Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby Update: Week 33

How far along?: 33w3d
How big is Baby?: Can you believe I have a 4-pounder in my belly? It gives new meaning to a "quarter pounder" burger. This kid's way bigger than that! He's also about 17 inches long.
Maternity clothes?: Yes. Yes. Yes.
Sleep?: Ugh. I've had some rough nights recently-- Ray and I both. He is waking up with bouts of anxiety (You mean this kid is going to be ours? Forever? Like, soon?) and I am just waking up. A lot. I can't seem to get comfortable no matter what I do. I sleep a lot but none of it feels restful. {Shrug} Preparations for not sleeping much in the coming weeks? Perhaps.
Best moment of the week?: Ding-dong ditching a fun romantic basket on our friends' doorstep, receiving flowers from my wonderful husband, and going for a walk/coffee with my friend Jessie.
Movements?: Yes. He likes to remind me that he's hanging out in there.
Food cravings?: No, but I did cheat and have a bit of ramen. Of course my protective husband walks in as I am cooking it and encourages me to eat half. Fine. Compromise can be brutal. I discovered Snickers ice cream bars yesterday though. Yikes.
Aversions?: No... not in the least!
What I miss?: I miss restful sleep (what a joke... that's about to leave me forever) and some of my LA friends and family.
What I'm looking forward to?: I am looking forward to this Saturday ending. I know this is pathetic, but I am actually dreading the "marathon" baby class we're taking this weekend. I signed us up for a class this weekend (9-5:30!) and one next weekend (9-4). Not looking forward to the forced relationship-building, but feel as though we are obligated to take these classes as new parents. So, here we go. Weeeeee.
Anything else?: I get emails every week from various spammers but open the ones related to baby development on the weekly scale. This week, I had an entertaining one... Baby W is about the size of a pineapple and looking "less alien-like" and more "human" -- phew. Hah. The funny thing is that I just bought a pineapple this week. It's kind of hard picturing that thing in my belly, but I'll have no problem consuming it. Mmmmm.
This week in history: Some planes have been suspected of having "suspicious materials" on board. Winds in the Midwest have been gnarly and knocked down pretty large pieces of trees. Wind speeds were around 65 mph for a few days... and now it's just plain cold. Thank goodness we at least have the bright, beautiful sun.

What's going on this week (with us)?: Ray just arrived back home from a business trip in Charlotte and I have been spending a lot of time with friends (as the pictures show). He has volleyball this evening and we have that lovely baby class tomorrow in Plainfield (aka farmfields). The lovely ladies from my small group are throwing me a shower on Sunday and that should be fun. They're so creative. :) Baby W, you are one loved kiddo.

Weekday Adventures

I have been subbing a lot lately... but on the times I'm not keeping busy at various schools in the 'burbs, I'm usually having a good time with girlfriends, and my awesome husband of course.

Our small group had an idea to take over a fun package to our friends, Alli & Tommy, since they've been struggling to find time together lately. The majority of us are marrieds in the group and understand what it's like to be disconnected or without our significant other... so the basket came about. We started at Kristi's house, moved on to Jessie's house for the passoff... then it was my turn! At the time I received the basket, there was fruit, wine, a candle, and cookies in the basket. When I received it, I promptly made a trip to Trader Joe's (of which I love, so not tough to visit...) where I purchased my favorite French truffles, chianti-infused salami that looked quite fancy... and off I went. I also included my favorite crackers-- Triscuit Rosemary & Olive Oil. Try them if you haven't. I should really be endorsed by these people. I have turned so many people onto them. Delicious. I added in some fun Burt Bee's and Body Shop items and met Liz in downtown Naperville for her additions and the dropoff. We ding-dong-ditched the basket and had a blast doing it!
Ray was away on business this week and I found these on the doorstep one of the days... it's such a blessing to have him. I'm thankful everyday.
Yesterday my friend Jessie and I walked from my house to the Grounds of Hope Cafe located at our new church site. They've turned the entire front of the building into a coffee shop with an awesome selection and super affordable items. To the left when you walk in there's a huge kid's jungle gym and an enormous fake tree and to the right is this huge coffee shop complete with a fireplace and flat screen TVs. It doesn't look churchy and it's not really meant to be. The proceeds from Grounds go to World Relief and patrons actually can choose which relief effort the money gets donated to! For my tea and amazingly delicious chocolate muffin, I paid $2.47. Not bad. Considering it's only a mile from my house, I may be frequenting the Grounds a lot-- especially when Baby W is a bit older and needs to let some energy out at an indoor jungle gym (great for winter-- which has apparently already started here in Chi-town with 28 degree weather! Brr!!).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Awesome Weekend!

Our weekend started off on Friday night when Ray played volleyball with a bunch of friends in the co-ed league he joined. They won 2 out of 3 games! They've played a total of 9 games so far this season and won 5 of them. I usually go watch his games and cheer them on. After volleyball, we headed over to our friends' apartment, Tommy & Alli, where we everyone but me helped them moving the last major items from their current place to their new place in downtown Naperville. We had a great time though it took us about 15 minutes to find the place (oh, the north and south indicators on streets actually mean something? Haha). Sure, we knew that. We just weren't putting it into practice as Liz and I walked all around the streets carrying boxes and pillows. Oh, and a bottle of olive oil. You know... just in case. Their place is sooo cute and reminds Ray and I a lot of our first apartment together (though this will be their 2nd apt. together since they married in early 2010). The walls are painted similar colors, the rooms have similar flow, the house is old (the live on the top level), and the wood molding in the house is all original and so charming. Needless to say, we loved the place!

On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed off on the 9:30 train downtown to see my cousin TJ's soccer game at Moody-- where he attends college. The forecast for the entire weekend was set to be rainy and thunderstorms. Well, they were right about that rainy part! We were decked out in our jackets, rainproof shells, and umbrellas. It rained for about 1.5 hours of the time we were downtown and then stopped. We decided to have lunch downtown before his game and found the address on the Blackberry to Frontera Grill. If you watched Top Chef Masters or are familiar with who Rick Bayless is... he's basically THE chef in downtown Chicago. He's all about using unique, sustainable, organic ingredients in his dishes under the Mexican food genre. In the summer, they serve "rooftop salsa" made from ingredients organically grown at the top of that skyscraper in a garden. There are 3 restaurants he runs that are all connected on one street: Xoco (lower end, cheapest), Frontera (middle), and Topolo (high end). We walked right past them on our way and had to trek back about 2 blocks. We had no chance of eating at Xoco because of the crazy lines going out the door in the rain but checked out Frontera. They sat us outside (though rainy, still in the 60's, warm and covered). Ray ordered the chicken tortilla soup first and another entree he loved. I ordered some veggie enchiladas and did not enjoy them. I loved the sauce and homemade corn tortillas, but the filling was eh, gross. Collard greens and beets, basically raw, inside my tortillas. No cheese, no beans, no normal vegetables. Blah. I would go back because the quality was great, but would not be ordering that meal again. Here we are and here are the meals we consumed...

We headed on foot (Moody is about 2 miles from Union Station) to TJ's soccer game. My aunt was already there along with TJ's awesome girlfriend, Pauline. We had a great time catching up, watching them win, and watching TJ score a goal. It was parent's weekend at Moody and all of the players gave roses to their parents.

 The team being recognized before the stands at halftime.

After the game, we hung out with TJ, Pauline, and Robin for a bit longer and had dinner with them in the Ukrainian Village. We tried a restaurant called Shokolad and had some wonderful foods. I had some pierogies, others had borsch (beet soup) and pelmeni (dumplings with meat). We shared a few desserts and hung out for awhile before heading back.

After saying goodbye, Ray and I checked the train schedule and realized that we didn't have another train to catch for two hours! We walked over to Michigan Avenue and down State Street to check out this sign in all its glory...
Then we headed into a mall on Michigan Avenue and walked around the Lego store. Baby W may have a few legos... I'm a fan. Here I am with Lego Woody from Toy Story. Ray had his moment below, too. Yes, he has his hand on that man's thigh. Oh my!

On Sunday afternoon, we carpooled to an Orchard in Malta, IL (DeKalb area), about 40 miles from our homes in the 'burbs. Here's the group in a photo...

Above are photos of Ray & Derrick holding Luke and Joel-- friends' kids. Below are photos of Kristi and Joel (mom & son) at the pumpkin patch where we attempted to find nice pumpkins without completely covering ourselves in mud.

Some great friends hanging out on the "hayride" wagon (no hay to be seen).
Post hayride shot of my amazing husband holding our iced cider (just like it sounds... basically a cider slushie... it was delicious and so were the donuts and caramel apple we bought to go with it!).
A few fun and cheesy shots of the cutouts... Joel's is quite classic.

