Monday, July 21, 2014

artsy craftsy

As I predicted, it was cool and rainy all weekend. I loved every minute of it. I didn't even mourn a weekend away from the pool. I feel like this illustrates that I've grown as a person or something.

Matt and I got up bright and early Saturday morning, because apparently now that we are old we are incapable of sleeping past 7:30 a.m. even when there is no reason on earth to be up that early. Ugh. But I'm awake, so I get up...even though then I'm grumpy and tired all day. Isn't this how it is with babies? Should someone try to sleep train me? Maybe I should cry it out? Something's gotta give. Anyway, getting up so early means that we were able to accomplish a lot on our rainy day. We headed to town and did some serious shopping, mostly for lovely touches to add to the nursery. We also hit up Michael's and got all the supplies we needed to finish (Matt) and start (me) some art projects we've been procrastinating. After we got home, we covered the dining room in newspaper and spent the rest of the day channeling our inner artistes

I found these prints on Pinterest several months ago and knew I wanted to recreate them for the nursery. The colors and style were totally perfect for the room- and completely 'me.' So 'me,' in fact, that I already have a canvas in the living room that I made several years ago that is basically the exact same style! That's why I figured I'd just make these myself instead of ordering them. Plus, I just like to do things the hard way.

Before I show you the finished art (which is not hung on the walls yet because it is going to go over the crib, which has not yet been purchased), first please admire my Corner of Happy: the glider, ottoman, and super fabulous blanket (crocheted by Jennie) and pillow (Target, several seasons ago). Matt and I basically fight over who gets to be sitting here at all times. Whoever doesn't win a spot in the chair just lays on the floor next to it in order to be close to the happy. 

Now you can see the colors for the nursery, so you will appreciate the artwork more fully. Since the crib stuff is all shoved in the closet, you can't get your color cues from anyway, hope that helped. (Also, for a small fee, you are welcome to come sit in the Corner of Happy yourself. It's worth it.)

Aren't they lovely??! I am so happy with how it all turned out! And the melon-y colored one is much more melon-y than the red it appears here. It was at night, iPhone, blah blah blah colors didn't turn out right. It matches the other orange/melon colors in the pillow, promise. Each canvas is 16" x 20", so I think it will nicely fill up the space above the crib! I originally did the flowers in white, like the Etsy shop, but then I decided it was a little plainer than I liked. I went back to Michael's Sunday and found these coordinating papers that matched my colors and had a fun honeycomb print and went with that. I'm happy with how it turned out!! Unfortunately, my back was not pleased about being hunched over a table all weekend. Have I mentioned that growing elderly really sucks? Yes. It does. I can't craft because my back hurts. I am too lame for life.

Matt was finishing up a project he started for me for Mother's Day- a painting of a hydrangea! He's had it all sketched out for months, but finally got the painting part done. I am SO impressed with how it turned out!! It's weird-- I've always known Matt is artistic, but I've rarely seen him do more than a quick doodle in the margins of a notebook or now I have a huge painting to remind me of his skill! And my favorite flower! This picture isn't going to do it justice- again, at night, my shadow is obscuring the bottom, etc. It looks way better in real life, so you'll just have to look at it while you're over at the house sitting in the glider. But this isn't going in the nursery. Maybe in the bedroom. Or somewhere. 

I feel like we accomplished enough art to cover us for the next couple of years. And to top things off, I even got all of the supplies cleaned and put away before we went to bed last night!! Painting like that makes a gigantic mess out of your studio dining-room-turned-work-space, so I'm glad it was only an Art Store Explosion for 24 hours and now it is all gone.

In other Rainy Weekend accomplishments, I must admit that 'reading parenting/baby books' did not make the list. Despite all of yall's amazing recommendations and advice on Friday's post...I pretty much just kept reading fiction. I bought The Time Traveler's Wife at a yard sale a couple of weekends ago. I've heard tons of people recommend it over the years but have never read it (although I do think I've seen the movie...but don't remember what happens), so now I'm knocking it off the list. So I may not know why my baby is crying, but if she ends up being a time traveler, I'll know how to deal...we'll call it a win.

Friday, July 18, 2014

books and crazy inventions

I've been reading like a fiend this summer. As I may have mentioned (hahahaha), I breezed through the Harry Potter series in roughly two (point five) weeks. If you take into account that I work full time and also sleep at night, your calculations will reveal that in order to do all of those things AND read the combined 4,100 pages of Harry Potter...basically 80% of my non-working waking hours were spent with my nose in a book. And that's totally fine by me.

