Baby Shower Hangover!

Well, the final installment of baby shower season happened this past Saturday.

It was a beautiful shower and I truly have to say that I felt like it was a great mix of people I TRULY cherish in our lives. I didn’t feel like there was ONE person there who I had to, you know, talk about the weather with. Everyone was a close friend. I stepped back and reflected for, like, a split second on the shower day and was fulfilled…I love having our house filled with people we love and it was overflowing with love on Saturday. Love and baby presents. Minnie Mason is one lucky girl – and so am I – and so is Jon (well, he’s a lucky boy, but you get what I mean).

We had just over 30 people here – friends and family – and a few folks sent gifts that weren’t able to be here. The majority of photos are on my Aunt Jenny’s camera and the camera my Mom was using, but at least I can give you a teaser here.

My aunts – Jenny, Julie, Jody and Jill – were responsible for the shower. My Aunt Jody, as always, came through on the food. Delicious ribs and chicken, this Asian noodle salad that was the rave of the party. My favorite were the yogurt parfaits and then of course the watermelon carved into a baby carriage. Too freaking cute.

We had mimosas, lemon lime water and soda selection…and the delicious cupcakes and cut out sugar cookies made by my Aunt Julie in the shape of hands and feet, an ode to my Grandma Thick.

My Aunt Jenny and Mom helped the night before and morning of with finishing cleaning-up touches to the house. And Aunt Jill got all the dishes cleaned up after the party wound down.

I have to say that I was OVERWHELMED by the generosity. Tons of outfits and toys and necessities and nice-to-haves. I mean, really.


I also will whole-heartedly endorse hosting the shower in your own home if possible. While it was a lot of work to get my house cleaned up and in order, it was really neat that everyone got to see the nursery set up and ready to go and it was nice that after getting all those gifts, that we didn’t have to lug them into our car, and unpack them into our house, and then put them away here. I had everything pretty much put in a place by Saturday night.

My body certainly ached yesterday and at my doctor’s appointment today, Dr. Perry (first time seeing him) he said I really need to take it easy and rest a bit. He said that my blood pressure is up a little bit and I just need to rest. So, rest it will be for this girl. Am slowly and steadily putting together the hand off package for work so others can cover while I’m out and feel good about that.

Dr. Perry also said he feels very comfortable with the Oct. 20 due date and that Oct. 27 seemed late to him. Woohoo. Love it.

Had gained three pounds at the appointment today – that’s a grand total of 22ish or so…somewhere in there. Not awful. But, I also have not been very good about trying to watch what I eat. Have too much else on my mind. I will regret it if I let myself get crazy now, so I guess I should get back on the bandwagon.

Did go and make a few exchanges yesterday at Target and Babies R Us. And made a few purchases off the amazon.com registry for the remainder of things. But, on the whole, we got nearly every single thing on the registry. It is insane. Such a lucky girl.

I mean, Minnie got a jewelry box.

And earrings, too (both courtesy of Aunt Linda).

Jon’s Mom, Karen, got her a ring that has each of our names engraved on either side and then all three of our birthstones in it. Thought that was a good, unique idea.

And Annette and Skyler got her a little silver bracelet. I mean, seriously, this little girl is well on her way to a full jewelry box already!

We got the stroller…THE stroller, I should say. My Mom and Dad got it. It’s the Baby Jogger City Elite and I have struggled with it’s price tag, but knew it was the only one I wanted. And my mom, in addition to the leg warmers and the other wonderful, thoughtful gifts, got us the stroller, too.

As soon as I get photos, I’ll have to update who got what. But, it was so lovely to see Karen and her daughters, Angie and Gina (Gina’s preggers too and due in February…and having a GIRL!). My best girlfriend Andrea and her mom Shirley (they dragged Drew along, the only boy allowed!). Sally and her daughter Katie. Gail, my mom’s friend Clapper and her daughter-in-law (also preggers, due in February!!) Hol-Leigh, Kathleen (my dearest friend from Alma College days) and her eight month old daughter Anna, Cheryl (our next door neighbor). Debi, my friend Jay’s mom. Annette and Skyler. My Grandma Carpenter (soon to be Great Grandma Carpenter!!), Aunt Julie and Lucy. Aunt Jill (who hand-painted a Time Out chair that Jon and I are threatening each other with :). My Mom, Trevor’s girlfriend Ashley (she’s a good listener, by the way ;). Jon’s Mom. My Aunt Lori and Matt’s girlfriend, Megan. My Aunt Jody (freshly back from D.C.). Aunt Linda. Aunt Jenny. My cousin Sandy, who brought bumper pads she made for the crib to match and lots of stuffed animals with bows made to match. And she made lots of custom-made embroidered burp pads. And Molly, just days from her due date, and her mom Deb too. It was such a full house and great day. We had gifts sent from my Aunt Maria in Utah, Grandma Carrell in Missouri, cousin Amy in Florida.