Our wonderful friends, Derrick & Liz, with Joel.
And finally... we bought a 1/2 gallon of fresh cider and hopped up in this chair for a photo before making the drive back to the 'burbs with our friends. It was a nice fall outing in some pretty nice weather! Like I said... the forecast said thunderstorms ALL weekend and we didn't have a single one until we got home that evening. It made for a great weekend to explore. We're excited to take Baby W back next year!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baby Update: Week 32

How far along?: 32w2d
How big is Baby?: Around 3.75 pounds! They say the size of a jicama... as if I've ever seen one of those (outside of a salad all sliced up).
Maternity clothes?: Yes, and desperately wishing that I could fit into my normal clothes as winter approaches. I will buy a maternity jacket. I can still zip my North Face jacket, but that will all soon change. I am limited to about 10 shirts and 4 sweaters. That's no fun!
Sleep?: Not as wonderful lately. I do wake up quite a few times and I've been having nightmares-- not intense ones, just nothing positive and nothing baby-related. Like last night for example...I had a dream that I was in possession of marijuana-laced trail mix! I've never touched the stuff in my life, have no recollection of recently seeing anything marijuana-related, and haven't watched any TV shows in awhile. How on earth could I have dreamt of something so bizarre?
Best moment of the week?: Hmm... working? Although I am not loving my currently 7-day assignment as a one-on-one aide at the elementary level (1st grade, no less), I am enjoying the steady call to duty. I like being productive, busy, and making a difference.
Movements?: Yes, but they're getting more difficult. He does less poking and more positioning.
Food cravings?: I want everything! I am actually trying to control myself more as I could literally eat an entire box of cookies.
Aversions?: Not much.
What I miss?: Having more clothing options?
What I'm looking forward to?: I am looking forward to spending another weekend with my husband and friends! We are having a fall outing with our 20's/30's group this weekend along with heading downtown to watch my cousin's soccer game and visit with my aunt. I love weekends now that we've slowed down on all the housework!
Anything else?: Baby W is just growing away, gaining about .5 pounds every week-- that means I am gaining the other .5 pound. Argh. I haven't reached the scale change yet (where they move the bottom bar from the 100 to 150), but I'm getting close. It would be nice to avoid that and just barely make it under that 150 mark. But again, I'm not a calorie counter and this baby will get all he needs... and still a brownie, cookie, ice cream bowl... everyday. :)
This week in history: Gosh... not much? I just read about 3 hikers missing on Mt. Whitney. We hiked that about 3 years ago and it says they've been missing for 3 days. It's a very open path, but there are fall risks. Not good news...

What's going on this week (with us)?: We are having a fine week. Ray spent some time up in Michigan at the beginning of the week as there was a visitor from Switzerland (the same one we visited when we were in Germany just before returning to the States). We had small group this week, we're both full time (this week), and the weather is definitely getting cooler. Today was a high of 58 I believe... brrrr!

Comparison photo shots:

and here is Month 8!

Leaves, Leaves Everywhere!

Last week, our friends Alison, Nic, Gab, and Scotty came to visit. We had dinner downtown with them one evening and they came to stay with us the next evening. While Nic worked in the city (after they visited the Chicago sites in our amazing 78 degree weather, the rest of the clan came to stay with us in the 'burbs.

It's fall here. Like... no-more-leaves-on-trees fall. They're ALL on the ground. Literally. Here's Gabby playing in the leaves as Ray raked them to the curb for pickup.
We also received a fun fall package from Ray's family... which included Sprinkles cupcake mix, sprinkles, a fall spatula, chocolate, and socks. Very fun and festive...especially since Gabby opened every individually wrapped present for me! She enjoyed that!
I made the cupcakes on Sunday night and took them to our small group on Monday. These were some seriously decadent pumpkin cupcakes-- like a whole stick of butter decadent--for 12. Yeah, I know!

 End result... minus two which made their way to Ray's belly. :)
I stole borrowed this photo from Nic's picture site to add here... partly because Alison and Scotty didn't make it on the blog otherwise (well, neither did Ray or Nic), but also because I was spotted obviously pregnant in this picture... with really fancy hair I might add.
We had just finished breakfast at Tangerine here in downtown Naperville where we had pancakes the size of basketballs... and were headed for a river walk. It was so nice having them out and sharing our fall leaves and this beautiful time of year before it turns so cold we won't even want to go outside with them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

730 days until I hit the big 3-0. Woah.

