Monday, September 24, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 39 Weeks, 6 Days AKA My 33rd Birthday!

Yup, today I'm 33 years old.  It's been a pretty uneventful day, really and I'm ok with that :)  After breakfast and a little internet time, I decided to go back to bed for an hour or so and took a great nap with the big old beast which was just perfect.  After getting up, tidying some and rallying myself, I took some time to dig around in my closet to find something I hadn't already worn 20 times in the past month and to make myself feel pretty (these last few days of pregnancy are hard, mmkay!?).  
 A friend dropped by to borrow some tables and ended up hanging out for a bit which was wonderfully welcome.  I also got to catch up on the phone with a friend on the the other side of the pond who I miss dearly.  I made myself some lemon cupcakes with lemon icing (Have I mentioned my obsession with lemon desserts over the past nine months??) and may have sampled a few.  
 This evening, my family gathered at my favorite local Indian restaurant where we (me) proceeded to pig out.  It was glorious.  My sister flew in late last night so she was also in attendance which was a present in itself.  We joked about inappropriate subjects, which seems to be the norm in our family, played Mad Libs, shared fantastic food and enjoyed each others company to the fullest. 
 This dress came from an estate sale this summer (the same sale this dress came from) for a quarter.  Yes, a quarter.  The belt was previously attached and very awkward so after putting it on this afternoon, I carefully used the seam ripper to remove it and just tied it on as a sash.  I can't wait to see what some of these random dresses I've been wearing pregnant will look like when I'm NOT pregnant.  
I made the mister (and the beast) join me for one timed photo.  I figured this would more than likely be the last belly shoot before she comes so it just made sense.  The last time he joined me on one of these was 18 weeks along, when we found out it was a little girl we were having.  He shaved off the beard the other day so I keep joking that Rio won't recognize him when she's born ;)  

So when will she be here?  Who knows but we're alllllllll ready.  Very (very, very) ready.  And now one of my questions has been answered - I'll be 33 years old with a new baby.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

We're playing the waiting game. With my due date on Tuesday, she could really be here at any time. I'm mega uncomfortable at this point which I take as good signs that she'll be here soon! I also look at it as good motivation to get through labor :) Things are progressing which is equal parts awesome and scary! We're all packed up and ready to go when the time comes which I truly hope is sooner rather than later! 

This whole time I thought she'd be early but she's only got 3.5 days left to make an early appearance! There's also a chance that I may be having a baby on my birthday if she decides that Monday is the day! While that would be wonderful and one hell of a gift, I'm hoping that we're able to have our own birthdays but I'll take her whenever she chooses to come :)  It's quite bizarre to not know if I'll be 32 or 33 welcoming a new baby into our lives.  My sister flies in tomorrow for a week to hopefully be here for Rio's birth so I'm stoked to see her as well, of course. 
I've finally quit going to work and have been trying to relax the best I can during the calm before the storm.  That's not easy for me but being as uncomfortable as I am has been helping that relaxing goal!  Aside from sleeping, responding to calls, texts and emails and working on as much Alliday stuff as I can, I've been doing embroidery in the evenings for as long as my stiff hands will allow me to.  It's been helpful in keeping my mind busy.  I'd love to have this little door hanger done before she's here but we'll see!  The quilt portion is now done...we'll see how much I get done tonight.
The animals have been my best friends lately and for that I'm thankful.  It's like they know something is up and that I need them.  I'm excited to get their transition underway as well and am optimistic that everyone will do well.  Fingers (and paws) crossed!
My brain has a hard time focusing on anything else besides birth and baby right now.  So surreal.  So bizarre.  So exciting.  So terrifying.  Can't believe it's already time.  Can't wait to feel normal again.  Can't wait to not have to pee every 30 minutes.  Can't wait to sleep comfortably.  Can't wait to meet her.  Can't wait.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Nursery Tour!

With at least one and a half weeks to go, I'm happy to report that the nursery is done! Before I even got pregnant, there were two things that continuously got me excited about having a baby - watching the language development in a child and designing/decorating a nursery. One of those is now marked off of the list and of course now that list has grown. 

