Thursday, June 30, 2011

No Limits Pregnancy

For a few years now Will and I have been attending 5:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday classes at Lifetime Fitness. A combination of cardio and strength training, it supplements the additional cardio work we do during the week. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't miss a beat - over the years I've seen 4 or 5 fellow attendees' bellies grow to 8 lb. baby proportions - and continued the routine.

Imagine my amusement when, after telling our favorite instructor (now friend) Maria that I was expecting, she divulged that she was as well! With baby number two. I knew I would be in good company, and have plenty of support when crunches were no longer an option. Instead of thinking about Thursday's class as "No Limits Circuit," I've dubbed it "No Limits Pregnancy." I fully believe that attending has contributed to my easy pregnancy and general feeling of well-being. Thanks, Maria!

BTW - Maria is also author of a great children's book - check it out: Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Channeling my Iron Goddess

One year ago today, the The Heminger Flyers took on and conquered The Iron Goddess triathlon. My mom, my Aunt Barbara, cousin Molly, Aunt Robin, Aunt Bonnie and I swam, biked and ran our way to personal victories, cheered on by the loving men in our lives. So today, I thought I'd pause and reflect on where I was last year, where I hope to be a year from now, and how fortunate Baby Spurgeon will be to join this retinue of amazing women.

Here's to my Heminger goddesses... I love you...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Today one of my favorite little lads turns one. Happy Birthday, Charlie!

I just had to acknowledge this special day. It was my friend, Karyn (and Char's mom), who really got me thinking about having a baby. And whose own pregnancy (and now baby) blog inspired me to start Enlarging Marge.

Karyn also helped me make a pretty important decision . . . to go part-time after Baby Spurgeon arrives. Via her blog, I've watched Charlie grow from a small, helpless infant into a rambunctious, curious one year old boy. It all happened so fast. How could I miss those moments with my child?

So, to Karyn, thank you. And to Charlie - HAZZAH! You're ONE! Smash a slice of cake for me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nursery Musings

They were right. Third trimester sleep deprivation is real. Now, admittedly, I've had a pretty cruisey pregnancy. No morning sickness, no crazy cravings, middle-of-the-road weight gain... Yes, I did have some nasty RLP, but I wasn't debilitated. And I though I recently complained of having a titch of trouble sleeping, it's nothing like this. At 33 weeks, uninterrupted, luxurious sleep is a total novelty. And something I probably won't get for a very long time. What wakes me? Calve cramps. Gurgling stomach acid. Hip pain... All lovely topics.

What do I do during my hours awake? Well, not fulfill collar orders
or write thank you notes, which is probably what I should do. Instead, I focus on nursery decor and details. Why? Because I think I'm nesting. We've got the paint. The crib. The dresser/changing table. Grandma Betty is making my mobile. What else is there? Well, the accessories.

Like a chair. Will and I drove to Ann Arbor's awesomely adorable
, frighteningly expensive children's store, Elephant Ears, last weekend to test out a few pieces from Monte. Though beautiful, the Joya just didn't rock well on carpet, which is what Baby S has in her space. We liked the Luca and the Grano heaps (the reclining feature on the Grano means it would transition well to a living room chair). And they didn't carry the Vola or the Low-Rider.

Others on my radar include these chairs - none of which are available for testing anywhere near Milford, or Southeast Michigan. I'll be in Chicago this weekend though, and might be able to check them out there. That said, given that all of these pieces would set us back seriously pretty penny, I am giving a plain old non-rocking chair some thought. Or, a piece from Ikea...

Some other nursery tidbits I've bee
n late-night-musing?

This owl lamp from West Elm. Love it.

These prints from Etsy. All of which I love. We just have limited wall space so I have to choose carefully.

And these bird stencils for the ceiling. Which, I am happy to report, have been purchased by Grandma Betty. She's coming for a visit next week too - maybe we can get some painted...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Headed to HOW

This morning I hit the road and headed west - to the HOW conference in Chicago, a mega-gathering of graphic artists, freelancers, in-house managers and packaging designers.

(Side bar - next time I visit the Windy City, it will be with a little lady in tow. Weird.)