This birthday was totally different than I'm used to. First off, I'm pregnant. Like... almost 8 months pregnant with a clear, protruding, moving, uncomfortable belly. I'm thankful for that little bean and he's the best present of all, but it's quite different not being able to enjoy a nice salt-rimmed margarita as you drink to another year of glory. December. I just need to keep telling myself that. Perhaps that's why I have purchased not one, not two, but three bottles of tequila while pregnant. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that ice-cold drink. Margaritas are green and that's a Christmas color, right? And honestly, the smell while pregnant is pretty repulsive, but the idea sounds nice. :)

So, it started actually a week prior when I started receiving countless emails from favorite restaurants and ice cream shops. I took advantage, though have no photo proof, of the loot I scored from these emails.

I indulged in a freebie chocolate with peanut butter swirls ice cream at Baskin Robbins... for free. It was so incredibly divine.

I dined on a freebie veggie burger at our favorite burger joint, Fuddruckers... with all the pickles I wanted. :) Maybe a few extra were thrown on this time. I blame it on baby W.

I enjoyed a freebie stir fry at the Bd Mongolian BBQ place in downtown Naperville... and it was tasty. Even if they were out of the baby corns and rice noodles I love.

I shared a freebie ice cream "like it" at Coldstone of sweet cream and Reese's peanut butter cups. Nevermind that they were out of chocolate, strawberry, cake batter,  & anything vanilla. No whining when it's free, right?

Needless to say, I took advantage of some goodies-- but not all on my actual birthday. These freebies were giving all week long! I should take photos next year.

As for my actual birthday, we woke up at a ripe hour of 6 a.m. to complete our insulation project. Weekends are crucial for house projects and my birthday meant celebrating half-day would have to be the way it was. I woke up to a wonderful card by my adoring husband and granola bars as we set out to Home Depot. Insulation down, we headed over to our friends' house to pick up some drywall and garbage to dispose of from one of their house projects (we had a big truck = dumpster visit). Then, home to shower and clean up before heading back to Home Depot to drop off the goods before dinner out in downtown Naperville, followed by ice cream, of course!

My present from my husband (not pictured) was a full length robe. While I own two robes, I don't own a full-length one that is perfect for pregnancy and post pregnancy. It's big, cuddly, and will be needed this winter. :)

Monday, we met my best friend, her husband, and their two kiddos in Downtown Chicago for dinner at Gibson's Steakhouse. I had a planked whitefish while the rest of the crew had steaks. It was a steakhouse after all. They gave me a wonderful Kai candle. I don't have a photo, but I linked it. I LOVE this smell. I mean LOVE. It smells tropical and reminds me of Hermosa Beach where I come from and used to visit this store that sold all kinds of their products. I just love it. It's really the small things that excite me.

They came to stay with us Wednesday through Saturday and that was such a nice time for me. I love having time with friends. It was so nice to spend extended time with Alison since we haven't really had that much time to just hang out in years!

More lovely birthday presents are below, but not all are pictured:

This is from Kay, Steve, & Samantha. It was a lovely indulgence box of goodies, all individually wrapped. It was great fun opening each little package. The main gift was a prenatal massage at a local place here in IL! 
My brother sent me a huge box of my favorite chips from the Orange County area in Cali... Have A' Corn Chips. There's a legend (I doubt it's true) that the Hare Krishna are the makers of these lovely treats. Either way, they're amazing. I was first turned on to them during my college days when people would walk around campus eating these. I thought they were crazy... who likes plain corn chips that much? Well, that was until I tasted them. Oh man. They are seasoned with a light touch of soy sauce and it makes them have this special tang that is unlike any other. You can buy them on Amazon I think, but only in bulk. I have about 22 bags left!!
 This isn't really a birthday present, but it was sent around the same time. Jeanni & Chris, friends from Colorado, sent me my favorite Top Ramen. In the Midwest, they only sell the Maruchan brand. I only like the Top Ramen brand in Oriental. I'm very specific about my {white trash} foods. Haha. I think I'm good for years now. We saw them a few weeks ago and had dinner with them in downtown Chicago... this was a conversation and they didn't forget! Imagine our mail delivery people as they deliver these huge packages of food for us. Ah, so funny. Of course I haven't touched these yet. I don't think my child needs to develop high blood pressure from the daily allowance of sodium that is in one of these packages. But come December, oh, ramen is on.
My parents also sent me a gift card to Borders for me to find something to read after Baby W is born... now to decide what I want!

I'd say it was a great birthday. It helps that I have the best husband ever. I really do feel incredibly blessed to be alive, healthy, married to my best friend, and pregnant with our baby boy.

Now if only I could add a few more days to that countdown of my 30th birthday. I'm not ready for that.

