Monday, March 26, 2012

Five Years

Five years ago, March 24 was also a Saturday. I know this because it was a pretty important day for us. We celebrated this day by staying up late the night before finishing our "Heroes" marathon and then reflecting on the last five years of our life. Saturday evening we had a kid-free date (to watch "The Hunger Games" -- yessir!!) and talk about where we see ourselves in five more years.

I have to say, our marriage now is absolutely nothing like our dating days. We were young and fresh, in romantic love and slightly adventurous. Now we are lazy and pessimistic, striving for steady and out of romance. But we are also a team, a partnership, friends. We are growing into each other and understanding one another. We are building a family together, and we feel like -- after five years of trial and error -- our life is finally beginning.

Happy anniversary, Jobi. Thanks for putting up with five years of the worst in me. Here's to five more, and a better me. For you. For us. I love you, now and forever.

38 Weeks

There are so many posts I am behind on
but I don't care anymore.
I'm tired.

I will work on them later
when I have energy
new motivation
the baby

But for now, I will just sleep.
The apartment will never clean itself.
I have to accept the grossness of that. For now.
This boy will never come when I tell him to.
I have to accept that too.
But pregnancy doesn't last forever, either.
Unless you're my mom and got pregnant +12 times in 20 years
or Jobi's great-grandma who spent her whole marriage in bed having 26 kids
or even the lady on "19 Kids and Counting"
who just joys in being a baby-making machine.

I know I'm still early according to my EDD so I have no reason to really be complaining.
But I honestly -- HONESTLY -- thought, and felt, and knew
that he was going to be born already. I thought my son and I
were on the same wavelength here.

I guess it was all just wishful thinking.

I guess Heavenly Father is trying to tell me that it's ok to wait
or that I'm not yet ready
or that my son is not yet ready
or that patience is a virtue

I don't know.

P.S. I don't want anymore kids on Maui. These OB/GYNs that I've had for the past 2 pregnancies are soulless automatons. (Thanks "Glee" for the terminology.) The only 2 Maui OB/GYNs I actually enjoyed were the one on-call who delivered Blondie, and the only male OB/GYN I know of on this island. And the dumb insurance switch took me away from them both.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My No-Sew Duct Tape Coin Purse

I saw this Japanese coin purse tutorial on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with it. I haven't seen a purse like this in a long time, and it suddenly made me go "I want!" But I don't have any snap buttons. Or an awl. Or a sewing machine. Or needle and thread for that matter. *sigh*

But then I remembered this no-sew tote bag made of fabric and duct tape, and I knew not all hope was lost. I could make it after all. Sorta. I think.

So I made one. Just today!
Here's what I did.

Materials and Tools:
.old, no-longer-used, toddler girls' shorts.
.fine-tipped marker (non-permanent -- though I doubt that's relevant).
.purse pattern, printed on paper and cut out (downloaded here).
.duct tape.

1. I cut the shorts so it became a single, long piece of fabric (removing the elastic made it much easier to work with)
the shorts before cutting -- soooo '90's!
While cutting up the shorts, I noticed the cut part got really frayed, and I knew that I'd have to fold the fabric down or else the frayed ends will get worse quickly.

2. I then traced the pattern over the fabric with the marker

3. Then I cut off excess fabric
you can barely see, but here are the marks and cuts
I took the cue from the original tutorial on how she cut around her sewing and made the same cuts on my single piece of fabric. It helped big time when I got to the ironing.

4. Next, I pressed the material with an iron
Random note: I don't use irons. I haven't bought an iron in years. Somehow my mother-in-law's old iron found its way into our stuff when we moved.
never mind the right side's curvyness

5. Afterward, I taped the folds down, starting with the edges, then covering the rest of the face

i just realized the right side is still off
-- jeez --
the outside of the purse

6. I cut up small, thin strips of duct tape and taped the corners from the inside. Then I folded everything down according to how the purse is constructed.
sorry it's dark

Like I said, I didn't have a snap button. I had other things I could've replaced the snap button with (spare 4-hole buttons, random strips of velcro), but also again, I had no needle and thread. So after walking around the apartment for a minute, I saw magnets on the fridge. A lightbulb went on, and I grabbed this one:
courtesy of Campaign Abercrombie
the goal: to remove the magnet from the clip

7. Jobi and I hammered the smack out of the clip until it broke into pieces ... and we could remove the magnet

Sorry, Neil... but we didn't vote for you anyway.
And with a stroke of luck, I found that the magnet was actually a small canister with TWO magnets! 

