my sk8er boi

*if you're looking for the baby name, please see the previous post where i explain what's going on with that.*
jesse does a thing with his youth group in the summers called mystery night. the kids don't know what's going to happen, they just show up at the church with a certain amount of money and then jesse takes them to a surprise destination for some fun activity (it has been bowling, lasertag, a bounce house previously, to name a few). while it's not jam-packed with discipleship, the idea here is to have something you can invite a bunch of your friends to, and if it's lame, you can totally blame it on jesse because you didn't know what it was going to be. but they're not lame, so hopefully it introduces a new batch of kids to the youth group and makes them more likely to come back and learn something cool about jesus at another event. hopefully. in theory.
a few weeks ago, it was roller skating night. i went along since judah was spending the night with my parents. since i am pregnant i couldn't quite capture the magic of my youth as the speed-gorged little roller-demon that torched every one of my friends' birthday parties in the greater atlanta area from 1989-1994; channelling apollo ohno as i blew tamer patrons back onto the carpeted safety surface of Sparkles with my low stance, shiny umbros and stride rhythm perfectly in sync with the bumping of "groove is in the heart." no, 20 years later, it was more of a slow, sweaty whale parade wherein i held onto to jesse's hand like grim death. i think i made maybe 5 total laps.

the wind in my hair at approx .75 mph

maybe my first ever HH episode at the roller rink. none of my boyfriends in elementary school could keep up with me enough to hold hands. at least that's what i told myself

there was a really cheap deal going on that night where you could skate for only $3. of course, if you wanted to upgrade to speed skates like a true badass and really impress all the ho's, that was an extra dollar. guess who decided it was worth the investment?

check out the cool racing stripes on his black pleather booties. could he be any sexier?

later in the evening, they dimmed the lights, slowed down the music and declared it backwards and couple skate. everyone who wasn't skating backwards or with a partner who was skating backwards had to clear the floor. his new speed skates giving him a previously unknown dose of roller-confidence, jesse decided to stay on the floor despite the fact that he can't skate backwards. what followed was one of the most hilarious things i have ever been privileged enough to witness. he let the smooth R&B tune flow through him as he felt the beat and roller-lurched inch by inch backwards around the rink. ignoring the danger to himself and more advanced skaters, he made his humble, yet booty-droppingly seductive, circumnavigation of the floor. it took him the whole song to get one lap done, but it was amazing. a thing of beauty. i have never been prouder. of course the video quality is horrible, but i assure you it isn't difficult to pick him out.
his groove IS in the heart. play on, playa. play on.


the halftime show

*UPDATE: after talking it over some more with jesse, i think we need some more time to be sure about the name before we tell the earth. this is a really important step for us and we want to make sure we have prayed about it and both feel totally at peace about little girl's name before we broadcast so that we don't end up having to do it twice. so it's not jesse procrastinating anymore about writing the post, it's us deliberating and making sure in our hearts of what we want this little baby to be named. it will just be regular scheduled blogness until we are ready, no tricks or stalling tactics. thanks for understanding!*
let's check in with ye olde pregnancy. fast facts:
saturday was 20 weeks. aka the "halfway point." however, judah came exactly one week early; and while that doesn't mean this little girl couldn't still be 2 weeks late, it does make me hope that she may be more than halfway home
she is moving like crazy. i remember having very faint little bubble type movements with judah that took me awhile to identify as baby kicks, but with her it was nothing for about 16 weeks and then, whammo, swoops and dips and bumps that cannot be mistaken for anything but a baby boogieing in my uterus. the kicks are highly palpable from the outside, but every time i yell for jesse to come feel she gets bashful or startled and goes stealth mode.
at my ultrasound i asked the doctor to tell me how much weight i had gained this pregnancy. i very specifically said "i don't need to know how much i actually weigh right now, just the total gain." i was pleased that at the halfway point i have only gained 8 lbs. of course that's because a lot of generic pregnancy fluff was already on my well before conception...the groundwork was already laid.
mentally, i am dealing with typical pregnant-with-second-baby stuff. any time we talk about her or shop for her i feel like i am betraying judah. no matter what, he will be the only kid we ever have who was our only child. our entire parenting experience has been 100% for him, so channelling some of that attention and love elsewhere feels a little strange and almost like we are neglecting him. my mom said when my little brother was born i had been potty trained for over a year but started peeing my pants again because it was just too traumatic having that little bundle of tripp come in and rock my keight-centric world. luckily i was 3 at the time and judah will be only 17 months so hopefully he won't have as strong or deliberate of a reaction to our newly divided attentions.

