Friday, December 27, 2013

Fashion Friday - Casual Friday (or Monday...)

Today I’m posting a really casual outfit – this is something I would wear to run errands, or even wear to work on the Monday before a holiday, which I personally declared a casual jean day, and wasn’t too worried because zero clients came in. 

You’ll notice I am once again wearing a scarf, and you may be thinking to yourself, “Mamie, what’s with all the scarves!” 
I love scarves – I wear them all the time.  But these days, they have more “purpose” then ever!
It’s about to get real in this paragraph… consider yourself warned:
I’m a breastfeeding mom, which means I need to pump at work.  Now the hands-free pumping bra is truly God’s gift to moms in my position, because I can continue to work or do other things while I pump.  They are awesome.  A hands-free pumping bra basically looks like a sports bra with 2 strategically placed holes.  While their function is great – they give you the appearance similar to that of all sports bars – a uni-boob.  That’s right, 1 block of boob right out front.  And those holes provide zero coverage when it comes to hiding nipping out nipples.  So the scarf works great to camouflage the uni-boob and the fem-bot nipple action going on. 
So anyway, here is the outfit I wore to work on Monday J

Black V-neck knit sweatshirt:  (similar) but mine doesn’t have a hood
White Cami:  Layering Cami - Old Navy 
Jeans:  Silvers  - Maurices 
Shoes:  ChampionLattice Runner – Payless 
Scarf:  I got this one at Old Navy and honestly couldn’t find one similar online… sorry! 

**Once again, I didn't get any of these items for free, nor was I paid for this post by any of the companies listed.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


So remember last year when I published this post about how we weren't forcing the whole Santa thing?  Yeah...well... fast-forward 340-some-days and I would say Santa is in full force in our home. 

I'm not really sure how it started.  We still aren't pushing the whole, "be good or santa won't bring you any presents" thing, but she did visit santa, she had a list for him, and she has asked daily if it is Christmas yet. 

And so we've bought the "santa gifts", I have different wrapping paper for the santa gifts that I have kept hidden - and I supposed on Christmas Eve either Paul or I will put them out. 

We did a "Shop With Santa" event in our town, where elves help youngsters pick out and wrap presents for their parents, siblings, etc.  Clara kept telling me that she didn't need to get presents because Santa brings them all. 

So I guess we're gonna roll with it.  We continue to instill in her the real meaning of the holiday by talking about Baby Jesus, and are so thankful that message is also instilled in her at school.   

Looking back now, I wish I would have taken a picture of her list for Santa (she gave it to him).  I wrote it, but it was so fun having her tell me what to write.  I know there were a lot of princesses on that list!

Paul took this picture, but looking back, it would have been great to have him IN the picture!

Telling Santa what she wanted.

Hazel just thinks its great to have a warm lap to sit on! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Blog-spiration

I've had this blog post "archived" for awhile - written but not published.  The "star" of this post is celebrating her last day in the "working world" today, as she will now be a stay-at-home mom and photographer.  I am so happy for her!  To celebrate, I am finally posting this! 

I think everyone who blogs started because they read a really great blog and thought, "I can do that!"  For me, that blog was Marital-Bless.  I've never met Leah (although I dreamt I did once).  But because of her blog, I feel like I am a close personal friend.  She is so open and honest.  and real.  and sometimes, raw.  Talk about someone who wears their heart on their sleeve!

I think that's what the draw is - it's like your best friend sitting down and telling you their deepest darkest secrets.  She doesn't put on airs... her life isn't all wine and roses.  She shares it all - her relationship with her husband, her struggles as a parent, her battle to be a better Christian.  Good things too - her pregnancies and children, her gift for photography, her beautiful spirit.  It's all there... in black and white... for all to read. 

But it isn't a train-wreck either...  I've read those blogs where it's all, "whoa is me..."  They turn me off.  We all have our own battles we are fighting - you aren't the only one getting divorced, broke, infertile, unemployed, or fat.  There's this understanding that Leah has that she doesn't even need to write... it's just, there.

There aren't any tutorials, or recipes... just the tale of her life as it plays out each day.  And she has followers - LOTS of followers... people like me that wait hungrily for each post.

I want to be more like Leah.  I want to be more open, honest, and real in my blog.

But I'm afraid.

What if my readers are disappointed in who I really am?

Do I really have the writing ability to put my feelings into words that someone will want to read?

Is my life something someone will actually want to read about?

Can I make the committment?

