Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting Close!

Photo by Timeless Moments. Visit their Facebook page!
How far along? 38 weeks 1 day

Overall Emotion last month? Overwhelmed, nervous, excited, huge! 

Maternity clothes?  are you kidding me.... my maternity clothes are too tight for me now!

Sleep: I tend to sleep great for the first 4-5 hours... then I'm awake and end up finding something to do in the livingroom until I fall asleep on the couch. super fun.

Best moment this month: Hmmmm.... It's been a craazzzyyy month. The best moment was probably when I found out that the baby finally turned head down!! That may have been more than a month ago, I dont know :-) AND my amazing baby shower last Saturday!

Weight Gain: Yes. That's all I'll say for now :-)

Movement: Oh yeah. He's quite the boxer. Seems to always be trying to break out of my belly button.

Food cravings: Anything and everything. I have been indulging in quite a bit of hot chocolate- for good reason though! I swear it's the only thing that gets rid of my heartburn... i swear... really.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Said terrible heartburn.

Have you started to show yet: I'm way beyond starting to show. I have strangers coming up to me, asking if I'm have triplets. Seriously... this happened twice.

Wedding rings on or off? on 

Looking forward to: Having this baby in my arms finally! Being done with the anxiety over the anticipation of what labor will be like.

One thing I did well this month? Being an emotional mess. Well, it's been a rough month. At the beginning of November my midwife found my blood pressure to be pretty damn high. (the bottom number was 90.... which is not good) But I wasn't showing any other indicators of preeclamsia, so she ordered some lab work and put me on semi bed rest just to make sure. At my next appointment I found out that my blood work came back "okay" and that my blood pressure had come down to a more comfortable level! Although, I had been crap at the bed rest thing... which was totally stressing me out, because I was sure that all of the stress was then causing my blood pressure to go up, which then made me even more stressed. Ugh, not fun. Anyway, even though by BP was lower at this appointment, the midwaife still wanted me on semi bed rest because the levels of my BP were leaving me with no wiggle room, and I could still be at risk for developing preeclamsia. Tried to take it easy the week after that, but I had SO much to do to get ready for baby! It really was a super busy week and I was sure that my BP was going back up (all of this, by the way, made me not the most pleasant person to be married to. God bless you Ryan!). BUT at my last appointment (Last Monday) my BP had gone down even more! Down to an almost normal level. Still went and had blood work done yesterday, but I should still be fine for a normal delivery! We were all worried about the chances of me having to be induced, but everything should be fine now!  
All that to say, it's been one heck of a month!

Protein intake this month: Because of my blood pressure thing, I'm on a super high protein diet now... doing alright but could be better.

Book Currently reading: NOTHING! My brain needs a break! 

Some other things I want to mention: Going to the chiropractor has been aaammmaaaazing! Totally worth the money and the time. I hardly ever feel back pain or any discomfort anymore, whereas before... I was in pain all the time it seemed like. One week after being adjusted just 2 times, the baby turned head down! I also believe it's what really helped my blood pressure go down. I admit, I had never seen a chiropractor before and was super skeptical of the whole thing... but now I'm a total believer! I will be taking the baby there for adjustments as well. Giles Family Chiropractic in Napa, go there. Dr. Kristen is awesome, has had 2 homebirths and truly cares about the well being of her clients. So awesome. 

Also, I haven't really gotten into our delivery decisions and beliefs. Many people know that we're delivering the baby NOT in a hospital- but if you didn't know that, and are interested in some more info, let me know! We're delivering at a birthing center, no they do not have the pain medications that hospitals do... and therefore, NO I will not be having an epidural. I'm hoping for a water birth, Ryan wants to be the one to "catch" the baby, I have a doula, and I am getting my placenta encapsulated. Questions?! Just ask!  
 Okay, I'm done! Sorry it had been so long since my last baby update. Hope this one holds you over until baby comes, which I'm hoping is super soon!!!  

Photo by Timeless Moments. Visit their Facebook page! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Felting Adventure!

I made a felted scarf a couple nights ago! I love it!

This was taken right after I laid all of the wool out, before any felting occurred. It took a very long time, but it was fun and the scarf turned out beautifully! It's so soft and lightweight, I'm very pleased :-) Anyway, hoping to make some more once my order of wool comes in!

This specific scarf is now available in my Etsy shop- go check it out!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Ahhhhh, it's good to be living in the most beautiful place in the world! It sure does make my daily walking goal a little easier when I have this to look at! Anyway, these days I have been feeling more and more pregnant and less and less ready for this baby to come... not the best combo ever. We have about 2 months to go! I will be at 32 weeks in just a couple days, the end is in sight! And it's freaking me out! 

