Friday, December 31, 2010

A Gingerbread House Competition with a bunch of home builders....

So what happens when you get a family of home builders together in a spirited gingerbread house making contest?? .....

Uh... things get crazy ya'll! Power tools start flying, beer starts flowing, and this friendly little competition becomes an all out war. I kid you not, my husband went out to his truck to grab his framing square, tape measurer, and various tools, and started laying out a floorplan. He then started rolling out the dough, building the walls, and calculating the roof cut in.

All in all there were about 4 days involved in the building competition and our house turned out absolutely AWESOME! I was in charge of "decorating"... the house is complete with stucco walls with stacked stone belly band, a full round turret with metal seamed roof, decorative keystones, composition roof, beam columns, and to top it off a cute little chandelier in the entry way... yah you could say we went a bit overboard but what the hey!

And the finished product with our competitors...

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Christmas marathon week oh my!

So Christmas is always quite the production here between all of the family we have living near. We started off the marathon on xmas eve opening presents with my brother since he was working on Christmas. Then we headed to do presents with my step family. Then Christmas morning we started the day at my Dad's house, eventually migrated to my Mom's and finally we ended up in the mountains with hubbs family. After leaving the mountains we made the trip to see hubbs grandparents and extended family and then we pretty much passed out from pure exhaustion, granted this all took place over an entire WEEK. It's a lot of hustle and bustle and not so much relaxing... after this new baby comes I think we're going to have to start a new tradition... everyone can migrate to OUR house for once!

We had a blast though with the little dude enjoying his first 'real' Christmas. He really could care less about the presents, ripping the paper wasn't of too much interest to him, but the toys... the toys he enjoyed. Our house looks like Toys R Us now... seriously. Santa was very generous to HL to say the least.

One of the best things we did this holiday was take the dude skiing for the first time!! We didn't have very high expectations considering that he's only 13 months old but we figured he would have fun, and boy were we right. He loved it, he laughed the entire way down the mountain, he shouted at the people on the chairlift, he chewed on his mittens, and had a blast.

And now we're back to home sweet home a week later oiy! Time to unpack, organize the plethera of toys, get back into the swing of things and oh yea get ready for New Years. I guess our relaxation will have to wait until 2011 some time huh?
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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Night Before Xmas in the Maven House

Twas the night before Christmas and in the Maven house
Not a creature was stirring, except Kane the trouble maker not even a mouse
The stockings were hung on the chimney entertainment unit with care
In hopes that mommy and daddy St. Nick soon would be here
Little HL was nestled all snug in his bed crib
While visions of sugarplums milkie, puppies, lights, and trucks danced in his head
Mama Maven in jammies, Daddy Maven in his boxers cap
are almost ready to settle down for a long winter's nap until HL wakes up
So Merry Christmas to you all and to you all a good night!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What cooking with a toddler looks like - Rice Krispie Treat Balls

Cooking with a toddler... well make that a one year old... kind of a toddler. I wasn't quite sure what to think, I had grand plans of baking with my baby and then I realized that I might be nuts but why not let's give it a try.

To my surprise it was a great success! My little scatter-brained dude actually sat attentively! I'm sure the constant nomming of marshmallows and peanut butter chips helped a little bit. He enjoyed the stirring and kept saying "HOT!" (glad to see he's been paying attention to our safety lessons).

And there was lots of taste testing... and he was such a good helper!

And a good sharer... I think he liked them :) I will definitely do it again. We went for some Rice Krispie Treat Balls... no formal recipe, just butter, marshmallows, and krispies. I did add in some green food coloring to one batch and some peanut butter chips to another. Both were delish!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pink & Blue Baby Party, the gender reveal pics!

As promised the gender reveal party pics... here's a ton of them...

