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  • Archive for July, 2014

    Misti Maternity 1

    The view here from 35 weeks of pregnancy is one of anticipation mixed with equal parts back aches, bladder pressure, wretched heartburn, and feet and legs that are slowly resembling an elephant’s. My other go-to comparison for my legs and feet are tree trunks with root flares. I longingly look outside at the things that need to be done and enjoyed but have pretty much abandoned doing much outside at the moment and likely for the rest of the summer. It’s pretty depressing to read any of my outdoor blogs and see people hiking or exploring and knowing that I just can’t do that at the moment. I miss it a lot, which is a big reason I haven’t been writing here a lot lately. The Texas heat just isn’t so nice to nearly full-term pregnant women.

    So, theorhetically, I have about five weeks until the baby is due. Of course he could come anytime in the next few weeks or torture me a little bit and wait an extra week or so after his ‘due date’. I totally get why people get induced, not that I’m going to or want to, but I get it. That said, he needs to stay in for at least four more weeks since we have a lot left to do to get ready for his arrival. What are we still doing around here? Just about everything. The baby’s room is kinda complete, his closet is not. Chris basically lost a month this summer having to go to do field work so we’re behind on finishing up the closet renovations. I’m unable to help him on a lot of it so it is pretty much a solo job for him, which is why I feel bad that I’m having to taper back my outdoor work at the moment—it was where I could help out as much as I could. Chris is currently trying to figure out the best way to match the texturing on the new walls in the closets and the guest room to the texture that was already on the walls that were previously there. It’s turning out to be more frustrating than he was aiming for. As a result of all of this work means I have dust all over my house and everything is still chaotic. I just have to keep envisioning the end product and how nice it will look when it is done.

    In the midst of the work this weekend we took some early morning time on Sunday to head to Mercer Arboretum for some maternity portraits. I had Chris process one of them so I could post it here but will wait until things settle down with renovations before I bug him about looking at the rest. It was lovely walking out there but my feet and I were done after about an hour as the heat and humidity began rising.

    I guess one of the major things that we did accomplish this weekend was getting the decals up on the baby’s room. A few months ago Chris kept talking about wanting to paint a mural, which sounded great initially but I quickly told him that it was going to take too much time when we had other major projects to do, especially with his field work schedule. I’m so glad we chose to just order decals off of Etsy instead!



    It was a little tricky to start but once we got a routine the decals went up fairly easily.



    I’m really loving how it turned out and I think Chris is too. We were already talking about the day we come in and find Teddy peeling off the decals in an act of toddler rebellion! Hopefully that doesn’t happen, but you never know!

    What else needs to happen in the next five weeks or less?
    -Finish painting cradle and get it upstairs. Hopefully the mattress and sheets we ordered for it come soon.
    -The obvious: finish closets, paint closets, paint guest room, get guest room back in order.
    -Clean house top to bottom!
    -Finish organizing baby’s room.
    -Pack hospital bag for me and the baby.
    -Get everything that is left on our registry…the biggest one we’ll need first will be diapers.
    -Buy a car for me! Can’t tote baby around in a two door truck.

    I’m sure there are many other tiny things that need to be done but I won’t bore you with the minutiae….like replanting squash seeds that the borers got to.

    Day 59: Spent the evening semi-organizing the baby’s room, discussing blankets and how many to keep out/where to put them.

    Day 60: Hung some wall art in the baby’s room. Get your own here.

    Day 61: One of the many treat times with the boys!

    Day 62: Went to a breastfeeding class at the hospital…learned I don’t have to pump and dump to have a glass of wine post-baby!

    Day 63: Impressed with the cushaw melon vine! It has really taken off—now if only the squash vine borers don’t attack it.

    Day 64: No photo. Meant to take one of the cradle we’re painting.

    Day 65: Still in a working mode for the baby’s room, but we got the decals up! (or I should say, Chris did most of the work.) Notice anything special on the wall??? 😉

    Day 48: Figs starting to ripen!

    Day 49: Passiflora lutea

    Day 50: Samson…such a sweet boy.

    Day 51: Starting to harvest the figs!

    Day 52: No photo.

    Day 53: No photo.

    Day 54: My birthday present to myself from the clearance rack at REI. So comfortable!

    Day 55: More figs!

    Day 56: Me and my niece Zoe!

    Day 57: Mom and I being silly in the dressing room of Motherhood Maternity. I was on the prowl for nursing bras and she was helping me find some. Apparently they have a little ‘belly’ belt you can put on if you aren’t showing yet so mom put it on and we had a good laugh!

    Day 58: My niece and nephew! I wonder how they are going to handle competing for attention when Forest arrives!





    Always fun to find one of these!

    Tillandsia pruinosa information.

    I’ve been patiently waiting for the Texas Star Hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus to bloom. As it is a hibiscus and incredibly tasty to the palate of deer, I managed to ‘hide’ a few plants near the house on the side garden behind a some other plants. This paid off in great growth from the hibiscus and rewarded me with a bloom the other day. Of course by the time I got around to getting a photo the bloom had closed up for the evening. There are a couple of other Texas Star Hibiscus plants that are near the beehive that I would like to move since they are continually getting chomped on by the deer, but I really need to Chris to move them for me while I’m pregnant or I’ll end up doing it sometime this fall when I’m not pregnant and can throw on my bee suit. I’m not sure where I plant to attempt to hide them from the deer just yet, but probably somewhere on the side garden as well.

    I’m loving the tansy, too. I had to thin it back a little bit in the spring as it was getting out of control, but now I wish I hadn’t since the foxglove have withered away and now I’m left with large areas of empty space.


    One of the rain lilies is setting seeds. I’m not sure which species this is, but it puts out giant pink blooms.

    I love the whiteleaf mountain mint, Pycnanthemum albescens. I had to convince Chris to leave it in the garden since it is semi-aggressive, telling him that it would indeed bloom and it was worthwhile to keep around. I do have to trim it back quite a bit though.



    A really late gladiolus…but I’m not complaining.

    I’m really loving the daturas at the moment. They’ve finally grown quite large and grace us with blooms just about every evening now.


    The deer finally left the coneflowers alone long enough for them to bloom. I was surprised to see flowers on them when I peeked around the garden the other day.


    And a little wildlife in the form of an assasin bug. We’ve got several species of butterflies flitting about but I’m never with the long lens…I really should put it on one of these days and get some wildlife shots.

    We finally had some rain here this evening after almost two weeks of seeming to miss every late afternoon t-storm that pops up around here. I had gotten to the point of starting to water all of the small trees we’ve planted over the last two years to help them along. It looks like we might have more rain later this week which would be great!

    I love summer but it is hard to bend down and be nearly as flexible as a gardener with a expanding belly and a lot of extra weight. I find myself dreaming of October and cooler weather and the ability to move freely. I know I’ll miss summer when that time comes so I try not to project myself into the future too much.

    I finally got around to finishing this video I shot back in January when Chris and I were in Austin. I’m having serious outdoor exploration withdrawls these days—the heat paired with being pregnant and unable/not feeling up to hike and get out of town has me missing this kind of stuff. Good thing my yard has a diversity of things to keep me entertained until fall and the baby arrives.







    The first time I saw a cigar orchid was on private property at my job in Florida. I had walked by it without realizing it was an orchid until I walked back by it later on and it registered that it was a cigar orchid. They aren’t all that common but since seeing that first one I’ve gotten the chance to see a few others in Fakahatchee as well as the specimen that is probably the most well known down in Everglades NP. <---Check out the photo from my friend Kathy. I know Chris took some photos that day but I guess he doesn't have them up on his Flickr page.

    This particular orchid above was found during the second day of the swamp walk when we were in Fakahatchee in March. Chris and I had just made it to the pond we were meant to explore when we heard one of our fellow explorers hoot through the swamp to come over to a drier part of the slough and check out the orchid in bloom. It turned out to be a new plant to add to the list of known cigar orchids in the strand.

    It’s always exciting to see uncommon plants!






    For the last month these blooms have been brightening up the flower bed directly in front of the house. We have at least two separate plants, one labeled Physostegia correllii and one labeled Physostegia digitalis corellii, but we believe they are both considered to be the Corell’s false dragonhead, which is a rare and endangered plant. I can’t remember where we bought them, maybe the SFA plant sale back in April, but they are in cultivation. The bloom stalks are extremely tall, in the 5-6′ range, though ours are now bent over and winding from rain storms and wind over the last month.

    I’ve definitely noticed that bumblebees visit the blooms quite often and I’ve seen a few hummingbirds stop by for a sip of nectar. Slowly the blooms have faded up the stalk and I can only hope that the plants reseed an spread in the be next year. I love having them, they are almost as majestic as the foxglove that dotted the garden back in the spring.

    Day 35: No photo…

    Day 36: A little hidden treasure in the baby’s closet.

    Day 37: A small shower for the baby held by my friend Erika (far right) with two of my friends from college. Good times and great cake!

    Day 38: The beggar bunny, Samson.

    Day 39: Harvested the garlic and it actually formed bulbs! Downside—should have harvested two weeks prior to this and I would have had more. Instead, some rotted.

    Day 40: No photo

    Day 41: Devouring Written In My Own Heart’s Blood

    Day 42: Dancing lady ginger bloomed!

    Day 43: No photo

    Day 44: Making spaghetti sauce

    Day 45: Quart of honey from the hive since the bees keep crossing their comb.

    Day 46: Black and blue salvia bloomed!

    Day 47: Oh, man, this is an awesomely good treat! I had to restrain myself from eating the entire box!

    …without bending my knees! That’s an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!



    It’s nearly mid-July, not quite midsummer. When folks found out my due date was very early September everyone was all “Summer! Pregnant in the summer is going to be miserable!” Well, it hasn’t necessarily been miserable but it has definitely put a damper in my abilities to do a lot of things in the heat of the day. Really, it hasn’t been all that bad—so far—to be pregnant in the summer. We blessedly live in a time of air-conditioning so I can imagine even 60 years ago when A/C wasn’t as common that it would have been even worse. I think the only downside is not being able to work outside when I want, not that we’d be out in the heat of the day anyway.

    Along with the heat has come swelling. Some days it isn’t so bad, other days, particularly if I’m standing a lot or doing any kind of yard work the previous day, the swelling is up around my ankles and my hands. Of course I get a little paranoid ’cause we all know what happened to Lady Sybil, but my blood pressure has been steady and not in the range of anything to worry about, I drink a ton of water, and have been trying to keep my legs up in the evenings when I come inside if I do any work outside.

    As for Teddy, he’s definitely a growing boy. Dude has been far more active in the last month than in previous months and I’ve gotten a kick out of feeling him move around, especially when he sticks his back of butt right up against my abdomen. I give him a good pat or rub and say hello and usually he’ll adjust a bit. The fun and funny movement is when he makes a big movement and my entire belly just jiggles…the no-so-fun moments are when he kicks or pokes me for an extending period—must be stretching—it gets quite uncomfortable. At my 32 week appointment yesterday the midwife and the nurse both thought he was rather long, which I agree with. I can feel him all the way into regions that makes me think a hand is going to pop out to just under my right rib cage. It looks like I may get an ultrasound done at 36 weeks to gauge his size, though estimations by ultrasound for weight can be off by several pounds in either direction.

    Anyway, I am still holding out for the first week of September, though I think in the back of a lot of people’s heads they are thinking it’ll be August. Ack! Either way, the countdown is really on because I know July will zip right on through.

    Teddy’s room is painted and semi-organized. Chris is still finishing up the closet and the guest room closet which he should be able to finish between some work-field projects here by the end of the month. We have an uber-cute wall decal that we got off of Etsy that we will need to put up sometime the first of August—it was recommended to put it up at least a month after the walls had been painted for the paint to be completely dry. Curtains are hung, we have a zillion baby clothes, tons of items from our showers and hand-me-downs….this kid is prepared (though we still have some things to get). Mom on the other hand—-I’m starting to freak out a little bit.

    What am I freaking out over? I’m going to have a kid that’s MINE that I don’t get to hand back to their parents at the end of the day…what if I can’t breastfeed…I took a natural childbirth class but I have no idea what labor is actually like…when am I going to go into labor…where am I going to go into labor…what if he comes in August…I hope I don’t become a shut-in for September and October and cry all the time…yes, crying is to be expected, but I want take him out and show him the world…every article about people leaving their kids in the car during the summertime has me paranoid…and I’ve already mentally told him he can’t ride his bike in the street because people zoom by too fast even though they shouldn’t…what if he turns out to be a girl and the ultrasound was wrong…the list goes on and on. I still hold that this whole ‘thing’ is weird. Weird that we will have our own child. We’ve been together since the very end of 1997…alone…all of that time. I’m sure he’ll be kind of some strange extension of ourselves, someone we’ll look at and go “OMG, that’s me” but someone who will definitely have his own personality and quirks.

    And that’s where I am at these days. Tired, feeling ready but not really ready. Savoring all of the quiet moments that I can.

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