Archive for March 2011

First Photos   2 comments

Faithful readers will recall a difficult decision between a new Nikon or Canon DSLR  camera and the announcement of the purchase of the Canon Rebel (even though Nate had been a fan of Nikon since Jurassic Park 2). The camera arrived last Thursday, but two busy nights gave little time to play with it until this weekend.

After a short, cold trip to the park, and lots of yelling Major’s name to try and get him to look in our direction we are very pleased with our new purchase, and are looking forward to learning how to use it. Here are a few pictures from the park using only the most basic settings. (Pictures of Major Tom will come soon now that we’ve read the manual’s chapter on shutter speed.)

Here's a shot of Cincinnati from the park.

A Bird in a tree. (I think it was a Robin)

The trees in Cincy are just starting to bloom.

Like I said; it was cold.

An important question.


Posted March 28, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Nathaniel, Photography

Almost Ready for Baby   2 comments

Lately it seems everyone has the same two questions for us. #1 is “How are you feeling?” This is typically directed at me (Julie) with a knowing smile that says “the-last-month-sucks, doesn’t’ it”? I’m definitely hanging in there. I (thankfully) don’t have the back pain and heartburn problems that often accompany late pregnancy, so that is great. However, I am experiencing restless sleep and (a new symptom) swollen legs and feet.  They have been so bad lately that my shoes are starting not to fit. It looks hilarious.

ah. fluid retention

But other than the swelling and lack of restful sleep, I feel ok. I definitely feel better in the morning than I do at the end of the day (aches and pains seem to multiply in the afternoon and evening hours), but it’s not too bad.

The second question we keep getting is”Are you ready for the baby??” The answer is ALMOST! We have diapers and clothes ready to go. We still need to pack our hospital bags, finalize a sitter for Major Tom, and wrap up a few odds and ends. We took care of one thing on our list tonight— Nate put the car seat base in the car. First, he read the manual that came with the car seat thoroughly.


Then, we all (Nate, Julie/Millie, and Major) headed to the garage for the installation process. It was going to be so simple (according to the directions, that is). Major was really excited to be included in this getting ready for baby activity.

But then things didn’t go so quickly. Nate pointed out that we should read the owner’s manual for the car before snapping the base into place. After reading that, everything still seemed pretty straightforward, so Nate started to strap the base into position. That turned out to be quite a bit more difficult than the instructions indicated.  Major quickly lost enthusiasm for the process.

Oh well. At least Nate powered through. The car seat base is in (we still have the second car seat base to install in our other car, but Nate promises to do that this weekend). We’re going to take the cars to the fire department next week to have them sign off on their safety/correct any mistakes made in our installation process. And, since the hospital won’t let us leave without an installed car seat, we are now (pretty much) ready for baby. Just 4 weeks and 5 days until our due date…

UPDATE FROM OUR LAST POST- We purchased a Canon Rebel DSLR camera. It should arrive sometime in the next week. Thanks to everyone for your input (we went to Best Buy and both preferred the ‘feel’ of the Canon over the Nikon). Now you can all look forward to lots of high quality baby pictures once our lil lady arrives.

Posted March 24, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

Say Cheese   13 comments

Way back at my first OB appointment, I was given a stack of paperwork to read. The packet included some basic what to expect information as well as pre-registration materials for the hospital. Also included was information about newborn pictures that parents can choose to have taken while still in the hospital. I decided pretty quickly that I was not interested in the newborn pictures. Here is my thought process— I have rarely seen a beautiful newborn picture. I am thinking of those shots where baby is just out of the womb, head still a bit cone-like from the journey, with baby acne and an overall “not cute” look. (Note- I was going to insert a picture of an ugly newborn here, just to show you what I’m talking about. I googled “ugly newborn” but just couldn’t bring myself to post a picture— I mean, that’s somebody’s kid… somebody’s ugly kid…) Anyway, I am not overly interested in having super posed pictures of Baby Millie. That’s right, no Olan Mills- style pictures for the Keyse family.

