Dec 30, 2008

On the needles...

Due to all of the around-the-house time I've had...I also have a lot of new projects on the needles.

I started two projects I picked up at Stitches Midwest this fall. One is a feather and fan scarf pattern in Solo Silk. This is an easy knit because the pattern is quickly committed to memory. I have visions of knitting on this during "down" time at the hospital.

Next is a Butterfly Baby Sweater, made with Tess Designer Sock Yarns. I love the subtle changes in the green dye throughout the yarn. I was zooming along on this project, but got held up when at the butterfly border. I swear there is an error in the pattern and I'm waiting to hear back from the company before I move on and discover I have to rip it all back. It will be the perfect spring sweater for little C, that is, until she spits up on it.

I am also working on a secret baby project for Kim's baby shower in January. No pics of this one for now! And tonight I'll start my gauge swatch for my knit-a-long, the Central Park Hoodie.

**picture courtesy of Interweave Press

I'm knitting this project in winter 2009 along with my knitting circle of friends from Ravelry. Any online friends and family who knit are free to join in the KAL.

Dec 29, 2008

Inquiring minds...

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but for those who are wondering, that doesn't mean I'm in labor :( No contractions. No nesting. Just restless sleep and waking up at 4:30 am with nothing better to do than knit and watch Spanglish.

Dec 23, 2008

If you're susceptible to cavities,

you may not want to watch this.

hattip Brian

Dec 21, 2008

We just came back from Matthew's baptism in Rockford and I'll just say I'm glad to be home safe and sound. The highway was really white out conditions. We came up on some stopped cars and firetrucks, but with low visibility there really wasn't much warning. Our CR-V stopped nicely (God bless that car) but many other cars around us weren't so lucky. A Grand-Am skidded past us at an angle and hit another car. Then we watched a semi slowly jack knife behind us until it came to a halt, thankfully quite a distance from us. We worked our way around the stopped cars and made the rest of the trek home at a nice slow speed. Down the road we noticed that they were shutting down the west bound side. So, home we'll stay for the rest of the day. I hope all of you can plan to stay inside too!

Dec 20, 2008

Life has been busy this week with some sort of meeting or Christmas gathering each night. I was hoping all of the activity may bring an early baby, but instead it's just brought fatigue and cankles. That's right - I now have cankles. It's not a pretty picture. I'm also more emotional. I cried at my OB visit this week and again on the way to work today when I heard a Christmas song called "A Baby Changes Everything." My friend Julie was right when she suggested I may relate a bit with Mother Mary this Christmas.
I hope you all have finished your shopping and can stay relaxed and warm indoors this weekend. I heard another 12" of snow may be on its way tonight for us lakeshore folk.

Dec 16, 2008

Hand knits for Charlotte

Charlotte is going to be very loved, and I know this by all of the time my friends and family have put into making gifts for her. Last night I had my holiday ornament exchange with my local knitting circle. They surprised me by showering me with gifts as well!

Trish made a soft chenille jacket.

KaRi made the 5 hour baby sweater- it's so cute and tiny. I just imagine Charlotte will use it for doll clothes someday.

Lori made bibs and burp cloths and Dianna made some generous sized receiving blankets.

The masterpiece was the blanket, which was a joint effort. Trish, KaRi, Lori, Margo and Amy all contributed squares. I sort of knew this gift was coming because of a slip of the tongue at one of our knit nights in the summer, but I'm still pleased to see the final outcome.

I'm also long overdue to post a pic of Miss Dashwood. Shari mailed me this from Florida weeks ago. I'm just going to be crushed if the ultrasound was wrong and we're not having a girl, because she has so many cute things to wear! (The peapod is a little gift from her Amber, my college friend and Shari's daughter.)

Dec 14, 2008

A mini-superstar

Saturday we had the pleasure of meeting Kate Gosselin of "Jon and Kate's Plus 8." She was appearing at a book signing in Grand Rapids for her new book, Multiple Blessings.

