Pregnancy Update- 35 Weeks

It looks like the end may be in sight a little earlier than I thought it would be. Saturday morning as we were on our way to Lowe’s to pick out the new bathroom vanity to replace the one damaged in the flood I began having contractions. I had started having what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions a couple of days earlier, but these ones were coming regularly every two minutes. So after a call to the doctor it was back to the hospital. Once laying down there they slowed to every ten minutes but remained regular. I was given a shot to stop them and checked to see if I had dilated (I hadn’t), before being sent home on bed rest.

On Monday I went in to see my OB and the monitor showed I was still having contractions, although I wasn’t feeling them, and had signs on a “irritable uterus”. An exam showed I had dilated a small amount over the past couple of days and that the cervix is soft. I was told that it was a few days too late to get the steriod shot to speed up lung development, and that at this point if I go into labor they won’t try to stop it. I am not on strict bed rest, as in I could go and sit on the couch if I wanted to (not that we have one in the hotel) and I can get up to do what needs doing in the bathroom.

Since then I’ve found that the contractions come back if I get up to do much of anything. Today has been the most intense day so far contraction-wise and I am now feeling pelvic pressure that is new. I’d really like little Zoe to stay inside a few more weeks, both for her own development and because I’d prefer to have a home to bring her home to, but I suppose if she begins her life post-hospital discharge in a hotel room it won’t be the end of the world and will make for a more interesting personal story in the long run.

Of course, it is entirely possible she will hang out where she’s supposed to be for a good long time still regardless of the contractions I’m experiencing now, but it seems to me that perhaps little Miss Zoe is itching to see the world!

Eli’s Pocoyo Hat

When I began this blog over a year ago one of the first sewing projects I posted about was this Up-Cycled Boy Hat I had sewn for Eli. I followed the tutorial I found on I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. (The link can be found in my original post.) It is constructed from fabric from old t-shirts and pajama pants.

Unfortunately Eli was decidedly less thrilled with it than I was. It wasn’t personal. He firmly held the belief that all headcoverings were evil instruments of torture. There passed many a winter day when I reflected upon the fact that our decision to move to Southern California from the Chicago area before he joined our family might prove to be a key factor in his reaching adulthood with ears still attached to his head in a form not grotesquely mishapen by frostbite.

He doesn't look so happy, but he really does like his hat (I promise!)

He doesn’t look so happy, but he really does like his hat (I promise!)

A couple of weeks ago I found the hat languishing in the back of a closet and pulled it out. Eli saw it and declared “my Pocoyo hat!” (The Pocoyo connection had never even occured to me… in fact when I made it I had never even heard of Pocoyo.) In that instant I found that I too loved Pocoyo. The next day he wore it to preschool and refused to take it off all day long.

Eli's Pocoyo hat

The Bump, 33 Weeks

33 Weeks

I’ve not taken many pictures of this pregnancy, but here is one from last week. Although I feel huge and awkward I am actually so much smaller this time around than I was with Eli. The only other picture I have was taken last October when we had our family photos taken for the Christmas cards. Ironically, I felt huge and awkward then too, but when I saw the photo I realized it was all in my head. I didn’t post that picture then because I felt so silly about my own perceptions¬†ūüėČ

Eli is eagerly anticipating his little sister these days. He loves to rest his head on my belly in hopes she will give him a bit of a boxing in the ear. She often complies.

A recent conversation with him went more or less as follows… “That baby getting big? Baby coming? My friend coming soon? Baby be nice.”

Asbestos Abated, Repairs Begin

Before repairs to our recent flooding damage could begin, since our condo was built in the early 1970’s, we had to have the damaged areas tested for asbestos. It was found in almost all the samples taken from the floors and walls, so an abatement company was called in to take care of ripping out and rendering safe all affected areas. Early this week they finished their part of the job and Serv-Pro confirmed everything is now finally dry,¬†so now the contractor can begin the work of repairing our home.

(I hope your family never needs their services, but if you ever do, I can’t recommend Serv-Pro highly enough. They were so quick, responsive, helpful above and beyond the call of duty. It is a national company and most likely available in your area if you live in the US.)

Here are some photos of our house at this stage in the process:

The kitchen, dining room and living room are storing all contents of the home at this point.

The kitchen, dining room and living room are storing all contents of the home at this point.

View of the living room.

View of the living room.

The hallway and laundry closet.

The main bathroom minus damaged shelving, waiscoating and sink.

The main bathroom minus damaged shelving, waiscoating and sink.

Eli surveying "his" room (he sleeps with us but we store his toys and clothing here).

Eli surveying “his” room (he sleeps with us but we store his toys and clothing here).

The room used as my husbands office.

The room used as my husbands office.

We debated letting Eli see our home in its current condition as he has been so upset that his “house is broken”. In the end it would have been too hard to manage the logistics of keeping him away when we both needed to be there to meet with the contractor. I think seeing it was helpful to him to understand why we have to be in the hotel now and can’t just go home. He also seems to have a pretty good handle on the concept now that while everything is very ugly, dirty and non-functional now it will be better than ever before once the “worker men” are done doing their thing.

