Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cute Fish Purse

The day I saw this amazing fish purse, I knew I will make it one day. When Chinese New Year approaching, I needed to make a gift for a friend's granddaughter. She was adopted in China when she was a baby, now she is the love of the family and very healthy happy young lady (7yr old). I thought a cute fish purse is the perfect gift. Fish in Chinese culture is a wonderful symbol, especially around new year time, it represents abundant wealth and fortune and bless the family. What do you think of my version?
I just got a phone call from my friend the other day, and said her grand daughter loves the purse so much, asked whether she could bring it to school the next day! That totally made my day! What a wonderful way to use some of the small scraps! I didn't show it to little Caterpillar and Stubborn, knowing they would love it too much and won't let me mail it out. Now I know how it goes, I will make a smaller, yet even cuter one for my girl. Probably use some of my nice Chinese fabric.

I said before that I am in full nesting mood now. A couple of weeks ago, I brought out little Caterpillar's carseat, and decided to make a boyish cover for it. It was all pink and brown, very girly. So I got some sample fabric pieces from my stash, and made this simple cover. Finally I finished the edge with bias tape, and sewed the openings for the harnesses. Doesn't it look cute for a baby boy?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Dragon Year to all of you! Yay! I kept my baby inside long enough and he is actually a dragon now! =)

Even though I am on bedrest, I couldn't hold the urge to celebrate this most important Chinese holiday the traditional way. Well, I cannot really clean the house inside out, but I could do the laundry (even though I am not supposed to, according to my OB). Man, why did I let them sit for a week? I had to wash 3 big bags while cooking. Too much! But I really cannot let the dirty laundry gets to a brand new year. Traditionally, new year's eve dinner is the biggest. Family gathers together, eat delicious food and watch the parties on TV, and enjoy the fireworks around midnight. We normally have at least 4 cold dishes, 4 warm dishes, and dumplings. And we have to have fish, which represents abundant wealth in the coming year. My mom and my aunt normally cook some shrimps, slow cooked pork, fish and lots of different vegetable dishes. Sooooo good!

Well, I don't have enough energy to cook that much, and we didn't invite any friends over. So this is what I came up with after 4 hours hard work in the kitchen. Oh, don't worry, those are not wine, just some cranberry juice. Here are the cold dishes. These are just store bought smoked saugages, sliced and arranged nicely. Pan roasted peanutsThousand year eggs and hardboiled eggs (slow cooked with soy sauce, tea leaves and other seasonings). I appologize for this mess. This is what happens when you have a toddler helping you set up the table! At least she loved the tealeaf eggs.
Here are the hot dishes. To cut the stress down, I baked the baby back ribs the day before, and started preparing dumplings in the early afternoon. Don't these ribs look delicious? My friend came up with this recipe, and everyone loves it, now we all cook it. This flunder came out surprisingly good. I used the marinating sauce for the ribs instead of soy sauce. It has more flavor and the fish is not overcooked and kept its shape. Yeah!Here is just some simple stirfried vegetable. Not my favorite, but Stubborn loves it! Isn't that the point? To feed and satisfy your family?And here are the dumplings. For the new year, I made them from scratch. Lots of great stuffs in there, Chinese cabbage, green scallion, ground pork, shrimp, eggs, smoked mushrooms, with soy sauces, five spices, and sesame oil. I made the skins too, they don't look that good, but so delicious! I put so much energy in them, so imagine how sad I was when little caterpillar won't even try them! Well, what can I do? She is a very stubborn toddler. At least she loved the ribs and fish.
And here is a pic of my little girl with mommy! Such a rare oppotunity, Stubborn offered to take a picture of us. Sorry I cannot show you the faces.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, holiday or not. And hope you all enjoyed your dinner like we did. Wish you didn't have to cook as much. I was exhausted! But it all worth it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Everyone Is OK

We had to go to hospital last night. My baby boy normally is a very active and great kicker, so when he didn't kick much for 24 hours, we freaked out! He normally kicks happy and hard when I wake up, after every meal, and when I lie on my side. But he didn't kick until 2pm, after hours of me walking around, petting him, talking to him, drinking lots of cold juice, etc. Even when he finally kicked, he only kicked less than 2 minutes, then hours of quiet again! Finally I couldn't take it any more, and called the hospital after dinner. We had to wake up little caterpillar to drive to Boston, she was such a good sport, didn't cry, just jumped up and happy to "go out". Well, what you know, as soon as they put the monitors on my belly, he started kicking! WHAT?! It turned out he did a 180 on me, totally changed his position. Maybe he was tired from that, or he was kicking different spots which are less sensitive. I was so relieved to hear his heart beats and see him happy as a clam on the ultrasound. I even saw him practicing breathing. What a good boy! Even though you made all of us worry and went to hospital for nothing, we are all so glad you are ok. Oh, did I mention it was snowing very hard when we left the hospital? Stubborn drove so carefully. Lucky I didn't insist to drive to hospital by myself. He is a much better driver in these stormy situation. We couldn't even see beyond 50 yards on highway. Everyone was driving in single line, since the highway was cleaned up yet, we could barely see the marks on the ground. Anyway, we are all safe and happy, and life back to normal again. Hopefully he will stop scarying mommy and daddy again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wonderful Tutorial

Found this wonderful Continuous Bias Tape tutorial on No Big Dill today. This lady is absolutely genius and classically stylish. Just love her and all her beautiful girls and that precious new baby boy. OK, back to the topic. I made my own bias tapes most of the times, but they are not really bias, since I didn't want to waste any fabric. While when your tape is not really on bias, it's hard to turn corner. I will definitely try this technique and make tons of colorful bias tapes. Too bad I don't have the machine she used, guess I just have to stand in front of the ironing board and slowly iron them with my manual tools. Well, that machine will be on my next birthday wish list.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pregnancy Glucose Tolerance Test Side Effect

Had my 1 hour glucose tolerance test lasf Friday. It was a new one, I didn't need to fast! Had early lunch and went for the test and my OB visit. I felt completely normally after the test, even spent a couple of hours chatting with co-workers and friends at the office. The drive back home was very slow, but I thought I was just tired. But the next morning when I woke up, I felt like crap. I noticed some of my joints started getting painful, I had that with little Caterpillar too. But Sat morning, the pain in my hips area was almost unbelievable! And I felt nauseated, exhausted, headache, and depressed! As a matter of fact, I cried so hard thoughout the whole day! Stubborn didn't get it at first, but then I told him I got so worried that our baby boy might come out too early! At only 30wks, he will survive, but probably will have to spend months in NICU, and might get lots of problems. I have never felt so bad and depressed ever, not even when they told me I was 2cm dilated at 31wk pregnant with little caterpillar. I was so tired, took long long naps, and went to bed much earlier. Today I woke up felt much better, so happily I went downstairs and cooked some nice breakfast for the family. But 2 hours after breakfast, I collapsed in the sofa again, feeling like carrying tons of bricks. Ended up taking an 4 hours nap without lunch. Then had only 1 slice of pizza for dinner, and felt like dying again.

After some research online, I feel a little better knowing that I am not the only one had these kind of side effects after these tests. But most women had the symptoms within hours after drinking that orange stuff, while I was fine that day, and having these long effects for 2 days so far. Stubborn just checked my result online, guess I failed. Now I am terrified I will hear from my OB's office to schedule the 3 hour test this week. I almost collapsed in the waiting room during the 3hr test when I was pregnant with little caterpillar. So, if I have to go back for it, Stubborn has to go with me, so I won't collapse while driving.

I am still feeling so bad now, but at least I know what it is now, I am not as worried. And my boy has been kicking strong and hard throughout the day, so I know he's doing just fine. Just feeling guilty that I cannot keep up with my little girl, and had to ignore her calling. Even videotaping her playing and singing for 5 minutes made me exhausted. At least 6 more weeks before my boy reach full term, my girl might feel lonely for a long time. How on earth do other moms handle them during pregnancy?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Orchid Update

More of my orchids opened up! Aren't they just precious?
This one is about to open in just several days. It will be so lovely, all bright yellow dancing ladies!
This is not orchid, but my little gold fish. It's just so cute, and has been blooming for a long time. Small, but cute!
And all my Dendrobiums are still going strong, so is my Hawaii.
It's so nice to have something so pretty to look at when it's cold and gray outside. So now, do you want to grow some orchids now?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Living Room Update

Even though I am supposed to be on bedrest, I still cannot control my nesting urge sometimes. Months ago, I bought enough materials for two toy shelfs for the living room, but only had energy to build one. But now I cannot stand the toy mess in the living room any more, I had to finish the second one. Since I cannot lift heavy stuffs, I just painted the boards in the basement, then brought them upstairs one by one, and finish building it right in the living room. Here is the before picture of the west wall of the living room. What a mess! When did I get all these toys for just one girl!
We don't have a family room or a separate room to set up as little caterpillar's playroom, so I have to make this small living room a multi-functional room. Here is the after picture, kind of. Well, it's not all done yet, but it does look more organized. Now everything has its own spot. The shelf on the left is the new one. Look closely, you can see it's not done yet. I need to trim the sides a little bit to make it even with the first shelf, paint the raw edges, and polyurethane it. Look at the height difference here, it doesn't bother Stubborn or little caterpillar, but it really bugs me! But I am exhausted, and it doesn't worth risking having my baby premature. So, it just have to stay this way until this baby is out.
Here is what the left side looks like now. I made that alphabet art a couple of nights ago. I found it online, and printed out the individual letters, cut them out, and taped them to a piece of white board. So easy! Cannot remmeber where I found it online though, it was months ago. Whoever created this art originally, THANK YOU! My girl loves it! The blue floral bins on the upper right shelf are so easy to make also. They were just these boxes from BJ's. I built these toy shelves 18" deep to accommodate her music table and some other big toys, and these free boxes are the perfect size. Some self-adhesive shelf lining paper and several minutes later, this is how it looks like! Much better! And each of these bins costs me about 50 cents! I just need to make some pretty labels for them. They each hold a different type of toys, like building blocks, musical toys, pulling toys, teaparty toys, etc.
This is the right shelf. As you can see, her favorite toys are on top of the shelf, so she can play with them anytime she likes, without digging or pulling them out of big boxes. And notice I removed the horse painting, and tied a piece of yarn to display her arts. Aren't they cute? Little caterpillar is very happy to see her masterpieces proudly displayed on the wall!

Before I show you the other side of the living room, I have to show you some of her toys! I just love wooden toys! Almost all those plastic toys came from friends! Look at these, my girl is more into cars, airplanes and dinosaurs than dolls!
She loves that cashier machine, and sings to that microphone all the time. And everytime she sees someone playing piano on the TV, she starts playing along on her little piano. So cute! We might need to get her a real piano in a couple of years.
These globes are my favorites. I can show her where grandparents and other relatives live. The big and midium ones are from thrift store, the tiny glass one was a party favor from a wedding.

OK, now the east side of the living room. This is how that tiny corner looked like during the holidays. I wanted to set up a painting table there, so I took down the xmas tree 2 days after. Moved the animal alphabet art up a little bit, so I could hang the little DIY blackboard and some buckets right under it. Now she can do coloring, finger printing, and draw with chalks on the blackboard, right at one table! The activity bag hanging on the wall holds her coloring books. All I need is a walllamp above it. It's kind of dark. I love this ikea lamp very much, but not enough to drive 1hr to get it. I will get it next time we go there for more stuffs.

There you have it, my living room is taken over by my girl! And I am happy about it and supporting it. This is the exact situation I said I won't allow before I had her. But you know what, my love to my baby totally won! I don't mind toys in the living room any more, just need to have them under control!