Tuesday, June 29, 2010

31 Weeks Down

Today I am 31 weeks pregnant. 9 more weeks to go! Weird to be in the single digits of the weeks countdown! I don't really talk much about being pregnant on here, so I thought I'd give an update combined with a pregnancy-related craft.

I actually made this skirt a while ago, before our vacation. I really wanted a denim maternity skirt but was unwilling to pay the $70 for the Ann Taylor Loft version. Inspired by this tutorial on homemade by jill, I decided to try making my own. Whereas jill started with a pair of jeans, I actually started with a regular denim skirt that I got at a consignment sale with my mom. At the time of the consignment sale, I could actually wear this skirt, although it was a couple of sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy size. It quickly would no longer button or zip and the refashion was needed.

I bought some navy knit fabric from Jo-Ann fabrics. I would say that you need less than 1/4 yard, depending on how big you want the maternity pouch to be. I also bought a package of 1" elastic.

First, I cut off the waistband and zipper following the line of a pair of maternity shorts that I had, which would dip down in a "U" in the front and be straight across in the back. Then I wrapped the knit fabric around myself as a way to measure how much I would need. Originally, I wanted to have a full belly panel - which means the knit fabric would cover my entire belly, however, I quickly decided that that was not going to be a good option in summer - too hot! I changed it to a short strip that basically holds the skirt up under my belly.

I pinned the knit fabric along the cut edge of the skirt and then doubled the knit fabric back onto itself and matched up the other seam with the one I just pinned. I sewed the raw seam nearly all the way around. This created a little pouch for the elastic. I threaded the elastic through using a giant safety pins, sewed both ends of the elastic together and then sewed the knit fabric closed. Voila - maternity skirt in seriously 5 minutes. In hindsight, I should have taken pictures of this whole process but hopefully you get my drift.

Here is the finished product:


And On - These pics were taken of me last week on 6/23/10 (30 weeks, 1 day):




So how much did this project cost me? The skirt, from Boden, was $4 at the consignment sale. Elastic is about $1 per package if you use a 50% off coupon that Jo-Ann Fabrics throws at you and the knit fabric was about $2-3, again using a coupon. So for roughly $7-8 and 5 minutes of time, you too can have a maternity jean skirt should you find yourself preggers :)

You might be thinking that the belly is hard to see in the above photos - and you are right - that is why Black is a ladies best friend, ha ha ha. Here are some belly shots taken of me two days before (29 weeks, 6 days) that:
To the front:


To the Side:


The third trimester has been my favorite one so far, although I will say that I sometimes feel like my belly grows overnight. I am still not sleeping well, although recently have become MORE tired - lots of disjointed sleep in the Schlotty household, which I suppose is preparing me well for life with an actual baby, something I still cannot fathom at times. I am getting more and more curious about the gender of the baby and what he/she will look like. We STILL have not finalized names, but I have a feeling that we'll "know" when we see him/her. Otherwise, it might be a long life of "Baby Schlotty" ha ha ha.

I am still attempting to run, although it is getting more challenging by the fact that I have to pee after about 10-15 minutes. Last night was my most recent run and I made it 12 minutes before having to come back into the house to pee and head back out. Generally I would say that I'm more run/walking. I try to run as long as I feel comfortable and then walk for a period and maybe return to running if I"m not too hot (which is rare, lately). This has forced me to stick to loops around the neighborhood where I can run by my house every so often in the event I need a bathroom break. I also will take a bottle of water with me on my 2nd trip out to make sure I don't overheat. I try to get in a lunch time walk most days at work for about 35 minutes, have re-attempted swimming and have increasingly turned to yoga more and more - both through a prenatal yoga class and a DVD. I hope to do more kayaking at the lake this summer since wakeboarding and waterskiing are out of the picture for me.

So that's the pregnancy update!

Crafting Barter



One of the sewing projects I completed over the weekend was another Birdie Sling, which I made for our friend Sarah, who made me a gorgeous necklace earlier this year. It was fun bartering crafts, although I maintain that I got the good end of that bargain.

Sarah picked out the main fabric of this bag, which is Anna Maria Horner's Rose Guest of Honor from her Garden Party collection. I paired it with the mustard yellow filigree fabric from AMH's Good Folks Collection and the lining was some leftover cathedral fabric (also from Good Folks) that I had from making my goddaughter's bag. I was happy with how it turned out although working with a large print was a bit challenging - it takes more fabric as you have to be careful to include as much of a whole flower as possible.