I think the first step is to start writing my blog for me...  I started this blog as a journal of my pregnancy.  Perhaps it's time to go back to the beginning. 

Hello?  Is anyone out there?  What do you think?

Do you even care? 

OK - So I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to a re-vamp of the blog, but after re-reading this, I am committing to posting more.  To sharing more about the girls.  To sharing more about our farm.  I don't owe it to my readers, I owe it to me.  I love doing this.  It's time I do more of what I love!

Fashion Friday - The "Uniform"

Friday Fashion – The “Uniform”
I’m fortunate that I don’t have to wear an actual “uniform” everyday – although sometimes I think that would just be easier.  None of this, “I have nothing to wear!” while looking at a closet that is over-full!  But I still feel like I have a “uniform” – you know, that look that works for you, so you have it in every color?
For me, that’s a sweater or cardigan and a colored T.  Sometimes I wear a scarf.  Sometimes a necklace.  Usually always earrings.  And well… always, pants! 
Here is an outfit from earlier this week.  Similar to last week, but then, I wear something “similar” to this all the time!

Grey knit cardigan – Shopko – Northcrest brand – (similar) 
Coral T – Old Navy – (similar) 
Chevron Scarf – – (similar)
Black leggings – actually these are yoga pants that I just tucked – they are also SUPER old! (similar)
Brown Boots – – Brash Zane Riding Boot  (similar)
*Disclaimer - I did not receive any of these items for free or any compensation from any companies listed in this post. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fashion Friday

This whole thing started with a Facebook post that I was cutting up a Fleet Farm t-shirt to make a scarf.  I have been on the hunt for a mustard colored scarf for about a month now, but haven’t found one yet.  Out of desperation to complete an outfit, I made one out of a mustard/gold colored t-shirt.
Apparently that t-shirt belonged to Paul.
Even though it has been in my drawer for the last 6 months…

Sorry Fleet Farm shirt.

Anyway, the next day I posted a picture of my outfit with the scarf in action.  I got a great (unexpected!) response and a request to post more about where I had purchased the pieces to my outfit.
I’m not gonna lie – I have always loved fashion.  I’m not talented enough to design my own clothes, but I love taking what I see online and in stores and making it happen with what I have in my closet.  One of my challenges is that I am plus-sized.  So finding outfits that are “cute” can sometimes be a challenge!  I’m hoping to do more of these posts – if a few things happen:

1.        I find a better place to shoot the pictures J

2.       I get better at taking the pictures…

3.       I remember to take the pictures…

4.       I find the time to blog the pictures…

Yeah, we’ll see how this goes.
So here’s the outfit I wore to my staff meeting yesterday:

Grey CardiganOld Navy Boyfriend Cardi – Plus
Navy Striped V-Neck T-shirt – Old Navy Vintage V-Neck – Plus  (similar)
Dark Skinny Jeans – Maurices - Plus  (similar)
Brown Boots – Payless – Brash Zane Riding Boot
Scarf – t-shirt scarf – tutorial here
*Disclaimer - I did not receive any of these items for free or any compensation from any companies listed in this post. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Hospital Bag

Recently some friends have been posting “What to pack for the hospital” posts on pinterest.  I decided to click on a few to see if I did it “right”.  I guess not.  I couldn’t believe what some of the “experienced” moms were telling people to pack!  So here is my list – take it or leave it J

What to pack for baby:

-Going home outfit.  Something comfy more than cutsey.  With Clara we packed 2 outfits, one boy and one girl, since we didn’t know what we were having.  With Hazel, we didn’t pack anything.  I put my sister in charge of purchasing an outfit and bringing it to us in the hospital.  Make sure your outfit is washed.  Bring socks.
-Carseat.  They won’t let you leave without one :)

Things I skipped:
  -diapers and wipes – they provide you with all that you will need 
  -additional clothing – again, everything you will need will be provided
  -nasal aspirator – they blue one they give you is way better than anything you can get at Target.
  -nail clippers – I was way to freaked out to go after long nails on my baby with a clipper.   Hazel had crazy long nails and they rubbed off on their own in a day.
  -pacifier – if your baby needs one, the hospital can provide you with one.
  -mittens – I’ve read some interesting studies on how detrimental the use of the baby mittens really are.  Both of my girls were hand suckers – so the mittens would have just been in the way… and soggy.
  -hat – again, they will provide you with one. Our girls rarely wore hats beyond those first few moments immediately following delivery.  I love to smell my baby’s head.

