Tuesday, November 30, 2010


"Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete – he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight."

How far along? THIRTY-FIVE WEEKS!? If you would've told me that I'd still be pregnant at this point a couple months ago, I would have laughed in your face. And now... here I am! Wow!
Baby’s Size: He's {supposed} to be over FIVE pounds now... we'll just have to wait and see on Thursday!
Total Weight Gain: 36 lbs.
Bellybutton: I really need to get a picture of it. It's so cute, guys- really. About as far "out" as it'll go, I think.
Stretchmarks: On my butt, of course... but I also spotted what I THINK is a new one coming in on my left side, right about where my waistband is. Oh no! They're spreading! I'm addicted to Palmer's Belly Butter and Mama Bee Balm by Burt's Bees. Just as long as they stay away from my belly, I'll be happy.
Maternity Clothes: I'm getting REALLY frustrated with how shirts fit me these days- even my maternity shirts, the ones that used to be like long tunics, are getting too short to really wear with leggings. Of course, I've been wearing them anyways... forcing people to look at my gigantic preggo butt. I think, depending on what they tell me at my appointment Thursday, that I might HAVE to go out a buy a few more shirts, as much as I don't want to.
Gender: Boy: Elliot Reid
Movement: He likes to freak me out by not moving practically all day and then he gets a little burst of energy at night. He is getting the hiccups about 10x a day now, though... so that's reassuring. I don't like going so long without feeling anything from him. I really think there may be something going on with his bowel that is making him uncomfortable... he hardly kicks anymore. Just moves.
Sleep: I have woken up several nights this week suddenly RAVENOUSLY hungry. So I make a quick snack {usually a peanut butter sandwich}, and then I'm up battling heartburn for awhile before I can fall back asleep.
Symptoms: I've been having a lot of pressure in my crotch and bum- not exactly painful, but the type of pressure that just makes you constantly AWARE of your crotch. Now, let me tell you, it is a straaaange feeling. I've also been battling heartburn and acid reflux, which I really haven't had much of since the first trimester. And the BACK PAIN: don't even get me started on that!
Food Aversions: I really, really could live without meat these days.
Food Cravings: I am just SO hungry 24/7. I literally wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my stomach is eating itself. My doc said it's because, since I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy, my metabolism is speeding up. Now, to normal people, that would probably be great news: but I already have an outrageously high metabolism as it is. I can't keep up with it!
Best Moments this week: This was a pretty uneventful week for me. I've been packing my hospital bags {I have to pack a lot more than the average person since I'll be down there for so long}.
What I miss: Clothes that FIT ME and look nice. I'm to the point now where even my maternity shirts just look kind of awkward on me.
What I am Looking forward to: we're putting up the CHRISTMAS TREE today and then my LAST big appointment and ultrasound in Grand Rapids is THURSDAY! I'm in the home stretch of this pregnancy now and I can hardly believe it. I feel like just yesterday I was in the first trimester, and still clueless about Elliot's condition. And now here we are! About to HAVE A BABY! I'm excited but I'm also starting to get more nervous as time flies by.
Milestones: Just a tiny bit over a month from my due date. Elliot has a good chance of weighing FIVE POUNDS! I remember when we were hoping to get him up to THREE!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Feeling lucky?

When do YOU think Elliot will be born?

Tensions between North & South Korea

In case you didn't know, my husband is currently in South Korea. I'm not sure if you've been following the news, but North Korea has been doing some pretty shady things lately- such as sinking ships and attacking islands, killing South Korean soldiers and civilians. Because of all that is going on, my husband's platoon has been on alert, and soldiers are not allowed to take passes or leave until further notice.
So that basically kills my hope of Aaron being able to be home for our son's birth. The only way he can come home is on emergency leave- once I'm already in labor. And it'll take at least twenty-four hours for him to get back into the states.

Here are some articles about what is going on:
'Crisis Status' in South Korea After North Shells Island
South Korea Reassesses Its Defenses After Attack
In South Korea, New Stirrings for Revenge
South Korea Warns North Against New Attack

Please pray for Aaron's safety {and that he can come home soon!}

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What I've been up to

Okie dokie folks: Now that I'm finished with the project, I can {finally} show you what I've been up to! In case you didn't guess from yesterday's post- I was busy making letters that spell Elliot's name to hang on the wall above his crib. I've been wanting to do this for awhile- but I couldn't make up my mind on how to do it. Originally, I thought I was going to buy wooden letters and paint them, but then I stumbled upon this idea, and fell in love. Since you can pick out your own scrapbook papers, the possibilities are endless!