Sarah is in the process of starting her Etsy shop. You can view her other amazing creations via her Facebook page.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Summer & Happy Father's Day Part 2

This past weekend was another whirlwind. Has it really been a week since I last posted on here?

Friday night the hubs and I cooked dinner, took a walk and watched It's Complicated. I love Alec Baldwin. I really wanted Meryl Streep's house in this movie.

Saturday morning started early for me - pregnancy induced insomnia is still my top complaint about pregnancy. So it was up at 4 AM to do some sewing - which means I'll have some projects to post about this week. Stay tuned! I got a (short) run in and then Nate & I went to the lake to get some swimming in since it was so hot. BLK joined us for a quick dip before it was off to Girls Night for us. Mexican food, followed by Get Him to the Greek, custard and reminiscing over old photo albums made for a fun filled night.

Yesterday we spent some time at the lake playing cards and thinking of baby names with the Schlottys and then it was time to get ready for Father's Day Part 2 - my family was coming to our place for dinner. Nate was excited that my niece Toni has a new found interest in golf so he set up the golf net and gave her an assortment of day-glo balls. We stopped short of letting her take my purple putter home!



Future Rockstar Dad here:


And now back to Monday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer and Happy Father's Day!

Today is the first official day of summer! YAY! We celebrated by getting some time in at Nate's family's lake house over the weekend for Father's Day. Unfortunately for me, I will not be waterskiing or wakeboarding this summer, lest risk a placental abruption. So I did some kayaking and swimming instead. Maybe I'll deliver with ripped arm muscles from all the kayaking. :)

Father's Day was a success - pretty much a perfect sunny day at the lake with brats and burgers. YUM. My father-in-law seemed to like the weed wacker we gave him and Nate even got this cute "new dad" book from his parents. It is a great book - very funny and with cute pictures and little advice tidbits. If you are ever looking for a dad-to-be gift for a first time dad, I highly recommend it. Nate is a really hard person to buy things for, in my opinion, but I did want to get him a little something to mark the occasion. So Baby Schlotty and I picked out two board books about dads. Yeah, it's technically a present for the baby, but Nate actually really thought it was a good idea and in my opinion, you can never have too many books! He already is practicing for when the baby is OUTSIDE the womb :) I found both of these books at Target: Daddy Loves Me and Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug

After dessert, cribbage, and some myofacial release relaxation courtesy of Aunt Shari, we headed back home. My sister made a stop over last night because she just got back from Peru and wanted to show us her 1000+ photos. She also came bearing gifts - we got some coffee, and I got a necklace and a headband. AND...by far one of the cutest baby gifts we have gotten so far - a hand knit alpaca peruvian sweater for Baby Schlotty. I literally started crying it was so cute!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Let's Go to the Movies, Annie, Wait and See"


We finally saw Iron Man 2 tonight. The geek in me loves superhero movies - I loved the first Iron Man, although I think I will always be partial to Batman as my favorite. We both thought it was a fun movie and having Robert Downey, Jr for some eye candy certainly doesn't hurt, in my opinion! (Don't give me that look - the guys have Gwynnie and Scarlett Johansen to oogle).

The movie broke me out of my rut of depressing films. I watched The Lovely Bones, Revolutionary Road and Rachel Getting Married all in the past week (hello - I don't sleep - I have to have SOMETHING to fill the hours between 3 and 6 AM!). I wouldn't put any of them in the "fun movie" category!

My thoughts -

The Lovely Bones - eh. I remember thinking the book was good when I read it during grad school. The translation to movie was better than I was expecting, but I wasn't amazed. That and I thought I was going to have nightmares about my daughter getting savagely murdered by a creepy neighbor. (I didn't give anything away - you find this out right away in the movie).

Revolutionary Road - one of my friends told me this might not be the best movie to watch while being pregnant. However, I read the book last year so I was prepared. I really liked this book, even though it was depressing. I liked the movie as well, but I felt that I was watching people act the whole time, rather than believing that they had become the characters.

Rachel Getting Married - I was curious to see Anne Hathaway play a "bad" girl. Thought she did a good job and thought the movie was entertaining. Lots of family drama in this movie. And again, made me think, "what if one of my kids would turn out to be a druggie and unintentionally kill one of my other kids"?

Yeah, so you can see why Iron Man broke the mold :)

The title of this post comes from one of my absolute favorite movies, Annie. I swear I watched this everyday for multiple summers, paying $1 to rent it from the Merri-Lore. While going through my sheet music a few years ago, I found looseleaf pages of handwritten song lyrics from all the annie songs - I distinctly remember watching the movie and writing down the words to the songs as I watched.

Friday, June 18, 2010

How exactly do I get this hairstyle?


I have posted before about my love of Marion Cotillard so imagine my delight when several blogs in my Reader leaked photos of the new July Vogue cover, featuring Ms. Marion. I got my issue in the mail yesterday and I am really coveting her hair. I think my haircut currently is along the same lines, but how do you get it to curl like that?


Have your own Marion obsession? Check out the whole photo spread here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Coveting Fashion...and Waists

I don't know if it's the fact that I no longer have a waist to speak of or if it is because of my addiction to Mad Men fashion, but I have been very drawn to high waisted or any waist-attention-drawing fashion lately. I'm in the middle of watching Revolutionary Road and found myself coveting Kate Winslet's clothes, much as I covet Joan and Betty's clothes on Mad Men. Perhaps I should have just grown up in the late 50s - early 60s. Sometimes I really wish that people still dressed up like that era. Nate already has to wear a suit everyday to work, which I love, but he hasn't exactly gone for my suggestion of wearing a hat a la Don Draper.




It seems that most players in our online baby pool so far think Baby Schlotty is a boy. Everyone knows that girl clothes are much more varied and bountiful than boy clothes, but I must admit that when i saw this on the withTWOcats blog today, I got pretty excited.
Oh yes - if Baby Schlotty is a boy, you can bet I am making father son matching ties and that I will have a dress to match, a la Mad Men, ha ha ha. I will be dragging my husband and son into my delusional fantasty world. (Don't even get me started if Baby S turns out to be a girl!)

Photo Sources: All Mad Men photos from Project Rungay, Revolutionary Road photo from here, and the Ties picture from Etsy via withTWOcats.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Busy Weekend

As is customary for summer weekends, they tend to be busy and fly by. This weekend was no exception.

Friday night Nate-O went to a Brewers game thus I had the night open. I went for a long, sticky walk and got a movie from the Blockbuster kiosk - The Lovely Bones. I remember liking this book. I'm not sure what I think of the movie. Stanley Tucci definitely freaked me out (I like him much better as Paul Child). While watching the movie, I soaked my feet and gave myself a pedicure. Holy toledo it's getting hard to bend over to get to my feet. I had to take mini breaks between toes so that I could breathe!

Saturday we got up early to go get emissions tests for the cars. Nate had to go into work for a bit so I spent some time with my in-laws while Nate worked before we both headed to FDL for Walleye Weekend. Traditionally, I would do the 5 mile Walleye Run, but since I can only make it about 5 minutes running lately, I did not sign up. I was happy to see my niece and brother for a bit of time before we went to the fest - my mom made us lunch. Gotta love that 4 year olds think anything you draw with sidewalk chalk is really cool.

The big draw at Walleye this year (other than the fishing tournament, the great people watching, and the cheese curds) was the free BoDeans concert. Remember that theme song from Party of Five? Well, apparently we knew more BoDeans songs than we thought - I was having a sing along for almost the whole show. We met up with my three best friends from high school and their sig others. I always love hanging out with my girls!

Yesterday we had planned to spend a bit of time at my in-laws lake house, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate so we left my mom's house (after breakfast and algebra) and went home instead. We stopped by Lowe's to peruse faucets and ended up getting a faucet, mirror/medicine cabinet and showerhead and shower faucet for our bathroom remodel! (Thanks again for the coupon BCK!) Our office has turned into a bathroom supply house. Just having all the supplies has made me really excited to get this job done!

My MIL and FIL offered to take us to Kopp's after this dance recital they went to - YUM! Kopp's has the best turtle sundaes, this far south. (I would love to have a turtle sundae contest between Kopp's and FDL's Gilles).

After ice cream, it was lawn mowing, laundry, and the Next Food Network Star for us. Nate actually went to high school with one of the contestants, Aria, so we are cheering for her.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baby Schlotty's Room...So Far

Nate and I have to laugh because we have been getting a lot of, "Have you started the nursery yet?" questions. Because we don't want people to think we are total psychos, we just answer a simple, "Yes".

