Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas in So Cal - A Surprise Gift

We decided a few months ago to celebrate Christmas with my family in So Cal a few weeks early for a few reasons. First, the plane tickets were cheaper and we were NOT going to drive 8 hours with a 3-month-old in the car. I imagine 8 hours would've quickly turned into 10+ hours. Secondly, my family was doing Tamale Day.

Every year since I can remember, we all get together and make a ton of tamales. I don't know if it's like a Mexican thing or what, but we used to do it at my grandma's and then when she got too tired of doing it, my aunt took over. We actually haven't been to a Tamale Day since Brian and I have been together for one reason or another so it was nice to get together with everyone and introduce both Brian and Allie to a family tradition.

The part that usually takes the longest is spreading the masa. Usually all the cousins sit around my aunt's table and chat and spread while the aunt's fill and wrap the tamales. It's quite the assembly line. I actually did take pictures but they got erased and I'll explain why...

We arrived at my aunt and uncle's house around 9 and I distinctly remember dropping my phone on the street when I got out of the car and then throwing it in the diaper bag before walking into the house. I had to feed Allie right away so as I was feeding her, I looked for my phone and couldn't find it. I figured I wasn't digging deep enough so I forgot about it for awhile.

A little while later, I wanted to Instagram about Tamale Day so I started looking for my phone. I emptied out the diaper bag, checked all the sofa cushions, retraced my steps and could not find it anywhere. I called it from Brian's phone and it went straight to voicemail, which was very weird because I KNOW I had turned it on once we landed and it had 50% battery life left. So I thought someone had stolen it, natch. I really thought I had dropped it on the street and forgotten to throw it in the bag and then someone had walked by and taken it.

I started to panic and got my cousins and aunt involved. We looked all over the house and even went back out to the car to check the seats and the trunk, just in case. Then I started to think about all the pictures and videos of Allie that I had on my phone and started to get really sad. Brian just told me that it had to be somewhere, I didn't need my phone since I was with family, and we would look for it again before we left.

Eventually my sister and her husband showed up and I told her I lost my phone. She patted me encouragingly on the shoulder and said it would be ok. I snarled at her.

Then my mom showed up and was there for about 10 minutes when she came up to me in the living room and said "What would you give me if I told you I found your phone?" I immediately freaked out asking where she'd found it and a huge wave of relief swept over me. But what she produced from behind her back was a small wrapped box. I was confused. Why would she wrap my phone before giving it back to me?

I started to open it and saw a new iPhone. My phone is a 3G (literally like one of the first iPhone's ever made) so I started crying. Don't ask me why. Hormones I suppose. My sister and her husband had gotten it for me as a birthday/Christmas present.

She informed me that it was a 4S and I think my response through sobbing and tears was "So I can talk to Siri now?" She laughed and hugged me. I cried some more. I showed Brian who then informed me that he had hidden my phone earlier because he knew it was going to be disconnected so the new one could be set up. That one did not go over well with my aunt who had been helping me look but I think by the end of the day she forgave him.

So I took some pictures with my new phone but unfortunately, when I got home and hooked it up to my computer, it erased all of the pictures I had taken. It was just a few of tamale day which would've been saved had I Instagramed about it right away but I didn't.

It's okay, I told Siri about it and she was very encouraging, asking me if I wanted to do a search on my problem.

More stories to come...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas in So Cal Intro

We decided to fly down to So Cal to celebrate Christmas with my family since tickets were about $100 cheaper per person to go now instead of at Christmas. Here's a list of things I've learned flying with an infant:
  • An hour of time to get ready to leave the house is barely sufficient even if you've already packed everything but your toothbrush.
  • Waking a baby multiple times at early hours in the morning will screw the sleep schedule up. She had woken up at 3 a.m. and refused to go back to sleep like she normally does. We were leaving at 5:30 so we all were running on 4 hours of sleep. She dozed off on the way to the airport but we had to wake her up to take her out of the car seat at the security checkpoint and then she woke up again when we landed. This caused her to be fussy the entire morning, sleep most of the afternoon/evening and then woke up every 3 hours at night. It was a very weird, very unfortunate adjustment. 
  • Don't forget important things like birth certificate and a change of everything for baby. I'm very glad I had both. 
  • Carry an extra pair of underwear for myself. Allie did wonderful on her first flight. I fed her right before takeoff and she fell asleep. Just when I was thinking about buckling her into her car seat again, she vomited all over me. And I don't mean a little spit up. It was projectile and soaked her outfit and mine. When I relayed this story to my mom, she reminded me that I did the same thing on my first flight 20-some years ago. Oh and of course on the flight back when Brian was holding her the whole time, she slept without vomiting everywhere.
  • Always fly Southwest. I LOVE flying Southwest. They make my life so easy. They allow 2 checked bags per person FOR FREE and any items for an infant don't count. That means we were able to check 4 bags total, plus her car seat and a stroller if we had wanted to. Also, we hadn't purchased a ticket for her but because the flights weren't full we were able to bring her car seat on board with us and strap it into a seat instead of checking it at the gate. I will say it again... I LOVE flying Southwest!!!
  • There is no easy way to maneuver through an airport with a baby. If you have them in a carrier, you'll have to remove it all going through security. If you leave them in a carseat, you'll be hauling it around, plus have to remove it all going through security. I'm sure you could finagle something maybe with an umbrella stroller but again... it's not easy. Brian and I were trying to imagine what it would be like if we had multiple kids. Trying to wrangle all the ones that can walk while holding the ones that can't.... sheesh. Can't wait!
Overall the experience went much better than I could've expected but I'm still glad that I was pretty much prepared for any curve balls that might've been thrown my way. I'll be back tomorrow with some more updates...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Motherhood

You know how they have those lists like "You might be from California if...?" Well, I'm going to make one.

It's called "You might be a mom if..."

... you sway back and forth all the time regardless of what's in your arms.
... you put on a hoodie only to remember that it's been puked on but then you decide you don't care.
... you talk to your baby as if they'll respond. "Don't go anywhere Allie!"
... popcorn for breakfast becomes acceptable.
... you can't remember if you brushed your teeth today.
... you have suddenly developed serious upper arm strength from lugging a car seat back and forth.
... a "quick trip to the grocery store" turns into a 3 hour tour.
... you start to hear your baby cry even when they're not crying. Especially at night.
... putting on earrings is dressing up.
... not having to cook dinner qualifies as a date night. Even if it's just a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's.
... you inevitably tell your baby "hi," "you're ok," or "I know" over and over. Like Allie's crying because she's hungry and I keep telling her "I know you're hungry" like it's going to help.
... you have some bodily fluid from your baby on you at all times.
... a burp cloth becomes part of your daily outfit.
... you now wear mom jeans because they're the only ones that you don't have to keep pulling up every time you bend over to pick up your baby.

