Sunday, April 27, 2008

Andrew's first day

Andrew Paul West was born on Thursday April 24th at 3.30 pm. He weighed 6.6 lbs and was 18 inches tall.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I thought I would take a few minutes and write about the “joys of motherhood”. Well…I should actually be a little more specific and say the “joys of pregnancy” seeing as I haven’t actually had the cute little sucker yet. So here is the deal. I am now 39 ½ weeks pregnant which means I am approximately 8.94 months along (what…not that I’m really counting). Therefore as I’m sure you have tabulated this means that I am a mere 5 days away from the date of no return…the DUE DATE. Well…being this close to greeting our little boy has really made me start contemplating this journey known as pregnancy and so I thought I’d reflect a little and impart some of the things I have gained a better perspective on.

First let me say that pregnancy as a whole really hasn’t been that bad. At first I did experience the whole nauseous, vomiting and so emotional that I border line Brittany Spears in an “episode”, but fortunately that didn’t last too long and I then settled nicely into months 4-7. For me these were great months…months where I felt relatively normal—I was able to eat chicken and chocolate, I was able to talk with Mike without bursting into a hormonal rage and I once again had enough energy to do things other than come home at the end of work and sit for hours watching TV. In fact, I would say that these months were spectacular. Sometimes the only reminder I had of being pregnant was the fact that my waistline was (and still is) ever expanding. I would even say that during those blissful months pregnancy was, dare I say, FUN!

Well…unfortunately now that I have 8.94 months under my belt (literally) I have to be honest and say that it is NOT so fun anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love my little unborn boy and I love that I will soon get to meet him but seriously….the kid is getting huge and I personally believe he finds it hilarious to play new in-utero games such as, “I’m going to try and see if it’s possible to push mommy’s ribs out of place” or “let’s bounce on the bladder”. Sure, he probably thinks it’s cute and maybe I did too…at first. BUT now that abdominal room is extremely scarce the “cuteness” (if that’s what I can even call it) has worn off and I find that I am beginning to resort back to my early pregnancy days of emotional drain and intense discomfort (side note about that to my co-workers: Andrea & Rachel…I apologize). However, I know that the end is near (that’s right kids…I have even been having contractions. Not the “real” kind of course, but signs that things are coming. You know…the false labor stuff that’s just enough to make you extremely ornery and uncomfortable but not enough to actually make you go to the hospital), and I am very grateful and excited to become a Mom! In fact, I was speaking to my mother the other day and she pointed out that this year Mike and I will actually get join the ranks of parenthood this Mother’s and Father’s day. That one threw me for a little loop but I really am so excited! Although pregnancy has been a learning experience I am very grateful for it, I know what a blessing it is and I can’t wait to meet little Andrew Paul West.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Little Something on the Blog for Mike

Well, I recently learned how to change our blog design (thanks again, Laura, for that helpful link) and so I had a lot of fun figuring out what patterns I wanted and which colors/graphics go together. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have high ambitions but I am really not a very scrapbooky kind of girl. For example, a finished product for a "cute" scrapbooking page in my book would normally consist of a piece of white computer paper embellished with a picture in the middle and a heart drawn in crayola crayon. Hey...I might even get fancy and add a star or two. Anyway, so when I learned how to make fancy the blog, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and that it actually turned out pretty cute (not as cute as some...Becka, Erin, Laura, Morgan you guys put me to shame) but I was satisfied none the less. Anyway, so about a week ago after I was pleased with the complete project I proudly showed it to Mike, expecting him to admire the pretty pastel colors and butterfly accents. Well...that didn't really happen (and really, how could I be surprised by this reaction) instead he was sweet and said something like, "It looks nice..." and then when we further inspected it he said, "Why is there a butterfly on it?" Well...darn it, I don't know, it's cute...isn't that what cute is supposed to be--little butterflies, fun colors, happy puppies...? Whatever, he just didn't understand. But then after he shrugged his shoulders and went back to doing his business it made me think. Mike is a great guy, and this blog should reflect him too, you know?! is my new feature. On the side bar I added a slide show of cool guy know things Mike would like such as basketball, Wayne Rooney and crazy sports injuries. So here you go, honey, this is for you...hopefully you will find it a little more appropriate for your manhood, but...the butterfly stays!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tale of the Naively Stained, Yet Satisfyingly Finished Crib!

WOW! I am absolutely the worst at updating this thing...a problem I will try and fix. I thought since it had been a couple months I would divulge all the on-goings of our little lives over the last few weeks. Probably the biggest thing is that we have finally...yes FINALLY...finished our crib for little junior. For those of you who may not know my parents offered us their old crib. Initially Mike and I thought this was great! The crib is classically old, extremely sturdy and beautiful. Not to mention it is made from Maple wood and would look amazing with the right stain. The only problem was that years ago it was painted white and the paint had since faded to a dirty, yellow spackle and so we thought (famous last words right here) "No problem, we'll just strip the paint and finish it!" be young and naïve! Well, two months ago we took the crib back to our place and made a trip to Walmart and bought the necessities (so we thought) consisting of paint stripper, wood wash and a small can of stain. We went home and the next day and began working.

