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June 4, 2010 2:45 pm

Conflicted

I have to return to work in a week.

I’m really conflicted about this. Let me start by saying that I love my job. I really do – the people are awesome, the company culture is young and fun and laid-back, and I enjoy the work that I do. I just have a very, very hard time handing someone a fistful of money and my infant child and saying, “Well, see you later! I’ve met you once! Hope you take good care of him!” while I go off to sit in an office all day.

I just feel so bad for him, you know? Like one morning, I’m just going to be GONE and he will be with people he doesn’t know, eating from a bottle all day instead of snuggling with me, napping in unfamiliar places… and he won’t have any idea WHY I’m not there or what’s going on.

And I don’t really “put him down for a nap” – he falls asleep when he falls asleep and I’m usually holding him, and he’ll occasionally consent to being transferred to his swing or carseat for the duration but not very often. How is he going to nap at all if they plunk him in a crib by himself and expect him to sleep like that? They certainly can’t snuggle him for all his naps!

I think what gets me is that I don’t feel like I have a choice in the matter. We have to pay rent and my student loans and our bills, and we need health insurance. So here we are.

How am I going to leave this sweet little face all day?

Cutest Ever

12 Comments >

May 9, 2010 7:41 pm

Mother’s Day

Today has been just lovely. Wesley had a good night so I didn’t wake up exhausted, and then Daniel took him to the living room for a while anyway so I could rest a bit more. I got breakfast in bed: French toast on Texas Toast-style bread with blackberry jam, and BACON and fruit and orange juice!

Daniel is basically the best husband ever and got me a gift certificate for a one-hour massage. WIN! (And no, I will not share him.)

Then Daniel took Wesley on a walk (in the Moby wrap – *swoon*) while I took a nice, long, shower. It was gorgeous outside today so I’m glad they got to take a nice walk.

Then, Wesley has been a DREAM BABY all day today. Napped for two and a half hours. Hung out in his swing.

Played in his Bumbo chair:

Chubby Baby

Has been pleasant while awake:

Ha!

All in all it has been a great day.

I haz a syn.

7 Comments >

April 2, 2010 3:06 pm

Settling In

Home life

Things are going pretty well here at home with the new baby. As best I can tell, Wesley really only cries if we don’t feed him fast enough or if he has gas that’s hurting his tummy. Aside from that, he’s usually sleeping or being quietly alert.

We had storytime the other day:

storytime

We’ve also been reading him books about baby faces and emotions, and an old-timey Winnie the Pooh book that I apparently used to love as a small child. (My parents got it for Wesley as an early Easter present.)

There has been a lot of horrible song-singing. You know, the kind where you start making up bad songs about anything and everything in the room? It’s like Will Ferrell in Elf. Anything to keep him from being upset!

Weight

When he was born, Wesley weighed 6lbs 14oz, but by the time we were discharged from the hospital on Sunday, he was down to 6lbs 4oz. Babies usually make it back up to their birthweight in a few weeks, but we had an appointment with a lactaction consultant the next day for a weight check just to make sure he was taking in enough milk. At the checkup, he was already up to 6lbs 9oz – he apparently gained 5oz overnight!

Squishyface

We had our first pediatrician appointment the next day and he weighed in at 6lbs 13oz. I think it’s safe to say he’s eating enough, haha! Immediately after the weigh-in we had an epic diaper moment, so he may have lost a bit, but the doctor was very happy with his weight gain. He also didn’t look very jaundiced so we made our next appointment for two weeks out.

Breastfeeding

Feeding is going well. Yay! For those interested, I’m using a shield (NSFW if you scroll down) for the time being, since the baby gets angry otherwise. I figure we’ll get him off of it eventually but it’s working for us for now.

At first, he only wanted to latch on if he was directly over the boob, kind of faceplanting into it. I’m not posting any photos, but you can imagine me lying almost flat on my back with the baby draped sideways over my front so he could eat without getting upset. Over the last few days we’ve managed to wrangle him into being fed like a normal baby in the cradle hold, which is MUCH easier. Thank goodness.

Visitors

My parents were here from Thursday to Sunday, Daniel’s dad and stepmom were here basically overnight and Daniel’s mom is arriving on Monday. His aunty Kair-Kair and cousin Malia stopped by on Tuesday and Thursday of this week to say hi and they even cleaned our kitchen and bathroom! It was super nice of them.

