That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

so glad that you asked!

Okay, here’s my essay, I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this for a long time, anyway:

Sorry the pictures are so crappy.  I was too excited to wait and take them in better lighting.

I am decorating my house as much like an Imagineer as I can.  As it turns out, it’s kind of like a muggle attempting wizardry, but anyway…. I looooove Disney.  Odds are you already know that.  So, without offending the Mickey fanatic decorators in the audience, red, black and yellow and Mickey silhouettes don’t do anything for me.  It’s kind of too obvious.  Where’s the subtlety in that?  The art?  The true fandom?  I love Mickey, don’t get me wrong.  But that’s so one-dimensional.

You know what I love?  Fort Wilderness.   Tom and I went right after we got pregnant and it was magical.

My dining room is probably my favorite room in the house, themed around Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  The previous owners of our house used sticks from their yard as curtain rods in the dining room, with burlap draperies.  We didn’t notice until the day that we got the keys.  We both looked at it, and at each other and thought, “Gee, what can we do with that?”  Fort Wilderness.  It was difficult to not include Frontierland, or even Wilderness Lodge, but to limit the room specifically to Fort Wilderness.  I’m a stickler for authenticity.  Fort Wilderness, to me, is Daniel Boone, and early east coast forts built around the Revolutionary War, just as we new Americans began to venture westward.  Frontierland conveys more of a Wild Wild West theme to me, a post-Civil War/Gold Rush era, and Wilderness Lodge pays homage to the great lodges of the Northwest and in my opinion brings us basically into the 20th century.  I could have done a lot with geysers, National Parks and totem poles, but I decided to stay true to Fort Wilderness, specifically.

There’s not much to go on in the world of Imagineering Fort Wilderness.  So my design is based primarily on personal experience.  For the record, I don’t have enough horse stuff.  Let me just clear the air and get that out of the way right now.  The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is a big part of the Fort.  I need to incorporate the horses in some capacity at some point.

But for now…

The first installation in the Fort Wilderness dining room was the black Mickey icon chandelier.  Didn’t I say I wasn’t into mouse-ear silhouettes everywhere?  I did say that, didn’t I?  Well, I’ve made and exception in the form of Mickey’s head over my dining room table.  I bought the chandelier at a Disney Character Outlet (in Woodbridge, VA I think) before I even had a house because I knew I had to have it.  It’s very versatile.  It went with the house in Virginia, and it works here in the Fort.  I want to get a Mickey Mouse cast iron trivet to go with it, but we’re still a work in progress.

Mickey Chandelier

 

The centerpiece of the room is the table.  We found a gorgeous table at Nadeau.  It’s huge!  It seats at least 8.

Nadeau table

 

We knew we wanted a bar to store wine and a buffet to store entertainment ware (punch bowl, chip/dip plates, etc.).  I happened upon the Verona Bar and Verona Buffet at World Market.  I did some research and discovered their annual dining room sale, so we waited several weeks and bought them at a discount.  On top of that, we caught a store Grand Opening not too far from us for even deeper savings.

World Market Verona Buffet

The table, bar and buffet were easy.  We met and fell in love immediately.  Seating has been difficult.  We knew we wanted benches.  Where do you eat when you’re camping?  At a picnic table.  We bought benches to match the bar and buffet, and would you believe it, they are exactly ONE INCH too long to fit under the table.  We went ahead and set them up so we’d have something for Bruce’s party, but the search continues.

But I digress.  I’m getting away from what I wanted to be the meat and potatoes here, Fort Wilderness.

It’s nice to be an artist.  It’s not necessary to pull off a decently designed space, but it helps.  I wanted something that deliberately brought my campsite into the dining room, so I created a casual charcoal sketch on newsprint and framed it in a rich wooden frame that I found at Michael’s.

Fort Wilderness Campsite Sketch

 

Did you know in “The American Adventure” at Epcot, they only use the technology of the time to display various periods throughout American history?  For example, we don’t see photographs until the Civil War era.  Prior to that the story is told via paintings.  (I guess Audio-Animatronics count as real people.)  I tried to adhere to this rule in my post-Revolutionary War fort, but I broke my own rule with a photo that I took of Reception Outpost.

Reception Outpost

 

On the other side of my charcoal sketch is another work of art that I created.  I thought pioneers venturing out into the wilderness might return with sketches and descriptions of newly discovered flora and fauna (and Merriweather! Wait…).  Bearing that in mind, I drew a picture of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow.  This tragic character is extinct as of 1987, and the last known living Dusky resided at Discovery Island on Bay Lake.  His legacy lives on in my dining room.

Dusky Seaside Sparrow

 

When I was researching Fort Wilderness, I found one image.

Fort Wilderness Train

 

So I was tickled to have received this for my birthday:

Train Print

 

I’m sure it’s actually Frontierland, and I’m aware that rail travel came much later than my assumed Fort era,  but I’m willing to let that slide because it’s so similar to the image of the Fort Wilderness train (which was decommissioned and turned into ticket booths at Pleasure Island).  The lush greens could really go either way.  It’s not like it’s a Big Thunder print.

Here are some other little touches from around the room:

Fort Wilderness Dining Room

 

I’m still on the hunt for a hand-woven Native American table runner, so if you know anybody…

And here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the whole shebang, my pretty subtle Disney Dining Room:

Fort Wilderness Dining Room

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growing up

Since we moved into the house, I haven’t cared much about filling it with furniture. No one ever comes to visit. It’s just Tom, Bruce and me. As long as we all have beds, were good.

My dining room table, for example, is the table that we’ve had since we got married. I found it by a dumpster outside some UVA students’ apartments. It has a Simba sticker on it. 🙂 We’ve never not had a tablecloth on it, so it looks fine.

Our couch was a wedding gift. It’s upstairs in the den in front of the only tv in the house. It’s set up pretty much the same way it was when we lived on Ainsworth Street. We have all of our DVDs on bookshelves with doors because I HATE looking at the spines of the DVDs. Those are IKEA shelves. Everything is very modest. People joke, but our entire house has been IKEA or hand-me-downs, and we’re cool with that. It still looks nice.

There are some things that we need to get around to eventually. We have a den, family room and living room. The den is done.

We have one chair in the living room.

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We stopped by a furniture store that was going out of business. They had a phenomenal deal on a whole bed for Grandma and Grandpa’s room. So we went for it.

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We saw a couch that would work. The lady said, “make me an offer.” So we did.

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It’s all starting to come together. On one hand, I don’t really care. I’m not trying to impress you and we don’t need it. On the other hand, it feels really good to get the washing machine out of the family room and live like a couple of adults.

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fiiiiiiiinally!

Guess who’s baby’s finally got a car seat?!  Woo hoo!

I hate posting twice in one day, but in my defense we are getting awfully close, I didn’t post at all over the weekend, and these are exciting new developments (if you consider shopping for the bare necessities exciting).

Here’s the thing… love this because it goes all the way.

No, we didn’t buy this one.

Look at it.  It’s like a throne for an astronaut.  Love the color.  One purchase lasts from birth to booster seat.  Love it.  But, it’s $185.  I’m also kind of confused about how to use it, because I remember when my cousin Amy would bring her baby, Kyle (“baby,” who just got his drivers license), to Gammy and Papa’s house she’d bring him inside the house in the infant carrier.  I just feel like that’s more convenient for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, restaurants and all that kind of stuff than taking him out of the car seat and carrying him in.  I got a stroller that’s super lightweight and reeks of awesomeness.  It is perfect for Walt Disney World – it folds up pretty tight but it doesn’t have the infant seat component.  It just reclines back enough for a newborn.

At some point, I am going to be rolled out of the hospital and they’re going to need to see a car seat before they’ll let me leave.  Even if I had the dough for the Alpha-Omega… I don’t know if I can pull the trigger on it while I’m still confused about the carrier situation.  I have also registered for a really cool Chicco Travel System, but it all comes back to the same thing – okay, it’s $300 and I HAVE a kick-ass stroller already.  Do I want to spend all that money on this thing when I really just need the carrier?  I love the stroller part, too, but I hate how big and bulky those things are even when they’re folded down.  It would take up the vast majority of the back of the 4Runner.  And while we could probably fit a few duffel bags back there with it, I don’t know whether or not we could fit a few duffel bags, a Pack ‘n’ Play, a baby tub, a diaper bag, and a dog.

Enter craigslist.  We bought a Graco Travel System for $75.  For $75, I don’t mind taking a risk on a travel system that includes a bulky stroller that we never use.  I was really hoping to spend $25-$40 for a used infant car seat/carrier that would carry us through the first few months while we decided what we liked, so I don’t mind dropping $50 on a stroller that it will click into.  That’s fine.  If we hate it, we can sell it on craigslist.  Maybe we’ll enjoy the travel system.  Who knows?

Our “new” stroller and car seat!

Now, Pack ‘n’ Plays… they are so advanced.  It used to just be a cloth/metal/plastic playpen.  Now it’s that, but with different heights, a bassinet, a changing table, side storage and a character mobile.  Forget it.  I don’t want all that.  Once I get all of that put together I’m never going to want to take it back down and go anywhere.  It’s not temporary enough.  I do, however, LOVE the super-pricey Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.

