Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doggy Jail?

Shortly after buying our new car, we learned that Elvis can and will jump from the trunk to the back seat.  This wouldn't be *such* a big deal for the next couple of months if it wasn't for the fact that he sheds and slobbers all over the place, and no one can ride in the back of my car without being thoroughly disgusted and/or fur-covered.

We decided that since we'd need a pet barrier eventually anyway, why not get one sooner rather than later?  I wasn't sure what Elvis would think of his new spot in the car, but I was worried he'd think he was being put in doggy jail.  I decided it would be best to try out the pet barrier for a short drive from our house to the vet's office and back this past weekend.


He seemed a little bit confused by the barrier at first, but once he realized he was stuck back there, he went right back to his usual routine of making ridiculous noises while wagging his tail and licking the windows. 

And in case you were wondering, Elvis's annual check-up went wonderfully!

Pretty sure that last comment was because he immediately offered his paw to the veterinarian when she walked into the examine room.  He's such a charmer. ;-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Maternity Monday: It's a...


I was stunned when the ultrasound tech told us, I was definitely expecting a boy considering how many boys there are in Glen's family!  The anatomy scan went really well, Stormageddon (we're going to stick with that name for now even though we're pretty much settled on a "real" name) looks healthy!  Here she is, sucking her thumb:

Now that we know we're having a girl, we've decided to go with this fabric for curtains, crib skirt, and possibly some other stuff:

And now: Belly pictures!

This is quite possibly my favorite belly picture so far:

18 weeks!
I think the combination me wearing one of my favorite dresses and holding a pepper that we grew ourselves had something to do with it.

We need to schedule these better.  It's always after my 12-hour work day, when I'm tired and disheveled!
And here are some pictures from 20 weeks - getting bigger!

I went to the grocery store to buy a single banana, just for this picture.
 I finally have a real belly to hold onto!!

Sad story about those tights:  That was the only day I got to wear them before getting an irreparable snag. :-(
The past couple of weeks have been very cool, pregnancy-wise.  I've been feeling Stormageddon kick on a regular basis, and Glen got to feel her kick for the first time last week.  It seemed like every time she started kicking and I'd call him over to feel, she'd stop, so I pulled up this song on my phone and she started dancing around again!

We've also started putting together some nursery furniture.  The changing table and dresser are done, but right now they're being used to store maternity clothes:

My office is a bit crowded since I haven't moved my desk, filing cabinet, bookcase, or futon just yet... but it's not quite as crowded as I feared it would be.  Once I relocate my office and get rid of the futon (umm, anybody want a futon??), there will be plenty of room for a crib and rocking chair. :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Craft Shows!

I officially have three craft shows scheduled for this fall!

I doubt I'll do more than that, except for probably hosting another open house, since i don't want to overextend myself.

I did, however, manage to bunch the all three craft shows within 4 weeks of one another, so late October/early November is going to be a pretty crazy time for me!  Here's my schedule:

Oct 27 @ Pohatcong Township School in Phillipsburg, NJ, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Nov 10 @ Easton Area High School in Easton, PA, 9:00am - 2:00pm

Nov 17 @ Palmer Moravian Church in Easton, PA, 9:00am - 3:00pm

If you'll be in the area, stop by and say hello!

I also managed to put some more listings back on my Etsy shop.  It's not a lot, but I'm hoping to add more listings over the next month or so.

Check back here on Monday for belly pictures, some nursery decor updates, and Stormageddon's big gender reveal!  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

P.S. For the Whovians out there - Check out this awesome bookcase!

I saw it on Bookshelf Porn the other day and it was love at first sight. ;-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

So This Exists...

Seeing this music video absolutely made my day, although given the recent loss of one of the original Fraggle performers it is a little bittersweet seeing Gobo up there.

Be sure to watch the video all the way through - there's a fun little surprise at the end.  And check out the behind the scenes video on Nerdist if you're so inclined.

P.S.  While I was listening to this, I could feel Stormageddon moving ALL OVER THE PLACE in my belly.  Guess this means s/he (should know which it is in less than 24 hours!) is a fan of Ben Folds Five?  Or Fraggles?  Or both?

Maternity Monday: Nursery Colors

I'm getting ever so slightly ahead of myself here... but only a little bit!  We have an ultrasound tomorrow afternoon, at which point (if baby cooperates!) we will know if we're having a boy or a girl.  

