Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Time

Have things been crazy for you the last couple of weeks??  They have for us!  It's been a good kind of busy with the holidays and family visiting, but now that everyone is gone and the shopping is over, I have a little breather.  Ahhhh...  

I'm getting ready to fly out the door and run a day of errands, but wanted to drop a line and say that the pulse of our house is still strong, but we've been a little preoccupied.  I will write more on that later...  We've been making some big decisions here and I'm not ready to write about them yet, but I will be in a few more weeks depending on how things go...

In the meantime, here are a few un-edited pictures from Christmas in our house.  No makeup.  No frills.  Thus, no judging ;-)  Just enjoy the pure unadulterated Christmastime shots.  

 Did I mention that K does NOT like Santa??  
"Mommy!  Save me from the big, hairy, red man!!"
 So we all had to sit on Santa's lap for a good shot.  
 Making Christmas cookies.  One of several, several dozen!  K LOVES them!  
 First shot Christmas morning.  Like I said, no judging!  You're lucky I'm even posting one of me in the morning!! 
 I had to include this one too because I love K's expression.  

 The opening begins...
 A fix-it car!
 A car garage!  
 A basketball hoop!  
Tired Mommy and Daddy.  I love how K's foot is a blur here.  He has so much energy!  He honestly never stops until we put him to bed!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!! When I have a few minutes, hopefully I can catch up on the blogs I love to follow.  It's been a while!  Oh, and by the way, 30 weeks tomorrow!!  Yes, another belly update is in order.  But honestly, where does the time go?? With K it seemed like I was pregnant forever.  This time around I keep asking myself, "Am I really that far along already???"  We still have a lot to do on the nursery, buying necessary things, and finalizing the name (which seems to change from month to month).  Wish us luck since I only have 10 weeks and 8 1/2 if he comes on K's schedule...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Wonderland

These were taken on Tuesday morning after my last post.  We had so much fun after our little winter storm.  
Can you really get any happier than this??  
 Our backyard winter wonderland


 First taste of snow
Mommy's and K's snow angels
 Making tracks

When we were done, we came in and made Christmas cookies.  I'm so happy they've been turning out this year!!  And K just loves it!!  He's turned into a little cookie monster.  Since he can reach the counter tops easily now, it's getting harder and harder to keep things out of his reach.   The other day, he actually grabbed a plateful of freshly frosted cookies and took them into the living room to enjoy.  Thankfully we caught him just in time and averted disaster.  

Hope you're getting ready for Christmas!  Only 9 days!!  Soooooo hard to believe it's almost here!  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brief Glimpses Into My Everyday Life

A simple re-cap of my last very ordinary 24 hours.  

  • Woke late thanks to my awesome husband who took K and let me sleep in a little extra.  This made me late to playgroup.  Oh well.  I think an extra hour of sleep was definitely worth it! 
  • Met Kai for a lunch date which consisted of black bean burgers, fruit and veggies, chips, and yogurt.
  • Went to the post office to get our weekend’s worth of accumulated mail and chatted with the friendly post office workers that I see weekly.  They think I’ve now suddenly “popped”.  Lovely.  I still have 3 months. I’m blaming it on those darn Christmas cookies that I have been craving the baby loves! 
  • Opened beautiful Christmas cards from great friends and it made me miss them all the more!
  • Opened Kai’s loan repayment notices that start next month.  He’s worth a lot to someone else besides just me now!  Ugh!
  • Headed out the door to the next playgroup.  K grabbed a granola bar from the pantry and I thought he’d be fine playing with it in the car.  Halfway there, I noticed it was a little too quiet and checked on him only to find that he had smashed, mashed, smooshed, and utterly destroyed the granola bar thus breaking open the wrapper and covering himself in gooey chocolate and peanut butter.  He was thrilled with his genius.  I was not.  This was realized about 2 miles from playgroup #2. 
  • Prepared for a small winter storm coming through our area.
  • Put K to bed after our normal routine of story, songs, prayer, teeth brushing, and rocking.  His favorite song is, “Only a Boy Named David”.  He's awesome with his imaginary sling and makes a great dying giant impersonation!  
  • Finalized the purchase of the bedding set for Baby K.  Julie, you're a genius!!  Found the matching aeronautical set I wanted on Craigslist from a major city several hours away.  They are shipping it directly to me and it will be perfect!!  I love conveniences of the internet!   
  • Realized I have only several short days until Christmas!!!  Eeeek!  So much to do!
  • K woke up at 3 a.m. for some unknown reason.  I went in to check on him and was immediately overpowered by the stench of a behemoth mess in his diaper.  Good morning to me! 
  • Woke again later in the morning to discover a beautiful white wonderland outside.  It’s gorgeous!  Sometimes I miss the beautiful weather and palm trees of southern California (not to mention great friends and family), but we may be making a trip there again soon! 
  • While writing this, K has brought me almost every toy in his toy box trying to entice me to play with him.  He’s adorable, so I’m done.  No blog, you just can't compete.  I think I’ll dress him up in his winter clothes and take him outside to make snowmen and snow angels!  Hope you’re having a great day too no matter how ordinary it may be!       

Friday, December 10, 2010

26 Weeks and the Belly

How far along:  26 weeks   

Best Moment of the Week: Today!  Spent the day as a family and took K to see Santa.  He didn’t do very well this year though.  He screamed and ran away from him.  So, we all sat on Santa’s lap in order to get a decent picture ;-)  Also paid for a full day’s admission into the enormous bounce house exhibit in the mall for K—to which he also was not interested.  Note to self—schedule a long nap before attempting new things.  Still, even though K was not excited to try new things today, he absolutely adores Kai and I being with him together all day.  It always makes me smile to see him so happy. 

Movement:  A lot of rolling!  I feel a butt or foot stick out all the time and I love it!  

Food Craving: Christmas cookies!!  I made some yesterday and decorated them today.  Such fun times with K!  Finally after years of trying and failing, I actually made a great batch!!!  Martha is a genius--again!     

What I'm looking forward to: Kai’s mom coming to visit next week and Christmas of course!  Also, I’m almost into my 3rd trimester—whoa!  Where did the time go??

Weekly Wisdom:  A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.
-- Author Unknown

Big Brother:  My favorite thing he does lately is when he comes up, pats my belly, and says, “Baby!!” in a singsong voice. 

His favorite thing to do is read, read, read!  He loves books lately, which makes me soooo happy because up until a few months ago he showed very little interest.  Being a teacher before having K I know how important reading is for kids, but he wouldn’t sit still for stories.  I worried a little about it, but didn’t push it.  I figured when he was ready he would let us know.  Now he brings us book after book to read to him and absolutely loves story time--especially if the book includes an airplane or a digger!

Nursery: The second convertible crib has been purchased and we are thinking about the bedding options.  I love the bedding set we have for K and since they will be eventually sharing rooms, I looked for more of the same bedding, but since Babies R Us seems to retire every collection after a year or two, I can’t find it anywhere L  So…we’re still considering several things.  I might buy baby K some neutral bedding that would match the colors of the already loved aeronautical theme or we may go with something completely different…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Last week I weaned K.  On one hand it was completely liberating to have sole ownership of my body again, but on the other hand it was sad.  

We decided it was time because the new baby will be here in just about 3 months and I didn't want to be nursing 2 or have K have hard feelings toward his new little brother, and honestly I was ready...or so I thought.  I had already cut back to two times per day; morning and night, and had been on this schedule for months.  That first night while I was rocking K and he was no longer nursing, I thought I would be thrilled and happy that it was done.  Without even knowing why, tears started suddenly pouring down my cheeks.  K had fallen asleep quickly and there I was crying my eyes out over...what?  When I thought about it, I realized that for me it felt like K had just arrived a few months ago and now he was weaned!  I realized how fast time flies and I think the sentimental feelings took over.  I imagined him going to school on his first day, graduating from high school and then college, and someday living his life completely independently--which is exactly what I want for him, but not yet when I'm his mother of 21 months!  

