Friday, July 29, 2011

Planters!

One of my tasks for my 101 in 1001 project was to get planters for the front porch, since I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of time to work on real landscaping this summer. I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results! Now if only someone can teach me how to keep the bugs from eating the sweet pea vines...

I actually went to an event at a nearby greenhouse where they were doing "potting classes". Basically, you can bring your own container or buy some there, and they give you free advice, potting soil, and fertilizer. I went with my mom and grandma, and it was a fun little bonding event.

I knew I wanted purples and greens, so I went with purple petunias, persian shields (Strobilanthes dyerianus), elephant's ear (Colocasia escuelenta), and bright green sweet caroline (Ipomoea batatas). I added yellow marigolds to brighten things up.

Not too shabby for a beginner!





Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maternity Photo Shoot

I got my maternity pics back from the talented Sara, and I loooooooooove them to the point that I took screenshots instead of waiting for the DVD so I could post them. My only regret is that Adriana was bopping around so much that there are hardly any good family shots - there is too much focus on my belly and not enough on capturing the last time we will be a family of 3. The good news is that I am going to do a newborn shoot once Kid B gets here, so we will get lots of pics of us as a family of 4.

I tried really hard to narrow it down to my 10 favorites, but there were just too many good ones!



























Contest: Guess Kid B's Birthday, Win a Gift Card

I wanted to do some sort of giveaway to say thanks to my tens of fabulous readers for putting up with me and offering much-needed advice / support in the comments section. I enjoyed participating in other-Laura's contest before her adorable son Oliver was born (even though I am NEVER EVER RIGHT), so we are going to play the same game here.

Come closest to guessing Kid B's birth date and time, and I will send you a $15 gift card to either Target or Starbucks (your choice)!

Here's the relevant info:


  • According to the doctors (based on the early ultrasound), I am due August 8


  • According to my math (based on LMNP and nookie lining up correctly), I am due August 19


  • I forget what she measured at the 20 week ultrasound, but I remember it resulted in a due date right in between the 8th and 19th


  • My doctor always half asses the belly measurements, and I am fairly confident she just says whatever measurement lines up with the week. She told me I was measuring "just right, 32 weeks!" when I was at my 34 week appt, and then got flustered when I pointed out the discrepancy.


  • I went to a different doctor in the practice who seemed to ACTUALLY be measuring my belly, and she said I was measuring right at 38 weeks at my 38 week appointment.


  • I am 2cm, 50% effaced as of yesterday


  • Adriana was born 2 days early


  • I was born 2 weeks early (I am my mom's second child)

Please make sure you include both date and time in your guess, which gift card you'd prefer, and include an email address if it's not on your blog or profile.


Contest ends Monday at noon (Ohio time) or as soon as I post that I'm in labor or have given birth, whatever happens first!


*Comments are now closed!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 6 - The Drama Never Ends

So, it turns out that months of silence doesn't mean it's all over. If you need some history, Click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

After the last update, we didn't hear from MIL until Mother's Day. She actually texted Justin that she was busy or out or town or something, "don't call me, I'll call you". She texted Happy Mother's day to me too, which was nice, but didn't acknowledge the fact that I had mailed her a card full of Adriana's 18 month pictures.

Shockingly, she never called him after that. He sent her a text and then posted another cute Adriana pic on her facebook page, but that was it.

MIL's side of the family only gets together once a year, on 4th of July. We actually heard from her several times in the weeks before the celebration: once, to let us know she was having surgery, but didn't want us to visit; once because she saw on Justin's Facebook that he was having surgery and she wanted the details so she could visit (which effectively meant that she'd be sitting in the waiting room all day with ME, so I asked him to say no); and once to drop off our Christmas presents.

The latter was SUPER AWKWARD, because I happened to be home for a cable appointment, and Justin didn't tell either one of us that the other would be there. I was so surprised that I didn't even remember to tell her to get her crap out of the breezeway. And of course, she put me on the spot about whether or not we were going to 4th of July. Justin had told her no, since his surgery was the 30th and he would still be recovering, but of course she wanted me to bring Adriana without him. I politely told her I'd be spending the 4th with my family, since I hadn't been able to do that in the 5 years I've been with Justin.

The next couple of weeks were spent with MIL and Justin texting back and forth, because she wanted to fix things. However, she got super mad at him a couple of times because he couldn't meet when and where she wanted to. That's right, she doesn't want to meet at our house, even if I'm not there. "Call it a mother's desire." Whatever.

Since then, MIL has taken any reference to Justin and I out of her Facebook profile, yet kept us as friends (it used to say something about being grateful for an amazing son and a fabulous, down to earth daughter in law). Yay for passive aggressiveness.

Speaking of Facebook, I am thinking about temporarily blocking MIL and two of Justin's aunts from status updates so she doesn't turn up until the baby has been out of my body for a few hours (we were planning on posting to let our friends know I'm in L&D and again right after the baby is born). I don't want any of the drama to affect Kid B's birth, I just want happy memories. Thoughts?

I am now officially over this whole situation. I think it's really crappy that she clearly thinks that I am the problem, despite the NUMEROUS times I have actually stuck up for her and her craziness and encouraged hubs to work it out. I hate that things got to where they are, but no longer have any desire to fix it.

*Upon re-reading this, I am struck by the fact that Justin and MIL communicate almost exclusively via text and Facebook. Is this bizarre, or is it just me?

Monday, July 25, 2011

On Housekeeping

I mentioned here that I was able to finally save up enough money to afford a regular cleaning service. I wasn't entirely sure if this was something that I was willing to do, since Justin and I work hard for our money and don't have a ton to spare, what with the kids and my student loans and all. Back in May, I decided that my house had reached unacceptable levels of grossness due to me laying on the couch 95% of the time (pregnancy -> narcolepsy), and I hired Molly Maid to come out and do a deep clean. They were too spendy to do it all of the time, but I decided that it was well worth it to have them come out on an as-needed basis when I get behind.

Shortly after that, the Office went through a re-org and my title changed, which resulted in a small bump in pay (plus back pay, woohoo!!) That same week my mom let me know that an old family friend who cleans houses was looking for more work. When I heard she only charged $15 an hour, I knew exactly where my extra money would go. No more kitchen floors or bathrooms, yay!

And now I need to vent/whine a bit (sorry)...

I TOTALLY GET that having a housecleaner (this is how Sue refers to herself) is a luxury that not everyone can afford or thinks that people SHOULD afford. But my mom gave me a huge guilt trip about it (which I didn't think was fair, especially considering that this was HER SUGGESTION). She made sure to let me know that I should never mention to my dad that I pay someone to clean or do fall and spring landscaping cleanup, since that was something they couldn't afford when we were kids and they had to work hard to do it themselves.

This irks me, for a variety of reasons. First, Justin and I have a completely different life than what she and my dad did. Mom was able to keep up on the cooking and cleaning when we were young because she was able to be a stay at home mom. My dad was able to do 100% of the yardwork on the weekends because having a nice yard was a priority for him, and because he didn't really do ANY housework until maybe 5 years ago. Justin and I both have to work full time, and for much of Adriana's life I was also working on my MBA. When I get home at night, especially now that I'm pregnant and tired, all I want to do is spend as much quality time with Adriana as possible, and then have an hour or two to wind down before I repeat it the next day. We both clean (together)(ish) on the weekends, but it is hard to keep up with everything AND feel like we are fully enjoying Adriana. It's really easy to give in to the temptation of blowing off stuff around the house so we can go to the zoo or the pool or just veg out as a family.

I absolutely appreciate every sacrifice my parents made for us growing up. I love that my mom was able to stay at home with us, and totally understand that having one income meant that they had to give up a lot. But trust me, that is a sacrifice that I would willingly make too, if I had made different financial choices when I was younger (like not going to that year of med school, OMG). I always end up feeling like both of my parents truly do not understand how much work it is to balance things sometimes. I feel like if I want to pack my lunch or go longer between new clothing purchases to be able to afford this luxury, then that is my decision to make and I shouldn't have to justify it or be made to feel like I'm a crappy wife/mom.

The other thing that upsets me is that I get the idea that my mom's comments were partially about the fact that they save us a lot of money by helping with childcare, and when I spend money on non-necessities it means that they don't need to be helping us? Which is a whole can of worms in and of itself. They help us WAY MORE than they should (in so many ways that I don't even know how to thank them properly), and we TOTALLY APPRECIATE it, but it's not like if they stopped helping us we wouldn't be able to make it. So there's this weird pride thing on my end, and this weird need to be needed thing on their end that makes things awkward.

Ugh. Is money ever non-complicated, or is that just my family?

Second question...would you think I'm an asshole if you were my housecleaner and got this note from me? I have control issues and the whole "letting other people touch my stuff" thing has been hard.




