Introducing...


Cora Jane Gokie
born 12/13/16 at 8:07 p.m.
weight 8 lbs 10 oz.

We are all very much in love with her, even if she is causing more sleep loss in the past 6 days than Kate has in her entire life. :) Birth story will be coming shortly (my few male readers, you've been forewarned) as soon as I get a chance to write it all out. Trying not to procrastinate so I make sure and remember everything!

Thank you again for all your prayers & well-wishes for our family in the last few months. We are over the moon excited about this little girl and just love her so much.

love,
the Gokie family of FOUR

Baby quilt #2, finished!

As you may have heard me mention about 100 times on the blog, one of the things I am going to try and do for each baby we're blessed with is sew them a quilt. I have no lofty plans for baby books, or scrapbooking, or anything else to continue child to child, but I decided to choose sewing a really complicated project in the 9 months of pregnancy as the one thing I could do instead...because I thought it would be more feasible?? (I don't know, you guys.)

In case you'd like to peek into the past, here's my post for the quilt we sewed for Kate, and some plans I had for this one when we started.

Like I said in that planning post, we decided to go pretty much opposite of Kate's quilt in terms of complicated aspect. Her quilt was really complicated in the piecing, especially for both David and I who are not expert quilters, but then we just quilted in the ditch. This time around we pieced 6 very easy squares together and tried our hands at free motion quilting.



After the piecing, David quilted the two yellow squares and the green one, and I quilted the other 3. Originally I had thought we'd do the same pattern on all the squares, and then I thought maybe we'd do a different one on each one, but David really liked his spiral pattern so he stuck with that on his 3 and I changed it up each time.


David's handiwork ^^^. Who says men can't quilt? (He is a lot more meticulous than me, so he's really the better person for a quilting job just in general. And he doesn't complain when I make him do the boring ironing parts or make sure my cuts are straight.)


The blue on the above photo turned out to be my favorite "pattern" of the ones I did. I will say, quilting free-motion takes some getting used to, especially on just a regular sewing machine like we have, but it was a lot of fun at the same time to get to experiment and try new things.

My biggest regret from this quilt was the batting we picked. I thought we had picked the same kind as last time, but after piecing the top and doing the actual quilting, I realized it was a lot less dense/lofty than the other one...and we were much too invested to pick something different. So next time I quilt I will hopefully look back on these posts and remember which one not to get! The less-dense batting makes it feel more just like a blanket, rather than a fluffy quilt, which especially since this baby is a winter baby is kind of unfortunate but - you live and learn.


All in all, I'm very pleased with how our work came out. We kind of put off finishing it til it was stressing me out, but since it's finished before the baby, we're all good.

Having finished this, I'm now into the season of knitting and other hand-craft things, so I'm making slow progress on the blanket I started 20 years ago (joke, but knitting a blanket is SO LONG and BORING and it never seems to get any bigger). I want to knit Kate a few ear muffs for the winter, because she doesn't like messing her hair up with a hat and her ears are always so cold...plus a toddler-sized headband will be a very quick project. Maybe this baby will let me knit while holding them, you never know! (And I've never tried!)

What crafts have you been working on? I'm always looking for more projects to start and then subsequently take months to finish... :)
HG

The finish line, aka nesting projects galore

By that I don't mean that I've had this baby -- oh no, I'm still very very pregnant and not exactly all that thrilled about it -- but rather, I can see the finish line and it's somehow making me feel better and a lot worse all at the same time. #39weeks

David's been complaining that I haven't written any blog posts in awhile, because he's a very loyal husband blog reader, but my brain has been such a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions and yet at the same time extremely blank because I'm so tired that blogging has not exactly been on the priority list.

Instead I've been alternating bursts of nesting energy with longggg stretches on the couch. In the nesting vein, I've organized my sock and underwear drawer, sewn a pouf for a footrest (see below!), made David help me rearrange the shoes in my closet because I can't reach the top shelf, finished the baby quilt, scrubbed the kitchen floor (okay, Swiffered the kitchen floor), cleaned our bathroom top to bottom, completed a Nativity peg doll exchange, hung up pictures, batch cooked approximately 20 THM dinners and 40 THM breakfasts for post-baby with my mom and sisters, and probably some other things I can't remember. We also decorated for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving and I've been finishing up the last couple projects I need to do for work before my maternity leave starts.

And I've also been spending plenty of time trying to nap when I can and sitting on my butt because everything is pretty exhausting at this point. Lest you think it's all productive around here -- it's sooooo not. haha.

The last piece of the nursery puzzle to be completed was the pouf I sewed very last minute. I had been debating on whether to buy a pouf online, or just get the foot rest that matched the glider we got from Target, but everything was so dang expensive. I could not justify $50+ for a pouf that looked like someone spent 10 minutes sewing it, and the glider's foot rest wasn't all that appealing either for $100+. So I DIY-ed it!

I followed this tutorial loosely but changed the dimensions and also just used home decor fabric instead of IKEA rugs. (Although I love the idea of using rugs for an outdoor seating idea! Someday in the future.) Some alterations to her "pattern": I made my squares all 22", which ended up making it a leeetle bigger than I had anticipated, but that's alright. I also had to buy two bags of the polyfil material, (affiliate link!) here on Amazon, but that still made it way cheaper than purchasing one.


The above pictures are my steps, not very well pictured but you should get the gist.
1. Sewing the sides together - I was not very precise on my cuts, and pinned them together just so I didn't have to hold them. Speed was the name of the game.
2. I laid out my pieces and wrote on the backs of them to match my pattern because my pregnancy brain was guaranteed to make a mistake if I didn't.
3. All 6 22" squares folded!
4. My very very fancy pattern written out. Like I said, not a complex pattern but I was sure that I'd mess something up.
5. Sewing all the sides together was super quick, and I double-stitched each one because I'm still nervous a certain toddler might attack the pouf and pop it if we're not careful and I didn't want little poly beads everywhere.
6. I think I bought 2 yards of fabric total, and my 22" squares just barely got me enough of a 45" home decor fabric because the lady cut it a little long. If you're nervous I would get 2 1/2 yards if you want a pouf this big.

