Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hill Country Blue Bonnet Family Photo Shoot (gone awry)

We just returned from a lovely few days at David's parent's ranch in the hill country outside of Austin. The whole family was there: two grandparents, three siblings, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, and two dogs. It's a popular time of year to visit because of the blooming bluebonnets aplenty. What a perfect opportunity for a family portrait, one might think.

Think again.

Our Family Shots

 Grandkid Shots

 Sam's trying hard to smile through his tears
The girls are making no effort whatsoever

 Scarlett's just screaming

and Clara's starting with her famous pre-cry lip-curl



and...we're done here. 

good news is the bluebonnets themselves were beautiful

and hopefully we got at least one semi-decent whole family shot

Happy Spring from our family to yours! 

photo credits to NanaSue, Uncle Stephen, Aunt Christine, friend Walter or yours truly

things for when mom and baby come home from the hospital

Before her baby was due last august, my friend emailed me and asked, 

"what are some items to have at home when mom and baby return from the hospital?" 

This is what I wrote back to her based on what I used most the first week or two at home. Since I am gathering these things for myself again this week, I thought I'd share with other moms-to-be. 

Ha, I didn't even think of anything for baby!  All you need for baby are diapers and swaddle blankets. I guess I'd have some burp cloths too. The baby is fine; here is what you need for yourself!

what to have when mom and baby come home from hospital

1. extra sheets for your bed 
You will be leaking as your milk comes in, and probably having night sweats getting rid of all that excess water you are carrying around, and you'll still have some bleeding. Its all sorts of bodily fluids coming out all at once. Unfortunate, I know. Sorry to scare you, but, it's what happens. Last thing you want to do is clean your sheets everyday. Just get an extra set or two. Seriously. This is the number one thing I wished I'd had coming home from the hospital, and it was not mentioned in a single pregnancy book, blog, website, pamphlet, etc. 

2. lanolin/nipple cream for the boobs
If you plan on or are thinking about breastfeeding, this is necessary for those first few days, possibly weeks. Put on after every nursing session, even if you are not chapped yet. Be preventative about this to avoid pain later. (note added: for more about my breastfeeding experience and unsolicited advice on the topic, click here

3. pads and pantyliners 
Regardless if you deliver vaginally or have a csection, you'll have some bleeding for up to 4-6 weeks post delivery. You will probably only need large pads for 5-7 days, and then pantyliners after that. If you ask your post-partum nurse nicely, she might send you home with the large hospital pads and lovely gauze undies for first few days at home! Remember, no tampons for 6 weeks post delivery. 

4. spanx 
I had something like thisanything that holds your tummy in with a little compression feels great. Your abdominal muscles are stretched to oblivion and your uterus takes a bit of time to shrink back down, so it just feels nice to have something snuggling you in. Gives you a little support. (They do sell these thick-velcro-abdominal-wrap-things specifically for post partum support, but they look and feel like a bulky back brace. Also, they seem itchy and hot, and only conducive to wearing a moo-moo over.) I think spanx are great. You'll use it more because its basically like underwear and easy to wear any shirt with it. I affectionately called it "ma girrrdle." (note added: I just bought this nursing tank with tummy control by Glamourmom and think it'll be a good addition to my tummy tucking undergarment repertoire. Austin moms: bought at Special Addition, highly recommend this store for all nursing needs)

Moms: What would you add to the list? 
What did you use most the first weeks home that no one told you you'd need?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SXSW for Kids and Families

Looking for family friendly SXSW activities? Check out THIS pinterest board, curated by (a great website for year round family friendly activities, discounts, mom support, etc for Austin moms)

We'll be heading to this event on Sunday, presented by (a hip website highlighting stellar moms and their achievements around Austin)

image via

Hope to see you there. Let us know if you're heading to other awesome events!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Feeling crafty: Austin sewing and knitting stores

The third trimester nesting feeling is definitely kicking in. Besides washing the bassinet sheets, newborn onesies and all my nursing gear for baby prep, i've also been feeling a little crafty lately. inspired by my mother in law who asked me to pick out some fabric for summer dresses she wanted to make for Scarlett, I checked out some local Austin stores and started some projects myself. 

