Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

2011 can best be described as a Dickens novel - It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Scott and I started off the year with a few home improvement projects and lots of work. In February, I was laid off from my job in marketing but quickly found work at a non-profit as a Communications Manager. I had a brief break between jobs and was able to visit a friend in Newport, Oregon where she was working on a temp assignment. It was a fun weekend!

Shortly after that in March, Scott and I found out we were going to be parents. We were quite excited and I became obsessed with learning all there is to know about pregnancy and babies. I was also nervous as I had just started a new job. That situation worked out when I was laid off again! The company didn't have the funding for my position and so I spent the summer as a lady of leisure. I swam daily, planned for the baby and enjoyed my free time.

In June, Scott and I took a trip to Maui. It was a delightful vacation and Scott was able to really relax. In August, my parents came over and helped Scott paint the baby's room and part of our kitchen. I spent the few weeks after that getting the room finished up. I really enjoyed decorating the baby's room. I also learned in late August that I had gestational diabetes which meant a huge diet change for me, a good diet change. 

In September, my Mother suffered a heart attack. There were moments when we weren't sure how well she was going to recover and those days were long and scary. Happily I can say that she is doing so much better. She continues to amaze us daily with her strength and determination. My Dad has been along her side, every step of the way. The love they have for each other inspires Scott and I.

In November, Scott and I were finally able to meet our daughter, Molly Ann. She is named after Scott's Great Grandmother, Molly. She came on Thanksgiving Day after a long induction and labor. Scott was an amazing support throughout the delivery and in fact through my entire pregnancy. The last few weeks have been a blur of sleeplessness, dirty diapers and more fun than we could have imagined. We are so in love with our daughter.

Without Molly, this year would have been crap but she has brought a wonderful glow to an otherwise trying year. Thank golly for Miss Molly! 

*All photos in this post taken by my lovely friends, Margaret and Danny.
Thursday, December 01, 2011

On Meeting The Love of My Life

Super Pregnant in Mom's Therapy Room

On Tuesday evening, Scott and I headed to the hospital as I was being induced due to my gestational diabetes. We were admitted and shown to our room. I had a Cook's Catheter placed for induction and we were sent home to sleep for the night.  After a far too short night of sleep, we returned to the hospital. I then had Misoprostal placed and we began waiting. I also had a central line placed. It took six painful pokes for them to get it placed and I was ready to leave at that point. Later that day, they started a Pitocin drip which got the contractions rolling. They weren't painful at that point and I was cocky. I may have said things like, "These aren't so bad!" and "I can totally do this without pain medication!" It was interesting feeling the contractions. Part of my stomach would be HARD while the rest would be squishy. I made Scott feel the difference and he was intrigued. I experienced contractions through the night (which meant little to no sleep) and in the morning around 5:30 a.m., my water broke and that is when it got real.


I started to experience back labor and asked for a heating pad along with some Tylenol. I didn't know that I was having back labor. I just thought my back hurt. And boy did it HURT! At one point during the day, I hid in the bathroom and told my nurse that she could take my vitals in there as I was not coming out. I couldn't move around too much as I was hooked up to 4 IV bags which required a HUGE pole and had two internal monitors for contractions and the baby's heart beat. That made it quite difficult for me to move about. Scott though did everything in his power to make it all easier for me. He rubbed my back, he stroked my hair, he gave me things to think about. And all of these things helped until the pain got to be too much and I asked for an epidural. Scott was fantastic and told the nurse that I wanted pain medication STAT. The anesthesiologist came in and said that I could not wiggle or move during my contractions as she placed the epidural. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm surprised that Scott's arms are not black and blue from my grip during the placement.  