For decorations I made some giant lollipop/cotton candy things with giant pixie sticks and tissue paper. We also had vases full of pink and blue leis for everyone to identify the team they were on. I managed to find pink and blue candy canes to fill the vases! Go figure. Found some adorable little onesies at Kohls for the new addition. We also had 2 baby boards, one to keep track of all the votes on either team (clearly team pink was the leader!) the second for everyone to put their baby name ideas. I found a ton of decor at the dollar store- plates, napkins, cups, bottle favors. And then there were balloons... everywhere... have I mentioned how much I love balloons, and so does HL ;)

We had a bunch of family and friends over for dinner and for dessert, the cake that we were anxiously awaiting!! Managed to get our local baker at King Soopers to make the cake for us for a total of $22! I gave her some ideas on what I wanted and she made us a cute pink and blue cake, she and our ultrasound tech were the only two people who knew the sex of the baby until cake cutting time... Daddy cut into it... yelled it's a BOY.. and we high fived ;) here's the video,

Here's some of team pink and team blue... and of course that tempting little envelope that sat on our fridge for 3 days before we knew whether the peanut was a little brother or little sister. It's VERY clear by those ultrasound pics that it is indeed another BOY!

What a blast we had, I'm so glad that we made another celebration for this baby instead of just finding out in the ultrasound room, it's a lot more exciting and the whole family gets to participate. Tons of fun!
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16 weeks pregnant, finally feelin it!

Alrighty 16 weeks down... baby's the size of an avocado... and here's the comparison for you
<---then pregnancy 1, now pregnancy 2--->

Not too much new this week except for the fact that we're having a BOY!!!! The gender reveal party was absolutely perfect, we cut into the cake and saw the blue icing and of course I started crying. Little HL is going to have a little brother!!! I am so excited, I really knew that I would have another boy since I was pregnant last time and sure enough I was right (should've trusted myself, I switched my vote to team pink in the end).

This week I am finally starting to "feel" pregnant, you know the time when you finally start feeling all the stretching and uncomfortableness, it's finally kicked in. I feel like I have a softball sitting inside my belly and every time that I move or do anything the softball is squishing things in there... it's uncomfortable. This baby is sure tucked up in there so I feel a lot more aching and stretching than last time, hopefully he decides to pop out and say hi instead of staying hidden away inside my ribs and organs. I'm excited to see my belly finally starting to pop out a little bit.

I've been eating a ton, which is relative I guess, I'm still at the same weight (-12 lbs). One of the worst things this week has been the migraines. Awful awful migraines about 5 of the 7 days.. what the heck is up with THAT?! Hoping that goes away, but the Dr. appt and ultrasound went well, and everything else is going great. And it's almost Christmas :)))) so all in all happy times. Read more!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cookie Recipes

There's no better time to bake a bunch of cookies than Christmas, it's a pass to eat all the cookies you want as opposed to some random day in July. Joy Of has a billion cookie recipes, with pictures (I refuse to make ANY recipe without a picture, I mean you have to know what you're aiming for right?) Here's some of the ones I'm going to try but like I said there are a ton, I'd love to spend a whole weekend making them ALL!

Candy Cane Cookies, Peppermint Whoopie Pies, Gingerbread Men, Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, Rum Balls, & Spritz Cookies

One of my favorite holiday cookies are Oatmeal Scotchies mmmmmm

  • 1 cup soft butter 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cake shaped pan.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla together. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Scoop into pan. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheet or cooling rack.

-courtesy of Paula Deen
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're Renovating

pardon the dust... Read more!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yea I really just said that, well kind of

Is it called "saying" it if it happens in your own head... ok well whatever... Here's a conversation that literally just happened in my head (don't act like you don't have conversations with yourself) I'm not schizophrenic people... shut up.

I sat down with a bowl of Campbells Chicken & Stars...

"what cute little stars, I don't think I've ever actually had the stars before...
haha I wonder if these come up whole just like ramen and spaghetti o's...
(remember that drunken highschool night with the regurgitated spahgetti-o's whoa...)
speaking of which, why in the hell do they come up whole like that??
I mean don't people chew their food or are these super noodles or something...
and even if you didn't chew that well the acid in your stomach should surely break them down...
I remember learning about hydrochloric acid in chemistry class, that shit is gnarly, no star would stand up to that!
They should've made that one of the chemistry teaching experiments, "The Effects of HCl on Chicken & Stars"
But seriously why am I still eating toddler food... I mean Spaghetti O's, ramen, chicken & stars... really my tastebuds should've evolved a little better than that...
Well I guess I do eat things like Fois Gras, hummus, leeks, and lots of bizarre cuisine, maybe I just have an appreciation for the classics.
I hope my kid doesn't end up eating ramen his whole life..."

