  Rather than race into a c-section, my doctor wants to collect more data ... with another non-stress test tomorrow morning.  Are you beginning to see what I mean about "non-stress" being an oxymoron?!  Consider me officially STRESSED!

At this point, I am choosing to ignore the possibility of a c-section (can you say denial?) ... and instead focus on the induction that is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.  Between now and Tuesday, I have several doctor's appointments and big plans for our final days as a family of three ... this is the control freak in me ...
  • Tomorrow, November 25- 9 am "non-stress" test to check the baby's heart reactivity during contractions.  This will determine the need for a c-section. 
  • Thursday, November 26 - I want to take a drive to see the snow in the mountains - what could become a Thanksgiving tradition for us.  And we are really looking forward to a delicious turkey dinner at Tammy's  house :)
  • Friday, November 27 - Sometime in the morning, I will need to go to Labor & Delivery for another non-stress test ... because both my OB's and specialist's office are closed.
  • Saturday, November 28 - There is this amazing display for holiday lights at a local Botanical Garden.   I would really love to take Natalie as a holiday season kick-off.  Another family tradition kind of thing.
  • Sunday, November 29 - I should probably rest at some point, right?! And cuddle up with my CPV and NHV :)
  • Monday, November 30 - final ultrasound for growth measurements in the afternoon. This is our Hail Mary pass to see if the abdominal circumference improves drastically ... I am not overly optimistic after a two week stall.  But, hey, anything is possible.
  • Tuesday, December 1 - the big day, the day we meet BGV 2.0 :)  The induction is  not my first choice of birthing methods ... however something Chitown Momma said to me today gave me a whole new perspective.  She said -  in paraphrase format, "You haven't had any qualms about using drugs to control the contractions ... to do what's best for BGV and keep her baking as long as possible.  The induction is the same thing ... it's using drugs to initiate labor ... to do what's best for BGV."  Hearing those words and seeing them typed again here is a big sigh of relief for me.  This is exactly what I needed to understand.  Thank you, friend!  Heck, I'd push her out standing on my head if it meant that she would be healthy!
  • Beyond Tuesday, I don't know what life will be like, and I am not even guessing.  I'll be so enamored with my new daughter and excited to introduce her to Natalie ... not much else will matter :)
If only I can sleep more than two hours tonight ... hoping this little control-freak dump will quiet my mind.


-------------------------------------------
Finally, and most importantly, I am awed and lifted up by the outpouring of concern and support and kind words and shared experiences and words of encouragement ... through blog comments and Facebook wall writings and emails and voice mails.  I know that BGV and I are wrapped in good thoughts and prayers and anticipation for the best possible outcome.  What a tremendous blessing!  Thank you, friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

News about BGV 2.0

Induction tentatively set for next Tuesday, December 1. 

I see my OB at 9:00 am tomorrow and will know more then.

Heart and umbilical cord/brain blood flow still look good.  Very little growth overall and abdominal measurement completely stalled - no gain in two weeks.

Had first steroid shot today and will get second tomorrow ... to give her lungs a good boost. 

Looking for the positives.  Hoping for the best possible outcome.

I am exhausted.  Will try to put thoughts together in the morning. 

All About MEme: My Thankful Four






with MommyBrain and SupahMommy

 


an idea inspired by a kid's project


Family OF Friends - I haven't lived in my hometown  (in IL) since college.  In the years since then, CPV and I have lived in three different places - FL, VA, and now WA.  No matter where we've gone, I've found great, caring people to form my support network, my sanity-savers, my holiday-sharers ... my Family OF Friends.  And really, they are the next best thing to "blood" relatives ... in some ways, they're better ;)  This year I am especially thankful for my Family OF Friends ... neighbors, parents of former students, and fellow mommas from my moms' group.  They have all taken such good care of me with once-a-week meals, childcare offers, holiday invitations, optimism boosts, and an amazing SURPRISE baby shower!



My Baby Daddy (aka my husband, my best friend, my CPV) - How he puts up with me, especially while  I've been pregnant and exhausted and feeling crummy and hormonal and overwhelmed ... is beyond me.  But he does.  He even manages to like me most days.  CPV has infinite patience, like more than is humanly possible.  Which comes in really handy when he walks in the door after working 10-hours and jumps right into his role as daddy.  I am so thankful to have a partner who puts his girls first.  He takes such good care of us.  I was definitely thankful to sleep in both days this weekend and to be reminded to rest ... knowing that Natalie was in such good (and goofy) hands.  Despite all the crap I've given him for the duration of this home improvement projects, I am so thankful to have a husband who is willing to spend the time and effort to do a good job with such impressive results.