I don't have pictures of adding the zipper in, because I made David do that part after agonizing about it for way too long at home by myself. There are far more useful tutorials on how to add zippers online than what I could explain, anyway.

Finished product?


Like I said, it's maybe a *tad* oversized, but it's super comfy and I am already looking forward to nursing with my feet up in our new comfy glider and pouf! Oh, and the nightstand! How have I not blogged about that yet? Oh right cause I haven't been blogging. Oops.

I had been looking for a nightstand for the nursery for a few months, and one Saturday decided to drive to an antique store here in Omaha (Midwest Pickers, if you're local) and try to find one in a last-ditch effort, or go without one. I'd debated buying a new one, but everything in my budget was either super flimsy or didn't have the amount of storage I wanted. I was getting really tired of looking and was just going to say "forget it" if I didn't find one that day.

I found one under a heaping pile of junk - say what you will about this store, but organization  and cleanliness are NOT its strong suits - and bargained the guy down to $5 when it was originally $25. After a quick Google search I realized this nightstand sells for $800 (yes, that's the right amount of zeros) in perfect condition so I was pretty sure I got a good deal. This one had a lot of scratches and a little water damage on the top, but nothing a good paint job couldn't fix.


I stopped at Ace and picked up their dark gray chalk paint (ridiculously titled A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Amy Howard brand) and went to work.


Two easy coats later, plus a coat of finishing wax I had leftover from the piano, and she was all ready to go. I got some cute pulls at Home Depot to finish off the look and voila, brand new nightstand for $40 (if you include the entire can of paint, when really I used only about 20% of it and will definitely use it in the future)!


As you can tell, I am pretty proud of the way it turned out. #chalkpaint5ever

Okay, enough boring nesting projects for one blog post. I finally remembered to have David hold the baby quilt so I could take pictures the other night, so that blog post IS coming, I promise, as soon as I remember to lug my camera downstairs and get the pictures off of it. Or maybe (please Jesus) I'll have the baby tonight and you'll have to wait even longer...I guess we'll just have to wait to find out!
HG

Apparently all I can handle...

is one blog post per week at this stage of pregnancy. Oh well.


There are lots of things occupying my brain space still: the fact that we haven't picked out a baby name (for either gender! ACK!), the fact that the baby's quilt isn't done although it's super super close, all of the cleaning projects I'd like to complete because nesting for me means trying to clean and organize everything, trying to brainstorm Christmas gift ideas, working out details for my maternity leave...you get the gist.

I had my first "check" at my 36 week appointment last Thursday, and I was pretty much not progressed at all. So that's somewhat disappointing, but par for the course with Kate's pregnancy. (I think I was still just a "wiggle" dilated when we went in for our induction with her.) I'd love to go early, or on time with this baby, but I'm trying not to get my hopes in any regard so I'm not disappointed or expecting anything.


The end of pregnancy for me this time around is filled with an overwhelming amount of emotions. Not even tear-inducing emotions, surprisingly, just waves of things - feeling sadness at the thought of Kate growing up, anticipation to see what this new baby will be like, cherishing the last few weeks of cuddling with Kate in the mornings, apprehension about how our lives are going to change with another baby -- you name it, I think I'm feeling it. Sometimes all at once, which is tough to handle. I'm trying to remember that sure, the transition might be difficult in lots of varied ways, but it's nothing we can't handle.

I'm praying for strength and endurance to last these few final weeks, both physically and emotionally, and trying to remember that I got through it last time and I can do it again!


Affiliate links ahead!
I'm also at the stage in pregnancy where I can't make it through a normal-length day without a nap, but then I can't fall asleep at a normal time. So I've been napping quickly while Kate does and then not able to fall asleep til 11:30 or so, which isn't ideal but c'est la vie. To spend those hours after David falls asleep, I've been reading. I quickly sped through The Awakening of Miss Prim, which was alright but didn't quite live up to the hype (I'm picky, I know!). Then I read The Book of Strange New Things, a sci-fi novel about a Christian missionary sent to evangelize the inhabitants of a new planet, which was...indescribable. Fascinating, thought-provoking, unique, and deeply engrossing - highly recommend if you like sci-fi or space novels. (A little inappropriate at times, but you've been warned.) I think The Royal We is up next out of the pile I've got from the library. 

Well, that's enough rambling for one update post. 
TL;DR = still pregnant, still wasting time until baby gets here. :)
HG

A quick catch-up





The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I keep saying that, but I feel like every time the notch of "busy-ness" gets amped up by about 100° and it's really the busiest time now, but who knows. I might just keep saying that until my brain bursts.

Tomorrow marks 36 weeks cooking with this little babe, and I'm officially at the point in pregnancy where I am just really.ready.to.be.done. Everything hurts (pretty much,) I can't sleep very well due to tossing & turning all night, I am always hungry because my stomach is the size of a peanut, and I have to pee about a thousand times a day. I think I feel a lot less swollen than last time, and my sciatica pain has still stayed away (thank you Jesus) so I'm feeling more human than this point with Kate, but still veryyyyy pregnant. Ready to be able to stand actually next to the sink so I can wash my hands like a normal person, ready to be able to pick stuff up off the ground that I drop, you get the gist.

Affiliate link ahead!
Since the holidays are going to be in the newborn haze this year, I'm trying to do some shopping ahead of time which means a lot of online shopping already. A shameless plug here: if you do shopping for the holidays on Amazon, and click through my link here, I get a small percentage back with no extra charge to you. Or support another blogger! I try to click around to my favorite blogs and make a different purchase at each one to even things out. Worth the extra effort, imo.

