Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don Draper Mouthwatering Pic of the Day


Thank you slunz for directing me to the new Rolling Stone cover, featuring some of the mad men cast on the cover.

I needed a new desktop background for my computer.

Wow RS has been crazy lately - first that True Blood cover and now this. Makes me think i should become a subscriber again.

P.S.

Today is my due date! Even though I have a strong feeling that baby schlotty will be a September bebe, I'm still celebrating! 40 weeks and counting...

HeLa

This morning, I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Great book. It would be a really good book club book and would promote a lot of discussion. Being nonfiction, it is in a category that I don't usually read from, but it was written more like a novel, I thought. I was embarrassed that I have never heard of the story before or the HeLa cell line. It is a pretty incredible story.

While reading my UW Alumni magazine last night, I noticed that this book has been selected for the 2nd annual Go Big Read event at Madison. COOL! Last year's Go Big Read book was In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. The idea behind Go Big Read is to "to engage students, faculty, staff and the entire community in a vibrant, academically driven experience". I love the idea of this and wish they would have had this when I was in school there. If you are a first year student, you get the book for free!

As part of the event, the author is coming to speak on October 25. I might try to go. Here in MKE, the author is coming to the Boswell Book Company tomorrow night (9/1) at 7 PM. I won't be able to make it - If I'm not having a baby, I'll be celebrating Nate's grandmother's 85th birthday!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crazy Weekend

So the short story of all of this is that I am still pregnant.

And now the long story...

Friday at work, I started having contractions early afternoon. I didn't think too much about this because sporadic contractions and I have been BFF lately. However, some of them really hurt so I decided to go home early around 3:30 just in case. Nate got home and we ordered pizza and went to get a movie. We rented The Back up Plan only because I thought it would be fun to watch a pregnancy/baby-related movie at this stage in the game. People this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It took all of 20 minutes for us to both start making fun of it. I mean, you don't expect these types of movies to be Oscar-worthy or anything, but this was exceptionally bad. I had contractions throughout the movie and afterwards we decided to take a walk to return to the movie to the kiosk. Had contractions during the walk. I went to bed thinking, I bet I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night to start timing these!

Imagine my surprise when i woke up Saturday morning and i was still pregnant and felt GREAT! We decided to head up to my family's farm for the annual Thresheree - aka return to old school farming for the day. We got there just in time to watch my niece in the toy tractor pull - she was disappointed she didn't win a trophy but did get a medal. She is getting so big!

As we left, Nate told her, "T, the next time we see you we'll have a baby". She gave him a look like, "Yeah right". (Kid, I feel the same way right about now!)

After that we stopped at Kelly's Ice Creamery to check it out - DELICIOUS!! Highly recommend if you are ever in the Eden area :) Saturday night we rented another movie - The Ghost Writer. This was a big improvement from The Back Up Plan, although SLOW moving. I was really hot so I actually laid by the AC vent with ice packs on my neck.

The heat situation did not improve Sunday. I felt like I was going to pass out during church so I spent the majority of Sunday in our cool basement, working on finishing the baby quilt and napping. The baby quilt is now done!


I had to tie it and sew on the yo-yos (orange centers) of the pinwheels and then bind it. This was only my 2nd time binding a quilt, but it went much better than the first time. It still is not perfect, but I figure there will likely be poop and barf on it in due time anyways.

Last night, Nate had a drafting party for fantasty football so we headed over to the B's for snacks, dinner and chatting (well, that's what I did - Nate was more involved with the football aspect). I was hoping that holding Alex B on my baby bump would push my baby out - but that didn't work either!

I ended the weekend, much how my weekend began - on the couch watching TV.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Excitement for the Weekend

Woohoo! It's Friday! Better yet, it's Friday afternoon! Only a few more hours of work until the weekend.

Here are some things that have made my day:

1. This book came in via library reserve for me today!


2. My sister gave me this CD: The Avett Bros' I and Love and You

3. I could potentially have a baby this weekend! If not, I will be enjoying the beautiful weather that is scheduled to occur!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Come to Mommy

No I am not talking to my unborn child.

I am talking to these lovely boots:



I have a 30% coupon code for Gap, Piperlime, etc. I calculated the cost of these -30%. Still pricey but I actually did consider it for a brief second.

And then I saw that my size is gone.

Saved by other shoppers!

