Thursday, August 30, 2012

Appointment at 32 weeks

No news is good news - turns out the reason I never got a call after my appointment at 29 weeks is because I don't have gestational diabetes. High fives to all the guys!

Everything still measures on schedule. His heartbeat was a comparatively slow this morning (126) but the doctor and nurse swore it was still in an acceptable range. I'm still a little worried about it, of course. I worry about everything. It's just my nature.

I go back in on the 18th of September, and by then I will have attended my Lamaze class and I will (hopefully) have a pediatrician lined up for when the baby is born. After that, it's pretty much just a waiting game.

Honestly though, I'm at the point where I think I'm just about done with this whole pregnancy thing. There aren't just a ton of things left to buy, and the things that haven't been purchased yet are things that can be purchased even after the baby arrives. I'm kind of burned out on clothes shopping - but if you want to buy him something, please look at this hoodie from Gymboree, because I love it bunches. If I had to say that there was anything left that I really ought to get done soon, it's to stop by the fire station and have someone check to make sure the car seat was properly installed. I might wait until the 19th to do that, since I know I'll be in town that day to pick up Wonder Woman #0. I so have my priorities in order.

I don't understand what people mean when they say to enjoy this time. Why? I don't sleep anymore. I lose my balance frequently, and recently had a bad fall because of that. Sitting, standing, and everything in between hurts. Can't I have my reward now, please? I keep telling myself that it's just for another 4 - 8 weeks, but really, it's probably going to be closer to 8. Blah. Come on September! Hurry up and get done so it can be October already!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crafting Ennui

I'm not one of those people who can keep up lots of projects. Essentially, my personality makes me  obsess on ONE THING and it is THE BEST THING EVER I WILL LOVE IT ALWAYS and everything else just sits on the side. After a (week, few weeks, month) then my love for it starts to die down and is replaced with another obsession. It's actually the main reason why I've talked for years about starting an Etsy store and still haven't started one ... I knit four things for it and hit the  "blah, knitting" wall.

Actually, a large part of that wall is my on-again-off-again project, the 15-foot-long scarf of DOOM Doctor Who scarf. Do you realize how much garter stitch is in 15 feet? Too much. Here, this is about what it'll look like it when I'm done:

The 4th Doctor and his crazy scarf.

Really, I've made pretty good progress. I started it in February, and even after taking off a few weeks here and there, I have about 5 or so feet left. But whenever I go to work on it, I end up putting it down in favor of doing something - anything! - else. I hate the yarn I'm using now. I hate the color scheme (it looks like the 70s barfed a rainbow.) I hate the mindlessness of garter stitch, and how tight my stitches are getting.

So what did I do at the beginning of summer to get my mind off of it? I started working on Christmas presents. I'm not going to go into detail about them because some of my friends read this blog, and all of my friends are getting pretty much the same thing, but it involves sewing, some embroidery and applique, a little paint, and one will even involve lights. (Don't worry, it'll make sense in a few months when I write a post on them.)

Of course, the sheer task of sewing up approximately 20 (spoilers) in addition to the gifts I was going to make for my family is, well, overwhelming to say the least. And when I get overwhelmed, I shut down.

What needs to happen is that I need to finish something, whether it be completing one of the Christmas presents that I've already started or finish knitting the monstrous scarf. I think that, once something is finished, I will get back my energy and find the motivation to finish more projects. So for right now, I'm going to shut down my computer, pick up my needles, and knit the heck out of that scarf. Wish me luck!

When you feel no motivation to work on a project, what helps you get working on it again?

Monday, August 20, 2012

26 Years Old

Shirt from Threadless
The sun has set on another day, but for me it was a pretty important day. Today was my birthday!

I've always loved my birthday, even though it's right around the time school starts. When I was younger, I liked being able to take treats in for my classmates at the beginning of school. I was the first one who got a "class birthday" every year. When the first day of school and my birthday were the same day, it made the first day less scary because so many people wished me a happy birthday.

Plus, my parents usually planned a super-fun pool party for me and my friends on our first weekend.

So today I turned 26 years old, and I also hit 31 weeks in my pregnancy! I can tell that since I've quit work, the weight is really starting to pack on ... guess I better get back to walking 15 miles a week. Bummer. At least the weather has been really pleasant lately. I hope it stays that way!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Invasion is Here


Team Fortress 2's latest update came out on Wednesday, but I didn't get to play until Friday due to some trepidation about the game in general. (I quit playing in April because the online gaming scene was raising my blood pressure too much, which isn't good for pregnant ladies.) But a friend of mine showed me the trailer above and I had to at least see what it was all about.

