Friday, July 23, 2010


37 weeks 5 days (8) (by Ateupamateur)

So this is it - we leave the serene, easy going life we once knew to become parents this afternoon. We are excited, scared, apprehensive, anxious, thrilled, and on the edge of our seats all at the same time. These photos were taken this morning to document the biggest I'll ever be on this pregnancy ride. Big enough, thank you! (If you are reading this on Facebook, this post could possibly be days old - I don't have any control over when it loads over there, so apologies for the old news should it be old news when you are reading it!)

37 weeks 5 days (10) (by Ateupamateur)

We woke up and had breakfast at IHOP this morning at 4am because I no longer can eat or drink until sometime this evening, and then only broth and stuff like that. Oh joy! So, I got in my last great meal without a baby hanging around (well, he WAS hanging around, but you know what I mean...) early this morning so I wouldn't be completely ravenous and unbearable by the time we hit the hospital labor and delivery ward. I am sure everyone will be thankful for that. S is home today to take me to the hospital here in a little bit to get all signed in and doped up. Then, this afternoon I'll have a c-section and baby S will no longer be inside me but breathing the air of this earth and looking for us to somehow know what to do next. And, the Good Lord willing, we'll amble forward to figure out what that could possibly be.

37 weeks 5 days (13) (by Ateupamateur)
One of S's artsy shots where I'm wondering what on earth he's doing...

Thankfully, we have help nearby. Nurses for a few days, as well as my mom, my dad, S's parents, and very soon, Dad's wife Torchy, and of course other friends and family that will all be able to help us get through the transition to parenthood. Thank goodness for that!

So, sometime in the next few days, we'll post some photos (and the name, God Bless!) of the little booger. I just don't know when that will happen...we'll wait and see how it goes.

See you soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

State Fair Entries 2010

OK - hold on to your PC - this post is NOT about, babies, baby showers, pregnancy, childbirth or children. It's an actual post about something else. Try to remain calm. It will be alright. Proceed with caution.

IMG_4617 (by Ateupamateur)

Last year, at the last minute, I asked you all for copious amounts of help to determine which photos to enter into the 2009 State Fair of Texas Photography Competition. And, you were a great help. I chose two photos to enter based on your suggestions and one of them yielded me a BLUE RIBBON which quite honestly was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me in my entire life. I know, I know. But it's true.

This year I decided to amalgamate the information received from you last year to choose two photos to enter for this year's competition on my own. And, to get them in before the final week for several reasons - one of which was I am having this thing called a baby right around the due date. Ahem.

IMG_7010 (by Ateupamateur)

Before we get to the two I chose, let me remind you of the rules. I can only enter two photographs. Those photographs must have been taken in the state of Texas in the last 18 months. The photographs must reflect life scenes in the state of Texas or at the State Fair of Texas. They must be mounted on 11 x 14 foam board that is no thicker than 3/8 inches. The photo must be at least 5x7 in size on that foam board. There are several categories to choose from, and one photograph can only be entered into one category. Judges reserve the right to change the category of submission. The deadline for entry this year is July 30th.

IMG_4620 (by Ateupamateur)
Last year's finalists.

First photo chosen - I decided to enter one of last year's finalists in this year's competition. It was one of the photos that received high marks from you last year and was in fact one that I had prepared for entry in case I decided to choose it. But, it was not chosen ultimately for last year's competition. However, after seeing the photos entered in the category at the fair last year (flora/close-up) I really think this photo will do well in the competition. Of course, time will tell!

Sunflower 1 (by Ateupamateur)
Here it is! Entry #1

IMG_7012 (by Ateupamateur)
It's been sitting on my bookshelf for a year, but looks alright, I think.

The second entry is one of my most favorite captured shots of all of last year. I was hesitant to enter it because it will have to be entered into one of the most competitive categories - Birds/Insects. You should have seen the winners in this category last year. Because of the intense competition, I am not sure I will fare well by choosing this photo. But it is one of my absolute favorites, so I had to do it.

IMG_3010 (by Ateupamateur)
It is this one.

I took it at the Dallas Arboretum last fall, and I still love it. It was one of those amazingly happy surprises caught on film - I have about 20 "outtakes" and this one that I feel is the best one. I love to look at it, and it is the kind of photo that makes me want to keep taking pictures. So, I chose it for a State Fair entry.

