Week In Review (Longest Post Ever!!)

What a great week this has been!!  Week 36 has been full, and I mean FULL of nesting, cleaning, organizing, laughing, eating, and doing "stuff."  It has been great!  We certainly haven't rested much, but we have gotten so many things done, that I now feel totally ready for Miss Ava, should she decide to make her debut!  I have much to blog about, but only now have I had time to sit and do it.  My Mom has been here all week and now she is on her way home.  I have LOVED having her here, this week has flown by.  I thought the best way to fill you in, and to tell my Dad what we've been up to, is to do a "Week in Review" for you :) So, here we go!!

Betty Crocker arrives!  Just in time to help me with the monster-to-list I have created.
She dives right in and starts the week off by making us dinner.  Already we're both very thankful to have her!!  
We have a wonderful new meal, Orange Cranberry Chicken.  Really, so good.  Several of you have asked me for the recipe, so here it is:
Orange Cranberry Chicken
-boneless, skinless chicken breasts (# depends on how many people you are serving)
-1, 16oz. can of whole cranberry sauce
-1 C bottled French Salad Dressing
-1/2 C Orange Juice
-1 envelope onion soup mix
-1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt (Lawry's)

1. Spray 9x13 with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange chicken breasts in dish.
2.  In bowl- combine cranberry sauce, salad dressing, orange juice, onion soup mix and salt.  Pour evenly over chicken breasts.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
3.  Bake uncovered at 350, 45-60 min.  Serve with brown or wild rice.  Enjoy!
We begin the first of 12 loads of laundry, for Ava!! Yes, I said 12 loads.  Holy cow, if this is a sign of things to come, just chain me to the washer and dryer now!!  
We end the day with the best news, my best friend Amber and her husband Tim, welcome their second baby into the world, and it's a girl!!  Sweet baby Brynn is born and Ella becomes a big sister.  These two cuties will be future playmates of Ava's and I predict they will give us a run for our money, just like their 2 mommies did for our parents :)  Congrats Amber and Tim!!

Today we went to my 36 week visit and everything looked great!  The doctor ruled out a small baby for us, after she heard that I was 9lbs 7oz and Travis was over 8lbs too.  On the negative side, I also may have gained back more weight than I was hoping for, but the very good news is that something indeed is happening.  My cervix is officially soft!  Closed, but soft.  It was the best thing I heard all day.  And who knew I would ever feel that way??  I celebrated by eating way too much of my Mom's famous brisket.  It seemed fitting :) 

This was a to-do-list day.  In addition to a million more loads of laundry, My Mom also helped me by doing lots of the nitty, gritty stuff that only Moms can do with love :) Things like washing blinds, washing windows, bleaching the sink, cleaning the kitchen, etc., etc.  It was wonderful.  We rewarded ourselves by watching the American Idol results and putting Ava's bouncy seat together.  
Ryley just watched and probably wondered what is happening to his life??
Here is my little lamb seat :) For my little lamb to sit in.  Isn't it cute??

Today my Mom went to work with me and met the little guys that I nanny for.  We had fun and were quite entertained with their questions, especially as they tried to figure out how I "got" my Mom.  Barrett asked me if I bought her?  After we spent the day with them, we got home and put some finishing touches on the nursery.  Let me give you a tour of Ava's wardrobe and changing table :) 
Here is the cutest changing pad and cover you have ever seen!  My Mom surprised me and ordered it .  It came this week and it matches our crib bedding!  It is so cute in person.  I just love it.  Now I have to make sure Ava doesn't poop on it :) 
Here is the little sweet dish we found this week for her pacifiers.  My Mom boiled all of them so they are sanitized and ready to go.  
Here diapers are unpacked and organized!  They are so tiny, it's hard to believe they'll fit :) 
This drawer gives me joy.  To see all of those diapers lined up perfectly makes me want to hug someone.  
Here is her stack of freshly washed blankets, burp cloths, wash cloths, towels, swaddlers and receiving blankets.  
Her top drawer is full of gowns, sleepers, hats, socks and bibs.  And it smells of dreft.  I wish I could climb in and lay my head down among them!
Her second drawer is full of 0-3 onesies.  And they are adorable.
And her are her 0-3 outfits, in her third drawer.  I just can't decide which one I love best!
And her fourth drawer holds all kinds of darling 0-3 tops and pants.  And sleep sacks.  
But here is the best part.  Her closet.  Those are her clothes, all freshly washed and organized from 0-12 months.   Her shoes are in here and 2 bins of clothes from 18-24 months.  What a blessing, we are set!  Now you can see how we got to 12 loads of laundry for Ava alone :) 

This was an action-packed day!  I will let the pictures do most of the talking :) 
I'm sure you don't know what this is?  This is Ava's bag, all packed and ready to go to the hospital!  
This is the monster-to-do list I referenced earlier.  Today we were able to mark 90% of it off!  What a good feeling that is :) 
And here is another list, taped to the back of our front door, for Travis.  It is a list of what to bring to the hospital, in case I'm not with him and he has to get our stuff alone.  For anyone who knows my husband, this is a must :)  I did have to black a few things out to show you, I decided the world wide web didn't need to know everything that we needed.  Just to be clear this is list # 2 of 2.  The first one is taped to our bathroom mirror and contains the details of what to add to both of our bags, you know, the last minute stuff.  Today I packed my bag and Travis' bag.  That feels great.  Did I mention how much I love lists??
All week long we've been getting visits from the UPS man at night.  It's been like Christmas!  Here is one of the sweetest things we received from Rebecca Jo.  The cutest little knitted bib and hat.  Thank you!!  We love it!!
And here is another cute package from the couple I used to work for in Naples.  They sent us that little bunny, a darling dress and a rosebud headband!  Isn't it adorable?  Looks like an Easter dress to me :) Thank you Roberta and Michael!
This toile boppy cover and those burp cloths came from my brother-in-law's sister, Leta and her husband Jay.  I love it!!  They match all her things so well and that cover is so soft on the other side.  Leta, what a fun surprise!  Thank you.
We got this little booster seat from Trav's Granny and aunt Sue!  It will be great for all of our travels to and from camps and retreats.  Thank you for sending that!  Ava will get much use out of it I'm sure :) 
And finally, here is a fun little book from our friend Julie.  It's full of great swaddling tips and baby-wearing ideas.  What a fun read!  Thanks Julie :) 
Here is the big news of the day...the guest bed is gone!!  We have been trying to figure out what to do with this bed for months.  We wanted to keep it, but we just don't have the storage for it.  Yesterday I finally decided I was ready to sell it.  So, we washed everything, listed it on Craig's List and 3 hours later, it was gone!!  The Lord blessed us tremendously and worked that out so well.  I listed it at noon, received one email at 1:00.  By 3:30 a sweet engaged couple was at our door, with cash in hand, ready to haul it out.  They got the deal of the century, but so did we.  We got it out of the nursery, without having to haul it somewhere, and we enough cash to buy our infant seat/stroller.  The one major thing we were missing!  It was kind of surreal to think it all happened in less than a day, but what a relief that was.  
So now there is a hole in Ava's nursery, ready for a crib that should be coming very soon!!  I've never been so happy to see a blank wall!!
Because it was such a busy day, I was exhausted by mid-afternoon.  My sweet husband felt sorry for me and offered to do something he's never done.  He offered to paint my toe-nails for me!  Here we are, talking about how he should do that :) 
Even he was getting sick of seeing my fading pedicure!  Of course I had to summon my Mom to record this blessed event :) 
I must say, he did a great job!  
It's hard to make 9 month, swollen feet and toes look good, but he did!  
Later that night, our friends Kristian and Emily came over and ate with us.  They brought us some dessert and a sweet baby gift, but Kristian helped Travis hang a big antique mirror that I've been asking about for awhile.  
I love it!  We managed to drag ourselves into bed last night because all of us faced a very busy day today...

Today was another fun day, my friends hosted a baby shower for me, with lots of my staff friends and wives.  It was so much fun and my Mom got to come with me :) 
Here I am, about to fill my plate up with lots of great food!!
This is my Mom and I with my sweet friend Sherry, who hosted all of us.  
Ava is trying desperately to make an appearance in this picture!
We received so many wonderful things!  Look at all those pink packages!!
These are two of my friends, Stef and Wendy, who also helped throw this shower for me.  
Some of the women, playing a game I was horrible at :) 
Lots of scheming and brainstorming going on over there :) 
It was so much fun to celebrate with all of these women.  We have been so blessed to have so many people in our church, staff wives, elder's wives, and women in my Bible study, who have faithfully prayed on our behalf for Ava.  For the 3 years since we have been here, we have been trying for a baby.  These women have walked along side me and supported me, so today it was very sweet to celebrate with them.  I am so grateful to all of them for the sweet gifts and the practical things we needed that we now have :)   It was also fun to introduce everyone to my Mom and to share this memory with her.  
Tonight, after Travis gets home, we have a pack and play and high chair to put together.  With every box we open and every piece of equipment we assemble, this gets more and more real...
And I have some more clothes and accessories to wash and organize :) 

