A Daily Digest

I woke up excited to do house things (is this nesting?) such as going shopping for some general supplies to make homemade cleaning solutions (water and white vinegar mixes seem to be big for general cleaning). I also am going to tackle making some natural weed killers to see if I can’t keep the weeding invaders out of our evergreen growth in the front yard (I’ll put up a picture later). Or I might just remove all the evergreen growth because I don’t really like it, and it collects everything from weeds, to leaves, to street garbage.

 

House-wise I have been getting really into scouring Craigslist for free stuff. I discovered someone giving away solid oak chairs near Jake’s work and had him pick them up so after we clean them off we’ve got the beginnings of our kitchen nook! I think my neighbor has an old kitchen table she doesn’t want anymore in her attic so if she is giving it away that will complete the nook. Here’s what the chairs look like:

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Jake and I also went to Crate N’ Barrel the other day to use a gift card we had so we grabbed some jars to hold sugar, flour, and oatmeal.

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I am also very interested in meeting people who garden, so I inquired in this Swampscott FB group I follow that has all the information about town happenings. I hope to join a group that does edible gardening because I haven’t grown veggies and herbs in the ground anywhere I lived (I’ve been growing things in pots since college). So far, there seems to be an interest group in town for starting a community garden, as well as a bunch of people that do garden swaps, so I might be able to have an easier time starting out than I thought. 🙂

Speaking of the Swampscott FB group, it was there that I found out a Swampscott resident recently wrote a book called A Blood Thing. Apparently he’s a USA Today best seller named James Hankins, who writes thrillers. There’s an interview about him here, which is a cute read. Hopefully I run into him in town at some point and can chat, but in the meantime I’ll grab his books at the library to check them out.

Chores today (which I’m only sharing because they’re cute) include doing another round of laundry of the new baby clothes. So many people have given us clothing for this munchkin. We are deciding, which outfit we’ll bring her home in (personally, I’m leaning towards the “Snuggle this Muggle” onesie with the Gryffindor hat). I’ve also been putting together the To-Go bag of things we’ll want to just have ready for when it’s time to go to the hospital. So far it’s looking like this (but I haven’t packed any of Jake or my overnight clothes, or the daily-use things like our toothbrushes).

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Speaking of baby gifts – the very awesome lady I work part time with sent me some mama-to-be goodies (see photo below of me with my spoils)!

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On the less fun side of things, I am still dealing with clearing up old bills and claims from our previous Ob/Gyn. Word of advice to any who cares to hear it, if you can avoid it (we couldn’t) try not to change insurance twice in the middle of a pregnancy, especially if it means you have to switch providers. One, bills already take forever to show up, and two, it really is a dance to get everything coordinated between different insurances and providers so that you can prevent having to pay random amounts.

And lastly, I have decided to stop blogging about eczema (so essentially leaving behind my eczema storyteller blog) and instead will just write myself a book about my experiences. Though I obviously love blogging, I get too wound up about making sure everything is factual and perfect on my niche eczema blog, and caught up in trying to make sure people are reading it (oh how being plugged into the inter webs makes things too chaotic sometimes), and in reality I just want to have an account for myself about what I’ve gone through and how much progress I’ve made. If others one day want to read it too, that’s awesome, but in the meantime it’s a for-me project.

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Baby classes and clothes

This weekend Jake and I took a 6 hour class (so long!) through our delivery hospital called Prepared Childbirth. I’ve typed up my notes on it, which can be found on my women’s health site here. It’s a bit long so I decided not to post it on this family blog.

We also took a Breastfeeding class a few weeks ago and the notes for that one are here.

At this point we only have one more class we are signed up for for pregnancy education and it’s tonight- Newborn Care.

And now on a cuter note, we went to Herbstalk this weekend (a biannual event where local herbalists and craftspeople come together to teach classes and sell their wares) in Somerville and we couldn’t leave without getting an adorable onesie for the munchie. We are excited for her to wear it when she gets older (it’s for about 6-12 months).

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All the random updates of May that I missed before and now it’s June!

In anticipation of our newly coming munchie, Jake and I have been reforming a lot of our habits. The biggest one has been making sure we both cook together and that we eat at a table with no screens around (TV, cell phones, or computers). It’s helping us to spend better quality time together but also appreciate our food more- and I’ve noticed I don’t overeat when we eat in such a manner. Here are some pictures of the most recent foods we’ve made.

On the library end, Jake got his library card!! He is now joining me in obsessively requesting books we are interested in reading and we have started lining the staircase with our books, and both visually enjoy it. It’s also helping us to achieve our reading goal for the year (we both want to hit at least 51 books each this year). Plus we are getting excited to get the munchie into reading too as she gets older, and getting her own library card in the future.

We also went out to Somerville for a date the other day. We are getting so close to the birth that we decided to enjoy one last “far” distance trip before we resign me to staying local, and we thought no better place to go than Posto- the restaurant we first went to when we decided to move to our first apartment together. We ordered our favorite two pizzas again (Soppressato and Risotto, so good), and took enough home as leftovers for a second round of eating the next day. Mm, how I love leftover pizza from Posto.

