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New Stitching Project (also – STILL PREGNANT)

Happy Friday! Today I’m working on a new stitching project, an alphabet sampler for the baby’s room. The pattern is by Wee Little Stitches – love just about everything in their shop!alphabet-sampler

I’m also a big fan of their Superhero Alphabet Sampler, but I’m not sure I could live long enough to finish it. Maybe once this kid is old enough to request it for him or herself, I’ll consider it.

In other news…still pregnant! Still very, very pregnant. Here’s proof:


This was taken on Wednesday, my due date. I had a midwife appointment yesterday and she said that everything is A-OK with the baby; apparently I have provided very comfortable living accommodations.

Even though getting off the couch or out of bed in the morning requires careful planning and strategic maneuvering, I’m feeling pretty solidly ok. Am I ready to get this baby out? Heck yes I am, but I am not as horrifically miserable as everyone gleefully told me I would be.

And so I wait. And stitch. And pack and repack the hospital bags, because I keep buying newborn-sized clothing that’s just too cute not to pack. This baby could host their own fashion show before we bring them home for the first time, and they just might have to in order to wear everything at least once.

OH AND YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT! I’m scrapbooking again. After a long, long Project Life hiatus, I’m back in the game – check back Monday for some pretty pages, an update on the system that’s working for me, and why it is the exact opposite of what I expected to work.

If there’s no post on Monday I’m probably busy having a baby. #sorrynotsorry


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Schrodinger’s Pregnancy

Crafty Sheep // Schroedinger's PregnancyI saw a funny post on a pregnancy message board comparing having a Team Green pregnancy (not finding out the sex of your baby) to Schrödinger’s cat.

Erwin Schrödinger was a weird guy. His famous thought experiment, Schrödinger’s cat, presents a scenario in which there is a cat in a sealed box (this is the highly simplified version; I don’t care to get into the details of geiger counters and radioactive substance – the wikipedia link is a good resource if you’re interested).

Before you look in the box, the cat exists in two states: alive and dead. It is only after you open the box that the cat is either alive or dead; not both.

I find a Team Green pregnancy to be a much better metaphor. Wouldn’t you prefer to talk about snuggly babies instead of (possibly) dead cats in boxes?

The main question that Will and I are getting these days is, “What do you think you’re having?” The answer is, we have no idea.

Mother’s intuition? Not really at play here.

I have a vague feeling that it might be a girl, but in my mind this baby exists as both a boy and a girl.

I completely understand why other people find out as soon as they can. It cuts down on your choices for names by half, and it makes decorating a tad bit easier. It’s definitely possible to have a gender-neutral nursery, but it seems like most baby stuff is either bedazzled to death with pink sequins and tutus, or blue with “Mommy’s little man” stamped on it.

But to be completely honest, I don’t really see how hearing “it’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!” at 20 weeks helps you plan any better.

While knowing the sex ahead of time might have changed the kinds of clothes we bought (we have both robots and ruffles) or what color pack-and-play is now sitting in our living room (green), the not knowing hasn’t affected our dreams for him or her.

I can’t wait to hold this baby in my arms for the first time, to read books and sing songs and have silly dance parties that freak out the cats.

I’m so excited for our families and friends to meet Baby H, to show him or her that we’re a quirky bunch with an off-beat sense of humor, and that he or she is loved deeply, fiercely, and unconditionally.

The things I wish for this baby – joy, curiosity about the world around us, empathy and kindness, creativity, and a better sense of direction than mine – aren’t dependent on whether Baby H is a he or a she. 

I dream about that moment in the delivery room when a brand new baby is placed on my chest and Will proudly tells me whether we have a son or a daughter. I don’t know which it is, and frankly, I don’t care.

When the both becomes either/or, one potential future is closed off. (Unless we have surprise twins! Ha ha! Oh, god….)

But an entirely new future is unfolding, and I can’t wait to see it.


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We’ve hit another milestone, folks – 35 weeks pregnant, 35 days to go!

My maternity leave starts in three weeks, and, in theory, I will have two weeks at home to make freezer meals, wash and fold tiny pants and onesies, and think really hard about painting my toenails, but not actually doing it because that is just far too much work at this point.

Despite my attempts to communicate this plan telepathically to Baby Helmrath, I have no idea if he or she has gotten the message. Stick your foot in my ribs twice if you agree, Baby.

My faithful companions are, as always, so incredibly helpful.

Beckham and the bump

Beckham is on bump watch.

Thumper tests the co-sleeper

Thumper is fanatical about quality control. I was just testing the weight limit, Mom.


Roo’s main concern is sunning his private parts in the bay window. I haven’t yet figured out how this is helpful but I’m sure he has a plan.

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This vacation felt ill-timed.

Last week Boston was in turmoil following the marathon bombings on Monday and the lockdown of the entire city and many of its suburbs on Friday. Pregnancy insomnia woke me early, early, early on Friday morning and I sat in the dark in front of the flickering TV watching the news, one hand on my belly and the other on my phone, texting a close friend who lives within minutes of where the shootout and eventual capture of the suspect took place.

