Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All Of The Sudden They Are Everywhere

Remember the vintage reproduction cloth dolls I am working on for Cora? I was cruising the Apartment Therapy kids blog Ohdeedoh (which you should really check out) when I stumbled on this:

 Holy cuteness right? These are photos of my favorites but there are several more in the article.

There is something so very sweet and simple about these types of dolls. I just love them.

The full post is available here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Week Of Rain And The Occasional Sunbeam

It's been another week of intense rains and temperatures that are more consistent with February. The days of rain are often punctuated by a brilliant ray of light and 10-15 sweet minutes of sun. We find ourselves sitting in the pools of sunlight trying to soak in all the Vitamin D we can get.  I planted a few tomato plants which feels like an exercise in futile hope but time will tell.

Cora now runs at top speed throughout the house, chasing us and the cats wherever we go.



Teething has been a horrendous challenge. All this week we've been waking up with her every 2-3 hours at night because she is screaming in pain. Poor thing she has at least five teeth coming in, probably more. I am hoping we are almost through this phase, in the mean time she is finding comfort in her toothbrush which is the first "tool" she has ever adopted to help with her teething pain. Note the fantastic teething drool.




And we do occasionally use the toothbrush to actually brush teeth. I always wondered how pregnant ladies could pick up their bigger kids, working around that growing belly. Now I know, you just do it, carve out space on your hip to fit them. Scott and I have begun intense name negotiations. This is always so difficult for us, taking the time to whittle down all the great possibilities. We had a date last night and spent a majority of it working through names and our thoughts behind them. With any luck we will come upon one we love but chances are there will be two or three and we wont decide until she is here.


23 weeks and almost outgrown my beloved Tom Waits t-shirt.


We continue to work on our new home little bit by little bit. Lack of storage in our dining room has been a challenge. I spent a few weeks combing thrift stores and vintage stores looking for the perfect sideboard. Everything I found that we liked was out of our price range or required way too much work to make it look pleasing. I cruise lots of design web sites and was inspired by this post. We got to work purchasing kitchen cabinets from Ikea. Scott hung them on the wall which is very secure and saves floor space. We finished them with a simple piece of pine from H0me Dep0t and the rest is blissful storage history. The dining room feels much better now that we have a place to stow cook books, sewing projects, computers, toys and art supplies. Whew.



And of course, my favorite all time activity. Sunday brunch with my family. xoxo

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sewing, sewing and more sewing

Sewing, we've had a love hate relationship. Like most things in life, you will be successful if you have the right tools. Over the last 10 years I have slowly accumulated the proper tools one by one, each time improving my abilities. This week I finally purchased a cutting mat and rotary cutter which is rocking my sewing world.

We also just significantly downsized our dining room table. My beautiful, gigantic farmhouse table was just too damned big for the new house. It took me a few months of bumping around it with my growing belly to admit the obvious, it just wasn't working. I thought the arrival of our new, tiny table would signal a death blow to my sewing. No longer would I be able to stretch everything out and have a gigantic cutting surface. To my delight it was exactly the opposite. Working on a few projects with the new set up everything seemed to 'click'.  All the tools I needed were lined up within reach and the project just flowed.

I set to work sewing a dress for Cora. Here is the pattern which inspired me with its overall cuteness.

And here is the finished product. I am so proud of this sweet little getup, mostly because it is the first fully functioning article of clothing I have ever created. I mastered button holes people! There are of course a few rookie errors in the dress but I don't care, I just love watching Cora in it and am hoping to make many more.

This is Cora's awesome play kitchen which I discovered awhile ago on this inspiring Missoula mama's blog and coveted it for almost a year. Now that we have it I am so happy, it's the perfect size and Cora adores it. The first thing she did upon discovering it was shove her baby doll in the microwave. I take that as a sign of approval. Scott and I both agreed to buy the red kitchen since it is the same color as the quirky kitchen in our old apartment, the kitchen I was standing in when my water broke with Cora. Not only was this a gift to Cora but a sweet sentimental reminder to us of where we have been and where we are going.

Here is our dining room/the lovely paired down sewing center with new, smaller table and open cabinets waiting to be installed along the wall. If you squint you can see my beloved vintage sewing machine I bought in Montana, I wrote about it here. The table cloth is actually 1.5 yards of oilcloth from the fabric store and thrown down without any additional trimming. Super fantastic score.

Along with the clothing sewing projects I stumbled upon this sweet little fabric at the store. These are reproductions of 1930's fabric dolls. I bought Cora a sewn and completed one off of Etsy for Christmas and she sleeps with it and uses it as her favorite night time teething toy. Now we will complete her collection. I can't wait to see these gals lined up on Cora's new bed.

Lately Cora is becoming more and more enamored with books. She will sit for 10-30 minutes at a time looking through her books until she finds one that she wants me to read and then she will bring it over to me and sit in my lap while we explore the book. We just bought her a big girl bed and a few times a day she lays on it while thumbing through her books. I am so happy to know there is another book lover in the house, I foresee many afternoons spent in used book stores.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One brilliant day of sun

It's been a crazy week here full of lots of work and lots of play. I am currently loving hanging cloth diapers out to dry on the deck and dreaming up the new nursery. We are also pushing to get the new house in order, changing up some furniture and building some shelving. We are slowly getting there and it feels more like home every day. My face has mostly healed from the last nausea incident and I hope that will be the last of that.

It was bound to happen eventually, one perfect day of sunshine. My nesting instinct is kicking in with force and taking the direction of sewing/creating things for Cora and the new baby. I finished the dress she is wearing below (a separate post coming about that) the night before and we woke up to a day just perfect for running around in it.

I found a park here in town that has a special play structure just for toddlers. It is a bit of a drive but always worth it to see Cora relax and run all over the special 'castle' that is just her size.

Rocking the sun hat and going up slides backwards. Best bud Lucien in the background.

Detail of her dress from the back. So, so cute!

A different day, same park. She loves these little rocking structures so close to the ground she can climb right on and off.

Running around is hard work. Passed out in the carseat with her 'new' cabbage patch doll, our most recent thrift store score.

I can't get enough of her in the sunshine with her big hat on.

I love watching them together.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Unglamorous Side of Pregnancy

Disclaimer: You may want to avoid this post if you are squeamish.

There are moments of pregnancy where I am sure I must "glow". Moments when my skin is healthy looking, my hair lustrous and my outfit spot on. I know they exist, but days like this they seem far and few between.

For me, a great deal of pregnancy is spent looking like I have been abused. My poor husband suffers the looks of concern when people notice the horrible bruising on my arms. The bruising is a result of the blood thinners I have to take which make me very prone to bruising combined with the gestational diabetes. Because I am a massage therapist I can not check my blood sugar 3x day on my fingertips without having to wear gloves every day that I work. As a result I check on my upper forearm and this leaves me with horrible bruises that conveniently look like thumb prints.

The other lovely side effect, especially with this pregnancy is the projectile vomiting. I had hoped this would pass with the first trimester but I haven't been so lucky. I am supposed to be taking quality prenatal vitamins to increase my health and the health of the baby. 5 month in and I still vomit every time I take the required dose. It does not matter if I have done everything right, eaten properly and taken them at the right time. 20 minutes later I will puke harder then I ever remember puking. Last time this happened Cora was with me at my office and she sobbed while I heaved in the trash, coming up for air to tell her it's okay. Today I was on the phone booking appointments to view birth centers when I felt the first turn of my stomach. 10 minute of denial later I was puking into the garbage can in the kitchen. Luckily this time Cora did not cry, instead stood there resting her head against my leg.  Apparently she is getting used to this.

Back to that glowing skin concept.  I spent the first trimester looking like a 13 year old with the associated acne problems. I was just thinking yesterday how nice it was that my skin was finally clear, but the vomiting fixed that for me. Behold all of the broken blood vessels in my face.

Looks like some pretty fantastic freckles huh?

We as a culture spend lots of time talking about the lovely moments of pregnancy but I feel it's equally important to acknowledge the physical toll we mamas endure. There are so many beautiful moments and then these physical challenges to balance it out.  It helps me appreciate the easy moments

I of course have a full work day today so I will be reaching for the makeup and hoping the pressure in my eyes goes down enough so I can drive safely. It's amazing what we will do for these little people we hope to meet.

