Thursday, July 7, 2011

So you're 30 weeks pregnant - ready to pop yet?

It's amazing to me the things people say to a random pregnant lady they don't know.  Although I think I have been pretty lucky even in that aspect of the 40 weeks of belly stretching fun compared to some people. 

Apparently my height and frame continue to hide most of my 7-plus month belly so most everyone just thinks I'm a few months along only.  Pod is twisting and twirling and doing her flailey version of kickboxing all through the day and night...she seems to be a bit of a night owl though.  Which means I get a lot of thumping and bumping right around when I am ready to call it a night. 

Going through the next round of pregnant lady poking, prodding and testing - so far so good.  A bit of a scare recently due to a random minor bacterial infection which could have been handled easily at the base clinic but a couple apathetic nurses and a OB in the middle of getting his wisdom teeth out - twisted into the mother of all clusterfucks and I ended up at the Med Center ER, hooked up to fetal monitors and evaluated for placenta previa, etc.  I'm fine.  Pod's fine.  Just some antibiotics for a week and it's all good.

No name for Pod yet, Thor and I are still tossing out suggestions and using our veto powers on ones we don't like.  I have a couple of favorites that are on the list...we'll see which make the cut.  We have a couple more months yet.  Nursery is coming along...but we're mostly ready with all the essentials we need.  Super excited for my baby shower next week put on by the lovely Jenny and Kara.  And it looks like Pod will be in the pictures again...another ultrasound to check her growth in a few days.  Gonna see if I can charm another print out for Thor since he's still out of town.

Other than that everything's been plugging along...almost done with my abbreviated summer show season, only 3 more weekends at the Midtown Market.  It's been a fun summer. 

Maryland/DC Trip part 3 - Annapolis

The last part of the trip was to Annapolis - I wanted to be able to see the ocean, or squint and pretend I was looking at the we decided to spend a night there too.  We left Washington DC about noon and headed for Chesapeake Bay.  It was only like 45 minutes away.

The original campus of Thor's college, St. John's is located there as well and it happened to be graduation weekend so we stopped at the campus first and poked around the bookstore - got some actual alma mater chockies and everything.  Well, as much as coffee cups, and book tabs can be called chockies.  If you are familiar with St. John's you know why regular memorabilia is just not available.  It's a pretty campus, kinda like you imagine college campuses should be...ivy covered, brick, little pathways and big 'ol trees.  And a bell even.  Welcome to the Atlantic side.

We stopped for lunch and then headed to our hotel to take a nap.  We poked around town, Thor found some super cute onesies for Pod at the Old Navy there.  Things with wee shrimps and crabs on them.  LOL

Decided to find a seafood place near the water and drove around for a bit.  As an ocean state girl myself who has been living in the landlocked middle for 3 years...I nearly wept at the smell of fresh fish and salt water.  We found a little place next to the Marina and since it was early on a Saturday night...we got snuck into a little booth.  Our waiter was so adorable - great drawly Southern accent I haven't heard in years.  We were in Maryland so hello...crab cakes!! 

OMG!  I have been so sorely deprived all my life.  I thought crab cakes had things like panko and sweet corn in them because crab ain't cheap...oh no!  That's only on the other coast.  Looking at the get these HUGE lump meat crab cakes that taste like fillers.  I was nearly rolled out of the restaurant afterward, Pod approved of the amazing eats. 

We tried to go see Bridesmaids after dinner, but the only theaters in town were both sold out for the evening showings.  So we called it a night and watched HBO, curled into a spouse ball at the hotel.

The next morning we went into downtown Annapolis to poke around after breakfast.  Gotta do that traditional souvenir shopping thing.  We found a cutie little red and white onesie for Pod for Christmas morning and got Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts for me and Thor for Halloween.  Got some yummy ice cream and headed back to Hagerstown about noon.  It was a fun weekend.  I defintely want to go back for longer next time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trip to Maryland/DC - Part 2 - Inside the Smithsonian

So here's part 2 of my series on my trip to Maryland/DC.  On our 1st morning in DC after arriving, we mosied on over to the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian, because Thor really wanted to check it out.  I've never been to any of the museums in the complex so I thought it was a good place to start.

It was about a 15 minute walk - luckily not raining at that point.  And we reached the museum about 15 minutes early.  We plunked down in the lobby and waited for the doors to open.  Here's a pic of the's a BIG building.

Once the museum opened, we booked into the gift shop for our standard souvenirs of pressed pennies, a guide book to the complex and a bottle of water.  Then it was off to the rotunda to see this guy!

Let's call him Gerry.  Then to appease the little kid in both of us it was off to the dinosaur exhibit.  Fossils, bones, and skeletons...oh MY!  Here are a few of the specimins that caught our eyes and our flashbulbs...the fluorescent lights created some interesting photo effects.

And then a short stop in the Gem Exihibit for those of us that drool at the sight of ginourmous colored stones (me), and rock formation hounds (Thor).  An attempt was made to capture a pic of the Hope diamond although the new, temporary setting I thought was way overdone and not that impressive.  I mean it's the Hope diamond - dark blue, amazing, stunning...and surrounding it with hundreds of colorless diamonds and then placing it under fluorescent lights just made it....kinda meh.  But here it is anyway.

And then after lunch and another hour or so browsing about - we called it a day and went out the opposite entrance toward the Smithsonian Castle and the Capitol Mall.  The castle was stunning and I wish we'd had time to poke in...but it started raining pretty heavily and we needed to make a run for it back to our hotel to check out and mosey toward Annapolis.

In the next installment, we'll be in Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Maryland Trip - Weekend in DC, part 1

I promised you all pics of my trip and I'm determined to follow through.  So here are some pics of our weekend in DC.

It rained all weekend which put a kabosh on some of the outdoor activities we had planned, and limited our pics.  Didn't make it to the Lincoln Memorial or the Capitol Building or some of the other museums at the Smithsonian...but it was fun nonetheless.

