Little Girl's Nursey (Sneak Peak)

Here is where Lil' girl will be resting her sweet head during her first several months. I love this moses basket and holder, the minkey blanket and bunny, AND the beautifully handmade, original pillow by Heather at LulluBelle's Couture.

Don't worry - I know that I must remove all the pretty stuff before I actually put her down.

DIY: Cloth Wipes

If you are going to venture into sing cloth diapers, you might as well bite the bullet and use cloth wipes. They aren't really going to "add" to the laundry any....and they are budget and earth friendly.

I made mine last night (for free), a big thanks to ye' 'ol Purple Martin fabric stock. Sure do miss my business. Anyhow. It was too easy. Get some flannel, cut it to the size you would like (I chose 8x10 rectangles) , serge the edges. Done and Done.

A great deal...

 Friday morning I woke up to an empty bed at 6:00am in the morning. Naturally, called out for Hubs. Hubs was very patiently doing his morning reading...so, I slipped out of the bed, grabbed my Bible, and proceeded to join him. When we had each finished our respective readings for the days, I was told, "Get dressed. We're going on a date." It was 6:30 in the morning?!

I'm told street clothes are fine. No hiking boots, layers, or swimwear needed. We load up and drive. We're talking and for the first time since a few very well planned Christmas dates years ago, I really have no idea where we are going. Enter the IHOP.

Hubs and I have few guilty pleasures in life - IHOP is one of them. We love going to IHOP. The waitresses are always pleasant, we sit for hours (at least) and have some of the best conversations ever, and we just ARE for a few moments. You're never over-dressed or under-dressed at the IHOP. IHOP is indeed the great equalizer.

So, somehow we got it into our head that we needed to go to Sears. Sears doesn't open until 10am. Stay with me, it's only 6:35am when we arrive at the IHOP. We kill a few hours and then head to Target. We look at baby stuff, buy a diaper pail, and still have an hour to kill. So, over to Kohl's where Hubs buys a belt and a wallet (on sale, of course). He's needed a belt for the past EVER. I'm very glad he finally just bit the bullet and bought one. Then, we head to Sears - we check out a few things, buy nothing, move on. Then, on the way home we notice a Sears Outlet. AWESOME.

You have to dig, but they have a few great deals. For example, Lands' End crib skirt and crib pillow sham for the low low price of $5....total. I thought they might dress up lil' girl's simple quilt...and then I put them next to the quilt - disaster. One pink is too red, one is too purple. CLASH city.

So, I go to JoAnne's and purchase RIT in scarlet. Leave the items in for 5 minutes and WALL-LA. A now coral, faded red crib skirt. Considering it cost a grand total of $8, I am pretty psyched. 

FINALLY Finished Object: Baby Girl's Quilt

Last night I finished Lil' Miss' quilt.

It is my first ever completed quilt. First time with batting and batting. First time binding. First time with those mitered corners. Needless to say when it was all said and done, I did my very own lil' pregnant lady happy dance. Then, the true test came: would it make it through it's first wash or would it fray beyond recognition and be reduced to one tiny scrap of very pretty fabric.I stayed up until around 11:30pm waiting for it to fully dry and was met with SUCCESS! Yay. Lil' one can come now - well, in about 4-5 weeks.

Next projects in the queue: nursing cover, baby sling, Christmas stocking. I'll keep you posted.


New Ground Rules for the Blog

With baby girl almost here, the Hubs and I are really thinking about HOW we use the blog. We supposedly have a shared blog: The Georgia-gonians, but Hubs is "in charge" of that one and has a love/hate relationship with Blogger; it rarely gets updated. So, we have recognized the fact that most friends and family will start looking at my blog more regularly for updates, stories, etc. once our lil' one is here. So, we've been thinking a lot about the blog, those who can view it, and how we will employ it to protect our privacy and our lil' girl (you never know).