how will we ever love another human this much!?!?!

in the same vein, my mind is still entirely blown by the fact that we are having a girl. again, my entire career as a mom has been for a boy. every single thing i have ever done as a parent has been as a parent to a son. so the whole vagina thing is really taking me for a ride. what if i am jealous of her because jesse love another girl so deeply? what if i try to live vicariously through her and mess her up? also, this has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for if we have future kids. i could end up with more girls than boys! duh, right? well, that seemed close to impossible when all we had was a boy, but now it's all tied up at one apiece. your move, future sperm.

speaking of 3rd babies (let me assure you that speaking is allllll that we'll be doing concerning a 3rd for a long time), i have mourned a little bit the fact that judah will never have a one degree of separation brother. jesse and his older brother are the 2nd and 3rd children in their family and about 26 months apart and they are very best buddies. since judah is the oldest, his only chance was that the 2nd baby be a boy. well, that's not happening. so what to hope for the 3rd one (if that ever happens)? if i hope for a boy for judah then i have to mourn that she'll never have a sister one step up or down from her. and then we get into having 18 babies so that everyone is happy. and then we rein in our imaginations which have run wild and focus on giving the 2 babies that we actually have the best that we can.
praise god from whom all blessings flow, i found some bottoms to wear that are not my jeans!!! i was so frustrated with the hideosity of the maternity shorts i had been encountering that i went to the non-impregnated section of old navy and attempted to shop there for some shorts and skirts to get me through the armageddon that is summer in the deep south. i figured my existing plan for tops of buying normal stuff, just in larger sizes, might work with bottoms too even though it wouldn't be as fun mentally. so i braced myself for sizes of larger proportions than i have ever worn before for the sake of my sanity, crotchal ventilation, and preservation of my poor overworked normal jeans and dove in. and yea, though i walked through the valley of the shadow of the shorts that are on the waaaaaaaaay back of the rack, i feared no evil or embarrassment of sizes with 2 digits-whose second digit was NOT a zero-for i know that feeling good in clothes is way more important than a number that only i see on the tag of my pants. amen. i got 2 flowy skirts, 3 pairs of shorts and a pair of cargo capris all for $4 thanks to cashing in our $80 discover rewards for $100 in old navy cards. once again, doxology.
19 weeks saw the baby reaching the size of a large heirloom tomato. well, kroger didn't have any of those at 10 pm last friday (the last day of 19 weeks...deadline!) and i hate tomatoes anyway, so i got the biggest grapefruit i could find even though it was still a bit small.

ahhhh, the elastic of the skirt, the wind beneath between my wings thighs. glory, glory!

okay, i am a little nervous about saying this...but we have a name for the little girl. just like with judah, it was a name i liked first but jesse had never been sold on until he got some serious and crazy confirmation from the lord. and just like with judah, he is now like 5 times more sure of the name than i am (i am a consummate second-guesser). since i felt the wrath of making y'all wait for the gender, let me just go ahead and say that the name revelation timeline is NOT my decision, but his, since he is writing that post and he is notoriously bad at timely blogging (see: the birth story that took a year to complete).

i HATED the experience of telling people judah's name before he was born. i got SO much random backlash. people tended to think, "oh he's still in utero, maybe that means i can talk her out of that name before it's too late." whereas if we waited until he was born and said, "this baby here in my arms is judah," no one would have dared say a word. it just wasn't fun to get a bunch of, "really? that's very unusual. sounds like judy or judas. what about noah? or jonah? those are cool, hippie names that aren't so weird." arrrrrg. just shut up and pretend to love it. p.s. can you imagine the bug being anything other than a judah? no WAY! he is SO judah. so suck it, random critics in target who made me feel like crap for naming my son something other than jackson liam jacob dukes (not that there is anything wrong with normal or popular names!).

now, if i had gotten my real wish for a girl name and gone with lukas (one of her godfather's names AND a boy name i think would be wonderful on a little girl), i would expect a close friend (likely lena) to point out to me that our daughter was named lukas dukes and would likely get called lukas dukas her entire life. so that dream has to die. *note: lena did inform me at 20 weeks with judah that, "you know he's going to be JUdah DUkes, right? that's a lot of oooooh." this is where being lena, a bff and godparent, has privileges. greater public: if you do not have at least 25 blog posts about you, please refrain from negative name feedback. thank you *

so if you're just dying to know the name, take it up with jesse and tell him to get on his bloggy horse.