So, I kissed him on the cheek, laid him in his crib, and walked downstairs for the first time as a "free" mommy with the new burden of realizing that one day all those things would happen and that as hard as it would be, it would also be wonderful for all of us.  I vowed to cherish the moments I have here and now and treasure the time we have together before Baby #2 arrives, and then after as a bigger family.  I also reminded myself that while time does fly, there are days that seem to drag by and hang on forever, so I need not worry too much! 

If you haven't weaned yet and are thinking about it, here are a few things that helped me: 
  • Gradually cut back the number of feedings.
  • Replace the special time with a different kind of special time whether it's reading books, playing with toys, or rocking (something where you are still spending time together).
  • Give extra snacks to make sure your little one is getting enough to eat
  • Make sure your little one's dairy/fat/calcium/etc. needs are being met since you are no longer providing that.  I've been making sure K has been getting extra organic yogurt, cheese, etc. 
  • I put K to sleep with a sippy cup of water now.  That way if he really feels he needs something, he has something.  I don't give him anything but water in his cup though because I don't want him to get baby bottle mouth and have teeth issues.  Everyone is different though and you have to decide what works best for you.  
  • Start when you feel ready and think your little one is too.  It was extremely easy--besides crying the first night ;-)  because I think we were both ready.  K still tried to nurse for over a week, but I just occupied him with something else.
  • Good luck!  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Stroller Debate

We've been debating which double jogging stroller to get.  I think this will be the only double stroller we get since they are rather pricey (although we may get a double umbrella stroller for the quick trips since they aren't too bad).  When I was going to my mommy and baby workout group, all the moms had the Double Bob stroller and they seemed to be great for the daily pounding we put them through.  I had pretty much decided that we'd probably go with that one this time around, but then a couple of friends recommended the Chariot Carrier Cougar 2.  After looking at it, there are several things I really like about it.  First of all, it has attachments for a bike and also for cross country skiing, so it's extremely versatile.  I like the options this one has, but it's a little pricier and I've never actually seen it in person yet.  I guess we'll have to make a trip to REI to see both of them and then decide which one is a better fit for our family...

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them as this is probably the biggest purchase we'll have to make this time around.  

Chariot Carriers Inc Cougar 2 Stroller Red/Silver/Gray, One Size
Chariot Carrier Cougar 2

BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller in Mesa Orange
Double Bob

As a side note, we decided on the bed...we bought another convertible crib exactly like K's. It's actually being discontinued now and we had to do some searching, but found it clearanced out!  Yay!! We decided on this because both of them will convert to toddler bed's and then full size beds later.  It seemed like the easiest choice since we wouldn't have to buy another toddler bed and then regular bed later.  They will have separate rooms in the beginning until Baby K's sleep routine is figured out so K can still get sleep, and then we'll probably transition them into the same room.  Thanks for all the advice!  It helps so much to find out what others have done and how it has worked!  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The "Junk"

I know, almost 2 weeks!!  Things have been busy around our home.  My mom came to visit for a week at Thanksgiving and we had a great time.  It was sad to see her leave so soon, but we had so much fun while it lasted.  Hopefully we'll be visiting her soon.  

As promised, here are the ultrasound pictures of our little guy!  Yes, after the last appointment (and a much better u/s tech), we got several clear shots and are 100% sure he's a boy!!  If you've had an u/s before, then you'll probably know what you're looking at.  If not, don't worry if it just looks like a bunch of blobs because that's what it always looked like to me before I had my first one.  
 This is his profile shot from our 19 week u/s.  It was clearer than the one from our 23 week u/s.
From our 23 week u/s.  Like I said, you kind of have to know what you're looking at.  He's sitting on the camera, so you're seeing his butt and boy parts.  
Again, this is a similar shot to the above one.  

Looks like K will be having a brother close in age.  We are very excited and still working on names...wish us luck!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 23 Week Belly

How far along:  23 weeks   (I'm starting to get the feeling of having a beach ball in my belly when I bend over!)

