Saturday, December 30, 2006

Make it 53

This morning at ugly-thirty I finished "Two for the Dough" by Janet Evanovich. Part of the Stephanie Plum series. I like this series and have ordered the next one off of It will only take 2 months to get here.

Next up is "The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B". It is about Josephine Bonaparte.

So that makes 53 books read this year. Doubt I will get another finish in the next couple of days.

How do I do it? We don't watch TV. Refuse to pay for the crappy cable service here and there are no local channels at all, so we don't watch tv.

Why was I up at ugly-thirty today? Because I have a monster growing in my belly that does not allow me to sleep like a normal human being.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thanks, Jenn!

Yesterday, we got a great package in the mail from Jenn. I was curious as to what she had sent, so on the drive home I *of course* looked at the customs label and saw that it said a book and a baby item. : )

I remembered that she was going to send me this book, but had no clue about what she could have sent for the baby. She had previously sent me the book "P.S. I Love You" by the same author and I loved that book. It made me laugh and cry. I am hoping this book is just as good. I have packed it into my "hospital bag" and am planning on starting it when I go into the hospital.

Don't ya just love the ducky wrapping paper? It is too cute! And it matches the baby gift so perfectly! She stitched us a hooded towel with the cutest little duckies on it! I can't wait until the baby is here and old enough (read: stumpless) to take a proper bath. Then I can take a picture of it with it's stinking cute hooded towel.

Thanks again, Jenn! Your stitching is so neat and perfect, we just love it!

The generosity of the online stitching community never ceases to amaze me. I am so thankful for the friends that I have made through the blogging world.

It seems like everyone is doing a year-end wrap up and listing their stitching accomplishments for 2006. Shamefully I haven't kept very good track of my stitching accomplishments, and I don't feel like going through old blog posts to search them out. The only resolution that I will make for 2007 is to photograph my stitching with each finish and make an album on my webshots. For some idiotic reason, I deleted all of my old finishes from previous years. Live and learn.


I will do a year-end book wrap up though. This year I have managed to read 52 books. Not too bad I guess. I really wanted to finish all of the "Chronicles of Narnia" but have only made my way through 3 of the books. I just can't read alot of those stories at once, I have to be in the mood. Here is a listing of my favorite books that I read this year:

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan - I really enjoy Amy Tan's writing style and enjoy how she immerses her readers into the Asian culture so smoothly.

Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell - This book was a great read about the disappearing coastline of South Louisiana. Since we lived in S. LA for a few years, it really struck a chord with me. It is an epidemic that is rarely talked about.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire - This book didn't interest me at first. It tells you the other side of the story in Oz and leaves you thinking about just how judgemental society is and the struggles that other people have.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - The author made a commitment to himself to hike the Appalacian Trail as a thru hike. (Something DH dreams that we will someday do) As he hikes, he learns more about himself and has to re-adjust his goals. It also gives much background on the AT and the need for conservation of it. Love the wit of Bill Bryson.

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson (oops!) - An incredibly moving book. I lost it through the last chapter. I really didn't see the end coming the way that it did. So much so that I had to go back and re-read the last chapter and cry some more.

Marley & Me by John Grogan - This book was my favorite of the whole year. Numero Uno. A must read for anyone that has ever been owned by a dog or loved a dog. I loved this book so much that I blogged about it here. It had me laughing and crying. It has been out for a while and I saw today that it is still #8 on the bestseller list which is really no suprise to me.

Falling Leaves: Memoirs of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah - A great book that describes how one little girl grew up in the face of adversity to become successful and find peace with those that treated her horribly. True story.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern - Jenn sent this book to me and I loved it because it is contemporary (think chick lit) but it also had me laughing out loud and crying. What is it with me and crying over books? : ) I can't imagine facing what the main character had to, but if I ever did, I would hope that I have enough courage to be like her. This book is set to be made into a movie starring Hilary Swank.

And books that I hope to read next year:


A few posts ago, I showed my sling that I made and talked about making one out of silk dupioni. Well, I looked at the prices of silk dupioni and thought, "I can't spend $10-14 per yard of fabric...this will have to wait." So, I decided to see how much silk dupioni slings sell for. I found these AWESOME slings that are made by Sakura Bloom.

But holy macaroni, the one that I like the best, Waterlily...
anyone got an extra $260 that they don't know what to do with? : )


This is one of the photos that I took of a hibiscus in our yard. We have probably 6 or so hibiscus bushes. 2 of them were severely mangled by the yard guy about a month ago, but they are starting to come back somewhat.
Since Angelo brought it up a few days ago via the comments section, I will save the rest of the photos of the pretty things in our yard for my next post...the "I love Saipan" post. This is one that I am going to have to think about and word carefully. I have been thinking about it for a couple of days already.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Umm, yeah...

So, I took all of these neat pictures of the bananas, papayas and flowers growing in our yard...but Blogger is being a serious PIA and having issues uploading the photos. Guess everyone will have to wait until later.

