Saturday, January 28, 2012

34 Weeks

Dear Mia,

We're at 34 weeks!  Yikes!  How are you doing in there?  My belly seems to grow and get more firm with each passing day.  I imagine you're starting to run out of room!  My little pregnancy alerts told me that you could weigh over 4 pounds and be over 17 inches long by now.  We'll get to see for sure at my next ultrasound!

Clothes:  My wardrobe is shrinking with each passing day.  I'm starting to rule things out based on the comfort factor now so my selection is dwindling.  If something is too constricting- even a nightshirt- I won't wear it.  I'm at the point where I feel like a stuffed sausage if clothes are too tight!  This goes for my winter coat, too so thankfully it's been unseasonably warm and I haven't missed it too much.

Sleep:  I'm sleeping like a rock.  Thank you for that!

Best moment this past week:  I've been preparing for maternity leave at work for a few weeks now.  I've met with my coworker who will be taking over my responsibilities, organized all of my files, and I've written a detailed "to-do" list of tasks that will need to be completed while I'm gone.  I've been feeling stressed about leaving work, especially since the exact timing of my departure is very up in the air.  You could really decide to come any time now!  So I think my best moment this week was winning my Employee of the Quarter award because it reminded me that I am a very good employee, and I'm doing the best I can to prepare for my absence.  It made me feel just a little bit better about being gone for so long.

Movement:  You're a mover and a shaker!  You kick and move around all day long.  On Monday in my staff meeting you were kicking me so fiercely I was sure someone was going to notice my belly was shaking!  I kept putting my hand on my belly and mentally reassuring you that yes, I would feed you as soon as I got out of the meeting.  Just calm down!

Food cravings:  Mint chocolate chip ice cream with dark chocolate sauce on top.  Yum!

Labor signs:  Still none!

Belly button in or out?  In and stretched to the max.

What I miss:  I get winded very easily now, I think because you're keeping my lungs from fully expanding (at least that's what the Doctor says).  Sometimes I just let myself take these big, obnoxious breaths and your Dad looks at me like I'm crazy.

What I am looking forward to:  I'm taking a little shopping day trip this weekend to purchase a few more nursery essentials like your crib mattress and changing pad.  Hopefully I'll be able to decide on the final placement of your dresser and get some art hung as well.

Doctor’s notes:  No new news, but I have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday.

Love you, baby girl!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Life Before Mia, Part 3

Dear Mia,

To finish the story...

Unfortunately the dogs haven't caught on to the meaning of the weekend.  Their internal alarm clocks wake them up at the same time as during the week.  They stretch, shake and even lick me awake.  Sometimes I can hold them off until 7:00 am but that's if I'm lucky!  I take over dog duty on the weekends- feeding them, letting them outside and giving Toby his pills.  I resist the urge to fall back into bed with your Dad (most of the time) and get my day started early.

I tidy up around the house, start a load of laundry and maybe run the dishwasher.  If I feel adventurous I might make pancakes for breakfast, and if I feel lazy I do a run to Panera and wake your Dad up with a steaming cup of hot coffee on his nightstand.  Eventually I take a shower so I look presentable for the rest of the day, and continue on with the day's chores.  Those could include cleaning, organizing, odd jobs around the house like hanging art, yard work, paying bills, running to the grocery store and running to the pet store for dog food or other supplies.

We also like to plan fun things to do on the weekends like see friends and family, build LEGO sets, watch movies and cuddle on the couch.  We tend to eat out on the weekends because we're usually running around town and it's more convenient that way.  By the time Sunday night rolls around we're pretty exhausted and get to bed nice and early so we're refreshed for the Monday morning wake-up.

Mia, I can only imagine what kind of destruction you'll do to this lovely little schedule.  Your Dad and I have already started brainstorming about your needs and which one of us will be responsible for what.  Who will drop you off at daycare?  Who will pick you up?  Who will make dinner?  Who will get up with you in the middle of the night?  Who will take primary care of the dogs?  We're trying to plan, and trying to prepare, but like I've said before, we're leaving most of the schedule up to you.  Your Dad and I are a team and we're ready to adapt our schedule to meet your needs- whatever and whenever they are.  

We love you, Mia, and we're as ready as we're ever going to be!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life Before Mia, Part 2

Dear Mia,

To continue the story...

I'd love to say that I get home from work and whip up a five-star meal, clean the house from top to bottom, and then get my daily recommended amount of sleep.  The truth is, your Dad helps me out A LOT in the kitchen.  He always has dinner half-way cooked by the time I get home and all I need to do is set out place mats, napkins, silverware, drinks and maybe prepare some side dishes or condiments.  We would starve if it wasn't for your Dad.  He's the best!

We love to watch Wheel of Fortune during dinner (last night's puzzle was "Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" and I guessed it right with only the T and H!) and tell each other about our day.  We also start making plans for the weekend and sometimes start writing a to-do or grocery list.  After dinner is fished I wash dishes and tidy up the kitchen.  By this time your Dad has found his way to his office where he'll take computers apart, reassemble computers, read about computers, order new computers... you get the idea*.  He also spends some time with his small animals- cleaning their cages and feeding them and then he lifts weights or does some cardio exercises.

After dinner I'm spent.  Sometimes I'll help myself to a bowl of ice cream in front of the TV but the current line-up of shows just doesn't hold my attention like it used to.  I've also been known to cross-stitch and even scrapbook during this time but lately that's just been too much of an effort for me!  I feed the dogs, let them outside, give Toby his night pills and end up in bed by 9:00pm with my Kindle, doing more reading.  The dogs also join me in bed- Oscar loves to sleep right up next to me, Wilson sleeps at my feet, and sometimes Toby will keep your Dad's side of the bed warm until here gets there.  Buddy can be found curled up on one of the two dog beds.

I don't usually last very long in bed without falling asleep so I'm out by 9:30pm.  Depending on the quality of The Office and Seinfeld re-runs on TV, your Dad falls asleep somewhere between 10pm and 11pm.  I wake up a few times each night to use the bathroom and flip from my left side to my right side (and back again) but for the most part we sleep uninterrupted until our alarms go off the next morning.


* When I told your Dad I was writing this post and including a list of his computer-related extracurricular activities, he asked me to mention that he also writes "sweet apps."  I don't know what those are either, Mia.  But he's promised me that he's going to make me a baby monitor out of a night-view webcam and stream the feed live on a closed network so I can watch you sleep on our many computer devices.  He has seven weeks.  Go, Daddy!  Go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are You Ready?

Dear Mia,

The one question I get asked constantly is "Are you ready?"  As in, are you ready to be a Mom?  To have a baby?  To have your life completely and utterly turned upside down?  To not be able to use the bathroom without interruptions?  And each time I say no, that there's no way we'll ever be 100% ready.  How can we be ready for something so life-changing, so incredible and so monumental?  Your birth will forever change the dynamic of our family and our needs (as it should) but there's just no way to prepare for that.  I feel that all I can do is have an open mind, an open heart and relax.  I know we'll figure it out together!

One of the things I know will change the most is our daily family routine.  The weekly schedule is always changing and adapting, but I know once you're here it'll be totally turned upside down!

Your Dad and I moved into our house the last weekend in May of last year.  The move meant that your Dad no longer had a long drive to work, but that I now did.  We've tried a variety of morning and evening routines since then, perfecting who's in charge of dinner, letting the dogs out, taking out the trash, etc.  The schedule has also changed slightly as I've become more and more pregnant.  I just don't have the energy to be as productive each day like I used to.  So now instead of having really long weekdays and relaxing weekends, I try to give myself a break on the weekdays and save my energy for long, productive weekends.  I thought it'd be interesting to document what life is like now, and compare it to the new life we'll lead once you arrive.  So here it is!

Life Before Mia, Part 1:

Each weekday your Dad and I roll out of bed shortly after 6:00am.  The dogs have been up since our alarm clocks went off the first time (roughly 15 minutes earlier) and they're busy shaking their collars, stretching and generally making it impossible for us to ignore them.  Your Dad takes the herd downstairs, feeds them, lets them outside and gives Toby his pills.  Meanwhile, I shower and start my getting-ready-for-work routine that lasts until 7:20am.  Your Dad also eats breakfast, showers and gets ready for work during that time.  Around 7:30am we both back out of the driveway headed to work.  I settle in for an hour commute and eat breakfast on the way.

I work from 8:30am-5:00pm with an hour break for lunch.  Sometimes over my break I'll run errands and eat my lunch at my desk.  Lately, however, I prefer to take it easy and enjoy my lunchtime in a comfy chair, reading my Kindle.  I leave work at 5:00pm and get home at 6:00pm.  Your Dad works from 8:00am-5:00pm and also gets a hour for lunch.  He spends his break at home and eats lunch, lets the dogs out and gives Toby his afternoon pill.  He leaves work at 5:00pm and gets home soon after.  He lets the dogs out again, checks the mail and gets dinner started.  More to come!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who Loves You, Baby?

Dear Mia,

You are so loved. I know I say that a lot, but it is SO true. Last weekend (January 14th) your Grandma Snipes threw you a baby shower and it was one of the most special days of my life. I've been to plenty of baby showers in the past, all of which were get-togethers centered around the Mom-to-be. Your shower, however, was all about YOU and your Dad and I were just there to serve as gracious placeholders. Everyone was there to celebrate you, send you love, and give you gifts.

We started the day with a delicious lunch cooked by Grandma Snipes and then we all gathered in the living room. Your Grandma had asked everyone to bring with them a letter addressed to you, and then at the shower everyone read them aloud.

You received letters from your cousins Aaliyah and Corbin, Aunt Courtney and Uncle Josh, Great Grandma Grogg, Grandma Young, Grandma Snipes, Aunt Kirsten, Great Aunt Jill, Aunt Casey, and Aunt Amanda (who couldn't make it to the shower but still sent a letter!).

The letters from your cousins were very sweet (we're not 100% sure what Corbin's letter says... but I'm sure it's very nice!) but the letters from your aunts and especially your grandmothers were simply wonderful.  The tears started early with the letter from Great-Grandma Grogg, read by Aunt Jill.  Then your Grandma Snipes kept us crying as she described how badly your Dad has always wanted to be a Dad.  You're making his dream come true!

Your Grandma Young's letter was also very heart-felt and talked about all of the fun times we've all had together over the years.  I don't have a copy of the letter yet, but I'll be sure to add it here when I do!

After we finished reading the letters we wiped away our tears and started opening your presents!  You received SO many things!  A travel system, jumperoo, bathtub, clothes, shoes, and toys, toys, toys!

We finished the afternoon by enjoying delicious cake and telling funny stories about me and your Dad.  It was a spectacular day filled with family, love and laughter.  You're going to have SO much fun with this family when you get here, Mia!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Bragging Rights

Dear Mia,

I’m going to brag a little bit about myself for a second but I’m justifying it because I know I’ll be bragging about you for the next, oh, FOREVER.

I won an award at work!  Today during our weekly staff meetings, I was recognized as the very first employee of the quarter.  I received an inscribed desk clock, check for $50 and a really nice letter from my boss describing why I won.  Here are the reasons why I was chosen:
  •  “She continues to improve our social media/communications area.  Her social media knowledge has helped increase visitor inquiries.”
  • “She accepts change and is always willing to help solve problems.”
  • “She brings a lot to the morale of the office and is willing to assist when needed.”
  •  “She has good ideas about how to better this office and improve daily operations.  She is always willing to go beyond her assigned duties and put in extra time and effort to make sure the job gets done correctly and on time.  We could all strive to have Ellen’s work ethic.”
My boss also added, “We are truly proud to have you as an employee.  Great job!”

Mia, if you grow up to be anything like me or your Dad, you’ll know that you don’t do something just because you’re going to win an award or be recognized.  You do your best because you want to be able to look back and be proud of your accomplishments.  You’ll be internally-motivated.  However, it is really nice to have your peers, supervisor, or your teacher notice how hard you’ve been working, and give you a little recognition for a job well done.  It’s certainly brightened my day!

All my love,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

33 Weeks

Dear Mia,

Today I am 33 weeks pregnant!  (And admitting that out loud is very scary for me!)  Your Dad and I are VERY excited to meet you but we still need these last few weeks to prepare.  Since the shower we've been busy unpacking and organizing all of your new gifts, doing laundry and trying to figure out what essentials we need to purchase before you get here.  Here's an update from the past week!

Clothes:  I’m wearing only maternity clothes now- mostly jeans, t-shirts and zip-up sweatshirts on the weekends and dress pants, camis and sweaters on the weekdays to work.  Just recently I had to buy two more sweaters and a long-sleeve t-shirt because the maternity clothes I bought early on in the pregnancy don’t fit anymore!  My winter coat fits but won’t close.

Sleep: Thankfully I’ve been able to sleep just fine this week.  I’ve only been getting up 3-4 times each night but I’m able to fall right back to sleep.  I’ve been averaging 9 hours each night!

Best moment this past week:  My baby shower at Julie and Alan’s house!  A post on that is in the works!

Movement:  Yes, you move around all day long!  I notice it most often when I’m reading my Kindle over my lunch break at work.  I like to rest my kindle on my belly and when you kick, it wobbles!  You also kick me for the entire drive home after work and then when I’m laying down to go to sleep.

Food cravings:  Orange juice.  We went to the store on Wednesday and I bought three containers of juice which will hopefully hold me over until we go shopping again next week.

Labor signs:  None yet!

Belly button in or out?  Still in, but it’s disappearing!

What I miss:  Energy!  It seems that by the time I get home from work and we eat dinner, I’m running on empty!  I haven’t had enough energy to do much around the house lately and things are really starting to pile up.  Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to get some things done! 

What I am looking forward to:  Finishing your nursery with the crib mattress, changing pad and rocker.  Once I get the rocker in place I’ll make sure all of the furniture is in the right spot and I’ll hang all of the art, pictures and shelving that I’ve been collecting.  I’m ready to get your room done!

Doctor’s notes:  I went to the doctor yesterday and she is still very pleased with how you're progressing.  She said my blood pressure is great and your heart rate is normal- in the 150s.  She measured my belly and said that I'm measuring slightly ahead so she'd like for me to have another ultrasound in three weeks to measure you and possibly alter your due date!  I'll schedule that appointment when I see her again in two weeks.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mischief & Mayhem

Dear Mia,

Remember how I wrote that post about our four dogs and how much you're going to love them?  Well, they might not all be around by the time you make your grand debut.  To say they've been driving me and your Dad crazy would be an understatement.

The fun began in early December when instead of snow we got rain.  Daily.  Our backyard turned into a mud pit and each of the little monsters just LOVE to dance in the mud, track it all around our house and leave little muddy prints on our furniture.  They show no remorse.  I tried cleaning their paws each time they went outside but do the math... 4 dogs x 4 paws each + 1 pregnant woman on her knees = a LOT of work.  I even tried to fence off the muddiest part of the yard in hopes that they would congregate on the greener parts of the lawn.  This works for the little dogs but Toby just jumps over it and I've done such a good job getting Buddy to a healthy weight that he can actually fit through the new fencing!  Your Dad thought that last part was hilarious.

Despite their antics, I bought all of the dogs bones for Christmas.  Toby and Buddy got extra large, candy cane-shaped ones that I made them eat outside.  I watched them both chow down for a little bit and then went out to retrieve them.  Toby came in willingly and handed the remaining bone over to me.  Buddy gave no indication that he was ready to come in so I let him stay outside.  Then I sorta forgot about him.  By the time I went out and checked on his progress, Buddy had completely finished his enormous bone.  Uh oh.  That night he puked no less than five times.  No more bones for Christmas.  Momma learned her lesson.

And here we are in January.  A week or so ago, your Dad accidentally left the pantry door open when he came home for lunch.  The dogs helped themselves to an entire box of Captain Crunch and some other random non-perishables that were within their reach.  But there was no puking, so I didn't care much.