I immediately voted for making it a "private" blog. A Day's Grace has had a good run. It's a fun blog and I have had so much fun meeting new people through it, but I definitely want to know whose looking at it once I begin posting pictures or videos of our family on a more regular basis. Hubs votes to keep it public - mostly, because some of our family (on occasion) are not as technically savvy & he wants to avoid having to walk several folks through the "registering to view a private blog" process.

What do you all think? I know that I have tons of friends and family (with kiddos) who have both private and public blogs. How do, did, will, or would you navigate this situation?

You can leave comments OR vote using the poll to the right.

A baby is being born today!

No. Not ours. Sorry, but I LOVE titles that make you all gasp.

Matt and I have some good friends, we'll call them the K & J. They live in Georgia and we have known them since before our engaged, married, Oregon days. We spent many a day playing on rocks and many a night playing Canasta.

K & J have been blessed with two beautiful little girls and are just awesome parents and people. We love them.

We found out earlier this summer that K & J were planning on adopting their third child, a little boy. Got word via facebook that lil' boy is being born today! We are so super psyched for them.

Please, pray for baby and birth momma. This a a hard thing for any woman to do - and she is really making such a selfless choice by choosing to place her child with a family who can provide a more stable life right now.

Pray for K & J and family as they make their way to their little new one. It will be a bit of a drive. Pray for safety and that everything will go smoothly.


I'm So Crafty, I Make People

Hubs and I found this online a few days back. He's been howling over it ever since. Seriously, while doing the most random tasks, he will just burst out laughing and then say to himself, "I'm so crafty, I make people!" BWAHAHAH. Hilarity ensues.

A gal over on ETSY used to make a maternity shirt with this picture on it and hubs was ready to purchase. Alas, she seems to be on hiatus from her shop and I will not be rockin' this cute lil' tee. Nevertheless, I thought I would share this quite cheeky saying with you. Enjoy.


DIY: Dishwashing Liquid

Hubs and I are increasingly aware of the number of useless plastic bottles we throw into the recycling every week. Not to mention that most of these made-for-you cleaning agents are meant to keep costs low for the company, but consumers and the environment end up paying much more than anticipated - exposure to toxins, chemicals, and other not-so-goodies.

This being said, our family has started to make a lot of our own cleaning agents. I started by replacing my shampoo and conditioner (Hubs has yet to join me on this one - and regrettably, he misses the smell of Herbal Essences in my hair), we then made our own laundry detergent, we tried a few items like homemade "Drano" and Carpet cleaner - with mixed results, and now, we are onto DIY dish liquid.

So, I am using this recipe from ThriftyFun. I can't find octagon soap anywhere in Portland. So, I have replaced octagon soap with Kirk's Pure Castile. Make sure that you are using the ounces of soap required for the recipe and not just replacing bar by bar. Not all bars are created equally - I had to use three Kirk's bars for two Octagon bars. You can also use Zote (1 Zote bar = 2 Octagon bars) - which I know my friends in Georgia can find. It is a Mexican soap and can be found most easily in areas with larger Hispanic populations. 

It took about 10 minutes to make. Cost next to nothing....and I'll be left with 4.5 QUARTS of dish liquid. I'll post results as soon as I have actually tried it.

A whole 10 followers!

I have a whole ten followers! Yay, team!


What are we going to do?

I'll be honest in saying that right now (as in RIGHT NOW) everything that should be settled for us as a family is up in the air.

Our life is one little multi-colored kite frantically flying off shore with a storm fast approaching tethered by a small little string to a rock. Granted our rock is pretty big: Creator of the Universe, The God who sees Us, The resurrected and living Son of God, The Trinity. Our Rock is huge. Nevertheless, sometimes being smacked around while so far up in the air in what could be very scary conditions can get the best of you...and you simply lose your wind. You lose the desire to fly. Your color fades.  Our string is stretched beyond what seems possible over and over again - moment by moment.

Are you picking up on every single way I can stretch this metaphor? 