I am a fan of her and the show, but I would not say I'm a fanatic. She definitely has a huge following, though. This was her third book signing in GR this week and still had hundreds of people there. Due to the surplus, we weren't really allowed to talk to her or even get our books personalized, but we had time to snap this photo.

And she did glance up at me long enough to figure out I was pregnant. "Oohh, a Christmas present" she joyfully exclaimed. Maybe!

Dec 11, 2008

My favorite golden globe nominee

Neil Patrick Harris - best supporting actor in television comedy for How I Met Your Mother. If he wasn't gay, he'd be my free pass. That's right NPH and Michael Buble.

And if you haven't been watching How I Met Your Mother...what's wrong with you?! For the love of God and all things sacred, watch it this Monday.

Aah, I want another beagle

BTW, how did they train that beagle to sit still....and to sleep in the hallway?

Dec 9, 2008

My good husband.

We are fairly late in getting our tree up this year. We have been busy, but I also was worried that we wouldn't have time to take it down right at the start of January. There's nothing worse about a live tree than when all of the needles start falling off if you barely breathe on it. But yet I refuse to get a fake tree - I like the adventure and tradition with a real tree, as well as getting something different every year.
Without a tree, the house just seemed so dismal this holiday season. So, I was extra surprised and pleased to find that Brian had gone out tree shopping by himself Sunday while I was at the shower. Not only did he buy the tree, but he somehow got it inside, put it up, and strung the lights alone. He did a beautiful job. Now our house glows with Christmas spirit.

Another shower!

Sunday was the third and final shower of the year for my husband's side of the family. With one son getting married and two sons having first babies, poor Patty has been stretched to the max these past few months. We hosted Julie's bridal shower at an apartment clubhouse in Grand Rapids on Sunday. The theme of the afternoon was a wine and hors d'oeuvres party.

The party started with a bit of hesitation. First we had a difficult time getting into the locked clubhouse and had to get a hold of the property manager for access. 50 minutes in to set-up, Patty and I grew very worried that our main planner, Jacqueline, hadn't arrived yet. She was bringing all of our tableware, tablecloths, centerpieces, wine, and our dessert showcase - a chocolate fountain. Patty made a call and quickly found out that Jacqueline and her family (including their newborn) were in a car accident. You can read her details here. Thankfully, they were all safe and sound, but her food and dishes were destroyed, as well as their vehicle. The bride and groom made a quick stop to Meijer for paper plates and plastic ware, salvaged most of the other party items from the wrecked truck, and arrived in the knick of time. We threw together the party and got the chocolate flowing. It all turned out beautifully.

The happy couple, Dave and Julie.

We had all kinds of hors d'oeuvres, including mini spinach quiche, turkey/swiss El Paso rolls, egg rolls with peanut sauce, veggies with hummus and much more.

We served rice krispie treats, pound cake, pretzel rods, strawberries and banana with the chocolate fountain. Messy but delicious.

The centerpieces and truffle favors survived the accident. The colors of this Valentine's Day wedding are red and silver.

Little Matthew - precious and healthy, with his great grandma Coe.

All in all, I was pleased with how things turned out. Julie received many nice gifts that will get her and David off to a great start.

Dec 6, 2008

Let it snow

I can't tell where our lawn ends and the road begins. Our snowblower will make it's seasonal debut today.

I picked up our car seat/stroller combo yesterday. Brian was thrilled to immediately assemble it. Now we really are ready for this baby.

Today I have to cook for Julie's wedding shower and a knitted ornament exchange with my Ravelry group. I hope the roads get cleared so we don't have to cancel.

Dec 3, 2008

You asked for it

Kim asked to see the closet since we've had our showers....I would say it's not as bad as it looks because these clothes range up to 24 months, many are hand-me-downs, and the shelves to the right are filled with blankets, towels and bibs, but then I remember there is an adult size dresser full of onesies and sleepers too! Yes, this will be a well-dressed baby. And at least she'll be too young to tell me if she hates pink.

Despite all these clothes, I couldn't help myself when I was shopping tonight for a Junior League shopping event (15% of all sales at select downtown Holland stores come back to the league). I "had" to buy these - but they were on sale AND I had a coupon, so no guilt here.

Dec 2, 2008

More gifts!

I had my final shower on Sunday, baby shower that is. My side of the family put together a beautiful shower at an old train depot in Plymouth, Station 885. The theme was Charlotte's Web and was complete down to a giant fuzzy spider hanging over the cake.

Most of the prizes were hand made, including chocolates shaped like Wilbur, Templeton and Charlotte, aprons, and lavender filled eye sachets.

I received so many wonderful gifts, and many handmade items. I definitely inherited my crafting skills from my mom's side of the family. They made me sewn, crocheted, and knitted quilts. Carrie told me my baby is going to have so many blankets that she's going to need to carry around 5 at a time! Good thing she'll be born in the winter. I also got an embroidered bib for every single holiday of the year...if I'm lucky, she'll get the chance to use her New Year's bib this year.

Here I am with my sisters - as my mom so lovingly puts it, I'm the "tubby" one.

My college friends - and look, Kim is preggers too!

There is a slideshow of all Meagan's pics - yes, there are many token "opening gift" photos.

Thanks for the wonderful shower Mom!

Dec 1, 2008

Look at this cutie patootie ornament available at Crate & Barrel for only $2.50.

I want to take him home! OH, and don't forget about these.

Nov 30, 2008

Getting ready

I feel so comforted to know that our nursery is now ready for Charlotte.

This is our 4n1 crib/changing table that later converts into a toddler bed/headboard and bedside table. It also includes a trundle drawer and a hamper! The plaque over top reads "I am a Child of God." The 3D flowers are a purchase from our local baby store "Tip Toes," made by a local artisan. The quilt was given to us by a friend, handmade by her sister-in-law. Since we took the picture, we've also hung a cute flower/butterfly mobile.

Here is my cozy corner where I will rock/feed/read stories to the baby. The lampshade was our inspiration for the theme of the nursery. We found the valence at Babies R' Us, which had the perfect matching embroidery. There's still plenty of room on the walls to hang her first baby photos and maybe a few pregnancy shots if my photo session goes well.

I enter my 35th week on Tuesday. Let the countdown begin!

Nov 28, 2008

Before the sun rose

our Christmas shopping was done. Gotta love Black Friday.

Nov 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm relaxing on the couch right now, prepping to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade while Brian makes some french toast. Today we'll celebrate at my in-laws where food and family are usually in abundance. I'm looking forward to second helpings on the sweet potato casserole.
I hope all of you have a wonderful day and find much to give thanks for. I know I feel very thankful this year - I have a nice home, Brian and I have secure jobs, we're healthy and we are blessed to have a baby on the way. I really can't ask for more!

Nov 25, 2008

Knitting in the bible

This was the first reading at mass on November 16th. Who would've known knitting was so prayerful?

Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Showered with love

I was given a baby shower by my in-laws this last Sunday. The hostess was the wonderful Jessie Hessler, one of Brian's high school friends. Her house is perfectly fit for a party. Jessie, my MIL Patty, SIL Jacqueline, and soon to be SIL Julie took great care in every small detail and it really showed.

Stationary favors for everyone.

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Beautiful flowers at each table.

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We had a delicious lunch of chicken salad on croissants with fruit and muffins. Everything was plated ahead of time, so all we had to do was sit and eat! It was so good, I eyed the extra plates across from me and thought about wolfing them down too.

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The dessert spread was pretty darn delicious too!

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We played a baby game where everyone had to guess between me and my two sisters as well as Brian and his two brothers. It was hard enough to tell girls from boys, much less who was who. I didn't even know who I was. (I'm none of these, but guess which one is Brian.)

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I received so many nice gifts, including hand knit items, hand stitched burp cloths, a quilt, our pack 'n play, and our crib/changing table combo with mattress. The girlie outfits were all so cute that I found myself wishing they came in my size. The best part was that guests gave me books instead of cards, with a personal message written inside the cover. I read a few of them when I got home that night (while Brian built the crib). Some were so touching I was brought to tears, others had me laughing just at the thought of them (I'll post more on that later).