8. I taped the magnets in place
first with a tiny piece of tape
then with a strip of tape over
(i tested the magnets' strength through tape beforehand)
the bottom strip was longer and wrapped around
to look ... stylish??

Aaaaaaand.......... ta-dah!!!

a-a-a diva is a female version of a husslah!
never mind all the sides and corners that are still frayed
the folds didn't stay folded very well either

9. I decided to put it under a heavy object to hold everything together
I'll leave it overnight
Lessons Learned:
.if you're cutting up old clothes, avoid putting curved seams within pattern. curved seams suck.
.mark on the wrong side of the fabric so you don't see it.
.if you use right-handed scissors to cut duct tape, it's easier for the scissors (and less messy) if you cut the tape with the adhesive side facing you. careful, though; it's kinda awkward, too.
.duct tape doesn't fold very well.

And that's it. I can't believe I just made this today. I'm glad I had all these materials and scraps to test out. When I make this purse again (because I w.i.l.l. make this again!), I will most likely stay a lot closer to the original tutorial than my version. The original version is not too hard if you have any sewing skill at all, and I think everything will fold and stick much more smoothly that way.
Although I do like having magnets to snap the purse shut with. :-D
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Couldn't Help It

The weather has been rainy and cold all week. It's too perfect for this. The temptation was too great. I just had to make them.

I'm such a wimp, huh.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday Lesson

I dread Sundays when Jobi is at drill. Being fat and immobile while taking 2 toddlers to church is not the business, you know what I mean? Thank goodness Almonds is a Sunbeam now and Blondie loves nursery, otherwise I'd probably never go to church when Jobi leaves town.

Saturday I was incredibly exhausted from Thursday, and I almost resolved to just keep the girls home. But it was soooooo boring for all 3 of us, so I had to get them out of the house somehow. So I woke up, got us all fed and dressed, and lugged them off to church.

We sit in the front row, since that's the only row that's always occupied (big surprise?), and the girls like the front row, for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with sitting quietly and paying attention. So yesterday, like every Sunday Jobi's gone, we sit down, and instantly the girls put up a fight. Almonds jumps up and down the bench and looks for someone -- anyone -- behind her to talk to. Blondie darts off for the stairs leading up to the pulpit, and when I grab her she makes her loudest, most annoying, whiniest complaints so much that I can't hear anything anyone on the mic is saying. Screw it, I think to myself, and before the sacrament hymn is over, the girls and I are sitting out in the foyer. 

Blondie ran down the hall just as the other ward was getting out, and of course Almonds wanted to help and chased after her -- which left my big belly stuck behind the oncoming traffic. Luckily my cousin 'Ihi was in the ward coming out and spotted them both, so I thankfully didn't lose them. That was my first moment of gratitude. I don't know what I would've done if she weren't there and they didn't recognize her in the crowd. All doors to the roads were open, and there were loads of places they could've gone where I would lose them. It was a big sigh of relief knowing that once they saw 'Ihi, they came right back to me (with her help, of course).

Almonds wanted to go back into the chapel for the remainder of sacrament meeting. Blondie didn't -- but Almonds is bigger and always wins in the end. So back into the chapel we went, and while Almonds bolted to the front row, Blondie cried in my arms. I stayed in the back and watched Almonds slowly make her way back to me...

... then climb into a middle row and sit next to 2 ladies. 

One of them happened to be her Sunbeams teacher, but the other one she's never seen or met. I know the lady, of course -- she's in our Relief Society presidency -- but Almonds usually doesn't take to strangers. Ever.