It probably only took us about 10 minutes to realize that when we thought we had bought the necessities, we had really only bought the bare minimum and I mean the barest!!! So we went to Honk's (Always an Adventure...Always!) and got a few more paint brushes, some paint scraping tools and a bit of sandpaper. Things got a bit better from that point on and we were able to scrape a good amount off. However...let me point this out...when I say we were able to scrape a good amount off that really only included one side of one of the four panels! YIKES!!!! This was going to take a lot longer than we thought! Well, after about 4-5 hours that first day we threw down our $1 scrapers and called it good! We thought, "Well, we are just learning and we did have to make a detour to buy more supplies. I bet we'll get this done next Saturday when we have a little more time." HAH!!! Notice the naiveness going on here? Well, what followed soon after was NOT one magical Saturday of laughing, working together and ending with a beautifully finished Maple crib...N-O-O-O-O...what followed were a couple more repeated Saturdays of gooping on chemicals, scraping it off, sanding down imperfections, and hunching my off-centered, wobbly, pregnant woman body over those hunks of wood for hours on end. I could feel the disks herniating!

Anyway... after these first few Saturdays reality did come and bite us in the you-know-where and we realized what a beast of a project we had undertaken. In fact things got bad and we soon found ourselves coveting cribs (the kind of coveting like unto when David witnessed good ol’ Bathsheba) as we made our repeated trips to Walmart in order to replenish our supply of paint stripper (no, dummy, one can is NOT enough!). Well, as I said, the reality was fast open us and our hopes of getting this crib done and looking good were beginning to dwindle. The worst part probably came when we began trying to get the paint off the skinny, delicately carved slats on the long panels of the crib. Hey folks, these are a beautiful feature, but when you try and take paint off of them they soon begin to mirror the spikes from Satan’s pitch fork. Well, over the course of those Saturdays we had acquired a few tools from my parents including two electric sanders and a dremmel tool which proved useful for getting the paint out of the little crevices in the skinny slats. However, on one of these Saturdays, it gave up the ghost and burned out. What we were going to do?! It was the only tool that would work! So…we made another trip to Walmart and bought a new one. Not too bad, but with all the expenses we had thus incurred we went a little cheap and bought the most inexpensive kind. Well…we soon learned that cheap does not equal good quality when comes to dremmel tools and our newly purchased equipment would only work for about 10 minutes before the battery would die. Well, clearly this wouldn’t do and so we made our 42nd trip to Walmart (they sure better appreciate our business) and bought a better tool which proved to be magnificently more powerful but it would actually burn the wood when we used it. Whatever, to heck with it, we figured we could cover the little burn marks with the stain so we plunged on. Eventually the day came when we began to stain. I was thrilled…finally we could see what the finished product was to look like. BUT let me tell you when we put on that first coat of stain instead of hiding all the burned marks and scrapes, it MAGNIFIED them! How could this be?!?! Needless to say at that point I went completely hormonally-imbalanced-pregnant-woman on my dear husband and in tears declared that we were either going to buy one right then or paint this beast back to white!!! I was serious too…if Mike hadn’t been able to sweetly calm me down and help me see reason I would have gone to the store and spent all our savings to get a new crib! Well…as you can see I could easily continue expounding upon all the minute details of this process which, to me, were now beginning to rival labor but I won’t. It took us another few Saturdays and then to our everlasting joy and triumph yesterday at approximately 12 noon we finished it! Sound the bells and call up “Motab” to begin the Hallelujah chorus! We finished, we finished, we finished and as of yesterday we put it up in the baby’s room and adorned it with all the bumper pads, blankets and sheets we had bought and it looks WONDERFUL! Sure, if you look closely you’ll find plenty of imperfections…bits of paint, scrapes, burn marks and uneven stains but to me it is simply heaven. It’s true when “they” say that in the end hard work pays off. In this case it really does…I can’t remember the last time I felt so satisfied! All in all what a great lesson to learn and albeit hard, it was a good experience. That kid of ours better know how much he love him!

Conclusion: I do just want to get a little sentimental for the moment and thank my cute husband, Mike, because he really did the bulk of this project. In fact, he worked so hard on it the last few days that he threw his back out…he really did! He is currently sleeping (it’s 9 am on a Sunday morning) because he couldn’t sleep last night it hurt him so bad! He is pretty stupendous and I’m so extremely grateful that he pushed me to get it done.


Some pictures of the final's okay you can ooohhh and awwww all you want. :-)

Below are the finished "Devils pitchfork" slats. :-)