Since finishing the series, I've pretty much maintained my same reading fervor, only the quality of the books has plummeted. Ugh. Oh well. Reading has always been and I suppose will always be my favorite form of escapism. And right about now, I need all of the mental escaping I can get, lest I start freaking out about the fact that I might be a mom in three weeks...or I might not, and that will really suck. So bring on the spy thriller romances, the historical Western romances, and the recently-widowed-gorgeous-single-mom-moves-to-New-England-and-buys-a-dilapidated-bed-and-breakfast-and-then-meets-some-quirky-handsome-local-business-owner-and-they-fall-in-love romances. No, but seriously. I think I've read three books with that exact same plot. Also, isn't that basically the plot of Gilmore Girls, too? Guess it's a surefire money maker. I'm going to jot it down in my notebook of get rich quick schemes in case I ever get around to writing a book...may as well go with a plot that works!

So far in life I've only read one parenting book more or less all the way through. I've dabbled in others, reading chapters here and there...but either I'm weirdly overconfident in my parenting instincts or I'm delusional, but I just kinda feel like 'yeah yeah yeah, I know, whatever.' Maybe it's due to the years of babysitting and nannying. Or reading mommy blogs. But I do like the Happiest Baby on the Block, which Matt and I both read last fall. I haven't had tons of opportunities to implement all of my learning from it, but I've dabbled in using the techniques from the book with the newborns I've come across the past few months, and I must admit to being pleased with the results. So I'm rereading that one.

Yesterday we went to the library to pick up a book I'd put on hold, and I decided to browse the baby book section. Earlier in the day, my sister (who will have a baby in late September) had been freaking out about how she doesn't know what 'schedule' babies are supposed to be on. How do I know when to feed her and when she's supposed to go to bed!??!?! I don't want to read a book, I just want someone to say "today, feed her at 3:00, nap at 5:00, blah blah blah. Tomorrow, feed at 3, nap at 5:15, whatever" and then I will do it. I told her I'm sure she'd figure it out without much trouble, or else she could maybe read a book...and to that she said, "right, about if YOU read a book and figure that out, then write down every single thing you do with YOUR baby for the first two months and then I will just copy it when my baby is born." So it looks like the big sister is going to be the guinea pig yet again while little sister just gleans from all of my hard work, eh?? Ha. 

At any rate, that drove me to the baby book section of the library.

There were a lot of books to choose from, for the record. Apparently when people get tired of writing New England B&B romances, they must write baby parenting books...because all of THOSE appear to have the same plot, too. So I just picked a few that looked interesting (or that I've heard good things about) and hopefully I will feel inspired to actually read them in between all of my 'pleasure' reading. Or maybe I'll just read the inside flap and call it a day. It could go either way, honestly.

It looks like I'll have plenty of time to read this weekend- the 'polar vortex' or whatever seems to be sticking around and it's going to be rainy and cool(er) all weekend! I'm definitely good with that. 

Oh yeah, before I go: how about a quick baby edition of They Invented THAT??

It's basically a Keurig for formula. I discovered the existence of this contraption a few weeks ago and am still undecided about whether it is the most ridiculously pretentious invention of the century, or possibly the most amazing. I go back and forth. Insane. Amazing. Waste of money. Life changing. A great way to make formula feeding even MORE expensive! Well, at least the last one is correct.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

cold snaps are fine by me

 It seems like most of North America is experiencing a 'cold snap' right now, based on my ultra-scientific research (social media and a news headline I saw (but did not read the article)). Unlike cold snaps in the middle of winter, a mid-July cold snap is pretty extremely awesome. For us in Georgia it means that we get a few delightful days of highs in the mid-80s (instead of mid-to-upper-90s) with humidity around 50% (instead of 381294340392929%). It's blissful. I almost want to say tell me where it's like this all summer long, I'm moving there...but I'm guessing that if it's this mild in the summer there, the winters would be long and terrible and I would quickly come to regret my choice. I'll just stay put and enjoy this cold snap while it lasts.