After the moving haze this summer, I realized I haven't completed, or really even tried to read, any books whatsoever. Not a single one. (So much for my 35 books goal this year. Probably ain't gonna happen.) But I finally completed registering my new library card in Omaha and got 7 books that I've been meaning to read last Friday. I'm hoping to distract myself from the waiting game for this baby by diving into lots of novels, starting with The Awakening of Miss Prim. Fingers crossed that the plan works!

I'm also going to start The Crown on Netflix after I watch the last episode of Downton today (I know, I'm so far behind). I'm trying to pick a postpartum show to binge this time around during maternity leave, so any suggestions would be great. Something not too heavy and that I can be distracted during - I'm thinking maybe Friday Night Lights? But any and all suggestions welcome. :)

David and I should hopefully finish the baby quilt this week, so I'll have a post on that coming your way, as well as some updates on the many landscaping projects David's been steadily working at. The majority of those are done now, especially since it's now going to be dark by the time he gets home from work, which means yard things get relegated to weekend-only type projects...sigh. Stupid DST ending.

Oh, and if you need a good laugh to brighten your day, this Benedict Cumberbatch sketch on Jimmy Fallon was hilarious.

I think that's all I've got for now. Have a great Monday!
HG

Halloween 2016

The lack of talking on the blog recently does not exactly correspond with life around here - we've been really busy and trying to stay productive in these last 5 weeks before baby gets here. (umm...yikes.) 

I have some catch-up blogging to do once my work settles down a little bit, but I couldn't resist popping in quick to show off David and Kate's cute Halloween costumes from last night!


Kate went as an astronaut and David went as her moon & stars! (See the hat for stars reference?) 

I figured this was probably the last year I'd have complete control over her Halloween costume choices, and since I've always wanted to be an astronaut, we went with this $15 choice from Target. (#momprojecting) I made the mistake of also walking by the princess costumes after having purchased this one, and she was very confused as to why she wasn't getting one of those so...like I said, last year I get to choose 100%. 

David's costume is a very fancy piece of cardboard painted and a string attached. 


We had a total of 26 kiddos come to the door for candy (I counted!), which was a pretty good turnout for what feels mostly like a retired-people neighborhood minus the two families on our street we've met that have littles. Our new neighborhood is kind of secluded, too, so there isn't a lot of cross traffic from other places.

I vastly overbought on the amount of candy needed, so by the end each kid was getting at least 4 pieces, or however many they wanted to grab basically. Trying to win friends, we are.


Our first group of trick or treaters were a bunch of 12 year old girls, and they very hesitatingly asked me if they could pose our skeleton so it could "dab," to which I said yes but I was pretty sure the arm didn't bend that way. They tried and it sort of worked, and then stood in front of our house all taking pictures of each other next to it for a solid 5 minutes. Have I mentioned I don't miss middle school?


I creeped out our front door and got this shot of them actually going door-to-door. I think total David said they hit up maybe 10 houses? But all she wanted to do when she got home was go back out for more! And then she was much more interested in taking her candy out of her bucket piece by piece and then putting it back in -- not upset about that. 


Most of the photos I got of her were pre-trick or treating, when her face looked like the above (lol). We weren't sure how much she'd enjoy it but she was a huge fan. I'm guessing we will have to have conversations all this week asking why we can't go trick or treating again tonight...haha.

Hope you all had an enjoyable candy-filled holiday.
HG

my sunday best! vol. 1?

Kate and I spent some extra time to look cute today, and I'm *trying* to not pass out from exhaustion so I decided to blog for a bit and link up with Rosie's really cute linkup for My Sunday Best this afternoon!


Outfit details!
Dress: Old Navy, last year. MAGIC DRESS. (see below). If they bring back their swing dresses, I will buy them out this year.
Shoes: Lucky Basel Boots, Christmas present last year
Scarf: Target, old
Belt: probably also Target, I don't remember for sure, old
Hair: laziness

Kate's dress: Carter's, last year, $8 if I remember right
Kate's sweater: Gap, bought at consignment sale for $4
Kate's shoes: H&M on clearance last season, probably around $5 as they are pretty cheap feeling and I wouldn't have paid much more for them.

As mentioned above, this dress is literally magic. It's a swing dress that I have now worn pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and post-partum and it covers and hides all the things. I was a little worried when I put it on this morning that it would be too short with the belly pushing it out a lot, but it was somehow only like an inch shorter than normal? Aka totally acceptable because the normal length is right hitting my knee cap. It's stretchy, actually warm but not too warm when the temp changes, comfortable as heck, and very flattering. I highly recommend it - supposedly all of those Old Navy swing dresses are equally great. I am too lazy to get up off the couch and check but it's gotta be a jersey or rayon mixed with cotton, and I am definitely going to buy some more if they bring them back this year even if they're not nursing friendly, just for future years' use.

Of note this morning at Mass: Kate genuflected with perfect form between David and me entering the pew, with no prompting -- aka the cutest thing you've EVER seen. This is the second time she's ever done it, because I honestly hadn't even been thinking she could do it let alone would want to, so we haven't ever asked her before. The first time I missed it, but I made sure to watch this time around and my heart about melted out of my chest. She also then tried to genuflect coming back into the pew after Communion - equally adorable. <3

Her behavior the rest of Mass was also super stellar, and that's not sarcasm even though usually it might be - I give her an A++ for the morning, which meant she got to have jelly on her toast as a reward. (Trying to avoid donuts EVERY week, so that's the reward I came up with haha.)

We are headed to Lincoln in a little bit to work on some baby Jesus mangers for another peg doll exchange I'm doing this year, Nativity themed this time around (so excited!), and then have dinner with my family. I'd like to get some more quilting done on the baby quilt, as well as work some on my freelance project for work when we get home, but we stayed up too late last night working on baby things so I might just pass out when we get home. We will have to see. A riveting Sunday as you might have predicted!

