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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Just to demonstrate what kind of week it's been, I'll show you how my morning started off:

At least I'm wearing cute shoes?
Yes friends, your eyes do not deceive you...Mama hit a mailbox on the way to work this morning on the way out of the neighborhood.  In my defense, I had just spilled my drink, which is why I was not paying as much attention as I should have been.  Did I mention that we were so excited that we just paid my car off (early, I might add)?  Luckily the only thing that is damaged is the sideview mirror (of course the mailbox didn't even have a dent) so it definitely could have been a lot worse, but there were definitely tears.  When I got in my car after work, the mirror looked slightly different:

My husband has jokes.  The fact that the bandaids are Sesame Street-themed gave him away.  I called to ask if it was him and he couldn't stop giggling.  I needed the laugh, after the day I had!

Because this week has been so insane, I have not gotten to post all of the things I wanted to, so hopefully I can get to it over the next week or so.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with a little sneak peak of our Halloween festivities.  Please excuse the poor quality, these were taken with my iPhone.

When I got home, both of my children (ha) were wearing mustaches (or "mus-mashes" as Lilly was calling them).

Besties: Hadley the cow and Lilly the pig.  I am not sure I've ever seen anything cuter!

Lilly and her other BFF, Kinsley (as a mouse, so cute!).  Lilly was feeling uncooperative by the time we took these, but thanks to Heather we got a decent one!

Preferred mode of transportation for H & L.

Hope your day was awesome (and got off to a much better start than mine did!).  I'll be back at some point to play catch-up on other Halloween-related activities from this month (pumpkin patch, baking cookies, costume parade at school, pumpkin painting and carving) as well as better photos from tonight that my BFF Stephanie took because she is the greatest.  :-)

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh. My. GOSH.

I popped on Facebook before turning off my computer because I wanted to watch a video that I've seen people posting all day.  It left me bawling in my bed.  Totally worth the watch, if you have a few minutes.  As mothers, we have the best job in the world, don't we?  


BB2.0: 25 Weeks

Howdy, friends.  Quick post tonight (I hope) because today was the longest day ever and I'm exhausted (I feel like maybe I say that every post these days, so maybe it's not that the days are long but that my exhaustion threshold is low?).  Just wanted to take a break from Halloween posts and pop in for a quick update on how the babe is doing!

Size of Baby Boy:  Getting bigger every day - 13.5 inches long and 1.5 lbs, aka a rutabaga (Has anyone ever eaten one of those, by the way?  Is that even something you eat?  I have no experience with it.).

Baby's getting some baby fat (And if he's anything like his big sister, there will be a lot of it!  LOVE!).  He is also allegedly growing more hair (And if he's anything like his big sister on this front...doubtful).

Weight Gain So Far:  Welllllllll about that...I had to leave early this morning for a work trip and forgot to weigh in, and I refuse to check my weight after a day of eating (especially after we had Mexican for dinner), so 14 lbs (from last week) is my story and I'm sticking to it.  :-)

Cravings:  No changes here, really not craving anything in particular.  I feel like I should start writing, "No particular cravings, I will literally eat anything you put in front of me."  Oy.

Aversions:  Still no changes here either, I'm on a roll!

Symptoms:  A new one this week: raging heartburn.  Seriously, pretty sure my esophagus is on fire.

Movement:  Still a lot.  Over the past few weeks I have started to feel him moving more and more throughout the day (where as before it was really only at night), but I would say his favorite party time is still before bed or during the middle of the night after I've gotten up to pee.

What I Miss:  Not feeling exhausted all of the time!  Something tells me that won't change for a good hot minute.

Signs of a Bump:  Ughhh I feel like I resemble a house.

I should probably be embarrassed that my sink/mirror/bathroom are so disgusting.  NJZ.
And for comparison purposes, here is what Lilly looked like at 25 weeks:

I feel like it's easier to compare side by side, so here you go, courtesy of PicMonkey:

For most of this pregnancy so far, I've felt like I looked a little smaller than last time.  I think it's safe to say that is decidedly no longer the case, because I feel like I look huge right now.  Eek.