Conclusions: I may have a slight case of ADD, I should be in charge of the highschool chemistry program, and Chicken & Stars is seriously delish. The end.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fabulous Finds: The Spotted Monkey

Ok today's find isn't just one find, it's a whole company. I'm so glad I stumbled upon them, the CUTEST stuff guys! Meet "The Spotted Monkey" which carries all kinds of things from clothes and hats, to lunchbox notes, to growth charts. Here's my faves...

#1.. duh.. look at it! A baby Fedora hat. $29.99

# 2 because if this baby is a girl she will totally have this onesie. $24.99

 #3 I love this toy, it is so spunky and unique, the exact kind of toys I like to find for HL $19.99.

#4 The most adorable sock monkeys which I have a thing for. $27.99

#5 Allergy patches & stickers! What a great idea for kids with allergies, these patches can be put on clothing, a backpack, a lunch box etc to keep them safe. 3 pack $9.99

#6 Lunchbox love notes. This is so cute, its a booklet with little love notes and trivia.You can just grab one every day and throw into your kiddo's lunch. Each volume $3.99

See what cute stuff they have, I told you!!
This little review was just because I heart them, no sponsorship was provided from The Spotted Monkey, although I would loooovee to review some of this stuff... hint.. hint... hint ;)
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15 weeks pregnant with a 13 month old toddler!

Alrighty we're up to 15 weeks... baby is the size of an orange, what's new this week... not a whole lot to report. Oh wait, not true, this week I have been able to feel the baby KICKING!! Actually the first time was at 14 weeks 6 days which is about 2-3 weeks earlier than last time. Such a cool feeling, I've definitely missed this feeling. Here's the odd part, I feel the kicks up on my ribs right underneath my boobs... yah I know this is not possible considering that my ute is still below my belly button. And you can feel this on the outside too so I know I'm not hallucinating folks. A medical mystery, or the baby is kicking some organ that is rebounding the sensation to my boobs which means this kids got one hell of a kick so far.

What else, the big gender reveal is only a few days away gaaahhh!!! Pretty soon we'll know if we're Team Pink or Team Blue. By the way as the family goes we have a large majority in favor of pink including myself & HL. Daddy is going with blue though so we'll see...

In other news we have a 13 month old toddler!!

HL is growing like a weed and his brain is soaking EVERYTHING in at warp speed. I am amazed at how much he understands now. Oh and have I mentioned yet that this kid is a wild man... two words... CONSTANT MOTION. He is never still, no seriously, never. He is not the type to sit down and "play" instead he runs around the entire house finding ways to entertain himself all. day. long. Olympic Toddler Chasing has become my life ;)

Highlights: He is officially done with the bottle, we took it away cold turkey at about 11 months with no complaints. No more formula or purees. Still in size 3 diapers. He's about 21 lbs.

Favorite things to say: Mama, Dada, Uh-Oh, and Lights. His new word is Lights aka "aughts" and he will point them out to you EVERYwhere you go, especially every morning when he wakes up and sees the Christmas tree. His hands go up to the sky as if he's praising the lord and he screams AUGHTS!!! He also likes to go "vroom vroom" with his Hummer toys.

Favorite things to eat: He is a fickle eater. This kid will eat pretty much anything you give him it's just a matter of timing. He may adore bacon or cottage cheese one minute and nearly vomit it on you another time. He is a carb-a-holic, any bread products go over very well. PBJ's, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, cheese and GRAPES are our go to foods, he will always eat them. Seriously this kid and grapes... he has them at every meal. And milkie, well that goes without saying, he adores his milkie in his sippy.

Favorite toys: our house is slowly looking like Toys R Us but his favorite things to play with are the Swiffer (he knows exactly how to push it too, scary), the broom, and dustpan.... go figure.... He also loves to yank ALL of the pots and pans out of the cupboards. He has found a new love and fascination with the dog food, he steals himself a few pieces throughout the day...gross. One of his absolute favorite things to do is open and close doors. Doors on the entertainment unit, doors in the hallway (I'm terrified of pinched fingers), doors on his activity cube, cupboards... open & close is a wonderous game apparently.