 (Okay, I just couldn’t resist putting in this picture. My parents definitely had a picture of Jennifer and I in this same, unnatural pose.) Instead of posed, I want pictures that remind me of what life was like with my baby (Awww, look Nate— remember that time when she crawled over to the dog’s food and took a taste? or Hey, remember how much she drooled?). I want to remember something when I see pictures (I guess remembering the time I took her to Olan Mills to be posed is a memory, but just not the kind I’m looking for). Bottom line, instead of traditional 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, ect photographs, I want to take a lot of candid pictures of Millie. Sure, lots will be posed, but they will be posed at home where she will  (hopefully)look natural. Now, here is the dilemma. I have a point and shoot camera and I am debating whether or not to invest in a camera upgrade so as to best capture all of those special moments. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Certainly, a nicer camera would helpful in dim lighting and would be particularly nice when Millie starts squirming and moving around (my point-and-shoot camera requires lots of light and absolute stillness during the shot. That’s probably why so many pictures of Major Tom turn out blurry!). I have my eyes on an entry-level Nikon digital SLR and a similar model by Canon. I can (here comes a pun) picture myself snapping all kinds of pictures of Millie Lou with those bad boys. (Check it out, Nate! I took 200 pictures of her today!) But, do I NEED it?? Ah, dilemmas.

PS— 34 week update: Millie is measuring RIGHT on her due date (April 25, for those that need a reminder). I (Julie) am feeling pretty good (a tad uncomfortable in the evenings and at night). We go back to the doctor in 2 weeks and then weekly until Millie’s birth day.

Posted March 17, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie, Nathaniel

Baby Shower   Leave a comment

Last weekend, I got to spend sometime with some fantastic ladies from my church (Echo Church in East Walnut Hills— LOVE IT) celebrating the upcoming arrival of Millie Louise. We had a great time and I wanted to share some pictures from the big day (a HUGE thanks to Kelly Carr for hosting the shower and providing me with pictures!).

A diaper cake! I thought the “M” and pink flowers on top were a nice touch. Good job, Beth Rogers!

Melissa Wuske ROCKED the cake… not only is it adorable (love the shoes as a topper) it was delicious, too.

Here I am happy-crying when Beth said that we would be playing a shower game with Jennifer Galietti. Even though Jennifer couldn’t be at the shower (Arizona is SO far away) she was still a part of the day. It was so thoughtful and I was so touched to have friends that know how important Jen is to me.

A pile ‘o gifts for Millie! Everything was so pretty, thoughtful, adorable… I can’t use enough adjectives!!!

Check out this adorable tutu (or maybe it’s just a fancy skirt— either way, LOVE IT)! Millie will look so stylish in it.

I had such a good time at the shower and was so overwhelmed by the generosity of friends. How lucky am I? (PS- Nate didn’t go to this baby shower… but I bet he would have loved it… I think he loved the family shower from a few weeks back… he seemed pretty excited about the breast pump when we opened it…)

Posted March 11, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

Millie’s Room (part 2)   7 comments

Ready to see more of Millie’s tiny room? Here is a picture of the corner that houses her rocking chair and bookshelf.

The chair was a gift from Millie’s grandparents (Nate’s mom and dad) and we love it. Do you like the blanket draped over the back?  That’s the one I made (and by made, all I did was sew a piece of flannel to a piece of patterned cotton— aren’t I crafty?). Now, let me show you a better picture of the bookshelf.

Isn’t it cute? The shelf was a gift from our friend Beth and my friends from church were kind enough to gift Millie with lots of books, so our little girl already has quite the collection. We can’t wait to read to her!

Moving right along, we have Millie’s dresser on the wall opposite the crib.

Look how cute her little shoes are on top of the dresser!