♥ "Chip Decor" letters from the Paper Studio- these are basically made out of SUPER thick heavy duty cardboard.
♥ Scrapbook paper in your choice of colors, patterns, and/or textures
♥ Elmer's Memory Book Glue Pen
♥ Mod Podge waterbase sealer, glue, and finish
♥ Pencil, scissors, and paintbrush

1. Trace letters {carefully!} onto scrapbooking paper
2. Cut them out
3. Cover each letter with an even layer of memory book glue
4. Place cut paper onto letters, carefully sliding it into position so that all edges line up. Once in place, rub/smooth paper firmly into place using your thumb and a paper towel. {This was ANNOYING! For some reason, no matter how carefully I traced, the edges just didn't seem to line up quite right.}
5. Let dry 30 minutes
6. Brush a thin, even layer of Mod Podge onto each papered letter
7. Let dry
8. Hang & enjoy! :)

Paintbrushes- the pesky material that I completely forgot about!

The papers that I chose- it's hard to actually see the detail here, but none of these are plain/solid. The brown actually has polka dots and the blue has an interesting faded yellow texture. And the orange looks neon, but it's not.

crafty 2
The letters- these are bigger than a lot of other ones I found in other stores


The Mod Podge will be white and streaky- don't panic. It WILL dry clear.

Finished product :) I have yet to decide how I'm hanging them- so they're not on the wall yet. But I'll get them up there soon and get you guys a picture of the whole shebang- crib, bedding, AND his name
Happy Crafting!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010


I realized that I forgot one very crucial material for the project I'm working on. And it has been snowing like CRAZY here all day {plus I just had to take my little brother to see the new Harry Potter movie} so... it took me awhile to get to the store.
The reveal is postponed until tomorrow!
Sorry ladies!
Here's another little preview/hint:


Friday, November 26, 2010

Winter wonderland?

I woke up this morning to this:


Winter wonderland? Well, some would say so! As for me, I'm not sure. It is pretty... but it's awfully cold and windy out there! So I spent the day inside, watching the snow fall from the warmth of my living room, while I got in touch with my crafty side and worked on something for Elliot's room that I am very excited about. Here's a little preview:


Don't worry- you can expect a full post about this tomorrow. Until then, I'll just leave you guessing! And I'm off to eat some homemade turkey noodle soup! YUM!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful on Thanksgiving

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel."

Some things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:
♥ for my husband, and all he does for this country and for me. He is a wonderful man and I couldn’t feel more blessed to call him mine.
♥ for Elliot Reid, the miracle baby who has been growing inside of me for almost nine months now.
♥ for being able to experience the joy of carrying and bearing a child.
♥ for family and friends, near and far.
♥ for the rare opportunity to spend this Thanksgiving at home in Michigan with my family.
♥ for being able to be a stay at home mom
♥ for being lucky enough to be a citizen of the United States of America, where we are free.
♥ for good health
♥ to be alive

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

OB appointment

I just got back from my OB appointment. I had my strep swab test- that was fun- NOT. Then, they did another cervical exam. This time, it was way more painful than last time. I was wondering why- and then he told me I was about 75% effaced and about one and a half centimeters dilated.
Things are moving along! :) I can't wait until my appointment in Grand Rapids next week- it'll be interesting to see how much more progress I'll make in a week's time {and how much bigger Elliot is}.
Can't wait to meet you, Elliot!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

34 weeks!

"Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies."

How far along? 34 weeks!
Baby’s Size: Probably weighs as much as a small cantaloupe since every other baby at this stage is the weight of a regular sized one. :)
Total Weight Gain: Not sure... I'll find out tomorrow.
Bellybutton: It's so cute right now. Actually, I think my WHOLE BELLY is adorable at the moment... I always cringe when they show mamas' bellies on A Baby Story because they always seem to be covered in hair or stretchmarks and have a gross bellybutton or super dark line running up the center... and mine is just perfectly round and smooth. I don't even have a linea negra!
Stretchmarks: Still just on my butt.
Maternity Clothes: 100%... and I really really want more, but I'm trying to resist buying any because I'd probably only get to wear them for a couple more weeks.
Gender: Boy, boy, boy.
Movement: He's been a lot less active lately. I think it may be related to the fact that I've been having so many contractions lately. I don't think he likes them because he NEVER moves during them.
Sleep: I fall asleep SO QUICKLY these days... which is wonderful because normally {when I'm not pregnant} it takes me AGES to fall asleep. I've been waking up at least three or four times a night to pee, though.
Symptoms: Nothing new, except that the last couple days my contractions have become painful whereas before they were just uncomfortable. I've been feeling a lot of pressure in my butt lately, too- not in my crotch, where I would have expected it.
Food Aversions: ?
Food Cravings: I have been EXTRA thirsty lately and I seem to always be snacking because my tummy starts growling again only an hour or so after I eat.
Best Moments this week: Getting to spend time with my sister-in-law and the rest of Aaron's family :) We also put together Elliot's crib and walking by it every day makes me SO HAPPY! It looks super cute.
What I miss: Being able to sit comfortably. No matter what I do, the underwire on my bras and the waistline of my maternity pants dig into my belly and it's sooo uncomfortable. I'm actually more comfy standing up, except that it makes my feet swell more and... obviously I can't just stand around all day long.
What I am Looking forward to: I have an OB appointment tomorrow and then my LAST big appointment and ultrasound in Grand Rapids next week!
Milestones: I absolutely cannot believe I'm 34 weeks pregnant. Elliot will be here within the next three weeks most likely- now THAT is crazy. I really don't have much time left of being pregnant!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bridget's wedding shower