This picture was taken last week at 31 weeks along. I'll give a bit of a detailed update... not going to use that little question format though, just going to wing it!

The last few days have been filled with zero lung capacity and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions! Not the most fun, but it's pretty cool to see how my body is already doing so much to prepare itself for labor. And now that this baby is getting big enough to totally take up any room my diaphragm may have had before, I'm looking forward to this baby dropping a bit lower! Limited lung capacity for an already asthmatic person is not very fun, but I'll get through it!!

I get totally freaked out whenever anyone plays Christmas music or talks about Christmas in anyway as if it's super close. Christmas time= Baby time. YIKES!

My diet has been fairly good. Lots of protein and I have been keeping up with my vitamins really well. I have been letting myself have coffee more often now that pumpkin lattes and Trader Joes pumpkin spice coffee blends are around! Everything in moderation, right :-)

ps- the Babe has hiccups right now. so. cute. 

About to have our third week of birthing class tomorrow! These classes are at our birthing center and have been amazing! I'm learning so much about how my mind and body deals with pain the best. It's scary to think and focus on the pain so much... but feeling better prepared has been very empowering! I'm realizing more and more that it is a huge passion of mine to help other women/ couples feel as knowledgeable and empowered as the amazing midwives, doulas and birth educators at my birth center have helped me feel! I would definitely love to pursue becoming a doula after this baby is born.

Ryan has been nothing but pure awesome.
Thank you dear brother for the lovely photo bombing.

Sure, it's hard sometimes when I'm feeling like life is unfair because he doesn't have to deal with all the "joys" of pregnancy. And I know I act like a total whiny brat A LOT of times, but he has been so amazing and encouraging though all of the times of feeling good and feeling not so good. He even painted my toe nails for me when I realized I could no longer reach :-) I love how confident he is in my strength and ability to have this baby. He totally gets it. Which is totally awesome. and sexy. Never once has he tried to talk me into birthing at a hospital, or questioned my convictions. Instead, he educates himself. He reads books about birth and being a good birthing partner. He's not scared of witnessing the birth of our son, he's even hoping to be the one to "catch" our baby!

Had my glucose screening test done last week. I'm assuming all is well since I have not heard back from the midwife. Dang that drink was NASTY!

Also, cloth diapers. I'm in love with my cloth diapers. Talk about addicting! I already have about 20 now. I'm going to stop there because I know I wont need many more, and I'm going to leave some space open for gifts since I still have 2 baby showers coming up. Never know what people will give! I'm just hoping the kind of diapers I purchased actually work! I've been prewashing them, and it just makes me so happy to see all the cute little diapers up on the clothes line :-) This is what my living room looked like for about an hour the other day while the diapers were waiting their turn for the line..

As you can see, we're doing cloth wipes too. Found a great deal on Etsy and now have about 30 wipes and have only spent $7 on them!

Okay, I think I'm finally out of pictures and info to share.... for now. I would love to get my act together and do a post dedicated to where we're living. Yountville is totally awesome beautiful, and well, a very weird place to live.

Hope this lovely October day finds you well! Ryan and I have plans to go "up valley" to see if there is anything fun to do in St. Helena today. We dont usually go north of Yountville, so we're excited! Peace and love to you all!

xoxo elyse

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Flowers and Acorns

This is what I spend a lot of my days doing. More acorns and more flowers. constantly. :-) It's actually a lot of fun, and I have been having a great time getting creative with the flowers and trying techniques and designs that I have always been too intimidated to try!

Every morning when I go on my walks with Bruce the Yorkie, I always make sure to do two things.... Pick a ripe and juicy fig to eat for breakfast, and to pick up as many acorn caps as humanly possible. I usually prove to be quite successful in both areas.

I love these little acorns! I sold a ton of them last year to people wanting a fun center piece at their Thanksgiving table. They are just so darn cute and charming! Some are needle felted, some are wet felted.... all depends on my mood (and the state of my poor fingers). Who knew needle felting could be so dangerous?! My fingers are covered in puncture wounds. Maybe I'll stick to wet felting the rest of these babies until my wounds heal.

And these flowers! So much fun. I love keeping them out on display in the apartment because they're so colorful and happy.