Tricks: He can turn the light switch on and off. He high fives. He blows kisses and says "muah" and he can wave bye bye. If you say "can I tell you a secret" he will turn his ear into you which is hysterical and I have no idea how he learned this. He has just recently become quite the booty shaker! He loves to jam out, the second that any music comes on he immediately starts bouncing up and down, stomping his feet, shaking his arms in the air, and yelling duh duh duh. I have never laughed so hard! Where does he learn this stuff??!
What else: He helped cut down his first Christmas tree. He constantly points to pink when we ask him whether the new baby is a boy or girl... apparently he wants a sister, we'll remind him of this later in life. I am just amazed at how much he understands these days. We can ask him "where is Grinch-y" and he will grab his Grinch toy, ask him where my nose is and he will thump you in the nose, he knows what his ball is and loves to get pelted with it by Daddy. And of course my little drummer boy still bangs on everything.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Craft- Wrapping Paper Wreath

Stumbled onto this picture and thought it was such a cute idea that you could make it into a craft. I'm definitely going to make one! I imagine you could use some Christmas scrapbook paper, or wrapping paper. Use up your extra scraps from wrapping gifts...

Just roll the paper up, glue the ends, and then hot glue each of your tubes together to form a wreath. You could also use a needle and strong thread and thread the papers together into a circle. Maybe add a big bow to the finished product.

And as a variation you could make some decorative garlands in the same fashion with the needle and thread... kind of reminds me of popcorn and berry garlands. Read more!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blue or Pink, what do you think?? Gender Reveal Party

It's almost that time... when we find out what the second little babe holds for us.... will May bring us sugar and spice and everything nice or snips and snails and puppy dog tails?? We get to find out next weekend!

We had a big reveal for HL with fireworks. We had the ultrasound tech write down the results and place them in an envelope and then we waited.... we waited 3 whole weeks for the 4th of July... it was awful trying not to peek in that envelope on the fridge for 3 weeks. All of the family came over to our house for a bbq and we had bought big fireworks for the reveal. We handed the envelope to our good friend and told him to look inside and load either a blue or red firework into the tube... and we all stood on the back deck and heard a "boom" and watched the sky fill with BLUE! It was so cool. So of course we have to do something cool again this time :)

We're planning to have a gender reveal party, a pink and blue party. I saw this idea when I was pregnant with HL after we knew the gender and I swore that we'd do it the next time. So it's finally time, I'm sooo excited! I'll be sure to post lots of pictures when we're done because it took me a while scouring the interwebs to get some good party ideas.

We'll cut the cake and try not squeel,
a colored icing inside for the big reveal
Will the icing be blue...
Will the icing be pink...
Boy or girl, what do you think?

Join our party and go cast your vote in the poll ------->
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

14 Weeks: Pregnancy #2- me, my lemon, dizzy spells, and starvation

On the left is me pregnant with HL at 14 weeks and on the right is me pregnant with the new tomato pod... So at this point I can say that everyone who tells you that you'll be much bigger faster with your second pregnancy is wrong, we'll see how things continue.

14 weeks with my lemon... this has been a fairly good week. I still have a bit of morning sickness but the bad days are starting to decline. I have been pretty sore with lots of back aches both upper and lower. A new thing is the dizzy spells, they are awful. All of a sudden I just start to feel really dizzy and hot like I am going to faint and I have to sit down and cool off and try not to puke. So that's not so good.

Other than that I've been trying to keep the food intake up. From having morning sickness for so long I literally have lost the concept of what being hungry is... seriously my brain can't comprehend an appetite anymore, it's very odd. I am NEVER really hungry and the only way that I know I need to eat is when I finally start to feel ill and shaky. At that point I eat and my stomach grumbles and growls like I've never experienced. And then I go into a coma from the blood sugar spike, not fun. This has been a very new thing for me because under "normal" circumstances I eat like a lunatic, I literally graze on food all day long and don't go more than 3 hours without a meal. So this has definitely been an adjustment. I am finally starting to re-learn what hunger feels like now that the bad days are declining.

Most exciting is that we should be able to find out baby's gender next week!! We are hosting a Pink or Blue party and we'll all find out together with the family just like we did with HL. Can't WAAIIITT! What do you think tomato face #2 is... boy... or girl...??
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ahhh to be pregnant... the most ridiculous products & fashion imaginable

First off it's always entertaining to me the amount of nonsense you have to put up with when you're pregnant. The comments from strangers, the uninvited touching of the belly by some random dude in Target, the advice on delivery and breastfeeding from 80 year old women....

but the most highly entertaining to date....the fashion & products available.

I started my morning simply looking for a cute red maternity tee for Christmas. Never found one that I liked so I guess I'll have to make my own but what I did find was just purely awesome.

We have exhibit 1, I saw this and said 'Oh, that's a cute dress' and then proceeded to spit my breakfast on the computer when I read that it is a DELIVERY GOWN!! Yes folks, we are apparently supposed to wear this when we go to push a baby out of our vaginas. Are we supposed to throw on the stillettos too???

Scrolled onto a couple more pages and found this gem. Maternity suspenders... Pretty sure that one doesn't even need an explanation.

Maybe it's just me, but maternity overalls send off little banjos in my head and since we don't live in the backwoods I'm going to have to pass on these babies. Shockingly enough, they are part of Heidi Klum's line of maternity wear... I must've missed that fashion memo, is this really in style??

How could I forget this one, a regular old nursing bra, which I've included because clearly everyone looks like this after giving birth! You wouldn't believe the amount of products I saw with women rocking 6 packs and it's supposed to be "maternity" or "nursing" wear. Or my favorites the undergarment and pantyhose photos where every single model and manequin is wearing 5" stripper heels. Way to go marketing gurus.

Ok... ok... wait!! Now THIS ONE truly takes the cake! It's not geared toward women but men rather. Wait for it....

the MR. MILKER, I could not be more serious, it is a MALE BREASTFEEDING DEVICE!!!! :::::BlankStare::::: oh my gawd! As if the product itself wasn't ridiculous enough the product description and highlights are even more insane. They talk about "breastfeeding envy" and how men are jealous of breastfeeding therefore they created this boob contraption that literally holds breastmilk and allows the man to experience breastfeeding as if the boobs were his own. :::::Continue Blank Stare:::::: I mean I get the whole envy of the bonding experience of breastfeeding, but being jealous of the actual act of milk coming out of your boob.... whaaaatt?? And I thought the thing in Meet The Fockers was a joke?! And this isn't the ONLY one, there are several of these "devices" I'll just leave you to chew on that one for a while.

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One Day Giveaway! Betty Crocker Potato Buds

Get your entries in, its a ONE DAY GIVEAWAY, open November 30 only!

Whether you prefer your mashed potatoes topped with butter, sour cream or cheese, the Betty Crocker Potato Buds that you’ve come to know and love has a new and improved taste that is sure to please even your pickiest eaters. And ready in just five minutes, they’re perfect for busy weeknights and last minute dinner ideas!

Spice up your dinner menu using some of their recipes like Beef Pot Pie with Potato Biscuit Crust and Italian Hamburger Deep Dish and the Betty Crocker potatoes are GLUTEN FREE so try some of these non-gluten recipes like Potato Crusted Salmon and Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup!
Want to try them now, head over for a .55 coupon. Or just enter to win. What's up for grabs? Well a cool little prize pack that includes a box of the Betty Crocker Potato Buds, a big bamboo serving bowl, a trivet, and an adorable serving spoon so you can eat your mashies in style!
Tell me what your favorite ingredient to put in mashed potatoes is... my fave is bacon bits and chives ;)
Extra EntriesFollow the blog (1 entry)
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Tweet this giveaway using #myblogspark (1 entry per hour)
And if you're feeling clicky you can vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs, it won't get you an extra entry since they have new rules but it will keep us "cool" enough to get giveaways like this for you :)
I was provided with this giveaway and prize pack by Betty Crocker via My Blog Spark. Please see the Disclosure page for more details.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A very thankful heart

I can't even express how thankful I am this year for everything in my life... I have an amazing husband that is better than anything I could've ever dreamed up, I have the most wonderful son that lights up my life every single day, I have a growing family with a brand new baby on the way.... and I have health, happiness, great friends, and a great family.

So all I can wish is that everyone else out there takes a moment to focus on the wonderful things going on in their lives. A very happy Thanksgiving to you all... and now a toast....

