Sunday, November 27, 2011


We're counting down to a LOT of special dates in our family right now....and all I can say is one of them is 1/3 of the way over!


Holiday Traditions

Do you have fun holiday traditions that you enjoy?  Every year it seems harder and harder to hold on to some of the traditions we enjoyed.  Being happily married equals two wonderful families that want to spend as much time as possible together and that presents road blocks to celebrating the holidays exactly like we did growing up.

I had a pastor preach a sermon once on the importance of establishing traditions in your own home.  Eventually my child(ren) will be grown up to start remembering how we did things and I want to have some special memories for them.

So I'm wondering....what are some of your holiday traditions?  What are things that you did in your own home growing up that you plan to continue?  What are some new ideas that you are just dying to try?

I'm especially interested in ideas about teaching the true meaning of Christmas to my children.  We aren't an "anti-santa" home but we definitely want the focus of the season to be on Christ and His coming to earth.  Next year (because I think the Little Guy is still a little bit little) we'll definitely be adding in a fun advent activity to lead up to Christmas.  I just don't know what it will be!!

So give me all your best ideas!!!  I'll try to post some that I find as well!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pregnancy Update

This is not a picture of me now.  It is actually a picture from week 19 when I was pregnant with the Little Guy.  I'm hoping to get a picture in the next week or so and then I can put them up together so I can compare pregnancy 1 and pregnancy 2.

Here are a few of my stats from pregnancy 2.  I wasn't great at remembering these things for my first pregnancy so I wanted to be better this time around.  Clearly I'm not doing a great job since I don't even have a current belly shot!!

17 Weeks 2 Days

Weight Gain: 1-2 pounds (I couldn't remember where I started when I went in the first time!)

Sleeping: as often as I can!  This pregnancy has wiped me out.  Thankfully my little one is a good sleeper.  He takes two good naps each day and sleeps a solid 12 hours at night.  I nap at least once with him and sometimes twice.  I swear running around after him all day wears me out and it has probably kept me in better shape this time around!

Craving....fruit and donuts!  I'm indulging one of these!  I gained WAY too much weight last time around so I'm trying to be really careful this time.  I don't NEED the fruit like I needed OJ with my first pregnancy (some of you readers will remember my obsession with the orange stuff) but I want it all the time.  I especially like fruity carbonated drinks.  I've found a 2-calorie drink out here that I love!  I also sometimes mix OJ with carbonated water to get my fix.  I do not want anything to do with meat.  It all sounds gross to me, especially burgers which are usually my favorite!!

Other Symptoms....carpal tunnel!  I don't have it as bad as some of my other expecting friends but I wake up often with no feeling in either hand.  I know I can't sleep on my back much longer and then I'm afraid of what will happen once I have to sleep on my sides!!  I've also had heartburn a lot more this pregnancy.  I had it last time but not until I was about 33ish weeks.

Baby....I'm just starting to be able to feel those sweet little baby swishy feelings.  I love it!  I can't wait until the Little Guy can feel them too!

Other random things....we find out the gender of this sweet baby on December 13th!  I can't wait!!  My sweet husband is not the name enthusiast like myself so he insists that we can't discuss names until we only have 1 to narrow down!  It's going to be hard either way!

So far I haven't had to wear any maternity clothes.  I do think running after the Little Guy has helped keep the weight off.  I was SO nervous when I was pregnant the first time to do anything remotely physical because I was afraid of a miscarriage or something happening.  I don't have any choice but to run after this little man and he is a busy guy!  We've been filling up our day with zoo visits and walks to the grocery store!

Here is the 19 week shot from last time.  I'll try to get a comparison shot up soon!

There's a Reason for Those....

I'm certainly not a super experienced Mom.  But I'll tell you what, there is one baby item that I absolutely can not  live without.  It's not really a normal item and it might not be a universally applicable "can't live without" item.  But after today it is totally elevated to my number one time saver for new and old Mamas.

The Ultimate Crib Sheet

It sounds fancy.  It sounds expensive.  It's not.  But it IS totally necessary!

This crib sheet simply lays on top of your crib sheet and has snaps that go around the slats of your crib.  If baby spits up during the night or has a major blowout instead of taking all of the sheets and bumpers off your crib all you have to do is unsnap the crib sheet, wash it, and viola.....clean bed.

In preparation for an upcoming trip I told myself that I had to wash our crib sheet.  I must admit that beds are one of my least favorite chores.  I don't know why but I HATE putting the sheets back on the bed.  In fact Peter is the one who makes the bed if it is going to be made.  Otherwise I might not change the sheets for an undisclosed period of time.  In college my Mom used to task my roommates to remind me that it was appropriate to change my sheets.  I'm sure I learned something in school but changing my sheets can't be included.

So yesterday, like the good Mama I am, I took off the UCS and washed it.  The Little Guy and I had to run some errands and we didn't get home until late last night.  Little Guy isn't a "spit up" or "blowout" kind of guy so I wasn't really worried about him sleeping on the regular sheet for one night.

Clearly a mistake.

I knew something was amiss when I walked in this morning and his pants were on the floor.  If I leave him in the crib too long in the mornings after waking he starts throwing things out of the crib.  Usually he throws his  pacifier and then his stuffed animals.  Today it was his pants.

Then I peeked in his crib.  Horror!  Ok actually it wasn't that bad.  But it was bad enough that I had to take off the crib sheet AND the mattress pad.  Are you kidding me?  After I washed and dried both of these it took me over 30 minutes to put this bed back together.  I had to literally take the mattress entirely out of the bed to get the mattress pad back on.  The only thing I could think of was I am SO glad this didn't happen in February or March when I am hugely pregnant.  Otherwise my child might be sleeping in the pack-n-play permanently!

I have totally learned my lesson.  I knew better than to let him sleep on that bed without the UCS.  I swear I will NEVER let him do it again!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old vs New

We've been here in our "new" house for a little over 2 months now.  It is hard to believe that we've been gone from our "home" since the middle of July.  In some ways time has flown and in other ways it seems to crawl.

One of the most fun things about moving is getting to start over in a new house.  It's clean, new  to you and fun to personalize and make our own.  Unfortunately for my poor husband that meant lots of "can you move this there" and "I think we need another baby gate" for weeks on end.  Things still aren't perfect here at the new house but it is certainly getting there.

I've noticed some major differences living in a house that is over 100 years old.  So here are some of the positives and negatives about our new place.

1. I can't lock the front door from the inside.  I HATE having to put the key in once I'm outside, usually trying to balance Stafford, a diaper bag and who knows what else.
2. Outlets are few and far between and even when the are there they either don't work or only have 2 prongs. (not something to worry about in a new house)
3. You can wave to someone if you are standing above/below the vents.  Know what this means?  Noise travels!!
4. The wooden stairs are super squeaky!!
5. I can't use the microwave and the nearby outlet at the same time or it blows the circuit.
6. Wood floors are easy to clean but dust shows up FAST!!
7. Buying carpets for an entire house is expensive!!
8.Old house equals no overhead lights or ceiling fans.

Things I LOVE
1. Built-in bookshelf.  If you really know me, enough said!
2. Every room is unique.
3. Gorgeous ceilings.
4. A huge laundry room with a utility sink and a built-in china cabinet.
5. The sun-porch on the second floor.
6. The sun-room off the dining room.  It's hidden by the massive front porch and rhododendron but still lets in lots of sunny warmth when it's available!
7. The gorgeous views of the South and Mt. Rainier IF you know where to look for it.
8. Window everywhere!
9. The heat lamp in the upstairs bathroom!  Why don't ALL bathrooms have these?
10. Fun hidden closets with Stafford-sized windows.
11. Way less bathrooms to clean!
12. Easy wood floors to clean.
13. Backyard with a fence so Bear can play.
14. The hot tub
15. Huge front porch....can't wait to sit out here with a huge glass of iced tea next summer.
16. Working fireplace with huge gorgeous mantel.
17. A refrigerator with a freezer drawer (on the bottom if that makes sense) Love it!
18. Beautiful garden window in kitchen.

I could seriously go on and on about how much I love our new house!  It certainly has it's quirks....but it is starting to feel more and more like home.  In the next few days I swear I'm going to take some pictures so I can show you some of the fun built-ins and other stuff.  It is so unique!

What are some of your favorite or least favorite things about your house?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today I'm Thankful For

This Little Guy.....

and a healthy appointment for this little girl or guy!

April is going to be a happy month in our house indeed!!

My Little Tiger

Trying out our tiger costume

That dimple gets me every time!

Posing with pumpkins

Mama, I just want to play!!

Happy Halloween!!

Such a poser!  When I stopped taking pictures he ran back over to these pumpkins, sat down and started saying "cheese" as loud as he could!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chitter Chatter

I keep telling myself I am going to write down all of the words this sweet boy is saying.  So here is a little summary of his language acquisition so far.

We started out trying to teach him baby signs.  I don't know if we weren't consistent enough or if he just wasn't interested but he didn't want to do them at all.  On our trip out here he starting saying Dada pretty consistently.  He also starting waving to us from the back seat of the car.  One day when we were eating breakfast I started working with him on the sign for please.  He decided that he would rather say please.  So we started practicing and he quickly learned how to say please and uses it in the correct concept.

After please he added Mama and up to his vocabulary.  He uses up when hwants to be picked up or when we are going up the stairs.  Recently he also says up when he wants me to put him down so I've been trying to teach him down as well.

We have a Nickelodeon video called "Curious Buddies" that the Little Guy loves to watch.  One day I noticed that when the cows come on the video he was making a noise.  The next time we watched he did it again.  So I started asking him what noise the cow makes.  He very confidently replies....Boo!!  He will also sometimes tell you that the tiger says "roar" but it is not very ferocious!

He also says, apple, airplane, cracker, uh-oh, all done, yellow, bye bye, hi, more, teeth, milk and something that sounds like ball or bear.  We read his letter book everyday and after I say each word he often tries to imitate the word.  He also says "boo" everytime he sees a cow or anything that looks like a cow.  He has been able to recognize the cow on his pajamas and in other books.

I'll try to get the videos of "what does the cow say" up soon!

Underwater Adventure

It's been a crazy few months for us.  Settling in to a new house and new routine has been a little harder for me than I thought!  I've also been weighing the pros and cons of having a private blog and whether I really want to maintain two.  I want to be respectful of our family's privacy but at the same time have enjoyed the community and a couple of relationships that have developed through meeting other bloggers that I've never actually "met."  So while I keep contemplating the future of my little bit of reality here I'll share some pictures from our recent visit to the aquarium.

On our trip out here we went to the zoo and also saw lots of wild animals in the national parks.  We got a zoo membership as soon as we arrived (we're only 3 miles away!!) and took Little Guy one of the first weeks we were in our new house.  We found that the animals are often too far away for him to notice and it was more fun for us.  The aquarium however is a totally different ballgame.  The fish and turtles are so close that he really enjoyed interacting with them.  So it was even MORE fun for Mama and Daddy because we love to watch him having fun!!

He was super interested in looking at himself in the mirror.

Looking at the fish and turtles with Daddy.

Loving on Mama.

This is where you can find the Little Guy most of the time if Daddy is around.


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