Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Our Little Lamb

So we've reached October, Eleanor is 21 weeks as of today and will be five months Oct 10th! The time has flown and Kurt and I are really mastering the art of parenthood, well with an infant at least! Eleanor continues to be an amazing little critter, we are so proud of her accomplishments.

She's starting to giggle at funny things - If you bounce a toy in her face, she does a little belly laugh that is absolutely to die for! She also has tap dancing down, I'm pretty certain she'll be the next Fred Astaire or Paula Abdul. 

She is currently growing into giant status - She's outgrown 6 month clothes and we have her in 9 month and even some 12 month pieces. We're going to be heading down 2T land here before we know it, but yet she has no teeth, cannot speak and of course no hair. HA!

She is starting to get a little freaked out by strangers. If someone new holds her she starts to cry so we're trying to take her out for lunches and breakfasts more often so she is used to seeing strangers. Don't be alarmed if the next time you hold her she cries, she's just adapting to meeting new people. And let's be honest, it can be difficult being comfortable with a new face, esp if they are holding you! 

Eleanor is LOVING cartoons, we let her watch PBS on Saturdays and we have purchased her a couple DVDs - Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street. She also loves when we read to her so we're trying to read to her more and more so she can enjoy that intimate time with mommy or daddy. Even last night, I read her the latest tabloid and she's all up to speed as to what's going on in Hollywood. She was particularly interested in the potential split between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Shakespeare has been on his best behavior with her! We have been very proud of his lack of barking and his less protective nature. I think he's starting to get into a rhythm with our new neighbors and their many many visitors and also with having a new little baby in our house.

I'm currently typing this with Eleanor's feet on my forearm. She's kicking and sliding them. It's pretty cute. I love how snugly she is with us!!

Eleanor is going to be a lamb for Halloween - I think most of you have seen pictures of her that I've sent. She is SO CUTE in it!! I hope to get some more pics with pumpkins and mums for you to enjoy! Stay tuned for many more photo shoots!

Oh, and one more highlight, Eleanor is a professional with flipping over. She can do it now second nature. She even sleeps on her side now, which is pretty cute. She's growing up too fast! 

So that is where we are at the 5 month point. I am very nostalgic of last year at this time as Kurt and I were just getting into our pregnancy. It's fun to think where we were last year at this time and now where we are! So many unknowns, so many exciting things we were anticipating - now we're here and loving every moment! 

Hope we get to see you all very soon! Our goal to spend as much time as we possibly can with all of our family as it's important for Eleanor to create many memories with her loved ones!!

Have an amazing start to your fall - And please keep in touch with what is going on in your lives too!

Lots of Love,
The Ames Family

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Peaks and Valleys of Mommyhood

It's week 2 as a working mother and I have to say, it's been a pretty easy transition. The first day was really hard however. I wanted to puke leaving the house and I sobbed when I got home. Eleanor and I like to talk with each other on her changing table and I couldn't keep the tears from falling when I was looking into her eyes after my first day back. She just smiled back with her toothless grin full of forgiveness. What did I do to deserve such a loving baby?

I'm feeling a bit bittersweet that Eleanor is 12 weeks old today. She's graduated to 3 month nipples and she's now enjoying Infant Formula vs Newborn Formula. I swear she's growing before my eyes, every morning I see her and she's bigger than the day before. Part of me wants to freeze time and enjoy the little itty bitty newborn and part of me is excited that she's growing and developing. 

We've lucked out with Eleanor's sleeping too (KNOCK ON WOOD, EVERYONE PLEASE). She has been sleeping in until about 5:30am - 6am. We've had a couple mornings where she didn't get up before I left for work which was 7:30am! Crazy stuff! I swear she's gone from newborn to teenager in 60 seconds!

We have enjoyed reading to her. I have a passion for children's literature so it's been super fun for me! I'm actually looking forward to getting a few more books for her collection! It's so fun to watch her look at the brightly illustrated pages of each book. She really enjoys it!

I'm starting to add more baths to her weekly routine as I truly enjoy that special time with her. She looks up at me with her big brown eyes as I lather her up with suds, and I just melt. It's a priceless time I will cherish forever. 

So all in all Mommyhood has been a blast. There have been hard days of course! And embarrassing days where I've answered the door to our neighbors not knowing I had poop on my face. But the amazing treasures I find each day from Eleanor outweigh any of the tribulations and blushing moments. I have a feeling it's only going to get better from here. I can only imagine when she starts talking, walking, hugging me back, and giving me the infinite amount of kisses that I so desire from her.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eleanor Update

I don't really have a theme to my blog today, just a few little notes to get you all updated on our little monkey! 

First and foremost, I have to say I am a VERY proud mama to my daughter Eleanor! I took her to her Gymboree class again yesterday and she is SO GOOD. Many of the other babies were crying and not enjoying Tummy Time and she rocked it like a true professional! Her neck is getting so strong and she was very alert, looking around at the other babies. Eleanor has a friend in class too, her name is Christina. She stared at her the entire time yesterday! 

We had our two month appointment on Monday and Eleanor got her vaccinations. I didn't think I could bear being in the room with her when they were giving her, her shots BUT once I got in there and knew what she was going to go through, I couldn't step away. I wanted to be there to soothe and consul her. The first shot went in and immediately her face turned red and she belted out a screaming cry. I felt so bad for her! Once they were all given, I picked her up and she got quiet. How amazing is this girl?