Being a Mom (and a stay-at-home-mom) - While there have been some aspects of my pregnancy I haven't exactly enjoyed, I am so thankful for the ability to conceive and for the beautiful experience of growing a baby inside me.  The experience of being a mom is an absolute wonder!



What a privilege and an honor ... to get to spend my days with my beautiful, smart, and funny two year old.  To be able to manage financially.  To be able to recognize my role - most days - as important and fulfilling.  To spend leisurely mornings of cartoons and snuggles. To read tens of picture books every day.  To bask in the glow of her new learning.  To attend play dates and library story times.  As a SAHM, I have much to be thankful for. 



Reminders of What Matters Most - Through personal relationships and ones on the blog, I've experienced the stories of families who are struggling with medical hardships, especially those involving young kiddos.  Those stories are woven into my understanding of What Matters Most.  My best friend from high school has a little guy with a heart condition - thankfully a very treatable heart condition - who will undergo three open-heart surgeries in the first three years of his life.  And there's Jaden's story; a young family dealing with the ramifications of cancer plaguing the mother and tiny two-year old son. I have experienced  firsthand - the heart-breaking scene inside a Children's Hospital, and I'll never be the same.  Having a healthy baby/child is something that simply cannot be taken for granted.  This year, more than any other, I am thankful for the reminders of What Matters Most, and I am hopeful that in the coming year a foundation with that same name will begin to help those families who need it most - I am working with three of my friends to make that happen.



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  • Put together a post that remotely resembles an answer to the prompt.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky! (If you can't see it at the bottom of this post, hop over to Supah's place and link up there.)
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!!(This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment!
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good-bye to the Drugs

Na-Na-Na-Na
Na-Na-Na-Na
Hey, Hey, Hey
Good-bye!

After starting pre-term labor symptoms at 22 weeks ...
and starting on anti-contraction medications at that time ...
I am officially drug-free again!

Each day this week I've been lessening my dose of the calcium-blocker.  The side effects have been ... not as bad as I thought ... mainly just a few vague headaches and some leg cramps.

And, of course, that also means that I am definitely NOT contraction-free.  CPV has been amazing ... reminding me to rest, playing with Natalie in the evenings, humoring my crazy nesting-tendencies, ...

Well, if I'm being honest, I don't think I've been contraction-free in many, many weeks.  Even on the meds, I have still been having plenty of contraction-filled evenings.  But, at this point, 35 weeks gestation, if my uterus is ready to get serious - and stop messing around - then bring it on!

I just really, really hope that I am able to tell when I am in labor.  I've been ignoring my contractions for so long, I am a little fearful of skipping that first stage of labor.  That's what happened the first time, with NHV; after 8 weeks of bed rest, I was probably in labor all day, but didn't realize it ... until my water broke ... at home ... and things moved very quickly after that.

Deep cleansing breath.
In through the nose, out through the mouth.

I am really trying to relax about the whole getting-to-the-hospital-with-BGV-still -in-my-uterus thing.  Just in case, I googled "giving birth in a car" and "giving birth at home" ... ummm, yeah, I do NOT recommend this form of relaxation therapy.  The results include YouTube videos!

Now that I am practically hyper-ventilating ... one step at a time, MommyBrain.

I am drug-free ... and happy.
BGV 2.0 is moving around like crazy.
Growth ultrasound scheduled for Monday.

My mantra: Focus on enjoying the rest of this pregnancy and the time I have left with "just" my sweet Natalie.


All About MEme Prompt for 11/23






with MommyBrain and SupahMommy

 

It's that time of year.

Time for the official kick-off of the holiday season.  Hollah!

Time to eat some turkey and pumpkin pie.

Time to travel near and far to be with family.

Time to enjoy the pandemonium and traditions.

Time to think about ... and answer this question ...


an idea inspired by a kid's project

Ugh! The obvious misspelling is making me cringe, 
but it's meant to be punny, people; go with it ;)

We figure you've probably got enough going on this week.
You did realize that Thanksgiving is in just 5 days, right?


And so ... it's really that simple ... take a few minutes to think about the blessings in your life ... the things that you are thankful for, especially this year.

And then tell us your TOP FOUR. 

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You know how this works, right?!

Think on it and come back Monday to Link up!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crafty Curtain Project - Tutorial

Once again, I am using the term "tutorial" in the loosest sense of the word.  I have always wanted to learn how to sew, but since I neither know how nor own a machine ... I usually end up "fake" sewing ... with some mixed results.  These results just happen to be pretty fakin' fabulous!

