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Since my office was surrendered to Vada’s new bedroom, our computer is now on a mirrored desk in my bedroom, with a big beveled mirror behind it. So, I’m spending a lot more time in front of mirrors than I used to. I caught this glimpse of myself with my camera at arms reach and decided to document it. I need to take more pictures of myself and have more taken of me. There should to be photos of me for my daughters to look at and remember what their mama looked like. So they can laugh together at the way I used to dress and say things like “oh my gosh, look how young she was!” I’ve never liked the way I look in pictures, but I think this one works. Anyway, a lot of times I’ll hate a picture of myself, then look at it fondly two years later. I guess we’re always getting a little bit older, and after a certain point, a little bit uglier. So, here’s me. It’s late. 9:30pm is late when you’re in your third trimester, I guess. My face is starting to puff up a little with the pregnancy, but based on previous experience, my nose and lips (and feet) will most likely double in size over the next +/-78 days. I’m tired, but it’s been a really lovely day. Greg has been working until midnight all week and I miss him, but the weekend is right around the corner. I feel happy. ♥

This is the longest and most springish spring I can remember. The weather is warm with a nice breeze, the sun is shining, birds are singing and flowers are blooming everywhere… and it’s been going on for longer than like 4 days! (I think that’s a record.) We have a super extra dose of spring at our house now, too. A robin decided to build her nest right on our front porch this year! We noticed the nest the other day, but there were no eggs inside. Then, this morning while I was doing some sewing in the dining room, I saw a bird perched in it, but couldn’t make out what kind it was. (I was praying for a robin.) I decided not to bother the mama and waited and waited for her to fly away so I could check the nest for eggs. The UPS man showed up and scared her away, so I hustled out there, all pregnant and sloppy in a t-shirt and pajama pants with no shoes on, climbed up the porch chairs and onto the railing to take a look inside. I couldn’t believe it!

Her nest is a work of art in a perfect spot, completely protected from the wind and rain. Inside was one perfect, beautiful, bright blue egg. I was giddy with excitement, taking pictures of it with my phone, calling people to tell them about it. Later on, Vada and I went out to run a few errands, and we made sure to be really quiet so we wouldn’t upset the mama bird. She didn’t fly away when we left, so I think we’re pals. She’s got her nest, I’m pregnant – we have a mutual understanding.

When we came back, mama was gone, so I took another peek inside and there was another egg! I got a step ladder out so I could take more pictures without breaking my neck, and showed Vada, too. She is so excited and said she wants to kiss the babies when they hatch. I told her she can’t do that. I also told her all about how the mama will sit on the eggs until they hatch, and then she’ll bring them food until they get bigger and then she will teach them how to fly and they will be out on their own to make nests and hatch their own eggs! Vada then became concerned that the babies will miss their mommy when they leave. That’s my Vada… always worrying.

It’s kind of silly, but I really feel honored and proud to have that nest on my porch. ♥

Polaroid just came out with a new, really cool looking instant camera. It prints your photos out instantly like an oldschool Polaroid but also allows you to save and edit them before printing. That’s the best of both worlds right there!

How fun would this be at a birthday party? Set up a super cute photo booth, print the photos right there and give them away as party favors! Then post them all on Facebook or Flickr for everyone to see, and print extra copies later for your scrapbook. This thing is definitely going on my wish list!

The Polaroid Z340 – available at for $299 (with 10 prints) & $349 (with 100 prints) ♥

Sometimes, the weekends are so jam-packed, I actually look forward to regularly-scheduled Mondays.

We saw The Hunger Games yesterday afternoon with some of our friends… LOVED it! But I think I need to stay away from stressful movies for the rest of this pregnancy. Seeing intense movies in the theatre tends to give me a little anxiety in my non-pregnant life anyway (I guess because it’s just so big and loud and in-your-face in a theatre.) But these crazy pregnancy hormones just amplify all of that by a million. I haven’t cried so much in a movie… ever? I cried reading the book too, but I mean tears were just streaming down my face for at least half of the showing. I could barely hold in the sob sounds. I was also holding my breath for almost the whole movie and my heart was pounding so hard and fast I felt like I was going to pass out. (Can you tell that I’m a sensitive person?) But I definitely loved the movie. I felt like they took the images right from my imagination – I love when that happens. Except I imagined Katniss to be a lot skinnier. Not that the actress is large in any way, but I imagined Katniss as this poor, starving, frail girl. Other than that, everything was so spot-on. The boys (who hadn’t read the books) even liked it! Now Greg wants to read the books.

Somehow our refrigerator door wasn’t shut all the way on Friday night, so when I got up on Saturday to make breakfast, everything inside was totally warm and we had to throw almost everything out. Fun times!

I started a new cross-stitch project – Alicia Paulson’s Winterwoods ABC Sampler. (Now I have FOUR in-progress cross-stitch things going on at once… go me.) So far I’ve organized my floss and stitched one cute boot.

I vow to finish one cross-stitch project in 2012.

My quilting business
 is really starting to pick up, so I’ve been spending a ton of time in my studio. I kind of hate being in there because it feels so stale and blah instead of cute and cozy, so Greg and I did a bunch or rearranging and a little decorating this weekend. Eileen Quilts world headquarters is in this random area that someone built in the middle of Greg’s building (which is also home to Press Press Merch screen printing, the letterpress studio for Appalachia Press, and the woodworking shop for Benchmark Builders.) The room is full of decorating obstacles. One wall is crappy brick with these weird big doors, there are two random, small windows up high on another wall, and two regular drywall walls, but with this weird moulding that starts and stops at different points in the middle. It has a hideous tiled drop-ceiling with the worst ever fluorescent tube lighting. And there’s a support beam running right in the middle of the room. Right before I got my longarm, we did a quickie floor stain and white paint job. Actually, here! This is what the room looked like before I moved in, before we painted or anything. You can see some of the obstacles I have to work with:

It looks much better now (with much cleaner and prettier floors!) but still feels really stale. Oh, and aside from being an inspiring place to work, it also needs to be kid-friendly, since Vada (and soon baby) is almost always with me while I quilt. So yeah, I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to do in there and it’s bumming me out. Life would be easier if Ikea wasn’t 3 hours away, that’s for sure, because I could use some cute furniture… But we did make some progress this weekend, which makes me feel a little better. I’m deciding on an accent color for a wall (so that’s sure to take me 3 weeks and then I’ll hate it and end up painting it 2 more times before I’m satisfied…) I also got my giant 8’x8′ quilt design wall and my big cork board hung up (both relocated from my previous sewing room at my house, which is now Vada’s bedroom.) I hope to do some more work in there throughout the week and I’ll do another quilting studio post with some updates once I make some!

I’m ready for Monday, now. ♥

Blogland is such a tricky, magical land of illusions. Sometimes I can get really caught up in it, and I’ll start to feel really down on myself. Like, why isn’t my life that beautiful? How do these people get so much done? How is that person good at everything? How is she so happy and positive all the time? Why am I not totally stoked on playing with and entertaining my toddler all day every day? But then I remind myself that it’s mostly just smoke and mirrors and sometimes even I can be a blog-magician. Not to say that I don’t try to keep it pretty real around here, but occasionally I’ll post a picture and type up something nice, when in real life it’s more like: I almost just drowned myself in the bathtub (ok, really I just cried in my room with the door closed) because toddlers can be tiny psychos and she WON’T GO TO SLEEP and I’m a giant pregnant freak with no cute outfits and my husband probably doesn’t even like me anymore because I’m always yelling at him but I CAN’T HELP IT because I’m just exhausted because being a work-at-home-mom is IMPOSSIBLE and my house is a WRECK and HOW WILL I EVER HANDLE A NEWBORN AND A 3 YEAR OLD, AND…??!!!

Not that I always feel that way. My life pretty much rules and is, in fact, quite magical. It’s just pretty easy to make it seem even more magical sometimes, that’s all.

Someone’s blog is just a tiny sliver of whatever they want you to know about their real life with magic blog-dust (like photo filters and fancy fonts) sprinkled on top. I guess all I’m trying to say is: don’t be like me and let yourself get too sucked in to the illusions and start to feel bad. You are awesome. ♥

We had a busy and super fun weekend. Saturday morning, I made a yummy pancake breakfast. My new favorite pancake recipe is this one. (I also add a dash of cinnamon to spice them up a little bit.) It’s a really quick and simple recipe, and makes eight just-right pancakes. A little while later, we took Vada to the art museum and then checked out the St. Patrick’s Day parade for a little bit. My sister and I did a little fabric shopping and then attempted to have a few pieces of artwork framed. Um, I have never had anything professionally framed before… it is SO expensive. JEEZ! Like, hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I had no idea. I’ll just wait until our next Ikea trip for frames, since I can’t seem to find what I need anywhere else.

Today was rainy and dreary. We had a slow start, went for a nice drive around town and then (sadly) spent a big part of the day working. I finished up a big quilt for a client. Greg did some work around the shop. I tidied up around the house, folded all the clean laundry and planned out my week, including our dinner menu and the grocery list. I was feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed, but writing everything out really helped me feel better. My life looks and feels so much more manageable when it’s all there on paper.

Now I’m going to go wind down with a nice book (if I can keep my eyes open long enough) and get some much-needed beauty sleep. ♥

Vada got off to a rough start this morning, as you can see by her pouty pose. (Always dramatic!) She didn’t want me to take a picture of her morning bedhead curls, and was irritated that I kept calling her Curly Sue. (“Her name is NOT Curly Sue, it’s VADA”) This photo was foreshadowing the hours to follow, during which she had her puzzles taken away for refusing to clean them up and then a timeout for not listening and hitting me. WHAT? Luckily, we were graced with the other side of this little Gemini girl after nap time.

Yesterday was a non-stop super busy errand day for us, so we took it easy for a a little while this morning. We cleaned up Vada’s room and did a little more rearranging in there. I’m still working on putting all the pieces of her big girl room together (although she’s been sleeping in her new bed for a few weeks now. She transitioned from her crib to her new queen-sized bed with no problems at all!) I’ve also been fiddling in the baby room a little bit, too. All of the furniture is staying the same, but I just want to update it so it will feel new for the new bebe.

After Vada’s nap, we took a trip to the post office so I could mail a finished quilt to Canada, then after a pit stop at Starbucks (hello “sweet 15!”) we headed to the studio so I could start working on another quilt.

When Greg finished up at the shop, we took Vada to play at one of the parks by our house. The weather has been completely gorgeous the past couple of days, mid-70s and mostly sunny. The warmth and sun makes me feel so happy, motivated and alive! I can just feel that vitamin D soaking into my skin. There are supposed to be a few scattered thunderstorms over the next few days, but the forecast is still looking lovely. Some years it seems to go from super cold winter to blazing hot summer overnight, so it’s nice to be able to enjoy at least a few days of this in-between season. I’m soaking as much of it in as I can. ♥

I start my third trimester on Friday, and oh boy can I feel it! Remember 7 weeks ago when I said I was confused because I felt a lot crazier last pregnancy? It seems I spoke too soon. I am just a huge (literally) ball of hormones/emotions. It’s like I have PMS x 1,000 for… 3 more months. I cried five days in a row last week. I keep freaking out at Greg over the most mundane things. I feel really bad about it and I really do try to control myself, but I just SNAP. In my normal, non-pregnant life, I’m so good about stopping, thinking about how I feel, and then reacting. Those things don’t happen in my close-to-third-trimester life. It’s frustrating. I feel psycho.

Greg has been working a million hours and it is making me nervous. He worked so much during Vada’s infancy that I was pretty much a single mom, alone with a colicky, always-crying baby for a year. We worked things out (obviously) but that time really took a toll on our marriage. It makes me sad just to think about it. When we decided to have this second baby, it was on terms that he wouldn’t work like that again. But I can see history starting to repeat itself and it’s freaking me out.  His business, which is always growing (thankfully!) seems to go through a bigger growth spurt every few years, and the signs are there! Working late every night… Working weekends… Coming home to shove food in his mouth and to say hi to Vada, then going back to work until the middle of the night… Coming home but then catching up on work on our home computer until late. It sucks. Hopefully this is all just part of my “nesting” phase and things will balance out at Press Press. (Cross your fingers for me, guys.)

But, in order to try to keep things positive around here… In happier “nesting” news, I bought baby her first clothing item- a cute little bunny hat from Baby Gap, which was too sweet to pass up. I also ordered some fabric to sew into crib sheets and got new curtains for her room. I’ll have to go through all of Vada’s baby clothes soon and see what else we need to get as far as onesies and things like that go. I’m excited to see all of those little summertime baby dresses again! Ruffle-butts! ♥

It’s been a fun weekend with my sister here! My friend Kaitlin came into town and we quilted one of her quilts, had friends over for a pizza party, did a little shopping, had Vada’s cousin over to play, went on a breakfast date, got ice cream and played outside. Now that we’ve “sprung forward” and since the weather has been so nice, I can’t wait for it to get warmer.

I’m on week 3 out of 4 in my ClickinMoms photography class. I’m still struggling a little bit (so many variables!) but I know that it will get easier with practice. I just need to be more disciplined and take pictures every single day. ♥