Saturday, July 22, 2006

I've got Andrea's butterfly

Andrea over at Hooked on String, a fellow Fallsite, has been waiting for butterflies to visit her butterfly bush. I promised her that they would come, but that it might be a few weeks. My bush just started blooming this past week, and though I haven't seen many butterflies around yet...but today we had our first visitor. He wasn't that crazy about being photographed, as it took me two tries to get him to sit still long enough to catch him on the memory card. So here's for you, Andrea. I told him he needs to come your way. Click the picture if you can't find him...

Friday, July 21, 2006


Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 17th week of pregnancy. I'm starting to truly "blossom," which is a relief because now I actually look pregnant rather than looking like I have eaten too many Peanut Buster Parfaits or spend too much time in line at Ponderosa. Lately, this also has meant pulling out the maternity wear, as my normal tank tops are getting just a bit too snug around the belly for comfort. That, and they ride up worse than a plumber's pants fall down. Pooh might dig the bare belly look, but I'm not so keen on it.

I've written before about how much I enjoy being pregnant. This pregnancy has not been quite as pleasant early on due to more morning sickness than I had with my previous two (which really was much at all) and a couple of other issues that I won't bore you with the details about. This past week has made it all worth it, though, and I'm feeling a bit better to boot.

At some point between 14 and 20 weeks, most pregnant moms feel their babies move for the first time. This is called quickening. First time moms usually don't notice until later, while moms who have been around the block once or many times before tend to notice it a bit earlier. This past week, I finally started feeling the flutterings of the new little life that is growing within. Most moms liken the first movements to feeling like little gas bubbles which then grow over the course of weeks to being little thumps and pokes, and then toward the end of pregnancy barrel rolls and acrobatics along with the occasional foot under the ribs.

For me, quickening also helps in the whole "yes, I'm pregnant, not growing a large abdominal tumor" feeling that I get in early pregnancy and is a reminder that the process works. In a few more weeks, we will go in for the customary ultrasound that really isn't necessary but helps everyone else around me feel more comfortable with my choice to have this baby at home, knowing that the he or she is normal. Speaking of he or she, we also have the opportunity to find out that little gem of information, not that we really plan on telling anyone if we do find out. Sorry, mom. Gotta keep a little secret for myself. Actually, this time I'm not sure I want to know. I have two boys, so I'm hoping for a girl this time. Given the history in this family of boys, my chances for a girl aren't that great. There might be a bit of disappointment if it's not a girl if I find out early, but if I wait until the birth to find out, I won't care once that soft, sweet little thing is in my hands. Gotta say, though, I've got girl vibes going on. So much so that:

forgive my rolled hem...i'm only stockinette, you know

It's the dress with lace edging from Debbie Bliss Baby Knits (I think that's the book...). This is the back, and the front is on the needles at the moment. There will be lace edging to be attached to the front of the dress (though I'm going to have to figure out a more clever way to do it than knitting it up first and sewing it on. I'm sure there's a way to knit it on as I go), and there will be a button close at the back.

Obviously from my knitting, I have big hopes for a girl. I know enough pregnant or recently pregnant folks at the moment that one of us is certain to have a girl, so I know this dress will find a home.

On a completely unrelated note, my mother-in-law picked up the fabric today that will become the curtains and pillows in the front room. So excited!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A sea of green

So after putting the hutch in its new place and performing a massive purge on the living room/eating area, I have been thrilled with the new mojo in the room. So here's the new layout. I think the energy flows so much better (as does the traffic).

With the room put into order, attention then really became drawn to the lack of anything hanging on the walls and the fact that the room desperately needed a new coat of paint. I've been wanting to paint the room for the past couple of years, but never had the momentum to get it done (particularly with all the stuff we had crammed into the cozy space).

View from the kitchen doorway

View from the front door -- note the rug of inspiration

View from the eating area

At first, I wanted to paint the room a sunny yellow, but after acquiring a new beige couch last summer, a bright yellow just wasn't going to work without a slipcover, which I wasn't so keen on doing.

We've had a rug in the middle of the room for a long time now that I custom ordered from Home Despot not long after we first moved in. I've always loved the color combination in the rug (muted greens, peachy beige, deep navy, and blue-violet) and thought that a pale yellow would really work well with it. In lieu of the couch issue, I then decided that the lighter green in the rug would be the next best option. Blue in this room would be too cool. Couldn't do a beige due to the couch either. And, well, I happen to love green.

So a year or so ago, I went down to the Lowe's and picked up paint chips in several shades of green in an attempt to match the rug. Easier said than done, particularly when the rug needed a shampoo. So I put the chips aside not to be seen again until the recent purge. The momentum this week has been really trucking, so when I mentioned washing walls and buying paint to hubby on Saturday, and he didn't balk at the idea, I went directly to the store and got the goodies to do it. I loves me some painting.