I've been looking at stores for curtains and crib sets and such for awhile now, but I haven't found anything I particularly like.  Fortunately, my mom has offered to sew some things for us if we can't find anything we like in the stores.  So naturally, I took to and started looking through their fabric.  

Here are my top two choices if it's a girl:

And my top two choices if it's a boy:

I emailed these to Glen to ask if he liked any of them.  He didn't give me any opinions on the fabrics above.  Instead he told me he likes this one:

Sorry, sweetheart.  I'm the one giving up my office for the baby's nursery, and while I gladly agreed to a Batman night light, I think Batman curtains will be taking it a bit too far. ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Late Night Snack

I love zucchini, but more frequently than I'd like to admit I will buy it at the farmers market and then forget to use it all week.  This usually results in zucchini bread, and 9:00 on Wednesday night was no exception.

I typically use this recipe, sans walnuts.  The first time I made it, I didn't have any nutmeg on hand, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice (I still don't know why I had pumpkin pie spice but not nutmeg!), and it was so good that I never bothered to make it any other way.  It's especially delicious with maple spiced pumpkin butter from Dutch Hill Preserves or apple butter from Beechwood Orchards!

Oddly enough, as much as I love pumpkin everything, I've never made pumpkin bread before, so I think that may be my next adventure in late-night bread making.  Now the question is: do I finally go out and buy nutmeg for this recipe or substitute pumpkin pie spice again??? ;-)

What are your favorite recipes for the fall?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Other New Baby!

Well, it took nearly a month and a half of sticking to my guns and playing hard-to-get, but I am now the proud owner of a 2008 Nissan Rogue!

Glen and I first took it for a test drive the last weekend of July, but the dealership wouldn't come down on the price, nor would they come up on the trade-in for my 2003 Cavalier coupe.  It was a shame, since the Rogue was nearly new (it was previously a lease vehicle and only had 29,500 miles on it!) and drove soooo nicely, but I had a very specific threshold of what I was willing to put down and what I was willing to pay each month and how long the loan term could be, and they weren't willing to work with us.

So we walked.  And waited.  And ignored phone calls and emails for about a month.

And then the price came down about $800.  At which point I finally decided to return the dealership's calls.  I said that the drop in price brought us closer to our goal, but they still had to work with me on the trade-in.  And they came up $500 on the trade.  This turned out to be one area where being cheap and stubborn paid off big time!

I still kind of hate that we had to take out a loan to pay for this car, but between the fact that the interest rate is super low and there's no prepayment penalty, I suppose I can't complain too much.  We were able to put down a hefty downpayment (more than 1/3 of purchase price minus the trade-in) and keep the payments under $150/month.  Our back-end debt to income ratio, even with this new payment, is right around 30%, well below the 36% threshold that indicates a "healthy" ratio, with room to spare should we need to take out a loan to replace Glen's '99 Kia Sephia before something else is paid off. 

Oh, and I sort of hate the fact that I'm one of those people who got pregnant and then immediately switched to an SUV.  But the oddest part is that it had less to do with the impending baby than with Elvis.  I knew I'd have to switch to a 4-door once a baby came along, but after considering a sedan, I realized that a sedan would likely force us to choose between taking little Stormageddon places with us and taking Elvis places.  And seriously, who could bear to leave this handsome guy behind??

Monday, September 10, 2012

Maternity Mondays?

Anyone who reads A Cup of Jo knows that Joanna Goddard does a series of posts called Motherhood Mondays.  

Well, in the interest of including updates about baby-related stuff without letting it overwhelm the content of my blog, I've decided to do something similar, at least for the duration of my pregnancy, and relegate all pregnancy posts to one day a week, which shall heretofore be known as Maternity Mondays. ;-)

Of course, anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that on occasion I will randomly forget/not have time to post for weeks at a time, so this is by no means a guaranteed every-Monday feature.  

One of my biggest budgetary concerns, at least until the Stormageddon makes his or her appearance, was maternity clothes.  I did NOT want to spend a bunch of money on clothing that I'd likely only need for 3-4 months.  Originally I was planning on trying to make it through this thing using belly bands and my already-fairly-extensive collection of dresses and shirts with empire waists and lots of fabric, supplemented by some borrowed pieces from a couple of high school friends.  