What to pack for you:

-Going home clothes.  Something comfy.  I wore yoga pants and a zip-up hoodie home both times.
-Clothes to wear after the birth.  I preferred to wear my own clothes after the delivery instead of the very fashionable hospital gowns.  With Clara, I was changed a few hours after she was born.  With Hazel, it was more than a day because of some complications I had.  Neither time were my stitches or anything checked, so having easy access to “down there” wasn’t necessary.  I would suggest dark pants, like black or dark brown.  (I had to laugh when one blog I read, where the mom has 5 children, had pictured some light yellow, flowery PJ pants to wear.  Umm, it’s like a scene from chainsaw massacre “down there”… light colors are not recommended!)  You will want a top that is easy to nurse in.  I suggest something that zips up the front.

-Nursing bras
-Socks, slippers, and flip flops
-Your own pillows
-Hairbands or a headband.  Annoying hair in your face will not be tolerated.
-Usual toiletries.  Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, etc.
-Phone, laptop, ipad, etc and chargers
-A camera your husband can operate.  It's highly unlikely that you will be the one taking those post birth photos - you'll be busy. 
-Change for the vending machine and/or snacks for your husband.  I was in labor for 22 and 12 hours.  Even though YOU won’t be able to eat during that time, he will need to.
-I brought a large tote to take home all the extra “stuff” you accumulate - paperwork and gifts.  I also received some additional pumping equipment each time.  It’s nice to have something to get all that stuff home in.
-Phone numbers for your employers HR dept and your insurance company.  I needed to notify HR of the start of my maternity leave, and needed to add baby to our insurance.  It was nice having those numbers handy.
-If your husband is staying with you:  a change of clothes for him and his toothbrush, etc.  Paul also brought his own pillow and blanket.

Things I skipped:

- Boppy pillow.  Just seemed like 1 more thing to haul along.  The nurses will give you all the pillows you need to help with nursing.
- My medications.  I have a few medications that I take daily.  These were provided to me daily during my stay.
- Breast pump.  If you need to use one, they will have one you can use.

- I preferred to just use the pads and mesh underwear the hospital provided.  If you want to bring your own, just be warned that it’s going to get gross… so bring big undies that you are willing to toss.
-Nursing pads – it’s highly unlikely that your milk will come in while you are still in the hospital, but if it does, the lactation consultants can hook you up.
-Hand sanitizer.  The rooms have sinks.  And soap.  And probably even purell mounted on the wall.  It is after all – a HOSPITAL room.

Be sure to pack all your stuff in a girly bag.  My husband got numerous compliments while carrying my Vera Bradley bag :)

What were your must-haves?  Any OB nurses want to weigh-in?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Breastfeeding - Take Two

Some of you may remember that my breastfeeding experience with Clara did not go as I had planned.  She never latched decent, we used a nipple shield for awhile, I didn't respond well to the pump, and we basically had to supplement with formula the entire time.  After 6 weeks or so... I gave up.  You can read about it here.

Because of that experience, I wasn't all that optimistic about breastfeeding this time around, but was determined to give it another shot.  Breast milk really is the best thing for baby, and if you can give that to your baby, why wouldn't you?

A little on that...  I know some people spend hours researching the best carseats, strollers, and other gear for their babies.  They buy the brand name diapers.  Then choose to formula feed without even trying to breastfeed.  No, formula isn't poison, but if you can put the best possible thing in your baby's tummy - why wouldn't you?

OK - off my soapbox.

I know some people simply don't produce enough.  But did you know that less than 3% of moms actually have that problem?  That means that 97% of moms CAN produce enough if they have the right knowledge, support, and determination. 

I know, I know... I thought I was one of those 3%.  I wasn't.  I just didn't have the right knowledge, support, or determination.  I didn't ask the right questions.  I didn't prepare myself.  I didn't trudge through when the going got tough.

The second time seems to be the charm for us!  Hazel has had a great latch from the get-go.  We had some issues in the hospital with her only being interested in one side, but thanks to the amazing lactation consultants and nurses at our hospital, we figured out what the problem was and were able to get her to latch equally on both sides.  Hazel hasn't had one ounce of formula, and I have more than 300oz frozen in the freezer.  It feels great to be successful this time around.  My first goal is 3 months and we are only 10 days away from meeting that!  Yeah!

It hasn't been all unicorns and rainbows though, we've had our share of challenges.  2 bouts with thrush, bruised nipples, cluster feeding, and my array of health issues have given me pause on more than one occasion.  But she continues to get what she needs from me, I'm putting milk in the freezer, and that makes me very proud of our progress!