Anyway, it was a jam-packed day that I finally feel as though I’ve recovered from…Now on to the thank you notes!

L

 

Baby for Butler U!

Go Bulldogs!

That’s what Minnie’s newest onesie has in store for her!

I’m at Butler today working and the director here, Stacey, and the management team got me a fun little baby gift! Totally, totally unexpected and so thoughtful!! They got her a lovey/blankie and a pink Butler onesie.

Isn’t it too cute?!

The Nursery: Completed

Well, the biggest project in our lives other than actually HAVING and BRINGING HOME baby (only six-ish weeks!!) is complete. Ok, pseudo-complete. There are three more holes to put in the walls to hang some artwork. But, other than that, it’s COMPLETE. So complete, in fact, that I took some photos to share here. I know you’ve been waiting patiently to see what we’ve done, so here are a few snapshots. Nothing fancy or photographer-equivalent but at least you get the feel for it. It is my FAVORITE room in the house.

So, this first picture is taken from the doorway. The back wall is “Morrocan Red” from the Pottery Barn Spring/Summer 2011 color collection. The other three walls in the room are Brown TeePee, which is the color in Andrea & Frank’s laundry and bathrooms, which I liked a lot. So, let me guide you through the details: The ottoman was from JCPenney’s. The crib is Bedford Baby for JCPenney’s. The artwork on the walls from left to right…the Picasso Peace Dove is from TradingPhrases.com, the long five-sketch Picasso drawings is from Ikea (seriously) and the Rooster and Evening Flowers Picasso prints are from AllPosters.com with frames from Ikea. The blinds came from Budget Blinds. The side table is from Hobby Lobby. The rug is from Ikea.

Here’s a photo that shows a better view of the crib and the floors and you get a feel for the room on the whole. Love, love, love how that Picasso Peace Dove looks above the crib. Originally, I bought it intending it to go on the red wall, but after sitting in the rocker/glider for many hours contemplating, I put it right there. What really made the room feel completed was getting the crib skirt from amazon.com today and getting it on. Trust me when I tell you that while it does not stand out in this photo, without it, you would wonder why there was no crib skirt.


Now, I’ve talked about how we had the bedding custom made by Kathy, one of my mom’s best girlfriends. But, I haven’t debuted it yet. I was saving it. Because it’s a favorite part of the room, too. I have envisioned our Minnie Girl laying on it, playing, sleeping, and all the pictures to come with this as a logical backdrop. But, here you can see the fabric, the patterns and the colors.

 

The breakdown of this bedroom:

Bedford Baby Crib, JCPenney.com
Bedding (Quilt and Crib Sheet)
Bedskirt (amazon.com)
Glider & Ottoman (JCPenney)
Rug (Ikea)
Non-Skid Rug Thing (Menards)
Posters for Walls (All, AllPosters.com & PosterCheckOut.com)
Frames for Walls (All, Ikea)
Picasso Peace Dove Wall Decal (TradingPhrases)
Dresser (Not Pictured, from Ikea)
Locker Basket for Books (Land of Nod)
Side Table next to Glider (Hobby Lobby)
Paint (Two Gallons)
Hamper, Red & Blue (Land of Nod)

 

I have always imagined/envisioned having a Picasso nursery and this is better than I could have planned in my head. It has really come together and just feels like a room I’m going to love being in with Baby Girl whenever she makes her illustrious debut!

I definitely could have done this on a more strict budget than I did — but I also feel like the spot where my budget got busted was in the artwork and frames. The furniture, the crib could not have been cheaper for the quality we got, the glider and ottoman we could have probably gotten something different, cheaper, but on the whole, I’m really, really please with how this whole room has come together.