IMG_7013 (by Ateupamateur)
Formal entry.

The thing is, 11x14 is an "old size" - digital photos are wider and not as tall. So, to print a photo at the 11x14 size, you have to make decisions about cropping it. I could not find a way to crop this particular photo without compromising its integrity. So, I decided to print it the digital size of 8x12 and have it matted to 11x14. This is, as you read, well within the confines of acceptability via the rules. I chose a black matte because I thought it made the vibrant colors shoot out even more. Last year, there were lots of matted photos that won ribbons - I'd say it was probably about half and half. So, I think this will not diminish its chances and it makes the best presentation for this particular photo.

IMG_7009 (by Ateupamateur)
So there you have it!

Those are my 2010 State Fair entries! I figure, really, since I had such good beginner's luck last year, my chances this year are slim to none. But I had to enter. We'll see! And of course I'll tell you about it here. Wish me luck!

See you soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

House Progress

With one less weekend to complete the tasks assigned to be accomplished before baby S changes our lives forever, my sweet husband has been on the move! And his dad has helped him out immensely over the past few weeks as did his brother Michael. First, they repainted the baby's room. The paint color is the same, but it needed a little touching up. There was this hole behind the door where someone who shall remain nameless but might write this blog stumbled into the room and made said hole with the door handle. Ahem. Grace is my middle name. Always has been. There were also nail holes from pictures no longer hanging and a couple of scrapes in the dark paint color that needed some repair. So it is freshly coiffed at this point, and we are in the midst of hanging some shelves and artwork on the walls to finish baby's S's digs before he arrives home very soon. Photos below:

IMG_6762 (by Ateupamateur)
Patched hole.

IMG_6761 (by Ateupamateur)
New quarter round, newly painted.

IMG_6759 (by Ateupamateur)

IMG_6758 (by Ateupamateur)

IMG_7031 (by Ateupamateur)
Bedding in place!

Also with a fresh coat of paint is the den! S calls it "baby S's receiving room." He's a funny man. This room is paneled with some lovely 1950's pecan flat wood paneling. And, when I say lovely, I really mean it. It is high quality stuff. It just now looks very dated and sort of dingy so we painted it. The ceiling and built-in bookshelves needed a little freshening up as well. So, now we have a yellow room. It was the color that went with the items assembled therein, and I think it looks nice, but it is honestly a color I didn't think I would ever be putting on the walls of my den. S said it sort of looks like someone took a bunch of Tweety Birds and threw them up against the wall. Ahem. I think it might look a little better than that. The built-in needs a little more work and that'll come later. The new ceiling fan is also nicely installed by S. And, here are the photos:

den (2) (by Ateupamateur)
What we started with.

den (1) (by Ateupamateur)

den (by Ateupamateur)
A coat of Kilz, paint swatches.
We went for the darker one.

more den and nursery (10) (by Ateupamateur)
Built in with Kilz.

more den and nursery (9) (by Ateupamateur)
S making progress.

more den and nursery (7) (by Ateupamateur)
That far right corner used to be a door.
S did a great patch job, no?

more den and nursery (1) (by Ateupamateur)
Progress on the built in!

more den and nursery (14) (by Ateupamateur)
Where the old door was...

more den and nursery (12) (by Ateupamateur)
The fan.

more den and nursery (11) (by Ateupamateur)
Voila! New room!

And, I was able to get one of the photo walls in the hallway updated - it had been a couple of years since I updated it and the nieces and nephews had grown and changed! So, I was glad to get that accomplished as well. The other photo wall, of mostly S's family, needs updating too, but I decided I would wait until all the new babies are born so I can include all of them in the re-do. A couple of photos of that progress - they are sort of dark:

IMG_6786 (by Ateupamateur)

IMG_6787 (by Ateupamateur)

IMG_6789 (by Ateupamateur)

It is nice to have all of this completed before baby S arrives. It will make us look a little more put together when visitors come to see the baby. There are a few more projects to be had in this old house before we put it on the market in the spring, but we're much closer than we were, and that is wonderful. I'll enjoy the new look for now!

Still a couple more items to cover before D-Day! See you soon!

The Remaking of a Cradle

As I previously reported on this here blog, my mom reupholstered the inside of a cradle made by her father. It was originally upholstered by her mother and given to my parents for me to use when I was born.

