Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caps, Gowns, and Tassles

Oh my goodness.  I finally feel caught up a little bit after our busy weekend!

So last weekend we traveled down to my parent's house.  I have to say that we are so lucky that Ruby is an A+ traveler.  She finds her spot in the back and she lays down and doesn't whine.  It's awesome - especially for 5 hours!  I think she did better than me.  We also got lucky that Mark's boss sent him home due to overtime at noon.  So instead of having to arrive after bedtime, we got there in time for dinner!

It was so nice to see my family and spend some time at the house.  Besides a quick visit last month, we haven't spent a night out there since Christmas.  All the dogs were excited to be around each other and most of all, run run run like crazy!  But soon enough it was Saturday - Roman's big day!

He was very anxious for this day - from thinking they would pronounce his last name wrong, to losing his cap or gown, and of course everybody's fear of tripping on the stage.  It was nice for everyone to get up and have breakfast, coffee, and get ready for such a big day.  You could actually see the relief off of Mom's shoulders that the day was finally here. 

We left the house at the perfect time to avoid traffic and were able to find snacks, drinks, candy, and an air conditioned spot to sit. The only bad thing was that it was VERY hot and humid and once they were allowing people to sit outside and grab a spot, we had to go.  We didn't want to be stuck in bad seats or not even get one at all - which happened to bunches of people!  We had to wait in our seats for an hour before the processional even started.  I didn't think I could do it - but I only had to get up TWICE!  Once before everything started, and once more after the names started being called.  With over 1300 graduates, you have some time before they get to the S's.  I got up from about the F's to the L's.  It's amazing what a fresh water and potty break can do for a 9 month pregnant lady.

We got to see him walking up to the stage and cheer for him when his name was announced.  Afterwards we were able to take some photos and then go out with Anna and her family as well for drinks and appetizers.  Delicious.

Our favorite parts of the day:

After we all got back home we had a bonfire to cook hot dogs and s'mores.  Very tasty!  Unfortunately, it started raining shortly after we all finished eating so back in the house we went.  We played some Mario Party 9 on the Wii for a little before everybody realized how exhausted they all were.  We all traveled downstairs to take our showers and head to bed.  And I have to say - it was the best shower ever!  After sweating, getting back in the A/C, sweating more, and putting on bug spray, we all needed a good hose down.

It was then off to bed - I had another baby shower the next day and needed to get up early.  And Ruby was cashed too - she put herself to bed in a matter of minutes :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ready to Rock!

After reading all the articles and check lists online, I realized that we needed to pack our hospital bags!!

It was oddly exciting.  At first it seemed overwhelming but once I started making different piles on our bed and seeing what I had before I put it in the bag helped a ton.  I had a for me pile, for baby pile, and for Mark to pack pile.  It turned out pretty well. 

For me I stayed pretty simple - some socks, a nursing bra, a robe, some pajama bottoms, my ipod and dock, and my normal toiletries.  I also put in some other things for nursing and of course extra batteries for the camera.  My last minute things I need to put in the day we go will be my make up and hair care items - obviously I can't go until my due date with those things being packed :)

For Baby was probably the most fun pile.  A cute girl outfit - complete with headband, a manly boy outfit, a couple onesies, one blanket, and a small travel blankie with an animal on it my mom had purchased before she even knew we were pregnant.  I really want that "toy" to become a  nice travel companion for baby.

For Mark was really simple.  He just needed some comfies to sleep in, a change of clothes, and toiletries.  We're lucky to be so close to the hospital that anything he would need more of he can definitely come home and grab it.  He got excited - he got to put the baby's things in his bag.  I think he's starting to feel a little more included now that I need his help a lot more.

It's so crazy to see our bags packed and sitting in the nursery, but I'd definitely rather be safe than sorry.  Plus, it gives me a few weeks to change what I packed or re-organize how I packed it.  I tend to do that a lot :/

The other exciting thing is that the glider and ottoman came for the nursery!  By the Grace of God I caught the UPS man right when I was returning from my doctor's appointment and was super stoked.  I couldn't wait for Mark to get home to assemble it so I could sit in it!  It went together really easily and looks better than I even pictured.  Ruby had tons of sniffing to do at first, but quickly became bored of the whole thing.

The rest of the week will be busy!  Mark is out of town for work and we need to travel home - AGAIN - this weekend.  Roman will be graduating college and I have my last baby shower as well.  It's going to be busy but fun.  It always seems to be a fun weekend when family is involved and I'm sure Roman is excited for his big day on Saturday!  

It's crazy to think that after this weekend we won't be traveling anywhere until the babe gets here AND that I only have 12 shifts left at work.  Things are starting to get real and my anxiety sure shows it!  It's so wonderful that Mark knows just what to do and say to calm me down and make me remember that yes I CAN do this!  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finished Product!