play hard, sleep harder

when you haven't seen your england-dwelling best buddy in almost 3 months

and you spend and afternoon at the pool with him


taking in the lovely sights,


being in forced photos,

putting on your best tolerant faces,

checking each other for shrinkage,

and giving diving seminars,

you may tend to crash pretty hard at naptime in the middle of a diaper change and embarrassing photos may be taken. but don't worry, you look amazing, even in nude repose.
...oh, to be one year old.

judah's 12 month portrait teasers

we shot these on saturday evening at the dukes' property. it was beyond hellishly hot and in the middle judah's witching (aka bitching) hour that come before bedtime so it was a challenge for sure. these were the first ones we have done with judah mobile, so it was a new experience that he could just run away if he didn't like what we were doing. i am sure that brenna's recycle bin has quite a few pics of us scowling in it. luckily, she's awesome and so we actually got some good ones (clearly i love them since i have already adapted the watermarked proofs into our new header and couldn't even wait for the real versions). here's the preview she posted before we get our full session cd:

the saddle was so big that his feet didn't reach the ground and he was forced to stay on it for a while. score one for the big guys.

i am a spokesperson for the american posture society. i was tickling him to make him laugh and instead ruined the perfection with my hunchism. i still love it though.

his reward for all the wardrobe/scenery changes was this as the last one.

oh i love it. his favorite thing to do with a beach ball is put his mouth on it and take off running. so glad it's documented so beautifully.

jesse and i aren't in love with this one of US because we look high and triple-chinned, but we are obsessed with judah. a mercy-crop may be be in order

FAVORITE! i ADORE this picture. we decided to hop under the sprinkler with the bug at the very end to show solidarity since he was losing it. somehow after hours of melting we managed to be cold once the water was on us. but it was totally worth it. *ok, the fact is that i am wearing a skirt, and you can kind of see up it (cause i'm also a spokesperson for the ladylike society of north america), but since you can't see anything at all, not even a hint of a shadow of thigh or worse, i am not embarrassed. *



judah was a summer baby. judah is also a boy. so i never gave leg warmers much of a thought when compiling his wardrobe. now i am having a girl and in november. but i still didn't think about leg warmers until i saw something about them by one of my favorite most bloggers.
so babylegs are a certain brand of legwarmers for kids i think, but its such a more fun term to use then legwarmers. they're not technically just for girls and not just for babies, but the ones i want to talk about are. the idea here is to keep the baby warm without having to pull pants on and off a hundred times during diaper changes which is hard for parents of a wormy little newborn AND would make them chilly if it was cold where you were changing the babe. apparently these are very useful during potty training too. here's the idea:

onsie plus babylegs. they could also go under a dress like leggings or with bloomers (unless you're lucky enough to cloth diaper) with a top.

one of the biggest draws to me besides not pulling pants on and off is that these would have more potential for different fun designs and variety than you would find in pants, but at like $12 a pop, that goes out the window and i stop caring so much about pulling off pants.

enter raechel. her super simple and easy to follow tutorial shows how to take a $2 pair of target's women's knee socks and convert them into really well-made baby leggings. AWESOME!

yes, i went to the store the day she posted this tutorial and bought 8 pairs of target socks. but check out that selection. the colors! the patterns! all for what i would have paid for 1.33 pairs of pre-made ones (plus i like my patterns and colors better than the pre-made ones anyway)

i chopped off the toes and heels of all the pairs and got to work with the leftovers.

like a sweet jellyfish of creativity dangling in my kitchen
one pair of these takes literally about 6 minutes start to end. and the final product looks really polished and finished:

the little cuff at the bottom will go over baby girl's heels or at her ankles if we still want to put shoes on her. even though these are longer than an actual baby leg right now, if i remember correctly, the whole fashion statement of the legwarmer was the scrunched-up look

i plan to stop by the sock department on every trip to target now and snatch up and new styles that come out so that our little girlie is always rocking a colorful, warm, homemade pair of babylegs! plus these totally count as separate items in my one-thing-a-day quest to clothe little girl.



those would be the ages of 4 of the most important men in my family. taken on a father's day visit to see my gramps, fred.

they are all winning "most attractive" in their age brackets


dyeing to dress her

i have a secret goal. secret because i am afraid it may be hard to accomplish so i am keeping it to myself. except, oh right, i suck at that and am now blogging about it.

i am going to try to make something for little girl every day until she is born.

