Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm Dreaming of Skinny Clothes!

Why is it that in the beginning of my pregnancy I was so excited to get a "bump" so that when I wore my newly bought maternity clothes I would actually look like a cute pregnant lady rather than a fatty wearing too big clothes....and now that I'm nearly 33 weeks (tomorrow) I desperately can't wait to shove these ugly, high waisted, no shape pieces of cloth into a closet and not have to look at them again for a few more years? For the last 3 nights I've spent my time searching the internet for post-pregnancy clothes. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?

INC International Concepts® Ribbed Cowl-Neck Top & Stretch Wide-Leg JeansINC International Concepts® Three-Quarter Sleeve Shirt with Attached Vest & Wide-Leg Stretch JeansINC International Concepts® Pleated Empire-Waist Trench Coat & Skinny Five-Pocket Ankle JeansINC International Concepts® Belted Short-Sleeved Knit Jacket, Puff-Sleeve Scoopneck Tee & Printed Pleated Skirt
INC International Concepts® Sleeveless Printed Ruffled Blouse & High-Waisted Wide-Leg PantsTOMMY HILFIGER Ruched Henley TopINC International Concepts® Printed Belted Trench CoatINC International Concepts® Ruffled Puff-Sleeve Blouse & Narrow Boot-Cut Sailor Pants

So, do you think it would be realistic if I completely stopped eating after this child comes out of me to lose, say, 45 pounds in a week? Where, oh where, did that cute size 2 body that I had when I was 19 go? Now, I not only need to lose the 25 pounds that I've put on since being pregnant, but an additional 20 would make me the happiest girl in the world! *Pouting* I just want my waistline back and to be able to bend over and put my shoes on again!

Of course those delicious chocolate chip cookies I made yesterday aren't going to help any!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yummy Goodness

A few months ago I checked this book out from the library and made copies of the recipes that I wanted to try.

Sweet Gratitude

I think I have found the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie recipe....seriously. I made them this afternoon to take with us for our trip to Destin, FL this weekend. I'm honestly surprised that Rob & I haven't eaten them all yet. I'm sorry, Nestle Toll House....I will never look at you the same.

Here's the recipe in case you need another reason to go on a diet. Your thighs will hate me.


Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used Ghiradelli)
3/4  to 1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
1/2 to 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle Toll House)


-Put the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees

-Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

-In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 mins. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in two additions. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir in all the chocolate chips (this is a workout!).

-Drop the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, switching the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets for 1-2 mins, then transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely. Makes about 60 cookies. 

I'm not kidding when I say these are worthy of being sold in a bakery. I can't wait to try some more recipes from this book!

Thankful Thursday

I saw this on another blog and thought it was a great idea. Every Thursday I'll post a couple of random things that I'm thankful for. Anyone is welcome to join me if they wish!

Things I'm thankful for...

-Destin, FL - we're leaving tomorrow for a short weekend trip with Justin & Britni and some other friends Austin & Melissa....that is if hurricane Gustav stays away!

-I cleaned my house yesterday & got 99% of the laundry done....yea for clean houses!

-weiner dogs

-cheap Asian pedicures - going to get one this morning!

Quirks

I have been tagged by my friend Britni to list 6 interesting quirks about myself...so here goes...

1. I think vegetables are the devil. The closest thing I'll eat is a french fry (and only the thin ones...steak fries are too "potatoey" in the middle). Seriously, I don't like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, corn, nada....all nasty. 

2. I NEVER get novocaine when I have cavities filled at the dentist's office. Now, luckily I haven't had any cavities in about 2 years. But growing up I never once went to a 6mo checkup and didn't leave without them finding a cavity. I am so fearful of needles that I'd rather feel the drill grinding into the nerves in my teeth than get shot up with novocaine. It actually doesn't hurt that bad, really.

3. Daniel Boone is my 6th great uncle (correct me if I'm wrong on this one, mom!)

4. I have slight OCD about making sure I've turned my flat iron off. Whenever I try to leave the house I ALWAYS have to go back in once to double check and make sure it's been turned off. Then after I get in the car for the 2nd time, I second guess myself one more time...but I can usually resist the urge to go back for a 2nd check. 

5. I am very systematic and methodical in the way I balance our checkbook. If the balance is off by just a few cents I will literally spend hours going back and recalculating everything till I find the mistake. 

6. I'm addicted to queso dip. Just ask Justin & Britni, or Rob - I'm surprised they don't have to pry the bowl out of my hands when we go out to dinner with them!

Sorry these aren't more interesting. I'll tag Sarah - because she's the only other blogger friend (besides Britni) I know in real life!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Sewing Marathon is Complete!

I actually got everything finished last week, but due to my laziness, I'm just now getting around to posting this.

Here is the completed valance and drapery panels.
 



And with the drapes closed...

Showing you the blackout liner that hangs on the 2nd rod....

And an up close shot of the bottom...




Now let me show you some of my shortcuts and "mistakes"
First of all I didn't even bother hanging the valance on a rod...I just used the Nester's trick of using upholstery tacks and tacked it above the window.


I also didn't even bother hemming the blackout liner. The fabric feels similar to a vinyl tablecloth and is in no danger of fraying, therefore I wasn't going to waste my precious time hemming it. Another great reason for doing this is that I can now very easily reuse the liner when we move for another window. If you look really close at the bottom edge you can even see the blue marker that I used when tracing where I would cut...

Now, would you look at this mess! Look at all those threads popping out everywhere and uneven seams! But you know what? I don't care! No one will ever see this because #1 it's on the backside & #2 the blackout liner hangs behind the drapes, so no one will be able to see it from outside the window...besides if someone is inspecting my sewing from OUTSIDE the window, they've got issues. 



I even ran out of thread mid hem and had to switch not only to a different weight thread, but also to a different color! Who cares!

Lastly, the adorable pom pom trim separating the two fabrics that I attached using my handy HOT GLUE GUN....gasp! I bet ya couldn't even tell!
I should also note that the panels and blackout liner are hung using the drapery rings with clips - this made it much easier for me because I didn't have to sew a "pocket" for the drapes to slide on to the poles - just hemmed 'em and clipped 'em on!

Now for the most exciting part of this post....how much $$ I spent (and saved) making these (and the crib skirt myself)


Fabric for the crib skirt  & main drapery panels = 48.14
Velcro                                                                          = 6.99
Fabric for Valance & Bottom of Drapes                = 25.00
Pom Pom Trim                                                          =7.50
Blackout liner                                                            =23.96

TOTAL                                                                        = 111.59

I can't give you an exact figure of how much $$ I saved by making everything myself compared to my original plan of having them made by Javis Davis (see a few posts below - the one with the fabric swatches)  because the window treatments would have been a "custom design" and I have no idea how much they would have charged for labor. However, for the fabric alone the drapes + valance would have cost $133 - and this doesn't include the blackout liner or the funky pom pom trim. The crib skirt in the fabric I wanted (including labor) was going to cost $180!!! (I only spent about $24 making mine). I'd say I saved us a fair amount of $$ - and I had fun doing it!

I'm currently working on some other "projects" for wall art in the nursery including painting a barn star (did this today...pics to come later) and I'm about to head to Hobby Lobby to buy some letters to decoupage....very similar to what Jessica did to her little boy's nursery in this post. Of course I won't be able to show you pics of these till the babe is born (I'm mean and won't even let you know his initials!)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trying out our new Flip Video

Rob & I have been discussing buying a camcorder for some time now so that we can record some memories with the baby when he arrives. However, we really didn't want to spend a lot of money on one. Call me weird, but I prefer photos over video. But I still wanted some video footage to recall the little one's early years. 

My friend Britni told me about the Flip Video which she & her hubby were thinking about purchasing. It sounded perfect for us, so we looked into it a little more & decided to buy one. It doesn't hold a lot of footage - only about 60 min worth. But it is so fast & easy to use...you just plug it into your computer's USB port and the videos you've already taken download to your computer VERY quickly, thus freeing up more space for you to take more footage. It's very small (about the size of an iPod or cell phone) and the best part was that it was only about $160....I think....we bought the Mino (the most expensive one) and Best Buy had them on sale. Anyway, we found what we needed without spending $1000. Perfect for me. Here's the first video we took. What else would we record besides our precious weenie Frank. Hopefully this will work and everyone can view it because this is how we plan on sending video footage to the grandmas & grandpas once Baby C. arrives!


video


Tragedy

At approximately 12:45 this afternoon a horrific tragedy occurred in our family's living room....Rob's Xbox 360 died (yes, ladies and gentlemen, God does answer prayers). Bwahahaha! Rob spent an hour of his life trying (unsuccessfully) to resuscitate the collapsed piece of machinery and frantically calling the Xbox help line. Unfortunately for just the low cost of $99 the Microsoft miracle workers can bring it back to life. For a brief moment in time I thought this incredibly mature 29 year old with a doctorate degree man that I married was finally going to grow up. Maybe another day. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Randomness

Last time I tried sewing something was about 3 years ago. I made an apron, and was so tired and frustrated by the time I was done, I swore off the hobby completely. However, I decided to dust off my old machine one more time in hopes of customizing our baby's nursery and making it unique. Normally my perfectionism would get the best of me and I would have given up before even starting such a daunting project. I discovered the Nester a while ago, who's blog is so inspirational.  She "mistreats" her windows which all turn out beautifully. So I decided to give it a try as well. Not only did I decide to "mistreat" the nursery window, but also the crib skirt. But I must warn you...the window is far from being done. I have the valance done, but I am still working on the drapery panels which will hang in front. The Nester's philosophy is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" which I kept repeating to myself every time I would make a sewing mistake.

Notice the valance is not on a rod...I used the Nester's trick of just tacking it up above the window with upholstery tacks. I plan on using some safety pins to pin down the "folds" a little better. 

Sitting on the glider over there in the corner is the beginning of one of the drapery panels...........What's that you say? You want to see our new glider? OK, let me go clean it off..................Here she is. I so desperately wanted it in a tan fabric that had little raised polka dots all over it, but Rob wouldn't go for it...bah humbug, so I had to settle for this lovely poop color. But it is definitely very comfortable. 

Here's the crib skirt I half-way "mistreated". I just took my fabric, pressed the top edge 1/2in. under, hand basted it so I could "scrunch" it together, then sewed a piece of velcro to the back of each piece ( I stuck the other piece to the metal mattress frame ). I also only made a "skirt" for 3 of the sides....who will ever notice the back piece is missing anyway? I do have to admit that I didn't totally "mistreat" it...I did take the time to hem the sides and bottom of each piece. Also, it hangs about 2 inches above the ground. I would have preferred to have it touch the ground, however, the mattress is currently on its highest setting. As we lower it to accommodate the growing baby, it will eventually hit the ground. 



And an up close shot. Ignore the stark white mattress and all the stuffed animals...I still need to add the crib sheet and finish organizing!

Also, here's a picture of le bebe's closet. Rob worked very hard installing new shelving and I patched and painted all the old holes from the old & disfunctional shelving. BTW the baby has a TON more clothes than this...I just ran out of hangers!


I still have a lot more to write about, but it will have to wait. I have some "homework" still to do before we meet the doula tomorrow and I need to get my beauty rest! If I haven't posted anything new in the next few days, someone please email me and tell me to get with it! I don't want to be a blogging failure anymore!

So Much to Blog About!

First of all, I must admit that I am a blogging failure. Yup, that's right...I am a failure. I started this blog (like I do all new hobbies) with extreme enthusiasm, but somehow I never seem to find the time (in my oh so busy days - ha!) to update the thing. Leaving me with no other choice than to type incredibly long posts...so brace yourself (I'll try to be as short & blunt as possible). In fact, I may have so much to say & so many pictures to show you this might just take a few posts...

First up, here's are two pictures of my current fatness. These were taken last Saturday when I was 31 weeks exactly. I can't believe how big I am...please tell me it's not going to get any worse (yeah right!). I have two goals for after this baby is born...#1 Become anorexic and lose the weight as quickly as possible. #2 I plan on living in a tanning bed for about 3 months to bring some color back to my nasty pale self. 
And for you freaks out there that enjoy seeing naked bellies, here ya go!


I am also very excited to inform you that I decided to switch from my C-section and induction  happy OB/GYN to a much sweeter and natural childbirth oriented midwife. For those of you freaking out right now (like my mother), NO, midwives (at least not this one) are not back woods country bumkin witch doctors. I will still be delivering at a hospital (a very good one) and my midwife works in a practice under 7 other OB/GYNs in case there are any problems or emergencies that arise where I would need their expertise.

I am also very excited because I believe I have found a doula that we are going to hire. We are meeting her tomorrow morning to officially "interview" her. I have already spoken with her on the phone and emailed her many times. Her philosophy on birth seems to be very similar to my own. For those of you who don't know what a doula is, I'll tell you...we hire her basically to help me achieve the unmedicated natural labor/birth that I want. When I go into labor she will come to our house & help me labor at home until it is time to go to the hospital. This particular doula also has the knowledge/ability to "check" me to see how far dilated I am (so I don't go to the hospital too soon). She'll then stay with me after we arrive at the hospital until after I deliver the baby. Basically she's there to massage my feet, feed me my ice chips, and remind me to breathe as well as suggest other pain relieving techniques to help me get through the birth naturally. I know, I know, most of you are rolling your eyes at me right now and probably think I'm crazy! I know I am, but I'm still determined to give it my best shot. 

Now, take a look at this beauty....


It's finally official...I have a college degree! Now squint your eyes real hard and check out those words right above the seal...Magna Cum Laude....what do ya know, as it turns out I might actually be smart after all! Woot woot! One of the downsides of graduating in the summer, however, is that there is no commencement ceremony - we have to wait to walk with the fall semester grads in December. I'm not sure yet if I'll be doing this, considering we'll have a 6 week old at that point. Guess we'll have to wait and see how I'm feeling. 

I also want to share my excitement about some new blogs I'm enjoying. My friend Britni turned me on to Kelly's Corner which I am loving. She and her hubby struggled with infertility for a long time before she finally got pregnant. Her story and her unwavering faith in God is really inspiring. After discovering her blog I also discovered (from Kelly's blogroll) Big Mama & Boo Mama. You really need to take the time to check these blogs out...they are hilarious! I also want to welcome my friend Sarah to the blogging world! Hi Sarah...I added you on my blogroll. Congrats on the new blog, I can't wait to read about the fun stuff happening in the Wessel Clan's life!

Ok, this is all for this post...I'll be back in a little while with another one...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We're back from Cincy & Happy Anniversary to Us!


Rob & I got home late Monday night and we are still recovering from the long trip. We were starting to go a little crazy after riding in the car for 12 hours! When we finally got home my feet had swollen up so much they looked like sausages...I almost started crying when I saw them!

We had a great trip home where we celebrated my birthday and my mother & sister hosted a wonderful baby shower for me. We received tons of great gifts! I am so grateful for such generous friends and family. We have very little left to buy ourselves. Below are some pictures (mainly from the shower) of our trip.


Upon returning home we were very excited to learn that our glider & ottoman for the baby's room had arrived. The nursery is finally coming together! But I still have so much organizing to do!

Today is also very special because it is Rob & I's 4 year wedding anniversary! I can't believe it has been that long already. Rob & I were talking last night about how much we have changed and how "adult-like" we have become over the last 4 years...it's scary! I truly feel so blessed to have Rob for my husband. He can aggravate the hell out of me sometimes, but he always makes me laugh & he is definitely my best friend. I am so lucky to be able to share my life with someone so great. I love you Rob!  My parents sent us a very generous gift card to our favorite restaurant - Felix's Fish Camp - for our anniversary dinner. Rob had to work this evening so we will be celebrating on Saturday night. Thank you mom & dad....you really outdid yourself between all the baby presents, the shower, my birthday gift, & our anniversary! We appreciate everything you do for us!