Nursery Reveal

Hey There!

Like I said in my last post, things got a little bit out of order with the early arrival of Little Bit, and I never got to share our nursery reveal with you!

You may remember that The Fellow and I were pretty adamant about limiting the amount of pink when we started discussing nursery colors, and we settled on a woodland gnome theme.

After painting the walls lavender, I found the curtains next. I loved the crisp blue and overside poppy print. I think they tone down the purple walls and are adorable and whimsical.

We were blessed that people gave us most of the things from our registry, so I have adorable gnome sheets and mushroom fan pulls and a pillow to keep the theme going. I kept the flower drape from a baby shower which my mother draped over the mirror which I think looks perfect.

I felt like I needed to make something for the nursery, so I painted a triptych for the wall. Keeping to the theme, it’s of a Mr. & Mrs. Gnome and their mushroom house. We literally got them hung on the wall the night before she arrived. The Fellow was arguing that they didn’t need to be done -that- night, and I told him that they certainly did. Turns out I was very right!

I had been looking for a good rocking chair for the nursery, and my mother and I bought one that needed refinished on our girls’ weekend in Gettysburg, but the entire time we were looking I kept comparing each rocker we tried to the comfortable old rocker at my Granny’s house.

I haven’t mentioned it here because it takes me some time to process things, and I don’t always want to share events with the Internet as they are occurring in my life; however, both of my grandparents on my father’s side passed away recently.

As you can imagine, there was a great deal of sadness and stress on top of prepping for Little Bit. We were all dealing with a lot, and none of us were really ready to tackle refinishing the Gettysburg rocking chair.

I’d pretty much abandoned any thought of having a rocking chair in the nursery when my parents brought me Granny’s rocking chair.

It’s still as comfortable as I remember and is the best spot to sit and rock Little Bit. It arrived the week before Little Bit and was exactly the final touch we needed for the nursery to be all ready for her.


Little Bit

Hey There!

Sorry for the radio silence. We had a bit of a big week. I had a plan for how the next few blog posts were going to go, but Little Bit decided to shake things up, so we’re going out of order.

Remember how I said that I thought LIttle Bit was going to be late and hoped she had no intention of arriving before my due date? Well, I was wrong, and she was early!

She was so early, in fact, that she was barely an October baby at all. I’d like to share our birth story and experience with using a Birth Center instead of having a hospital birth with you. I’ll try to keep it fairly concise, and I’ll skip anything too messy.

Last Tuesday about 2:30 in the morning, I woke up completely annoyed with The Fellow. I felt like he was taking up more than his share of the bed. I’d been sleeping at a weird angle causing my back to ache, so I grumblingly decided to go sleep on the couch.

I soon realized it wasn’t a backache when my water broke. Now, both the birth class we had taken and the midwives had said that if you go into labor in the middle of the night, call and let them know, but just relax and try to get some sleep because it’s usually a long process and you’ll need the extra sleep.

There was no additional sleep.

About an hour later, after realizing that I was definitely not getting any more sleep, I called the midwife on call and let her know. She said if things didn’t progress she would call and check-in around the 6-hour mark. (I’ll save you my thoughts about that statement.)

At that point, I was ready to go to the center, but she told me we should wait, so wait we did. Twenty or so minutes later, I finally woke The Fellow up and bless his heart he tried to help, but if I’m in pain, I’m very much a hands-off person. As he kept trying to comfort me, I kept telling him not to touch me, so he just went back to bed and lay there while I whimpered or occasionally yelled at him.

Another hour passed. I started to feel really crummy and was sick, so he called the midwife again and told her that I was more or less insisting we go in, and she said that she’d head in . . . it was an hour drive for her and a 9-minute drive for us . . . so we waited. Again.

Finally, it was time to go. We loaded into the car . . . only for The Fellow to say he’d forgotten to take his allergy medicine and ran back inside. (I know. I almost murdered him.) Finally, we were ready to go. Unfortunately for me, the delay to allow for the midwife’s drive time meant that the “worst” part of labor, the Transitional Stage, happened at home . . . and in the car. Not going to lie, I snapped at The Fellow a few times during the drive.

We made it to the Birth Center, up the ramp, and then to the worst part – the stairs. And at the top of the stairs was a midwife whom I had never met. There are two main midwives at that location, and one was out on her own maternity leave, so the owner who usually works at the other location was covering clients while she was out. Thankfully, she was super sweet. She greeted me, gave me a hug, and said that we were going to have a wonderful birth.

Now, this was one of the things I had wanted to avoid by going to a Birth Center instead of a hospital – having strangers around who I didn’t know and who I didn’t trust, so I may have had a mini panic moment, but she was wonderful and everything was fine once we got into the swing of things.