Through Thor's many many many Priority Club points we got our hotel in DC for free.  We stayed at the Crowne Plaza which was 4 blocks from the White House.  Tried to get pics of the White House, but we seemed to have shown up on a school trip droves and droves of teenagers were milling about in front of the gates...which made for iffy pic taking.  The hotel was amazing!  With great views of the city.

We walked around the city for a bit the first night, but rain started really coming down and we didn't bring the umbrella.  So we had dessert at the hotel and called it a night. 

Next morning we went out to the Smithsonian bright and early - and had to wait around for a half hour until they opened.  Got a few shots of DC on the way there.

Shots of the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Treasury Building.

 Washington Monument

So that's it for Part 1 of the DC weekend, post on the Smithsonian and Natural History Museum soon with more pics.  We also made a stop in Annapolis to see Chesapeake Bay and visit the East Coast campus of Thor's college, St. Johns.  Gorgeous campus, exactly what I always envisioned a college campus was supposed to look like when I was a kid. 

Look for that in the next few days!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ok, wow...June snuck up on me...

Hi all -

It's been awhile...June snuck up on me without any warning.  Well, without any warning I noticed I guess.  It's the classic story of looking at my calendar to add an appointment and realizing I was still on May.  LOL

Anyway, so a quick rundown on what's been happening my little world in the past month.

1. 26 weeks down, 14 or so to go.  Pod is flailing spastically more and more each day.  She seems to really be active when I am working.  Especially with anything that vibrates my hands (polishing, grinding, etc).  And when Thor calls or video chats.

2.  Went to see Thor in Maryland for a week in mid-May.  It was a fun trip - wish I could have stayed longer.  We got out to see DC and the Smithsonian as well as Annapolis.  Was just great to spend normal couple time with him.  Trying to pull together another trip to see him before I am grounded from air travel.

3.  The Outdoor Market at Midtown Crossing has BEGUN!  I was out there for the first 2 Saturdays and it's an amazing group of vendors, great event staff and just a fun, easygoing atmosphere that is a joy to sell at.  Look for me 5 more weekends throughout the season - June 25, July 2, July 9, July 30 and Aug 6.

4.  Tons of new hair accessories - that's my concentration this summer season.  Not making the full switch over from jewelry (since that is my first love), but am only concentrating on casting jewelry in silver and bronze.

5. Third semester taking metal casting - love it.  Am finishing projects faster and faster and have many to share.  (In a separate post though).  This will be my last semester for a bit, because it ends right around my 8 month of pregnancy.  Won't be able to pick it up again until after Thor gets home and Pod makes her appearance.  But, hopefully I will be back for Winter Quarter in January.

So that's pretty much it.  I am still working on the nursery.  Walls are painted, crib and mattress purchased, stocked up on clothes and basic essentials to see us through the first few weeks.  The amazing Jenny and Kara have a Dr. Seuss themed shower in the works for mid-July...super excited about that.

Looks like the next couple of posts are going to be picture-centric since I still haven't edited pics from my trip, the last round of headband production, Jackie's wedding (I got to accessorize the lovely ladies of the bridal party), etc.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ponderings on becoming a mother...

So it's Mother's Day today.  And while the rest of the country is buying or sending flowers, signing silly cards and booking reservations for brunch or dinner for their moms...I am sitting at my computer thinking about becoming a mother.

Some of you may know my mom, some may not.  I love my mother, but as I have recently discovered by finally being honest with myself...our relationship is far from healthy.  I cannot lay all the blame at her doorstep, it takes two people to make and maintain a good relationship. 

But this Mother's Day, I find myself pondering what kind of mother I'll be.  What my child will think of me when he or she is an adult.  Wondering what I can do to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.  I would be devastated if my child thought, said, or wrote the words, "I love my mother, but...".

But as I've discovered, my mom doesn't really understand me at all.  34 years of trying to show her who I am, twisting and turning myself into knots to try and fit the role I was given, getting angry and frustrated and not being able to show it, being terrified of what she'd say or think or do if I ever had the guts to say, "hey, this is not ok" or, "Mom, I love you...but you are not perfect." 

Well, I finally did this a few weeks ago...and well, now here we are.  In trying to be honest about my feelings, I have basically been shunted to the corner.  We're not speaking, and that's not likely to change unless I want to resume twisting myself into someone I'm just not.  Which is sad and unfortunate.  But, I can't continue being the one who always has to bend, to fold, to smile and pretend just to keep the facade that everything's perfect. 

And after a long hard look at the last 34 years, at letters my mom has written me throughout my life, my own journals from growing up, and facing becoming a mother...I've come up with the following.

As a mother, I want to be there to wipe away my child's tears,
not brush aside my child's feelings.

As a mother, I want to listen to my child's ideas,
not sigh and say I don't have time.

As a mother, I want to laugh with my child,
not laugh at my child's pain.

As a mother, I want my child to feel my love through my actions,
not make my child make do with just words.

As a mother, I want to show my child the world,
not tell them who they should be.

As a mother, I want my child to know that I am not perfect,
not expect my child to pretend that I am.

As a mother, I want to offer whatever help my child needs,
not make my child feel guilty for needing help.

So with that, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home - Part II

So this series is about what home means.  The last installment was about what "home" meant to me as a child.  But just like in nature, things that make a home change as you get older.  And that's where we are right now.

As I am sure most high school students do, I was eager and waiting to turn 18 years old so that the world would see me as an adult.  As if magically on my birthday, the world's perception of me would drastically shift.  Not so much.  When I turned 18, I was still in my senior year of high school with a couple months to go until graduation.  Nothing changed that day. 

