Home, sweet home.

Many thanks to all for the congratulations! We came home from the hospital at noon today but took these photos before we left. It was so strange to get in the car with a baby after having left it pregnant (and contracting). We are all doing well as we continue to adjust to the newness of, well, everything.

I will probably post mostly photos in the near future (if I can figure out how to do so one-handed…), but I hope that family and friends don’t mind seeing lots of our beautiful baby. It’s just so hard not to show off. :)

One of many kisses.

Her mouth makes a little "o".

Looking so alike.

Big dark eyes.

The proud grandmother.

Not sure what to think.

Just before leaving the hospital.

Family portrait.

The one with all the hair.

I’m pretty sure that’s how they refer to her in the nursery.

Introducing Camilla.

But you can call her Camilla. Camilla Calliope Eva-Marie Frances Jerusalem Jubilee Gibbs, if you want, since that’s her full name.

The three Gibbses.

She was born this morning at 4:54 am weighing 8 lbs, 5.6 oz, and was 20 inches long.

Holding her for the first time.

Her little thighs are are amazingly chubby.

The proud father.

We love her so very much.

Josh watched her stuff her entire fist in her mouth.

God is very good to us.

Ready or not.

Actually, she seems to be ready — my body is the one that’s not cooperating. We had some ultrasounds, etc. today and everything was great. Except for the “just not going into labor” part.

It would be much, much nicer if the baby exited the premises of  her own accord, but there is a backup eviction plan for Saturday or Monday. Will let you know what happens.

A tasty distraction.

Each day that the baby has not come yet (like today), husband and I find ourselves with the quandry of what to do. I realize that this problem is a luxury in and of itself, but it’s still troublesome when the single thing you most want to do is the thing that cannot be done on command. Today’s solutions included reading at Panera for a few hours (thanks to my sudden scone craving) and spending a ridiculous amount of time making dinner. Husband blogged about the event and you can find his description and my photos here.

Of course, it’s all part of our plan to convince the baby that good things await her if she will only decide to come out.

A quick ‘n’ easy flower headband.

I had a rare burst of both creativity and energy when I was walking past the faux flowers at Joann’s yesterday (40% off!) and finished this little crafting project last night. Other than the flowers, I happened to have almost all of the ingredients on hand already…if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have even started. But since I had the time and a camera handy, I took a few pics and thought I’d make one last crafty-type post before baby comes (puleeeeeeaaaaasssse, let this be the last post!).

Flower Headband Tutorial

Skinny plastic headband (I got a set of 5 for $3 at Ross)
Florist’s tape (it helps if it is a similar color to the headband)
Fake flowers (mine are made of balsa wood)

Making a flower headband, step 1.

Step 1
Disassemble your flowers and cut the wire stems so that they are only 2 or 3 inches long. Move them around the side of your headband until you find an arrangement you like, keeping in mind that they look better when they are closer to your ear (at least, that’s what I think…if the flowers end up in the middle of your head, the headband will have more of a Ren Fair vibe).

Making a flower headband, step 2.

Step 2
Wrap the florist’s tape tightly around the headband a few times in the spot where you intend to place your uppermost flower. Then, hold the flower on the headband with the stem/wire on the outside and secure with tape.

Making a flower headband, step 3.

Step 3
Continue to add flowers working from the top to the bottom by wrapping tape around the stems. Trim stems as necessary if they seem too long or want to poke out.

Making a flower headband, step 4.

Step 4
After all the flowers are secured, wind the tape around the bottom a few times and cut. You can also add florist’s tape to the other side of the headband so that it feels and looks the same on both sides (I think the tape really helps it to stay in your hair, too).

Making a flower headband, step 5.

Step 5 (Optional)
Pick out a matching shirt and wear your new headband to church, hoping it will attract attention away from your unwashed hair and hugely pregnant stomach. Try not to get annoyed when your plan fails.

The final product.

I think I might make a few more of these after the baby comes. It really only takes about 15 minutes, and it’s so fun to have jewelry for your head!

Did I mention I got a haircut?

Now all I need is the matching baby.

Well, my due date was Wednesday and still no baby. I know that this is very common (especially for first-time moms) and am not too surprised, but it really would have been very nice if she had come as scheduled, especially since it was Josh’s birthday and all he really wanted was a baby. In an unexpected turn of events, however, I found out that my midwife is out of town until Sunday night and I’ve never met the backup doctor, so I am really hoping that I don’t go into labor until Monday. Monday would be nice, though. After a relaxing weekend and before my mom comes. Hear that, baby? Please come Monday.