I have to give the mister mad props on this room. I wasn't able to physically do lots of the work required in here but he was and he really knocked it out of the park, even with me breathing down his neck ;) In a nutshell, we (he) painted, wallpapered, put in can lights, installed base shoe, rewired existing lighting, added outlets, and rejuvenated the floors. It's truly the nicest room in the house.

I'm sure Rio wouldn't have minded one bit if we didn't do one bit of work on the room but we really did do it all for her. Hopefully she'll appreciate it at some point :) So, welcome to her room and to a lengthy, long-winded tour!
Early on in my pregnancy, I had some random idea to use lockers for a closet. We live in a small, midcentury home with little spare closet space (I have an estate sale clothing problem, remember) so we had to figure out some way to create storage inside of the room. You may recall earlier this summer when we took a small road trip to pick the lockers up. If I remember correctly, the lockers were $60 each and came out of a demolished high school in Kansas. The mister spray painted them with just three cans of Rustoleum, affixed them to the wall more securely than you can imagine and then made a shelf across the top of them. It turned out better than I could have dreamed.
After we had that structure built, I decided to try and slide the dresser in between them and, low and behold, it fit perfectly! That dresser was a random college hand-me-down that was once purple, then painted black by me and finally yellow for Rio. I switched out the hardware and Voila! We have a curtain rod for the clothing rod but I think we're going to try and find a larger silver rod to securely affix in place of that.

The top of the shelf houses books from my childhood that aren't quite ready for a baby's hands, two jewelry boxes from my childhood, a rouge vintage roller skate from our old neighbors with a pleiosaurus from my childhood surfing atop, two pieces of driftwood I've acquired over the years, and a photo of the mister and I from our maternity photos.
I definitely wanted to use the DeGrazias in the room somehow and managed to do so with four small prints found on top of the dresser and above the coat rack that came from my 'second mom' from my childhood. That adorable little monkey outfit will adorn the little lady in a little over a month for Halloween and was gifted to us by a very creative and wonderful woman :) The hanging rock is a natural dreamcatcher. I've had them hanging in every sleeping quarter since I was a kid. The bookrack I found at the flea market for $7 and spray painted to match the lockers. 
We painted the walls a light grey with a blueish tint. In fact, that wall color was the first design choice we made in the room. We viewed that color as our neutral and were optimistic that pretty much any direction we went with colors would work with it! Quite a change from the blood red walls that were once in there.

We were very lucky to not have to buy much new, especially in terms of furniture. One item we did buy new was the window seat, just picked up at Target one afternoon for around $30. I made a removable slip cover to jazz up the cushion a bit that matches the rocker which is seen below. The cats are huge fans of that spot for bird watching. The clock came from the mister's stash of goods from before we even met. We decided to spray paint the burst green and when Rio is born, we'll set the clock to the time she arrived or, as our neighbor says, the time the ship went down ;)
Woody Guthrie looks over it all as the mister and I would have never even had met had it not been for him. One of the friends responsible for us meeting gifted us that poster earlier this year and it just seemed fitting to have him in there. The two flanking poems are ones that were in my room as a young child. I'm not certain of their origin, just that I've known them all of my life. 

The changing table was my cousin's and was a dark, dark red. I hand painted that table as well and curse the day that I ever have to paint another spindle again! ;) We had (have) some wallpaper left over so we covered the changing table shelves with it even though you can't really see it that well in the photos. The changing pad cover was made by me prior to going quilt crazy! I'd like to still replace the wire rack next to the table but have yet to find what I'm looking for. 

