Saturday, September 10, 2011


"Tess, if I had to put a patient on a broad spectrum antibiotic, but they were allergic to Penecillins, I would put them on a broad spectrum cephalosporin, such as Cefepime.  Particularly if I suspected Pseudomonas infection."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had an old t-shirt?

I'm pretty sure I'm in the "nesting" phase of my pregnancy.  I have constant cravings for DIY projects and crafts...especially when I can do them for free or with things I already have laying around.  We are in St. Louis right now staying with Giovanni's family during his break between semesters, but did I leave my crafting supplies at home?  Heck no!  I dragged a box and two bags full of random things and tools so I could craft my little heart out while we're here.  I even brought along my friend's sewing machine in case I got the urge. (Thanks Sarah!)  

Well, I've been especially drawn to the idea of upcycling or repurposing old things to make something useful, fun, and new.  My latest target has been repurposing old t-shirts using online tutorials to make all kinds of cool things.  On Sunday I decieved my brother-in-law, Justin, into giving me one of his old t-shirts.  I'm pretty sure he thought I wanted it because my t-shirts are not very accomodating of my ever-growing belly.  Nope.  I wanted to cut it up, rip it into pieces, stretch it out and make this....

Pretty cute, right?  And totally FREEEE!  :)  I still had a bunch of t-shirt material left over, so yesterday I made this...

Still having even MORE material left over from the headband project, I came up with a BRILLIANT idea late last night.  I mean, we're talkin' after midnight here.  That should have been my first clue.  I had heard the term "rag rollers" before and sort of thought I got the idea.  Maybe I should have looked it up online to see if there's some sort of trick to it...but I didn't.  So after I got out of the shower, I started cutting up strips of the t-shirt...rolling my hair around it...and tying it off.  When I was done, it looked like this...

I slept on it all night long.  It wasn't too comfortable, but I think it was better than foam rollers.  I almost couldn't get to sleep because I was so excited to see how my curls would turn out!  (I've ALWAYS wanted legit curly hair.)  I was convinced that I had figured out a cheap, easy way for me to get beautiful curls whenever I wanted without having to use a curling iron.  It didn't exactly work out as I'd imagined...

I thought maybe I could fix it by shaking out the curls a little bit.  I was wrong...

After several more attempts to tame the beast, I finally decided to embrace the mess...

I was alone in the house, laughing hysterically at myself.  I can't decide if I wish someone would have been here to share the hilarity or if I'm glad no one had to witness this tragedy in person.  With the help of some mousse and a little time for the curls to settle a bit, I was finally able to look like a normal person again...

They are pretty goofy, skeewompus curls, but at least they are curls!!!  I may need to practice a bit more with this rag roller thing.  Or maybe I should just stay away.  Far away.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Art Therapy

Last night Giovanni was on campus until midnight studying for finals (which as of right now are officially over!).  I could tell he was nervous for this set of tests because he normally doesn't stay on campus that long.  I was busy until midnight as well, only I wasn't being quite as productive.  I started tinkering around with some crafty-type things I've been working on and got totally sidetracked making this...

Wall art for Baby's room!  I love books, birds, and trees...hence the birds and tree made of book pages.  I felt like I was a kid again because I wasn't trying to make anything perfect.  I didn't even know what I was making when I started.  I was just having fun, cutting out shapes and watercoloring them.  I should really do stuff like this more was almost therapeutic!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What do you want me to do with this information?

Last night Giovanni was studying for an exam while I was indulging in my latest obsession.  He looks up at me and sounds kind of excited when he says, "Hey, Tess..."

I tear my eyes away from the computer screen thinking he had something cool to tell that we'd just won the lottery.


"There are four types of acute respiratory failure.  Type one is failure to oxygenate.  Type two is failure to ventilate.  Type three is perioperative.  Type four is shock."  