I go back to work on July 25th and we think we found a nanny! Actually we like two of them, and we'll be making an offer to one of them today! We hope she accepts. Her name is Kristen and she graduated from University of Buffalo with a masters in Sports Administration. She just moved to Chicago bc her boyfriend is getting his residency at Resurrection Hospital. She is 25 years old and has been nannying for quite a while (while in school and after). She came over today to meet Shakespeare and he was VERY calm around her. So strange?! 

Some other news, Kurt and I have decided to snoop at condos. We really want to get a three bedroom as we want our family to visit as much as possible! We are just looking but still it's exciting! Next week, we are going to take a look at three of them in the Lincoln Park area. One has THREE levels! Amazing but also scary with stairs and Eleanor. I really don't want to leave this house but I think it's worth us taking a look at some places and getting a feel for the market and what is out there in our price range.

Eleanor is starting to give us a little more sleep - There's been a couple nights this week where she slept until 6/6:30am! It's really nice to see a glimmer of what life used to be in terms of sleep. And when she sleeps, she grows. She certainly is growing! She is 23 1/4 inches long and 11 pounds, 8 ounces! Per her pediatrician, she's in the 90th percentile of height and the 75 percentile of weight. 

While Eleanor continues to grow, our loves continues to grow for her. Every day I wake up and I love her more than I loved her the day before. I didn't know this much love could even exist! It's pretty amazing!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Mommy On A Mission

I think it's safe to say, yesterday was an interesting day for all of us - filled with different emotions in regards to the outcome of a trial of the century, the Casey Anthony trial. I cannot shake this sick feeling in my stomach knowing that a little baby still doesn't have the answers that her innocent life deserves. What really happened to Caylee?

I try to put myself into the shoes of all those who were involved in this case but just cannot. First Casey. If my daughter was missing, how could I not report my daughter missing for the first 30 days? I can barely leave the room without missing Eleanor. A shower is impossible bc I'd rather hang out with her than wash my hair.

The grandparents. How could they be so stoic when the verdict was announced? They still don't have their grandchild back? How are they not hurting from this loss?

I keep coming back to the conclusion justice wasn't served. It's pretty evident that if it's not first degree murder, it was manslaughter and DEFINITELY child abuse. The only peace I have is that justice will one day be served, if not here on earth - it will be served in heaven.

In light of the recent verdict and the emotions I felt after hearing it, I've been inspired to do something. I looked up the statics of child abuse and they are staggering.  A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. Almost five children die every day a a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4. 

I've decided to become active in helping change this epidemic. I've looked online and found an outstanding resource where I can be more involved! 


If you too are interested in being involved, please spread the word! Look into ways you can donate your time or money in helping another future victim.

I'm a mommy on a mission, so please help me in putting a stop to innocent lives being abused. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ode to Eleanor

Eleanor will be 6 weeks as of tomorrow and it's amazing to see how much she's developed in that short amount of time. She has started to smile at me when I talk to her, which warms my heart more than I ever thought was possible. Because of that amazing smile, she makes me want to talk in a high voice and give her kisses all day long. I am afraid if this continues, we'll never get anything done around the house.

She has also been a chatty cathy recently! While she talks, she kicks. She truly is a happy baby. People talk about having a love that is indescribable with your baby and I truly know what they talk of. She brings me such warmth and joy, even when I'm sleep deprived she'll look up to me with a toothless grin that makes me melt every time!

She has started to look around the room, moving her neck. While I know her vision is only 12 inches away from her face it's so neat to see her look around and seem so alert. And her tummy time has vastly improved, she will lay on my stomach on her tummy and look up to me with her big brown eyes. Again a heart-melting experience I didn't know existed.

While she looks just like her daddy and has his go with the flow personality, she does have ONE trait of mine that I think is the cutest. She sneezes in twos. Sometimes after she sneezes she does this high-pitched sigh that may be the cutest noise I've ever heard.

If you cannot tell I am completely smitten and in love with my daughter. We went to the Cubs game on Saturday and I just wanted to show her off to the world. Although I'm low on sleep, I'm high on love. 

We celebrated our first Fathers Day yesterday - We went to brunch in the neighborhood and then we had a lazy Sunday! It was a great day - Eleanor snuggled on her daddy's chest all afternoon. The two of them bonded together, it was so endearing! 

While Eleanor continues to develop in terms of skills and personality, my love continues to grow for her.  I gladly embrace this journey of love for my daughter as she truly is a gift to me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Passport Photograph For Eleanor Jamaican Me Crazy!

So many of you know that the Lazar family is going on a trip to Jamaica come August that we are all looking forward to! However, has anyone ever tried to get a passport photo for a newborn baby? I didn't realize the stress it would cause our household.

A few of the photo stipulations of what is necessary to get a valid passport

- Baby must have eyes open
- Baby must not show any emotion
- Baby must in front of a white background, no other people included in picture
- Baby cannot have arms, hands, fingers next to face

Now, that's about one third of the stipulations of what is necessary for a valid passport photo. A few thoughts no one has thought about unless they've had to have their little one in a picture for the passport. First and foremost, having a babies eyes open? Forget about it. Our little E sleeps 90% of the day! The rest of the time she is crying to be fed or a diaper change. Not showing any emotion? Well the other 10% she's crying! White background with no other people included in the picture? How do I keep her head up for the picture without my hand on her face / head which is included in the photograph. No arms, hands, fingers next to the baby's face? Get real! Eleanor always has to have her hand next to her cheek esp when her eyes are open!

Kurt and I were deer in headlights getting her passport photograph taken tonight, it is comical now that we look back at it and have a couple successful photographs we can send in!  But seriously family and friends, call us if you ever have the need to take a photograph for a passport! We have a few tricks up our sleeves. After cold water sprinkled on her tummy, legs and cheeks, we tried the "take off the diaper" trick. Well that only made her cry! Finally after soothing, pacifiers, rattling rattles and more, Kurt decided to pick her up in her car seat (up and down) and her eyes FINALLY popped open and she relaxed. SUCCESS!!

