Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is the place for me! Project

It seems that my life lately is made up of a conglomeration of projects (the Four-Zero Project, crafting projects, projects at work, and now a big home remodel/renovation project!)  I am no stranger to living in a construction zone  (my husband is a contractor and flipped houses for a living before the real estate bubble burst), but I am a stranger to living in a construction zone while caring for a toddler and pregnant with the next!

We bought our current house almost one year ago after barely getting through the tough economic times that almost everyone in the US went/is going through.  We had been house hunting for months and had just about lost hope until we came across a humble little house.  I remember walking through the open house and having a nice warm, tingly feeling as I walked through it.   I reported back to my husband (who stayed in the car because Diego was asleep).

"So?  What did you think?"  He asked with little hope.

I believe that my exact words were, "It's acceptable." His face turned slightly inquisitive, and I allowed him to take his turn at the open house.

A few minutes turned into ten, then fifteen.  I knew this had to mean he was interested because we never spend more than 8-10 minutes at an open house.  He has a self-proclaimed gift to see a house's potential within the first few minutes (don't all contractors?  No, just him he says).

After some time, he came out with the real estate agent and they proceeded to notify me that we would draft an offer in one hour.  I've got to give it to my husband, when he's in... he's fully in.  We moved in just before Christmas last year to my content.

We knew the house was small, but we had plans to extend it.  We would live in it as-is for awhile, get a feel for it, and then decide how to best make it "ours".  Then in March my stepson moved in, then I got pregnant by the end of that same month.  Our humble little house was starting to feel more snug.

It's great that I'm pregnant, and in a way I think the timing is sort of great with this remodel project.  Why would she be happy to be pregnant and living in a construction zone, you ask?  Because we now have a timeline to get this construction done:  December 21st.  Or at least I have a very reasonable excuse to expect that major parts are completed by then, and my husband seems willing to accept it.  It's so crazy for me to think that we haven't even lived in the house for one full year, and by the time we reach that milestone, the house will have been mostly transformed and I will hold my second son in my arms.  It gives me such warm-fuzzy feelings and feelings of excitement that there is so much to look forward to this year.

There were many weeks prior to this where my husband and I "discussed" building plans.

Straight off the heals of our Bahamas trip, our permit gets issued.  Hubby takes the permit and runs demolishing the deck and beginning to build the foundation framing.

Framing is complete and ready to pour concrete. Qori sneaks in the photo at the bottom.
Concrete is poured and dries.  Floor framing begins.  (Father inlaw sneaks into this photo)

Busy week!  Floor is built and insulated.  Outer walls start going up!

As I mentioned, I've lived through a lot of home remodels since I've met my husband.  Back then, I was easily seduced by the extravagance of the finished homes.  (My husband's customers were well-off financially).  I had the opportunity to live in a few of these homes, but they were never really mine.  For one year though, I did have my dream home with no plans to ever leave it.  But when the bubble burst, it was all stripped away for the most part and after many pleading tears of denial, I let my dream home go.

Then during the hard move, I stumbled upon my favorite children's book in a moving box, This is the Place for Me!  I'm not sure why I liked it so much when I was little (probably because of the exclamation mark in the title which caused me to yell out "THIS IS THE PLACE FOR ME!!!!!!" whenever I read the book), but I know exactly why I like it now.  Reading it now, it so fundamentally reminded me that I didn't need all that extravagance to be happy in my home.  Thank you Morty the Bear, for reminding me what truly matters!  The book is sure to be a bedtime story book for Diego and his little brother one day.  Once Diego starts liking books of course.  :)


Suddenly he stopped.
There was a house.
The door was broken.
The windows were broken.
The table was broken.
The chair was broken.

It did not have a dragon.
It was not too small.
It was not too thin.
Morty could not sink it.
He could not eat it.
And it was not scary.

Morty fixed the door.
He fixed the windows.
He fixed the table and chair
Now the house was as good as new.

"This is the place for me," said Morty.
"It is much better than my old house."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Project Four-Zero: 23 Weeks!

I went from a high-intensity week last week to a more chill week this week.  My inlaws came in from Peru to stay with us, and I've been treated like a princess (Hence,  the castle background in this week's picture.  LOL!)  No cooking, cleaning, or even taking much care of Diego for me!  They seem to think I need a break because I'm pregnant.  While physically I have been- and continue to be able to handle domestic duties, it's so hard not to take advantage of this rare opportunity. 

As of this morning, I think I may have let it go too far though.  Diego is showing signs SSBS - Suddenly Spoiled Boy Syndrome.  It seems that SSBS is easily triggered when the patient is in close proximity to grandparents.  We need to nip this thing in the bud!

Tolerable leg cramps and drymouth (they seem to be getting better)
More fetal movements
Glucose levels under control now that I'm only eating brown rice & pasta.

OK! - You got me.  I admit it, I bought a box of Runts candies "for Diego" and have been helping myself to a couple (just the red ones because I have to be picky about my sugar now) each day AND I ate a donut as a snack the other day. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Project Four-Zero! 22 Weeks!

It was a CRRR-AZY week for me.  I'm surprised that I even found the time to sneak in a photo session this week.  I literally came home from work, and my mother was visiting so I freshened up my makeup and asked her to snap some pictures of me in 15 minutes.

My mother was visiting because my inlaws from Peru and are staying with us.  My crazy week consisted of several baby-related appointments, deep cleaning the house in preparation for my inlaws, spending 1/2 a day cooking in anticipation for about 10 other family members to get together at our house over the weekend; oh yeah throw in working 9-5 and child-rearing and that sums up my week.

As a result of the baby-related appointments, I know now that we can rule out any major heart problems for the baby due to the gestational diabetes, I am 139 lbs and the exact same weight that I was at this stage in Diego's pregnancy, and I need to start eating brown bread, rice, pasta or none at all.

High glucose levels after dinner (sudden sensitivity to white rice)

I've really been wanting a smoothie or fruit after dinner, but due to the high glucose levels, that wasn't a good idea.  I've stolen a few sips from my husband's cup or Diego's sippy cup when filling them up.

HUSBAND (shouting from the living room to me in the kitchen):  "Are you drinking from my cup?"

ME (matter-of-fact-ly):  "No...."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Belated Bahamas

It's been a couple of weeks since we returned from The Bahamas, and I just finished editing the footage that I took.  I didn't take much as there were not many stolen moments I could take while chasing my toddler around the resort.  I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Make a Tie Shirt for your Child

I'm addicted (slightly less addicted than my friends, but getting there) to Pinterest.  I've got a whole pinboard full of fun craft ideas that I can't wait to work on!  So this weekend, while Diego was being a social-butterfly at a little girl's party (his aunt took him out).  I decided it was the perfect opportunity to work on my first project.  Which would it be?  Hmmm so many possibilities! I chose the T-shirt Tie!  I love how it came out!  All I need now are arm warmers like these and Diego is GQ!  LOL!

Here are the steps I performed (Note:  there was no tutorial for this so I did it out of my own warped imagination.  I don't sew, but I have will power - and my mom, LOL!  I made mistakes along the way, so I'll let you know what those were:

Plain T-shirt (Any color)
Fabric for Tie (Any color/pattern)
Fabric Marker/Chalk
Sewing Machine
Cardstock Paper for Stencil (or a manila folder)
Quilt batting (optional - to give the tie more dimension)

  1. On the cardstock, draw the shape of a tie that will fit nicely on the size Tshirt that you have.

 2.  Use scissors to cut out the tie shape (When you cut, you should cut the knot separately from the rest of the tie.)

 3.  Use the cut-outs as a stencil and trace them onto your chosen fabric.  Make sure that you leave about an inch of space in between the two pieces.  (HINT:  If you are using a diagonal pattern, make sure that you make the diagonals at different - almost opposite - angles between the two pieces for a more "realistic" effect. See the blue tie below.)

4.  Take your ruler and draw all the way around the stenciled shape about 1/2-inch.  Shown here in blue fabric pencil.   

 5.  Take your stencil cutouts again and trace the pattern onto the quilt batting (optional).

5.  Cut out the patterns on the quilt batting an the tie fabric.   (For the tie fabric - make sure you cut out along the outermost line that you drew.)

6.  Pin the quilt batting to the back of the tie fabric.  Make sure your pin is on the face of the tie!  (Easier to remove afterwards).

7.  Following the innermost lines that you drew on the tie fabric, fold the extra tie fabric over the quilt batting on the back.  MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PINS ARE FACING FRONT!  The pic below was wrong. 

8.  Pin the tie onto the T-shirt leaving enough space around the edges for the sewing machine.

 9.  Have your mother take over, and sew the tie onto the T-shirt.  (HINT 1:  It's best to pin the knot first, then sew, then pin the bottom of the tie and sew.  HINT 2:  It's best to sew on the machine from the bottom opening of the T-shirt, not the neck opening.)

9.  And voila!  T-shirt ties.  Have your little munchkin sport the shirt at his next mixer.  LOL!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Project Four-Zero: 21 Weeks

It's weird for me to be saying this but, this week my Gestational Diabetes counselor was rejoicing because I had gained weight. 4.5 lbs in the last 4 weeks that I've seen her - to be exact. I guess the extra mayo and avocados are doing the trick. My husband I and were talking the other night and discussed the fact that I look like I'm ready to pop. Neither of us can remember how big I was at this point in time during Diego's pregnancy, but we're pretty sure that I'm bigger now.

My belly-button is already looking like it's going to pop out (it didn't pop out for Diego's pregnancy) and I'm only 1/2 way there now. This is very concerning to me because of two reasons I've mentioned before:
  1. Pushing out a big baby
  2. My previous history of fainting at around the 7-month mark, when laying on my back or reclined (due to the baby putting pressure on my vena cava).  These faint spells have shown the tendency to involve me in serious car accidents so I'm really worried.
So now that I've made the counselor happy this round, I think I'm going to cool it on the mayo and avocados for the second round.  Although, they taste soooooo good! Yummy!

"Wake-you-in-the-middle-of-the-night" foot cramps & dry mouth

Orange Juice - which I shouldn't have but I sneak in a few sips here and there.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Project Four-Zero: 20 Weeks!

I've officially reached the halfway mark this week! And what better way to celebrate than to go on a babymoon to The Bahamas? The point of the babymoon was to be able to get some RR in before I get any bigger and before I become a mother of 2. But as you can guess, my toddler did not allow me much RR this week. He didn't quite understand the concept of a tropical vacation.

It was all systems go for him! I'll talk about the vacation a little more in a separate post. As for the pregnancy, this week I did not bother to check my glucose levels while on vacation. I tried to be good with food, but I still ate cheap junk food at times to combat the inflated prices for everything at our resort.

Also, during and prior to the vacation I felt a very strange and strong soreness in my inner thigh area as well as a very swollen (in size, but no pain) vajajay - um "unmentionable". I don't know what that's all about but it's still there, saying "hello" to me at every moment. I've heard of swollen ankles, bu vajay-jays?  That's a new one.   My inner thighs are so sore that it feels like I've been horse-back riding for the past 5 hours, which in turn is causing me to walk with a slight "pregnancy waddle".

Speaking of waddling, have you ever seen this YouTube video? It's my sister and my favorite viral video....

Something about having a nice cold Coke w/ ice at the Bahamas really hit the spot!

Horse-back riding thighs and swollen vajay-jays! WTH!?

Then she waddled away..... waddle, waddle... 'til the very next day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It's been a crazy few days, and we've all had a blast in the Bahamas. The flight here was torture, because Diego was wired during the entire red eye. He refused to sit still. I must have gone up and down the aisle 30 times, and spent even more time "playing" in the restroom. I'm not looking forward to the flight back, but it's coming like it or not. 

Diego has been really good in the water, but he still HATES sand. I mean he really hates it. When we sit on the chaise on the beach, he will not leave it because he doesn't want to walk on sand. Then it hit me... The airplane aisles should be filled with sand!  A marvelous idea!!!
Today Diego showed signs of prepping for a doggie paddle in the water. I held him floating in the water and said, "kick!"
I didn't really expect him to actually do it and especially not on the very first command. But he did!  I was filled with delight!  Just an hour ago, he walked into the baby pool and saw a little Indian girl in the pool with her family. He wanted to get closer, so he started to pass his "safety zone".  Soon his ankles were wet, then his shins, then his knees.  I was very impressed; I wasn't even holding his hand!  Apparently, he really wanted to impress me (ok- it was probably more inspired by the Indian girl but a mom can dream and take credit, right?), and he decided to walk all the way up to his bellybutton in the pool!
All this time I was certain he was into blonds, but now it seems more fascinated by those exotic foreign girls.  Hey whatever gets him in the water!