Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our Family is Growing....

Even more big news: Madeline is going to be a big sister! We are thrilled to be expecting Baby Number Two next March (which makes me about 12 weeks pregnant). Though Madeline doesn't totally understand yet, she is very excited in her own little way. She loves babies -- in fact, she says the word "baby" more than any other, begging to see them in books, chasing them down in public (most recently at the farmers market yesterday) and trying to hug them when she sees them in strollers. Since learning the news that "Mommy has a baby in her tummy," she pulls up my shirt, pointing at my stomach, saying, "Baaaa-by" in her sweet little voice (she also does it to Rob, my dad and anyone else within reach). Even so, it melts my heart. Lately she has started giving my belly kisses.

We had a great time telling our families. Madeline wore a shirt that said "Big Sister in Training" and the back read "March 2009." Maple had her own shirt that guessed at her inner most thoughts -- "Oh no! Not again..." With my family, we waited for Andrea to come home from UCLA and hosted a relaxed dinner with my dad, Ning, Andi and her boyfriend, Kyle. When it was time for Madeline to go to bed, we changed her into her "PJs," which was, of course, when Madeline and Maple came downstairs sharing the big news. I wish I could have recorded everyone's reaction at once and played it back in slow motion. It was so fun!

We also couldn't wait to share the news with Rob's family! We were lucky enough to have a long-standing weekend planned in Geneva, so we shared the news the very night we arrived. Sandie didn't even see Madeline's shirt until later -- she figured it out just by looking at the dog! The next night, we shared the news with some of our closest friends at a 30th birthday party that Sandie and Tom hosted for a group of us. It has really been a joy.

We just returned from a house hunting trip in Nashville, leaving Madeline for a week with our families. We missed her so much (a week is a long time!), but she had so much fun, spending the first and last several days with my dad and Ning in Peoria and the chunk of time in-between with the Vlachs. She went to the pool and the water park almost every day, also taking lots of walks and trips to the playground. What a loved little girl!

Our trip to Nashville was successful and thankfully, we returned with a Tennessee address (but just barely). The "working vacation" we were planning turned out to be more work than vacation. After looking at 50 houses, we ended up going back to the drawing board on our last day in Nashville after an offer we placed on a house was beat out by two competitive offers (and we offered more than asking price!). We woke up determined on our last day and were lucky enough to actually find a house we loved in a perfect location. We were still negotiating on our drive back to Peoria. The worst part was that I was fighting off a bug, which made the first three days especially challenging. That said, we did have wonderful meals with several great friends, and we got to peek into the exciting adventure that awaits us in Nashville. We're still working on details, but just as we expected, the big move will happen in mid-Septebmer (which is only three weeks away!). Most importantly, we have plenty of room for guests and hope that everyone will consider visiting us in Music City! (Flights on Southwest from Chicago only take an hour and almost cost less than the gas it takes to drive). Come on down!

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