Friday, November 30, 2012

Walnut Room

Dear Connor and Grace,

Grammie Mo has wonderful memories of dressing up and going downtown Chicago around the holidays when she was a little girl. She remembers eating dinner at the Walnut Room and seeing the HUGE Christmas tree and windows at Marshall Fields. We are excited to continue on this family tradition. Enjoy! 

Love, Mommy

Grammie Mo, Grandpa Den and Uncle Matt headed into the city about 10 minutes before we did and were ready outside the doors of Macy's when they opened. They were able to head right up to the Walnut Room and wait in a short line. The timing  worked out perfectly. We arrived and were all seated right below the Christmas tree.
We even met a fairy princess who sprinkled magical fairy dust on Grace.
Our fancy Christmas meal went so well, we decided to push our luck with an infant and toddler in tow. We decided to meet Santa Claus! Again, we lucked out. The entire Santa experience was only about 30 minutes. Grace met Graceland, who gave you a lot of attention and showed you how to turn on the bears.
We were entertained with the interactive displays all the way into Santa's living room where he was patiently waiting for us. Santa was a natural with you two.

Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Dear Connor and Grace,
Thanks to Daddy and my great friend, Rachel, we spent our Saturday at the circus. I highly recommend going to the show, especially if you have a toddler in tote. Grace LOVED it! You were mesmerized and sat on Gma's lap the entire time. You clapped at the acts and waved goodbye as the people and animals left after their performances. We may have to make going to the circus a family tradition. Enjoy! 
Love, Mommy
This is what Daddy did before the circus started...
...and this is what Mommy did.
It was wonderful catching up with Rachel. I felt so special being backstage, seeing where she runs the show, meeting some of her coworkers and seeing where the circus ferret's personal room is located. She even hooked us up with a really cool elephant painting, which we'll be hanging in your playroom.  
After a delicious meal (and margarita) at El Taco Real, we headed home.

The last time I was at the circus I was in early elementary school. I remember two things...getting my face painted like a clown and eating a snow cone out of a really cool clown cup. I didn't find a picture of me at the circus when I was a little girl, but I did come across this gem while I was going through my old pictures for my high school reunion. 
My best friend growing up, Lauren Ziemba.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Dear Connor and Grace,
Daddy and I are grateful of so much, but we are especially thankful of you two. We feel beyond blessed to have two healthy and happy babies. We are thankful of our wonderful family and love that we are finally settled into our new house, which is close to so many of them. We've really enjoyed our family time and look forward to many memories to come.

We spent the first half of the holiday celebrating Thanksgiving with Daddy's side of the family. This year we all got together at Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Chuck's house. Grace had a blast playing with her cousin, Brittany. I wish we would have a taken a picture of the two of your playing. You loved her doll from when she was a little girl, who happened to have on the same outfit you were wearing. Then, we headed to Aunt Betsy and Uncle Ron's house to continue the celebration with my side of the family. Enjoy!
Love, Mommy

awww...Gotta love the baby smirks.
Spensor had the magic touch calming Connor down. 
Choo Choo!
Grace and Amy, Aunt Joni's dog, were best buddies.
Grace and Aunt Shushan
Papa Jerry and his Grandkids and Great-Grandbabies
(minus Hannah and Jeryl)
One day we will all be at the same place...same time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shed Aquarium

Dear Connor and Grace,
A couple weeks ago we went on our first major outing as a family of four. Since it was an unseasonably warm Saturday in November, Daddy and I thought it would be a fantastic idea to go to the zoo. After paying for parking, it literally started down pouring as we sat debating what to do inside our dry car. There were too many factors against us this time: 
Infant. Toddler. Proper stroller rain gear left at home. 
Once both of you were fed, and put back in your carseats, we headed into the city. After spending basically our entire morning getting you two ready and packing up the car, we were going to do something fun! We headed into the city to the Shed Aquarium. Daddy can't remember the last time he was there and has been throwing out the idea since we've moved back from London (including that morning). I guess I should have listened to him. Enjoy! 
Nierengarten Family 0 - Zoo 2
Until our next rematch...
Love, Mommy