What I'm Thankful For:  Smooth sailing so far.  Life would be a lot harder if I were really sick, so I'm thankful that baby boy has been nice to mama!  Also excellent maternity benefits (see below).

What I'm Looking Forward To:  The next two days!  Tomorrow morning there is a costume parade at Lilly's school and I am giddy with excitement to see all of the sweet little ones in their costumes.  And then Thursday is, of course, Halloween.  Lilly and Hadley are going trick-or-treating together and I am already dying at the thought of all of the cuteness.

Next Doctor Appointment:  November 19th!

I submitted all of my leave paperwork today, and while I forgot from last time how much of a pain it is, it is also surreal that I am already filling out leave paperwork and that we only have +/- 15 weeks until we will meet baby boy.  I know they will fly by, especially with the Holidays coming up!  If he were to come exactly on his scheduled date of arrival (February 11), I will go back to work in June.  Not too shabby, yes?

Tomorrow is hump day, I know my sister is excited!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Roundup

Don't panic, friends, but I may skip the meal/recipe post this week because I have so much to catch up on blog-wise.  It's Halloween week, after all!  I need to blog about all of the fun themed activities we've done this month (pumpkin patch, cookie baking, pumpkin painting, pumpkin carving) not to mention Halloween itself.  How I will find the time (especially this week, which is crazy), I do not know!  Anyway, before I get ahead of myself, I thought I'd do a weekend roundup because it was a busy (but fun!) one.  

On Thursday, Dan and I took off for a few hours during the day to take Lilly to the North Carolina State Fair.  I remember making the trip to Raleigh for the fair when I was younger, and since I've lived here we've tried to go every year (sometimes just for lunch, no lie).  We haven't been able to make it for the past few years for various reasons, but I wanted to at least take Lilly this year because I thought if nothing else, she'd like to people watch.  We were only there for 2 hours but we had the best time, and L was highly amused (And her baby brother was very happy from all of the fair food mama consumed.  Mama's doctor, on the other hand, surely won't be as amused in 3 weeks.).

First, we played a game.  Literally all you had to do in this game was pick up a duck and win a prize.  Lilly was excited about the ducks so it seemed like a good choice, but in the back of my mind I was worried that she wouldn't understand why she couldn't keep the duck she picked.  My suspicions were confirmed when she wanted nothing to do with the prizes and cried for the duck that we had to give back to the game attendant.  Sad.

After a quick pit stop for a ham biscuit (I may have eaten 2, whoops) from FUMC, we went in search of kiddie rides.

There really were not very many rides that Lilly could ride on, even with an adult.  There were several slides but they wouldn't let Dan take her down.  We found a swing set that looked like it was perfect for Daddy and Lilly to ride together, but she was about half the size of the required height to ride with an adult.  Luckily for us the ride attendant let us go anyway (or maybe unluckily for us after the ride malfunction incident?).

L had a blast and didn't want to get off!
 Next, we found a kiddie train for L and Dan to ride together.

She liked it, but the one at Pullen is better.  :-)
After we rode the two rides, we made a quick pit stop for more food:  Al's fries, fried cheese (for Dan not me, I wasn't feeling it) and a funnel cake (Also not for me - for baby boy.  HA!).  YUM fried food.  I tried really hard to save room for some roasted corn and some kettle corn to take home, but I just couldn't do it.  L was a fried food fan, too.

We took our food and went to get a seat for the pig, duck and goat races.  I was glad we did, because at 12:40 the place was PACKED and there were only a few seats left (the show didn't start until 1).  This was the one thing I wanted to make sure we got to see, because I just knew L would LOVE it.

Selfies gone wrong, as L was decidedly uncooperative.

The nice lady in front of us did a better job, even though the sun was in L's eyes!

