Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Projects

"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens."

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and this weekend was a time for work on major house projects for our family. This weekend we primed and painted Pumpkin's room as he and Peaches will be sharing the room in a few months or so. I also had to take down all the old wall hangings and decorations and move out the old bed, dresser and nightstand from the room. I can't wait to post pictures as the room comes together. One wall in the room has this giant wallpaper map of the world, which we all love, so we left that alone. However, we painted the dark green color to a light stone kacki color which brightens up the small room so much. I was so excited to be using VOC free paint and surprised at the lack of fumes. Pumpkin was able to sleep in the room the very night we painted the color coat.
I am excited about the decorating color & pattern I have decided upon. The base will be green gingham with light blue accents for Pumpkin and light pink accents for Peaches. I have ordered many of the items already, most from ebay for a substantial savings for buying gently used bumpers, etc. instead of buying new from Pottery Barn. For the crib, I'll have a green gingham bumper and crib sheet with a light pink crib sheet.
For the bunk beds I'll have a comforter with a green gingham duvet and light blue sheets and pillowcase (bottom bunk for Pumpkin) and white sheets and pillowcase (top bunk where nobody will be sleeping for now). Pottery Barn no longer sells green gingham shams so I am going to sew a sham for each bunk using a green gingham sheet I got off of ebay. I am hoping to find some cute pink and blue decorative pillows onto which I can have their names monogrammed, sort of link the ones below, although I would like to find a solid blue and pink instead of white with colored trim. The curtains are green gingham panels that I am going to sew a blackout liner into the back to help make the room dark for nap time since it is south facing. For accessories and decorations, I am going to add to Pumpkins name on the wall in the same pale green color and get whimsical green wooden letters for Peaches' name. I am going to get a couple cute animal print canvas paintings for above the dresser. I am going to have these growth charts monogrammed to hang also. Finally I have white frames with each of their first hospital pictures with their newborn footprints on each side of the picture. Each framed is lined with a blue or pink gingham ribbon print which I think ties in so well with the gingham and the colors. I ma so glad I ordered these with teh hospital pictures now for each of them.
This upcoming weekend the new furniture is being delivered. The old furniture was honey walnut, and the bed was a big full bed which was just too much for a little boy. The new furniture is a white to match the crib we already ahve that Pumpkin sleeps in now. There will be a white bunk bed, tall dresser and nightstand. I have to get twin mattresses for the bunk bed still. If anyone has any recommendations for where to go or how much to pay, please share.
Among getting the room dismantled, primed, painted and deciding on and ordering the bedding and decorations above, we did so many more minor house projects too, including mowing the yard, weeding all the beds, laying pine needles around our blueberry bush bed, bug spraying the yard. In addition I actually got caught up on all my laundry, including all the sheets and bath mats. That was after some extra loads because Peaches got sick to her stomach a few time Saturday night. There is so much more we accomplished that I can't even say. I'm not trying to toot our own horns, really this is just a reflection of how little we have accomplished the last couple months. Sunday afternoon, we found some time to just hang out and play in the play room and also to go to the pool. All in all, a productive and exhaustive weekend, but I feel good starting this week. I can't wait to share pictures once their room is completed. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rumble & Ramble in Blackberry Bramble

One of the things I love about summer is that it is always berry season. It is the peak of blackberry season right now, and we just went picking and easily filled this basket in about ten minutes (that includes breaks to tell Peaches to only pick the black ones not the red ones, she is probably so confused, we just went strawberry picking and we told her to pick the red ones).
Anyhow, I love blackberry everything. We made blackberry pancakes and I am planning a delicious blackberry cobbler. I don't make preserves because the farm where we pick the blackberries does such a perfect job, and I figure I'd be better off spending my time elsewhere. The one thing I do make sure we do is freeze most of our pickings. The key to freezing berries that taste good when defrosted or used in baking is to freeze them in a single layer and then put them in a freezer bag. This is the same technique I described in my freezing blueberries post here.
After washing them and letting the blackberries completely air dry, I lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper in a single layer so no berries are on top of each other. Then simply freeze for a day or overnight. Then I bag them in sandwich size freezer bags. It couldn't be easier. You can defrost a whole bag to use or pour a few out to defrost in a bowl or just eat frozen (my son's favorite). They don't have those icicles attached to them or the mushy consistency when you do it this way so they taste so fresh. I have kept them for as long as 6 months, but they may keep for even longer. I have never defrosted and refrozen so I can't say whether that would work.
Happy Berry Picking!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Craft & Yummy Ideas

I have leen less than creative lately so for Father's Day I am just going to provide links to some fun and easy Father's Day crafts and yummy treats. Some of these look like good ideas of things to do inside while we avoid the heat.
Happy Father's Day!! Pudding Finger Paint Cards

Father’s Day Tie Stitched Card

Ten Quotes For Fathers

Look at this sweet video of quotes about dads for Father's Day with pictures by my own friend Julie of J. Rae Photography. You may recognize the first dad and baby in this video :) Happy Father's Day!!

