Friday, September 28, 2007


Today's favorite minivan feature: a cassette player! Even the boom box and stereo in our house don't have cassette players anymore, so I'm digging through all our old tapes to listen to again in the car. There are some practically priceless mix tapes I haven't listened to in years, one of them from my high school boyfriend almost 20 years ago. It's okay--Husband has way more mix tapes from exes than I do, all of them with sweet, lovey messages inscribed inside. Ha! I also found Bettie Serveert, the Breeders, and Mazzy Star. (Steering clear of Suzanne Vega and Kate Bush, though.)

Can't wait til my next errand!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Big mama, big car

Today is one of those days where, when I lay in bed last night trying to fall asleep, I couldn't for thinking of all that I had to get done once I woke up. Mostly stupid Girl Scout paperwork which naturally involves me hounding parents to get me their frickin' forms and checks. Everyone's just too damn busy to fill them out, I guess, but I'm a stay-at-home mom so I've got assloads of time to be making extra phone calls or even driving to people's houses to pick the forms up for them--I'll just skip my soap operas and bon-bon eating and no problem. Love the girls, but many of their parents suck. I always did hate managing people.

But even if I do have to do some driving this afternoon in order to extract the items I need from slack-ass parents, I at least get to do it in my new minivan! Beth asked me for pictures, but as it happens our camera is mysteriously malfunctioning all of a sudden--perhaps from sippy cup spillage in my purse? Who knows, but anyways here is someone else's minivan and ours looks just like it but is dark blue with a few scratches, being already well-used by another family for the past 2 years. We picked it up late yesterday afternoon and were the ONLY people in line at the NC Department of Motor Vehicles, which clearly is a sign that the gods approve of us getting a minivan, 'cause right after we walked in, no fewer than 6 people got in line behind us. See? It's destiny and I can feel okay saying I might love this car.

My favorite minivan features today are stereo controls on the steering wheel, a sliding door that opens and closes all on its own, and 8 bajillion cupholders scattered throughout the vehicle. Bean's favorite feature is being able to stand completely upright in it and also the little cubby spot in the back that happens when you fold part of the back seat down. It's the perfect size for a 2-1/2 year old to curl up in and chat to herself.

Sister loves the "bookholders" in the back--and God knows what the hell she's going to start storing back there given the amount of shit I cleaned out of her side of the old car today--foreign money, index cards with runes written on them, half of a paperback book, marbles, ketchup, a pencil sharpener, a baggie of trail mix...a lot of shit.

Other things about my day: my first purchase EVER of maternity underwear today. Yes, I really needed it because both my belly and my ass are just that huge all of a sudden. Also a pair of black knit maternity pants that I think I'll just plan to live in for the next 2 months since I can't get away with wearing a waistband-less sack. Does the fact that I've outgrown many of my cute maternity pants mean that I refrained from indulging in a sudden jones for a bacon-egg-and-cheese biscuit, hash browns, and Coke for second breakfast this morning? Hell no! I'm gunning for 50 pounds, y'all!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A club that would have me as a member

On Monday, I'm joining a club that I never expected to join. It's not the PTA or my local quilters' guild or the mothers' club in the area ('cause truthfully I already belong to all those, or would like to in the case of the quilters' guild). This club is way more...I don't know, suburban or something. Frumpy. Boring.

Have you guessed yet? I'm joining the minivan drivers club.

Husband and I have finally owned up to the fact that my little Ford Focus wagon simply can't accommodate 2 car seats and a 9-year old kid without the 9-year old kid complaining very legitimately that she is way too squished. So we'll be taking possession of a 2-year old Toyota Sienna on Monday and selling my car.

I'm eating anything bitchy I ever said about mommy-mobiles now, and trying to at least take comfort in the fact that this new Japanese engineered behemoth has the exact same gas mileage as my much smaller but very American-made wagon.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Big girl bed success!

I got to work pretty quick on mitigating my feelings of pre-baby panic yesterday. I decided to get over my angst and confusion about Bean transitioning to her big girl bed and just try it. I decided that she could at least start taking naps there instead of in her crib, so in the morning I moved all the stuffed animals and her 4 blankies from her crib into her big girl bed. I told her that she'd be taking a nap there today instead. "Okay," she agreed cheerfully, to my surprise. I'd tried this before but been met with big resistance. Maybe the blankies and animals moving too made the difference. Haven't done that before.

