Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Aurora on the Move

(Yes, she IS a cutie.)  Aurora is seven and a half months tomorrow--it's been a little while since I shared an update.  She is learning new things everyday. She's constantly making me laugh--and cry (tears of joy!).  I'm preparing to be a lot more active, as she's figured out how to maneuver herself around and across every room (still wiggling on her tummy, but crawling is not far behind--we predict it will be happening within the next week or so).  She's also finally getting a little pudge on her bones (thanks to a combination of formula, rice cereal breakfast, and a healthy dinner appetite).
 She's starting to recognize and "pose" for the camera.

 in her Madonna onesie and Crawler Covers ( baby legwarmers!), having a snack

 This is one sweet face, ladies and gentlemen.

 On the move--in another pair of Crawler Covers (a gift from my dear friend Amy!)

 I love how proud she is when she gets a toy she wants (or something she shouldn't have, like a cord. Time to childproof around these parts!)

 Look at that little belly!

Already hammin' it up for the cameras...

Every day is a joy and a challenge.  I put covers on the reachable electrical outlets last night and have started the process of researching baby gates for our stairs.  When she was tiny, these things seemed so far away, but now they're here.  I had a tearful Mommy moment the other day--she is definitely doing the "Mmm" sound and often says "Ma-ma-ma-ma."  Who knows if she understands it, but she does it when she wakes up from sleep/naps and when she falls and wants to be picked up.  I was changing her diaper and she looked right at me and said, "Ma-ma-ma-ma" and smiled.  I got all teary and kissed her, picked her up and said, "Yep, Mama! Ma-ma-ma!"  I think she knows.

I can't wait to see all the amazing things she'll do next, though I can't help but feel those inevitable I wish she'd stay like this forever feelings.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 27: Patience is a virtue

I found out I was pregnant in the Spring. Summer has now come and gone. Autumn is finally starting to show its face. Baby is expected to arrive in the winter. That means I will be pregnant during every season! That also means that pregnancy lasts a darn long time.

I had sort of a “moment” this past weekend. [Ok…so I’ve had quite a few of said “moments” since becoming pregnant and having my body be overtaken by hormones.] Getting dressed on Saturday morning I could not find anything I felt comfortable wearing. There I was, walking around in my skivvies, screaming bloody murder, rummaging through my drawers.
“I am sick of being pregnant!”
Yep, not even 7 months in, and it’s already come to this. Sounds so silly….so unfounded. In fact, I feel guilty for even thinking it, let alone saying it out loud. I am LUCKY and BLESSED to be pregnant. Andrew and I wanted a baby so badly and now we have a little one on the way! I am thankful. But I’m also impatient….
So I’m thinking of GOOD things about waiting another 3 months. Here’s my list:
1. More time to “nest”….that nursery needs a LOT of work! Tonite we are going to register for some goodies and maybe pick up some supplies for another DIY project.
2. More time to be pampered (seriously….I get foot massages from hubby on demand now!) and people in general are extra nice to us pregos.
3. More time for baby to grow and get nice and healthy so when she comes out she is strong and ready to face the world.
4. More time to mentally prepare….because as difficult as being pregnant is, I have a feeling being a mommy will be worlds more difficult.


In these photos: yellow H&M sweater dress, vintage necklaces, vintage belt, vintage loafers (for sale in our shop!)

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Is that ME? (Part 2)

It's no secret that motherhood changes you.  Aurora has completely turned my world around.  I want to be a better person for her. I want her to have someone to look up to.

It's also no secret to anyone in my life that I went through a rough patch where I was trying to "figure out who I am," and this included: getting a divorce, dating a string of people who were really unkind to me, going out a LOT, getting my lip pierced, trying to be in a band (yeah, I know), and allowing people to use me and my talents just because I was afraid of being alone. Phew. Yikes.

Then, I got pregnant.  And I fell in love with Q.  (Yes, in that order.)  And since then, nothing has been the same--and nothing will be again.  I am secure in who I am, as a mom, wife, and woman.  I know I'm funny, fun, creative, and talented, and I only open my heart to people who want to know me without strings attached. I've become a good judge of character upon first meeting someone.