But I'll get to that later.  For now, I'm resting on our bed, feeling very thankful for all that we got done and very ready for Ava to come.  Mom, thank you for a wonderful week.  It was great to have you here.  My ribs officially hurt from laughing too much and I'm sure I gained some more weight from all your meals!  But, I loved having you here and I will forever be grateful for the peace of mind and help you gave me.  Dad, thanks for sacrificing a week with Mom and for loaning her to me :) We packed lots in this week and had a fun time doing it.  Travis just called and is on his way home from a fun day too.  Student ministries hosted their annual Dodgeball Tournament today and they broke the world record for the largest game played!!  He said it was great, their largest turnout ever, but of course he is exhausted and will most likely be sore for a few days!  I have dinner in the crock pot and I'm anxious to spend the night hearing all about it :)  
Have a wonderful weekend!!  Thanks for reading the longest post EVER.  Hope it wasn't too boring :) 


Anonymous said...

Steph, I've been checking your blog all day hoping that you would have time to share the shower and the week with your mom! I can't believe that closet - Ava is completely done! Everything looks just perfect - what an angel your Mom is! I hate to see that guest bed go bye-bye - I guess it's the couch or blow up bed for grannies -- I don't care where I sleep as long as I get to hold Ava all day! Love Grandma Texas

MiMi said...

What an amazing week it sounds like you had with your Mom! That is such a special time and I am so thankful that she was able to come be with you.

Great job on the pedicure, Travis! What a sweet hubby you are!

It looks and sounds like everything is all ready for MIss Ava. Can't wait to see her very, very soon!

Erin said...

I remember getting my daughters closet ready and just staring at it in excitement for her to wear each and every outfit! It only gets worse with a girl and the clothes get sometimes cuter :)

Ava will be very well dressed!!

Rebecca Jo said...

My goodness girl... sounds like a VERY hectic weekend... Ava is already keeping you busy, isn't she? :-)

And what an amazing husband - doing your toes? I almost wanted to cry just knowing how sweet that is!!!

Relax when you can!!!!

Sarah said...

It's going to take a post to comment on your post!

-Darling changing cover. You can use the waterproof pads to protect it from poop. I'd use a designated color just for that. You can also use those pads to sleep on now in case your water breaks while you're sleeping (it's a lot of water). And, I slept on them during the early nursing phase too, you'll see why.

-What a classy jacket you're wearing at the shower!

-Now I want to go bleach my sink.

-Your perfectly stacked diapers and drawers is too funny...enjoy it while you can cause when she's Kaelem's age she'll start ransacking the place. ;)

-I just realized we're probably going to be out of town when she comes! No!(We get back on the 7th, so yes, I'm guessing she's coming early.) :)

Unknown said...

Love it! You are ready that is for sure...I'll be doing all you've done over the past 9 mos. in about 3 days probably around a week before the due date! Ava has plenty of clothes that is for sure... I really hope you have another girl someday!

petrii said...

What fun!!!!! All those baby clothes just look wonderful. And that Rebecca Jo is one talented doll. Love her.

How GREAT that your momma could come visit and help out. There is nothing like momma's food and special touch.

Have a Blessed Lord's day,

Melissa said...

1st of all, you look GREAT for being 22ish days away from having a baby!

2nd, i have never in my life known of a bay to have so many clothes! Ava is one blessed girl already.

And your mom seems like a wonderful and helpful mom. Just the way moms should be. :)

Anonymous said...

Momma Steph,

Don't forget to put the boppy pillow on your hospital list, it will come in handy for breastfeeding that sweet girl from the beginning:)

Anonymous said...

I don't know you personally, but i am a avid follower of your BEAUTIFUL blog and you are indeed a very blessed woman of God... I love to read all that you post and after seeing the recent photos of all of Ava's clothes i am reminded of when my first daughter, Morgan now 12 was born and her closet looked just like that... i am now a mommy of 4 daughters 12,9,6 and 3 and it is AWESOME... look forward to following more about th e blessings God brings in to your life and family...
Kellie Poehner Clarkston, Michigan

Faith said...

What a wonderfully amazing week you had! This post is just full of sweetness =)

Dave and Jen said...

I have so many comments that I don't even remember them all! I LOVE the pacifier dish--so girly!! Love the changing pad! And the mirror above her changing table looks beautiful! I miss your guest bed for some reason :) Ryley does too, poor guy! Love the lamby seat! Travis was very sweet to paint your toes--I asked Dave if he will do that for me when I'm too fat (no offense) to bend over and he said we'll see haha. It makes me nervous that everything's ready for Ava--like this is happening real soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jesse and Stacie said...

Everything looks so adorable!! I can't wait to come and see everything in person :) I'm getting nervous for you, but also very excited!! This girl is not going to have enough time to wear the same outfit twice, haha. Can't wait to see the crib in there too!!