Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome 2012!

BD and I have very low-key plans for NYE, as usual. We were invited to a NYE party, but I am not feeling great, so we'll stay around the house, watch movies, and maybe order in a pizza for supper.

Whatever your plans are for tonight, we hope it is the start to a happy, healthy 2012 for you!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tales of the Tail: Multitasking

Who says you can't use two ottomans at the same time??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Basketball Firsts

For the last 4 or 5 seasons, we've purchased Carolina basketball tickets. We pretty much go to every single home game, with the exception of maybe 1 game a season, so we've been to a lot of basketball games at the Smith Center. 

This year we've experienced two firsts:

(1) At little background: the seats on the second level at the Smith Center are very close together. Very. Think being on an airplane with 21,000 of your closest friends. If you bring any stuff into the game with you, there is nowhere to put it except to hold it in your lap or shove it under your seat. For that reason we pretty much bring nothing in with us except a jacket or sweatshirt during cold weather. Even with just a jacket, who wants to put that on a grody arena floor? Not me! We learned from watching other people to bring in an empty trashbag to put your stuff in before putting it on the floor. 

This season we learned the real purpose of the garbage bag when the jerks behind us spilled two drinks and never bothered to even let us know. The garbage bag was covered in sticky soda but our stuff inside was clean and dry. Lesson learned!

(2) For the most part, Carolina basketball games are very well attended, no matter who the opponent is. BD and I always joke that even if no one else shows up, the people on our row are always there. It is always crowded up there.

Last week we encountered the perfect storm of cold, crappy weather + early weeknight game + no-name opponent, which equaled that we had our entire row of seats to ourselves. It was glorious! We didn't get elbowed or stepped on or jostled all night. There is definitely something to be said about the experience of the electric excitement of an arena filled to capacity with screaming fans, but there's also something to be said for not having to share personal space with a stranger for 2 hours either!   

I have photographic evidence because it will probably never happen again.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Virtual Christmas Card 2011

Merry Christmas from LA & BD!

Warmest wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tales of the Tail: What a Good Dog

Kip says, "Oh the house is a wreck because we've got painters here? That's fine. Just put my bed down right here, and I'll nap right through all the chaos."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Painting, In Progress

We have some painting going on at the new house this week. We've always done our own painting until this point, so this was a big deal for us to hire painters.

The two rooms we wanted to have painted are both large, 2-story rooms, so I (along with some help from BD's dad) convinced BD that it was very worth it to have someone come in and paint it.

BD got recommendations and estimates from several local painting companies. The company we selected sent a two man crew and are expecting the job to last 2 days. BD and I couldn't have even gotten the first coat on one room in 2 days!  

When they got here yesterday, there was more repair to be done on the walls than they were expecting (knocking drywall screwheads back into the wall, sanding, etc), so we think it's going to take them 2.5 days total.

 We've had our colors picked out for a while now, and we've been living with the swatches taped up in different areas to make sure we liked the colors. I usually take an "Eh, it's just paint; it can be repainted" approach to color selection. But when you're paying people to paint, it becomes a lot more important to get it right on the first try!

In the foyer we picked Martha Stewart Cement Gray (color matched in Behr paint) in an eggshell finish. For the den we chose Behr Teal Forest also in eggshell finish.

I was nervous about the den color. We knew it was going to be pretty dark on the walls, but with the tall ceilings and lots of natural light coming in through the windows we were hopeful that it wouldn't overpower the room. Also, we kinda just wanted a big change from the lighter neutrals we usually choose. 

And, boy, did we get a big change! This is just the first coat, and I think it looks fantastic. The room looks much warmer and cozier and the white trim really pops.

The flash of the camera caught all of the dust particles in the air from all the sanding they did to get the walls in shape.

Now that the major painting is going to be done, we can start hanging our things on the walls, so this place will really start to feel like our home!

Stay tuned for finished pictures!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 16 Poppy Seed Update

How far along? pictures taken at 16 weeks 1 day

Size of baby? The size of an avocado (4.5" long, 3.5oz)

Weight gain/loss? +4lbs -- On Friday the doctor said I have "gained weight nicely"...which is not a compliment I've ever heard before, LOL.

Maternity clothes? Not really. I have 2 pairs of maternity jeans from Gap that have the demi panel and they are seeing pretty heavy rotation. I'm still wearing mostly pre-pregnancy tops. A couple of weeks ago I got a huge bin of maternity clothes from a stylish friend, so I'm pretty much set when the time comes. Although I'm sure I won't be able to resist adding a thing or two of my own!

Stretch marks? No.

Sleep? I'm usually up at least once a night to either eat a snack or use the bathroom (or both!). I've been falling asleep on the couch and then waking up later to come to bed, but then I'm awake and can't get back to sleep. So I'm trying to not fall asleep on the couch, which works about 50% of the time. I can still sleep on my stomach for now.

Best moment this week? Hearing the heartbeat at the 4-month appointment.

Food cravings/aversions? The only thing I'm craving so far is apple juice. The food aversions change from day to day -- food generally either sounds good or really really not good.

Gender? We'll find out on Jan 13th!

Belly button in or out? In.

Movement? Not yet.

What I miss? Eating normal sized meals at normal times of the day, instead of the few bites every 2 hours I'm eating now.

What I'm looking forward to? Finding out the gender next month and having some time off work in the next couple of weeks.

How's Mommy feeling? Pretty good most days, as long as I don't let myself get too hungry...which is more challenging than it sounds. The morning all day sickness seems to have improved in the last week so that is a really nice change.

How's Daddy feeling? Excited for the next ultrasound. (And hoping the Tar Heels start playing better basketball.)

Milestones? According to the pregnancy books I'm reading, Poppy Seed can now sense light and hear my voice.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Stitches: Christmas Elves

Earlier in the fall, or I guess more like the end of summer, I completed my first ever Christmas cross stitch project.

This is a Bent Creek design, stitched on 18ct Natural Light Linen. I have never stitched on fabric as big as 18 count; I usually stitch on much smaller fabric -- between 28 and 32 count -- because I think it makes the stitches look neater and more precise.

The bigger fabric does give it a different look than anything else I've done, so I can appreciate it from that standpoint. But really I wish I had stitched it on smaller fabric. Ah and learn, I guess.

This piece is stitched with a mix of Weeks Dye Works over-dyed floss, metallics, and DMC thread. I had to use 6 strands (instead of the usual 2) to fill up the big holes in the fabric, so I went through a lot of thread - especially the greens.

I love that the elves have little jingle bells stitched onto the ends of their hats.

I still haven't had this one framed yet. I can't decide if I'm going to spend the money on framing or not, since it's not my favorite. I really like the design, so I'm tempted to restitch it on smaller fabric. I think that may push me over the edge into "crazy stitcher lady" territory, so I haven't gone there (yet).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Wreath

I bought a new Christmas wreath for our front door this year. I loved our old wreath, but we had been using the same one for seven or eight years, and it was beginning to show its age.

I was originally planning to just do a little rehab on our existing wreath, but then I found a vendor at a local craft fair with these gorgeous and reasonably priced wreaths. I bought a fall wreath and asked her to make a Christmas wreath for me. 

She had it ready for me to pickup in about 2 weeks. I think it looks really great! This house sits a little farther back from the road than our old house did, so I'm glad this one is so big and colorful.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Stitches: Thanksgiving Turkey

I'm a little behind on my stitching. I took a break during the 1st trimester when I was too sick to do much of anything except try to keep myself alive.

I started working on this guy a few weeks ago. I knew I wouldn't have him done in time for Thanksgiving, but he can make a debut in 2012.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Poppy Seed

In case you missed our big announcement, click here.

Thank you for all your excitement and well wishes about our little Poppy Seed!

We found out we are expecting him/her on the same weekend that we closed on our new house. We were already planning to go out and celebrate the house; it turned out we had 2 things to celebrate! (Mostly we just sat and stared at each other and tried not to freak out.)

This is a picture from the day I got the positive test:

Why, yes...we do look a little overwhelmed in this picture! It was a big weekend for us, to say the least.

As the shock began to wear off, the morning all-day sickness began to set in around 6 weeks. I went to the Dr for a confirmation; although I was pretty confident I was either pregnant or had the world's worst stomach virus.

I survived on my own until around week 10, when I was so dehydrated that my lips and fingertips were peeling, and then I called in for reinforcement a.k.a. Zofran. And then the heavens opened and angels sang and I could actually eat (and keep down) real people food like an actual human, instead of the scrambled eggs and ginger ale that I had been living on for the last month.

I am in week 14 now, so bring on the good second trimester that everyone's been promising me! I am feeling much better overall, although I still have good days and bad days.

We have had fun telling our families; they are very excited and have sent us some cute gifts. This is the first grandbaby on BD's side.

In the last few weeks we've started telling our friends and co-workers. It has been nice to not have to pretend to be feeling great when all I really want to do is run for the bathroom. Luckily, I work with mostly men, and they were pretty clueless until I told them.

We did the first trimester screening last week, and it came back negative, so it seems we have a healthy, happy Poppy Seed growing in there! It was really neat to see the difference between the 8 week ultrasound and the 13 week ultrasound.

At 8 weeks, it basically looked like a little alien blob, and you kinda had to squint your eyes and use your imagination to see a baby. Last week at 13 weeks, we could see fingers and toes and waving arms and opening/closing mouth. It was very neat.

We'll do the anatomy scan in early January; as long as Poppy Seed cooperates, we'll find out (and share) the sex.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We Are Thankful For...

Our newest family member, who will be making his/her debut in early June.

We are so very excited!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Don't Stand a Chance

BD and I love to play board games. Recently we've been playing a lot of Yahtzee. He always beats me, which drives my competitive spirit crazy! I keep playing because I'm convinced that one day I'm going to beat him. (I AM.)

The other day, he took the winning to a new level. On the second play of the game he rolls this.

Yahtzee with 6's

A few plays later he rolls this.

Yahtzee with 4's

He beat me by at least 200 points this game. There may have been a tantrum thrown and declarations of "I'm never playing this game with you again!!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall Wreath

 Over the weekend I went to a local craft fair with some friends. I bought a new fall wreath for our front door.

I love how it's a mix of ribbons, florals, and beads. The metallic orange pumpkin (bottom center) is my favorite part.

She also had some gorgeous Christmas wreaths in the booth, but they were already sold. She's going to custom make one for me, and it will be ready in a few weeks. The wreaths were really reasonably priced.

If you're local (Durham-area), email me if you'd like her contact info.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The First (Home) Game of the Season

For most people, when it starts getting into late fall, their thoughts start turning to the upcoming holidays. Unless you're BD, then your thoughts turn to counting down the days until the first home Carolina basketball game.

I'm just kidding.

He's been counting down to this day since the end of last season.

The day finally arrived today. Carolina had an afternoon home game against Mississippi Valley State University. (Me: Against who? I've never even heard of that team.)

Our new house is only about 15 minutes from our parking spot; that makes it a lot more convenient since BD likes to get to the games before the Smith center doors are unlocked we like to get to the games early.

We got there in plenty of time to see all the warm-ups and watch the players' introductions.

I shot this video to capture how Leslie McDonald likes to dance on the sidelines before tip-off. (He's in a suit because he's injured.) Sorry, it gets a little blurry when I zoomed in on him.

After tip-off I was too busy reading the program watching the game to get any more pictures. But the game was the usual first-home-game-barn-burner, where Carolina won 101-75, and all the bench warmers were in for the last 5 minutes of the game.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Co-Workers are Animals

I snapped these pictures of the balcony that's right by my desk at work. I took these pictures while sitting in my desk chair; that's how close these guys are to me. 

The glass on the windows is mirrored, so they peck at the glass with their beaks. Sometimes they get really feisty and fling their entire body into the glass - repeatedly.

It's about as conducive to concentrating on work as it sounds.

They are buzzards - I think Turkey Buzzards(?), and there are usually at least 2 of them on the balcony during the sunny part of the day. We've seen up to 6 of them at a time out there.

Building maintanance has put up these little solar powered whirligig things that have metallic streamers on each end to scare off the birds. As you can see, they are really frightened off by it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

House Portrait

As BD and I started packing up our old house to move, we started talking about taking something with us as a memento of our first house. We have loved this little house and made lots of great memories in it; we knew we couldn't move on without taking a piece of it with us.

I found this Etsy shop and knew that a custom house portrait is exactly what we wanted.

I sent the artist a couple of photos of our house, like this one:

And in a few weeks, we received this 8x10 watercolor image:

We could not be more pleased! The artist did a phenomenal job. She captured all the little details about the house that made it ours -- right down to the garden flag I had in the flowerbed.

I can't wait to have this framed and hung in a place of honor in our new house.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tales of the Tail: Fenced In

Kip's new backyard fence was finished last week. You have never seen a dog so happy about being off-leash; I wish I had a video of him. He bounded around the yard and sniffed every square inch and then raced around the perimeter as fast as he could.

The fence at our other house was wooden so he couldn't see out, so this is like a whole new world for him.

The side of the fence that attached to the house and faces the road is black ornamental aluminum.

The sides and back are black vinyl coated chain link.

The black blends in so well with the wooded lot that you probably have to look pretty closely to see it in these pictures.

The fenced in square footage is a little bigger than at our old house, but because the fence doesn't interrupt the line of sight, it seems way bigger.

Here's Kip christening his new yard.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Windows of Death

So the new house has lots of big windows, especially in the den; it's one of the reasons we bought this house.

What I didn't realize is that these are actually windows of death. Bluebird death, specifically. They keep flying into the big windows; I guess they are defending their territory from what they don't realize is their own reflection in the window.

Luckily they are usually just stunned, not dead, and they recover and fly off in a few minutes.