Best Moment of the Week: Putting up our Christmas tree on Sunday!  Yes, it's way too early, but I really couldn’t wait and after a little begging and pleading, I convinced Kai to bring in the decoration boxes :-D  

BTW, we get another peek at our little guy tomorrow!!  I can hardly wait!  Maybe this time I’ll get around to scanning in the u/s pictures to share them.  I miss LLUMC and how they put them on a cd for us.  It made it so much easier to share online.  Oh well, enough complaining, I will definitely try to make it a priority ;-) 

Movement:  All the time!    

Food Craving: Nothing too out of the ordinary.  Lots of citrus still.   

What I'm looking forward to: My mom coming to visit, maternity clothes shopping this weekend, Black Friday, and seeing our little guy tomorrow! 

Weekly Wisdom:  Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.
-- Carrie Fisher

Big Brother:  He’s becoming so helpful!  He has been “helping” me cook in the kitchen and loves it.  He’s also pretty independent.  If I take something away from him that he’s not supposed to have and set it on the kitchen counter, he’ll push a chair over, climb up, and retrieve it.  I tried not to laugh the first time he pulled that stunt, but it was hard.  Now I’m getting more creative. 

Our biggest battle right now is that he’s been trying to skip nap time every day for the last couple of weeks.  I gave in and figured he was done with naps, but the dr. said that he needed it and I needed to let him cry it out.  It’s agonizing to hear him cry it out, but I know he needs it.  He was a perfect napper until a few weeks ago.  So now I'm praying for strength and am very happy that the baby monitor has a volume control.  

Nursery: We’re going to pick out a few things this weekend…  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life As I Know It

Here's a brief snippet of my week:

  • When I picked K up from his nap this afternoon, he was in an especially cuddly mood, so I wrapped him in a warm blanket and we snuggled for a few moments.  He immediately fell right back to sleep in my arms for another 45 minutes.  The entire time, Baby #2 was giving playful little kicks and I was reminded that I am a mother to 2 very active, wonderful kids.  In those special moments I felt so blessed.
  • Made quinoa and Black beans with vegetable quesadillas for dinner and spice cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert.  Won over the affections of my husband.  
  • Made Indian lentil stew last night for dinner and won over my own affections.  I thought it was great!  My dear husband was not so impressed--neither was K.  Note to self--make that one again only when I'm eating alone or when I'm really mad at Kai ;-)
  • Bought $500 in energy saving light bulbs and spent only $5.  Yes, it was a GREAT feeling once I assured myself that I was not actually robbing the store. 
  • Ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly!!  Very excited to see them!
  • Bought a gently used treadmill off of Craigslist and am loving it so far!!  Put it in K's playroom.  Tried to avoid stepping on the toy cars he kept launching down the center of the track amused by how they flew off the end.  

I've also been busy reading some more great books and thought I'd share:
Have a Little Faith: A True Story
Have a Little Faith 
This book was great!  I literally cried the entire last 2 chapters.  Pregnancy hormones?  Not sure.  Mitch Albom is a great author.  Tuesdays with Morrie was a previous favorite and I cried on that one too (and I wasn't pregnant then).  
The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees
Another good book.  I felt like I was transported to the time and place in which the story was set.  Great story.  
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Eat, Pray, Love
I'm in the middle of this one right now and am not sure yet.  I know they made a movie of it (haven't seen it), but so far I haven't been overly impressed.  I'm still in Italy though--1st of 3 countries.  Has anyone read this one and does it get better?? 
The Associate: A Novel
The Associate 
Not so good.  You wouldn't miss much if you never read this one.  John Grisham, you disappointed me this time.  

I'm also in the middle of another long series, but I'm not sharing the details about it because I don't want to be judged ;-)  

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Mrs. Thrifty Claus

    I started my Christmas shopping last week!  After teaching for 6 years before staying home with K, I had been saving up bonus points from the Scholastic Book Clubs with the intention of using the points for books for our kids once I started staying home.  Well, I finally got on the website and decided to use some of those points for a few Christmas presents for K this year.  I came across some great books that I thought I would share with you.  Everything from potty training to Christmas books (which I'll give to him before Christmas).  The best part was that it was free--even shipping!  