Project 1: Scarlett Summer Dresses
Nana Sue found an old pattern that her mother used to make dresses for her, and then she used to make for her daughter. Now she wants to make some dresses for Scarlett. Yay! I couldn't be more thrilled and loved picking out fabric. the pattern is similar to this with bloomers, and it's reversible. 

image via

these are the fabrics i picked out from The Common Thread. left top and bottom for one reversible dress and right top and bottom for another. oh, i die of cuteness. and they are organic cotton, bonus! The Common Thread is a great store with delicious fabrics and very helpful and knowledgable staff. they also have sewing classes!

Project 2: baby blanket for baby2
Then I was off to the highly recommended and did not disappoint knitting store, Hill Country Weavers, to pick out yarn for a baby blanket for baby2. I'm using this seed stitch pattern free online from lion brand and picked out machine washable/dryable yarn made by berroco. here's my progress so far. 

Project 3: big sister and little sister/little brother shirts
i saw this on pinterest, but it was sold out on esty, so i figured i'd just make it myself! i found these remnant fabrics in my craft box and think they'll be just right. i'll make one for Scarlett, but will have to make a "lil sis" and a "lil bro" option for baby2. 

I better get working because baby could arrive any day now!
What projects are you working on these days?

apparently i was lying about SXSW

Remember when i said i wasn't going to any sxsw events and was lamenting being an enormous pregnant lady stuck on the couch? 

well, that changed! 

Background: i haven't cried at all since leaving San Francisco and moving here, but the inevitable emotional breakdown came on friday provoked by torrential downpour, thunderstorms and cabin fever with a 20 month old. "i'm so uncomfortable, i'm can't do anything, i feel worthless! I want this baby out! but having the baby means I'll have to actually and that's hard! I don't think I can handle TWO babies! I miss my mom friends in SF! I have no mom friends here! I'm lonely! I even miss WORKING!" wah, wah, wah, lots of tears and leaving crying messages on friends' voicemails...

After that little pity party, Maux said i had to be her guest at the Texas Style Council fashion blogger event on Saturday night. Clearly, she knew I was in some desperate need of adult interaction! But, I was nervous and hesitant to go because a) i'm not a fashion blogger and b) nothing fits me to present myself in front of famous fashion bloggers! What's a girl to do?

I texted Maux this pic as I was getting ready: animal print sweater dress ok? 

it was pretty much my only option. either this or a black jersey dress from target. 
i went with the bolder choice. and like always, was very happy I did. 

We ended up having such a great time! it was fantastic people and fashion watching, great company sponsors, photobooth pics, drinks (lemonade iced tea for me), and we met a lot of cool bloggers. Plus, did you know that the best conversation starter is a huge 9-month pregnant belly?! And it was a perfect happiness/confidence boost getting fabulous compliments from strangers after a crying fest the day before. 

Today we are off to the conference/workshop to learn from famous bloggers such as indiana's adored austin and kendi everyday. so excited! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

austin homeowners!

We are officially homeowners in texas!!! 

it may seem like we found a place super quick, but i've basically been stalking the austin real estate market since last april when David was interviewing here. the house is small, but in the perfect neighborhood close to UT and downtown, lots of families, and cute cafes/parks only blocks away. it's perfect for us! There is a great backyard and lots of potential for adding on/making it our dream house (when we win the lottery). 

in the meantime, we will get to remodel the kitchen and bathroom before move in. yay! i'm currently obsessed with pinterest and creating all sorts of inspiration boards. follow me on pinterest to check out my home "visions" as well as boards about recipes, baby/toddler ideas, etc.