"Never Lie, Steal, Cheat, or Drink.
But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love.
If you must steal, steal away from bad company.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away."
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

13 Weeks Pregnant... a survey

I am getting a kick out of comparing these two pregnancies. I just read my 13 week post from last time and it's interesting to see the similarities and differences. I don't feel like I'm in a sleep coma right now this time but I am unusually sore and the back pain is horrid right now. But I literally had to laugh out loud at the tomatoes & cottage cheese comment because I literally just replenished my stock of tomatoes & cottage cheese LAST night! So apparently those food "cravings" are similar this time around ;)

How far along?
13 Weeks

Total Weight Gain? Actually still dropping weight right now despite my improved appetite... I'm down about 12 lbs right now. I tell you the morning sickness has been WAAAY worse this time, it's still lingering but it's only off and on instead of constant which I can handle.

How big is baby? The babe is the size of a peach apparently, and the last apponitment showed everything measuring exactly on track.

Gender: the great mystery??? can't wait to find out in a couple weeks!

Maternity Clothes? Not wearing any yet really, I just put on longer shirts and comfy pants or leggings right now.

Morning Sickness? See above... ugh

Mood Swings? I'd say I'm a little worse this time around, I don't know if I really have mood 'swings' I just seem to have a LOT less patience so the littlest things will send me off. But being busy with both businesses, going back to school, and having a one year old should probably get me some slack right...

Buy anything for baby this week? I bought HL some mohawk hats which are really cute. I also got him some books and a surge protector baby cover so he can stop playing with all of the cords. Other than that I added a couple of things to the registry like diapers and a crib mattress since we have EVERYTHING else we need which is awesome!

Stretch Marks? Oh only the lingering ones from my son... on my boobs... and they will be fixed someday!
Sleep? Sleeping pretty well now that the sinus crap is gone, no complaints there yet. I just seem to wake up really early these days... like it's still DARK outside and I am wide awake!

Best Moment This Week: Getting excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas coming, listening to xmas music, playing with the Grinch and HL, and compiling xmas gift ideas, I love to shop for people! Oh and best of all hearing that baby #2's bloodwork came back all normal for Down's and Trisomy 18... so much to be thankful for!

Worst Moment This Week: Sinus infection, back pain, and lingering morning sickness... I can't catch a break I tell you!

Movement: Not quite yet although I've literally felt phantom baby kicks since I was about 5 weeks lol!

Cravings: I guess the Lindt truffles I bought last night... and those dang tomatoes & cottage cheese ;)

Labor Signs: Oh definitely not thank you!

Belly Button In or Out? It's still in

What I miss? I miss not having an awful taste in my mouth 24 hours a day, it makes my desire to eat anything go down the drain because I know my mouth will be nasty. I am also missing bloody marys and tomato beer, yummmm, here we go with the tomatoes again!

What I am looking forward to? the holidays! and snuggling up with my little family in the mountains with the snow :)

Weekly Wisdom: Keep enjoying EACH week, do NOT rush things, I learned this when my last pregnancy was over and I'm working very hard this time to savor every day!

Milestones: Well we're out of the first trimester!! Which is fabulous for so many reasons Read more!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holy Mother of Updates! Halloween, Birthday, Walking, Baby #2, and and and

Well we've been busy... surprise surprise... and there are too many updates to make so get ready for the motherload here. Where to begin...

Oh yes there was Halloween, my favorite holiday (barely one-upping Christmas) and Fred, Bam Bam, and I had the most adorable time trick-or-treating for the first time! The dude got a ton of candy which we kindly forced gave to our dinner guests except for a couple of pieces for him to enjoy. Talk about love at first sight, a baby and a Dum Dum... who knew.

A mere week later we had a BIRTHDAY BOY!!! My precious little guy is one... still can't even believe it. Daddy and I woke him up with a birthday song...

To celebrate his big day (before the big party weekend) we took the HL to the Children's Museum, which is a blast! The last time I brought him there he was only 3 months old but this time he was a BIG boy and was able to get into everything and scoot and walk all over the place and put every toy he could find in his mouth.

Oh yes and incase you didn't catch what I just said.... HL decided to give himself a gift for his birthday... the gift of walking. I kid you not, the night before his birthday the stinker decided it was time to get on the move and started walking!!!! Of course he waited until I left the house so that Daddy had to video tape it and show me when I got home, but as you'll see below he was quite proud of himself. Careful you may need earplugs ;)

And then there was the RUMPUS... the most wild of rumpuses ever. Poor kid didn't even know what he was in for, food and friends and kids to play with... and pinatas and balloons and candy... and presents and cake, cake, oh there was cake. This kid is not afraid of cake!

