Anyone who has known me for more than a year knows that I am absolutely horrid when it comes to Thank You notes. Hopefully, those same people know that it is NOT because I am not thankful, but rather, I am just irresponsible. So as I gave Athena her bath tonight, it occurred to me just how much stuff we have received from our wonderful friends and family that we use every day. And so I would like to take this post to thank as many of you as I can think of. (The hazard of a post like this is I will forget someone, but I have to take that chance. If I don't mention something you gave us, just ask me... I can tell you at least one story about it, I'm sure).
These are in no particular order. Please consider this my official thanks, not only for these gifts, but for any gifts you have given us over the last two years. Honestly, we couldn't have given Athena such a comfortable start without them. (And for those of you who are about to deliver or have friends who are about to deliver, keep these gifts in mind when you are registering or shopping!)
Petunia Picklebottom Diaper Bag - This was one of the first gifts we received. My sister sent it to me for Christmas when I was pregnant. It's MUCH nicer than anything I would have purchased for myself and it's absolutely gorgeous. Best of all, it's red and black -- the colors of MY Carolina Hurricanes. We take it to every hockey game, and MANY other events. We do have a couple of other bags of varying sizes, but this one is by far my favorite.
Bassett Crib - My mother bought this for us. It's an absolutely lovely piece of furniture and will convert to a double bed when He Who Must Not Be Named graduates from the crib. Obviously, we use this every night.
Changing Table from Pottery Barn Kids - I vowed I wouldn't buy anything at this store, as it is all lovely, but WAY out of my price range. However, after looking everywhere for a changing table that didn't look like crap and wasn't a dresser, this was the only one I liked. Chris' dad bought it for us. And my aching back thanks him every time I use it. Athena's too big for it now, but we still put her up there. Diaper changing is bad enough without also having to break your back to do it.
Little Moon nursery lamp - I registered for this completely on a whim, because I thought every nursery needed a lamp. Now I KNOW that every nursery needs a lamp. It puts out very little light (I think it's a 30 watt bulb) and the bulb is inside a plastic moon, so it glows when you turn it on. It allows us to enter her bedroom and see our way around without completely blinding/waking Athena. Staci sent this to us all the way from Washington, and I think of her every time I flip it on.
Baby Blankets - All of the blankets we received have been well-used. However, two stand out as the clear favorites. The dark purple blanket was given to us by Athena's Uncle Dave and Aunt Shelley. It was handmade by a friend of Shelley's in Virginia, I think, and it is INCREDIBLY soft and fluffy. The yarn is dyed in layers, so the blanket actually is varying shades of purple. We took this one on the cruise with us and there were two evening events we attended where we took it with us. Both nights, several people stopped to comment on what a fantastic blanket it is, and Athena agrees. The other blanket is also handmade and is a light purple. Chris' mom made it from a very soft wool she found in England. This is the blanket Athena takes to daycare each week for naptime. It's a very lightweight blanket, but is still cozy and warm. Both are the blankets Athena is drawn to when she is allowed to choose.
Baby Mozart DVD - Brian and Sophie gave this to us for Christmas when I was still pregnant. Even from about 3 months, this DVD would calm Athena almost immediately. Since then, we have purchased an entire library of the things. They are like candy for babies. She still loves them.
Step and Play Piano - Chris' sister Nicky bought this for Athena when she was still little more than a lump in my arms. She began playing with it at about five months of age, and she still loves to go over and stomp on the keys. It converted easily from a walker-type toy to a play center.
Bath cups - Kim R. gave me these at my baby shower. They were an item I registered for because I was told I would appreciate having them instead of using glasses/cups from the kitchen. They go EVERYWHERE with us. They've been to Virginia, Bald Head Island, Austin, San Francisco, and most recently, the Caribbean. We even move them between bathrooms, as Athena also likes to use them in the shower. I use them to wash her hair, and she loves to play with them. I would have never guessed such a basic gift would get so much use.
Bathtub play mat - Chris' sister Lisa sent this to Athena for her birthday. It has little waterproof pieces that she can take out and move around and tuck back into the little pockets. She adores this mat. And now that she says some words, she can identify the bird and the bee and the flowers on the mat.
"The patchwork dress" - Unfortunately, kids grow out of clothes. We have had MANY outfits that we just love, but this dress was my favorite. She wore it for the last time for Pirate Night on the cruise. I loved it because it snapped all the way up the back. It was so easy to get her in and out of it and she looked unforgivably cute in it. This was a gift from Chris' uncle Rick and his girlfriend Judy (who we call Aunt Judy just because it's easier.) :-) They gave it to us just before I delivered, and although it was an 18 month size, she was able to wear it from about her first birthday through to November.
So that hits the highlights. We received hundreds of things... literally, so I don't intend to bore you with stories about all of them (I could do it... trust me). But like I said, if you wonder about something you gave us... just ask me. :-)
And once again, thanks. We have the best friends and family in the world. Happy Holidays to all of you. :-)