Head over to Rosie's to find more Sunday outfit inspiration and read stories about her cute kiddos at church! :)
HG

7QT #54: fall walks, zoo trip, & Poldark

Another week, another random conglom (I'm going to start saying that in regular conversation) of useless facts about Hannah. What say you, friends?

1.
Last weekend we had some dear friends of ours come visit from Iowa. We seem to have this deal going on where we visit them or they visit us about every 6 months, which works out really nicely if we manage to schedule it in time. Although now that I say that, I think we missed the visit this last spring because the last time we saw them was for our godson's baptism a year ago...hmm. Anyways, our goal is every 6 months and we made it happen last weekend!


They came for just a weekend, full of a visit to the zoo (our first since living in Omaha!), a Husker game, and a lot of good chats and toddler craziness. It was a blast and now every day since leaving, Kate's asked me where Cecilia (their little girl 3 weeks younger than Kate) is, and when she is coming back. Parting is such sweet sorrow, even for toddlers.

2. 
This week, therefore, has been a little dragging without the excitement of said weekend. I've been spending a few evenings here and there working on an extra freelance project, which I took on mostly to build up some extra moolah before maternity leave gets here -- because when you're self-employed, maternity leaves just means not working and therefore not getting paid. Not so fun.

I think the Starbucks I go to is still stuck in summer mode, though, because no matter where I sit, guaranteed about 10 minutes in I feel the AC kick on and get really cold. So even though it's been still relatively nice here (70 or so highs this week), I have been bundling up to go there like an old lady with jeans and a long-sleeve or sweater and a scarf.

I've also been ordering hot decaf tea because free refills with my Gold Star member status, and I can't drink caffeine past 6 p.m. or I'm up all night. I really am getting old, aren't I?

3.
Some links:
// Theresa's got a new blog and it's adorable and you should totally go check it out. I think she might even inspire me to make myself a salad for lunch one of these days. (Yesterday I had the very fancy toasted peanut butter & jelly so...I could probably use some improvement in that area.)

// This article about what it actually means to waste your vote. I don't go political here because I get too rage-y but this article is great at proving that, mathematically speaking, you're welcome to vote for whomever you please and don't listen to people who tell you otherwise.

// A two for one day about political things: a greatly researched article from someone with actual experience about the Supreme Court issue that seems to be plaguing so many people about the election.

// In much more fun news, the new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 made me really excited. I will always watch Chris Pratt in pretty much anything, and this looks promising as usual.

4.
In an attempt to keep somewhat active in the last few months of pregnancy, and an effort to not waste the nice weather we've been having, Kate and Murph and I have been getting into the habit of a daily walk between nap time and when David gets home from work. Most days it involves a lot of scolding Murph for pulling on the leash and Kate demanding that I get the leaves she finds on the ground "because dey so pwetty, Mama!!" but it's still nice.

snacks and juice are a daily must as well
The hills around our neighborhood give me Braxton-Hicks every so often, and I'm usually beat by the end, but it's a nice way to get out of the house and get to know our new place a little better, as well as the best way to see all the beautiful fall colors before they disappear.

5.
My newest obsession?
POLDARK.

image via PBS
Guys. Why, oh why, did it take me so long to start this show? I knew it wouldn't be bad but I didn't expect to love it as much as I have. After my somewhat disappointment with Gotham (which I tried, and just thought the characters/villains etc. are a tad overdone and over-dramatic), I was thinking I wouldn't find a new show to love anytime soon. And then I started Poldark. If you haven't yet and you like historical dramas, this is right up your alley, I promise.

I'm also excited to watch The Crown, eventually. What else should be next? I have a feeling I'll burn through the available episodes much too quickly of both of those.

6.
My most recent pregnancy weirdness? Craving chocolate pudding, which I haven't even LIKED in approximately 15 years, let alone voluntarily bought and eaten, as well as being obsessed with this Mrs. Meyers Apple Hand Soap to the point of washing my hands probably more than necessary just so I can smell it throughout the day. (Bonus is that it doesn't seem to dry out my hands like most hand soap does, so that's nice!)

Growing a baby does some weird stuff to you.

7.
As prep for baby #2, sometime in the next few weeks my mom and sisters and I are going to get together and batch prep a bunch of freezer meals so I'm not completely reliant upon frozen pizza and mac and cheese after baby gets here...because nothing says weight loss like frozen pizza, right? We're going to prep some Trim Healthy Mama crockpot meals and casseroles, as well as hopefully a few breakfast things to tide me over at least until the newborn fog lifts.

I'm definitely including this awesome recipe for broccoli soup, at the very least. So good if you're in the mood for something quick & easy - I don't even really follow the directions, I just dump everything in a crockpot and set it on low for like 6 hours and it's still perfect! Top with bacon if you so desire (I always do).

I didn't do anything like this for Kate so I'm hoping it will help us transition into two kiddos a little easier. If you've done this batch cooking thing before, any tips? I plan to buy disposable casserole pans, organize our deep freeze, and label everything as clearly as I can but I am up for any other pointers you might have. Or if you've got any THM recipes that I need to include in my rotation, hit me up!


Check out Kelly's for more quick takers this week. Happy weekend-ing!
HG

Kate's big girl room

I've been slowly chipping away at little refresh for Kate's big girl room, since soon enough baby is going to occupy all our time/energy and I wanted to give her a little bit of space that was all her own. Her reactions to everything have been SO cute, especially the lights on the wall - she was standing there with her mouth agape, watching me put them up, repeating "Mama, so PRETTY! SO PRETTY!" every time I adjusted them.

As you can tell, I wouldn't qualify it as "finished" mostly because we haven't bought window coverings that are dark enough to keep her asleep, so we're still rocking the "blankets over the curtains that came with the house" look. Classy is our middle name.