Soooooo excited to see the animals.

Yay pigs!
Aside from the fact that L thought the pigs were dogs (they went by pretty quickly!), that was definitely her favorite attraction.

We had a great day together, and I'm so glad we got to go even though it was only for a few hours!  Next year I'm betting we'll have to make at least a half day out of it.

After the fair, Dan went back to the office to finish out his day and L and I headed home where I put her down for a nap and then worked for a few hours before we headed to Charlotte.

We spent Thursday night with Mimi & Pawpaw and then headed to Concord on Friday to visit with Dan's family and meet Baby Dorothy.  I somehow only managed to take one photo on Friday, and it was of L's cute outfit because I was dying (you may recognize this pic if you follow me on Instagram but I couldn't help but post it here, too).

Seriously, the child has better clothes than I do.  Love her little cardi and ballet flats!

Saturday morning, we headed back to Concord for the remainder of the weekend.  We were able to make it to part of Ryan's soccer game, and Lilly had a blast playing with her cousins as well as Grandma Susie and Papa.

Back at the house, Lilly and cousin Erica played dress-up and were hysterical.  We went up at one point and Lilly was sitting the most still I have ever seen her and Erica was saying, "Lilly sit still while I comb your hair."  I told Andrea that I would like to purchase her 5-year-old to come entertain my 21-month-old at all times.  They were so sweet together!

Lilly loved playing with Erica in her room, particularly with all of her "makeups," as Lilly called them (read: a variety of chapstick, which Baby Grace apparently loved as well as it was ALL OVER her face).

We also finally got to meet Lilly's new cousin, Baby Dottie.  She is so cute and sweet and snuggly.  Lilly was not amused by her, and I was a little surprised since she normally loves babies...I think that she was jealous because she likes being the baby.  T-minus four months and she'll get another taste - hopefully she'll get used to it, and quickly!

On Saturday afternoon, there was a Halloween festival in Chris and Andrea's neighborhood, so the kids all put on their costumes and had a blast.

The football player, the witch and Captain America!

Lilly the piggy.  Cutest little pig I ever did see!

Photo op for my sweet little family of 3.5.
My sister-in-law, Andrea, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the year.  She is amazing and one of the strongest people I know, and after the Halloween carnival we had a dinner party to celebrate the end of her chemo treatments.  She is not quite done with all of her treatments - she still has surgery and radiation to complete - but this was a big milestone in her journey that we wanted to celebrate.  In honor of the occasion, we all wore pink and Grandma Susie got all of the kids matching outfits.  

We had a grand time playing cards (Spades, a new one for Dan and I which we really liked!) with the grown-ups on Saturday night.  

Sunday morning, we had breakfast and let the kids play for a while longer before we hit the road.  There was more dress up.  Lord, are those girls cute together!

We tried to get a Baum grandchildren group photo.  Of course, not everyone was ever looking at the camera at the same time and Lilly was feeling uncooperative, but it still turned out cute, I think.  As my SIL Meredith put it, "I think if we get all of them to sit in the same place for longer than 30 seconds we have to call it a win."  Agreed.

We left Concord in time to get home to Raleigh around lunch time.  Syd was in town for the weekend with some girlfriends to go to the fair, so she was able to swing by and spend a few minutes with Lilly, who was so excited!

After nap time, we had a birthday party to go to!  It was a joint birthday for Natalie (1) and Emma (3), and it was circus-themed so the kids were encouraged to wear their costumes.  It just so happens that the party was held in our neighborhood's clubhouse, so it was nice and convenient.  There were a ton of kids (three of which were also wearing the same pig costume as Lilly, ha!) and lots of games.  I was surprised that Lilly wanted to get her face painted (after Daddy went first, of course), but it looked really cute until she accidentally smeared it while sucking her thumb.

And of course the cupcakes were a huge hit.  Notice Lilly's face plant into hers.  She is her mother's child!