Well, I've decided to embrace motherhood. Mom jeans and all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Fall List

Time for a fall weather list...
  • make soups. My favorites lately are chili, clam chowder and chicken tortilla soup. Note: I've noticed that adding a roux base to the chicken tortilla soup improves the texture from soupy to chunky. Look at me! Using fancy words like roux and chunky.
  • crochet. I'm working on a scarf for my baby sis. Pictures to come. HAHAHAHA... just kidding, there will be no pictures. 
  • craft. I bought a ton of Christmas crafting stuff at Joann's last year in January when all the Christmas stuff was on sale and then boxed it away and never used it.
  • build fires. The great thing is we have a fireplace this year so I don't have to build one in the middle of the floor of our apartment!
  • watch Christmas movies. Except the only Christmas movie we have is The Nightmare Before Christmas and that's kind of a Halloween movie. So.... yeah. Lord of the Rings it is.
  • snuggle under a blanket and read a good book. The grown up in me is going to attempt to continue Mere Christianity but the kid in me wants to read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. What? That's a good book!!!
  •  wear thick fuzzy socks and sweatpants all the time. Obviously this is not acceptable in public places. Let the record show that I fully support the acceptability of sweatpants in public at all times. Thank you, your honor.
  • drink hot chocolate and eat cookie dough. I'm pretty certain the cookie dough thing is year round but whatevs. 
So how about you? Anything weird that this season brings out in you? No? Just me then? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shopaholic

Oh my what a whirlwind week that was! Try saying that ten times fast. We literally shopped until my mom dropped. I think I tired her out after day 2 so I decided to go easy on her the next few days. We waited until Saturday to do pedicures so my sister could join us. I also did a full Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday (with a 3-month-old). Can someone give me an award, please? Oh and then I woke up with a head cold on Sunday. Phew.

Oh and I double dog dare you to ask me if I took pictures of any of it. Go ahead. I dare you.

NO I DIDN'T!!! Sorry kids, you're just going to have to read all my words and imagine things for yourself.

Just kidding. I did take a few.

So let's rewind. My parents and their 2 dogs came into town. I have to say the dogs seemed less than thrilled to be sharing my parent's attention with Allie. I think they survived especially after all the treats my mom gave them because she felt bad.

We went to the Folsom Outlets on Monday which was probably a huge mistake but it was lots of fun!
My mom went a little spend-happy on her grandchildren. Allie is set for winter clothes and pj's and my sister's baby will be set for the first few month's as well. Carter's was having a 50% off sale so really, how could we resist? Allie also came away with a pair of hot pink Vans which I DID get a picture of! Somebody pat me on the back.

I wrapped the clothes we bought for my sister's baby and since she reads this blog I wouldn't share pics even if I had them because it's a surprise. Just like her baby since they're not finding out the gender until it's born. I know, right? What is this, 1892?? Just kidding, I'm excited for them and fully support their decision to keep it a secret. That means they won't end up with tons of pink fluffy stuff. Just lots of yellow and green! On a completely unrelated note, I had this idea to start a line of gender neutral baby clothing. How popular would that be!!! Am I right?!?!

Day 2... We went to the mall. At Old Navy we found my mom's other weakness: jewelry. We bought a few earrings for her, a pair for my sister and some earrings and a necklace for me. Except I stole the pair we got for my sister. I would apologize but I don't feel sorry, not one bit! Anyway, she has enough earrings. I have like 2 pairs and she's so pretty and generous she would've given them to me anyway. :)
Allie on the way to the mall. My bubbles.
Day 3... We went to Target. DANGER WILL ROGERS. I never go to Target and not come away with a million things I didn't need. There's a triple negative for you. "Yes, you're right Red Bullseye, I did need those Thank You Cards for $1.85." We bought Allie like 8 books from the $1 bins and another outfit for my sister's baby from the clearance rack. I seriously LOVE Target.
Waiting for my mom to try on stuff at Target.
Those were the shopping days... I must say that the part I enjoyed the most was hanging out with my mom. Living so far apart has been hard but thanks to technology, we can Skype every weekend. But nothing beats face time. And I'm not talking about what you can do on your iPhone. I mean real life, in person, hanging out. You know, that thing you did with friends before the internet was invented.

More updates to come...

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Friday List

Today my baby girl is 3 months old. Just like that. Next thing I know, she'll be wearing make-up and driving.

Besides having a daughter that's growing so quickly before my very eyes, several things have made this a good week.
  1. I received some birthday gifts in the mail which included the mint skinny jeans I wanted, a Starbucks treat from my sister and college roommate, and an Old Navy gift card. Which means I got motivation, coffee, and shopping for my birthday! All of my favorite things! Except the motivation. But I needed that because the mint skinny jeans are a size 8 which is my pre-pregnancy size which is *ahem...* not my current size.
  2. Because gift cards literally burn holes in my pockets, I went out the very next day and shopped at Old Navy for 2 hours. Allie was such a trooper. She only fussed for a few minutes in the dressing room which led to me feeding her while talking to my sister on the phone. Sure the dressing room attendants probably thought I was like trying to steal clothes since I was "trying things on" for 45 minutes but whatevs.
  3. My husband left me a note one day. He makes me smile. Like in the way where you're smiling so big your cheeks hurt and people start to think you look like a creeper. 
  4. I baked blueberry muffins. They were delicious and my husband has had them every day for breakfast which he has thoroughly enjoyed. And it makes me happy to make him (and his stomach) happy.
  5. My parents are coming to visit tomorrow and staying a whole week! Shopping, pedicures, eating a lot... it'll be great fun!
  6. It's Friday today. Which means we get to eat pizza tonight, sleep in tomorrow, have 2 days of family time, general relaxing/weekend stuff. 
 Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. There is, however, one thing that threatened to RUIN my entire year. Hostess is going out of business. I must go buy all the Ding Dongs in the store to prepare for the end of the world this.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Another year.

Today is my birthday.

I'd like to thank:
  • the size 8 pants in my closet that refuse to fit
  • the metabolism that's been M.I.A. the past few years
  • the kids in our Jr. High group who were born in the 2000's
  • the Disney Channel who made the stars of Boy Meets World star in a new show... as parents
  • my younger husband
  • my 10 year High School Reunion this year
  • the women in my church who are having their first babies (like me) but before they've reached drinking age
  • my 12-week-old daughter
  • my mom jeans
...for making me feel old. I'm going to kick off my birthday celebration by knitting, going to bed early, and eating an entire cheesecake by myself. 28 is going to be an exciting year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adorable Babies (well, just the one)

Update: While I do still get annoyed at seeing all of those "This diet/weight loss plan worked for me!" pins on Pinterest, it was very mean of me to say no one cares about someone losing a lot of weight. I know those women worked very hard to do that and if it were me, you bet your Lean Cuisine that I'd be plastering pictures of myself all over the place. I'm probably just jealous because I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Unless you count "fitting" as greasing up my thighs and rolling around on the bed to get them past my hips and zipped up.

Now, I know my daughter is adorable. Please. No one needs to tell me that. But it's amazing that so many people, especially strangers, want to fawn over our little one.