Though I was eager for the conference, traveling to and from caused a tad bit o' stress. You see, I was supposed to travel via train. Amtrak. Riding the friendly rails. No need to stop for bathroom breaks or to stretch my vericose laden legs. Board in Ann Arbor, arrive at Union Station 4 hours 36 minutes later. That is until Tuesday, when Amtrak emailed and voicemailed me (read in robo-voice)... "Due to speed restrictions between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, you may experience a delayed departure or arrival. For additional information, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Thank you."

Hmmmm. Suspicious. I called the number. Result? I now know the antithesis of a helpful customer service agent. Was it due to construction? Weather? How delayed? I got nuthin'. Thankfully, Brenna was on it and sent me this link about the dealio. Forced to adhere to 25 mph speed limits in West Michigan means mucho delays. Why? Because then the whole schedule is out of whack. Frieght travel goes on as usual, screwing over Amtrak passengers as they sit and wait for the 87 car train lumber across their path. The freight train message? "Sorry 'bout your bad luck, folks."

Because I was on a tight schedule - the train was due to arrive at 12 p.m. and my oh-so-important session (no really, it was a highlight, I'm a geek), Hard Core InDesign Tips, started at 2 p.m. - I needed to reconsider my options. Either leave Thursday night, risk it OR drive.

I didn't want to leave Thursday. I wanted to be home. Will had been in New York City for two days. I was going to be gone until Monday night. And I was staying with Aunt Sue - who has a life and wasn't expecting a house guest for an extra night.

As for risking it, interestingly enough, on Tuesday, a coworker's nephew was on the train from Chicago to Birmingham. And, right as rain, that boy was trapped on the rails for over 8 hours.

No thanks. Decision made. I was driving.

And so today I packed up the X3, pulled on the Depends (modeling my favorite astronaut) and hit the open road. Not really on the Depends. But, I did consider it. Sort of.

I'm sure when I get back I'll be inspired to write about the conference, and how much I love design and how lucky I am to have found a job in which I do what I love. But until then, I have some inspiration to gather, and some Grove Street roomies to dine with. Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Janie and Jack

I've been warned by the peanut gallery that because Baby S is the first grandchild on both sides of our families, she will be mercilessly spoiled by her grandparents. If these cheek-pinching-cute Janie and Jack outfits from Grandma Katie are any indication, I think the peanut gallery is right.

But seriously
people, given these china-doll adorable get-ups, why would this "spoiling" be a problem? No complaints here...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Landscape Magic

It was a rough, muddy couple of days, but Kurt and his Landscape Magic wand eventually pulled through (well, 98% of the way). Last week I reported on our landscape project and its kickoff. Well, it kicked off alright. Unfortuantely, in the rain. We can home last Thursday to a holy-mudslide-batman mess. If I'd been warned, I may have been alright with this. But telling an 8 months pregnant lady that you won't start work in the rain, and then changing the game plan without a warning? Not cool. Or safe. Or very professional, right?

Luckily, the following day called for clear skies. So we sat in the house, tried not to look outside, and hoped Kurt would showcase some serious Harry Potter by 6 p.m. Friday. And guess what - he did. We came home to a pretty awesome looking landscape situation. Yeah, we have some issues. But, I would have issues no matter how perfect it was. It's how I am. And we're working on the issues with Mr. Landscape Magic himself.

See the befores here...

Of course, all this needs heaps of TLC, so Will has been moving sprinklers and configuring watering systems for days on end. I love him. And I'm sure lucky he loves me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Four and Fudge

On Thursday, my sweet, simple, quiet son turned four. And of course, after celebrating Psycho Blonde's birthday back in March with a cake, we had to do the same for Lil Kipper. (BTW - psycho blonde = Owen. Not me. At least when referenced here.)

Instead of baking up a boring ol' meat cake, I went with a corn, carrot, peanut butter, honey concoction. You see, Kip has a sweet tooth and I wanted to cater to his delicate palate. Once out of the oven, I carved it up into a bone shape, added peanut butter frosting and cheese letters and lit five candles. Four for his years on Planet Earth. One for good luck.

 Much to my chagrin, Kip wanted nothing to do with the flaming piece of art in front of him. (Not surprising though. This is a dog who hides in a corner if you laugh too loud.) Owen didn't seem to have a problem though. Shocker. I decided to help Kip out with a tasty finger-fed-frosting sample. He seemed to get the drift, so I backed off.

But still, the candles. Looks happy, right?

Once we got rid of those, things turned around. Of course, Owen kept trying to sneak in for a sample. And 2 or three nibbles in, Kip was a happy boy. (Don't worry, he eventually shared with his brother.)
After all the fun, Will and I celebrated National Fudge Day with hot fudge sundaes. Call me Enlarging Marge, puhlease. Especially now that I can use my belly as a shelf.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Golf, Guests, Games and Gifts

Last weekend, Will and I headed to Edgewood Country Club at 2:30 for our couples shower, hosted by five fabulous ladies:Kerri, Linda, Karyn, Sue and Jen. We had an amazing time and garnered heaps of handy baby gear.

First, there was the golf. A three team scramble, with two "challenge" holes, organized b
y Kerri. The first challenge - longest drive "with a belly." All the players had to strap on a hefty "front" pack and swing away. The second? Longest drive "with a baby." Hold a baby and give it a whip. Kerri directed that players had to be mindful of Ms. Emma Sue's health, but could pretty much handle her as they pleased. Grandpa Bill's winning drive was accomplished after sticking the little lady down his shirt. Considering that was hole #7, and it was a toasty warm day, not sure about the health factor - but, we let it slide. Other questionable methods? Holding her by her feet, on the club, and swinging. Sticking her down one's pants, and the between the leg hold. Hmmmm...

The outcome? Tim, Grandpa Bill and Uncle Joe came in at #1. My team, with Kerri, Andy and David beat out the third placers, Will, Jason, Chris and Justin, by one stroke.

After the golf we gathered on the patio with a group of fabulous guests. (Of course, I have very few photos of the hosts - they were too busy playing paparazzi. Thanks, ladies!)

And after dining, of course there was gaming. A diaper race and word search/putting contest, resulting in what was possibly the most controversial shower contest Edgewood's ever seen. On the line? Which school's garb Ms. Spurgeon would don for the ultimate fall 2
011 matchup, happening October 15. When the Wolverines take on the mighty Spartans, would she be in maize and blue or green and white? Through game participation and victories, players earned chips, which they deposited in an MSU or UM bowl. The most chips at the end of the night determined the winning school. Now of course, the Spartans came out on top. And of course, the Wolverine fans cried foul. I will admit Grandpa Bob's bribery (dollars for chips, which were deposited in the MSU bowl) may have tipped the scales, but, my alma mater's 50 beat out Will's 43. Go Green! Go White!

And after gaming, of course there was gifting (and cake) - Will's favorite part.

It was a great day and I feel so fortunate to have such supportive, loving family and group of friends. (Not to mention girls that look great in the thank you Spartan hats I commissioned.)

Want to see more? Check out the slideshow below, or the Picasa album here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Landscape Love

If the weather cooperates, today is Kick-Off Spurgeon Landscape Project day. Though we've never been able to claim any manicured lawn prizes, the snow's exit this spring revealed yard that was seriously worse-for-the-wear. (And, one that made hormonal me shed some serious crocodile tears.) We'd been talking about investing in the yard for years and decided that before baby was the time to at least tackle a portion of it.

After obtaining three quotes, we hired Landscape Magic Kurt to swoop in and wave his wand over our sad sad situation. Little did we know his wand would seriously malfunction on the weather control part of the operation and our "late May" start day would become "mid June." But, the hour is upon us.

The plan? On the side, trim the tree that's growing off our house, tear up the lawn and current perennials, install a flagstone path and put in hydrangeas, rhododendrons, spreading yew, viburnum and sweet spire, and spread a heap of mulch.

In the back, around my raised beds - level and tidy the area around the boxes, spread pea gravel (good for bare feet) and create a containment system so gravel doesn't spill all over the yard.

And in the back, for the rest of the yard - tear up the existing grass, level the ground and install sod, increase the size of the beds around the evergreens and transplant existing plants to this area.

Stay tuned for the afters. I'm hoping for magic.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Putting it all together

Now that the guest room/office is set up, we've started in on the nursery. During last weekend's visit, the Breclaw grandparent duo assembled our Baby Mod Parklane crib and Ikea MALM dresser, which will double as a changing table. Both pieces look great. Fresh, clean white and simple lines.

We're going to stay with yellow as our primary color but are painting the built-in shelves a soft grey. Will launched in on that this week. I helped a little. But mostly wrangled dogs, fetched smoked almonds and Summer Shandy, and adjusted lights between updating Enlarging Marge posts.

My mom sent down a sample bird, since she's offered to tackle the mobile project (with Bob's help on the balancing). I love it. We'll use collar and crib skirt scraps for the remainder of the flyers.

Things are coming along. Now I just need to figure out if I want to add grey to any of the walls. What to do, what to do... Decisions are NOT my strong suit at the moment (and by moment I mean the last 8 months).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Showering Will

On Monday, Will headed to the conference room to attend an 11 o'clock meeting and instead of talking budgets, he was baby showered. His team, Jennifer, Amanda, Diane, Adina and Candi, surprised him with a Learning Care Group fĂȘte. Lucky guy!

We received a bag chock full o' practical goodies... washcloths, spoons, sippy cups, pacifiers, hooded towels, baby powder...

But I think
Will's favorite part was the cake. I nearly had to wrestle him to the ground to get a nibble. Thanks to the ladies at LCG! Thanks for keeping Will in line. And on the baby track.

Monday, June 13, 2011


31 weeks, 2 days and 41.75" 'round - complete with Grandma Betty giving Baby S some love. Lucky us!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shower withdrawal

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who attended our special Golf Scramble/Couples Shower yesterday at Edgewood Country Club. The weather cooperated, we had a great time on the course (especially on the "challenge" holes), the food was spot on and people were so generous in their gift-giving. We are incredibly fortunate to have such fabulous family and friends. We're definitely suffering withdrawal after such a lovely evening (and are a bit intimidated by the loot we acquired - where does it all go?!).

A special thank you to the Grove Street girls, Jen, Karyn, Kerri, Linda and Sue, who put together the bash. We've come a long way from Christmas lights and a keg in a kitchen... (Though if I'm honest, that Madonna/Michael party remains a stand-out.)

I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn't get many photos. But, the paparazzi was there and I've been promised file access. Hold tight for a shower scrapbook - hopefully posted later this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grandparent 101

My mom and dad recently engaged in some grandparent practice thanks to cousin Molly's brood - Maeve and Walter. Looks like Grandpa Bob will be all set to manage a little lady. (As long as he has a martini within reach.)

They arrived yesterday for the couple shower. The car was jam packed with lovely Betty-planted/Tony's-Greenhouse grown flowers. Pics to come.

This morning Grandma Betty came to our 31 week appointment and listened to Baby S's fast-beating heart. She'll also be present for the 34 week visit (she'll be in town for shower number two hosted by my work pals). Her fingers are already crossed that they'll do a quickie ultrasound to check Baby S's position. My fingers triple crossed Little Miss Sassy will be head down (right now she's sideways).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Room . . . CHECK

The upstairs to downstairs office + guest room project is complete, and just in time. Grandma and Grandpa Breclaw arrive today for Saturday's couples shower.

First, how it looked way before (and basically how it looked as a guest room) - with our darling Jazz . . .

Then, empty before (two weeks ago) . . .

And now, after . . .

Complete with a tag-team closet organization effort, which wasn't always pretty, but ended up pretty fabulous. We might be ready for a head-to-head with Clean House's Trish! Especially combined with the other closet in the room.

And, the new sleeper sofa fits perfectly. The sofa is super comfy - B&B will test out the sleeper aspect tonight. Stay tuned!

I am very happy with the results. I'll miss my upstairs sanctuary, but am ready to turn it into Baby S's special space. That project starts next weekend. Any volunteers?