Where Have My Ankles Gone??

I was hoping this day wouldn't come, but I've had an alarming discovery tonight.  I believe my ankles have disappeared.  Seriously.  I'm sitting on the couch, looking at my legs and the place where my ankles should be, and for the life of me, I can't find them!  It appears to me that they have surrendered the fight and given up.  They no longer exist.  Now this is alarming for a number of reasons.  For one thing, I honestly thought I was going to escape this 3rd trimester phenomenon.  In fact, I was praying that I would.  The squishy ankle thing always grossed me out.  But alas, I should have known better.  Pride does indeed come before a fall.  Or a loss of ankles.  It's kind of shocking to stare at a leg, that no longer looks like the leg I once knew.  What kills me, is that this discovery seems to have cropped up over night!  I swear I could still find my ankles yesterday.  But, today, no longer.  The crowning blow was when I managed to reach down, a fete in itself, to press my finger into the side of my missing ankle and much to my horror, I left a total indentation.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  It was as if I'm made of play dough. And then Travis tried it and again, had the same results.  He got a good laugh out of it and I sunk a little lower in the couch.  He told me not to worry about it and I tried not to.  But seriously people, losing your ankles is a depressing low.  So, I did the only thing I knew to do, I ate a bowl of ice-cream and covered my legs up with a blanket!   That will fix it, right?  

Moving on, day two of my maternity leave was another pleasant day :) I had a 4 1/2 hour coffee date with a great girlfriend this morning, what a treat!  It was just the respite I needed from being cooped up in the house.  After that, I met Travis for my weekly OB appointment.  I learned that my suspicions were correct, she has dropped!  Her head is very low now, right where we want it to be.  I am not dilated yet, but am "very soft."  Yay!!   I'm still praying for my water to break or contractions to come on, I don't want be induced at all if I can't help it.  But, at least she's progressing in the right direction (south) and the end seems to be nearer and nearer!  My doctor also estimated that she's around 7 lbs more reason for me to pray that this doesn't drag on and on!!  I don't want to deliver a 9lb baby if I have a choice :)  We're very grateful for good news though and a healthy report.  I'll take her anytime she wants to come, no matter how big or small she is!  

Finally, I am going to leave you with a new recipe that I've tweaked and come up with.  We had it tonight and it's become one of our new favorites.  It originated from a recipe that I found for baked ziti and peppers and after making it the first time, I adapted it after Trav's favorite meal at California Pizza Kitchen, the Sausage Pepper Penne dish.  It's a hearty one-dish meal that is easy and very yummy.  It's perfect for a crowd and would freeze well I think. We like it because like most pasta, it seems to get better by the day.  It's a great leftover option that doesn't disappoint.  Anyway, here's the recipe...

1 red, yellow, and green pepper; 1 small onion; 1 box of penne pasta (I used the mini penne for the first time and liked the smaller size better); 2 Cups of shredded mozzarella cheese; 2 jars of pasta sauce (I like a sweet sauce for this, like a 3 cheese or tomato basil); 1 pkg. of smoked sausage; 1 lb of hamburger; a dash of oregano.
Brown your hamburger and the peppers and onions until soft. 
We grilled the smoked sausage, but you could also cook it in a skillet.  Slice it thinly when done.
Cook your box of pasta and drain, and then add the hamburger, peppers, onion, sausage, 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 cup of cheese, and sauce.  The recipe calls for 1 jar or sauce, which is pictured in the mixture below.  Personally, I thought it was a little too dry with just one jar, so I added 2 this time. 
Here is what it looks like with the second jar added.  I think "saucier" is better.  That's what I also tell Travis when he thinks I'm being a little opinionated about something :) 
Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and then pour the mixture in the pan.  It will be very full. 
Add the remaining cup of cheese on top and then bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 20-25 minutes. Just long enough for the cheese to melt and the pasta to be bubbly hot.  
Here is what it looks like when it's done.  We love it because it's a good compromise for both of us.  It's very meaty, which Travis loves and it's nice and sweet from the onions and peppers, which I love.  The smoked sausage is something I decided to add and we really liked that addition.  It gave a good flavor to the dish.  
Anyway, if you like pasta dishes I think you would love this one!  Let me know if you do decide to try it, I'd love to hear what you think.  If sweet is not your thing, you could choose a spicy sauce and add some spicy sausage.  If I wasn't so prone to heartburn and indigestion right now, we'd probably try that version too!  But for now, sweet beats spicy any day :) Except when it comes to giving my opinion!!


Maternity Leave: Day One

Happy Monday to you all!  Today is one of those misc. and random days, but a fun day nonetheless.  I can't tell you how great it felt to get up this morning, knowing that I don't have to work for awhile.  Even though I love my little part time job, it is wonderful to have one less thing on my plate and the ability to just focus on what I want to.  A happy Monday for me indeed.  I think I'll fill you in list style today...

  • The picture above is from yesterday, my official 38 week shot.  As you can see, I am growing quickly in one direction-out!  She is so big now and I am too.  I think she's dropped a little, I definitely feel more pressure in lower spots, and I am feeling incredibly top heavy!  According to, she is approximately 6 1/2 pounds now and 19 inches long, but of course that's just an average guess.  Tomorrow I go to the doctor and I'll be asking what she thinks :)  
  • After getting the best night of sleep I've had in weeks on Saturday night, last night was less than desirable.  I did great until about 4:30 am, when I got up to go the bathroom and didn't fall asleep again until 6:30am.  I couldn't get comfortable and Ava was clearly awake with me.  So, I ate some cereal, prayed for lots of people who came to mind, and found Ryley sleeping in Ava's room in front of her crib!  It was so sweet.  Eventually I fell asleep for another hour, but I woke up with a sore throat and a headache.  I decided I needed to just get up and move on with my day because soon this will be part of every night!  I planned to nap this afternoon, but never got around to it.  I am not a great napper, but again I know that when Ava is here, I will need to nap when she naps.  That's one of my goals this week :) Getting in the groove of napping.  I know, tough goal, right??
  • The first set-back in my maternity leave occurred this morning when I moved my first load of laundry from my washer to my dryer.  For some reason I couldn't get the dryer to turn on and after a moment of panic at the thought of a broken dryer, I realized that the knob was cracked on the inside.  Fortunately the dryer still works, but in a redneck move, I have to turn the dial with a wrench until the new knob gets here.  Oh and I have to figure out where to order that knob from!  But, at least it still works!!  I was about to call Travis and cry at the thought of no dryer with a new baby on the way :)  Those are the kind of repairs I'm praying don't happen in the next 3 months, I don't know if my hormones can take it!
  • Thanks to my sweet husband, we got to do something fun over his lunch break today.  We have been wanting to buy a specific thing for awhile now but were unsure about when we could purchase it.  Last week Travis came home and announced that he had decided to sell his mountain bike, which he loved, because he was ready for us to make a purchase and this would be a great way to do it.  I told him he didn't have to sell his bike (one of 3 that he has) if he didn't want to, but he listed it anyway and yesterday it sold!!  So, we met at Best Buy today and bought a the final thing that we've wanted to have before Ava gets here...a video camera!!!  Yay :) Now we can have the first minutes of her life on video and we can sleep better knowing that we did the right "parent" thing.  Oh how the sacrifices have begun...
  • I have now moved on from Ava's nursery to our guest bathroom.  I'm washing towels, organizing drawers and cupboards, getting her bath stuff ready and cleaning.  All fun stuff that I've wanted to get crossed off my list.  However, speaking of her nursery, I want to thank you all for the sweet things you wrote about her new room.  You made my day by sharing in our excitement and telling me what you liked about her nursery.  I know it must seem that we threw tons of money in there and went totally overboard, but I do want you to know just how many things in that room were a total gift to us.  We have been so blessed by many generous hearts and I want to be sure to point that out.  It's important to me because it's just another way that the Lord has delighted me because of the way he made me.  My Interior Design background is a huge part of me and the talents God has given me.  I love to put things together and to create spaces or beautiful things.  But, I have a responsibility to stay within our means and to not make idols out of possessions.  It's been a blessing to trust the Lord with what we needed and to see Him provide for us in amazing, detailed ways.  I could tell you story after story about each thing in that room, but the bottom line is that He surprised me over and over and showed me once again that He loves to give good gifts to His children when we trust Him.  So thank you for the compliments, I'm just as thrilled with it as I can be :) 
  • I also want to say thank you to all you "lurkers" who keep coming out of hiding to comment!!  I love to hear who is reading my blog.  It's fun for me to see all the places you live and hear about the things that resonate with you too.  I love to write, as  you can obviously tell from the length of every post, but it blesses me to know that God uses my silly attempts to touch some of your hearts.  Blogging has become an outlet for me, a way to express myself and to work through some of the things He is teaching me.  I am such a work in progress and there are many things I struggle with just like you.  So many of you have been a big source of encouragement to me and I just want you to know that I appreciate you.  I usually try to respond to comments as best as I can, but lately I just haven't been able to stay on top of it.  So forgive me if you don't hear back from me, just know that I love hearing from you!  
  • Even though I don't have to get up and work tomorrow, I did want to get through a big stack of paperwork tonight, so I need to wrap this up.  I'll let you know if we've made any progress after we go to the doctor tomorrow.  My fingers are crossed, Ava has been more active today than ever!  She is on the move and I'm just hoping that means good things for me!!  I'm getting so excited to meet my baby :)  Happy Monday to you!!!


Brace Yourself...The Nursery Tour Is Here.

I don't know about you, but I have been waiting for this day for a LONG time!!  I have been so excited to share Ava's nursery with you, but the one thing I've been holding out on is her crib.  I told myself I would not share all the details until the crib was ready to go.  Well, lucky for all of us, that day came yesterday!!  All the way from Utopia, Texas our sweet baby's crib was delivered.  In case you don't remember, because I know you all keep such careful notes about all the details of my life :), Ava's crib was handmade by Travis' Uncle Ron.  Don't peek yet, wait until we get there, but let me just tell you...It is GORGEOUS.  
So, without further ado, here we go!!  
Here is the truck arriving at our condo yesterday.  I think I ran from window to window, trying to get the best shot! 
Travis and the nice delivery guy loaded that crate, which was 150 lbs. onto a dolly.  Our neighbor had to see what was going on too :) He was worried we were moving. 

Here it is, waiting to be unloaded in the nursery.  The anticipation was killing us at this point!!
Ryley was also quite interested, so he sat and watched Travis work.  I rocked in the glider and took pictures :) 
Our good friend Kristian came over to help.  He also helped Travis hang the mirror above the changing table.  Thanks Kristian!
As the guys unpacked the crate and unwrapped the pieces, we found this on the back of the headboard piece.  Isn't that sweet?
Spoiler alert!!  Here are some of the pieces being assembled.
Are you getting excited??  It's  starting to look like a crib!!
I'm warning you, there are lots of pictures to go still, but I would now like to officially welcome you to Miss Ava's room...
The view from her doorway :) 
In case she forgets who she is, her name is branded clearly on the wall above her crib!
Drink it in slowly...
Who loves the crib as much as we do???  I'll show you some more details in a minute, but first...
Here is her little bookcase, updated this afternoon.  I needed to brighten it up and give it some character, so for $6, I went to Archiver's and bought some pretty blue scrapbook paper to line the back of the shelves.  It looks a little bright in this picture, but in person, it's the same color as the bumper in the crib.  I love it now.  What an easy, quick, cheap, and non-permanent upgrade!
Here is a sweet picture in that bookcase, of my Grandma Ferguson, Ava's namesake.  My Grandma's maiden name was Evelyn Page.  Ava Page is named after her and after my Dad, Steven Page.  My Grandma was a big part of my whole life.  She died when I moved to Florida and never got to meet Travis, although she did see some pictures of him and heard all about him.  I know she would love my husband and I especially know she would love to know we're naming our daughter partly in her honor.  She would get teary for sure and say "Oh Stephie, that's so nice honey."  I'll be happy to tell Ava about her someday.
Those houses came from her kitchen and were an award she won for selling AVON for many, many years.  She was quite the saleswoman, selling way into her 80's and still winning awards because of it!  I loved those houses and played with them as a girl.  I'm glad to have them in here too. 
This shelf has a scrapbook I've yet to make for Ava (but will be soon) as well as her little Bible storybook and a teddy bear that was mine as a little girl!  
Here is her dresser, an antique we got in North Carolina.
And some of the accessories I found at my favorite store, Homegoods.  Those frames will soon be filled with pictures of sweet Ava!!
Okay, back to the crib.  I love it and I love that crib bedding.  I've been waiting to set this up since I ordered it in January, but I'm happy to say it's even better than I was expecting! 
Don't you just want to climb in there and snuggle with that blanket and little lamb?
It's so dreamy I can hardly stand it :) 
Here is a shot to show off some of those beautiful details.  Isn't it amazing?  If you're looking for a handcrafted crib, I have the right guy for you!!  Many cribs later, every crib he's made is just gorgeous.  
I love the way those velvet panels frame her window. 
Our little rocking corner :) Still waiting on some artwork for the wall behind the glider.  
I added some ribbon to the lamp and I like it even more now.
One of my favorite Psalms and some verses that Travis and I chose for her.  Psalm 121 was a passage that the Israelites used to teach their children from infancy.  The Rabbis would have the Psalm written on a scroll and tucked into the cradle with the baby, so that their parents would read it and teach it to them.  It's a beautiful passage and something we will also teach to Ava.  
Her changing table, with the mirror that I will always be looking at myself in, whenever I change her diaper :) 
Isn't this the greatest changing table?  I can say that because it was gift.
Now for some details...
All of her tiny diapers lined up and her sterilized paci's, all ready to go!
The world's sweetest changing pad and cover.
Have you ever seen a cuter garbage can?
Her darling night light.  
Her new little coat rack.  I got this at a shower last weekend, isn't that a fun gift?  I'm sure it will hold her bath towels someday!
And finally, one more view as you exit her room.  After all these months of waiting, planning, and dreaming, I am quite sure that everything about this nursery is perfect.  We love it and can't wait to bring home the little angel who is going to live here.  