The format is basically a survival mode - waves of robots will come at you, and you need to stop them before they drop a bomb at your base, blowing it to smithereens. The bomb carriers also follow a set path, indicated by blue markers before each wave starts, so it has a tower defense feel to it as well.

This new mode reminds me of another popular Valve game, Left 4 Dead, which I should add is pretty much my favorite game ever. Naturally, I love this too. It can be really tough, especially when you don't have the appropriate classes covered, but it is oh so satisfying when you do stop the robots from invading. I've also been tinkering around with the upgrades you can purchase, and I feel like I've got a really solid build for the Heavy in this mode.

If you want to know more about Mann vs. Machine, check out their page about it. And if you want to play with me, you can find me on Steam.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Letter to the Baby, part 3

Dear Baby,

I'm sorry that lately I've been eating so much that you end up not getting any wiggle room. You see, my birthday is coming up soon, and birthdays mean eating lots of food. You'll understand soon enough.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Disappointment with Craft Wars

Let's talk about Craft Wars; more specifically, my problem with it.

Before I climb on my soapbox, I want to say that I do admire what the crafters come up with in spite of the time constraints and odd challenge materials. It is a reminder that I should not limit myself on what I can do because of time or resources. I just have to think a little more creatively.

My problem starts when I see just how much stuff is in the challenge materials. It's always new, and there is always lots of it. In the very first episode, the master craft was to create a playhouse out of school supplies. Having taught in a district where the majority of families couldn't afford all of the supplies on the school list, I watched with a furrowed brow while composition notebooks were ripped apart for wallpaper and brand new pencils were sawed down for accent pieces. Other viewers shared my concerns too. "Yeah, that looks really great, but there are lots of children and schools that could have actually used those supplies."

It happens every week. A slew of comments appear, mentioning all sorts of places and charities that could have benefited from the challenge materials that were used on the show. I know that whoever is in charge of coming up with challenges and materials can't change it now since the episodes have already been filmed, but I do hope that if the show is renewed for another season that they are a little more mindful of the fact that there are people who are in need of this equipment, and that no crafter is going to have 60+ boogie boards at his or her disposal to build a lounge chair.

The "Heavy Metal" episode was really got to me. I hadn't been able to watch Craft Wars the last two Tuesdays due to being away from home, but when I got home just before midnight last night, I was able to catch the episode from last week. When they wheeled out the paint cans for the master craft challenge, I wasn't bothered. Then they brought out instruments. Perfectly decent, brand new, shiny instruments to smash and break apart so the competitors could build (in my opinion) a stupid sculpture for the Grammy museum. Let me interrupt myself here and say that I don't think the sculptures themselves were stupid. The ideas and construction were clever, and I applaud both contestants for their creativity and ingenuity. What made me beyond angry is that they had to destroy music instruments or face losing the contest and $10,000.

My husband was a band director at the same school where I taught elementary music and art. Those same students who couldn't afford all of their school supplies definitely could not afford instrument payments. So who purchased them? We did, with our budgets, and if we needed something else for our classrooms, we bought it with our own money. We learned how to make basic repairs to instruments to save our students' and our school's money. To see instruments that could have been used by that band program being used so frivolously ... I am just infuriated.

When will Craft Wars stop asking their contestants to make paltry projects for the sake of making something, and start giving them resources that another person/organization isn't in desperate need of? When will they ask their contestants to do something that matters?

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Time Suck Known as Civilization V

Let me tell you a little about my day today.

11:13 - Finally roll out of bed
11:14 - Boot up computer
11:15 - Play Civ V for the next SEVEN HOURS.

You might think I'm kidding. I'm totally not. I literally played that game for hours. And I don't mean I played a bunch of different maps or difficulty levels in that time. I mean I started a game and it took that long for me to finish it. I just had to have that cultural victory.

If you're sitting there scratching your head, wondering what I'm talking about, Civilization V is a turn-based world simulation game that you'll swear you have only been playing for minutes but in reality hours have passed. (If you've played any of EA's The Sims games, you know exactly what I mean.) You start out in prehistory, and you upgrade, research, and conquer your way through to modern times - or, you know, earlier if you defeat all of your opponents before then.