I kept Bean busy that morning, going out to a local children's museum, then for a pizza lunch, followed by a walk to an ice cream shop a few doors down. By the time we walked back to the car, she was rubbing her eyes and yawning. She fell asleep on the car ride home.

When I transferred her from her car seat to her big girl bed, she opened her eyes, looked around and took note of where she was...and fell right back to sleep for the next hour and a half. After a delightful little nap of my own I peeked in on her and saw that she was still lying in bed, but awake and apparently just thinking about whatever it is 2-1/2 year olds think about. Success!

It went so well that Husband and I decided to put her down there for bed last night, too. Sister happened to be on a 2-hour delayed schedule for school this morning so I figured that even if they treated it like a slumber party they'd still both get enough sleep. (I should mention here that Bean's big girl bed is the bottom bunk in Sister's room.) Indeed they DID both treat it like a slumber party. They chatted together for awhile, with both of them periodically squealing with delight at finding themselves with company at night. But again, no complaints from Bean. While it took them about 45 minutes to get over their glee, both girls did finally settle in and fall asleep peacefully for the rest of the night.

Phew! I hate to believe I'm in the clear so easily, but so far so good! Bean is in her big girl bed as I write this, still chatting to herself and singing, "Winnie Wah Pooh." But it's only been 10 minutes and I'm optimistic.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not ready

I woke up this morning at 6:00 am with a full bladder and a sense of panic that there was SO much to do before this baby is born. We have to get Bean transitioned to her big girl bed in order to free up the crib (and in enough time to disassociate this event with the baby's arrival). We need to go pick up the freezer that a friend has offered to give us so that I can stockpile it with food. We need to move a lot of furniture around and reconfigure closets. I need to pull down baby clothes from their storage place in the attic and wash them. I need to pack a suitcase, set up cloth diaper service, and figure out some scenarios for who will stay with my girls if I happen to go into labor in the middle of the night.

Suddenly the new baby's arrival seems imminent. While I'm uncomfortable enough now to look forward to the end of my pregnancy, I'm decidedly NOT ready to have her come just yet.

And still no name picked out for her...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cooling off

NC had a cold front move over the weekend and we've had nights down in the 50's, allowing me to open all the house windows wide for some excellent sleeping temperatures. I almost want to dig out the down comforter, but I'm afraid to jinx it.

My nesting projects are on hold temporarily while I wait for a fabric order to arrive. At that point I'll start on a big stuffed nursing ottoman, but in the meantime I'm planning on doing some hard core weeding in the front yard garden beds. That, plus making molasses-spice cookies and miniature apple-cinnamon cupcakes for my neighborhood garden club meeting tomorrow.

And speaking of baked goods, Bean, Husband, and I enjoyed some yummy pumpkin muffins for breakfast this morning brought over by a friend this weekend. They were perfect in the cool morning house with a cup of hot chocolate for Bean and Husband and some hot ginger tea for me. I love that part of my job as mama is to supply people I love with delicious cozy things to eat and drink.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Husband has taken to calling our unborn little girl, "She Who Must Not Be Named," in Harry Potter style for those of you who live under a rock. We talk a fair amount about names for our new little one, but are having a couple of problems making a decision. One is that we haven't yet come up with any that we both totally love. Or if Husband does love a name he sure hasn't said so, being the kind of man who likes to keep his options open til the last possible second .

Also, nearly ALL my very favorite names that have just the right feeling of retro old-fashionedness plus ease of spelling without being too plain I have heard on other young children within the last 3 weeks. For this reason, Sadie, Ruby, and Ellery are all out for me. Ditto Nell, Nina, Eliza, Maisie, and Phoebe. I just don't want a name that could be on the verge of being used by our whole small town, and knowing there's even one little girl nearby using it makes me worry that it's on the upswing, no matter what the baby name books or Social Security Administration website say. I know this is silly to obsess over, but we all have our must-have criteria, right?

