Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Christmas has come and gone and we are about to say good bye to another year. It truly is amazing how fast the years go. People tell you when you have kids to not blink and you really don't realize that until you are living it yourself. I still am amazed every day Kinley is 2 and I am already 24 weeks with this baby boy of ours. We are definitely blessed.

We had a great Christmas. If you've been reading you know my mom was in town, which was such a great time. She seems to always visit us in the winter but has never been here on Christmas. It was so wonderful to have the time with her. I ended up with more time than I though too. I went to check her in for her flight on Monday (thinking she was leaving Tuesday morning) and come to find out she didn't leave until Wednesday morning. I was so shocked! The entire visit I was thinking she was leaving on Tuesday morning. It was pretty funny. Then her flight got canceled on Wednesday due to snow in Chicago and she didn't leave until Thursday. Such a great time and wonderful memories that were made.

It saddens me Kinley doesn't get to grow up with my family near but I love that she really enjoys the time now when they visit. It warms my heart. 

We didn't do a whole lot when she was here but we did get to the Botanical Gardens for the lights, which was worth it! Kinley really enjoyed it as well. Watching her enjoy the holidays is special. I always dreamed of the day I would have kids to spend these days with. It sure is true when friends tell you the holidays are better with kids. 100 times more chaotic but that chaos is worth every second, and to be honest I kinda like it. Is that weird?

My dad and step mom were also down for a day so it was great to see them too. My dad recently had quadruple bypass surgery 5 weeks ago so I was very excited to see them. I was a little worried about him traveling so far with him just having surgery but he says he is feeling pretty good and each day gets better. The weather was about 80 the day they were here so we had a blast enjoying the sun at the beach.

Overall we had a wonderful Christmas and we all enjoyed each other's company. I am always sad to see family leave but I do like to be on a schedule so it will be nice to get back to our schedule and not so many cookies on the table. I have eaten way too many of those this break.

Next week we go back to the dr for a check up on baby boy. We are having an ultrasound done because at the last one they couldn't get pictures of his heart. I will be confirming he is a boy and he is healthy. If you didn't know we thought he was a she for the longest time. You can read about the shocker here. It is about time for another update so I will be doing that next week after our appointment.

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone! I am sure I will be sleeping at midnight, at least that is the hope. It has been rough here with the 2 year old molars coming in.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Week - A Few Family Photos

I am so excited it is Christmas week! What is even more exciting is my mom is coming into town on Christmas Eve. Getting through these next 3 work days is going to be tough, but then I am off for 6 days!! WHAT??? Yes 6 days! I am so stoked!

My mom hasn't visited for awhile. It is coming up on a year I think. Being so far away is hard. Luckily we have been back to Colorado and she has seen Kinley but even the last time we were there was 6 months ago. Kinley has changed so much in the last 6 months. We can't wait for Thursday!

She comes in on Thursday morning and we will probably run some last minute errands and then let Kinley nap. I will be putting her to work on the pile of presents I have to wrap. Does anyone else hate wrapping presents? I really am not a fan. Luckily for me my mom is and loves wrapping, little does she know that I have saved all the wrapping for when she comes :). I am hoping wrapping with her will make it a little more enjoyable since I can't be wrapping while drinking wine :). We Matt also has an easel to put together for Kinley. We never had our "big" gifts wrapped when I was younger and I loved waking up and seeing that with all of the wrapped presents under the tree, so that is the tradition we have started for Kinley. Last year Matt put together a kitchen and we of course didn't wrap that. She was a little too young to understand last year but I think this year she is going to be soooooo excited when she wakes up.

Thursday afternoon we are going to go over to Matt's parents to open presents and celebrate Christmas because we are going to have Christmas at our house this year. I am very excited about that! My mom loves to cook so we are planning on a full menu with many yummy dishes.

Of course Christmas will start bright and early with opening presents and a yummy crock pot casserole we are going to try. Lets hope it turns out. At first Matt wanted to cook a casserole in the morning, though it takes 3 hours. So I asked him if he was getting up at 3AM to start breakfast :). He declined.

We want to go check out the lights at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens at some point while my mom is here. Have any local readers been? Is it worth it? Please tell me it is! I am kind of kicking myself for not getting Christmas Town tickets when they were $14! There is always next year right! Plus Kinley will enjoy it even more then and we will have little man with us too. Did you see news on us having a boy! We are still shocked!

Other than enjoy the time together we don't have any other plans. We actually might make these amazing sugar cookies again! If you haven't checked out the recipe go do that! It is worth it. Hopefully your dog won't eat all of them like ours did and you will get to enjoy them. Hence why we might make them again.

Cheers to hoping these next few days fly by for everyone and your holiday is blessed! I know ours will be. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

I love our Christmas pictures so much! Lori Woodhouse does it again! Thank you! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

The BEST Sugar Cookies

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had pretty unforgettable one! I can't believe there is only one more weekend until Christmas! And even better my mom comes on Christmas Eve. I can't tell you how excited we are for her to spend Christmas with us.

