This is totally late, but I can’t believe my boy is a month old! He’s growing so fast. I’m loving each new step he takes but it makes me kind of sad to see him start to grow out of his sweet little newborn outfits. One of the new goals I have set for myself is to learn to use our Canon Powershot to its fullest capabilities. That way I’ll either learn that I am not cut out for taking and editing good pictures or I’ll have validation to buy a nice SLR. So when Samuel hit the 4 week mark, I took a bunch of photos of him trying different angles and settings and edited them with Adobe Photoshop Express online. I figured out some good natural lighting in the nursery and I was able to get few shots that I’m actually pretty proud of. What a sweet boy.
When Daniel and I were dating I was in a play and, instead of a bouquet, he bought me a potted orchid. Now, my mom had a bunch of orchids growing in coconuts and pots on our front porch in Thailand and they were crazy easy to keep alive. You know. In a tropical paradise. In Arkansas? Not so much. I have slowly been killing that beautiful orchid for the past several years. I’m a champion houseplant killer. That exotic beauty never had a chance.
I’m cleared by the Dr. to start going back to normal activities now but when I was still on lockdown I was excited to find anything productive to do that didn’t require me to lift anything or be more active that I was supposed to be. Re-potting the deathbed orchid was a perfect opportunity to feel like I could accomplish something more than being a milk machine (which is a very important job, indeed, but still!). Getting out in the sun was a wonderful mood-lifter as well.
Here is how I re-potted my orchid!
First I gathered all of my tools.
- My nearly dead orchid
- Orchid Book with re-potting directions
- New Pot
- Potting material (orchids don’t live in regular soil)
- Big bowl or bucket for soaking the potting material with water the night before
- Hand shovel and gloves
- The new tiny orchid we bought when we picked up the potting mix. It was 50% off. We couldn’t resist.
If your orchid looks like this, you need to re-pot it. And maybe give up houseplants altogether I personally don’t know when to quit. Mine used to have two big stalks and lots of leaves on it. Poor orchid. I should be ashamed.
First I soaked the potting mix with equal parts water the night before. I drained off the excess water before I started re-potting. I also gave the orchids a good soaking so it would be easier to clean the potting medium off the roots. Once I carefully freed the roots from the old potting medium I snipped off all the brown and/or mushy bits of root.
There was a lot to cut off. I ended up with only one long and two short stalks of healthy, bright green root. Oh, poor, poor, abused Orchid.
I planted the orchid in the potting mix up to the the leaf just like you would any other plant. The good news? There IS a new leaf growing next to the big one. YAY! Hopefully it will survive the shock of the re-potting. The book says that’s a possibility. The potting medium isn’t very pretty so I added a decorative covering. Daniel had some leftover green mossy stuff from the egg-laying box for the geckos. Isn’t he sweet to share with me? I can’t remember what that stuff is called but it’s pretty
I also re-potted the tiny new orchid into a bigger pot. After doing a little more research I realized I should have waited on this one until it was finished blooming. Whoops. It’s been two weeks though and it seems to be doing OK and not trying to die on me so maybe I didn’t kill it. See? I should probably not try to grow Orchids. Seriously. Who makes one last attempt to save a plant they’ve almost killed and buys another one in the process? Cause the first one worked out so well. But see how pretty?
This poor kid. I fear that, after this day and age of people documenting every little thing, our kid is going to come home from school some day and ask, eyes filled with confused tears, why THEY don’t have a snazzy memory book filled with weekly updates of their gestation and belly pictures of me. ”Didn’t you love me, Mama? Didn’t you WANT me?” they’ll ask with a shaking voice. I’ll have to reply, “Oh, sweetie. Mama was afraid that if she wrote it all down she’d actually remember what it was like and then never have another baby ever again.” Plus it would have been really boring. But, just in case it will save me some time and maybe therapy money down the road, here is a quick recap of the past 6 months.
Weeks 4-8: Shhhhh! Nobody knows about the baby other than a few people at work who have noticed Mama’s constant emergency trips to the bathroom. Mama doesn’t look any fatter. Probably because she’s either barfing or trying not to barf every second of every day.
Week 9: Granny and Pike know! They are very excited. Mama’s pants are starting to get tight but she’s still barfing barfing barfing. She can’t wait for the first trimester to be over so she can quit barfing. Also she hasn’t pooped in two weeks and she’s not too thrilled about that.
Week 12: First trimester is over! We’ve announced our happy news on Facebook and on Mama’s blog. Still barfing but the Dr. says that will definitely be gone by week 15. There are also many naps at this point. Growing a human is exhausting!
Week 15: Mama’s Dr. is a lying sack of poo. Mama would like to punch her real hard but it would probably make Mama barf. Everything else does. Mama is starting to feel little somethings in her belly but she’s not sure if it’s baby or if she just needs to toot.
Week 20: Mama only barfs first thing in the morning now! Or if she waits too long to eat. Or if she smells something weird. Baby movements are clear at this point and sometimes Daddy can even feel little movements from the outside. He says it feels like Mama has gas. He’s so sweet. We had an anatomy scan and it looks like the baby is coming along nicely with everything where it is supposed to be. Only the ultrasound tech knows the sex, not even Mama’s lying Dr. knows because, on top of lying about morning sickness, she also apparently can’t keep a secret.
Week 23: Mama had a strange pain the day after Christmas that went something like this: Back spasm? Braxton Hicks? Dear Lord I’m dying something is wrong call the Dr. NOW!!!!! Turns out Mama has a kidney stone (or a bunch, who knows?). And kidney stones hurt real bad, mmkay? Lots of water, heating pads, scalding hot baths and the occasional guilt-ridden pain pill are helping Mama endure the pain that some people are telling her is worse than childbirth. Mama didn’t want to take the pills at all but she was no match for a worried Daddy AND visiting Granny and Pike. If they discover later that they cause some horrible birth defect like being allergic to chocolate, you can blame your Granny. Also, the not pooping is back. What the heck?
Week 24: Mama saw her Dr. this week and her Dr. basically said “Yah, nothing we can do. Suck it up.” So Mama cried in her car for a long time then drove home where she pretty much cried the rest of the night. Because having kidney stones when you are pregnant sucks the big one. She would rather be moving furniture out of the guest bedroom to get ready to set up the nursery but instead she’s stuck on the couch attached to her heating pad most of the time.
So there you are, sweet child of mine. That takes care of the first 6 months of your existence. I will try to remember to do a weekly update on Thursday or Friday every week for the rest of your stay in my belly so you don’t have to feel like a total outcast among your pretentious little hipster spawn classmates with their fancy “When I was a zygote” storybooks. Night Night!
We did a pretty decent job in the past week on our Experimental Collective homework. For the “action” phase of our 6 weeks we planned to spend a week at a time on the following areas.
- Week 1: Living Room and Sun Room
- Week 2: Master Bedroom
- Week 3: Spare Bedroom (Future Nursery)
- Week 4: Laundry/Storage Room
We realized fairly quickly that two rooms was a little ambitious but we really didn’t have quite as much to get rid of in either of these rooms as we use most of what was in the living room and I just recently cleaned and organized the sun room. The only thing we ended up doing in there this time was pull more books from our bookshelves to trade in for credit at Dickson Street Book Shop and then donate the leftovers. I could have probably spent a week going through my craft and knitting supplies and just reorganizing the books. SOME DAY I will have those books organized by the Dewey Decimal System. It’s my dream. I’l also have some cool program that I can use my phone to scan in each book’s bar code and have a full catalog of every book we own. Then people will have to officially check books out if they want to borrow them. *sigh*
In the living room we added to a box of DVDs that we don’t really care about keeping. We’ll be taking these over to Hastings to get some trade-in credit there. I cleared off the hutch that had become a catch-all spot and put up the nativity set. Even though we don’t have our tree yet, that, our Advent calendar and constant Christmas music make me feel festive. I also cleared the bottom shelf of the book shelf of the photos and photo albums to keep Luna’s dog toys and pet supplies in an old fruit box I got at a swap meet this summer for just a few bucks. The photo albums went down on the bookshelves in the sun room and I put our photo books that I’ve had printed on the walls in hooks for hanging plates. It’s a handy way to showcase them so that you can actually see the cover art instead of just the spine as they sit on a bookshelf.
As nice as it feels to have cleared out a little clutter, I didn’t personally feel anything spiritual or clarifying in week one. I didn’t have a hard time getting rid of anything I threw away, pulled aside to sell or got ready to donate. Week two has begun a little more difficultly, though.
Tonight I started by clearing off my nightstand; tossing trash and organizing. That was not a problem. Neither was going through the night stand drawers and getting rid of undies and worn out socks. It became a little more painful when I switched to the pile of clothes on top of my dresser and my PJs and workout clothes drawer and the bins under the bed. Some of the skirts I put in the donate pile are skirts that I have really loved over the years. However, I am following the advice of a dear friend and getting rid of pretty much my entire pre-baby wardrobe unless it’s something I just know I can’t get rid of. Three of the skirts I forced myself to part with tonight have been staples in my wardrobe for a long time. I figured that 7 years might be long enough and it was time to let them go. It was difficult to put them in the bag but I made myself do it. Part of me is worried that I’ll be kicking myself and longing for my favorite outfits come next summer but I feel ok with my decision for now.