I'm always hearing people complain about their in-laws, and I don't know if I'm just one of the lucky few or what- but I love my in-laws. Seriously! Aaron has a big, fun family who have been nothing but supportive throughout this pregnancy.
Yesterday was my sister-in-law's wedding shower, so I got to spend time with Aaron's family again. It was a really fun day!

Bridget and Jason- soon to be Mr. & Mrs. Schreiber!




Bridget {my sister-in-law}, Rachel {my stepsister-in-law} and I :)

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

A letter to Elliot

Dear Elliot,
This pregnancy has really been flying by lately. We had your baby shower last weekend, and wow- you are loved, little man. You received so many beautiful gifts! We have everything we will need for you- and most of it is ready and waiting for you to come home.
It's probably only a few short weeks until I will finally get to meet you! Lately, I can't stop thinking about how amazing it will be to see and hold you for the first time. I'm constantly wondering what you will look like. I have a feeling that you will have a full head of dark hair like your daddy did when he was born. What color are your eyes?
According to an eye color predictor that I did online, you have a 50% chance of having brown eyes, 31.2% chance of having green eyes, and 18.7% chance of having blue eyes. I hope you have your daddy's green eyes- but it doesn't really matter. I will love you no matter what.
Remember that deal we made a few weeks ago? Well, it looks like you might still be in my belly for Thanksgiving- so I guess I better hold up my end of the deal and eat tons of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes for you. If you're like me, you will LOVE it.
Hang in there, son. Just a few more weeks and you can venture out into this world!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Elliot's {many} hats

Hats for Elliot

It's been awhile since I updated you all on Elliot's Hats. I'd say it's been a success so far, but that would probably be an understatement. Elliot has 29 hats so far! Wow! That's a hat a day for a little over four weeks in the NICU!
Here is a little preview of his growing hat collection.







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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The first {real} snow of the season



This is what I woke up to today: SNOW. Everything was coated with white... the trees, the grass, the rooftops... even our neighbors' jack-o-lanterns! Now, if you're wondering whether or not I actually like snow, I'll divulge: I do like snow, but only in the month of December. If it only snowed for a couple weeks before Christmas, I'd be one happy lady. As far as I'm concerned, the snow should start to melt the day after Christmas. Why? Well. Snow is wet. And cold. And if there's two things I do not enjoy: it's being wet and cold. Not to mention the fact that after SIX MONTHS of the stuff, it really starts to lose the "oooh, pretty!" factor.
Naturally, I needed a pick-me-up after having my lovely morning RUINED by the sight of all this snow... so what did I decide to do? Well, I started listening to Christmas music, of course! I know I may sound a little like Scrooge, with all this "snow!? Bah humbug!" talk, but trust me: I'm definitely not Scrooge: I absolutely LOVE Christmas! It is my favorite time of year. I love every single thing about it. If it was socially acceptable, I'd listen to Christmas music all year long. {In fact, I've been known to secretly listen to Christmas music sometimes in the middle of summer. Shhh!}
So if it's early enough to snow, it must be early enough to start counting down the days until Christmas, right? Well like it or not, I shall be doing just that from now on.

So, this pretty much wraps up my day so far:
1. Cramps. Ouch!
2. Snow. Boo!
3. Christmas Music. YAY!

Oh, and...
37 days until CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh, how I love Etsy!

Here are some of my newest finds on Etsy that I've decided Elliot absolutely must have.
{In fact, I've already ordered two of the four items pictured.}

etsy loves

1. Urban Owls bib by Chloe's Closet
2. Sock monkey hat by Little Darlynns
3. Handmade knit elephant toy by Precious Knits
4. Strollin' blanket by Boco Baby

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

33 weeks!

33 weeks!
"This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood."

How far along? 33 weeks!
Baby’s Size: I have no idea! He's "supposed" to weigh over 4 pounds now (as much as a PINEAPPLE!) ... but I doubt it.
Total Weight Gain: A LOT!!
Bellybutton: Very flat. Not really an innie OR an outie.
Stretchmarks: Still none on my belly *knock on wood*
Maternity Clothes: Yup. And the shirts seem to be getting shorter these days.
Gender: All boy.
Movement: I felt/saw the outline of his little foot the other day! And the funny thing was, I was wondering that same day if that would ever happen to me. Maybe he knew ;)
Sleep: I've been sleeping quite well lately... probably because I'm so tired every night!
Symptoms: The most annoying ones are: back pain, swollen feet and ankles, and GI tract issues. I'll just leave the last one at that. I don't think we need to go into details on that one.
Food Aversions: Nothing, really.
Food Cravings: Food. Any kind of food! I'm hungry 24/7!
Best Moments this week: My baby shower was on Saturday, and it was amazing. I had such a good time, Elliot got so many wonderful gifts, and it was great to see everyone.
What I miss: Not only do I miss having my husband here, I also miss being able to talk to him. We haven't been talking nearly as much as we used to lately, and it makes me sad.
What I am Looking forward to: Putting together Elliot's crib and washing some of his clothes :)
Milestones: Well, here I am, THIRTY-THREE weeks pregnant! Everyday I thank God for letting me remain pregnant for one more day. {I read somewhere that everyday you are pregnant subtracts three days from the average baby's NICU stay}

Monday, November 15, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

You know those "this is your brain on drugs" commercials? Well, here's a glimpse of my pregnancy brain.
1. Elliot is a night owl. He hardly moves all day and then, I kid you not, the very moment I lay down... he decides to have a solo dance party in my belly. But it's okay because...
2. Fleece sheets are heavenly. Seriously. Have you ever tried them? Because every night when I crawl into bed, I feel like I'm sinking into a fuzzy, fleecy, king-sized cloud. And even though there is a baby wildly kicking my cervix and punching my ribs... I can still fall asleep.
3. I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions lately ... and they turn my belly into a flat SQUARE. I wonder if that's normal?!
4. Apparently, my belly makes a nice shelf. I asked my brother to share his pretzels last night, and he happily obliged... by placing a handful on my belly. I laughed so hard that they fell off but... I put them back just so I could take a picture.
Pretzel belly!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baby Shower

My baby shower yesterday couldn't have been more perfect. We had a huge turnout and although there were a lot of people who didn't know eachother, I think everyone mingled well and had a good time. I got an amazing number of gifts. I have hardly anything left to buy for Elliot, yet I received almost $1000 in giftcards and money! Oh well. I'm sure I'll find a way to spend it! I can't believe everyone's generosity- it was utterly amazing. I couldn't be more thankful.
We did a question and answer session about Gastroschisis... and I'm so glad. It went extremely well. Everyone had really good questions and it was such a great way to inform and educate everyone about his condition. It also saved me from answering the same questions over and over again- an added bonus! Everyone is so optimistic about Elliot's situation. It sounds like we will have a lot of family and friends visiting our little family in the hospital, which will be wonderful. It is obvious how much everyone cares- Elliot is truly loved.
I haven't really had a chance to look at all of the pictures yet. I was too busy going through all of the things I got and putting it all away {my favorite part!}. So here is just a little glimpse of the shower.

the cake :)
The cake- it says "waiting for our little miracle, Elliot Reid"
Some of the gifts.
Mom & I at my babyshower
My mom, who hosted the shower, and I.
Opening presents
Opening presents!
Another shot of the Money Tree
My Aunt Diane and cousin Renee made me this money tree- along with a handmade card with a beautiful message inside suggesting different ways to use the money while Elliot is in the NICU. It was extremely touching. I totally teared up!
Hope & Believe
so sweet.
The message inside the money tree card:
Perhaps you need gas money to go see Elliot.
Perhaps you need some dinner after a long day of sitting with Elliot.
Perhaps you need a book to read while you sit by Elliot's side.
Perhaps you just need a break and a new pair of jeans that would fit you now.
Use the money tree however you need to...
Perhaps... this will bring a smile to your face!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New layout!