But I did have a plan in place.  My senior year was light on the school front, I had loaded up on classes for 3 years so I would only have half days my last year.  I had a few part time jobs and I saved all my money and began to acquire and stockpile linens, housewares, dishes, etc.  I even had a roommate lined up.  My plan was simple - the minute I was handed my diploma, I was planning my escape.

My dreams of college were put on hold because I didn't want to start my life horribly in debt and my mother was unwilling to help with any college expenses regardless of how many partial scholarships I'd been offered or how many schools I got into.  I was on my own.

For months after I graduated, I scoured the rental ads for a place that me and 1 roommate could afford.  As it was San Jose, CA...that was quite a tall order.  But late in the summer, my mom got a phone call from a friend saying there was a 3 bedroom apartment available in her building for less than what my mom was paying for a 2 bedroom.  She jumped on and dragged me to see the place.  Hmmmm...right on the bus line to work, nice building and neighborhood, gasp - cheap rent.  And look!  A 2 bedroom also available. 

Down side - next door to the place my mom wanted.  I waited until my mom went to work on Monday and called her friend to get a rental application.  I filled it out, and waited to hear.  I didn't tell my mom anything about it.  The day she found out she'd gotten the apartment she wanted, I found out I was finally free.

There was a meltdown that I won't bore you with.  But, the minute I paid my security deposit and the first month's rent and stood in that tiny empty apartment, I felt just peaceful.  That ugly green shag carpeting and 70s linoleum were absolutely breath-taking because they were in my house.  My house that had a dead bolt on the front door and none of my mother's rules or drama.  Freedom was a 550 sq foot apartment with a bedroom my furniture barely fit in and a shared bathroom with a friend.  My home had a tiny hideous loveseat from Goodwill and a really ugly orange velour chair that was amazingly comfortable, hand me down dining table/chairs and tons of garage sale kitchenware but it was mine.  All mine.

Home was a space of my own where I was allowed to be whomever I wanted to be and feel however I wanted to feel with the power to tell anyone who didn't like it to leave. 

Home - Part I

A lot of different emotions and mental pictures come to mind when I think of that word. What is home? Four walls with a roof and rooms… pictures of memories and the people that live there? I’ve been thinking about home the past few days, what it was, has been and what it is now.
The thing I remember most from home as a child is stair landings. The houses changed throughout the years, and sometimes that stair landing was just a bend in a hallway, but that landing/bend in the hallway, was home.

When I was little, if I was upset, angry or somehow not what my mom wanted to deal with, I was sent to my room and told I couldn’t come down until I was ready to act the way I was supposed to. It was never about the why. Why was I upset, sad, angry or whatever? The why never seemed to matter.

I remember for years my mom boasting about how I always just went to my room until I could calm down…like it was some big accomplishment of hers somehow. She loved to tell the story of how it all started. With me, at age 4, getting upset about being teased by my parents, and storming up to my room with my parents laughing at me all the way there.

So up I went to my room, and I remember that landing…the turn in the stairs where my mom couldn’t see me anymore, where I was allowed to finally feel the way I actually felt. I spent a lot of time in my room over the years. I learned from a very early age that whenever I couldn’t smile and act like everything was perfect…when I couldn’t hold the façade in place anymore, I went to my room.

The smile, the façade, just needed to hold until I got to that stair landing or bend in the hallway. Then I could be me. I was allowed to cry, or be hurt, or angry, or frustrated…and sometimes just peaceful. I would shut my bedroom door and sit silently until I was able to slip the façade back into place and hold it there.

Until I was able to pretend I felt exactly how I was supposed to feel, be what I was supposed to be.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is my dance space - aka: Respect the perimeter, son!

Ok...brace yourself for a pregnant lady rant.

I understand that a pregnant belly seems to give off vibes of, "touch it.  Touch it.  TOUCH IT."  But what I fail to understand is taking that odd compulsion and randomly touching a stranger's belly, just because she's pregnant. 

Imagine a scenario - random strange guy walks up to a woman and just touches her.  At the very least he would get yelled at, probably slapped, and possibly arrested.  And baring mental illness, a fully functioning person, man or woman, should be able to cognitively reason prior to reaching out a hand and laying it on a woman's belly.  Thinking process should include:  1.  Do I know her?  2.  Would I like someone to randomly touch me?...and 3.  Do I want to be slapped today?

After answering all those questions "no", it's time to back away from the hormonal pregnant woman who probably has no qualms about beating you over the head with a very large purse.

I mean, I don't get all up in your bidzness, touching your bits because they seem what makes you think I want some random guy that I don't know touching my bits.  Without asking.  Hell, even if you ask...  Creepy random guy stranger danger...hello.

So after my first brush with this I have come up with rules regarding the belly. 

The Belly Rules

1.  Don't reach out a hand and raise your eyebrows - use your words.  So then I can use mine.

2.  Just because you think my belly is interesting - doesn't mean I have to let you investigate it.

3.  I don't care if it is the miracle of life - whilst it is encompassed within my personal space, I am the supreme ruler, queen and rebel leader...what I say goes.

4.  Just because someone else some other time let you - doesn't mean I have to.

5.  If I don't know you - the answer is always no.

6.  Respect the perimeter, SON! 

And on that note - I am off to design a t-shirt that says, "Handing out slaps one touch at a time" across the belly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wake me up when there is an ACTUAL tornado!

Saturday mornings are all about sleeping in, staying in your pajamas, and generally being a schleb all day - it's absolutely glorious. 

But this morning - I was woken up by the tornado sirens shrieking outside my windows.  Now, these sirens are tested once a month on a Wednesday, so since it was a Saturday morning...I thought it was legit. 

Heart pounding, I threw on sweats and shoes, grabbed my computer and radio, and hustled the cats downstairs to the basement.  Made a bed out of blankets and pillows on the floor and tried to get reception on my radio. 

The siren was blaring still, the cats were totally freaked out and then I hear it... A completely calm radio announcer telling me that the city of Omaha has decided to randomly test the sirens this morning.  All morning long.


