Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

The Absence of PMS

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 11:10 pm on Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shin out of the blue– “That means you didn’t have PMS for a long time”
Annie- “Really? How am I?”
Shin- “You’re a much happier person.”

Quilting at the Hull

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 12:25 am on Thursday, September 25, 2008

Well, the baby quilt is coming along very nicely. I just started this quilting class two weeks ago through the local adult school. It’s my first time quilting and I love love love it. Picking coordinating fabrics, measuring, cutting with a rotary knife and a straight edge, piecing, and seeing how these stringy, flimsy pieces of cloth become something beautiful and kaleidoscopic has been absolutely thrilling.

Part of the fun of this new craft is that I can’t predict how it will turn out. I like colors but haven’t learned how to work with different patterns. It really takes some boldness. Of course Shin has solved that by having me scan my fabrics and make mock-ups. It’s been practical but also kind of like fishing with that doodad that tells you where all the fish are… takes some fun out of it, but for now it’s a good tool.

I remember the first day I went fabric hunting at Joann’s for baby quilt number 1. I kept gravitating towards this retro mix of browns, turquoise blues and yellow greens. I like those colors. But it’s a common and outdated color scheme for me. After 2 hours of hesitation I just committed to them because I didn’t like anything else. I went in the car and realized I was wearing those colors, and then put on my sunglasses (that my sister gave me) and those were also the same colors! I wanted to puke. I didn’t know why I couldn’t get out of that box. But anyhow… that’s a tangent….

My quilting teacher is this amazing, lady who I’m pretty sure is well into her 60’s. She runs an amazing set of classes, knitting, crocheting, quilting, something and something else. She’s witty, skilled, funny. Her quilting class alone has almost 45 students, taking up two, connected junior high classrooms. Her class sessions are a workshop/social club.

The very first day there were women who already had seats saved for each other just to gab while they work on intricate, sentimental, experimental, and artistic quilt projects. And that’s part of the lovely thing about this class is everyone has a different direction. There were only about 12 of us who really had never quilted before. The majority rolled in with their totes complete with not-so-portable sewing machines, although the teacher has 5 walls lined with Singers and Berninas.

So… I’m learning how to use the Bernina machines. Up till now I’ve used my Singer which was given to me when my grandmother passed away. She didn’t leave it in a will for me. The family just sort of decided I should have it and I’ve grown fond of it and used it well throughout high school until now.

But recently I started glancing at sewing machines here and there… just checking prices when I’m in the stores, seeing what the newer models look like, what they’re capable of. It wasn’t official research just… a very tiny thought of having a new machine- maybe one that I own the manual for. I looked for the online manual on this one and couldn’t find any free ones. I’d have to pay $15 for a booklet and didn’t think it was worth it.

A funny thing happened today. I called my mom to chat. She didn’t know I started quilting until I told her today. She told me that her friend received a Kenmore sewing machine as a wedding gift more than 25 years ago and never once used it. For some unexplainable reason- she decided to give it to ME! Except for dust it’s brand NEW! I told Shin over the phone and the first thing he said was, “God knows the desires of your heart.” I feel like God remembered me. He has totally overwhelmed me with His kindness.

And I really like quilting. A LOT.

A Perfect Day

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 11:11 pm on Monday, September 22, 2008

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I started the morning with God memorizing Psalm 15. It starts out, “Lord who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” That’s a good question. It gets answered in the rest of the Psalm so I thought it would be wise to commit that to my heart. Then I continued working on the baby’s quilt that I started last night. He urged me to make a digital mockup of the design so I followed his suggestion and very glad I did. It’s working out great to have a visual of the finished quilt. It really helps with sewing quicker and not having to make design decisions as I go.

In the early afternoon I had my ob/gyn appointment. This was my 8th month checkup. It went exceedingly well! I only waited 20 minutes before being seen (as opposed to one hour last month). I weighed in at 142.5 lbs and I’m on target with my weight gain. If I gain 1lb per week until my due date I’ll be right within normal weight gain which is 25-35lbs.