Hubs has been unemployed for over a year.  His days are filled with the writing of cover letters, the sending of resumes, the filling out of endless e-applications, and "inevitable" rejection. It's hard to face that every day.

I'm 33 weeks pregnant. I still don't have a contract for next year. My administration can't give me definitive answers and my district is in the middle of major budget cuts and a hiring freeze. My heart is no longer in my job, but my baby and I just can't get excited about having to travel 45+ minutes each way to do what will be an insanely difficult job. 

So, where is my Rock? I feel like we are weathering the storm, only to be met with more clouds - which is pretty much the Pacific Northwest.

Please. We need a refuge. We need a safe place. We need some light in the darkness and anxiously await a joy that will come in the morning. Amen


The 3 traitors are back!

My three traitor discs are threatening a coup. We were cleaning this morning - and no, I was not moving anything. I was plugging something in (Mom and Jane). I was not trying to be a horse-woman or a super lady. I was plugging in a lamp and *SNAP* the tragic, electric, and well-known feeling of a back spasm was upon me and I made my way to the floor. We quickly got the ice, put my legs up perpendicularly to the floor, and started stretching. Walking and sitting upright were pretty painful. So, I just wait and hope that all this will work itself out. I can't take any kind of muscle relaxers or pain medications...so, I sit and wait.


Everyone should have friends like mine

 Most mornings I wake up, grab a cup of coffee, kiss the hubs, and sign onto the email & facebook. Being so far away from most of my social circle - this helps me feel like I'm still somewhat a part of it all and aware of what is happening in lives. Phone calls can be difficult with the time difference and as I learned last month - expensive when one forgets that their free minutes don't kick in until it's 12AM in the Southeast.

Anyhow, that being said. I'm blessed when my buds are online and willing to chat to me. I'm blessed when they call me on their way home from working late, when they plan baby showers from across the country - pretty much whenever. I'm blessed.

My friend, Melissa Pepin, a most amazingly talented photographer is one of these friends. Not only did she help host a baby shower, give us a place to stay while in Athens, and make us homemade cookies and cheesecake - she took time out of a REALLY busy 115 degree day to take maternity pictures for us. These pictures are courtesy of Melissa Pepin Photography. If you live anywhere in Southeast (and she's been known to travel elsewhere)- you want this girl taking your pictures.

Thank you, Melissa (and Anthony) for being amazing folks who never cease to leave us encouraged. We love you guys. 

32 Weeks - only 56 days to go!

We went in for our 32 week check-up on Wednesday. It was par for the course as far as check-ups go. Doc checked out lil' girl's heartbeat - looking good. Doc measured my belly - measuring normal because she didn't state otherwise. Doc then asked if I had any questions. I woke up that morning in a bit of pain - so she gave me a quick check. No worries. I'm not dilated.

Baby girl is head down and looking like she is in a good position for a normal (no C-section birth). Her bottom is pushing up towards my ribs. Doc thought it was her noggin at first, then came to the conclusion that Sose must have a bone-y bottom - that's my girl! She has a strong little heartbeat that always makes our doc smile and she is constantly in motion. Soooo looking forward to meeting her.


A Cry for Help

Today I was watching one of those baby-story-type television programs while sorting through a ton of pink blankets, burp cloths, towels, and bibs needing to be pre-washed. The follows a new family for the first 36 hours after baby was back home. Yeah, I obviously had nothing better to do.

Anyhow, at one point the new dad said something along the lines of, "I was really worried about the baby's cries getting on my nerves or being insufferable, but it really just seems like he is calling my name." How neat that in God's design of babies, he made their little newborn squeals not only "sufferable," but familiar and heartwarming.

I feel much like a newborn baby at this point in my life. My surroundings are still really unfamiliar and ever changing. Nothing seems certain and all is scary. I can't claim certainty in the provision of a next meal, a warm place to sleep, or even the clothing on our backs. I don't know if the worldly comfort I am feeling will continue or if in the blink of an eye it'll be gone.

