Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The baby was really just waiting until we had the nursery complete, which we did on Monday. Well, we're still missing the critical rocking chair, but the wall art is here and displayed, so it feels complete :-)

I ordered this from a company called Blik. They make vinyl stick-on wall graphics. I was a little apprehensive because of our textured walls, but they worked! Here are a couple pictures of both the process and the finished product.

They come in giant sheets, and then you peel them off and stick them on your wall, but this is an extra challenge when you have more than one color that you have to layer on top of each other. Here is Mike working on what was by far the most challenging piece. Basically, we put the color of the umbrellas up, and then had to get the lines and handles detailing to fit precisely on top. In one giant piece.

And the finished project. . .
These two pictures are on opposite sides of the nursery. The lettering was a gift from Mike's colleague, and fits perfectly with the images. Alone it would look like we were hyper-aggresive parents, but hopefully the image and the Dr. Seuss tie gives it the much more whimsical tact that was intended. I'm so happy with how this turned out! Mike's comment was, "It's very artsy." My sister-in-law's comment, who was here when it arrived but has not seen it put up yet was, "it looks like a project that will take lots of hands." Did I mention how much I love it? I haven't been so happy with a purchase in a long time.

Pictures of the changing table coming soon. I know you're waiting with bated breath!

You can come now, baby. Your room is ready!

4th of July

For the 4th of July, after having a small BBQ in our backyard on Saturday, we decided to escape the heat and head up to Duluth on Sunday night. We stayed at our favorite Sheraton hotel (thank you McKinsey), and just hung out in the little town. Highlights included the local aquarium, the film festival at the omnimax theatre where we watched a video on the Blue Devils and the history of flight, shopping at the Duluth Trading Company (Mike's personal favorite), and fireworks at the bandshell in the evening. It was good to get away!
The other photo I will share from the weekend is of an advertisement I saw in a restroom. While it is a bit random, hopefully you will appreciate the logic leap as much as I do.

In case you can't read it, it says something along the lines of Disney, GE and Microsoft were all started during depression, recession, or panic, and they advertised. You've never heard of all the companies that didn't advertise and went out of business. Advertise with us (on bathroom stalls) to be the next Disney!

Happy due date to us!

Yesterday was our official due date, but no baby. I had scheduled beforehand a massage, so either way it was a win for me. Massage yesterday, maybe baby tomorrow? I would be more patient, if only I could sleep at night :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Notre Dame Weekend

Please note, these posts are not in chronological order!

I recently timed a trip home end of May/early June to coincide with our ND MBA 5 year reunion. Though it was lightly attended, it was really good to catch up with the people who were there. I don't have any good pictures, but highlights of the weekend were hanging out with my fellow pregnant lady Heather and her honey, meeting Pablo's new wife Mariana, a girls' afternoon to TJ Maxx, and a story brought to us by Nikos about the happy bar in London.

While I was gone, Mike was either missing me, missing Notre Dame, or just got bored. I came home to find his latest creations in the yard. He got to back to ND for a different reunion 2 weeks later.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My garden

Not to obsess on the wonderful things Mike does for me, but last year my pathetic garden did not give us much to eat. Located under 2 pine trees and the neighbor's shade tree, the poor thing has been converted to a shade flower garden this year.

But behind the fence, next to the alley Mike built me a garden bed so I could try again. I put a full picture in another day, but this is my first harvest. 
 Compared to my parents' acres of garden, it's not much. But compared to last year's garden, when I got no more than 4 green beans at a time, it's huge! Next will be peas, and my tomatoes and squash are peaking up over the top of the fence already. Yes, I am a mighty urban gardener! Now if I can just figure out how to keep the urban woodland creatures from beating me to the harvest. Apparently they don't care for green beans, but the score on the strawberries this year is somewhere around 238 to 1.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best husband ever

Mike (and admittedly myself to a lesser extent) are a bit baffled at what we keep hearing from friend and family about how much work one baby is. It's just one baby, and they are supposed to sleep a ton, so what do you do all the time? I am a little more prone to believe every single friend who tells us the same thing, but Mike is suspicious that it just involves a little planning.

Take food, for example. Last week he suggested we make a bunch of extra food to put in the freezer, and have an order on hold with our local grocery delivery service. Luckily I found recipes and bought ingredients for freezer food. I was planning to make it one meal at a time in double batches and put half in the freezer, but on Monday he came home from work and said he was ready to cook!

I gave him the recipes and answered questions on where things were hidden in the kitchen. 5 hours later, we had a freezer full of multiple casseroles, mac and cheese, cinnamon roles, and he even made brownies in single serve sizes. When I commented on the brownies, he said, "You don't think I'd let you starve, do you?"
To wrap it all up, in spite of the new slice on his finger from the cheese grater, he even cleaned the kitchen up.

It's the little things he does that shows me how much he loves me, and this was pretty awesome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby Shower #2

Baby shower #2 was thrown by my mom and Aunt Paula, who hosted it in Indiana. Again, I was amazed at the outpouring of love and support from everyone, as people gathered from as far away as Chicago and Tennessee.

My sister-in-laws hosted the games, and this time we played a little nursery rhyme jeopardy.

Here is Marie and Sarah playing Alex Trebec and . . . Vanna White?

Apparently my family is pretty well versed in nursery rhyme trivia, with one exception. Do you know who sailed off in a wooden shoe, into a sea of dew? Bonus points of you can answer without looking it up, and congrats to my Aunt Susan for getting it right!

Thanks for the wonderful gifts, and for making me feel so loved, everyone!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baby Shower #1

My wonderful friends and family have had 3 different baby showers in 3 different states for me. Let me tell you about each of them. Since I have failed miserably on my 6 posts/week commitment, I am going to stretch this into 3 :-)

The first baby shower was in Nevada. I went to visit my sister Cinnamon and her family in Nevada a few months ago. Cinnamon was going to miss my shower in Indiana, and surprised me with one in Nevada on Mother's Day. I've spent a bit of time in Moapa over the years, and so know most of her extended family pretty well. Nonetheless, I was surprised and felt very showered with love by the fact that so many people came to support me. We played silly games like "feed the baby"...
 Pictured here are the winners, Frannie and Veronica. By the end we definitely realized the importance of the bib!

The kids had a crawling race, which I considered participating in. For about 2 seconds.

And we were well nourished by delicious treats. My darling niece has made herself at home in the middle of it. I think when seated she may be the same height as the chocolate fountain. Imagine an adult version of that!

Thanks, Cinnamon, for showering me with so much love! And yes, I did steal these pictures from your blog :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

No nurses strike!

For those of you who have been very concerned for me about the impending nurses strike in Minnesota, you can be at peace! For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, basically nearly all the hospitals in the area have been in talks with their nurses union over the last couple of months to renegotiate their contracts. As I understand it, there were 3 main sticking points:

1) raises - nurses wanted 2-3% raises per year
2) pension and benefits - I think 16 hours per week qualifies nurses for full benefits, and pension reimbursement is pretty high
3) staffing levels - the nurses wanted a restricted level of patient to nurse ratios, no matter the volume at the hospital

Public reaction was pretty negative towards nurses overall, so I think for PR the stress was placed on #3 - to improve quality of care for patients, of course. I won't give my full opinion here, as I will be relying on these same nurses to take good care of me in a few weeks :-) The strike was looking imminent, and set to begin right after the July 4 weekend, but last night they came to an agreement in "secret negotiations." They agreed to no change in benefits, 0, 1, and 2% raises over the next 3 years, and a commitment to continue to work on staffing ratios

Hooray! It's not that I don't think the replacement nurses they would have brought in would be fully competent. It's that we specifically chose our hospital because their philosophy aligns pretty well with ours, and everyone we spoke with attributed it to the nurses. The hospital also has the lowest C-section rate in the state, and we're glad everything will be operating like normal.

Official vote is Tuesday, but everything looks good.