Let me be clear that I have very limited knowledge, minimal skill, and very few tools.  I am sure there is a better, easier way to do what I did ...

Is that enough of a disclaimer?!  Let's get to the photos ...



1. The ingredients ...  

  • I bought cheap tab-top curtains from Target for less than $15.  I chose them for color and thickness ... because I want my girls to sleep past sunrise ... but hey, that's just me.  
  • I also choose four colors of 7/8" ribbon that coordinated with the bedding ... and feel girlie without being too juvenile.  I love this ribbon because both edges are trimmed with white stitches ... adding to the illusion that I actually learned how to sew ;)
  • Because I really do NOT sew, I also had to buy a package of straight pins.
  • I had the scissors, iron, ironing board (neither of which have been used in a very long time) and CPV's big, manly tape measure on hand.
  • I've also discovered that a bottle of "no-fray" would be a nice addition to this list.
  • Lastly, the secret behind this project, Heat-n-Bond Lite - Sewable Iron-on Adhesive.  According to the lady at Michael's the "sewable" variety includes a strip of paper on the adhesive.  This was important because I wanted to be able to iron on the adhesive and then add the ribbon on top.  I did NOT want to try to line it all up ... because I am just not that talented.
2. Getting all my ducks ribbon in a row ...
  • No craft room for me, people.  No special sewing table.  Just a round dining room table and the hardwood floors.  I opted for the floor because I could semi-use the lines of the boards to help get the ribbon straight ... how lame is that?!
  • Once I "eye-balled" it, I placed a few preliminary pins and then did some measuring.  My tolerances where fairly high because I knew the curtains would never be laying flat on a floor ... they be hanging ... besides, I just don't need the stress.  So I got close and felt good about that :)
  • I then spread out the second curtain alongside the first and repeated the process ... hoping to get the two to match up ... at least a little.
3. It's Getting Hot in Here ... 
Seriously, after all those floor exercises, I was starting to sweat ... add to that the heat of the iron ... and the thought of actually attaching those ribbons to the curtains ... phew!  Hot, I tell ya!
  • To help get these buggers - all 42 inches - straight, I decided to do HALF of each length of ribbon at a time.  And I must say, I think this was a good decision.  It really helped to be able to adjust a little along the way. 
  • For each ribbon, I released a pin, folded the ribbon back, cut a strip of the adhesive to the "right" size.
  • Once I had all four strips laid out, I ran the iron over them for a few seconds.  The adhesive stuck to the curtains, and the paper was peeled off ... exposing the other sticky side.
  • The ribbon was unfolded, positioned, and then ironed into place. Hope that makes sense ... 

4.  Tuck it in the back ... 
  • To secure the ribbon ends to the back of the curtain, I originally busted out the hot glue gun.  Things were going so well, I got just a tiny bit cocky ... big mistake.  
  • I soon realized that the adhesive tape would work much better.  I just did the same process - in miniature and wrapped the ribbon ends around the back.  Easy ... and much less messy than that stupid hot glue gun!

5. The finished product ... 





Sunday, November 15, 2009

All About MEme: Mission Impossible



with MommyBrain and SupahMommy

Dun... dun ... dun.. dun.. .dun...dun.. (spy song)

Your mission should you choose to accept it ... 

Channel your inner Action Hero!
You inner SPY!  Top Secret Stuff!  We want it!
Secret Agent Man! We're throwing caution to the WIND!
CUZ we have the spy skills and spy tools to do it!




The only MISSIONS I’ve been on lately involve …
  • Re-decorating and Craft-attempting
  • Organizing, Nesting, and Cleaning
  • Napping during the day (but not sleeping at night)
Let's be honest, none of those things are going to make much of an action-packed blockbuster movie.

Things that seem IMPOSSIBLE
Getting the H1N1 Vaccine without standing in line with hundreds of other people in the pouring rain … while continuing to maintain some semblance of health and well-being.

Having my stolen GPS returned despite the fact that Secret Agent CPV did track down our exact model on Craigslist!  After searching other listings, he also found out that the same guy has another GPS unit and an in-dash navigation system for sale - the exact objects taken from two of our neighbors!  Without clearance from his supervising agent (that would be me), he even talked to the guy on the phone!  My little Ethan Hawk tried to set a big, fat trap and asked for the serial number on the back of the GPS - made up some random excuse about certain serial numbers having problems with the batteries.  We have our number because this secret agent keeps a serious paper trail!  But our dumbass nemesis has a smarter sidekick brother who apparently tipped him off to the trap.  And now we are back to relying on the cops!

