Progress in Nesting

Last week, after successfully navigating a flight to Connecticut with a 2- and 4- year old, enjoying watching my brother's wedding {despite the fact it was held in a sweltering, unairconditioned, albeit beautiful historic church}, we made it back South and hightailed it to the coast of the South Carolina Lowcountry, a place I've long considered home. In the whirlwind before the departure I felt I was so busy I must have gotten tons knocked off my list, but in reality, the only thing I could officially cross off was #5 under “miscellaneous.”

 

In the whirlwind before the departure, I felt I was so busy I must have gotten tons knocked off my list, but in reality, the only thing I could officially cross off was #5 under “miscellaneous.”I can attribute that sense of busyness to the fact that I did get closer to completing many things–ordered twin mattresses for the beds, began recovering the Great Room lamps {which I've now decided need trim so that will add another step}, gathered canvases and wall letters for the wall art upstairs, ordered a colored printer for homeschooling {oh, yes, I'm preparing for my first year classically homeschooling my oldest this fall, which is a whole other list, but exciting none-the-less}. And I started many sewing projects, including the floor pillow covers for the playroom, the playroom curtains (one set of which I need to add length to}. I also bought and tracked down several other items I needed to complete the list, like locks for the attic doors, yarn for the curtain panels and more drapery hooks and such. So really, I've very close to crossing off many other items. I just keep doing them in bits and pieces instead of starting and finishing them one at a time. This reminds me of the way I read books, as I still have a pile of them I'm in the middle, and really ought not to start any new ones until all the others are complete.

The Craft Studio:

  1. Have stock base cabinetry installed in our craft studio, and a long counter placed.
  2. Put the shelves I was previously using in craft studio against the wall on the counter, bolt them to wall for kids safety, and then add some trim around the tops to make them look built in. Oh, and also: caulk around things like crazy to finish the built in look.
  3. Add floating shelf above the sink for paintbrushes to live and dry after washing.
  4. Improve on ribbon storage and thread display storage on wall.
  5. Paint cabinets White Dove.
  6. Add labeled bin pulls to all new drawers and cabs.
  7. Organize all arts and craft supplies into cabs and shelves.
  8. Install kids locks on cabinets.
  9. Add “Create” logo on the wall.
  10. Consider how best to use corner spaces and walls for kid use.


The Mudroom:

  1. Change out ugly knobs on cabs for happy yellow ones.
  2. Improve the Mudroom sink: either paint the base or make a skirt for it.
  3. Set up mudroom diaper changing station.
  4. Hang fun wall art, in yellows and greys. This includes kid's handprint art.


Kid's Bathroom:

  1. Paint walls (going with SW “exciting orange”)
  2. Change out lighting over sinks
  3. Install mirrors
  4. Create/obtain wall art
  5. Change out cabinet knobs.


Upstairs Halls:

  1. Paint walls (considering yellow and white horizontal strips if I'm brave!)
  2. Hang turquise frames along walls–consider Alphabet Art of some kind in them?
  3. Hang some inspiring word art in the Laundry Room (Make some myself)


Playroom (soon to be turned into my 2-year-old Son's Room, then in a couple years the Schoolroom):

  1. Paint walls (SW Rainwashed)
  2. Improve AC/heating plan.
  3. Put locks on attic doors (don't want a toddler sneaking into the attic!)
  4. Hang blackout Roman Blinds.
  5. Decide on and hang decorative window panels
  6. Weed out old/broken/annoying toys to donate/discard, and move my Daughter's toys to her room, infant toys to nursery.
  7. Organize toys and books remaining in Son's Room. This might entail new storage, but hopefully not.
  8. Set up the Big Boy Bed.
  9. Put up some Wall Art
  10. Install display bookshelves along one wall for Big Boy's books.
  11. Recover two floor pillows to match the curtain panels.


The Great Room:

  1. Change out sconces on either side of front door.
  2. Change out sconce on on stairwell.
  3. Hang drapes.
  4. New shades for lamps.
  5. Touch up wall paint.


The Keeping Room:

  1. Hang rods.
  2. Make drapes (using target panels and I plan to crochet a fun coral frindge/pom-pom ish border)
  3. Hang egg prints in the Keeping Room.
  4. Create and hang a Nest painting in Keeping Room.
  5. Make a sign for over the door to kitchen: “there will be a bright tomorrow, all will be well.”


Nursery:

  1. Set up extra twin bed in nursery (bought two matching ones since the boys will share later!)
  2. Make two matching boy's quilts. Nautical theme. I'm thinking nautical flags?
  3. Research and obtain baby monitor with two cameras that I can view on my phone.
  4. Hang wall art, including oars, life preservers, Large letters for Baby's name. (also need to get new letters for my other kids names on their walls!)


Master Bedroom:

  1. Hang items on walls
  2. Organize items on dresser/declutter
  3. Hang Roman Blinds in Master Bath


Miscellaneous House Organization/Projects:

  1. Reorganize linens and sheets in the Laundry Room
  2. Junk Drawer in the kitchen!!
  3. Organize junky corner cabinet in Kitchen.
  4. Reorganize and secure all medications in house.
  5. Move storage ottoman to basement room.
  6. Measure basement room that Darlene is helping me figure out how to decorate: prepare her a file to send.
  7. Major Freezer Cooking: stock up on a pile of healthy dinners and such for the family when I'm postpartum!!
  8. Hang existing art in Guest Room.
  9. Hang photos in Garage/mudroom hall.
  10. Take down last year's old kid's art, Artkive it (its an app) and file the favorites for safekeeping.
  11. Hang the last items in the Library–decide which diplomas to frame hang.
  12. Finish alterations and sewing pile
  13. Fix old desk chair that's in the garage.
  14. Organize and clean out garage. {Not even sure where to start here!}
  15. Repair a few toys and the dollhouse.
  16. Cover/beautify windowblind over the door to garage.
  17. Make a sign with psalm 121 on it to hang somewhere. I love that psalm.
  18. Do all the Christmas Shopping ahead of time that I can!!
  19. Kid Safety Netting installed along deck rails (This got done thanks to my husband!)
  20. Install a chilproof gate/fence around the workout area in basement to keep kids from getting to weights and stuff.
  21. Touch up paint in downstairs bathroom.