New Book Club

The book club that I formed last year disbanded in spring since the summer months get pretty busy. I'm not sure if that group will come together again or what the status will be. My BF's sister-in-law, meanwhile, invited me to come to her book club. My first meeting was last night. The book we read was a light read, perfect for summer: Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger.

I don't think this book is going to win any awards for best fiction, but it was a quick, light easy read. The host's husband made dinner for us - yummy spinach and asparagus soup, bread, assorted cheeses, guacamole and chocolate cookies with gelato for dessert! YUM!

It was a nice distraction from the countdown - 5 days!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spicy Food

Last night, Nate & I went to dinner at Antigua, a Mexican/Latin American restaurant. We were looking for some spicy food. I realize that all of these old wives tales re: getting labor going likely are not true, but it doesn't hurt to try, right?

We have been to Antigua once before and really liked it. To us, it smells like Costa Rica, where we honeymooned. The instant we stepped inside the restaurant, it was like we were back!

We had a great meal. Fried plantains and guacamole to start. Antigua also gives you some complementary appetizers to try. They gave us a mango cheese quesadilla bite, a pork and cheese empenada and something that was like a Latin American version of a hush puppy. I had enchiladas with chile poblano sauce and Nate had salmon with tequila cream sauce. Antigua also has a tradition of giving you a shot of Peach Schnapps to facilitate digestion at the end of the meal. I had to pass, but Nate took full advantage.

Given that I am typing this with a huge belly, I would say spicy food did not work for us, but was a great meal regardless!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

39 weeks!

Today marks 39 weeks and we have officially stamped "DONE" on the nursery.

Come on in:


This is the view from the door. The mobile and light green quilt on the back of the crib were Nate's when he was a baby. The other two blankets were handmade by my BF CP's mom and Nate's Grandma E. You can sort of see a giant duck pillow peeking out from the crib...more on him later.

And around the room we go. To the left of the doorway, this is the view:

This features the sign that my BIL's GF made for us, as well as the start of our Martha Stewart Alphabet Clothesline. You can see the nightlight from my aunt on top of the dresser and the bouncy chair that was donated to us by one of Nate's coworkers. There is a pinocchio doll hanging from the clothes chute - another gift.


Here is the chair we reupholstered and the nightstand from Nate's college days. I bet he never figured the drawer would be filled to the max with breastfeeding supplies and books, ha ha ha. You can also spot the first of two piggy banks Baby has started. My favorite parts of this nook are the sock monkeys hanging out on the light - gifts from my mom and a co-worker. The artwork in this nook features one of our Jennifer Taylor prints and one of the prints we got aboard the Disney Cruise - baby's first vacay.

Next up: The changing table. Where all the magic happens (those of you who have ever watched MTV cribs will get it).

Not much to really say about this. The diapers, wipes are all prefolded and ready to go! And I have organized the drawers by clothing size. All clothes newborn and 0-3 months are in this changing table along with extra changing pad covers, crib sheets, blankets, sleep sacks, swaddlers and diapers. All the bigger clothes that we were handed down are in the taller dresser, organized by size. Yes - I went through nesting. The baby can come anyday.

Then the crib:

You can also see our other free Disney cruise print on the wall. I'm pretty proud of the fact that the sheet and bedskirt on the crib are from Goodwill. Target gives all of their brand-new clearance that doesn't sell to Goodwill. I love this because you can get brand-new items for super cheap and support AMAZING Goodwill. :) We have a variety of other cute crib sheets that we got as gifts too.

And Dan the Duck:

Dan the Duck was a recent gift from friends of Nate's family who also did the music for our wedding. He cracks us up. We put baskets under the crib for toy storage. We WILL train the baby to put away the toys in the baskets at the end of the day, ha ha ha.

Finally, we have a small bookshelf:

This is the elephant section of the room. The elephant humidifier, elephant bookend and knitted elephant courtesy of AH are all on this shelf along with all of the books we received as gifts, a CD player and the monitor. The shelf also features the 2nd of the two piggy banks the baby has already got going (that's what happens when dad works in a bank!) Our last Jennifer Taylor print hangs above this.

So that's that! The big nursery. We think it's fairly gender neutral, although I would say it may be more boyish. If we have a girl, I'll have to get a few girly items to spruce things up! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Faux-jito

Last summer, we took advantage of our mint plant bush and experimented with a variety of mojitos. This was not in the cards for me this summer (what can I say, I'm not a big FAS fan), but I HAVE been enjoying the "faux-jito" that we came up with earlier this summer. I almost ALMOST can be fooled into thinking I'm drinking the real thing.