The First Snowfall of the Year

We have been putting off insulation in our attic since we moved in. We knew, upon inspection, that the R-13, four inches of insulation would not get us through the Chicago winter. Or... we could survive but be leaking our money right through our attic by heating nonstop. We opted for the insulation route and decided that we could do it ourselves. We researched this company called Owens Corning that made Fiberglas insulation you can purchase and blow into your attic through a machine and tube. We watched the video, purchased 6-7 bags of insulation and stuffed them into the Accord on multiple occasions so we'd have the 30 bags we wanted. We weren't just going to insulate a little. Oh no. The Wilsons go-big-or-go-home and therefore needed the maximum R-60. We wanted that baby to have 20 fluffy inches above our heads at night. So that's just what we made happen.

We visited Home Depot on multiple occasions prior to our big Saturday event to buy those bags and every time we were greeted by their "experts" who asked us if we were sure if 30 bags was what we wanted. Oh yes. Oh yes. One guy even asked, "What, is your house 10,000 square feet?" Nope. Just about 2,700. Haha.

On the day of our insulation, October 10 (my birthday), we set out to Home Depot at 8 a.m. Ray had just finished working on the attic boxes. He built wood boxes around the bathroom vents and recessed lighting so the insulation would not be placed on top and accidentally creep in when we shot the loose Fiberglas all over. We showed up and rented the machine, a truck to haul it, and 17 of of the 30 bags (13 were at home already) we needed to complete the job.

Our biggest obstacle: the weather. We chose to wait until fall for insulation because we thought it would be cooler. Lesson #1 learned: don't trust Chicago weather. It is never normal and always surprising. The week prior was in the lower to mid 60's. The week after (this weekend), also in the 60's. Nope. Not insulation weekend = 88 degrees! You can imagine in a hot attic wearing protective gear from head to toe, it would be 100+ degrees. Bummer. But, we're fighters. We were determined to finish this job, and finish it fast.

 Here is Ray with the truck full of goodies from Home Depot.
Here is the insulation we had in our garage waiting to be used (13 bags) in addition to the ones in the truck (17).
Ray removing the massively heavy machine base from the truck. Being pregnant means I lift nothing and can be of almost no use. Shrug.
Ray prepared all of the bags for me by cutting them in half, just as the directions called for. Use the Xacto knife to slice in half and then break. For 30 bags, we yielded 60 halves that individually had to be stuffed into the AttiCat machine (that was my job as Ray stood in the sweltering attic and sprayed the Fiberglas from the hose).
Breaking the "brick" apart. Each one expands 16x the current amount inside the package.
Organizing our stacks of 60 halves...
Here's the beast of a machine that I stuffed each halve into. There was a knife on the left that would slice the bag open as I stuffed it inside the machine. I was also covered, head-to-toe in protective gear so that the Fiberglas would not come in contact with my skin. Not fun in the sun, dressed for winter, in 88 degree weather. Oh yeah, and pregnant. I guess the only thing worse could have been being inside the attic. My poor husband.
Look at that fluffiness! You're looking at about $900 worth of Fiberglas insulation that will hopefully save us some cash and keep us cozy in the winter. We also get a tax break of 30% for completing the project before December 31. But let's be honest... tax break or not, we would've done this just for our personal interest. My first Chicago winter is coming and from what I've been told by everysingleperson, we're going to need this. It took us about 2-2.5 hours to blow all of the insulation into the attic-- all 60 halves. Doing the math... that's about 1 bag every 2 to 2.5 minutes.
Ah, R-60 is glorious.
So maybe it was an 88-degree (or 100+ in the attic) snowfall of a different kind, but it was much needed. We're so happy to have this behind us (or above us... haha) now.

Bring it on, Chicago.

Baby Update: Week 31

No photos for this post... but I'll post a few more entries with photos.

Are there really only FIFTY NINE days left until Baby W makes his appearance into the world... forever? I mean, we'll forever be parents to this guy! But being realistic, he's probably about 60+ days until delivery since he's been a classified runt. :) You never know, though!