 

 

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Fit Friday

The past seven days have been jammed packed. Last Thursday I had a clinic day, which turned out to be super busy, and then after that I had the final packing to complete for our trip. First, we hopped on a plane to CT for my brother's wedding, along with my 2 and 4 year old, who were ring-bearer and flower girl. The plane trip there and back went well, probably helped by the fact we drove up to Charlotte to take a direct flight rather than try connecting anywhere with them in tow. Each had their own little rolling carry-on luggage, which I basically packed with toys and entertainment for them, and they proudly lugged it everywhere. After that whirlwind weekend, a celebratory wedding and time with family, we landed in Charlotte and drove directly to the South Carolina Lowcountry, to vacation on one of our favorite barrier islands. We recuperated and relaxed and played all week.

I had every intent to try to get a run or two in this week, hoping the temperature would be cool enough with the breeze along the ocean. The one day that did turn out to be pretty cool I just wasn't up to it. I've gotten to that stage in pregnancy where I'm uncomfortable, the uterus is pushing on my ribs, and just getting up the stairs puts me slightly out of breath, as my lung capacity feels diminished. In any case, I've had a couple good walks. I also settled on the squat and pushup plan I'm going to take. I got a couple apps–a hundred pushup one that helps you built up, and a 200 squat one that does the same. They are so quick and doable and I should complete them before baby arrives since I'm able to start a good ways into the programs, given my current level being a good bit better than zero!

Eating has actually been very good, especially for a vacation. I suppose this is aided by the fact that I didn't pass my initial glucola test and have a 3-hour glucola test (checks for Gestational Diabetes) scheduled next week, which I couldn't get in sooner. It's common for pregnant ladies to fail the first test, and they usually proceed to do fine on the 3-hour recheck. Also, I've never had Gestational Diabetes in previous pregnancies, so I'm betting I'll do fine on the 3 hour test. Even so, until I can get it checked, I'm being cautious and eating a diabetic diet. No sweets or white breads or stuff that would spike my blood sugar too much. I hadn't realized how many little bites I was taking or how many sneaks I fit into the week until I had to eat zero sugar. The stuff just creeps in like a bad habit, sorta addictive. Maybe going completely sugar free would be a good thing for a while anyway! I know it's kept me from all sorts of temptation in airports and such! Still not Calorie Counting for now, just using intuition and listening to my hunger. I have no idea what the scale is up to this week as I've been nowhere near it, but I'd been holding steady for a while before I left town, which is the goal at this point.

So how was your week? Any great successes in healthy living this week? Or maybe you hit a couple bumps in the road.

 

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At The Shore

 

You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the people.

When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. (Psalm 77:14, 16-19 ESV)

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Update on the Great Nesting List of 2013

Y’all. I have to say I’ve made major progress this past week on The List. I still have a long way to go but the details in the house are coming together. I’ve got new paint colors upstairs, new cabinets in the basement, and feel like nooks and crannies are slowly getting organized. It clears my head and I’m feeling my creative juices flowing so much better now that the clutter level in the house has decreased. And having fewer brown walls in the house helps, too. Did I mention that our entire house was filled with drab brown walls when we moved in that must have been that color since the ’80’s? Yeah. It was sad. The majority we had painted before we moved in, but I hadn’t decided yet on the rooms that were listed below. Now I feel that whole wing of the house has opened up and is happy and cheery and bright where for so long it was brown.

And it’s a good thing my creative juices are flowing, since a lot of what’s left on the list involves creating good wall art…

The Craft Studio:

  1. Have stock base cabinetry installed in our craft studio, and a long counter placed.
  2. Put the shelves I was previously using in craft studio against the wall on the counter, bolt them to wall for kids safety, and then add some trim around the tops to make them look built in. Oh, and also: caulk around things like crazy to finish the built in look.
  3. Add floating shelf above the sink for paintbrushes to live and dry after washing.
  4. Improve on ribbon storage and thread display storage on wall.
  5. Paint cabinets White Dove.
  6. Add labeled bin pulls to all new drawers and cabs.
  7. Organize all arts and craft supplies into cabs and shelves.
  8. Install kids locks on cabinets.
  9. Add “Create” logo on the wall.
  10. Consider how best to use corner spaces and walls for kid use.

The Mudroom:

  1. Change out ugly knobs on cabs for happy yellow ones.
  2. Improve the Mudroom sink: either paint the base or make a skirt for it.
  3. Set up mudroom diaper changing station.
  4. Hang fun wall art, in yellows and greys. This includes kid’s handprint art.

Kid’s Bathroom:

  1. Paint walls (going with SW “exciting orange”)
  2. Change out lighting over sinks
  3. Install mirrors
  4. Create/obtain wall art
  5. Change out cabinet knobs.

Upstairs Halls:

  1. Paint walls (considering yellow and white horizontal strips if I’m brave!)
  2. Hang turquise frames along walls–consider Alphabet Art of some kind in them?
  3. Hang some inspiring word art in the Laundry Room (Make some myself)

Playroom (soon to be turned into my 2-year-old Son’s Room, then in a couple years the Schoolroom):

  1. Paint walls (SW Rainwashed)
  2. Improve AC/heating plan.
  3. Put locks on attic doors (don’t want a toddler sneaking into the attic!)
  4. Hang blackout Roman Blinds.
  5. Decide on and hang decorative window panels
  6. Weed out old/broken/annoying toys to donate/discard, and move my Daughter’s toys to her room, infant toys to nursery.
  7. Organize toys and books remaining in Son’s Room. This might entail new storage, but hopefully not.
  8. Set up the Big Boy Bed.
  9. Put up some Wall Art
  10. Install display bookshelves along one wall for Big Boy’s books.
  11. Recover two floor pillows to match the curtain panels.

