Thursday, June 30, 2011

my baby's room: the before

This post has been a LONG time coming.  I took the first photos of the disaster area office / pre-room conversion in January.  But then it took SOOOOOO long to clean out that I felt it was embarrassing to never post the update.  There was a good middle ground around Spring Break where I made a lot of progress, but then the room was on hold again.  It's been in good shape for a couple of weeks now as we are just waiting for Mr. Simon to arrive.  Today I took pictures of the after.  Here is how we created a nursery / office share in am approximately 8 x 10 room in our 700 sq ft NYC apartment.

Evolution of a Room
chapter 1

This room tends to end up as storage.  With only two people, the extra bedroom is a great place for storage.  Some of you may recall that this is what the room looked like when Rob first moved in back in 2007.  It's where everything that wasn't furniture (except the chair) or needed immediately (like clothes and dishes) went.  Over 5 months or so we sorted through this mess.  The artwork was eventually hung and the family photos sorted.  Around 3 months in, there was a clear enough space for the office to become an office and the desk and computer were moved in.
January 26 I convinced Rob to let me paint and the room became blue.  This was the same weekend he proposed!  (The proposal meant I would officially be living there soon, so I had the leverage to paint the whole apartment!)

The office was an office / storage space for about a year.  I moved in and the closet in this room became mine.  Then there were a few months where my brother-in-law lived with us and I gave up the closet and the office moved to behind the couch.
Eventually it was just the two of us again, and the room reverted to it's office / storage room / closet status.  Again, I am a little embarrassed that at times there was barely room for Rob to make it to the desk.

see the craft table in the corner - i really wish we had room for a real workbench...
Anything we didn't know what to do with went in this room.  I don't know how I got to my clothes.  I climbed?  Oh right, and I was pregnant when these were taken, and only had a few things that fit.  I kept them in the dresser in our bedroom.
When we found out we were going to have a baby it was time to start thinking about another room evolution.  How were we going to make this work?  For starters, returning the Zappos box of shoes I wasn't keeping.  I need to stop taking their 365 day return policy literally when I buy multiple pairs of shoes to try on...  We needed to organize our closet storage and start putting things away.  We needed to purge.  We needed to find a place for everything in the white utility cabinet that would be replaced with a crib.  We needed to do a LOT of work.

Next up - my baby's room: the during

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten Things about Summer

Rob has a green thumb.  The strawberry plants are actually producing tiny strawberries.  I didn't think it would happen.  But now I'm thinking another transplant is needed.  In March we moved the six plants into two bigger pots.  But now they are looking crowded.  Two plants per pot, or one?  And will the budding berries survive a transplant.  For sure it will happen in the fall.

I have a green thumb too.  My two Cherry Tomato plants have about 15 maters growing.  I am a bit worried about the yellow leaves.  One of the plants is almost half covered in yellow leaves.  At first i thought maybe over or under watering- but it's just one of the plants and they are in pots right next to each other.  However the yellow one seems to dry out faster than the other.  Any advice?

Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, and Mint are doing great.  One parsley plant is here, and the rest in the hanging box.  The lettuce from last year started coming up again and rather than dig it up I put one of the parsley plants here.  The Basil in the other hanging box is doing well also.  The two small pots on the far left have flowers!  Mostly I plant things we can eat.

We've been using the herbs a lot this spring and now into the summer we go.  It's fun to go out and pick and chop fresh herbs for cooking.  And because we have it we are finding more ways to incorporate herbs into cooking.  Rob is really good at putting things together to use up our CSA vegetables. It usually involves a lot of onion, garlic, and whatever herb goes best.

The Mint is nice in water or tea.  Just drop in a leaf and go.  Mint is also like rabbit-nip.  If you put your fingers by his nose after handling the leaves he will lick your fingers.  And we give him the occasional leaf.

Summer has also brought the first day that I've swollen enough to lose an ankle.  Just the right one is gone today.  I am sitting with my feet up as much as possible.  And really I can't complain.  My sandals are a little tight, but until yesterday I have been able to wear sneakers as long as Rob was around to tie them for me.

I spent two hours outside on the balcony this morning with my coffee reading.  It was delightful.  I love our outdoor space.  Over the weekend Rob said he really wanted to go to a cafe and sit outside and drink coffee, but that he didn't want to spend money.  I reminded him that we have a balcony and cafe table, he can do that for free here.  We are lucky.

Simon will be a summer baby.  I am only a pretend summer baby since today is technically the first day of summer.  Happy Solstice!