I'm a firm believer that when you know better, you do better.  So here are some of the things I learned this time around that have helped me to be successful.  I hope they will help someone else!

1.  Build up support for your efforts.  Whether it's family, friends, or an online community, gather a group that you can ask questions to, celebrate those small victories with, and who can support you when times are tough.  Mandy, Linnea, my mom, and the girls on the facebook page Breast Friends have been this for me. 

2.  Remember - your breasts are never truly empty.  If you pump at 2:20, you can feed baby at 2:30 - there will be milk there.

3.  Pumping is not a true measure of what you are producing.  A pump can only transfer 30% of the milk that a baby can transfer.  The best way to know how much baby is receiving is to do a weigh, feed, weigh.  But if baby is having adequate wet and poopy diapers... they are getting enough.

4.  In the beginning, it will seem like baby is feeding constantly.  That's great!  They are helping you build your supply.  Breastmilk eventually becomes supply and demand... by nursing a lot, the baby is signaling to the body to make more milk.

5.  Find a lactation consultant that can help you.  Sometimes you just need an expert.  Like I said earlier, the LC's at our hospital are pretty amazing and really gave me some great suggestions when I hit a slump.  I still don't respond amazingly to the pump, but have learned some tricks that help me. 

6.  In the beginning, breast feeding will hurt.  This is new territory for those nipples of yours!  But a good latch, some hydrogels, and warm water soaks will help.  After a while, it won't hurt anymore, you just have to power through to that point. 

7.  There are some things you can do to increase your supply if you need to.  Drink lots of water, almond milk, eat almonds, brewer's yeast, flaxseed, oatmeal, drink Gatorade.  There are also supplements you can take, but I found that the ones that contain fenugreek cause Hazel to be gassy. 

8.  Breast pumps are expensive - no question about it - but thankfully more and more insurance companies are covering them.  I now have 2, so I will be able to keep one set-up at work and one set-up at home.

9.  If you have a smartphone, find an app to help you.  Those first few weeks it was very helpful to record which side I had nursed on last, how long we nursed, track dirty and wet diapers, etc.  You wouldn't think those things are that hard to just remember... but you will be a hormonal, exhausted mess.  Trust me on this one.

10.   Remember why you are doing this.  Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. 

Some moms can't breastfeed, some choose not to.  I'm glad that I gave this another shot and am able to provide for Hazel in this way.  We'll keep going as long as we can! 

I also wanted to add that I don't condemn moms that formula feed.  Clara ended up being formula fed and she's amazing!  But on more occasions than I care to admit, I had boob envy when talking with friends about nursing.  Formula has its place, but I hope that it is always "Plan B".

Feel free to share your breastfeeding story in the comments below!  Is there anything you would share with a new mom?

Milk Coma

Monday, November 18, 2013

Me. Lately.

My life has been a bit of a roller coaster since Hazel's arrival.  Health-wise.

Beyond the normal hormone awesomeness that occurs post-partum (I'm amazed Paul doesn't have me committed during those first few weeks!), all seemed well until I went in for my 6 week post-partum check-up (October 11).

I remembered this appointment from my pregnancy with Clara, and actually was a little sad that it would signal the end of this pregnancy.  I expected to be in and out in a half hour and then do a little shopping.

Boy, was I wrong.

During routine questioning, my doctor learned I was still bleeding, which apparently is not normal.  After an ultrasound, it was determined that I still had a golf ball sized piece of placenta hanging out in my uterus. 


Not really.

So off to surgery I went for a D&C.  (more on this later)

During the week that followed, I felt pretty good.  Barely any pain and the bleeding tapered off considerably.

Then a week later (October 18), I woke up gushing blood.  When I called in, they told me to come in immediately.  Another ultrasound showed there were still fragments present.  My doctor did not want to attempt another D&C as to avoid Asherman's Syndrome, so he decided to put me on an estrogen therapy to kick start my cycle and flush out the fragments.

I was a little worried about the effects of estrogen on breastfeeding, but trust my doctor, so started taking the estrogen pills.

Then a week later (October 24) I experienced another syncope event, similar to what I had experienced after Hazel's delivery.  I mentioned it at my post-op appointment the following day.  My doctor explained that there are some rare heart conditions that women can develop during pregnancy, so he wanted to run a few tests.  Off I went for a chest x-ray and EKG.