Here are the updates for the week. On Tuesday I'll officially be 8 months (WOAH) and have a picture of the belly to post. Until then, here are the highlights from week 31:

How far along?: 31w5d
How big is Baby?: Baby is about 3.25-3.5 pounds and measuring around 16 inches long
Maternity clothes?: Yes. Oh for sure. If nothing more than for my ever-growing hips that seem to be expanding by the day.
Sleep?: Doing okay. Restroom breaks frequent and a very tired day (despite having a lot of sleep) usually follow.
Best moment of the week?: Seeing my best friend, her husband, and her two little ones as they came to stay with us! It was so nice having them here and just being able to hang out.
Movements?: Yes. He moves his behind from the left to the right side of my belly frequently. I believe he is now "head down", so that has to be his little bottom!
Food cravings?: Not really...
Aversions?: Not really...
What I miss?: Hugging my husband without a big basketball belly, having a bladder that isn't "tested" by Baby W on a regular basis, and being able to walk up the stairs without feeling winded. I'll get back there soon enough, I know.
What I'm looking forward to?: I'm looking forward to a full week of work. I am subbing the entire week for a girl who is visiting China. While her job is less interesting, I'm happy to be busy and earning a little extra cash for some Christmas splurges we have planned (yes... to those who would like to see us upgrade that 19 inch tube, we plan to!)
Anything else?: Baby W is getting fatter, hearing lots of noises from inside the belly, and moving with lots of strength. The movements will start to slow down, however, as he continues to fill the space to its capacity--though I felt his limit was met, he still continues to find more space for his body!
This week in history: The miners were rescued! That was great news.

What's going on this week (with us)?: We just said goodbye to Alison, Nic, Gabrielle, and Scotty who were here visiting (Nic had business downtown). It was wonderful being able to spend time with them. We are done with our big projects and enjoying the obvious insulation temperature regulations in our house. It has been getting down into the 40's at night and we haven't used the heat... yet! Our church launched a new site this weekend and since it is 1 mile from our house, we walked there today! It's very coffee-house feeling and warm. We are getting rid of some leaves by raking them to the end of our yard. The city has a pickup service that will be coming to suck them up by truck every Monday for a month. Our trees in the front of our property have lost nearly all of their leaves but the back are still continuing to shed them. Gabby had great fun playing with the leaves when she was visiting. Overall, it was a great week and so nice to finally experience a relaxing weekend without an intense project. Week 32, here we come! Eeeeek!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall is Fun.

Could my titles be more lame? Didn't think so. I could really use some assistance.

This will be a smorgasbord or photos, so prepare yourself. I just don't know how else to post them other than in one lump sum. Plus, this will be my 3rd blog post of the day and I believe that's a record.

This is to get you in the fall mood, especially to my peeps in California who surely don't experience this. I hadn't either until last September when Germany brought so many gorgeous colors to my attention.
Invasion of the leaves in our yard! I also purchased two large pumpkins for a smoking deal at Aldi ($1.99 each!). I'm still a proud German supporter all the way from the States. Hello to our German readers, too. Happy autumn to you all!

We attended a wedding for a few friends, Eric & Kim, who were married in late September. They're already back from their honeymoon so it's about time I get these posted. This one is my favorite because there is more personality...
...and the more boring shot... a bunch of our Chi-town friends. There's also a picture of all the girls out there somewhere but since I was in the photo, I have no proof.
Now this little gem. I mentioned before that I would be heading to the Salvation Army to find some "throw away" clothes for our messy insulation project this weekend. I was literally walking down the aisles (after a woman asked me if I worked there. hm.) when I received a call from Ray-- don't buy clothes because he'll be using a heavier duty suit from work. Okay, fine. But, I couldn't leave without finding something fun and tchotchke, right? So here she is. Birdie. She cost me an entire 95 cents and I fully intend to spray paint her white and put her in Baby W's room. In person, she is more of a dark brown stain but the lovely flash paired with the oh-so-dark kitchen makes her whitewashed. The tree branch snowman for Christmas is not pictured (for $1.95), though it will likely make an appearance in the next couple months. Stay tuned.
We also spent some time in Colorado as I flew the very last few days before I was no longer allowed (according to my OB). On our drive to Denver, we saw some gorgeous creatures. We love moose. You probably knew that because we are obsessed over that wall hanger in Baby W's room. But, here's a photo of a mom, baby, and daddy (bull) moose we caught on our way from Denver to Steamboat Springs.
 Just beautiful, right?

You may remember, if you've been following our journeys for awhile, that we took a boat early in the morning and hiked 4-5 miles just to see a bull moose in the Grand Tetons last summer. He had a much larger rack and we were considerably closer to him out in the wild... it was a cooler experience because it was so serene and we found him. While still cool, we just saw these three off the side of the road and along with about 40 other camera-snappers, we caught it on digi-film.

We're enjoying fall... looking forward to more fun as we adventure around the Midwest during this beautiful season.