Gosh, I miss California sometimes.  Only sirens you hear are the old air raid ones when they malfunction and only in the older neighborhoods.  I'll take earthquakes any day over a tornado.

Friday, March 25, 2011

So you thought it would be easy to name your child - horror stories from name trauma

So pretty much all of you know that I'm pregnant, expecting my first child.  It's still a few weeks until we can find out the sex of the baby...but being the list maker/planner that I am, there exists already (and for some time now) a list of "approved" names.  Both for boys and girls.  I've shared the list with Thor and while he doesn't approve of all the names, it's at least a jumping off point.

I've heard too many stories of parents waiting to name their kid until they have it in hand and it's crunch time, with the nurse standing by to fill out the birth certificate.

And both my husband and I have serious childhood name trauma ourselves from our names.  So while the smart ass in me (and him!) want to come up with something TRULY spectacular...I am feeling a moment's pause and caution lately.

I don't want my potential daughter to be tormented like I was with the 1980's Star Wars trilogy name all through her school years, because in a moment of "oh, that'd be soooooo cute" I decided to hang the proverbial sign - sending her to school with donut braids and a name that screamed IRONY at the top of its lungs. 

(Disclaimer:  My mother will claim that I asked her to do the donut braids.  But, as I was only 6 years old and couldn't begin to understand the complexities of life, I maintain that she, as the adult, should have known better.)  Love ya mom, but totally gonna pin that one on you.

Or a cocktail waitress' name, or a stripper name, or the name I SWORE to my grandmother I would never, never, NEVER name my child.  Which my mom actually likes. 

And I don't want my potential son to have a name that seems like a cool, unusual the parents are from some other country - let's say Norway, for example.  But is in fact an attempt by academics to place that sign again on a poor defenseless child.  Who will come to realize torment for said name, right about the time he's discovering girls.  And while it's cool to be named after the Norse god of thunder...telling a cute girl at a party that you were named after a drawf king in MiddleEarth doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

And I am contemplating the poor Apples, Kal- Els, and Rumers of the world - they aren't ever living that shit down...trying to think of a name that sounds good with our last name, won't cause undue trauma, hasn't been used 5 million times, and won't get the poor kid beat up in school.

Boy, this is going to be harder than I thought...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I've been the victim of pilferage...shameless pilferage.

Once upon a time (sometime this past Winter), I met a lovely woman at a craft show.  She and I started talking and laughing like old friends in a matter of minutes.  She made these Cuddle Babies - soft fleece guys that looked like gingerbread men.  The babies had a velcro flap that held a linen pillow of fragrant brown rice that you heated up in the microwave, put in the baby, and then cuddled with it.

I LOVE this thing.  It's awesome, I put it in my bed on cold nights to warm up the blankets.  Sometimes I use it as a neck pillow to relax my muscles.  I love it.

Today I was the victim of shameless pilferage of my Cuddle Baby - The minute I turned around, someone took it.  And here's the culprit!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The best weight loss plan even Kate Middleton doesn't know about...

I stumbled upon the best weight loss plan I've ever run across about 4 months ago.  Wasn't looking to lose weight, in fact I was engaging in planning for an event sure to pack on the pounds.

So how did I do it?  Well, let me run through the 5 easy steps to my weight loss.

1.  Get knocked up.

2.  Be nauseous 24 hours a day for 3 months solid, resulting in eating very little.

3.  Sleep all the bloody time.  Sleep like you have a raging case of mono.  Sleep like a college student crashing after a Redbull binge for finals.  Hell, sleep like a fuzzy, one crossed eye house cat named Munchkin - actually I think I put even him to shame.

4.  Have a human being growing inside you that takes between 300-600 calories from you a day.  Every day.

5.  Drink water like you are stuck in the middle of the desert with no hope of ever getting out.  Or like you are half camel.

And voila! 

I've lost over 25 pounds so far.  Crazy.
I'm going to call it the Pod diet.

Brought to you by Butler.  Pod Butler.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just when you think drinking orange goo and being poked 4 times is bad...

So the weekend was nice and uneventful - but it didn't start out that way. 

Friday morning at the butt crack of dawn I dragged my ass outta bed and drove across town to the base clinic to have a 3-hour glucose test that my OB ordered.  Yes, I know it seems really soon to be having such a test during my pregnancy...but with my family medical history of type 1 diabetes, my OB is being super careful and testing early. 

So I show up and am immediately poked - the base line checked - all good at 110 after fasting for 12 hours.  Then they have me sit down and make me drink 10 oz of this thick, vile orange goo - that is sooo sweet I kept gagging.  

Wait 1 hour.  Although after about 20 minutes, my heart is racing and I feel lightheaded so I ask the nurse if that is normal.  Sure, she's just a sugar high.  Ok??  I've never had a sugar high in my life...I felt like I was having a stroke.  Struggled to keep it down, chugged through like 32 oz of water trying to dilute some of it.

After 1 hour I was poked again.  That's 2 so far.  Then sent to sit back down and wait another hour.  About halfway into the second hour my heart wasn't racing anymore which helped me feel better.  Worked on the baby swaddle I was making since there was nothing else to do.

After the second hour - poked again.  They couldn't find a vein so it took a couple tries.  That's 3 times.  Sent back to my seat, finished the baby blanket and waited out the last hour.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  After about an hour and 20 minutes...they FINALLY poke me the last time.  Both arms totally bruised...yay.  Poked 4 times.  So they send me home, told me I would have my results by 5pm.

Great.  On the way out of the office, I was bolting back Gatorade and munching on a Cliff bar...since it had been about 17 hours since I'd eaten last.  The pod was not happy. 