We got some great stuff in the mail today...I won't post a pic of one of the presents yet since I am emailing the sender next...will do in the next post, but let me just say that I was very surprised and thrilled with what she sent!

We also got another tin of cookies from Granny. She sent me some of my favorites...spritz cookies. I like the cream cheese spritz the best, but these are just as great. I was really hoping that it was some of her famous double layer rice krispie treats, but believe you me I won't turn these down anytime soon!

And an update on the biscornu. I am done with the front stitching, and started the backstitch border after this pic was snapped. I wonder how Carolyn is doing with hers?


We had our 38 week appointment this week. I was very impressed with the Midwife (actually an American Nurse Practitioner) that we saw since Dr. R. is on vacay. I asked her to give us an estimate of how big the baby is and after mushing the heck out of my tummy, she said that if I were to have it now, it would be approximately 6 pounds, 8 ounces. But, she also added that every week, the baby puts on another 1/2 to 1 it is possible that I could have a ginormous baby. *Please come soon, please come soon*
She asked us if we knew what the gender was. As she was checking for the fetal heart rate. I said, "No, it is a surprise". She got a grin on her face and said, "I kinda have a hunch as to what it is." I asked her, "Based on the heartrate?" She smiled and said "Yeah". Now, the heartrate is usually in the 140's & 150's when we go in. Statistically (from what I have read), baby girls have a fetal heart rate over 140 while baby boys have a fetal heart rate of less than 140. But there are always exceptions. Go team pink!!! She didn't say either way, but I am going to ask next week.

I go back next week for the 39 week eval. I am seeing her again and with any luck, she will be on call when I go into labor.

She asked us about our plans for birth control after the baby is born, so I told her what I had been thinking. No birth control pills because Mom has metastatic breast cancer and Gram had breast cancer and I will be 30 next year...don't need to up my risk any more than it already is. She brought up the IUD...can I just say that this little thing kinda gives me the creeps? I think that we might just stick with what we initially planned. I don't think that I really want a little plastic "T" wound with copper and 2 pieces of fishing line on the bottom end embedding itself into my body.


Had a chat with Mom the other day. She is doing okay. She stopped her Chemo treatments and went for a second opinion at the Cancer Treatment Center of America. She has since started treatments with them. And the cancer has spread to more of her skeleton. It is in a rib, on the skull, in her left femur (long leg bone), sacrum, and left hip along with her spine.

She really loves the CTCA. I mean really loves it. Just raves about the programs, doctors, support staff, food, etc. And there is a Center that is only about an hour from her house so she just spends the night.

Our convo was going along really great until she said:

Mom: "So, how are you feeling?"

Me: "I feel great, I have been truly blessed. My only complaint is I can't get comfortable to sleep."

Mom: "How much weight have you gained so far?"

Me: "24 pounds"

Mom: "Well, you need to try to curb it from here out...I only gained 19 pounds when I had you. But, then again, you are built a little bigger than me and you started out a little heavier than me."

Me: "Um, yeah." *thinking to self: you also smoked and were 19 years old. I am almost 30.*

WTF?!?! Try to CURB it? Seriously? Okay, let me go on a diet now while I am pregnant. Yeah. Right on that.
Mother/daughter relationships...gotta love them!
Here is the Lizzie*Kate new Flip it series for 2007...this is absolutely adorable. Loves it! Kim reports that she already has hers on order. Pffffftttttttt.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Christmas!

We have been pretty low-key today. It has been a marathon of Christmas cartoon DVD's here at the House of Grinch. You know, those old ones that are clay-mation and are shown every year? DH bought me the set last year, so that's all we have done today. Well, laundry too. I think that DH is making hot wings and sweet potato fries for's that for non-conformity?
On Friday, we went to a Christmas party. It was for a company that DH works with, so it was nice to see them appreciate their employees. The party was held at the Aqua Resort (where we stayed for 30 days when we first came to Saipan and were trying to find a house), which is always nice. There was a big buffet, and open bar and a live band called Resound. They were pretty good, even though I was about to gag when they did Paris Hilton's "The Stars Are Blind". My ears might still be bleeding.

One of the guys gave me this flower "thing" to wear on my head...I felt a little bit like a dork because there were only 2 other ladies that had one. But, the smell of the plumeria (franigipani) was so intoxicating, I loved having it on. So it stayed. I think that it is some kind of a traditional thing here. Even men wear them.


Yesterday I read the book, "The Christmas Box". It was a quick read. When I say quick, I mean less than an hour. It was a good book and appropriate for the holidays. I am slowly working my way through "Victoria Victorious" about Queen Victoria. Kinda dry, and I am almost done so that is great. It has given me more insight to her life though. Maybe I will read "Skipping Christmas" today. I read it a couple of years ago, but don't remember much of it besides how the movie is.

For an update on the it is:
Tomorrow is our next baby appointment...hard to believe that our due date is 17 days away. I remember when I got all excited when my countdown ticker said 100 days. Where has the time gone?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Going on the Wishlist!

I found one of the new Lizzie*Kate designs today...this is so going on the wishlist. I *LOVE* it! Now to find the other 2 that were released in the new series, January & February. Maybe Kim knows where they can be found...she's a L*K fanatic!

BTW, I stole this pic from Stitches-N-Things.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Life is good

DH has been home for the past couple of days since they are now on holiday rotation. I really enjoy spending time together. I will admit, he does spoil me. The other day, we had my favorite breakfast, Eggs Benedict. And he knows exactly how I like the eggs...poached hard. No liquid chicken for me, thanks! We also had sliced pears and orange juice. What a way to start the day!

On Tuesday, we did end up going and buying the new dining room set. For those on Saipan, FYI...Monika's Furniture Gallerie is moving to Guam at the end of the month. Due to the economy from what I understand. And unfortunately, there won't be a big sale...they are going to load up a container and ship whatever they have in stock.
So, this is the dining room set. The only drawback is that it doesn't have a leaf to expand it, but it will eventually go in the kitchen once we buy a house back in the States in 1 1/2 years. It is Teak and we think that we got it for a pretty reasonable price. Now, I just have to make cushions for the chairs with removable covers. Because I am too cheap to buy some.

(You can see our "Christmas Tree" in the corner...that's as good as it is getting here at the House of Grinch. Dad made it for us a few years ago.)

Yesterday, we got a bunch of packages in the mail from MIL & FIL. We knew that she had ordered these things, it is so much more fun when you see them in person! They sent the Exersaucer, the mobile (it plays Bach, Beethoven & Mozart), and a set of soft blocks by Baby Einstein along with the food mill that we wanted. We plan on making our own baby food and this will be great for when we go to China next year.

I started working on my Biscornu that I am doing with Carolyn. I totally forgot that we had agreed to start this week! I have serious pregnancy brain lately. All I think about 90% of the time is the baby and baby related stuff. Oops! So, I started it last night. We bought our kits from Mary Kathryn's shop. She also gives very good finishing instructions. The kit comes with the chart, 2 pieces of Jobelan and a skien of Dinky Dyes silk in your color choice ( I chose "Mystic Pools" ). I have never stitched with Dinky Dyes and although they are nice and smooth, I feel like they are too fragile. Guess I will stick with regular DMC after this. The frog came to visit me today, grr. So, I spent time ripping out part of it, but otherwise it is going well. I betcha Carolyn is ahead of me though, lol. I am so slow!

Today I made a ring sling for the baby. I only had 2 yards of fabric, and I think that for the next one, I will use 3 or 3 1/2 yards of fabric. I would also like to do one in a silk dupioni fabric someday...maybe for the baptism...? The instructions that I followed looked at were found on this site. I got the rings from this site that specifically makes & sells rings for slings. If you plan on making a sling, please don't get the rings from the craft store...they are not strong enough.
Doesn't Bella Baby look thrilled to pieces to be slinged? I hope that our baby doesn't give me as much attitude.

Tomorrow we have a holiday party to go to and I am looking forward to it. Last night we had DH's boss over for dinner, it was a nice time. DH & I made ham balls (can I just say *YUM!*), cheesy hashbrown casserole and green bean casserole. (Note to Stels...notice that it is "normal food"?) We also gave him a couple loaves of banana bread and a bunch of soft ginger cookies to take home. The cookies are like biscuits and soo good with a cup of tea.
That's all that is going on here.
BTW, Angelo...I will get to it soon. : )

Monday, December 18, 2006

As if...

As if I needed any more convincing about cloth diapering...these facts are staggering.

I am somewhat amused by the fact that they tried to recycle disposables, lol.

Cloth Diaper Article

Now, how many of you out there that used disposables actually flushed the poo down the toilet before disposing of the diaper? I never really thought about it before but I don't think that I have ever seen anyone do it.

Yuck and double yuck to disposables. Treehuggers unite!


SBQ & Went to the Beach

This week's SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

Do you have any good internet links to tutorials for your favorite finishing techniques that you would like to share?
I usually just go with ideas and a "vision" of what the finished item should look like...but I did buy Summer Truswell's Ultimate Big Book of Finishing last year. She used to have the tutorial online *for free*, but I guess that it got so popular that she realized that she could make money off of it from idiots people like me. It does have some great ideas in it and I think that if you are at a total loss, it is a good deal. I do like how it is spiral bound, so it lays open flat.

Other than that, I just kinda wing it. I like seeing pictures of other finishes and figuring out how to do them based on a picture.


The weather was nice this weekend...scattered showers, but what can you do? We decided to take the dog to the beach. Because she loves it we think that it is good for her to get out of the house & yard every now and then. Aren't we nice? She doesn't particularly love swimming, she does however love to ride in the car. If you leave the car door open in the garage, she will get in and just sit there. If you haven't caught on yet...Lady is not so smart. But she is a good dog and will be great with our kids.
DH also took my new camera for a test run and since I don't have any flattering pictures of this pregnancy yet (only ones I take in front of a full length mirror to track the belly growth), he wanted to get some shots of me. I guess that this is as good as it gets.

This is a local fisherman, he was walking the beach when we first arrived. I think that they just look for good spots where they think the fish are and throw their nets out and hope for the best. I don't know. We use fishing poles at home. And I have yet to actually catch a fish using a pole, so maybe a net is a better deal.

This one might be my favorite:

Of course, I had to take some of DH & the dog.

And these are the hermit crabs that I just love to watch. They are everywhere on the beach and on the rocks.

I finished "November Twirls" snapper from Bent Creek. I started it a couple of days ago. It is part of my 50 project challenge. Now on to December. I want to be caught up through January when the baby comes. I already have February, March & April done so I can take a break then. I stitched this on some kind of ivory 28 ct evenweave that I won in a lot off of ebay. My plan is to take the ones that aren't finished yet (Oct, Nov, Apr) and stitch them into a pillow case and then just make one form and slip it into the coordinating case for the month. That way I don't have 12 pillows sitting on the shelf taking up valuable room.

I have also started to crochet again. I am obsessed with baby hats. Why? I dunno. I have 2 skiens of baby yarn and don't want it sitting around so I have been making all sizes of hats...mostly preemie and newborn though. Believe me, I have enough hats for the baby treehugger already in it's dresser, so these along with the scarf (and any other ones I finish up) are going into a flat rate box and going to The Baby Project. I put a couple of the hats on onions just so you could see how small they are. I know that babies come in all sizes. Hopefully they can use these for someone that really needs them. Or someone that has a doll with a cold nugget.

I noticed that BlogRolling has taken a vacation again, so I have been trying to keep up with GoogleReader. Sometimes I forget though. Whoops.
My Granny sent us a tin of home made cookies that she baked with my Aunt J and the girls. Oh Mylanta, were they ever good! She sent spritz cookies and I ate them first. Sad to say that they are almost all gone : ( But, I did talk to Granny yesterday and asked for some of her double layer rice krispie treats. She makes a batch of red (more like pink) and green (like mint color) and then in between them she puts melted butterscotch chips and peanut butter...holy cow they are deelish. I miss those alot. I think that she will send me some in the next couple of weeks. Granny rocks!
Not much else going on here. Can I just say that not "doing" Christmas has been so freaking stress free? No cards to mail, trees to put up, last minute shopping to do, worrying about going over budget or if the recipient will even like what is picked out for them...I might be able to get used to this.
We are seriously considering buying a new dining room table though. One of the furniture stores here is relocating to Guam at the end of the month so we went in and looked around and found a nice Teak set that we like. I think that we might go back today and take a closer look at it now that we have talked about it more. I will for sure post pictures if we decide to go for it. It really is pretty.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fun mail!

So, the post office has redeemed itself. I apologize to our postal employees for my last rant regarding their service. But, it can be frustrating. It is the holidays afterall and their busiest time of the year.

On to the fun mail.
Did I mention that I got my camera? I did. And I really really really like it so far. I am hesitant to say that I love it yet, seems like the last time that I professed my love of a camera right after getting it, it was a bit premature. I know how to do the basic operation of it and am very happy. Now, I just need to learn the bells & whistles part. It is a Kodak EasyShare P850. I like how it feels nice and solid in hand as well.

I also got the organic sage in the mail and my treat bag from my Yahoo stitching group exchange. And let me tell you, the treat bag was worth the wait!


Inside lining with closures:

Presents inside:

Was I ever spoiled or what? I really love doing exchanges in this group. I love the fact that they are centralized and nobody gets the shaft because their partner is a flake and I love the fact that everyone is so very generous with the bags. I think that the next exchange I am going to participate in is a "stitched fob" exchange, which is due to the Moderator in February. I also like that the Moderator tries to swap out the exchanges at an equal value. Like for the stitched fob exchange, she said that if you send in a fob with a pair of scissors, you will get a fob with a pair of scissors back instead of just a fob. That is nice.

I also got my ornament from the 123stitch message board ornament exchange organized by Sue. My partner was Nancy in Alaska and I think that she just did an awesome job with the stitching and finishing of the ornament. I was glad to hear that she received my ornament as well, which I blogged about here.

I took the picture the other night...we don't really have a "tree" up here at the House of Grinch, so I set it on the shelf that holds some of my prized possessions. Bottles of sand and shells from beaches that DH & I have visited together. My favorites have to be the bottle of sand from Grand Isle, Louisiana, which was pretty much wiped out after Hurricane Katrina. It is where DH proposed to me in October 2003. The other one is the bottle of black sand from Anse Mamin Beach, St. Lucia. The beach where we got married in 2004. We have sand from 3 of the Great Lakes, Australia, Thailand, Oregon, St. Lucia, Louisiana, Guam...still deciding on a beach here in Saipan.


We had our 36 week appointment this week. Got to take a tour of the labor & delivery department. It is tiny. Only 4 rooms. They can be split and turned into 8 rooms though if needed. Plus, the very very nice lady pointed out the "extra bed" that is in the hall (does have a curtain for privacy) if they are really full. Certainly not like the *suites* that they have back in the States, that is for sure. But, it was nice to see it all and get questions answered.

I reeeealllly hope that when I go into labor that I don't end up in the bed in the hall. It would be my luck though, LOL.

The baby is doing great, head down and in position. Now it is just a waiting game. The heartbeat is strong. The doctor still said January...much to DH's disappointment. He really wants it to come before the first of the year.

This week I got all of the clothes sorted, washed and put away. I am waiting on the cloth diapers to come that I ordered from Jillians Drawers. I got the sheets and mattress pads washed, folded and put away. We ordered the crib tent so that the kitties can't get in it...and I think that we are set! I even picked out 2 "coming home" boy and one girl and got those packed into the hospital bag. I hope that they fit it! Maybe I will post a picture of them later this week. The boy one is so is just a blue suit from the Gap, but I think that it is so cute with the little hat and booties.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quote of the week

So, you all know that I am totally down with the Donkeys...

And that I think that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) is just the bee's knees of politicians...

Well, he has made the quote of the week recently.

Speaking in New Hampshire, this is what he said:

"There is no reason why we can't craft a national security strategy that is tough and smart, because what we've seen is tough and dumb."

Tough AND Dumb.

Loves it!

If you want to read the entire story, head over here to the official website.

I fervently hope that he runs in 2008.

In more Obama-ness, I saw this commercial on YouTube...great stuff. The laugh at the end got me.

(can anyone tell me how to get the little YouTube screen shot on this page so that you can watch it here? I tried copying the embed code and it didn't work.)

My new camera came, my new camera came. I have tried it out a little bit, but still have to finish going through the ginormous instruction manual that came with it before I feel totally comfy with it. Will post fun pictures soon!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nothing Special

Well, my Christmas stitching is done. Since we aren't doing "gifts" this year at the House of Grinch, the family is just getting the usual ornament.

They are now winging their way across the Pacific. I hope that they make it in time for Christmas so that they can be on the trees for the actual day.

The ornaments are all from different JCS Ornament Special Issue magazines. I don't have my list in front of me right now.


I am not in the best mood lately.

Mostly because I am so frustrated with the mail system here. There is no home delivery on island so everyone goes to the post office. Well, the little branch that we go to seems to have some kind of impediment with getting our packages to us in a timely manner. When packages come in, they write on the package what box it is for and what date it comes in and then they are supposed to put a slip in the box to let you know you have a package.

I had ordered my sling rings a few weeks ago and was waiting on them...DH brought the package home on 12-7 and they had written on it that it was there on 12-2.

Mom ordered something for us off of ebay (organic sage) and the tracking shows that it was delivered on I have it in my hot little hands? Nope.

Wonder where my new camera is that was shipped 2 weeks ago yesterday?

DH is going to have to do some investigating and see if he can figure out what is going on.


Friday was "Constitution Day" here on Saipan. There are more holidays here than I have ever seen. DH only worked a half day, so that afternoon we went to a barbecue. It was with a bunch of locals that DH knows through work and their families. I have to say that they are just the nicest people. We spent Easter with them as well. I made my Chocolate Chip Coconut (fresh) Oatmeal cookies that morning and took a gallon ziplock of them for the party as well as 2 gallons of homemade caramel corn. The cookies disappeared in a flash. I think that the caramel corn was put away for later. That's okay though because we still had 2 gallons here at the house. I say "had" because it is the past tense. Not so much anymore. The baby craves it, I think. I know one thing, I will never buy store bought caramel corn again!


And for more crazy pet adventures...presenting Bella Baby in a diaper cover....

Not only do we torture love our kitties by putting them in baby clothes, we also go around waking them up during the day because they think that night time is for tearing the house apart. I think that they have a conspiratorial gleam in their eyes.

Viva La Revolution!!

That's it from me, not feeling exceptionally chatty lately. Too much going on in my head.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ahhh...the sweet smell of....

burning garbage. Blech!

There ought to be a law about burning your household refuse. If there is a law, then my neighbors surely don't know about it because they burn their garbage frequently.

And it makes my house smell so charming. Especially the environmentally un-friendly burning plastic. Double blech!!


This baby is sucking the everloving life right out of my body. I am 35 weeks today and have the worst exhaustion. For the past two weeks, it is about all I can do to make the bed every morning. Somehow I did manage to find strength yesterday to do the dishes, make 3 loaves of bread and a foccacia for our roasted veggie sandwiches last night. Which btw, were deelish!

Don't let me fool you...I truly am blessed. This pregnancy has been so easy, I couldn't have asked for more. I never had nausea/vomiting, my blood pressure is great, minimal swelling, I have only gained 19 pounds, and the baby moves around all of the time. It wiggles alot now. I think that it is running out of room. We are really getting anxious to meet this little treehugger and welcome her/him into our family.


I have been spoiled again! My Aunt J & her family sent us a big box this week! They sent a play gym that is so bright and colorful, I love it! And a cute little "First Chewey Toy" that is so bright and visually stimulating, along with the different textures on it...really cool! Along with a container of chocolate toffee covered pretzels and a bunch of hot chocolate mix packets...YUM! When DH saw the pretzels, he immediately took them from me, opened them up and started eating them. I was in mid sentence and just looked at him, it was funny. They also included a couple of things from Granny & Grampy...a packet of adorable onesies and a bib that says "I love my Grandpa". I love it! Thanks again, Aunt J! Killer Lily approves.