So, thank you to all who came and all who planned! I can't imagine a nicer way to celebrate the upcoming birth! Charlotte is going to be well- loved.

And last but not least, a belly photo..

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Black Friday

I hope you are all getting your lists ready for my favorite (shopping) day of the year! If you're thinking, "We don't have the sales ads yet." No worries! Check out this website. Brian and I have already scoped out all the deals on flat screen t.v.'s. Target is also selling the video camera we want at a rock bottom price, if anyone feels like waiting in line at 6 am to buy us a Christmas gift :)

Nov 20, 2008

My supportive husband

Tonight I was at my first baby shower, given by my co-workers. I had a lot of fun and received so many nice things, thanks girls! So, one of the questions they asked me is if Brian has been really nice to me. Is he massaging my feet at night? I scoffed and said 'no.' But I forgot to tell them the half of it. The other night I asked him if he would please draw me a bath. Oh he did, a nice bath with bubbles and everything. He "drew" it on the scribble pad on his iPhone. He never even had to get off the couch.

Nov 18, 2008


Mother Nature seemed to get things backwards this year. Maggie and I enjoyed a nice long walk this morning as we watched the crisp leaves drop on to new fallen snow. It was fun to watch her run through leaf piles and snow piles, simultaneously. I don't know about you east-siders, but we got 5" in lake-effect snow yesterday. Although I'm already listening to Christmas music, I wasn't quite ready for the snow.

Nov 16, 2008

The ultimate baby bump photo

I have been thinking about (and putting off) scheduling a photo session for our pregnancy. Brian and I kept talking about calling our wedding photographer to see if she would schedule something. I guess in the interest of time and money, we procrastinated. However, while working one of my weekend shifts in Grand Haven, a patient offered me a free portrait session for my pregnancy. He currently does senior portraits and now wants to branch into maternity photos. I checked out his website as soon as I got home. The photos are very artistic, but also a bit revealing, so I'll have to do my best to put my modesty aside for the photo session. I guess getting pregnant in the first place is a very natural thing, so I should try to be comfortable and go with it. Our photo session is scheduled for mid-December, so hopefully Charlotte stays in place until after that.

Fit for a princess

Brian put the finishing touches on Charlotte's closet yesterday. I think it is an excellent use of space and she'll grow into it nicely. This venture started last year when he glued up new paneling to cover the cracking plaster. Over the months, he's painted and installed the trim. Just yesterday we purchased the rods and shelving units at Meijer.
I went to church and came back to find that Brian had done a beautiful job installing everything to my (fairly anal) specifics. Now we have more than enough room to stock her outfits (with hand-me-downs ranging up to 24 months), blankets, towels, diapers, sheets, and receiving blankets. There are even hooks to hold her little purses and bags!

Nov 11, 2008

This week's spinning

I've been spinning some pencil roving for a Christmas project. I love the muted pastel tones in this colorway. I have close to 200 yards done. I can't wait to see how the final project turns out.

Christmas groove

I'm excited to say that the holidays feel as though they're officially starting. This past weekend we went to Beneath the Wreath, the fundraiser for Grand Rapids Junior League. We've made it a tradition to pick up our year's supply of green tea and Cherry Republic salsa. Today, I get to shop for ornaments to decorate a Christmas tree that will be auctioned off for my local chapter of the Holland Junior Welfare League. I also get to go dollar store shopping to buy gifts for a Christmas party that the league puts on for the Ottawa Area Center, a school for the learning disabled. All that on top of my Christmas knitting- I would say I'm officially in the groove. Today I saw the Radio City Rockettes on the local news and begged Brian to get us tickets. The only thing I'm lacking now is the Christmas music - that can be easily fixed. Bring out the Sinatra!