Follow Me on Pinterest

here are some celebratory high fives once we signed (about 8 million) closing documents

of course we have lots of people to thank who helped us through this process. Most importantly, our fantastic realtor, Rhonna, who drove me around to see a bajillion houses dealing not only with my weird nuances and quirky likes/dislikes that change by the second, but also dealing with a sometimes nauseous, sometimes faint, always hungry and thirsty pregnant lady! She did a wonderful job negotiating for us when there were other offers on this house and handling the seller's realtor, who was difficult at times to say the least. we wouldn't have this house without her, so we are incredibly thankful!

more to come about the kitchen transformation and move in once it all happens (after baby2's arrival, thank goodness). i envision lots of pics of backyard bbqs and two babes running through the sprinkler in the near future. 

We are so excited and happy!

honesty corner: sxsw 2012

nope. i'm not going to a single sxsw event. unfortch, i don't have a clue what cool things are going on in austin for the next 10 days.

instead i am propped up on the couch by about 45 pillows yet still incredibly uncomfortable, knitting a blanket for baby2 and watching a PBS special Adele concert.

image via

i just texted a cooler bestie about the tv concert. i haven't gotten a response. pretty sure it's because she's at an actual concert.

oh, well, i'll be ready for you next year sxsw!

Monday, March 5, 2012

36 weeks selfie shots

Selfies taken in bathroom

Poor baby2! this is only the second or third belly shot taken, all of them selfies. With Scarlett, David took weekly progression shots in same outfit, same window spot silhouette. Don't worry, little love, i'll make it up to you!

Bump and body report
Discomfort level: very high
Heartburn level: moderate
Excitement level to meet this baby: very high
Nervousness level about being responsible for two human offspring any day now: very high
Happy anxiousness level to cuddle a sweet warm newborn on my chest: very high
Baby heart rate: 140s
Baby growth rate: on track
Baby movement level: extreme!

This baby is stretching out from end to end! I can feel arms pushing in lower left quadrant and legs kicking in upper right simultaneously. It's nuts! Feeling baby move is definitely one of the coolest things about pregnancy. (along with the fact that my hair looks amazing and I only have to wash it once a week, if that)

Final days to get your guesses written down for the record...
Boy or girl?!
Weight? (for reference, Scarlett was 8lbs 7oz)
Birthdate? (c-section is scheduled for 3/27, but it could always come early)

Leave a comment with your guesses and I'll think of something special for the winners. like a shout-out or a high five or maybe something even cooler!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Austin family adventure: Zilker park zephyr train

We checked out the mini zephyr train at Zilker park this afternoon. It was a gorgeous day!

We enjoyed the scenery and the nice breeze and tried to get Scarlett to say, "chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-CHOO-CHOO," about a million times without much success. Mostly she stared at us wondering why we were making such silly noises. She did enjoy giving the queen wave to all the onlookers as we chugged throughout the park though.

Read below for info on getting there and tickets.

Getting there
to get to the Zilker Park Zephyr Train (map), take Barton Springs Road and turn south (only one way to turn) onto William Barton Drive. You will see a large playground on your left, keep driving to the further parking lot below. The train station will be near the north edge of the parking lot, close to the building entrance to Barton Springs Pool. 

Ticket info
under 1 year: free
age 1-11: $2.00
age 11-65: $3.00
age 65+: $2.00

General info
-you cannot buy tickets in advance
-once one train departs, they start selling tickets for the next departure time
-you have to wait in line, sometimes for several trains to depart, especially on weekends
-weekdays trains run every hour, weekends trains run every 30 mins
-train ride itself is about 20 minutes
-train does and out and back loop along Zilker Park, Town Lake, under a bridge and through a tunnel
-there is a great playground for the kids to play on while you wait in line!
-there is a concession stand with hot dogs, popcorn, sno-cones, etc (also cash only)
-ATM available onsite

Enjoy! Let us know how you liked the train ride!