The following Wednesday (October 30), I went shopping for a few hours solo when I started experiencing chest pains that radiated to my back.  When I got home, I called the triage nurse at my hospital and explained what I was experiencing.  She told me to hang up and dial 911 immediately.  So I got an ambulance ride to the hospital.  After a CT scan, it was determined I had a peripheral pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung).  A few more hours in the ER and some good meds, they sent me home.  Turns out this can be a side-effect of the estrogen therapy.


Not really.

Other than that, things have been great!  :)  Like I said, a bit of a roller coaster.  This is uncharted territory for me - I've been healthy as a horse my entire life.  A bit scary, but overall things have been good the last few weeks.

I'm thankful that none of these things became more serious.  I'm not lucky, I'm blessed. 

Will you take me back?

I realized today I've been on maternity leave for almost 3 months and during that time, I have posted once.

I'm really sucking it up in the blogging department.

With Clara I had weekly pregnancy updates and monthly updates on her growth.   I haven't managed either of those things this time around.  Poor Hazel.

Let's be honest - there just isn't time with 2 of them around.

But I'm gonna give it another shot.  I enjoy this blogging thing and I need to make time for it.  I've apologized before, and I probably will again, but I'm going to make an attempt.

Will you take me back? :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hazel's Birth Story

They aren’t kidding when they tell you that each labor and delivery is different.  Even though I knew this, I couldn’t help but think, “I know how this will go, I’ve done this before.”  But this delivery was much different than Clara!
I woke up to contractions around 2:30am on Sunday morning, September 1st.  They were 5-7 minutes apart and growing stronger.  I started timing them on my phone and tried to rest a little longer.  Around 5am I called the hospital and talked to the triage nurse, who also happened to be the labor nurse I had with Clara.  She told me to come in, and I told her we would be there within the hour.  I woke Paul up, threw a few remaining things in Clara’s bag and Paul went to take her to his parent’s.  While they were gone, I showered and got ready to go.  Once Paul got home, he did chores, showered, got ready, packed his bag… and took his sweet time, never mind the fact that by now my contractions were 3-4 min apart.  We finally climbed in the car at 6am.  On the way to the hospital we stopped at the bakery to drop off eggs and then at the store so Paul could get things ready for the day – never mind the fact that I was puffing through contractions by this point... 
We arrived at the hospital a little before 7am, where we met our nurse Ashley, who happened to be a classmate of Paul’s.  She hooked me up to the monitors and checked me – I was dilated to a 3-4.  The contractions were still strong and I tried standing and walking to help ease the pain.  Paul sat on the couch on his phone.  At some point my doctor came in to go over our game plan for the day.  My blood pressure was a little high, so they wanted to run a few tests to make sure I wasn’t pre-eclamptic.   

Around 9am, the nurse let me know that there was a c-section scheduled for 10am, so if I wanted my epidural she would call for it then since there was only 1 anesthesiologist on.  He came quickly and after 2 tries I was feeling a lot less pain!  My blood pressure resolved back to normal and my pre-eclampsia tests came back normal. 

We hung out for a few more hours, Paul left to get lunch. At some point my water broke.  Then I started feeling a lot of pressure, and pain.  I was still only a 9 with a little “lip” of cervix left, so I couldn’t push yet, but they had me lay on each side to help finishing the thinning.  I have no idea what time it was (sometime after 2pm) when the doctor came in and checked me.  I was still lying on my side, when he asked me to do a few “practice pushes” to see where we were at.  6 minutes later we had a baby at 2:24pm!  It was very painful, and pretty much a blur.  I have no idea where Paul was during the delivery, who held my leg (I was still on my side) or if the doctor even got gowned up.  It all happened so fast! 

I was still trying to wrap my head around what had just happened when Paul told me we had another little girl!  He got to cut the cord (something he didn’t get to do with Clara).  As the nurses were cleaning her up, someone said something about red hair and told Paul to get his camera.  I couldn’t believe when they weighed her and announced the weight at 9lbs, 12oz!  Clara had only weighed 7lbs, 6oz… I guess that explains all the hip pain!
Soon they had both of us cleaned up (no tears!  Yeah!), and we were able to snap a few family pictures and give her a name.  30 minutes or so after she arrived, the lactation consultant came in to help us do our first feeding.  I was interested to see how this would go since Clara never really had a good latch and feeding was a major struggle the entire time we were in the hospital. (in fact, we had to stay an extra day with Clara because the feeding was going to poorly). 
Not too far into the feeding session, I started to get really lightheaded and my ears started to ring.  I told the LC I wasn’t feeling well, and she told me to close my eyes and lay my head back.  I remember holding on to the rail of the bed, and my hand slipping down and having no control over it.  I opened my eyes to a room full of people, laying flat on my back, and my doctor rubbing my sternum.  I wanted to tell him to stop because it hurt, but I couldn’t form the words.  I felt a prick in my arm and looked over to a nurse starting another IV.  At some point I became more coherent and watched as they hooked up more IV bags and squeezed them into me.  They drew blood, they pricked my finger, they talked in words I didn’t understand.  I could see Paul standing in the back corner white as a sheet, but I had no idea where Hazel was.