Of course the weather was perfect in the city. Yes, we did check the forecast before we left. Unfortunately, we only checked our quick App that gives the current weather for our current location. Current being the key word....Munster and not Brookfield. The weather back home was gorgeous allllll day. 
As annoying at the morning was, Daddy and I were in great spirits. I'm so grateful that we both decided to go to the aquarium instead of getting overly frustrated and traveling back home. I give a lot of credit to our great moods due to the fact that GMa and Papa watched you two for 6 hours later that night while Daddy and I went out on a hot date in the city for my birthday. Yes, we went to the city twice in one day. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Connor's Baptism

Dear Connor,
You were Baptized into the Catholic church last Sunday. Your family and one very special friend of Mommy and Daddy's were there to celebrate with you. Msgr. Dan Mayall Baptized you at Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago. We had everyone over to the house for our first official party after your ceremony. Enjoy!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

My Grandma Marian made the gown you were Baptized in. Your Grandma Patti and all of her siblings wore it as well as my siblings and me. Your big sister Grace wore it too.
Mommy and Daddy's brothers and our good friend, Alyse Hawkins, were asked to be your Godparents. 
Thank you Msgr. Mayall for marrying us and baptizing both Grace and now Connor.
Four Generations
Your Baptism was Papa Jerry's first time holding you. He doesn't feel comfortable holding babies when they're only a couple days old. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Connor- 1 month

Stats: 1 month, 10 lbs. 1 oz (after considering your initial weight loss, you've gained 3.5 lbs.), 22 in

Temperament: You're a happy baby. During the day you have normal baby fussiness, but in the evenings you can be pretty fussy on and off for about 2-3 hours. Your most difficult evening lasted from the moment Daddy walked in the door at 5:30 PM until 11 PM. You love your swing, but hate your carseat and riding in the car. You want to eat nonstop during the day, (I usually have to stretch you out to 2 hours in between feedings)  
Sleep patterns: As an infant, you sleep like a rockstar. Your shortest stretch at night has been 4 hours and your longest has been 7! You go "down for the night" between 8-9:30 and wake up between 6:30-8 AM with 1-2 middle of the night feedings. 

How we spent the day: It was a beautiful Saturday and we wanted to do something fun as a new family of four. We unsuccessfully tried going to Brookfield Zoo. It started down pouring and after a feeding in the $10 parking lot, we headed to the Shed Aquarium. (blog post to come)
Grace insisted she joined your one month photo session. We're working on your big sister saying all done when she's had enough instead of pushing you away.

A special thanks goes out to Ali Morin for the adorable onesies Connor will be modeling every month! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Halloween party

Dear Connor and Grace,
We went to a Halloween party this year at Ms. Katie's house. All the mommies and kiddos from our regular daytime play dates, got together to celebrate Halloween. It was our first (and only so far) time we went to a friend's house with Connor. My friends, Ms. Julie and Ms. Katie were very helpful. They made it very easy to want to meet up again soon. How about Friday for Lyla's birthday? Enjoy!
Love, Mommy
Sibling love
Ms. Julie helped Grace decorate her trick-or-treat bucket while Mommy fed Connor.
You loved picking out puffy stickers and placing them exactly where you wanted them on your bucket. 
The Hurey Family (minus Mr. Brandon)
Lyla played teacher and read all the kiddos a Halloween story.
Everyone brought their own treats for each other so we could practice trick-or-trerating with our new buckets.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Dear Grace and Connor,

We're probably going to be dressing up quite a bit this winter for Indiana University basketball games since we're the preseason #1 team in the country.  If you don't end up being IU basketball fans by the time you're older your mother and I would be extremely surprised.  Let the brainwashing begin.

I-U Clap, Clap!

Love Mommy and Daddy
Grace, ever since Uncle Matt's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Weinheimer, sent you an adorable IU cheerleading doll, you've started saying "IU." I was able to capture you practicing the IU chant with Daddy.
A couple days later, you woke up from your nap chanting again. It made me smile so big. I just had to record the screen of your monitor with my phone.
Connor, you're on board too. (at least at this point in your life.)

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