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Thankful Thursday #119: A Dr. Seuss Baby Shower

It’s appropriate that I’m posting this shower, my third (but not final), on Thursday, just in time for Thankful Thursdays!  I’m so incredibly grateful to God for giving me the most wonderful second family I could have ever imagined, and for all the wonderful, loving people in my life that made four showers necessary!  I may be spoiled at this point, but I do so appreciate all the love, encouragement, and support we’ve gotten since finding out we’re pregnant – in the form of comments, cards, prayers, words, and gifts.  I love that so many are celebrating with us! :)

This shower was thrown by my family-in-law– cousin Andrea spearheading it with help from her three sisters, her Mom, and my sister-in-law, Joan.

Hostesses & sisters Andrea & Jessica with their beautiful baby girls.

~Photo by Katerina~

Aunt Becky (Andrea, Jessica, Katerina, and Tessa’s Mom-you can see why they’re so beautiful!) and Auntie-to-be, Joan.

~Photo by Katerina~

~Photo by Dennis~

I was so impressed with all the creativity that went into this shower!  I was in love with everything on the food table and it took me a while to look past the food and notice the letters spelling out Joshua’s name, painted to match our nursery.

~Photo by Katerina~

~Photo by Dennis~

I had these letters pinned on my Pinterest registry and hoped I could talk an artist friend into making them because they would have cost quite a bit from the Etsy artist who was selling them (not that they’re not worth it, but I’m thrifty).  I never did ask anyone since Momma Donna put vinyl decals over the crib, but I’m so glad Andrea saw my pin…and made them herself!  I had no idea she was an artist, let alone an amazing artist!  She surprised the heck out of me.  I cried, especially when I saw that she managed to incorporate a Bible verse into them.

My only regret about our Seuss theme is that there are no good Seuss quotes about or connection to God or the Bible, but she nailed it with this translation of of Psalm 127:3, which could have come straight from a Seuss book, and she made it even better by putting a cross in the middle of it.  If that isn’t the most wonderful, creative thing, I don’t know what is.  Thank you so, so, much Andrea!  You are a treasure.

~Photo by Katerina~

I know I tend to focus on food, but like I said before, this is a food blog after all, so I figure if you’re reading, that’s what you’re most interested in too.  Each thing on the table had a cute Seuss-y label.  These seasoned crackers (“fish food”) were made by Auntie-to-be, Joan.

~Photo by Katerina~

“Who Food” by cousin Katerina (Andrea’s sister).  She cut the cheese into fun shapes. :)

~Photo by Katerina~

Did you just die? Because I almost did when I saw these Lorax Nutter Butters and truffula trees made with chocolate wafer rolls and coconut marshmallows melted onto square cookies (possibly Lorna Doone shortbread).  Andrea did these, of course, as well as all the signs and the truffula trees in the jars with the signs, made with fancy spiral straws and pieces of feather boas!  I could just die.

~Photo by Dennis~

I can’t get over them.  Sorry, moving on beyond these cookies are hard.  But I’ll try.

~Photo by Katerina~

Green Eggs & Ham Pretzels? Seriously?  Too much cuteness!  Becky and Katerina made these together – just some white chocolate melted on top of pretzels with a green M&M in the middle.  Love.

~Photo by Katerina~

So colorful and cute! They were the perfect size and even had little sprinkles inside. Not to mention delicious!

~Photo by Dennis~

Pink Yink Ink Drink made with diet 7-Up and slices of lemon, lime and orange.

~Photo by Katerina~

~Photo by Katerina~

Each table had books with covers made to look like Dr. Seuss books, drawn by Andrea’s daughter, Faith.  I guess we know where Faith inherited her talent from!

~Photo by Dennis~

We started with games created by Tessa, who helped from afar while on her mission trip in SE Asia.  I thought that was really neat that she could help from so far away so that all the sisters were involved!

But filling in the blanks on Seuss books was HARD.  I’m sure I’ll be a Seuss expert in no time, but I hadn’t heard of a single book on the game.  I had to get creative.  “I will not kill anyone today.”

~Photo by Jessica~

Dennis stayed for about half the shower, then escaped with his Dad to a gun show (how funny that he did the same thing at my Lil’ Pumpkin shower, leaving with his Dad to go to the shooting range. Men and their guns! ha!).  We were blessed that his old friend, Stacia, could make it, and he got to spend some time with her.

~Photo by Joan~

If it weren’t for Stacia, Dennis and I never would have met.  I’m about to go off on a tangent here, and hope you’ll bear with me…or you can just move ahead and skip this paragraph.  To make a long story short, she was in a bad car accident (she has been a paraplegic ever since) and was in Wesley hospital at the same time Kirstie Alley’s father was there for an operation.  Kirstie connected with Stacia while visiting her father, and then gave her some Dianetics and Scientology books (she’s a Scientologist and started the mission in Wichita, if you didn’t know).  Stacia wasn’t interested, but when Dennis came to visit, he took Dianetics, as he loves to learn and read everything.  He was intrigued, and one thing led to another, and he ended up on staff at the Church of Scientology in Wichita.  Not long after, I filled out a personality test they’d put in the newspaper and ended up taking my first class there, and eventually ended up on staff too.  We married two years later! I know that’s a crazy story (and I didn’t even include the part about dating Dennis’ best friend first-lol), but basically we have Stacia to thank for bringing us together!  And it was so worth all the grief we went through as Scientologists in our early days.

~Photo by Joan~

Stacia is one of the most loving, truly sweet people you could ever know.  I was so glad she was able to make it, as we hadn’t seen her (or her daughter, behind us in the picture above) for about ten years!

~Photos by Dennis~

Gift-opening photos bore me, especially when they’re of myself, so I made a couple collages so I wouldn’t bore you too much with them.  I started off opening the  big gifts (with some help from little Madalee, Den’s third cousin) since they were closest, and just feel so blessed we got the few big things left that we really needed!  A gate with a swinging “door” to block the stairs leading to the back door and basement once Joshua begins to crawl.  The door you can swing open on it will make letting Jessie through it to go to her doggy door and outside so much easier!  A bunch of Den’s family chipped in to purchase it, along with the high chair/booster seat that I wanted instead of a regular high chair. It came highly recommended to me by three Moms because it doesn’t take up extra space (you put it on a regular chair), it’s easy to clean, and you can travel easily with it.  So glad to have that!  And Phyllis, Den’s Mom, also got us a car seat.  We had bought a used one from our neighbor but feel so much better having a new one that we don’t have to worry about being out of date or having any issues, plus it’s padded better for an infant and doesn’t have any sawdust on it (we’re having some sawdust issues right now-lol). Hurray!!

~Photo by Dennis~

We got a lot of cute baby clothes, a lot of useful things like wipes, a lot of special things like handmade blankets, burp clothes, and  bibs, and on the left of the collage above I’m opening a gift of big, thick books filled with Seuss books, fairy tales, and Winnie the Pooh stories.  I have to say books are one of the most exciting gifts for me because I loved my Mom reading to me and plan to do the same for Joshua.  Jessica also gave me some Seuss books too and Joshua’s library has grown so much that Dennis has to re-install our bookshelves to make sure they’re stable enough to hold the weight (he thinks the brackets were put in upside down).  A good problem to have. :)

~Photo by Joan~

This blanket was made by a woman I’ve never met!  Do you remember Janice? Well her Mom made it for me – mind blowing!  See what I mean about me getting spoiled?  :)

Just had to share this lovely photo of my Mother-in-law and Aunt Becky (Aunt Lois in the background) – Katerina takes such beautiful photos.  And I also wanted to share it because right now, on this Thankful Thursday, my gratitude for my second Mom is filling my heart.  I just got the most wonderful letter from her yesterday and while I know I will never stop yearning for my own mother to return to the more reliable, there-for-her-loved-ones person she used to be, Phyllis more than makes up for my Mom.  She’s like two Moms or more in one.  She’s even saving money for a hotel so she can stay in Wichita for a while after Joshua is born to help us out with cleaning and cooking while we’re settling into a new routine with him.  Wow.  (For the record, I offered her our couch, but she wants to give us some alone time with Joshua even while she’s here – see how thoughtful she is?)

It’s really hard for me not to want my Mom to be excited, and to want  her here with me, or at least have her want to be here with me, and doing the things she did for Lacey when she was pregnant with and had Owen.  But I have to be fair and acknowledge I’m blessed beyond what a lot of women are in that I have four Moms and they are so great,  it’s really like having ten Moms.  It doesn’t take away the pain, but it adds a lot of joy.  Thank you Lord, for this gift of Mothers.  <3

Can’t believe I’m going to be one soon! :)  Check in tomorrow for one final shower if you can stand all the showeryness! :)


Joshua’s Nursery

So the nursery is finished for the most part, and what a relief it is to have a place for Joshua.  If he decides to come early (please, no), he has a place to sleep. Yay!  OK so this is what his room looked like when it was our office:

Before it was a nursery, it was our office. photo 6-29-097.jpg

Then we had a garage sale, started moving things around, and I wasn’t cleaning as I went.  This was the office at it’s worst, after we’d moved out one desk, one computer, moved the chest into the closet (which I had emptied of plastic shelving and all my cake pans) and put the new one in its place.  And let some fur & dust settle, laundry pile, and randomness build up on my desk.  I see an oversized spool of white curling ribbon on it! What in the world? lol

It took us a month to find a new home for everything in the office and get all the clutter put away, but we got it done in time for Labor Day weekend, when our friends came over to start painting.  Here’s Jessie’s best friend (Momma Donna’s dog), Doc, letting us know the room is ready!

This is a photo of the women who did pretty much everything for us.  They’re standing in the almost-finished nursery but I want to share the picture now rather than at the end, so I can introduce them.  You already know Momma Donna, and she’s on the right.  Her sister, Connie, is on the left, and our mutual friend, Stephanie, is in the middle. Stephanie also used to take her dog to Donna’s doggy daycare at the same time we took Jessie and we’ve been friends ever since.  You can meet her Jenny (RIP sweet girl) and Miss Weenie in this post.

