Sunday, May 31, 2009

What a beautiful day!

The pregnant sisters!

Future Auntie Rachel & Grammie-to-be

What a delicious spread!

It's a boy!

What a beautiful day for a baby shower! Rachel graciously hosted a lovely event for Sarah and Lil' Mikey today. The party was outside at Sharon's house and it was a wonderful time to celebrate babies and family. Twenty-two family members gathered in the yard for lots of visiting, delicious food (chicken salad sandwiches, ramen noodle salad, cherry fruit salad aka "fluff," chocolate cupcakes and punch), a challenging game and gift opening. Rachel, being a nurse, put us to the test with the "Itsy Bitsy Baby Parts" game in which we had to identify 12 different body parts in 12 ultrasound pictures. Sarah only got 3 right but the winners each got 7 correct. The game was so hard that cousin Meghan identified the "lips and nose" as the "bottom" and vice versa. We had a good laugh at the challenge. Everyone also went home with the cutest frosted sugar cookie favors shaped like bottles, courtesty of Sharon.

It was also really nice to get together with a group of woman and to hear their baby and mothering stories - it's great to have such a nice family. As Sarah reads more and more about labor and delivery she keeps reminding herself that millions of woman have survived it since the beginning of time and most of them have more then one!

Sarah and Mike would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came and so generously helped us stock Lil' Mikey's nursery with lots of must-have items such as bottles and lots of fun stuff too - toys, books and adorable outfits. Sarah was also thinking about all those that couldn't come today but wanted to be there. Lastly, we want to say a HUGE thank you to Rach and Sharon for throwing such a great party. You really know how to make a pregnant girl feel special.

If anyone wants to see the rest of the pictures from the party send Sarah an email (san78@mchsi.com).





Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Fun Day"

Ruby going in for the cute "cuddle" - i.e. "please give me some food off of your plate!"

Mike enjoying a picnic lunch at Afton State Park.

Ruby chillin' under the picnic table after the big hike.

Sarah & Lil' Mikey taking a breather near the water mid-hike at Afton.

The Gray Family held one of their traditional "fun days" on Saturday. This is a day where we don't work, don't do any home projects, clean, run errands, etc. Basically we only do FUN things all day! The day started out by everyone sleeping in (well, Ruby had to go potty at 6:30 am so Sarah let her out and then they went back to bed). We figured we might as well sleep late while we still can! We spent a relaxing morning at home - reading and drinking coffee for Mike, warm milk for Sarah and water for Ruby. Then we headed to Afton State Park, on the border of MN and WI, along the Mississippi River for a hike and a picnic. It was a gorgeous day - sunny and in the low 70s. We did a three mile hike and Sarah could really feel the effects of pregnancy. Mike joked that usually Sarah leads the family on "death marches" when hiking but not this time. Sarah took it slow - especially on a 900 foot upward climb. We then enjoyed an outdoor picnic before heading back home and to our favorite ice cream shop - Adele's in Excelsior. After delicious cookie dough cones we headed home for an evening of R & R.

Sarah had a doctor's appointment last Thursday. Everything is still looking good and going well. Sarah is keeping her fingers crossed that Lil' Mikey holds out saying hello to the world until the new birthing center opens at Ridgeview Hospital. It is supposed to be very nice and un-hospital like with private rooms, bathrooms, and tubs for each expectant mom, soft lighting, hard wood floors, etc. One of the nurses told us it reminds her of an Aveda Spa. It's due to open July 4 weekend so Sarah's hoping that it is ready on time.

Thanks everyone for checking in with us on the blog. We were thrilled to see people leaving comments! :) Have a great Memorial Day. We want to give a special shout out to all of the members of our family who have served or are currently serving in the military - Mike, Dave, Greg, Ben, Nick and Shawn. THANK YOU!




Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's a start!

Mike and Sarah are starting to amass the large amount of "stuff" that you need to raise a baby thanks to friends, family and lots of garage sale-ing! This Saturday Sarah and her sister, Rachel, hit the jackpot of all baby garage sales. A large neighborhood in Eden Prairie was having their annual sale with 45+ families participating. Sarah and Rachel both found so many great baby bargains. Sarah was able to check a lot of items off of her baby hit list such as an umbrella stroller, receiving blankets and lots of onsies through size 12 months. Pictured above is Ruby diligently guarding her new little brother's loot. One day in the near future this haphazard pile will be transformed into a lovely and organized nursery. Well, it's a start at least!

Garage sale-ing aside, it was a very busy week in the Gray household. Monday night was our first of two "All About Babies" (aka Babies for Dummies) class at St. Francis Hospital. Mike and Sarah sat in the front row and absorbed a lot of information about what to expect from a healthy newborn in regards to appearance, procedures and reflexes. They also got to see a demonstration on a 6 lb. baby born just one day earlier of how to give a newborn and bath and how to take a rectal temperature. Both of which Mike and Sarah have never done before! The class was great - it was nice to see and hear other expectant parents going through the same things the Grays are experiencing. We're looking forward to part two tomorrow!