I also got an awesome package from Carolyn! Thank you, Carolyn! We are going to do stitch a biscornu together that we bought at Mary Kathryn's Shop ....she got a floss color that wasn't what she thought it was, and I liked it better, so I ordered a surprise color for her and we swapped. She sent that along with a package of the new Peanut Butter Kisses, 3 packages of Sour Patch Kids, a tin of Christmas cookies, a Livestrong bracelet, a Breast Cancer awareness bracelet and 2 scissor fobs. The floss, bracelets and fobs were packaged in the bag inside of the round holiday box and it was just soo cute! I love it all. And I have already scarfed down most of one package of Sour Patch Kids (that's why you only see 2).


DH had to go to some boating safety thingy here recently and brought home a small t-shirt. Like children's size. Since we don't have a child yet to put it on, what do 2 semi-normal people do? Put it on the dog.

I think that Lady likes it. Here she is with DH:

And here she is later on, being too lazy to stand up and eat her Eukanuba:

Good times, Good times.

Y'all missed the other day when we put diaper covers on the cats. They *loved* them! : )

This baby better come soon or else the animals are going to revolt.


Okay, I am going to go play with my blogger template some. Now that I got to join the "cool kids club" (blogger beta), I need to make some changes. Could be a challenge for my HTML developmentally disabled self.


Monday, December 04, 2006


Today is my Mom's benefit back home (Sunday back in the States).

I really wish that I could be there.

I really wish that I could see with my own eyes what is really going on with her.


Friday, December 01, 2006


I like this week's SBQ (stitching blogger's question) so I figured I would answer.

This week's SBQ is:

"How do you secure your thread when you begin a new one? Specifically,do you or have you ever used a waste knot?"

I typically only use DMC floss, and use 2 threads so I use the "loop method" to start my threads about 95% of the time. If I am stitching 1 over 1, then I just either tuck the end under a couple of stitches nearby or hold it with a finger as I stitch over it (since I stitch Continental Style and my backsides of solid areas look like: l l l l l l l ). I then end the thread by running it under a few stitches.

(Click on "Loop Method" above to see a demo of it if you are interested)

I have never used a waste knot, or any kind of knot that I can think of.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sewing Machine - 1, Missy- 0

Did I ever mention that I *hate* my sewing machine? I do. And I wish that I had taken Home Ec so that I actually had some idea of what I was doing instead of reading the manual and flying by the seat of my pants. I have spent the last 30 minutes ripping out seams. No matter what I do, my stitches are tight, uneven, and the machine jams up because the shuttlerace underneath gets a tiny bit wobbly and I can't keep it tightened up.

I tried up upgrade to Blogger Beta this am and it told me that I can't. Rat Bastards. I see all this "Switch Now" hoopla on my dashboard and then when I get the balls to try to do it...denied.

Stitching updates:

I have been working on ornaments this past week. I only have 2 *maybe 3* left to do, if I am ambitious enough. This last month of pregnancy is wiping me out like nobody's business.

(No, I wasn't drunk when I took these just never know how they are going to turn out since I can't review them or look at them on the LCD screep of ol'crappy. And I get tired of re-doing them so here they are in their glory.)

Prairie Schooler
"Santa Canoe"
Leftover linen scrap (32 ct)
DMC floss

Birds of a Feather

"Keep Christmas In Your Heart"

2000 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue

leftover linen scrap (32 ct)

DMC floss

Lynn's Prints

"Outside My Window"

2005 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue

linen scrap (32 ct)

DMC floss


Now who was it that said that they don't want any presents for the baby? Yeah, that is me, eating crow right now. We got some really awesome things in the mail this week and I am loving it!!!

First is the package from my MIL & FIL. She told me recently that she has ordered more things and will ship them once she gets them. I can't wait!!

They sent:

*a package of 2 Boppy Slipcovers, which I love

*Hola Jalapeno (board book), My First Sushi (board book), Yum Yum Dim Sum (board book), and a Little Golden Book of SleepyTime Tales hardcover book.

Love it all. DH & I had a fun time reading the board books...they are so cute! (I can already hear my BFF, the Popularity Queen, making comments about the "weird" food that we eat. Got to introduce the baby to it early in life so that it likes it!!)

Then, we got a GIANT box in the mail from my Dad & J. I knew that they were sending this since J told me that she was going shopping for the baby. I told her, "Well, just don't go crazy." To which she replied, "You know I will!."

And she did.

Here is the box, before opening...

And this is the ton of stuff that was inside of it:

*Bottle drying rack

*Giddy Up & Go play mat with hanging things

*Sponge-y bath mat thing for bathing

*Evenflo Elan Feeding System

*Evenflo bottles


*Mother Goose Pop-Up book

*Nursery Rhyme hardcover book

*First book of "Taggies"

*Johnson's baby care gift pack with soaps & stuff

*Infant grooming kit with the always funny booger sucker thingy

*rubber duck for bath time (a kid can never have enough toys in the the other duck has a pal!)