It was now 6:30 or so in the morning, and the midwife was insistent that she check how far along I was, and I was insistent that I get into the tub. Pretty sure that the first thing I really said to her was “What can we do for the pain?” Knowing full well, the only real thing was getting in the tub. She made the check and just went, “Oh, we’re going to have a baby . . . soon.”

Since I was a first-time mama, she was expecting this to be more of a lengthy process. The tub wasn’t even fully filled before we were full-on pushing.

The tub was amazing. Seriously, amazing. I don’t have anything to compare it to in way with medicated births, but it felt great for me.

She was born less than an hour later at 7:34, even before the nurse and trainee midwife arrived!

One thing that I hadn’t planned on doing was catching Little Bit myself. I had fully intended to let the midwife handle that part because trying to scoop a newborn baby out of a pool of water sounded absolutely terrifying, but when it happened I just instinctively reached for her to pull her to me. It was a beautiful and terrifying moment.

My mother arrived shortly after the baby was born and was there for all of the post-delivery things, and we headed home with Little Bit around 12:30.

Nothing can really prepare you for childbirth. Everybody has their own experience. Thankfully, it wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting it to be. I’m glad that Little Bit is finally here. We love her so much. They’re right when they say you don’t realize you can love someone you’ve just met that much, but you do, you really, really do

I’m so glad that I went through the Birth Center. I felt in control, looked after, and there was 0 judgement. It was such an amazing experience. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

We’re still trying to adjust to Little Bit and get everything figured out, but we’re loving every minute of it!

Fall Feeling

Hey There!

First things first, I know I promised you pictures of the nursery this week, but we had a last-second addition that I’m still working on, so next week I swear!

Can you believe that it’s finally fall ?! Even if it doesn’t quite feel like it yet.

I managed to do a little bit of fall decorating to get in the mood, but it’s still so hot out! Hopefully, it will cool off some soon so we can all break out our sweaters and boots (Well, once my feet will fit in them again . . . ) and enjoy crisp fall days and changing leaves.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying my favorite parts of fall – the flavors and scents. I’ve broken out the Pumpkin Spice creamer, bought apple cider, and started looking for a great fall wax warmer scent, but a friend came visiting earlier in the month and brought with him apple butter doughnuts and that’s all I can think about! I’ve got to find a good local source or a recipe for them!

Typically around this time of the year, we head to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, but we’re skipping that this year as we’re so close to baby’s arrival. I don’t think traveling a few hours away is quite a good plan. I still do want to find something fun and fall-y to do this weekend (Maybe a hay ride or a pumpkin patch? I’m not sure.), since I probably won’t be leaving the house much after early October. I’m keeping my eyes open for something that fits the bill in my immediate area.

I’m also thinking we’re close enough to October to start watching my favorite spooky movies – Hocus Pocus, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride to name a few. (Can you tell I’m not big on super scary movies?)

What fall traditions, activities, or foods are you looking forward to the most this year?

Raggedy Ann

Hey There!

Recently, a teacher friend of mine posted on Facebook asking for book suggestions to read to her class, and I recommended that she check out the Raggedy Ann books.

Raggedy Ann has been an iconic character for many years. You’re probably familiar with her and her companion Raggedy Andy.

Their merchandise has become collectable, and their features are on just about everything – glasses, curtains, trays, clothes. I think everyone has dressed as a rag doll for Halloween at some point, and it’s typically a version of Raggedy Ann.

Unfortunately, while many may know who she is, not many people these days have actually read the Raggedy Ann books. That’s partially because they’re a bit difficult to find, rather pricey, and some may say outdated. Luckily for me, my mother has most if not all of the books from her childhood. I loved reading them, and I’m due for a re-read. I’m sure when we visit my parents with Little Bit, I’ll get to refresh my memory some.

If you’ve never had the chance to read them, they are early chapter books chronicling the adventures of the two rag dolls. Raggedy Ann and Andy go on the wildest adventures in the most magical lands. They meet hobby horses who talk, cookie people, witches, and magicians. Or sometimes they just venture downstairs to the kitchen with the other toys. Whatever their location there is always a moral to each story.

Raggedy Ann has a candy heart which makes her sweet and kind-hearted. Children can learn so much through her stories, and I wish they were more popular now! 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a collector’s set of the same hardback books my mother has. Although you can find the majority of them in individuals, they don’t have the same cover art that I grew up with.

What books from your childhood do you wish everyone could read? Let me know in the comments!

38 Weeks

Hey there!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of week 38, so I thought I’d check in.

