Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Only One Week to Go!

Today I had my last doctor's appointment and non-stress test here in Sheboygan.  Everything looks great with the baby, so we are excited about next Tuesday's delivery in the Fetal Concerns Unit at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee.  By this time next week, we will have a little girl.  Soon after birth, she will be whisked off to the NICU and be prepared for her surgery to correct a small amount of intestine that is in a little sac outside of her body.  It's scary having a baby at 42, but we have been prepared for this since she was only 12 1/2 weeks inside me, and are confident that other than this little bump in the road, she will be a normal, healthy little baby.
 Here is the latest photo of my belly progress - I apologize for the graininess of the photos this week.  As you can see, Paddy is very curious as to what has been happening around our house and has been spending almost all of his time as close to me as possible.
 Dear husband put together this crib on Saturday, only to discover once assembled, it wouldn't fit through the doorway to our room!  So, disassemble and reassemble!  Live and learn, right?  
I love the way it looks, but Paddy's not so sure!  I think he thinks it might be a new "crate" for him!  It's from Dwell Studio for Target, ordered from Amazon.  Very cute & modern and reasonably priced.  The bedding came from BabyEarth.  Now, we are waiting on the mattress, and we should be set.  

Then we will just wait for the baby to come home and settle in.  They have told us it could be from 2-6 weeks, and at least one of us will be at the Ronald McDonald House during that time.  Grandparents will be in and out, and daddy will be back and forth for work.  Paddy will be playing with his friends at Central Bark.  

We have a mantra at our house that "Everything's going our way," and so far, everything has!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Antique Dining Room Chair - Before & After

No joke, I think I have had this chair for 12 years and it's always looked like this:
My grandmother bought a set of 6 chairs at an auction once, and parceled them out one by one to members of the family.  Most recovered them quickly, however I just sat the chair in a corner, used it as a step-stool from time to time, or maybe set a pillow on top of it to hide the cracked top.  Each time I moved, the chair made the trip, even though it was cracked and was getting quite rickety.
You can tell by the underside of the chair that it has been recovered many, many times!  I'm not sure how old the chair is, but the writing on the top of the seat indicates that it was either made by, or once belonged to a man in Fairbault, MN.  How it ended up in Missouri at an auction I have no idea!  Months ago I bought the material to finally recover the chair.  
I used wood glue to fill the cracks and tighten things up.  Then the chair just sat upstairs with all the materials piled on top.  Finally, on Saturday, I pulled out the staple gun and finished the job.  It's not perfect, but looks better than before.
It's amazing what motivation it is to have both sets of grandparents and a baby arriving in a week with lots of unfinished projects around the house.  Not sure how many I'll finish this week, but the pressure is on.

I will be checking into the hospital at 6 a.m. on April 6 and am not sure when I will be home again.  Lots of changes coming our way, so let's hope I can roll with it all.

All for now,

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Baby Shower: The Countdown is On

This past weekend was a big weekend for me.  My mom and her friend, Sandi, came to visit and some Kohler friends had a baby shower for me.  It was a fun weekend, and I'm starting to realize that time is running out.  We will find out Friday when the actual day will be, and it's looking like it will be around April 8 or 9 (yes, during the Masters).  Should we have a bag packed?  What do I take? Since the baby will be staying for a while due to her surgery, what do I bring for her?  Lots of things running through my mind, but it was nice to take some time Saturday to relax and enjoy the company of my mom and other friends and enjoy some great food.  Here are some pictures from the day:
Mom & Me
 Two dozen pink roses from Jim - one dozen for me & one for baby
 The staff at Blackwolf Run outdid themselves!

 Doesn't this look like Spring?!
Vanilla, Cinnamon & Key Lime Cupcakes!
Hubby stopped by and even brought me a gift certificate to Magpie's Cottage, my local yarn shop.  Honestly, I have never met a more thoughtful man!
The ladies.

It was a lovely day with lots of cute little baby things for our little girl.  I will try to post more about our baby preparations this week.  You know how it is - "some assembly required" for almost everything!

I hope you have a beautiful Spring day!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

We started celebrating St. Patrick's Day last night with this dinner
For breakfast, we had these!
Guinness Spiced Muffins and they were excellent! 

Everyday in our house, the Irish are celebrated in some form or other.  We both have Irish blood:  My family, the McBrides came to this country pre-Revolutionary war, so we don't know much about which part of Ireland from which they emigrated.  Hubby's family, the Conways & the Jennings are still mostly in Ireland - County Mayo, and his grandparents met in Chicago after arriving here in the 20th Century.  

We celebrate by welcoming our guests like this:
And no matter what the decor, I'm sure we will always have this displayed somewhere
And let's no forget how we try to "play" each day
And finally, we can't forget our dog "Paddy"
He brings lots of fun to our lives!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Update and some Finished Projects, too!