It's been pretty nice, weather-wise.  On days it isn't too hot I take a long walk and try to do one neighborhood errand each day.   The round trip is about a mile.  Almost every evening when it cools off, Rob and I take another long walk.  This is putting me at walking around 2.5 miles each day.  Exercise!  That isn't too taxing.  And it's nice to get out of the apartment.

Iced tea is one of the world's greatest inventions.  We are drinking lots and lots of it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I did not give birth on my birthday.  Those of you who suggested it are funny people.  And for the record, I am going to try (like I actually have any control over it) to not give birth on Rob's birthday either.  We like our birthdays as our own - as evidenced by Birthday Week.

Here's what we did do on my birthday:
First thing in the morning the doorbell rang.  It was the mailman with a present!  From my Dad.  Notice how only half the present is actually for me.  And the rest is for the baby.  Dad says he's weaning me from ever getting anything for myself again.  I still felt the love.

Rob made breakfast and we ate outside.  This is crunchy French toast with bran flakes (we like them better than corn flakes) and strawberries from our CSA share.  I'm also drinking raspberry leaf tea (one of many old wives tales for getting babies out - and my doctor said go ahead and try them all) daily.  If it does nothing else it is delicious.

Rob says 29 is not too old for a little silly.  And I post this here because there is a comparable one of Rob later in the post.
My hair is doing really crazy things.  Rob did not alert me to this at the time.  So we move on.  After breakfast I did some crafting things.  And Rob baked me a cake.  He really is pretty awesome.
After an afternoon nap we took a walk.  It ended up being a very long outing.  We went to Michael's and got a couple of things I need for the quilt I am starting.  I figure I have 1 - 2 years until the baby will actually need it on his bed, so I have time.
*Gratutious belly shots forthcoming.
We also went to Best Buy to spend the $30 reward card we have.  What is annoying about these is they are free money but they expire.  So we spent as close to $30 as we could, buying Harry Potter 7.1 Blue Ray and DVD (which was on sale) and some more rechargeable batteries.  We paid $1.06.  The guy at the register was impressed.
My other birthday present was received in the mail Friday afternoon.  This shirt I'm wearing from Aunt Cynde.  She knows exactly how I feel, where I don't have many things that still fit, but am reluctant to buy anything new for only a few weeks.  This shirt is awesome because it fits now, but will also totally work post baby thanks to the elastic neckline!
At 37 weeks 5 days I feel like my belly looked small yesterday, but I think it's the pattern of the shirt.  Baby can come anytime he's ready...

After the long walk, which was long because of the 45 minutes we waited in line to check out at Michael's, we dropped off our purchases and went to dinner.
We discovered Mojave in Astoria on our first anniversary.  Pretty delicous southwestern cuisine.  I love the blue crab quesadilla.  This time we also tried the empanadas, we got the chicken and the plantain,  and I think I have a tie for favorite dish.  Rob got some tacos and french fries.  It's great to get lots of options and share.  The fries were covered in roasted garlic and pretty delicious.
I think this last picture should be Rob's new profile pic.  He is not too old for a little silly either.

When we got home we watched a little tv and Rob worked some.  Then it was time for birthday cake.
I love my pink cake.  Since it was just the two of us, and I had already changed into pjs I decided to forgo the candles and just eat.  It was delicious.

And lest you think no one sang to me, Mom, Chip, Emily and Scott sang to me via phone and Skype (we only have video for some reason, so we use speaker phone and video...) And Alison, James and Andrew called to sing as well.

I think 29 is going to be a pretty good year.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Pink Shoes

For my 26th Birthday - I call it the pink birthday - Rob got me a pair of pink shoes.  (He also made me a pink pony cake.)

These shoes have been loved.  And worn well.  But they are starting to fall apart.

So when Rob asked what I wanted this year, new pink shoes were on the list.  And I ordered the replacements.

When I opened the box I saw this.

And I was confused.  Because it looks like a gift message from Rob, but how? Since I placed the order.  Then I realized it was just the name of the guy who packed my order.

When I opened the shoes I asked Rob if I got a different color of pink?  He said my old ones were just that faded.  Wow.

And now I have new pink shoes.