I have no idea how much time passed, but eventually they asked me if I knew where I was, what I had named my baby, etc.  At some point they announced I was, “back.”  Later my nurse would tell me that my blood pressure dropped to 50/33.  She said that her initial thought was that I was hemorrhaging, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case.  They marked it up to a vasovagal syncope episode from the shock of how fast everything had happened.
A few hours after I was starting to feel better, I asked if I could get up, have the epidural equipment removed, go to the bathroom, etc. I was still hooked up to 2 IV’s, so my nurse helped me to the bathroom.  While in there however, I suffered another episode which bought me a wheelchair ride back to my bed and a “revocation” of my “out of bed” privileges.  J  Clara came sometime during all that, so I really didn’t get to witness her first interaction with her new sister, which happened in the hallway with Paul and Hazel.  Kinda bummed about that.
I ended up keeping the IV’s for another 24 hours, and wasn’t able to get out of bed on my own until late Monday evening.  Eventually I was able to shower and put on my own clothes once the IV’s were gone.  This was so much different that my experience with Clara – just a few hours after she was born I was up, showered, and had my own clothes on to meet company.  This time I really felt like a “patient”.
Thankfully, Hazel was great at latching and the feedings went well.  On Tuesday morning, we had both passed all our tests to be able to go home.  I was anemic and my hemoglobin had dropped (I did end up bleeding more than normal), so had to have more blood tests before they would let me leave.  Hazel’s bilirubin looked great, so around 1:30pm or so we were on our way home!
I am so thankful that everything turned out OK.  We were lucky enough to have our 2 favorite nurses from Clara’s birth again, Kelly and Megan, and added a new favorite nurse, Ashley.  The lactation consultants were great once again as well – so thankful for the “Ann’s”!  I am thankful that I was able to cut 12 hours off my labor time, and that the “pushing” part was so short!
While my immediate post-partum didn’t go anything like I had imagined, I’m thankful that the overall experience was great! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Repurposed Lacy Scarf

A while ago I pinned this scarf from Nordstrom's on pinterest. 
Super cute.  As I was editing some of my pinterest boards the other day, I came across it again and still liked it.  I clicked on the link, and of course the product was long gone from the store shelves.  Bummer.

Then I had to go to Salvation Army to pick-up an old blanket for our new kittens to sleep on.  We aren’t really at the stage of life where we have “old” blankets yet, so I had to buy one…

While I was there, I checked out the $1 rack.  That’s where I found 2 lacy, Christmas-y table coverings.  2 of them… for a dollar…  My mind went back to that scarf and I thought, “Hey!  I could make one!”  So I handed off my $1.07 at the register and put my plan into action.

The tablecloths were rectangles, so I had nice square edges to work from.  I measured a long strip 10 inches wide and 50 inches long. 

Then I headed to my sewing room, moved the tub of baby chicks that has been living there, and cozied up to my machine.  I folded the strip in half (hot-dog fold) then sewed up the open end.  There really wasn’t a “right” or “wrong” side to this fabric, but if there had been I would have folded it “right” sides together.  When I had finished the seam, I turned it inside out.  I used a zig zag stitch because I figured it would catch more of the “lace” than a straight stitch.  If I had a serger I would have used that, but I don’t, so I didn’t.  J

Then I matched up the short ends and sewed them together.

Ta-Da!  Scarf done!  And it literally took less than 10 minutes from the time I started laying it out and cutting.  I have about 1 ¾ table cloths left…  I might try making another one and dying it a different color.  Scarf cost me less than $.15…  I’ll take it!

Here’s the finished scarf.

And here’s me wearing the finished scarf.  PS – pretty sure this is my first attempt at taking pictures of myself for the blog!  Eek!

What do you think?  Does it look a little like the Nordstrom scarf, or does it just look like a table cloth around my neck?

Opinions welcome! 

**Neither Nordstrom's or Salvation Army compensated me for this post.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby Lu - Week 26

Total weight gain/loss: -21 lbs
Next appointment: 2 weeks
Maternity Clothes: Pants pretty much 100% of the time. Still wearing normal shirts – I don’t think I will probably ever really need maternity shirts.  I live in Old Navy T’s…
Sleep: The last few nights have been perfect sleeping weather – nice and cool with the windows open.  Wish that lasted all summer…
Movement: Yep - daily
Food cravings: Still crave fruit – cantaloupe and melon have been staples in my diet.
Contractions: nope
Best moment of the week: Clara asking if I could have the baby soon… like tomorrow.  Sorry hunny!  Let’s hope Baby Lu doesn’t come tomorrow!
What I miss: wine.
What I am looking forward to: We need to settle on a boy name.  Once I have that in place, I will feel more ready…  although there are A LOT of other things I need to get done! 
Milestones: 1-hr glucose test – PASSED!! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baby Bunnies!

Remember when I introduced you to Clara's new bunny, The Bunny?  Turns out The Bunny WAS pregnant when we bought her, and now we have 4 little baby bunnies.  I'm not going to complain though, they are the CUTEST little things I have ever seen!

...and I'm not ashamed to admit that my voice goes up a few octaves and I talk like a freak around them...  They are THAT cute!

We left them alone for a few weeks, but now they are old enough that we can handle them and play with them a little.  They are 1/4 Satin and 3/4 LionHead, or so we've been told. 

Last night I was able to snap a few photos of them.  There are 4, but the 4th one is very jumpy and pretty fast, so we don't get him out very much - I'm afraid he'll get away!  Clara has apparently named them all... Dora, Hola, and Boots.  When I asked her what she had named the one in the cage, she told me "Swiper"!  How fitting...

So here they are!  I am happy to introduce Dora, Hola, and Boots!  (I have no idea who is who...)

Also... Clara has a cold, which explains the runny nose and the red cheeks.  Playing with cute baby bunnies is good medicine though :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

From the mouths of babes... Clara Says

It’s pretty crazy what comes out of Clara’s mouth these days…  It is apparent that she hears and absorbs EVERYTHING that goes on around her.  I usually post some of the good stuff on my facebook page, and someone suggested I start a “Clara says” blog….  While I might not go that far, I think putting them here will not only let others share in her dialogue, but also serve as a good way to document them.
So here goes, the first installment of “Clara Says”
*I read Clara a book called, “Who Am I?” quite often at night… it’s one of her favorites and she likes telling me who each of the characters are.  Last night I laid down on her bed, so she covered me up and read me a story, which was “Who Am I?”  As she turned each page she asked, “Who am I?”  As I responded with the animal on each page, she told me, “That’s very good Mom!”  I’m such an over achiever…  J
*When the litter box isn’t clean, Lucy (our cat) tends to poop on the floor – which drives all of us crazy, but Paul especially.  He has some “colorful” words for that cat quite often.  And Clara has picked up on it…  The other night Lucy walked into the living room and Clara declared, “Fxxxing cat is going to poop on the floor.”   It was one of those, “Don’t laugh, but that is SO funny” moments!  She gets her potty mouth from her father...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reluctant Mother

Those who know me well know that I was reluctant to enter the world of motherhood.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t love the role now… although I have my moments.  It also doesn’t mean that I don’t love my beautiful, independent daughter.  It just means that I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this job…
Those who know me well also know that I’m not a risk taker.  I don’t really get myself into things I don’t think I will excel at.  Sure, I’ve failed before – but I wouldn’t say that I fail well.  But nothing I have ever failed at was as big as “motherhood”…
Perhaps that was the biggest part of my reluctance.  I didn’t know if I would be any good at the parenting thing… and if I wasn’t, there really wasn’t any way to get out of it…  it’s kinda a permanent thing.  It’s not like the shoes I bought that ended up hurting my feet that I can return or sell at a garage sale. 
But God decided that “motherhood” was a role I was going to have, and we were blessed with our little Clara Ann.  She’s precocious, and smart, and talkative, and adventurous, and painfully independent.  She can also be shy, and snuggly, and caring.  Sometimes she is even pouty, and whiny, and picky, and indecisive. 
But I can be all those things too.
I’m almost 3 years into this job as “mom”, and soon another little person will call me “mom” as well.  I’m not sure I’m any more prepared this time around… but I know we’ll make it through.  Because the sun will rise, another day will break, and we get another chance to make it work.  Although there have been days, I have yet to stick a “FREE” sign on her and put her at the end of the driveway.
Because I know I would miss her.
The motherhood thing has grown on me… I wouldn’t venture to say I’m “good” at it, but I don’t think I have failed at it either.
At least, not yet… we have a lot of years and opportunities for that ahead…
On this Mother’s Day, I say a prayer of thanks that I have been blessed with a wonderful mother and sister (who is a mom) that I look to as role models and can ask for advice, guidance, or to simply share the misery (at times) with.  Both are such an inspiration to me!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who might read this – whether you are a reluctant or willing mom, a mom to human or fur babies, have watched your babies grow or are still waiting to be blessed with children.  Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One for the Record Books!