So there you have it, hope it was worth the wait. Thank you to the many people who have blessed us with gifts, furniture, and special things for Ava.  This room is full of blessings and yet another picture of how faithful the Lord has been to provide for us.  
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.
Thank you taking our tour!


He is Near

Today, I am happy to announce, was my last day at work.  I made it through 37 weeks, but given how tired I am, how much my feet ache, and several of my brain-dead moves today, it couldn't have come a moment sooner!  In fact, as evidence of that, poor Travis is on his way to my job right now, to pick up my cell phone, which I left there for the first time in 2 1/2 years.  And sadly, I didn't even realize I did it.  The gal I work for had to email this afternoon to say she had it and she would try to call Travis at work.  I read that and thought, "Really?  It's not in my purse??"  Oh boy, it's a good thing I'm not going to be responsible for her children any longer!!  What's funny is that I had no way of calling Travis, so I did the next best thing.  I twittered about it, knowing that he would get an alert on his phone with my twitter!  Sure enough, he emailed me we rely on technology or what??  We got rid of our land line phone a few years ago, which has never been an issue until today :) It's a weird feeling to not be able to call someone.  Praise the Lord for the internet or I might be going crazy at this point!
As you can see, my belly is protruding greatly at this stage in the game!  For the last couple of weeks, going to work has been a struggle.  I love my little guys, but so much of my day is spent bending over, picking up toys and little boys, and running here and there, in and out of the car.  By the end of the day I am always wiped out.  For awhile, we have been just waiting to see how I would feel and how long I could keep working.  I was hoping to make it one more week, but on Tuesday it became apparent that today needed to be my last day. 

The great thing about nannying part-time is that I've had no pressure on me about staying longer or being available through a certain date.  That's been a wonderful blessing.  The bad news is that I also have no maternity benefits or paid leave.  So, as soon as I stop working, so does my income :)  Fortunately we've known this all along, but isn't it just fitting that this last month has been full of unexpected expenses and annual "bills" here and there?  I told Travis the other day that it feels like we've been bleeding cash.  However,  in this economy, we are very blessed when we put our circumstances in perspective with the many people who have lost everything.  Please hear me say that I am not complaining!  

These last few weeks have been a great time of learning and growing however.  Many nights I have found myself, sleepless, caught in a cycle of anxiety about money.  By the time the sun rises, I'm convinced that we won't be able to eat, pay our bills or stay in our home!  That is of course, ridiculous, but it's amazing how quickly you can spiral into that pit of worry.  Through my moments of hormonal worrying, the Lord has been very faithful to remind me and show me that He is very near and still providing for us every step of the way.  I want to share with you a few things God did for me in the last few days.  Things that seem so little, but were very profound to me.  

On Sunday, I was particularly stressed about how many paychecks I had left, the bills that needed to be paid, etc.  I told Travis that I thought we should not eat out after Church because we needed to be very conservative this week.  He agreed with me, but after Church one of our students handed us a gift card to a restaurant, thanking Travis for something he had done.  How sweet right?  We recognized that as a blessing from the Lord, a little reminder that He knows what we need and He will provide for us.  So, we went out for lunch :) But then the best thing happened.  We ate our meal, asked for the check, and waited to pay with our gift card.  When the bill came, we were confused.  It was already paid.  We looked at our waitress to explain that something was wrong, but she told us that a couple had paid for our meal.  Turns out it was someone from our Church, whom we don't know at all, but they apparently knew us.  They blessed us greatly and paid for our lunch and once again we found ourselves realizing that God was trying to get our attention.  He was near.  

That morning I had spent some time reading Phillipians 4:4-7.  Here is what it said;

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

It's such a commonly quoted passage, but what kept grabbing my attention was the promise that the Lord is near.  I thought through that word, near, and tried to grasp what it might mean for me if I believed that He was near.  It reminded me of some advice we got from Ryley's vet last year.  

For the last couple of years, Ryley has been prone to having seizures at very random and in-frequent intervals.  Turns out that is common in purebred retrievers.  They don't last more than 5 minutes usually and they come in no predictable pattern.  He can go 6 months without one and then have 2 in a matter of weeks.  We've had him checked out and it appears there is nothing really "wrong" with him.  His seizures are simply the result of something misfiring in his brain and they leave him shaking, with his joints locked and his mouth clenched tight.  I've been assured that he is not in any pain, but instead gripped in fear.  The worst part is that you can see it in his eyes.  They get huge and kind of gloss over and somehow he's able to know that's going to have a seizure before he has one.  He always finds one of us, usually me, and nudges me or tries to get as close to me as he can.  It's tragic and sweet all at once.  Fortunately, they are still so mild that we haven't had to consider any kind of medication and he hasn't lost any bodily functions.  But when I asked what we should do, I didn't know if I believed it would help.  

Our vet told me that the best thing we can do for him is hold him and reassure him that we're near and that everything is going to be ok.  She told me to get on the floor with him, wrap my arms or a blanket around him and put my face right up against his.  She told me to speak softly and calmly to him, letting him know that I'm there and that he's ok.  Well, you can imagine I didn't hesitate to do that very thing the next time it happened.  Usually I'm beside myself and near tears, but this time I did everything she told me to and you know what?  That look of terror in his eyes didn't last as long and as I held his shaking body, I could feel him start to relax in my arms until eventually he was through the worst and he could get up and return to "normal" again.  I was near and he knew it.  

When I read that verse it reminded me of Ryley.  Then I pictured what worked for him, working for me.  I pictured the Lord face to face with me, arms wrapped tightly around me, telling me that He was near.  It was going to be ok.  He wasn't going anywhere.  And as I digested that truth, I found myself relaxing, soaking in that peace that transcends understanding.  Did money suddenly fall from the sky?  No.  Did our bills just disappear?  No.  In fact everything that caused me anxiety before still remained.  The difference was in knowing that regardless of the circumstance, He would be near.  

The plan all along was for me to work as long as I can, have a baby, and then eventually return to my part-time status in the summer or the fall.  We knew our income was going to be much tighter than we've been used to and that this new stage was going to require some great discipline, but we were okay with that.  Ava is more than worth any sacrifices we might have to make, including our beloved coffee indulgences!  What's been so sweet is to see how the Lord has sent us some unexpected provisions in the process.  I haven't blogged too much about it, but remember my floral/wedding business I started in the fall?  Well, God has been working and blessing that and I have 3 weddings booked for the summer, with 2 more in the works.  Travis received an offer to coach a summer boys soccer team, with very little time required and some extra money to help us out.  Do you think for a second we haven't seen the Lord working already on our behalf?  

On Tuesday night, we were talking about this week being my last one.  I felt pretty good about it-I mean let's face it, I'm THRILLED to be at home-but I couldn't help but feel those waves of panic start to rush through my mind again.  I decided to pick up a devotional book that I haven't read for awhile, just so I could quiet my mind before I tried to sleep.  I'm going to leave you with what it said, because once again, it was undoubtedly just what I needed to hear.  

"This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control.  In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.  Take time to bask in the Light of My Love.  As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.  

You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence.  The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes; I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.  As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand.  Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you."

Hebrews 13:8
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."

He is near and I am at peace.  I am happy to be closing one chapter of my life today and ushering in a whole new one.  I'm so ready to be a Mom, not because I think it's going to be easy or always rosy, but because I know He is near and that's all I need to lay the fear down and do a new thing.  So good-bye to working, hello to more waiting!!



**Some Assembly Required

Well friends, Ava has now taken over our house with more baby gear than you would believe! We have been officially "baby-fied."  And we have looked into buying stock in batteries.  We're going to need lots of them!!

Last night Travis and I had a massive "installation" party :) We opened boxes and put together her pack n' play, infant seat, stroller, and swing.  We still have her high chair to do, but we ran out of steam and it will be months before she actually uses it, so it got moved to the low priority list!  We have been very blessed to receive what we needed from our showers and from the sale of our guest bed.  It brings me great peace to have these things in place and put together.  I was losing sleep over Travis having to go to Babies R Us while I was in labor and having to put together her infant seat and stroller in the hospital parking lot.  For any of you who know the two of us, that would have been stressful on a number of levels!!  Anyway, I slept well last night knowing it was ready to go in our living room :)  Would you like to see everything??

Here are the massive boxes that have been sitting in our living room for a couple of days :) We had our work cut out for us.
Here's Travy putting the pack n' play together on Sunday night.  It was pretty easy, but we ran into a few issues...
I'm apparently concentrating  very hard here.  Didn't know Trav was taking a picture, I would have smiled :) 
We seem to have some extra poles that we cannot figure out.  We have scoured the instructional booklet and have no idea what they are for!  Everything seems to be very secure and locked in place, so we're just letting it go.  I really think they have something to do with the travel bag that was included.  ***Note to all the grandparents, nothing to worry about, I could sleep in this thing.  It's very sturdy and it won't collapse!
As soon as we set it up, I went to work getting it ready for her to sleep in.  I'm imagining she'll spend her first few weeks in here while she's so little.  
It's set up right next to my side of the bed.  I love waking up in the morning and seeing it :) Don't worry, that bear won't be in there while she sleeps and neither will the fluffy blanket.  They just make me feel better until she's here!  
Here is her little infant seat, which Ryley could not stay away from!  He kept sniffing it and wanting to lick it...gross.  We didn't let him.  He has no idea what will soon be in that seat!! 
Here I am putting the stroller together.  I love our stroller.  Yep, I said it.  I LOVE it.  After years of using other people's strollers, I'm kind of excited to have my own :)  Makes me want to "pimp her ride!"  Something about that sentence doesn't sound right. 
If there is one thing I can do in my sleep, it's fold and unfold a stroller!  Nannying for 5 years has done that for me.  I swear I've used every brand of single, double, jogging, and sit n' stand strollers on the market.  I can figure those things out without the instructions :) 
One of us wasn't so sure of my knowledge however....
But, here it is, the finished product!  Now imagine my cute diaper bag, an adorable baby, and some pink dangling toys on there :) And maybe a latte in my hand too.  You will be able to find me at a variety of malls in the metro, looking like that (minus the preggo stomach I hope!)
And here is Travis, posing quite naturally.  I asked him if this was really the shot he wanted on the blog?  He said probably not, but surprise!  I put it on here anyway :) 
Here's the more respectable shot (minus the pjs perhaps).  I'll just let you in on a little secret, the first picture really captures his personality perfectly.  Ava is going to be the little girl with the daddy who makes all her friends laugh!
Poor Ryley had no idea what was going on in our living room.  There were boxes, parts, tools and big items everywhere!  He kept getting very nervous :) 
Finally he just surrendered and watched us.  
Last up on the to-do-list was the "little lamb swing."  It was ten times harder to put together than the stroller.  But, Travis did a great job :) 
I think it's so cute!  I kind of want to climb in it myself, but let's face it, the only thing I could put in there without breaking it, would be my arm.  Hope you enjoy it Ava!!  Your Daddy and I are praying for hours of cooing and sleeping while you're in it :) We may have to sedate Ryley however, he seemed terrified when it started moving and playing music.  We've got some more work to do before a noisy, crying baby gets here....