so far i've done it. even if i don't keep the streak alive, just shooting for it will really help me out even if i only end up with a few items a week. see, not only am i having an oppositely sexed baby than my existing one, but she is also being born in the opposite season of her big brother. that not only means that the scads of clothes that we are have bought, inherited, been gifted for judah are boy-ish in design and color but also they may not be weather appropriate even when they are unisex in design.

i am not big on pink=girl and blue=boy, but i am also not dressing judah in ruffles and baby girl in football shirts just to buck traditional gender stereotypes. overall i just prefer bright bold colors for everybody! but i am kind of freaking out about starting essentially from scratch AGAIN as far as a wardrobe goes. that's not even factoring in the fact that girls of all ages tend to "need" more clothes than boys so we are probably going to need more than we even had with judah.

the whole idea of making stuff for her is to save money, so i didn't just want to go out and buy new clothes and craft on them. so being thrifty, the first thing i wanted to do was repurpose as many of judah's old clothes as possible and turn them into things for her. we got so very many hand me downs for the bug that lots of them were hardly worn. in addition, we had bunches of stained and faded old stuff of his that probably wouldn't have earned second life even if #2 had been a boy. so to spruce up the old stuff i picked out a bunch of light blue and white (or off-white after many uses), pulled on my big girl pants and decided to tackle dyeing!

dyeing is scary. it's permanent and tricky to do right and is kind of intimidating. but if you CAN do it right, think of how much new energy you can breath into boring old clothes. i used a tutorial i found on the MADE blog to guide me. she simplified the entire process and made it seem much less scary.

i had bought a bunch of bold colored dylon dyes back when i started my craft kick, but of course pink and purple weren't part of my selection back then, so i picked up 2 more packs of tulip brand powder dye.

i started this project on sunday night at 8 pm and had 7 batches (colors) to get done. this was poor planning, which is classically what i do, since every batch needs at least an hour to soak and ends with its own go in the washer and dryer i was setting myself up for a late night. so i got kind of sloppy and rushed for the sake of being done and going to bed. typical.

i had 2 bowls in the sink, 2 in jesse's bathtub and 3 in mine. it was crazy town

the pink and green batches (the red spot in the green one is a design that was screen printed onto a white onesie of judah's...it didn't take the dye and i planned to applique over it anyway)

about 3 hours, 4 loads of laundry, and a very tired pregnant back later here's what came out of the dryer:

rainbow brite

definitely had some hits and misses. the entire green batch was a miss. i realized the color was lighter than i thought but its so blah that i am gonna get a bolder color and do them over. i also learned that you need to dye things a darker color than they are to begin with. so even though the old pastel blue stuff seemed light, it didn't convert to pink as well as it did to purple. also i needed to put less items in the bowls (or get larger bowls/buckets) to achieve more even dyeing and avoid the veined tie-dye look that some of my stuff ended up with.

i am really happy how most of the stuff ended up and now have a bunch of bold, bright blank canvases to work from that cost me nothing!

the next night i used some felt that i had bought a long time ago and wanted to hand stitch a little design onto one of the purple onesies. i learned that hand stitching is not my strong suit and it turned out wonky, but i still love it because she will be in it and out-cute my mistakes.

that onesie was plain and pale faded yellow before. i love the way the purple came out on it and the fact that the polyester thread didn't absorb the dye so the contrast stitching is still there.

one day of her life dressed. tens of thousands to go.


girl talk

remember when i was adamantly against having a girl? like ever? it's so crazy to me the change that has gone on in me since i thought i would prefer wiping 4 boys worth of urine off the toilet seat every time i went to the bathroom over the drama of having even one little girl. there have just been tiny nudges, glimpses and "coincidences" that have totally paved the way for not only acceptance but EXCITEMENT about our little XX chromosomer. here's a REALLY cool example.
jesse and i came from our works to the ultrasound in separate cars. after finding out, we went out to lunch and all rode together. when we finished lunch we went back to the hospital to pick up my car, trusty voldemort the volvo whose A/C does not work in the summertime (5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, such fun). we have satellite radio. no, we are not rich or fancy, but it is an expense we have deemed worth the $12 a month because the commercial-free stations keep me from changing the channel every 3 seconds as i get enraged by talk and ads and ending up in a fiery auto inferno.
anyway, there is a channel on there that i don't listen to a bunch, the coffee house, only if my first few presets let me down, because it's so hippie and artsy and chill and it sometimes is a bit too folksy for my liking. well for some reason that was what was already on when i got back in the car. i was not really paying attention, but i about fainted with shock when i realized the VERY first words that were coming out of my speakers are these:
my little girl
you’ve gone and stole my heart
and made it your own
you’ve stole my heart
and made it your own
um, hi. are you joking me? i started looking around thinking this had to be some elaborate prank from all the people who wanted me to have a girl even back when it was the last thing i wanted. i was flipping. i called jesse and told him to turn it to that channel but by the time he did the song was over. in fact the part i heard were the final words of the song. well, i had seen on my little radio display that is was a new song by jack johnson (already a fave who appeared on our wedding CD). so i told jesse all about it and we downloaded it when we got home.
two more crazy weird interesting things:
1. the song is a ridiculously short 2 minutes long, so on top of the fact that i rarely listen to the only channel that would play this song i just so happened to catch it during the 120 seconds it was on AND just so happened to be right at that part of the chorus AND it was the very first music i heard after finding out about MY little girl.
2. the rest of the lyrics could have literally been yanked directly out of jesse and my hearts as far as what we pray for this girl:
hey little girl
black and white and right and wrong
only live inside a song
that I will sing to you
you don’t ever have to feel lonely
you will never lose any tears
you don’t have to feel any sadness
when you look back on the years
how can I look you in the eyes
and tell you such big lies
the best I can do is try to show you
how to love with no fear
my little girl
you’ve gone and stole my heart
and made it your own
i start tearing up just reading these words. there is something about little girls that makes you want to protect them and keep them safe from the world. it's the same with boys to a degree, but boys grow up to be big strong men and we tend to think that they can look after themselves. girls are more vulnerable. one of my first thoughts after seeing that this baby was a girl was, "what are we going to do?" i may have even said it out loud in the video. i was thinking, okay, how can we keep her safe and out of danger and protect her little heart from ever feeling pain?
but just like the song says, any promises we could make to her in that regard are lies and fairy tales. she is being born into a fallen and broken world and there is going to be hard and sad stuff she is going to have to encounter and work through. she is going to cry tears of pain and have her sweet heart broken. as much as that kills me to know, there is nothing i can do to change it and in trying to shelter her from every single little trauma, i would only succeed in making her afraid and closed-off and smothered. and the absolute very best thing we can hope for her is that she will be able to boldly show love in a hateful place that is often scary. and the crazy thing is that this is the exact prayer we have prayed over both of our babies, but especially this girl.
she's not ours. obviously we will be smart and keep her and all of our other children out of the most obvious dangers, but i think jesus would be pissed at us if we tried to engineer our kids' hours, days and lives to be spent in a safety bubble just avoiding pain or danger rather than out showing his love in dark, frightening places. does that scare me for them? um, yes. but just like the song says, i don't just pray this for my little girl. i SHOW her how to love with no fear. that starts with me loving them without fear; fear of losing them, fear of them not liking me, fear of them getting hurt, fear of the opinion of everyone else.
the song says, "you've stole my heart and made it your own." i just love that that is a cute way of expressing love and smitten-hood, but it also says something kind of profound to my little brain. this little girl's heart (and judah's and any future ones') is going to be made up of parts of whatever is in jesse and my hearts. whatever fruit our hearts produce is what she is going to see and inevitably take in and pattern her own life after to some extent. if we show fear or hatred or anger, that is going to be communicated to her as how people live and she will likely do the same until/unless she learns that it is wrong and does the hard work of reprogramming her childhood experiences in her adulthood.
in growing up with us as her parents she will literally "steal" what's in our hearts and make it her own. it's a sobering reminder that i don't just get a do-over with my kids and all the ways that i went wrong i can just reprogram them to do the opposite. i can't want something better for them without being something better myself. those damn little sponges of brains they have are watching us and laying down tons of synapse connections that tell them the way the world is and will play a big part in governing their behaviors and decisions. i want them to have a foundation of love and selflessness and jesus, so man, that better be what i am putting out there. they are going to take my heart, my life, my behavior and make it their own, for better or worse. i can't control which parts they take and which ones they skip, so better safe than sorry, i should probably make sure my heart is as right and christ-centered as it can be, through and through, so that they only get the good stuff.
if i hadn't already been sure that having a girl was "supposed" to happen, i think this would have done it. thanks, jack. thanks, jesus.
listen to the song here


when we knew

ok, since i almost got myself assassinated (by close friends!) for waiting so long to reveal the gender, i thought it would only be fair to give those of you who were in so much suspense the blow by blow details of our little adventure. the reason we had to keep mum for so long was because we had a rogue grandparent (who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals) and 2 out of hemisphere godparents who had to be told live on the phone and it took us a while to track them down. here goes:
we got called back ohsofast by the ultrasound technician. it was me and jesse with judah asleep on his shoulder. we told her we wanted to wait to find out the gender and to make us look away from the screen when she was going over the goods so that we didn't cheat.

