Category Archives: Life in General

Catching Up

Sorry it has been so long since the last post. I have been busy with life, work, baby, quilting, etc etc and haven’t really had much time for posting lately. I will try to be better about it, promise!

The quilting update will be quick… since my last post I have completed one more baby quilt (not for Anna) that I will take pictures of and post soon, and I basted (put the top, batting, and backing together but have not quilted) that Yellow Brick Road quilt that has been hanging around since October. I started trying to quilt the Yellow Brick Road, but was having trouble getting it to move well on my new machine. So I have put it aside again temporarily while I await the delivery of my extension table, which should make life easier.

Anna has definitely changed a lot since my last post. She has long since mastered rolling in all directions, and is now working hard on sitting and crawling. Just today she reached the point where she is sitting nearly unassisted, although she can’t actually sit up on her own yet. You can tell she really really wants to, and will lift herself up like she is doing abdominal crunches. Once we help her sit up, she still needs a little support but is doing really well as long as she has a toy to keep her attention. As soon as she gets distracted though, she topples over.

Crawling is also a work in progress. She is lifting up on her hands and knees, with her head up, very well now. She is also rocking back and forth on her knees, which is how they eventually figure out how to gain movement. Sometimes she even manages to scoot both knees forward at the same time, and you can see the frustration when she can’t figure it out. It usually isn’t long before she ends up doing a belly flop or face plant, but she is improving daily. It won’t be long before she figures it out… then our world will definitely change!

Right now she is happy to sit in her Excersaucer or roll around on the floor in her room, but she is already trying to crawl out of our laps when we hold her sometimes. The trouble is that once she makes it off our lap she can’t figure out how to go any further. As soon as she works out the crawling thing, I have a feeling she won’t be happy to stay in the same place for long.

The other new development is that Anna is eating solid foods now. Well, strained pureed baby foods. I just got the feeling she was ready for it, so I decided to try it out and see if she was interested. If she didn’t look like she wanted to eat I was just going to put it aside for a week or two and try again, but after a few spoonfuls she got the hang of it and was opening her mouth for more.

The photos above are her first tastes of food. We started with applesauce, which was actually pretty tasty. I liked it better than some of the applesauces marketed to adults! It was a little tart if you have never had food before though I suspect, and she made some hilarious faces. It might look like she hated it in the photos, but those were just some funny shots of her face as she flashed through about a hundred different expressions from confusion, to shock, to joy while she was eating for the first time.

After a week of feeding her in her little Bumbo chair we decided it was time for a highchair, so now we have yet another piece of baby stuff cluttering up our house. At least we managed to find one that folds up nicely and fits under the counter overhang in the kitchen. The chair also gives her a new place to be entertained since we can stick suction cup toys to the tray… plus apparently the chair straps are super fun to chew on.

I am not sure we can say Anna is actually “eating” yet, at this point it is still just an introduction to different flavors and the act of swallowing foods. There is no real schedule, we just feed her as much as she wants when she seems like she is in a good mood for it. She ends up eating about 2-4 ounces at a time usually, a couple times a day, and seems to be taking to it well. If she stops opening her mouth for the next bite, or looks too cranky, we will stop feeding her since we are trying to make it a positive experience. I am sure she will gradually eat more and more of the solids, and in a few weeks it will probably start being more of an actual meal for her rather than snacks here and there between nursing/taking a bottle.

Loaner

I took my machine to the dealer today, they were pretty cool about it. The main clerk looked at it, said that terrible noise was normal (it isn’t) but then saw how it got stuck in that loop trying to calibrate the embroidery unit. She tried out another embroidery unit, which worked… so she sent me home with that unit as a loaner. The owner of the shop is supposed to look at it when he comes in tomorrow, and they may just replace it. Who knows. In the meantime I have a functioning machine again, so I am happy.

So far I have only quilted a 16″ square of my quilt, because I had to rip out a couple segments and re-do them on account of having my tension set wrong (resulting in loose stitches on top, and tight on bottom). Now I am tired and ready to sleep before I start making stupid mistakes, even though I really wish I could stay up and play all night. I already made one stupid mistake and picked a bit of a real stitch when I was trying to remove a placement line… hopefully I can repair that without having to rip the whole thing out and do it a third time.

