I'm Ready

The bag is packed.
The crib is set up in our room and the car seat is installed.
The chest freezer is almost bursting with pre-made meals.
The house is clean.
The baby's room is painted:

The guest room trim is painted and shades and curtains are up.

Thanks Daria for all of your help!

The vegetable garden is in.

I even did some baby sewing. Here is a diaper changing pad and a sheet saver.

Yesterday was our due date. I've gone for 2 walks per day for a week. I've tried acupuncture and Mexican food. I've even tried some baby whispering--"I'm ready. We're ready. Are you ready?"

Taken one week ago, but the belly hasn't really changed much.

Do we look ready?

No baby yet

We are now getting the calls and emails filtering in to ask if the baby is here yet.

no, not yet. 5 days until the due date, but maybe 3 weeks to baby.

I'll distract you with this Purple Sensation allium flower. I love how blooming alliums look like a little firework that exploded.

Great Date

Ben and I decided late last week to go on a date day to Milwaukee. We usually go camping in May--for his birdwatching and school year unwinding and before the parks get really crowded. But, this year, sleeping on an inch thick mat on the ground and trying to get in and out of a low tent just didn't sound that great to me. I have the mattress at home propped up and so many pillows in the bed that Ben can barely fit as it is. Anyway...we also like to do fun day trips to the city, so we thought we'd tuck one more in before our schedule is run by a little one.

The keys to a great city date are to make lots of plans for fun things to do, and then not follow your plans, but to go with the flow of the day.

We started with yarn shopping in Delavan. I picked up an extra skein of yarn for a baby sweater, and then Ben got to drive the scenic route to Milwaukee. This allows him to birdwatch as he drives, to play with loopy routes from the Wisconsin Gazetteer and to drive me a little crazy because I think he has gotten us lost. Fun for both of us.

Then we had planned on going to the Mitchell Park Domes gardens or the Schlitz Audubon Center, but we've driven past the exit sign for the Boerner Botanical Gardens so many times, that this time we took an impromptu lane change and highway exit to check it out. We hadn't researched this option, so we got a little lost, but with more map fun we found our way there and started with a lovely picnic. Here is a pic of 2 pieces of homemade rhubarb custard pie smooshed into our steel picnic carrier. I love this recipe and can't even explain how happy I get when I have my first piece.

Then we went on to explore the gardens. It was a cool and cloudy Friday, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. The tulips are done in Beloit, but still very pretty this close to the lakeshore. We also enjoyed the native and perennial plants and medicinal, tea, dye and herb gardens. If you are visiting south of Milwaukee, this is a highly recommended stop.

Again, Ben found a scenic route north to the center of the city and along the lakeshore. We had to stop for some birdwatching for him, of course. At the gardens we spied some mating Baltimore Orioles (and averted our eyes), Ben saw a Black-throated Blue Warbler, and here he saw a Caspian Tern.

Then we went to Alterra on Prospect and we did knitting and bird book reading respectively and played a game while we sipped drinks.

After that we went on a Lakefront Brewery Tour (I had rootbeer) and stayed for their Friday fish fry (highly recommended, but be prepared for a wait). I didn't get pictures here, but just imagine the smell of spilled microbrewery beer mixed with the smell of freshly fried fish and you'll have a good sensory idea. (Here is a link to someone else's gorgeous capture of the industrial building turned brewery--note the Cream City brick that Milwaukee is famous for.)

And, with any Milwaukee trip, we had to stop at Leon's Frozen Custard on the way home. It is hands down the tastiest (and cheapest) frozen custard in the state--after extensive taste testing done by me.

All in all, a great date day. If this doesn't inspire you to go on a Milwaukee date, I don't know what will.

Another update to the belly pictures

38 weeks and 3 days
Originally uploaded by quirky granola girl

38 weeks and 3 days. Baby was considered full term at 37 weeks and our due date is 11 days away.

The stretch mark fairy visited my house last week. He is still very busy in there, but there is less room for his furniture moving habits. We hope to meet him in person any day now, but are also mentally preparing for an after due date arrival.

Addicted to the smell of mulch

I actually laid myself down on my belly in the mulch to get this photo of fern fiddleheads (getting back up was no mean feat).

I can't get over how much I adore the garden this spring. Something about the budding newness of it all makes me feel like anything is accomplishable.

Here are the bleeding hearts. I split this plant this year and it is still thriving.

And here are the first of the lilacs. I always associate lilacs with Mother's Day because we'd always steal flowers from the yard for my mom. There should be enough for a nice bouquet by Sunday.

This definitely makes up for all of the weeding that must be done this time of year.

Bathroom Renovation: Installment Three

I can't believe that the bathroom has been done for a week and a half and I didn't post photos yet. Back in the beginning of March, things looked like this:

Unfortunately, the splash tile didn't work with the new vanity and sink, so most of the time since then was spent removing old tile and glue and plastering and painting the walls. After that, it took me a few days to wrangle the old plumbing to fit with the new vanity and sink. I appreciate the help from Ben with lifting the sink and vanity in and out about 10 times. Also, neighbor Greg helped with putting the old toilet back in place so we didn't have any leaks (no toilet leaks--very important). And now the bathroom looks like this:

I'm so happy it is done!