We’re crafty

New Shelf
New Shelf

After months of looking around, we finally decided on a shelf for baby’s room. We needed one that was wide enough and had either hooks or pegs so we could hang a toy sling that matched the bedding and curtain. We looked online and at retail stores in town, but never quite found what we were looking for until we went to Michaels. There we found the perfect shelf… For get this: $7. Of course, it was unfinished pine with glued-in pegs, but we saw the potential.

After a lengthy sanding that removed all the little dings and dents, I reinforced the pegs with woodscrews, gave it a good primer coat, and painted it with the leftover paint from the gate I built a few weeks ago. (BTW, The gate has worked out great).

Meanwhile, while I was doing this, Annie was working hard being crafty herself. As you can tell from the picture, we bought individual letters that spelled out Frances, and Annie painted each individual one with a unique pattern. I think they turned out great, and make a great addition to the room. Of course, putting them on top of the new shelf was just icing on the cake.

Just a few more weeks to go.

Getting ready.

Full disclosure: I love to read. Usually before falling asleep at night I wrap my hands around either a good classic, or I’m rereading a Stephen King novel I obsessed about when I was a kid. I’ve read “The Stand” 4 times now… the extended edition even! Heck, I’ve even made it through the Dark Tower series twice. Over the past 8 months or so it’s been nothing but baby books. Now, I’m not calling myself an expert, but I’ve learned why more about pregnancy and birth than I ever wanted to. Honestly, I don’t know why you ladies want to do it more than once.

Eventhough we are on week 36, here she is at week 35.
Eventhough we are on week 36, here she is at week 35.

But that’s the thing. I’m still looking at it from an outsider. I was the baby of my family; 6 years removed from my older sister, and 9 years from my brother. Experts say that’s enough gap to be considered an only child. Thank God for Nintendo (NES). But anyway… The point is that I haven’t had a lot of experience with babies. I think ultimately that could be a good thing.

The more I read, the more it became apparent that no one really had any ultimate right or wrong answers. I mean, other than the “don’t shake the baby” or “don’t leave the baby in the car while you go shopping in Turlock in the the summer”. I mean, duh, wait until the kid is at least 5 before you leave him in the car. That way you can give him the keys to turn on the air. Am I right, or am I right?

It really is amazing just how polarizing some of the books were. Don’t let your baby cry vs. let them cry it out… Put baby on feeding schedule every 3 hours vs. let baby eat whenever it wants to. Breastfeeding vs. formula… etc, etc. My conclusion is do what works for you. I think it’s good that I’m going into this without any preconceived notions. The one universal agreement between these books is participation from both parents. And I think that that is what it comes down to: Love… Love and be there for your child. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of expereince, but I don’t think it matters what sort of PLAN you have. It just matters that you love your baby enough to have a plan, and want to do what’s best. Both parents, working together.

Soon, study time will be over, and we’ll be knee deep in on-the-job training. Honestly I can’t wait. I know Annie is ready to breath again… literally. This weekend we attended the birthing classes at our hospital, and got to meet a few mothers-to-be. Most had the same questions we had, and even the few that looked lost in the beginning, looked more confident the next day. It did boggle the mind when one very pregnant mother-to-be walked in drinking a 16oz Mt Dew. Maybe it’s not like leaving your baby in the car, but geez… OK, so maybe I do have a few opinions…

The wait is over…

It’s a girl!

Before everyone gets too excited, baby has not arrived! We just wanted to share with everyone what we now know. We are excited to be having a girl. We are naming her Frances after my late grandfather on my father’s side. Now we just need a middle name. Anyone that suggests Bean gets a kick to the shins.

So why the announcement now? It all started at the second ultrasound. We made the technician put the sonogram with the sex in an envelope. We sealed the envelope and locked it away in our safe. I wanted to tell my mom what it was before her trip. So sometime at the end of May, I looked, but Annie didn’t. I told my mom, and swore her to secrecy. After a few days, Annie couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to know. The secret was burning a hole in me anyway, so I told her. Now everyone knows!

Little baby Frances.

Swag!