But the real answer is that the nursery has been in the same stage (what I'm about to show you) since the end of April. Yeah, we were EXCITED. An early project that Nate took on in this room is to change all of the electrical outlets from ungrounded outlets that were in a dingy almond color and upgrade them to grounded shiny white ones. This is one of my favorite home remodeling projects because it is a) cheap; b)easy; c)quick to do; and d) makes a noticeable impact. It is nice having updated outlets in this room too.

One big reason that we started on the room so early is that we were LUCKY to get a bunch of furniture from some friends of Nate's family very early on. When word got out we were preggers, Nate got a call from them saying that they were ready to pass along their furniture set. Thus, the chair, ottoman, dresser, changing table and crib were ours for a very low cost. Understandably, they wanted the furniture out to make room for the new furniture so we loaded it up and brought it home...and scattered it throughout our rooms. Well, that only took about four days to drive us nuts so we made the big transition. The guest room moved from upstairs to the office, the office bed moved to the basement and the baby furniture moved to the new "nursery". We already had a light-colored nightstand and a bookshelf that matched from Nate's college days. Furniture = Dunzo.

We have already revealed the reupholstery of the chair, the curtains and the paint. The whole room was sort of designed around these Martha Stewart animal alphabet cards that I bought in a clearance bin at Michael's well before I was pregnant. I couldn't resist them - I loved the old-school drawings and the animals and the fact that they weren't blue or pink.

The majority of the colors present are a variety of greens, browns and orange with a bit of red. Thus the color scheme.

We brought the lighter green in on the bright green chair and ottoman as well as the darker green with the ribbon that the cards hang from. The ribbon stringing was Nate's idea, and I love it. Each card is attached to the ribbon with a mini clothesline clip.


Originally, we had the crib on the same wall (where the changing table is above) as the cards but my MIL brought up an excellent point - the baby will definitely pull those cards off the wall. So we moved the crib to the opposite corner.

The crib sheet we found in a Target clearance bin - it worked great with the greens and browns and lord knows I love polka dots. Of course once we set up the crib, we had to put the sheet on right away. Then when we were at Goodwill, we found the coordinating crib skirt! Goodwills here get the leftover Target clearance items to sell so it was still brand new in the packaging (with the orange Target sticker on it!).

Then there was the rug, which we also got for a steal. I was noticing that a lot of nurseries featured online had those tree wall decals. Because of our cape cod dormers, our wall space that we have to work with is a little strange so there would be no tree decal. So we brought the tree concept in with the rug:

Ha! I'd like to think we PURPOSELY set out to find this rug, but we didn't. We totally stumbled upon it while looking through rugs at Lowe's one day. It was on super clearance and was the last 8 x 10' rug left. SOLD. It fits in the space perfectly and will be a nice space for the baby to play on. We also like the fact that it doesn't scream "baby" and that it could easily move to other rooms in our house if we want. And when the kid colors all over it with marker or the inevitable poop, barf or something gross lands on it and ruins it, we won't be too sad because of the price.


Notice the artwork above the bookshelf? That used to hang in our library room. My friend, JT, is a children's book illustrator and she gave us that print as a housewarming gift three years ago. I love that the orange and brown in the print work with the room. And did you happen to notice the little elephant on the bookshelf?

This little guy was a splurge when I popped into Juxt Home and Baby one day after work. He is filled with rice or beans or something and is a bookend! Love me some elephants.

Hmmmm...what else? The lamps on the nightstand by the chair and the changing table were already in existence in our house, both in the guestroom. The little wacky green frame was a souvenier from BK from her trip to London in college. (Yes, I STILL have it!). The plant pot was a souvenier from Animal Kingdom at Disney which I bought on my first trip to Disney world in 2003 with Nate, his grandparents and his brother, shortly after Nate & I started dating. The little red box on the changing table is a DIY project I will share soon. It holds cloth diapers. Oh and the little vibrating bouncy seat was a hand-me-down from one of Nate's coworkers. I LOVE me some hand-me-downs!

So that's the nursery so far. We still have some other projects, mainly to fill in some of the noticeable blank wall space:
1. My in-laws are part of the Disney Vacation Club so when we all went on the cruise in January, we got these cool vintage looking travel-type posters for free. We would like to get both of ours framed to hang somewhere in the room since the cruise was technically Baby Schlotty's first vacation.

2. I have plans to make/sew this cute mobile for above the crib with the extra curtain and chair fabric as well as some other coordinating fabric.

3. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I asked my mom and sister if they would help me make an advanced baby quilt. We have plans to do it after my sister returns from Peru (where she is on the lookout for some cool fabric).

