Thursday, July 9, 2015

Philip's Birth Story

Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. John 16:21
It's sort of funny how during pregnancy a woman can think up of all the ways her labor can go and try to predict what it will be like. And then one day, labor just happens and you're left thinking, wow, that's not how I expected it at all.

Since this was my third birth, when I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test I thought, oh yeah, I know how this goes... I got this. Looking back, it was a pretty silly thing to think. It turns out that I did not, in fact, "got this". Although my pregnancy held no sort of major complications, we classify it as my hardest pregnancy. Morning sickness hit me like a falling stone, my aversions were crazy (goodbye, coffee!), and I was more exhausted than I had been in previous pregnancies (I guess growing a child whilst raising three had a little bit to do with that).

When my due date came near, I did all I could to prepare for life with a newborn. Since my second baby, Isabelle, came one week before her due date, I made sure to be ready earlier rather than later. I was sure he would come at least one week early. Once we were as ready as one could be, we started playing the "predict the day" game. Would he come on my husbands birthday? No. How about St. Patrick's day? No, again. Then all of a sudden, my due date was a week away and I began to wonder whether we would be playing the waiting game all the way up until April Fools.

I came to the conclusion that I wanted him to be born two days before his due date (which was a Thursday), because you know, one can totally have control over these details. During one of my last prenatal appointments, I explained to my midwife Vicki that I had everything planned out: start labor around 5:00 pm, drop the kids off with grandma, go into the birth center around 6:00, and be home with the baby by 11 o'clock that night. We laughed about how unrealistic that timing was. My husband, on the other hand, thought Friday would be a good day to have a baby.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Minimal Wood Lamp

DIY Wood Lamp
These lamps caught my eye several months ago on Pinterest and as I do with most things I see on Pinterest, I conspired to make my own. I acquired all the supplies and got right to work. I had the best intentions to finish it before Philip's birth but things didn't quite go as planned (much like his birth). But now! Now, it's done. And I love it.
Here's what you'll need:
Large wood dowel*
Drill Bits: 5/8-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/8-inch
Porcelain socket
Cloth covered wire (I got mine from Color Cord Company)
Rubber plug end (I found mine at Home Depot)
Thumb switch
Necessary tools for wiring a lamp: wire stripper and electrical tape

Here's how it's done:
Start by preparing your wood dowel. Find the center of the dowel (I kind of winged it) and drill a pilot hole using the 1/8-inch drill bit. Then, using the 5/8-inch drill bit, drill down from the top of the wood dowel. Stop boring out the wood when the hole is just deep enough to fit the porcelain socket. You want the socket to fit just under the top of the wood.

Once you have bored out a hole for the socket, start drilling further down with the 1/4-inch bit. I had to flip my dowel over and drill from the bottom in order to drill all the way through the dowel. Next, drill from the side of the dowel in towards the center until you meet the middle.
Cloth Wire Lamp
Feed the cloth wire through the holes until you have one end poking through the top and the side of the dowel. Attach the socket on the top end and the rubber plug on the other end. For detailed instructions on wiring a socket, check out this post. Wiring a rubber plug end is pretty much the same.

The cloth wire I purchased had a ground wire included. There was no need for a ground wire for this project (since my plug only had two-prongs), so I simply clipped off the ground wire and pretended as if it wasn't even there. At this point you can also attach the switch. I ran out of time (as one with an infant does), so the switch isn't attached in these photos.

Finally, firmly (but gently!) shimmy the porcelain socket into the hole. We (and by we I mean my husband) wrapped the socket in electrical tape to prevent it from wobbling around.
Wood Dowel Lamp
*A note about the base: I searched high and low for a big enough dowel that would work for this project. I ended up finding this piece at a local exotic wood store. It was a scrap piece that a former employee had lathed out of a piece of poplar. I am no woodworker. Since there was no way I could have made my own large dowel, I was ecstatic to find one already formed. If you have no access to a lathe and can't find a large dowel pre-made, you can always made one of these lamps out of a simple 4x4 post.
It may be my favorite lamp to date. Although this copper and wood one takes a close second.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Because Babies

It's been nearly three months since my last blog post. I'm sure anyone who has read this blog (which is everyone - duh) is going through some major withdrawal syndrome. Don't worry though, your symptoms should decrease shortly.

When I warned that it would get quiet over here, I never intended for it to be this quiet. Other things have somehow been stealing my attention away from this little blog. You know, things like coercing smiles from an infact (it's surprisingly easy, I promise!) and counting piggies with a two year old ("eight, nine, ten, eleven, eight nine ten...."). Four children is a shockingly drastic change from three, but we're making it work and loving (mostly) every minute of it.

So although things may be forever changed for this corner of the internet, I still have some posts up my sleeve that I'd like to share with you. I can't say what this blog will be in the future, so let's just take it one day (or post) at a time.
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