I've gained a few pounds from pregnancy and stress, changed hairstyles a few times, taken out my lip ring, and evolved my style just a bit (admittedly mostly due to the weight gain/body change--dressing curves can be a challenge!).  I feel peaceful in the midst of a very chaotic life. And I'm so thankful.

I still have three tattoos, and am planning at least two more...and sometimes I miss the lip ring because it made me feel badass and invincible...but then I realize how much more badass and invincible I feel being a mother.


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Is that ME??

Being a "model" for our etsy shops (Miskabelle & now Miskabelly) leaves me with an over-abundance of photos of myself.  It's actually kind of scary when I open iPhoto and see my face over and over again....trying to do my casual-yet -smug-fake-model-y look.  Tonite I decided to take a peek back at some photos from around this time last year...and I have to say--it was a reality check.  No matter how much I complain about my "too small" baby bump, I realize now that my body has changed SO much already.  And I don't really mind it. : )

Enjoy the weekend!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 26: Got my mind on my money & my money on my mind

Well, blogosphere, I need some advice.
I am so darn excited to have this little baby, but there is something that has been putting a big of a damper on things.  And it sounds so awful, but honestly to sum it up in a word—it’s MONEY.  Everyone knows that babies are expensive (doctor appointments, hospital bills, diapers, cribs, clothes, etc. etc.) and I’m totally okay with all that (we have insurance and lots of lovely friends and family members to help us with the extras if we need it).  I’m just stressing about quitting my day job. 
Don’t get me wrong—I’m certainly NOT a workaholic!  And I really don’t contribute all that much to our total income.  But I do contribute a little…and it’s going to be weird to pull off the band-aid, quit my job, and suddenly not have those paychecks coming in every other week.  I keep telling myself “We’ll make it work” but there’s this guilt looming over my head.  I can’t picture sitting at home and watching Andrew leave for work every morning.  But I know that being a mom is A LOT of work.  And I’ve always said that I wanted to stay at home with my babies, rather than paying someone else to take care of them (which is just a preference I have!  I totally understand that not everyone feels that way and I don’t mean to offend anyone!).  I am also excited to have more time to work on Miskabelly/Miskabelle stuff, and hopefully make it more of a career (so I’ll be a WAHM (work at home mom) instead of a SAHM (stay at home mom)).  So I guess I have made my choice.  I want to stay at home.  I just want some reassurance that I’m not being irrational (I mean, hormones can do crazy things to a gal’s mind!). 
The main advice that I need now is when to actually quit working.  My due date is December 28th…so if all goes as planned, I will be on Christmas break when baby arrives anyway.  So should I work up until the last minute?  Or should I give myself a few weeks to get things together?….(plan for the holidays!) and just enjoy my last days as a single unit, without a baby attached to my hip?  Because when I really start to think about it, our lives are about to change forever.  Andrew and I as just a couple, will be no more.  We will be a family.  Which I love.  But I love it now, as just the two of us (and the pup!) too.  And I kind of want to savor it just a bit longer.  But the sooner I begin to “savor”….the sooner the bills are going to start piling up.  Oh Money, why must you go and ruin all the fun??

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer (and furthermore, to make it about such a passé topic as money….eeps).  On a good note—I’m at 26 weeks.  14 weeks to go.  Feelin' good.  Gettin' excited.  Ready or not…here comes baby!

In these photos:  Vintage striped boat neck tee, Levi's jeans, vintage belt and vintage cowboy boots

This week I feel like my clothes are all getting too small.  The jeans in the photo are unbuttoned (and partially unzipped) and being held up by the belt on its last hole.  The top gives a bit of a bare midriff and when I tug it down to cover my belly, it has sort of a tent-like effect (which makes it hard to see the roundness of the bump!  But I's growing!).

Thanks for reading and thanks for voting!

P.S. Yes, I did just quote Snoop Dogg in my blog title.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Miskabelly Weekend Recap

Remember me? Amanda?  Yeah, it's been a while. I have a baby  and these two jobs that I work from home on top of Miskabelle and Miskabelly and a really cool husband I like to hang out with and stuff, and...I haven't had much time to blog.  Or think for that matter.

