Friday, February 26, 2010

Due Date

February 26th. This is the day we have been waiting for for what seems like forever. But, like her mother, I don't think Aly is going to be on time. I was hoping she might take after Travis and her namesake, Alyce Caldwell AKA my Grandmother, when it came to promptness, but I guess she will begin life a little later than scheduled. Oh well, I think she will be worth the wait.

I am scheduled to be induced Monday morning if Aly doesn't decide to make her grand entrance over the weekend. We are supposed to arrive at the hospital at 5 a.m. to get things started. I'm both excited and nervous and think it will be a very surreal feeling to go to bed Sunday night knowing I'll be giving birth the next day. But, I've never been big on surprises so I guess it will give me a chance to get mentally prepared.

Today was my last day at the office before I return as a working mother. And, my desk does not normally look like this.

Usually there are mounds of paper, DVD's, folders and other hazards of the job strewn about. But, today I left with a clean surface area and my time sheets done. I appreciate the 360 guys I work with every day putting up with the "pregnant" girl telling them what to do for the last nine months. They didn't complain when I wore my tennis shoes to work, didn't let me carry any equipment, kept me fed, and even forced me to go home a few times when we were working into the wee hours of the night. Thanks for taking such good care of me guys.

I'm blessed to work with such a great group of people and I will miss my 360 crew and my fun hall mates while I'm out with Aly. However, I'm sure there will be plenty of work to do when I return, and then they'll have to put up with the new mom worrying about her daughter.

So now that I've wrapped things up at work Aly, I guess I will spend the next two days waiting on you. I'll wash some more of your clothes and decide what you'll wear home from the hospital. I can't wait to find out if you are a red head or a brunette. I guess you will let us know the answer to that long awaited question on Monday. I look forward to seeing you then!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Room is Ready

We have been waiting on Alyson Ann Bartlett (Aly) to arrive for 38 weeks and her room is finally ready! The crib is put together, the bedding is in place, her name is on the wall and she has plenty of stuffed animals to entertain her. It has taken us several months to get it all finished, but it's been a lot of fun along the way and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

I started thinking about her room very early in my pregnancy when a good friend, who was also expecting, told me about a baby store that was going out of business. The bank was auctioning off all of the items left in the store so we set out to see what we could find. We had to play hookie for a few hours to go to the auction, but I had great time getting in a bidding war for her crib, dresser and hutch. I ended up getting really nice furniture for a great price, and thanks to Travis and my dad managed to get it all home in one piece.

Once we found out Aly was going to be a girl I began to think about what I wanted her bedding to look like. I tend to lean toward bright colors rather than pink so I wanted to incorporate primary colors, but still give the room a feminine feel. My mom and I ordered several fabric swatches and began brainstorming color combinations. During our annual trip to Holiday House we found a dress for Aly that ended up inspiring her bedding design. After countless hours of internet searches I finally identified the designer of the fabric used for the dress and found some coordinating fabrics to match. When it was all said and done I ordered fabric from at least four internet sources and one local store.

Vicki Choate, who took care of me as a child and now works at Stone Ward, was kind enough to lend her talents to us and make the bed skirt as well as the window valance. They both turned out better than I ever imagined they would. I sent fabric to another company to make the bumper pads and blanket.

Once we had the design for the bedding nailed down, my new mission was to find someone to paint letters to match. Once again, good ole Google came in very handy, and I was able to locate someone to hand paint the letters. I sent her fabric swatches and she matched the design perfectly!

Mom and I also spent countless hours looking at floor lamps, chandeliers and drum lights. In the end, we decided to make our own. Jan Bollen, who also works at Stone Ward, was generous enough to give up her lunch break and wrap a self adhesive shade in some of my leftover fabric. After Jan worked her magic, we took the shade to a local lamp store to add the finishing touches. I told the guy at the store I wanted some glass to hang down out of the shade and he converted a Christmas ornament and two leaf finials into a decorative piece. Larry lent us his engineering skills to hang the new light and ceiling medallion in the room.

While on the hunt for wall decals or a nice painting to hang on the wall, I ran across these fun metal flowers. Mom and I almost went crazy trying to hang them on the wall, but I think it was worth the trouble. You can't help but feel happy when you look at them.

So, now everything is in it's proper place. We are stocked up on diapers, onesies and the bassinet has clean sheets waiting. Only one question remains. Aly, when will you come meet us? Your dad and I hope it is soon!