Fast-forward to yesterday night when I get this call from your Dad on my way home from work: "I left that pantry door open again and they ate two boxes of cereal."  And then this text: "And now he's puking it up.  I hope he dies."  Based on how distended his stomach was, we determined that Buddy ate both boxes of cereal all by himself.  He was HUGE.  He didn't throw up very many times before bed, but I wasn't convinced that I wouldn't wake up to that horrible gagging sound, so I locked him in our bathroom overnight.

He kept me up ALL night long.  I would hear his little nails click-clack on the tile, then a WHOOSH as he plopped himself down, then the sound of struggle as he tried to find the strength to get back up.  More click-clacking... more WHOOSH...  and then at 4:00 am he rammed the gate.  Head-first, bull-style.  The gate came crashing down and he barreled into the bedroom.  I took him outside for a bathroom run, cleaned his muddy paws (see above...) and locked him back in the bathroom.  6:30 am he rammed the gate again and made his escape.  Another bathroom run, paw cleaning, and then I went back to bed while your Dad got his day started.

To top it all off, one of the dogs peed on the carpet TWICE this morning.  Two little puddles of love.  One spot was in the living room and the other was just inches away from the brand new bouncer that your Dad and I recently assembled for you.  I would have gone ballistic but I was so late for work I only had time to clean up the mess and gate off that room.  (See, that room is usually gated off but I had taken the gate upstairs for Buddy.  I think it was all a conspiracy to drive me insane.)

For the dogs' sake, we better hope things calm down tonight.  I wouldn't mind going one day without mud tracks, puke or pee inside.  I just texted your Dad to see how the house was when he went home for lunch and he said everything was fine.  Let's hope it stays that way!


Sunday, January 8, 2012


Dear Mia,

Exactly one year ago today was one of the best days of my life.  On January 8, 2011 your Dad and I were married at the First United Methodist Church in Normal in front of 85 of our closest friends and family members.    The wedding was the culmination of months of planning and stress, but in the end, it was all worth it.  Our wedding day was the most joyous, exciting and memorable day I've ever had.

Your Dad and I went on our first date in January 2006, after being introduced through an online dating site called Yahoo! Personals.  I was working towards my bachelors degree in Marketing and Public Relations at Illinois State University at the time, and your Dad was pursuing his bachelors degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois.  Your Dad drove to Bloomington to pick me up for our dinner and movie date, but we ended up missing the movie because we couldn't stop talking!  We sat on my dorm room couch for hours talking about ourselves and our families.  When we finally stopped talking (a few hours later) we went to dinner at Carlos O'Kelly's.

We spent that entire first weekend together, and many more after that!  Your Dad and I dated (sometimes on-and-off) for the rest of our time in college.  We made plans to move in together after graduation, and did so in May 2008.  We rented a two-story townhouse in Normal, and quickly learned that living together would be an adjustment!  I tend to be overly organized, high strung and a little anal-retentive.  Your Dad on the other hand, is very relaxed and goes-with-the-flow.  We drove each other crazy for a while until we figured out how to work together.

Your Dad already had two dogs when we met, Buddy and Toby, and they moved into the townhouse with us.  We added Oscar and Wilson in the fall of 2008, and our little zoo family was complete.  (Oh, did I forget to mention Tucker, my pet rabbit from college?  And your Dad's three ferrets?  And Russian Tortoise?  And bearded dragon?  Well, that's because when we tell people we have all of those pets they look at us funny.)

Your Dad asked me to marry him on Friday, May 28, 2010.  He came home from work carrying a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, got down on one knee, gave me a beautiful diamond ring and said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  I of course said YES! and we began planning our wedding.

I asked your Aunt Kirsten to be my Maid of Honor, and your Dad asked Uncle Julien to be his Best Man.  Aunt Courtney, Aunt Clare, Uncle Josh, Uncle Seth, Aaliyah, Corbin and Lily were all in the wedding party, too.  Grandma Young walked me down the aisle while Canon in D was played on the church organ.  We exchanged our vows and rings, and were pronounced husband a wife!  After the ceremony, we took pictures in the church and then escaped in our limo for more pictures around Bloomington-Normal.

Our reception was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, where we enjoyed an evening of good food, great conversation, lots of drinks, laughs and delicious wedding cake!  Your Dad and I made sure to take it all in- the sights, sounds and feeling of that day.  We were able to let ourselves truly enjoy the moment, and I wish the same thing for you, Mia, should you choose to get married one day.  Make sure to take time during the day to enjoy it.

We also made sure that our wedding was an expression of who we are and what we like.  After our wedding rehearsal, we invited everyone to the same Carlos O'Kelly's where we'd had our first date five years earlier.  We chose to get married in the winter because the holidays are our most favorite time of year, and used red as decorative accents because it's my favorite color.  We gave each of our guests little boxes of chocolates that contained one dark chocolate butter cream (a favorite childhood candy of mine) and one milk chocolate butter cream (a favorite childhood candy of your Dad's!).  We asked the DJ to play songs that we enjoyed, including Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King Cole (a song we've both loved for years) for our first dance.

And the best part?  Mia, your parents are more in love today than they were that day.  Your Dad and I are head-over-heels in love with each other.  We laugh, hug, kiss and cuddle every day.  We tell each other our inner-most secrets, thoughts and fears.  We're best friends and truly enjoy each other's company.  And we couldn't be more excited to welcome you into our world.  It's because of this deep, profound love for each other that we decided to have you, and we can't wait for you to get here!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Showered with Gifts

Dear Mia,

While we were in Michigan for the Young Christmas party, Aunt Carol and Aunt Courtney threw us a baby shower!  We started the morning with a delicious breakfast (and great conversation) and then we were given "Wishes for Baby" cards to fill out.  Each person at the shower answered the same ten prompts, giving their words of advice for you.

Aunt Carol, Aunt Emily, Momma, Daddy, Aunt Sue & Aunt Clare

Here are the cards your Dad and I filled out for you!  (Click to enlarge the photos for easier reading!)


We weren't allowed to share answers when we were filling out our cards so I think it's really funny that we had some similar answers!  We're both always thinking of the dogs... hoping that you'll learn to love them, and that you'll be careful around Buddy (arguably our grumpiest of the bunch!).  We both hope you will be thick-skinned, tough and not easily put down by bullies.  We hope you laugh often (especially when your Dad tries to make a joke), and above all else, we hope you become a strong, self-assured, independent person.

We have "Wishes for Baby" cards from everyone that was at the shower and here are some of my favorites:  

I hope you learn from your mistakes.  (Aunt Courtney and Aunt Colleen)
I hope you aren't afraid to love.  (Aunt Courtney and Aunt Colleen)
I hope you love with all your heart.  (Aunt Carol)
I hope you get to travel the world.  (Aunt Clare)
I hope you laugh more than you cry.  (Great-Grandpa and Grandma Young)
I hope you never forget to be thankful.  (Aunt Emily)
I hope you ignore ignorance.  (Aunt Sue)
I hope you become a mother.  (Aunt Colleen and Aunt Courtney)
I hope you respect a good slice of pizza.  (Aunt Emily)
I hope you grow into a nice girl like your Mom.  (Great-Grandpa and Grandma Young)

After I read the cards, we began to open presents.  Mia, you are really being spoiled!  Everyone was so generous, we were afraid all of your presents wouldn't all fit in the car for the ride home!  We can't wait for you to get here, Mia, and enjoy all of the clothes, rockers, blankets and toys that have been given to us.  (Let's just hope your Dad and I can figure out how to assemble everything before you arrive!)


Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Happenings


Christmas is the best time of the year.  I love it, your Dad loves it, and I think you're going to love it, too!  The best part is seeing all of our amazing family members and close friends.  This year we celebrated the season with many different parties.  The first was a gettogether with the Grogg family at Aunt Jill's house.  Everyone was there and we had a great time with the gift exchange!

Great-Grandpa Grogg, Caylor & Lily 
Grandma Snipes and Great-Grandma Grogg

The next weekend we left the dogs home with the dog sitter and trekked to Michigan for the Young family Christmas party at Aunt Carol's house.  We had a great time playing with all of your cousins (Cash, Briggs, Zain and Easton) and catching up with everyone.  We were also given some fabulous gifts for you!  You're not even here yet, and you're already the life of the party!

