Mitchell’s Nursery

I suppose I will start this post with the story of our morning, which will hopefully give you a little laugh (at my expense), because sometimes that’s all you can do. Mitchell woke me up around 7:00 this morning… the perfect time to get ready and go for a morning run before it heats up outside. I got both of us dressed and ready, the stroller loaded down with water and reserve bottles, and Zoe on the leash. About five minutes into our run, Zoe decided she needed a bathroom break, like she always does when we run. She picked the approximately 1/4 mile stretch of the run without a sidewalk, which is also in the busiest part of the whole neighborhood. She hopped up on the grass to do her business, and I wasn’t really paying much attention. Until I hear her yelping, and I start feeling bites all over my legs. I didn’t have to look down to know what was wrong… fire ants. 
I have a history with North Carolina fire ants. When we first moved down here (hard to believe we have been here 2 1/2 years!), my roommate (at the time) was my moving buddy. Brigid and I had played hockey together for four years, bonded over the fact that we both drove pickup trucks and liked to shoot guns, and lived in a run-down little apartment for two years that we painted with a huge American flag on our living room wall. I was moving into base housing in May, the same month we were graduating college. Our NC house became available during “senior week,” which essentially entails of a week on campus with absolutely nothing happening except parties and drinking. Neither of us were really into that scene, I needed to move my stuff to North Carolina, and Brigid was itching to go on a roadtrip and visit DC. So off we went. Steve was in Afghanistan at the time, so it was a huge help having her there. She had the giant Chevy pickup truck I had come to fondly know as “Jerry” over the past four years. It got her back and forth between Connecticut College and Buffalo, NY every college break without fail. Needless to say, Jerry was dependable. Was being the key word. We loaded up Jerry with almost everything Steve and I owned at the time (which wasn’t much – it all fit in my small apartment bedroom), and hit the road. Everything was fine and dandy until we hit the North Carolina line and Jerry decided to start leaking transmission fluid. Those of you who are familiar with North Carolina geography know there is nothing on the two-hour stretch between Raleigh and Jacksonville. So we stopped in some podunk North Carolina town, and with our limited knowledge of automotives (yes, we are girls), we stocked up on transmission fluid at the local Dollar General. The Dollar General happened to be the only store in the town besides Piggly Wiggly, so it doubled as their local auto supply shop.  Off we went, taking the back roads to avoid not driving too fast in a broken down truck, stopping every 20 miles or so to replenish the transmission fluid. One of our stops was in an old abandoned church parking lot. Brigid popped the hood, and I jumped out with the transmission fluid. A few minutes later, I realized I was unknowingly standing in a huge colony of fire ants, with probably a whole family of 100 exploring their way up my ankles and legs. At this point I was feeling pretty discouraged, with a deployed husband, a broken truck that didn’t belong to me piled above the cab with everything I owned, in the middle of absolutely nowhere on a back road, and now, a million fire ant bites. And I didn’t know anyone where I was going. No one. Things eventually worked out. We made it to Jacksonville, rented a U-Haul van for the week while Jerry was fixed, got the keys to my house, moved everything in, and made it back to Connecticut in time to graduate. At the time, there was nothing funny about it, but looking back today, it’s pretty comical. Come back to NC Brig! I miss you!
So today, as I was standing in the road with traffic passing, both sneakers off, trying to brush the fire ants off of my legs and Zoe’s paws, and Mitchell starting to cry because the stroller stopped moving, I was literally cracking up. I am sure I looked absolutely ridiculous, but I really didn’t care. I traveled down memory lane back to my first encounter with North Carolina fire ants and got a good laugh. We finished our run, met up with Kim for a walk… trying to get little Macy to come a week early! Mitchell is so excited to meet his new girlfriend! (No offense Maybree!) 
