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The W..A..I..T..I..N..G Game

6 Jan

Yesterday, George glued the missing ear back onto this bunny. We've officially run out of home-improvement projects waiting for our daughter!

I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to write another blog post before this baby was born. But, alas, she is taking her sweet time.

Back at Christmas, a week before my due date, we were hearing from friends and family constantly, everybody eagerly thinking maybe today was the day. But the inquiries have slowed.

After weeks of watching the pot simmer, expecting it to boil any moment, it seems the heat has actually been turned completely off. The closer I get to my scheduled induction, the less likely it seems that my water will break or labor pains will begin.

The most common piece of advice I get these days is to enjoy this time with my husband and bask in the final quiet moments. But let me tell you, when you’re both on school vacation and stuck in small-town Oklahoma for the entire holiday season, enjoying the quiet moments is ALL you do.

I have been cooking nearly constantly – chicken soup with homemade stock, sticky buns that took two days, a wide assortment of experimental dinner recipes and baking projects and comfort food to freeze for later.

We’ve watched tons of movies and a billion episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” I’ve even streamed some of the Bowl games on ESPN.com, which is completely unlike me. We’re both deeply immersed in our books – “In the Garden of Beasts” for me, and some 700-page tome about 12th century England (France?) for George.

And, most hilariously, the home projects we NEVER thought we’d get to are actually getting done: patching up small holes in the walls, cutting a small piece of wood reinforcement for the sagging shelf under the TV, and even gluing the chipped-off bunny ear back onto a bass figurine that’s been living in the closet for who knows how long.

Baby Girl: Your father is tending to his bass-figurine collection. Arrive already, and save us from this madness!

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Nursery Set-Up: All That’s Missing is the Baby!

29 Dec

An early shot of the nursery.

The “nesting” instinct really kicks in when you’re preparing to welcome your baby into the world. You have this sense that you’re about to have the longest house guest you’ve ever had, and you are overwhelmed with the desire to make it a comfortable, happy place for her to live. Before you know it, you’ve put the baby books aside and spent all your time in the oh-so-important pursuit of building an abacus.

Daddy and the Abacus

Since returning to Oklahoma after our summer in New England, we have taken on so many projects it’s ridiculous. We redid the kitchen, with new granite countertops, a new range, sink, faucet, etc. It’s been SO nice to cook and bake more at home.

New Countertops!

We moved the guest room into George’s office and moved George’s office into mine. We tossed and sold some furniture and made way for a nursery. The nursery started as a blank room and slowly transformed into a very special little place for our daughter.

The biggest project was the abacus. Why did we (and by “we,” I really mean George) build an abacus? We don’t really know. I saw one on a nursery blog and really loved it, so I enlisted my husband to do the building. At first, he was hesitant, but within days it became a total obsession that had him out in the garage for hours every night, priming, sanding, painting, drilling and who-knows-what-else-ing until we had a really unique piece of art for our daughter’s wall.

It’s also a nice nod to the Speed side of the family. George’s dad was a math professor for 38 years at Converse College in South Carolina. His mother and sister are both math teachers. Meanwhile, I like the abacus as a funky piece of kitsch that also happens to be pretty to look at. One of our friends suggested we use the abacus to keep track of who does how many diaper changes!

Priming and painting 100 abacus beads

Building the abacus frame.

Placing the beads and closing the frame.

The finished product!

In addition to The Abacus Project, we did the typical decorating and arranging. Crib and changing table. Curtains. Some paint touch-up. Hanging a floating shelf, etc.

We also particularly love the four photos we bought from one of our wedding photographers, Katie Barnes. The nursery colors are (generally) pink and white, so we chose two prints of snow and two of pink flowers. They look so sweet above the crib. To add a little bling for the babe, we got black, glittery mattes (hard to tell in the photo).

Four original photos above the crib. You can't tell, but the mattes are glittery!

My mom made us this Raggedy Ann and Andy hook rug. That was one of my all-time favorite books when I was little.

Love seat and floating shelf with books. George carefully carved through the chair rail to make room for the sconces.

The closet is full of tiny, little clothes and toys — mostly pink (she’d better be a girl as the doctors have claimed)! All that’s missing now is the baby herself. If it were my choice, I’d be pretty eager to be out in this cute, cozy world we’ve made for her — not scrunched up in a surely under-decorated womb!

Come on, Little Girl. We’re ready for you!

Closet full of toys and clothes - what more could a little girl want?