What else?!! Well  HL is finally getting his second tooth. Baby #2 is the size of a peach... I'm finally over the morning sickness for the most part (down 11 lbs) we'll hopefully find out if it's a boy or a girl at my next visit just before Christmas YAY! Here we are at 12 weeks preggo... and in the words of Porky Pig, thaaaaat's all folks...

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of year again and I am in quite the Christmas-y spirit, I can't WAIT for the holidays this year. I've searched through dozens of holiday gift guides and best kids toy lists to come up with my very own. I tried to find things that are educational and fun, some montessori feel, and some just cool. These are all on my HL's xmas wish list!

Drum set from Plan Toys. I may regret this one later but my boy loves to bang and smash things and would get a hoot out of this drum set. I figure if we're going to introduce music it might as well be in a way that comes natural for him. I love that it is unusual looking and small... so that it may not be as loud as others... maybe...hopefully. $50.

Smart Snacks Sorting Shapes: Great matching and sorting game, similar to Fisher Price Oreo matching game that we have. It's also very reasonable about $15. Smart Snacks has some GREAT learning toys that are really fun, like ice cream cones to learn colors, and cookies in a jar to learn numbers, check them out!

Leapfrog TAG Junior. If you haven't seen this you're missing out. It may be a little advanced at this point for HL but it will be great for him as he gets closer to 2 or 3. This little doo-dad helps your toddler learn to read by saying things aloud as they place it on the book. Go watch the video on Leapfrogs website. Very cool! It will run you about $30.

Radio Flyer Retro Rocket. Ok this is too cute, a welcome addition to the standard wagon. A little on the pricey side, about $50,  but your kid would be the coolest toddler on the block rockin this thing. RF has a ton of cute ride on toys like the bumper car and roadster too.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Count & Sort Tree: $30 A cute take on a tradtional stacking or nesting toy. Helps your toddler with shape, number, and letter recognition. It goes along with the classic book. If you're a big fan of the boom boom book there are a whole slew of toys available.

Not your ordinary block set. These wooden blocks from Tegu have tiny magnets inside so they can be shaped into the coolest architectural structures incase you have a drafting genius on your hands. I am a big worry wart about magnets in toys because of the HUGE danger and awful stories I've seen as a nurse, but these would definitely ease my mind. And I'm always glad to see wooden toys staying popular in todays over plasticized world! By the way they're made of eco friendly wood, another plus. A minus, they aren't cheap, sets of 26 blocks run about $52.

Ze Super Zeros are absolutely adorable. I'm not a huge stuffed animal person but these plush guys are unique and send a cool message. Their slogan reads "hero friends whose super powers and problems blend. They have their pluses and minuses too, they're super special just like you." Each character has it's super power like "I'm a super climber" and a flaw "But I am scared of heights." What a great message!

Streamliner classic wooden cars from Playsam. Aren't they the coolest looking, much better than a boring Hotwheels car! Playsam makes similar airplanes, buses, rockets, rally cars and more. My only complaints are that the cars aren't intended for children 3 and under because of the small wheel parts and the fact that cool modern toys are expensive ($40 each choke). I think I'd like them just as decoration in his room if nothing else.

Multi use art easel from P'Kolino. This one rocks because it has a ton of uses. It can be used as a blackboard, dry erase board, and even a puppet theater. And my favorite part, it folds flat to be stored away easily! A good investment considering what you get and the length of use (I can remember my parents snatching my art easel to play Pictionary on adult night at our house). $100.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Boy! 1 year ago today....

Happy Birthday Baby Boy,

I've spent a year waiting to write this letter. I'm nearly speechless as the tears fall down as I write. Do you have any idea what your one year here has done for my life... I don't know how I went all these years without you...

You are absolutely without a doubt an angel that was sent down from heaven here to me. All I have to do is look into your beautiful blue eyes and know that the world is right. You are pure happiness, perfection, and love... and you're mine. Oh that makes me smile.

A year ago today I was laying in a hospital bed wishing the pain away pouring every last ounce of my strength into meeting my long awaited baby boy. As I peered down to watch you enter the world your eyes were wide open staring into my soul and in an instant I felt a sense of calm and joy that I have never experienced. A year later I experience the same thing every single time you smile, laugh, or call out mama.