We’re so close to Little Bit’s arrival! The nursery is nearly complete (thanks to lots of help from The Fellow and Daddy and Mama), and I can’t wait to share how adorable it is with you next week.

I’ve finally reached the uncomfortable point in pregnancy. My feet are swollen, everything aches, the heartburn continues, and sleeping is impossible. (I’m sure that’s designed to get me used to no sleep once the baby is here!)

But that’s all ok because I signed up for this.

At this point, I’m just working around the house to get whatever little projects I can done since I know that I won’t have time after she is here.

As comfy as things are getting, I’m more than happy to wait for Little Bit to decide when she wants to arrive. Honestly, there’s a full moon shortly after our due date, and I’m not too sure that she isn’t going to hold out for that and be a little moon baby, but we’re going to have to wait and see.

I’m not certain that they haven’t started taking bets at work for when she’ll make her appearance!

What I’m Listening To Wednesday

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned before that I listen to an odd collection of music. My favorite part of SCA events is sitting around a campfire listening to singing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of distant period music out there, and what there is doesn’t suit most people’s musical taste.

That means we sing a lot of modern songs or post period songs with an old time vibe to them, and sea shanties are always a welcome selection.

I’ve had “Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her” stuck in my head for days now, so I thought I’d share a bit with you!

I thought I heard the Old Man say:

“Leave her, Johnny, leave her.”

Tomorrow you will get your pay,
and it’s time for us to leave her.

Leave her, Johnny, leave her!

Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her!

For the voyage is long and the winds don’t blow and it’s time for us to leave her.

Oh, the wind was foul and the sea ran high.

“Leave her, Johnny, leave her!”

She shipped it green and none went by.
And it’s time for us to leave her.

I hate to sail on this rotten tub.

“Leave her, Johnny, leave her!”

No grog allowed and rotten grub.

And it’s time for us to leave her.

We swear by rote for want of more.

“Leave her, Johnny, leave her!”

But now we’re through so we’ll go on shore.

And it’s time for us to leave her.

Mountain Pies

Hey There!

As promised in last week’s post, I want to share about one of my favorite campfire foods – mountain pies.

Mountain pies (also called hobo pies or campfire pies) have always been a staple at any campfire cookout my family has hosted. If you’ve never heard of mountain pies before, just think of a perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwich, but instead of cheese inside there are endless options for fillings. We usually stick with pizza or crab pies.

The trick to mountain pies is A: having the perfect mountain pie iron and B: the perfect fire.

For our Deep Creek Lake camping trip, we borrowed my father’s pie irons so we had the biggest necessity nailed down. They’re well-seasoned cast iron makers and have had many years of deliciousness made in them.

The second thing to making the perfect mountain pie is making sure that you have a nice even bed of coals, not too close to the main fire.

Pie irons heat up quickly, and if you don’t have just the right temperature you wind up with burnt bread on the outside and un-melted cheese on the inside of your sandwiches which is not what we’re going for. (Pancake rules apply here. You’ll probably ruin the first pie dialing in on your location/timing.)

There is definitely an art to making the perfect mountain pie, just like there is to toasting the perfect marshmallow.

Just like a grilled cheese sandwich, you butter bread. The bread goes against the cooking surface butter-side down. Next add your toppings; sandwich on the top piece of bread and cook until “melty.” Unlike a grilled cheese made in a skillet, you have to be pretty quick with your pie assembling because once you put one piece of bread down into the pre-heated iron, it immediately starts cooking. The Fellow did try to completely pre-assemble a pie but trying to push that into the pie iron just wound up with cheese everywhere. Stick to the traditional method and work quickly!

As I mentioned, our two favorite pie fillings are pizza and crab. They both take basic ingredients that are easy enough to tote to a campground

Pizza Pies:

Butter Mozzarella Cheese
Pepperoni Pizza Sauce

Crab Pies:
Butter Imitation Crab Meat Mozzarella Cheese Old Bay Seasoning

We’ve also used apple pie filling, and that makes for a yummy campfire dessert!

If you’re going to purchase your own set of pie irons for your next campfire, I highly recommend getting cast iron. They make aluminum ones that are cheaper and lighter, but I’ve never had a good experience using them.

I also recommend just getting single pie irons. The double ones are so tempting, but trust me, it’s harder to get two pies assembled quickly, and one side always ends up burning.

**A little safety note about pie irons: Whichever ones you buy may come with a little latch to keep the iron shut. Remove it first thing. Two things happen when you keep it on – it gets hot and poses a burn risk when you go to open it and remove your sandwich. Secondly, when you pull your pie iron up and out of the fire, the catch can fall up or down the iron also creating a burn risk. So just pop it off before you even start to season it.