Now, I had to give you a peek at her closet, because the only thing as cute as baby shoes are baby clothes. I can’t wait to dress up this little girl. Ok, now, one final picture of this small room which is packed full of lots of wonderful items for our little lady. Since our house has all hardwood floors, we thought Millie’s room needed a rug; that way she’ll be more comfortable when she plays on the floor as she gets older. We found a great rug at Ikea and big brother Major loves it.

So now you’ve seen the cutest room in our house. All that’s missing is Millie.

Posted March 8, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

Millie’s Room (part 1)   4 comments

After 2 fantastic baby showers (thanks, family and friends!), Millie’s room is full of all kinds of baby goodies. Everything is just about ready for her arrival. Want to see how cute her room turned out? Check out some pictures below:view from the door

 Millie’s room is the smallest room in the house, but since she will be the smallest person in the house (Major is about 15 lbs so he will be bigger for at least a couple of months), we decided to give her an appropriately sized room. We wanted to make the most of the small space by choosing simple furniture. All of the items were purchased separately to mix and match (that’s right, no custom-ordered furniture set for our baby) and we shopped sales as much as possible (we’re on a budget, people!).

First, the crib– a steal from Ikea. Also, you’ve already gotten a sneak peek of the wall decal from Etsy.

Next to the crib is the changing table. It’s already stocked with diapers and wipes.

Did you notice the little bird decal? We have 3 bird decals (also from Etsy) throughout the room. It’s one of my favorite little details! Pictures of the rest of the room are coming soon in another post (I think I was over-loading the blog!)

Posted March 7, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Home Improvement, Millie

Sleepless in Cincinnati   5 comments

Last night, Julie had trouble sleeping. For those of you who know Julie well, you will understand just how devastating this is. Julie loves to sleep. Julie is really good at sleeping. Some people are long distance runners— Julie is a long distance sleeper. (PS- this is Julie writing this, and I’d like to stop referring to myself in the third person, so I’m going to go ahead and do that now.) I have always required a lot of sleep, as in 8 hours minimum. I’m really at my prime after 9-10 peaceful hours of slumber. I can fall asleep just about anywhere (in a car? oh yeah. in a chair? sure thing. standing up? i can and have). I sleep through storms (sometimes even sirens). I fall asleep on the couch regularly (usually around 9:30 pm… I find that to be a wonderful time to doze off). When Nate and I were first married, he quickly learned to talk to me BEFORE we got into bed since I can fall into a deep sleep within seconds of getting beneath the covers. So, last night was miserable. I am normally a stomach sleeper. However, since Millie Lou has taken up residence in my uterus, I have been forced to sleep on my side. I have a great body pillow (courtesy of my wonderful mother-in-law) and that certainly helps me feel somewhat comfortable, but it’s just not as nice as snuggling up to my pillow and falling asleep on my stomach. Last night, between the aches and pains that come along with being 32 weeks pregnant and the unnatural side sleeping position, I laid awake and got my first taste of what it must be like to be one of those people who toss and turn at night. I didn’t like it. I really, really like sleeping and just a bit of an interruption in my nocturnal routine throws off my whole next day. Anyone see where I’m going with this? I’ve heard people say that the sleepless nights of the 3rd trimester get the expectant mother ready for the sleepless nights that accompany life with a newborn. I am not sure that I will ever be ready for those sleepless nights. Certainly it won’t be that bad, right? My mom says that she had to wake me (and twin sister Jennifer) to feed us in the early days. ALL we wanted to do was sleep (seriously, I love sleep!). So maybe Millie will be a good sleeper like her mother. I certainly hope so. If she’s not, watch out. I am going to be a crabby mommy. (I used to worry that I wouldn’t be woken up by Millie’s cry for midnight feedings, but friends assure me that even I will be woken by the sound of a crying baby… I might still act like I don’t hear… what’s that, Nate? Oh, was she crying? I guess I didn’t hear her…)

Posted March 3, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized