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March showers bring June babies!

Our loving church choir family threw us a wonderful baby shower today! Keiko hosted the brunch event in her beautiful home, serving up four different homemade breakfast casseroles plus fruit and dessert spreads better than any catering service could, including a sweet french toast mix, a meat and eggs combination, a salmon, spinach and feta blend, and a potatoes and bacon skillet! Our friends Lisa, Nora and Leah handled the game-planning, decorating, and group gift-buying. hostssmall.jpgThough they were tempted by some scandalous game ideas involving diapers and chili (don't go there), they decided on a few relatively safe activities. Guess how many Sugar Babies are in the bottle! Jon's winning answer: 191 (actual total: 192). How many baby foods can Jon identify in a blindfolded taste test? 3 out of 6.  And Lisa made a fantastic storyboard of our relationship up 'til now, using candy bars as word substitutes.  And true to the board, we did receive Mounds of Good & Plenty presents from the Lifesavers in the choir! There were so many thoughtful and necessary gifts, too many to list here, but we want to let everyone know how lucky, thankful and blessed we feel to have this support. The show-stopper gift was the group-purchased stroller - complete with time and temperature gauge! Thanks to the pre-assembly done by Leah, it made an impressive entrance. It's a good thing that there were experienced mothers there who could show us how to work its various features!  And, while Jon may have won the bottle game and correctly identified three of six baby foods, his real accomplishment of the day was collapsing the stroller smoothly and correctly the first time using just one hand!


Unveiling the nursery!

nurserydone.jpgWe put the final touches in the nursery today.  Just in time, too... only 88 days left!!!  Whew.  The design in there is the Carter's John Lennon Musical Parade theme.  We fell in love with it because it is a combination of safari animals and music notes - we couldn't have asked it to be more perfect for us!  We started the process back in February, changing Cortney's neutral office with piano into a special nursery space one piece at a time.  You can follow our progress or just look at photos of the finished product in our Musical Safari Photo Album. 

But that is not our only great news of the day; actually there are two more great pieces of news.  First, Diamond had her yearly vet visit tonight.  We were worried going in because she is a nine year old paraplegic, and has already defied all vets' expectations, so we were anticipating kidney problems and arthritis, if nothing else.  But our worries were unfounded!  Other than a bladder infection, which is normal for her, she got a fully clean bill of health!  That's a load off our shoulders.  Then, when we got home, we found out from Cortney's cousin in Oregon that their baby girl was born this afternoon and will most likely be able to go home with them tomorrow.  This is great news, and our love and prayers remain with them as they welcome their first child, baby Sophia, with open arms.

 Today was a good day!



Shade-scapades (an update)

Question - When does 71.25 inches actually equal 72 inches?

Answer - When we're talking about a shade cut by Lowe's.

 Yes, you guessed it, the shade fiasco did not simply end with a quick exchange.  We thought, perhaps, that the first shade we brought home was too short because we had measured wrong.  So during lunch on Monday Jon went back to Lowe's and did what any self respecting consumer would do - blame the store so that they'll take the product back.  Any feelings of guilt were quickly quieted, however, when the second shade wasn't anywhere near the dimensions we'd asked for (contrary to Lowe's belief, 71.25 does NOT equal 72).  Luckily this time it was too long, so we carefully measured how much we wanted taken off and a third trip to the store produced a shade that does fit our window.

Thus the shade is now in place, and since Cortney spent Monday detailing the walls, hanging the valence rod and valence, washing bedding and dressing the room, we are several steps closer to finished.  Pictures soon!


Progress in the nursery!

Saturday started 9am with a Koney Island breakfast with mom and dad H and Curtis, after which Cortney and mom H went shopping while Jon and dad H started painting.  It's a good thing, too, because it ended up being an all day job.  jonpainting.jpgThe first coat went really well, and while it started drying the boys finished the laundry room renovations and fixed the dryer and screen door while the girls cleaned and organized the kitchen, then mom H made a wonderful picnic style lunch.  After lunch the guys did a little touch up then started on the second color.  But once on the wall the second color was not at all what we had intended so the girls headed back to Lowe's to try again.  After a very enjoyable dinner at the pizza place down the street the guys covered the first coat of the second color with a first coat of a third color (anyone else confused?) before mom and dad H headed home around 8:30.

Every cloud has a silver lining.  Sunday afternoon the two of us did some final touch up on color number three, cortneypainting.jpgbut very little was needed because where the second second color didn't fully cover the first second color (confused again...) it created a charmingly whimsical feeling that we didn't want to cover up.  After removing the tape and moving the furniture back into place, the room looks perfect - unfinished, but perfect!  The night didn't finish perfectly - try as we might the brackets for the new window shade did not go in easily, only to find out that the shade had been cut wrong at the store.  So today we have to exchange the shade, hope the brackets stay up, and put up the valance rod, but at least we have arrived at the final stretch.

We aren't quite ready to completely give the surprise away, because it's not quite done, cookienotpainting.jpgbut there are more hints in the work pictures here.  We do want to note that there are key workers missing from these photos - those being mom and dad H, who we cannot thank enough - so we included one of Cookie instead, who worked about as hard as she is here.  :o)


Down in the double digits!

What with the bird fiasco yesterday morning, we almost forgot to mention that we hit 99 days until Raspberry is due! That doesn't mean we didn't celebrate. We started Friday night with pizza and a movie with Amy and Andrew. Then, of course, there was the bird fiasco. elephantpractice.jpgBut Saturday was really beautiful, so we spent the afternoon at the Toledo Zoo whwere we saw the polar bears play mating and the mom and baby elephants practicing with their keepers. We finished our first day in the double digits with a huge sushi dinner at Yotsuba, along with 15 other friends (okay, so the dinner was actually for Amanda's birthday...but we were celebrating two things). The dinner was great, and so was the company. Then today, which has been even more beautiful, dad H helped us fix the dishwasher and refit the dryer vent to keep the birdies out (yeah, we're back in business!). Sorry birdies.