That being said, Hubs and I have been crying out to God a lot lately. Not simple prayers, but cries of desperation. In my flesh, I think that there is some secret code or word I have to speak to see God move. Will I have a contract when the baby is born? Will Hubs get a job? Will we be in Portland or will God move us elsewhere?

It's always nice to remember that my cries for help and guidance are never annoying to God. He doesn't hear a high pitched shriek and turn His face from me. He here's a baby calling His name and waiting on His move to provide.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your sovereignty. Help me to wait patiently for what You have for us. Blessed be Your name.


Sneak Peek: Baby Quilt

Finally finished lil' girl's quilt top. Here is  a little sneak peak for everyone. I'm holding it in the picture - so, the quilt is drooping in the middle a bit. But, tomorrow batting, backing, and binding. YAY. Maybe Hubs will let me buy some fabric to cover our couch pillows too?!


DIY: Stain Remover

So, the DIY detergent has been a dream. It is gentle on clothing, cleans well, deodorizes, and generally does an overall great job with very little impact on our budget. We've even been pleased to see that it is highly recommended for washing baby clothes as well - which I'm pretty psyched about as I feel like Dreft is just the biggest scam out there.

We have been so pleased with our DIY detergent that as Lil' Girl's arrival approaches, we our expanding our greener, DIY-ness into other areas of house cleaning.

Let's talk about stain removal.

The Hubs and I went to Vancouver, BC recently. While there we went to Don Guacamole's. It was decent. I had the mole. My white pants and Hub's white shirt also got a taste of the mole. Immediately, I gave up on these items. Every mole recipe is different - so, there is no predicting what is actually in the mixture. It is safe to say, however, that you are dealing with the stain trifecta of "ain't never comin' out" - chocolate, maybe tomato paste, and oil.  We caught Hub's stain immediately and treated it with a soak. Didn't catch the stain in my white pants until it had already dried two days later. BLEH.

I hate stains. I take it personally when they don't come out. I kind of obsess about them. That being said, I immediately went to work trying to figure out how to get rid of a stain using what was in my house - instead of going out and buying a specialty item. So, first, I cheated and put some Shout on it and gave it a warm wash. The Shout did nothing. So, after some of my own shouting, I made a paste from our homemade detergent and scrubbed the affected spots with a toothbrush (for both chocolate and tomato elements of stain)- this followed by another warm wash - some improvement. Lastly, I took some of our homemade liquid dish detergent and scrubbed again with the toothbrush (this is particularly recommended for oil stains) - stains on the shirt, gone. For the white pants, I caved and washed one more time with some Clorox. Hubs LUVS Clorox and our hous will just not be without it.

All in all, I was really pleased to be able to salvage two favorite pieces of clothing, as well as our budget. 



I have the best husband ever

This week we celebrated the Hubs' birthday. I'll start with the statement that I married one of the best men (if not the best man) on the planet. He has a big heart, a great laugh, and is simply the kind of guy who makes everyone around him want to be better. When I met the Hubs I immediately knew that he was my best friend, my perfect compliment, and the ideal partner in crime. Here's to you, honey!

You are the catalyst to all my adventures and gambles. Coming face to face with bears, almost dying in 3ft of water, being shark bait, and heading West - I cried the whole way, but it has been so worth it.

You've always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and conquer my fears. I know that I would still be struggling with so many mindsets had you not been diligent to keep me accountable and push me towards healing.

You always do those things that I don't want to - never complaining. Yard work, cooking, bills. You take care of me and always in such a way that is completely self-less. I don't deserve it.

You prayed for our babies - even before you even knew you were ready to be a dad. You held me each time we lost them and reassured me each time we became pregnant. You were steady and had faith - when I was completely broken.

Even now. I know it's been the hardest year of our life. You have smiled through it all...and kept me laughing the whole way.

I love you.  



Matt's status on gmail today was "T-minus 2 months." Of course, referring to his countdown to daddy-hood. YAY. So, excited and we can't wait to meet her.