Baby I love you so much it hurts... and just when I think I couldn't love you anymore my heart doubles in size over and over again. You just amaze me kid, every day is a new adventure, the most amazing journey of my LIFE!

I am just in awe of this motherhood thing. Never could I have imagined how wonderful it would be... how rewarding... You have made me such a better person, you've reminded me to slow down and soak in each day, you've taught me patience and a love that I never knew existed, and you've given me the most sense of accomplishment that I've had in my entire life. I wake up and strive every single day to make life better for you in some way and I know what it means to be completely selfless and actually enjoy doing it.

Little dude, you are wonderful in all ways. I am so thankful that you were sent here to me and I promise you that I will continue to be the best mother that I know how and to love you to the moon and back because you are more than worth it. This has been the best, craziest, emotional, outstanding, trying, extraordinary year of my life and I cannot wait for the many to come.

I love you forever and always precious son,
Momma Read more!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wild Rumpus in T minus 6 days!!

Ladies & Gents.... it's almost birthday time.... and we have a rumpus to prepare

My little wild thing is almost ONE, where did the year vanish to??

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pregnancy 1 vs. Pregnancy 2

It has been natural for me to compare my prior experience in pregnancy to this one, especially since it wasn't too long ago and the details are pretty fresh in my mind. Here's what I've noticed so far between the two.

Morning Sickness: had it bad the first time but MUCH worse this time. It kicked in from day one this time around and is still in full force at 10 weeks. The extent of the nausea has been so bad that it has made me re-evaluate the idea of having any more kids and at the very least waiting a few years in between. However, knowing myself, the mommy amnesia may kick in and I may change my mind. But I've been very surprised at how hard it is to be so incredibly sick and also have to take care of one child let alone two! I've had to pull out all the stops and rely heavily on my husband for help with everything and it has NOT been fun of any kind!

Weight gain/loss: I'm right on par with pregnancy #1, as of this week I've lost 10 lbs. I lost a total of 12 with HL before the morning sickness dissipated, so things are very similar here.

Baby bump: Initially I felt like I was popping out immediately with pregnancy #2 but then I remembered being 10 weeks pregnant with HL and the comments from everyone... "oh my gosh, look at that belly!" "are you having twins!".... so my belly was puffy from the start with HL and then went away and then came back little by little. I was tiny with HL for the good majority of the pregnancy but I DO remember having a very noticeable "bump" from the start which seems to be exactly what I have right now. People that know me can tell I'm pregnant, people that don't think I've just got more baby weight to lose.

Aches/pains: Pretty similar here too the aches and pains have started up right away. The hip pain, leg cramps, and swollen feet come and go regularly. If anything they have been a little bit better for pregnancy #2 so far, I can remember being only 6 or 7 weeks pregnant the first time and hubbs running me a hot bath every night to ease the back aches. Haven't had to do that yet this time around.

Cravings: Well it's hard to call anything a craving with morning sickness but I have had a similar drawing towards sweets. I'm not normally a sweets person but for both pregnancies I find myself eating a LOT more sugar than usual. As for food aversions both pregnancies are identical there, I can only eat a particular food ONE time and that's it, after that it sounds repulsive which makes for a hard time finding anything to eat after a while!

Fatigue: MUCH more tired for Pregnancy #2 and I attribute it to the fact that I have a toddler to chase after all day which means that if there were a 3rd pregnancy it would be even HARDER.... hence the debate in my head.

Aha Moments: The first, that we may not end up having the number of children that we originally thought because I don't know if I could survive 3, 4 or more pregnancies. These past 10 weeks have been humbling and have made me realize that I'm not super woman. I'm pretty scared to go through this again with now TWO toddlers at home.

Second, I finally understand the concept of wanting your body back. I always heard women with multiple children say that they couldn't wait to be done having kids to get their body back and I didn't really get the full gist of the idea. NOW I totally get what they were saying. Having two pregnancies back to back  makes you feel like you never stopped being pregnant. I was never one of those "I love being pregnant" kind of women (although I missed it when I wasn't) but pregnancy was tough for me, kicked my butt! So being there again makes me realize how nice it will be to be DONE with this, to have our kids, go through the hell, and be DONE. Pregnancy is such a rollercoaster, for your body, for your emotions, for everything and I am now one of those women that I didn't understand who will be glad to be done with the child bearing phase of life and be able to move onto just living life as my normal self. Read more!
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