Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nursery Art

Way back in 2005-2007 when we lived in Platteville, WI. we used to visit a small little town in Northwest Illinois called Galena. If you haven't heard of it; it's a great little Civil War era town with an original Main Street that is like stepping back in time. There wasn't a ton of stuff to do in Platteville on the weekends, so we would often just head down the road to Galena and spend an afternoon wine tasting, window shopping and grabbing some dinner at one of our favorite places.

There are a lot of neat little shops along Main Street too, some with antiques and tapestries, some with knick knacks, some with junk. But we always loved stopping into this one particular shop that kept an entire section dedicated to an artist named Brian Andreas.  He's Chicago born and today lives in rural Iowa (part of John's old territory as a matter of fact), and still produces some of the best family-oriented original artwork around.  For whatever reason (probably money) we never bought any prints back then, but ALWAYS love looking at his work when we see it in another store or gallery.

Well, there's no time like the present, so we hopped online and bought a couple prints for Jude's room. The ones we picked really capture our personalities and our love for our sweet little boy. I'm sure he'll appreciate the art and our love soon enough :).
Hung up and framed....check out those level shelves (good job daddy)
This one is called "His Laughter" and reads:
"the first time his laughter unfurled it's
wings in the wind,  we knew that the
world would never be the same"
This one is called "Such Small Things" and reads:
"For a long time, there were only your footprints and
laughter in our dreams, and even from such small things,
we knew we could not wait to love you forever"

We've got a couple more things ordered for the Nursery, so look for more updates soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 - To Grandmother's House We Go

We celebrated Thanksgiving a week early on John's side this year, and for good reason; Grandma and Grandpa Menk we're still in Illinois! Being the "snowbirds" that they are, normally they are long gone from the cold confines of Illinois by now, but this year they stayed a few weekends late and were able to celebrate an early Thanksgiving/Christmas with the family!

Grandma Menk made more food than we thought we could eat, but we gave it hell and pretty much cleaned them out before their trip south. Seeing as alcohol doesn't really go bad, we probably didn't have to polish off that handle of Lieutenant Dan Rum, but we did it anyway (right Grandpa! hahaha). As the sun went down we built a fire in the backyard and sang country songs until it got too cold, then skeedaddled back inside for some TV before bed.

It was a great way to kick off the Winter season and send Grandma and Grandpa off to Sebring, FL. We'll see you in the Spring,  Great Grandma and Grandpa!
Gathered 'round the fire after a BIG dinner
Great Grandma Menk and Grandma Teresa enjoying the fire and some cocktails
Grandpa; 2 rummy dummies deep
Grandpa: 6 rummy dummies deep...
Here's Max, who was mistakenly wrapped up as a gift.

Max, unwrapped, has words with Damien about his gift
Ashleigh opening some early Christmas gifts. Pandora bracelet!  Hi Shelby :)
Grandpa: 8 rummy dummies deep

It's BaltiMORE not BaltiLESS

A couple weeks ago we took a little weekend trip to Baltimore to visit our friends Jordan and Kerri. What a great time! We had some great food (yes, crabcakes too) checked out some great old pubs, did some shopping, took a daytrip to Annapolis, and played some football in the street. What more could you ask for?

John's favorite part was visiting all the old pubs and eateries in Annapolis and Baltimore, including the pub where Edgar Allen Poe used to hang out in the 1800's. It's called "The Horse You Came in On", and is on a cobblestone street in Baltimore. Ash loved the trip to Annapolis, visiting the shops, seeing the ocean and taking pictures and video of John and Jordan being drunken idiots, just like old times.

All in all, it was a great way to spend our last getaway before Baby JB makes an appearance. Thanks Jordan and Kerri for a great time, can't wait to make it back to the East Coast!
The Capital in Annapolis, MD
Middleton Tavern, great fish and chips, and as you can see, it's been around for a few years.
Cool shot of a shop in Annapolis with the Capitol in the background
This sad looking building is actually the Sailing Hall of Fame. I don't know one gets into the Sailing Hall of Fame, but as Jordan put it; "Imagine getting a letter that says you're being inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame, then you show up for the induction and it's this place." waah waaah.
Got to the bay right before sunset. Annapolis is really a cool old city.
Little Ice Cream for Mamma.
The fun begins....this was at the Edgar Allen Poe pub.
Possibly the best picture Jordan and I have ever taken. There is  a story behind every picture, and this one is no different. Unfortunately, because Jordan may run for political office someday, that story will not be published here, nor will the video that we have of the Infamous Grapefruit Incident of 2010.
The group at a nice dinner at Pazo in Baltimore Saturday night.
And Lastly; here's a video of the harbor at Annapolis. What a beautiful place and a beautiful day!

33 Week Ultrasound

The last pictures of Baby JB we'll see until he arrives! We had our 33 week appointment Nov 17th and everything went great. Our little man is measuring 4 pounds 2 ounces, has a happy heart rate of 152 and if he keeps growing at the same rate.....he'll be about a 7 and 1/2 pound baby around January. We can't wait to see his face.....so we got a preview! Who do you think he looks like??

Now, introducing Baby Jude Bennet in the womb.

The perfect nose and lips!

That's his umbilical cord. Jude just wants you to know how good his vegetarian diet is, delish. Don't hate.

Fist pumps are so necessary.

And as Jude is doing fantastic, he mama is finally slowing down a bit. But don't you worry. Come 2011 Baby JB and his posh mama will be running this town again. And they say Chi-City!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The People have Spoken

The People have spoken, and according to the people, Jude's middle name should be Parker.

We have to say that we were a bit surprised to find out that Parker won, because it barely made the final list. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even on the list, and Ashleigh suggested it at the last second! Benjamin had a strong showing as well, which has been one of our favorites all along, so I guess we've got something to think about! We'll be making our decision soon (we sort of have to), and of course we'll be posting it on here for all to see.

Thank you to everyone who voted, we appreciate the feedback!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Belly - 32 Weeks

This week a special Baby Belly pic taken in Annapolis, MD at sunset. Definitely more pics to follow from this weekend getaway!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Will Jude's Middle Name Be?

We still haven't decided on a middle name for Baby JB yet. As you know, middle names are important, because when you're really mad at someone you use their middle name. My mom has called me JOHN NATHAN BENNET more than a few times, and never with a smile.

For the most part, we've been tossing around the same 4 or 5 names for about 6 months. We do like some of these names more than others, but we're not saying which ones. Since we're having such a hard time with it, we figure we'd let our friends and family weigh in on the subject.

Choose your favorite name in the Poll to the right......ONE VOTE ONLY PLEASE :)

So what do you think is a good, strong middle name for Jude? Here is your chance to pick! The poll will be up for 7 days. At the end of one week, we'll see what those closest to us have chosen for Jude's middle name.

FYI - this poll is not actually determining what Jude's middle name will be, we're leaving that up to the magic 8 ball and Ashleigh's Psychic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Every Girl's Crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Man...

Jude's wardrobe seems to grow daily. We picked up a couple of onesies tonight with our favorite band's name on them. You might have heard of them....

Baby Belly - 31 Weeks

31 Weeks along, about an hour before running in the Hot Chocolate 5k on Lake Michigan

Hot Chocolate 5/15K Race

A few weeks ago, Ashleigh convinced John to run in a 5k that was to be held November 6th. He agreed to, mainly because the goody bag that was given out included a hooded sweatshirt. There was also talk of thousands of gallons of chocolate fondue, as well as unlimited hot chocolate at the finish line. All of those promises came true, though he's not quite sure it was worth waking up at 6a.m. on a Saturday....

The race went great, the weather was actually pretty good on the lakefront. The course was amazing; we started right at Grand Park and ran down around Soldier Field and Shedd Aquarium, then all along the lakefront path for a mile or so. The skyline looked great from our angle, brining tears to our eyes. Then again, it could have been the ice cold headwind that made me cry. Our friends Nick and Brigid joined us for brunch afterwards at one of our favorite spots; Crossroads bar and grill. It was a great day all around, though by the end of the race, Mamma Bennet had made up her mind that she was hanging up the running shoes until the Spring....
Ready to Race
post-race cocktails have been replaced by post-race Starbucks. Oh, how times have changed

Thursday, November 4, 2010

JB's Workshop is Officially Closed for Business

So...Ashleigh's co-worker and friend Aisha was kind enough to give us a fantastic set of nursery furniture. Complete with crib, dresser and another storage cabinet, it's a fantastic set that saved us a TON of money. Needless to say, it was slightly used and had some nics and dings, but was solid and worth restoring.

We decided to bring it from a light, Pine colored wood to a vibrant Black! We lucked out at Home Depot because they had a gallon of "oops" paint they had mistakenly mixed....and it was Black, the exact kind we needed....for $5! One orbital sander and a butt-load of sandpaper later, we walked out of there ready to go.

And so I sanded....and sanded.....and sanded.....and sanded some more. I threw on a coat of primer and three coats of black paint, and BOOM! a brand new set of nursery furniture. All in all it took several weeks worth of working for an hour of two of daylight in the evenings. Our condo is not exactly power tool project-friendly, so our balcony and occasionally the living room became JB's Workshop. Thank God for the warm Fall weather this year!

After all the work, I think it turned out pretty good and was definitely worth the trouble. If anything, it will give me something to hang over Jude's head when he's 12. "Do you have any idea what I've done for you!!!???......"
The crib was the absolute worst! Sanding and painting all those dang rungs in the middle was a nightmare!
all the sanding...sanding....sanding....aaahhhhhhhhhh
Ashleigh, doing her part :)
The workshop in action. Paint a coat, and wait........ 
......and wait......

FINALLY! Looks great with those horizontal stripes, eh!
This will be a changing table in a just a couple more months!
Should have PLENTY of storage for one little guy, right??