Conquest is not the only way to win the game. You could also win with a science victory (space race, anyone?), a diplomatic victory involving the United Nations, or a cultural victory. And yes, those other victories can take a long time to achieve, but it can be fun to try to outdo your opponent in ways other than brute strength.

There are also leaders for each civilization, and each leader has his or her own strengths, so you can choose who to play as based on who matches your personal play style. These leaders are usually famous generals, kings, or other important people from history. For instance, George Washington can go up against Alexander the Great, while Queen Elizabeth I decides where her loyalties lie when they need assistance taking each other out. It's not historically accurate by any means, but at least it makes you familiar with the names, which could come in handy. For instance, next time someone mentions Suleiman, I can smugly say, "He was a great leader of Ottoman Empire." 

But I better not mention his mighty air fleet which helped me take out Pachacuti and the Incas....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daniele Hypolito's Bold Eye Makeup Tutorial

I didn't get to watch as much of the Olympics as I wanted while I was on vacation - not that I'm complaining. (I mean, it's vacation! Not watch-TV-ation!) I did turn on the television long enough to catch Brazilian gymnast Daniele Hypólito perform her floor routine. While her five-step stumble was heartbreaking to watch, her eye makeup is still generating a buzz on the internet.

Her makeup is a nod to the Brazilian flag, but it's just so fun that I think people in other countries could wear it too! Want to replicate it? Keep reading.

Makeup Used

  • Matte foundation
  • Light, peachy blush
  • Black liquid liner (for the upper eye) and black eyeliner pencil (for below the line)
  • Black mascara
  • Yellow, Lime Green, and Blue eye shadow - I used CoverGirl Eye Enhancers in Gold Sizzle and Lime Alive, and the lighter blue of L'Oreal Paris HiP in Showy
  • Optional: Sheer or nude lip gloss 

Feel free to change the order of some of these steps. I like to do my eyes in a particular order (liner, shadow, mascara) but not everyone else does it the same way I do. Do what you are more comfortable doing!

  • Apply foundation
  • Brush on blush onto cheekbones and apples of cheeks
  • Apply liquid liner to eyelid, ending in a wing (or cat-eye)
  • With black pencil, apply liner to waterline
  • Apply yellow shadow to brow bone
  • (If necessary) Lightly apply blue shadow to eyelid if you need to darken the shade of your green like I did, then apply lime green shadow from the inner corner to the middle of your eyelid. Otherwise, just apply lime green from the inner corner to the middle of your eyelid
  • Apply blue eye shadow from the middle of the eyelid to the outer corner. If you had already applied a light amount of blue, you will need to do a second layer just to get the bold color
  • With a clean brush, brush over the eye shadows. This helps them blend together
  • Touch up eyeliner if necessary
  • Curl lashes and apply mascara to both upper and lower lashes
  • Optional: apply lip gloss

And there you have it! If you saw another look that you want to know how to replicate, just comment, email me, or send me a tweet with a link to the picture!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Crafting: Five Rings Necklace

Good evening crafters! I hope you got to enjoy some Olympic viewing time today (especially to watch the Men's swimming events - those are my favorite!) I had to miss out today in order to rearrange the living room and some of the office so that our apartment would be more ready for our October arrival...only 81 more days until his due date, October 22nd!

Anyway, I made this necklace on Tuesday evening, and I wanted to show you how to do it too. It's so easy, and it's great practice on working with jump rings too.


  • Two noticeably different sizes of jump rings - you'll only need 2 in the smaller size and 5 in the bigger size
  • A 20-inch curb chain necklace
  • Small amount of 30 gauge wire in the same color as your jump rings
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutter

Lay out your 5 large rings and wire them together as follows:

  • Connect top 3 rings by wrapping them with 30 gauge wire. Repeat for bottom 2 rings
  • Connect the bottom right ring to the top right ring by wrapping them with the wire. Repeat for left ring
  • Using your wire cutters, remove the center link from your curb chain
  • Connect the 5 ring design to the curb chain using the two smaller jump rings
  • Wear your necklace proudly!

If any of these directions confused you, feel free to comment or send me a tweet and I will do my best to explain it better! And keep watching for my next Olympic-themed post, featuring the awesome eye shadow that gymnast Daniele Hypólito wore earlier this week!