when jesse mans the camera at these events, he goes nuts. this is one of many shots he took , including one when she was tucking the paper apron thing that protects my clothes from the goop down my pants. not a good angle for family viewing, jess-ball

with judah, we paid out of pocket for an early 16 week gender/3D ultrasound. that one was all for fun and the ultrasound tech was super chatty and amiable. so that kind of blocked out the memory of the more serious anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks wherein the tech is required to not say anything or interpret what she is seeing beyond, "there's the heart," etc. it was really unnerving. i know it's because she's not a doctor and can't talk to us about medical implications, but geez, her poker face and stony silences in reply to jesse's attempts at humorous banter were killing the mood. it was hard not to let my mind wander and worry about birth defects and things that could be wrong.

judah's first picture with his sibling('s skull scan). he slept right through it.
we immediately saw arms and legs (always good) with fingers and toes and a precious profile. we saw the tiny heart fluttering away at 150 bpm and the umbilical cord that provides oxygen and sustenance to the baby until the moment of birth. it was awe-inspiring as usual. i forgot the sensation of having the tech jab my belly to make the baby orient. i know it doesn't hurt the baby at all, but it is so violent and makes me shake like a bowl full of jelly that i was dying laughing. the tech was not. so awkward.

profile pic. adorable

we left the ultrasound and went back to a normal exam room to wait for the doctor to tell us what the scan showed. judah woke up at this point. a few minutes later the nurse delivered a sealed envelope with "gender" written on the front. knowing it was in there and that only she and god knew what our baby was and that the information was under a thin layer of paper was INTENSE.

us: nervous. judah: thirsty.

"who cares what that baby is? look how cute I am!"
the doctor came in, one of our favorites of the 4 that rotate, a good old boy tech graduate who cracks us up, and told us everything that they could assess and measure at that point looked perfect (huge mom-sigh of relief). and i said, "does it show you the gender?" and he holds up the paper right in front of me and points to one section and goes, "oh yeah, right here." and i flipped out and almost jettisoned myself off the table trying to turn away and shield my eyes and he starts laughing at me saying that even he didn't know and that it only said "normal" on the paper (always good to have "normal" repro's in my opinion). haha, good joke dr. r.

so we get to the car and decide to just do it there. we hadn't planned on it, but thought it would be fun to video tape the momentous occasion so we could share the moment of revelation with our family and the baby his/herself one day (and the entire internet, it turns out)! it was SO intense. every step from tearing open the envelope to pulling out the picture to lifting up the post-it was packed with anticipation. jesse was being so grabby and making a bunch of fast movements and i was getting so riled up and jumpy and thinking he was just going to snatch it out of my hand and run off.

a few notes about this video:

1. i am realizing this is a lot of peeps' first look at my new haircut. i did NOT realize this before getting ready that day. and by getting ready i mean washing my hair the night before and going to sleep with it wet then waking up, shoving a clip in my bangs and heading out. it looks like big birds' frazzled pubes. do forgive.

2. the part where i scream at jesse is because he had his foot on the brake and then took it off all of a sudden. we were in park and we started going backwards (really just settling onto the back axle). i thought we were going to record ourselves rolling out into traffic and getting pummelled.

3. i hate my voice and my face and everything about me. there is no way i really look and sound like that in real life. i refuse to believe it. in case your thinking, "god, that child and that husband are way to good looking to be with her," don't worry, i already know. it's cool. i'll be good looking when i am done making babies.


so there you have it. you can very clearly hear me say that i thought it was a boy but that i think i really wanted a girl. if there was any doubt in my mind about what my heart really wanted it vanished in the second of knowing. i had the EXACT same reaction as i did upon finding out that judah was our much-hoped for boy: i started laughing hysterically and crying with joy all at the same time. no disappointment whatsoever.

this is what was "under the skirt." somehow this seems so much more exposing than when i posted judah's anatomy. fair's fair though.
glad i have 20+ weeks to get used to saying oh yeah, this baby, SHE..." it's so freaking unbelievable. and kind of just wonderful. here we go.


ready or not, here she comes


may i have the envelope, please...

how long will it stay sealed?

ringer around the ultrasound

today's the day. the day baby #2 stops being "the baby" and becomes "he" or "she." the ultrasound technician will know around 11 am today. if we stick to our game plan, WE will know a few hours later. followed swiftly by you (on monday probably).
maybe it's just because i have a child already, but i am being so 100% honest right now when i say i don't care either way what the gender is. this time, i am just focusing on all the anatomy and measurements and health stuff looking good. i took that so for granted with judah while i was busy rooting for a boy, and so my gratitude for his lifelong health has really mellowed me out about the sex of the baby and made me see what's important. *end inspirational public service announcement.*
continuing on my merry making trend, i wanted to make something for judah. see, if he is having a sister i probably won't be making anything for him for awhile since there is SO much more cute girl stuff out there that is easy to make. i decided that i would try my hand at something super challenging.
during my interwebial travels the other day when crafty inspiration struck, i found the making blog, MADE. holy cow, this chick is a baddie bad bad. she can sew like none other. i saw an awesome tutorial on her blog that shows how to take a ratty old men's t-shirt and turn it into a super adorable vintage-looking ringer shirt for baby. i can't get enough of colorful ringers on little boys and i loved the onesie-style detailing on the shoulders, so even though i was a bit out of my depth and way nervous, i went for it.
here's what i started with: an old t-shirt of jesse's that i had worn to bed a few times and therefore had gotten discolored a little bit from my medicated face lotion (problem skin at age 30, here i come!). for some reason this stuff only bleaches the GBIV portion of the color spectrum. even though it looked rough on jesse, there was still enough good fabric to make a judah sized shirt and i loved the bold color

the tutorial is called "the 90 minute shirt" but it took me 2 hours because i was watching the NBA finals (snooze) and i had to make my pattern from scratch (yeah, no pattern included, people! tres DIY). i am so so so shocked and proud of how it came out:

to make my pattern i deconstructed an old 9 month onesie and then measured up by guesswork using a 18-24 month shirt that we have for judah, so the dimensions are a little funny. but seriously, i MADE that!

when we woke up this morning we had to have the little guy model it:

the fit isn't too bad, though it was intended to be big enough for the fall/winter and it fits him pretty snug right now.

stone faced strutting the catwalk. he's an ambi-turner
so this little project was time consuming, but had just the right mix of mindless cutting/pinning paired with challenging problem solving, sewing and measuring. just my kind of task. enough to keep me on my toes and fulfilled, but not enough to overwhelm me. i can say that if i saw this style of shirt at old navy i would probably expect it to cost (and i might consider paying) $12.50. mine was free thanks to having a ton of the ribbed yellow knit already (but that would have cost about 80 cents if i had to go buy it). i will be making more of these. count on it. they maybe purple and pink, but they will BE.
and here's the final weekly belly picture before the fruits and veggies get a gender! 18 weeks (last saturday) and a nice bell pepper is what we're working with. (week 17 got skipped because the turnip at publix that i found was the size of a kiwi and made no sense.)
those are maternity jeans. i test drove them a few days ago because i finally found them and determined i am not pregnant enough for them yet. not that they are too big (oh no), but my stomach is still too soft to overpower the elastic and not just look like a floppy gut busting biscuit over the waistband

i can really feel this baby all of a sudden. with judah, i had a few weeks of little bubble-type flutters and, "was that him?" moments. but this one really just started with the swoops and squiggles that are undeniably baby. it awesome. i forgot how fun and freaking weird it is to feel a bell pepper sized human gamboling around my uterus.
i feel awesome. no more malaise or nausea of extreme fatigue. i do have some weird second trimester symptoms going on, the most annoying of which is violently itchy legs. like, "jesse, go get me the belt-sander" itchy. also the bladder capacity is on the way out. 5 out of 7 nights a week i have to get up once or twice in the night to pee. by the time i deliver i won't be able to go longer than 3 hours with out squeaking out a thimbleful.
see y'all on the other side of some tiny little sex organs.


feast or famine

after not twitching a single crafty muscle for about a month, yesterday i came surging back like an unstoppable rebel force. i was inspired by my buddy, merran (she of the ridiculously perfect first birthday party), who made some super cool stuff for her son luke. so of course i stalked her referenced blogs and got a whole boatload of ideas.

the first project i did was actually something totally random that i had found via stumbleupon last week, but once i had the creativity keg tapped again, all sorts of stuff was flowing out. plus i had to wait until i got home to do merran's project since it required an iron, but this little gem i could do at...um, well, exactly where i was. i found a tutorial for these on the not martha (you can guess which martha she's not) blog.

side-view of my lil love-mushrooms.

these are adorable, 100% customizable, highly giftable little marble magnets. after a quick and cheap trip to joann i was ready to make 20 of these for $8 (and i have plenty of leftover glue and marbles to make tons more and would only need to restock the magnets).

