Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bundle of joy.

We're so thankful to have this sweet baby girl in our arms. She's an absolute joy.

Audra Louise Breyer
December 27, 2011
8lbs 8oz
20.5 inches

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A star is born.

Not so much. Thankfully. Although that sure would have made for a memorable night.

And yes, I know. I've never looked lovelier. Thank heavens for one-size-fits-all stretchy white polyester.

And Calvin? Well, he was the sweetest pageant star of them all.

Even though he refused to pose for a single picture with me.

At least we were able to capture the true spirit of the event: A bunch of tired working moms in garland crowns trying to wrangle a bunch of ornery candle-wielding preschoolers while singing Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star.

Dying to know how that one goes? Well, let me fill you in.

Twinkle twinkle Christmas star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the manger so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Guiding wise men on their way
To where baby Jesus lay

We all did pretty well, until we got to "guiding wise men..." At that point it kind of fell apart. Luckily, Calvin and I did some serious practicing beforehand and were able to carry it for the rest of the bunch.

Based on our stellar performance, as well as the number of moms I saw dressed up as angels (the next class up), I fear this won't be our last mother/son pageant appearance.

At least next year the robe might fit a little better.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The last time.

I'm having a baby in six days.

If not sooner.


It's hard for me to believe this pregnancy, which I'm positive will be my last, is about to come to an end. It makes me sad. I will miss feeling those kicks and squirms, watching my baby roll across my stomach, and the convenience of a built-in shelving unit on which to perch my evening snack. (And an excuse for having an evening snack. Every single evening.)

I will not miss my inability to breathe, walk normally, get into bed, roll over in bed, get out of bed, get into a chair, get out of a chair, sit longer than 20 minutes, stand longer than 20 minutes, or laugh without peeing. Not to mention the host of other physical side effects that shall remain undisclosed for both your sake and mine.

My mind has been racing these last few weeks. I'm trying to savor every second of this pregnancy while preparing myself for what's to come. But it's almost impossible to recall those sleepy newborn days with Calvin, who can construct a train track with ease and describe the plot of Up in painstaking detail. Even the part where "Mr. Fredrickson is sad because his Ellie gets died. She had to go to her house." Sweet boy.

He's so big. And as I fold and put away tiny pink onesies in nervous anticipation of our daughter's arrival, I wonder — was he ever this little?

He was, I know. A mere two and a half years ago I folded and put away tiny blue onesies in nervous anticipation of Calvin's arrival. But those early days with him are such a blur. Night after sleepless night. The nursing, the pumping, the bottles and blankets and burp cloths and blowouts. Was that really him? And us? And do I even remember how to do any of this?

I'm hoping it will come back to me without much effort. And that maybe this time, the last time, it won't go by so quickly.

Friday, December 9, 2011


This morning as I was getting Calvin ready for school, he touched the hem of my dress and said, "what's this?"

"That's Mommy's dress."

"Oh. Mom, you looked so pretty in that picture when you married Daddy at the church."

"Thanks, sweetheart."

"You look pretty now, too. You look fancy!"

It pays to get out of jeans once in a while.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Design on a dime.

Hand-me-downs are all second children know. Furniture, clothes, toys, books, name it. Like most parents, if it isn't broken and the puke stains are minimal, we're reusing it.

Sorry, kiddo. I did buy you new white onesies, pacifiers, and bottles, if that helps.

While I was of the EVERYTHING MUST BE BRAND NEW mindset when it came to Calvin's nursery, I've taken a significantly different approach to Baby Girl's. And I have to say, it saved us a truckload of money and still turned out pretty darned cute.

In fact, we did this room so inexpensively that I feel compelled to walk you through it.

Furniture: $94
We're reusing the crib, side table, and chair from Calvin's room. The changing table was necessary because of the room's tiny size, and that was purchased on Craigslist for $90. Nate painted it using the same (very spendy) paint used on the trim throughout our house, but that will be reused elsewhere so I'm not counting that cost. The dresser, which is tucked away in the closet, was my brother's growing up. I spent $4 on new drawer liners.

Bedding: $117
I fell in love with this bedding from The Land of Nod when I was decorating Calvin's nursery. When I found out I was having a girl I knew it was still exactly what I it has both pink and red in it, which really helped with the whole red chair debacle (clearly wasn't thinking about future babies when I bought that). But buying the entire set would have cost me close to $300. So, I hopped on ebay, where I found the (gently used) bumper for $15. Instead of buying the quilt to bring some of the floral pattern to the chair, I bought the window valance ($19) and had my mother-in-law sew it into a pillow cover for a lumbar pillow I already own. The white quilt on the chair is one my grandmother made for me and helps break up all the red. The only other items I bought from the set were the sheet ($24) and bedskirt ($59).

Wall Decor: $135
I find this to be the most expensive part of decorating. Frames are expensive, art is expensive, and it's hard to fill four walls without breaking the bank. Unless you're me and you buy 1950s American Girl magazines at an antique store before you even have kids because you're so sure you will have a girl one day. :) $10 for those. $15 for the alphabet print in the center, which I got on Etsy. $30 for all three frames, which are from Ikea and tie in with the existing blinds. I paid $15 each for the two Ikea photo ledges, which I used to display the books Calvin has outgrown. And my favorite part: the embroidery hoops above the changing table. $25 for 10 hoops (on sale) and about $25 for 1/4 yard of 10 different fabrics. The hooks next to it were already there, and the yellow shelf is repurposed from Calvin's nursery (and before that, the kitchen in our first apartment).

Accessories: $39
I got the lamp at Goodwill for $3. The shade was $7 at Target. The bear, picture, and blocks on the shelf are all things we had. (I won't count the books on the yellow shelf because I really bought those for myself.) The big basket on the changing table was $14 at HomeGoods, and the other basket is something I had lying around the house. I made the mobile for $15, including the purchase of a butterfly paper cutter and ceiling hook.

So the grand total for this entire room is...$385.

Granted, it's an incredibly small room. But I still find it necessary to point out how far I've come since my days of working/shopping at Bloomingdale's, where $385 would have maybe gotten me a pair of pants.

Can't wait for December 27, the day Nate and I will finally meet the little girl who will call this room her own! (Yep, a c-section it is.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I don't think I ever posted this before, but last year Calvin had his first school photo taken.

Yes, that's right. They start school photos at age one now. Who knew? I didn't. Frankly, I was kind of appalled. And I certainly had no plans to purchase them, because that's just plain ridiculous. But that was before I saw this masterpiece:

Crazy hair? Check.
Bruises on side of face? Check.
Scar on his upper lip from falling head-first out of a play house? Check.
Beloved playmate in hand? Check.
One year old sitting on a pile of fake leather-bound volumes? Check.

$50 later, this sucker was mine.

This year, I wondered what kind of hilarity school photos had in store for us. Whenever I take out my camera, Calvin says "NO PICTURES" and runs away. Also, he's even more attached to his bear and its head doesn't look nearly as nice (or clean) as it did a year ago.

Imagine my surprise when I was presented with this truly adorable shot of my two-year-old at photo pick-up last night:

$50 later...

Yes, taking school pictures of children who are not yet school aged and then presenting them to their tired parents at the end of the work day along with a list of insanely inflated prices that are good for ONE DAY ONLY could be considered a bit of a racket.

But darn it's hard to put a price on cute.
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