Yes, I did it again. After fiddling around with Shabby Blogs for a few weeks and not being able to get my blog quite how I wanted it {I'm a perfectionist}, I stumbled upon The Design Girl's website. She does FANTASTIC blog layouts- you should really check her out. This one was actually just a template... but I love it. Clean, fresh, modern... exactly what I needed. :)

Waiting waiting waiting...

I had another OB appointment today.
And I am 1 cm dilated! So basically, this means that it's in Elliot's hands now. We're just along for the ride. He could be born in a couple days or weeks from now... no way to know, really.
I've also gained an insane amount of weight. A lot of it is because I'm retaining fluids like crazy but... WOW! Oh well. Hopefully some of that weight is going to my little man and making him bigger and stronger.
My babyshower is tomorrow! I can't wait! :) I can't believe it's here already. Time is really flying by now.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have you thanked a soldier today?

As you all know, my husband is currently serving our country in South Korea. But what most of you do not know is that he also spent a long fifteen months in Iraq- where he was shot in the head by a sniper. This earned him a purple heart. Miraculously, he survived and is still fighting for our country today!
I try to thank God every day for sparing his life and bringing him safely home to me. Not everyone is so lucky. Aaron lost friends in Iraq- friends whose families were left behind.

Aaron Patrick:
Thank you for everything that you do for this country.
I couldn't be more proud.
Happy Veteran's Day.

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
-Elmer Davis

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My poor feet!


You see? Cankles, I tell you! And the sad part is, it has actually gotten worse since I took this picture. To the point where I'm a little nervous that this could be more than just normal pregnancy swelling. I'm going to ask my OB about it at my appointment Friday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

32 weeks!

"By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb."

How far along? 32 weeks!
Baby’s Size: Well, he weighed 3 lbs 1 oz the other day... hopefully he's gained a couple more ounces since then?
Bellybutton: It's almost flat now... a really shallow innie.
Stretchmarks: An army of stretchies has taken up camp on my butt. They better not try to cross into enemy territory (aka my thighs, hips, or belly) or else it will be WAR!!
Maternity Clothes: Absolutely. Most of my maternity shirts that used to be super long hardly cover my butt now... which annoys me because leggings are sooo much more comfy than jeans... but I don't really like my (bigger) butt being exposed for everyone to see.
Gender: No doubt about it. He wasn't shy at my ultrasound... DEFINITELY a boy.
Movement: He's pretty sleepy all day long, but come bedtime... watch out! He always gets a sudden burst of energy the moment I lay down.
Sleep: Not horrible, but not great, either.
Symptoms: This pregnancy has gave me a new appreciation for those with chronic backpain. I have back problems to begin with, but it NEVER hurt as bad as it does now. Also- my ankles are completely gone. I now have very swollen cankles. And my knees are starting to swell as well. Oh joy.
Food Aversions: Meat and I still aren't getting along.
Food Cravings: Fruit has been my friend lately. And I've been craving orange juice a lot, too.
Best Moments this week: My appointment in Grand Rapids. We FINALLY got a peek at his face on the 3D ultrasound, and to everyone's surprise, he was MUCH bigger than expected. :)
What I miss: My anklebones.
What I am Looking forward to: BABYSHOWER ON SATURDAY!! Also, I finally decided on and ordered a new camera- and it's supposed to come tomorrow. I can't wait to start using it!
Milestones: I made it to 32 weeks. I made it to 32 weeks. I made it to 32 weeks. Can you tell I'm excited? All along, they've told me that if I could make it this far, Elliot would have a very good chance of being able to breathe on his own. But they didn't think I'd make it. And now- here I am :) Now let's see if I can make it to my next goal- Thanksgiving.

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Could you do me a favor and vote for me? It only takes a few seconds, and you can vote once a day.
Now that I'm in the homestretch, Elliot could literally be here any day now and once he's born... there's the potential for TONS of people to learn about his condition, gastroschisis.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elliot's hats

Thankyou for all of the birthday wishes yesterday! I had a good day. My family and I went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and just for fun, I asked the waitress to guess how old I was. She guessed 17. Typical! Oh well :)

Hats for Elliot
I thought I'd show you some of Elliot's new hats. The response to Operation: Elliot's Hats has been phenomenal. I've been amazed by everyone's generosity and feel very blessed that so many people care about our little Elliot.
Trina & Alex- that giraffe is tooo cute! Thanks!
Thanks Gretchen & Jemma!
Thanks, Amber & Tillie! :)
Made with love by my mother-in-law, Karen :)

There are more, but I'm saving them for another update that I'll post in a few days :)