This weekend was a nice escape back to my parents to hang out with them and J, as well as get a photoshoot in. Phew.  The only downside was that Q couldn't come with me. :( He's been busy getting our house all ready for the wedding festivities and he had to coach soccer and hang with his girls this weekend, so Aurora and I drove up on Friday.  She was so good in the car! She played, napped, ate, played, napped.  I was relieved.  She did the same thing on the way home. Phew.

When I got there, everyone else was at work (I left at 6:30am because we got up with Q, who had to leave the house at 6), so Aurora and I hung out a bit, had a snack/bottle, then went to do a little shopping at my favorite thrift store, which was having a bag sale! Score!  After that, we met Jayme for a late lunch (which ended up being a smoothie) and then I went to get my hair cut (It's an asymmetrical "lob" and I love it!).  After that, we hung out with my parents, went out to dinner, and chilled for the evening.

The next morning, I got to sleep in because Grandma wanted to take Aurora and give her the 7am bottle and play with her.  Jayme came over while I was sleeping, but once I woke up, we got ready and went on another thrifty trip (which was a success!) while my mom watched Aurora. Uncle Andrew came with us.  We all got coffee at our favorite little shop. Then we ate lunch and commenced the photo shoot... (these are just some outtakes from promo shots we were trying to get done):

 Can you see the lob? Also, my all-vintage outfit? And J's bump? And Rora's vintage sailor dress?
Rora and Mama. I could not love a person more than I love this little gal.
playing with Uncle Andy (who was the only one who could make her laugh!)
Aunt Jayme, getting her practice in!

my little beauty in her little vintage dress.

It was a great day! Our dad cooked a HUGE family dinner, and our cousins came over with their two kids.  I love a full house (when they're not all my kids! ha.).  I came back to Virginia early on Sunday so Q and I could get more work done...everyone will be down here again in two weeks! I can't wait!

After enduring a lot of stress the past month, I made a professional decision to leave one of my jobs so I could focus more on doing what I love (writing, running our Etsy shops, spending uninterrupted time with my husband).  I'm confident that this is the right decision and everything will fall into place, financially and otherwise.  I feel like I can breathe again.  And I feel a renewed purpose and energy.  So expect more posts from me very soon (and Jayme's weekly update tomorrow!).

Do your thang (and please, if you enjoy the blog at all, click below to vote--two seconds, that's LITERALLY all it takes to help us do our thang.),

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am happy.

Well, my birthday is over.  I'm sitting here alone in my living room--the hubby is working late.  Actually, my pup, Sophie is with me.  I had to take her to the vet today because she's been acting strange and not being her usual cuddly-self.  Looks like she may have hurt her back and will have to take anti-inflammatories for a week.  Oh, and it's raining.
All this junk should have me in a crabby mood.  The usual Jayme would be feeling depressed.  But you know what?  I'm happy.
This afternoon we had another ultrasound.  We got to "visit" with our little babe.  We got to see her face in 3D (which looked a little strange.... and really it was just half of her face because she was hiding behind her tiny hand).  We got to hear her heartbeat (160!).  I'm SO happy.
So....that's what I wanted to share today.  I am happy.
That growing belly you see in the photos below is why.  There's a sweet little girl in there!  That's enough to perk me up from even the lowest of lows.  (Oh, and her daddy coming home from work in a bit is pretty nice too.)


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 25: Happy Birthday to Me!

That's me in the photo!

It's my 27th birthday today!  I've never been one to really be all that open about telling people it's my birthday or making a big deal of it....but secretly I really do love having MY day!  This year is little different...people keep reminding me of how this is my last birthday that will really be all about me (because next year there will be another little girl in who will be cuter and more attention-needy that even me on my birthday!).  

Baby, on the other hand is 25 weeks old today!  One week closer to THE birth-day!
This weekend, as a pre-birthday celebration, Andrew took me shopping.  I found tons of super-soft, super-long, long-sleeved t-shirts (I recently got out my fall clothes and was sort of astonished at how tiny they were on me!  Even with my miniature baby-bump...).  We also indulged in our first piece of baby clothing--a tiny long-sleeved onesie with a vintage-looking deer print (picked out by hubby : ).  I can't stop looking at and picking it up every time I go in the nursery.  It's so hard to believe a little baby will be wearing it in a few months!  

We have another ultrasound on Thursday and I am SO excited to see my little girl again!  My belly has gotten bigger (eventually I will muster up the courage to show the bare belly) and my belly button is on the verge of popping!  Too funny.  
This week's photos were taken by Andrew on my lunch break.  The dress is a bit short for work...and very "it's my birthday!" loud.  But it IS vintage (very 60's mod looking) and I was waiting for a special day to wear it.  It certainly got me lots of attention in the [pretty conservative] office--many comments of "Wow...your dress is...bright!"  haha.  I paired it with textured tights (they are a pale tan...which, now that I look at the photo makes it look like my legs are in dire need of some sun) and my most comfortable boots...which need to be retired because they are looking quite worn-out and sloppy. On a positive note, I got my first hair cut in over a year!!  Makes me feel so put-together and fresh. :)

In these photos:  vintage watercolor print mini dress, vintage leather belt, textured tights, vintage pixie boots

That's all for now...must go relax and soak up the last hours of MY birthday (a gluten free lasagna is on the menu!!  YUM).  Check in Thursday for a mini-update after our visit to the doc's.  Hope you're enjoying this lovely day as much as I am!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Baby C's Nursery: DIY Project #2

Andrew and I bought a house last August.  It makes us feel like grown-ups to own our own place.  Funny thing is, the only furniture that we've actually purchased for it is a sofa and recliner for the living room.  We have been super blessed to have all the rest of our furniture either gifted to us or handed down from family members.  Needless to say, baby's room will most likely not be getting a brand-spankin-new-perfectly-matching bedroom set.  And I kinda like it that way.  I want the room to feel warm and homey and a bit quirky.  The dresser that currently is in the nursery is chock-full of the hubby and I's sweatshirts and sweaters and all the other clothes that don't fit in the child-size dressers in our bedroom.  So sorry Baby C...mommy and daddy will most likely be keeping our clothes in there.  But the least I could do was pretty up the dresser to make it more suited for your room!

This dresser was a gift from my parents (when the particle-board, build-it-yourself dresser we got at Walmart finally bit the dust).  At first I wanted to paint it white...but then I thought, why not make it a little more special?
So we chose a pale aqua color that fits the original color scheme (pastel yellow, purple and aqua) of the room.  The first step was to sand the dresser--not to the point where it was completely void of color, just enough to take the shine off and rough it up a bit.  Lucky for me, my dad is a collector of all power tools and I borrowed a small electric hand sander--super easy to use and made my life SO much easier!  It created a lot of dust this job is best done outdoors (or in a very well-ventilated room).  [The grooves in the door were simply sanded by hand with a scrap of sandpaper).

Next I primed it all.  I used Kilz 2 Latex paint (a water based, acrylic) and applied it with a mini-roller to make it extra smooth.  As you can see in the photos, it didn't completely cover up the original finish that was left...but adding the color overtop will do the trick (but if I was really paranoid person I might have put another coat on).  I let this dry for a couple days (24 hours would be sufficient!).
Last comes the fun part!  Slap on the color.  For my perfect shade of "pale aqua" I chose Olympic's "Serendipity" in a satin finish.  Not too shiny, not too matte.  I also used a roller for this part.  
I decided to replace the original brass handles with silver ones--love how they match the sort of 50's vibe of the aqua color.  (Be sure to measure the distance between screws for your handles--this dresser didn't have the standard 3" distance so it was kind of difficult to find handles that fit).  And now we have a sweet little dresser, perfect for Baby C's room!  I still might add a little floral design on the door to make it even more special.  But for now, I'll just give it bit of pizazz by setting a vintage pitcher full of zinnias on top. :)

Until next time,

P.S.  The walls are the same color in these photos....weird huh?  It's just the lighting the makes it look like I painted them a darker shade of yellow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 24 (6 months!): Getting the Hang of This