For example, I was shopping at the mall for my little sister's birthday gift and I stopped in Nordstrom's because I had to pee and feed Allie and it's the fanciest place to do both in style and comfort. At any rate, an old woman stopped in front of the stroller and was ALL ABOUT ALLIE. She thought she was the cutest baby, so precious, and practically fainted when Allie smiled and laughed at her. It was pretty sweet to watch.

Sunday night, Brian and I stopped at Winco to get a few things and this guy asked if he could look at our baby. We obliged considering he seemed to be getting mushy about it and not asking in an I-plan-on-stealing-her kind of way. He explained that he had 3 kids at home and the youngest was 2 so he kind of missed the baby stage. And then on the way out, we ran into him again and he asked for one more look. That second one kind of weirded me out a bit but then I remembered how adorable Allie is and it made perfect sense.

And then of course there's all the people at church. Everyone thinks she's so cute, so adorable, so precious, so happy, so (fill in the blank). I mean, not to brag, but she really is. So I guess I can't slight them for pointing out the truth.

Don't even get me started on family. I think my dad has to physically restrain my mom from driving up here every time we send a new pic/video of Allie.

I mean, just look at this face?!?!?! Unfortunately, this is going to make disciplining her and saying "no" that much harder as she gets older. We never stood a chance.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pinterest 101

First of all, go vote. Seriously.

Secondly, here's my post.

Ever since I  became obsessed with Pinterest, I've learned several things.
  1. Pictures lie. There's this program. It's called Photoshop. *MIND BLOWN*
  2. People don't include warnings in their tutorials. Filling the bottom of your oven with ammonia will not only fail to get those super stubborn stains off, it will make your entire apartment smell like a hair salon in a very bad way. Here's a little tip for you: that's why they created this little cleaner called Easy Off. Just don't ever get it on your skin. See? Warnings included.
  3. No matter how easy that sewing tutorial looks, if you are bad at sewing, it will be an EPIC fail. 
  4. I can browse the recent pins for hours just to find one that will make me laugh. "I do 5 sit ups every morning. It may not sound like much but there's only so many times you can hit the snooze button."
  5. Whenever I tell my husband "I saw this thing...," he'll cut in with "...on Pinterest?" He thinks I get all my good ideas from the internet. Which is... pretty much true. 
  6. Guess what? Exercise and eating better helps you lose weight. There are no secrets.
  7. Just because someone else says a recipe "is SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD" does not mean you and your family will think it is SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. 
  8. Labeling every single thing in your house does not make you organized. It makes you crazy. I get labeling flour and baking powder because those can look the same and seriously screw up a recipe if switched but I don't need to label my clear container with pasta in it. I am perfectly capable of seeing what's inside, thanks. Put the label maker down and back away slowly with your hands in the air.
  9. Whenever my husband looks at me questioningly because I'm doing strange things like putting a paste made of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap on my white clothes, I just look at him and say "Trust me. I saw this on Pinterest." I'm actually pretty certain I've seen a pin that says that very thing...
  10. Some pictures of houses are just so unreal. Sure, it totally makes sense that you don't have any toothbrushes or toothpaste on your bathroom sink.
Basically what I'm saying is everything on Pinterest has to be taken with a grain of salt, as it were. Now I'm off to browse Pinterest for some fall decorating ideas for lazy people.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Scares

There are several factors going against our Halloween celebrations:
  1. We're too cheap to spend money on costumes. Even on an adorable one for Allie. I'm sure she would look so cute as a ladybug but when a costume costs half of what you spend on groceries for a week, you get a little perspective.
  2. We're too greedy to buy candy and then give it away. I know you're cute little Cinderella but I work hard and my reward is this Kit Kat bar so off you go. Life is tough. The quicker you learn that, the better.
  3. We're too lazy to answer the door multiple times. Well, actually this is just me. 
  4. Brian had Systematic Theology class last night which means I was home alone with Allie.
  5. We have a 2 month old baby. I don't know if that really hurts or helps it but just thought I'd make this an even 5 things list.
Now I tend to think that sometimes my husband is paranoid. He thinks he's protective. At any rate, he warned me to keep the lights off and don't open the door to anyone and make sure no one tricks our house because we appear to not be home.

So last night I bid adieu to my husband and settled myself on the sofa to crochet while watching Mirror, Mirror. We had a few people knock but since I was hiding with the lights off, they gave up pretty quickly.

The last trick-or-treater showed up around 8:10 and after a few half-hearted knocks, they were on their way. About 20 minutes later, I heard water dripping outside. It sounded like someone had turned on the water hose right outside our front door.

I held my breath (and pretty sure my heart stopped beating) as I listened for footsteps or anything to give away that I was in immediate danger. I thought this was like one of those things you read on a chain email where the killer turns on the water so you go outside to check on it and that's when they attack you.

I didn't hear anything so I decided to text Brian about it... (and yes, his nickname for me is poopy. Whatevs. It works for us.)
So there you go. I've officially turned into the most paranoid person on the planet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fashion Faux Pas

Thanksgiving is coming up and my immediate family will be making the trek up to Nor Cal to hang out for some turkey and my famous mashed potatoes. Since everyone will be together, my mom would like to get a family picture so they can use it for their Christmas cards.

We were talking about it the other day and she asked me what I was going to put Allie in.

"This." I replied, pointing to the denim dress she was wearing.

"NOOOOOO!!!!" came the quick response from my mother. "She has to wear something cute!"

"Okay fine," I said. "But no huge frills or lace tutus and NO GIANT WHITE BIBS."

Someone tell me we weren't the only ones to experience the Giant White Bib Movement of the late 80's / early 90's. Now to be fair, fashion is fickle and some trends are guaranteed to make you laugh when you think about them (I'm talking to you, overalls with one side unclipped). But I think trends these days just seem less funky, am I right?

Exhibit A: Easter Family Picture 1987. My Mom is 3 months pregnant with my little sister and she made these dresses by hand. Also, her glasses are huge but so were everyone's in those days. Come to think of it, so are everyone's nowadays. Look how happy we are to be sporting our giant collars. At least my dad looks basically the same. Actually, I'm pretty sure he still has that yellow tie...


Monday, October 29, 2012

Paranoid Parents

Saturday we decided to venture to Ikea to finally get some window treatments for our house so it feels like we're officially moved in. As we're leaving, Brian was talking to his dad on the phone. We're about to pull out of our driveway and we see this Asian man and woman pull up and park across the street from our house. Brian was like "Hey... wait a minute... I've seen these people before!"

Turns out these same people had showed up a week after Allie was born when Brian was working on the house. The guy asked Brian if the house was still for sale. Brian said it wasn't but as the guy walked away, he peeked in the windows of our house. Of course Allie was only a week old so Brian was in protective-dad-of-a-newborn mode and was like "What the heck, yo? Stop peeping in our house!" Okay he didn't, but he did protectively stand on the front lawn until the guy got back in his car.