I think it's only fair to say, that's been the extent of us as parents. It's been trials and tribulations. We've learned out how to cope with Eleanor's crying. What do we do to help her out of her little fit? We've learned to swaddle on the fly, we've learned to trim her nails before she scratched her skin too deeply, we've learned when to change her diapers in the middle of her feeding so she falls asleep right after her bottle in the middle of the night, and the list goes on!

It's been a "learn as you go" - But I have to say, even though I may be growing my first gray hair (sorry Kurt) I wouldn't take it any other way. This has been ideal and our common sense (yes, mom, I have a little of this) has really helped us find our way through parenthood thus far!

I look forward to the next hurdle that's put in front of us. I cannot believe I'm saying that but I've really learned that it's important to make mistakes and try to truly learn how to get through anything that requires a little bit of "air."

Hope you all have a few of those mistakes in front of you too - As aren't we all a work in progress?

Lots of love to you all!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Add Another Weekend To Our Newborn Experience

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Hope your weekend found you with loved ones and fond memories. Kurt and I find this holiday weekend to be very special to us as we appreciate all those folks who put their lives on the line for the safety our country. I have to say, now that Eleanor is in the picture it makes me even more thankful for what our troops do and I wouldn't have thought that was possible as I've always been appreciative.

Eleanor is really adjusting to the "real world" since three weeks ago. She has mastered the art of letting us know when she's hungry and she's a pro with keeping her eyes open for more than thirty minutes these days! It's looking like she'll be Kurt's brown-eyed girl as they don't seem to get any lighter than the blue-gray color when she was born but only darker. She continues to grow as she's starting to fit into 3-6 month clothing already. She's so long in the body that she needs that length to fit into things. 

We had a great holiday weekend - And a busy one at that! Friday, Kurt took the day off and we went down to my office to show her off a bit with my colleagues. There she experienced her first escalator ride. When we drove up Michigan Avenue on the way home, I got weepy-eyed explaining to her just down the street she was born and changed our lives in the best way possible. We also had our first day out where we grabbed lunch and took her furniture shopping. We used the Baby Bjorn which is a godsend! Seriously it's amazing to travel around with a baby strapped to you - So easy!

Kurt and I have really been making a point of being mobile with her. We don't want her to dictate too much of what we do and don't do. This weekend we've done a diaper change in the car and she's been fed twice in pubic (thank goodness I'm not breast feeding). She's been awesome with the anti-imprisonment at home thus far! We understand that can change with time but for now, we'll enjoy our freedom with E!

Today she got her first "real" bath as her umbilical cord has fallen off. Prior to today she was doing the sponge bath on the counter in the kitchen. Today she did a bath in the bath tub in a little bath chair that we registered for. She hated it but who wouldn't without an US Weekly and some Mr. Bubble like her mommy usually enjoys!

So again, we are learning as we go. I told Kurt today, I'm sure we've done a few things the wrong way but overall I'm proud that we've really learned to care for her on our own as we both have zero experience with newborns. And we truly are lucky to have such a laid back little lady giving us the space and time to learn as we go.

Hopefully your weekend was similar in terms of productivity and great memories with family.

We hope we can all see you soon and you too can indulge in a little bit of Eleanor!

Much love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Baby Manicures and a Handful of Explosive Poopy Diapers - We're Adjusting!

It's crazy to think that Eleanor is going to be 2 weeks old already as of tomorrow. In that time, it's amazing to see her develop as a baby and Kurt and I to grow as parents. Today Eleanor sat her her Boppy for 30 minutes and looked around the room. Now I know that she cannot see too far but to me it was a milestone that she kept her eyes open for that long! She's starting to become less of a newborn and more of an infant. It's slightly bittersweet that she's developing and time is flying. 

We've taken her on two walks since she was born and I hope to take her on many more throughout my maternity leave. Friday, Kurt went with us girls and today I went with my girlfriend, Karoline, for a walk and lunch. Shame on me for depending on Kurt to open up the stroller! After 20 minutes of finagling buttons, contraptions etc on the stroller I had to call him to get his explicit instructions on how to unfold the stroller. Goodness, how embarrassing! At least we know the stroller is child proof! HA!

This past Saturday we had professional pictures taken of our family. Eleanor did GREAT! She's definitely got that mommy gene in her - loving to ham it up in front of the camera. I was very proud of her and three and a half hours later I was amazed how quickly the time passed. 

Kurt has been periodically taking time off from work as he gets ten days of paternity leave - Which is amazing! He took last Friday off and we enjoyed a nice walk and lunch in our neighborhood. He is also taking this Friday off so we'll have a four day weekend together as a family. It's amazing how much we miss him while he's at work!

Our daughter has really been a blessing. She doesn't make a peep unless she needs a diaper change or needs to be fed. She usually just snuggles up with us and either sleeps or just takes it all in. We've had a couple speed bumps with her fussiness but if that's all we are dealt, we'll take it!

So overall, I'd say we've adjusted and discovered a rhythm with Eleanor. Yes, we've had our moments of blow out poopy diapers or the stress of clipping her nails but we've truly mastered the art of learning as we go. And Eleanor has truly mastered the art of being patient as we learn.

Lots of love,
The Ames Family

Monday, May 16, 2011

Please Welcome, Eleanor Virginia Ames

We're baaaaack! And we're pleased to announce that we were pleasantly surprised with a baby girl born on Tuesday, May 10th at 2:12pm. 