Maybe I will be able to finish it this weekend. I can’t wait to see how it comes out! It might be hard to find the time though. This weekend we have to get the tree down and try to get the house in order again. I am so sick of having this huge tree taking up space in the house, and there are various things that have piled up as a result of Christmas, being busy, and general laziness. Not to mention the never-ending pile of laundry, and the probability of mom needing help getting settled into her new apartment. Not that I mind helping, just means less time to finish my quilt. And not only am I eager to finish this one, but I am eager to start the next! I have problems.

The next quilt is going to be for mom. Although I suppose I should probably go back to that Flower Patch quilt I was piecing before getting interrupted by life… but that is just a project for the sake of experience, and I am not that eager to get back to it. The quilt for mom will be the first thing I have actually made to give someone… and it is a pattern and fabric that I really like. So, since it is something someone is waiting for, it takes priority over my other projects. The only reason I have put this baby quilt before it is that it was small and quick, and Anna needs a good blanket to play on. But I guess I really should finish that Yellow Brick Road quilt before starting a whole new one. So, scratch that… the next thing is to finish the Yellow Brick Road quilt, then I’ll start the one for mom. All I have to do there is add the border and do the quilting, the top has already been pieced otherwise.

Sad Now

I was working on quilting my latest quilt when my embroidery machine seemingly died! Something must have happened when I re-inserted the hoop after repositioning the fabric. It started telling me to put in the correct hoop size, which I had. I tried re-inserting a few times to no avail, so I turned it off and back on. When you turn the machine on with the embroidery unit attached it calibrates the arm, first instructing you to clear the area around the unit (so it doesn’t hit anything) and remove the hoop. Then the arm/carriage moves up and down the unit. However before it completes the calibration cycle it makes an awful noise as though it is jamming or something, then gives that same pop up message telling me to remove the hoop and stuff to calibrate the arm. Damn it! I don’t think I have even had the machine two weeks. Anger! Sadness! Frustration! But mostly I just want to finish my quilt.

So, tomorrow I get to take it to the shop and hope it is something they can fix quickly/easily and that it isn’t something I did that means it isn’t covered under warranty. I didn’t force or abuse it though, so it shouldn’t be my fault unless this thing is a hell of a lot more fragile than I think.

Quilting in Progress
Quilting in Progress

 

 

This is a photo of my quilting just before the machine died. The straight line is just a marking for alignment and will be removed after it is finished.

 

 

 

 

In other news… tomorrow is the day mom moves up to Raleigh. So in the midst of dealing with my embroidery machine issues I will also be helping her out. In the morning I will have to go over and get the keys for her unit, and meet the movers at her apartment since she will still be in Greenville cleaning up the old apartment. We also need to get our old washer and dryer moved to her place, as well as a couch we have in our storage unit for her. Should be a fun day.

And for the Anna update. She is about 13lbs now, and has begun rolling over from her back to tummy. The problem is that she doesn’t know how to get back onto her back. And she doesn’t seem to be aware she is rolling over to her tummy until she ends up there either, which means she suddenly finds herself stuck on her belly and is quite disturbed by it. Now that she has been doing this a week or so she is starting to be a little less upset by being on her tummy, but at first she would wake up screaming after rolling onto her belly. So we had a few rough nights there. Plus a few nights ago she ended up face down in her mattress, and when I went to roll her over it looked like her color was off. Not sure she was really blue, but she definitely wasn’t right. So that was scary.

Last night though she seemed to finally be okay with sleeping on her stomach, as she fell asleep around 10pm and slept straight through until around 7am this morning. That is the longest she has ever slept, and the majority of it was spent not moving… to the point where I woke up several times and had to stare at the monitor screen to make sure she was breathing. They claim that babies start sleeping 10-12 hours a night at some point, waking up during the night only once a week or so… maybe this is the beginnings of that trend!

Busy Busy

I have been keeping pretty busy lately. Between the baby, Christmas shopping, visiting family, and various other mundane things I haven’t had as much time to work on projects as I would like. It seems I have been up until 1:00am way too many nights lately just working on things.