All the gifts from the various baby showers. Thanks Everyone!
All the gifts from the various baby showers. Thanks Everyone!

Pretty good haul, huh? Also missing from the pile o’ stuff is our stroller and car seat combo. That’s already downstairs waiting to spring into action. We are still shopping for a few things, and my mom wants to take us shopping when she gets into town in August.

For those that don’t know, my parents are on a cross-country camping trip in their Model A taking them from Kentucky to Alaska and back home. Luckily they have added us to their itinerary. I’m pretty excited to see them, and they are excited to meet baby. I last saw them in October 2009, but Annie hasn’t seen them since Christmas of 2008. If anyone is interested in following their progress, I set up a blog for them too. It’s at http://www.ckmarc.com/alaskatrip. It’s pretty awesome to think my 60+ parents are blogging. Does that mean blogging has officially jumped the shark?

Party Time

Baby Shower BBQ June 2010
Baby Shower BBQ June 2010

First off, to all those that came this weekend to the party, thank you! Annie and I had a great time, and I hope everyone that came enjoyed themselves as well. For those that were invited and couldn’t make it, sorry you missed it. I’m not saying we hold a grudge or anything, but let’s just say SOME people may get to see the baby before others…

If you click on the image link to the left, it will take you to a thumbnail gallery of 25 images from the party. Thanks to Byron, we got some great shots, and he was also able to break in my new camera.

While I’m doling out thank yous, Annie and I want to especially thank Cori, Kate, and Jill for planning everything. From buying the food, putting up decorations, to sending out invites, this party couldn’t have happened without them. Oh, and a special thanks to John for manning the grill, and Leslie for making some great cocktails to start the party off with.

We are now approaching that final stretch. The showers are over, and the presents unwrapped. Soon the hardest part of the journey will be upon us. Thanks to Maren’s mom (who is a nurse), the day after the party we got to take a special tour of the birthing center at our hospital. It was really nice to get some questions answered, and to see the rooms. We both had these visions of sterile operating rooms; like the kind you see in movies, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the rooms quite homey and inviting.

Hopefully next post will be a picture of all the stuff we’ve gotten piled into the baby’s room. I have no idea where we are going to fit everything. We are extremely grateful to have such great friends and family that are so generous to us and Baby Akers. Thanks again to everyone!

Love,
Annie and Eric

Baby Gate

New gate for baby and Dexter
New gate for baby and Dexter

If any of you have visited our house in the past year or so, you’ve noticed that we had to place an ill-fitting baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. The reason was to keep Dexter (our dog) downstairs. His favorite hobby used to be running up and down the stairs, but after awhile we realized the toll it takes on the carpet, and the need to constantly vacuum the hair. We decided keeping Dex downstairs was the best decision. Now when we actually do let him upstairs, he thinks it’s a special occasion and gets very excited. However, the stair width was too long for standard gates, so nothing ever quite fit. We were forced to use a gate that was too short, and was very annoying to either step over or move all the time.

Now that baby is coming, obviously it’s not very safe to carry baby around and have to step over something when going up or down stairs. We continued to look around for a better gate, but eventually I decided that building one was probably the best option. Considering cost of wood, paint, and hinges, I realized that even though it might not be the most economical, it would probably be the sturdiest and best-fitting. I tried to find design examples online, but ultimately went with my own invention. The gate even has spring hinges so it closes on its own. Not sure of what we are going to use at the top of the stairs, but I figure we have a long time before I need to figure that one out.

Other than that, everything is going smoothly. I wanted to give a quick shout-out to my cousin Tara back in Ky. She had the same due date as us, but she was pregnant with twins! A few days ago she had to get an emergency c-section to deliver the boys because one wasn’t developing like it should. The babies are now doing fine, and they should catch up quick, but it’s a reminder to us that anything can happen. We still have a month and a half to go, and hope that all goes well. Although, I think Annie wouldn’t complain if it decided to come a bit early.

We want to thank everyone that has tuned in to the blog, and hopefully we’ll have more to report next week… including a picture of all the stuff we’ve gotten so far!

Thanks, again…