Tuesday, July 29, 2008

For the Curious

This is how one looks at 5:30 p.m. when:
*one has been forced out of bed at the obscenely early hour of 9 a.m.
*one has been dragged to swimming lessons which are not fun AT ALL (even if it is a little fun to back stroke, and jump off the diving board, and bounce and do things that look like playing).
*one has thrown a full tantrum after being allowed to watch only 30 minutes of the best Barbie movie ever by one's tyrannical mother, even when one is quite certain one has been promised the privilege of watching the WHOLE movie.
*one has been dragged to the grocery story where one's every incredibly reasonable request for delicious sugary treats was rejected under the ridiculous pretenses of "We don't need any more treats. Help me find some delicious healthy food." As if that exists.
*one has had no choice but to stage a violent protest against the making of dinner (by the aforementioned tyrant) when one just wanted to sit down and read books.
*one has been asked to share the enormous pile of baby blankets with one's demonic younger sister when it is OBVIOUS that there are simply not enough for more than one person.
There are days when I wish she would just tell me she's exhausted.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nesting by the Numbers

Apparently, I have decided to start nesting. I haven't done this with either of my other children, so I'm a little surprised to see the productivity available to an 87-month pregnant woman. Let's look at what I've done in the past couple weeks.

20: The number of quilt blocks I've sewn. (VERY very easy--I've never done a real quilt before--from this pattern.)
3: The number of newborn-sized dresses I've sewn. (The first is from this pattern, available for free on the internet. Also incredibly easy.)

Apparently, I have a thing for polka dots? (In my defense, the yellow with white polka dots was left over from the dresses I made for Olivia and Mimi for my brother's wedding.)
2: New maternity tops I've made for myself. (The other one, same pattern in solid green, was dirty and unavailable for photographs. The pattern is Built by Wendy from Simplicity--available at JoAnn, with this sleeve modification and a much higher neckline.)
3/4: Gallons of light blue paint used to cover the baby's room walls. I really need to figure out how to find the backlight setting on my camera. This picture is terrible.
87,000: Number of hours spent gathering the sides of this crib skirt.
2: Number of dollars spent on the materials for making my own crib skirt. (It might have been worth it to just buy a dang crib skirt from Walmart.)
By the way, the color of the wall in this picture is much closer than in the picture above.
1: New cover for the moses basket. The old one was just a tad too vintage for me.
5: Number of new crib sheets made. (Two for the moses basket, three for the crib.)
2.5: Dollars spent on materials for each crib sheet.
0.25: Hours spent making each crib sheet. (Definitely worth making your own. Use this tutorial.)
1: New diaper bag. Not made by me, but by Sara, who brought it with her when she came from Indy. Isn't it fantastic? She used this pattern.)
The only vital things left are:
a) get a crib mattress. (We completely hammered the two we used for the other girls, and I threw them away on the way out of Toledo.)
b) have the baby. This Saturday would be best. If any of you have extra time in your prayers you'd like to fill, you could certainly throw in a little plea for me.
c) think of a name. Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More than you wanted to know

Has it been two weeks since my last post? I've always said that the only way to slow time down is to live the last month of pregnancy, but apparently these last two weeks have flown by anyway. I'm not complaining.
Matt and Lindsay Wetzel, delightful friends of ours from Toledo, came to visit last weekend. They wanted to see Indiana Dunes, we wanted to see Indiana Dunes, and it all came together because, guess what? We live less than an hour from Indiana Dunes.
We woke up Saturday morning and the rain was pouring down. John, Lindsay, and I all decided that we would not be getting in the lake on such a cold stormy day, but the girls and Matt packed their suits anyway, with great faith that it couldn't rain all afternoon (having lived in the Midwest for 4 years, let me tell you: YES, IT CAN!), and it turns out, they were right. The weather, once we got to the dunes/beach, was perfect. And Matt, it also turns out, is the perfect entertainer for my two little mermaids.They swam to him, swam on him, made him dig big holes for the waves to fill, and prodded him to do all sorts of water tricks.
Livi showed some of her newfound swimming lessons skills.
And everyone but yours truly climbed the largest dune in the area. I am afraid that getting myself down to the beach from the car took half of my daily energy ration, so I determined (math major that I am) that if I climbed the dune, I would be left with just enough to dial 911 and make the Beached Whale Rescue Squad come and fetch me. I was picturing dunes a little more like. . . well. . . dunes, when I envisioned the Indiana Dunes. However, just like everything else out here in fantastic farmland, they are much greener and forested than their Western counterpart.
The Wetzels were delightful guests, and we would love to have them come visit again. And let me extend the invitation to any of our other friends. We would love to see any of you. We have an extra bed (Yay!! Extra!!), and we have a couple beaches. We also have a chocolate factory. And a zoo. And that is probably the extent of my tourism knowledge.