I can’t wait for Minnie to come home to her new room!!

More soon,
L

Holy Presents – The Thank You Begins

So, Minnie Mason (don’t laugh, that could end up being her name) got a LOT of great gifts before anyone knew she was a she. Because I like that I did this earlier on, I’m going to keep trying to do it…when gifts come our way, I’m going to hopefully photo catalog them here. This way, I’ll know who the gifts came from and who to send a quick picture to when she wears the gift (or plays with it, but at this point, toys aren’t really top of shopping lists, let’s be honest).

These all came at the big Reveal party a week ago…we are SO lucky and fortunate to have the family that we have. They already love this little person SO much. I just had a moment in the closet where I went ‘oh shit, I think we have filled up as many days as there are between 6-9 months when it comes to outfits.

No. No way. The shopping continues.

Red photo book and "Sneak Peek" frame from Andrea, Frank and Devyn Gerzetich

Three super cute pajammers. One says "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and the other has a bear on the butt!! Too cute. Thanks Bob & Sandy!

The Lovey - from Aunt Lori & Uncle Kim. So soft & cuddly -- and I threw it into my uber-cool diaper bag and it looks so freaking cute with its head sticking out the top. Minnie's gonna love it!

A combined baby-housewarming gift from John & Terri aka Clapper. A gift card to Bordine's -- think we'll put it toward a cool tree or something that will grow every year.

From my Grandma Carpenter...soon to be Great Grandma Carpenter. Can you tell how soft that white blankie is by looking at it? And some long-sleeved onesies. Perfect for Minnie's October arrival!

This outfit got the most 'awwwws' last Friday night. You can't see all the details, but there are even little white bows on the ankles of the pants. The little white top is TOO cute and the matching sweater?! And the pink shoes?! Aunt Linda and the Rhodes' hedged their bets and chose pink-only. They got us the awesome Mandevilla on the back patio, too!

From Minnie's Uncle Trevor (weird!). He recorded himself reading it -- it's too cute! For the record...have to purchase different books than Goodnight Moon. This is our second copy!

This blankie came from my friend at work, Suzanne. It's super soft fleece. Suzanne's got two girls -- ages 2 and 4 - and says these sorts of blankets are great to be able to throw in a bag or on the ground and go. Thanks Suz!

Ok, I couldn't not shop. So, the following day my Mom and I went up to the outlets in Birch Run. Shopped only the clearance racks for 9 month stuff. The jacket on the left is my fave! The little Gap outfit in the middle is SO summery and the Nautica dress on the right...well, why not. It's pink and white and it was on SALE.

In shopping for Jon's birthday yesterday at the Polo outlet in Birch Run, I stopped by the Clearance rack in the kids store (the stores are conveniently connected). Somehow, everything on my bill was an ADDITIONAL 50% off (I made friends with the sales associate). So, pink pants and green top...white sweater? Yes. Purple gingham-looking dress with white collar and matching panties (or whatever you call those things). Yes to that too. Happy Birthday to Minnie's Dad!

This doesn’t even include the Housewarming Gifts we got — a cool fire pot from Aunt Jill & Uncle Mike (and the other Goodnight Moon from Aunt Jill) and some additional bulbs for the yard from Uncle Mike. New white azalea plants from Rick & Jen, the Mandevilla from the Rhodes’ and a JCPenney gift card from Bob & Sandy!! Or the super sweet bird feeder from Aunt Lori & Uncle Kim. I need to post pics of those things, because they are really cool.

We are SO lucky to have such great family and friends. This is, of course, in addition to the housewarming gifts from our parents. The office furniture from Jon’s Dad, the kitchen TV from Jon’s Mom, the patio furniture and umbrella from my Mom & Dad.

What a perfect existence…just waiting for our Minnie!

Officially Beyond the First Trimester!

Alright, who’s ready to celebrate with a tall Mocha Light Frappucino from Starbucks?!