The Faux-jito

Mint
Lime
Trader Joe's French Market Sparkling Limeade
Ice

Muddle mint leaves with fresh squeezed lime juice. Fill glass with ice. Pour limeade on top. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Pregnant women everywhere, rejoice!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fancy Friday Lunch!

I am a big fan of lists of all sorts, and one such list I have going is places in MKE that I would like to eat. Eddie Martini's was on that list but now I can cross it off because Nate took me out to lunch today!

It was a throwback to old school with Frank Sinatra playing on the speakers, waiters in white coats and classic wood paneling. I even ordered an Arnold Palmer. Nate contemplated ordering a Manhattan, but passed. They bring you a whole mini loaf of yummy bread to start.

I got the grilled vegetable sandwich with bleu-brie and basil aioli and Nate ordered the pretzel crusted chicken which came with THE.MOST.AMAZING.HOMEMADE.RANCH.DRESSING. Now, I HATE ranch dressing. The thought of putting it on anything makes me want to puke in my mouth, usually. But upon Nate's suggestion, i gave this a whirl. HEAVEN! It was more like a dill dip than Hidden Valley. I must have oohed and aahed over it enough b/c the waiter packed up a big container of it for us to take home. The homemade steak fries were amazing as well.

For dessert, we got the sampler platter with bread pudding (AHHHH!), banana creme brulee and profiterole (AHHHHx1000!!). Despite not really being hungry after the big meal, we ate the whole thing. I think that I gained the pound that I lost this week and then some, but it was well worth it.

The feeling of the restaurant made me think of Mad Men, which was also confirmed by Nate so it's not just me and wishful thinking about Don Draper :)



I liked that they don't rush you through your meal. "It almost feels like we are on vacation," was Nate's comment. Which he did have a vacation day and I did not so it was back to work for me!

Countdown to Baby

My FIL has a store and he done special windows for the big events in his sons' lives. He did one for our wedding (see here) and he recently put up one in anticipation of the bebe.


Now, we just have to fill in the blank with "son" or "daughter"!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DIY Baby Schlotty: Baby Quilt Making Day

On Sunday my mom, sister, aunts and cousins came over for female bonding time - aka baby quilt making. We started with brunch:


and then progressed to quilt making. We have done this one other time in preparation for my cousin, K's, wedding. We were making the pinwheel posies quilt. I liked this quilt because it has 3-dimensional pinwheels for the baby to grab during tummy time. My mom and sister helped me pick out gender neutral fabric that was NOT yellow or green the week prior so all we had to do is cut and sew, right?

Well, of course it is more complicated than that, but I think we managed to have some fun during the day. Here is a picture of us planning out the squares:



LM & MB were on hand to make the yo-yos that would become the centers of the pinwheels. Here my sister is giving them a tutorial in yo yo making:

1 down, 15 to go!

My cousin K & I determined that yo-yos might make excellent belly button covers for preggos:


My nana, mom and aunt JM and aunt JW were in charge of cutting and sewing the pinwheel arms. They whipped out 64 of those bad boys...with the assistance of mimosas and spotted cow :)




Sewing Central:


When you get that many women in a small house and force them to sew, there of course were some tense moments. When forcing everyone to smile for pictures didn't work...


...we played games!

1. Make the preggo pose with beer for ilicit photos:


2. Google old wives tales about determining the gender of the baby:

(Results predicted that I will have a hermaphrodite)

3. Get the wedding ring off the preggo's hand (with the assistance of some soap!) and do some voodoo witchcraft with it to determine the gender:


(Results of this test predicted I will be having a girl).

I also got some presents. This cool nightlight from my aunt JW:

some flowers in my great-grandmothers antique glass baby bottle from my nana:

some Lois Ehlert books from my aunt JI and cousins KZ & KI, and a babies R US gift card for the torture device breastpump from the gang.

OK back to sewing...since the main front was put together, most people left leaving my cousin K and my sister to help finish up the rest. Oh who I am kidding - K & I really just made my sister finish. Voila:

Close Ups:



I still have to tie and bind it but I am really loving the end product!

38 weeks today - 14 days left!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bathroom: DONE!