The labor and delivery went better than planned - I braved through the first seven hours without the epidural and then by much persuasion from the nurse and my husband I caved in to the medication. Around 12:30pm I was feeling some VERY strong contractions and pressure in my butt - The nurse came in to see how I was feeling bc my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I told her my symptoms and she said, "Why didn't you call us, you're ready to push." Kurt and I were shocked that it was time to push already - things went quicker than we anticipated. So the doctor came in to access the situation and confirmed the nurse's prediction and it was game time! After 30-40 minutes of pushing, we were given the most amazing gift we've ever received - Eleanor Virginia. She weighed 7lbs 4oz and was 21.5 inches long. 

We're really adjusting to the new addition to our household. Eleanor has been such a great little newborn thus far (knock on wood). She's a good sleeper, a good eater, and a good snuggler. Kurt and I have been typical parents - panicked when she makes even the slightest peep! We'll get used to the new sounds and movements she makes, but in the meantime we'll continue to stare at her to calm us down.

Kurt has been such an amazing daddy. I have fallen in love all over with him again (I didn't even know that was possible?) watching him fall in love with our daughter. He has been extremely hands on with everything! His first diaper change was in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. He didn't want to wake me up and instead he just did it! All he wants to do his snuggle and feed her, I couldn't be happier! He said to me last week that he couldn't imagine having a boy now that he has a girl - And I know what he's talking about!

We had our first week doctors appointment today, we met with Eleanor's pediatrician. He is absolutely great! We have a healthy little baby girl on our hands. He was impressed she could hold her own pacifier and her jaundice wasn't even an issue as it was last week. Our doctor also specializes in asthma (we found out by chance) which is good bc Kurt grew up with asthma and there's a slight chance Eleanor could do the same. We feel comfort knowing we have such a great doctor to look over our daughter's health.

Aside from the good news we had quite a comical day. Before we left the house, we had exorcist baby that decided to projectile all over her freshly clothed body and mommy. So we rushed around the house changing everyone's clothes! Then we got into the doctors office, per the nurse we were to undress Eleanor all but her diaper. Well color me poopy, there was a diaper that was filled with the most poop we'd seen to date! So ten thousand baby wipes and 2 diapers later we had a clean butt, ready for the doctor. 

Tomorrow Kurt goes back to work and he's already requested email updates on his daughter and pictures of her every hour on the hour. I gladly concede to his requests as his two ladies will truly miss him!

We want to thank all of you who have had the chance to make the trip to meet our leading lady and for the sweet messages and phone calls. It really means a lot to us to have your love and support! She is lucky to have all of you in her life!

Tomorrow is a special day as it's Eleanor's 1 week birthday and Daddy's 35th birthday. Please join me in wishing the two loves of my life a VERY special day!

In the meantime, we will keep you updated on our daughter's progress - Hopefully we can continue the Monday tradition of this blog! Thanks again everyone for the love you're sending our way, words cannot express our appreciation!

Much love,
Kurt, Tonya + Eleanor

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lordy Lordy Look Who's 40 (Weeks That Is)

Yes, it's true. Today is our baby's due date and I'm still cooking this little monkey.  We had our final doctor's appointment this morning. The baby's head continues to drop but no other news. This baby is really planning on staying put until he/she has no choice but to be forced out. Please say a prayer that we don't have to be induced next Monday. The doctor said it usually equates in about 24 hours of labor before he/she makes it into the world and there is a high chance after all of that labor, it could result in a C-Section.

Well, Kurt and I came home tonight to our power being out in the back half of our house. Sounds romantic but in reality it's a recipe for disaster, especially if I start going into early labor. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom all have NO power. So our alarms won't work for bed tonight, we are peeing in the dark, and we cannot cook anything for dinner. On the bright side, (no pun intended) I was able to take a candle lit bath tonight.

That's about it for us - Sorry for the short entry, but thinking about all of this is a bit agonizing for me. I am really anxious to have this baby. Please keep us in your prayers and hopefully sometime this week we'll have calls, texts and emails announcing the time has finally come for us to introduce you to our little peanut.

Until then, we will stay busy and stay positive!

Lots of love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 39, Isn't it Time?

Girl or boy, we are certain this peanut is definitely a stubborn little Taurus! Today I had my 39 Week appointment and the doctor has confirmed there's a high chance the baby will be overdue and we won't have him/her until Week 41. The baby has given no hints that he/she will be a bit early or even born on our due date of May 2nd.

I was having a feeling that'd be the type of news I would hear, so I proactively had a chat with him or her last night explaining that there would be fun things to do outside of my uterus such as playing with Shakespeare, snuggling with Daddy and going for long walks in the neighborhood with Mommy on beautiful days. Apparently that's not important to him or her. I know I'm pleasant to be around and all but come on already!

I have to say, the waiting has been the most difficult part of my pregnancy. Especially now that we are getting down to the wire. Being the positive spirited person that I am, I've challenge myself with staying positive and reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. It's clear that God has a special plan for Baby Ames. I will try to patiently wait for that plan to take action.

How was everyone's Easter? Kurt and I had a great Sunday - We kicked it off with the early church service and it was so packed we ended up sitting front-row. Well, if that doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will! It was a beautiful service and then we came home and Kurt cooked a yummy ham! We had a nice dinner the two of us! Later we dyed Easter eggs and I tortured Shakespeare with wearing his bunny ears. I counted, that was the fifth year we have dyed Easter eggs together - we have quite the tradition going!