Momma and Briggs

Later that week, on December 23rd, we decided to host our first annual Christmas party at our house!  We invited your Dad's entire immediate family and Grandma Young, but unfortunately she couldn't make it.  We had a great dinner and then Aunt Courtney, Aaliyah, Lily, Corbin and I all did some Christmas crafts!

After the crafts were finished, we handed out our gifts to Grandpa and Grandma Snipes, Aaliyah, Lily, Bella and Corbin.  I got into the gift-giving mood, myself and let your Dad open one of the gifts I'd purchased for him- custom crochet viking hats for him and you!  I was so excited when he opened the gift, I almost started crying!  Since you're not here yet to wear the hat yourself, Bella graciously agreed to model for the photo op.  And Lily wanted to try one on, too!

Your Dad and I spent a quiet Christmas Eve together and it was really nice- exactly what we both needed after weeks of all these parties!  The next morning, after Santa had visited your cousins, we all went over to Grandma and Grandpa Snipes' house to open more presents!

Although Christmas this year was great, we couldn't help but think of how much better next year will be because you'll be here!  We can't wait to introduce you to the Grogg and Young families, and let them fall in love with you like I know they will.  We can't wait to host our 2nd annual Christmas party (with you as co-host!).  We can't wait for Santa to come down our chimney and leave you presents under the tree.  And we can't wait to take you over to Grandma and Grandpa Snipes' house to celebrate with all of your cousins.  Next Christmas is going to be magical, Mia.  Just wait and see!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nursery Remodel Part 2

Dear Mia,

I started obsessing over your nursery furniture as soon as my morning sickness passed, and I could comfortably browse the stores.  Your Dad and I agreed that we wanted to purchase something that we could see and touch in the store to make sure we liked the finish and quality.  It's tempting to make large purchases like this on discount sites like, but we were worried that we'd order something that looked good online and didn't hold up in person.

After much deliberation and comparisons, your Dad and I chose to purchase the Delta Bentley Crib in chocolate and the matching dresser from Target.  We liked the crib's color, overall design, and how sturdy it was.  We had looked at some cribs that were so flimsy- if you placed your hand on the front panel, it wobbled!  We think this set will serve you well, and could be used if your Dad and I decide to give you a sibling.

Although the Champaign Target had the sample crib and dresser on display, they were always out of any to purchase!  They told us we could order the crib online, but we'd incur a $60 shipping fee!  Never excited about spending more money than necessary, I was content to wait until we found the furniture in stock.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I found myself frantically calling around to all area JoAnn Fabric Stores looking for your nursery fabric.  Remember that story?  Well, when the Bloomington store gave me some hope that they'd have it in stock, your Dad suggested that we also call the Bloomington Target store to see if they had your furniture.  And they did!  That's when your Grandma Snipes offered to make the trip to Bloomington with us in her van so we could pick everything up!

When we returned home from the store, your Dad and Grandma Snipes unloaded both boxes from the van and your Dad carried the crib pieces upstairs.

Truth be told, all your Dad wanted to do that day was sleep in and relax... but he loves me (and you!) so he put on a smile and got to work.

The dark crib looks great against the new, bright paint job, and I'm very happy that we decided to remove the closet door off because it would really get in the way.

Next up was the six-drawer dresser.  The pieces were considerably heaver than the ones for the crib, so your Dad had to carry all of those upstairs by himself as well.  I busied myself downstairs by putting all of the drawers together... backwards.

Oops!  After a good laugh, we took all of the drawers apart, re-assembled them, and put the rest of the dresser together.


Mia, I hope you love your nursery!  Your Grandma Snipes finished your window valance and it's waiting to be hung.  I also had some prints framed for above your dresser, and I need to hang the piece of art above your crib.  Your rocker is still in the works, and I'm deciding on whether or not to buy a little rug.  There's still plenty to prepare before you arrive!  Wish me luck!