Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five weeks to go!!!

Soooo....the nursery is pretty much done. The bouncy seat, swing, and pack-n-play are assembled. The laundry is done. We went to the childbirth class. We hee-hee-hoooo'd and bounced on the so-called "birthing ball." We'll install the car seat bases this weekend. (A hint: when you have a baby, please-please-please show up to the hospital already having an idea of how to use your carseat, how to adjust the straps, etc. They're not easy to figure out on the fly and can lead to much swearing and angst as you're rearing to finally go home. Please don't show up with the base attached to the carseat, or worse, with the seat still in the box!)

I guess we're ready? Because in two or three weeks, the waiting (the major, nail-biting waiting!) starts. Preferably in three weeks, because 38 weeks is really considered term. 37-weekers can still be kind of squirrely and sit on the fence.

Are we ready? I think so. Am I afraid of the delivery? Well, I'm not really looking forward to it, but I'm not freaked out either like I know a lot of women are. It's understandable and reasonable to be freaked out, but I just don't feel it. It'll happen how it happens, and that's that!! If I want drugs or an epidural, I'll get them. If I end up needing a c-section, that's the way it is. I trust the judgment of everyone with whom I work and know we're all in good hands.

Here are the "finished" pics of the baby's room...just a few more things need to go up (birdie mobile, curtains, crib skirt, etc)!!

(This is the verse from Jeremiah - "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'")

And I have to give a major shout-out to my sweet Matt, who has more than picked up the slack around here as I slow down!!! Not only is he working his normal hours and commuting while he's at it, in addition to his regular breakfast "dates" each week to meet with his accountability guys, etc, he's pretty much doing EVERYTHING else around the house. Vacuuming. Laundry. Changing the sheets. Dishes. Scrubbing the bathtub. Walking the dog. Watering the flowers. And on and on and on. I honestly think that the house is actually cleaner than when I'm doing all that stuff!!!!! But he does it without complaint, and when I start to fuss about feeling like a useless blob, he stops me and says, "Your job is to grow a baby. I'll do everything else." I ask you, how many men will do all that????

I feel like I'm starting to "drop" but can't tell. I don't feel like I look any different. But today I felt like I was waddling. There's more pressure in my pelvis. There is sometimes a stunning amount of pressure on my bladder and then I pee like a teaspoon. Normally I tool around at my usual pace and even forget momentarily that I'm pregnant...but today as I ran errands I just felt, I don't know, slow and like I had to hold up my stomach or something. Experienced moms, please feel free to inform the newbie here!!!!

I'm not really inclined to say that I'm "nesting;" rather I'm more in a calculated pseudo-panic. "Pseudo" because I'm truly not panicked and crazy, but I'm trying to work at a pace that would make one think that I'm panicked. My friend Mary was so wise when she was pregnant...she would think, "If the baby were born this week, what would I freak out about the most?" and then she'd make that her project (set up the crib, install the carseat, etc). So I've been methodically getting all the biggie projects done so I wouldn't come to that point, and now I'm basically forcing myself to "nest," as in make extra meals to freeze, stock up on storage items, clean things out to make space, etc. I'd rather, um, nap all day and do not feel this "burst of energy" of which others speak!!! Yet. Maybe that's to come.

Anyway, thank you for your prayers so far and your encouragement. I can't believe we're so close to the final lap!!! I'm scared and probably more neurotic during these last weeks than I was in the first and second tri's combined, honestly. But that's a different blog post. God is teaching me through my fear, and I'll leave it at that for now. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Four years?!

(Sorry this is really long. You don't have to read it. I needed to sit on the couch and reflect on some memories and you're welcome to join me!)

Amazing how much your life can look so different in a small handful of years...