The Saturday of Memorial Weekend, we went up the street (literally) to a memorial that was made for a neighbor who’s daughter was a pilot in the marines, and she died in Iraq about 9 years ago. We met him randomly one day when we were walking around the block and he told us about his daughter, and his wife (who died 2 years ago), and invited us to the memorial for his daughter. Apparently every year the town honors her and her flight mates, as well as other fallen marine heroes that fell on the same day who were also from our town, but decades before (so 14 people in total). It was a beautiful ceremony and reminded me a lot about how we don’t really see this kind of town appreciation and memorialization anymore. I can’t remember the last time I had heard or participated in the Pledge of Allegiance or saw any formal ceremonies like this (minus seeing the National Anthem sung at sport events). Maybe it’s because you don’t have as much exposure to these kinds of things when you aren’t in primary school anymore. At any rate, though it was beautiful it was also very sad- the Marine Sergeant present, when our neighbor’s daughter’s name was called, brought the flag to our neighbor first before then going over to plant it in the memorial with the other flags of her crew. Also when we went to pay our respects to our neighbor he started crying. I think we are around the same age that his daughter was the last time he saw her. 😦

On a happier note, I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea (literally- you just dry the leaves from a raspberry bush) and the munchie seems to really like it. Supposedly it’s good for uterine health too, but I just enjoy the taste and it gives me some diversity besides just drinking water or seltzers.

Also Jake and I watched the most fascinating zombie world movie the other day. It was called The Girl With All the Gifts and it told the story of (SPOILERS) a girl who was the second generation of the fungal infection (aka her mom got infected and so she was infected as an embryo) and how they don’t become mindless things like people who were already alive when they got infected. The story followed her, though she wasn’t the only second gen child, as her and a group of adults survivors escape a base that got overrun and try to find safety. It shows the distrust the survivors had for her (the army guy didn’t want her anywhere near them at first, the teacher loved her and thought she was more human than zombie, the scientist was fascinated by her and thought that she could use the girl’s brain and spinal cord to make a cure for humanity). The movie grappled with the idea that as she was not really a human, nor really a “zombie” zombie, what was she and where did she fit in to the world they knew. Plus it had an ending I really didn’t expect (but I won’t spoil any more than that).

Other than that, I have finished my first month (well half month) of my part time job. Yay extra money for our savings. 🙂 And Jake has figured out how to maximize productivity for his remote days (his office department has 2 remote days a week because they all work better for specific tasks when not distracted by the office environment).

 

Continuation of the edible trash garden!

Since the last post where I mentioned my edible garden, some lukewarm excitement has occurred there. I decided that if some of the seeds didn’t take I was going to convert sections of the plot into compost zones in randomly selected spots to see what happens.

Since initiation (which is what I’ll call the day I first put the seeds in, or May 16th) I’ve seen a few seedling-looking creatures pop-up, though none so definitively as the green beans. Most of the growth in the other areas I am still unsure if they are what I planted, so I’ll have to be vigilant as the weeks progress.

Here’s what the plots looking like right now:

 

Also since then, I’ve had to start being more flexible with spacing because of my compost additions. I added some avocado seeds and rinds in one section, created a designated apple compost section (it’d be awesome if it grew, though that would still take years before I’d get an apple…), and made a general compost section in one of the dud plant spots (the calendula area) that’s now composed of buried carrot skins, cilantro stems, and egg shells.

I’m also trying to figure out how to tackle an ant infestation in a corner (so far my solution was to throw their little eggy offspring off the ledge but we’ll see if that works long term).

Here is my newest updated schematic of the plot as a whole (a really rough go about it that is not to scale by any means). I also was trying to scribble down rough sketches about what each sprout should look like to help me determine if what I was seeing was my seeds growing or random other weeds:

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Hello mid-May

Clearly I am terrible at updating.

When was the last time I posted here? Almost a month ago? Well, to sum up some of the new events that have happened…

I am now 34 weeks pregnant (whoa)! Getting to that final countdown.

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 9.01.20 AM.pngI got a job working part time as a consultant for a women’s health physical therapist and health and wellness coach. It’s remote so I don’t have to worry about commuting or anything. Also, the content is super useful for me personally because it covers a lot of the stuff that can happen after pregnancy (like diastasis recti or prolapse), so if I do have any of those things, I’ll know what exercises I can do!

We are now the proud owners of a piano (house warming gift from my parents), and Jake loves it. We plan to do duets of piano and viola in the future.2018-05-18 08.52.56.jpgWe have actually had nice weather on occasion and so we have been working on the yard. In fact I just finally planted some seeds in the bed next to the house. We’ll see if it’s the right conditions for anything to sprout (fingers crossed). Here is my schematic.my gardenMom, dad, Sylv, Nkechi, Chioma, and some of Jake’s friends are coming this weekend so we are actually going to have a full house and every bedroom will get used!