Thursday, July 21, 2011

Henna Belly - 36.5 weeks

I mentioned yesterday that I had a local henna artist come to my house to decorate my (blindingly white) pregnant belly. I also had this done when I was 35 weeks pregnant with Adriana. I had played around with henna before, but I don't think it would have occurred to me that it was safe for a pregnant belly until I saw Sundry's pics way back in the day (I linked to the Dylan belly, but I'm pretty sure I had been wanting to do this since she had it done with Riley*). I am so glad I had this done for both girls - I absolutely love staring at my decorated belly and watching the henna lines ripple when the kid goes all alien baby and tries to climb out. The doctors get a kick out of it too.

These pics are with the paste on, I will post some more after this weekend when I have my maternity photo shoot.








* Am I making this up??? I can't find a link anywhere.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Diniwilk Stew

· 37 week pregnancy update: Over the weekend, I had tons and tons of Braxton Hicks and 8 hours of false labor (decent sized contractions 7 min apart, but they didn’t get stronger or closer together). This is making me CRAZY NESTY – I have been checking tons of stuff off my second baby checklist. The co-sleeper’s assembled, bedding and clothes are washed, car seat is ready, and hospital bag is packed. I had a henna artist come out and do my belly again, and have a maternity photo shoot set up for the weekend. Now it’s just the waiting game.

· Adriana is cracking me up, as usual. When I asked her if she wanted to go to the store and buy her baby sister a present, she said “No, I buy Adriana present.” After I talked her into it, I asked what she thought would be a good present, and she perked up and said “A bike!!!” with so much enthusiasm that it was hard to tell her to pick something else. Then she thought a minute, and said “A blanket, baby go na-na”, which is what we ended up getting (and a small musical toy for the car seat, which was Adriana’s favorite thing when she was tiny).

· Speaking of going na-na, Adriana is still taking two naps a day at 21 months (at least when she’s home with us). Is this super weird? She has napped on demand since she was born and sets her own schedule. She goes to bed around 7:30 and night, and wakes up around 6:30 in the morning. She wants her first nap to start somewhere between 9 and 10, and her second to start between 2 and 3. The length varies. She’s perfectly capable of skipping the morning one, but she prefers not to – when it’s time, she says “I go na-na. I want blanket and binky” and then dictates which parent she wants to take her upstairs. I am wondering if I should try to get her on a 1 pm nap schedule once a day like a normal kid, or just let her do her thing.

· I just saw swatches of OPI’s fall collection, and I love pretty much all of them except the three (!) corals. Seems like most of the die hard nail polish fans think it’s all been done before, but I can’t get enough of the murky greens, grays, browns, and purples.

· On a serious note…a good friend of mine just delivered twins at 34 weeks, and one of them is having surgery today. Please send happy thoughts (or prayers, which isn’t my thing, but it’s not about me) her way. I am putting together a NICU care package, and would love any suggestions you might have. So far, I have lip balm, hair ties, unscented hand sanitizer and hand cream, lots of snacks, some magazines, and I’m baking lactation cookies to help keep her supply up. What am I missing???

Friday, July 15, 2011

Adriana: 21 Months

Adriana,

Even though I feel like it’s happening way too fast, it has been so much fun watching you go from a baby to a little girl. Sometimes you seem so grown up that I hardly recognize you.


You are getting taller, your chubby belly and thigh rolls are thinning out, and your hair is FINALLY long enough for a ponytail or pigtails. You have 12 teeth now – your first year molars came in, but your canines are taking their time (you’ve always been a late teether). You still love to brush your teeth, but that mostly consists of playing with the water and sucking the toothpaste off your brush (good thing you are getting better about letting us help you). You routinely ask to sit on the potty, but you have yet to actually pee in it.

You love to play outside, either on your “vroom vroom car” or your new tricycle. Bubbles, balls, and sidewalk chalk are also a big hit. You love other kids, and you know the names of every kid on our street and in your daycare class. Despite your enjoyment of others, you are kind of a bully sometimes, and you HATE to share. Hopefully your baby sister will help you get along with others!

You could color for hours, and you have finally started to consistently name some colors (you almost never mix up orange, brown, green, and black). You are getting good at puzzles, and have mastered most of the kid-friendly apps on the iPhone. You have learned how to pick out circles, hearts, stars, diamonds, and ovals. You can count to ten (and are on your way to learning the numbers up to 20).

You LOVE to sing – your favorite songs are the ABC’s (you SHOCKED us by singing this just after you turned 18 months), twinkle twinkle little star, and sing a song (from Sesame Street). You crack us up with your silly, mixed up versions of wheels on the bus and baby bumblebee. You even make up your own little songs – once, you were so thrilled with your dinner that you burst into a rendition of “Ham and Cheese” (“Ham and cheese, ham and cheese, I love ham and cheese” – sung on repeat for 20 minutes).

