Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

So this year, rather than making resolutions, I set goals.  You can read that post {here}.  To sum it, my goals were:

1. Get fit.
I hit this one out of the park, if I do say so myself :) I hit my goal weight before my "deadline" and found a workout that I love!
2. Make sure the ones I love know how much I love them as often as possible.
There is always room for improvement here.  I do my best - and I sure hope my kiddos know how loved they really are.  
3. Focus on the here and now.
This is always important.  Try not to plan too much (definitely something that I am bad about) and enjoy the present.
4. Pray more.
Again, always room for improvement - I feel like I did better this year.  But there is no such thing as "praying enough!"
5. Focus more on the kids and less on the other "stuff."
Again - so important!  I try to set technology aside (phones, computers, TV) and play with them and read with them and all that!  I sure love my kids and I think that is a good way to show them :)
6. Step it up a notch in the daily wardrobe category.
I was doing so good with this one - and then I got pregnant and was so exhausted and now I'm struggling for cute things that fit - all of my maternity things are too big from losing weight!
7. Keep reading.
I stink.  I did not read one.single.book this year!!!!  I have some good ones waiting on me - in fact, I think I even started two or three.  Next year I'll do better :)
8. Learn to use my sewing machine - and actually make useful things.
I stink again.  But I now have a place to set it up and plug it in since we got our closets done this year.  Now I need to clean up the closet and set it up and give it a go!
9. Less is more.
Simplifying is always important.  I certainly have to take advantage of when I am in the mood to purge some stuff!  And with this wee one on its way, it looks like the guest room/catch all room will become another kiddo's room!  AH!
10. Cook more.  Eat out less.  Menu plan.
We have been eating out WAY too much!  I do great cooking when we have company, but not when it is just us.  But we definitely need to eat at home more often with me cooking and eating healthy food - for all of us!

Whew!  Those were some lofty goals, no?  I have to say - I think, all in all, it was a good year and we accomplished a lot of good things!  There is definitely room for improvement, and this list of goals provides lots of food for thought for next year's goals!  That list will come soon.  But for now, I am going to relax, maybe or maybe not make it to midnight, and look forward to what 2014 will bring us.  I am so thankful for what I have and so excited to see what is to come!


Jack: 18 months

Jack is definitely a good sleeper!  He goes down between 7 and 7:30 and will sleep 12 hours.  We try to put him down for a nap around 1:30 or 2 and he will sleep 1.5-2 hours!  And when he wakes up - watch out, world!  He is refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to rock!  He also is not the type of kid that has to be out of the crib and up the minute his eyes open - he will lay in there and play and laugh and have a big time!
So this has been an interesting situation lately.  It is definitely an all or nothing type thing, and I think a lot of it has to do with teething.  It seems that one day, he will be obsessed with eating and cannot get enough, and then the next day he throws everything on the floor and only wants to drink milk.  He actually didn't gain any weight between his 12 and 15 month appointments (the pediatrician wasn't worried since he is also extremely active) - we just started really pushing the milk and things took care of itself (he gained 2 pounds between his 15 and 18 month appointment)!  Actually, tonight he ate pork tenderloin, bananas, cranberry sauce, and rolls - but yesterday, almost everything went on the floor (which Sadie loved)!  He loves little muffins or mini pancakes for breakfast, and then he loves chicken fingers, mac and cheese, cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese...I see a very cheesey trend :)  He also loves fruit - blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, grapes, bananas, strawberries.  We are trying to do a good job making sure he is learning how to use a fork and spoon - and he does a pretty good job most of the time.
He was 25 pounds, 5 ounces (25-50th percentile)!
He was 34.75 inches (50-75th percentile)!
Size Clothes
He is wearing a few 18 month things and then some 24 month things!  He is in 24 month jammies for sure, and I need to transition his clothes to the 24 month clothes.  I can definitely tell his 18 month clothes are starting to get snug.
Size Diapers
We just switched to size 5 diapers!
Hair color
His hair is a little darker than Katie's - maybe a dirty blonde/light brown!  And he has enough to wear we have to brush it in the mornings and after naptime!
Eye color
He has blue eyes!  But the very middle sort of looks hazel-ish or green-ish!  Very pretty eyes!
As of now, he has 12 teeth!  He had the bottom molars cut through around December 16 and then the bottom teeth on either side of the front teeth cut through around December 23.  He means business when he is teething!  Whew!
Looking Like
He definitely has different "looks" - but people often comment how much Katie and Jack look alike - as in, you can totally tell they are siblings!  Jack sometimes looks like Brad's dad, and Brad too.  And my dad's parents swear that he is a spitting image of my dad at this age!
Jackadoodle, The Dude, Broski, Jacky Wacky
Favorite toy
Jack loves any kind of big, snuggly stuffed animal!  He also has really gotten into cars (which is good because he got a lot of car stuff for Christmas)!  And when we are home, Sadie is one of his favorite things to play with - he snuggles with her, sits with her, climbs over her, pounces on her...it sure is a good thing she is a patient dog!  He also likes to play with the kitchen and push the grocery cart.  He got several Little People toys for Christmas - and I think the Noah's Ark one is his favorite :)  He also likes any kid of ball - and throwing it.  He throws the ball with his left hand pretty frequently, and when he colors, he favors the left hand most of the time.  I guess we will see what happens there!  He also loves Weebles, Daniel Tiger, and Elmo!
Favorite Book
He loves the Moo, Baa, La La La book by Sandra Boynton!  He finally, over the last few months, has taken to books.  Downstairs, he always goes for the pumpkin book he has!
Over the last few months, Jack started mother's day out, which he loves!  His teachers are fabulous and he really likes to play with his friends!
He probably has 20 or more words that he says.  He still points and squeals or grunts when he gets excited, but he does have some words that he says.  I made a list before his 18 month appointment and here are a few of the ones I came up with:
please (sounds like cheese)
Elmo (sounds like bee bee)
uh-uh (to say no)
Anything else?
 Jack is still all over the place and full of energy, but I can definitely tell that he has some focus!  He loves to play with Katie - she really is his best friend I think!  We were in Target this morning and all of a sudden I look down and he is hugging Katie and patting her on the back (in a loving way)!  It is so fun to see them interact and to see how sweet and loving Katie is to her brother!  Jack has such a sweet, funny personality - he is rough and tumble and then will come and snuggle.

And here are a few pictures from just before Jack started mother's day out up until just a couple of days ago!


Monday, December 30, 2013

And Now The Details of BC3...

Well, in case you missed my post a few days ago, yes I am pregnant!  It still feels so weird to say that.  Remember how I mentioned previously that I had to do fertility treatments to get pregnant with both Katie and Jack?  Well I thought there was no way (since my body typically prefers not to do the things it is supposed to do) that I could get pregnant on my own.  Imagine my surprise when I took this pregnancy test and saw that very solid vertical line!
Let me back up a little.  Without divulging way more information than you probably want or need to know, I will give the background :)  I had some spotting and then a few days later felt just ick after we ate dinner.  Brad joked and asked if I was pregnant and we both were like "there is no way!"  But the next morning, October 28, I had a test in the drawer and decided to just take it to be able to rule that situation out.  I peed on the stick, waited a few minutes, and looked at it.  Well I was really just looking at the window with the lines without noticing what means positive and what means negative.  When I finally compared, I was so confused.  I thought if the horizontal line was there, it meant positive (since the vertical line was so dark, I thought that was the control line).  So I ran downstairs to show Brad before he left to go to work with the instructions in tow.  We read the instructions and kept looking back and forth between the pictures in the diagram and the test itself.  And that is when it hit me.  "I think I am pregnant."  Holy cow.  There was definitely no denying that there was a plus sign on this test.
So while Katie was at gymnastics that morning, I went to Target and took a digital test in the bathroom there.  And it said pregnant as well.  AH! How in the world does this happen?!  Yes.  The old-fashioned way.  But holy crap!  Anyways, so I called my doctor's office and did a blood test to confirm (and also checked my progesterone level because with both kids it had been low and I needed to take a supplement).  Good thing I did - my levels were way low, so I started the supplement right away.
And the first time they tested my hcg level, it was in the 12,000 arena, and 48 hours later it was 19,000 or more.  Whew.  So I went in that Friday, the day after Halloween, for an ultrasound.  Now, keep in mind - going my the first day of my last period was not a good way to determine due date since I am so irregular.  So we are going solely based on ultrasound!  That Friday, I measured 5w5d and saw the heartbeat!  