Have you ever heard of mountain pies? What flavors and toppings are you excited to try? Let me know in the comments below!

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Hey There!

We went on what will probably be our last little babymoon trip last weekend. We packed up our Jeep and headed to Deep Creek Lake State Park where my folks met us with Rosie Lee.

Aside from a small snafu with the reservations (which I will admit my pregnant self did not handle the most gracefully), we had a great weekend! 

My folks hung out with us for the better part of the day Saturday, and then shortly after they left, our friends met up with us at the campsite.

We had booked the last RV spot that was open over the holiday weekend and were lucky that they allow not only your camper but 2 additional tents on the pad, as long as everything is on the pad.

With Rosie Lee being as tiny as she is, it should have been no problem. Unfortunately, our friends’ tent stakes were a problem. They have a Soul Pad tent, and the stakes have to be driven completely into the ground. The dirt under the gravel was packed too hard for them to be able to get their stakes all the way in and set up their tent.

We wound up putting their mattress down in the back of my Jeep and throwing some netting up over the windows to make them a sleeping area. We’ve done it before, and it’s not too rough of a night’s sleep, especially with a good mattress, and they didn’t seem to mind too much.

The campsites at Deep Creek were arraigned wonderfully. There was a center bathhouse with a dish washing station and potable water, and then the campsites circled around that making a little pod; then down the road to another bath house with the same set up. This means that no one was more than a space or two away from a bathhouse and that was lovely! (So was being able to do our dishes easily, especially since we were in bear country and I was paranoid about there being any food stuffs left anywhere!)

We only went down to the lake for a short while with my folks on Saturday. The rest of the time I spent in camp with swollen ankles chilling under the awning with my feet up reading. The others went for a hike, and the Fellow picked up another hobby – mountain biking!

We packed in some steak, sausages, and things to make mountain pies (more on that in the next blog) and cooked our meals between the campfire and our little charcoal grill.

The weather was nice overall. Things are finally starting to cool down and feel like fall. Daddy re-sealed Rosie’s roof before he brought her up, and I’m glad he did! We had rain overnight 2 nights and in the morning one day. It rained so much the night before we left that the ground softened to the point that our awning spike came loose and the awning fell soaking our chairs and everything outside. Luckily it all dried relatively quickly and didn’t make too much of a muddy mess for pack out. But we definitely learned our lesson about where to put our spikes!

The general group vote was that we will certainly be heading back to Deep Creek at some point, if not for the trails, to actually spend some time at the lake! Next time we may even look into boat rentals.

What I’m Listening To

Hey there!

Guys, there’s a lot going on in my life right now, and I just am not ready to share. (Little Bit is fine.)

I just didn’t have a full blog in me today, but I thought I’d share the song I’ve been listening to on repeat. It’s an older one by one of my favorite bands, The Killers, and it’s been one of my favorite songs of all time ever since I heard it – “A Dustland Fairytale”.

The music video is phenomenal as well!

I may make this a regular thing. What do you think? The occasional “What I’m Listening To Wednesday” maybe? I’ll ponder on it!

“A Dustland Fairytale” –

Dustland fairytale beginning
Just another white trash
County kiss
Sixty one
Long brown hair and foolish eyes
He looks just like you want him to
Some kind of slick chrome American prince
A blue jean serenade
And Moon River what’d you do to me
And I don’t believe you

Saw Cinderella in a party dress but
She was looking for a night gown
I saw the devil warping up his hands
He’s getting ready for the show down
I saw the minute that I turn away
I got my money on a pond tonight

Change came in disguised of revelation
Set his soul on fire
She said she’d always knew he’d come around
And the decades disappear like sinking
Ships we persevere God gives us hope
But we still fear
We don’t know
The mind is poison castle in the sky
Sit stranded vandalized
The draw bridge is closing

Saw Cinderella in a party dress but
She was looking for a night gown
I saw the devil warping up his hands
He’s getting ready for the show down
I saw the ending were they turned the page
I threw my money and I ran away
Strait to the Vally of the great divide

And were the dreams roll high
And were the wind don’t blow
Out here the good girls die
And the sky won’t snow
Out here the bird don’t sing
Out here the field don’t grow
Out here the bell don’t ring
Out here the bell don’t ring
Out here the good girls die

Now Cinderella don’t you go to sleep
Its such a bitter form of refuge
Ah don’t you know the kingdoms under siege
And everybody needs you
Is there still magic in the midnight sun
Or did you leave it back in sixty-one
In the of the cadence in the young mans eyes
And were the dreams roll high