Next holiday up is Mothers Day - I have to admit, I was really looking forward to enjoying my first Mother's Day with our baby. I'm kind of bummed it's looking like Baby Ames will grace us with his/her presence after this special holiday. Oh well, there's next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that and so forth.

I've decided to start taking Wednesdays off until we have Baby Ames. I think it'll be a nice break in the week for me. It's been so busy at work and I've been so focused, I could really use a mental pause from work. So the next two Wednesdays will be filled with things I can do around the house, relaxing, and spending quality time with our pup before he starts feeling like a second class citizen.

So that is where we are at 39 Weeks. Baby Ames has decided to extend his/her stay at the "Ritz Carlton of uteruses" and not join us quite yet. Little does he/she know I have all these fun plans for us while I'm on maternity leave and after! Oh well...until then I'll continue to stay positive (bc that's all you can really do, right?) and enjoy these last few moments of "me" time.

Hope your week is filled with moments of "me" time and we'll definitely keep you posted if any "hints" come up along the way from our little peanut.

Lots of love to all,

Monday, April 18, 2011

38 is Great!

We have reached 38 weeks and yet no sign of Baby Ames joining us. Apparently this little monkey doesn’t believe in Lombardi time – which is something I’m very familiar with growing up in the Lazar Household. We will have to teach him/her the importance of being a tad bit on the early side.

I had my doctor’s appointment this morning and the doctor predicted I will be having the baby around my due date of May 2nd if not a little bit later. If we go to May 2nd that we week we will be induced.

I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed it’s not sooner as I’ve been feeling more contractions, cramping and back pain. I assumed my body was getting me ready for labor! My hopes were up a bit thinking we’d greet our peanut before May! But on the flip side, at least we know we will truly be going to May 2nd. No more of the sitting on pins and needles over here.

This weekend Kurt played Fire Warden at the Ames Household and put up new smoke detectors and changed out light bulbs! I think we’re going to get him a vest with a patch that reads, “Safety First” and a whistle to blow if any of us are violating any of the safety rules and regulations. He sure has taken the safety thing quite seriously – I have to say, I appreciate it though. All of his hard work allows me to sleep better at night!

Speaking of sleep – I must have been tired this weekend bc I slept from 10pm on Saturday night until 11am on Sunday? Sheez! I think the 3rd trimester and my go-go-go schedule has started to clash!

Tonight Kurt and I are squeezing in a Cubs game before the baby arrives! I’m quite excited! We have pretty good seats behind home plate – and even though it’s rainy, it just gives us an excuse to cuddle while we watch our favorite baseball team start their week off.

An office poll was taken today by a colleague and we’re looking at 5 think we’re having a boy and 8 think we’re having a girl. Looks like we’ll know more in about two weeks what the truth holds. Until then, Kurt and I will enjoy each other’s company and some beauty sleep!

Hope everyone has a great week!


Monday, April 11, 2011

I Carried a Watermelon

If you are a fan of the movie Dirty Dancing, you'll know of the movie line "I carried a watermelon." Being a huge fan of the movie, I was quite excited today to find out I'm currently carrying a watermelon. Well that's the size of Baby Ames this week!

We're at 37 Weeks and I'm officially full-term. That means I can have baby any day now and the baby is fully developed minus the extra baby fat that he/she will accumulate over the next few weeks. I went to the doctor today to do my weekly exam and we are 1 centimeter dilated. Now it doesn't really mean that much bc you can be dilated for a few weeks before you go into labor, but it's a start! 

This weekend I could feel my hips widening as it's difficult to pop up from the couch and move as quickly as I'm used to. Now my bones are adjusting, making me move a little bit slower. I've never loved the walls and dressers so much as they are my helpers in getting me around the house. And handrails are a godsend - that's saying a lot considering I'm the biggest germ-a-phobe on the planet. 

Kurt and I did a final run to Babies R Us this weekend to pick up odds and ends so we're 100% ready for our little peanut to arrive. Even though I had a list and knew what I wanted to get, I can safely say I was still overwhelmed in that store. There is just SO much to choose from and it's hard to decipher what we should get. I'm sure there will be a few more trips after the baby is born too once we figure out what we're missing. For now, we have the big chunks to get us by - socks, hats, mittens, diapers, onesies, etc. 

Our child has the best daddy in the whole world. He's so particular of the safety of everything that our child will be "riding" in. He even has an appointment with the police station on Wednesday to check the safety of our car seat and ensure that it was installed correctly! I'm surprised Kurt hasn't gotten a helmet and knee pads for the baby to wear immediately after he/she is born! 

I've been getting more and more tired these days. This weekend both days I was exhausted by 3pm! Speaking of weekends, up until now we have filled them with long to-do lists since we found out we were pregnant in preparation for our baby.  Now we are finally seeing a bit of downtime and we both shamefully admitted yesterday afternoon that we were bored. Pre Baby Ames we would relish in downtime with the remote control and a blanket - now we want to be doing things. We must be getting ourselves prepared for the activity levels we'll need to have with our little monkey.

So that is that - 37 Weeks, 1 centimeter dilated and happy as ever! I have the best husband on the planet, I don't take him for granted a day in my life! I'm nostalgic of my favorite movie, Sound of Music and thinking of the duet Maria and the Captain sang, "Something Good" Bc truly somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done "something good" to deserve this wonderful life.

Hope your weeks are filled with all things good - and if you have some downtime and a chance to watch either movie I've referenced in this week's blog, I highly recommend. You cannot go wrong with either choice!

Much love,

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's a Boy or It's a Girl - Which is it?

