Category Archives: craftiness

baby gear galore

We’re still here. It’s a bit of a crazy week. We decided to take a whirlwind trip to my mom’s house to celebrate our niece turning one. It’s so hard to believe that she’s already a year old, and it’s making us realize just how quickly Egghead’s first year will likely go.

Part of the trip involved meeting up with my mom at I.kea. We needed to pick up a crib mattress because we just learned that two of our dear friends went in on a crib for us! Wow. During the shopping trip, my mom insisted on purchasing the mattress, and not just the cheap, this-will-be-fine mattress we  had planned to purchase. No, she wanted to get the best they had to offer. My mom, in fact, has been extraordinarily generous. Today, she ordered the stroller we wanted, pictured here. It’s the City Mini (by Baby Jogger):



Honestly, we’re overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity we’re experiencing. J and I work pretty hard to acquire our basic needs, and we have been working extra hard to acquire the basic needs to care for our son. Now, with all of the generous gifts we’re receiving, we’re almost completely ready for him. In fact, his room is starting to look more nursery and less office each day. Below are a few of the delightful items we have thus far:


This pile of items includes our first two major purchases: carseat and moses basket, and then in the box is a swing/infant seat which my brother and sister-in-law gifted us (yet to be assembled).


Here we have a changing pad, animals, and comfort items, many of which have been gifts. The white bear was given to us by a friend in our first year of TTC. The giant crocodile is something J and I simply couldn’t resist. The blue giraffe is something my mom couldn’t resist. We all had a hell of a time using our will power in I.kea.


And then there are some other special items. I started crocheting this blanket during my first trimester on J’s insistance. I was so worried that by doing so I would somehow jinx my pregnancy, but I just kept working on it, and last week, it was complete. On the right is a hat, which is the first of many I’m sure to make for this boy.

We also have managed to acquire a ton of used baby boy clothes. People who don’t even have kids–and some who are still trying–have been bringing us the used clothes of people they know. People we don’t know have been sending us clothes through mutual friends. It’s really remarkable, and there are so many cute items. We have literally opened our front door to find bags of clothes hanging on the doorknob from neighbors.

Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what we did to deserve such generosity, but we feel positively blessed that so many want to help us welcome our son into the world. This weekend we’re visiting our old hometown where the crib-buying friends are throwing us a shower. We have so many old friends attending, some of our mentors, former colleagues, people who were family to us for the years we lived in Humboldt. We’re both overwhelmed with excitement to see them and to be able to share this new chapter of our lives with them.

And so it seems, with just eleven weeks to go until our due date that somehow we’re going to have everything ready for this baby boy. Whether we will actually be ready is another question entirely, but baby gear he will have.

I just can’t wait to meet him.


Filed under craftiness, Egghead, friends, gifts, kindness, the P word

show and tell

A couple of weeks ago, we arrived home to find a package at or door, and in our package was this our pay it forward craft from Olive! Below is the stunning mobile we found in the package:


It has taken us a bit of time to put it up because we have been working on finding Egghead’s space in our nursery/office, but today, I was able to hang it up, and it’s so beautiful and perfect! Eventually, it will move to the other side of the room and hang over the crib, but for now, it gets to hang by the window. The birds are all hand-sewn with the most wonderful fabrics. We love staring at it, so we know our boy will too. Here it is silhouetted against the curtains we made last year (which will remain in our funky little nursery as well):


We are both so impressed with Olive’s creativity and skill and are delighted to have such a lovely piece of art for our baby’s room. Thank you so much, Olive!

This week has also marked 24 weeks, and as I mentioned on the last post, six months! I can hardly believe that we are this far along already. Time is racing by. In just a month, we’re headed north to Humboldt for our first baby shower. I’ll have my glucose screening soon, and we’ll tour the hospital and sign up for birth classes before long too. Unbelievable. To show just how much I’ve grown, my six week belly shot is below


Six Weeks

Followed by today’s photo:


Twenty-four Weeks

Twenty-four Weeks

I wore this shirt most of the day, and my wife was amused because my belly kept poking out. I just had to see how it fit. I don’t know why I’m still so surprised when my non-maternity clothes are too small, but I do find it amusing.


Filed under belly, craftiness, gifts

this and that: disjointed ramblings of a newlywed with PMS

First things first: There is a new baby in the world, born to the lovely ohchicken. Welcome to the world, Sparky, and congratulations, Moms!

Thank you so much for all of your congratulatory comments. J and I have been overwhelmed with pride as we have watched and read news story after news story about couples being married and communities celebrating with them. This has been a great moment to be a part of, and we feel really lucky.

For the past couple of days, we have been putting together a scrapbook, cutting out articles from the paper, and sending out announcements. This weekend we’re going to my parents’ house to celebrate with them. It’s quite possible the celebration will be interrupted by the birth of my niece. I certainly won’t complain if that’s the case.