Six months sounds like a pretty big deal huh?  Three months left in the often talked about “9 months” of pregnancy.  Well, what most people don’t realize is that a full term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks….which is more like 10 months.  So in the realm of proper pregnancy countdowns, I actually have 16 weeks to go (unless the little lady decides to come a bit early…which would be SO okay with me!).
The days of morning sickness are behind me now (so weird thinking about those first couple months and how I thought I’d be sick forever) and I’m really starting to be able to actually ENJOY having a bun in the oven.  My skin has been awesome (though the makeup I haven’t been using to cover up break-outs is being utilized to cover the dark circles under my eyes—I feel lucky on nights that I only have to get up to pee once!), I’m really enjoying food (though still have only gained 2 pounds…weird?), and my “bump” is to a point where I’m getting polite smiles from strangers (and slightly off-putting looks from students that I see each day since I work at a university…nothin’ like being mistaken for a knocked up undergrad! ha). I’ve finally leapt into the process of “nesting”—which I will be sharing in on the blog (click here to see my first project, homemade ceiling decor!).  For my second project, I spent labor day weekend re-painting a dresser for the baby’s room and daydreaming of other ideas for my garden-themed nursery.  I've also been hearing talk of a baby shower being planned for me by my mom and sis….so much fun baby stuff going on!  So this is what everyone has been talking about--loving being pregnant and it being “the best” time of their life?  Not sure if I’m THAT in love with it yet, but at least I’m finally getting the hang of it.

 In these photos:  embellished tank top by Free People, vintage maxi skirt & a mish mash jewelry that I’ve had forever.  (Not sure about this outfit....a little gypsy meets renaissance fair.  Getting tired of looking at my summer wardrobe--SO looking forward to autumn clothing!


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby C's Nursery: DIY Project #1

 Ever since I can remember, I've always made home-made cards for people--thank you notes, birthday cards, anniversary cards, etc. It's gotten to the point where everyone knows that's my M.O. and I'd almost rather skip the card altogether if I don't have time to make it myself.
SO being such a crafty gal...I really feel like I should (and I WANT to!) have as much homemade decor in the baby girl's (Baby C...and sorry folks, the "C" is for the first letter of my last name--NOT a hint to her first name!) nursery.  Not to mention, it will save us a lot of moola.  AND make her room one of a kind!

Project #1 was inspired by a photo I found when skimming nurseries on Ohdeeoh.

I love the tissue paper pom poms hanging from the ceiling--they add another level of interest to the room (a fun carpet on the floor... cute pictures and shelves on the walls....but why not give some attention to the ceiling?).

My first real task was deciding on a color scheme for the room.  I'm not really a pink person (I don't mind the color--I do wear pink and I'm sure the baby girl will have plenty pink outfits in her wardrobe--it's just not my absolute favorite) so I chose purple, aqua and yellow.  My nursery theme is garden-ish--flowers, bunnies, frogs, butterflies, etc.  So I'm calling the pom poms "flowers."

Next, I found a similar project online that was for tissue paper flower napkin rings/embellishments and simply did it on a larger scale.  Here's how:
1.  You'll need 8 sheets of tissue paper (if you're not buying in bulk, most packs of solid colors actually have 8 sheets per pack, which is nice).  Unfold and line up all the edges.

2.  On the SHORTER edge (I tried using the longer edge for my first attempt--because the creases were already there...but it ends up being too long and floppy) do an accordion fold.

3.  Smooth out your folds so the creases are nice and crisp.

4.  Cut each corner (you can cut to a round end or make into a point...the point is a little easier : ) 

5.  Make your cuts on both ends of the tissue paper stack.

6.  Fold stack in half, to mark the middle.

7.  Use about a 4 inch piece of wire (floral wire would work best--I didn't have any so I scrounged around the house and found an old piece of ribbon with wire edges and just cut the wire off the ribbon) and twist around the middle.

8. Fan out the stack of paper a bit.

9.  Begin pulling individual sheets up (be VERY careful!  I tore quite a few on my first try...).

10.  Pull from each end and begin to shape the flower/pom pom.

11.  After half are pulled, turn over and pull from the other side.

12.  Mess with it a bit until you get the shape you want.

Voila!  A lovely, inexpensive, eye-catching addition to your baby's nursery!  Loop some string or invisible fishing line around the wire in the middle and hang from the ceiling.  Mine will probably go in a corner, all hanging at different lengths.

Stay tuned for more DIY's!  Happy Labor Day Weekend.