Anyways, at almost 30 weeks I'm down to hoping that we'll at least have one picked out in time to put it on the birth certificate while we're still at the birth center. Any suggestions out there, y'all?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Season change, menu change

I hear that the upper Midwest has freezing temperatures heading their way this week. It was 96 degrees here yesterday and I'm SO jealous of 30 degree nights in mid-September! Still, I'm joyous at the prospect of temperatures in the 70's come Friday here in NC, with nights in the mid-50's. Finally, a break both for me and all my dying plants! I'm so frigging tired of being hot.

Cooler temperatures aren't all great news, though. This morning I made the girls and I some oatmeal for breakfast. (Husband was out on another of his daily morning runs, in training now for a marathon in early November.) Oatmeal sounded like a cozy, wholesome idea but doesn't oatmeal always sound way better than it actually tastes, no matter how much brown sugar and cinnamon you sprinkle on it? And as far as I'm concerned, that goes for all the rest of the food in season this time of year. The tomatoes, corn, watermelon, and berries that I gorge on in the hot months are of course still available in the grocery stores but are mushy and mealy or sour and seedy, all around unappealingly yucky not to mention expensive all of a sudden since you have to pay for their air fare from Costa Rica or wherever the hell.

So 'tis the season for kale, winter squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower. All good for you but...meh. Maybe summer isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Swaddling blanket

P1000607, originally uploaded by salutor.

Another new baby blanket, though the picture isn't showing it off too well here. It's pretty in person, though. This butterfly fabric is one I fell in love with a few years ago at our fabulous local quilt shop and bought 4 yards of it. In going through my stash recently, it inspired me all over again for the new baby's room. Hence this blanket, backed with tiny yellow plaid flannel, some baby bibs, and soon a 24" stuffed cloth ottoman once I get some matching turquoise polka dot fabric in the mail. The ottoman is from Amy Butler's pattern here.

Oh, and I should mention that the scalloped edge on this blanket was from Amy Karol's pattern out of Bend the Rules Sewing. It wasn't easy, I must confess, but I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Monday, September 10, 2007

New baby's new quilt

P1000605, originally uploaded by salutor.

Meant to post this picture of the new baby's quilt before I left town this past weekend, but somehow didn't get around to it. Here it is, though, made only of 100 scrappy half-square triangles so that it was surprisingly easy and fast to make, especially since I learned a nice cheat for this particular block. For those of you who don't sew, please skip this next paragraph.

You take 2 equal-sized fabric squares and pin them right sides together. Then you draw a diagonal line from one point to another. Take it to your machine now and stitch 1/4" line on either side of the line. Then cut along your drawn line, open up your newly pieced squares, and press! Very easy.

I'll post more nesting related pictures soon for those of you who are interested in this sort of thing.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Big fat toad mama

I knew it was going to be bad when I noticed my thighs rub together now when I walk. But a 10-pound weight gain in the 6 weeks since my last prenatal appointment?!

And I thought I'd be gaining LESS than the 40 pounds that I gained with Bean!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Laid low

Sister's first week back to school and then transfer of Bean's little 24-hour stomach virus to me yesterday...let's just say it's been a busy week. But nothing that a nap and 10 hours of sleep on top of that couldn't cure, because I am cured, energetic and optimistic all over again. Especially because it got down in the 60's last night here in Chapel Hill. I could open my house windows to some fresh air and now I get to sit here on our back porch with my cup of tea. How I love love love fall temperatures when I'm a big fat pregnant woman!

I managed to finish the new baby's crib quilt this week during Bean's naptimes. It's a bit puckery because I quilted it quite inexpertly on my machine rather than by hand, but still looks damn good if I do say so myself. I'll post pictures if I can figure out how to do it on this new computer which hopefully won't be too hard for this very tech-unsavvy mama. I also made 8 flannel-backed baby bibs from this book, which my friend Pie Eater turned me onto and which is full of many projects I want to make now. (Although I'm kicking myself for not thinking of making bibs before. They were ridiculously easy and I got to indulge myself in some rick-rack trim!) Nesting has been fun during this horrible 100 degree weather, but now the garden is calling me. I've got some serious weeding to do before they all go to seed and make new baby weeds for next year.