The most amazing change has been your verbal development. You speak so clearly, and in full sentences (usually about 4-6 words long). You use the right pronoun about 75% of the time. When you incorrectly call a boy “she”, I tell you “No honey, that’s a boy so we say he”. You repeat it back to me, saying “HE a boy - HE running” with the most adorable look of concentration on your face. I love it.

It cracks me up when you ask me what dada’s doing, and I make you guess. Your answers are always either “He poopin’”, “He playin’ games”, “He golfin’” or “He mowin’ lawn”. Hilarious.

You finally can say your first name, even if it sounds like A-jonna. You have no problems with your last name though. Sometimes you call Dada “Dada Justin”, and if I ask you what my name is, you proudly exclaim “Lula!!!” Close enough J

You have also started pulling random stuff out of your memory. The other day you saw your wagon in the garage, and you shocked us both by saying “I go in wagon, I see penguins.” You obviously remembered 2 zoo trips ago, when we took the wagon instead of the stroller. Your most recent zoo trip is also burned into your memory, and you like to make me laugh by randomly acting like you are wiping off your hands and saying “sheep EWWWW, goats EWWWWWW”. We thought little miss adventure would love feeding the animals at the petting zoo, but you thought it was yucky and couldn’t wait to wash your hands. OCD much?

I love you more than anything, baby girl!

XOXO, Mama

Monday, July 11, 2011

101 in 1001: 100(ish) Day Update

I am the kind of listmaker who spends more time making lists than actually DOING the stuff on the list. I am also the kind of listmaker who will add stuff that has already been completed to the list, or stuff I would have done ANYWAY, just for the satisfaction of crossing the item off. I think I still have notebooks in my 6th grade bubbly handwriting full of lists starting with "Wake up". I am a little crazy, I know.

Right now, I have so many lists going on that I had to get a binder to organize them (but don't worry, I don't have a list of the lists up front). I should be focusing on my Second Baby Checklist, but I am finding that the 101 in 1001 is much more fun. Why complete tasks with an August 8 deadline when I could work on something not due until Christmas 2013?

Last night, Justin and I completed the 10th task on the list, so I thought it was a good time for an update. I used a calculator to see how long it took me to complete these 10 items, and it turns out that it's been 103 days. That means I am actually on track - if I continue to complete 10 items every 100 days, I am good to go! This theory only works if I totally ignore the fact that I'm failing miserably at items which require me to be making progress all along (reading 101 books comes to mind).

Here are the things I've done so far:

7) Save up money for a cleaning service (post to follow)

12) Get planters for the front porch (post to follow)

25) Replace burnt out porch lights (this is the one we did last night, and, let's be honest, Justin did the work while I supervised - but it would have been ignored for another 6 months had I not brought it up before we went to Home Depot)

29) Replace the filter under the kitchen sink (another one technically accomplished by Justin, but I did all of the research and ordering of said filter)

34) Take kid(s) to zoo (we actually got a zoo pass, so I am going to fulfill this one many times over)

38) Buy a wine rack / hutch deal for the dining room (once the entire room is done, I will update the dining room makeover post)

39) Buy curtains and carpet for the dining room (see above)

41) For the love of god, get some new sheets already (best sheets ever - pictured here)

51) Go to Brazilian meat restaurant with Justin (we went for our anniversary)

98) Get a recycle bin for home, you lazy ass! (dunzo, and our routine has been adjusted so we actually use it)

How do you keep motivated? Are you a listmaker, or do you have some other system that works for you?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tantastic

I have mentioned before that I've been focusing my maternity nesting on home improvement type planning, so I thought I'd go into the basement and check out the paint cans so I could map out an "as is" and a "to be" house color palette. I always thought my house was just three shades of boring. Turns out it's SIX. This blows my mind.



I totally get why people go to great lengths to make their house neutral when trying to sell, but this seems a little crazypants to me. Especially the front and back bedroom colors - I really had no idea that the rooms were different, and they are right next to each other. This is the kind of minor, seemingly unimportant detail that drives me nutty. No worries though, those are the kids' rooms so they will be painted or decal-ed soon enough (the front bedroom is the nursery, and the back bedroom is our junk room that will be converted to Adriana's room over the next few months).


If neutral is your thing, Gobi Desert is Behr and all of the rest are Ralph Lauren. Is your house done up in neutrals, or do you prefer bright or bold color choices? When choosing paint for a room, do you take the rest of the house's wall colors into consideration, or is each room doing it's own thing?