Guess what I did this morning? Took a shower in our new bathroom!!!!

It has been a whirlwind couple of days. Thursday night we got home and realized that Mr. Handyman would be done on Friday - we still had to go get a light fixture. We went to Lowe's and picked out a light fixture and some paint to match the glass tile in the shower. I am really loving the historic paint colors by Valspar. The color we picked out was Bell Grove Moss. Nate was going to just paint a bit where the light fixture and mirror were going to go so that he didn't have to worry about them when he did the painting.

He got the paint up and we realized that it looked really bad. Very limey. During the day, it looked ok with the tiles, but at night it was awful. Back to square one with the paint.

We also decided (we're still on Thursday night) to make sure the light fixture and mirror/medicine cabinet would work together so we held them up. UH OH. The medicine cabinet was ENORMOUS and looked really bad. SH**! It was like 8:15 PM. Lowe's closed at 9. We went BACK to Lowe's and looked at either getting a different light fixture (one that didn't hang down so much) or a different mirror/medicine cabinet. We did not find any options at Lowe's or Home Depot so we decided to go with the original light fixture that we liked and just have Mr. Handyman forgo the mirror. We could put that up ourselves once we found an option we liked.

Friday came and Mr. Handyman was there all day cleaning up, and finishing everything. There were two things that he did not finish but Nate told him we could do -
1) We had to stain the threshold and put it in

2) We had to put this panel back over the plumbing in the baby room closet.

Friday night we went back to Lowe's to look at towel racks and toilet paper holders. We found some that we liked and then went shopping for shower curtains. We picked up 3 different ones from Target. I was pretty sold on having a white waffle weave curtain but once we got it home, it looked really bad. BORING. We ended up returning those and going to some other places finding one that we liked at Home Goods of all places.

Saturday morning, we were back at Lowe's with the shower curtain to get paint to match. We ended up with Tempered Sage from the historic paint line by Valspar. It looked MUCH MUCH better and complemented the tile rather than matched it exactly. Nate spent Saturday night painting the ceiling.

Sunday morning, my mom, sister, aunts, nana, and cousins came over to make a baby quilt (the subject of a future post). During that, Nate sequestered himself in the bathroom to finish painting, finish putting the threshold in, putting that plumbing panel back in, hanging towel racks, etc. It was almost done!!

After everyone left, I switched out the bathroom closets from the upstairs and downstairs and we hung our towels up. Incidentally, our existing towels ended up looking good in the new bathroom so we didn't have to get new ones.

Last night at 8:00, we decided to go back to Lowe's to look at mirrors. We really just wanted the bathroom to be DONE! We pulled into the Lowe's parking lot and realized that they closed at 7. So we headed to Target since they had a couple of options online that we were interested in. There was ONE mirror at Target that we really liked and thought might work. We bought it, got it home and it is PERFECT. We didn't know if an espresso mirror, a brushed nickel mirror or a white mirror would look better - I like the espresso - I think it breaks up the white nicely.

SO at 8:45 last night, we crossed the bathroom off the list! Just in time for Mad Men.
Remember this beast from move-in day:


I present....the finished product:





I really love how serene it is. The color reminds me of those greenish hydrangeas that I also love. I told Nate (after thanking him a zillion times for all the work he did) that I think it might be my favorite room in our house! You can look at the complete photo album here.

And I would be lying if I said it were 100% done. (i know - you read all that and you're like, WHAT?!). We do have two things left:

1) Toilet paper. There really isn't a good place for a standard toilet paper roll holder. Right on the vanity/sink doesn't work b/c it is so close that it is awkward. Across the way on the wainscotting is a far reach even for monkey arms me. We may have to get one of those free standing roll holders. For right now, having the roll on the lower shelf of the vanity/sink works.

2) Picture or something for the wall space above the toilet. Again, not pressing but it is a little bare right there.

Here's where we got everything:
White shower tile: 6x6 stock white glossy tiles from Lowe's. The fact that these were stock was nice b/c the girl we got them from miscalculated and Mr. Handyman had to go back to get more. Phew!
Green glass tiles: 1x1 special order from Lowe's
Vanity, Porcelin Undermount Sink and Granite countertop and backsplash: $126 STEAL from HOBO
Towel hooks and round circular hand towel rack: Lowe's (allen + roth mitchell collection)
Wainscotting and trim: Lowe's
Floor tile: Stock white octagonal tiles from Lowe's. The fact that these were stock was nice b/c the girl we got them from miscalculated and Mr. Handyman had to go back to get more. Phew!
Shower Curtain: Home Goods
Espresso Wall Mirror: Target
Light Fixture: Lowe's
Tub: Existing
Toilet: Existing
Towels: Wedding gift - Kohl's.
Sink and Shower fixtures: Lowe's. (both were delta)
Window: I'm not sure. Mr. Handyman arranged and ordered this for us.

As you can see, we essentially bought out Lowe's for this project :) Maybe someone from Lowe's is reading my blog and loving the free advertising and wants to give me a gift card as a thank you? Maybe? Anyone? ha ha ha

If we weren't going to do it ourselves, I am very happy with how we did it (even if I did complain about the timeline). Mr. Handyman let us get all of the materials ourselves and therefore only charged us labor. Buying the materials ourselves let us shop around for good deals and use Lowe's coupons :) He did end up having to get supplies, but he gave us his receipts from Home Depot/Lowe's and we paid him the exact price - no markup. I think he did a fantastic job and am very happy with the quality of work as well.

Now that baby can come ANYDAY as far as I'm concerned!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WI STATE FAIR!


This afternoon we went to the state fair. It may not have been the smartest choice given the heat, the humidity and the pregnancy (ooh! a deadly cocktail!), but we still had some fun. I was a little disappointed that the sheep were already gone but we did watch some bull judging and saw a lot of baby pigs!



My theory is if you are going to state fair, then you go balls to the wall and GO to state fair. Thus, I wore my chicken hat from Golden Guernsey for a portion of the afternoon:

I passed on the free pickle hat.

We didn't eat quite as much food as last year since it was so hot. However, we did manage to get some Reuben Rolls, a cherry ice cream sundae, a real WI grilled cheese, and a lamb gyro. Nate also indulged in the samples of coke zero and mello yello. And of course - the Herb Kohl milk. We had banana, root beer and chocolate.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we danced to get free packages of Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese before sitting in the AC in the Expo center (where all the As Seen on Tv stuff is - the highlight of state fair for Nate). Here is Nate displaying our mac n cheese, the chicken hat and the day's program:



A walk through the animal barns and I was ready to get home and kick up my feet. I lasted 4 hours - I was pretty proud of that!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bathroom Update

Here are the latest pics of the bathroom. You can basically see the new floor, the wainscotting and the shower area:




Apparently our handyman thinks he is going to finish today, which given that he pushed back to yesterday but was sick Tuesday is right what his revised end date was. After he is done, we will still have to paint, get a light fixture and install it and get some new towel bars, which will all likely happen this weekend.

Heather asked via comment if we hired a handyman and how we found him. Yes, we did hire more of this bathroom remodel out, which has been interesting. Yes, I've complained a lot about the delayed start date and pushed back end date, but the fact of the matter is a)I didn't have to lift a finger for anything re: this bathroom, which was kind of nice and b)Having it going on right now is a welcome distraction from thinking about baby. We found our handyman through referral from a woman I used to work with - it's her brother. He did some small jobs here and there for us leading up to the bathroom remodel. He is reasonably priced and does good work.

Here is our list:
Here is our bathroom list with progress updates:

1. Replace window with glass-blocked window. DONE!

2. Rip out drywall in shower area. DONE!

3. Tiling shower. DONE!

4. Installing an electric box. DONE!

5. Replace light fixture and move light fixture over. 1/2 DONE! The light fixture receptacle has been moved over.

6. Replace sink, fixtures, and install vanity and countertop, Reinstall toilet. Old sink and fixutres are outta there.

7. Install wainscotting around bathroom walls. DONE! He just needs to put up the chair rail casing on top of it.

8. Install 1/8" plywood subfloor over existing floor. DONE!

9. Tile floor. DONE!

10. Replace mirror/medicine cabinet. Doing this ourselves

11. Paint existing wood trim white. DONE!

12. Paint remaining walls a similar green color to the glass tile in the shower. I think we are doing this ourselves.

13. Replace fixtures and mixer in the shower. DONE!

14. Hang towel bars. Doing this ourselves

It will be so weird to actually have a FULL bathroom upstairs! We both have commented that we can't wait to shower in the new shower since that really didn't exist before!!