Nov 9, 2008

Another weekend gone by in a flash. The childbirth education class made for a long Saturday. We would get an hour lecture on each topic, then learn all the same information over again in a 15 minute video. Luckily, I brought along my knitting. It was a bit overwhelming watching the video of ladies doing the natural childbirth...not the pushing part, but just the laboring part. It's hard to know how it will go for me and whether I'll end up with just IV meds or choose the epidural. Being medically curious, I think I'd like to try and labor for a while so that I can experience as much as possible, but I'm not afraid to use the epidural if I really start to get worn out. I don't have any expectations, I think it's better not to.
I am excited for Brian to be my coach. He was a great support yesterday and it was a lot of fun to practice the breathing exercises together. We practiced a "slow dancing" relaxation where you just take slow deep breaths and move your hips from side to side while leaning on your husband. It's supposed to allow the baby to slowly shift down in the pelvis. I plan to bring some Michael Buble along to play in the hospital room. I don't think I'll break in to any West Coast Swing, but the swaying was nice. This week is 32 weeks - only 5 more weeks until Charlotte is considered full term. I am very impatient!

Nov 5, 2008

Maybe tomorrow

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day, one can only hope. Today was a day where I woke up feeling a bit pessimistic. You see, my boss is off this week with his wife and their newborn. I have worked without him in the past, but it always makes for more office drama when I don't have him to help put out the fires.
Today it just seemed that there was one complicated patient after another with no time to catch a breather. Even my lunch break was taken with a meeting... By about 3 pm I had taken to staring at the wall in between patients and drinking my bottled water to stifle the tears.
Hopefully it's just the moods of pregnancy, and maybe those of you who have been had the pregnant hormones before can tell me it will all be better soon. But I see her on my couch now, after just working through two piles of charts I brought home, and I think to myself, this kind of sucks. I need to sit with my knitting for a while and try to get into a zen place.

Nov 4, 2008

Voting is fun!

BB and I just got back from voting. Our polling location was a bit hectic and it seemed many people were first time voters - although they looked to be in their 70s. It was fun, nonetheless, to exercise our democratic rights. We're really hoping that our proposal 4 gets voted down so we can lift the prohibition of wine/beer sales on Sundays in Ottawa Co. Right now, none of the local restaurants are open on Sundays as its not worth it to them with limited alcohol sales.
After voting, we enjoyed a delicious diner breakfast at Jackie's Place. Hashbrowns, toast, bacon and eggs over-medium. There's no better way to get your day off to a greasy start! Now I need to go walk the dog and burn some of that off.
Have fun voting!!

Nov 2, 2008

We've had a great weekend so far. I worked this morning, painted our kitchen door (finally fixing up the pet-sitting damage), and am washing all of the many great hand-me-downs we've received for Charlotte. (I love to just sort through all of the clothes over and over, impatient for the day she's here.)
But the highlight of our weekend - meeting our new nephew Matthew! We took a day trip out to the east side of Michigan yesterday. Matthew is a delight - an "angel baby" as the Baby Whisperer would say. We took turns cuddling him and flashed pictures until he cried as if to say "Enough already!" Jacqueline and Jeff are completely laid back new parents - I hope I can be that relaxed with a newborn.

Oct 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat
I'm a mutt
Turn around
I'll sniff your butt

(hattip Patty K)

Oct 28, 2008

Craving of the Week

I haven't had many cravings in this pregnancy, but last Thursday I discovered this tasty treat, the Twisted Frosty from Wendy's. I like mine with chocolate ice cream and Oreo. They're far superior to the flurry or blizzard because of the Frosty base. I liken it to a frozen milkshake. I've had three in less than 7 days and I see no end in sight.

30 weeks

Today I start my 30th week.

Boy have things changed a lot. I don't feel that large until I look in the mirror. Charlotte moves all the time now and it seems to be more of a squirming and adjusting than just small kicks. Heartburn has also started, but it's not too bad. I still sleep through the night just fine. I can't see my feet, but I can still reach them to get my socks on. Maggie's walks are getting a bit more cumbersome, mostly because I wish I could squat and pee on the neighbor's lawns just about as often as she does. I have started nesting a bit, which I find a whole lot of fun because I'm getting so many random things done. I've dusted fan blades, cleaned out the medicine cupboard, and repainted our entry door. I don't think Brian's fond of the nesting, because I rope him into the projects too.

Brian is attending the "Just for Dads" class at the hospital tonight - he'll learn diapering, stroller know-how, and hopefully some ways to support me during labor! I'm excited to hear how it goes.

Oct 26, 2008

Tiny head

This afternoon I knit up my fresh handspun into a little hat for Charlotte while I watched Charlotte's Web (the remake). Charlotte was a very nice spider. I hope my daughter is that kind.
The hat is a simple stockinette with a rolled brim. I followed the basic instructions from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Knitting Rules." She says newborns have a 14" head and 5" to the crown. Since my gauge was 4 stitches/inch, I cast on 56 stitches. I then knit in the round for 5" and made three rows of decreases with a plain row in between each decrease row. I finished it off with a purse string cinch at the top. It was a quick knit - I finished it before the movie was even over. I also love that the purple stripe showed up conveniently in the middle of the hat. I did try to get Maggie to model the hat for the blog, but she wasn't having it.
I won't have enough left to make me a hat too, but I think I'll make a hat with a matching stripe or mittens.

I'm taking what they giving

cuz I'm working for a living.

Today is my first weekend shift at the family practice in Grand Haven. So far so good. I've seen about 4 patients already. They've all been nice and straight forward urgent care type visits. I should be home by the time Brian gets home from church and get to enjoy a nice afternoon with him.

Oct 25, 2008

I have a new nephew!

The newest addition to my family was born yesterday - Matthew Richard. He looks just precious. You can see Jacqueline's recap here. I can't believe she's found time to blog already. I just love that she calls the labor "serene." That gives me hope as I enter my 30th week. I can't wait to meet him.

Oct 23, 2008


Grand Rapids is doing something cool, how bout that? On October 30th, bring your best zombie costume and meet us at Rosa Parks Circle to help set a new world record...unless you're too scared that is. Then you can stay home under the covers and watch Grey's Anatomy.

Oct 22, 2008

Are we bad neighbors?

The house across from up was up for sale most of the year and finally sold about 2 months ago. About 1 month ago the neighbor to the left put her house up for sale. Today, our (favorite) neighbors just to the right of us listed their house. Do we smell?

Oct 21, 2008

The exam is over and all is well with my chunk of the world. I won't get my results for a couple of weeks, so I'll try to put it out of my mind. It took me 3 1/2 hours, but afterwards I got to join my husband for lunch in downtown GR and visit his office. He was amazed that I haven't seen his office after almost two years of him working there.

After spoiling Maggie with a trip to the park, I sat down to get acquainted with my wheel and catch up on some Desperate Housewives and Heroes. I really need to think of a name for my wheel. I'm feeling like it's a she, but I don't have any ideas for a name just yet. I spun up half of my Bluefaced Leicester. This is a really nice fiber to work with because the staple length is nice and long. The colorway is Spring Garden. I can't wait to finish it so I can see how it knits up.

Oct 19, 2008

The time has come

Saturday was the big day. We dropped Maggie for a free day of daycare and drove to Howell to get my new spinning wheel from The Spinning Loft. The fall colors were just gorgeous all along the highway. I can't help but think how any other year we would go on a wine tasting tour on a weekend like this. I can't wait to have a nice glass of Chardonnay after this baby is born!

As soon as we got home, I popped my new Kromski Sonata out of the travel bag and assembled it. One of my favorite features about this wheel is how it collapses so nicely for travel.

Here it is, folded right in half. All I have to do is unscrew one knob, pull up the wheel, and reinsert the knob to hold it upright.

Then I drop the maiden onto the top of the wheel and pull up the elastic driveband.

Wha-la. It's ready to go! I picked up some new roving to add to my stash too, so I can't wait to get spinning. I found some beautiful blue faced leicester made by Chameleon Color Works. There's plenty there to make a hat for baby and have more left over to put into a project for myself.

But for now, I just have to look at the wheel because the most important thing I have to do is study for my recertification exam. I'm taking it this Tuesday. Send positive thoughts and prayers my way on Tuesday morning!