A happier moment, yesterday at 20 weeks. Look how great my skin was. LOL

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Center of the Home

I heard a quote from Dr. Christiane Northrup, I can not remember the exact wording but the basic idea is that the mother is the center,  grounding rod of the family and all its energy, that all children and activity swirl around her. She said that if you wanted proof of this phenomenon you need only to be a mom attempting to take a quiet bath. This quote came back to me yesterday. I was taking a quick morning shower while Cora stood next to the tub and chatted with me. When I finished I threw back the curtain to see my kiddo, as well as both dogs and one of our cats (the other was outside) all standing in a row giving me a look of absolute expectation. I grabbed my towel, laughing out loud and wishing I had my camera. I guess the rule extends to all dependents, include our animals.

The sun finally came out and blessed us the other day. We had a brief few days to enjoy it and we soaked it up because, alas, the rains are back. We are still adjusting to the new house, working on childproofing, figuring out where all the little things will go and looking forward to summer days here. The front deck has been secured so Cora likes to play out there with us.

We missed all the Easter egg hunts due to my flu. I was sad to have missed it for many reasons one being this great dress I found for her at a thrift store. Disaster was averted when I discovered a May Day Festival here in town. We met up with some other families and enjoyed a group of adorable kindergartners dancing around a May pole. These kindergartners are part of the May Pole team at their school. How awesome is that? A May Pole Team!  It must be motherhood or perhaps pregnancy hormones but that sweet ceremony brought tears to my eyes. That and this amazing girl who I get to spend every day with.

She is in such a wonderful phase, talking more and more every day and become very independent. We can spend the better part of an hour with her as she practices walking up a step over and over. Often at the playground the most exciting moment for her is walking up the steps. We just got her a simple shape sorter toy which she is obsessed with, having hit that milestone where sorting and placing things inside of other things blows her mind. I can not wait to see what is next.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet Kelly

My amazingly talented friend and fellow mom Kelly had a show last week. It's a big step for her after taking some time off to adjust to motherhood. Can you believe how wonderful she is?

Kelly Brightwell Performs Clouds In The Water from Crystal Calanca on Vimeo.

Little brother or sister?

There are many times lately that I am struck by the deep understanding that life is much simpler with one baby then two. I find myself cuddling Cora easily whenever she needs it and answering her calls at night acutely aware of how easy it is to meet the needs of only one child. We are in a fantastic phase where she is "easy" to care for. Sleep is going very well and Cora is independent enough to entertain herself for sweet little pockets of the day. I will find her quietly flipping through her books, cuddling the teddy bear her grandma Shannon made her, or sitting in her dresser drawer pooping in her diaper. I am so grateful for this phase, for the ability to rest up before the new baby arrives and we swing into sleeplessness once again.

I had a 19 week ultrasound last week to check the baby and determine the sex. Oddly enough I found myself wondering if I really wanted to know, pondering if I could handle the great mystery for the rest of the pregnancy. Scott and I discussed it and I realized I really did want to know, I was just feeling that this pregnancy is going so fast that I can hardly keep up. Sometimes it feels as if it is happening TO me and not WITH me. This week is the half way point and it hardly seems possible.

At the doctors office the ultrasound began with a heady mix of fear and excitement. Even after a healthy pregnancy with Cora I can not shake the fact that there have been many ultrasounds in my life that delivered sad news. It is always stressful no matter how confident I am. I have had enough of these that I understood everything we were looking at, when we were measuring the circumference of the baby's abdomen, the location of the kidneys, the different hemispheres of the brain, the four chambers of the heart. What a relief that everything looked good, baby seems to be developing wonderfully.

And baby is a girl!!!!!!!! When the ultrasound technician told us that I was overcome with joy. Pure joy that Cora would have a sister, joy that we would have 'the Calanca girls'. I have loved parenting Cora and as much as I know there will be challenges, I am looking forward to parenting two girls.

Cora with her first baby doll. She was visiting a friend who had one and she reacted so positively we figured it was time for her to have her own. She loves her baby, cuddles her close and kisses her head. I'm hoping this is a good sign for her little sister to come.

In other news I am looking forward to having the my braces removed. After 2 years and 3 months it is time! I can not imagine going through another pregnancy and delivery with these things in my mouth. I am very grateful to have them but it's time to move on. I can not even imagine what I will look like without them but I am looking forward to finding out. I go back to the orthodontist in a few weeks and hopefully (finger's crossed) they will remove them then. Wish me luck.

I continue to struggle with whether to stop working or not. The nerve pain continues, although it is being managed well with stretching, chiropractic and massage but I worry about creating long term damage. Decisions must be made and I am hesitating.