So Brian was talking to his dad and we're sitting in the driveway because he's now paranoid about leaving the house when this guy has showed up again. As he's describing the guy to his dad on the phone and I'm taking down his license plate number, his dad says that one Saturday he was over at our house mowing the lawn and he saw the same guy! So now I've written down the guys license plate number and taken a picture of him in his car. We decide to pull out and go around the block and sneak up behind them to see if they try to peep on our house again.

 So we drive around the block and pull up 2 houses behind where they're parked and wait for a few minutes.

Then the woman gets out of the back of the car.

Except it's a teenage girl carrying music books.

She then proceeds to walk to our neighbor's house.

And then it hits me... Our neighbor who plays piano (really beautifully!!!) at all hours of the day/night probably teaches piano lessons. And this girl is probably taking piano lessons. Which explains why her dad would sit across the street from our house for an hour every Saturday.

Then we looked at each other and laughed, realizing that now we seem like the creepers.

Oops.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogs, Comments and Stalker Lurking

Even though I haven't posted in a few weeks, I still read blogs almost every day. When you are stuck sitting for 45 minutes feeding a baby, there's not much else to do. If a blogger skips a day posting (who usually posts regularly) I'm like "What the heck, yo? This is like your job. Blog so I can have something to read." It's totally selfish and obviously a double standard because umm... yeah, hi. I blog like once a month. But the point is, I really, really like having blogs to read so I'm going to try posting more, even if it's just my random thoughts. You're welcome I'm sorry.

With that said, I started reading a new blog called Nice Girl Notes. Roo is hilarious, guys. I laugh out loud (like actual LOL) at almost all of her posts plus she draws stick figures and is a gangster Philipino. Hilarious. She makes me wish I was cool enough to use rap phrases in my every day language and have a cool name like Roo.

Anyway, I was reading her post from today about things not to say and I felt compelled to comment. Please see my comment about using "literally" too liberally. Anyway, she replied. Guys, she replied! AND she thought I was funny. (I had a mental picture of her rolling on the floor in stitches whilst her children watched in shock wondering who could've done this to their mother.) I also got super giddy because it's like someone famous reached down from their pedestal and gave me a high five.

I believe my response was to yell at Allie "I made Roo laugh!!!" She responded with a blank stare and then spit up on me. Then Brian asked me "If you could meet the president or hang out with one of your bloggers, who..." and before he could even finish I was like "BLOGGERS FOR LIFE!!!!" Nothing against Obama. In my mind, these bloggers are like hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow. You might be BFF's and really get along except that they're all super popular and cool and you're like the nerdy sidekick friend that they have to hang out with to add to their cool status.

I totally geek out when stuff like this happens. I remember literally jumping up and down when I saw my blog had been found via Young House Love. Those guys are like so famous! And someone found my little ol' blog from their website. I'd like to think it was Sherry because we would totally get along based on our love for Target and ceramic animals, but it was probably a commenter who accidentally clicked on my link.

Also I saved the email when I was notified that Kendi replied to a comment. She is probably my other favoritest blogger besides Roo. She and I share the same sarcastic wit and love for fashion except that she actually dresses like she loves fashion whereas I just pin fashionable outfits to Pinterest while sitting in my t-shirt and leggings.

And then I realized... I'm a stalker/lurker. Every day I read these blogs and I almost never comment. My blog usually never gets comments but the one time it did, I made a friend in Britt from The Rookie Years and now we're like Facebook friends and I've already betrothed our children. (Her son is adorable and my daughter is adorable so it only makes good sense.) But I think I'm missing out on the best part of the world of blogging! I guess I got scared away because people can be a bit snippy in their comments and I never want to come off wrong and make Gwyneth Paltrow hate me because I accidentally used all caps so she thinks I was yelling at her.

Anyway, what I'm saying is you should comment on my blog. It makes my heart happy. Don't let the FB/Betrothal story scare you. Embrace it. Also, comment on other people's blogs. Quit being a lurker because that's creepy and I'm positive you're not really creepy. Maybe you're just shy? Whatever it is, just say hi once in awhile. And bonus points if you make me LOL.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Allie's Birth Story - Part 2

At 4 p.m., the nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated. She then looked at me and, with much sympathy in her voice, said "I would recommend the epidural." I guess between the coupling and how slowly things were progressing after 13 hours of labor, she thought it would be a lot longer until I was fully dilated.

So I got the epidural. And you know what? It's just like in the movies when you see a woman get the epidural and they think it's the greatest thing on the face of this earth. I could still feel contractions but they felt like minor period cramps which were laughable compared to the pain from before.

At that point, being up since 3 in the morning finally caught up to us. We were both able to sleep for about an hour and a half. Brian finally got a chance to eat and we watched Shark Week and When Animals Attack. So appropriate, right?

At 8 p.m. the nurse said I was 9 cm dilated so it would be time to push soon. When I actually did start pushing, after two pushes she was already crowning. But a few pushes later, she still wouldn't come out. The doctor decided to do an episiotomy which freaked me out. But in the end I was glad that I didn't end up pushing another hour or two to get her out. I had like one more half push and she slipped right out. She was born on 8/16 at 9:16 p.m. weighing 6 lbs 13 ounces. I didn't cry but I remember thinking "Maybe I should pretend to cry so the nurses and doctor don't think I'm cold and heartless." So I did.


They handed her right to me all gross and bloody, which is exactly what I was thinking. "Eww... she's all gross and bloody." Probably not a normal thought for mom's... it's probably something more along the lines of "She's so beautiful!!!" (which was my second thought) but whatev... I'm not a normal mom.


We had to move around 1 in the morning to our recovery room (which we shared with someone). My poor husband stayed by my side the whole time we were there. For two days he ate my leftovers, wasn't able to shower and did everything from changing Allie's diapers to helping me with whatever I needed.

I wanted him to be able to go home and shower but I also wanted him to be right by my side 24/7. I think he didn't really want to leave either. I really wished that the food in the cafeteria had been better (or free for that matter) so he could've had real meals but I made up for it by cooking him a good steak dinner our first night home. In fact, I've made it a point to remember to bring food to husbands in the hospital for any future friends/family that have babies. We had brought snacks but having a full meal is much better than eating snacks all day.


Brian's family came and visited us in the hospital and we had two friends from church visit us but other than that, our hospital stay was quiet which was really nice. We were able to hang out together - our new little family. Also, the number of people who saw me in a hospital gown were limited, which was also nice.

Bringing her home seems like such a long time ago now. I remember putting her in her car seat and thinking she would hate it, but as soon as she was in, she fell asleep. Everyone kept saying she was such a beautiful baby (totally puffing our heads up) and that she had a lot of hair. I didn't really think she had a ton of hair until I saw other babies and yeah, normal babies are bald. And wrinkly. Ours was adorable, non-wrinkly and had hair. Win!


Those first few weeks were so tiring. Handling her was such an ordeal. I remember holding her and thinking how tiny and breakable she felt. Everything she did was amazing. When she would cry or laugh in her sleep, we watched in awe. When she would smile, we freaked out and applauded. When she burped, we congratulated her. When she pooped, we were sad. (Seriously, the diapers we got ended up being not-so-great so almost every time she pooped, her clothes would get dirty.) When she cried, we did whatever we could to make her happy again.