I think I just realized that it was about five years ago this weekend (or thereabouts) that I met Matt. Whoa. Have I told you the story about how we met? It's a good least we think it is. ;)

If you've read this blog long enough, you may know - or have figured out - that I left Michigan about five years ago, having no idea exactly where I'd end up, for how long, or anything. I mean, it was a well-planned and well-executed move; it's not like I woke up and yelled, "ForGET it! I'm getting the heck out of DODGE!" and hit the road. I just slowly started to crumble during that past year for a variety of reasons. I was working nights and unable to sleep for beans, even when I took Ambien AND three Benadryl. The NICU had been crazy-busy and the number of babies I took care of and watched die was starting to creep up into two hands' worth of fingers instead of one (and I had only been there for a few years). I was in a relationship that was suspended in that frustrating " this EVER going to go ANYWHERE?" status for at least three years. So to say I was tired and disillusion would be putting it very lightly. I decided that A) I could probably find a way to work as a nurse AND be outside - that's where I came up with camp nursing!, and B) if I pulled up my anchor and let my boat pull away from the dock, the boy from said relationship could either watch me pull away with his hands in his pockets, or jump in and swim after me. Well, it quickly became apparent that that would never happen. I was broken-hearted, but I had my answer and knew I made the right decision.

My dear, sweet Alero has a clipping from a (National Geographic Adventure! *sobbbbb*) magazine taped in it that says, "Home is where the car is." There's another one that says, "Your entire life should be an adventure." My car would soon be my one earthly constant. My stuff was in storage. I was headed to this random place in the San Juans called Sonlight Christian Camp for the summer. After that...who knew?

Summer was over...I had no job. I was mildly freaked out but not too badly yet. I had a friend with whom I could crash in Los Angeles, who was a travel nurse there. I made the drive to southern California alone...crashing on a couch (of someone I had met that summer) in New Mexico; relaxing in Flagstaff, AZ (which was comforting, I had just lived there the year before); and making that long journey on I-40 through hours and hours of desert and heat.

I arrived in LA and within minutes was acutely aware that I did not fit in there. I was in Orange County and had taken an exit and was sitting at a stoplight surrounded by luxury cars - Lexuses, Beamers, Mercedes, etc etc etc. Not one American-made vehicle that I could see in my mirrors. I was driving a loaded-down Olds that had a summer's worth of dirt caked on the sides (I'm not joking) from living in the middle of the mountains, with a dirty mountain bike racked on top. I felt like a total loser...and I hadn't even put my car in park yet. I was like, WHAT am I DOING here? Have I made a royal mistake?

Life in LA did not pan out. I slept on my friend's floor for about a week. We did head up the Pacific Coast Highway and went camping at Big Sur (amazing!), but all the while I was frantically on the phone with my recruiter, and with other companies - both local and national - trying to find a nursing assignment. No dice.

And then my recruiter told me about an opening in Walnut Creek, in the San Francisco Bay area. Three days later, it was nailed. I felt more peace than I had felt in months at the thought of it, like I was actually going home...even though I had never been there, knew no one, had no address.

It's a no-brainer to say that clearly God was firmly keeping shut a door that I was reeealllly trying to pry open. I'm so grateful he answers some of our prayers with a firm *no!*

So this is where Matt comes into the picture. I met Matt about two weeks after I showed up in the Bay area. The weekend I got there, I went straight to church at a little place called Valley Vineyard. Immediately I was invited to a Bible study-type event that took place on Sunday evenings at someone's house. Starving for normalcy, I went, and to my dismay, was surrounded by married couples...not that I was scoping out the scene or anything, I just wanted to make friends with other singles and not feel like the outcast that I felt like in West Michigan. But this dear, dear couple immediately took me under their wing that night, giving me maps of the East Bay (where I lived), inviting me to dinner and movies at their house (with their five darling little kids), inviting me out for coffee on their date nights (who DOES that?). Already God put me in a family, just like He promises to do for the lonely.

The following week when I went to the Bible study I showed up late...I grabbed my food and strolled into the living room to find a seat, and there was this smiling, kind-looking guy sitting there. He was in my little discussion group (yippee! I thought) and seemed like the most gentle person. His name was.....Matt. :)

I went home. I thought about it for a couple of days. I pulled out my journal, and wrote to God, basically, I think I'd like to date someone again...and far be it from me to offer suggestions to You, but if I may, that Matt guy seems like he'd be a good start. I mentioned to the Lord that I needed someone to pursue ME instead of the other way around this time. I needed someone to show me that I was worth at least that much.

The next week: I show up to the group again. Matt sat by me when we all ate. He even shared dessert with me (and you KNOW that the way to my heart is through my stomach!). Bible study ended a while later...I was waiting...waiting...will he ask me out??...waiting...everyone's leaving, only a few of us left....argh....okay, never mind, guess I misread all those signals...g'night. I left. My foot was in the door of my car when I suddenly heard, "JENNY! Wait!!!" and I kid you not, there's Matt, running across the yard after me. I think I actually said to myself, "Son of a jackal, that man is literally pursuing me." He asked me out on a date...I was skeptical as to whether it really was a date in the next weeks leading up to it - what if he was on the church's Welcome Wagon committee and it was his turn to take out the newbie???? - but he wanted to take me up to the Napa Valley, where he was from, for an afternoon drive. It would be October by then, and the grape leaves would be turning color and you could smell the crush...and he thought it might remind me of fall at home.

But was he the church creepy dude who stalked every new girl? I had to find out. Thank God again for the dear family who had adopted me...I was able to call them and get some insight and have my mind put at ease.

We had our first date after church two weeks later. I wasn't sure what to think.

He took me for a hot dog at Costco.

His truck had Spongebob Squarepants floor mats.

I was like, oh my.

The following week we didn't really talk, we just had made plans to go hiking on Mt. Diablo after church again. I wrestled with whether or not I really even wanted to go, and what would I say? I had conflicting feelings about getting into a relationship, if that's where this was headed.

I can't really explain what changed my heart on that Sunday, but it did. We dirted our plans to hike on Mt. D. and headed up Valley to see Matt's dad's family, who were having a big cookout that afternoon. Again, I'm like, how can this be? I've barely been here for a few weeks, and I'm going to a cookout? In the Napa Valley? With a big family? Huh?

But I think that's when I realized, that day, that I could really start to love Matt. He was fun and gentle and kind and thoughtful. People clearly loved him and thought highly of him.

We had a blast dating...I wanted to do all the fun touristy things that he had never done even though he lived there. We shopped at Union Square and took the trolley to the Embarcadero and ate huge sundaes at Ghiradelli Square and did the "spooky" night tour of Alcatraz. We hiked in the Marin Headlands and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and biked in Monterey on Sunday afternoons. He was an assistant t-ball coach and we went to games and cheered our friends' kids on.

Four months later, Matt was willing to *gulp* ask my dad for permission to marry me...on the same weekend that they had just MET. But he did just that, waiting for our table to be called on the balcony of the Cheesecake Factoryin downtown San Francisco.

Seven months after that we got married.

And now we're gonna have our first little baby.

Oh my goodness. I'm so glad I took that leap of faith and drove across the country in my little Alero. I'm so glad the guy didn't jump in off the dock and come after me. I'm so glad the gig in LA didn't work out after all. Because if any of those things had or had not happened, I wouldn't be married to the dearest man on earth!!! I'm not gonna lie: our first year was rough. We barely knew each other, really. We were prideful, set-in-our-ways people. We spent that first year in counseling. It didn't help that Matt lost his job and we lived in three different states in a very short amount of time. But God has been faithful to grow us and connect our hearts.

Tomorrow is our four-year wedding anniversary. I can't believe how much we've both changed since then...and by the same token, we still have some of the same struggles we had our first year...and we might have those same struggles 20 years from now. Marriage hasn't made our life perfect. It hasn't made our lives complete, either - only Christ can complete us, we firmly believe that. We don't meet every single need that the other has, because only Christ can do that, too. But it's good. Every year is better than the one before it. We're on a great adventure together!!

Who knows what the next five years will bring...but I'm praising the Lord that we're in it together!!! I love you, my Matt!!! Love, Your Jenny.

Friday, September 17, 2010


So have you seen the letter circulating of FB written by a doctor to Mr. Obama pointing out that the problem with our health care "crisis" lies not in lack of money, insurance, or providers but in a cultural "entitlement" mindset? It's very articulate, respectful, and I think appropriate.

I struggle with this big-time. The longer you're in a health care profession, the more cynical and judgmental you become if you don't keep yourself in check. I'm speaking for myself here too.

I'm not gonna lie: I get very frustrated when I take care of patients who are on some form - or all forms, as it may be - of assistance, but they are able to afford hair extensions, manicures and pedicures, tattoos, cigarettes, and expensive phones with unlimited texting and data plans. I'm just as frustrated when I stand behind someone at the grocery store who has two orders of food: the healthy stuff that their assistance card will pay for, and then the *other* order: all manner of chips, pop, and frozen pizzas. And I think, um, the junk food costs well more than the other stuff you're buying. So if you put it all away, you'd be able to afford the stuff you actually need, AND have money left over.

People balk when I tell them I can't send them home with a week's worth of diapers and formula, and the hospital doesn't provide cribs or carseats, and the mechanical breastpump they've been using isn't theirs to keep...and the receiving blankets are not to be taken home as souvenirs (um, they're not that cute - why do people always want to keep them??). The linens and supplies in their room's closet aren't theirs either (seriously? What is so attractive about puke basins and postage stamp-sized towels?).

I'm perplexed. Matt and I live on a comfortable double-income, but very frequently we have to have the conversation about what other ways can we be more mindful of our spending so we can save a little more here and there. We nearly canceled our cable AND land-line not too long ago just because we were like, 'Do we reeeaaallly need those?' Matt went to Prime Care a few months ago for something and the bill was outrageous just for a few minutes face-to-face with a nurse and a doctor and a tube of hydrocortisone cream. My Prime Care trips for things like urinary tract infections resulted in similar bills. And I'm an employee at the hospital that runs these places!! You'd think there'd be a break!! But no, we paid them and moved on. We just decided to "spring" for call waiting and caller ID on our phone and a limited texting plan on my cell. Like, things add up fast.

I believe in living debt-free (easier said than done, easier said than done), but not to be able to increase our own wealth or standard of living, but to be able to increase our standard of giving. Because even in living debt-free, it's not supposed to be all about me.

And I want to provide for the needy. There are some hard-working, very unfortunate people we encounter every day. They've made every possible cut in their lives, and it's still not enough. They live on next to nothing but are still told they make "too much" to qualify for assistance that would greatly help them. They're desperately looking for a job, and the two or three that they have barely cut it and don't provide benefits.

So my struggle lies in how do I look compassionately on those who are less fortunate without judging the things they already have? And how do I reconcile living in a culture that screams "Because you're worth it..." and "Have it your way..." - for heaven's sakes, if those slogans are just applied to makeup and fast-food, how much more do we apply it to the bigger things, like health care and public assistance? Isn't that really the problem? We deserve a better life...we have a right to ______ (fill in the blank)...everyone needs ____ (yet another blank to fill in). Really? Do we really? Is health care a right? Or is it a privilege? I have my thoughts and opinions, but I don't know if they necessarily reflect the truth. And on one hand I'm a nurse, and of course with that is an inherent desire to come alongside people and help them. And on the other hand, I'm a nurse, and one of my primary responsibilities therein is to equip my patients to function to the best of their ability without needing me...because they won't have me when they go home.

Our country and culture are caught in an ugly, ugly cycle. We think we should be able to live the way that we want to live, and then when the consequences roar up on us, we should be able to have it fixed. We want to keep our vices and bad habits and are more than willing to pay for them, but when those consequences DO roar up, we're indignant at the suggestion to shell out the money for that too. And to have someone suggest that taking care of that bill is our responsibility is pegged as judgmental. But isn't it just...wise???

I have no concrete answer, but I do believe, along with the doctor who wrote the note circulating on FB, that reform of any kind (though he speaks specifically to health care) starts at the individual level. Taking responsibility for that which we ourselves can change. And what we can't change, leaning heavily on the sanctifying grace of God to sever our vices and our sins at the root in our hearts. It begins with a huge cultural change in mindset - we are NOT entitled to everything under the sun, we can't always have what we want...and sometimes we need to pay dearly for the things that we need. I don't like it any more than anyone else. And I want to teach our children that provision comes from the Lord and you manage the resources He's given very wisely...and when things don't go as we would like, we still give glory to Him - because as fallen creatures before a holy and just God, we really deserve a whole lot worse than what we get.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

33 weeks?! And other things.

Yes, 33 weeks!!! My first shower is this weekend!!! I still feel good, the gest. diabetes is well-controlled thus far, and I'm starting to realize that this little person is getting bigger by the day and will soon need to come OUT. I'm not so sure how I feel about that, so I choose not to dwell on it and figure it will unfold as it is to unfold and there's absolutely nothing I can do to truly, TRULY prepare for it, so why get all bent out of shape??

I had an ultrasound last week and the baby is measuring on the high-ish end of normal but normal nonetheless, not a honker quite yet. I was really excited to get pics and post them, and then, well, they didn't turn out nearly as cute as 20-week pics. When the baby is really teeny and has plenty of amniotic fluid to bounce around in, it's really cute and delicate. The baby is now much larger, has much less room to roam, and its scary (0n ultrasound they all look scary), pudgy little face takes up the whole screen and invites you to scream rather than coo at it!!!! So the pictures...will not be posted. Sorry.

I'm running out of steam earlier in the day than I normally do. I normally get up between 6 and 7 on my days off and go full-tilt until I go to bed. Now I get up between 6 and 7 and go full-tilt until about 11am, when the little wind-up thingy on my back starts to grind and sputter and I start to go downhill. So Matt put a sanction on my activities - namely, cooking activities. I can easily spend much of my day chopping, baking, pureeing, prepping, thawing, you name it. But then I get exhausted and find myself up to my elbows in a mess to clean and now it's time for Matt to come home and I'm starting to come I'm allowed to do any or all of these things to my heart's content until 1pm. Then I must stop. No matter if there is no meal prepared for the evening. He will fend for himself. And then I feel like a failure.

I have a HARD TIME accepting my limitations and allowing myself to use the pregnancy card. I want my house to be clean. I want to gladly take whatever assignment I get at work. I want my fridge still full of good, healthy, homemade meals. I want to exercise. I want to NOT feel like the whiny pregnant lady who uses it as an excuse to be lazy or shirk her responsibilities. But yep, I'm tired. I'm more out of breath. My feet don't hurt but are uncomfortable after a while on them. I don't have the strength in my back like I usually do to bend over a postpartum mom trying to not-very-successfully breastfeed her baby. I can normally scoot around pretty deftly during the day but am loosely waddling by the evening.

I was on the phone with a friend from work this morning. She has four kids and is one of the sweetest, most wise women I know. Our convo was brief, but she admonished me to get my rest and allow my standards to change. She told me that she tried to still be the super-clean-house-amazing-meals-etc-etc-etc wife and mother after her first baby was born, and she regrets that she may have missed out on some of his first year of life because she was so consumed with trying to do it all just like she was able to before. So her admonition to me was to enjoy being pregnant and enjoy that baby while I can...the rest is inconsequential. Matt's been trying to say pretty much the same thing to me, but you know how it's easy to kind of brush off what your spouse says, because how could they possibly understand _____ anyway? So I'm trying to practice that more and what if there are dog-hair tumbleweeds along my baseboards? And a handful of unfinished projects around the house? And dinner is kind of hodge-podge? I have a sweet little baby rolling around in my tummy and I'm a little sleepy and I'm going to sit down and blog (and gently push little elbows and knees and butt and feet back into place) instead of run around like mad. I can only do so much right now.