(I had to distract her with a cup of goldfish and an episode of Daniel Tiger to get her room this clean and then take pictures of it. #worthit)


Her bed is from Walmart, bedding from Target (I can't seem to find it anymore online), light string on sale at Target, two decorative pillows also from Target...yes, a themed room around "Target." ;) The map on the wall is one I got as a hand-me-down from my parents when I was little, and I got a custom frame made for it at Hobby Lobby because it was the cheapest option for something that was such a weird size. Rug from At Home.

The rest of the room is old stuff or hand-me-downs - the chair from her grandparents, side table from an antique store, the dresser from a neighbor of David's in Columbus, and the mirror above her dresser was on the side of the road in Lincoln awhile ago.

I have plans to refinish the dresser or paint it - chalk paint, probably! - and add some new drawer pulls. This room is also one that needs a new color on the wall, because this greige is driving me nuts and I'm itching to paint every single room in our house because of it.


She is seriously enamored of these lights, way more than I ever could have anticipated. She asks me to turn them on first thing every morning when we are picking out her clothes to wear. For $7 on clearance, definitely an investment worthwhile.


The door to the room is just to the left of the edge of this picture. We got some picture shelves at IKEA to hang up there, and then the other side of the room is a big sliding-door-closet so nothing fancy there. I'd like to find another big graphic print to put up, or make one of my own if I get crafty after the baby's born. So still a ways to go!

Oh, and these are only 5 of the usually 10-12 animals she haaaas to sleep with every single nap and nighttime. There are usually so many there's hardly room for her on the pillow. Toddlers, man.

What room color would you suggest goes best with what we have already? I'm even thinking a very basic warm white would be better than this, or maybe a yellow -- but  yellows seem really difficult to pick out, so I'm nervous to try that. I want something at least a little gender neutral because I'm guessing she will be sharing this room sometime in the future, so we can't go too far in one direction.

Also, if you've got recommendations for a window solution that accommodates a really narrow ledge, I'm all ears. All the windows in this house have about 1 1/4" between the glass and the edge of the window frame, which is smaller than our old house, aka those faux wood blinds we used in the last house don't work, so we've been indecisive about buying anything because of it. I'm worried we will have to settle for shades, which just look so bad from the outside, but they're about the only solution I have come up with that blocks enough light and doesn't cost an arm and a leg (and aren't curtains. I am over curtains.). Help me out if you've discovered the same issue and have ideas for me!

More house project updates to come soon...the basement and the garage, primarily...get excited!
HG

32 weeks



Hard to believe how fast it is flying by! Especially since my last update was 19 weeks and the belly has grown considerably since then. 

How far along? 32 weeks exactly this morning. Only 8 to go!
Weight gain? About 10 lbs, considerably better than last time around but I'm still feeling the effects of carrying the extra weight around, mostly in hip/joint pain and bumping into things.
Clothing? 99% maternity, 1% gym shorts/sweatpants that I'm settling comfortably belowww the bump. I'm getting to the stage where some of my maternity shirts aren't long enough, also - downfalls of being a pregnant lady with a very long torso. The girl at Buffalo Wild Wings literally gasped when she saw my belly and said, "You're carrying SO LOW! How far along are you?" and then I had to tell her only 32 weeks, I just have a long torso and carry low in general. 
Sleep? Getting up at least twice every night to pee. Tossing and turning and having to readjust my support pillows multiple times. But in between those I'm sleeping like a freaking rock - I wake up dazed & disoriented every morning, like I basically passed out. 
Best moment of this week? Yeahhh, I don't do these every week so...not sure. David's birthday was this weekend and that was lots of fun!
Worst moment of this week? ...pretty good overall, I don't have any complaints!
Miss anything? Wearing normal clothes, sleeping on my stomach.
Movement? This baby is SO different from Kate in terms of movement. They are a lot more stubborn and multiple times in the last few weeks have been pressing super hard, and what feels like on purpose, in one spot enough to make it sore. David and I agreed that we don't remember Kate being like that at all.
Symptoms? Tired. Cranky occasionally. Back pain. The usj.
Food cravings? Nothing recently, except anything that doesn't involve me cooking!
Gender? My guess right now is boy, because I am having a lot easier time coming up with names I like for girls, where the opposite happened with Kate. But it's switched multiple times so I'm sure it'll switch again.
Labor signs? I think I'm getting very slight Braxton-Hicks when I go on walks with Murphy and we go up a bunch of hills - but that's it, and they're small enough I'm not even sure that's what they are. We got plenty o'time for that.

I'm trying to offer up all the discomforts of these last months of pregnancy for anyone struggling to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. I know being largely pregnant is not a ball of cheer, by any means, but I'd take it any day over those crosses. So if I know you (or even if I don't!), and you're struggling to get pregnant or know someone who is, you are in my prayer intentions and suffering intentions. 


Please excuse our tired faces - this was after two late nights in a row post-Sunday morning Mass, right when the nap bug hits. But we had to take a picture to commemorate David's 26th birthday! Later I will have a post on what we worked on the whole weekend, as well as his birthday present - it involves cleaning the garage - but I don't have the energy to work through all that today. (Honesty.)

We still have lots to do to prep for baby, but I'm trying to remember that we really do have most of what we need and baby will be okay with whatever is done or not done...because they won't have any idea cause they're a tiny baby. :)
HG

Baby quilt #2

After the hectic-ness of moving and the fact that this baby's pregnancy is going by super fast, I finally got around to starting on the baby quilt this last weekend (with tons and tons of help from David). With 2 months left to go. I was a lot behind compared to last time, but whatever.

I started with these inspiration images, via Pinterest as ye crafters do...

left (original source deleted, found on Pinterest)

I knew I wanted something NOT primary colored, since that's what I went with for Kate's quilt. I also knew I wanted a modern vibe, something with big colors and not a lot of piecing to do. (Seriously, the first one we did? I mean, it wasn't my first quilt but holy cow, did I choose a difficult design to piece together. Tiny chevron blocks that criss cross and go opposite directions? Super super hard. For anyone's future reference.) So something not difficult to piece was priority #1.