Next, John fixed a plugged rain gutter on our high roof. I was comforted, as he danced around 30 feet above the ground, only moderately by our recent acquisition of life insurance. Luckily, he made it down safely.
While he was up there, he spotted this little glob of cement on one of our roof vents.
Upon closer inspection, what did he find? NOT a glob of cement, but another frog/toad. What is it with this house? Frog central. Shudder.
This week, we have been joined by the feminine 3/4 of the Soelberg family from Indianapolis. Sara and her two girls arrived Monday morning, and we have partied hard since then, just sending them off an hour ago back to Joe (who has missed them terribly, I'm sure). What did we do?
Well, of course, we went to Silver Beach. Libby and Olivia sat on the edge of the water and dug holes and piled sand and dug holes and piled sand for two hours.
Mimi and Jenna found ladybugs and seashells.
Olivia climbed the lifeguard tower.
We left the beach just as the dark clouds came rolling in. Such a lovely afternoon.
What else did we do?
*went to the hospital to eat with John. The Soelberg children and the Wells children have two entirely different ideas of hospitals. I don't know if my girls know that anything happens at a hospital except in the cafeteria. Libby and Jenna had to be reassured several times that this was a hospital restaurant and that no one was hurt, and nothing was going to happen to them.
*toured the South Bend Chocolate Factory. This was delicious and interesting, and I firmly recommend it.
*went fabric shopping at Wal-Mart and clearance-shoe shopping at Target. Very profitable on both counts.
*walked and biked around the neighborhood to our hearts' content.
We love the Soelbergs, and hope they visit again soon.

Also, Naomi and Olivia both passed their swimming lessons. Liv passed Level 2, and Mimi passed (with greater cheerfulness than is expressed in this picture) Level 1. We are attempting Level 3 with Liv, but find it to be about as simple and enjoyable as getting her to ride her bike around the Walking Group Trail at Swan Creek Park. (Leisy, feel free to make any remarks that come to mind about the screaming.)
Phew---two weeks worth of posts in one fell swoop. I doubt if anyone will even make it to the end of this post.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Did you know South Bend was in California?

We went to the beach yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful. Sunny, not too hot, a little breezy. A perfect West Coast day. Except it was up in Michigan. Off Lake Michigan. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't think "Michigan" when I think "beach", but there we were, in St. Joseph, Michigan (correct me if I'm wrong, SB Ladies, but it was Michigan, right?) playing on the beach.
The water was a little chilly for my tastes, and Olivia had warned me all morning that she was not getting in the water. All those crocodiles, fish, and sharks had her really worried. However, it seems she forgot her fears once we got there, and she was doing her very best to bodysurf those Lake Michigan waves.
Now, everyone from Toledo--I want you to specifically notice that there are no signs that say "The State has determined the levels of bacteria in this water are too high for safety." I didn't really have any worries that my children were going to emerge from the water with a couple extra toes or an ear growing out the back of their head.
And the beach sand went for quite a ways out into the water. It wasn't thick, gooey Great Lakes mud a couple feet in. It was a lovely, lovely beach.
This little fella is Luke Brady (isn't he cute?). I've taken and posted the picture of him in a pink dress for future blackmail purposes. Not every little guy can pull pink ruffles off like he can.

So, all you Toledo-ites and Indianapolis-ites and Utah-ites and Alaska-ites--come visit. We'll see the beach. (The invitation is also extended to the Californians, Hawaiians, and Marylanders, but I don't know if it's as tempting for them.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Befores and Afters (Kitchen)

This was the kitchen before. Except that wall looks yellow, and it was dingy yellow-tan. And those cupboards were WAY off white. And that hardware. Grandma hardware, right? And the shelf above the stove? And the little gingerbread type trim up top? Yuck.
And the brown pantry door. And you can see there is more gingerbread trim above the sink. Very, very drab.

Here is my new kitchen. The yellow is slightly brighter than the closest wall color, but not as dark as it looks back in the corner. And please excuse the dishes in the sink and the watermelon in the corner. Don't we just love the white window trim? And the white chairs from my little dinette set that I thought I would certainly be leaving in Toledo?This is the best part. Look at that overhead microwave. And those knobs and bin pulls. And that white pantry door. I love my kitchen! Love it, love it, love it. It's looked like this for a month now (of course I haven't posted any pictures), and I still love it.

And now for the craziest thing. John was washing the siding on the front of the house, and reaching behind the shutters to clear out some twigs, leaves, and other debris, when this little guy hopped out to land on the mulch.
A frog!! I don't do frogs. I think I discussed this once at book club. I DO NOT DO FROGS. I'm so glad it was John that encountered a frog behind the shutters and not me. The thought gives me the willies. What on earth was he doing behind the shutters? How did he get there? Do you think he can jump four feet in the air? I'm shuddering just thinking about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day!!

We had a simply magnificent 4th of July. Wasn't the weather perfect out here in the Midwest? Warm and sunny, but not too hot or humid. Perfect! I've been so grateful for the beautiful weather. My hugely pregnant self doesn't want to deal with the hot, hot, sticky hot of the summer just yet.
Anyway, we started out with John only having to do rounds on a couple patients, so he was back and free by 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m.!! Aren't we lucky? Then we headed on over to a neighborhood bike parade (not our neighborhood, but Cross Creek--where the Galbraiths, Wheelers, and a whole bunch of other residents live). Olivia was all gussied up with a patriotic head scarf and police badge from the policeman running the event.
These are the BIG kids, getting ready to bike as fast as their little legs could go. We were warned at least 10,000 times by the man with the microphone that everyone had to stay BEHIND the fire trucks. Every time he said it, Olivia nodded over at me solemnly, acknowledging she had received the message clearly. (Considering our morning walks, where she won't cross the street if there is a car within visual distance going either direction, I wasn't really very worried.)
John was incredibly patriotic in his Honduran soccer jersey.
This was my favorite part of the pre-parade festivities. First, they had several grade school children sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and then a very small child lead us all in the pledge of allegiance. Then this forty-something guy pulls out his trumpet and plays "The Star-Spangled Banner." (I could just picture the neighborhood Parade-Planning Meeting, where the chairman voices, "Man, if we only knew someone who could still play the trumpet." And this guy got all excited, raised his hand wildly, and thinks triumphantly, "I knew it was a good thing to save my high school trumpet.") Then, he and another high-school band star--this one a thirty-something with a triple tom, led us out behind the fire trucks. It was awesome!

Here's the parade from my perspective. This is not really a parade that anyone watches, just a parade that everyone participates in.
After the parade, we retired to the Galbraiths to swim our little hearts out. Olivia is absolutely determined that she needs both goggles and floaties to swim. Consequently, she looks absolutely fabulous. Mimi changes from floaties to pool ring to life-preserver.
We have both of the girls signed up for swimming lessons starting Monday. Wish us luck!

After the swim-fest, we went home briefly to rest, and then headed out to a lovely barbecue at the Bradys, which I did not document. (Off topic: I would like to know the plural of such proper names as "Brady" and "Story". Are they the "Bradies" and the "Stories", or the "Bradys" and the "Storys"? I don't think an appostrophe is appropriate, considering I don't want the possessive form.)
I honestly didn't think anything could match up to the small-town 4th of July celebration in Blanding, but this came awfully close. What a lovely holiday!