Good to know, Gio.  Good to know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

24 Weeks

So far, pregnancy has meant:

* Nausea like I've never known nausea before
* Giovanni making me do squats every 2 two hours on our road trip to Utah (to prevent bloodclots)
* Only wanting to eat hard boiled eggs for a week...and then never wanting to eat hard boiled eggs again
* Being sure it was a boy...until we found out it is a girl
* Shopping for baby girl things with my mom
* Having a meltdown in the middle of Target because there are just too many strollers/cribs/baby accessories/etc for any sane person to wrap their head around
* Loving waking up at 6 o'clock every morning because I just wasn't tired anymore
* Realizing that waking up at 6 o'clock every morning was just a phase
* Trying not to be horrified that there is a person growing inside my body (Alien, anyone??)
* Finally having an excuse to be tired and moody most of the time
* Being awestruck when I felt her kick for the first time
* Watching Giovanni be awestruck when he felt her kick for the first time
* Getting over the awe and just being really annoyed when she decides to practice soccer drills the second I lay down to sleep at night
* Praying that I don't develop stretch marks in the night
* Wondering why the only place I have developed stretch marks is on the front of my left thigh
* Cleaning out the closet in baby's room to make space for all the clothes, toys, blankets, and other gifts she has been given
* Being so excited when I woke up one morning and realized that I finally look pregnant, and not just fat
* Bringing home a stroller and car seat, then pushing it around the house with a stuffed animal inside because it's just so fun
* Loving listening to Giovanni talk about how excited he is to teach her how to ride BMX/pack a backpack for a 50 mile hike/do a cartwheel/kick a soccer ball/etc/etc/etc 
* Trying not to gain too much weight
* Watching her hiccup on the ultrasound
* Trying to figure out if I can handle birth without an epidural
* Experiencing chronic back pain for the first time ever
* Experiencing heartburn for the first time ever
* Forgetting to take my vitamin and hoping she's not screwed up because of it
* Being so excited to welcome her into the world sometime around December 12! (hopefully)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dang, we could have had a baby by now...

I realized that it has been almost 9 months since I've posted anything on here, so I thought I'd dust off the old blog.  I usually have a hard time doing anything unless I know I really HAVE to get it done, and since I felt no obligation to feed the internet's greed for trivial familial news, it didn't get done.  

But, here's a little truffle from our younger days for any of you still out there hoping this blog hasn't died a tragic blog death.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Announcing: January's Sculpture Project

So, now that it's halfway through January, I've finally decided what I want to do for my January sculpture project, my first official project of the year not including finishing projects started in 2009.  I'm making a jewelry tree.  Currently most of my jewelry is in a plastic bag, so I thought I would give it a good home.  I don't have any "real" jewelry (i.e. diamonds, gold, silver, etc.), just "costume" type jewelry, but I still want a cool place to keep it other than a bag where everything gets tangled and broken.  In fact, if I didn't have a hot glue gun, one of my favorite pairs of earrings would be in the trash can right now because of that stupid bag!  So, tonight I made the armature, or skeleton, for the tree so it would be strong and sturdy enough to hold the weight of the jewelry.  Here's a picture:

As soon as I can get my hands on another block of clay, I will mold it around the branches to give it a realistic look.  I'm going to add some leaves and puncture small holes along the edges of the leaves to hang my earrings on.  It should turn out pretty cool.  I'll post a picture of the final project when I'm finished.  I'm excited to be making something creative AND practical!  Oh, and the base is just an old circular saw blade that my cousin donated to me for some other project I never got around to doing.  :)  I'm going to leave the blade showing to add some interest. It also adds a touch of irony and perhaps a bit of an environmental statement that the "tree" will be growing through the hole of a saw blade.  Deep.  You can call me a tree-hugger now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tamarindo: Nature's Sour Patch Kids

Giovanni served his mission in Puerto Rico, where they would pick and eat fruit from the trees as they walked and avocados grew to the size of your head.  At times he reminisces about the wonderful fruits he would eat and how delicious they tasted ripe off the trees.  Of course I am jealous every time he talks about it.  One fruit in particular that he loved is called a tamarindo.  It looks like this:

They are basically seeds covered with a sweet tangy fruit that almost has the consistency of gummy candy--like fruit snacks.  Well, to Gio's great delight we actually found this wonderful creation at the grocery store last week!  They tasted a bit different than Gio remembers them in Puerto Rico (as we suspected, since they have to travel so far).  Apparently in Puerto Rico, they are sweet, tangy and delectable...but when we popped them in our mouths we got a surprise.  They were so sour!!!  It was pretty funny to watch our faces contort, but all in all, they were delicious.  Gio called them "Nature's Sour Patch Kids."

So we recommend trying them, but preferably straight from the tree!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Paoli Breakfast and The Real Reason I Wanted Sharpies for Christmas

Gio made granola this week with oats, walnuts, banana chips, and dried cherries. So good!

I asked Gio to get me a pack of different colored Sharpies for Christmas. Why did I want Sharpies for Christmas? The possibilities are endless...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fun with clay...

I took several art classes in high school. I loved drawing, painting, and print work, but my favorite was 3D art, or in other works, sculpting. I'm no prodigy or anything, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of it...the kind of thing where you can get lost for hours and not even notice. I've dabbled it in a little since high school...I carved a plaster sculpture of Mt. Rushmore with the heads of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of the presidents for my brother, Mike, for Christmas in 2005 or 2006 (can't remember which). I wish I had a picture of it, but I never took one. I'm not sure if he even still has the sculpture. Then, last year in January I bought a hunk of clay so I could start a new project: a chess set for my brother-in-law, Justin. It was quite an undertaking to begin with, in fact, Gio didn't think I was serious when I was explaining to him what I wanted to make. Here's the idea: a physics themed set with a bust of Einstein for the King, the equation E=MC2 for the queen, rockets for the bishops, microscopes for the knights, mushroom clouds for the rooks, and apples (symbolizing gravity) for the pawns. I figured I would make one of each out of clay, then make a mold to duplicate the figures exactly. Well, I got farther than Gio expected me to, but I ran into some hiccups with the molding process, and some general laziness, but a year later I'm back in the game! Because of a bad molding technique last year, the rocket broke, and the apple stem fell off. I haven't finished the microscope yet, but here are the pieces I have so far:

In order to complete this project, I will need to invest some substantial dollars into it. The proper molding technique uses supplies which are sort of pricy. Also, I'll need to make a new rocket (which won't be hard). I just need to find a place to buy the goods, and work up the motivation to finish it. Hopefully in the next couple months I'll find both of them. This is one reason that one of my goals for the year is to FINISH one sculpture every month.

Another reason I have that goal is my other unfinished clay project of 2009. Last September or so I pulled out what was left of that hunk of clay to release some steam and find my "happy place." :) I worked on it for a couple of nights, but I ended up getting frustrated with the proportions on the piece I was making. It's a girl standing on a cliff with the wind blowing her hair and her dress. To me it symbolizes that moment right before you make a bad decision...the moment where you realize you haven't jumped yet, and you can still turn around and come down.

The proportions are off because I didn't look at any pictures while I was sculpting. It was just for fun, so I didn't really care if it was perfect, and I didn't want to be bound by an image. I just wanted to see what would come out. I don't have fancy clay tools, so I used a plastic spoon, one of the tongs of a plastic fork, the little wire part of a twist-tie, and my hands. Even though I tried to keep it moist for a while so I could finish it, I waited too long. It's dried out now, so I can't fix the proportion problems, I can only fine sand it a bit and clear coat it for protection. It is what it is.

So, one sculpture a month in 2010 is my goal, and I haven't really thought about January's project yet. I've worked with clay and plaster the most...a little bit with wire, so I'm not even sure which medium to use. I'd like to try something new, but I also want to improve my clay technique. We'll see.