Before I go any further, I just want to say that Donna is the reason the nursery happened.  We bought the bedding and the paint, and once she knew what theme we were going with, she bought everything else (valences, lamp, fabric for the curtain, new hardware for the chest in the closet, etc, etc, even the paint rollers and pans.  Not to mention she bought all the furniture a month before painting, to boot!).  She’s the one who told her sister about wanting to do the nursery and got her so excited that Connie asked if she could help, despite not even knowing us.  She also told Stephanie, who was already wanting to help and already buying baby clothes and maternity clothes, so she was rearing to go for this project too.  All I have to say is, God bless these wonderful women, and our fur babies for bringing us together!

They arrived a little before noon and I got to chat with them just a bit before leaving for work.  When I got home after 9 PM, they were still hard at work and didn’t leave until probably 11 pm.  They had gone shopping for several hours after patching the holes in the walls.  They bought all kinds of stuff for the nursery while they were gone, most of it I had no clue Donna was going to do, so they didn’t start painting until 6:30 pm.  It was a really long and hard day for all of them, even Stephanie who’s a lot younger, even younger than me.  They were all laughing about how crippled they were the next day from all the bending, squatting, stepping up and down the step stool, etc.  I just…love them.  Working so hard and laughing about how much it hurt.  Wow.

We thought since the closet would be covered by a curtain that it didn’t need to be painted. Well Connie took it upon herself to make the whole room truly fantastic and thought painting inside the closet, and also painting the white chest, was necessary. I’m so glad, because it turned out so nice!

Donna and Connie came back the next day to shampoo the carpet (our shampooer broke so it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do it–it was pretty awful) and put valences up over the windows and the closet.  The next day when the carpet was dry, Dennis set up the crib, changing table, and glider, with a little help from me.

He’s so sexy. :)

All three women returned on Labor Day to finish things up.  Donna had a few surprises planned and they shut us out of the nursery so we couldn’t see what they were doing.  We grilled some burgers, and I whipped up my favorite potato salad and some Carolina Coleslaw, but before we ate, it was time for the big reveal.  This is what it looked like when we walked in.

I started crying.  Seriously, go back to the pictures of this room when it was a messy office and I think you’ll start crying too.  What a transformation!  It is just beautiful!  They’ve since returned to put the shelves that used to be on the left wall on the right wall, and Connie sewed a cover for the ottoman (which is why it’s missing in the above photo) to keep it from getting dirty, so this is what it looks like now.

Connie sewed the curtains for us!  She picked out the black and white gingham fabric to match the bedding and valences during their shopping trip, then sewed them, then had to take them back home to re-hem them because they’d mis-measured the closet and they were too long.  It’s hard to believe someone would be willing to do so much for people she just met…but I’m so grateful.

The closet was Connie’s project and she did the chest by herself, including putting new hardware on.  It’s gawgeous!

On top are the baby cards we’ve gotten so far, which eventually will make their way into an album.  The black and white ones are from Joshua (OK, they’re from a mysterious loved one that signs his name for him-lol) and “Mommie and Daddie Miller” get one every month. I love them!

And look, Joshua even has a few outfits already hanging! The one in front his Grandma Miller just brought when she came for the 3D sonogram.  So our little monkey now has two little monkey outfits. :)

Donna even bought a new hamper for Joshua.  They measured the closet before they went shopping so they could get one that fit and Stephanie measured all the hampers while Donna compared the measurements to the space we had and they finally settled on this one. Fits perfect, and the black totally goes with the nursery.

This is freaky, but Donna bought the changing pad cover from Walmart and it ended up exactly matching the blue in the bedding and valences, and is even the same soft, fuzzy fabric!  And the bedding, etc, is from Target so it’s doubly crazy that it’s a perfect match.  She bought a second one that Connie used to sew the cover for the ottoman.  So clever.

Now this is really crazy.  Connie just so happened to have this antique 1970 talking Cat in the Hat toy and hadn’t been able to sell it because she couldn’t find a buyer willing to pay what it was worth ($300).  When she found out our theme was Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat, she decided she would rather give it to us than sell it for less than it was worth to someone on eBay.  Wow!  And she even had the talker thing fixed so he still talks, after 43 years, when you pull his cord. :)

We have more books in storage to put on this shelf, but this set is the first we’ve added since we just got them in the mail from Erin! Thanks Erin!  They are so perfect!

Donna also got this matching clock and vinyl decals to put all over the room.  They can be moved and restuck, which is nice if we want to put up some artwork or hang pictures.  I like that the decals have characters from many Seuss books, not just Cat in the Hat.

Doc says, “This room rocks!”

Thanks to these women, the nursery is more beautiful than it ever would have been if left up to us.  There would be nothing wrong with a hodge-podge nursery made up of Craigslist furniture and without a theme at all – that’s exactly what we would have done and I would have been proud of it and happy with it.  But I can’t help but be thrilled to have this beautiful, perfect nursery for our perfect baby!  Forever thankful!

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