Snow day today, so I am sitting at my dining table, hot coffee in my favorite mug, fire roaring in the pellet stove, thinking it's a good day to get the Christmas decorations out...

Oh wait, it's May 2nd...

and we have 12 inches of snow in our yard, and it isn't letting up.

The current record for snow in May in our area is 1.2 inches in 1944.

We've got that beat hands down!

We are fortunate in the fact that we still have power and heat - many in our area don't.  Roads around us are closed and the plows aren't out too heavy yet, so we can't really go anywhere.

Some people HAVE to work today - my brother is an electrical linesman and my brother-in-law drives snow plow - they will be busy today!  STAY SAFE!

My friend Amber stated it best in her facebook status:  "While snow in May isn't is what it is, we can't change it! Take advantage of what we have been given: play with your kids in the snow, bake some cookies, snap some pics, etc....."

So that's what we're going to do!  Watch movies, play, color, bake some cookies, do laundry, and watch baby chicks hatch...

Sounds like a great day!

...and Spring can start TOMORROW!  :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trying to Think SPRING!

It's supposed to snow again here today in southern Minnesota, but everything around us on the farm is screaming, "IT'S SPRING!"  It is May 1st after all... it's about time.

Paul has some of the garden planted - cool weather crops that can take the chill.  Onions, beets, radishes, lettuce...  The man loves to turn the soil and the sound of the tiller is almost constant around here if he's home!

Speaking of sounds... we weaned lambs the other night and took the wether (castrated male) lambs and the ewe (female) lambs we were not going to keep as replacements to the livestock auction on Monday night.  The ewes protested by baaing all night and most of the day Tuesday.  They seem to have settled more now and are content to graze in the pasture.  The lambs sold well - 2 groups averaging 47 pounds per lamb and 62 pounds per lamb.  Both groups sold for $1.55 per pound.  The lamb market is high right now, which is a good thing for us.  We will most likely have to buy some hay this year to get us through the winter, and hay is going to be high priced this year due to the winter loss many farmers suffered.

Another sound of Spring...  baby chicks cheeping in the incubator!  They haven't even hatched out of the shells yet and are already making noise! 

Remember The Bunny?  She had babies...  Not sure how many, as we are leaving them alone for a few days so she won't reject them.  They aren't very cute in the beginning anyway... hairless, squirmy masses.  I'll post pics once they hit the "cute" stage.

We are really ready for weeks of nice weather, not just days.  Clara sleeps so much better after she's been outside helping and playing after we all get home for the night. 

Spring, can you hear me?  We're ready for you!

Eggs in the incubator- hope to have a few chicks by tonight!

Clara with Daisy - the brand new dairy calf born at the in-laws!

Watering in the new plum trees.

Who needs to change before chores?  Clara watering the sheep in her jammes and puddle boots!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baby Lu - 21 Weeks

21 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: -17 lbs

Next appointment: 5 weeks - will put me back on track and then start appointments every 2 weeks.

Maternity Clothes: Pants pretty much 100% of the time.  Still wearing normal shirts though.

Sleep: Clara NEEDS to start sleeping in her own bed… for everyone’s sake!

Movement: Yep - daily

Food cravings: Nothing in particular – it’s nice being able to eat again though

Contractions: nope

Best moment of the week: Ultrasound!  Was wonderful to see Baby Lu is be all accounts at this point, healthy!  It was weird seeing and feeling the kicks at the same time.

What I miss: Lots of coffee

What I am looking forward to: settling on some names

Milestones: signed Clara up for the Sibling Class!

PS - I got a new laptop (and iPad!)!  Blogging is so much easier now - I LOVE IT!!