Birthday Week: Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday's massage was lovely.  I had no idea how sore my upper legs were until she started working on them.  30 extra pounds will do that to you I guess.  The downside was that My leg muscles were so relaxed that I had a hard time standing or walking the rest of the day.  I have since built up some strength again :)

Wednesday I went into the city to meet Rob and go to the Harry Potter exhibit at Discovery Times Square.  The exhibit is lots of costumes and props from the movies.  It was a little underwhelming only because since Rob and I both work/have worked in film we wanted to know more about how models were used and effects were done rather than just read "this thingamabob was used by so-and-so in X movie"  But we had a coupon to go, and it was a nice evening.

No photos were allowed inside, but here are a couple out front as we were leaving.
would you believe I'm nine months pregnant here?

Afterward we needed dinner so we headed down the block to John's Pizzeria.  This may be the best (thin crust) pizza I've ever had.  They cook it in a real brick oven.  And because it was right as the theater was starting and there were only two in our party we were seated quickly.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Week & Full Term

It's birthday week!  We take birthdays very seriously around here.  This year I will be 29.  My mom said it's the first time she felt old. 

Last year I posted this as my facebook status: 
rob asked what i wanted for my birthday. i said a puppy, a baby, or to pay off my student loan. i wrote the last big check today. it's so awesome to be debt free!
(*and by puppy I meant baby)

So this year, we are still debt free and the baby is on the way.

This year when Rob asked what I wanted I gave him another three point list.  New pink Converse shoes (the ones he bought me for my 26th birthday are falling apart), a massage, and a margarita.  He said we could do two out of three.  I said how about 2.5 - the shoes have been ordered, the massage booked for tomorrow morning, and we are going to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants on Saturday.  My mom made the very logical point, that I could just order a non-alcoholic margarita (I don't know why I never thought of that one).
Other highlights of birthday week may include Harry Potter at Discovery Times Square and tea and scones in SoHo.  And will definitely include the chocolate cake with pink icing that Rob is making for me.

In baby news:  Full term - 37 weeks.  We'd like him to keep cooking for a couple more weeks, but if he came now he'd be ready.  Last week we had a final ultrasound and baby boy is head down and estimated to weigh 6 pounds 3 ounces.  (That is what my brother weighed when he was born at around 37 weeks.)

I've gained 30 pounds and my waist is 44 inches around.  I have enough clothing to get through a week.  And yesterday I wore one of Rob's t-shirts around the house.  If fit nicely, so I might take a couple more that he doesn't wear for just around the house.  Still no heartburn and the swelling is minimal.  On hot days I can only wear sandals, but on cool days my sneakers still fit!  I did take off my engagement ring a couple of weeks ago and put it away, just in case.  Simon is moving all. the. time. and his feet are totally under my ribs.  I like it, even when it hurts a little.  

I feel great.  I'm tired most of the time, but that is to be expected.  I'm also ready to meet this little guy.  The apartment is ready.  There are a few cleaning / organizational things that need to be done, but I'll get to them after Birthday Week concludes.

Mom needed a picture of Rob and I, so we did a little photo shoot on the roof with the tri-pod.  After getting the picture for Mom, we did some just for us.  The two in this post are two of the less silly ones.  One of these is getting printed and framed for our over-the-bed collage of photos. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Carousel: Queens Zoo Day

I like how the colors on these edits turned out.

And look at the joy of the first carousel ride.

Being 8 months pregnant I decided it was safer to take photos than to ride. My balance isn't so great anymore.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feeding Time: Queens Zoo Day

While we had fun trying to find the wild animals the highlight was the petting zoo.  We got to feed the goats, and surprisingly the chickens were a huge hit!

The cows were ok.
 The chickens were too.
 But nothing can beat...

 Feeding goats at the zoo!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are: Queens Zoo Day

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Queens Zoo with my friend Jess and her boys, who are 2 and 3.5.  I took the nice camera and had fun learning to use it, and even did a little photo editing.  What I learned is I really should have brought two lenses.  I had only the zoom lens, which is great for getting the animals, but not so great for getting pictures of kids in crowded places, because I had to stand so far back, someone was always getting in the shot.

I like how I adjusted the color of his shirt in this one.
Still learning to focus on faces rather than fences or accessories - but it's still cute.

The Queens Zoo is part of New York's Wildlife Conservation Society, which includes the Bronx Zoo and Aquarium.  The Queens Zoo is great for kids because you can do the whole thing in a couple of hours and they have a petting zoo with domestic animals.

Wild Animals
Andean Bear - he's waving!
Bald Eagle
Bison - they are molting.
Watching the Sea Lions.
Sea Lions at feeding time.

With the big kids - lots of school groups at the zoo.
Tiny Deer.