The Great Room:

  1. Change out sconces on either side of front door.
  2. Change out sconce on on stairwell.
  3. Hang drapes.
  4. New shades for lamps.
  5. Touch up wall paint.

The Keeping Room:

  1. Hang rods.
  2. Make drapes (using target panels and I plan to crochet a fun coral frindge/pom-pom ish border)
  3. Hang egg prints in the Keeping Room.
  4. Create and hang a Nest painting in Keeping Room.
  5. Make a sign for over the door to kitchen: “there will be a bright tomorrow, all will be well.”

Nursery:

  1. Set up extra twin bed in nursery (bought two matching ones since the boys will share later!)
  2. Make two matching boy’s quilts. Nautical theme. I’m thinking nautical flags?
  3. Research and obtain baby monitor with two cameras that I can view on my phone.
  4. Hang wall art, including oars, life preservers, Large letters for Baby’s name. (also need to get new letters for my other kids names on their walls!)

Master Bedroom:

  1. Hang items on walls
  2. Organize items on dresser/declutter
  3. Hang Roman Blinds in Master Bath

Miscellaneous House Organization/Projects:

  1. Reorganize linens and sheets in the Laundry Room
  2. Junk Drawer in the kitchen!!
  3. Organize junky corner cabinet in Kitchen.
  4. Reorganize and secure all medications in house.
  5. Move storage ottoman to basement room.
  6. Measure basement room that Darlene is helping me figure out how to decorate: prepare her a file to send.
  7. Major Freezer Cooking: stock up on a pile of healthy dinners and such for the family when I’m postpartum!!
  8. Hang existing art in Guest Room.
  9. Hang photos in Garage/mudroom hall.
  10. Take down last year’s old kid’s art, Artkive it (its an app) and file the favorites for safekeeping.
  11. Hang the last items in the Library–decide which diplomas to frame hang.
  12. Finish alterations and sewing pile
  13. Fix old desk chair that’s in the garage.
  14. Organize and clean out garage. {Not even sure where to start here!}
  15. Repair a few toys and the dollhouse.
  16. Cover/beautify windowblind over the door to garage.
  17. Make a sign with psalm 121 on it to hang somewhere. I love that psalm.
  18. Do all the Christmas Shopping ahead of time that I can!!
  19. Kid Safety Netting installed along deck rails (This got done thanks to my husband!)
  20. Install a chilproof gate/fence around the workout area in basement to keep kids from getting to weights and stuff.
  21. Touch up paint in downstairs bathroom.

 

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Fit Friday {and an ode to the watermelon}

fitfridays

Another week on track! I’m pretty happy overall with my choices in eating this week.  Piles of watermelon I’ve chopped and chilled seems to be a wonderful solution to sweet cravings this time of year. Did you know that watermelon has 40% more lycopene that raw tomatoes do? And the seedless varieties have the highest amounts! Lycopene is a powerful phytochemical that conveys that bright red color–and its a wonderful antioxidant. Some days this week I’ve eaten as much as half a watermelon throughout the day! It’s also been great for keeping hydrated. I’ve got a couple big melons sitting on my counter right now, and after this post I’m going to go chop them. Which reminds me–there is a great method for cutting melons of all kinds that easily removes all the rind, lets you easily chop into bite-sized pieces, and since learning it I actually enjoy cutting up a melon!

Basically, you cut the melon in half, then lay the cut surface open side down on the cutting board. Then slice through the rind, deep enough to expose the melon’s flesh. Keep cutting sections of rind off all the way around the melon, and once the sides are all off, cut off the rind on the top. Once all the rind is off, you can slice up the melon’s flesh however you prefer. Maybe I should do a little tutorial sometime… I feel like a picture of this is worth a thousand words!

Anyway, aside from the watermelon this week, the garden is bursting with piles of tomatoes and cucumbers and salad greens. I used a great recipe for simple tomato and cucumber salad this week–basically just a little olive oil and maybe a tablespoon of apple cider vinager with salt and pepper. So so so good. Also I vegified (cut out the bacon) a Paula Deen recipe for spicy black-eyed peas, and y’all– It was good. My only real splurge this week was our visit to my husband’s hometown last night to visit with extended family. His South Carolina hometown is know for a few things–one of them the pecans, and the another being the bar-b-que. We ended up at one of the famed bar-b-que buffets and I certainly enjoyed it. I was SO very hungry by the time we got there (I had forgotten to eat lunch and hadn’t eaten much all day as I was plowing through my Nesting List), that even though I ate plenty I didn’t feel stuffed when I walked out like I have at times in the past. I’m still taking a break from calorie counting, but after a day of eating little it seemed to actually be an OK splurge.

From an exercise perspective, I’ve started keeping a better log of my calisthenics. I love to fit in sets of pushups and squats and lunges and chair dips throughout my day, just tucking them between chores and such. But I’ve decided to keep better track of how  many I do daily so I can make improvement goals. I downloaded one app that tracks exercised onto my phone, but looking for a better one.  Cardio-wise this week, I haven’t got in the walking or running milage that I’d like each day. But I’ve been on my feet and active with all my nesting frenzy all day every day, so I know that at least I’m getting a lot of “steps” in. This weekend is forecasted to be cool, with intermittent rain. South Carolina has been literally soaked with rain the last few weeks, which has at times been tedious, and its pretty humid, but I won’t complain about the tempuratures–It’s barely going to hit 80 today! What this means is that hopefully I can fit a run in between showers sometime this weekend! I really didn’t expect to be able to jog outdoors this far into the summer–running in pregnancy doesn’t work so well if it’s sweltering outside.