The epidural provided blessed relief and I was able to sleep for a few hours before I was told that I was at 10 cm (or as our nurse joked with us, you made it to 11! We had been joking that we were like Spinal Tap and were going to go past 10 to 11!) She had me labor down for an hour before starting to push. That is when Scott's support really come into play. The doctor on call came in and the nurse brought in another nurse who was training to be a midwife. They both helped me push and gave me some instructions on how to best do it. Since I was being monitored, Scott was able to tell when my contractions were starting and could tell me when to start pushing and when to stop. He counted, he chanted, he supported me through 3 and a half hours of pushing. After pushing for so long, the baby was only about half way down and now where near coming out. My hips were aching and I decided that I wanted a C-Section. I knew I couldn't push any longer. The doctor also said that baby wasn't far enough down for a vacuum extraction.  Within minutes of my announcement, I was being whisked to the OR. I was introduced to the OB surgeon (my doctor is a family doctor which meant the doctor on call was also a family doctor and unable to do c-sections on their own). Scott had to wait in the hallway while they prepped me for surgery. He said that he freaked out in the hallway and that it was incredibly scary. I was never scared but I think I was so focused on meeting my daughter that fear was not allowed to enter. I also knew that the faster the surgery was over, the better. 

Sleeping Molly

The surgery was quick! On Thanksgiving Day at 6:27 p.m., Molly was delivered within minutes of Scott being allowed in the OR. I felt all the tugging and pressure but no pain. It was the strangest feeling. The cord was around Molly's neck and we think was the reason she wasn't progressing down the birth canal. Everyone said right away how beautiful our daughter was but I didn't believe them. I mean who is going to say that someone's newborn is ugly? So I asked Scott, Is she cute? He laughed and said, they said she is beautiful and she is! I then started to get the chills, which is very common and had the anesthesiologist talk me through it. She was wonderful. She told me just enough the surgery but did not give me all the details. They quickly cleaned Molly up and gave her to Scott who brought my daughter over for a proper introduction. I fell in love right away. Well to be honest, I've been in love with her since I saw her on the ultrasound at 9 weeks but it was more real on the outside.

Mom and Molly

They gave Molly to me to hold as we were wheeled back up to our hospital room. Once there, we were surrounded by a swarm of nurses and doctors. After awhile, things settled down and Scott and I were left with our daughter. That is when we began to cry over the wonderfulness of our daughter. We made a human bean! A beautiful one! We had a long first night as we couldn't sleep. We just wanted to gaze at our daughter. Also we discovered that our daughter does not like to sleep outside of our arms AT ALL. Sleeping in a crib or a bassinet is not allowed by her. The only place we can get her to sleep outside our arms is inside her boppy which is not really to be used for sleeping. We let her nap in it when we are awake but when we sleep, she sleeps in my arms. Our first week as a family has been amazing. Everyday, I say to Scott, "WE MADE A HUMAN!" She's been teaching us new things everyday and we look forward to a lifetime of love with her.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Weeks Rush By


It's been months since my Mother's heart attack and she's making slow but grand progress toward recovery. She's talking (alot), being very bossy and working hard at rehab. I still visit her every day even though Tuesday will be my last daily visit for a long time.

Growing Platy - 34 Weeks

Tuesday night I'm being induced (or so the plan is right now). Scott and I are getting very excited to meet our daughter. I can't wait to introduce her to her grandmother, something I wasn't entirely sure was going happen after my Mother's heart attack.

My Mom still has her sense of humor, her worries and her quirks. She told me that she's worried that she's not going to be a good grandmother since she is "disabled". I told her that Platy won't know any different and will think she's the best grandmother around.

36.5 Weeks

So just a few short days until our lives change forever. It's a bit strange knowing when your life will change as usually these kind of changes spring out of nowhere and smack you upside the head. I'm grateful right now though that we have had the heads up (all 10 months of preparation).
Wednesday, November 02, 2011

36 Week Ultrasound

Platy at 36 Weeks

Scott and I got a sneak peek at Platy's face today at my 36 week ultrasound. She's weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz +/- a lb. We're getting super excited about meeting her! It's looking like we'll get to meet her in either a week and a half or three weeks. 

