Friday, August 17, 2012

Baby update

So yesterday was my official due date. . .and it came and went with no baby in sight. :(

I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday morning and she stripped my membranes, which I'll spare you the details of since it was equal parts uncomfortable and strange. Stripping membranes (sidenote: how cool of a band name is that?) is supposed to be a last-ditch effort to kick-start labor, but so far I've felt nothing since I've had it done. Which depresses me on two levels:

1.) I was really, really looking forward to meeting our baby girl already! I know it's pretty unrealistic to expect she'd come on her due date (especially since only 5% of babies make their grand entrance on the actual day), but still, I hoped she'd be in that 5%. Or even better, I had hoped we would have her early, like around J's 30th birthday on August 10th. That would have been the ULTIMATE birthday present. Unfortunately, I had no baby to give him. . . just a barbecue I picked up at Home Depot. While it's nice he finally has a grill, it's really no substitute for a baby.

2.) If labor doesn't start on its own, I'll have to be induced next week. It's a fairly routine procedure, but for some reason the prospect of being induced still scares the living crap out of me. Not like regular labor and delivery doesn't (you want me to push what out of where?!), but this is like icing on the cake. If, in the off-chance, induction doesn't work then they may need to do a C-section since I'll be in the hospital already and all hooked up to everything.

So for now I'm just sitting here, hoping (praying?) that labor starts on its own. Of course, now I've probably jinxed it and I'll have to wait till Wednesday for the induction, but the longer this whole process drags out, the more scared I get. I really want to avoid a c-section unless absolutely medically necessary. I have no idea how my body will react to the Pitocin drip they'll hook me up on to get my contractions started. I have no idea how the Pitocin may affect the baby. Thinking about these things and more just gets me doubly anxious, which I know isn't good for baby. I'm trying to keep myself preoccupied and calm -- I read, I write, I shop -- but now that I'm past the 11th hour it's so hard to focus on anything since my mind keeps wandering back to all this.

Friday, August 10, 2012

It could be a lot worse . . . or a lot better

I hate it when people say "Well, it could be a lot worse."

Yes, I admit, I used to be one of those people who would say that. More often than I realized. But if you think about it, it's such a trite, meaningless thing to say. All it does is temporarily make you feel better about whatever tragedy -- great or small -- you're currently going through. Kind of like religion.

Of course it could be a lot worse. Anything could be a lot worse. But most of us don't live a life of extremes where things are either catastrophic on a daily basis or so Technicolor that you need a pair of RayBans just to see through all the everyday joy. Most of us live somewhere in the middle -- a place where, in general, everything is usually copacetic (save for the occasional cancer scare or pet death).

Maybe my hatred of the whole "It could be a lot worse" platitude is that not only is it said just to make one's self feel better about whatever substandard state of affairs is happening, but it's also a way out. "It could be a lot worse" means "hey, my lot in life isn't so bad . . . I should be happy with this crap job/crap relationship/crap haircut." But why? Why should you be happy just because you're employed, just because you aren't alone, or just because you're not wearing a wig like Kim Zolciak? Maybe it's better being unemployed and exploring what it is you actually do best. Maybe you would be better off alone. Maybe you would even look better wearing a wig.

"It could be a lot worse" is like spoon-feeding yourself mediocrity. It demotivates you to do better, be better and live a better life. It's time to admit that sometimes circumstances just suck or don't go your way. Such is the way of life. But instead of climbing into a nice, comfortable pool of "it could be a lot worses", the kind of pool that makes it easier for you to settle your standards, why not say "it could be a lot better"? Maybe you could make more money, drive a better car, be in a better relationship or hang out with higher quality people -- people you actually consider "real" friends, not just ones you say are friends but secretly detest.

Perhaps a healthier way to think about it is somewhere out there, right now, someone is being born with a terrible birth defect that will affect the trajectory of the rest of their life. From their first breaths in this world they never had a chance like yours. Somewhere else out there someone is dying of starvation or terminal cancer or some degenerative disease with no cure. Do you think any of these people would want you using them as a reason for why you should feel better about yourself? Of course not. They'd kill to be in your position. One where you can actually change things because unlike them you have a chance at tomorrow. So forget about what's worse. Seize the way you can make it better.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Antiquing a French Provincial table on a budget

I've been on a Francophile kick lately for the baby girl's nursery theme: French Garden.

Over the past few months I've collected things here and there to try and make this nursery as calm and dreamlike as possible, but furniture was the one area that proved frustrating. I'd love more than anything to waltz into Pottery Barn and scoop up anything I want from their nursery collection, but money is a little tight with all our home remodels, and spending a grand here and there on nursery art and furniture just doesn't seem like the responsible thing to do. Luckily my parents bought us a beautiful new baby crib as a gift, so that was taken care of but I still needed a sidetable and a rocking chair.

After exhausting all searches on the Internet, I hit up my local consignment store looking for any type of table that I could modify. My only requirement? That it have French Provincial legs. Surprisingly these types of tables are more obscure than I thought, but just as I was about to leave the store empty-handed, I noticed this little hutch on provincial legs hiding under a rolled up rug:

(Ignore that goopy stuff on it. This was taken after we brought the thing home and slathered on some stripper compound to get rid of that awful Grandma patina walnut stain.) Grandma-furniture coloring aside, I saw major potential in this piece, especially with the adorable beveled detailing on the drawer and the steel mesh grids on the doors.

Since I'm conveniently pregnant at the moment, I had J work with all chemicals to antique this thing back to life so it would fit in a little girl's nursery. Like the diligent husband he is, J got to work stripping off the icky veneer. . .

This part took about two hours in 90-degree temps. Ugh.
Stripped and ready for painting. Much better already!
After perusing various design blogs, I decided to have J spray my little table with Rustoleum's "Heirloom White" paint in satin. I'm absolutely obsessed with this color -- it's a slight off-white with no yellow undertones like other off-whites. Two cans of spray paint and a sanding around all beveling and curves later, the final product was magnifique!:

Nice legs.
Love these curves.
The perfect nursery addition.

Materials Breakdown:

French table: $65
Stripper: $5
Mineral Spirits (to clean stripper off): $10
Two cans of spray paint: $8
Sandpaper: $4

Total Cost: $92

At just under a hundred dollars, I would say this project was a success! Especially considering that it was a solid wood piece and a hundred bucks barely gets you a heap of particle board at Target. We're currently at work antiquing a vintage rocker I found at another consignment store -- pics coming soon.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin