Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Savvy Shopper

Dear Mia,

When your Dad and I found out we were pregnant with you we couldn't wait to share the news!  After our initial doctor's appointment, we told our immediate families and a few close friends- one of which was your Aunt Kirsten.  I said to her, "Don't worry, nothing will change!  We'll just put the baby in the shopping cart and go to TJMaxx!"  Because that's how my mind works.  Don't worry, I can still shop with a baby!

Aunt Kirsten & Momma in 2002
Turns out, I can also shop while pregnant!  This past Friday was Black Friday, historically one of the busiest shopping days of the year.  I'd been preparing for weeks, stalking my favorite Black Friday deals websites for leaked copies of printed advertisements.  On Thanksgiving your Aunt Sara brought over a paper and I made my way through the ads, cutting coupons a circling sales I didn't want to miss.

I was up and out the door at 6:00 am on Friday.  I hit a few stores before meeting Grandma Snipes at JoAnn Fabrics.  They had a great deal on fabrics and your Grandma had also generously given me a coupon for an additional percentage off.  However, the JoAnn Fabrics in Champaign was out of your nursery fabric... and they told me the warehouse was empty too.  Cue panic attack.  Mia, I have a tendency to get overly dramatic (your Dad can elaborate on this subject, I'm sure) and I knew I had to find that fabric, that day, somewhere!  Your nursery has been completely designed around a 2" swatch of Trendi Sorbet, and I was not about to choose a different fabric.  So I scratched the rest of my Black Friday plans and roped your Dad and Grandma Snipes into a little road trip to the store in Bloomington-Normal!

Hours later, and we have your fabric!  Not as much as I was hoping to buy, but enough for your crib skirt and valance.  I was also able to purchase some coordinating fabric to cover your new rocker at a great price.  Overall, a Black Friday success story!  Just wait 'till you see the finished product.  You're going to LOVE it!


Monday, November 28, 2011


Momma & Easton
Dear Mia,

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving and a perfect time to reflect on our lives and give thanks.  And Thanksgiving this year came just days after your cousin Easton was diagnosed with cancer, a very serious disease, and one that caught everyone by surprise.  This year I am thankful for medical professionals who chose to give up their holiday with friends and family so that they would be available to help those in need.  I am thankful for these dedicated men and women who were able to rush Easton into surgery and treat his disease almost immediately.  Because of their quick action, these selfless doctors, nurses and surgeons might have just prevented the disease from spreading further.  We'll have to wait and see, but I have a feeling that because it was caught early and treated immediately, Easton will not need to undergo any additional surgery or procedures.  A little Thanksgiving miracle.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Puppy Love

Dear Mia,

While it's true you'll be our first baby, you will be coming home to four fur brothers.  Buddy, Toby, Wilson and Oscar- the most spoiled, loved and cherished set of dogs you'll ever meet.  And you're going to love them so much, too!

Buddy is large and in charge. He's the oldest and the most ornery of the bunch, always giving me and your Dad a hard time. Toby is our protector but he also loves to play ball and wrestle with your Dad. Oscar is attached to me at the hip and gets so excited when we say his name that his entire body wiggles. Wilson is the most reserved of the bunch, always very cautious of strange sounds and new people, but he's a great cuddler and loves to chase Oscar around the yard.

Your Dad and I each grew up with dogs and I'm so excited for you to create memories with these built-in best friends. Your Dad grew up with Sheba, a beautiful Alaskan Malamute, and I grew up with Pokey and Nelle, two West Highland White Terriers.  We have so many stories to share with you about all the crazy adventures we had with our pets.

Me & Pokey
Daddy, Aunt Courtney & Sheba

Mia, you are going to love growing up with our four dogs.  My prediction is that you'll love Buddy the most at first because, well, everyone does.  Buddy will cuddle with you for hours and give you sloppy kisses in return for a little belly rub.  He'll be a great partner in crime, too.  When you're old enough to sneak junk food contraband from the counter he'll gladly eat your wrapper for you.  (Because let's face it, he'll eat anything.)


Toby will be your protector.  He will know where you are at all times and will guard you with his life.  But Toby will also be your tickle monster because I'm sure he'll be just tall enough to lick you, and your highchair, clean after each meal.  He'll love to stick his big head up under your high chair tray and try to lick food off your chest.  I just hope you don't end up feeding him too much!


Oscar will be obsessed with you from the moment we bring you home from the hospital.  He'll wiggle and wiggle and lick your little face until we make him stop.  He'll follow you around and will get in your way when you're learning to stand and walk.  I'm sure he'll trip you more than you'll trip on your own.  You might not love Oscar at first because he's so excitable, but I can guarantee he'll grow on you.  Which dog will you dress up in your doll clothes?  Oscar.  Which dog will you stuff into your baby carriage or shopping cart and take for a walk around the house?  Oscar.  Which dog will snuggle with you under your covers?  Oscar.  And he'll love every second of it.


Wilson.  Well, Wilson will probably spend your entire childhood in the next room.  He'll watch the way you accidentally step on Buddy's ears when you walk by, try to ride Toby like a pony, and put a dress and hair bow on Oscar, and he'll decide he'd rather just nap.  Wilson will approach you the way he approaches everything else- with great caution.  But don't worry, he'll come around, and in time you'll be able to stuff both corgis into your double doll stroller.


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Closet Story

Dear Mia,

This past weekend your Aunt Kirsten drove down from Lisle for a visit.  We spent quality time at TJMaxx on Saturday and then went to dinner with your Dad, too.  On Sunday we woke up nice and early and got to work on the closet in your nursery!  (I'll go into more detail about your nursery renovation in another post.)

When we moved into this house in June of this year, I was using this room as an office and scrapbook studio. The closet situation didn't bother me at the time because I just piled my stuff inside.  But as soon as we found out we were pregnant with you, and you'd be using this room as your nursery, I knew the closet needed to be upgraded!  Here's a before shot with just a small sampling of all the clothes we've already bought for you!

I had done some research on closet organization and I knew I wanted a system that would be adjustable as you grew.  I also knew that the aged drywall wouldn't hold any shelves by itself- I'd need to choose a system that would secure to the wall studs.  (And I knew this because when your Dad tried to remove the original shelving he put huge holes in the wall on accident!)

I ended up choosing the Rubbermaid Configurations 4-to-8-Foot Classic Custom Closet Kit and it couldn't have been a better choice!  We installed the top bar by securing it into the studs and then hung three vertical strips from the top bar.  Next we clicked in the shelf brackets and the top shelf.

We then added additional brackets, shelves and bars for your hanging clothes.  

Lastly, we added fabulous fabric-covered bins that I bought on clearance at Lowe's.  (Mia, I have so much to teach about about never paying full price!)


There's room on the top shelf for different supplies like extra diapers and wipes, two levels of hanging clothes, and two shelves that hold the new bins.  On the right side of the closet there's still plenty of room to stack large supplies or bins of toys. 

We hope you like it!  Aunt Kirsten and I learned a LOT about stud-finders, levels, how to pry anchors apart so they'll actually go into the holes we drilled, and more!  Oh, and see how your wardrobe keeps growing?  I can't help myself!