I loved the look of the left image, but I was afraid if I copied it exactly it'd be too girly - the pink for a boy maybe just put it over the edge, and I couldn't find an acceptable peach color to substitute without ruining the scheme. The top right is nice, but the triangles looked like a lot more math than I wanted to do, and I loved the ombre look of the bottom right but I wanted a little bit more variance on color. Especially because I couldn't pick just one color to do variants of that wasn't particularly gender neutral but wasn't too far in one camp or the other.

So I shook my butt over to Joann, browsed the aisles for way too long and changed my mind 3 more times while I was there, and came out with a plan. (And, as it turns out, 3 yards too many of fabric, but it was only $2/yard so I'm sure I'll find a use for it somewhere.)

And voila!



After all the boring prep work - prewashing the fabric, ironing and trimming. cutting out pieces, re-ironing after cutting the pieces, etc. etc. (seriously, so much not-fun work before you get to something that resembles a quilt), I pieced together the 6 blocks (20"x20" squares, if you're curious, so the total will be a 40"x60" quilt) and then put David to work.

I had him iron the back seams and then pin all the layers together, and hopefully tonight or tomorrow I will get to start actually quilting!

I have a new quilting attachment for my sewing machine that has yet to be tested, and not yet a clear decision of what sort of pattern I'm going for when it comes to doing the quilting, but I'm excited. It helps that the majority of this project so far took not a lot of time, so my motivation for the project is still high.

I also haven't decided what to do when it comes to binding. I want to try my hand at making my own, and possibly doing it by hand, and also possibly adding some pattern in that way? We'll see. As you can tell, most of these projects I do piece by piece and try not to plan out, because I end up changing my mind so many times in the process anyway. It also keeps it interesting in an otherwise somewhat mundane process.

Next time I post about this it will (crossing my fingers) be done and you'll get to see the finished project! Thanks for listening to my craft rambling - it makes it all worthwhile, right? :)
HG

7QT #53: bee stings, space, & painting

How is it the end of September?? I just realized we've lived in Omaha for over two months now and I can't quite wrap my head around it. Linking with Kelly!

1.
Let's start off with something not-so-fun, to keep it real around here. I was driving to pick up dinner for a cousin's new baby, which due to a nasty head cold had been relegated to Papa Murphy's instead of cooking something homemade. (I didn't wanna back out, and I did NOT want to pass this nastiness on to a tiny baby & their family!)

So there I was, minding my own business, listening to NPR on the radio with the windows down when suddenly A BEE FLEW IN THE WINDOW AND STUNG ME ON THE LEG OUT OF NOWHERE. Of course I screamed a little bit, then panicked because I was a) driving on a busy road, b) unable to see anything because it was that terrible time of the day where you drive directly west and you're pretty much blind, and c) I couldn't tell if the damn thing had left the car or not!

I pull over at the next available parking lot, jump out of my car and try to find the bee. No luck. I don't see anything for awhile, while vigorously shaking myself up and down to get it off clothes and moving the seats back and forth to see if got stuck under there. As I finally give up and start climbing back in the car, I see it behind me - but I'm pretty sure it flies off in the other direction, so I think I'm safe.

Fast forward to me having dropped off the pizza. I get back in the car and start driving up the block after saying goodbye to the family, and WHO DO I SEE BUT THE STUPID BEE STUCK ON MY SHIRT! So I yank on the emergency brake in the middle of the road and hop out (probably yelling at the top of my lungs, I have no idea) and try to get it off me. I see a car coming the other direction so I get back in, see the bee behind me and somehow either managed to squish it by closing the car door or it flies off unharmed.

It was an overall traumatic experience, especially since the last time I was stung by a bee was like as a 6 year old when 4 got stuck under my shirt, and I've been terrified of them ever since. I had to call David on the way home and ask him to meet me in the driveway to find the stupid thing just in case it had still survived.

2.
Whew. Onto less traumatic topics!


As I mentioned, Kate got all of us sick, and has been sick herself, since this last weekend. Sounds like there's something viral going around (according to my OB, anyway) and let me tell you, it is not fun being this sick while wrangling a toddler and without the ability to take those really good drugs cause you're pregnant.

Kate has been her happy-go-lucky self, full of an insane amount of energy for how much snot and coughing has been coming from her corner. As evidenced by this photo, I've been trying to let her and Murph work off their energy together which sometimes works out well but usually ends in tears or yelling on someone's part. (And no, it's not always Kate...sometimes Murph gets her tail pulled or stepped on and quickly retreats to another room so as not to be more tortured by the little one.)

3.
Speaking of my OB, I want to know a few things about this new doctor's office I'm going to, and how moms of more than just a toddler manage.

First of all, I've gone to maybe 6 or 7 appointments there now, and this week was only the second time I've ever seen another kid in the office. Am I the only one who brings their kiddo to this office? Or am I just the only one who has more than one?? Is this like, some office for just first-time-pregnancies? I'm not sure how it happens but it's strange in comparison to the doc I went to Lincoln, where Kate was always surrounded by kids in the waiting room, no matter what time of day it was. (To be fair, that was a family practice doc who delivered also, but still.)

Secondly, I literally cannot imagine bringing Kate AND a baby, or later on two toddlers, anywhere like a doctor's office by myself. Target or grocery shopping, sure - there's a big cart to hopefully contain them in, and you're not constantly surrounded by hazardous waste trash bins or trying to get them not to climb on you while the doctor is trying to do some procedure. How do you moms of multiples do it? Do you just make appointments for when someone else can watch the kids? That's my only idea right now and the thought of anything else stresses me out.

