Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Perfect Day

I have to admit I had super mixed feelings about yesterday.  I'm stressed anytime I have a flight.  And that is without a Little Guy.  A very squirmy, wants to be "down" all the time Little Guy.  Knowing that I had a 3 hour layover followed by a 5, yes 5, hour flight was a little stressful.  I guess it was good because it kept me from getting too over emotional at saying goodbye to my parents.  I know that I'll see them in 3 short months when Littlest Guy arrives.  But they have been so supportive and helpful as I have navigated the "forced single parenthood" for the last 4 months.  

We're back home now with 60ish days to go.  And seriously I'm not sure this day could have been more perfect.  Well let's rewind to yesterday.  Could my long flight have been any better?  On our way to the East Coast back in November I was 17 weeks pregnant and barely showing.  We sat mushed between the window and two burly men and tried to keep busy.  This time we were so blessed to have two seats.  I thought the Little Guy would sleep for at least half of the flight but he only slept for 45 minutes.  I had my arsenal of Nook apps, books, snacks and a truck magazine procured at Walmart on the way to the airport. (We are REALLY into trucks!)  It was still a long 5 hours but seriously he was a champ.  

Our friend Ali picked us up at the airport and helped us get our luggage inside.  Little Guy was SO tired by then that we went straight to be around 7pm PST.  I figured we'd have an early morning today but he slept after 8!  So hopefully we are back on Pacific time!

We started the day with pancakes and milk that we picked up at the McDonald's drive-thru last night!  Then the mail came bringing 3 of our packages that we mailed last week.  There were clothes, Christmas presents and lots of books!  S spent the morning re-discovering our house and toys and I started cleaning.  I cleaned out our "3rd" bedroom (not sure you can really call it that since I think it is really a walk-in closet) and measured it to make sure a crib will fit.  Little Guy will sleep there until he and Littlest Guy are ready to be on the same sleep schedule.  Then I started in on organizing our bedroom and the boys' room.  It's still a work in progress but I feel like I got 2 weeks of work done this morning.

After the mail came we started anticipating our first grocery delivery!  I decided to give it a try this time so I wouldn't have to run out and get groceries today.  It was fabulous!!  They didn't have two items but we weren't charged of course.  After a little lunch we got another delivery!!  Sweet flowers from a sweet husband and Daddy!
Top all of this off with a gorgeous sunrise and hopefully a win by the CATS tonight and I'm not sure it could get more perfect given the circumstances!  I'm so thankful!!  The last 10 weeks at home, at my in-laws and visiting friends has been amazing.  But we are so excited to actually start life out here in Washington.  And we can't wait until we get to do it with Daddy and Baby Brother!!

Please excuse my iphone quality pictures today.  It's an iphone picture kind of day!  This first picture is of 1 of the mountains of clothing to be taken upstairs.  My suitcases were too heavy to carry so  I did load after load in the laundry basket.  I'll try to get a better picture of my gorgeous flowers tomorrow!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding Joy In...

......a finished photobook for the Little Guy's first year.

.....a fabulous dinner with my Aunt & Uncle on Thursday night.

.....a shopping trip planned for tomorrow with my sister and brother-in-law.

.....Little Guy showing lots of love to his great-grandparents today.

....the sweet friendship that Little Guy and Counsin Nola have even though the live thousands of miles away.

....Skype dates with my sweet husband.

.....the funny new words that Little Guy is adding to his vocabulary.

.....and nice night out to dinner with my parents and a well-behaving little boy.

......4 boxes on their way to WA for me to unpack next week after arriving HOME!!

.....searching for a baby name.

......sweet little kicks from the Littlest Guy.

.....Cabury Mini-Eggs.

......a little boy that is feeling MUCH better than this time last week.

......amazing weather and protection through-out our travels the last 10 weeks.

.....um, next week is February!!!!

......a patient loving God

......a fun package on it's way to my sweet husband!


I couldn't choose between these two.  I'm so happy that he has had this chance to spend time with his wonderful great-grandparents!!


Linking with Darcy, Becky, Jennifer, Rachel & Courtney

Toddler Thursday

Confused yet?  Because it's totally Friday night at my house.  I've been wanting to start a series of things that have to do with babies/toddlers/kids for a while now and honestly life has just gotten in the way.  Ha!  There is lesson number one....life will get in the way!

I decided this would be the week I started and then all of the sudden Thursday was over but I don't want to wait a week so I'm going to start now. 

I have so many sweet friends who are waiting on babies in one way or another.  Some may want advice and others don't.  But for those who like my advice I thought it would be nice to get it all in once place.  So I thought I would start at the beginning.

THE BABY REGISTRY

I don't know about you but I literally walked into BabiesRUs to buy someone a baby gift long before I was pregnant and almost walked out.  There is SO MUCH STUFF in that store!  There are like 95 versions of a pacifier.  There are pacifier holders, drink holders, stroller, bouncers, jumpers and tons of other "ers" that are totally confusing for a Mommy and Daddy to be.

I'll admit that I'm a total nerd.  I wasn't about to buy just any bouncer or stroller.  I wanted to read the reviews.  And that is one thing that is great about the internet.  Lots and lots and lots of information.  However it is hard to wade through and make good decisions based on a stranger who is upset that they spent 100 dollars on something that was broken in a week.

So here is my advice for registering...

1. Do It Online

I never darkened the door of a store to make a baby registry when I was pregnant with my first.  I did the whole thing online.  It was fabulous.  Some things are easy.  We're having a boy.  We can either get a swaddler that has ballerinas or is camo print.  I'm going with the camo print.  But other things are really hard.  Which breast pump is the best?  What type of video monitor do I want?  I would narrow my choices down to two or three and then do a little reading in the comments section.  Sometimes I would register for both if I wasn't ready to choose. 

2. Cheat

I had a lot of friends who paved the way and were pregnant before me.  BabiesRUs saves your registry for quite a while.  So being the internet stalker that I am I totally went on other people's registries to see what they were registered for.  Sometimes the online location of certain products (it took me weeks to find a changing pad) is not super intuitive.  If something is on another registry you can simply click on the item and add it to yours.  Many thanks to many friends for help with my registry!

3. Learn the Lingo

What's the difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddler?  Tandem...huh?  There are so many baby words to learn!  Upon the suggestion of a friend I bought the book Baby Bargains when I was newly pregnant.  Second only to my baby name book and of course "What To Expect" I used this book religiously when picking out everything from furniture to a pump.  The people who write this book do so without any compensation from any company so their opinions are fairly unbiased.  The rate items based on safety, price and how important those things should be to you.  For instance, if you want to buy super expensive crib bedding they don't care but it's going to probably have a lower rating than something that is reasonable and well made. 

I loved this book!  It helped me weed out what I could do without and what I might really need.  It helped me weed out certain brands based on safety.  I used it for almost everything.  They come out with a new version yearly that way things like carseats etc are current.  This is a must have if you are trying to register!

4. Range

Register for things in a large price and age range.  People tend to spend less on baby gifts than on wedding gifts and there is nothing worse than going to buy a gift and finding out everything on the registry is over 100 dollars to purchase.  I also suggest registering for some clothes.  Why?  Because people are going to buy them for you anyway, especially if you have a little girl.  For some reason people can not resist little baby girl clothes.  So register for some that you like and you can always take them back and get the credit if you decide you don't want them! 

Also, register for things in a large age range.  That tiny little baby is going to be growing out of his bouncer and into his jumper before you know it.  It's kind of like wedding china.  You probably aren't serving a ton of meals on it as a newlywed but you'll be happy you have it when you're entertaining your boss in your home one day.  I suggest books, rattles, carseat toys etc.

5. Restraint

You do not need everything the books say you need.  Find a trusted Mommy friend that you've enjoyed watching.  Ask them questions.  Find out what they did.  Don't take all of their advice because you are an individual.  Each person is going to tell you something totally different, which is why I suggest finding someone who's parenting style to which yours will be most similar.  If you are an avid runner, don't ask someone who never runs about strollers.  If you plan to work outside the home right away find a Mama who does that and ask her about pumping and milk storage.  Don't simply register for something just because the books and magazine and registry guide says you need it!

Next week I'll add some of my must have's and can live without's!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recovery

Little Guy has had a sad case of Impetigo and Hand-Foot-Mouth this week.  Poor little thing!  We've been stuck inside, not that we'd really be going outside since it is cold, and he seems fine but Mama is a little ready to get out of the house!

We have been playing with blocks a lot lately.  He likes me to build the towers and then he knocks them down.  He does stack them but of course prefers the demolition.

He also found a stool in the guest room and wants to stand on it to look "outside".  He seems to enjoy the view into our neighbors yard.  At this point whatever make him happy!!

I'm loving his look of concentration!


I'm loving how precise he tries to be!


I'm really loving those chubby fingers!

I'm loving how he knocks all the blocks down and then wants to build again!


I'm loving how the window to outside is so fascinating!


I'm loving how he loves to explore!


I'm loving that he is feeling better!!!


Linking up with Jamie & Kimberly

Things to Remember 15-18 Months

I've used this blog in lieu of a baby book.  Mostly because I have decided for me, photobooks are the way to go.  In my previous life as a working professional my co-worker an I coined the term "thievery".  I believe "thievery", which is a positive term for taking others offered ideas and using them, is the way to go!  My friend Rachel started writing a letter to her son each month to chronicle everything he was doing.  She also made a 1 year baby book for him and included lots of those memories in the book.  I SO glad I "thieved" that idea from her!!

I've been trying to keep a record of some of the things I don't want to forget S doing.  And now that he has started showing more and more personality and talking I know they will be more numerous.  I am recording these for myself, my sweet husband and of course our kids. 

Here are some of my favorites moments from the past few weeks...

I love the animal noises he makes.  He makes a fish face and then calls most animals by their noise instead of their name.  Baa, boo, hee, ouh ouh, etc.  If he wants to play a game on my phone that has a monkey he points to my phone and says 'ouh ouh'

I love how well he uses please and thank you.  He always nods his head when he says thank you and sometimes he just makes a 'hmm hmmm' noise instead of saying the words.

I love how he says both "carry you" and "help you" when we wants to be picked up or needs help.  I remember a baby in church years ago who use to say "I hold you" when he wanted to be held.  It just shows how much they repeat exactly what you say!

The other day my Mom was trying to french braid my hair and Little Guy got mad!  He did not want anyone else to touch my hair.  He has played with my hair since he was tiny and even now if I put him down for a nap and my hair hangs down into the crib he will reach out and touch it.  He is surprisingly gentle!

I love how he says "Bear" and it sounds like "Beer".  He also really likes Aunt KK's puppy Max and yelled his name loudly while we were at Mimi and Grandad's.

When he is finished eating he says something like "all-duh-duh"  We think it means all done but we aren't sure.

He has started saying "amen" after we pray.  I also have caught him "praying" at various times during the day--mumbling to himself and then saying "amen".

His newest words are ukelele, alligator, umbrella, porcupine, turtle, owl, octopus and he recognizes the letters I and Y.  He has learned all of these words from the Baby Einstein books and he doesn't use them in everyday conversation, only points to the pictures.  However, if I ask him about his ukelele he will say it and then will also say umbrella.  He has grouped the words by letter in his mind.  He does the same thing with the octopus and owl.  It is really interesting.

He LOVES trucks.  Every morning when I change his diaper he points to the window and says truck.  The whole time we are in the car he points out trucks.  Everything from a bus to a VW is a truck.  I love it!

He still loves the Curious Buddies videos.  When they play peek-a-boo he says "see you!" when the person pops out.

Yellow is still the only color he says but he thinks everything is yellow.

He can say the numbers 2, 5 and 9 but you have to count really fast between 2 and 4 because he will tell you that 5 comes after 2 or 3 or 4 or 577.  Same with 2 and 9.

When we get to the last page of a book we are reading he says "bye bye".

He knows what the Skype ring sounds like and when he hears it he always says "Dada!!"





Maybe I'll add to this if I think of anything more. But these are some of my favorite things that Little Guy is doing at this stage!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things I Can't Wait To Try

I joined the Pinterest craze a few months ago.  I try to limit my time on there because you can spend so much time "pining" that you don't spend any time actually making any of the recipes or crafts.

My goal when we get back home (a week from yesterday!!) is to do something from Pinterest at least once a week.  I've been in a recipe rut for ages and Little Guy is finally at the age where he can enjoy some of the crafts and projects. 

Here are a few of the things that I've been dying to try out with him!

Can't wait to try this photo while I only have one child!

Can't wait to do this photo with Daddy and 2 Little Guys!!

Coloured pasta for crafts - pasta, food colouring and 2 squirts of hand santiser (with alcohol) per medium ziplock bag of pasta

Colored pasta for crafts

DIY bath crayons.

Make your own bath crayons!

Playdough

Playdoh

Great gift idea for a dad :-)

We sent this to Daddy already....ours was a little more messy!

Shaving Cream Bathtub Paint

Bathtub Shaving Cream Fun

Ornament

It's not too late to do one of these for 2011 is it?

Have you done any fun ideas from Pinterest?

Christmas Baked Eggs

I don't believe in love at first sight.  Love at first bite?  Maybe.  But I do know that all it took for me was one wonderful day with my sweet husband and I knew we were meant to be.  There might have been a certain amount of girlie screaming that went on after I went into my apartment that I was really afraid he heard after he dropped me off.  Regardless he totally sealed the deal when he told me that his family eats an egg casserole as their traditional Christmas fare.  I was hooked!

We don't do a typical Christmas meal at our house.  There is no turkey or ham.  There is no pie.  We have a scrumptious brunch that consists of Baked Eggs, Cheese Grits, Country Ham, Biscuits and Fruit Salad.  It is divine and is by far my favorite me of the year.

Sweet husband didn't realize that his family ate a sausage version of the casserole but my equally sweet mother-in-law has added our version to the menu ever since I came along because she knows I love it so much.  How sweet it that?

Here is our version of Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs

8 slices of GOOD white bread (you know what I mean...not just store bought flimsy stuff)
12 slices of American cheese
7 eggs
14 oz. milk
1/8 tsp dry mustard
6 tbsp melted butter
3/4 tsp salt
6 slices bacon, crumbled

Grease 9x13 pan.  Cube your bread and put 4 slices on the bottom of the pan.  Cover with 6 slices of cheese.  Repeat bread and cheese. 

Beat eggs, milk and seasoning and pour over all.  Pour melted butter over top.  Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. 

Bake uncovered at 300 for 45 minutes.  Take it out of the over and sprinkle cooked, crumbled, bacon over top and bake for another 15 minutes.


Linking with Reasons to Skip the Housework, Sugar Bee Crafts, Blessed with Grace, Chef In Training, Celebrating Family & Ladybug Blessings

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Pirate Christmas

Whoa these are way overdue!!  But here are a few pictures of our Pirate Christmas!  Poor Little Guy had a cold, eye infection and eye infection.  Nevertheless he was enthusiastic about opening presents and super cute in his little outfits!  Can't wait to share this with two little ones next year!!







Monday Miscellany

1. PBS

All of the sudden there is all this buzz about a "new" show called Downton Abbey.  Have you seen it?  My parents AND friends are watching it so it must be good.  I've added it to my "todo" list for February and March during the big countdown.

2. Pitiful

My child is absolutely pitiful right now.  He has a horrible case of Hand-Food-Mouth AND Impetigo.  He literally sat in my lap for 2 hours the other night and even fell asleep there.  Not something that is normal for my almost 18-month old!  We went to the doctor today, where he was thrilled to see the fish in the aquarium, got our official diagnosis and then started our antibiotics.  Hoping for a quick recovery for my Little Guy!!

3. More Words

I can't help but get excited when the Little Guy adds things and skills to his repertoire.  The past couple of weeks he has started asking me to "carry you" when he wants me to carry him down the stairs.  He also asks for "Help" when he needs it.  I started coaching him on this a long time ago to avoid crying or whining when he wasn't able to complete a task.  The other morning his foot was stuck in the high chair and instead of yelling about it he just looked at me and said "help!"  It was awesome! 

4. Countdown

I love it that my good friend Amanda is starting all of her texts now with "no baby yet".  That time of anticipation once you know birth is right around the corner is so fun!!  I can't wait to get the text that isn't prefaced with the "sorry no baby" disclaimer!!

5. Madness

Speaking of babies, apparently there was one born in a hospital elevator during a power outage because of the snowfall in the Seattle-Tacoma area this week.  When I was pregnant with the Little Guy my boss used to joke that I better not go into labor during rush hour in Charleston because I'd have to have him on the side of one of the bridges on 526.  This makes me wonder, what do people who live in real cities do?  I mean, if you need to get the airport NOW in LA or Houston what do you do?  I don't think the 3 miles I live from our hospital will matter this next time around...unless of course that was the hospital with the power outage!

6. Packing Puzzle

I'm getting ready to have to get 10 weeks worth of Christmas presents, birthday presents and "I miss my husband let's shop for the new baby" stuff into 2 suitcases and a bag.  Clearly this isn't going to happen.  I need to do a practice round early this week so I can figure out how many boxes I have to ship.  I would show you the picture of the "we miss Daddy" shopping piles but it is slightly embarrassing.

Hope you are having a wonderful Monday!!  It's my second to last on the East Coast and I'm getting excited about returning "Home"!!

Here is my sweet little guy before he was attacked by all kinds of skin madness!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lessons From Goats



God really is teaching me a lot lately.  I SO hoped I could find one thing he was teaching me that had to do with goats.  Well, not with goats per say but with this picture of goats.  It's my favorite from this week.  I love the Little Guy's fearlessness and watching him do new things.  I think it's hilarious that he is surrounded by goats--not really an everyday occurrence.

The biggest thing God is teaching me right now though is that the Little Guy doesn't belong to me.  It's scary.  Way scarier than letter him run into a pack of goats.  Goats are probably not called a pack but I didn't know what a group of goats were called.  Plus pack sounds way more ominous and dangerous--clearly an apt description of these animals.

I've been following stories of a few babies lately.  One is a friend of a friend who was born with CDH.  Another is a dear friend who just had a baby born with Down Syndrome and is still in the hospital even after a week.

Sometimes when I was pregnant with the Little Guy I would think of milestones I wished to reach.  13 weeks--chance of miscarriage goes down.  24 weeks--baby can technically survive with lots of help.  37 weeks--full term.  But then he was born and there were things to worry about like SIDS, car accidents, unidentified illness.  And I realized that I couldn't live life from milestone to milestone.  When he's 16 I'm going to worry about him learning to drive.  When he's 8 I'm going to worry when people are mean to him.  When he's 18 I'm going to worry about him kissing his first date.  Ha ha just kidding, surely he'll be 28!

I am really having to consciously hand him over to the Hands that made him.  Psalm 139 is one of those "everyone loves it" kind of chapters.  It's for good reason.  The words are beautiful, true and comforting.  Especially to a Mama who just wants to protect her sweet boy from this world.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

I read them over and over.  I have to hide this on my heart.  That before the Little Guy and the Littler Guy were even thought about God had all of their days ordained.  I'm sure glad he ordained us a day with the goats.
 
 
 
Linking up with Amber, Rachel, Courtney, Fabulous Friday and Becky

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