Surprisingly, L made it about an hour at the party before asking to take her pig hat off, so I hope that means that trick-or-treating will go smoothly and she'll wear it without incident.

It was another busy, but fun weekend!  I am happy to be home for a few days before we head back out to celebrate my "little brother" Jason and his beautiful fiance Becca's engagement.  This week is insane between work and Halloween festivities, so hopefully I can survive until then!

Hope your weekend was great, too.


Chalk and/or Magnetic Paint?

Just dropping in for a quick moment to see if anyone has any advice on chalkboard and/or magnetic paint!  We finally sold our guest bedroom furniture and purchased what we think is an awesome alternative for our guest-bedroom-slash-playroom (thanks to Adria for the suggestion!).  More on that in some other post once the project has been completed, but if you follow me on Pinterest I'm sure you've noticed that I've been pinning away with lots of neat ideas (I have a total love/hate relationship with that site...Dan's relationship with it is very much hate/hate, mainly because it creates a lot of work for him, ha!).

Today's musings pertain to chalkboard and magnetic paint.  My original plan was to paint half of one wall, or maybe just the back of the door, with magnetic paint layered under chalkboard paint so that Lilly would have a fun indoor space for chalk and magnets, like so:
Photo Credit

Photo Credit
Dan brought up a good point, though, with the chalkboard being on the wall: will it be super messy and ruin my carpet?  And let's not even think of telling him that I said he had a good point, I don't need it going to his head.  It should also be noted that when I told him we could easily solve that problem by tearing up the carpet and putting down hard wood in that room, his eyes rolled further back in his head than I have ever seen.  Ugh, men.  Anyway, I digress.  I have done a lot of googling on this matter and have read opinions both ways, but the general consensus seems to be that it may be a terrible idea, not only for carpet-ruining/staining purposes but for wall-staining (or in my case, base board-staining) purposes as well.  

My next thought was: okay, whatever, I'll just stick with the magnetic paint since I was considering getting L an easel for Christmas anyway (which I can put a fun mat under for chalk/paint/whatever else messes).  However, a little googling produced mixed results on magnetic paint as well, the two main complaints being that (1) it is a weird texture and leaves your walls looking weird and (2) it doesn't actually work.

Additionally, I read horror stories about if you ever want to paint over either option (but there were just as many who had no problems).

SO, my friends, the question is this: does anyone have experience with either of these very popular trends?  I want to hear it all: the good, the bad, the ugly.  Or if you've run across something about it from a source you know or trust, I'll take that as well.  Operation guest bedroom/playroom project will be underway shortly, and I'm so excited!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back to the grind

We are back in Raleigh after a busy weeknd away!  We got home around lunch time today so that L could get her nap in before we went to a birthday party tonight. I am beyond beat - our busy weekend with lots of travel/back-and-forth + that nasty a-hole insomnia and no nap today for baby boy and me makes for one exhausted mama. I'll save the official weekend roundup for tomorrow, but thought I'd check in with one of my fav pics from the weekend, taken at the fall festival in my bro-in-law's neighborhood. 

Cutest pig ever?!  Clearly I'm biased, but I think so!  L got two opportunities to wear her costume over the weekend: at the festival and at tonight's birthday party, which was circus themed (and costumes were encouraged).  She has a costume parade at school on Wednesday which I am SO excited about, and then Thursday is obviously Halloween so I think we will have gotten our money's worth out of this year's costume for sure with all of the occasions she's had to wear it (not to mention all of the times I've bribed her with m&ms to put it on to get her used to it so she'll actually wear it and be semi-happy about it on Halloween)!

It's 9pm so I'm officially off to bed.  Hope your weekend was wonderful, too!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

21 Months Old!!!

We are visiting family this weekend so I will be on a short hiatus, but I wanted to wish Miss Lilly a happy 21 months today! I can't believe it, and I don't know where the time is going. I'll shoot for a more "official" update next week. 

We celebrated this milestone by playing hookie from work for part of the day to go to the state fair. 

More on that later, but we had the best time!

Happy 21 months, Lillian Grace.  You bring us more joy than you could ever possibly know. We love you!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baby Grace

I think it's time, friends, that I introduce you to a family member that I don't think you've met before: Baby Grace.

Baby Grace joined our family I believe last Christmas (it could have been birthday, but I'm pretty sure it was Christmas), thanks to Mimi.  She is the 1983 version of the Cabbage Patch doll because I was born in 1983 (showing my age here, eek!) and I therefore also had the 1983 version - her name was Dottie.  Dottie and I were inseparable, but that's another story.  Anyway, Cabbage Patch did an anniversary celebration at some point last year, so my mom gifted Lilly with Baby Grace.  Her full name is Grace Elizabeth Baum (Lilly's full name is Lillian Grace), and she has bright red pig tails because we were pretty sure Lilly was going to have a lot of ginger hair since I had a lot of hair and Dan is very gingery.  We were wrong on both of counts, but Baby Grace is still pretty cute.  Except for the fact that most of the time she doesn't have her pants on, that hooker.

I am starting to think that Baby Grace needs her own segment on the blog, "The Adventures of Baby Grace," because over the past few weeks, Lilly has become borderline obsessed with her.  I am envisioning this segment to be kind of like those commercials that used to be on, where I think it was a yard gnome that someone took everywhere and photographed.  Wasn't that a commercial?  

Anyway, Baby Grace does EVERYTHING with us.  She rides with us to school (but we leave her in the car because "she needs to take a nap" while Lilly is at school).  Last week L and I battled it out in the parking lot because she REALLY wanted to take Baby Grace in.  If it weren't for the fact that Baby Grace yet again didn't have pants on, I might have given in, because arguing with a 21-month-old can get ridiculous, but I stood my ground and I won, by golly.  She also crams into the stroller with Lilly when we go on walks...I wish I had a pic of this because it's hilarious.  I'll try to remember to get one tomorrow.  We change her diaper a lot...

Let's not forget powder to prevent diaper rash!

...and she also now eats meals with us.  She uses a "baby cup" that Lilly no longer uses, and Lilly uses a "big girl" cup.

In fact, one day this week, Lilly had a few meltdowns because Kinsley actually needed to use the chair to eat and Lilly was insistent that it was Baby Grace's chair.  We're working on sharing.  The plus side of Baby Grace joining us for meals is that I can get Lilly to do pretty much anything by telling her that Baby Grace does it.  "Lilly, watch Baby Grace take a bite of this chili!  She LOVES it, she told Mommy she wants another bite.  Do you want to try it?"  Works like a charm, for now at least.

Lilly will take Baby Grace in her car and "drive to the store" to go "shopping" (aka they ride down the hallway in the car and then L takes Baby Grace out and puts her in her mini shopping cart and takes her over to the play kitchen where they fill up the cart with fruits and veggies).  Baby Grace sits in the bathroom while we try to go potty and while we take a bath, and she watches 2 Elmo songs with us after bath every night, too.

Pants-less again!!!  Her mother should really have a talk with her.
She reads books with Lilly before nap time and bed time (sometimes Lilly even lets her hold lovey), and we give her a kiss, tell her we love her and tuck her in somewhere with a blanket when L goes to sleep.  I am just waiting for Lilly to ask to sleep with Baby Grace, and I'm not really sure I'm going to be able to say no.  And first thing in the morning, when Baby Grace goes in with one of us to get Lilly up, Lilly always gasps and says, "Baby Grace!  I missed you!" and gives her lots of kisses.  Queue melting.  Every single time.  

Cognitively, "pretend play" is a pretty big development, from what I've read.  I think the whole thing is seriously sweet, and seeing Lilly with Baby Grace reaffirms that she is going to be a great big sister in a few short months.  To only be 21 months old, she really is very nurturing.  

More to come, when the adventures of Baby Grace continue.  Happy hump day!


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