-clear flat bottomed marbles (there's like 100 of them in a pack)-$2.50
-2 ten-packs of circular 5/8" magnets-$2.58
-elmer's craft bond ultra stix all clear glue-$2.99
-old magazines-free!

some of the goods

you wanna make sure you get marbles that are slightly bigger around than the magnets (for easy gripping on the fridge), but other than that you could go any size, shape or color you wanted. there is some textural imperfect on the bottom of my marbles that i thought would screw up seeing the pictures, but the cool thing is that the clear glue fills the rough spots in so you can't even see them. also, make sure you pick a clear, vapor/odor free glue, unless you've got a score to settle with some brain cells

these were so so so easy to make. the biggest of craft-tards could pull these off with ease. the most time consuming part was finding little and cool enough pictures in all my magazines and that was totally fun. once you have them cut out (i used an x-acto knife and just traced around a magnet. doesn't have to be a perfect circle, the marble's magnifying effect is very forgiving), each one takes maybe 10 seconds to assemble. i made my 12 magnets in about 30 minutes, even with browsing the mags.

camel at sunset, hot air balloon, watering the tulip, foot, grassy field, tiny beach. love them!

i went with pretty pictures but you could so easily make an entire set of the alphabet in all sorts of cool fonts or numbers, or someone's names (for a lil gift). they are the perfect size for a choking hazard so these live towards the top of the refrigerator until judah stops eating everything like a baby goat.

leafy, wave, peacock, umbrella, flying goose, cool tree

i really liked not martha's idea of putting a set of these in a little altoids tin (metal, get it?) and giving them as gifts. i mean they aren't going to make anyone faint with rapture upon receiving them, but they are cute, handmade and one of a kind.


so when i got home i was in heaven. i made poppyseed chicken for dinner (a binge-favorite) and jesse took judah to a youth event thing so i had the house and the meal all to myself. i got started on the project i ripped off from merran, who found an awesome tutorial on i am mama, hear me roar.

i have done stenciling before, but never with freezer paper and always with a piece of cardstock i had to hold or tape in place. whoa baby. so much easier. i got a 75 foot roll of this amazing stuff at publix for $3.

i found a bitching webdings-esque font here that is chock full of tiny graphics that make perfect stencil patterns. i just blew up the image i wanted and put my freezer paper on my laptop screen and traced the outline (you could print it out at whatever size you needed too if you respect your computer screen more than i do). lowercase x in this font happened to be a really cool little robot, so i went with that. there are about 14 other of these graphics i can't wait to use also.

the robot stencil was blank when i first painted it on, but i wanted him to have more personality, so i added the buttons and facial features by hand and then put the little "domo" signature there cause i'm cheeky like that.

it was incredibly fulfilling to make all of these crafty wares, plus last night's dinner (which is today's lunch) and get tonight's dinner prepped and marinating while the chicken cooked all in the same amount of time that i usually just would have spent watching the office reruns. yeah the supplies for these projects cost money and i probably couldn't have done it without jesse being on judah duty (though he will sit in the kitchen an fixate on me whenever i am cooking rather than running amok), but i would probably feel tons more productive and better about myself if i could pull off just one night like this per week.

judah, show me your impression of a killer robot, come to dominate humanity with your robo-double chin. hey, nice job.

hostile takeovers aside, the robot is really quite adorable


save the date

dear jesse, mark your calendar:

when: every saturday morning of the year 2046 and on
where: the dairy section of our local grocer
attire: head to toe his-and-hers denim and white sneakers

we will spend a few minutes discussing the notes we've brought along for planning a pancake breakfast for our grand kids and adorably weigh the virtues of medium brown versus large white eggs (the couple in the pic was totally doing this).
we probably won't be as good-looking or firm as we are now, but then we also probably won't get in a shouting match about rice either. losing some of the passion might be a good thing.
we will lack muscle tone, hair lustre, and collagen, but we will have 40 years of memories and magic under our built-in elastic belts to get us by.
i will change the batteries in your hearing aid (size 357? no sweat) and help you tie/velcro your shoes if you'll get the mail on really hot days and keep the bird feeders filled up.
i promise i will love you more and gentler and deeper and quieter than i ever imagined i could back when we vowed to go the distance.
i'll be there if you will.