My weight has been fairly stable, which is the goal at this point in the pregnancy. I was at my OB the other day and she was happy I’d only gained 17 pounds. I still have plenty of time left before delivery, though, and need to keep from going over the 20 pound gain mark if possible, as this is what my OB and I agreed as the healthiest goal for my starting weight and such. Like I said before–weight gain in pregnancy is something to discuss with your own doctor.

Now, I’m hopefully off to some bluberry picking today!

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Maple Almond Quinoa Granola

granolalabled

I’ve love the Ancient Grains Brand of granola from the store, with Quinoa and Amaranth and such in there. But it adds up and I like to know what’s in my granola, so I decided to try a batch with these whole grains.

I looked at a few different recipes online, combining ideas from several. I would have used melted coconut oil if I had any, and next time I’ll try it, but this time opted for melted butter instead as that’s what I had on hand. I bought the grains in bulk at a local Whole Foods store, but they can be ordered online if that’s not an option. In the past I’ve made Granola in the Crockpot, and I’ll have to try this recipe that way next. I love the nutty taste this version has, and the mild hint of sweetness. And it’s a mild sweetness, just so you know, so add more maple syrup if you want a sweeter granola, just mind your portions.

Maple Almond Quinoa Granola

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup (rinsed) uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup amaranth

1/2 cup millet

1 cup coconut flakes

2 cups nuts (I used walnuts since that’s what I had, but I’d bet this would be even better with pecans)

4 Tbs butter (or melted coconut oil)

1/4 c. maple syrup

1/3 c. almond butter

Combine all the grains, nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Put the almond butter, butter and maple syrup in a smaller, microwavable bowl, and microwave for 30 second segments until melted together when stirred. Combine the moist and dry ingredients until well mixed. Spread thinly across a parchment paper lined pan, and bake at 325 degree for 35 minutes, stirring twice.

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Fit Friday

fitfridays

Fit Fridays are back and I’m determined they are here to stay. Since my confession post, I’ve really gotten back on track. I have made one change, in that I’m taking a short, somewhat experimental break from MyFitnessPal. After using it for so long, I’m pretty aware of what my daily calorie counts are, and know when I go over or am short. Mostly, I am focusing on intuitive eating and listening to my hunger, and doing my best to make consistantly good choices. I’ve rebuilt my “resistant muscles,” which were weakend after a few too many caves in the face of food temptation. Once you get in the habit of bypassing those tempting treats that pop up during a day running errands or such, it’s easier to pretend they don’t exist as options.

We did have a cookout the weekend before Independence Day, when the big fireworks display was held in our area. My husband slow cooked pulled pork all afternoon, and we grilled a pile of fresh corn. We had a huge crop of potatoes from the garden which I made a potato salad with using low-fat olive-oil based mayo, and it was delicious. I was really happy with my self control in that I had one serving of everything, reasonable portion sizes, and didn’t go back for seconds. I made a flag cake–check out my instagram feed to the right and you’ll see it (couldn’t fit all the stripes in which annoyed me–next time i’ll cut those strawberries smaller!). The cake was from scratch, using the shortbread recipe I only make at Christmas as a crust, and a topping I whipped with cream and lowfat cream cheese. The berries were the sweetest part. I think it might become a yearly tradition each July.

This week has also been great for exercise. The SC weather has been quite rainy lately, but that has kept the temperatures shockingly low for July. I was able to run outside early this week, and 2 other days have logged 2 miles fast walking on the treadmill as well as done some strength exercises. My run was great, I still have no problem jogging 2 miles slowly. I’m thinking I’ll sign up for a 5K shortly after the baby’s born, once I’m cleared to run again. There’s just something about getting back to a road race, even a little one, that’s fun and motivates me to keep active through this last few months.

Oh, I also survived a church potluck. If you haven’t been to a church potluck in the South, you may not be aware that any vegetable present will be slathered in either a cream or mayo or sugar or baked into cheese. There are many ways to make vegetable taste like a treat, and the South has perfected them all. So, with a few exceptions, not much in the way of healthy fare can be found on a potluck table around here. In the past, I used this as an excuse to shrug and just pile on the mac n’cheese, fried chicken, sugar-laced baked beans and creamy casseroles, not to mention the dessert table. This weekend I just did the best I could and kept portions small. A little piece of lasagna, a good scoop of a cucumber salad (that was in a creamy dressing but not swimming in it, at least), and some watermelon. I didn’t even glance at the dessert table. I’m a firm believer that eating healthy shouldn’t inhibit one from spending time in the company of others, especially church friends, so making a potluck work is important. Usually I try to bring a healthy dish myself so at least I know there will be one on the table.

As far as weight gain: My first trimester, which was ridden by a nausea that wouldn’t lesson without constant nibbling on carbs, hit me hard, and much of the 20 pound weight gain goal for my entire pregnancy piled on during that time. I was able to slow the gain dramatically during the second trimester once I felt better and could eat and workout more. So at my recent appointment, I asked my OB if since I gained more than I should have in the beginning, if I really needed to gain more weight the last few months. She said I would be OK to stay the same weight, no losing, but no gaining either. This would keep me from going over the 20 gain total goal, and would be healthiest for the baby and me. So that’s a tall challenge, but so far so good. I’m focusing on really eating to my hunger and no more than that, making good choices, and have a goal of walking or (hopefully as long as the cool weather continues!) jogging 2 miles a day. {Again–seek your own OB’s advice on what’s best for your health in pregnancy, and don’t forget to read my disclaimer}.  Even with the early weight gain, I feel good about how things are going. All my maternity clothes from previous pregnancies are way too big, which feels good. (I had to buy new ones and I’m even wearing some size mediums!) I am so much healthier this time around than in my first two pregnancies.