Walked to my car and saw about 3 car lengths away that my rear bumper had been hit.  Asshats!  Sometime while I was taking that test, someone hit my parked car.  No note.  People are vile.  Sit on hold with my insurance company while I walked around the parking lot looking at all the red vehicles looking for matching damage - no luck.  Progressive was great - took my info in less than 5 minutes and had an adjustor call me within 15 minutes.  Awesome.  Totally easy to deal with.

Security forces patently refuses to even take a report since both parties aren't present.  Guess they've never heard of "leaving the scene of an accident" or how to do actual police work.  *eyes roll*  So glad I live off base...cuz heaven forbid there was an actual crime in their jurisdiction, I'd be totally screwed.

Fast forward to today.  Just got back from having the collision estimate done on the damage.   Purely cosmetic - yay.  To the tune of nearly 800 bucks.  Boo.  

On the plus side - can't get any worse, right?  Oh wait...still waiting on the test results.  Maybe I should hold off on that...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jumping into Maternity - the totally true adventures shopping for the baby bump.

So after a scary turn buying my first pair of maternity pants, which are still too big...and still scare me...I went browsing on Old Navy for some Spring/Summer tops and dresses.

Jackpot - on sale too.  Now, I like rather plain clothing - just punches of color against neutrals, so I can use my monster collection of jewelry, hair accessories, purses, and shoes to dress up or down.  Here are a couple of my favorites -

This orchid pink dress is cute and I have the perfect shoes for it.  It will be cute to wear for my birthday next month when I am down South.  Just need the perfect shade of pink nail polish for my wee piggies.

Then I saw this pretty navy blue dress - which I'm taking a chance on, but Omaha can get somewhat chilly in the Spring and Summer so thought this would be cute with a pair of leggings and boots.  And a cool necklace.

Ok, this purple top was a must have because I LOVE purple - and I'm more of a jeans and sandles type girl in the summer - not sure how that is going to work with being pregnant.  But fingers crossed.

If I like the top as much in person - there are 3 more colors available.  It's becoming kinda fun to shop for maternity clothes now.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Only 16 days until Spring?

So another storm threatened...but didn't actually hit again last night.  Mother Nature is just toying with our emotions again.

I miss green things growing.  I look outside and everything is still flowers, no grass, bald creepy trees.  So I find it hard to believe that Spring is only 16 days away supposedly.  March 21 is the first day of Spring?  Yeah...sooooo not buying. 

Man, I think I need a trip to the local flower nursery so I can take pictures of actual live plants...maybe that will break me out of my funk.  At least the sun's out - if I stay inside, I can make believe that it's warm...while huddling in sweats and thick wool socks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The great nursery CLEAN-OUT caper continues...

So I have made some major headway cleaning out the room we're making into a nursery - it was the guestroom/storage up until now.  The double bed has been dismantled, ready to be stored in the basement once hubby and me get the mattresses wrapped in plastic. 

I have spent the last week or so going through the MASSES of clothes, shoes, hats, bags, etc I managed to accumulate over an adult lifetime, and have filled about 15 trashbags with the discards.

We've picked out the furniture that we want - it's really beautiful, but we are going to wait for those glorious Memorial Day sales to get it. 

 We went and picked out the new wall color for the room too - this really soft, warm oatmeal color. 

Since we don't know what we are having yet, and we have a primary color theme regardless, it's a color that will work how ever old the kid gets.

I've made a few purchases already - mostly clothes: onesies, swaddles, bibs/burp clothes...things you can never have too many of.

And books.  Starting to amasse a collection of children's books - mostly the ones I remember from my own childhood.  My mum saved a bunch of them, and she's sending out what she has found.

We also picked out the bedding set/nursery decor that we want.  Dr. Seuss!!  I love Dr. Seuss...who doesn't.  A friend, (thank you Kris!) found this great baby bedding website that has every possible style you could ever imagine. 

The registries are filled out - stuck with Babies R Us and Target to make it simple. 

My brother is expecting his first child too this year, in July, so the cousins will be really close in age. Found out Monday it's a girl!  So have a wee niece to spoil too.  Super excited! 

Bought my first pair of mommy jeans since warmer weather is hopefully just around the corner.  And I have to say...maternity pants are just not comfortable...and they look weird. 

Maybe suspenders are the way to go - because without an ass of my very own to hold pants up and only a weird elastic band between me and mooning everyone...could be a recipe for disaster.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well that resolution kinda got KICKED in the face...

So my resolution to maintain my blog better lasted about a month...and then epic failed into February.

So, here I am at the tail end of a month with very few updates to beg forgiveness and all of my readers' kind indulgence.

Some news to report -

Was invited to a very prestigious bridal show - DC Centre Bridal Show - which was this past Sunday.  The place was PACKED with blushing brides-to-be and all the wedding accoutrements from tons of fabulous local vendors.  I was blown away when I found out that I was the only handmade jewelry artisan invited to show at the event.  Wow, such a boost to my ego.

A little bummed that my show schedule this year is going to be so thin - but as I will be by myself and starting to balloon out with the pod - as the season really starts to swing...I have to be sensible.  So I hope dear readers that you will stick with me through the Spring and Summer months on here.  I have some thoughts about creating my own "online craft show" for a couple dates...stay tuned for more on that.

I have samples in the works for the Sampler Village's March Sampler boxes - gotta get those in the mail early next week.

My first ultrasound was rescheduled to Friday - and since this is the military...not sure if I will have a "first pic" to share.  But, fingers crossed...we'll see.

The house needs a serious Spring cleaning - which my fuzzy enabler (Munchkin) is currently holding me down with his 5lbs to stop me from starting.  The nursery (which is currently the guestroom and storage needs to be cleaned out and repainted a color that doesn't look like peach vomit.

That's it for now!

Friday, February 4, 2011

2 more NEW sachet scents!

Wind Dancer now has 4 drawer/closet sachet scents...but these aren't your grandmother's sachets!