*A hooded bear fleece blanket

*Baby Einstein soft books: What Floats and Water Everywhere

*a Boppy reversable cover that is sooo my style. I *love* the fabrics on this!

*2 waterproof mattress pads

*4 crib sheets

Wow! I think that we are set with baby stuff! It was almost like Christmas opening that box. I really need to put some sheets back on that bed sometime soon...kinda ugly for staging pictures. : )

I am anxious to start getting everything put away and all the linens and clothes washed...I told DH the other day that I was going to start and he said, "Don't you think it is a bit early yet? We still have another month to go." Fine, you win. But only for another week.


Speaking of DH, he has really come up with some zingers lately.

The other night I was in the kitchen and thought there was something on the floor, so I bent at the waist kinda and looked down. He was walking past and said, "What are you looking for, your feet?".

Last week, we were getting ready to go and I said, "Hang on, I need to go to the bathroom first." (a pregnant woman's bladder is a tricky thing) I went to the bathroom and he followed me since he was still talking to me (we don't hide much in this house). As my 2 teaspoons of pee came out, I gave him an exasperated look and threw my hands in the air...his reply?

"Yeah, be sure to empty out your thimble."

Did I mention that I baked cookies last week? Yep, some oatmeal pumpkin cookies with whole wheat (they need chocolate). And I also managed to touch the hot cookie sheet to my giant belly which resulted in a nice burn and blister. Mother of the Year, right here!!



I am so sick of ebay sellers holding my feedback hostage. I did my part, I paid you very leave feeback for me. Don't wait to see what I am going to say. Arrrgghh.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Some stash has to go!

I have just listed a few auctions on ebay...some of this stuff has got to go!!!

My ebay auctions

There is a lot of Just Nan's with embellishment packs, a lot of Lizzie Kate & Mill Hill patterns from kits and also a Crossed Wing "Silken Wings" kit.

I also have a "Vintage Box" from Gloria & Pat that has about 46 pattern books and a stitched model available (not listed yet on ebay) for $28 including shipping. Email me if you want pictures or listing of charts: mhighfill@gmail. com

I also have a huge pile of patterns that I am going to go through and list on ebay as one *GIANT* lot.

Bid often and bid high! : )

Remember, we have a baby coming : )


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Day, Big Belly, New Camera, Spot the Kitty...

Things around here have been pretty relaxed. We had a nice Thanksgiving. We were invited to a few get-togethers so off we went. The first one was at Pau Pau beach here on Saipan. A beach I had never been to, but was very surprised at how nice and clean it was. Maybe Beautify CNMI! has been there recently...? They really do a nice job of cleaning beaches and planting trees around the island. I think that they are really getting the treehugging word out. I am hoping that we will join their efforts at some point once the baby is born...right now I feel like a house. The second party was at a friend's house and it was nice. We were home by 7:30, so I was thankful for that.

DH took a pic of me on Thanksgiving I am 33 weeks (8 months) pregnant and can you believe that I am wearing an outfit that I wore in June 2003!? I was a bit husky back in 2003, but I about died when I put the outfit on and was able to button it up. I know that I look thrilled in the picture, it was the end of the night, we were at DH's office for him to finish up some work so that he could stay home on Friday and I just wanted to go home. : )

This week I have been working on ornaments. I have a few more left to do and then I will post a picture of them all. We are being scrooges this year and not really "doing" Christmas. I just think that it will be too much since the baby is due at the beginning of January. I am sure that I won't feel like taking down a tree and decorations with a newborn. All I will probably want to do is sleep. So, in that same train of thought, we aren't really sending presents to our families...just the ornaments that I make. And we are asking for nothing in return, because doing so would just not be right.

I am getting a new camera!!! It is a Kodak P850. I hope that it will be here in the next week or so. Here is a link to the review of it. I looked at quite a few online before choosing this one. DH has really been talking about the Canon Rebel Digital SLR, but I can't see forking over $800 right now for one. Even though it would match his 35mm. And it rocks.

Then I read an article online about the Sony Cybershot (which is the craptastic one that I have currently) having problems with the LCD screen, etc. due to humidity in certain climates. Umm, hello...thanks alot people! I am going to still investigate to see if I can get it repaired through them or not. They will probably say that I can't since we live in Saipan and everyone thinks that Saipan is BFE or a foreign country. We are a Commonwealth of the USA!!! Rant over.


Can you tell which one of these critters doesn't belong? I caught Bella Baby snoozing in the crib yesterday. We are so going to have to get a crib tent to keep the kitties out of the crib. We shoo them out when we catch them, but I am not looking forward to the times that we don't know about...

Image hosted by (click on the picture to see it bigger)
by curlystitcher

In the picture you can also see the 2 blankets that Mom crocheted for the baby hanging over the rail. Okay, I think that we are all set with the crocheted baby blankets! I did one, Mom did two, and Granny usually does one for all new babies...although she hasn't said anything about it. The kid will be hauling these to college with it, it will have so many. Did I ever mention that it is *hot* here?