 

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The Great Nesting List of 2013

 

Cypress Swamp outside Charleston, SC

Cypress Swamp, Magnolia Gardens, SC (nothing to do with my post, just pretty)

I mentioned in my previous post that I think Extreme Nesting Syndrome should be listed in the new DSM-V. It’s a fact well known that a lady with a baby on the way has got to–urgently it feels–prepare her nest. This can look a million different ways for a million different women, but for me this is how it goes.

It tops all January resolution lists I make, as well as the new school year lists, and all that. I can work myself into a frenzy of productivity, adding to my Nesting List as quickly as I cross things off, my mind whirling with a thousand projects I could start.

Don’t take this to mean that I won’t finish my list. I will, I most certainly will. The drive to get “it all done now” exists because I’m quite aware that once a newborn enters the home, everything else will come to a stop. I will spend all of my time and energy in “hunkering down” feeding small people, cleaning up their messes, and {this year} fitting a little phonics and kindergarden math in for my soon-to-be 5 year old. There won’t be time for another project for a least a year after baby arrives, I tell myself. Forget any decorating, forget reoganizing cabinets or junk drawers. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. This is my nesting motto–that basically, I might have a little time here and there to squeeze in some home tasks or projects, maybe after a few months and some sleep. But I’d better plan that free time will be a thing of the past, and that any of that stuff I want done, I need to do now.

I function SO much better and have miles of mental energy freed up when I know the closets and drawers and desks and cabinets and rooms are all fairly weeded of excess and organized. We moved into our current home a year ago, which means there are only a few places that I didn’t get to unpack/organize fully. But it also means I still have half-done rooms and pictures I haven’t hung. So all that is reflected on my list. This next week I have painters coming, an electrician scheduled to change out some lighting fixtures, and an installation guy to help with hanging curtains, mirrors, and shelves. So with no further ado, here is the Great Nesting List of 2013.

I’ll start with the Craft Studio, located in our basement, since once it’s done I can better tackle some of the Handmade Items on my list further down.

  1. Have stock base cabinetry installed in our craft studio, and a long counter placed.
  2. Put the shelves I was previously using in craft studio against the wall on the counter, bolt them to wall for kids safety, and then add some trim around the tops to make them look built in. Oh, and also: caulk around things like crazy to finish the built in look.
  3. Add floating shelf above the sink for paintbrushes to live and dry after washing.
  4. Improve on ribbon storage and thread display storage on wall.
  5. Add labeled bin pulls to all new drawers and cabs.
  6. Organize all arts and craft supplies into cabs and shelves.
  7. Add “Create” logo on the wall.
  8. Consider how best to use corner spaces and walls for kid use.

Next, the Mudroom:

  1. Change out ugly knobs on cabs for happy yellow ones.
  2. Improve the Mudroom sink: either paint the base or make a skirt for it.
  3. Set up mudroom diaper changing station.
  4. Hang fun wall art, in yellows and greys. This includes kid’s handprint art.

Kid’s Bathroom:

  1. Paint walls (going with SW “exciting orange”)
  2. Change out lighting over sinks
  3. Install mirrors
  4. Create/obtain wall art
  5. Change out cabinet knobs.

Upstairs Halls:

  1. Paint walls (considering yellow and white horizontal strips if I’m brave!)
  2. Hang turquise frames along walls–consider Alphabet Art of some kind in them?
  3. Hang some inspiring word art in the Laundry Room (Make some myself)

Playroom (soon to be turned into my 2-year-old Son’s Room, then in a couple years the Schoolroom):

  1. Paint walls (SW Rainwashed)
  2. Improve AC/heating plan.
  3. Put locks on attic doors (don’t want a toddler sneaking into the attic!)
  4. Hang blackout Roman Blinds.
  5. Decide on and hang decorative window panels
  6. Weed out old/broken/annoying toys to donate/discard, and move my Daughter’s toys to her room, infant toys to nursery.
  7. Organize toys and books remaining in Son’s Room. This might entail new storage, but hopefully not.
  8. Set up the Big Boy Bed.
  9. Put up some Wall Art
  10. Install display bookshelves along one wall for Big Boy’s books.

The Great Room:

  1. Change out sconces on either side of front door.
  2. Change out sconce on on stairwell.
  3. Hang drapes.
  4. New shades for lamps.

The Keeping Room:

  1. Hang rods.
  2. Make drapes (using target panels and I plan to crochet a fun coral frindge/pom-pom ish border)
  3. Hang egg prints in the Keeping Room.
  4. Create and hang a Nest painting in Keeping Room.
  5. Make a sign for over the door to kitchen: “there will be a bright tomorrow, all will be well.”

Nursery:

  1. Set up extra twin bed in nursery (bought two matching ones since the boys will share later!)
  2. Make two matching boy’s quilts. Nautical theme. I’m thinking nautical flags?
  3. Research and obtain baby monitor with two cameras that I can view on my phone.
  4. Hang wall art, including oars, life preservers, Large letters for Baby’s name. (also need to get new letters for my other kids names on their walls!)

Miscellaneous House Organization/Projects:

  1. Reorganize linens and sheets in the Laundry Room
  2. Junk Drawer in the kitchen!!
  3. Move storage ottoman to basement room.
  4. Measure basement room that Darlene is helping me figure out how to decorate: prepare her a file to send.
  5. Major Freezer Cooking: stock up on a pile of healthy dinners and such for the family when I’m postpartum!!
  6. Hang existing art in Guest Room.
  7. Hang photos in Garage/mudroom hall.
  8. Take down last year’s old kid’s art, Artkive it (its an app) and file the favorites for safekeeping.
  9. Hang the last items in the Library–decide which diplomas to frame hang.
  10. Finish alterations and sewing pile
  11. Fix old desk chair that’s in the garage.
  12. Organize and clean out garage. {Not even sure where to start here!}
  13. Repair a few toys and the dollhouse.
  14. Cover/beautify windowblind over the door to garage.
  15. Make a sign with psalm 121 on it to hang somewhere. I love that psalm.

 

This post is linked to New Nostalgia’s Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.

 

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What I’ve learned in June

June arrived not in her usual sweltering way for our area, but with cool mornings and tolerable afternoons. It shocked all of us really, the kindness of this June in South Carolina. Here are a smattering of random and not so random things I learned during this pleasant month.

1. Sometimes the only way to grow courage is by surrender. The arrival of June now makes it a year since I trembled and reentered the world of medicine. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for 2 years and the white coats and people in pain and hurting and my confidence in knowing how to help even the critially ill had begun to feel like a different life. But what I knew is that I was called to help in the Christian free clinic in my area. That while my priority was to remain my family, and I’d remain a stay-at-home-mom most days, my gifts in healing were not yet to be completely retired. There were lots of things that seemed reasonable excuses: free clinics of course are generally lacking in resources, and I’d have to be something like a doctor version of MacGyver, setting up in the back of a medical van, for goodness sake. There were my quiet worries that I wouldn’t be able to detect the fluttering murmur of a heart valve after not using my stethoscope in a while, or maybe I’d miss something. Plus medicine changes so fast, and yes I’d been keeping up with the med journals and news and whatnot, but would I really still be a healer? The answer is yes. Yes. But I had to surrender my agenda and fear and walk into the questions themselves before I could see that God would actually give me answers when unspeakable needs presented. My medical experience and knowledge had been archived, not erased, and when I needed it, it returned. There is a lot more I could say about that. And a lot more I could discuss about the trickiness of caring for patients who are homeless and poor, and also helping those trying to take advantage of the system. But all that is for another post. I’ll just suffice it to say that Courage and Confidence can be the twin children of Surrender.

2. If you do something for someone that they could actually do for themselves but won’t, you may not be helping them, but rather harming them. (a lesson learned in the free clinic)

3. A certain error in the latest DSM-V is that it ommitted what should be a certifiable contition. Extreme Nesting Syndrome. It’s clear to me that I have it, or something similar, as with baby number 3’s arrival this fall I’ve been turning the house upside down. I’ve got cabinetry going into the craft studio in our basement, painters coming in a couple weeks to do walls in several rooms, I’ve got plans in the making to create not one, but 2 quilts. I made and froze about 40 meals before my last baby arrives, but I now have a much bigger freezer so there is no telling where I will stop this time around. And clearly Extreme Nesting Syndrome gets worse with subsequent pregnancies, since I also only made one quilt during that one. I have ordered some new furniture to finish out some rooms, all the curtain rods for our downstairs, sconces and lighting. I have people coming to help me install since no one wants me on top of a ladder. I have landscaping plans and clothing sewing plans, a list of closets and corners and rooms I plan to completely reorganize from top to bottom in the next couple of months (including the garage in my grand sceme). I keep it on my iphone and it’s titled The Nesting List, and I refer to it often. Oh, and also, I’m going to need to crochet some things for the new baby.

4. When starting to homeschool a little girl, giving her a new desk all her own painted in cheery yellow and pale turquiose can make all the difference. More on that later.

5. When starting a 2-and-a-half year old boy on the violin, be prepared for short practices and lots of games to keep his attention. If he’s watched a big sister learn cello since his birth, he will actually embrace having his own instrument, and learning it will be a great source of pride. He can, actually, learn to play violin. Oh, and stickers. You need stickers.

6. A three day weekend at the beach can feel like a much longer time, if done properly.

7. Hiring someone who knows what they are doing to revamp, design, and organize your blog can make a wonderful difference. Thanks Heather!

I’m linking this post up to Emily at Chatting at the Sky, for “what I learned in June”.

 

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Confessions

So I might have slipped off the healthy eating wagon for a week or so. I thinking I’m mostly hanging on again, despite being crammed into the back, one foot dragging behind.

It started on a Thursday night, when my husband and I had a babysitter, a night out and everything. The next day we’d leave after he finished his morning hospital work for the beach. And we knew we’d indulge a little on a long weekend in Kiawah. But we didn’t expect to start Thursday. We headed to a great Italian place near the river, with a big view of a our great Southern city.

I slowly enjoyed the appetizer, and ended up ordering a fillet and shrimp. I only eat read meat perhaps once every other month or so, and this restaurant is a place I know it will come out perfectly, so I indulged. Every bite was so well seasoned and tender. We had a corner table, a beautiful view, and no little ones interrupting each sentence. It was good. We were more than satisfied as we finished, and decided to skip dessert. I would have been full, not uncomfortably so, but still definitely a bit too full had we stopped. But the restaurant happens to be owned by one of our neighbors, and the waiter arrived to tell us he’d insisted on treating us to desserts. He presented the tray and what kind of neighbors would we be if we didn’t accept the kindness? Plus–key lime pie, y’all. And cheesecake. So we did. I sipped decaf as I slowly enjoyed the amazing cheesecake. We’d talked about taking our kayaks out onto the lake that evening, as we hadn’t been able to explore together without someone to watch the kids (they won’t do well paddling at this age). But once we finished we knew we couldn’t move well enough to shuttle around the lake. So I took my husband to Sportsmans’ Wearhouse to get him set up with more fishing gear for his Father’s Day gift.

The rest of the weekend we spent at the beach. I did get to go on two actual runs,  which I’m betting might be my last as the temps rise, but oh, to run on the beach again was glorious. I overindulged here and there, and really just make the bad decision to simply not think about the choices I made in eating. Some of them weren’t so bad, but the overall not thinking about them really didn’t bode well. We returned Monday night, and I won’t go into detail about every poor choice I made, but I had the thought that  I’d start fresh Tuesday and get back on track. Tuesday felt like a Monday, a monday after a vacation–when the real world hits and you are back from the beach and have lots of chores and such. The littles were screaming, worn out as I was driving back to our house from an outing. Then I drove by Krispy Kreme. I’ll spare you the details, but they weren’t pretty.