The rocker, oh the rocker. This chair is a family heirloom that has been handed down for at least 75 years and has rocked many a-baby to sleep. My mom had it recovered in the 80s and I had been dying to recover it ever since! Sorry Moma ;) Here's a before shot of it and the trunk behind it. The fabric was actually some vintage fabric that I had found at the flea market a year or so ago. In fact, I even made a bag out of it! We both liked the fabric in the room and I had enough so we sought out someone to recover it for us and I'm SO glad we did. I absolutely love it! I picked up a little stool with storage in it at Target for $15 so I can put my feet up while rocking. The cats seem to think it was purchased for them.
Not too far from the crib are two more pieces of artwork from my childhood. The Irish blessing is another one of unknown origin to me but the crewel piece below is one my mom stitched many years ago. The cars came from my Granny and Papa's house from when I was a kid. Granny insisted that girls play with cars too. She was awesome like that. The little shelf was a $5 flea market find that was already the desired green color of the room.
For some reason, I was dead set on having one wall covered with wallpaper but found myself quite overwhelmed by all of the options out there and the idea of actually putting it up. Luckily, once the mister and I started looking, we found this one quickly and with the help of my dad, we had the paper up in a day. I love the way it makes the room look when sunlight is in attendance. We've yet to hang anything on that wall and I'm not sure that we will. There is an awesome mobile hanging above the bed but it's pretty much impossible to see in photos! And of course, my beloved quilt waits, along with Vera on the crib's edge :)
And there's an elephant. A white elephant, at that. The elephant stand came from my Mimi's house and has been forever admired by me throughout the years. It's stood all over our house and has finally found its home in the nursery. 
I looked and looked online for crib bedding that I liked and couldn't find one blasted thing that sung to me. I know that we won't use much else other than swaddles and crib sheets for quite some time but I still did want some sort of bedding so I went to one of the most talented quilters I know and she made this amazing number for us. Amazing, no?
Vera absolutely loves sleeping in the crib and I'm ok with that. I'm sure once Rio makes her way there, Vera won't be as interested in resting there anymore :) For now, it's her space to share with various stuffed animals - a pony made especially for Rio, a Holly Hobbie pillow I made with pieces found at an estate sale, a few Philbrook friends, a sweet sock bear and a purple mouse that Vera enjoys dragging all over the house. Did I mention she's more dog than cat?
Lately, I spend lots of time sitting in the rocker and just reflecting with animals at my feet and in my lap. It will be so bizarre and exciting to add a tiny human to this room, the only piece that's missing. 

Thanks for sitting in here with me for a bit :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Of Those Outfits: 38 Weeks & Superficial Reflections

 So this is it guys, she could seriously be here any day.  Things have been a-changin' so much so that there have been times that I think 'all systems are a-go' but alas, she's still baking.  It's still SO bizarre to me to think that there's a tiny little human inside of me that I will soon meet.  Surreal doesn't even begin to explain it.  Even though some weeks have felt like years at times, really this pregnancy has flown by.
 To be honest, I was pretty concerned about the weight gain associated with pregnancy.  I know it's superficial but it truly was an issue in my head.  I'm just shy of having gained 40 pounds throughout this which sounds absolutely crazy to me but I don't feel like I *look* like I've gained that much.  And I feel incredibly lucky to have just gained in my belly and ladies.  I haven't found one stretch mark and my belly button hasn't popped out which I'm SO glad about because for some reason, that tends to give me the heebies!  ;)  I haven't had any swelling issues although in the evenings, my right hand is pretty much useless due to numbness.  My biggest complaints are adding a million moles to my body which I could certainly do without and my grandma hips making me wish I had a wheelchair 75% of the day.  
 I cannot freaking wait to peruse the rest of my closet again.  With the weather starting to shift here in Oklahoma and with my belly a bit bigger, my wardrobe options are much more limited than they were before and my desire to start shifting into fall clothes is hard to suppress.  Again, superficial concerns ;)

I think we're as prepared as we could possibly be at this point.  I've been making myself (finally) take it easy in the evenings and have knocked off pretty much my entire to-do list.  The animals have had their pep talks, their bags packed and extra treats have been purchased.  I've been told my numerous people that I'm not allowed to call them unless I'm in labor so I wait, we all wait.
This dress is from a recent clothing swap I attended and is wrapped with a vintage shirt that belonged to my friend's grandma and has literally been around the world with me, just as that friend has :)  The necklace was brought back to me from South Africa from my dad and the shoes, well, my Birks have gotten lots of wear this summer :)

Any day now kids, any day...