The new scents are Lavender Sweetgrass - which is clean and spicy smelling.  And Cedar Mint - which reminds me of evergreen forests in and crisp.

Still need to photograph these and get them up on the websites. 

More new scents on the way - Sage Cedar, and Mint Lavender.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That little groundhog better WATCH it!

It's the first day of February and we are currently entrenched in a nasty blizzard.  As some of you may know, today is not a significant day on the 'ol calendar...except in one instance:

It's the day before Groundhog Day.

Which by all accounts doesn't mean much...except that a rotund rodent has all of our fates wrapped up in his fat little paws.  Will he see his shadow?  Will it be six more weeks of winter?

Punxatawney Phil has us all at his mercy as he slumbers in a freaking climate controlled little groundhog bunker with all the groundhog treats he can eat.  What does he care that we're all slipping on patches of ice, driving on unsafe roads, and trying to lay in supplies for our families?  He's got handlers that see to those little mundane details.

He doesn't have to leave his home to search for food.  He doesn't have to worry about giant bruises on his furry wide backside.  He doesn't even have to worry about finding a job in this economy.

'Ol Punxatawney Phil is set for life.  His job is to predict the weather one day a year...and it's always the same forecast.

Snow.  Ice.  Cold.  Misery.
For six more weeks.

Gee, do I get that job?

Monday, January 31, 2011

A little under the weather but with a purpose...

So as some of you may know - I have been feeling a bit rundown lately.  A little overly tired, etc.  But as I was overjoyed to discover, I don't have the flu...or some other form of creeping crud.

I'm pregnant!

Woohoo!  And while I may whine and complain about how I seem to need to sleep 12 hours a day now, how I am nauseous 24 hours a day, and generally feel like someone is beating me with a least it's for a good cause.

So all is well, I'm taking those horrible smelling vitamins and trying to still get some work done between naps.  The fuzz people who sleep 20 hours a day are bad influences...Munchkin especially.

Other moms assure me that this will all pass in a few more weeks...let's hope, because you know me...if I am not doing 10 things at once whilst thinking about 4 more, I'm not a happy camper.

On the plus side, apparently I now have bionic hearing and the ability to smell what my neighbor 4 houses down is cooking for dinner.  Weird.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yippee Skippee - it's TAX time AGAIN!!

Ok, I may be the only person in the world who actually looks FORWARD to doing my taxes.

But I totally do - I love that Uncle Sam gives me money back.  It's just cool.  So very very very cool.
Hopefully this year will yield an actual VACATION to somewhere warm for a week or so.  And also some fun little toys for my studio - I have my eye on a drill press and torch set up....oooo oooo and a casting kiln.

So each day I scamper to the mail box and sort through the junk to find those tax forms and add them to the pile.

Our tax preparer is expecting us bright and early at noon on a Saturday in early February to see how much money Uncle Sam is giving back to us.  With an over 6 month deployment last year and me building a business...I'm thinking he will be kind.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fighting the BDU/ABU funk - aka: Freshen up those military blues and greens

As some of you may know, I am a proud military wife.  I am proud of my Airman.  He wears a uniform every day and is my own personal hero.  Awwwww.....  One of those uniforms is the ABU.

ABUs, battle dress camoflage uniforms are common dress for everyday.  They are made of a thick canvas type material that is treated with layers and layers and LAYERS of starch, hair spray, thickening agents to keep them crisp, pleated and ironed to perfection.

Unfortunately, while this process makes the uniforms look good, it makes them smell awful.  No matter how much these uniforms are washed, dry cleaned, etc....there is a special stank fondly called the "ABU funk". 

To combat this, so my own clothing doesn't smell like wet dog combined with smelly gym socks I created drawer and closet scented herbal sachets.  And so I didn't send my husband to work smelling like sweet girly things, I used more "manly" scents.

My personal favorite is the Sweetgrass Cedar blend - it freshes up those smelly uniforms and protects them from any greedy moths that try to make a meal outta them.  I used these pretty heavily in my husband's stored uniforms while he was deployed.  Because ABU funk is bad enough without encasing it alone in a plastic bag for 6 months.

They are also good for storing Winter clothes, jackets....sneaking into your husband's gym bag and sock drawer.  As well as freshing linens and bedding.

If you are interested in purchasing some sachets for your own soldier, airman, or sailor - here is the link to them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

NEW for Spring - Girasole Collection

Working on new Spring Collections and have finished the first one, a line of ready-to-wear jewelry and hair accessories for everyday wear.  Pretty, youthful and sweet these designs go perfectly with vibrant color palette of this Spring's fashions.

Girasole - which is Italian for sunflower.   To me, sunflowers are the happiest of flowers, warm and welcoming.  This collection combines the beauty of different metals with simple, pretty millefiori glass beads.

Facebook FAN Giveaway! - 200th FAN wins a bobby pin set

The next giveaway from Reyna Red - Wind Dancer is for our 200th Facebook FAN!  Enter to win a bobby pin set of 3 (assorted colors, the picture is just an example) by becoming a FAN on Facebook.

Enter to WIN here!

Congratulations to our 150th FAN - winner of a free gemstone Amulet necklace:

Hannah Bythrow

She chose a white howlite amulet.  Howlite is a super-calming stone and helps to relieve stress.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just another Manic Monday!

So at the crack of oh'dark hundred, my eyes popped open and I was WIDE awake. 

Damn it.

Stared at the ceiling for a bit before creeping out of bed to check the time - holy shit it's 5:30am.  Got out of bed since sleeping seemed a fruitless pursuit and went about my day.  Shower, dress, feed fuzzy horde...ok, now it's 6am.

Decided to make breakfast for Thor since he was still asleep, so he wouldn't have to eat a bowl of cereal on the run.  And being the loving and awesome wife I am...I made chocolate corn muffins.  The timer beeped and the muffins came out as I was boiling water for coffee.