Well, that's it for now. A lot of these flowers and acorns will not be available in my Etsy shop because most of them are for a custom order/ I'm building my inventory for a craft festival I may be involved in next month. But let me know if you are interested and I'll be sure to work something out! Happy Tuesday everyone! 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scrub a dub dub

Soaps are back in the Heart Felt Etsy shop! To be honest.... Before a couple days ago, I had gone about 6 months without having felted a bar of soap. And it was a needed and nice break. BUT it feels so right and so good to finally be back into the soap felting groove! I have come to understand that I have been spreading myself a bit too thin when it came to the felted soaps. Trying to get too crazy and fancy with them proved to be good for my creative growth, but not that great for an increase in sales. SO, with that said... to keep things reasonably priced and to keep my sanity in tact, I have decided to go back to the basics of felted soap. I am still going to be creating some special wet felted/ needle felted specialty soaps around the holidays, but that's about it. Simple is good for me right now :-)

With that said, here are some recently listed soaps in my Etsy shop! More will be gradually coming as well! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Baby Update!!

How far along?: 26 weeks 4 days

Overall Emotion last month? Happy, a little stressed about finances, and very hungry :-)
Maternity clothes?: More and more often now. Thanks goodness for my belly band! (Becky- that thanks was to you!)

Sleep: Better! Hallelujah! Still pretty tossy and turny, but at least I'm not up and ready to start the day at 4:30 am everyday :-)

Best moment this month: Getting asked for the first time by a total stranger when I'm due :-) being able to tag along and take my cousin in college, and having my first real appointment at the birthing center.
Weight Gain: total +18 pounds. Thankfully my weight gain has slowed down enough to where I'm back with in the normal range. 

Movement: Yes! All the time still! We were listening to his heartbeat at my midwife appointment the other day, and he totally kicked the doppler. It was super funny :-) 

Food cravings: Not really anything in particular. I was telling Ryan the other day that I feel kind of left out of the "stereotypical" pregnant woman image because I'm not having those crazy cravings! Pretty much everything and anything sounds good... all the time.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope! Feelin good!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I feel like I'm getting huge! 

Wedding rings on or off? on 

Looking forward to: Hopefully having my in laws come visit later this month, having the birthing center become more and more familiar, starting the classes there and (oh my gosh!) starting my THIRD trimester in a couple weeks!

One thing I did well this month?: Walked... a lot. I've been trying to walk at least 2-3 miles a day. I've been feeling great and my weight gain has totally slowed down. I've been eating pretty well too, trying to pack in the protein.

Protein intake this month: Better 

Book Currently reading: Just finished reading A Good Birth, A Safe Birth. It was amazing- I would totally recommend it! Just checked out another book from the Birthing center library about getting a baby to sleep better through the night (Can't remember what the title is....). 

And now to answer some other questions that my darling Lindsey asked me on my facebook the other day...
I'm really liking my job- I'm working part time as a teacher for the aftercare program at First Christian School. 

Things at our church are going very well! Ryan's been leading the worship a lot lately and I'm usually on the worship team as well. I also teach first service Sunday school for the elementary aged kiddos. We found out some really awesome history about the church and the apartment int he church that we're living in. I'm hoping to do a post all about that sometime very soon! 
Names for the baby.... hmmmmmmm...... We're pretty set on one BUT we're not telling people!!!! Muuuahahaha! Nothing is actually for sure, but there are a select few that we like and a certain one we like the best. 
Okay, this post is wearing me out... time for a nap! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back in Business!

Finally! I found some inspiration as well as time to act it out! Made some cool things recently and actually put them in my Etsy shop! Much more is to come, but here is a sneaky peeky...

Mini Chalkboard Trays!

Lovely Wire Coil Bracelet

Lots of earrings!

Be sure to head on over to the Heart Felt Esty site to check everything out! More items will be added hopefully daily this week. It's nice to be back!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bye Bye Dreadlocks

 Some of you may be wondering why I decided to cut off my dreadlocks. Not that I want to make a big deal about my hair... because that's just the thing I'm trying to embrace, the fact that it is just hair :-)

I remember the day I got my dreadlocks, I felt like I looked how I always thought I should. I felt like myself. I liked how easy it was for people to instantly see that I'm unique and a bit strange. I loved how in Germany, a couple of my very closest girl friends also had dreads. I loved all the attention and questions (at first...) that people back in the States gave me. I did love my dreadlocks, and I do miss them... but I don't regret my decision to get rid of them.

I went from loving dreadlocks, and the fact that I felt beautiful with them even though many people thought dreadlocks as not very attractive... to not feeling very beautiful anymore, but feeling like I HAD to keep them because other people thought they were cool. I don't know if that really makes sense to you... but it totally did for me. Therefore... time to cut.

Anyway, I'm embracing the fact that it's just hair. It will grow back and I definitely do plan on getting dreads again in the future! Me deciding to cut them off had nothing at all to do with the fact that we're having a baby soon. I'm not trying to seem more adult/motherly/grown up by getting rid of the dreadlocks... I don't buy into that crap, quite honestly. I'm just trying to focus on my needs and what makes me feel most beautiful, free and confident.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Falling into place

I was telling Ryan the other day about how I have been feeling so much more confident in my ability to deliver this baby. Seeing how this baby inside of me is growing and developing perfectly and totally naturally has given me this new found confidence in my body and it's crazy cool abilities!

We had my 20 week ultrasound a couple weeks ago and were so thrilled to see that our baby BOY (yyyaaaayyyy wooohoooo!!!!!) is totally healthy and developing wonderfully and on track! I'm very low risk and am doing great as far as health wise, so Ryan and I have seriously been weighing our delivery options (and thankfully we now live in a place that has MANY amazing options!). I went from check ups at a normal OB office in Illinois where everything exciting turned into clinical routine, to a great midwife office here in Napa (who works through the local hospital) where check ups were exciting and I felt warm and welcomed.

Ryan and I feel comfortable there with the midwife office, but were still holding out for one other option. In Santa Rosa (about an hour away from us) there is a free standing birth center that I have been looking into for a few months. When my midwife here in Napa asked me last week if I had decided where we want to deliver the baby, I told her that we were still waiting to see the birthing center. She was so encouraging and even excited about me possibly delivering the baby there! She said she is very familiar with the center, knows and respects the owner/ head midwife, and thought that would be a great place for me! Ryan and I were almost surprised with with her lack of concern- but also thrilled and even more excited to go check out the place! Last Monday I went with my aunt (She delivered one of her children at the same center) to go on a tour of the center. Unfortunately Ryan had to stay behind to work, but I promised we would talk everything out once I got home before any decisions were made.  And thankfully I have a a crazy amazing and supportive husband who value the same things in birth that I do and totally trusts my instincts and judgment. Love him. Anyway... thankfully the owner/ head midwife was free so she took us on the tour and I got to speak with her about many different things. Long story short, it was amazing and everything I had hoped it would be! We have yet to officially make the switch, but Ryan and I both feel like this would be a great place for us to deliver our son! Ah, it's so exciting!

We are so blessed to live in a state that allows birth centers to exist and operate, and even more blessed to be so close to one (yes, an hour away is super close, especially considering how far some mamas are willing to drive to be able to go to a birthing center!). Thank you God!

 And now for the fun little pregnancy update questionnaire thing :-)

How far along? 22 weeks, 2 days

Overall Emotion last month? Peace with where we are, stress over starting a new job, and most of all...thankful for a healthy BOY!!!

Maternity clothes?  Sometimes, but not usually. Still wearing my normal jeans with the rubber band trick to keep them comfortable!

Sleep: Terrible. I'm SO restless and always uncomfortable. Midwife OK'd melatonin to help with falling asleep- and that aspect has been better.... but I feel like I spend more of my time changing positions and rolling around at night than sleeping. Sucks. 

Best moment this month: Finding out were are having a SON! (He was very proud of his boy parts and the technician was 100% sure it's a boy haha!)
Weight Gain: Yikes. ehhhhh like +16 pounds. Hoping to slow down on the gaining! 

Movement: oooohhhhhhh man YES! He is so active! I can feel him all the time and I can even feel him from the outside with my hand when he's moving around! Ryan has felt him many times too! And just this evening we could SEE the movement. His little knees and elbows poking up- so amazing! 

Food cravings: Pizza and fresh tomatoes. ooooo and those tacos from the taco truck that comes to Yountville from time to time!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope! I'm feeling great!

Have you started to show yet: Yep! Still not a whole lot though.

Wedding rings on or off? on 

Looking forward to: Starting to see my midwife at the birthing center! Taking control of my weight gain.

One thing I did well this month? I walk all the time now that we live in the most beautiful location in the world :-) And our pup doesnt have a yard to be loose in, so we're always talking him out on walks. I've been great at taking all my daily vitamins (prenatal, calcium+vitamin D, fish oil, sometimes B12 and melatonin at night). I have been drinking at least one cup a day of my pregnancy tea, and I have been trying to go to bed early so I can get as much sleep as I can.

Protein intake this month: Good 

Book Currently reading: The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger (one of the books I borrowed from the birthing center on Monday- I'm excited to read more from their library!).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pregnancy Update!

Old picture, I was 8 weeks along!

Well, maybe it's a bit of an announcement as well. Most everyone that I know has already heard the news.... but I have yet to do any blogging on the topic! Crazy! Anyway, I'm 4 months along today!!! Time sure does fly when you're.... feeling like crap(?) Anywhooo, I stole this pregnancy update thing from my friend Abby's blog. Thought it was cute, so here we go!

How far along? 16 weeks!  

Overall Emotion last month? Anxious to finally start showing, excited and happy that people finally know the news!  

Maternity clothes?  Not yet! Think I'm getting there though!

Sleep: Meh. Have a bit of a hard time sleeping at night. I have freaky crazy vivid dreams and I wake up easily. Luckily, I have had to get up less often in the middle of the night to pee!

Best moment this month: Hearing the heart beat! 

Weight Gain: Our scale broke a little while ago, but I think about +10 pounds 

Movement: Not that I can feel yet!  

Food cravings: Vinegar!!!! Olives, banana peppers, balsamic vinegar dressing, pickles, pickle flavored chips, salt and vinegar chips.  

Anything making you queasy or sick: not really. Not at the moment anyway. 

Have you started to show yet: yes, finally! I look more like I have a beer belly than a baby belly though :-)  

Wedding rings on or off? on 

Looking forward to: My shower on Saturday!!! (Moving to CA in a couple weeks, so my amazing Mother In Law is throwing me an early baby shower here in IL!) 

One thing I did well this month? Did a good amount of walking, though I really need to do more! One thing I can work on this month?  Get more protein in my diet, eat betting in general, and making sure I take care of myself during the road trip and move.  

Protein intake this month: I've been doing ok, but I need to do better!  

Book Currently reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. This book is soooooo amazing!!! Thank you So much Abby for getting it for me!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yes, it's actually soap...

You cannot believe how many times I have found myself saying that to people looking at my felted soaps. Since there seems to be so much confusion, awe and wonder when it comes to these "handmade felted soaps"... let me fill you in on whats really going on there:

1. I make the soap. I'm too scared to actually work with the lye myself (I have had a couple containers of it for about 3 years now... still too scared). So instead, I go to Hobby Lobby and buy the glycerin soap base. Perfect. Painful Fight Club incident successfully diverted :-)

This is everything that goes into the soap itself-

We have all of the oils that our skin needs and wants so badly!

 We also have our fragrances! I use some of these fragrance oils, but sometimes also use essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, and lavender to scent the soaps. 

And here is a picture of the pre-melted glycerin, all chopped up and ready to be melted and mixed with the oils and scents!

I used to melt the glycerin and everything my microwaving, but Now I prefer to do it on the stovetop in an old sauce pan.

After everything is melted together, I let it cool a bit and then pour the soap into the molds....

(also... If I'm making Guinness soap, I add flat Guinness to the soap along with the oils and fragrances) I usually let the soap harden over night in the molds and then pop em out so that I can get felting!

Ok- this is the part that I don't have pictures for unfortunately. :-( Alllthougghhh.... This video shows you pretty much exactly what I do!

And there you have it! Handmade felted soap! I'm totally smitten with them- I love the process and idea of a washcloth and soap in one! So yes, it really is soap! And yes, you really can use it! And yes, it really is that awesome!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Re-Purposed Old Metal Trays

I did something new this week :-)

I was at a second hand store the other day and found a ton of old metal trays and decided to go all crafty on them.

I had seen on a blog that I follow as well as on Pinterest some cool uses for re-purposed metal trays, so I decided to try my hand at some of my own interpretations!

 I think my favorite projects were these little mini trays that I found in a pack of 6. I have all the other ones pained in different colors, but have yet to take pictures yet due to the fact that I am still in the pimping out process with these  little guys.

What do you think? So, basically all I did was this:

- Paint the tray with desired color (I used acrilic pains that I had.... but I would just spray pain in the future)
- Spray a gloss over the painted parts of the tray
- Brush on the chalkboard paint over the desired area of the tray. (After the paint has dried.. do a couple other coats of the chalkboard paint)

And that's it people! As I said, I'm still in the process of pimping all the trays out... so stay tuned to see whats all in store for these little guys!

Much love and Happy St. Patty's Day yall! xoxo elyse