So they had me come in a week later and I was measuring 7w1d and saw the heartbeat again!  So that gave me an expected due date of June 26, 2014, which is what the doctor went with.  And this is a picture of the little bean.  Absolutely a little miracle. 
And it was so funny - within a few days of finding out I was pregnant, I was so amazingly tired.  So lately, when the kids had preschool, I rested.  And when Jack napped at home, Katie and I get in my bed and watch shows (which means I nap).  I can tell that my energy level is slowly getting better, thankfully!  And I didn't get sick - except for having the stomach virus at 7 weeks.  It was awful.  Whew!  But I survived.  And as for food?  Sweets have sounded good.  And more snacking than regular meals.  Specifically the mint/chocolate combo - Andes mints, Mint Milano cookies...delish.  Oh, and this is awful - double cheeseburgers with fries from McDonalds.  HA!  After the first of the year, I am going to start using my app more frequently and just have it set to gain .5 lbs per week or something like that.  Maybe I won't stuff my face as much then :)

Here I am at 8 weeks.  The first "belly shot" - I should have taken a picture the day I found out - oops.  Oh well!
And here is my 12 week picture!  Just a teeny, tiny little bump.  I hate the awkward phase of just looking like you've packed on a few pounds of holiday weight or something :)
Today I am 14w4d - I definitely feel like I have more of a belly.  I guess we will tell in my 16 week picture!

So, are we excited? Yes!  Did it take some getting used to the idea?  Absolutely!  It is so weird to be a "normal patient" at the doctor's office.  And it turns out the week that I likely got pregnant is the week I hit my goal weight (6 weeks before my 30th birthday!), of course.  And I had just gotten to a mental state that we were finished - I didn't want to do fertility treatments again and I knew it was unlikely that I would get pregnant naturally.  And boom.  It happened.  Now, we had always said we wanted to have 3 kids, but 2 would have been fine!  But we are excited and cannot wait to meet BC3!  

And Katie loves to tell everyone that there is a baby in my tummy :) She thinks it is (and wants it to be) a girl and for her name to be Sofia! HA!  We waited and told her when we were helping her put her Christmas tree up - and she was really excited.  She will be such a good helper now that she is a little bit older!

And obviously Jack is clueless.  He will turn 2 and as long as my due date stays the same, 4 days later we will have another baby (I will have a c-section a week before the due date)!  Whew!  Things will be oh so busy around here but we are excited!

As for maternity clothes, I wore them for the first time on Thanksgiving (maternity leggings) and have been wearing tops off and on.  I bought new maternity jeans and some new shirts - since I lost weight, even all of my maternity clothes are too big!  So I need to go through them and pull out what fits and what can be sold.  But I am very solidly in maternity pants and almost 100% in maternity tops.

I go to the doctor Thursday (which also happens to be my "switch over day") and then at the next appointment, we should be able to find out the gender!  I am thinking girl, but I guess we shall see!

So that about sums up things for now!  Pretty exciting, no? :)


Party Animals

Earlier in December, we had a weekend full of birthday celebrating to do!  The Saturday included Cal's 2nd birthday party - we had a blast!  Jack and Cal had fun playing with the train table and Annalane and Katie had fun playing princess and dress up and all that!

Here is Jack - he was actually somewhat cooperative for a picture that day!
And the girls after the had eaten their cake - blue teeth!!! :)
And the birthday boy playing with his new train table!
Jack wanted to go outside to see their doggy, so we had to borrow a jacket :)  He looks so sporty!
Jack is so "huggy" - he had to give Cal a hug before we left the party!  So sweet :)
And Katie got to bring home some balloons!  Sweet picture :)
The next day, we got to go next door and celebrate Stella turning 4!  This was about the best the girls could do - Stella was so excited to play with all of her friends!
Katie in front of the Hello Kitty doors :)
Love this picture they got of me and Jack! I don't have too many of me with him so I love this!

They had Hello Kitty hopscotch - Katie really enjoyed telling people how to play :)  Imagine that!
And then it was cake time - such an adorable cake that Jill's sister Kelly made!
Isn't that balloon humongous?!  Of course Katie was taller than the Hello Kitty...
Then Jack and Hank had to check it out...
Who knows what the crazy girls were doing - but it looks fun!
Jill was very brave - she put paper up on the walls with markers and let the kids color.  Amazingly enough, all the colors stayed on the paper!
And Jack found a fun toy to play with - of course he kept calling it a doggy :)
And the girls had to get some good hugs before we headed home...so sweet!
We love being able to help friends celebrate their birthdays!  Katie loves a good party - don't we all??! HA! 