And he hits the snooze button. 

I wait a bit, the piping hot muffins cooling off.  The water boils and I let the kettle scream for longer than usual, using it as a passive aggressive alarm clock.

He hit snooze again.

Well, so much for my whole loving wife extravaganza.  Like a tree that falls in the woods with no one to see it.  Did it really happen? 

Did it?

Finally after a gentle noodge from me about breakfast and coffee waiting...Thor emerged.  It was rather like Puxatawney Phil on Groundhogs' Day...eyes barely open, squinting in the light, hunched over, big yawns, shuffling through the house.

And now it's 7am - I have a pot roast in and I am starting to work on my websites.  I'm betting most people aren't even awake.

P.S.  I took pics of the chocolate corn muffins - but I can't find the USB cable for the camera.  So you will have to imagine them.  But they were yummy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Photo of the Week - Sneak peek of new products! drawer sachet scents, coming SOON!

Classes, classes, classes - Casting 101, Part 1

Hi all -

A while ago, Thor and I signed up for a lost wax casting class.  Wax casting is something I always wanted to learn, but for whatever reason hadn't until now.  I've taken many a silversmithing class, in both high school and college, and never came across casting before.  Thor was game too which made it even more fun.  So we've been going for about 5 weeks now and we both really enjoy it.

So I thought I would give a rundown of the steps to casting.  And I recommend it to anyone who would like to learn new skills, or is just looking for something fun to do. 

Step 1 - Work with wax to create a design - using carving tools, shapers and a bunsen burner to heat the wax molten.  You can also use organic material or plastics to "burn out" a mold without using wax.

Step 2 -  Mount your completed design on a sprue (a thin wax stem) inside a casting flask (a steel tube).  The casting flask must allow 1/2 inch from top of design to top of tube and 1/4 inch around the sides.  It must not touch the sides of the casting flask.

Step 3 - Weigh/Measure out the investment and water according to the amounts on the flask (each flask has 2 numbers on it, for the amount of investment and water you need.)  Investment is a sticky kind of plaster that dries around the design and is maintained once the wax or organic material is burned out, forming the mold.

Step 4 - This step is timed and needs to be completed within 7 minutes.  Mix the investment and water to the consistency of thin pancake batter and pour at an angle into the casting flask until the mixture covers the design.  Then it's over to the vaccuum machine to tap out any bubbles in the investment so that it's ready to cast.  Once the vaccuum is completed, the flask is set aside for 15 minutes to dry.

At this point the actually casting process begins, which will be continued in the next segment.

Next time...Casting 101 - Part 2

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SNOW DAY! aka: Is it ever ever EVER going to stop snowing?!

So's another snow day! Between Sunday and this morning, Omaha got over a foot of snow. No lulls, continuous snow...without stopping...ever.

Hubby and I were out there like 3 times yesterday shoveling and you still can't tell we even lifted a finger. Today, it's not actively snowing...but we're looking at temps in the negative numbers with -25 degree wind chills. Brrrrr....

So for those of you enjoying balmier temps, here are some pics of what's outside my door. Enjoy whilst I look up pics of tropical climes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Tao of Neighbors - aka: How to avoid a toilet-papered house

As some of you may know already, I have some of the best neighbors in the world.  And a couple of the absolute worst.  And since I know such a situation is quite commonplace among the suburbs, cities, hamlets, dales, etc - I thought I would share my "guide" for being a good neighbor.

1.  My property is my property, and yours is yours.  I don't barbeque in your front yard for my pleasure, don't send your screaming children to play in mine for yours.

2.  If you don't like my life, stop paying so much attention to it.

3.  I don't tell you how to decorate your house, sit quietly and keep your thoughts on my covering up a caca brown color to yourself.

4.  I know you think your children are abolute angels, so why don't you actually spend time with them?

5.  Just because you believe in free childcare, doesn't mean I have to provide it.

6.  It's good to have flights of fancy, but not good to have them at someone else's expense and then spread the stories around.

7.  Just because my yard is a corner lot at the end of the street, doesn't mean that it's the neighborhood park.

8.  Creating a homeowner's association that no one is obligated to adhere to or join, means that you have absolutely no authority to try and impose your will upon others.

9.  When I want your opinion, I will ask for it.

10.  Continuously lingering on someone else's property without permission, when you have been asked to leave, is called trespassing.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Movie Saturday, other goings on, and random picture

So Thor and I ran a bunch of errands today in kind of a random circular motion, first going to the Post Office.  Had 2 international packages to go out and AGAIN I had to wait till I got to the counter to ask for customs slips since they never bother to stock the forms in the lobby.  Frantically filled those out so I wouldn't have to get back in line, hopefully they are somewhat legible. 

From there our quest for a larger tackle box for our jewelry tools led us to the mecca of all outdoor stores...Bass Pro Shops.  Ok.  So I get that we are in kinda a hunting/fishing/yay guns area of the country...but I was not prepared for the sheer MASSIVE size of that store.  I did like the sign over the door - it made me laugh.

"Welcome all hunters, fishermen and all other liars."

So we go in and I stopped in the middle of the entryway, staring at the multitudes of people SUPER excited to be in that store on a Saturday.  I felt completely out of place and like I had a giant blinking sign over my head, "*cough* Bass Pro Shops virgin. *cough*"  Plus I think I was the only one not wearing flannel and gum boots.  lol

After the successful mission to find a larger tackle box for class, a Starbucks run (because the Bass Pro Shop had one randomly to one side next to the live bait section), and stop for those heavenly candied warm almonds...we were on our way back to Omaha to hit up Target for catfood.  Before Munchkin staged a full-scale revolt and hostile take over...because he's fairly certain he might die of starvation if he is not fed every 25 minutes or so.