Since then I’ve slowly weaned off the indulgences and thankfully, I again crave the real, good food I need. The week or so off the path was a bit scary when I look back and see how easy it is to lose focus and slip into the old habits that originally caused my obesity. There’s a bit of a snowball effect. When the muscles of ‘resistance’ to temptation aren’t exercised consistently they get flabby and it’s sequentially easier to give in to momentary sweets. But that means each time I now resist I rebuild those muscles again. Which I’m doing. The garden has come in, and it’s bountiful. We’ve got multiple types of lettuces, radishes, tomatoes. I’m hoping for hoards of tomatoes for salsa making, but we’ll see. In any case, a big salad a day is needed and I’ve swore off diet sodas in the house for the time being, as they are something of a trigger for me–make me want the old non-foods. Lots of water for me, with maybe a slice of cucumber and mint leaves in it for the refreshment.

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Fit Friday

Well, I’m actually posting Fit Friday before midnight for once! Overall its been a much better week as far as my eating choices go. I’ve really only had 2 overindulgences.

The first occurred after my husband and I stumbled across a show called “American Baker” or something or other on TV and the contestants were having a s’more making competition. This wouldn’t have been much of a temptation issue since we just don’t keep sweets in the house these days, except that we DID actually happen to have all the ingredients for s’mores in the house. I had bought them for the weekend before, when we hosted a couple of friends and their kids we hadn’t seen in quite a while. They live and work overseas, and I wanted to feed them plenty of good old american food, so we made homemade pizzas on Friday night and then Saturday morning I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast (hey, at least it was turkey bacon…), and then we had a cookout during the evening. Most of this time with friends I did pretty well with my portion control, exept at the cookout, which I’m now realizing I need to say I had 3 overindulgances this week. And remembering last weekend’s eating I might not be so happy with the week’s choices, now, after all…

Anyway, the smores ingredients I’d bought in case we decided to fire up the fire pit while they were here, which we didn’t end up doing. So the baking show, and the ingredients, and the fact that we have a gas stove over which we could, perhaps cook said s’mores, and you can probably figure out what happened…

The other slip-up was last night. There is a hole-in-the-wall sort of Southern diner nearby (actually, it was even featured on the Food Network’s Diners and Dives show) with amazing, made-from-scratch good southern cooking. The cornbread alone I could live on. But shouldn’t, obviously. Anyway, we ate there last night. It can never really go well there calorie-wise, but oh, they must serve this stuff in heaven.

All that being said, I’ve got a kitchen well-stocked with fresh produce and plenty of fruit for my sweet tooth, and a great menu plan for the week ahead. My weight is holding steady right where it should for this point in my pregnancy. So I’m not complaining. Here are the week’s calorie counts:

Last weekend–I was so swamped hosting and cooking and entertaining and recovering that I didn’t keep a food diary. So the calorie counts start with Monday:

Monday- 1319  (apparently still full from the weekend!)

Tuesday- 1857

Wednesday- 2847

Thursday-2188

Friday-2263

 

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The Gilded Lady {a diy}

This bust has traveled with my for quite a while, but was orignially a dark brown color. I sculpted her in a college art class. {My majors were totally different–molecular biology and philosophy–but oh, how I remember LOVING my hours in the windowed art studio, logged enough time there for a minor.} The nose, alas, broke off when I carted her down on the long drive to Charleston, SC for medical school. I tried to repair the nose, but the repairs I tried just wouldn’t take, so I decided to finally embrace the imperfection.

The formerly brown bust was on my list to gild for a while. I’ve been gilding like crazy–all the rooms in my house that Darlene has helped me design have golden and brass accents.  I also recently finished a couple DIY trunk tables as a stand in for a console, which have gold legs, and I replaced the castors on these antique chairs with little gold feet. I even completed my TV cabinet redo with gold hoop pulls Darlene found me, as well as a lot of gold accents.

I also hit up this old floorlamp from target. I think I originally got it for $25, and it was shiny nickel. The new gold finish and the black trim I added on the shade help it pop in my Great Room, though I think I’m going to change out the trim for a thicker grosgrain. You can see the gilded lady behind the settee in the background in this pic.

I love the Ditto DIY series link-up that Darlene and a bunch of other bloggers are doing–helped me check these items off my “to-do” list. I can’t wait to go check out what everyone else did.

One last glimpse of gold in my Great Room–the stairwell gallery wall:

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Fit Friday

This week went much better than last in terms of my eating choices. I won’t say it was perfect–far from it, especially on Memorial Day. But I felt like I was moving out of the rut of feeling tempted by everything. I actually lost a couple pounds this week, which I’m not trying to do while pregnant, but I’m pretty sure it’s water weight dropped easily simply by not dining out this past week compared to the last. There is SO much hidden  sodium in restaurant food!

Exercise could have been better, though. Could have been much better, in fact. It has been too hot to run outside (at least too hot for a pregnant lady). I had this plan that I’d run in the early mornings while my husband was still home getting ready for work. He leaves pretty early, so this means I’d need to be out as the sun rises. But this week he found he had to go in even earlier than he normally does, leaving in the pre-dawn darkness most days. So that running plan hasn’t worked. I need to come to terms with the fact that I’m going to have to walk the treadmill more frequently. This is hard when your kids are out of preschool and you only have that hour-and-a-half to maybe two hours total of time to yourself each day during their naptime! I am pretty good at fitting calisthenics in throughout the day with them, though. I’ll do squats and lunges through the house and sets of pushups scattered between chores. When I’m folding laundry, I put the basket that needs to be folded on the floor and do a plie squat as I pick up each item to fold on the table. I can usually feel it later! These are things I do sporadically, but I’d like to make them more habitual, build them in as a given in my days with small children rather than helter-skelter.