I think it's safe to say Kurt and I are on pins and needles over here wondering if we're having a boy or a girl. Up until recently, I've been pretty patient awaiting the news but now I can barely keep my composure. I'm really uncertain as to what we're having, shouldn't I have some sort of motherly intuition or something? Especially considering this little monkey is inside me!

Two strangers this weekend said with conviction that we're having a girl. Of course, Kurt ignored their predictions just as Shakespeare ignores the protruding bump I'm currently carrying around! At first I thought Kurt kept telling me we're having a boy bc he wanted to do all the father-son things like take him to Cubs games, throw the ball around or challenge him in John Madden's Football on the Playstation, but I'm starting to think he's afraid of what he'll do with our daughter's suitors? I have a weird suspicion he's going to be crazy protective if we have a girl. 

We had our 36 Week visit - The doctor did an ultrasound and concluded that the baby's head has dropped (meaning, it's in place for delivery) and that my cervix is starting to thin (meaning, it's getting ready to dilate). While we were there, she asked us if we had any questions and I felt silly bc we didn't really have any questions. Shouldn't we have a notebook filled with things to ask? I told her, we were just excited to take it as it comes our way. 

I did ask her how long she thinks it would be until we have the baby. She said that generally if it's your first baby, it's anywhere between 40 and 41 weeks. Kurt and I are very punctual so I guess we'll see if our child takes after us in this capacity. Our doctor did say, it could really happen at any time. The anticipation is KILLING us!

I now go to weekly visits with the doctor and they continue to check to see if I'm dilating, etc. I know it's crazy to say but I really want the time to fly. It's not bc I'm uncomfortable or anything; I just want to meet our little peanut! 

One thing I'd really like to squeeze in before we have this little bambino, is to go to a Cubs game - just me and my husband! It's something that I think we both cherish doing together and they just got a new food menu, why not take advantage of my teenage appetite and enjoy a "last supper" at Wrigley?

So we have four more weeks left. I keep equating our weekly countdown to the of the end of a basketball game when people start counting down the seconds 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. We are at four?!! Soon enough we're going to have to hail the final shot before the buzzer goes off!

And when the buzzer does go off - we'll FINALLY find out if we're on Team Pink or Team Blue! Although I think it's safe to say, ether team is a winning team and we're certain to have lots of fans! 

With love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's The Final Countdown

This is a fun week! We're at 35 weeks and just 35 days until Baby Ames' is ready to grace us with his/her presence. I'm starting to feel some pressure in my tailbone, which according to my husband - the avid google researcher, is pretty typical. We have our big 36 week appointment next Monday. They do a final ultrasound to see what position the baby is in. They also discuss the birthing plan! Based on my calculations of hiccups, jabs and turns - the baby's head is down!

A few fun things happened this weekend! My friend Kourtney, who is a talented photographer, came over to take some shots of me and Baby Ames. Shakespeare, being the camera hog that he is, tried to take over the photo shoot - a couple times he was almost sequestered to "timeout." I'm anxious to see how the photographs turned out - And I'm even more anxious to show Baby Ames one day that he/she was in my tummy at that point! 

My google researcher husband also showed his handy side and put together our baby stroller on Saturday. I absolutely LOVE it! I cannot wait to put it to good use this spring and summer and walk my thighs back into shape with our darling dear peanut. Which by the way, I'm convinced I'm not having a boy or a girl but instead an octopus! This thing has eight legs based on the activity I'm feeling.

This weekend we also were involved in our first church commitment since being new members. Kurt and I were greeters at the door on Sunday! We got to welcome all the members with a warm smile and a friendly handshake. Little did we know, we had two guests surprise us! It was Grandma and Grandpa Lazar (my mom and dad). They had a wedding in Dubuque on Saturday night and decided to head towards Chicago for a quick visit. We had a lovely brunch after church and got to laugh and indulge in yumminess. 

Our hospital bags are packed - I've chosen Baby Ames' going home outfit and gotten all of our travel goodies together so we don't have to scramble last minute. The only thing we have to do yet is put in the infant car seat - and then get it checked by the fire department to ensure that it's properly put in!

If you haven't noticed, we sure are ready for this little octopus! I'm not certain Shakespeare is, he spent the better half of the Sunday sitting on the nursery rug glaring at the stroller. He also got disheveled when I showed Kurt what our child would be wearing home from the hospital. I think reality is starting to settle in with him.

To recap this week's blog entry - It's safe to say Kurt and I don't think we've ever been happier in our lives! We have been so blessed with each week and having such great things happen. I can only imagine what it will be like when we have a little octopus to love too! Thank you for your continued love and support! It's priceless in our minds!

Much love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, March 21, 2011

We Have Quite the Wiggle Worm

Six more weeks until Baby Ames arrives and let's been honest folks - it could really happen any day! But let's just say Baby Ames is patient (unlike his/her mommy) and decides to wait until the due date of May 2nd. That would mean we have 42 days to wait for the little peanut to join us in this amazing world.

The baby continues to wiggle around per usual. I swear he/she got up around 5:30am on Sunday to do some calisthenics for a good hour and a half in my uterus! Many of my friends and family have admitted to liking the way it feels to have the baby move around but I have to disagree. I'm not really into the kidney punch here and the jousting of the ribs there. I know it's a good sign but, sheez this monkey has some power - more than I have at age 33!

This weekend we were blessed with having a shower with friends and family here in Chicago. We had such a good time laughing and eating and then laughing and eating again. I really have to say, I have an amazing set of friends. They really put together a baby shower that I didn't even know could exist. Schyler got to feel her cousin kick a few times, I was happy she got to experience that! It's well worth the gut punch from Baby Ames' limb. 