4. I also have plans to do this family tree thing with old photos, provided I can round up the photos I need.

5. We haven't decided if we are going to do something with the ceiling fan. It is a pretty big eyesore, but it is nice having the fan in there. The fan part is not the problem - it's the ugly light fixture. I think if we find a replacement for a good price, we'll go for it. Otherwise, it's staying.

Birds

One of the things I was excited about this year was having birds. No not a pet bird - I've already tried that twice before.

1. When I was really little, I had a pet bird that I named Boy George. (LOVED me some Boy George). I don't know what happended to him - I was really little. In fact - maybe someone from my family should actually confirm that I DID have this bird and that I didn't just make that up or invent an imaginary bird friend.

2. When we were a bit older, we got a cockatiel from the Easter Bunny. This bird went a little deranged and started pulling his feathers out. We would also let him out of the cage and put him on the back of our cat for rides. YEAH. OK and we wonder why the bird went crazy. We have this great picture of my sister dressed up as the bird next to the bird cage....but again, I digress.

Back to birds and 2010. For Christmas, my grandparents gave us an oriole feeder that my Nana's bro-in-law made. My mom also made us this cute little feeder based on one she saw at a craft fair my sister and I took her to in Cedarburg. Well, I painted the one bird feeder to match our door, stuck some oranges on it and filled the little cups with jelly. NO ORIOLES. In fact, I just googled oriole to find out what one even looks like:


Maybe one of these days, we'll get some orioles. Any tips?

In other bird action, in the weeks before vacation, we noticed a male and female cardinal building a nest in our rosebush. And then the day before we left, I crept up to the bush and noticed there was a baby bird in there!!!!! Now that we are back from vacay, I looked in the nest last night and there is no more bird. I hope it learned to fly and is doing ok.

A few months ago, we had a male and female duck living in our yard occassionally. I had hoped they were going to build a nest and we would have baby ducks! Not so, chicky. I DID try to get up close to them to take a picture and ended up scaring them into our neighbor's yard. They probably decided our yard was too full of paparazzi to raise a family here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pretending to live at the Biltmore Estate

One of the stops we had on our roadtrip was to tour the Biltmore.

LORDY did we both love it. My favorite part was watching the videos of the restoration of the four upper bedrooms - and seeing how they recreated fabric from miniscule pieces they found while taking wallpaper off or reupholstering furniture. One rooms beautiful red velvet damask fabric wallpaper took 2-3 years to handweave in France. Here are some pics of us pretending that we were George and Edith Vanderbuilt. OF course that would mean we would have to name Baby S either "Cornelia" (their real daughter) or "Cornelius" (George's grandfather for whome which Cornelia was named). I actually jokingly mentioned this to Nate while we were touring and one lady looked at me in shock and said, "No you are not". GEEZ! I kid, I kid! She turned out to be a pretty funny lady and took our picture out on the veranda. She and her friends also turned up at the same place we ate lunch.






Back to our own home remodeling, we won't be getting any fabric wallpaper from France, but last night we did get a sink, countertop and vanity for our bathroom. We came home from vacation and realized that we have 11 weeks and 6 days before our due date - less than 12 weeks to get the bathroom remodel done. So we continued shopping for vanities. We had one that we liked at Lowe's, but decided to check out HOBO in West Allis. HOBO is a hit or miss kind of place. Last night, it was a BIG hit - we got a granite countertop and backsplash, a porcelain sink and vanity for $126 total - $100 cheaper than the one we were looking at Lowe's and, in my opinion, nicer. LOVE IT! The vanity cabinet itself is similar in size and style to this one:

We were limited to the 25" styles with the space we are working with.

The sink/countertop is more like this though:

The granite is a lighter tan color with a white undermount porcelain sink.

Next on our list: tile shopping for the floor and shower.

Who knew?

Thank you for all of the comments and emails re: the blog. I guess I was not aware that I had more than 5 readers, including my Nana! I can't really leave my Nana sad about the blog disappearing! I also realized that I sort of left people hanging with the bathroom remodel, the nursery reveal and of course Baby Schlotty! I will try to keep it up when possible as some of the commenters said - post when you feel like it. To be honest, that was one of the reasons why I quit, toying with the idea since last September. I just felt like I HAD to post every day even if it was some useless thing.

So I'm pulling a Brett Favre here, coming out of my two week retirement and resuming the blog...for now. I can only promise that it will continue to be a mix of whatever interests me that day - not always related to home remodeling.

Leave me in your google reader for now.