And bottom line is, I can only do so much on my own strength. Like, very little. I am so well aware of my limitations right now and my need to pray, "Lord, give me your strength right now." How much more do I need to depend on Him!!! Why don't I always make that my first thought and prayer? Why do I insist on trying to do everything on my own? I know part of it is because I'm full of pride and don't want to overly depend on others. Icky, icky pride. Ugh. Sever it at the ROOT!!!!

Anyway, none of this is very profound, but that's all I have the energy and capacity to do this hour. Ooooh...little head grinding on my bladder again...better go...!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where were YOU?

I rolled over and rubbed my eyes and looked at the ceiling. It was rolling up on 9am. I felt like garbage...I hardly slept - yet again, as my body fitfully and resentfully adjusted to the night shift for the first time in my life. I hadn't worked the night before, but I hadn't slept much either. My friends Renee, Lauren, and Kimberly were already up, brewing coffee and eating leftover Funfetti cake for breakfast. My apartment had become the post-college crash zone for my friends who were needing a place to stay when they were in town. Three of my besties from nursing school. I had recently bought a pull-out couch to accommodate their frequent visits. Maybe the night before had been the inaugural use of that awesome couch. I can't remember.

The sun was shining, it was a beautiful morning, and I stumbled out of my room and into the living room, feeling badly for already feeling spent and grumpy. I rubbed my eyes again and had barely gotten out the words, "Holy cow guys, I slept like garbage -" when the phone rang. It was my mom - and she told me I needed to turn on the news right away. We quickly turned on my rabbit-eared borrowed TV that sat on the bright blue footlocker I used for storage when I lived in the dorm.

Along with the rest of the world, we were shocked. Kimberly canceled the interview she had scheduled for the day. It suddenly seemed...I don't know, weirdly trivial to go on a job interview when we were watching people hurtle themselves out of windows from the umpteenth floor of a burning building. Along with the rest of the world, we spent September 11, 2001 in that surreal suspension of disbelief and confusion. It was weird and transfixing and incomprehensible how much our world would be sooo different from that very second forward.

I kept the front page from the paper the next day, with the best intention to follow the quagmire of political and religious events that led up to and unfolded on 9/11. But I was - and still AM - an unsavvy political idiot and could barely muddle through the thickness of it for more than a day. I knew that this would be a defining moment in history and in my lifetime but I could barely pull back the layers and understand any of them.

Shock dissolves into awareness...which dissolves into some semblance of understanding...which gives way to a new definition of normal...which becomes accepted...which settles back into apathy. The world is different, previously unheard-of concepts are now household terms (terrorist cells? jihad? insurgents?), and...well, that's just the way it is now.

As my quintissentially professorly Modern European History prof would always say, I would do "great violence" to the subject of the war in the Middle East if I were to speak to it (in other words, I would really embarrass myself with my comp-LETE ignorance), and I see both sides, for and against our involvement in the conflict. But here's what I do know:

1) There is good in the world, and there is evil. Call a spade a spade. There are evil people with evil intentions. The people who attacked our country were misguided, misdirected people who believed a lie and harbored evil in their hearts. If someone came after my child with any semblance of evil intention, you bet your boots I'd fight back with every shred of my being. I'm not all about fighting for the sake of fighting, but if it's to defend and protect what I love most, no doubt in my mind will I be a fighter. And a good one.

2) God calls us to defend the defenseless. There are defenseless people in the world under powerful political systems who need our protection, and if we don't, who will?