Now, two months later, we throw her around like a football. Just kidding... but she's definitely sturdier so passing her off to Brian doesn't feel like I'm diffusing a bomb.


She already holds her head up and smiles when she sees us. She's starting to make her own schedule and sleeping for longer stretches at night.


She's outgrown her newborn clothes and we've already had to move the belt straps twice on her car seat. She's been sleeping in her crib for the past month but when she wakes up in the morning, we bring her into our bed and hang out and have family time.


She seems to enjoy baths and her bouncy chair. She's almost doubled her weight but she's all cheeks and belly. Seriously, the girl has some chubby cheeks.


We call her Allie and my husband is trying to persuade me to get her name changed officially since it sounds weird when people call her Alexa. She has changed our lives so much but we are so happy that God has blessed us with this little lady.


Brian is already talking about Baby #2. If looks could kill... he might be dead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Allie's Birth Story - Part 1

As I type this, I'm feeding Allie (thanks to the Boppy). I thought I'd write her birth story on her 2 month birthday before I forget things. I mention gross things. You've been warned.

Obviously the weeks leading up to her birth had been hectic. We had been packing and moving. I spent a solid 3 days cleaning our apartment so we would get our deposit back. I think I was more active in those few weeks than I had been all summer. The unpacking had gone slowly because there were still parts of the house that needed to be done, like getting the pantry and the linen closet installed, so we still had boxes of toiletries and canned foods laying around. Tuesday before she was born, I passed my mucus plug (which I only figured out when I Googled it). I read that it meant you could go into labor within a few hours or a few days.

So I panicked.

Then I told Brian and he panicked.

We still had so much to do and hadn't even bought her crib yet. The house was a mess and we were still eating fast food all the time because we didn't have pantry stuff unpacked. That little heads up was enough to scare me so I got to work. I cleaned everything and unpacked/organized as much as I could. I swept the floors and cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed everything. Brian thought I should be resting but I told him I'd rather be getting stuff done and speed the labor along than sit around resting and waiting for her to come.

This whole time I had been getting the Braxton-Hicks contractions pretty regularly but I ignored them because they didn't seem too terrible. Wednesday came and I still hadn't felt consistent/intensifying contractions or felt my water broke so we decided to get some last minute house things. We went to Ikea and basically walked around for 3 hours. We weren't planning to walk around that much but we were getting a bunch of stuff for the house, including her crib, and you know Ikea. You can't just run in and out. Other than that, Wednesday was uneventful.

Thursday morning at 3 in the morning I started getting contractions but instead of going away when I moved or shifted sides, these ones were sticking around. I felt water leaking but it definitely wasn't a gush or anything, in fact it would continue to leak slowly all the way until she was born. I wasn't 100% sure it was contractions and water leaking so I waited until 4 and then decided to wake Brian up. It was so calm - not at all rushed or panicked or anything. We packed up our stuff, prayed in the car and went to the hospital. We checked in at 5 and they said it was definitely water leaking so they couldn't send me home (otherwise they would've because I wasn't dilated at all). At this point I had decided to go as long as possible without any help or drugs and just see what happened. I wasn't set either way on getting an epidural or not. I just wanted to play it by ear.

From 5 a.m. to about 11 a.m., I labored naturally. I was walking around the hospital halls and the contractions were getting more intense, but it was bearable. As they got stronger, the nurse said I was coupling, meaning I was getting two contractions right on top of each other every few minutes instead of one. I couldn't tell when they were mild but I could definitely tell as they got stronger that there were two every time.

Around 11 a.m. was when I couldn't walk through the pain anymore. It was so intense I was crying until I was just dry sobbing because I had no more tears. The pain was so intense - unlike anything I have ever felt or imagined. I couldn't even describe the pain to Brian and he said later it was really hard for him to watch me suffer. I think I may have hurt his hand a few times squeezing it. He said with one contraction he heard something crack in his hand but he didn't say anything. I might've punched him in the face if he had.

I can't even really describe it now except to say it's exactly what I would imagine it would feel like for my uterus to be expanding or whatever happens. The pain would start in my lower back and just roll through my entire body. I remember thinking that if this was something like falling or getting burned, it would be like a burst of pain and then it would go away but not contractions. Contractions were a constant dull ache that just got stronger and stronger and there was nothing I could do to get away from it. Brian promised me whatever I wanted just to try to get a smile out of me. After he promised Disneyland and sushi, it worked. But the pain was so intense, it whisked any happy thoughts from my mind quickly.

At 3 p.m. the nurse checked me and said I was only dilated 3 cm but that I was progressing. They had mentioned giving me something to move things along, but never did. She also offered IV pain med which was like Pitocin, but not. I don't remember what it was called but it was supposed to take the edge off of things.

After another hour of contractions, I decided to do the IV pain med. It did NOT work. All it did was make me sleepy in between the contractions but the contractions were just as bad, if not worse. At this point, the pain was so intense I threw up which makes like four times total in my life that I've thrown up.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blogging

I think I know why we feel so guilty about not blogging for a few days or even weeks. I feel like only friends read this (obvs) so if I miss writing, it's like missing a "hang out" time with those friends. And no one likes to be that friend. So it's not like I feel guilty for not keeping up with blogging but more like feeling bad that I'm not keeping you up with my life.

So here it is. My life consists of: 3 hour naps instead of full night's of sleep, getting puked and pooped on by the most precious baby girl in this world, watching the list of "to do" around the house get longer and longer, giving up on walking after a week because I got chased by chihuahuas, squeezing into my "fat" jeans (not to be confused with my maternity jeans), and trying to resist eating the Ding Dongs left in the fridge.

Exciting, no?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The 90's were not 10 years ago.

As I was updating my iPhone with the new OS, I decided to scroll around iTunes for a bit and listen to some of the music out there. These days I don't really listen to the radio, mostly just worship songs or Disney music or showtunes, so I'm not very up-to-date on pop music.

I listened to a song by One Direction and TOTALLY loved it. I remembered seeing them at the London Closing Ceremonies and I totally wanted to scream and jump up and down on the couch singing along except that I didn't know the words and I'm not 13.

But that reminds me that I may have majorly geeked out when I saw the Spice Girls reunite at the Olympics closing ceremony. I turned up the volume and shook it to the left (Spice up your life!) as my husband watched with a shocked look on his face.

All that to say, the 90's were good to me. I'm certain my obsession with boy bands started with the NKOTB party my cousin had when she was 7 or something but those catchy tunes will always have a special place in my heart.

You know what else will have a special place? These shoes.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sleep and schedules

It's been a month since Allie was born and we're still trying to adjust to the sleeping schedules (or lack of).


Everyone has been telling me that around 6 weeks you can start implementing a schedule to put the baby on so that they're sleeping 10-12 hours at night. Well, given the 2-4 hours of sleep we've been getting, you have my attention, sir.

But looking up baby scheduling tips is scarier than the chicken-head-chopping-off tunnel scene from Willy Wonka.

Everyone and their mom, literally, has an opinion. Some say swaddling is key. Some say you have to let them cry it out. Some say you have to have a bedtime routine. All say you have to be consistent.

Well here's where we are:
  • We consistently go to bed whenever she finally does which is usually midnight. 
  • We have a bedtime routine. It's put baby in bassinet, repeatedly put pacifier in her mouth after she repeatedly spits it out, try swaddling her several more times because she is a Baby Houdini and can wiggle her way out of the tightest blanket, feed her again, burp her, catch the spit up for 20 minutes (which always comes when you least expect it and yes, I've had several instances of spit up dripping down my arm/stomach/leg, because it ALWAYS misses the burp cloth), finally collapse in bed because she's passed out, wake up 3 hours later, repeat. At least we're consistent, right? 
  • Cry it out? It should be called "Parents and Baby torture themselves for funsies". I'm not sure who it's harder for: her or me. We once (yes, once) had to let her cry on our way home because she was hungry and we were still 10 minutes away from the house and that was the worst thing ever. I can't even imagine letting her cry for an hour until she falls asleep. Yes, I know she won't remember this. But the guilt would probably hang over my head for years to come so just hand me the "Worst Parent of the Year" award and I'll happily sleepily be on my way.
  • According to the internet, we've already broken several rules for getting her to sleep on a schedule like giving her a pacifier, holding/rocking her to sleep, letting her sleep in our bed (Umm yes I'm lazy and like to do the lie down nursing technique when it's unholy hours of the night. And then we both inevitably fall asleep. Womp womp...), and giving her a bottle before the 6 week mark. Dun dun duuuunnnnn.... 
I guess as first time parents, we're allowed to screw up the first one right? We'll get 'em next time.  In the meantime, don't take parenting tips from me and please don't tell the BabyWise author about me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ding Dongs and sabotage.

Day 1: Walked briskly around the block.
Time: 12 minutes (Don't mock... I'm starting slowly here!)
Thoughts? Felt pretty good but I've run into another problem... I've been sabotaged!

For 3 weeks after Allie was born, we had meals brought to us 3 times a week from the women in our church. This was a HUGE blessing but unfortunately for me and my weight loss plan, every meal came with dessert.

And it wasn't just like "Here's one cookie for you to share." It was like "Here, have 12 dozen cookies which will make losing the baby weight impossible. Enjoy!"

It totally would've been easier if the desserts had just been gross tasting but everything that was brought was SO yummy! And it would be like SO rude if I didn't eat some.

Every night.

And sometimes with breakfast. Cereal and some tiramisu, don't mind if I do!

Not to mention that when my parents came, my mom made sure the fridge was stocked with ice cream and Ding Dongs the whole time they were here. SABOTEUR!!! (Let's ignore the fact that someone, who shall remain nameless but just recently had a baby, may or may not have sent a text message to her requesting those be added to the grocery list. Ahem.)

So now that I've been sabotaged by church ladies and my mom, we've slowly progressed back into real life and have removed all of the temptations (by eating them), save a few Ding Dongs that have been left behind. My thought is, I should probably just eat all of those immediately to remove the temptation and then I can really start on this weight loss thing, right?

Right?

4 Ding Dongs for dinner... don't mind if I do!


Source: epiclol.com via Melissa on Pinterest

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Goals

Okay let's just talk exercise and weight loss and my butt for a minute.

I gained about 35 lbs with this pregnancy. A few days after coming home from the hospital, I had already lost 20 of those pounds. Don't ask me how - I'm guessing between having the baby and breastfeeding, the weight just came off. It was definitely NOT because I was eating well and exercising. 3 weeks later 5 more pounds have come off but the problem is that I still cannot fit into my pre-pregnancy shorts/pants.

The problem is... the remaining weight is stuck. In my rear end. Yes, that's right. I didn't get any stretch marks on my belly but my bottom has suffered and I have the marks to prove it. Unfortunately for my genes, I already had a fairly ample rear end to begin with so now that the remaining pregnancy weight has decided to settle there, I fear things shall never be the same.

So the other day I actually had the urge to run. Unfortunately I have a 3 week old baby so running probably won't happen anytime soon. But this urge to run must mean my brain is desperate to lose weight because I have NEVER been a runner. I'm not like those people who say "I hate to run but this morning I went running and did 5 miles and it felt so good."

I hate running.

The end.

I once was pushed coaxed to go running with my husband and this is how pathetic it was: we left our apartment door and hadn't even made it to the street yet before I had a leg cramp and was huffing and puffing. And it's not like my husband was sprinting, he would've been going backwards if he was going any slower. I once decided to see how long it would take me to do a mile on the treadmill and it took me 14 minutes. That's with me "running" which is really just walking with a bit of a spring in my step.

So I have a possible new goal: become a runner. This will be extremely difficult I'm sure but I don't know how else to lose the weight and tone things down back there. My secondary goal is to lose 15 pounds but I'll be happy if I just fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again without the muffin top. Right now I can't even shimmy my way into them so that will be a feat in itself.

Now before you get too depressed that this might turn into some kind of fitness journey blog, never fear. I don't plan on documenting my journey too much but I can't promise that I won't use this as an outlet to complain about how much I loathe this decision I've made to lose weight and get in shape.

Pinterest says the hardest step for a runner is the first one out the door. But I would argue the hardest step might be the one you take right before your legs give out and you collapse.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I'm sorry I said butt. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

A friendly reminder

I'm back.

Sorta.

Oh where to start.... Having a newborn is everything I thought it would be: tiring, painful... tiring. And painful. But this baby girl is just about the most precious thing on God's green earth. We are so amazed at everything about her. Once I've graduated to actually accomplishing more than one thing a day besides brushing my teeth, I'll write about her birth story and then maybe even resume blogging as usual. But in the meantime, just thought I'd pop in to remind the world that I'm still blogging in case I still have any readers out there... Oh and of course show off pics of our little Allie :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baby Girl

Alexa Bell Reiner born August 16th at 9:16 pm. She weighs 6 lbs 13 oz and is 19.5" long. She's the most adorable baby ever. Not that I'm biased.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Still here.

Last you heard, we had gotten all of our things moved into the house. Unfortunately, the house wasn't livable yet (i.e. no stove or shower) so we were in our apartment for a few more days sleeping on an air mattress, which at 38 weeks pregnant was like sleeping on a teeter-totter. My poor husband...

When we were able to move into the house there were still contractors showing up to do a few last things. Brian has been working every day to finish the touch-ups. He set-up the internet yesterday so I'm finally able to blog, at least once before this baby shows up.