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Festivities

In my efforts to play catch up (yes, this is my fourth post today - haha!), I thought I'd do a catch all post about some of the fun things we did for Christmas this year (other than the events mentioned in previous posts)!

Katie LOVES having her own Christmas tree in her room.  In fact, tonight at dinner, she said she wasn't going to take it down until next Christmas :)  We will give her another week and then it will come down!
Here she is with it!  She's so proud!
And Katie's preschool did a Christmas program this year - it was so cute!  Katie was in the midst of a terrible, itchy rash all over her body, so we would see her sing a song and then reach down and scratch her legs or her arms or her back.  Poor thing.  So glad that's behind us!

Here is Jack finishing lunch before we left (with remnants of his food all over his face)!
And some action shots :)  She did a great job singing the songs! 
And of course she got excited to see us in the audience :)
They weren't able to have a "day before program" practice because of a "snow day" so the kids did a SUPER job considering that!  They had us wait until after the program to take some pictures - but here's Katie surrounded by some of her classmates!
Me with my girl :)
And a family picture!
And Tanja came to see her in the program too!  Katie asked about who was coming - us, grandparents, and then Tanja and Nick - in that order :) She was so excited Tanja came!
And here's Katie with Cee Cee and Uncle Will!
And Katie with Grandma - you can see the rash on her face...poor thing!
Later that week, we did the annual visit to see Santa!  And there was NO LINE!  A miracle!  Jack was way unsure of Santa - he cried at first (they weren't ready for the picture), but by the time the picture was taken, he was just pouting and giving me the evil eye.

A few weeks before Christmas, I helped out a toy store set up at a church that is an area next to public housing and most people below the poverty level.  Katie's preschool (and our church) collected toys and other items and we went down to allow these families to pick things out so their kiddos could have things to open on Christmas.  Each family got one toy, one stocking stuffer, and one article of clothing per child in the family.  It was such an amazing experience and I cannot wait to do it again next year!  Here I am with my friend Heather after we finished at the toy store!
And here is this crazy guy - it was pretty mild one day so I let him romp around in the flower beds at church before we picked Katie up.  He had the best time - and of course found a stick!
I also signed up to help with Katie's class Christmas party!  Here is the room before the kids came in!
We had a station to decorate an ornament with the kids' picture in it!  Katie got way into that (of course) - anything with paint pens and glitter pens :)
And then the kids decorated their own cupcakes with icing and sprinkles - and then got to eat them!
I was sure to get a picture with my girl :)  Doesn't she look thrilled?? HA!
Another fun tradition is the gingerbread house!  A few days after Alvin brought it, Katie and Brad got to work on it!  Here they are planning it out!
Clearly Brad gets way into it :)
Katie was excited to spread some icing and put the candy decorations on!
The masters hard at work on the masterpiece!
And this little man decided to ham it up while they were busy!  He just stopped and posed for like 5 minutes!  Silly guy!
And here's Katie with the finished product!  They did an excellent job this year!
And a close up :)  So cute!
Another fun thing we got to do was go to a Holiday Luncheon at Brad's work!  His department had a catered BBQ lunch for the employees and their families - so fun!  And they bought gifts for all of the children that were able to come!  Katie LOVES the little toy she got!  And Jack got some blocks - of course he loves them :)
After the luncheon, we finally got the tour of where his office was and where they recently relocated to in the building!  The kids had a blast running around and meeting everyone!  And it was so funny - Katie got SO many compliments on her dress...by mostly guys!  So sweet.
We also celebrated Christmas with Tanja and Nick at our house the Friday before Christmas!  It was so fun and relaxed - and the kids had a blast (as did the adults)!  I love this picture of Katie riding Tanja like a horse :)

And we got together with Cat and Tyler for dinner at Chuy's the Sunday before Christmas - it was so fun too!  This was our attempt at a group shot!
I am sure I am forgetting some of the fun things we did, but this is just a snapshot into how busy we have been lately!  But we love all of it - family time and time together with family and friends!  We are so lucky!