DH & I are really getting anxious about the baby coming. I am most anxious to know what the gender is. I decided that with the next one, we will find out before it is born. Doesn't mean that we have to tell everyone. Although I am sure we will. Or, I will. I can't keep many secrets.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another souvenir from Australia trip

Have you all seen this cute heart freebie for the holidays? Click here to see it. I think that it is adorable and have printed it out. Not saying that I will get to it this year, but you know.


We got another souvenir in the mail from our Australia trip...

DH got a speeding ticket. Don't be shocked, I wasn't. I saw the signs everywhere that said that they use cameras to monitor speed.

His alleged speed was 115km/h (equals 71.46 mph) and the permitted speed was 100km/h (equals 62.14 mph).

The fine for going 9.32 mph over the speed limit in Australia?

$215 AUD which equals $165.81 USD. OUCH. That cuts into the diaper buying budget!

They don't mess around in Australia.

This is the same model we had in Aus, a Hyundai Getz...Getz you where you are going!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Woo Hoo! Baby stuff galore

We received a lovely package from my Aunt T in Dallas this week. I was very happy to open this up and see what goodies were inside. Shamefully I will admit, I *love* getting presents. But I don't want to seem greedy. I do love giving/sending presents it is just kinda hard to do here when you have to rely on the local stores for gifts or go online. I miss browsing.

Anyway, on to what was inside already!!

A package of washcloths, a package of onesies, a package of burp cloths (that match the onesies that Staci sent us a few months ago), a Classic Pooh plush rattle, a package of Classic Pooh bibs, a package of booties, a neat rubber ducky that has a temperature sensor on it that tells you if the bathwater is too hot, and my favorite of all, THE BUNNY SLIPPERS!!! They are so freaking cute, I can't hardly stand it. Even DH loves them. First thing he asked was, "Are you going to have the baby wear them when we go home to visit?" To which I replied, "You are damn right, I can't wait for it to get here so I can put them on it" (It being the baby).

Thank you, Aunt T!

Now, you all know by know that I love thrift shops and buying things at garage sales and secondhand shops. I love it even more when you find things at said places with the tags still on them. Then you know that they were never used (hopefully). Mom was at a thrift shop at home and saw this bag and thought it was a nice bag for her. She didn't really look at it, seems like it was a "snatch it before someone else's mitts come after it" situation.
She is a fan of the ginormous purse. And for $3 with the tag still on it, what a bargain!
Only when she got home and was looking at it more, and opened it up and pulled out the diaper pad did she say "What the hell?".
So, we got a pretty nice diaper bag. For free. It is from Target and is a chocolate brown. It is so soft and a nice suede-ish material. Yeah, it is fake suede, but how long do diaper bags really last? Longevity is not the concern here. I go for quality and classic designs (Coach) when selecting handbags because I want to carry them for 10 years (off & on), not a diaper bag.
We went and bought a crib mattress for the crib at the local baby shop and I got the crib itself all disinfected and cleaned (since it is secondhand). The baby's room is also our guest room. Not really concerned about that since we don't have any guests out here in Saipan (I think that the $1,500 plane ticket is a deterrant, personally). I used to have all of these stuffed animals on the guest bed, but we recently stripped the sheets off the bed and washed them. The only ones that slept there were the cats. I had to do a double take one day while walking past the baby's room as DH had arranged the stuffed animals in the crib. It was too cute. Don't call Child Protection Services yet, folks. I know that it all has to come out of the crib before baby goes in, I just thought it was too cute. And the crib is really nice for only $25.
Anyone else out there that is Christian and doesn't do the whole "Santa Claus" thing with their kids?
We have decided not to. No Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. I am not saying that those characters are banned from our house, we just aren't going to trick our kids into believing that they are real and then pulling the rug out from underneath them or having them learn from a meanie at school.
I found out when I was 6 years old and I was devistated that there was no Santa. My Dad told me. All because I was being a little beyotch about getting a Cabbage Patch Kid when my Ste-Sister didn't. It was 1983, y'all. People were getting mugged over these stupid dolls. Yeah, I did gloat. Big time. But my bubble was burst quite effectively. Then I got the threat of the beating of a lifetime if I told my Step-Sister and Step-Brother that there was no Santa.
I do have a point here. Follow me, will you? If you have a kid believe that there is a Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc., even though they never see the person and then eventually find out that they aren't is that going to affect their spirituality in regards to Jesus? They can't see him, how will they truly believe that he is real?
That's not to say that we won't teach them of the folklore of Santa and his pals and incorporate them in some way. I just don't want our kids to put false hope into something that isn't true.
Besides too much empasis is put on the consumerism of the holidays instead of the actual reason for the holiday.
Thanks for reading my ramble. And to my new readers, I hope that I didn't scare you away! : )
I just read an article regarding Sen. Obama and if he keeps this up, he will have my full support in 2008.