At noon on that same day, we closed on our house. A happy event, no doubt, but one overshadowed by unease and nerves frayed from lack of sleep. Our first day of homeownership was not exactly the way we had pictured it, but nothing last week was.

That evening we got a flat tire.


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We drifted through the weekend, taking trips to Target, cleaning our apartment and our new house, and preparing for our vacation. When we booked it, we hadn’t even seen this house and had no way of knowing that all these events would topple over one another, cascading one after another as we ran ourselves ragged trying to keep up.

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The cab arrived at 4am on Wednesday to take us to the airport. We locked ourselves out of our apartment building with our luggage still inside, tantalizingly close but completely out of reach.


It is surprisingly difficult to rouse your neighbors on the phone at 4am. One finally answered and we whooshed inside, a whirling dervish of apology and humble gratitude. Our good-natured cabbie simply smiled, not bothered by the wait, and delivered us to the airport on schedule.

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And now we are here. It has been three days of sun and seaside breeze and sand squishing between my toes. The tension I carried with me from the cold and windy northeast has uncoiled, softened, washed out to sea with the tides.

We are non-golfers staying a golf resort in the off-season, which means that it is quiet. The beach is peaceful in its solitude, we have our pick of tables at every restaurant, and there is no traffic.

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I’m getting big enough that intense activity and long afternoons of sight-seeing are tiring and make my back hurt. So we don’t do that. We walk on the beach, read by the pool, and knit baby sweaters in the shade (that’s more my thing than Will’s).

I am so very, very excited to meet this baby. I have entered the third trimester and my countdown is in the double digits (88 days, give or take). Even so I am enormously grateful that Will and I have the opportunity to take this last vacation together, just the two of us.

This is our not-so-ill-timed vacation.

It’s perfect.


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Bump O’ the Irish: 21 weeks

Spoiler alert: there is nothing Irish about this post. Especially not me, but I am quite pale – does that count?

I really wanted to do a post last week about being half-baked (halfway through pregnancy; not the other kind of baked!) but, well, I didn’t. So here I am at 21 and a half weeks:21-weeks-update

I haven’t been great about taking pictures every week, but here’s the progression since the last time you saw the bump (16 weeks).


To me it looks like it’s only a tiny bit bigger, but that it’s moving up. That means I can say with 100% accuracy that it’s either a girl or a boy. I’ll let you know in July.

Now let me answer some questions that I’m sure you are just DYING to have answered (borrowed from Ashley of Our Little Apartment).
How far along? 21 weeks, 4 days.

How big is baby? About 11 inches long and around 3/4 of a pound.

Total weight gain: 10-11 pounds, ish (my scale is horribly unreliable so I mostly just go by what my midwife tells me)

Maternity Clothes? DAMN SKIPPY. You can pry my maternity pants out of my cold, dead hands. I might never go back to regular pants. Ever. I also stocked up on some tops and dresses at a recent Gap/Old Navy sale and I feel much less like a stuffed sausage than in my regular clothes.

Stretch marks? Not a one, but it’s still early.

Sleep: Surprisingly well, other than having to get up and pee ALL. THE. TIME. I got a body pillow a couple months ago and it’s fabulous (just a regular body pillow, not a fancy Snoogle or anything like that. I was having terrible sciatica issues that made turning from one side to the other quite a painful production, but (thankfully) that has since cleared up.

Movement: Yes! I hadn’t been feeling much at all, but then Baby H kicked it into high gear about a week and a half ago. Will was even able to feel a jab last weekend, which he described as both “weird and cool.” I don’t feel much during the day, but then once dinner is over it’s time to PAR-TAY. If I’m feeling particularly needy and want to feel movement, drinking a glass of orange juice and lying down for about 15 minutes usually does the trick.

Food cravings: EVERYTHING. Except for one week when I ate three tubs of cottage cheese, I haven’t really had many specific cravings. Mostly I’m just HUNGRY and hoover up whatever you put in front of me.

What I miss: Spicy tuna sushi – even though it’s probably fine, my midwife has recommended that I stay away from the raw stuff during pregnancy. I still love cooked rolls, but I do miss my spicy tuna something fierce. Also? Running like I used to, and by that I mean not feeling like I need to map out restroom locations every quarter mile. I’m not doing too much, just 2-3 miles at a time, but that constant feeling of needing to pee as soon as I set out is really annoying!

What I am looking forward to: The end of winter, and cute summer clothes! I’m hoping to get a lot of mileage out of non-maternity summer clothes, like flowy skirts and dresses.  Also – we’re buying a house! More on that later, since this is already getting kind of long, but we will most likely be closing at the end of April and I’m beyond excited to have laundry just steps away from the bedroom instead of down three flights of stairs.

Milestones: It feels totally surreal to be past the halfway point, so I’d say that is a BIG milestone. Same with feeling movement, both from the inside and the outside.

Oh, and THIS: I can give myself an outie belly button if I tighten up my (now non-existent) abs. Heh.

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