Otherwise, there isn’t much going on with us. I’m looking for a new donor, but I’m increasingly convinced that we just need to save up for frozen sperm. I’m just so tired of trying to sort out weird men.

For now, I’m going to tackle tasks that I can actually do something about:

1. I’m trying to find a new hairstyle that will ease me through this really awkward transition from short to longer-short hair. It was just my luck that I had tons of photos taken and appeared on the front page of a moderately significant newspaper with the hair from hell. Ack.

2. I’m working to find my motivation to lose weight again. Yes, I know, I’ve got all the motivation in the world if I think of having a baby. Blah, blah, blah. I used that in the months leading up to our first insemination, and it worked out well. For some reason, that doesn’t work anymore though, and maybe this is because it’s becoming harder and harder to imagine a baby in our future. I was having a hell of a time even remembering to take prenatal vitamins for the past few months. Anyway, this is something I’ll be working at again, and I’ll write more about this life-long struggle when it’s not triggering some crazy, cranky PMS hormones.

3. I’m going to plan my class for the fall. This can be a fun task, especially with the break I’ve had from teaching and with the prospects of new students, new colleagues, and new experiences. I may actually be prepared when the fall semester begins. That would be impressive.

I’m sure there’s more, but I think I’m done jumping from topic to topic for now. I’m confusing myself–one minute I’m joyous, another I’m bitter. Oh how I hate my hormones, especially when there’s not a chance in hell that these “symptoms” have anything to do with pregnancy. Ugh.

But I don’t want to end on a negative note, damnit. I started off talking about new babies and weddings and wonderful readers, so I’ll end with one of my favorite photographs from this week. It appeared in the SF Chronicle:

And if you’re interested in seeing more photos–and there are lots of tear jerkers–take a look here. Don’t miss the wedding album on the right of that page. I guarantee wet eyes all around.

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Filed under celebrations, craftiness, dear readers, diversions, family, Hair, health, marriage, Ramblings, The Great Sperm Search, The Long Break

Winter Craftiness

We’re doing laundry and packing today to get ready for our trip to see the family tomorrow. It’s been nice having some downtime, though, between school ending and going out of town. We’ve even had a bit of winter! Now, we only get snow here about once every seven years, but we do occasionally have some really great frost (as evidenced in our new header), and this week, we’ve had great frost. Our cat, Pierre, enjoyed tromping through the frosty yard with us yesterday:


We have also been enjoying the fruits of some of our crafting. Pictured below is a bottle of the cordials we made this year. This is one of six bottles we made. This is also the project that three months ago resulted in a trip to the emergency room for my poor burnt hand.

Pear Hooch

And finally, our candles. As I mentioned in my last post, we started making candles the first year we were together. We had both dabbled in candle-making already, so we each brought some knowledge to the table. Over the years, we have made candles each winter, and each year, we’ve gotten significantly better at it–primarily due to higher quality materials. It’s a process we both love dearly. Here are just a few of them from this year’s haul:


 Unfortunately, I have not photographed even one of the hats or scarves I have made; hopefully I’ll get some photos of the recipients wearing them. This is my first time crocheting apparel of any kind, and I found that I really loved it. I’m so used to working on these afgans that take decades to make that making something small tha I can finish in just a few hours is very rewarding.

So there you have it: I am, indeed, a crafting nerd.


Filed under craftiness


This morning I awoke to something very unusual: sunlight. While this may not seem all that remarkable, it is–believe me, it is. Every day I wake up to the dark, and I go to work in the dark. A couple of nights a week, I stay at school until well after dark, and I come home in the dark. There’s really nothing more romantic than watching the sunset with a bunch of eighteen-year-olds who are coughing their strep throat and mono all over me. But today, I awoke, and the sun was shining. There wasn’t even any of our famous morning fog–just sun and some poofy autumn clouds. Yes, I’m on Thanksgiving break.

So far, our break has been fairly uneventful. I had to have my hair color fixed–the guy who shaved my head painted in some blonde tips, but the problem was that he sucked at coloring hair, so I ended up with blonde splotches, resembling some sort of cheetah. So this had to be repaired, and now, I’ve got all kinds of blonde streakies, and it’s great fun.

We had the greatest day that day. It was rainy, and J and I sat on the sofa, while she read and I crocheted with candles burning and classical guitar playing. Really lovely. We’re trying to have lots of quiet, relaxing together moments. Today we will go buy more yarn and another book and continue this trend because Wednesday we’re going to see our family, and Thursday, oh fuck, Thursday.

Thursday my parents are hosting eleven people, including my siblings for Thanksgiving, and this is the first time we will have to face the reality of the recent news. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I can drink.

In the meantime, I’m cherishing this time with J because we need the time off together to keep each other sane. When we return from this break, we will have a week and a half to prepare our students to pass freshman composition and their assessment portfolio. And then we turn in grades, and then we’re finished at this school for good. It’s all coming so soon!


Filed under craftiness, family, holidays, J, quiet, us