Then I went to visit one of my cousins and her new baby girl, and this is what I came home with:

Enough clothing to cover nearly the entire bed, several layers high!
Once I managed to sort through everything and weed out the pieces that wouldn't work (too summery, not my style, too big in the shoulders/bust), I had acquired the following:
  • 6 dresses
  • 4 skirts
  • 6 pairs of pants
  • 6 sleeveless tops
  • 4 short-sleeved tops
  • 4 long-sleeved tops
  • 3 sweaters
Not a bad haul, huh?

The dresses are by far my favorites:


Because my cousin's baby was born in the end of July, only one of the 6 dresses is long-sleeved, but the material for all the dresses will work just fine for fall and winter when paired with tights and/or a cardigan, which is pretty standard for me during the cooler months anyway.

In addition to all the loaner maternity clothes, my cousin also gave me a bunch of books to borrow.  Among them were these, which I was already debating buying:

Now if only she had Let's Panic About Babies! ;-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's That Time Again...

Fall craft show time!

I've definitely been neglecting my jewelry business for the first half of the year, but I definitely want to try to fit in a bunch of shows this year, since I'm not sure what exactly will be happening next year. ;-)

Nothing is confirmed yet, but it looks like I'll be doing one show in October and two in November.  I'm on the fence about trying to find a fourth in December.  I'll post details for my local readers once I get confirmation on those shows.  I'm also debating hosting another holiday open house, since last year's was such a success.

Of course, this means that I need to start using my evenings wisely and making more jewelry!!

Pieces like those above seemed to be my big sellers last year, and they've made up the bulk of what I've sold so far this summer, so I'm mostly going to focus on variations on that theme.  I got some neat vintage beads over the past year, and I'm hoping to incorporate those into some of my designs.

I also need to stock up on packaging, specifically boxes and bags.  I didn't realize how much I went through last year! 

I'm leaning toward ordering boxes like this one from Rio Grande.  The 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 seems like an ideal size.  Large enough to accommodate a necklace like the ones pictures above if I wrap them around the inside of the box twice, small enough that earrings won't look ridiculously small in them.  I used to use the 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 7/8 for earrings, but when I started making my own earring cards.

I was so sure I had a close-up photo of said earring cards to share, but alas that is not the case.  And since I'm not at home at the moment, I can't take a picture to share.  You can get a glimpse of them in this post, though!

P.S.  Hopefully over the weekend or early next week I'll be able to share photos of a new (to me) car.  Assuming the deal doesn't go sour within the next 24 hours, that is.  We've been negotiating on this car for about a month and half now, because (as Glen will tell you) I am incredibly stubborn.  But the dealer finally budged on both the price and what they'll give us on a trade-in, so I'm prepared to walk in with a check tomorrow.  Wish me luck! ;-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Elvis, an Avocado, and My Belly

Remember that desk I wanted to buy?  Yeah, missed the boat on it. :-(

Oh well, I'll just have to continue to keep my eyes peeled, and I always have the Target desk as a backup!  I'm leaning toward something that is more of an espresso or dark walnut finish, to better match the furniture in the living room, so I guess it's okay that I missed out on the first desk, since it was more of a dark cherry.

And on the bright side, I do have some belly pictures to share!  I'm actually 18 weeks today, but these pictures were from 16 1/2 weeks, when baby was the size of an avocado, so we decided to include the avocado as a point of reference.  As for Elvis, I'm not sure whether he really wanted to be part of this photo shoot or whether he just wanted to eat the avocado...

I still just sort of look like I need to lay off the ice cream for awhile. :-P

Elvis is such a polite little gentleman. :-)

I'm pretty sure this picture was taken mere seconds after Elvis licked the avocado.

Avocados are so cute.  This week baby is the size of a sweet potato.  Not nearly as cute. ;-)

I still fit into all my regular clothes, which is kind of a source of mixed feelings at this point.  On one hand, it's great that I haven't had to spend any money on maternity clothes (and thanks to some wonderful friends who will be lending me some maternity clothes, hopefully I won't have to spend very much at all!), which is great for our bank account.  But apart from faint little flutters here and there, I haven't really felt the baby move, so that combined with a very sloooowly growing belly doesn't do much for my natural state of being a chronic worrier. ;-)

I've been trying my best to remember that my own mother's belly didn't really pop when she was pregnant with me until she was about 5 months along, and she didn't feel me move until almost that point either, so it's probably just genetics.  I need to relax and be grateful that I seem to have inherited good pregnancy genes. :-P

To the other mamas out there - when did you "pop"?  When did you feel that first real kick? 
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