Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet Leah!

Well, here she is, at long last! Leah May. She was born at 10:12 PM last night (Monday) after about 7 hours of nearly painless labor and one push. (Thank you, epidural!) That was the easiest of my five labors and deliveries. My other four babies weighed in between 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Leah? A whopping 8 pounds, 3 ounces!! Yes, that is more than a pound larger than my next biggest baby! I had no idea that was possible, but I am feeling mighty proud. (I always wondered what was wrong with me for producing such small babies). She has been a joy and an angel already and we just adore her. My next mission? Relaxing and enjoying the new baby-ness of this little gal every minute!

One little angel and one tired mama.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Checking in...

Still here! I'm used to delivering at 38 weeks, and now I'm 39 weeks + 1 day. I'm feeling overdue! I've spent the past week watching and waiting and noticing every pain/ache/feeling. Wouldn't it be nice to know the exact day and time to expect your baby to arrive? Well, it can't be long now, so I'll update when something happens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finishing up a few last things...

Remember these projects? Yes, I have finished them. Let me show you.

Here is the $5 rocking chair. It was so grungy and disgusting. I know it was quite old and I doubt it had ever been cleaned. But now, oh so pretty. I actually would like to add a decorative wood piece to the top center that I can glaze, but because of the curve it would have to be pretty small. I haven't found one yet that would work. In the meantime, I will just keep my afghan thrown over it.

I got the crochet pattern for this afghan from Attic 24, my favorite crocheting blog. If you like crocheting, flowers, beautiful colors, or England, you'll love this blog! By the way, I crocheted this last fall before I started in on the whole nesting thing. At that time I had NO other projects going. I am ambitious, but not quite ambitious enough to make this on top of everything else. :)

Here is Skyler's "parking garage". He just has so many large-sized vehicles, that his closet was a mess. My hubby built this shelf, and I painted it. Now he has the perfect spot to park his big cars.

Now my blue chair. You'll recall I let my sister-in-law have the other one. I LOVE how the color turned out. I LOVE how the detail turned out when glazed. I LOVE the colors of the fabric I chose. I DO NOT love how the cushion itself turned out. (Too thick, too square). I may have a bit of re-doing in my future. For now, though, the cushion stays.

And last, but not least, a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this little guy who turned 3-years-old today!! (Oh! How I just love that little face!!) Click here to read what I LOVE about this little guy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Photo by ME!

Last month I was reading House of Smiths. There was a post that totally INSPIRED me! It was all about how she took a Photo by You Workshop, taught by photographer Emilie Decker, to improve her photography. She showed before and after photos and I KNEW I needed to take this workshop. (I had just been pricing newborn baby photo shoots and was blown away by the price). I've had a nice camera for over a year now, but I ALWAYS shoot on auto, so it was time I learned anyhow.

I saw that her next workshop was soldout, so I contacted Emilie to see if she had a waiting list because I was sure I'd have my baby before her next workshop. I was BLOWN AWAY when she offered to do a one on one session with me, at my convenience! Talk about service!

Well, my workshop was this Monday and I feel like I learned so much! I now have the confidence that I can shoot in manual mode most of the time and have better photos. I also feel like I can now look at the lighting in any situation and know better how to use it.

I have been having fun experimenting and with taking photos and editing (using Photoshop Elements). Here are a few of them.

This is one that I took using the auto setting with the flash on. It's an example of my before photos. Not a bad photo, but the lighting is a bit harsh.

This photo came straight from the camera, shot with manual mode. (I used a reflector to lighten up the shadows on his left side).

This is the same photo as above, but I edited it a bit, using tips Emilie taught me.

Again, straight from the camera, shot in manual, no editing.

Same photo, but edited just a bit.

This photo was taken in auto mode, full flash.
Let's face it, my camera takes really nice photos no matter the setting.

This photo was taken in auto mode, with NO flash. By the way, NONE of the manual photos used the flash.

Manual mode.

Same photo, some editing.

Okay, so I just had to put these two photos side by side because I think the difference is amazing! It just goes to show that you don't need to use a flash if you know the right settings to use in manual mode.

Manual mode.

Same photo, with editing. I LOVE this boy! I LOVE this smile!

Manual mode.

Same photo, some editing.

Okay these next ones are so FUN! The kids were running through the sprinklers, so I saw my chance to get some candid, action shots. I took this photo in manual mode, right as Eliza was jumping over the sprinkler.

Same photo, some editing. Don't you LOVE the stop action of the water, and of ELiza jumping through it? I LOVE IT!!!
(Thank you Emilie!!)

I'm excited that I will be able to take newborn photos for myself. My sister had a baby on Monday, so tomorrow I'm going to take photos of him to practice. Yay!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Okay, I admit it. I'm tired, er, exhausted. I am now 36 weeks + 4 days, which if we go by the fact that I usually deliver at 38 weeks, means I have around 10 days left (!!!!) That sounds incredibly soon. But, considering all the aches and pains that go along with being this pregnant, maybe it's not soon enough. The past week has been on and off again with the weather. I did get my dresser painted, but it's not complete. I need to buy new hardware but I'm being frugal and I decided to wait until it goes 50% off again at Hobby Lobby. Also, the mirror needs to be done. We are probably going to put a frame of some sort around it. I plan to get to it soon, but this weekend has got to be garden weekend.
Okay, so here's a reminder of the before:

And here's the after:

You'll notice the old handles in some of the holes.

The color we went with is Crystal Aqua by Valspar. It is a latex paint, not a spray paint. I was trying different techniques here and I have to say that the easiest technique (and fastest) is still going to be spray primer (Kilz) and spray paint--a la All Things Thrifty. If I had to do it over, that's what I would do. It's hard to tell the color by these pictures. I should've taken a picture of it while it was still outside, but my camera's battery was dead and we weren't patient enough to charge it before bringing it in. Sorry! But, I do LOVE the color. It is a HUGE improvement to the old dresser!

Looking at all the projects left to do in my garage also makes me tired. Tuesday I was too exhausted to even think about sanding/painting even though it was (finally) nice weather. So I sewed instead (I had probably 12 pairs of jeans that needed to be skinny-fied or turned into shorts.)

Yesterday I pulled several items from the project pile and started priming them. Then I did something that filled me with relief. I called my sister-in-law to offer her one of my blue chairs, AND I listed a dresser (not pictured) on KSL. It sold today, so I've got that much more space in my garage and that much less work to do! Hallelujah!! But, I've got to get the rest of these things done in the next 10 days!! (We'll see...) I did start painting the two chairs today, and I finished painting the frames, bookends, and "parking garage". Now I just need to finish painting the two chairs, and finish 2 or 3 other projects that aren't pictured here.