Right now, our visiting policy is that you are welcome to come over, but you have to call us first so that we can make sure we all have pants on and that the baby is fed and changed so he’ll be pleasant.

Eeep…

Wesley is waking up from his nap and needs to be fed, so I’m off! Thank you all for the congratulations! Means a lot.

6 Comments >

March 29, 2010 10:53 am

Wesley Leif

Wesley Leif was born March 25, 2010 at 11:57am. He weighed 6lbs 14oz and was 19″ long. He’s super cute! (And blonde!)

I will post the rest of the birth story as soon as I can. The short story is that I dilated to a 5 and was doing pretty well, but the baby hadn’t moved down into my pelvis and was still kind of crooked, and even with a catheter I hadn’t produced any urine in several hours so the doctors made the decision that I needed a c-section.

On the whole, I am feeling pretty good. Very tired, kind of sore, and I still look about 6mos pregnant. Wesley eats all! the! time! and gets really frustrated if he’s making hunger cues and doesn’t get fed right away. (He is obviously his mother’s child.) Daniel is a huge help and makes sure I’m taking my pain meds and drinking water and helps latch Wesley on. (Remind me to discuss his hiliariously bizarre breastfeeding habits.)

There are more pictures on Facebook if you’re interested, and we’re settling into life at home. We have a follow-up appointment with a lactation consultant today to weigh the baby to make sure he’s taking in enough food (he didn’t have a dirty diaper for about a day and the hospital people were concerned) and then we’re supposed to make a pediatrician appointment for tomorrow.

Overall, we’re doing really well and appreciate all your well-wishes and good thoughts. Wesley is adorable and I can’t wait for you to get to know him.

25 Comments >

February 25, 2010 9:47 am

33 Weeks

Maternity Photos!

We had our maternity photoshoot on Saturday and it went splendidly. Ashley is so fun to work with and was great about giving us directions so we didn’t look stupid. I’m really bad at finding places to put my hands and don’t always notice if my bangs are doing something kooky so I really appreciated the gentle direction.

The shoot was out on Sauvie Island (about a 20 minute drive) and involved a pleasant nature walk, in which Daniel and Ashley each saw a frog and I saw some duckies. I wanted to see the frogs really bad but they hid from me. And apparently it’s weird that I’ve only ever seen frogs as big as a quarter – Ashley said she’s seen giant ones in Hawaii that got run over in the street and turned into frog roadkill leather in the sun. Crazy! I’ve always wanted to see a huge frog or toad but have never had the opportunity.

And this is just the sneak peek! We will be getting a CD in the mail with all the photos so we can get them printed or have the files to post on Facebook or Flickr. Thanks, Ashley!

Massage

My massage was WONDERFUL. It didn’t cure me of all my ailments (woe!) but it was so lovely! The massage therapist was super sweet and helped prop me up with 800 pillows (okay, maybe six) and it was a great way to end the weekend.

Reality Check

I think Daniel and I are both kind of realizing that HEY, we will have a baby soon! It’s very exciting but also kind of scary. We’re both kind of worried that we’ll miss each other a lot or not be able to do things like see bands play anymore. I mentioned that I’ve heard we should institute “date nights” to make sure we get some together time even when Baby is here and we agreed that that sounded like a good idea.

This whole thing is pretty freaky though; there won’t just be the two of us! And I will have to take care of a tiny helpless thing! And I will only get maybe two weeks with Daniel before he has to go back to work! And I will only have 12 weeks with Baby before I have to go back to work! Eeek!

Preparing

In terms of preparing for Baby, I feel like we have the essentials but ONLY the essentials. We have a crib, a carseat, and our cloth diapers. Beyond that… it’s kind of sparse. I did buy some pacifiers and a set of muslin swaddling blankets and we do have some small onesies, but we don’t have a diaper pail, cloth diaper detergent, any kind of medical supplies like infant Tylenol or a thermometer, etc. The list goes on.

I was trying not to to stock up on stuff before the baby shower just in case we are blessed with particularly generous friends and family members, but it also makes me nervous to have next to nothing for Baby this late in the game. Deep breaths! I’m sure it will all work out but it makes me nervous just the same.

We have a couple more classes coming up next week – a breastfeeding prep class and a newborn care class. I think they’ll both help us feel more comfortable handling Baby once he’s here. Not that we’re afraid of breaking him, exactly, just… I don’t really know what to do with a newborn and I think this will give us a small boost of confidence.