Almonds sat with them the remainder of sacrament meeting while I rocked Blondie in the back of the chapel. They gave her paper to color, hairpieces to admire, and lots of hugs, and she would not leave their side. I didn't have to chase anymore. I didn't have to fight anymore. I could breathe.

Last week Sunday the 3rd-hour lesson was on not waiting to serve those in need, and these ladies did not hesitate to take care of Almonds so I can have a break. I don't think they even thought of me needing them to help; they just saw her walk by, talked to her, and then let her sit with them. It was a very small act of service, but it made a world of a difference to this tired and hopeless mom. My heart was full. My spirit was lifted. My soul had peace. Needless to say, the rest of church went smoothly -- Almonds followed her teacher to Primary, and I dropped Blondie off at nursery without a hitch. I even got to play piano in Relief Society for the "stranger lady" who gave the lesson, since she always plays and could use a break.

I forget how important we can be to others. No act of kindness is too small, and I was grateful to be reminded of that yesterday. Even if it's just a smile, a hello, a listening ear, or sharing,


I only hope I can be this for someone else... as much as I can. It's a great feeling, and if I deserve it, then so does everyone else.

And I can't finish this post without mentioning that Jobi's mom made dinner and brought it to us. We usually go to their house for Sunday dinner, but Jobi's dad said I need to stay home and rest, so his mom brought dinner to us. Maybe it was just Spoil Esther Day.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pregnancy Update

At 35 weeks, I have made a huge improvement on my gestational diabetes diet and was so proud of myself... until Wednesday. Last Saturday (the 34-week mark), I did laundry. The machines in our apartment are four flights below me, and the fastest way to access them is via stairs. So up and down the stairs I went, about five times, doing laundry. By the end of the night, Baby Chip dropped, and the pelvic pressure was painful.

I let the midwife know on Wednesday, and she checked to confirm and to see if I was in early labor. My cervix was open in the front but not in the back (which now I know means no effacement occured) so I just needed to take it easy. I don't mind taking it easy, but combating gestational diabetes is so much easier when you can exercise, and I knew then that exercising (even the 10-minute walking video I usually do) is no longer possible for me to do. So I went home that day planning to eat the Atkins diet... and Jobi bought me pizza.

Oh well.

Then Thursday, I started getting contractions that were coming closer and closer together. They started out at about 30 minutes apart and lasting 20 seconds, then progressed to 6 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. But they were still mild. I called the midwife anyway. I went in and got put on a stress monitor (a machine that measures your contractions and the fetus's heartbeat) for about 30 minutes. Then the clinic closed, so she sent me to the hospital. (Random, huh?)

I was hooked up at the hospital for continual monitoring for another 3-4 hours. They gave me an IV drip to see if dehydration was the cause of the contractions. Then they gave me a shot of tributaline to stop the contractions because the IV wasn't working. I've heard of tributaline before, but I didn't know it caused your heartbeat to race and your body to shake like crazy. I've never done drugs, but I imagine that's what your body feels like when you're rushing to buy a fix. When the shaking wore off, they discharged me with instructions to come back again if contractions get 5 minutes apart or closer.

Anyway, my cervix is completely open at 1-1/2 cm; I'm still not effaced; the baby is still low, and I threw my diet out the window. I've stopped paying attention to my contractions and decided that I'll only sound the alarm when they actually hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I loved lying in a bed watching TV for a few hours and having food get served to me by smiling, happy faces while someone else dealt with my kids (and husband -- hehehe), but in the end, I was exhausted, still in pain, and had nothing to show for it. And that was the most frustrating part. I wasn't really in labor; I was just having contractions. And I knew it.

Besides, they said if the contractions did NOT stop with the tributaline, they'd have to airlift me to Kapiolani Hospital on Oahu, since I'm not full-term yet and that's the only hospital in this state that handles preemies. And I definitely did NOT want that, especially for just mild contractions. So I'll be patient and wait silently for Chip to arrive.

But like I said, I'm 35 weeks now. Once he's full term (37 weeks), all bets are off.