I want to use the cradle for Baby S, and the upholstery had seen better days, so my sweet Mama set out to re-do it. Here are some photos of her work. I tried to do this post a week or so ago but I couldn't narrate the photos without her help. Now she is down at my house, helping me through this last week, keeping me resting, and helping me prepare for baby. So, I asked for her help in narrating this post for you!

cradle 15 (by Ateupamateur)

In the photo above, she used the old upholstery, which had the diamond pattern on it, to measure out the new fabric.

Following are some photos of the fabric measuring and cutting:

cradle 12 (by Ateupamateur)

cradle 11 (by Ateupamateur)

cradle 10 (by Ateupamateur)
Clearly, here we have the four new fabric pieces.

cradle 14 (by Ateupamateur)
Then she lined the empty cradle with the new padding for the sides.

cradle 13 (by Ateupamateur)
Then, she glued that padding in place.

cradle 9 (by Ateupamateur)
She laid the cradle on its side to start the fabric installation process.

Incidentally, the fabric is called, "baby dry." Catchy, no?

cradle 8 (by Ateupamateur)
Then she cut a length of tack strip to be just a bit longer than each side of the cradle.

The tack strip goes on the wrong side of the fabric, so the fabric then folds around it to make a crisp edge that can be stapled without tearing the fabric.

cradle 7 (by Ateupamateur)
Preparing to put the fabric in place.

And before the fabric was put in place, she added another layer of quilt batting to the sides.

cradle 6 (by Ateupamateur)
You can see the tack strip, ready to be stapled.

cradle 5 (by Ateupamateur)

cradle 4 (by Ateupamateur)
Stapling fabric through tack strip to the side of the cradle.

cradle 3 (by Ateupamateur)
So then, she staple the bottom of the fabric to the
bottom of the cradle so it wouldn't ride up.

cradle 2 (by Ateupamateur)

cradle 1 (by Ateupamateur)
And voila! Newly upholstered.

IMG_6741 (by Ateupamateur)

The mattress is four inch foam, cut with an electric knife to size and upholstered snugly in the same "baby dry" fabric. The new mattress fits tightly in the bottom of the cradle.

IMG_6740 (by Ateupamateur)

It is so incredibly well done. Baby S will sleep soundly from birth, I am sure, because of the comfort of his bed. Thanks Mom, for taking the time to prepare the cradle for our use! And, thanks for being here this week to help me make it through. I couldn't do it without you!

See you soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

S had a Baby Shower!

Last week S's workplace threw him a surprise baby shower! And it was quite an event. I learned about it a week beforehand, and had made plans to attend. However, baby S had other plans. He decided we needed to instead spend the day under the supervision of medical professionals watching my blood pressure. So we missed it. But, these thoughtful people took photos and video for me and sent it along so I could see the party and tell you about it here. They even sent along some eclairs which of course helped the blood pressure stay nice and low.

Sam Shower 006 (by Ateupamateur)

S works for an event rental company, so they know a thing or two about parties. There was the cutest tablecloth and napkins to match the nursery colors and of course decadent treats fashionably splayed for people to partake of their yumminess.

Sam Shower 011 (by Ateupamateur)

Sam Shower 013 (by Ateupamateur)

Sam Shower 015 (by Ateupamateur)

Sam Shower 007 (by Ateupamateur)

Sam Shower 005 (by Ateupamateur)

Sam Shower 009 (by Ateupamateur)

S was the center of attention as he opened one thoughtful and generous gift after another. Baby S will be well dressed, have many new toys, stay warm, easily eat and be carried around because of their gifts. In addition, there were some very generous gift cards given so we could go purchase items we have yet to receive. S really wants to purchase a particular car seat for his car, and I think we will use these gift cards for that purchase.

This is one video of S opening presents.

And here is another...if the embedding links work!

Sam Shower 012 (by Ateupamateur)

I wish I could have been at the party, but I am glad I got to see the photos and video at least. And, with the lady with the belly not in attendance, it left S as the guest of honor, which I think is really sweet too. Dads need some excitement in preparation for baby as well! It was such a wonderfully sweet and generous thing they did, and S was completely overwhelmed, surprised and amazed. It really meant a lot to him they thought of him in this way.

So there is more to share this final week - I'll be back with more soon!