10 Quotes to Inspire Dad from jraephoto on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband. I love you so much more and am even happier than I was on this day. Four years as your wife and fourteen years as your adoring high school sweetheart. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I'm looking forward to a long and happy walk down this path of life with you. I love looking back at our memories and daydreaming about the ones ahead.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Out of the Haze

I think I am out of the haze of nausea and fatigue form this pregnancy thanks to Vitamin B6 and Unisom. I literally felt like a different woman yesterday than the moping, miserable one I have been the past few weeks. I never want to complain because I happily carry the side effects of being pregnant, but it was so hard to just be a mom and take care of my kids. My first two pregnancies were free of any nausea or bloating and cramping, so this was all very new to me. I just can't believe how effective a little B6 and a good night's sleep is. Yesterday, I managed to... 1. go to the OB 2. shop at the mall and Target for my husband's anniversary presents 3. fold 4 loads of laundry 4. triple sheet the kid's crib mattresses 5. iron my husband's pants and shirts (that have been piling up for over a month, well maybe less since a few weeks ago he finally gave up on me and took the dirty ones to the cleaners) 6. iron my daughter's crib bumpers that she vomited all over last week 7. make a healthy yummy dinner (tortellini with spinach and onions in pink sauce) 8. clean the kitchen (really this time) 9. organize and sort my pile of stuff 10. work out 11. take the kids to the park And that's in addition to just taking care of the kids and myself. That's more than I have accomplished this entire past month. I probably went a little over board, but I was so elated to actually feel like a real person again. And I have an overdo it personality. I just hope I continue to feel this good. Thanks for letting me share. I have a lot of ideas for posts that maybe I'll actually have the energy to write now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthday Surprise

A couple days after I got home from the hospital, my son accidentally let our cat out of the house when he opened the sliding glass door to our backyard. We didn't realize it was open for an hour or so, and we didn't realize for maybe a day that Rudy (our never been outside, indoor only and front declawed cat) had escaped outside. Please don't tell me how bad an animal caretaker I am as a veterinarian, I felt bad enough and I was upstairs on bed rest. Anyhow, we searched desperately all over the neighborhood, contacted the neighborhood association, signed up for daily animal control found animal email updates, etc. Our other cat China who has lived almost her whole life with Rudy was despondent. She walked around the house whining at this ridiculously high-pitched level. My son was sad but we had told him Rudy was just visiting a friend's house.
I had given up hope this past week of him coming home and to be honest of him being alive. Yesterday was my birthday (a milestone one at that). It was a pretty pleasant and uneventful, although stressful day (I insanely decided to take the kids to the pool by myself. For some reason I had wanted to spend the morning with just them and not go with another mom and kids). I had thought the pool would make me feel a little better about the start of another hot, sticky summer, it was 92 degrees on my birthday. In case you didn't know I am not a fan of the heat and I would happily trade in my life for a small farm in the mountains, but I dream and digress.
Back to the story...I was reading in bed before falling asleep and I had asked my husband to bring in the swimsuits and towels drying on the deck outside before he came up for the night. He came up into our bedroom and told me he got me one more thing for my birthday. In his arms was Rudy, the cat I adopted as a little six week old kitten after it was dropped off with its littermates on the doorstep of the animal hospital I was doing an externship at in veterinary school in 2001. He had been just sitting on the deck when my husband went outside. I held his slightly lighter frame and pet his filled with burrs coat and he just purred. I was so happy. I barely slept last night because he wouldn't leave me alone, rubbing up on my face and sleeping on my head, so happy to be home after over two weeks of being lost.
I just wanted to share this happy ending story. Even though I wasn't saying my fair share of prayers for Rudy's return (as I have praying so hard for the safety of the baby inside me), my mother-in-law had been saying a little prayer daily for Rudy's return. This was the best birthday present I could have wanted, but didn't think to ask for.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Professional Perk

One of the benefits of being a veterinarian, even a little part-time one like myself, is that I have access to an ultrasound machine. This means I can ultrasound myself for whatever reason, but the primary one for me is to check on my little one growing underneath. As any pregnant woman or mother knows, the first trimester can be the most anxiety ridden weeks of the nine (really ten) months. So this morning during some slow time between surgeries I just placed the probe right on my belly and was thrilled to see a nice black gestational sac with a little white baby growing strong and a little heart beating so fast. I wish I had a picture to share but the image wasn't the same quality that you see at your OB, as veterinary probes are made for Cocker bellies and cat hearts. The thing was I saw it, and I can see it in my head anytime I think about it, and I breathe a little easier and remember to thank God again for all my blessings.

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