The master bedroom.

The master bedroom.

The master bath which now needs a new wall and vanity. This room was horribly stuck still in the 1970’s so it will be really nice to have it redone and the silver paisley wallpapered wall painted over. I thought I’d spare you the nightmares that might ensue if you were to see THAT monstrosity!

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As for life in the hotel, it has it’s definite perks, at least as far as¬†our vehicle-obsessed two year old¬†is concerned. The garbage truck comes to empty the dumpsters EVERY DAY… we can hear it come from inside our room and go out to watch it from the third floor. That’s a view down directly into the hopper! Ok, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea (especially right on the way to breakfast), but it is definitely a high point in Eli’s day.

 The hotel is located directly across the street from the fire station as well so we get to watch the fire engines leave with lights flashing and sirens blaring a few times a day. When we go out for walks we can also see the firefighters prepping the trucks for their next emergency if the station garage door is open. Just a block away is the exit ramp from the freeway. This means that from our hotel room window we can see every manner of truck drive by. Cement trucks! Food trucks! Big rigs! Delivery vans! All must be identified and exclaimed over.

Yesterday when we went out for a walk we were able to hop on a city bus, which Eli has wanted to do for a long time. We took it only a short distance to the nearby mall where Eli was able to play on the quarter-consuming mechanical rides. For once it was an easy task extracting him from the mall, because all I had to do was remind him that we were going to catch a bus back to the hotel. He couldn’t leave fast enough!

Felt Play Food

Back when I was on bed rest I posted that I’d be spending some of my time sewing felt play food for Eli. Here is what I managed to accomplish in that time. Since being released I haven’t made any more but I hope to as time goes on as this is a lot of fun, for both of us. There is already a wealth of tutorials already available on the web so this is just more of a “show and tell” post. Scroll down to the bottom for links to tutorials if you also want to get started making felt food but need additional guidance or inspiration.bow tie pasta 2

First up is the whole grain bow tie pasta. Super simple to make! The pans and utensils were found uber cheap at Ikea. I think the cooking utensils (maybe 6 or so?) were $5, and the pots and pans set, including pot, strainer, lid, frying pan and sauce pan (perhaps something more but we aren’t living at home now so I can’t check) was $10.bow tie past 1

Fresh tomatoes. felt tomatos

Sliced tomatoes.Sliced tomatos

A hamburger to put the tomatoes on. Have you ever seen this Pink Panther scene where Steve Martin plays a Frenchman trying to learn to pronounce the word “hamburger” like an American? Eli cracks me up because he has a unique way of pronouncing “hamburger” as well and always reminds me of this scene. He asks for hamburgers often, but what he really wants is a hamburger bun slathered in ketchup, and perhaps a little mustard. He does use the felt version of the hamburger patty on the bun though.

felt hamburger patty

Would you like one egg…felt fried egg

or two?two felt fried eggs

That’s all I got thus far. I’ll share more if/when it gets made. ¬†ūüôā

Tutorial Links:

Felt Lettuce Leaves

Felt Corn on the Cob

Huge List of Tutorial Links (Apartment Therapy)

 
Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, jembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do, Keeping It Simple,  An Original Belle,

I Should be Mopping the Floor, The Dedicated House ,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Kammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous, Diana Rambles,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Of Plague and Flood

Things have been a bit quiet here on Folk Haven for the past two weeks. That’s because they have been anything but here in our household. On January 2nd we received what I am hoping is not just a taste of what 2013 has in store for us, but rather we are just getting all of the badness out of the way at once. When I was in high school the lunch ladies had a sign posted that read “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.” I hope our current situation is just our proverbial frog.

Let me explain… On January 2nd, I threw a load of laundry in the wash and left the house with Eli for a walk to the park to enjoy the balmy mid 60 degree temperatures. While we were still at the playground I received a call from my husband who had just arrived home to find water all over the floor. He asked me to try to pick up an extra mop from the neighbor on the way home. I envisioned arriving home to maybe an hour’s worth of clean up.

Instead there was standing water about 3/4″ deep throughout almost every room in the house. We utilized every towel as well as our mop and the neighghbor’s. My husband hauled wet personal items like the bean bag chair into the sun to dry and eventually there was nothing else that could be done immediately. I took Eli and collapsed into bed for a much needed nap.

Less than an hour later Eli and I both were abruptly awakened as he began to vomit vigorously all over himself, me, the blankets, sheets, pillows and the one bed undamaged from the flood. It was the beginning of his third and most serious bout of the stomach flu in a month. He continued to be unable to keep anything down, and to soil many pairs of pajamas and various bedding items all afternoon and throughout the night. And since there we were without clean towels for bathing or a washing machine my husband spent the evening running multiple loads through the machines at the neighborhood coin laundry while I tended to one very miserable little feller. As he huddled over the toilet the light in the bathroom died… not the lightbulb, but the light, some electrical problem in the wall. Thankfully Eli isn’t afraid of the dark as we visited the dark bathroom many a time more that night.