Tuesday after worked we raced home, walked the Rubester and headed to Target and Babies R' Us to register for all of the baby essentials we don't yet have. After a few hours of hemming and hawing over the plethora of baby options out there we were exhausted but feeling good because we could check yet another item off of our baby to-do list.

Wednesday night Sarah hit a few maternity consignment shops with Rachel and then headed to bookclub. Her bookclub has a nice tradition of celebrating new marriages and babies. Moms-to-be are given baby books by each of the members. Lil' Mikey now has a nice little library started with lot of adorable new board books that I'm sure will get a lot of use soon. Mike had his friend, Mike, over for a little "band practice" aka Guitar Hero marathon.

Thursday after work we finally went grocery shopping and ran errands after a week of scrounging in the house for food. Work has also been extra hectic lately - Sarah has a lot of projects going on and is feeling the pressure to get things in tip-top shape for her leave and Mike was in training all week. With all of this going on Sarah and Mike spent a quiet night at home on Friday. The Gray's were exhausted!

Saturday evening Sarah and Mike headed to their friends' Mike and Becky's house for a delicious dinner of grilled halibut with a roasted tomato, basil and edamame sauce. Sarah has the recipe and will be making it soon. It was a sad night because Sarah's good friend Becky will be leaving for a summer internship in Portland. It's a great opportunity for her but she will be dearly missed by all here.

Today, Mike worked and Sarah had her prenatal yoga class. Yoga is helping Sarah so much to stay healthy and focused during this pregnancy she's going to try to do two classes a week from here on out.

Thanks for checking out our blog. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Party!!!



Dave and Sharon's 35th wedding anniversary party was at our house Saturday. We had about 55 guests for the 70's themed groovy backyard barbecue. 70s costumes were highly encouraged and from the pictures you can see how great the 70's attire was.





We had lots of 70's rock & disco music playing, served a dinner of grilled pork tenderloin, bbq chicken, cheesy potatos, salads, and cake and even had a very popular specialty drink - Harvey WallBangers! Mike was the bartender and some of the first drinks he made had a lot of "Banger" in them! We're thinking that's why everyone was having such a good time.


Sarah had a doctor's visit on Thursday and Lil' Mikey is doing great. His heartrate is a consistent 142 beats per minute at each appointment. Sarah continues to do daily kick counts and he passes these tests with flying colors! Sarah is feeling good too.

The crib mattress was just delivered this week and we're eager to get our office moved downstairs to start work on the set up of Lil' Mikey's room upstairs. Now that the party and Sarah's masters class (yeah!) is over we'll have more time to devote to the nursery. Mike's next step is to put the base boards in the new office, then we can start to move all of our stuff down. Once that is done then the transformation of the office to baby room begins. There are millions of cutsie items out there to buy for a baby's room but we're starting to formulate a nursery decorating plan. Stay tuned for updates with pictures here...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party Prep



We're in full party preparation mode this week getting everything ready to host (along with the other siblings and significant others) Sarah's parents 70s themed 35th wedding anniversary party this Saturday. Having the party this spring has really helped us to accelerate the yard work and finishing our downstairs level. Our downstairs project has been a big undertaking. We went from having a completely empty, unfinished basement to now having three bedrooms, a family room, a full bath and a storage room. The carpet installation will be finished this Wednesday and the downstairs is as finished as it's going to be for awhile. As Mike's dad says "many hands make light work" which has been true in this case - many people from both sides of our families have helped to make our downstairs livable and look great! We couldn't have done it without them! Today Mike almost finished building the steps from our patio doors to our backyard and Sarah planted flowers in her containers and the flower bed. It was a gorgeous spring day and we can only hope that the day of the party is as nice.

Lil' Mikey is 29 weeks old this week and kicking up a storm. It's fun because Mike can really feel his karate moves now and sometimes even see Sarah's belly rocking and rolling with his movements. Mike, Sarah and Rachel hit up a few garage sales this past Saturday and found more baby clothes to add to Lil' Mikey's growing closet. We were joking that he now has more clothes then we do! Sarah has another doctor's appointment this Thursday and will be going for check-ups every two weeks now.

Well, Sarah should get back to work on the final project for her master's class and Mike is ready to bottle the latest batch of home brew with Dave. We'll post again next Sunday - hopefully with a few fun party pictures! To all of those who have tried to subscribe to the blog - it's not as simple as Sarah first thought it was. We'll be for sure posting once a week and hopefully will get into a regular schedule for posting - so check back soon!