5 Comments >

February 4, 2010 11:12 pm

30 Weeks

So! 30 weeks down and approximately 10 to go. Baby is moving much differently than even a month ago – it’s much more squirmy, rolly, and stretchy sensations rather than distinct kicks. I still get those too, but they are much fewer and farther between. I’ve also felt hiccups a couple of times! I think the last time I said I did, it was something else – right after I posted it I read somewhere that the “shuddering” feeling is usually Baby shaking a limb around to get untangled from the cord or to move around a bit. Now that I’m pretty sure I felt actual hiccups, I’m even more sure the shuddering wasn’t it.

I had a follow-up ultrasound done last Friday to check Baby’s growth. I think they were just wanting to make sure he wasn’t a giant baby, so while he was still measuring ahead, it was a much more manageable week ahead instead of 2+ weeks ahead like at the first ultrasound. Baby is still definitely a boy, and we got a cute picture of his little noggin:

Profile

People tell me he has my lips and this makes me laugh. I find him adorable already and I can’t even really tell what he looks like.

He was breech (head up) during the ultrasound, which was weird since I feel like he’s been head down for weeks now, and turned head down again pretty soon afterward. He was head down today at my appointment so maybe he just wanted to spice things up for the ultrasound. They estimated his weight at about three and a half pounds.

Also! Speaking of pounds, I only gained TWO between my last appointment and today’s appointment. GO ME!

That time I fell down

I fell over on Sunday. (I AM FINE, BABY IS FINE.) I misjudged a curb and did something weird, and my heels slipped off and before I knew it I was lying in the street in between two parked cars. (Please note that I am laughing here, typing this out. It just sounds so horrible.) Mostly I landed on my knees, and I kind of caught myself with one hand and a boob and I don’t think my belly even hit the ground. Primarily I just scraped my knees and scared the everloving hell out of both Daniel and myself. I keep picturing the panic-stricken look on his face as he helped me up and OH MAH GAH SO HORRIBLE.

Knees are a little bruised and a little scratched, but I didn’t rip my pants or anything and Baby was just as active as ever and I didn’t have any cramps or bleeding or anything out of the ordinary. I told my midwife about it today and she was like, “Okay. So I really hope that doesn’t happen again but if it does, you should call us, because we might want to check you and the baby out to make sure everything is okay.” Duly noted! (SEE? I AM BAD AT THIS DOCTOR STUFF ALREADY.)

Childcare

This is so stressful and just UGH that I almost don’t even want to talk about it. In short: everywhere imaginable has a wait list a year long and we need care starting in July; everywhere is right around a thousand dollars a month; I am still vaguely upset that I even have to use childcare; I am angry that many places charge you (anywhere from $25-70) to get placed on the waitlist. Fortunately the place we toured already seemed nice (and was fine with cloth diapers!), and we have a tour at another location next Thursday afternoon and then another one Friday morning, so we’ll see about those as well. We’re submitting wait list applications where we can, especially at the ones that don’t charge to type your name into a spreadsheet.

Other stuff

I have an appointment for maternity portraits booked for the 20th! I’m super excited!

The fatigue I mentioned last week has gotten a bit worse. I can’t tell what causes it but I’m leaning toward it possibly being related to needing to eat something. It’s just so WEIRD – my sidebutt/hip area will be so fatigued it doesn’t want me to stand up, but all I did was walk up some stairs. So irritating.

Only one more childbirth prep class to go! We’re also signed up for a breastfeeding class and a newborn care class but those aren’t for another couple of weeks yet. This week we learned about interventions and pain medication. I’m still leaning toward avoiding pain meds, but we’ll see how things go once we get there. Basically, I think I’ll be fine as long as I don’t end up getting Pitocin. If I get Pitocin, all bets are off and I’ll probably ask for an epidural, but if I can avoid the Pitocin (which is one of my goals) then I think I’ll be okay.

Non-baby-related drama: Something got messed up with Daniel’s W4 form at his last job, and as such, his deductions for taxes were not what we intended and stayed that way for most of the year, and as such, instead of getting a nice fat check for our tax return we had to SEND the IRS a fat check for both federal and state. Argh.

2 Comments >

January 20, 2010 9:44 pm

28 Weeks

I got my first unsolicited pregnancy remark this week! And! It was very pleasant with lots of well-meaning advice. It was from a nice lady who works at the grocery store, whom we’ve seen there for years, and when we made it through her line she asked, “When are you due?” I kind of missed it so I had her repeat it and I was like, “OH! April! Mid-April.” And then we had a very nice conversation about baby essentials. Yay!

Absolutely no one else who doesn’t already know has said ANYTHING to me this whole time, which… I find kind of weird. I mean, YES, I’m grateful strangers are not trying to touch my belly, but I feel like my condition is obvious by this point and I would not be offended if someone remarked (positively) about it. So thank you, Fred Meyer checker lady.

People still don’t move for me on public transit. I still think this is the fault of my circus-tent-esque coat. Daniel disagrees, and I suppose it could be that everyone who rides public transit is a jerk, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I just feel like people are trained not to say ANYTHING about pregnancy so as not to offend anyone who might not be even if they look like it, so even though I look rounder than normal underneath my coat, people are not falling over themselves to let me sit.

Clothing

I finally broke down and bought new bras. Mine have been a constant source of pain and suffering for WEEKS now and the last straw was this weekend when an underwire stabbed through its casing and poked me. I have been too lazy to go to Nordstrom and get refitted so I’ve been putting off buying better-fitting ones because I don’t know what size I am now. Fortunately, some bra manufacturers are sympathetic to my plight and offer handy S-M-L type sizing, so I hazarded a guess and in theory some undergarments are making their way to my door as we speak. (I am crossing my fingers SO HARD that they fit.)

I also got a slew of maternity shirts. I think I’m starting to reach the limit of what my pre-pregnancy tees can handle and I only have three actual maternity tees, so once these new ones arrive I’ll give them a test run. I just hate maternity shirts that don’t come back under your belly after they hit the largest part – it’s so much more flattering when they hug your belly instead of hanging off it like a stupid tent. I refuse to buy those kinds of shirts. I think I got good ones, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Baby Shower?

People keep asking me, and no, I have no idea. I wish I did. About the best I’ve heard is that someone, somewhere, may or may not be planning something. Maybe. Daniel is the only person that has heard this information and he was apparently sworn to secrecy and insists he doesn’t know anything beyond that. I’ve never heard of a baby shower being a surprise, so I’m a little anxious about that but I’m told any input I have can be passed through Daniel and it will get to the mystery shower-thrower.

So! Because I like to be helpful: my dream baby shower is one that does not involve gross games (I’m not really anti-games, exactly, I just don’t want to have to eat weird things or be forced to make a belly cast or something) but that does involve candy and delicious citrus beverages and very Martha Stewart-y touches. (You know, garlands and decorated cookies and the like.) Just, ah, throwing that out there. Here is a gallery I started on Flickr for some inspiration – I’ll probably continue adding to it for a while.

We did start a registry on Amazon, mostly because it’s easy to find anything there and I could add items from other websites. I think a lot of the stuff is probably available at Target but it seemed easier to have one registry instead of two.

Childbirth Classes

Ours start this week! I’m not really sure what to expect but I am told to bring two pillows, a small blanket or towel, and dress in loose comfortable clothing.

Baby and Me

Here I am at 28 weeks:

28 Weeks

At my appointment today, my midwife had a chat with me about my weight gain. On the plus side, I gained less between the last appointment and this one than I thought I would, but on the minus side, I started out about 30lbs overweight and have since gained 40-ish pounds. And I still have twelve more weeks to go. Eeep. So they told me to go from 1% milk down to nonfat, avoid soda and fast food (which I do already and did before I got pregnant), and, uh, not eat constantly. Which I have been attempting. My body is just REALLY REALLY GOOD at gaining weight. I’d be great at hibernating!

Baby appears to be head down. Yay! I don’t know how they can tell this by skooshing my belly around but the midwife declared him head-down, which I had been guessing at for a while since it feels like feet are in my ribs most of the time. Heartbeat sounded good, and I got a paper telling me to make another ultrasound appointment to check Baby’s growth. Woo! I am hoping he’s not built like a tank, but we shall see.

Oh god only 12 more weeks

April seems really far off. Like a very long ways away. And then I think, oh! Twelve weeks! And that is not a very long time at all and OMG PANIC.

10 Comments >

January 7, 2010 11:13 am

26 Weeks – Nursery

Restraint

This last week or so, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to not go overboard when eating. I still rarely feel full and want to eat everything in sight, but I’m trying to get my body to realize that HEY, if I have just finished a bowl of cereal, I probably do not need three more bowls. It’s going okay so far. I’m hoping that I can keep this up (rather than indulging every fake hunger whim) so that my weight at my next appointment in a few weeks won’t be quite so shocking.