Hubby's attempt at my stickbunnie

So after the kidlets went to bed Saturday night, hubby scrubbed the walls (we were using some pretty yucky stuff, and he didn't want me getting into it in my state -- thanks babe!) while I taped, and we had a finished coat of paint up by 3 am. By the time we reached the final wall, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the green and not sure I made the right decision. "Oooh," says I. "It's really green. Not as sage as I thought it would be. Not sure I like it. Might be too dark in the hall." Hubby debated whether continuing was a good idea. I pressed on and decided that maybe sleeping on it was a good idea, particularly since I had two more cans of the green stuff that I couldn't return!

Next morning came a lot earlier than I was ready for, and I still thought it was too much green, so options of doing accent walls were brought in along with desperate calls to the artistic sister-in-law and mother-in-law. I bought a few 8 oz. cans of paint (why didn't I do that in the first place...duh.) in contrasting colors and two shades lighter of the green and painted them on the walls to see how they would look. After a little internal debate, I decided that the green was great and that accenting wouldn't be necessary. We just needed to get some accents up on the walls (like frames, shelves, curtains, etc.), and all would be well.

I've decided that I really like the green accented with chocolatey browns and muted blues, and my mother-in-law brought swatches of fabric for possible curtain/pillow use. Tonight at Target, I found placemats and tablecloths that will also likely work well. Once the whole thing is put together more pics will be shown ( sorry for you). In the meantime, here is a shot of the wall leading to the hallway (with some Tour de France coverage on the TV in the den...go Floyd!)

Tiger says it's not tabby colored, but he'll forgive us this time.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh, poor neglected blog...Long post ahead

So much going on here. We had a great 4th of July weekend with family and friends. There was swimming, fireworks, and a trip for me and the boys to the neighboring town's parade. Hubby took time off work, so we truly had a lovely long weekend together as a family.

Are you sure this parade is almost over?

The boys enjoyed the parade, and the rain held off until the very end, when the skies opened up and the deluge began. We were soaked and stranded with the car several blocks away, and lightning had us hopping to a kind family's garage to seek refuge. They were kind enough to even give us a lift to our car, as the rain refused to let up.

On the homefront, our little man has taken over his big brother's bicycle and refuses to give it up (not too surprising from the little daredevil). Which leaves big bro with nothing to ride but his scooter. So this past weekend, Liam got a new bicycle --one that doesn't come with training wheels. Hubby and I have been under the impression for a while that the big guy could ride a bike without training wheels if he would let his brain get out of the way. Sure enough, a new bike with hand brakes and grip shift got him interested in riding without the training wheels. He's getting it, slow but sure. The straights are good, but corners are still a bit iffy.

J-rock on his bro's old bike

We've also been doing some reorganizing (and PURGING!! yay!) in the house. Our house is what I would consider cozy. A small cape cod built in the 40s or 50s, there is not much in the way of storage in this place. Our eat-in kitchen was never big enough for a kitchen table, so that got relegated to the living room. My office also got relegated to the living room once we had kids and decided we needed a playroom. The living room now had so much stuff in too little a space, and we never could get the feng shui to flow. No surprise there. I knew the office needed to go, and now that I have the laptop with wireless, I really can compute from anywhere in the house.

I've wanted to reorganize the room to more separate the dining/living space, and I thought that having a small hutch to hold napkins, tablecloths, and placemats would help. To this point, I also haven't had a place to display the tea set that my dad's side of the family got us for our wedding shower. A trip to the secondhand store solved all my problems. I found the perfect little Ethan Allen hutch for the right price (only a few scratches and dings) and also scored a nearly complete (only missing a few teacups!) china set with service for 8! I fell in love with the china but wavered on getting it because of the missing teacups, but after I talked the salesperson down to a ridiculously low price, I couldn't resist any longer.

The hutch in its new spot with the tea set on the top shelf

Closeup of the pattern on the new china

Whats left of my office area

The china is from a Japanese company (apparently the Japanese make wonderful china), but I can't find any information on how old it is or anything. There is a stamp on the bottom of each piece with the company name, pattern name and number.

My desk has been shrunk from an oversized laminate beast into a smaller desk that hubby has from when he was a boy that also matches the dresser we have upstairs. This is also where the desk will stay. Much purging has yet to be done. More pics will likely follow. So sorry.

The boys and I took a break this week and made a trip to the zoo. Our little local zoo has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years and has become a great place to escape for the day. The new reptile house has an interactive children's area complete with climbing wall and gymnastics mats. Both boys enjoyed climbing the wall and performing tricks on the mat.

Little Man climbing

Big Man climbing

One-handed pushups by Liam

And to top it all off...there has been knitting...of the purple and baby girly kind. I know several pregnant people right now (myself included), and surely someone will have a girl. We're hoping that we'll get to keep it here, but we won't know for a while whether it's a boy or girl. Pics will follow since it's late, and this post is a novel.