Only $279!

Stream-lined.  Simple.  Portable.  TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS.  And you’re probably going to want a crib sheet for that, and that’ll set you back an additional $43.  Yowza.

Enter craigslist.

I know Dragon Kid needs a place to sleep while we’re in VA.  I know I don’t like Pack ‘n’ Plays.  I know I don’t want to spend $200 on something I don’t like… but $40… I could go $40 on it.

Retail: $189.95
Because I’m so smart: $40. Boom baby!

Look at that.  Little happy can sleep right next to Papa Bear and Mama Bear… assuming he can sleep through the two of us sawing logs all night.  I don’t have to get up to feed him.  Just grab him and pull him into the bed.

All this talk about baby travel has made me really want that Puj tub.  Someone listed one on CL here in Charlotte, and I found a couple in DC.  If I could get my hands on it for $20-$25 I’d be one happy camper.  Cross your fingers for me.

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head down

Hook Hand Thug: Head down.
Flynn Rider: HEAD DOWN!
Hook Hand Thug: Arms In.
Flynn Rider: ARMS IN!
Hook Hand Thug: Knees apart.
Flynn Rider: KNEES APA – Knees Apart?

Little Happy’s head is down… “That boy has assumed the position!”  I don’t know how anyone can tell that by looking at my stomach, but apparently Dr. Wolanski can.  Feeling kind of crampy, but now that I think about it, it’s not as bad as regular period cramps, but it is a sign that my body’s getting ready to get this wagon train a-rollin’.  Everyone says when it’s labor you will definitely know – so I’m not worried about that.  Dr. Wolanski said he’s 95% sure this week will be uneventful and it’s safe to go back to Charlotte, so that’s what we did.  Doc also said that if the worst should happen, you know, if my water does break – we have plenty of time.  Just call him, tell him what’s happening and he’ll tell us what to do.

So, this week will be spent packing and cleaning and packing some more.  I need to buy a car seat, probably from Craigslist for the time-being.  I also need a solid name.

I want a really good name, like Thomas Andrew La or Wendy Michelle Johnson.  I had so many excellent girl names.  Oh boy, what am I going to do.

I think I also need to print and fill out one of those birth plans.  How does that work?  Does anyone in the hospital actually read/honor those?  I spent a lot of time telling Tom my demands last night on the way home.  It’s nice to have that dude in my corner 24/7.  An example is, okay, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos taken of this kid throughout his lifetime… I want Daddy to take the very first one.  I can’t think of other things on the birth plan.  Drugs, yes.  Water birth, no… although I really would like an excuse to get in the Jacuzzi in my MJH birth room.  Keep the placenta, HELLLLLLLL NO.

I get updates from different baby websites in my inbox, today: “Especially for you this week on thebump.com: CRAZY Labor and Delivery Stories!”  Really, thebump.com?  Why the HELL would you think I want to read that right now?

Uncle Haley turned 22 on the 22nd.  Dee Dee came and it was like, “Birthdays all around!”  She brought me a birthday present and Mom a birthday present and Haley a birthday present and Baby a birthday present!  She had some things off the registry including the first thing I registered for (back when I thought we were pregnant in Sept. 2011):

 

It makes me SO happy, and is going to look great in his room next to his orange lamp.  It reminds me how devastated I was when my period came that time, and how elated we were to finally get that positive test a few months later.  She bought a Finding Nemo sleeper that features Bruce and the other sharks, it really makes me want to name him Bruce.  That thing is SO much cuter in person than online!  It’s no longer in stock, and I feel like I want to find it in every size now.

I need to finish the changing table.  It’s almost all sanded… and I need to paint it.  I was always planning dark blue and lime green, even back when I was sure my baby was a girl.  I never bought newborn cloth diapers.  I think I’ll just have to use the disposables while we’re in VA and work out the cloth when we get back home.

I’m slowly, and I mean slowly getting excited about seeing his face.  This surprise has been building for months and months… and is finally about to be revealed.  You know that I’m crazy and have only been cautiously optimistic all this time.  I start thinking about how “all this time” goes back to the Super Bowl.  Tom and I were both in the bathroom and just cried and cried.  Happy crying!  Really, I thought something might be up when Dad, Lindsay, Haley and I went to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

We went over to WDW and took this picture at Animal Kingdom the day before the race.  Look at my face.  I’m thinking, “they don’t even KNOW!”

Yeah. Right now it’s a cartoon lion baby. Give it 9 months.

I’m not sure why Dad’s yawning.

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two things

First of all, relative to what I was saying yesterday, *HEADDESK!*

I feel like they must be trolling, and making that up.

AND WHOA!  145 PEOPLE LIKE IT?!

“Spelt.”  It seems in this person’s world, everything is “spelt” uniquely.  Nikki Davidson and I came up with a term for people like this, “Certified Moron.”

And second, a love story:

Baby Daddy promised me the best chair on God’s green Earth.  That was his contribution to this whole baby thing (well, that and half the genes).  We got a cheap crib, cheap furniture – but I wanted a really great chair for rocking our little fella.  Those wooden gliders with padding don’t do it for me either.  I wanted a real rocking chair.

Tom and I went to Buy Buy Baby and found a cute navy chair for about $600.  The cushion on the back was high.  It felt soft.  I sank into it.  Here’s the chair in some kid named Caden’s room.

It takes 8-16 weeks for delivery.  Wow.  Little Happy could be pretty old by the time that thing finds its way into his room sometime between November 8 and January 3.  So, I went home and began frantically searching for the Little Castle Treasure from an online retailer.  I found some things that were close.  If we’re just getting a navy chair, maybe i can find something I like at a furniture store, a store without the word “baby” in the name.  Fortunately for us, Charlotte is some kind of furniture epicenter.

We started at Good’s.  I discovered that we aren’t shopping for a rocking chair.  We are actually shopping for a rocker recliner or swivel rocker or swivel glider.  Good’s had some good stuff, but good God!  The chairs I liked were upwards of $800 – and same deal with delivery, about 8 weeks – and I’ll bet delivery’s not free.  We weren’t hounded by employees, but someone did approach us after a while.  Tom might have gone to get the guy.  I forget.

  

After Good’s, we went to Thomasville.  We did a lap around the store.  Didn’t see anything that swiveled or glided or rocked AND we didn’t see a single employee.  It was just us, so we were in and out in about 3 minutes.  Moving on!

The next stop on the road of furniture stores was La-Z-Boy.  I don’t really want a La-Z-Boy.  They are generally unattractive, but isn’t what’s her name… ugh… dated Michael jackson way back… shoot… BROOKE SHIELDS!  Isn’t Brooke Shields on their commercials talking about how stylish they are?  Okay.  We can take a look.  We were approached right away – no me gusta.  I like to just have the freedom to look around.

“Can I help you find anything?”

“Gliders, or rockers?”   The lady looked right at my stomach, “Oh, OHHH!  Yes!  Let me show you what we have!”

The sales pitch actually wasn’t bad at all.  It was nice to have a tour guide because each rocker/glider/swiveler is in a different model living room in the store.  We learned the difference between glide and rock – and learned that I’m a rocker girl, myself.  We learned any glider or rocker can be made into a swiveler, and because it’s La-Z-Boy, they ALL recline.  We looked at some very pretty designy chairs, but as it turned out the softest and most comfy was another plain navy blue chair like the Buy Buy Baby chair.  It was $649.98 (the tag said, “was $850” but you and I both know no one has ever paid that), and it was huge – significantly bigger than the BBB chair.  We told her we needed to sleep on it before we made a decision and we also needed to measure.  She mentioned “the chair sale” started tomorrow (which is now today) but couldn’t elaborate.  It’s two great chairs for one great price – but no idea what the price would be.  She also dropped a hint about a “private sale” in passing.  Later in the conversation, Tom asked about that and she said she was allowed to give out 3 passes to her personal customers, but she had someone drop out.  You either get 10%, 15% or 20% off based on how much you spend, and while she has existing customers that she could invite, we have a whooooole house to furnish, so she was thinking that’d be a solid investment on her part.

The sales lady challenged us to compare La-Z-Boy’s stand-by-their-product ethic to other stores.  I told her we were pretty much done shopping, that I loved the chair.  But then when we left, we saw that Rooms To Go was right next door.  My parents bought at Rooms To Go when we lived in Florida.  (Actually, saw Mom’s current couch and super stylish giant round chair thing when we walked in.)  The rooms at Rooms To Go are awfully pretty.

An employee approached us right away.  “Can I help you find anything?”

I expected her to have the same insight as the La-Z-Boy lady.  “Rockers?”  Cue hand on my giant stomach.

“Oh,” she said, “Like for a baby’s room?  We don’t have those we only have the rocker-recliners like in a living room set.  Maybe try Target or Babies ‘R’ Us down the street.”  I was so irritated at being dismissed that I didn’t press the issue.  If I had tried, it would have been too late.  She was walking away, back to the cluster of employees just chillin’ in some model living room, but Tom and I had an awkward look around anyway.  Didn’t see much that we liked as far as rockers, actually we didn’t see anything.  Geez, if only an employee had been on hand to show us the rocker-recliners…  Their loss.  As we did our lap I said, “Wow. She basically just sold the La-Z-Boy chair.”  Look, maybe that wooden job with the pad is okay for YOU and your baby, or maybe that’s the only thing that will fit in YOUR nursery, but I’m in the market for serious comfort.

We have a rule in our little family, if it’s over $100, we have to sleep on the decision.  (Thank you, Pastor Lon Solomon.)  Take yourself out of the showroom.  Get away from the salesman.  Relax.  Take a step back and try to avoid Toad’s Motorcar Fever.

This is me in the store sitting in my Recliner-Swivel-Rocker.

Well, as far as sleeping on it, it is the most comfortable.  I mean, not that we slept on it… although we could.  But as far as making a list of pros and cons:

  • It’s more expensive.
  • It’s bigger.  (For better or worse.)
  • It not only rocks and swivels, but also reclines.  I keep forgetting that part.
  • La-Z-Boy is THE relaxing chair.  They are basically the gold standard of recliners, and I think we can trust the integrity of a rocker from La-Z-Boy more than some baby furniture company.
  • It was supremely comfortable.  I said I wanted THE BEST chair and this is THE BEST.  My favorite, if that counts for anything, and the one I found most comfortable – which was what Tom said he was going to buy in the first place.
  • Lots of warranties, although IMHO warranties are complete bullsh*t.

Tom came home for lunch today and we went back to the La-Z-Boy store.  The chair sale actually brought the price down to $629.98.  The private sale took off another 10%.  Adding a swivel costs $150, and there is delivery and fabric protection… the only thing I think we really could have gone without is the fabric protection, but whatever… baby’s going to throw up who knows what on the chair, so we might as well go for it.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new La-Z-Boy.

It’s actually darker blue in person.  More navy blue… but anyway.  We are the proud owners of a La-Z-Boy to be delivered on SEPTEMBER 20.  It’s nice the chair will be delivered before baby boy.

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i’ll take your 2 cents now.

Alright… my washing machine just will not stop irritating me. I washed some baby clothes in the Ainsworth St. house (Gramma’s machine), and when I was folding them I was like, “dang – they smell so good.”  Washed new baby clothes today in the machine that came with Balenie Trace house and they either smell like nothing or they still smell new, like the store – you know… like they weren’t washed at all.  I just did the side by side comparison.  The older stuff still smells amazing.  Same fragrance/dye-free gentle detergent…  Who buys a KitchenAid washing machine…  Honestly…

How can I be sure that they’re getting cleaned at all?  Should I throw in more detergent?  Gramma’s machine used more detergent, but the KitchenAid Katastrophe is supposed to be more efficient, and it was a small load so I didn’t think I needed much detergent.  I filled the cap up to the line it told me to.  Should I put in a little of the regular detergent to make it smell nice?  Won’t that defeat the purpose of buying this Gentle/Free crap for baby’s sensitive skin?

We put the washer on the home warranty.  Should I get someone to come look at it?  Every other wash cycle it gives us some kooky error code.  But then runs fine, so I’m sure if someone comes out to look at it, we’ll give them $100 to tell us that it runs fine.  Should I just get rid of it and get a new-to-me one off of craigslist?  (Couldn’t be any worse than this one, right?)  Should I just make my Dad bring Gramma’s machine up to the laundry room?  I freakin’ love that thing.  They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.  I liked the idea of this bigger, front load guy so I can wash cloth diapers guilt-free.  I’m scared I’ll mess up Gramma’s machine with a load of thick, heavy, germy diapers every day.

Then again, it’s not doing anyone any good out in the garage.

What are your thoughts?

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overwhelmed

There are so many one-liners that I keep thinking up as facebook statuses, but then I’m like, “No, I really need to just write a blog post.”  At the same time, I am totally speechless.  They don’t make big enough words to describe how special I feel.  It’s amazing that so many people can love someone so much when they haven’t met him yet.  He is one fantastically lucky little boy to be entering a family that’s this incredible.

My baby shower was the shower that I have fantasized about since Tom and I started thinking about making babies.

It started on Saturday morning.  Tom and I were up at 6:30 to continue cleaning after having been up until 2 (me) and 3 (Tom) the night before.  At about 10:30, the doorbell rang and we were pretty far from being ready for company.  Tom answered it, I freaked out about still being in my pajamas.  I crossed my fingers and hoped it was a neighbor.  I said, “Is it people?”  Tom looked out the window by the door and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it’s people alright!”  He opened the door and it was Lindsay Kaye and Sarah.  All the way from Florida, a whole day early!  They were hungry, so the first thing that they did after hugging and hugging and hugging and touring the house was run out and try to find something to eat.  They found Five Guys and brought back lunch for everybody.

Since they picked Five Guys, we had to show them this:

After we ate, they helped us clean up and put a whooooole bunch of boxes in the attic.  Since I want to live here forever and never move again, there’s nothing in the attic that we have to ever get to unless we are moving out.  I have a crapload of Disney collectibles that each came in a box with styrofoam and whatnot, so we put all of those in the attic and that’s it.  Tom doesn’t like going up there, so he’s putting all the holiday decorations in the garage.  Anyway – in 3 minutes, Lindsay, Sarah and Tom took care of a job that Tom and I have put off for 3 weeks.

Kayce showed up sometime in the early afternoon.  Kayce – drove all the way from Northern VA, stopping in Cville, just to go shopping at Ikea with me and watch me open a bunch of presents.  I mean, basically that’s the only reason everyone was there.  Amazing.  AMAZING.  Amazing that all these people would come all this way for that.

Later in the afternoon, Trudy, Sunny and Haley showed up WITH MOM!  Mom!  …or, well, Grandma – I guess… who tried to tell me all week that she was going to the UVA game and coming after that surprised me and showed up with the Herolds + Hay Nick.  First Lindsay and Sarah, then Mom.. that’s TWO awesome surprises.

We went to Ikea.  Tom was versus me.  He’s always versus me.  I sat a bunch of stuff by the door to go to Goodwill on Friday night and asked him to load it up and take it.  Wouldn’t you know it, not only was the truck (that we needed to fill with baby furniture) full of stuff, but it was also out of gas – which we had ALSO talked about waaaay before everyone was walking out the door to go to Ikea.  Try Thursday night.  Between Thursday night and Saturday evening he didn’t have a second to put gas in the truck – get outta here.

I didn’t want to be held up any more from getting the gang to the meatballs.  I told Tom to drop the stuff off at Goodwill, go to South Carolina to get gas, and then meet us at Ikea… instead of napping, which was our original plan for him.

Trudy drove Grandma, Kayce and me.  Lindsay drove Sarah, Haley and Sunny.  Tom came by himself after doing his chores, ate with us and then napped in the parking lot.  We needed the truck… and on the way home it would only seat two anyway, so we needed to take that many cars.

IKEA was, well… it was IKEA, which is always awesome.  We had dinner, then went shopping.  Oh!  I just remembered one of my would-be facebook statuses.  We had a shopping list that totaled over $800 and through savvy shopping, endless generosity from my Mom and sisters and aunts and cousins, and pure dumb luck – we walked out of there spending $175 out of pocket.  I was flabbergasted.  So flabbergasted in fact that I just used the word “flabbergasted.”

I was adamant about making Tom come in and pay with his debit card so we could get 1%, or what I thought would be $8, in cash back… but after all that we made less than $2.  Ha.  AND there was no coupon on the bottom of the receipt… so who knows if they even do that anymore.

I told Tom on the way home from Ikea that I felt like all the molecules that make me up were buzzing.  I felt electric.  There was so much happiness in me that my cells were unable to contain it all.

When we got home, Aunt Lindsay and Aunt Haley put Little Happy’s crib together.  Tom took Grandma and the Great Aunts to WalMart and Krispy Kreme.

It was a late night.  Everybody was exhausted.  We had a huge slumber party.

It was awesome.  Can you believe all this people went through all this for me?!  Well, for one lucky little boy, anyway.

The next morning was a frenzy of activity.  Dad and Lindsay went to the grocery store.  Then Dad and Debbie went to the grocery store.  Then Dad said he needed some wires to hang up the chandelier and had to go to Lowe’s, and before I knew he was gone, he was back and the chandelier was hung.  Our menu was based on the invitations.  We had Mexican dip, Chinese wontons, Hawaiian pineapple, American (although not Native American) mac n’ cheese, Italian caprese skewers, and ham and cheese croissants from France.  Each dish had a little small world kid on a toothpick stuck in it.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was so cute.  I found a tube of toy buildings from around the world at Michael’s, so the Pyramids, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Parthenon, Empire State Building, Taj Mahal, and Eiffel Tower were scattered around the food as well.  The cake also matched the invitations PERFECTLY.

I made a pennant banner out of card stock and hung it over the fireplace.  It was a quick and dirty project, but in hindsight I like it so much that I think I’m going to hang it in the baby’s room.  I wrote “baby” in a different language on each flag.  It looked so good.

We played a lot of fun games that I’ve never played at a shower before.  Haley and I had each bought a bunch of prizes.  It’s funny, because I picked some of my favorite things, fancy soaps, and Haley picked her favorite things, wild animals on stickers, magnets and notepads. There was a worksheet with a list of features (eyes, hair, smile, toes, etc.) and you had to check off whether you thought that I wanted the baby to get each feature from Tom or from me.  We put paper plate on top of our heads and had to draw a baby without looking.  Everyone tried to guess how big around I was and cut a piece of yarn that length.  My cousin Erika came within about ONE INCH!

Speaking of Erika!  She and my Great Aunt Jean left Rockville, MD at 5:30 AM to surprise me at the shower.  I was totally blown away!  Flabbergasted again!  I still can’t believe Erika was there.  Amazing.  Surprise number 3!  And Jean!  Surprise number 4!

I really want to go into detail about all the incredible stuff that I got, but don’t want to bore you.  It was really just… I don’t know.  I already used “amazing” and “incredible.”  Did I use “awesome?”  It was awesome.  It was epic.  I cannot understand how people love me so much, I just don’t have the brain power to comprehend it.  I’ve been unpacking Lil’ Happy’s gifts this morning and it just moves me to tears.  I don’t think it’s pregnancy hormones, I think it’s just being so full of joy that it leaks out of my face.

The things that stand out most in my mind are the handmade things.  I wanted to buy a stool at Ikea for his room.  Ikea was out of the yellow ones.  But that’s okay, because Great Aunt Trudy MADE him a stool with Mickey and the gang on it.  Anyone can wrap up some onesies and socks and blankets and things, but his Great Aunt Debbie made a platter of onesie cupcakes.  It was so adorable that I didn’t want to take it apart.  I still don’t.  Great Great Aunt Sara Beth made him a blankey and a hat.  I am so excited about those that they’re going to the hospital with us.  They smell like her house.  Love, love, love it.  Kayce and Erika are BOTH in the process of stitching something up.  Kayce’s sneaky.  She surprised me.  I didn’t know she did all that.  Erika said, “Yeah, she does… and she knits all the time.  She’s very crafty.”

OMG, I still can’t believe Erika and Kayce were here for the shower.  Totally awesome.

Grandma, Grandpa and Lil’ Happy’s Aunts kept giving us presents filled with more presents.  You know?  Not just a bathtub, but a bathtub stuffed with shampoo, towels, lotion, etc.  We didn’t just get a diaper bag with a giraffe on it, it was stuffed with diapers, bottles, bibs, diaper cream, etc.  I LOOOOVE those types of presents.

I really wanted to decorate onesies at the party, but we didn’t get around to it.  It worked out alright, though.  Lindsay, Sarah, Tom and I decorated a few after everyone left.  I had such a good time doing that.  It was fun with out intimate little group.  I think the one that Tom made is probably my favorite, but he doesn’t want you to see it until you see it on the baby.  Sarah’s are hysterical.  Lindsay’s are PERFECT for MY kid.  Mine were kind of anti-climactic compared to everyone else’s.

Looks like this post has gotten long enough.  I’m going to go reopen some more presents for a while.

Kirk out.

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why do we have so much junk?

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I have a bunch of cookie jars.  I don’t collect cookie jars.  Please don’t buy me a cookie jar.

I have a bunch of stuffed animals.  I don’t collect stuffed animals, ether.  Please don’t buy me stuffed animals.

I have a bunch of dolls.  I don’t really collect dolls, they just kind of collect me.  I mean Madame Alexander and American Girl dolls.  You know, I actually have a bunch of Barbie dolls, too, but I am only hanging onto them because I am delusional enough to assume that not only will I have a daughter someday, but also that she will not acquire enough Barbies of her own and will want mine, used, from 20 years ago.

Why do we have so much junk?  Tom doesn’t have much of anything.  It’s mostly me.

I DO collect Disney art, and Disney Vinylmations, and Disney books.  I probably shouldn’t, but I do.  My Great Aunt Sara Beth looked at me once and said, “You are a collector!”  She says “collector,” but our generation is more familiar with the term “hoarder.”

I definitely hoard art and books.  Oh my goodness, they’re all over the freakin’ place.  I keep finding box after box of art work and books.  Most of the art is BIG, too.  Where am I going to hang all this stuff…

Why do we have so much junk?!

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room to grow

I don’t usually like to overwhelm you with two posts in one day, and odds are I won’t be able to think of anything to write about tomorrow because I talked your ear (eyes) off today.

I worked on the nursery before we left for Charlottesville on Friday and just can’t wait to show you how it’s going, although a smart Wendy would wait for the big TA-DA in a week or so when it’s done.

It was a big help for me psychologically to get something going.  I feel less depressed.  I’ve been complaining this whole time, “geez, if only I had a dresser!”  But now, I’m all, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with his outfits hanging up in the closet…”  So we have an adorable, practically empty, dresser.

BUT I STILL LIKE HAVING IT!

I can’t wait to pick up the matching one and the toy box.  And the crib.  And, hey, I need to finish sanding and repainting the changing table that we bought waaaay the heck back in February.

But back to my little success story… most people buy a set of stuff that’s beautifully coordinated and create nurseries that look like catalog pages.  (I’m talking about you Kinsey Parham! …not that you’ll read this.)  I’ve always had trouble with this.  Let’s say I pick out that adorable Baby Simba jungle motif that’s out right now.  Well, then where do Mickey and Goofy go?  Most toys are brilliant primary colors, and I want them to look like they have a home in Mr. Happy’s room.  I’ve tried really hard not to be all matchy-matchy, but to keep it coordinated.  Let’s see how things are going…

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to-do

I should make a to-do list every day.  When I woke up this morning, my mental list included making a flag banner for the shower, but the paint marker that I bought doesn’t show up.  You tell me what a white paint marker is supposed to show up on if it’s not supposed to show up on not-that-dark-blue paper.  My list also included washing my pajamas and Tom’s athletic shorts.  I started throwing stuff in the washer and there was a little lake in there.  Crap.  How did I not notice that yesterday when I emptied the washer?  I am having more problems with this thing… who buys a Kitchen-Aid washing machine?!  Honestly.

I DID eventually run a load and separate the next load in the queue.  Need more detergent.  I organized my closet.  I started setting hats on a bookshelf in there and before I knew it, the whole shelf was full of hats – so I guess that’s what it is now.  It’s a hat shelf.

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I have more baseball caps that you would believe.  And, well… lots of a certain other type of hat as well, something like a dozen.  Most people probably have what, one pair of mouse ears from one trip to Walt Disney World 13 years ago and they HAD to have them (‘cuz that’s what you do) but now, it’s like, what do you do with them?  You can’t just wear them around town…

…unless you’re me.

If you’re curious (It’s lengthy – don’t feel obligated.  We can just say “Goodbye” here.):

In my defense, I had one pair FOREVER… okay.  Then, they stopped hand-stitching the name on the back.  And mine was actually VERY well-done.  I got lucky, a true artist and professional was working in the hat shop on Main Street that day.  It’s basically a regular embroidery machine now using a font that’s very Mouseketeeresque.  A Cast Member stopped me in line for a ride once and was like, “Where did you get those ears?!”  I said, “Main Street” and she said, “Well, don’t lose them! They don’t make them like that any more!”  Sure enough.  So, I got myself a new pair.  They have a chin strap, which is nice so I am less likely to lose them – but if they DO fall off on Tower of Terror and get lost, it’s okay because they can be replaced and will look almost exactly the same.  When I was getting married, I wanted a white hat with a veil, but they didn’t sell them so I bought a black hat and painted it and added a veil.  By the time we went on our honeymoon, I had conceded to the headband with the veil on it.  We got Tom a top hat with ears, so one of those is his.  I think the Sorcerer hat came from Property Control waaay back before Lindsay even started at Disney.  I have a red, white and blue top hat – forget where that came from.   I just kind of inherited that one.  There are 2 pair of gold ears that I believe celebrate Disneyland’s 50th Birthday.  I think we got those on a cruise.  We also got 2 regular pair of ears on another cruise that have Member (hand-stitched!) on the back.  I have pirate ears.  Tom has pirate Goofy ears – but I didn’t count those.  I bought a pair at Grad Nite, although I am disappointed to report that the tassel has disappeared.  We bought a pair of One More Disney Day ears on Leap Day this year, our Babymoon.  That’s the only pair that I bought that I probably had no reason to buy.  I just thought it was neat.  Somehow I also ended up with a “baseball cap” (use that term very lightly – it’s so much more than that) with a plastic Mickey face on it with ears on it.  So, if you count that one, we’re up to 15 Mickey Mouse ear hats.  I’m as stunned as you are.

I really wish that they had just left those Member ears blank.  I don’t know anyone who’ll walk around with “member” on their head.  Everyone wants their own name.  You know?  I considered cutting the name off, just the thread, you know?  But now that it’s hand-stitched and they don’t do hand-stitching anymore, I can’t bring myself to do it.

It’s not a good job, either.  You can tell they had to hand-stitch about 2500 for a cruise full of Disney Vacation Club Members.

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