Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Me & My Baby Girl

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to say that. I have no idea how many days I have left alone with Sophie before she has to share my attention with a newborn. In the meantime, I'm soaking up every moment I have left alone with my baby girl. Tonight she was being really sweet and snuggly with me. Rubbing my belly and speaking to her baby sister. I asked Alain to capture a couple of shots of us so that I could remember this moment forever....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Twitter

We have big bird news in the house.


When we first got the birds, they were very young. You could already tell that Atticus was a boy because his beak was a nice shade of blue. Scout was not so clear. For a while, her beak looked like it had a tinge of blue. Since then, however, it has turned brown and it's VERY brown. So we have a little pair of lovebirds on our hands. Here are a couple of photos of Atticus & Scout that we took over the weekend. How sweet are they?

Friday, June 24, 2011

For the Love of Stamps

Maybe it's my Dad's fault but I have this thing for nice stamps. We all know I love receiving nice handwritten correspondence of any type in the mail. But I go completely nuts when there's a coordinating stamp. Yesterday I had to stop at the post office to send some packages. These lovely GARDEN OF LOVE stamps caught my eye and I just had to have them for my birth announcements. They're PERFECT.

Garden of Love (Forever). This image is a larger version than the image with the same alt attribute on the previous page.

I went online to order them today (because my local post office was out) and then discovered these "Year of the Rabbit" stamps.

Year of the Rabbit (Forever). This image is a larger version than the image with the same alt attribute on the previous page.

Oh hum. The dilemma. Which one to get? I've mentioned before that my dear friend, Helena, peeked my interest in the Chinese lunar calendar and I've been thrilled since I read up and learned that my baby girl will be a rabbit.

In the end I couldn't decide so I ordered a few sheets of each.

While we're speaking of stamps, I have to mention that my Dad sent me a package recently with a GREGORY PECK stamp. Atticus Finch. Swoon. The world's most perfect man. I adore this character so much that I named one of my new birds Atticus. While these handsome stamps won't be on the birth announcements, I may or may not have bought some of these as well just to have on hand. They just might come in handy for the 52/52 Challenge!!!

Gregory Peck (Forever). This image is a larger version than the image with the same alt attribute on the previous page.

{all images via}

Holy Zucchini!!!

I am one proud Mama. How could I grow a zucchini THIS LARGE and not share it with you? As some have already asked me, I'll just tell you straight out that I don't use any type of fertilizer except for my homemade compost. Anyway, my lovely hubbie made zucchini bread last night using about 1/4 of this beast. Yum. I may or may not have already eaten three slices.....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coming Soon.....

We're getting so, so close.

As of yesterday, I'm already 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced and the baby is head down and at a -2 station. We did the sibling tour at the hospital today. Seeing the Labor & Delivery room (it was odd ~ it didn't look like a torture chamber!) and visiting the nursery full of newborns made me realize that my turn is almost up. It seems so very surreal. Tonight, we took some belly shots JUST IN CASE this baby decides to make an early, early appearance. Despite everything, I still find it hard to believe that this baby girl, our Little Love Bug, will be out in the world with us at any moment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Misc Monday Photos & MindSpeak

It's a semi-quiet Monday here on the homestead. We're expecting a couple of repairmen so Alain and I are both sitting here at the dining table on our computers. He's probably actually working. I'm just goofing off and trying to figure out how to upload photos. I think I've worked it out. I only have a few to share but I find them fitting considering my mood today and what's been occupying my thought as of late. First with the photos:

{The lovely bee balm blossoms I mentioned last week.}

{An individual blossom.}

{My garden as of last Friday. So lush & green.}

Secondly, what's on my mind....
I just finished reading "Raising Elijah" by Sandra Steingraber. I read books of this nature quite often so, although I can't say I took in a whole bunch of new information, I was still quite reassured that there are voices out there like Sandra's. And I find it comforting to know that there are other parents out there who are trying to make the right choices/decisions regarding their children to protect them from damage caused by our current environmental crisis. (I quite admire Sandra actually. I hope to read her other books in the near future.)

Then Alain comes home and shares this article with me. And I feel immediately down. I don't know how else to describe it. There are moments when I feel hope/helpless and certainly feel like all the ways I try to live my life more green don't even begin to make a dent in the big picture. To make a that would require more people making bigger changes, raising their voices, fighting for a better world. And, please excuse me for being honest, but I guess I don't have enough faith in mankind at the moment. It wasn't that long ago that I found myself hanging out with folks whose most interesting conversations, their only conversations really, surrounded the latest reality TV shows and who silently competed with one another to acquire the latest Tory Burch shoes/bags/etc. I continuously found myself disgusted. And I'm sure I was laughed at when I mentioned that I bought something consignment, talked about my garden, mentioned my drive to not use plastic as much as possible, discussed having this tiny little lovely as my next car (once mine dies), etc. Remember that catchy little tune, "One of these things is not like the others" from Sesame Street? Well yes, I would be the one who doesn't belong with the others. Now I could care less that people might laugh at my life choices. But I do care that there seems to be so few people that care about these types of issues, who seem so oblivious to the larger environmental crisis. If it weren't for finding like-minded individuals in the blogosphere, there's no telling how much worse I might feel. So, on the eve of the birth of my second baby girl, I am trying my best to be more optimistic, to remain hopeful, to continue to look for people who do think like me, ones that I can relate to and share ideas with.