4.
If you're a space nerd like me, you might enjoy Wait But Why's most recent post. (Large language warning, in the nickname of the rocket amongst other places, if that sort of thing bothers you.) It's all about Elon Musk's recently unveiled plan to colonize Mars, with the big rocket he is building.

I mean, I know I'm one of only some people who find stuff like this fascinating, but it's totally worth the read if you're like me. (Don't tell David, but I'm saving up for my ticket already. :))

5.
I'm itching to paint some rooms, mostly Kate's room and the nursery before the baby gets here.
These Pinterest images are inspiring me:

source: The Boo and the Boy
source: The Boo and the Boy
source: annabellacharles
I mean, if you can't do something crazy and bold in a kids' room, where can you do it? I'm also getting really really tired of the greige that is painted on every.single.wall.in.this.entire.house. I mean, it's a fine color if you're into that sort of thing because it is really hard to decide if it is grey or beige, so props to the color-picker, but I need something different. I think I'd prefer if everything were white, tbh - I got so used to that at our old house that the greige throws me off and makes everything look funky.

I am sure David is reading this saying to himself, "there's no way we're painting any rooms, Hannah, don't get your hopes up" so...we'll see if it actually happens.

6.
We had big plans to start the garage organizing this weekend, because David's set of garage cabinets are supposed to ship today (fingers crossed) and we have a lot of cleaning and prep to do before we can install them. The previous owners of the house stored some old cars in here, which means we have a very spacious 4 car garage but there is a lot of gross oil buildup and stuff in spots.

We had originally hoped to maybe epoxy the floor, but after reading some reviews of the DIY kind, got a little discouraged because apparently it doesn't hold up very well over time. I'm still pushing for it, because I think it'd be a worthwhile investment, so we'll see what happens.

If we don't do that, I have hopes to work on the nursery and the baby quilt and try to rest up so this darned cold can go away.

7.
I totally had a topic for take #7 when I started writing, but brain fog/the sneezing attack I just had (7 in a row, mind you) wiped it from my memory. Sorry. You'll have to survive with just 6!

Head over to Kelly's for some great parenting advice and to check out the rest of the quick-takers.
HG


monday monday

A smorgasbord of topics for your perusal this Monday morning.

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We are back home again today after a very expensive but productive trip to our nearest IKEA sans-Kate this weekend. The closest to us is 3 hours away in Kansas City [which, by the way, they need to get one in Omaha] so we made a little babymoon out of it - stayed in a hotel and everything!

We woke up early Saturday morning to leave at 6:30, with me failing to even look up what time IKEA opened so we ended up there half an hour before it opened. Oops. Just enough time to grab coffee before! Then we did the whole tour, ate lunch in the cafe, and then picked out the things we actually wanted to buy. 11,000 steps and a lot of money later and we escaped.



We chilled at the hotel for a little bit, then found a Husker bar to watch the game which was an experience for someone who's never been to a Husker bar outside the state of Nebraska before...and by that I mean on game day, every bar in the entire state of Nebraska is a Husker bar. Luckily we won so it was a great experience all around.


We then slept the next morning a little bit, went to a strange Mass, enjoyed our free breakfast at the hotel, and headed home. A fun and productive weekend! When we get all our IKEA stuff assembled you bet there will be a blog post about it.

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If you're looking for a great cause to support, I have some friends who are trying to fundraise for an adoption! Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira are a couple (who now live in Omaha!) adopting their second baby and they'd love any financial and prayer support you can give.

[Funny story: Amanda and a few other women actually founded the house I lived in during college for 2 years, the Avila House at UNL. :)]

If you're interested in donating to their adoption puzzle, go here, and if you wanna read more about their crazy summer of changes in their lives, start here.

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So you know that fun meme going around about picking 3 fictional characters to describe yourself? After 3 solid days of deliberation, these turned out to be my final picks:


Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
Kristin Lavransdatter from the Kristin Lavransdatter series
Felicity Smoak from Arrow

I spent way too much time thinking about this, and some other runners-up were Ann Perkins from Parks & Rec and Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice, but David put his two cents in and these were our decision. Although I should mention that his first 3 picks for me were Cookie Monster, The Grouch, and Felicity Smoak...so he did change his mind a little bit after more discussion. ;)

My picks for David?

Rod Kimble from Hot Rod
Winston Bishop from New Girl
Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation

It's scary how accurately these 3 describe him. I highly encourage at least asking your friends what they think you are - it's funny to hear your thoughts vs. what others pick for you.

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We missed these two...and I think they're enjoying being home and cuddling together in the (somewhat) chilly weather. I know I'm liking having them around!

Have a wonderful week, friends.
HG

Currently


...vol #? I have no idea.

I have lots of ideas floating around my brain, lots of blog posts I'd *love* to have enough time to type out and really write, rather than just photo-dump posts with not a lot of substance, but pregnancy fatigue (helloooo third trimester) and a crazy to-do list have been preventing me. A currently post was right up my alley.

Eating: a poptart after I drank 8 oz of straight sugar this morning for my glucose test, which was disgusting as usual BUT way better in the orange flavor & chilled than the room-temp fruit punch kind last time. (seriously, way better.)

Relishing: the good deals I got at the twice-annual consignment sale I go to, both for Kate and baby 2. It's hard to shop for babies when you don't know the gender and the last gender-neutral baby you had was born in the exact opposite season, so I'm starting from scratch again. I have a lot of boyish-looking onesies and am going to rely on headbands & pink hats to differentiate gender if necessary.

Buying: I also got these two freaking adorable "coming home" outfits for baby, from Gap using my Gap CC and two promo codes which made them $8 each (unheard of for babyGap sleepers). Which will it be, boy or girl? ;)

Making: slow but sure progress on quilt for baby 2, which is going to be markedly different from Kate's quilt. I'm doing a big geometric pattern with a total of like 6 seams (so much easier than all those chevron pieces!) and going to add some visual interest in the form of the actual quilting, but time is running out so I need to get my butt in gear.



Thrilled: that I found this literally mint-condition set of the Peter Rabbit books at aforementioned consignment sale, but then not-so-thrilled that my destructo toddler made a huge crease in the box by standing on it about 10 minutes after I unpacked it for her. (TODDLERS.)

Wearing: the last two pairs of gym shorts that don't make the baby kick like crazy in protest of the tight waistband, and wishing I could find something else to transition me in these last few months of pregnancy.

Realizing: I'll be 30 weeks on Tuesday and I can't believe how fast the time has flown. Eventually I'll do another bump post (sorry for the blog neglect, child #2) but everything's going smoothly and the worst effects are some back pain which is really to be expected.

Excited: because this weekend David and I are taking a glamorous babymoon to Kansas City to go to IKEA and I'm pretty thrilled. We need so much furniture, including a desk so I can stop working at our cast-off dining room table, because this house is a lot bigger than our old house and I'm excited to get some things crossed off my list.

Hunting: for a glider or armchair type of thing I can actually nurse in to put in the baby's room. I think I want something cream colored or white to blend in with the baby spitup, but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg for it. (Something like this but more neutral? But I do love me a good pattern.) Last time I nursed Kate in a nice rocking chair David found on Craigslist for me, but I realized I need something with soft arms if I want to relax fully. We'll see if something pops up. (Having never bought a chair brand new, the price tags on these terrify me. $300?? for one chair!??)

Trying: to narrow down our list of names for said bébé. We both have our "top" choices for each gender, but surprise surprise...they don't line up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Listening: still to Young House Love Has A Podcast, which is hilarious and makes me want to be friends with them in real life. They're inspiring me to make a whole-house list because my brain keeps thinking of things we need to do and then promptly forgetting them.

Wishing: we had time to do every single project on that list before baby gets here, but instead I have to somehow narrow down what we can get done and try not to freak out about it.



Loving: Kate's new favorite pasttime, which is to grab her play stethoscope and go to me and say, "listen to baby, mama?". Taking her along to all those OB appointments, no matter how tiring they might be, are apparently making an impression! We call her Dr. Kitty anytime she does her doctor stuff and she loves it.

Crying: at pretty much everything nowadays. #typicalpregnantlady

whew. that's probably enough for one post. bye y'all!
HG

Kateri Amelia at two (and a half, almost)



Kate, and I'm sure all toddlers everywhere, is quite a mess of emotions at two years old. You know the saying, "Life is like a box of chocolates"? Well, I've decided that life with toddlers is like a box of chocolates mixed in with a bunch of hidden grenades. You literally never know which one you are going to get. And unlike the original saying - the grenades are a lot worse than those terrible cherry-filled chocolates - it's not just disappointment waiting for you, it's an explosion.

Don't get me wrong. Most of the time, Kate is a true sweetheart. She is super affectionate, very giggly at the most random things, a great helper, very responsible and mostly clean (well, as clean as a 2 year old can be) and I love her to bits. But heaven forbid I don't let her eat the apple I was just going to put in my mouth! Or shame on me if I happen to go into the bathroom to clean up a little bit when she wanted me to go somewhere else! M-e-l-t-d-o-w-n C-i-t-y, population Kate.

Luckily most of the time, even in her worst tantrums, she's not majorly destructive. It's lots of tears, lots of "mama hold you!!", lots of rolling around on the ground screaming and interrupting her screams to say, "Mama, I scweamimg! Mama, I scweamimg!" and then resuming screaming. (She does that with crying too - as if I can't already tell she's crying, she feels the need to remind me while she's doing it that she is...yeah.) If she gets any sort of destructive, it's mostly directed at throwing toys at Murphy, the poor thing who puts up with a lot of other behavior from her - pulling ears, trying to ride her like a horse, chasing her around with a stroller, etc. etc.

She also has very definitive opinions these days. She asks to "dance!" all the time, but if I play a song she doesn't care for? "No, I can't wike dat song." (It took me a few minutes the first time she said it to understand that she didn't like the one I was playing and wanted another.) She loves Anna & Elsa, Dory & Nemo - two of the 4 movies she's seen in her entire life. Every time we go to Target she can pick out at least one of them and shouts their name until I say I saw them too.

Colors and numbers are still somewhat of a struggle. If we aren't paying attention, she can count to 5 correctly, but lots of times if we ask it goes: "1, 2, 4, 5, 3, 6, 8, 7..." and then she giggles because she knows she did it wrong on purpose. (Hilarious joke, kiddo.) Colors are pretty much beyond reach unless she happens to be in a mood to actually try - but if I try to point to something and say what color it is, she'll usually reply with "No, it's greem!!! No, mama, it's greem!!!" over and over again.

Food is hit or miss these days. Some days she'll eat like a horse, or be willing to try a whole mess of foods she's never had. Other days I have to convince her to finish her chicken nuggets (her favorite food) and only bribing with a cookie works. She consistently asks for "regular crackers" (aka club crackers) for lunch, with nothing else in addition. She's a big fan of "wawamewo" (watermelon) and pretty much most fruits. Cheese, one of her favorites a few months ago, is now a no-go except in cheese stick form, as is lunchmeat. She loves frozen waffles for breakfast and then subsequently whatever I'm eating.

She has also started doing this thing where if we say her name is Kitty, she says "No, I Kate" in response. But then sometimes she'll reverse it...so I'm not sure which one she actually prefers, or if she even understands that they're two nicknames for her same full name.

Potty training hasn't been attempted again since our last fail. She definitely has an interest in the potty, and we are trying to find a weekend to attempt the 3 day method again. She's definitely more aware now of when her diaper is dirty so that's a step in the right direction.

She's a spitball of energy, loves her puppy like crazy, and every night going to bed repeats "I wuv you, Mama, I wuv you, Dada" until we each respond at least twice. It's easy to love a sweet girl like her.
HG