Learning to Wrap

I recently purchased a Moby-style wrap to tote Baby around in and spent an evening figuring out how to tie it. I was confused at first how you manage to get the baby in and out without dropping it on its head, but with some YouTube videos and instructions, I think my trusty stuffed robot sidekick and I figured it out.

I’m vaguely planning on using wraps/slings versus a stroller for most situations, since I HATE pushing shopping carts and I think a stroller would be just as bad. There’s just something about having the thing you’re pushing so far out in front of you that I really don’t like. Maybe it’s because I’m short? Whatever the reason, I’m very happy with my wrap so far and am looking into different carriers/slings so I can have a variety to choose from.

Baby’s Space

In terms of the “nursery” or “how we are preparing for Baby” I’ve got nothing. Here are two photos which illustrate just that:

Carseat & Bumbo Seat

Here we have the carseat (Chicco Keyfit 30 in “Miro”) and the Bumbo seat, along with the two Boppy pillows I found at Goodwill, stuffed in a corner of the living room that acts as our office. In theory we could install the carseat already (or at least the base), but we just haven’t done it yet.

Cubby

Here we have some cubbies in our living room that I am desperate to replace because I hate them. Baby’s cubby is the top right one and it’s filled with various sizes of diaper covers, a wet pail bag, Snappis, some baby pants, jammies, and a few onesies. The top left cubby is the overflow and contains a tiny pair of jeans and overalls as well as a striped onesie.

THIS IS OUR NURSERY. WELCOME TO IT.

Grah. First order of business (which I just completed, YAY!) is to order the Co-Sleeper crib we want so that Baby has somewhere to sleep. We’ll have to rearrange the bedroom a bit but this is what will work best for now. There’s no way we’d fit a full-size crib in there.

(Seriously though, for how small babies are, cribs are gigantic. Daniel took a look at a couple of IKEA ones and asked me why babies need an Olympic swimming pool sized bed. I told him I had no idea but they are awfully large. )

Second order of business is to replace those horrible white cubbies with the shorter version of the nice tall bookshelves we have right next to them. We made a fruitless trip to IKEA yesterday to purchase them but they were out of stock. :( Daniel is going to try again today to see if they’re available.

Third order of business is to figure out where Baby’s clothes will live. This might be in the as-yet-unpurchased bookshelf, or it might be in an as-yet-unpurchased dresser that may end up living in our bedroom closet. I did a bunch of bedroom measuring and we’re still trying to figure out the best configuration that will allow us each a dresser, plus the bed, nightstand, crib, and possibly hampers.

Our bedroom is about 9×12′ and our queen-size bed takes up 5×7′ of that space, and then there are windows and closet doors to deal with as well. It’s hard to work with but we’ll make things fit.

Mah Belleh

Here’s me at 26 weeks:

26 Weeks

Ahoy Baby! I look very pregnant. I am getting some stretch marks like I knew I would, but they’re not scary looking. The worst one is from my now-empty bellybutton piercing spot – I took the barbell out around 15 weeks or so because it wasn’t tall enough. I’m just glad I have (had?) an innie bellybutton so my shirt is still flat in front! I will say that it is very weird to suddenly have the inside of your bellybutton be able to sense things though – I told Daniel it’s like when your fingernails have been long for a long time and you cut them, and all of a sudden bits of your skin that never felt things before are feeling things and it’s not really painful but it’s very weird.

Also! Great news: My hip/pelvis pain has improved in the last couple of weeks. (!!!) I didn’t want to mention anything for fear of jinxing it but I can roll over onto my side again! I do have to be in just the right position so it doesn’t hurt and a pillow is almost always involved, but I can lay on my side for short periods of time! I am still mostly sleeping on my back with a zillion pillows but this gives me a tiny bit of variety.

Overall, I have very little to complain about. I mean sure, my feet swell up sometimes and my back hurts after I walk for a while, but I’ve had no weird bleeding or cramps or anything scary and for the most part I feel fine. Yay!

12 Comments >

October 15, 2009 6:43 pm

First Belly Pics!

I have been very bad at taking pictures of my tummy so far – I keep meaning to, but I hate my camera and photos by Daniel are… sometimes of questionable quality, and it just kind of didn’t happen. I did manage to take some 12 week pictures, and just today I took some 14 week pictures, so I have a few to show.