    You may not be a teacher or have bonus points, but even so, you can still order from Scholastic and get some great prices on books.  They run specials for $1 books each month and always have prices far below the regular bookstore prices.  If you want me to let you in on a little secret, you could visit your child's school or your local school if your kids aren't school aged yet and offer to run the program for a particular classroom/s and start accruing bonus points for yourself.  I know for a fact that not all teachers take advantage of the program because it's an added hassle every month with collecting and placing orders, but it's a great program to promote reading in the school and earn your family some free books/toys/stuff.  Good luck!  Here are a few we got this time around:


    So far, my favorites are: Goodnight Train, The Crayon Box That Talked, Little Quack's Bedtime, One Snowy Night, and Have You Seen My Potty? (which is hilarious!)

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Shutterfly Christmas Cards

    I'm planning to order our Christmas cards soon and came across a great offer from Shutterfly featured on a blog I follow.  They're giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers this year, which is a great deal because they have awesome cards.  Last year I wanted to order cards from them but since I was staying home with K and it was Kai's last year of school, finances were tight so I ordered from somewhere cheaper. The cards last year still turned out really cute, but I was thrilled to find out about this offer this year because Shutterfly has so many great cards to choose from.  Here are my top picks for this year.  The card we're getting isn't actually in this batch because I like it to be a surprise when we send them out.  Anyway, here they are!  And if you're a blogger, I hope you take full advantage of this great offer here.  


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    My Midwest Trip

    As promised, here are some pictures from my Midwest trip to visit my MIL a couple of weeks ago.  As you may recall she had surgery and is recovering, so we went to spend a little time to try and help her out and keep her company as she was pretty much home bound.  We also got to see many friends and family while we were there.  I managed to get some great pictures between my MIL’s and my own camera, but there were several times I forgot :-(  We saw K’s cousins from 3 siblings and I only got pictures with 1 set and I also forgot to get pictures with others that we visited with, but they know we love them anyway!  Honestly, being a “single parent” for those 10 days was hard enough.  I’m surprised I managed to get any pictures!    

     K played at the park a couple of times and loved the new "toys"

    Helping Nini with her "Zoom-Zoom"!!
     He met my Grandparents horses which he wasn't too fond of.  I think they scared him because they were so big.  I have so many great memories growing up riding their horses.  These are not the ones I grew up with, though those horses lived into their 30's and had a long life.
     He liked this view much better from Great Papa's golf cart.  
     K with Nana--also known by me as my Grammy.  
    K with his Great Papa, my Grandpa, on his golf cart.  
     Playing peek-a-boo at Grandma and Papa's house.
     Riding Quick Silver.  I now frequently spend money on these rides.  In Meijers (one of my favorite Midwest grocery stores) you can still ride these same horses for $.01--yes a penny!
     K with his cousins on Kai's side
     K and Leethan during a playdate.  Leethan's mom is a good friend of mine from grade school!
    Nini got K a new construction set complete with power tools and a hard hat.  He LOVES them and plays with them all the time! 
     He discovered my blow dryer--under supervision of course!
     Gotta love the hair!!
     I learned a new piano part with my younger sister, Stephanie, who can play piano so well!!  You can laugh at my face--I'm concentrating really hard just to get it right.  Someday maybe I'll take lessons and be as good as her or my other younger sister, Katie.  
     K loved aunt Stephanie!
    Nini and K on the carousel.  He loved it!  

     Stephanie and K.  Kevin, Stephanie's long time boyfriend, took this awesome picture!  
     I LOVE this picture!  Kai's mom took this one.  
     And this one too.  
     Beautiful sunset on the Lake.
    Playdate with Kim, Samantha, and Kaden.  
     Practicing what it will be like in a few more months!  
     Making a mess of Nini's playroom.  
    But always having fun!  

    As you can tell, it was busy but so much fun!  We definitely need to do it again soon, except this time hopefully Kai can go too!