I’d love to spend an hour a day in an actual gym, but my kids need plenty of time at home to play outside and in, and between naptimes and our other outings, there’s already enough to compete for that unstructured time, which is so important for their development. There have been seasons where it worked to bring them to the gym and let them play in the childcare room, and there will likely be seasons it works again in the future, but this just isn’t one of them.

Friday, May 24–2606 calories

Saturday, May 25–2286 calories

Sunday, May 26–2393 calories

Monday, May 27–3917 calories !! yikes, didn’t hold back too well at a holiday gathering, obviously.

Tuesday, May 28–1501 calories

Wednesday, May 29– I didn’t record my eating that day, but overall it was pretty good. I went to a little end-of-year-party for some moms with kids at my preschool on their last day, and was super good about eating only small portions! Made a green chicken curry dish for dinner which was healthy and the whole family loved.

Thursday, May 30–1760 calories

Here’s to a healthier June!

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Fit Friday: back in action

Sometimes life just hits all at once and to keep the important balls in the air you just have to keep juggling those balls and let a couple drop. Last week, the Fit Friday post was the ball that fell and rolled away. I was coming off a two week stint of long days with my husband’s call, including the weekend before, when I still found myself trying but not succeeding in getting out of a upper respiratory yuckiness. I seemed to recover enough by Wednesday to actually get a run in while my kids were at preschool, and it felt glorious. I had my clinic the next day and it was a doozy, packed with patients, and then spent Friday trying to recover the house from the tornado that seemed to hit it during my illness and my husband’s call weekend. The weekend was packed with end of year cello recitals and gymnastic stuff, and right when those finshed, I began to feel that sense that I was coming down with yet another illness. It hit hard and fast, and before I knew it strep throat had just wiped me out. I found myself curled up on the recliner for most of the next few days, or as much of them as I could. My husband was a hero, actually doing not one, but three serious crafts with our kids sunday, and taking care of all my iced water requests and such! I’m so thankful.

All that brings us to this Fit Friday. My throat was left so sore that I wasn’t so interesed in eating during the first few days of this week, and my exercise was nonexistant while I tried to mend. My rule of thumb for excersizing when sick is this: if I have symptom below the shoulders (including chills or muscle aches or fevers) my body needs to rest. If only a head cold, I might work out but keep it light. This was an occasion for total rest.

By Tuesday I started counting calories again, just to keep in the habit;

Tuesday- 1836kcal, rest day

Wednesday- 1296kcal, rest day

Thursday- 1638kcal, rest day

Friday (today)- 2606 kcal. Most of this was the result of a meal out for a well needed date night with the husband. We ate sushi, which I adore (of course pregnant I only eat the fully cooked rolls with no fish roe for safety) and I took him to see the new Iron Man. (He totally held the fort down while I was sick and put up with next to no homecooked meals for half of the last couple weeks, so the least I could do was enjoy sitting next to him at a blow-em-up movie.) Anyway, most of my calorie indulgence today came from a weakness for movie popcorn that hit me hard. I took solace in the fact that over the week or so before my appetite was such that I lost  a few pounds. So I had room for some splurging today, I guess. I was actually up to easing back into the exercise routine today, and went for a 30 minutes walk.

Its amazing, though, what happens to the general health of the whole house when the head cook is out of commission. Those healthy homecooked meals are so importatnt to keep the family from eating fastish food.

I’m hoping to get some jogging in soon, as I’m almost back to 100%. Given the rising remperatures, it’ll have to be evening or early am to stay out of the heat.

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So I needed a console behind my couch. A place to kind of set off an entry area behind the living room part of our Great Room, just after you open the door.

I love the colors and bold patterns we went with for the room’s design. We already had the carpet, the couches, curtains, the antique table, and the two antique chairs (from the “haunted house”, which you can read about here). Darlene helped me choose the rest and here is the look that emerged, on our Great Room’s Design board she created:

I love the console we chose for the room initially, all black marble and gilded iron. It is stunning–you can see it peaking out from behind the couch in the design board, and eventually we’ll buy it. But right now we have so many rooms to complete in our relatively new to us house, that we have to start with basics (seating, lighting) before things like consoles. So when we found out baby #3 was on the way, and I knew I’d be setting up a “big boy” room as well as redoing a nursery, I came to terms with the fact that the console will have to wait a little longer.

But every time I passed these two steamer trunks stacked on our landing, they made me think. Black and gold, just like the dream console… could I used them behind the couch? Of course they were way to short, but I’d seen those table legs they sell at Home Depot. I refused to drill into the trunks, but  finally realized I could just build a little table for the trunks and set them on top!

 

I don’t use power saws, and my husband doesn’t either (we’re just the sort of nerdy doctors that would accidently cut off a finger or two and not be able to practice our healing arts…), so the Home Depot cut them for me, no complaints. I wanted to gild the legs, to go with the gold. And so I did, and then attached the brackets, which was easy with a power screwdriver (I will brave that, and a drill), and screwed in the legs. I knew the raw MDF edges needed to be black, but was sure they’d soak up paint and not be as dark as I wanted, so I just taped them with black electrical tape, which added a sheen, made them disappear under the trunks, and cost next to nothing, with no one the wiser.

So now my trunk tables sit happily behind my couch, waiting for the lamps I ordered. I think in total, it cost me about $25 for both little tables. The room is SO close to being complete!

I’ll be back tomorrow with my “Fit Friday” post. I know–I missed last friday. I’ll explain more tomorrow, but it was quite a week–I was sick with a few different things, and then almost better but then Strep throat hit me and wow, did it knock me over! I’m almost back to fully functioning now, and eager to get back in the swing of things.

I’m linking this post up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, as well as the William Morris Project at Pancakes and Frenchfries.

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