The baby is head down!! This is really an answered prayer. I’ve also diligently been sleeping on my side and trying to walk a lot and lean forward whenever possible rather than semi-reclining. This means he might stay that way and labor and delivery will already have a good head start! (pun identified)

In the evening the family went out to eat (no cooking or dishes to do!) and I ordered hot stone rice bowl which is one of my favorite korean dishes. Then we walked next door to the Korean bakery and bought more delicious pastries! And after coming in from dinner my mother in law told me she already cleaned the house earlier so I just have to clean my stuff tomorrow!

I’m the happiest girl today! Tomorrow morning I fast and take my sugar test for gestational diabetes. I hope that goes well.

The Crib Search is Over

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 11:08 pm on Sunday, September 14, 2008

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This was an incredibly arduous thought process but I finally have peace! We chose a crib today! It’s called the Annabelle and it’s made by Million Dollar Baby. It has everything we were looking for, spring mattress support, smooth drop down rail, sturdy, nice design, mid priced, and surprisingly a roll out drawer on the bottom. It cost $280 at USA Baby.

We decided not to go for a convertible in the end. We’re going to try to get triple usage out of this and transition our kid into a teen or full size bed each round. It’s actually more economic than buying the expensive convertible bed multiple times, although I pleaded the scenario that this might be our ONE AND ONLY child and therefore we should give him the best bed.

It’s purchased. I’m going to mull over the color, antique white, ebony, espresso or pine, and call it in tomorrow. It’s kind of difficult because we don’t have a nursery so there’s no real “theme” until perhaps we move into our own home. For now the plan is to have the baby stay in our room and Shin can use the guest room when he needs a good night’s sleep.

After making our first big ticket purchase I felt overwhelmed with thankfulness as a parent that our baby will be born onto a comfortable new bed with mattress and sheets. God’s providence is so good my heart was moved.

But I’m also really thankful for the mom friends who have attended with great care and wisdom in my frivolous search for a crib. Your insights have really helped me to consider from different angles and I was able to purchase with absolute certainty and foresight. Thank you so much!!

Drop Down Rails

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 1:07 pm on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So yesterday I went to Babies R Us for about a 30 minute excursion before picking up my husband from work. I was specifically there to try out the drop rails on the cribs and see if it was still possible to find a good crib with stationary rails. I tried to remove my biases towards the manufacturers based on who flunked or aced the ratings in Baby Bargains. I wanted to let the cribs speak for themselves. I also tried to look beyond the aesthetics and appreciate function. As I inspected one crib after the other militantly I found that most of the drop rails were difficult to use, stuck, or derailed easily. That made the good ones stand out.

The Delta cribs- Their best products I thought were these two:
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The Jenny Lind Crib $119

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Jasmine 5 in 1 convertible $299
The only con: wooden platform supporting the mattress.

I had to be open to the possibility of single cribs, which are infant/toddler cribs and don’t convert to an adult size bed later.
I absolutely loved this one:

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Babi Italia LaJobi Pinehurst $299
The rail slides beautifully and the wood is really nice.

I think generally the downside to some of the drop rail cribs is that some of the lowest rail settings on the dropdown are the same height as a stationary rail crib so it amounts to the same strain of lifting a baby out of the crib. So the best cribs were those whose lowered railings bring you close to the mattress. Like the stationary cribs I liked, most were actually too tall for me. The Jardine coffee americana that I loved was the height of my belly button! That’s a few inches higher than my waist where I need to bend. I could use a stool but that would mean more strain because I’d be stooping lower to lift the baby.

So the only stationary rail crib I liked after considering my back was the Delta Soho 5-in-1 because the rail was a decent height for me. It’s convertible and not bad looking.

Delta Soho $329.99
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The cons: Reviews say it scratches really easily.

Forget the convertible. I should just get the cheapest best crib, the Jenny Lind by Delta. I know I’ll be happy once I don’t have to decide. Dang it.

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