Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Photos of What I've Been Doing

So now that I'm not pregnant anymore (thank goodness!!), I've got so much more energy! There are so many projects that I want to get done, most namely getting the house finally decorated. We've been here in Florida for almost three months now, and our entire front room (dining/living) is still filled with boxes of all my knick-knacks and decorations. So I'm just itching to get it done. Unfortunately, taking care of a 16-month-old and and newborn leaves me little time to actually do anything. I'm pretty much limited to about 2 hours a day, when Riley is napping, and hopefully Noah cooperates and is doing the same.

Anyway, I've got numerous projects that I'm trying to complete all at the same time. First is the family room. Here are some photos of what I've accomplished in there. I'm lucky to have some built-in shelves to accessorize- much easier and more "baby-proofed" than furniture. The whole bottom section is devoted to baskets for toys- I'm still getting used to having to work those into my decorating- primary colored plastic just doesn't necessarily fit my style!

Next are the two kid's rooms. I'm sort of working on both of them simultaneously. Riley is technically still sleeping in the nursery, so some of his stuff is still in there and some of it is now in his "big-boy" room. My first step for the rooms was to make curtains, then I'll decorate the rooms to match. I bought these two adorable fabrics online. The first are Riley's curtains, and have vintage nursery rhyme images on them. His walls are minty green on two walls and yellow on the other two. The second are Noah's curtains, and have vintage alphabet illustrations on them. His walls will be (haven't been painted yet) a light salmon-y orange and a country blue. I still plan to make a bedspread for Riley's toddler bed and to make a slipcover for Noah's crib bumper to match the curtains.

Then, I'm also trying to get back into doing some artwork. I need to get a book started for Noah, and also do some catching up in Riley's book. And Pam, I've still got your book to work in- I promise I'll get to it soon!! On a side note, I know that I haven't posted artwork here for so long. The reason is that most of the artwork I've done for the past six months or so is going to be in my book, so the publishers don't want me to show it. But now that I'm finished with the book, I'll be able to start showing it again- yay! I hate not showing my art, because it sort of messes with the continuity of my website, etc., since most of the art I do flows in a timeline. But, I digress... Anyway, yesterday I was able to begin Noah's book. I plan to do a two-page spread about his birth, and I got one of the two pages done (again, during Riley's two hour nap!). Here's a snippet of that page. Once I finish both, I'll show the whole spread.

And finally, of course the biggest project I've been working on is raising my two kids! That is going great so far. Riley's adjusted really well, and Noah is still proving to be a pretty good baby. We've been doing lots of things with my sister and her two kids, which is really nice because it gives Riley some other interaction during a time when he otherwise may be feeling a little neglected. So here are some photos of the two of them. It's amazing how few photos I've got of Noah compared to what I had of Riley at this age, but I guess that's the curse of being a second child. At least the one's I've got of him are cute!

Before signing off, I'd like to thank all of you for the support and wonderful comments and emails you leave for me. I'm sorry that I'm not the greatest at responding to them all, but please do know that they are very appreciated. I have a hard enough time responding to emails from my mother at this point, so I hope you can understand....!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Introducing Noah Benjamin Moortgat...

Noah Benjamin Moortgat
February 6th, 2007
5:06 AM
9 lbs. 8.5 oz.
20" long

He's here! And a day early to boot! I was scheduled to be induced Wednesday the 7th, but on Monday night I went into labor, and he arrived Tuesday. It was a quick labor, only about 7-8 hours from the very first contractions. I wasn't even sure it was the real thing until about 2:00 AM, and when I got to the hospital, I was already 6 cms. dilated. Unfortunately for me, everything progressed so quickly from that point that there was no time for me to get an epidural. Boy, I thought I knew what pain was until I had to deliver a 9 1/2 pounder naturally! I'm fortunate it all happened so quickly because I seriously couldn't have taken more than a couple hours of that! But he is here, safe and sound, and I am recovering extremely well, much faster than I did with Riley. And in the end, it's sort of a nice thing to know about myself- that I could handle it.

So, I may be biased, but I think he is an extremely handsome boy! He definitely takes more after Daddy than me-he has got jet-black hair, olive skin, and dark eyes. I guess we'll see how much of that changes over time, but it's interesting to have two kids so different-looking, since Riley is much fairer like I am. He has a very sweet disposition so far, much like his big brother did when he was born.

And speaking of big brother, Riley definitely seems curious about this new family member, but doesn't seem to be upset about the change yet. It helps that he is getting lots of attention from Grandma and his aunts right now, too.

So, anyway, here are some preliminary photos- he's just starting to open his eyes today, so hopefully I'll get some nicer ones in the next few days. Thanks for all the well wishes that I've received in the past couple weeks, and I'll keep you all updated!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Six Things...

Well, I was tagged a couple weeks ago by Kathy, and am finally getting around to listing six strange things about myself! Perfect thing to get my mind off my huge tummy and aching back! (More about that after my list.)

1. I have a very unnatural aversion to tags, especially clothing tags, but really just about any tags. Almost everything I own has had the tag taken off. There's just something about them that literally grosses me out! And when I take them off, I can't just throw them on the top of the trash, they have to be covered up so that I can't see them next time I throw something away! Who knows where this wierdo trait came from- maybe just because I'm a perfectionist and seeing a tag on something disrupts the perfection to some extent- who knows?

2. When I was in high school, my absolute favorite actress, to the point of obsession, was Katharine Hepburn, and in college, Barbra Streisand. Needless to say, I was considered a bit of an oddball by my friends.

3. My favorite kind of music is Broadway and soundtracks from movie musicals, as cheesy as it all is. I just love to sing along! Again, see above item for what my friends think of me...

4. I dip my pizza into Ranch dressing and put ice in my milk.

5. Being an artist and a former custom framer (both which should qualify me as somewhat of a color expert), I cannot for the life of me pick out proper paint colors for my walls, much to my chagrin. I'm never satisfied with what I've chosen, and quite often end up repainting because it drives me so crazy.

6. If something falls on the floor while I'm driving (like my purse spilling over, etc.), I have to pick everything up immediately and not wait until I've stopped. As unsafe as it is to try to lean over and grab the things while driving, I cannot stand to let the mess sit until I'm stopped.

I'm sure I've forgotten some weirdo traits that are much more exciting than these, but these are what came to mind when I sat down to write... And anyone I can think to "tag" to make their own list has already done it on their blog, so I guess the chain will stop here....

So the next post from me will be my "new baby" post! I am not due until Feb. 14th, but we are going to induce this Wednesday, on Feb. 7th, and not a moment too soon in my opinion! I am pretty much incapacitated these days- can't handle doing anything other than just sitting. My back aches like crazy, all of my muscles are sore, and my stomach is stretched to the limit. And lucky me, in the last couple weeks I've developed a condition called PUPPP, which is characterized by an insanely itchy rash/hives all over my stomach and also a little on my arms and legs. Aargh!! I swear, the first thing I'm going to say when little Baby comes out is, "Thank God I'm not pregnant anymore!" But luckily, I've only got a few more days of this, and then I can start appreciating the little bundle who put me through it!

And in other news, I am officially done with the writing of my book- hooray!! What a relief! At this point, I just have to do some author edits, which should be pretty easy. I absolutely can't wait to see what it's going to look like. I haven't seen any design on it at all (other than the cover, which I designed), so that will be a lot of fun to see. And since I've finished it, I've actually had the time to do a few pieces of art, which is so nice after having abandoned it for so long. Sometime soon, I'll take photos to post here- I'm sorry there's been such a lack of artsy entries here.

Okay, well, that's it for me. Please keep me in your thoughts on Wednesday, and I'll update as soon as I can to show off the newest member of our little family!