Our baby room is pretty much decked out at this point (I’ll take a picture and add it later).

I have been blogging aggressively about eczema. See my blog here.

Jake and I have started a board game together called Near and Far that’s like a adventure RPG.Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 9.01.27 AM.png

I think that’s all the big updates for now but I’ll try to be better about posting more as I go!

Spring is almost here!!!

This past week I babysat my great cousin who is about 7.5 months now. I’d say it was a learning experience for both him and I, because I couldn’t carry him around 24/7 with my own big belly, and because I started playing games with him to work his muscles (I guess you can’t take the past PT student out of me apparently).

 

Now this weekend we are finally finally seeing some nice weather (and more than one day at a time) so Jake and I ventured to Home Depot and I got a few flowers to plant in the front yard.

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Jake’s also been hard at work creating some lovely furniture pieces including a nook table for our bedroom. So now when I have insomnia I can huddle in my own little space and read, instead of keeping him up by flailing in bed. 😀

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And of course, I have to give updates of how the belly is growing:

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And last but not least we discovered, while walking in the neighborhood, the entrance to a 47 acre conservation land park, complete with foot worn trails and lovely earthy smells. This place is starting to feel a bit more like the area in Maryland where I grew up. 🙂

Baby Updates!

I am officially in the third trimester now. I have amassed an arsenal of hand-me-down maternity clothing and so here is me wearing a dress. Please excuse the terrible photo quality- I was taking a selfie in the closet, and I am no selfie-queen.

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I had another OB/GYN appointment this week for the glucose blood test (which I passed- or in other words, I am less likely at risk for gestational diabetes, yay!).

Also, since we have had a change in insurance (and subsequently practitioners) during this pregnancy, the new doctors wanted us to get another ultrasound to have some measurements of the baby on file that they had collected. We have yet to hit this deductible so I wasn’t too opposed, as it also gave me the chance to see the little munch again after so many months since the last ultrasound. 🙂

Below are the four snapshots of what our little munch has been up to, though it was hard to get any because she was flailing around so much (sugar makes babies move around a lot).

From left to right, top to bottom: First one we get to see through her face, which was both very cool and alarming. Next we got a snapshot of her opening and closing her mouth. Then we got one with her moving her arms about. And lastly we got one with her sucking her thumb. 🙂 The other little blobs are her feet and her other hand.

 

These were all taken within a minute or so, so you can appreciate just how much she was moving about!

Jake’s been Woodworking

We’ve received a fair amount of gift cards over the last year or so and thus we had some gift cards to Home Depot. When I was back in Maryland for a few days with my parents, Jake began fervently making our home some new furniture pieces.

For me he made 2 runner tables to house my plants under the library windows.

 

Then he embarked on the third furniture project: to make an end table for our TV room. It was his first time attempting a box-joint technique and I’m loving the result (just look at this beaut!):

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As a hobby, we’ve decided to create an instagram account related to our woodworking projects (mine are in progress, stay tuned!) to garner interest and see if we could ever sell any. This wouldn’t be to start a new career, but just to have a fun hobby to do on weekends… and with the hopes that one day we’d earn enough to warrant renting a booth at a Renaissance faire to sell at for a season. A girl can dream. 🙂

Anyway, here’s the instagram link to showcase our creations: https://www.instagram.com/knobby_roots/

The New Town Life

I recently got an email back from my town library and I may be looking at a part-time job with them in the future! I meet with them on Wednesday.  This could be one step closer to actualizing a librarian career. 🙂

In other news, this past weekend was Easter. Mom and dad were visiting from Maryland, and Chioma and family, Nkechi, Jasmeet and Max all came over on Saturday. I debuted the shirt Mama Neely sent me:

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Also this past week, I used a gift card to get a starter guide for pyrography.

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Then I looked up on craigslist to find some free food offers, and then Jake and I to collect it for me to practice on (our score included some pine and oak). Now I am just waiting for my pyrography tool to come in the mail so I can get started. Just look at my haul from the first collection. We’re letting it dry out in the garage for the time being.

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Bookin’ It Around the Town

Today my friend Alexis came to visit me at the new house, and she took me around to find used books for the baby. We found a couple of great classics at bargain prices:

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Alexis and I did check out the Salem Public Library which was super quaint, though they didn’t really have any baby books for sale.

We ended our journey at my town public library where I got my new library card (finally! I have been slacking about getting a library card in Massachusetts because Jake and I moved every year while we rented). I am feeling more officially a part of the town, what with my new library card roots. 😉

Afterwards we stopped by Eastern Harvest (a restaurant/catering shop that I use as a landmark to figure out what street to turn on to get back to my house) where we tried their cheesesteak. We saved a bit for Jake since he’s been dying to try it and remembers that he wants to try it every time we drive by their store ad (oh advertising, how you work so well).