I've unpacked almost everything. Brian has to install the hall closet shelves and pantry before I can finish unpacking the kitchen and bathroom stuff. There's like 5 boxes of books sitting unpacked in the guest room waiting for the bookshelf that my dad is going to build when they come. As I type, our front door is being worked on and the paint on the bathroom door is drying. But we have clothes to wear, food to eat (and cook) and as of 3 - 7 pm today we will have a washer and dryer. Praise the Lord! Seriously. I was starting to think I might have to go all 1800's and wash some underwear on a washboard.

In the midst of all of this moving craziness, my grandma (Dad's mom) went to be with the Lord on Sunday morning. She's had Alzheimer's for a long time now so it wasn't unexpected but still sad. I wish I had pictures to show you but the last time we saw her was in the 90's when technology was still so brand new and I didn't carry a camera phone in my pocket. I was like 12 so I carried like Bonne Bell lip gloss in my pockets. She lived in Indiana so being in California meant we saw her once every 5 years or so. But again, it was the 90's so my sisters and I would write letters to her a lot. You know, like with stamps and stuff? Yeah, kids these days. Back in my day, you had to wait a week or 2 before getting a response to someone's message!

She always had the funniest stories about my dad and his little brother (my Uncle Steve). According to my dad, she's the one that he and my uncle get their inappropriate sense of humor from. She would always send us new pajamas for Christmas that had ruffles and frills on them. She's probably the reason my sisters and I have such a love for reading. There are a lot of precious memories I have of my grandma and even though I wish there were more, I'm glad that someday I will rejoice with her in Heaven forever, worshipping our Creator!

So I'm still here. Still carrying a baby that really likes to kick my ribs these days. Still unpacking. Still settling in. Still living in God's abundant grace and mercy. Still thankful everyday for His blessings.

And still blogging. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

The weekend

Oh. My. Crazy. Days. Guys.

Remember how I said we still had a week before moving?

Remember how I still had so much packing to do?

Well.

That did not happen.

Thursday night we had stopped at the house and there was still so much work to be done. So we decided to bite the bullet and stay at the apartment another week. I blissfully blogged about my extra week and continued procrastinating the packing.

Friday afternoon Brian's boss (actually his ex-boss aka the contractor) called and said we could start moving stuff in Saturday night if we needed to. He had guys working around the clock to get us in. Seriously amazing.

So then I panicked. Move? Like tomorrow? Like when we have a wedding to attend and I still have a billion things to pack?

Yes and yes. But when Saturday came around, there were still touch ups being done on the paint so we decided to do it all Sunday afternoon.

Interesting note: the wedding we attended was a (Russian) couple from our church so we saw a couple of the guys who are working at our house at the wedding because of course they're all related... And these guys even worked after the wedding was over just so we could get in!

So then Sunday came. Brian was tense and I was panicking and we realized we have way too much crap. Seriously our little 590 sq ft apartment was holding a LOT of stuff.

But enter: God's GRACIOUS goodness toward us and His love displayed through His church.

Between Brian's family, some high schoolers and a few couples in our church we were able to get everything moved in one load. One load!!! Two amazing women took charge and packed up the rest of what I hadn't packed. The high schoolers carted everything out to the dump trailer (which Brian's boss had lent us) and all I did was boss people around. We were sitting in the driveway of our house later that night just in awe of how much love was shown to us and how these people had so graciously and sacrificially served us.

Unloading was a piece of cake because as they brought everything in, I again bossed people around directing where to put things. I guess that's what 38 week pregnant women do. Boss people around and look hot and puffy. And I don't mean sexy hot, I mean sweaty hot. And not the glistening sweat. The greasy looking kind. Pretty picture, huh?

Unloading took like 30 minutes. It was amazing and I was seriously just so thankful that God had provided for us through all these amazing helpers.

I don't have any pictures of the moving process because I was too busy bossing people around but I have some sorta after pics where you can see what the house looks like.

They're hanging closet doors today and installing appliances. The only thing we're waiting on is the shower install which should happen tomorrow. Thankfully we can stay at our apartment until tomorrow so we don't have to shower in our sink. Today I spent the day cleaning with Brian's little sister and brother and hopefully tomorrow after our apartment inspection I'll be able to start unpacking at the house.

By the way, I could also have a baby any minute. I think almost every person who has heard what I'm doing has been like "Don't go into early labor!!!"

I shall do my best to hold her in but I am positive that God's timing with her birth will be perfect.

So that's been my life the past few days. Exciting, no?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Construction and Russians

Packing is moving slowly for one reason: our move out date keeps getting pushed back. Now it's going to be Saturday a week from tomorrow which does make things easier on me but also really kills any motivation I had to get packing done quicker.

Here are some update pics but these are so 5 days ago... Laminate is already done throughout the living room, kitchen and hallway. (I should know... I spent 2 hours last Sunday taping protective paper over it and my knees were aching for like 3 days...) Tile is done in the bathroom and kitchen (backsplash). Counters are installed and trim is in throughout the house. They started painting yesterday and are supposed to finish over the weekend.






Brian installed the flooring and gave the fireplace a facelift, which I didn't know was going to happen but I'm not too picky about what goes on over there and I like how it looks both ways. Since he started his new job on Wednesday, everything else is being done by the rest of the work guys who I've learned are all Russian, all related to someone else, and all have like 5 different ways to say their name.

It's funny because the drywall guys were the first to come work on the house a few weeks ago and they were all Mexican, which surprised Brian. Yet their first question for him was "So you work for Alex? Are you Russian too?"

You know, I think we slowly are becoming Russian...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Great Expectations

You know what really helps moving/packing? Lowering your expectations. Or removing them completely. Here's my revised checklist of things to do:
  • Have the glider chair covered before the move. Wait until my parents come after the baby is born to paint and recover it (need a project to keep my dad busy while my mom hogs the baby, so says my dad). 
  • Pack clothes nice and neatly into moving boxes. Throw clothes into trash bags. So college. So easy.
  • Get more moving boxes. Throw anything soft into trash bags. So college. So easy.
  • Finish crocheting baby blanket. It's August and like a million degrees outside. She won't need a blanket for at least a few months.
  • Pack hospital bag. Who am I kidding? It will literally take me 5 minutes to throw some leggings, underwear, and a shirt into a bag with my makeup and other toiletries. I'm not the "I need to have my special playlist on my iPod with my squishy robe and my organic snacks" type. We already decided we're going to hit up Little Caesars on the way to the hospital. I kid. Kind of. 
  • Have nursery ready before baby gets here. Have changing table and crib set up. Decorations and DIY mobiles can wait. 
  • Pack diaper bag for hospital. Done! Don't ask me how that one got accomplished because I don't remember.
  • Pack up the rest of the apartment. I feel there is no way around this one. So instead I will watch the Olympics.
  • Eat all the food in our fridge so I don't have to pack it up. Done. I kid. Kind of. Mustard and prunes anyone?
  • Finalize which washer/dryer we want. Wear everything in our closet until we run out.
See? I already feel so much better, like I've already accomplished so much just by lowering/removing those expectations. Ahh...

Friday, July 27, 2012

A list.

It's been awhile since I've done a list so here goes...
  • I finally de-tagged and washed all the baby clothes up to 6 months. There are like a billion tags on each item of clothing - especially the sets. Goodness. I even managed to cut my finger with one plastic thingy. It was dangerous work I'm telling you.
  • The house is moving right along. I don't have a ton of pictures because I'm not allowed over there (something about being 8 months pregnant around paint fumes and dust and construction sites. Whatev.) except to bring my husband lunch so it's basically what I can snap on my phone while I'm there. I'll post some progress pics next week.
  • Our apartment is filling and filling and filling up with stuff for the baby and the new house which means I haven't vacuumed in 2 weeks. Yuck. It grosses me out just writing about it.
  • We're on the hunt for a washer, dryer and refrigerator for the new house. We might get a free fridge or be able to get a new one for a really good deal. So if you see kitchen reveal pics with fancy new cabinets and pretty new counters and an old fridge, it's because we're not bazillionaires and the really good deal wasn't as good as we hoped. Is it too much to hope for a brand new fridge that costs $100? Probably.
  • Between now and my due date in 3.5 weeks my husband is starting a new job, we have a wedding and 2 baby showers to attend, we're moving into a new house (including packing/unpacking), I've got to finish crocheting Baby Girl's baby blanket and also recover the glider chair which I've still been procrastinating, I have to find moving boxes and pack which I've also been procrastinating, I have to pack a hospital bag in case I go into early labor which I'm also procrastinating, and I have to still keep on top of things like paying bills and buying groceries. Pfft. I'm already tired just typing that all out. Is it really obvious that I like to procrastinate? I think you may have already picked that up with the whole "we're having a baby and have had 8 months to think of a name and still haven't". 
  • Tomorrow I go with my mother-in-law to Ikea where I will show her the wonders that are Swedish furniture making. She's never experienced it. We're also picking up the crib and changing table and a few other house things. I'll have to try to control myself but I seriously LOVE Ikea. 
  • So many things to do and yet what to do... ahh... I think I'll go "exercise" in the pool and enjoy my Friday. Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Once upon a time there was a restaurant called Great Wraps. It was a little hole in the wall place down the street from my high school. When my little sis was a senior in high school and I was a sophomore in college, I would come home every weekend and we'd usually go to Great Wraps. They made the BEST buffalo chicken wraps and seasoned fries.

Then one day it was gone.

Just like that.

We cried. I think. We went on the website to find the next closest one. It was in Century City (like 30 minutes away). Turns out that one had closed down too. We desperately emailed the website requesting that they open a new one in the LA area right away but I have yet to ever find a Great Wraps or anything like it again.

So in an effort to keep our meals fun and new, I decided to try to make them last night. And...

I totally did! They were SOOOOO delicious. Just as I remembered. Now if I only had an industrial size fryer, I could try recreating the seasoned fries and then my life would be complete.

Recipe
1/4 cup oil
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce
6 chicken legs
4 pieces of pita bread (looks like a really thick flour tortilla)
Monterey Jack Cheese
Bleu (or blue?) Cheese Dressing
Shredded lettuce

Heat the oil in a skillet. CAREFULLY place the chicken in it and fry until golden brown. Remove to a plate and pull the chicken from the bones. Sometimes in my instructions, I wonder if I need to include things like "discard the chicken bones" even though it seems like common sense... In a smaller pan (or rinse out the skillet you just used, like I did) heat the butter. Add the sauce and stir until combined. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

Heat the tortilla/wrap/thingy on a skillet with the cheese. Add the chicken and let it sit until the cheese is melted. Remove from the skillet and add dressing and shredded lettuce and enjoy! But have some paper towels handy because this is MESSY.




Monday, July 23, 2012

Demolition. Part 1.

The cabinets are out! I have to tell you that my husband gets strangely excited about demolishing things. Must be a guy thing. He was like a kid on Christmas except armed with a crowbar and sledgehammer (which I could barely lift).

Some bad news: we can see daylight behind the sink fixture (which my husband says is never good) and there was a pile of dirt and chewed up insulation just hanging out under the cabinets which he says is probably from rats (ewwwwww!!!!!).



The VERY good looking handy-man himself. :)

And the weird wall is gone! And yes those are paint samples on the wall. I'm going with neither of those. I really, really am really, really bad at picking paint. But check out that fancy wall paper... it's so retro...

Saturday he did this (sorry for the fuzzy iPhone pics):



The new shorter wall is already up (which will be an island/bar top) and you can't see it, but the popcorn texturing has been scraped off of the ceiling. I think that's it for the demolition. There are some holes that need to be patched throughout the house (especially the hole that goes all the way through the wall behind the sink) but I believe the "putting in new stuff" process starts now!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On the hunt

I finally went to Joann's yesterday to get some cloth to recover the glider chair for the nursery. I decided on solid navy blue duck cloth so that a) it could be used for future nurseries for boys or girls b) it's more durable than regular quilting fabric but cheaper than home decor fabric and c) it probably won't show stains as much as a white/neutral color would.

With a 50% off coupon I was able to get 2 yards for $10 which was just in our price range. I really wanted a small wide pillow that could fit behind my lower back and offer some support so I hunted and hunted at Joann's to find something that would blend the navy/coral/neutral theme I have going. I found nothing...

But I did find this on Pinterest.



How perfect are those fabrics??? Well don't get too attached like I did because after doing a little research, I found out they were $60/yard.

SIXTY DOLLARS FOR ONE YARD OF FABRIC.

Oh, but I could've just bought a small pillow for the same price. *insert rolling eyes here*

I was crushed. That fabric is exactly what I was looking for and completely and totally out of my price range. So now I'm still on the hunt for the perfect fabric that will tie the nursery colors together and make my glider chair makeover complete.

By the way, after buying the fabric to recover the chair yesterday, I sat down to get started and then realized I was scared. I've never recovered a chair before and people on blogs make it look so easy but when it actually comes time to do it? I feel like it could turn into a really big fail of epic proportions. EPIC proportions. Wish me luck! Or stand by to mock my slow demise as I attempt a DIY that is probably too sophisticated for me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Batcave - Before Pictures

Kitchen with the front door/entry just beyond that wall straight ahead. The hall closet is off to the right. 

The hall closet

Kitchen is off to the left in this pic. It's connected to the living room which has a fireplace... seen below.

Looking down the hallway off to the bedrooms. Bathroom on the left, nursery is the first bedroom to the right, master bedroom second to the right and guest bedroom/office straight back.

Bathroom

Nursery

Master bedroom

Guest bedroom/office
 
The plans are to replace everything. Tile is getting ripped out, cabinets are getting ripped out, weird wall in the kitchen is getting torn down. I can't really list everything we're doing because it would take too long and frankly, I don't really know everything that's happening. I leave that to the hubs who knows what he's doing. I'll keep you posted with some updating pictures and things like "then he ripped out some electrical thingy and put in some flooring and painted walls and stuff". 

Or maybe I'll just let him guest blog in case you want to know more specifics.