I believe I can safely say that our nursery is complete!!!  I can't believe it! 

Well - all but one minor detail.  We saved the space above the crib for something that pertains to the baby's name/gender once I deliver. 

After I did the first 2 loads of laundry before our showers, I had 2 more to do after we returned home.  We spent all last night in the nursery deciding how to organize the drawers, closet, etc.  We finally got a system down and all the clothes put away.  Things have a home in there and it feels so good!

The crib bedding got a bit of a make over as well.  The bedding set we ordered came with more of a terry/fleece sheet.  Thought it might be a little warm for June!  We received some extra sheets at one of our showers and I let Mark pick which one we put on.  So little pastel animals it was :)  Then after much debate - the crib bumpers came off.  I couldn't decide for awhile since so many companies went back and forth on the issue.  But after some research I found that the 3 major baby associations strongly advise against it.  I was a little bummed at first since I felt like the bumpers tied the whole room together - but I'm getting more and more used to them being off.  Plus once the baby gains neck/head control, they need to go back on.  So it was just a good bye for now and I'm totally okay with that.  :)

Of course the best finishes were the things I was able to open at my shower on Sunday.  All of the fabric I sent to Shannon for blankies, changing pad covers, pillows, etc. and every little piece of it is fantastic.  I was so excited to put everything in it's home and step back and see everything come together.  And it is perfect.  The nursery looks just like how I pictured.  All about colors - not specific designs.  

The mobile arm sleeve.  Fits perfectly and definitely didn't cost as much as purchasing one from the bedding set.

A memory board for the wall above the dresser/changing station.  Came with a photo of one of their dogs and everything :)

One of of the four changing pad covers.  I chose the yellow and elephant scheme since Emily loves elephants and I love yellow!

The 2 pillows.  My fave.  They obviously won't stay in the crib.  One will go up on a shelf and the other on our glider/ottoman for comfort!

Some Assembly Required

Of course Mark's job started when we returned from our showers.  We had an SUV packed front to back, top to bottom of baby gear.  I even felt guilty giving Ruby only a few feet of room for the drive back.  Thankfully, she made it :)

While I still had all the receipts in tact, Mark wanted to assemble the big ticket items to make sure all the pieces were included and not damaged in any way. 

First was the pack 'n' play.  Not too hard - if you read the directions.  While I completely understand that Mark can look at something and completely "get" how it all fits together, sometimes the instructions are important.  Had he listened to me,  he wouldn't have had to restart the process multiple times.  But it turned out great, I learned to how to fold up and assemble, and everything worked on it!  Ruby was a little afraid of it at first, but now that it's sitting in our basement and she walks by it, she's completely used to it!

Next was the stroller.  This was a little more complicated.  Mark listened to me and let me read him the instructions while he followed the steps.  This would have worked out perfectly if the instructions contained words and not just really hard to determine diagrams with random "SNAP" and "CLICK" words.  Oh well - it got assembled pretty quickly and correctly :)  I learned how to use the brakes,  check and tighten the wheels, and of course fold it in half.  Super easy to work and I'm so glad we picked this one.  Love it!

The car seat was last.  Of course we didn't need to assemble much, but rather read a ton of safety instructions and learn how to use the little gadgets.  How to tighten the straps easily, adjust the padding as your baby gets bigger, attach it to the stroller safely, and of course attach it to the base  properly in the car.  Mark headed off to the SUV to install the seat.  It seemed more difficult that I ever thought.  Kudos to him for sticking with it and trying multiple approaches until he got it right.  I think I'll still make an appointment to  have it checked for safety - this is our first time and we're not sure if we did it properly.  And of course why mess with your baby's safety!

It was a fun night together - envisioning putting our baby in all this stuff.  And of course watching Mark do what he does best!  Because if I would have had to do it by myself, I probably wouldn't have any hair left on my head :)

Showered With Love

Well folks one of the big weekends has come to an end.  And it was fantastic.

Friday after work it was  time to load up the big car and hit the road.  Again.  The drive went well - no check engine lights this time  and Mark and I were able to laugh and chat the whole way.  The 200 miles went pretty fast!

We got to Mark's parent's house, unpacked, and I was just about ready to hit the hay.  The next few days were going to take it out of me. 

Saturday was my shower that my lovely girlfriends threw for me.  It was everything I could have ever wanted.  Perfect company, delicious food, funny chats, and of course everyone was so generous with their gifts.  I loved being able to see my mom and sister again as well.  I absolutely love having a group of friends that  even if we go years without seeing each other, we get together and it's like we're 16 all over again. :)  Here are some highlights of my wonderful Saturday:

It was sad to see the day go, but I'll always remember this awesome day!

Then it was onto Sunday!  Mark's entire family came over and were definitely spoiled at this shower as well.  It was more of an open house style which took the pressure off a bit.  Especially when it was time to open presents.  It was a ton of fun because it was all couples.  My dad was able to come, Michael came, and almost all of Mark's uncles, cousins, etc.  It was nice to see all of our family members stay so excited about the baby!  Here are a few more highlights:

As you can see we got TONS of baby gear.  From big things, to little things, to hand made things.  We really enjoyed everything and everyone who did this all for our little one. 

Not many people have this many family and friends to make sure their baby is dressed in style and never has to play with the same toy in a day :)  We truly are blessed in so many ways. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Favorite Things

The time has come.  Things really need to start happening.  After our last ultra sound that put the baby due on June 10 instead of the 23, things got a little more real.  And it's kind of freaking me out a bit.  I mean back when I was about 18-20 weeks pregnant I felt like I was dreaming of this time.  And now it's here and it's like I find a reason to procrastinate it some more.  It's so unlike me!

But once we got back from our trip home we realized it was time.  Then it finally came to me - this is my favorite thing.  I get to re-organize all my crazy and incessant lists, AND cross things off of them.  It's quite perfect.  I wasn't planning on doing anything until next week, but realized I should take advantage of the moments I'm feeling good.  Because I become more and more nauseated and tired with each passing day.

The big thing was to either cross off the baby items we have off of my lists - which of course are sub categorized by For The Baby, For Mom, For The Nursery, etc.  I got a good system down.  Each category got it's own page, and if I purchased the item I just crossed it off, and if I registered for it, I put an "R" next to it.  Of course the real fun comes after I have 2 showers this weekend when I can cross reference my list with our master registry list I printed off .  I love organization!!

I never thought we had that much stuff and I was starting to feel anxious about the baby's arrival.  Mark kept disagreeing with me and he was right.  I wasn't planning on washing any clothes until Monday after the 2 showers.  Boy am I glad I didn't wait.  We had a heaping laundry basket just full of clothes.  We also had some blankies, burp rags, bibs, etc.  I'm so glad I got this chunk done.  And it also made me feel a bit better that we might *actually* be a bit more prepared than I think!

Nobody likes laundry.  Especially me.  But there's just something about little baby laundry that took the sting out of it a little bit.  Of course until it was time to fold :)

We washed, dried, and folded and just put everything back in the basket.  Because of course I'm still struggling on how I want to organize the clothes in the closet/dresser/storage etc.  Part of me really wants my mom to come up and help with that - she's good at it and obviously has done it successfully 4 times!  I'm guessing once we get more things this weekend, it will be easier to decide where things should go.

But once I started organizing it started not to be so scary.  And I'm glad I did it because for the moment - nothing needs to be done in the nursery.  And that's a great feeling!


Our trip home last weekend was interesting to say the least.  We jinxed ourselves.

We were getting close to home and both Mark and I were just raving about how we love our Honda.  It's reliable, it's cute, it never has issues, and if something ever does come up, Honda takes care of it for no charge.  Amazing.


The check engine light comes on and the car won't down shift.  Perfect.  I trust Mark with cars - he is very smart about them just like my dad.  He got us home and we were low on oil  After a battery of questions and code checking, Mark fixed it enough to get us home safely.  And with NO engine light on!  Yay!  Turns out the last time Mark changed the oil he wrote down the mileage for his truck.  Poor Honda was just thirsty for some oil.  Problem solved - thank goodness :)

But I was able to keep my mind off of the car since the weekend was so busy.  Mamma Mia with Mom, Emily, Anna, Julie, Stacy, Colleen, and Nicko.  Downtown was fabulous.  Everyone looked like they were enjoying their drinks, appetizers and dinner was fantastic, and of course the company of family is always perfect.  The show started and it was better than I imagined it to be.  Hilarious, fun, loud, singing, dancing, everything you would want out of a show.  The only bad part was that it was only 2 hours long.  I think we all could have sat there for at least 2 more.

The next morning Mark and I went down to Mom and Dad's.  Dad wanted us to hang out in his barn for awhile and we had a blast.  Roman came out and we had lunch, snacks, drinks (juice for me), and played cards out in Dad's shop.  His little malt shop sure has come a long way!  Here are a few of the highlights:

 After cards Mark and I returned to Deb and Dave's for dinner with some of their family friends and more cards.  It was a nice time, but I was beat by the end of the day. 

The next morning we did some shopping, hung out, had some lunch, and left to come back to Fargo around 3.  It felt very good to be home after such a busy weekend.  We both crashed into bed pretty early - even Ruby.  But of course, weekends with family are worth it for sure.