Maintaining my sanity and shreds of patience while going off my contraction-controlling medication.  After 12 weeks of hindering my contractions - with only some success - it is time to stop taking the meds and let my uterus do it's terribly grumpy thing.  Should be a delight!

Capturing a good maternity photo ... not because my friend and photographer, Deann, isn’t super talented.  I have complete faith in her, and she is so sweet to offer.  But because I am feeling Ugly … notice the capital U?!  Aside from the extra lbs, the gray in my hair is unsightly; my skin has never been more pale; and my smile is not quite reaching my eyes these days.  But, hey, it's all digital, and there's always Photoshop :)

Giving a little something-something to the hubs.  Yeah, honestly, the chances of that happening before the new year, are slim to none ... completely improbable.  I just can't find the energy or the drive to make it happen; ya know?  As terrible as it is to use our unborn child as an excuse ... ummmm, hello, growing a human here - keep that thing away from me, kay?!


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A few more spy-related tidbits ...


I thought a lot about what my spy name would be, and I even consulted this handy-dandy Spy Name Generator ... you can, too :)

Here are my favorites:
  • Chelsey McPerky
  • Kristy Whisper
  • Jordan Goodbody
  • Georgina McCheeky

Knowing what a huge James Bond fan I am married to - he owns every single JB movie, I asked CPV for some of his favorite female spy names.  His list clearly relates to the last item on my Impossible list ...
  • Pussy Galore
  • Ivana Humpalot (Austin Powers)
  • Dr. Holly Goodhead
  • Xenia Onatopp

Yeah, I'm going to leave you with that ... where can I possibly go from there?!

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it ... and oh, we so very much hope that you will ...

  • Put together a post that remotely resembles an answer to the prompt.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky! (If you can't see it at the bottom of this post, hop over to Supah's place and link up there.)
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!!(This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment!
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Misadventures of the Volvo Kind

Less than a week ago, I had the GPS, attachment-thingy, and charger stolen from my car ... while it was parked in my driveway!  All three things were in different locations: GPS in the center console, suction cup on the windshield, and charger in the glove box ... but the blankety, blank, blank punks got all three pieces!  I am assuming this increases the street value.  I can't complain too much (at least according to my husband) because my car - in the driveway behind my house - was left unlocked.  Apparently we didn't see the motion detector lights go off.  Regardless, I am slightly pissed and more than a little creeped out and missing the voice of Veronica; she was always there to tell me when to turn and where to go.  Devastating!  Somewhat comforting (but also awful) to know I wasn't the only one - several neighbors had a similar experience.  Freakin' punks!  So rude!

And, well, the Volvo failed me again today.  In the form of a big FLAT tire.

I dragged my friend Tammy and her son Owen to the local Toys R Us for some bargain shopping of the Hasboro game-variety.  We were leaving the store.  On our way to Jimmy John's ... mama-to-be and kiddos were starving.  But we didn't get very far before I realized the back driver-side tire was completely flat!

Panic set in.  I was not cool under pressure.  And I certainly wasn't cool under the pangs of hunger ... low blood sugar = impatient MommyBrain.  Frantic calls to my husband - who didn't answer - and Tammy's husband left us with the conclusion that we were on our own with a flat tire and two toddlers.

Hoping I was still covered under warranty, I put in a call to Volvo Roadside Assistance.  Tammy ran across the parking lot and flagged down a trucker; that's my girl ;)  All the while I am trying to figure out how I am going to get to Jimmy John's - sooner rather than later - for a much-needed lunch break!

Another mommy friend, Jamie, and her son Kyler were also shopping at Toys R Us, and I felt reassured to know we weren't going to be totally stranded.  After learning that a "tiring-changing guy" was on the way, we went in search of Jamie ... and almost called for her over the intercom ... that's just how hungry I was!  In my head I was thinking, let's find Jamie and send her to pick up some sandwiches! 

Which wasn't necessary since Lance, the friendly and helpful tire guy, was there in less than 30 minutes.  I snacked on a fruit roll-up from Tammy's endless supply of snacks and managed to maintain my composure while the tire was being changed. 

When my husband finally called me back, he wanted to know why I wasn't changing the tire myself.  After all my dad did teach me how to change a tire before he'd allow me to drive as a sixteen year old - even made me practice three times in the driveway.  

