Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas video

If you'd like to see pictures and video from our Christmas morning, click here.  It was a very nice day.  Ruby doesn't really get it all yet (as evidenced by not wanting to put her hand into her stocking to pull out presents!) but she definitely enjoyed playing with her toys.  And Allen and I definitely enjoyed the gifts we gave and received. In the evening (and I don't have any pictures to document this, sorry) we went over to his grandparents' house for dinner and gift exchanging with the extended family.  Ruby did pretty well although it went past her bedtime. It was a great day.  I hope yours was, too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Almost Christmas...

Nearly midnight, what on earth am I still doing awake?! I've been working on the wedding dress, that's what!  I have finished all 5 bridesmaid dresses (well, two of them need to have the elastic fitted to the bridesmaids but that won't take long).  I have all the fabric cut out for the wedding dress, and today I did part of the bodice, all of the lining, and the train.  The pattern requires some rather tricky seamwork (I think they are called princess seams) where you have to match up a rounded shape to a straight line without it getting all puckered and gathered up.  Not to mention that the silky fabric is very slippery.  It's the kind of thing where you need to use a pin about every eighth of an inch!  It's going to be absolutely lovely on her when it is done.  That's what I remind myself!
I tried making cinnamon rolls but even after several hours, the dough is nowhere near doubled in size.  Bad yeast, perhaps.  I used a recipe I found online that called for rapid rise yeast, and I think I used regular yeast, which apparently made a difference.  Oh well.  I have an egg/sausage/cheese/apple casserole that's chilling overnight to bake for breakfast, so the cinnamon rolls were really just an afterthought anyway.
One of my parents' Christmas presents to Ruby was this cute little play kitchen.

It was most definitely a case of "some assembly required."  Thankfully, Allen (and his friend Daniel, who was hanging out with us this evening) were up to the task.  I think Ruby will be very excited to play with it.  Several people have asked me, "Is Ruby excited for Christmas?"  No, she is not...she doesn't understand it yet, and we haven't gone out of our way to try to make her understand it.  Her language is not to the point where she can really communicate what she does and doesn't understand when it comes to abstract ideas.  I am sure she will enjoy playing with her new toys tomorrow, but she doesn't know that they are going to be there.  Probably next Christmas, when she's 2 and a half, she'll have more awareness of the holiday.  It's the same with the new baby.  Although we have not kept it a secret from her, she doesn't really seem to understand what we're talking about when we say that she will have a baby brother next year.  I don't think it will really be real to her until he actually comes home from the hospital!  Everything else is too abstract.  I have been getting out a lot of baby stuff and rearranging closet space.  Yesterday I was rearranging her closet so that it would hold just her clothes that she has outgrown...and thinking, "Hmm, if we were having another girl, we would be all set for clothes!"  I went through Ruby's things, but very few of them were gender neutral or plain white in color.  Everyone was so excited for us that they got us lots of adorable pink, flowery, girly things!  I'm sure we'll amass a sizable collection of boy clothes, too.  I already got a bit of a start at the Salvation Army a few weeks ago: I found a very sweet little Halloween costume (a lion) and a blue onesie that has Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar on it.  I guess I'm having the nesting instinct that preggies go through.  25 weeks pregnant as of Thursday and everything good so far, thank you God!  
Okay, I should go wash dishes (because I probably wouldn't like to wake up to dirty dishes on Christmas morning, and Santa doesn't do dish duty).  The last two apartments we were in had dishwashers, and I'm still spoiled.  I'm just glad that the ants haven't been a problem in a while; that was the worst!  And if I had to choose between a dishwasher and a washer/dryer in house (as we have now), it's no contest that the washer/dryer is the better luxury item.  I imagine someday we'll be in a house or apartment that has a washer/dryer AND a dishwasher.  We're really very blessed to have all that we do.  
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
p.s. I forgot to show it off--and this isn't a great picture anyway--but I got a haircut a few weeks ago! I'm back to short hair and loving it!  Long hair was fun but I was good and ready to get back to easy short hair.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas-y pictures

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with flair, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there"

Like the penguins?  Allen has quite the collection of holiday stuffed animals from his youth.

Our little tree






Monday, December 5, 2011

Motherhood: when fashion concerns vanish

Anyone who sees what I am wearing today will find it hard to believe that a nickname of mine was ever "The Fashion Guru."  In truth, that nickname was probably ill-deserved, but in high school (well, starting in about 10th grade) I cared a lot about what I wore. I wore makeup to school almost every day for heaven's sake!  I can't tell you the last time I wore make up regularly...oh wait, how about high school?
It's not that I don't care about what I wear.  It's just that I care far more about other things:
1.  Does it fit?
Now that I am 6 months pregnant, I need to wear maternity pants.  I have precious few pairs of them, though, and only two that look in any way professional-quality, so those get saved for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday wearing.  The pairs that remain are mostly either stretch pants or sweats or somewhere in between.  Not fashionable.
2. Will it be ruined if it comes into contact with Ruby after she has eaten?
Ruby really enjoys feeding herself now, and although she's getting much better at manipulating a spoonful of yogurt or oatmeal, it's a safe bet that it will be all over her hands and face and probably clothes, too.  One careless move on my part, and I get smeared, too.  Whatever I wear must be machine washable, and preferably hide yogurt stains.
3. Is it comfy?
Back in the '90s there was a brilliant magazine ad campaign for a clothes company (I think Wrangler jeans, but I'm not sure).  I looked online to try to find it but couldn't.  The ad showed three outfits: one fancy, one slouchy, and one casual (featuring the Wranglers or whatever was being sold.)  Above the fancy one was the phrase, "Looks good, feels bad."  Above the slouchy one was the phrase, "Looks bad, feels good."  And, you guessed it, the third outfit said "Looks good, feels good."  I often think of that campaign when I am getting dressed these days.  Chances are that the clothes that satisfy criteria 1 and 2 listed above are also comfy and ALSO fall under the "Looks bad, feels good" category.  Allen is very patient and doesn't usually care what I'm wearing but he does dislike the big, formless, baggy, waistless-wastelands of sweats and XXL shirts or sweaters.  But they are so comfy!
4. Is it easy to get on and off?
I'm thinking of shoes here.  I have a pair of worn black leather clog things that really don't go with my sorry cadre of sweatpants and stretch pants (especially when worn, as today, with bright white athletic socks). They look terrible.  But they are really easy to get on and off without bending down to tie laces or anything, and that is a freakin' plus when you are (a) pregnant and (b) carrying a squirming toddler, a purse, a diaper bag, etc.
5.  Is it free (or cheap)?
I actually think maternity clothes can be really stylish and adorable.  I recently spent some moolah at the Motherhood Maternity store at the mall on a pair of nice looking maternity pants and a dress which can also be worn by non-preggies and look good.  But outfitting yourself in maternity clothes to the point where you actually have a selection to choose from is expensive!  Sometimes you strike it rich at Value Village or Goodwill or resale shops, but a lot of those maternity clothes are from a more ancient era which was much more into denim jumpers than my comfort level will allow.  I do have SOME standards still!  And then there is the guilt factor: can I really justify spending money on something that has such a limited lifespan?  I have gotten some good maternity hand me downs, and that's clearly the best solution...but it is also chancy whether the person you're getting them from is your size or not (which matters for pants more than for tops).
Today I'm wearing my clogs, white socks, stretch pants, a red Adidas sporty looking maternity shirt and a black hoodie.  My hair (hopeless case!) is back in its usual "I-don't-have-time-for-this!" bun.  One of these days I really will carry out my threat to get it all chopped off.  I may not be fashionable; I may even look silly.  But for the work I have on my to-do list today (cleaning, school work, laundry, Ruby patrol, and running errands), this is what works.  But lo, how the mighty have fallen!