Until then, we are trying to enjoy as many low-key, non-contraction-producing activities as possible. Out with the long walks, in with relaxing laps around a (borrowed) pool. It has been ridiculously hot here in northern FL, so anything that doesn’t involve a/c or large bodies of water is officially a Bad Idea. I think we’re going to go spend some time at the movies this afternoon…doesn’t that sound lovely? Comfy seat + dark air-conditioned room + distraction = the ideal way to pass the time. I don’t even feel guilty spending the money since who knows when we’re going to go to the movies again.

As you might have guessed, my nesting urges — which have never been as strong as I’ve heard other women describe — seem to be running low at the moment. I’m supposed to want to scrub the bathroom sink with a toothbrush instead of relaxing, right? I did manage to get some more work done in the nursery before the lethargy hit, however. These are a few photos of its current state, which is still not quite final.

Still haven't finished the curtain, unfortunately.

It’s a little hard to see, but I labeled each of the dresser drawers using pretty Martha Stewart labels (and an ugly black sharpie…didn’t think that through!) since I figured that husband’s chances of successfully changing and dressing the baby are much higher if he doesn’t have to pull out all nine drawers in the process. I was all ready to start on the curtain the other day when I realized that we somehow lost the curtain rod mounting gear during our last move so I need to get a new one. Sigh. Hopefully I will pick up a new rod and finish the project today or tomorrow since the “hole in the wall” look is a little annoying.

New painting.

This is the painting that I’ve been trying so hard to finish before baby comes. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s actually the culmination of a four month saga and about 10 coats of paint. It all started when husband read (and loved) The Little Prince and began a fantastically complicated drawing for the baby on a whiteboard in his classroom. It was full of stars and asteroids and special symbols that he developed through discussions with his omnibus students and which they then started drawing on all their papers. When I was thinking about art for the baby’s room, the first idea that came to mind was to take his whiteboard drawing and turn it into a big painting. I worked on some sketches for a while and then drew my final composition on the canvas and painted the background (you can see it in this photo). I didn’t get any farther before we moved, however, so the canvas then sat in the baby’s room until two weeks ago when I decided that I ought to at least try and finish since who knows when I’m going to have the time to paint again. By this time, however, I had changed my mind about the project and wanted to do a collage. Initially I wanted to paint the collage paper myself (I even managed to finish 4 or 5 pieces) but ran out of steam and decided to use National Geographic photographs instead. So I primed over my old painting, applied three coats of blue (the first was the wrong color), bought a bunch of old NGs, and spent a few days happily clipping and cutting and pasting my pieces together. And then I arranged them on the canvas.

And I hated it.

It took a little while for me to explain to husband how it was wrong, and in the end all I can say is that it was just too busy. I don’t go in for a lot of popular baby decor, but I do like the idea that a baby’s room is restful and calming. Simple. Which was not at all what the collage looked like. So I scrapped the idea and decided that I should do a painting after all. I primed over my dark blue background, applied two coats of light blue, and started on an acrylic painting.

Four hours later, I hated it too.

At this point I had put a lot of hours (and tears) into the project and was wondering whether I should keep trying on principle or just give up. I decided to give it one more shot using the same contact paper stenciling technique that I used on the bird wall (remember that?), since I was still pretty happy with the way it looked. So I applied yet another coat of primer, took out my scissors and contact paper, and started cutting again. And this is the way it turned out. 

The Little Prince.

The scene is the one where the Prince leaves his asteroid by harnessing a flock of birds that “happen to be flying by.” I really love the imagery and thought it fit well with the rest of the bird-ish nursery, so I added some of husband’s special asteroids and called it good. Not quite what I originally had in mind, but at least I managed to FINISH. Hah!

Bookshelf and framed Julia Rothman wallpaper scrap.

As I was working on the painting I remembered that I had ordered some Julia Rothman wallpaper samples from Hygge and West a while back and checked to see if any of them fit my color scheme. The piece above the bookshelf had the perfect combination of green, blue, and white and happened to be just the right size for a frame I already had, so it went on the wall. I think I may paint the frame blue eventually, but it’s okay for now. Hygge and West has just started selling wallpaper by the yard, so I think I’m going to get a yard of the same stuff and use it to cover a new shade for the lamp on the changing table. The brown is just too strong and I haven’t found a replacement I like — a wallpaper’d lampshade should be pretty easy, right?  

The ottoman is also new, a happy Goodwill find. The color’s not perfect but the price was right and I am pretty positive that I am going to want to put my feet up during all those late night nursing sessions. Since the painting ended up being light blue instead of navy that stripey rug really stands out to me now…I’m not sure if it’s going to stay in this room, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. I did order a mobile to go over the crib (this one — the seller is totally sweet and agreed to a partial trade for some prints from my shop) that has dark blue in it and might balance it out.