I had no hesitation at all when it came to the shoes under my bed. I used to wear the heck out of all of my little kitten heels from target but I can’t even stand to wear those anymore. I don’t understand how I ever kept those dang things on my feet. So away they go along with almost every other pair of heels I own. I kept a brown pair and a black pair of work heels and my red weeding shoes. I know I’ll never wear those red shoes again. The stupid things gave me blisters before I even walked down the aisle, but I’m just not ready to donate them yet. The rest of my shoes are on a rack by the front door.
So now I am exhausted and ready for bed. But I think that was a pretty successful start to week two of our Experimental Collective on Simplicity. Although, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure there is one more bin of summer clothes that I didn’t fit into this summer when I WASN’T pregnant so I’m certain they won’t fit me next summer when I have a new baby so away they’ll be going tomorrow! I think I’ll dig into the closet and do a big purge in there so Daniel’s clothes will have a little more room. Then Daniel will have to tackle his dresser and see about thinning out the two entire drawers full of t-shirts.
And I was doing so well! Twenty days in a row is the longest into November I’ve gone for National Blog Posting Month so I’d say I didn’t do too terribly. I shold have scheduled some posts for the week of Thanksgiving. We were so beat by the time we got to Memphis on Wednesday night that I completely forgot about a post for the day. After that it was just easy to give up for the week and visit with Daniel’s family.
On Thanksgiving Day I got up early with my little cooking schedule and cooked Thanksgiving dinner with the help of Daniel’s Aunt Jan (not to mention her brother who sent up TWO trays of homemade dressing). We planned to eat at noon and the ten of us were digging in at 12:25. Success!
Daniel climbed up in the attic and pulled down the toy box that his grandad made for him when he was little. It needs a little bit of love to fix a few things and I had to spend some quality time with it and a bottle of Goo Gone to peel off a sticker, but we are so thrilled to be able to have such a meaningful piece in the baby’s room!
Now we just need to find someone to fix the joints and the bottom. The toy box isn’t put together with nails, it has something like tongue and groove joints on the edges holding it together, which it neat, but a few are pulling apart. There is a missing brace on the bottom as well so it doesn’t sit evenly right now, but once we get those fixed it is going to be the perfect addition to the nursery. The room is still the guest bedroom full of junk right now but that will be changing next week in Week 2 of our Simplicity Experiment. Can’t wait!
Tonight we met with our Simplicity Experimental Collective to share our decisions on what excesses we will be eliminating from our lives over the next 4 weeks. Some are cutting back on excess stuff. Some are cutting back on stress by getting more sleep or carving out more open time during the day. Some are pointing their aim at food. It was clear that a lot of thought went into everyone’s decision making process over the last week. I am enjoying this chance to get to know friends on new levels and to begin to get to know new friends through this experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Experimental Collectives are the way to go for me. This format reaches me in a way that church small groups never have.
Our homework between now and next Tuesday is to work up written plans on how we will execute our experiments For some it will be a simple (not easy, just simple) plan: don’t go on Facebook or drink coffee. For others it will require a lot of research and planning ahead; choosing how to radically pair down foods in a healthy and impactful way and planning menus in advance. For Daniel and me it means deciding how we want to go about getting rid of our extra stuff. Will we go by genre of stuff? One room each week? Number of items per day? Will we sell things on Craigslist? Donate to thrift stores? Hold items back to possibly use in a Vintage Fellowship sale or thrift store booth to raise money for a cause? What measures will we use to decide if we are being successful along the way? I do know that we are both extremely motivated to make this move. We will have some hard decisions to make in the next several weeks and I wouldn’t be surprised if some tears were shed. This is a tiny house and the two of use have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years living on our own. I’m sure we will probably be learning a lot about which attachments to objects are healthy and which need to be broken. It’s a lofty goal and Daniel doesn’t think it’s possible, but I want to get this house feeling empty before we start adding lots of baby furniture and items. That may not happen in the next six weeks. It may take a few rounds of purging before we get there, but I’m determined. It might mean some sacrifices, some of them painful, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
Wish us luck and stay tuned!
I had a great start to my Monday this morning.