My Mom is awake now and talking up a storm. While I only understand about 30% of what she says, I do know that she is really upset that she won't get to come to the hospital to meet Platy. I have however promised that I will bring the baby to her. My Dad and I have worked out a plan where they can get Mom in a wheelchair and take her to the lobby. Then I can bring Platy in to meet her. I'm a bit hesitant to bring the baby up to her room because well it is a hospital and people are sick with diseases! 

Mom was however very excited to see the ultrasound photos today. She can't wait to meet her granddaughter and I can't wait to meet my daughter. I can't stop staring at the ultrasound photos and telling her how frickin' adorable she is! I also can't believe how soon I'll get to meet her. I feel like I just found out I was pregnant after peeing on a stick at 5 a.m. because I couldn't sleep and wanted to know if I was pregnant. That was a wonderful morning and now just like that, I'm going to meet my daughter in less than a month. How crazy is that? 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three and a half weeks

Day 145 (145/366): Happy Mom-a-Sun Day!
My Mom and me in happier times

Three and a half weeks ago, I received a phone call from my Dad in the middle of the night. My Mom had gone into cardiac arrest and was being transported to the hospital. In a daze, I dressed myself as Scott got my purse and directions together. We drove to the hospital where I greeted my Dad. The medics had already rushed my Mom into the emergency room where she was having emergency surgery to repair her heart. My brother and sister-in-law arrived shortly after and we all huddled in a small room waiting to hear from the doctor. The doctor successfully repaired her heart but the long road to recovery was anything but over.

It's been a very long three and a half weeks since that long night. Scott and I eventually returned home at 5:30 a.m. to sleep. Mom was in the ICU, hooked up to all sorts of machines and we were very scared.

My Mom is the cornerstone of our family. She's in charge of all worries, all family matters and all of us. In fact, I still taunt my brother with threats of telling our Mom about something he's doing that she won't approve of. And at 36 years old, my Mom still likes to direct me around. We tell her that it annoys us but in reality, we kinda like knowing that someone cares so much for us that they want to take care of everything for us.

Now though, she is unable to take care of us and we have to take care of her. My Dad is lost without his lifelong companion. My parents are true soul mates who do everything together. In fact, I often think it took me so long to find Scott because I wasn't ready to settle for anything less than the great relationship my parents share. I'm blessed that I didn't settle.

Since that night, three and a half weeks ago, we've watched my Mother as she goes through the very slow process of recovery. She's moved from having a million tubes down her throat and nose to having a tracheal tube in her throat and a feeding tube in her stomach. She's had a million x-rays, EEG's, EKG's and various other tests. Her medication list is extensive and I often get them all mixed up. She's been sedated to keep her from being anxious but her new facility is working to wean her off the ventilator and sedation medication. A majority of the time, her eyes are closed and she looks like she's sleeping. Lately though she's been opening her eyes and trying to look around.

Last night, as I was preparing to leave, my Dad was teasing me about Platy. He told my Mom that I was having a Mini-Me and she smiled. She looked so amused by that comment. I then told her that the baby was currently HUGE (6 lbs 1 oz at 33 weeks) which made her smile linger. She turned her head toward me to listen a bit more but I had trouble talking through the tears.

I miss the Mom I had at this time in my pregnancy. The Mom who was so worried about my gestational diabetes that she called every day to hear my blood sugar numbers. The Mom who wanted me to have a natural labor and delivery that she pestered me with questions and books. The Mom who cared so much and listened to my complaints while laughing at them. I pray and hope everyday that I'm given some of that Mom back because as I start progressing toward being a Mom myself, I'm really going to need that Mom's guidance and direction.

Everyday she seems to make a small baby step toward improvement and since no one knows how long her recovery will take, we cheer each step. It's a long road.

Since heart attack symptoms are hard to recognize in women, it is so important that everyone read this link - because you see, my Mom told me that she had suffered a panic attack at the gym earlier the evening of her heart attack and had gotten sick. Turns out it wasn't a panic attack but the start of cardiac arrest. I wish we had gotten her to the hospital sooner but hindsight is 20/20 and all we can do now is be there for her and celebrate all her successes, no matter how small they might be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Nursery for Platy

If there is one thing I love doing, it is decorating. And having a baby means that I got to decorate a nursery! I've been thinking about Platy's nursery pretty much since the day I found out I was pregnant but the true decorating didn't begin until we found out that we were having a girl. I had a whole boy theme in my head, it was going to be robots, which I could have done for a girl but instead, I love the direction the nursery went in.

I talked about my inspiration back in July with this post. Now that the room is 95% complete, I'm ready to show it off! I'm still missing a basket for the bookcase and I need to make a decision on a photo mural wall but I just can't seem to decide. I'm wishy-washy lately.

Toward the Crib

This is the view as you enter the room. I have two quilts on the crib right now. The top one was made by my friend Amanda and is the most gorgeous thing ever! The pink one underneath was a quilt owned by my Grandmother but crafted by the Amish. It's simply divine.

Toward the Dresser

This is the view from the crib or what Platy can use as an aiming device with her future toys. I placed the changing table on top of the dresser but I suspect a lot of changes will happen on the floor, on the couch or on our bed.

Towards the Bookcase

This is the view toward the window. You can see where the missing basket goes. It should arrive tomorrow or so they say. My Mom saved all my books from childhood so Platy's bookcase is FULL! Of course when she learns how to pull them out and rip at the pages, many of these books will be placed on a much higher service. I hope the baskets can house her toys. I pretend that we will limit the number of toys because I'm a silly person that way.

Window Valence and Shade

I decided to go the inexpensive route for window coverings and bought a vinyl roller blind from Home Depot and prettied it up with a frilly tulle valence which coincidently matches the crib skirt. I can't help it if I'm girly!

A Chair for Platy

This was my rocking chair as a little girl and now I'm passing it along to Platy. The Raggedy Ann doll was also mine and my Mother bemoans the loss of Raggedy Andy. Supposedly something bad happened there. The blanket on the back of the chair was made by my Grandmother. I found it in her things after she passed and took it. I have a feeling she made it for a future great grand child. And even if she didn't, I'm pretending she did.

Hamper and Laundry Bag

I found this great laundry basket/ trash can thing at Ikea and made a simple laundry bag for it. I like that it has a lid which I hope will keep a child from rummaging around inside it. The diaper pail (which I still need to get) will have a true lock on it because I can only imagine what could happen there.


I did take my crazy obsessive organization skills to the next level and labeled the dresser drawers. I figure then if I'm not putting things away, the person who is can figure out where things go. I have a feeling other people will attempt to be helpful and will want to put things away. I'm working on allowing that to happen. I'm a bit controlling when it comes to stuff.

Going Home Outfit

The last thing I did in Platy's nursery was lay out her  "Going Home" outfit. Scott bought this onesie shortly after we decided to name her Platy when she looked more like a Platypus than a baby. I love it! I hope she isn't too big for it when she is born.

I hope Platy enjoys this room as much as I have enjoyed putting it together for her. Just 11 more weeks (give or take) until we get to meet our daughter. I'm so, so, so excited!
Thursday, September 01, 2011


Pregnant Lady at the beach Way back in June, Scott and I headed to Hawaii. Everyone kept saying it was our babymoon but little did they know we had the trip planned before we found out about said baby. It was a delightful escape from everyday life. We headed to our favorite island, Maui where we are lucky enough to have the use of my parent's timeshare.
  Child at the beach

The only failure we had in planning this trip was the timing. We went in late June, along with every child and parent in America. The resort was shrill with the sounds of parents and children. I told Scott that this was a glimpse into our future. He shuddered a lot. I shuddered in return. Next time we plan to head to Maui anytime but in the Summer. I mean our kid won't be in school for a very long time so we'll have the luxury of traveling when we feel is best, right?
  View through Iao Valley

We visited the beautiful Iao Valley this time and hiked a bit into the greenery. I was a bit concerned about the hike since I was plagued by nausea but then I saw a 70 year old woman head up the path and knew I could totally keep up. The view from the top was gorgeous and well worth the tiny hike. Seriously, it was the tiniest of hikes. I'm not sure why I worried.

 We also visited some favorite sites and ate at some delicious restaurants. Mostly we rested though and swam in the ocean/pool. I love the water and it felt so good to swim. We even went snorkeling which went OK for me. As I mentioned before, I felt barfy and well snorkeling makes me barfy on a good day. Let's just say I fed the fish a lot while yelling at Scott to stay away from me in the water. I'm a joy to snorkel with, a pure joy. Still we were able to laugh about it, so that was good.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, the last trip with just the two of us. The next time we travel, there will be 3 and at least one of the three will be whiny. I'll do my best to keep my whine down but I make no promises.
Friday, August 26, 2011

Kitchen Accents

Just over a month ago, I asked your opinion on the color for our kitchen accent wall. The response was overwhelming and wonderful!

The Kitchen Accent Wall Prior to Painting

We left the swatch colors on the wall and whenever someone would come over, we would make them tell us which color they liked the best. This may have led to a few uncomfortable moments for our guests cornered in our kitchen but in the end, it was decided both on the internet and in-person that our kitchen called out for a teal blue.

Best Minion Ever!

Last weekend, my parents come over to help Scott paint the nursery (more on that later) and I thought since I had my minions cornered, I'd also have them paint the kitchen. I prepped the area by taping the wall and moving all the stuff off the counters. I had Scott wash the wall with TPS (toxic but effective cleaner) before handing over the paint brushes and paint.

Minion's Work Station

Scott and my Dad did a wonderful job on the kitchen (and nursery!). I'm in LOVE with this color. It was just the punch of color that the kitchen called out for. Now I want to replace the curtains with something funky and fun. Of course that might lead to having the other walls repainted so I'm going to hold off until my minions have forgotten about all the hard work they did for me last weekend.

The Finished Kitchen Accent Wall
Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Study in Stripes


Way back in May, I cast on for the Stripe Study Shawl. I loved the design and it was a great way to use up some of my stash. I hit a few roadblocks along the way to a quick finish though. First I rannout of yarn and had to wait for more to arrive.


Then I developed carpel tunnel syndrome which really slowed down my progress. In the end though, it was well worth the wait. I love this shawl and can't wait to wear it when the weather begins to cool.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to Throw a Spectacular Baby Shower

Pregnant Chicks

As good luck would have it, my good friend Meg is also pregnant and I'm so very excited for her. This baby has been long in the wanting and will be smothered with love when she makes her appearance in October. Way back in the day when Meg threw my bridal shower, I told her that I would one day throw her a baby shower and so when she told me she was pregnant, I began planning her shower.

Baby Shower Food

I wanted this to be a shower filled with love, food and fun! I scoured magazines, I searched websites and I kept my eye open for ideas. Martha Stewart featured a Book Themed Baby Shower in MS Living and I knew I had found the perfect baby shower theme. Then Meg's dad made her a bookcase which cried out to be filled with lovely children's books.

Book Plate Station

I asked everyone to bring their favorite children's book along with a present for Hazelnut (My nickname for Meg's baby). I printed out book plates from MS on label paper and asked people to inscribe them for the baby.

The Gifts!

Since Meg and I HATE baby shower games, I decided to have a few activities to keep the party flowing. I had a "Suggest a Name for Hazelnut" station along with a "How Well Do You Know Meg?" game. I think Meg was grateful that I didn't make people wrap her in toilet paper or something like that. She did laugh at some of the questions on my activity and shot me a dirty look for including the question, "What is Meg's Favorite Curse Word?" as her in-laws and other family were at the shower.

Joy's Quilt of Love

Meg received a lot of wonderful baby presents and TWO quilts! Her Mom made her the lovely one above and our friend Amanda made the gorgeous quilt below. I was in awe at the handiwork involved in both of the quilts. And since Meg is a knitting friend and we have a lot of friends that knit, she received so many beautiful baby hand-knit sweaters.

Amanda's Quilt

All in all, it was a lovely shower and I'm sure Hazelnut now knows how loved she is by all of us. I can't wait to meet her!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Decorating the Nursery

Ever since we found out that we're having a baby girl, my decorating senses have gone into overboard obsession! I love decorating and I love nurseries.

Current Status of the Nursery

Unfortunately the room is currently in a huge state of disarray. The cats have their food in there which needs to find a new home. Additionally I still have a few boxes that need to go to goodwill in the room and basically some other stuff that needs to be stored in the basement. This was our extra room when we moved in and we basically just dumped stuff in there. Now that stuff needs to be cleared on out! That rocking chair will be staying though! My mom used it when I was a child and now I plan to use it with my child.

baby girl nursery style at home

I've been collecting ideas from various sites and love the image above. Of course I saved the image and have no idea where I found it. All I know is that I LOVE it!

We've decided to paint the room Silver Sateen by Behr which is a nice grey color. It will also work if Oops both ultrasound technicians were wrong about the baby's sex.


My parents have already bought the baby's crib which is the DaVinci Kalani Convertible Baby Crib in white. The DaVinci Emily Crib is a top buy by Consumer Reports. I wanted a slightly different style and figure if Consumer Reports rates one style so highly, they must like the entire brand. I think this logic works. Yep, that is what I think.

We're also going to be getting the Hemnes Dresser which we'll use as a changing table as well as a dresser. Under the long window in the bedroom, we'll be placing an Expedit Bookshelf which we'll put on it's side so it can also be a small bench. I'll be sewing a foam pad for it. We have hardwood floors so after an exhaustive search, I've ordered a grey rug from who has amazing shipping prices!

As for decor, I have some beautiful artwork from The Black Apple that I'll be re purposing for the baby's room. I have three prints - There is the button collector, the Little Knitter and the Sugar Girl (not currently for sale so no link). Above the crib, we're considering adding this cute wall decal.

Stripy Quilt Idea

I also want to make a quilt for Platy and I'm leaning toward the above design in grey, pink and soft orange with white. I need to make my decision soon so that I can possibly finish the quilt before Platy comes.

The coming months will be busy getting the room ready for our little girl and I'm so excited! I can't wait to show the progress along the way.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
20 weeks - The Halfway Point

I'm at the halfway point in this pregnancy today! It's cold here today. Seriously it's 59 degrees in the middle of July so I'm wearing my long-sleeve dress with some leggings.

I've been sleeping a lot which my Mom told me happened to her. She said she was attending college and would sleep between classes. Her classmates would wake her up before class as would her bus mates so she didn't miss her transfer home. I'm still nauseas which does suck but otherwise I'm doing well.

Baby Mongrain Week 19

We had an ultrasound last week and found out that we are having a girl! I was so surprised because I really thought I was having a boy. Trickery! I'm so excited to have a girl though. My pink-loving heart is going wild.

Tomorrow I go back for a follow-up ultrasound so they can get some better photos of Platy's heart since she wouldn't stop wiggling enough for them last Friday. My parents are coming with and I think they are going to have a great time.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Crowd Source Kitchen Paint Color

Kitchen View 1

Our kitchen needs a fresh coat of paint and I figure if we are going to paint it, I'd like to add a bit of color. My problem is that I can not decide on a color at all.

Kitchen Side 1

At first my husband suggested yellow but after putting a few samples on the wall, we noticed that they matched the cabinets (light maple) way too closely and that we needed some contrast.

Kitchen Side 2

Then we thought, Green! But the dining room which is adjacent is a light green and really that feels like a lot of green.

Back Splash

We also have this beautiful tile back splash that we'd like to coordinate the paint colors with.

Wall to be painted

Finally I just took all my Martha Stewart Paint Samples out and we painted swatches on the wall that we plan to paint. The rest of the walls will remain a nice cream.

Color Ideas

So tell me, which color would you paint my kitchen? I'm not married to any of these particular colors but I need direction and lots of help!
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