I have nearly completed the gift bags I am making for Christmas (yes I know Christmas is already past, but the family gathering isn’t until the 29th) and I finished the laptop bag I was making. Well, almost. I still haven’t done the binding to pretty up the inside seams, but I will get around to it. I did try to do the binding, but it turned out that the bias tape I picked up was the wrong size and I didn’t feel like cutting my own. I got some larger bias tape yesterday though, so hopefully that will work. Finishing it isn’t a very high priority, the bag looks good from the outside at least. I have been meaning to post photos, but haven’t had time. I will get around to it soon, probably when I post photos of the completed gift bags. And those bags really are nearly complete! I just need to run to Cary Quilting tomorrow (Saturday, 28th) to pick up a little extra fabric because I miscalculated on the drawstrings for a couple bags. Then I will have to finish them since the family gathering is Sunday!

Christmas was pretty awesome this year. I got cool toys, my sister was able to come up, and Anna got to open her first presents. By “open” I really just mean we aimed her at the tissue paper in some gift bags and let her grab hold. I took some photos, but I haven’t even looked at them yet… so add one more thing to my “I need to post that” list.

I would like to report that Anna loved her first Christmas, but unfortunately she was pretty cranky. We did Christmas in three rounds. The first was with Sean’s family on the 22nd, and that went smoothly since we opened all the gifts for her and she was well rested. The second round was near her bedtime on Christmas Eve. She had fun ripping the tissue out of the first couple gift bags, and loved the crinkly soft book my mom gave her… but she quickly melted down and we saved the second half of her gifts for the next day. We again had bad timing and she was getting hungry and tired when we started opening her gifts, and by the end we rushed through the last couple boxes because she was fed up with anything that wasn’t food. She got several new outfits, a few toys, some Christmas ornaments, and a used iPod so that we can play music for her with our old Sound Dock. I think she made out pretty well! Next year should be more fun though, since she should be able to open stuff for real then. She will only be 16 months-ish at that point though, so the real fun probably won’t come until Christmas 2015.

Pinehurst Day 2

I sure hope my company decides to make this Pinehurst thing a tradition. It was pretty awesome. Today we laid around, and finally “woke up” around 8:40 and ordered room service for breakfast. I got the continental and Sean got steak and eggs. Sean’s food was awesome, and he shared with me. My breakfast was tasty too, it had some very yummy chocolate danish and a cinnamon roll, as well as fresh fruit and hot tea. The steak was definitely the winner though, and the hashbrowns it came with were some of the best I have had in a long while.

We then got dressed and packed so we could check out on our way to the spa. The front desk kept our bags for us so we didn’t have to run to the car in the rain, and it turned out breakfast was included in our package even though we did room service instead of the buffet. So that was awesome. There were no charges at all for us to pay, and we headed to the spa.

Sean seemed to enjoy his pedicure and manicure, and I definitely enjoyed my massage. They even gave me a soft little stuffed lamb toy with a rattle in it for the baby. My manicure was nice just because I got my long nails cut off, although I honestly wasn’t that impressed with it. We had also ordered our lunch delivered to the spa while we were checking in, and it arrived right on time. It wasn’t quite as good as breakfast, but was still tasty. We paid for that with the lunch vouchers we were given, and I used the excess funds to give the poor delivery girl (soaked from rain) a tip in addition to the built-in gratuity. There was a slight mix up with our bill, but they straightened it out for us without any hassle. They had charged my massage to our room rather than the corporate account. The confusion happened because we used our gift cards to buy a robe, pay for Sean’s services, and to pay for a manicure for me. So they just charged everything from the day together, without realizing that part of it would be charged to my company.

Once we were done with our lunch we headed back to the front desk to pay the overages and gather our luggage. Again there was a mix up with the bill that needed to be straightened out, as we had been charged for the lunch. But they took care of it quickly and without any fuss. So our entire Pinehurst adventure ended up costing us $21 out of pocket. I think that is a fair price :) Overall it was a great trip, despite the few small bumps with bills being charged incorrectly… but the customer service was so great it wasn’t that big of a deal. The best part is that we feel like we had a weekend away, but it is only Friday so we still have our whole weekend!