I thought I would give a little baby update since I had a doctor's appointment on Friday.  Things are looking good, however, the little one is not cooperating as far as her positioning is concerned.  Both her head and her feet are up -- I guess she will be a little gymnast or cheerleader like her mama--and because of her small medical condition, the doctor doesn't want to try to get her to turn, thinking that she is remaining in this position for her own safety.  
So, I go back to Milwaukee in two weeks for another ultrasound and we will decide what to do from there.  I was so hoping for a natural delivery, but if I have to have a c-section, I guess I will make the best of it.  I know it's a common procedure, but also know that natural birth is typically better for both mama and baby.  Everything happens for a reason, so will give it some time and see how it all turns out. If I do have a c-section, she may be arriving sooner, rather than later, and this 42 year old former workaholic isn't quite sure what to do with a baby!
I did finish some baby projects over the weekend.  This is the Bear Hugs: Baby Wrap Cardigan Kit from Plymouth Yarn Co..  It was my first kitted sweater and was pretty easy.  My least favorite part was piecing it together, then finishing the ends.  
Here is the button detail.  Kind of unisex, don't you think?
I also finished this cute rolled brim baby hat that I started as part of the Baby Hat Class at Magpie's Cottage.  I would be very disappointed if her head is too big for all the stuff I've made!!!
And finally, a spring scarflet for myself made from Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton/Silk yarn in colorway Neptune.  I have lots left, so will probably make another little hat!  Then mama & baby can match when we're out getting our exercise!

Now I'm off to enjoy the beautiful day we're having in Sheboygan County!  Hopefully Mother Nature will be kind to us for the rest of the month!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maybe I Will Keep Knitting....

I started with this

 And finished with this

Maybe I will keep knitting....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quick Crochet Project: The Doris Scarf

Yesterday was one of those days that I felt like I got a lot done.  At least a lot of stuff that I wanted to do.  The guest bed is still covered with stuff, the antique chair is still not recovered, the laundry is still not done, but I did make new pillow covers which I blogged about yesterday, and I also made this very cute, very springy scarf!  So, see, all was NOT lost.  
 The pattern can be found at Vicki Howell's website - click here   The project only took a couple of hours while I was watching TV - much faster than knitting!!!
I typically like to use yarn that I've purchased at my local yarn store, Magpie's Cottage, however there are times when I run to JoAnn's for fabric that something jumps out at me, and that's what happened in this case.  The yarn is Caron Spa, a "silky soft Bamboo Blend" according to the label.  It can be found at www.naturallycaron.com.  The yarn is a little tricky to work with and tends to separate, but overall, not bad.  And I like the drape for a springy scarf.  My yarn shop has some new pima cotton that would have been great for this, too!  

Busy day today - another non-stress test at the doctor's office, then the second half of my "Knit Baby Hats" class at Magpie's.  I also have a very cute baby sweater to piece together and learn how to finish the edging.  Stayed tuned for the finished projects!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pillow Makeover: Quick Envelope Back Pillows

The pillows on the living room sofa have been bugging me for a while.  First of all, the sofa was not supposed to be in the living room, but in the basement, but when it was delivered it wouldn't fit down the stairs.  So, until we move, and we really don't have a need to, it will remain. 
Hubby was thrilled when his themed throw pillows matched, so I acquiesced.  It's all about compromise, right?  However, even he has admitted lately that they are looking a little worn.  The cording is unraveling, and let's face it, it's been a long winter and these are a little dreary!
 Spring has now officially sprung in our living room!  Yeah!  Those of you who know me know that my life has always been filled with bright and cheery things.  So now I have a little piece of spring in my living room while I await the snow melt.

This is the back of the pillow.  No buttons to fool with.  Easy in, easy out-- just in case he hates them!

1.  Measure size of existing pillow and add 1/2" seam allowance all the way around.  My pillow was 20" square, so I cut my squares at 21" allowing for 1/2" on all sides
2.  For pillow back, cut 2 pieces.  Divide by height OR width, depending on how you want your envelope oriented by 2, then add 4 ".  For example, 21"/2 = 10.5" + 4" = 14.5", so I cut two pieces with a width of 21 and a height of 14.5
3.  Hem the the bottoms of the back pieces with a 1.5" double hem (so, turn up 3/4", then turn up again, then stitch)
4.  Place front piece right side up, then the other pieces right side down so that they overlap each other, but are even with the front piece, pin, and sew all around with 1/2" allowance.
5.  Turn right side out and stuff with your pillow!

If you want more info on how to do this, I suggest the following website:
www.sew4home.com, or the book The Sewing Bible, as they both have great tips on pillow making!

Weather in the 40s the last few days - could it really be Spring?

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Six & a 1/2 weeks: Things are starting to get uncomfortable!

Thought I would give a pregnancy update, as I only have 6 1/2 weeks left until my "guess" date and things are starting to get uncomfortable.  
 The doctor's visit on Monday went well, but I have started the twice weekly "non-stress" tests that will continue from now until I have the baby.  Although they consider this a "normal" pregnancy, I think it's precautionary because of my "advanced" maternal age.  ha, ha.
 Definitely "Apple" shaped right now.  Every time I put something in the microwave, I accidentally turn on the oven because my belly hits the buttons.  More than once I've almost started the "self-clean" cycle.
Finally, with my boy Paddy.  We have had him one year and one week, and I can honestly say, he is the smartest dog I've ever owned.  Also one of the most lovable.  He has been spending a lot of time on my lap lately, even though he's a little big to be a lap dog.  We think he'll do fine with the upcoming changes, but only time will tell.

 I hope to get some sewing done this week, as I have been ignoring my sewing machine in favor of my knitting projects.  The baby hats are coming along great, and I didn't make any mistakes while on vacation that I couldn't fix myself!  Quite an accomplishment!

See you soon!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County
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