After I got around and completed my morning ritual of hanging over the toilet for a few minutes (I feel like all I ever talk about on here is barfing or trying not to barf) I checked my email and found that I had won a copy of Rachel Held Evans’ new book “A Year of Biblical Womanhood!” I have been dying to read this book and waiting anxiously for it to come out!
Rachel Held Evans is kind of a superstar in my eyes, in big part because she often stands up to Mark Driscoll and his insane and offensive macho drivel. Which I sort of totally love. I nearly peed all over myself one day when she commented on my friend’s Facebook wall. Because he knows her. I haven’t met many famous people so the fact that my friend is friends with a famous person who I admire sends me into dizzy spells.
I won the book from a blog giveaway at Kurt Willems’ blog The Pangea Blog over at Patheos. So a big fat Thank You to Kurt for feeding my book addiction and decided girl crush on Rachel Held Evans. I seriously can’t type just part of her name. I have to type the whole thing.
I can’t wait to read it! I’ll be back with a review sometime later. I’m not sure how long it will take to get the book plus I have to finish up Fundamorphosis first. :)
Suddenly the Holiday Season has begun. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I think I have more work events scheduled already than I will have personal social ones. Seriously. We had one potluck for Thanksgiving and are planning another one sometime after Christmas. Between now and Christmas we will also have a cookie exchange, an Ugly sweater contest day, a Dirty Santa gift exchange, a blood drive (not that I’m participating in THAT one) and an after-hours Christmas party.
In just a few days it will be Thanksgiving and I’ll be cooking lots of food for Daniel’s family (yay!) I love cooking for people. Especially when that gets to be my plans for the day instead of fitting it in with all the other stuff I usually have to do. So we are preparing for that meal and making lists for stuff for us to buy and stuff for Daniel’s dad to pick up and what to take with us for when we’re just hanging out. I will probably spend too much time looking through my knitting books and yarn stash and deciding if I should knit some Christmas presents or baby stuff. Then I will bring way too many projects with me because I KNOW I will get tired of or frustrated with a project if I only bring one or two. I need options!
We’ll also need to get the house company-ready for our Simplicity Experimental Collective meeting Tuesday night. I love having groups meet at our house SO MUCH! It’s so much less stressful for me, I get to welcome people into our home and I don’t have to hurry and figure out what to do for dinner plus it is the best motivation for keeping the place cleaned up! This week we will be discussing what we chose for our “Eliminating Excess” experiment. Our homework for the week of Thanksgiving is to make a plan. Some will require more of this than others. Robb (Who wrote a book, by the way) was excited that we aren’t starting to execute our experiments until next week because he was thinking of simplifying to only a few foods (7) to eat for the three weeks we’ll be experimenting and he refused to start during the Thanksgiving Feast. I don’t blame him. I’ve seen Vanessa’s Thanksgiving Dinner Photos. Daniel and I have decided to choose “Stuff” as our item of excess to eliminate. We have got to simplify, first of all because we don’t have room for what we have now, let alone a baby. Secondly I just want to bring the baby home to a simpler way of living than we have now. But I hope to get into that in a post on Tuesday. I’m excited and nervous. It’s going to be a wonderful experience, though, I know it.
Today we took dinner to our dear friends Sara and Jamal who brought home their sweet boy, Eli, this week. This little dude is partly responsible for our little munchkin’s timing because Jamal was ever so slightly relentless in telling us to hurry up already so our kids would be in the same grade and we could be clueless first time parents together. And they will and we will! Eli is a little stinker and flipped himself breech so his mama had to have a C-section earlier in the week to retrieve him. Oh, and he was 10 pounds and 21 inches long. O_O
I’m going to be perfectly honest here and admit that I was nervous to go see him because I was afraid his giant baby-ness would scare the crap out of me. And he did. Yup, just a little. He’s such a little sweetie but he is almost as big as I was when I was 6 months old! Daniel was apparently an enormous baby and quite barrel chested. I do not approve. Neither do my lady bits. Since the moment I got the text with Eli’s stats on the day he was born I have been telling our baby that it better take after its mom. Lots of the women in my April 2013 pregnancy group on The Bump have already been feeling their babies flutter around for a while so I have decided to convince myself that I haven’t felt anything yet because our baby is tiny and is going to stay that way! Everyone just laughs at me. Hey, denial is a nice place to be when your friend just had a 10 pound baby.
PREGNANCY PERK OF THE DAY
When people are about to spray toxic chemicals in your office to Scotch Guard the new furniture everyone unanimously agrees, without you even bringing it up, that you should leave work early so you don’t breath any of the fumes.