That’s right, folks. I’ve successfully completed the first trimester (officially, I suppose) of this, my first pregnancy. I say ‘I suppose’ because by my count, the first trimester ought to have ended last Wednesday, a full 9 days ago. By the doctor’s count, the trimester ended yesterday. Why I’m so insistent that the medical professional does not know how to count, I’m not sure. I really do have a lot of faith and confidence in Dr. Neubeck…but I also feel like I want to use my counting method, not the doctor’s. Not that I’m in a hurry to be through the pregnancy and that I don’t anticipate enjoying this time in my life…BUT…a glass of wine does sound pretty phenomenal.

So, the doctor has said that SOME caffeine won’t kill me. So, I’m celebrating today with a Mocha Light Frappucino because, well, why not. Here is is in all it’s delicious-ness glory:

My first trimester celebration 'cocktail'

 
The sciatic issue has resided a bit in the last two days, I have had more energy and felt more like myself than I have in months (go figure) and in general, I’m feeling really good. I went for a walk last night from the hotel around the little shopping area and picked up a few gifts (one for Aunt Jenny, who will officially be a NURSE on May 13 and we’re celebrating that accomplishment).
 
I also have really been feeling as though my hair is quite lackluster. So, two nights ago I did a deep treatment mask on my hair with a conditioning mask. Felt pretty good about what that did for my hair, so I moved on last night to an oil treatment that I bought on my walking trip through the parking lots. I’m liking how my hair is improving…I guess that glow of pregnancy is not translating to my hair.
 
I am feeling slightly better about my face and its acne issues. I mean, there are still some RIDICULOUS zits popping up here and there, but I purchased the Jergens “Healthy Glow” face moisturizer the other day to see if I could force some fake color into my cheeks and, wa-lah (is that how you even spell that??) I feel like I have a not-fake, sun-kissed look going on and I’m enjoying it. It seems that whatever that moisturizer is is doing good things to my skin because a lot of the little blemishes and imperfections have dissipated and I just have a few trouble spots, especially on my neck/chin area. So, I’m going to concentrate my moisturizing efforts on the neck and chin areas and see what happens. Why the heck not, so far I’ve met with success.
 
I’m a little bit bummed, because I bought a great Groupon the other day for three microdermabrasion treatments for $99 — but it turns out that most sites recommend NOT having those treatments while pregnant. I guess because your skin is so much more sensitive and it takes your body more time to heal, they don’t recommend it at all and it’s quite painful for some women. Now, some lucky friend of mine is going to end up with three free treatments. Unless I can get the clinic to extend my expiration because it expires RIGHT before I’ll deliver (that’s still a bizarre statement to make about myself) the baby (another weird thought).
 
Which brings me to the big thing…this whole baby thing is still very abstract to me. I mean, don’t get me wrong AT ALL. I have wanted a baby and to be a mom for more years than I can count. I’ve dreamed about this, wanted this, wished for this (when it was completely ill-advised and I literally lived below the poverty line on my income from some internship somewhere). BUT — now it’s here and the whole idea. That there’s a person inside of my body (odd), that that person is going to continue to grow and will eventually come out (can’t even wrap my head around the logistics of that) and then, I’ll be a MOM. It’s still quite abstract.
 
A friend from work keeps a blog and they just found out two days ago that they’re having a girl. I think that finding out the gender helps and I also think that feeling the baby move will make it more real. Right now, the only thing that’s changing is the slow tightening of my pants around my waistline and that’s not really that big a difference. I notice a difference in my body, but I don’t know that many others would.
 
Sooo…anyway, that’s today’s thought.
 
Need to get back to work after this brief distraction – oh, and of course, continue celebrating the fact that we’re a 1/3 of the way to meeting mini!
 
L

Auntie Nana Sandy – Thank You!

Ok, so I don’t know what this kid is going to call anyone. That’ll work itself out in due time (no pun intended, I swear). BUT — my cousin Sandy (who is really more of an aunt to me) surprised me at our book club Thursday night with these fun gifts for baby!

You Quack Me Up, Sandy & Bob!

From left, there are baby washcloths that match the yellow robe (with duck hood), a onesie and sleeper with yellow and ducks, and bibs (with one that says “You Quack Me Up!” Plus, a fuzzy sleeper that has a little stitched on tag that says “Squeeze Me”. When I showed these fun presents to Jon, he laughed and said “I wish I could have pajamas like those!”.

So, anyway, thanks Sandy & Bob! We can’t wait to wear them!!