Then it was off to Mitchell’s two month doctor appointment. I was excited to see his new height and weight, because I knew he grew. His belly is definitely bigger, and I had to move up the car seat straps one slot last week. I was thinking he definitely broke ten pounds, and boy was I right. Mitchell has shot up to 24 inches, and 14 lbs. 6 oz. That’s 90th percentile in both categories. His height didn’t surprise me, because he was already tall when he was born. But the weight surprised everyone. The nurse actually came in the room to make sure his diaper wasn’t dirty to add weight, because she didn’t believe he could have gained that much! And they told me he was eating well over the recommended maximum feeding amount, but to keep feeding him because we just have a big baby! And right after the doctor asked if “everything was working okay,” Mitchell decided to prove everything is working just fine 😉
I wasn’t blogging while I was pregnant, but if I was it is safe to say there would have been a few posts documenting my nursery decorating. So here it is, a few months late. Our home has come a long way since Brigid and I moved us in a few years ago, and I am so lucky I have a husband who lets me have fun painting and decorating, and truly appreciates it. Mitchell’s nursery doubles as our guest bedroom, since we have a two-bedroom house. We could have taken the bed out of his room, but I really like having a nice place for our family and friends to stay when they visit, and we would have had to store it… lose-lose. So, as Steve has taught me in the Marine Corps, improvise, adapt, and overcome. Our solution: nursery/guest bedroom. I wanted to make it cute for a little boy, while still keeping it adult-enough for visitors. Challenge accepted. Here’s a before picture when we first moved in. 
And this is how it turned out. I absolutely love this four-poster bed. It was in my grandparent’s house for as long as I can remember. I remember being a little girl, not quite able to jump up on the bed when I stayed at their house. My Nanny would give me a boost up at bedtime 🙂 When they down-sized and moved into the home where my Papa lives now, I immediately asked for it, because I knew I wanted it in my first home. 
Nursery Theme: Noah’s Ark. 
Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Brim for the crib and dresser/changer! They fit perfectly in the room – literally and figuratively. 
Mitchell loves the mobile. He laughs and laughs when I crank it up. And he definitely lets me know he doesn’t like it when it stops 😉
Thank you to Grandma Brim for the most adorable jungle animal blanket! It matches our theme perfectly!
I framed pages from the children’s book “I Love You More,” and I love the way it turned out. 
I love you further than the furthest frog ever leaped.
I love you taller than the tallest giraffe ever grew.
I love you higher than the highest bird ever flew.
I love you quieter than the quietest caterpillar ever creeped. 
The other side of the room… 
I LOVE these bookshelves. Possibly my favorite idea I have ever stolen from Pinterest. Four dollar IKEA spice racks painted with a dollar bottle of acrylic paint. Thank you to Grandma Brim and Grandma Martin for the story donations! I can’t wait until he’s interested in reading. I even managed to find a book titled “Mitchell’s License” at the local second-hand bookstore… and the little boy named Mitchell has red hair! It’s all about how he loves driving with his daddy 🙂 
Hello spoiled! We have been so blessed with clothes by all our family and friends. He is definitely a well-dressed baby! And these are only 0-6 months. The rest are folded in tubs waiting for him to grow into them 🙂
This is another one of my favorite parts of the nursery. My mom’s good friend Kelly makes these amazing tubs. She paints and personalizes them however you want. She made this Noah’s Ark tub for Mitchell, with his name, and it is now his stuffed animal tub! It matches his bedding exactly. If anyone in the Shawnee area is interested in buying one, let me know and I will send you her info! Also, the big brown teddy bear is a special one. Mitchell’s Great Grandmother Pendleton got a teddy bear for her other great grandson when he was born, because she thought every little boy needed a soft, snuggly bear. She passed away and was never able to meet him, but my Aunt Christeen bought him the same bear she picked out for her other great grandson, because she knew Great Grandma Pendleton would want him to have it 🙂 

The grow-chart was a Grandma Martin find. She gave it to me at my NC baby shower and it was absolutely perfect. Not only does it match right along with the Noah’s Ark theme, but it will be a wonderful way to keep track of our growing boy! (And he is definitely growing!) And these books are some of Daddy’s favorites from when he was growing up, and I can’t wait to watch him read them to Mitchell 🙂

I cannot get enough of those fingers and toes! I am so in love with our boy and he is so blessed he has such a wonderful home to grow up in! 

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