Cat food in hand, we then began a journey to the new Aksarben Cinema that was just finished last month.  We found UNO, found it lost, found it again...and then finally stumbled upon the movie theatre.  Sadly, we were like an hour early so we had a look around at the "shopping center".  That took up about 10 minutes...and then we went to Jones' Cupcakes to kill some more time. 

Ok, I really do not understand the cupcake restaurant business model.  Who the heck wants to pay 3 bucks EACH for a cupcake?!  And a whopping $33 dollars for a dozen.  A DOZEN?!!  What kind of lunacy is that?  Buy a cake mix and a can of frosting - make a dozen yourself for like what, 5 bucks?

So then we were off to see Season of the Witch.  Thank goodness the theatre had a military price, because there is NO reason a movie in Omaha costs $9 per person.  Are you serious?  So anyway...the movie...yeah, it was ok until the last 15 minutes or so.  Classic story - great buildup, climax more of a muted fizzle instead of a bang.  A little heavyhanded with the "moral" of the story...felt a bit like a Sunday School comic book for naughty children.

Weather Men calling for either 50 degree weather or 12 inches of snow.  Can I barter for something in the middle??  Temps in the 30s and like 5 inches of snow?

And here's that random pic I promised you.  Because this is the weather I WISH we were having in January.  Of course the pic is from a cruise I took down to Mexico at the time like 4 years ago.  Balmy 80 degree weather, sun shining, ocean, warm sand....*sniff*

And now that I am thoroughly depressed, I have pics to edit for new products.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pocket Cookie - aka: The random things men do

I was putting on my coat last night after Silversmithing class, asking Thor if he wanted to stop by Starbucks on the way home for coffee.

He put his hand in his coat pocket, pulled out a cookie from Panera and said,

"Oh...I got this for you awhile ago and forgot to give it to you."

Then he handed me the pocket cookie.

So now I've been calling him "pocket cookie".

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Latest Ice Cream creation!

My wonderful husband and partner in crime, Thor, got me an ice cream maker attachment for Christmas for our KitchenAid stand up mixer.

Since then we've been trying different cream bases and mix-ins.  I love the fact that I can make and have fresh ice cream in like 20 minutes.

Tonight's creation was cinnamon ice cream which we had with fried, caramelized plaintains.

It was yuuuuuuumy!!

Photo Of The Week - When Pig was still Piglet

When my now 27lb cat, Pig, was a kitten, small and timid little snuggler who tried to steal my bear, Benjamin.  I remained aloof to his apparent cuteness and would only annex the bear for short naps. 

For a small fee.

**Benjamin Bear's wounded nose is not his fault.**

As I sit huddled for warmth around my laptop...

Hello fair readers!

That exclamation point is a bald faced lie...but I thought the effort was good considering that on this coooooooooold (holy schikies) Tuesday morning, here I sit huddled for warmth around my laptop battery and cup of coffee.

Plans for the day are much the same as yesterday - more pics to edit, Etsy to work on, fuzzy demands to meet.

And since I like to start out with a lame movie on Tuesdays, "Wild Wild West" is queued up and I have every confidence that it's as lame as I remember.

So here I go back to huddling...I  No really.  No, seriously. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

So you think you have high cholesterol?

Accomplished everything I set out to today, except the grilled salmon healthy dinner I planned in the early morning hours.  Epic Fail.

A trip to Office Max to get a new printer (my old all-in-one decided to turn cannibal shortly before Christmas, and would only scan, but not print or copy), found one marked 75% off (yay, me!) turned into a wander for "actual food" which in turn translated into calzones.

Yeah...the calzones had spinach in them covered in mountains of lovely cheeses and chicken, so hubby tried to say they were healthy...ish.  Noooooo.  Again...Epic Fail.

Post casting class Starbucks stop was was the Gingerbread loaf slice.  It's coldddddddd tonight.

And that's all folks!

***Stay tuned for Casting 101 - aka When redheads hold torches, light ablaze crucibles and generally wreak havoc in a community center casting lab with wax.

Munchkin's Fuzzy Advice for a Happy Life - 1/3/11

"When you have things to do, just yawn and roll over...they'll go away eventually."

Welcome 2011 - I solemnly swear to write more

Hi all -

My poor, poor, poor neglected blog.  Well, here we are just 3 days into 2011 and I have decided to write.  And to start off, let me beg forgiveness for the absolute thoughtless behavior that led me to ignore you for these last 3 long months.

So here I am, early on a Monday morning...up before dawn (crap), first cup of coffee downed in 2 minutes flat, first load of laundry in, and bleary-eyed in general...I am attempting to type some love to you fine readers.

Plans for the year -

1.  Blog at least 3 times per week - more living, more laughter, pics and Munchkin's advice on life.

2.  For the love of all that is pretty and shoes, I WILL organize my studio!  More than just shoveling things from one side of my table to the other.  Shoveling doesn't count.

3.  I will continue to let Munchkin bully me with his fuzzy demands.

4.  I will share the idiotic movies I watch, and the music I listen to throughout the day, as well as my trials and accomplishments.

5.  I will dance like an idiot, sing too loud, and bounce up and down and act like I didn't know you were watching.

Plans for today -

1.  Editing Etsy listings on winddancerdesigns for my destash section of jewelry supplies I have sworn to give up/pare down.

2.  If the freaking sun EVER comes out, catch up on product pics for headbands and french barrettes.

3.  Make something yummy for dinner with salmon that my husband will actually want to eat without staring at it like he's never seen a fish before.  (I miss CA...all the fish live there)  Although his cholesterol count is working in my favor on that - fish oil pills are icky.  I'm thinking grilled salmon with baby corn and sweet potatoes.

And now with all my plans (well, the ones I could come up with on that first cup of blessed life-giving caffeine) written down and the sun actually up now, I will call this first entry done. 

Please forgive its awkwardness and I go to fold some laundry, make that 2nd cup of life giving sustenance and to actually get my ass to work. 

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is queued up.