First, here is the comparison picture – I flipped the 12 week one so they were both facing the same direction so it’d be easier to compare:

12-14 Week Comparison

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August 2, 2009 6:28 pm

Craftypants

Here’s a quick roundup of the craft projects I’ve tackled recently:

Harry Potter themed decorations for my birthday (in June)

Weasley is our King

I think my favorite of the HP crafts was my “Weasley is our king” banner. It came out EXACTLY how I envisioned it and fit perfectly over our fake fireplace. I started out with some paper grocery bags and colored pencils and it went beautifully. I’m also very proud of my D.A. shield, as it took some trial and error to get it to look like the Warner Bros version.

Baby Dress

Dress Front Dress Front Detail

This was a “I bet I can whip up a cute little baby dress in no time” project that turned into a month-long fight with my sewing machine. It turned out that a dull needle was the culprit, so once I got that sorted everything went pretty smoothly. I took about 5 years of sewing in 4-H so I am all right at reading patterns, but I soon realized that I overestimated my ability and no longer had my mom standing next to me to help me decipher the pattern instructions.

ANYWAY. I hadn’t sewn anything with a pattern in probably almost a decade so I’m glad it came out really cute and I was happy I set a goal and accomplished it.

Silly Floral Napkins

Napkins Close-up

I saw pictures of cloth napkins like these on someone’s blog somewhere and thought it was a lovely idea. Turns out that it’s actually pretty hard to sew the ric-rac in between the two right-sides of the fabric and get it reasonably even. I’m glad I only did two of these! I bring them to work in my lunchbox every day.

Bunny Cloth Napkins

Bunny Sit Bunny Stand

I embroidered some Martha Stewart bunnies onto some thrifted cloth napkins as a housewarming present for some friends. Cameron and Brianna are adorable and they have a bunny named Dante and a new baby bunny named Delilah, so I felt it was fitting.

Owl plushie

Woodland Owl Woodland Owl Face

Daniel’s former co-worker and his wife are having a baby, and the nursery is a woodland/owl theme, so I sewed this little owl from a Doodle Stitching pattern. I really like how it came out.

Purple Pouch

Purple Pouch in use

Daniel asked me if I could make him a zippy pouch so he could have something smallish to put his camera and moleskine notebook in. He is a big fan of purple these days, so we picked this combo out at the fabric store and he seems to be very happy with it.

Doggie Plushie

Doggy Paw Close-Up

A co-worker offered to trade me a Harry Potter Sorting Hat if I made her baby boy a plushie. I said SIGN ME UP and here is the plushie! He’s a cute little doggie with embroidered paws and face, and a waggable tail.

Purple Gingham Napkins

Handmade cloth napkins. In lavender gingham!

I don’t have a photo of these yet, since I gave them away before I remembered to take a picture (that happens to me more often than I’d like) but since Tim is good about taking photos I might nab one off his Flickr stream. Imagine some lovely purple gingham cloth napkins with two rows of topstitching in lavender.

(Edited to add: Photo has been nabbed!)

Purple Floral Napkins

Purple Floral Napkins

I love making cloth napkins. They couldn’t be easier! They’re just squares, and they’re pretty simple to jazz up if they need some jazzing. For these ones, I sewed a stripe of ric-rac over one corner. This was MUCH easier than trying to edge all four sides of all four napkins with the ric-rac, and still gave it a bit of visual oomph.

And that’s not all…

I have a couple more baby bibs in the works, and I’m trying to decide what to do about the messed-up cloth baby shoes I finished yesterday. Do I rip it out? Ignore it and still give it away? Ignore it and keep it since I don’t mind but other people might? I woke up at 6-something this morning with a persistent vision regarding these shoes being messed up, and I had to get up and go check if my vision was right and it WAS. I was sad, but it also let me fall back asleep since I knew what was wrong wth them.

More photos as events warrant…

3 Comments >

July 1, 2009 8:25 pm

Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday, Daniel told me he bought us some M&Ms for dessert, and then asked if I wanted a treasure map to find it. We laughed about that for a bit, because really, how sad would a treasure map be for finding a bag of M&Ms in a decently-sized apartment? All you’d have to do is put “X marks the spot” and DONE! No fun at all. So he asked if I wanted a scavenger hunt instead and I nearly fainted with excitement.

Little-known fact about me: I ADORE SCAVENGER HUNTS. My mom used to make them for me when was little, and I love the fun of figuring out the riddles in the clues and running back and forth to find the next clue.

Daniel got started writing out the clues, and in about ten minutes he had me throw a random shirt over my head to block out my view so he could hide the clues. I was reading a book in the living room at the time. Amazingly, I didn’t hear him open any of the doors he hid clues behind. (Apparently I get really engrossed in my books.)

Photos of the clues and their answers ahead…
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3 Comments >

June 18, 2009 8:25 pm

Things making me happy today

  • Scene: Yesterday evening. I am in the kitchen talking to Daniel. I happen to be wearing gray jammie-pants, dark gray tee, and his light gray sweatshirt.
    Daniel: You are awfully monochromatic.
    Me: Oh, ha, I–
    Daniel: “By the power of GREYSCALE!”
  • Our friends’ save-the-date that came in the mail today:
    Brian & Manda
  • Impromptu crafts, especially ones that involve Harry Potter:
    Crown
    (This is one of several. I don’t want to share them all just yet!)
  • My birthday coming up on Sunday. Woo! I will be 24. And yes, my birthday this year IS Harry Potter themed, hence the crafts I am so spectacularly excited about. And the pumpkin pasties (as in, “Two pumpkin pasties please!” -Cho Chang) Daniel is currently making, and the butterbeer recipe I perfected yesterday.
  • Our lovely visit with Daniel’s mom and sister this past weekend, wherein we ate a lot of wonderful food, celebrated Gretchen’s 30th birthday, had dinner for Kerri’s birthday, and generally had a very good time. Daniel’s mom brought our Christmas present with her, which was a hand-painted basket (she’s a basketmaker) painted with coffee! Rad!
    Coffee Basket

Now, back to cleaning the apartment. I don’t usually think of myself as a very messy person, but YOW does the living room get filled with junk when I am not looking. Sweatshirts everywhere, half-finished craft projects all over, and piles of things waiting to be sorted…

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May 29, 2009 12:37 pm

One Year

Reception Yes, yes, it’s true: our first wedding anniversary was on Sunday, May 24th! I really can’t believe it’s been a year already. It has gone by so fast!

I didn’t post about it the day of because we were in Newport, Oregon, hanging out on the (not-so-warm, very windy) beach and watching copious amounts of HGTV and I was coming down with a cold, but I wanted to commemorate the event here.

We stayed in this funny little Bed & Breakfast in Nye Beach that Daniel secretly picked out because it had a turret room! I love turrets and always wanted my bedroom to be one when I was younger, so it was a super-sweet idea. The lady who ran the B&B was a little nutty and once we got in the room, we realized that even though there was a bathtub, there wasn’t a shower, which would have been fine except the lady had mentioned the bathtub faucet was weird and kind of broken. So… we sponge bathed and washed our hair in the sink! HAHAHA. Oh man. I’m of the opinion that if something sucks, at least it makes for a good story. Hee.

The tub was this hilarious mauvey-purple color with forest green tiles and there were dragon stencils on the wall. I SO WISH I had remembered to take photos of the bathroom because it was hilarious. Daniel felt bad that the room wasn’t 100% awesome but I got a kick out of it anyway and loved the turret.

We visited the beach but didn’t find any awesome shells or jellyfish or anything. We also checked out the Yaquina Head Lighthouse (super windy) and saw some pelicans, and ended up going to see Angels & Demons at the local movie theater. (I could dedicate a whole post to how I thought the movie was great right up until the “Fire” scene where it all went downhill in a non-canonical fiery blaze, but I will resist.)

I came down with a cold on Sunday and Daniel succumbed a few days later, so we are still trying to recover. (Doesn’t that always happen when you go on vacation? Ugh. I think your body finally gives out once you relax and all the germs get invited in.) That said, overall we had a very good time.

Here’s to many more years of giggling about stylistically inappropriate dragon stencils!

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May 6, 2009 8:00 pm

An Event Apart

Yes, the rumors are true: I was finally able to attend An Event Apart! There are so many wonderful things to say about this conference, but I will try to be reasonably brief.

Point #1: It is totally worth the money.

Since I was lucky enough to have my workplace pay my way to SXSW this year, I was therefore ineligible to have them pay my way to AEA. So… I used my tax return money. :blush: Daniel was kind enough to not be upset about this (YES, I cleared it with him beforehand, and apparently you can write educational expenses like this off on your taxes anyway) and I brought him along for the ride. He didn’t go to the conference, but got a nice little vacation in Seattle whereupon he managed to hit EIGHT DIFFERENT COFFEESHOPS in one day. That’s got to be a record.

Point #2: The swag rocks.

Most webby-type conferences seem to give you a huge, hideous tote bag plastered with some sponsor you’ve either never heard of or don’t particularly care about, and the tote bag is filled with postcards from other sponsors or vendors whom you also do not care about. It’s really wasteful (I just recycled all the postcards) and kind of annoying. You know what An Event Apart gave out? USEFUL THINGS.

I received:

A tasteful laptop bag:
An Event Apart Laptop Bag

A classy pen:
An Event Apart Pen

A nice little notebook:
AEA Field Notes Notebook (Front)

And a much-needed USB hub:
AEA USB Hub

THINGS THAT ARE USEFUL. And pretty! With a nice logo on them that I am not embarrassed to carry around!

Point #3: Everything is thought out

It was obvious that all the speakers spent a ton of time on their presentations. This was not a hit-and-miss, “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of conference – every single session was awesome.

I think AEA does a great job of picking people that are super relevant to the industry and that have a ton of knowledge to impart. They were all passionate about the industry and about what they do. It showed.

Overall, I was super impressed with the quality and thoughfulness throughout the conference. It’s only two days, but they cram stuff in and it’s all worthwhile. Plus, there are parties:

eROI crew at AEAphoto from dondondon

…and one of my co-workers won an iPod Touch. Jealous!

Conclusion

If your workplace supports learning and furthering your creative endeavors and is willing to pay your way, this is totally a conference to hit. There are ones coming up later this year in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. If they are not-so-willing, you might try writing a letter to the person in charge and suggest that they consider sending one or two people from the company as a way to keep on top of the industry and schmooze with other professionals. It will make you smarter and may therefore garner your company some more dollars, if they are concerned about that.

If you are saving your money for it and are not sure if you really want to spend a zillion dollars on it, DO IT. It is so worth it. It’s definitely a whirlwind experience (I didn’t feel like I got a lot of downtime) but you will come away incredibly inspired with new tips, tricks, and techniques that you can then use to become better at what you do. And who wouldn’t want that?

If anybody has any questions about a particular session or about attending the conference in general, just ask them in the comments and I’ll respond. I’m still giddy with excitement.

Edited to add: Jeeze, so giddy I forgot to mention that I got to meet both Jeffrey Zeldman (success!) and Eric Meyer (yay!). If THAT doesn’t convince you that AEA was awesome, I dont know what will.

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March 26, 2009 1:15 pm

Meet my new bike!

centurion-sport-dlx

It was brought to my attention on Sunday morning that I might need a bike. I do, after all, live in Portland – land of bike-friendliness; Daniel recently acquired a bike; and nearly all of my close friends have and use bikes as a primary mode of transportation.

We had visited Little Red Bike with several of these friends and I realized that the only reason we used our Zipcar account that morning was because I was the only person in our whole group of friends who did not have a bike to ride. Sad! Even Daniel could have ridden there but I would have been left at home all alone.

I halfheartedly checked Craigslist for something that seemed appropriate, but as you well know, I am very, very short. My chances of finding a women’s bike (not a little girl’s bike) that was my size for a decent price were extremely small, and I really didn’t expect to get this lucky this quickly.

The headline said something about it being a “bike for shorties” so I figured, what the heck, I’ll call. After I made the call and agreed to met Mr. Bike Seller after work to check out his wares, I realized with horror that I:

  • Know absolutely nothing about the prices of bikes, bike sizing, or really anything about bikes at all other than that they have wheels and make you go;
  • Had just agreed to meet a male stranger on the East side of Portland in an unfamiliar neighborhood to me;
  • Would be by myself. The whole time. And I might end up with a bike afterward that I wouldn’t really know how to get home since I didn’t know where I was and I would probably have to take it on a bus and HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO PUT A BIKE ON THE FRONT OF A BUS?

I called Daniel in a panic.

“Hi I know you are at work but I just called about a bike and could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask any of your bike-type friends if they would be willing to come with me to check this thing out? I know nothing about bikes! WHAT AM I DOING?”

Daniel managed to recruit Tim, who is a lovely person with a (un?)healthy interest in bikes and I am so very, very grateful he came with me and told me what to look for. He even helped me put my bike on the front of the bus! WIN!

Meggan’s new Centurion, by Tim:
Meggan-new-bike

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