Pinehurst

This is my first non-baby related post in a while. So if you were looking for another baby update… um, well, I am still pregnant and stuff.

To celebrate a milestone, my company has taken us all to Pinehurst. Unlike when they took us to Busch Gardens last year, this time we got to bring our spouses. I am so glad Sean could come this time! There were lots of activities to choose from, and everyone got to choose one activity for each day… although unfortunately most of the ones Sean wanted to do were canceled.

Today he went clay shooting, but the things he wanted to do tomorrow didn’t work out. His first choice was the wind tunnel (like skydiving without the falling), and when that didn’t work he switched to a Segway tour… and then that didn’t work either so now he is going to hang out at the spa with me tomorrow. As for me, I chose the spa for both days. Today I did a pedicure, and tomorrow I will have a massage and manicure.

The spa here is awesome, I could totally fall in love with this place if I had the money to come here often. I might would even take up golf or something just to have an excuse. It is such a relaxing place, I could hang out and just read for hours by the pool. I am looking forward to my massage tomorrow!

Sean also reported having a great day at the range, and it seems he made some new friends. Everyone kept coming up to me at dinner to tell me how well he did. I think if there is anyway he can get back out to the range again tomorrow, he will. I don’t think he is really looking forward to his spa day as much as I am, but I have a feeling he will enjoy it once he gets there.

I am not really sure how tomorrow will work out. There is a breakfast buffet, but I think we might do room service instead. And we were told we would get a box lunch, but then they gave us a certificate for lunch at any of the restaurants. I guess we could always order lunch delivered at the spa too, but I don’t know when we will have time to eat with spa appointments keeping us busy from about 11 to 1. I guess we will have to research our food options in the morning.

We also have some gift cards to use up, but that shouldn’t be too hard given the prices around here. I was surprised that they gave us both a gift card to cover incidentals, I had expected them to only give one. We have already used up $33 (plus tax and service charge, whatever that comes to) just on M&M’s, nuts, and a bottle of water from the “refreshment center” in our room. And there are no shortage of gift shops here if we have any funds left on the gift cards after we check out tomorrow.

Goodbye, First Trimester!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of week 14, and the end of the first trimester. It feels like time has gone quickly, but at the same time I have felt every miserable minute. If only the morning sickness had a switch that flipped off with the start the the second trimester. I just keep praying that I am the exception in my family, and that the morning sickness goes away in the next week or two. I am so very tired of feeling like poop.

The most exciting part of entering the second trimester (aside from the lowered risk of miscarriage) is that we will soon be able to find out if it is a boy or girl. We want to do the elective early gender screening, which can be done starting at 15 weeks. I think we are both impatient to know what it is, and so is our family. Even my grandfather called me this weekend to find out if we knew yet, and he NEVER calls me. In fact, I can only think of maybe three other times he has called me in my life, four if you count a time he was calling to talk to someone else and didn’t recognize my voice. Once was something to do with Christmas and he really had his wife call, and the other two times were when I was a teen and he was calling to scold me about something or other.

I wonder if we could get away with going for the gender screening next weekend?! It feels like everything is on hold until we know what it is. We pretty much have the nursery planned out, but we want to paint before buying furniture… and it is hard to choose a color not knowing. I really like the idea of painting the room blue, but Sean says we can’t have a blue room if it is a girl.

The only thing I have bought lately for the baby is diaper bundle that I saw on Zulily. The colors were neutral, so it is okay. I have decided to get a mix of diapers and see what I like best. The easiest thing to do would of course be disposables, but after reading that diapers take 500 years to break down… yeesh. I am no environmentalist, but it makes me want to give biodegradable and cloth diapers a shot. The ones I ordered have biodegradable inserts, and a cloth outer diaper. I don’t really relish the thought of cleaning poopy diapers, so the disposable insert thing seems like it might be the way to go. I am sure we will still use disposables sometimes for convenience, but hopefully the biodegradable insert thing will work out and we won’t end up falling back on disposables completely.