Of course, all of this obsessing about the baby’s room is a tad ironic since she’ll be sleeping in a bassinet in our room for a while. But it’s so hard to NOT decorate her space, even when I know that it won’t really matter at first. It makes me so happy to peek through the doorway and see her bed and her chair and her painting.

Come soon, little baby…the only thing missing is you!

The waiting game.

Babybird continues to refuse to come outside and play, so life in the Gibbs household has settled into a holding pattern. Husband is officially on vacation now, too, so we had a very peaceful and enjoyable Library Day yesterday. Between the local university library and the downtown public library, we have a pretty decent array of (free!) summer reading options to choose from. I made a rare new book purchase at Barnes & Noble last week and came home with A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Lots of fun stories + some yummy-looking recipes = motivation to read more books about food. My desire to cook experiences severe ups and downs and I have to say that it hasn’t been very high ever since I got pregnant, but I am hoping that things will change in the months to come. (You know, once there’s a baby around who will make cooking 10x more complicated than it was before.) Rather than loading up on cookbooks, though, I decided to try a thinker’s approach and picked up copies of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Second Nature, Fast Food Nation, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. At the very least, I hope to find my lost motivation to start a potted garden on our back patio. Anyone have other suggestions for good reading along those lines?

I can only sit on the couch for so long before my back starts killing me, however, so I’m trying to fit in a few other activities as well. I finished that wedding photo album (is it just me, or is this a pretty common first-baby activity?), I’ve clipped a ton of photos from old National Geographics for my new collage obsession, I baked scones, I cleaned the apartment, I did laundry, I packaged a final Etsy order, I finally got my new Adobe CS4 running on the computer (hooray!!!). I even finished a pastel portrait commission that someone asked me to do almost two months ago:

Pastel portrait.

I’m going to get some supplies today for a collage I want to finish in the baby’s room…I kind of hope that she’ll come before I’m done, but I might as well be productive while I can.

That pregnant silhouette.

Here’s to hoping that this silhouette is enjoying its very last days (or hours)!

Running out of room.

Well, the school year is over, my hospital bag is packed, the baby’s clothes are washed and folded, and her bedroom is in a decent state of tidyness. The only thing left to do is wait.

About two weeks ago, I had the sudden and dramatic sensation that the baby was going to come any day now, which prompted a wave of stress and hurried preparations. There were some physical signs to support this idea so I don’t think I was/am totally irrational. I prayed fervently that I would have time to enter my grades, and then that I would finish the last week of teaching. And then a few days ago I prayed that I would recover from the nasty sore throat and cold that I picked up. Now that I’ve fulfilled my teaching duties and am on the mend, the sense of urgency is slowing down a little bit. Judging by my continuing shortness of breath and the pain in my ribs, I think baby’s still sitting pretty high and not in a hurry to be born tonight. Or tomorrow. As a result, I am finding myself with a little bit of leisure time that I didn’t expect to have. I have cleaned the apartment (although, I must admit, not with with the nesting frenzy that other women describe). I wrote 23 more thank you notes. I washed the sheets. I bought materials to finally put together my wedding photo album. I plan to work on a commission that I’ve been putting off for weeks.

It’s really strange to have time for these things.

While temporarily pleasant, I know that this situation cannot continue forever. For one thing, I am just plain running out of room inside. Whenever I feel the least bit bored, I can stare at my stomach and admire the shifting lumps that are all I can see of my child at the moment. It’s like an unpredictable ocean with waves that have no discernable cause: there will be two little ripples, a giant breaker, silence, and then a series of lapping waves that move from one side to the other. It’s amazing and (unfortunately) somewhat uncomfortable. While seemingly enormous on the outside, the inside of my stomach isn’t big enough anymore. This knowledge helps me feel better when I think about the process of birth and how unpleasant it must be for the baby. If I was pushed and squeezed and shoved out of my nice warm home into something cold and bright and uncomfortable, I’d cry too. But the lease on that nice warm home is almost up, and it’s non-renewable.

In the meantime, our poor dog — who has no idea what changes are coming to her comfy little life — has finally realized that there’s a lot less room on my lap than there used to be. This was the scene today when I was writing notes in the kitchen and she made her usual request for UP…

Please can I sit on your lap?

…only to discover that the scant inches between the table and my belly were not very accommodating.

Hey, there's not much room up here!

Where am I supposed to fit?

At first she was a little miffed…


…but, being a practical beast, she decided in the end to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

I think that this is a lesson that befits us all right now.