We quickly got a replacement washing machine and after a couple of days Eli’s flu ran it’s course. As he had already had it twice before in the previous weeks (or so we’d thought) I thought I must be immune to this particular strain of the virus. Um,.. uh… NO. By Saturday evening I was definitely the next to play hostess to the bug. I was sick and losing fluids just about every way possible all night long and by morning the resulting dehydration had led to contractions. Sunday was spent in the hospital getting IV fluids and anti nausea medications. Thankfully the contractions subsided quickly and after about half a day I was released to rest at home.

By now we were 4 days post flooding and I was beginning to smell mildew. We had been unable to dry out the carpets at all and the laminate floor in most of the house was showing damage. With everything else going on we hadn’t been able to start the process of calling the insurance. Actually, initially we had thought we were uninsured for this type of damage. Fortunately, we do have coverage and Monday morning we began the process of taking action to address the damage.

We have to replace all flooring in our house except the tile in the dining room and kitchen. Walls in the two bathrooms have to be partially replaced as well. As our condo was built pre-1980, asbestos testing had to be done before any work could be started. We found that almost all of the samples collected tested positive for asbestos, so beginning this week an abatement company will have to come in and contain each room ¬†in plastic and remove the mastic that covers the entire cement slab under our existing flooring. To allow them access to get the work done we have to pack up every room and clear it. As our insurance doesn’t cover this service we will be doing it “musical chairs” style, shifting everything from room to room until the work is finished. Obviously it will be impossible to live here while all of this is going on.

I am now dealing with all of this quite a bit better than I was a few days ago. It has been exhausting to say the least. I am in full nesting mode as I enter my 33rd week of pregnancy, but instead of getting everything ready for the baby we are packing up everything and shoving it to and fro. I sincerely doubt any more sewing for the baby will get done at this point. Eli gets more unnerved than many children by disruptions to his environment. This has all been quite challenging for him as his “house is broken”, he isn’t allowed into his room for safety’s sake, and we will soon be living away from home. We’ve been experiencing many more meltdowns that are of greater duration than we have before as he tries to regain some sense of control amidst the chaos.

I am trying to look on the positive side though. We do have insurance coverage, which is no small things as the bill for this laundry misadventure is looking to be over $10,000. This could have occurred while I was completely overcome by morning sickness, or during the time I was on bed rest. It could have occurred right when the baby was being born and we were bringing her home from the hospital. Instead this is the week that extended family is away on vacation and can offer to let us stay in their nearby condo. Another family from church has graciously offered to let us stay with them if we are still out of our home after this week. Although this has been a challenging time for Eli, it could be so much worse. I am proud of the adaptability he has shown, and in the moments when it is more challenging it is still a good learning opportunity for him in dealing with life when it is not as one would wish, and for us as we continue to hone our parenting skills. We also could have lost much more personal property than we did. Above all else, no one has been injured, and we have a home to call our own, no matter how damaged it might be.

As the old hymn says:

“When peace , like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Horatio Spafford- It Is Well with My Soul (1873)

If though this all I can only learn to better live genuinely holding the attitude described in this hymn. The story behind it is actually quite amazing (and makes my personal circumstances seem trivial indeed).

Big Butt Baby Pants

IMG_8784 In preparing for little Zoe’s arrival I’ve sewn up some of Made by Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. They are hopefully roomier and will make fitting the fluffy-bummed cloth diapered baby into clothing a little bit easier. I’ve liked this pattern for a long time and have enjoyed seeing the many versions of the pants made up by other people. I’ll warn you that a person could conceivably die of cuteness seeing Inder Love Folk Art’s owl version of these pants seen here, or these here (especially the red ones with the mushrooms and woodland animals on the butt). These pants look so much better with an adorable baby wearing them!

Green and Blue Big Butt Baby Pants

I tried to take the lazy woman’s approach by using sleeves off of old shirts and I think I actually created more difficulties for myself than if I had just followed the pattern exactly like a good girl. Live and learn… I know I’ll be making more of these (and at least I didn’t have to hem.) I actually even bought a few fat quarters of fabric that I thought would be cute for these pants. (If you follow this blog you know that I almost always use only reclaimed fabric. I’m cheap frugal like that.) The blue above is one of them and the rest still are waiting to be sewn up.

Striped Big Butt Baby Pants I plan on embellishing some onesies to go with these pants, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’d better not wait much longer as I’m now at 31 weeks and I know the rest of the pregnancy will go by quickly as I try to get everything done!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, jembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do, Keeping It Simple,  An Original Belle,

I Should be Mopping the Floor, The Dedicated House ,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Kammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous, Diana Rambles,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal