Friday, February 20, 2015

seven quick takes - ed. 27

AKA Nesting Insanity Edition!

It's funny, with each of my three pregnancies, my "nesting instinct" has taken on very different forms. With Faith, my first baby, it was all about the Baby Stuff. Set up the crib, decorate the room, sort and fold the eensy weensy clothes, research car seats, etc. 

With Josie, I knew we would be moving to Guam a month after her birth, so there was no point in preparing the house. Instead, I threw all my energy into preparing literally dozens of freezer meals so that, with all the insanity of New Baby and Finishing Residency and International Move, at least we wouldn't have to stress about what to have for dinner.

This time around, I've got a little of the "get baby stuff ready" urge, but we mostly have all that stuff already. So mostly I've been going crazy preparing the REST of the house, especially as Josie is going to be moving into Faith's room (actually she moved in last night).

So here's what I've been working on so far!

1- Painting of furniture. The furniture in Faith's room (now the girls' room) is a hodgepodge of hand-me-downs, found-on-the-curb, and IKEA. 

No before pics because I'm a bad blogger, but the table was stained in that orangey honey-oak and was from my childhood living room. The rocking chair was painted black with a gold metallic floral design, and I found it on the curb a few months ago with two spindles out of place and one split. Easy to fix with elbow grease and gorilla glue, and white gloss paint covers a multitude of sins.

2. Making of wall decor. Before I moved in the now-white table, there was a tall old table-floor-lamp combo in its place (purchased at a garage sale years ago to furnish Jack's med school apartment). The lamp part stopped working, so out it went and in came the oval side table... but it was a lot shorter and left an awkward-looking blank expanse of wall. So I made this:

A bunch of hearts paper-punched out of vellum I had on hand, stitched together on the sewing machine, and hung from an accommodating strip of foam board. Not fancy at all, but turned out cute.

3. Assembling of bunk beds: 

Excuse the sagging diaper.

Okay, it's a pseudo bunk bed. It's actually a low loft, and I stuck a bunky board and mattress on the floor beneath it. It's the IKEA Kura bed, and I love it. Oh, and no, IKEA doesn't ship to Guam; I paid for a third-party cargo company to ship it. It would've been nice to find something on-island, but not many places sell bunks/lofts that are low enough to make me feel comfortable with a 4-year-old on the top. And the room is small enough that while side-by-side twin beds would fit, they would make it pretty crowded.

4. Making of quilts! I'm actually super-excited about this. Currently the girls are using old family quilts, which are lovely, but aren't really sized for twin beds, and are kind of fragile... and being wary to wash something is not a good mix with toddlers. So I'm making them my first quilts ever! I have all the pieces cut out and all the triangles stitched into their proper squares, and Faith's quilt top is about half done (not including the border).

It's not perfect, but it's so fun seeing it come together! Josie's will have the same fabrics but a different pattern, so they'll match but won't be matchy-matchy.

5. Sewing of slipcovers. I was bored/annoyed with our two black office chairs... which are actually in our living room, since we don't have a separate office. Plus the fabric wasn't really washable and it was covered in yogurt smears. So I adapted this tutorial with some cute fabric, and now I no longer have boring office chairs, but adorable office chairs! And the covers are extremely easy to remove for washing purposes.

6. Making of a baby mobile! Faith and Josie's mobile was also handmade but was kind of girly, with ribbons and butterflies and such. So I wanted to make something more gender-neutral, so I followed this tutorial (which I only just this second realized is from the same blog as the office chair tutorial) and I loooove how it turned out!

7. Knitting of the baby blanket. I started this months ago (before we knew Jackson was a boy), but I've taken a few extended breaks. It's not quite half done yet, but I usually get an hour or two of knitting done in the evenings after the kids go to bed, so I'm hopeful that it'll be finished by the time the baby's born. (The pattern is Arabesque-- though I'm making the border as I go to avoid having to pick up thousands of stitches at the end-- and the yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Lime.)

Next on my list, other than finishing the unfinished blankets, are non-girly curtains for Jackson's room (I'll probably use the leftover green dot fabric from the office chairs), making his name from fabric for his wall (like you see attached to the girls' bed above), sorting & purging everyone's wardrobes, and organizing the garage. Let's see how far I get!

Head over (or back) to This Ain't The Lyceum for more quick takes!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

pediatrician psa: three good articles

I used to do these on Tuesdays, but I'm low on blog post ideas, so time for a couple links!


First, this awesome answer to the question: How can I tell if my child has a cold or a sinus infection?

This is an important question because kids get colds ALL. THE. TIME. And there's really nothing to do to make a cold go away faster, which is frustrating for everyone. But if it's actually a sinus infection (much less common), then antibiotics might help. Click to find out how to tell the difference!

Second, on a related note, an excellent explanation for why pediatricians don't (or at least, aren't supposed to) recommend cough or cold medicines for kids. (Spoiler: it's because they don't work.)

The third one tackles a different topic, but an equally frustrating one (and not specific to pediatrics). Have you ever wondered why your doctor always keeps you waiting? Hint: it's not because he/she is on a Starbucks break, on the phone booking a lavish vacation, or just fundamentally lazy. The author of the article follows the typical day of a primary care physician, detailing exactly how things get so far behind.

And in case you read it and think, "Well, why not schedule people for longer appointments?" there are two large reasons. First, many physicians don't have any say in the length of their appointment slots, which are often predetermined by office administrators for maximum cost-effectiveness. And second, if appointments are longer, then fewer patients can be seen per day, making it harder to get an appointment with the doctor when you need it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

excuses, in pictures

This week's lack of posts has been brought to you by an adorable but crazy toddler...

...who seemed to more of her waking hours over the weekend screaming than not...

...who insisted on being held pretty much all day Monday (her favorite phrase is "dee dah Doh-dee" = "get up Josie")...

...and who decided to give herself an impressive black eye on Tuesday (it's even more awesome now)...

We hope to return to our regularly scheduled programming soon!