Hello?  33.5 weeks pregnant (and starving)! 
Hello?  Two year old to entertain and keep safe. 
Hello?  Only vague idea of where the spare is located. 
Hello?  Free roadside assistance.  'Nuf said!

Our four-hour ordeal ended with a less-than-50 mph drive home and a stop at the service station near my house to drop off the tire.

My fear is that these things tend to happen in threes.  What's next?!

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Oh, keep this on the DL, but CPV is working a CraigsList sting operation to get our GPS back ... and I think he's actually found a listing that could very well be the one taken from my car.  How crazy is that!?

All About MEme Prompt: Mission Impossible


THIS WEEKS PROMPT FOR MONDAY!






with MommyBrain and SupahMommy


Dun... dun ... dun.. dun.. .dun...dun.. (spy song)

Your mission should you choose to accept it ... 

Channel your inner Action Hero!
You inner SPY!  Top Secret Stuff!  We want it!
Secret Agent Man! We're throwing caution to the WIND!
CUZ we have the spy skills and spy tools to do it!




Tell us about a time that you pulled off a MISSION that seemed IMPOSSIBLE.

Tell us about a time that you tapped into your inner SPY self.

Tell us who you'd like to SPY on  for a day and why!

What would your spy name be? (Makes me wonder ... is that like a stripper name?)

Tell us which Spy Hero you love and why you'd make a good sidekick.
  • James Bond 
  • Jason Bourne  
  • Matthew McHey Hey   fine  * pout face 
  • The Mission IMpossible Guy:  Ethan Hunt! 
  • Get Smart Dude 
  • Austin Powers 

You may re-work it however you'd like. :)

Think on it and come back Monday to Link up!

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WW: Owl-dorable Big Girl Room


It's finally finished, and I am loving the end result!  More importantly, NHV is loving her new big girl room!

This was a big transition for a little girl.  We moved her out of her crib and into a twin-size bed.  We also moved her into an entirely new room; the nursery is being prepped for BGV 2.0, our second daughter.  (Read about that transition here, here, and here.)



The Big Girl Room Reveal ...

Bedding: Circo Love & Nature Collection from Target
My NHV loves owls, and I love color.  This bedding is the perfect combination of both.  It's cute and appropriate for a two-year old, but I think it will easily grow with her.


Throw Pillow:  Custom-made by the very talented LadyBeez Designs









Wall Color: Summer Harvest by Behr

The bedding is plenty busy, so I went with a neutral yellow.  Yellow also happens to be one of my favorite colors :)


Bed and Dresser: Handcrafted by CPV

Inspired by Pottery Barn and Land of Nod, both pieces were designed and handcrafted by my super talented husband.  They are incredibly sturdy with no shortage of tiny details.  The bed includes a handmade guardrail; you'll see it in the last photo :)







Underbed Storage: Floor Bins by West Elm

This was such a lucky find, especially since they are apparently no longer available.  I needed flat bins - no more than 9 inches high - with large dimensions.  I found 2 sets of 2 - on clearance - for about $50 total.   Found what I was looking for and discovered a great design store! For now, they are filled with books and dolls and assorted toys.  I have plan to make photo tags of the contents to keep things organized :) 






Curtains: Chocolate Brown tab-top with accent ribbon added by me :)
NHV likes a dark room, and she's a good sleeper ... so I had to go with a curtain that would be dark - on the occasional sunny morning here in the NW.  I pulled the brown from the bedding and added the colorful ribbon stripes to make them more girlie.  I am working on a "tutorial" for this NO-sew project.  These curtains are my favorite contribution to the room.




 


Decor: Circo Love & Nature Wall Mural Appliques
I originally thought these were kind of cheesy, but I really like them now.  It was so easy (and cheap) to apply, and the owls are so adorable!  Besides, as CPV pointed out, it is a two-year old's room :)









Canvases: Owl-Inspired Storybook Art
I am working on a "tutorial" for this one.  I am so happy with the way these turned out :)  My friend Tammy also surprised NHV with an owl-dorable square canvas - that she painted! (It's propped on the dresser right now, but it will hung on the door to Natalie's new big girl room!






Name: Wooden Letters and scrapbook paper from Michael's

Here's my "tutorial" - ridiculously easy with a big impact :)  (The letters look crooked in this photo, but trust me they are very straight - thanks to my meticulous husband!)



 

This has been a work-in-progress for about 8 weeks ... with many, many other projects and life things getting in the way ... my husband and I are left wondering how Trading Spaces pulls together a room in one weekend?!



You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
posts here and here.
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