The baby's rocking chair came in on Thursday evening, just in time for the celebration of Baby Ames! Before we know it, we'll be "rocking out" with our little newborn in the nursery. I'm tempted to try out the chair and start reading some of the children's books we've received as gifts! Practice makes perfect, right?

We got a slew of baby bottles, bibs, blankets, and more this weekend so I would say we truly are ready for D Day.  While putting the things away in the nursery it was hard not to imagine using each goodie with our little bundle of joy. 

I'd like to share with you those things that make us grateful today:
-The abundance of love and support from such an amazing family and circle of friends
-The generosity of baby goods to help us start our journey with our little peanut
-Adding memories to our many volumes of treasured moments, this weekend is the newest entry

Weeks continue to breeze by and and we have officially embarked upon spring time! It's safe to say, we are getting close to having our lives get flipped upside down in a good way. At that point I grant Baby Ames an infinite amount of kicks and wiggles - until then, I'll grip tightly through each field goal kick (football) or shuffle ball change (tap dancing) that I am blessed with.

Lots of love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, March 14, 2011

Honeydew This, Honeydew That

Well, we're at week 33 and I know I say this all the time but holy cow time is passing by quickly! We could have this baby in four weeks and at that point we'll be "full-term." Where did time go? In a month there's a chance Baby Ames will be with us. 

This weekend we had a weekend of Baby Bliss! We spent the full day on Saturday at Prentice, where we'll be welcoming our little peanut into the world. We took a labor and delivery class and got a tour of the hospital. It was a lot of information and videos to take in from 8:30am to 4:30pm. While we were learning about the different stages of labor and seeing some close ups of babies being born, the city of Chicago was indulging in Guinness and painting the town green. Boy have things changed for Kurt and myself - we were no longer celebrating our faux-Irish heritage. Sunday we took a CPR and safety class. I've already filled out the emergency numbers to call and have them taped to our cabinet just in case. We hope we'll never have to call those numbers but better to be safe than sorry!

Baby Ames sure is growing - he/she is the size of honeydew. Who knew Baby Ames would grow like a weed and already weighing a whopping 4 pounds? Yowzers! And the baby continues to move like a monkey, I swear he/she is swinging from organ to organ. Yesterday I got kidney punched a good handful of times!

I just got home from seeing my friend Erin and her new baby, Cate (who was born on Tuesday). We have a potential girlfriend or best friend for Baby Ames! I had a talk with Cate tonight and told her to rest up bc there's lots of fun to be had between the two of them. Holding the newborn made me excited yet nervous bc I just don't know what we're going to do with a newborn! I guess we'll learn as we go. Isn't that what most parents do?

Well, expect a few panicked calls from Kurt or myself - I'm sure we'll have all of your numbers on speed dial asking what do we do with our honeydew. Until then we'll read up on things and take our final newborn class!

Well grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and friends - get ready bc a whirlwind of the Baby Ames storm is on the horizon!! Don't touch that dial!!

Lots of Love,
Tonya + Kurt

Monday, March 7, 2011

Childhood is Calling

We are at 32 weeks today and Baby Ames is the size of a squash. It's amazing the activity that the baby is starting to undertake. I swear he/she just does flips and turns all day long. And at times the baby tends to kick an organ here and there. I've also had to move a limb away from my rib cage by squeezing down on my belly like I would a tube of toothpaste! This baby is a ball of energy! They say it's a good thing that he/she is so active so we'll take it.

This weekend we had the pleasure to stroll down memory lane with a few good friends. We went to Des Moines to see my good friend, Mary Berdo, get inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Girls State Tournament. I think we laughed nearly the entire time! Basketball was such a large part of my childhood and that was something that Mary and I enjoyed together. We were teammates from 7th grade until we graduated high school. She was with me during my "bad perms and braces" years and still loves me. Now that's a friend.

We really enjoyed turning the pages of our childhood and talking with our parents of all the fun times we endured. It made me giddy inside knowing that my child will soon embark in similar memories with friends and family just as I have. I'm super anxious to be with him/her every step of the way! And I have a feeling they will be warm memories just as I have of my childhood that we'll be sharing with our peanut.

Being pregnant has really brought a lot of things to the forefront that I had locked away in my treasure chest of memories. It's been so rewarding going through these 32 weeks and thinking about my childhood vs the one our child will soon have. So many things will be different yet I hope we share a commonality - and that's good friends, warm memories and a ton of laughter!

So we have 8 weeks left until we start the new journey of childhood and laughter. On our car ride home from Iowa I told Kurt this was the last road trip we'd take without our baby. From here on out, it's the three of us - well four of us counting Shakespeare. I don't think Shakes was too keen on the idea of sharing a backseat with Baby Ames.  Regardless, we're keen on sharing treasured memories with our soon-to-be son or daughter!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Special Holiday

Week 31 folks - we've hit the single digit weekly countdown until the baby joins us. We have another guest writer this week that has contributed a little something special to the peanut. Kurt and I want to thank all of you for adding a little something special to the blog. Whether it be a formal posting, a comment after a week of my tangents, or even a special phone call commenting on our words - we REALLY appreciate all the support! Feel free if you want to add anything, this is for all of us - as we're in this journey together. Have a great week and enjoy this little note to Baby Ames...

Sweet Baby Ames,

We are about to celebrate a very special day. It is the day of your birth. This day is called your birthday. When you arrive all your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and puppies will want to come and visit you bringing love, hugs, and gifts. This will be your very own special day that you alone will have. Everyone who touches your life will be given a special mark in their hearts that only you can give.
Grandpa and Grandma Ames want you to stay safe and warm in Mommy's belly until you want to announce to the world that you are ready to join us. Perhaps when that night arrives we will be able to look far into the heavens and see a bright light that guides us to you.
Awaiting your special holiday,
Grandpa and Grandma Ames

Monday, February 21, 2011

No More Wire Hangers

We are now officially in the 30's! We are at Week 30. They say the baby is ready to join the world by Week 37 but full gestation is through Week 40. So really, we could have the baby anywhere between 7-10 weeks from now. Wow, it gives me butterflies thinking of how quickly Baby Ames will be here! 

I have a saint for a husband. I think most of you know that, but let me explain a little further. Saturday morning we got up early to run errands around the city and neither of us were in a great mood. I decided to call off the errand running bc the last thing I wanted to do is fight on a Saturday. Here's the equation I wanted to avoid: 2 cranky soon-to-be parents + a stressful errand run around Chicago = not a good weekend. 

The catalyst of my cranky behavior was that the house had so much clutter and stuff that I just thought I'd blow. I cannot stand living in clutter and I'd reached my boiling point. I got out of the car, walked up stairs (while Kurt ran a couple neighborhood errands) and I went "Joan Crawford aka Mommy Dearest" on our cabinets and closets. I threw away at least three black trash bags of junk and I think Shakespeare thought I was possessed by the devil for that brief moment. (no joke, he was shaking)

Kurt came back up to the house and while he was out and about, he got me a soothing tea and also gave me a hug, seeing me in the midst of all the clutter and soon-to-be trash. What a husband!! I told him I didn't know what had gotten into me but I just could not live with the clutter anymore. He attempted to tell me that I'm "nesting." While I love his thought process, I'm not quite sure if I have a maternal bone in my body? Regardless, the house is spic and span now and I challenge each of you to the closet and cabinet test upon your next visit.

The nursery is 99% complete, we're just waiting on one more piece of furniture - the rocker! It feels good to have things done but now I just keep torturing myself by going in there and imagining the days to come with our little peanut. I turn on the lamps every day pretending that he/she is already here.  

So the moral of the story is, I have an amazing husband that takes good care of me. A few weeks ago we started a "Grateful Journal" where each day we write three things that we're grateful for. Well, February 19th, 2011 stated all things Kurt Ames bc I'm truly grateful for him.

Hopefully your week doesn't consist of Joan Crawford moments but yet you realize all the little things that make you grateful bc we all are truly blessed. Whether it be an amazing spouse, a loving pet or an old friend to make you laugh - I think we all can agree, Life is Good!

Lots of love,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Little Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our loved ones! We're at week 29 and our little Valentine is anywhere between 3-4 lbs right now, the size of a squash. No news to report - but everyone is doing great!

We have another contributor to the blog this week! It makes Kurt and I feel so good to know all the love that this baby will have immediately when he/she joins us in this world. Thank you for your continued support and we love you all.

Dear Baby Ames/Peanut:

Your Mom and Dad, who love you very much call you, “our peanut.”

We are so excited to meet you. We have no idea of who you are, will you have Mom’s spirit and curiosity, will you have a BIG HEART like your Dad, and his strength? You will know love and respect.

I have to admit I would be glad if you were a girl as I had three boys and all the grandchildren are boys, but if you are a boy that’s great too, you’ll have plenty of playmates!

You are already special and I am planning on how to make your life more happy and fun. I am thinking of all the books we will share, and going for some walks, playing games, and watching movies!

We have been broken in by your cousin Landen, so we should be very at ease with you, and not to be afraid, we will know how to feed you and change your diaper and make you very comfortable and loved.

I know you will grow up to be a Bears fan! But maybe when you visit and the Packers are on, you will watch with us.

We would love to take you camping, and we can all go boating. And Grandpa would love to take you on the snowmobile and play in the snow.


Waiting anxiously,
Grandma and Grandpa Thompson

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Puppy" Love

We were sitting around the dinner table the other night having just enjoyed another fine meal when we realized a strange quiet in the adjacent room.  It was the same quiet that by memory led us to discover our children engaging in some sort of mischief.  Having no children in our house except two toy fox terriers, our curiosity was still peaked.  We quietly crept into the room to discover our little ones peacefully enjoying the warmth of the fireplace.
It is not unusual for their little bodies to be attracted to any heat source during the cold Iowa winter months.  This time there was something unusual.  They were not lying on the rug but were sitting facing each other as though they were engaged in conversation.
Having had the pleasure of their company for better than ten years, we understand them and imagine the jest of their discussion went something like this.   Maddie and Marley both noticed that Tonya, who had just spent a weekend with us, had a special glow about her.  They sensed that a miracle was in the making.  They were curious why she would quite often rub her stomach and giggle about some sort of strange but exciting movements.  Suddenly they realized the nature of the miracle as a family addition was in route.  Tonya was going to have a puppy!!
 They had never experienced motherhood except when nurtured as puppies.  They recall a loving mother and a protective father.  They remember playful moments with their brothers and sisters.
They remembered when Tonya brought Shakespeare home with her the first time. How he loved to tease and chase them.   They hoped that Tonya and Kurt’s new “puppy” wouldn’t tease them the way Shakespeare does.  They want Tonya and Kurt’s new “puppy” to pet them and give them treats the way Schyler does. They really hoped that Tonya and Kurt’s “puppy” doesn’t go to the kennel if they go on a trip but can come to our house to play.
Maddie and Marley will be shocked when Baby Ames arrives and looks nothings like Shakespeare.
Well now you hear it from another perspective.  Congratulations Tonya, Kurt, and Shakes.  Enjoy your miracle!           

Love, Mom and Dad Lazar