Monday, July 30, 2007

Family Fun

Friday was our shower with Kevin's family which was was a wonderful evening of family, food (of course) and fun. Hosted at the Fink home by Dan and Lisa, Kim and Bill and Matthew and Heather, Kevin and I arrived to a very professional-looking chalk mural on the sidewalk made by some of his nieces and nephews, complete with a baby bottle and rattle.

What a welcome!

A lot of thought was put into the decorations with a brown and blue theme- from table confetti, to brown and blue balloons and a darling cake, everything was set for a great night of fun.

How sweet:

We were once again showered with fabulous gifts- our pack-n-play was the big hit of the evening, which Kevin's siblings went in on together and I know will be one of the major necessities that we'll use all the time. He also got tons of cute clothes including this adorable and snuggly outfit from the baby's Aunt Heather- can't wait to see him in it!

Great gifts!

One of the most memorable parts of the evening was the book that Kevin's sister Kim initiated. It's a simple journal with the darling Dr. Suess theme, "Oh The Places You'll Go!" that each of our family members wrote in with individual letters to the baby. Some of the notes were funny and lighthearted, some are drawn pictures from our sweet nieces and nephews, and others are incredibly touching, mentioning that our family was gathered that evening to celebrate him, all anxiously awaiting the chance to meet him, and explaining how loved he already is. I do think he might be a bit confused, however, when we one day read the letters to him, because coincidentally, each of his uncles explained why they would be his obvious favorite! After returning home that night, we read each of the entries together and tears of joy and gratitude streamed down my face. (Damn hormones!) They were all beautiful sentiments. We are so lucky to bring our son into this loving family. Thank you so much to the Erbs for your continued excitement for us and for this 9th grandchild- we are so blessed!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nursery Mayhem

As many of you know, we are still slaving away on the nursery. I never in a million years thought it would take us so long to complete such a small and simple room. I know what you're thinking- a nursery pretty much needs a crib, a changing table, and some storage, right? THAT'S WHAT WE THOUGHT, TOO! Well, notsomuch... let me explain just a few of the roadblocks we've run into recently.

The changing table. Let's just jump right in and explain this ongoing travesty- Originally, my mother offered to purchase the changing table for us as a shower gift and attempted to order it back in mid to late May. Well, it turns out the shipping cost was MORE than the item itself, so we searched for another retailer that carried the table we wanted. The next retailer carried it, but only with a door and we wanted open shelving. However, we found it online and finally got it ordered. ...Only to receive an email 2 weeks later explaining that it was out of stock and the order itself had been canceled. Thankfully, they were "sorry for our inconvenience." (Phew- that made it ok.) Back to square one- we tried two other retailers, to no avail, so we turned to my least-favorite store on the planet as a last resort- Wal-Mart. (Of course they had it and for less than anywhere else.) Unfortunately, in a moment of desperation and weakness, we broke down and ordered it from there. Success! Finally, it was ordered and on it's way. By now, it's the end of June and we were beyond ready to get it set up and and organized. It showed up at our door last week and as Kevin took it out of the box to assemble, we noticed something was terribly wrong. To our utmost horror, the three shelves were broken. Like someone had taken a hammer right through the middle. Smashed. Well, it has since been returned and we are now awaiting the arrival of another one from a different store. (The first store - with the high shipping.) Small price to pay for a product that is undamaged and here. "Here" being the operative word... still waiting. Keep your fingers crossed.

The rocker. We love it, but it leaned too far forward. What do we do? Rig it up with ANKLE WEIGHTS strapped to the back. Nothing like 20 lb. velcro weights wrapped around the back of your chair to make it more comfortable. We are nothing if not resourceful.

The window treatments.
"I'll make them myself" turned into- "why didn't I have someone else freaking do this" on several occasions. Besides the fact that they took forever, my measurements were- well, slightly off. Making them look uneven after they were hung. My saint of a husband had already hung the curtain rods, but I couldn't bear the thought of removing, re-measuring and re-sewing 4 seams. So we decided to lower the rods. Which then entailed patching and re-painting the holes. No big deal, right? Well, we weren't too upset. Until I brought home the matching tie-backs, which I felt were too bulky for the windows and decided on small hooks and ribbon. The small hooks shredded our walls, which are apparently made out of paper mache. (Those holes are currently patched, but not repainted.) We had to return and purchase new hooks which have yet to be installed. Again- fingers crossed.

The bassinet bedding. The bassinet bedding comes. Darling- white eyelet skirt and all. For a JUMBO size bassinet. Our happens to be a STANDARD size bassinet. Back it goes. Ordered another set. God help me.

Now, glitches aside, all of that doesn't sound too bad, right? But today was the kicker.
... I had a custom wall design of vinyl lettering ordered to go over the crib. (Looks like stenciling.) It says "Sweet Dreams." Very cute. Well, after the original order, the company contacts me and says their machine needs a new part and would I be willing to wait or would I like a refund? Keep in mind, as a pregnant woman who cannot seem to make a decsion, I had already spent the better part of a month trying out sayings and quotes (not to mention the crucial decision of font style, size and color) that would work. No way. I couldn't start over. I'd wait. (...And wait....and wait.) Well, this morning, as Kevin and I were returning from Starbucks, there was a priority mail box on my doorstep. YAY! The letters came. I rushed inside to open the box- However, what I saw literally made me wet my pants- laughing so hard I could hardly pull myself together. (Thank you, leaky bladder, but I had to laugh or I might have cried.) They were H-U-G-E. GIANT. ENORMOUS. I don't know what I was thinking. I ordered 10" letters, but apparently didn't take into consideration the style of the font, which was big. I've contacted the company to see how one goes about exchanging a custom design, but I have a feeling I'm outta luck and will just have to order another one. Still waiting to hear back from them, but until then....for your viewing pleasure:

Who knows what will come up next? Truly, at this point, I've given up whatever plans I originally had for a darling and comfortable nursery and will settle for one that is simply finished. Stay tuned for more pics. Hopefully before the baby comes. Oy.

As a quick update- I'm getting ready to finish my 34th week. AND START WEEK 35!!!! Where have the past eight months gone? Kevin has been a coast-to-coast traveler, in NJ last week and leaving for Los Angeles tomorrow. He's decided these would be his last trips since theoretically, the baby could arrive at any time. Our next birthing class is Tuesday night, followed by an OB appointment on Wednesday, then a fourth and final shower with Kevin's family on Friday evening. We're headed to Elkhart on Saturday for time with Grandma and Grandpa Roberts, and then a day at the lake on Sunday with Nana and great-grandma Joan. Lots to look forward to this week. We still can't believe how real everything is becoming and how excited we are getting to meet our little boy. 43 days and counting!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Showered with Love

Today, I was lucky enough to have another baby shower and what a shower it was!!! Two of my best friends, Kristin Fisher and Holli Adams teamed up to host a fabulous event here in Fort Wayne for many of the special women in my life. I can't begin to explain how touching it was to be surrounded by over 20 of my closest family and friends and receive such amazing gifts in order to prepare for our baby boy. We had beautiful weather, fabulous food and plenty of presents!

Thank Heaven for Little Boys, indeed! (And yummy cakes, too!)

What a delicious spread!

With Grandma Judy, Nana Connie and Grandma Dawn. (No chance this baby will be spoiled by them, right??)

With the hostesses and wonderful friends...

Baby Erb was blessed with so many fabulous gifts once again! He now officially has more clothes than Kevin and me combined, and has also received lots of the essentials off our registries. Truly, everyone there was beyond generous and we are repeatedly reminded of how fortunate we are to have so many caring people in our lives who are also anxiously-awaiting the arrival of this sweet baby. His aunts got his swing (yay!), my friends got him a fantastic myriad of toys, books, clothes, bath gear and accessories, and his grandmothers and great-grandmothers have contributed to things for his room, including the gorgeous crib bedding, much-needed closet organization, and even the changing table. (Although the changing table fiasco is another story for another time!) Thank you again to Kristin and Holli for all their planning, to Robyn Fisher for lending her beautiful home and to all my family and friends for their love and generosity in making this such a special day!

We are definitely counting down the days until September 3rd- less than 50 to go! I begin week 34 tomorrow and other than some new-found joint pain, have been feeling pretty good. We've recently gotten a slight break from this July humidity and the cankles have been much better this week! I obviously get tired easily, but thankfully, Kevin is constantly coming to my rescue and helping with tasks around the house. We begin our set of childbirth classes this coming Tuesday night which should be interesting- we'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All in a day's work...

Thought I'd share about our crazy day filled with tons of baby-related events:

My day started out pretty relaxed by attending my first Le Leche League
( meeting at St. Mary's Catholic Church downtown. I was one of three first-time pregnant moms in attendance, so thankfully I wasn't the only newbie in the bunch. It was very informative since the topic was overcoming challenges in the early stages of breastfeeding. I'll definitely continue to attend as my schedule permits.

Then, I raced out north to make my 32-week OB appt. Nothing special, really- just a regular check up. My doctor believes the baby is still transverse, and will possibly perform and ultrasound at my next appt in two weeks to tell for sure. I have gained 2 lbs since my last appt two weeks ago, which I suppose is ok, since I recently read that you are supposed to gain a pound a week now, with 1/2 of each pound going towards the baby's overall weight. Yes- that's right- this little munchkin is possibly not so little- gaining half a pound per week from now until delivery!!!

After my appt, I stopped by Kevin's office and was "motioned" over to by his boss who said in a hushed voice, "Can you be here at 3:30 today? Don't ask questions, and don't tell Kevin." Confused, I agreed, but ran some errands and then returned at 3:30. One of the receptionists met me in the parking lot and hurried me inside to an empty conference room. After sitting in there- lights out, door closed- completely confused for about 5 minutes, they brought Kevin in- who was clearly shocked to see me- then lead us down the hall to about 40 of his colleagues in another conference room for a SURPRISE BABY SHOWER! We were both completely overwhelmed and touched- there was a darling cake that said "Welcome Baby Boy Erb" with ice cream and many gifts- including diapers, wipes, toys and clothes for the baby. It was truly a wonderful experience. Thank you so much to our Labov and Beyond family- you were so generous and we are very grateful to each of you!!!

Gearing up for my next shower this coming Sunday and continuing to put the finishing touches on the nursery... stay tuned for pictures of both!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Amazing Weekend!

We certainly had a busy couple of days in good old E-town, Indiana. We spent Saturday at a picnic for the families of Concord High School class of '97 graduates. Ox Bow Park was a nice setting and it was - interesting- for lack of a better word, to see many classmates I hadn't seen in over ten years. Saturday evening was our actual class reunion held in South Bend at Coveleski stadium. We had a good turnout and a very nice event- lots of laughs making fun of ourselves and seeing who has changed the most, the least, who has the most kids, and who is doing what with their lives. I think everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves and the fireworks show at the end of the evening was a great addition.

Sunday, three of my dear friends- Erin Spencer, Michelle Byers and Britt Metzger- threw an absolutely amazing couple's shower for us and about 30 others at the beautiful lake home of Michelle's parents. The weather was gorgeous, the food superb, and we were showered with tons of amazing gifts for the baby. We received many things that we needed and will use daily- and lots of special extras as well! Thanks so much to Shell, Britt and Chom who worked to make the day wonderful and to all our friends and family for your generosity- Baby Erb is already beyond blessed to have you in his life!

With Grams:

What Great Hostesses!

Can you tell we're already proud parents?

HOLY COW!!! Where am I going to put all this stuff?

I'm starting Week 32 and still feeling okay. I do however, feel more tired and struggle with heartburn. (UGH.) The cankle swelling continues and was at it's worst after standing in heels for most of the weekend. Apparently, his movement will "peak" this week and begin to taper off a little as he's beginning to run out of room! He's now an average of 3 lbs, 14 oz and still around 16.5 inches long. He has eyebrows, eyelashes and a head full of hair! Here's a week-32 belly shot and just for laughs- my swollen ankles.