{Alain snapped this photo yesterday while I was reading the paper. 36 Weeks.}

After uploading my photos, I realized that the ones of my garden, my plants and my flowers made me feel better. I am taking as many steps as I can to make my own little world, this tiny universe I share with my family, more healthy, peaceful, joyful, sound. That's all I can do at the moment. At least I'm able to feel relief that I am doing something. Baby steps. When I look back over the years, all of those baby steps, the knowledge I've acquired slowly over time, has really added up. I'll continue to do just what I've been doing and I really hope, over time, that other people (LOTS of other people) will join in.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Little Things

~ Getting crafty and completing some projects for the baby's nursery. I can't wait to share them!

~ Alain's Bircher Muesli. It's simply one of my most favorite things EVER! He made some last night and I savored every bite this morning....YUM YUM....

~ Making a new friend. At this age, I think making new friends is hard. Yet, I'm at the start of a new friendship and it seems to be blossoming. It's such a nice feeling and I hope it continues....

~ Bee Balm Blossoms. I planted a Bee Balm plant last year and, much to my surprise, I discovered the massive, brightly colored blossoms yesterday. Oh my. Will try to capture a photo to share over the weekend! I want to know what types of insects/birds it attracts but it's on a side of our house where I rarely venture.

~ Hubbell had a dental cleaning at the vet's office on Monday. We had to drop him off at 8 AM and pick him up after 3 PM. I love how concerned about him I felt. I missed him all day and couldn't wait to pick him up and take care of him until he felt better....

~ "Hold the Cone" mini vanilla ice cream cones from Trader Joe's. And the Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels. How on Earth did I live my life before Trader Joe's?

~ My due date is only one month away. I can't help but be scared (I had a horrendous labor with Sophie) but I'm also very excited. The last bit of pregnancy is so very surreal. Any day now I could have a new daughter, in the flesh. I'll be able to hug & kiss her, speak to her face, feed her, change her, take care of her, take in the smell of her, see all the ways in which she's alike and different from her Big Sister, love her. The second time around is so different from the KNOW your life is about to change again in huge, crazy, unexpected ways. And yet you still look forward to it!!!

~ Sophie's utter excitement over Daddy heading to school with her this morning for "Doughnuts with Daddy".....she loves Father's Day and asks me every day when we can give him his present. It's so sweet!

~ We're about to be overrun with veggies from the garden. In the past few days, we've harvested at least 10 cucumbers. I love it!!! The zucchini is almost ready for harvesting and the tomatoes should be turning red, yellow & purple any day now. This is the really rewarding stage of gardening.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Spring of the Transverse Lie

So here I am....35 weeks pregnant and seriously slowing down. I feel so unproductive. This is silly considering I'm growing another little person inside my body. In reality, I've only been this productive once before in my life...when I grew Sophie. Even though I've done this before, I had an easy, easy, easy pregnancy with Sophie. I was almost five years younger and about twenty pounds less starting out. I don't think this is why this time has been harder though.

Most of my discomfort and concern is due to Baby Girl #2's choice of position....the transverse lie. She seems to really LOVE her side-to-side position. From time to time, she'll change position....usually to head down....but it doesn't last long and, before you know it, she's back to her favorite spot. Her big noggin is usually protruding out of my right side. Her bum is usually sticking out a little bit to the left of my belly button (or rather what used to be my belly button). Every so often I can feel some body part reaching up under my rib cage. Whew. Sleep is nearly impossible and I have some trouble breathing here and there. Needless to say, I'm not exactly having a good time.

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday and an ultrasound will be ordered if she still hasn't moved. At that point, my doctor will most likely try to move her manually into a head down position. No, I am not keen on this idea. Considering how sensitive and TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT my belly is, it sounds like a painful endeavor to me. I also don't want someone pushing my sweet baby around in her peaceful little cocoon. Still, if this might help to avoid a C-Section, it may be worth a try.... In the meantime, I'm doing my knee-chest exercises, meditating, speaking to the baby, making up and singing songs to her (think "Turn, Baby, Turn" sung to the tune of "Burn Baby Burn") and doing everything I can to get her to turn naturally. Fingers crossed.

I'm currently reading "Raising Elijah" by Sandra Steingraber. The first chapter is about being pregnant with her son and it's titled "The Summer of the Transverse Lie"....her son, like my girlie, was also in a transverse position. Luckily for Sandra, he turned at the last minute. I'm hoping for a similar outcome. Anyway, I wanted to give proper due for the title of this post. I didn't come up with it myself. (this is a great book, by the way....subject matter that's right up my's hard to put down at night!).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Little Things

~ Hearing the painters painting the nursery in the room right next door. Oh, I can't wait to see it....
~ Crossing items off of my Nesting List and knowing I'm getting there.
~ Getting to know my new laptop: although I still have to figure out loads of things (like loading photos, etc). Pardon the photo-free posts for a little while. When it comes to technology, I am a total dunce. It's beyond frustrating.
~ Feeling sensitive and more emotional than normal....which is par for the course at 35 weeks pregnancy, I think. I am moved by the simplest things, especially certain songs.
~ On that note, songs with male backup singers. I love this. Think "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack and "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence.
~ The song "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride. It makes me cry even on my best non-pregnant day but yesterday it left me weeping. It's so very beautiful!!!
~ Hearing Atticus and Scout tweeting downstairs as I'm writing this. (and no, not the Anthony Weiner form of tweeting!!!)
~ Choosing a baby announcement. I adore all things paper so it was very hard to choose just one. Aaahhh, but the looking and choosing is SO MUCH FUN!!!
~ It took about three weeks but I finally completed the new flower bed. This morning, as I was watering, I noticed that two of the plants have sprouted new flowers. Relief!
~ The zucchini blossoms on my zucchini plant. WOW! They are humongous.
~ SPELL CHECK. Because it just caught my misspelling of "humongous". I am a stickler for proper spelling....
~ I am reading Xinran's book "Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother". Wow. That's all I can say. It's a hard read but an important one, I think. Heartbreaking. But a very important work. I intend to read all of Xinran's books once I finish this one.
~ Being a female, I've always considered myself damned lucky to have been born in this time and in this great country. After reading Xinran's book, I only feel this more strongly. It's a good feeling. I'm very fortunate.
~ Sophie's baby photos and videos. I guess I've been looking at them more often because of the impending delivery of my second baby girl. Anyway, they make me feel soft and gooey in the middle. She was so precious and a very good, good baby. We were lucky to have such a good baby on the first go round.... Fingers crossed for a repeat!

Little Soph at 5 days old

~ Knowing that I'm getting caught up on the 52/52 Challenge this afternoon. Yes, I finally fell a little behind!
~ This video. Someone sent it to me about a month ago. I've watched it countless times and shared it with some friends. I just love it. It's so much fun! She is so fabulous.....

Friday, June 3, 2011


I am always interested in how people find good books to read. I have a few different ways. Most commonly, I make notes of books mentioned in the text of a book that I'm reading (keep in mind that I mostly read non-fiction). Since the subjects are usually related, I can read a number of books in a row all dealing with a topic of interest to me. I also subscribe to a number of magazines and I always read their book reviews (from O Magazine, More, Whole Living, etc). Also, when reading these magazines, if I find an article I really like, I read the little blurb about the author at the end. And this is how I found the last four books I read (all within the last week!).

The most recent issue of Whole Living arrived in the mail (June 2011). I read through the magazine and really enjoyed one article on birdwatching. I have a fondness for birdwatching although I am quite the novice. The author's byline read as follows: "Frances Lefkowitz's book TO HAVE NOT was named one of the five Best Memoirs of 2010 by SheKnows." A quick Google search and I was on the SheKnows site reviewing those five best memoirs. Luckily, my library had four of them available.

I read the first one, WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW, in less than 24 hours. And I was hooked. I devoured the other three in the course of the next week. I enjoy reading good memoirs but think they're hard to find. If you like memoirs, look no further. The four I read are listed below and in my own preferential order.

1. To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz
3. Perfection by Julie Metz

I really admire the ability of these women to expose their lives, inner thoughts, beliefs, opinions, family lives, etc. Their stories and their story-telling abilities are quite captivating!

Please feel free to share ways that you find good books to read and/or let me know if you've read or intend to read any of these books..... I love to read (obviously!) but it can get frustrating when I have noone to discuss the books with when I'm done!!

Much to my dismay, SheKnows did not have a best memoir list for previous years. However, I did read about another memoir that is supposed to appeal to mothers everywhere. It's called WHEN DID I GET LIKE THIS and it's by Amy Wilson. I'll be picking it up at the library tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Clean House is the Sign of a Broken Computer

I saw this saying on Pinterest today and it made me laugh. My computer is still down and I dread another full day with no computer. I miss my blog. I miss other people's blogs. I miss Pinterest (such an addiction!). I miss being able to type long emails to my friends (my fingers almost fall off typing long ones on my Blackberry). I had to pop by the library today and, when I saw an empty computer, I jumped on it just to browse for a few minutes. Ahhhh. But it's been almost an hour and I have to go now. So I guess I'll go clean my house.....

Please oh please, I hope the new laptop arrives soon!!! Smile....
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