3) There are families who wake up and go to bed day in and day out praying that their husband, brother, and daddy will come home. They're proud of and believe in their loved one's call to honor, serve, and protect, but they'd give ANYTHING to sit down each evening for dinner with hear the garage door open and see their car pulling up the driveway each squabble over stupid, everyday things simply because that means they'd be there...and they can't. Pray for these families and support them, whether or not you've supported the war effort. Pray for the Horn family as Nick serves abroad...pray for the Zembiec family, who are grieving anew today as they mourn the loss of their son Doug...pray for the Stanley family as Jason serves Stateside..

We are under the authority of an awesome God...awesome in the truest definition of the word. Our best life is not on this earth, and peace will not rule this earth on this side of heaven. It simply will not, as long as humans are a part of it and as long as evil is allowed free reign and we have the ability to choose between what is right and what is wrong. We ARE called to protect, to defend the defenseless and fatherless, to stand up for what's right. There ARE absolutes, and we need to protect those boundaries.

We'll never know the answers as to why those horrid events happened 9 years ago, why the Lord in His sovereign authority allowed them, the facets of war are awful and complex and are simply not black and white. But we all can be so grateful for the countless Americans who very willingly gave their lives over the course of history so we can have the freedom that we do, that is so a part of our makeup we don't even realize it's freedom - we assume it should be a given.

Take time today to remember where you were, how you felt, what you thought...and remember the people who did everything they could to save the people crushed in the rubble...and remember our soldiers and their families who are a part of a cause to continue to protect us and who don't always receive the support they need from the country they've sworn to defend.

I look forward to Christ's promised return, when real peace will truly reign!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby room preview

Okay, finally I can give you a sneak peek at the baby room!! You may remember our flooring dilemma (we wanted to keep the hardwood, but the varnish contains lead and they won't sand it down, so we had to recarpet it)...well, the carpet was installed on Monday AND we had pretty white faux wood blinds installed (plug: Budget Blinds rocks...they have great service, good prices, and our house is addicted to the faux wood blinds). It's starting to come together!!!!

Here's the "before" picture... installation... blind installation with the furniture back in the room...

Molly is quite pleased to have a soft floor back.

I do plan to keep the twin bed there because A) it's our only guest bed, and I'd like to keep that (baby can sleep in the pack-n-play upstairs with us in that case), and B) I plan to sleep in it for at least the first few weeks post-delivery. Our stairs are steep and I don't want to be hefting up and down them in the middle of the night after having a baby!

I do obviously need to find a bedside table and we're planning to get the dresser that matches the crib.

A couple other cute details...

Rocking chair from my fave antique/cottage store that Auntie Lisa bought...the sock monkey was one of my first baby presents from my Aunt Sue and the books on the monkey's lap were Matt's when he was a baby!

Oops!!! He's very cute, but not part of the decor...pardon me...

The tree and birdies I bought at Kohl's...if you saw my FB update yesterday, you'll know that pulling this off the backing and putting it on the wall was NOT part of my finer moments by any stretch of the imagination...I have another one (oh crumb) to put up over the crib.

And finally...I did break down and buy some clothes the other day. We have a fabulous Carter's outlet here and you can return stuff at any time. So I bought boy and girl things to have on hand, newborn and 0-3 mos. (not knowing if I'll have a normal sized baby or a moose, since I'm a gest. diabetic!), etc. If I get a ton of clothes or duplicates as gifts, these will be very easy to return. But here are the things I plan to keep:

I've had my eye on this little snow suit-ish thing for the past couple of months!!! I figure brown is cool for a boy OR a girl...

And then I bought Thanksgiving outfits!!! One for a boy, and one for a little girl. Couldn't resist. It was waaaaaay too much fun!! We probably won't be headed out for a big Thanksgiving bash quite yet when it rolls around, but will definitely make it to Christmas, Stamy family. :)

So that's it for now!! Eventually I'll have some pictures hung, and my aunt's making curtains, and once the dresser's in place, it'll be all set and ready!!! So excited (but so scared at the same time, but that's another post)! Thanks for sharing with us. I know looking at baby stuff and outfits is a little nauseating, but there are a few people who keep asking to see!!! And I hate to disappoint!!!