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Kanokla Speed Bump

For the past five years, Kansas and Oklahoma have joined together to bring us Kanokla, The 100 Mile Highway Sale.  Two years ago, I somehow heard about this sale so my dad and I decided to check it out.  (Throwback post from the old blog recapping that trip, along with the scores.)  Last year I couldn't hit the sale because I was busy working in Chicago and I didn't think I'd be able to go this year once I heard what my due date was but after visiting my doctor on Thursday, I got the green light to hit the road!  

My dad was my junking buddy again and we started as early as we could.  Again, we had a fantastic time, found some goods we couldn't live without (remind me to tell you about the costume designer cleaning out her stash!) and enjoyed time on the road together.  We went through the sales much faster than in the past so we decided to head back home that evening instead of breaking the trek up into two days as we had done before.  It was after we crossed back into Oklahoma that things went a little crazy...
 We were barely across the state line when the rains started, the sky turned black and the winds were so strong that we had a hard time staying on the road.  If you know me, you know that I do not fare well in crazy Oklahoma weather like that.  I tried to busy myself by finding radar on my phone and studying the road map to see how soon we'd be out of these storms.  I was also trying to avoid throwing myself into early, stress-induced labor!  It was after we passed through one intense cell that I basically forced my dad to pull over for ten minutes so we could hopefully avoid a much more serious looking cell up ahead.  (My dad will drive through anything.  I will not.) It was this 5-10 minute stop that potentially saved us.  The temperature dropped 20 degrees during our short stop, the winds got even crazier and things were very ominous.  Once we got back on the road, we soon found ourselves stopped on the highway along with several other travelers wondering what in the world had just passed through.  
 Power poles were snapped in half, power lines all over the road, semis were flipped over, roofs were torn apart and stuck in broken trees, and it truly looked like a tornado had occurred.  The weathermen are saying it was just straight line winds but being a born and bred Okie, I find it hard to believe it wasn't a tornado.  A quick glance to my right and I saw a home completely leveled.  We later discovered four people lost their lives in this quick, crazy storm.  I do consider us to be incredibly lucky.  You just never know in Oklahoma.  I truly believe pulling over for just a few minutes saved us from harm's way.
 We were stuck in one spot for an hour or so before we were able to turn around.  After driving a few miles back in the direction we came, we found that we were on a portion of the highway that had been shut down shortly after the storm.  Two hours later (with a ridiculously full and screaming bladder), we were back on the road stunned as to what we had barely missed.  A story to tell, I suppose.  An experience to remind you to be grateful for every day.
 I've always cherished these random road trips with my dad all of my life.  We've got the stories piling up from them; good, bad, exciting, sad, bizarre.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

My First Quilt

A few months back, I told the mister that I wanted to make a quilt for the little lady before she was born.  I'd never made a quilt before, let alone seen one being made.  He politely reminded me that I already had TONS on my mental pre-baby to-do list and, since I'd never even made a quilt before, maybe that should be something I not worry about getting completed.  And I somewhat agreed so I didn't really think about it much more.  
 Well, after ferociously making some changing pad covers (followed this great tutorial) out of vintage sheets Friday night, I realized that I had these perfect 8x8" squares leftover in colors that matched Rio's room and that would work perfectly as the beginning pieces of a quilt!  So at midnight on Friday night, I started piecing things together and by Sunday morning, I was done with my first ever quilt!  :)
 It's almost 3'x3' so it's not huge (and wasn't overwhelming) but it's perfect for a little person!  I backed it with some fun vintage polyester fabric that matched the colors quite well and that is surprisingly mighty soft.  It's not perfect but that's what makes it perfect.  I couldn't be more pleased with it and I can't wait to give it to the little lady :)
Maybe there will be more impromptu quilts in my future, at least I hope that there will be, but probably not anytime soon...
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