After dinner we took a bike ride. Sometimes living in the sticks is annoying (like when you need an ingredient for something and don't want to drive 15 miles to get it), but when it's a lovely summer evening and you want to ride your bike without fear of getting smooshed by an's perfect. We're surrounded by miles and miles of untrafficky and scenic roads. If only they were flat...then it'd be perfect. As it is is, they're hilly enough to be quite a decent workout.

Somehow it took me until last night to realize that with the way I strap my phone onto my handlebars, I CAN TAKE A SELFIE WHILE RIDING. I know. Revolutionary. I can't believe I've wasted so many bike rides by not properly documenting the bottom of my chin. As an added bonus, the bike selfies are even worse than normal selfies because you have the regular graininess of the front-facing camera PLUS the added obstacle of the phone being inside a clear plastic case thingy that straps it to the bike...resulting in a picture so blurry it's almost like an Impressionist painting or something. Fabulous, isn't it? Also, please try to imagine the intensity of Matt's eye rolling when he discovered me taking selfies while riding a bike. To my credit, I only did it while we were deserted neighborhoods, barely moving. I'm not that reckless...

Speaking of neighborhoods- in one of them near our house, I discovered next-door-neighbor houses for sale. Isn't that awesome? It brought back a dozen memories of people I swore I was going to grow up and be next-door-neighbors with. But then it turns out to be not so easy to make your "let's be next-door-neighbors forever!" dreams come true because next-door-neighbor houses just aren't always on the market at the same time...and not to mention, what're the odds your best friend is also house-hunting at the same time and that the house next to you is going to meet all the needs her family has? Yeah. Slim. But just in case any of you are looking to move and you have hand-picked your future next-door-neighbor...if you don't mind living in the sticks, I have just the house(s) for you.

Not to end on a downer, but I really do need to report that the bike ride wasn't all fun and selfies. Right as we were finishing and putting our bikes back into the garage, I felt something sting my sweaty back (that was clothed in a sweaty t-shirt, mind you). I reached my hand up the back of my shirt and didn't feel anything, so I decided it must have been my imagination. Then I felt it again, higher. I reached in again and discovered a freaking FIRE ANT chomping its way up my back!! How?! Why?! What on earth. Stupid bugs. So now I have a trail of fire ant bites (and if you've never experienced the joy of fire ants, trust me when I say they are a whole different ballgame from regular ant bites) up my spine. Wildlife is way overrated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

think of me, think of me fondly

Unless you spent yesterday enjoying the quiet peace of some remote monastery tucked away in the Alps, far from the reaches of internet of any probably saw this:

Weird Al (um yeah, totally didn't realize he was still around...) released a new song parody. To the tune of Blurred Lines, arguably one of the catchiest and most offensive songs of this decade, Weird Al gives us Word Crimes, a diatribe against the most offensive and pervasive grammar mistakes of our generation.

It. Is. Hilarious.

What makes it even better is how I 'discovered' it. Here I am, minding my own business, going about my work day...and suddenly I had notifications popping up EVERYWHERE. My phone was dinging with texts, my Facebook and Twitter apps had red flag notifications...I thought surely some sort of life-changing event was happening. Like you know how when there's something terrible that happens in some random city, say...wildfires or something. You see it on the news and you suddenly think of that girl you knew in high school that you're pretty sure lives in that city (or maybe it's just the state...or region...?? it's not like you've talked to her in 10 years anyway, you just remember seeing something on Facebook once...) and you're compelled to look her up and make sure she's okay?? I thought something like that might have happened in Athens, causing people to suddenly need to contact me via all methods of social media to make sure I was okay.

Turns out that wasn't it. It was that a snarky grammar video went viral and apparently people who know me well know that if there's anything I like, it's someone telling the truth about grammar (especially if it's funny). Just like the Grinch, I felt my small heart grow three sizes as people thought of me and shared the joy of the video with me. 

As awesome as the video is, I still fear that the people that need to be watching it (and taking copious notes) probably aren't. This is probably the kind of thing that only appeals to people who already love grammar and know how to properly use it's and literally. But that's okay. It's nice to have something new to rally around. It's also nice to have a much-less-offensive version of Blurred Lines to add to my workout playlist. The 'real' song is so perfect for running...and yet so wrong. So this new version perfectly mimics the beat and feel of the original, while changing out all of the offensiveness for humor...nicely done, Weird Al. High five.

PS. Bonus points if you catch the reference in the title. Just doing my part to keep the dementia at bay!