I worked all day Saturday but on the way home I really wanted to go see some Christmas lights. It was totally last minute but after we finished eating dinner we packed Kinley up and headed to a street that was full of beautiful houses. My friend had told me there was a street at the ocean front that goes all out with the lights. They definitely did not disappoint and Kinley enjoyed every minute. If you are a local reader it is off of 43rd and Pacific.

Sunday we had our family fun day! I love Sunday's with the family. It is the only day we all three get to spend the whole day together so we soak up every minute that we can. We went to Target and grocery shopping, made sugar cookies, made a few special deliveries of cookies and made a wonderful Philly cheese steak dinner with side salads. Perfect day.

I found the best sugar cookie recipe on PB&J Babes blog. I love reading her blog and her kiddos are the cutest. You should definitely go check her blog out. The recipe was super easy to make and the cookies are the best I have ever had. I highly recommended making these as soon as possible! And the almond extract is a MUST. It makes the cookies.

Christmas Butter Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
Festive sprinkles
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until well combined.  
Add vanilla and almond extract, and then the eggs.   
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture while beating on low speed until smooth.
Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons and roll into 1-inch balls.  Place them evenly spaced on a non-stick cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and puffed.  Cool 3-5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
While the cookies cool, prepare the icing.
Combine softened butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar, adding milk to thin as desired.

Once the cookies have cooled it is time to frost and decorate! 

She wanted the two colors first :)


Yep you caught me eating all the sprinkles mom. 

All finished and looking so pretty! We had such a great time making these cookies! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Who Would've Thought

We had our anatomy scan yesterday and let me start by saying it was quite the appointment. Matt originally had two subpoenas and I was so bummed he wasn't going to be able to come. We were trying to not stress since we knew the gender but we were upset. We didn't know if we would get another chance at an ultrasound. Thankfully at last minute he got an email saying he was excused from court. Woo hoo! Then he took the day off and we were able to spend the day together. It was really nice! I didn't take any pictures of us because we were just soaking in the moments! Read on!

So on to the appointment. I was wondering if I had an anterior placenta due to the movements still being very subtle. I can feel the baby move but it is still no where near how strong the movements were from Kinley at this stage. Matt was able to feel Kinley at 18.5 weeks. He felt this one move for the first time last night and it still wasn't very strong. Needless to say my though was confirmed and my placenta is anterior and that is exactly why the kicks are not very strong yet. The baby is still pretty small and now has to kick through the placenta for me to feel it since my placenta is up against my belly button. I am looking forward for some stronger kicks soon! I knew I wasn't losing my mind :). Look at that cute profile!

The 3D image is a little blurry but you can see how the hand and the foot is up by the baby's face. Since the baby was in such a weird position we have to go back on January 8th to get pictures of the heart. The tech was not able to get any. Everything else looked great though! I am really hoping for a few better ultrasound pictures in a few weeks. These definitely are not the greatest!

When I had my first dating ultrasound they determined my due date to be April 15, 2016. I knew that was not correct because I was pretty certain when I ovulated. Yes we were trying, so I was on top of things that were going on with my body. I went with the date and knew they would look at it again at the anatomy scan. The ultrasound tech asked me a few questions such as what was Kinley's weight and again what was the date of my last menstrual period. She informed me the baby was measuring a little small and about a week earlier. I explained to her I was not surprised and knew when I ovulated so I was pretty certain my due date was April 21. 2016. I know some of you might not think a week is a big difference but it is since I am trying for a VBAC. The doctors will not let me go over 41 weeks so I need to make sure I have all the time to go into labor on my own. If you have been reading for awhile now you know I had a c-section with Kinley. You can read more on her birth story here and here. After she was born I knew I wanted a VBAC with my second and the research began. I will save all that for another blog post. I haven't talked much about it but we have done a lot to prepare ourselves for this VBAC! We can do this!

The ultrasound tech told me she couldn't just change my due date and would need to talk to the doctor, especially since she was not the one to do the dating ultrasound (I was with a different practice in the beginning). She called me later on in the day and told me the great news! They are changing my due date to April 21, 2016! I know some people would be bummed because that puts me a week behind, so I am 21 weeks 1 day as of today, but I am super stoked! This picture should really be 20 weeks 1 day!

Are you ready for the final shocker of the appointment!!! Remember when I wrote that letter to Kinley about how amazing it was going to be to have a sister and she shouldn't be nervous. Well she is not getting a sister! It is a BOY! She is getting a little brother!

The ultrasound tech asked us at the beginning of the scan what we thought and of course we said girl because that is what we thought this baby was. We didn't share the dr had done a sneak peak a few weeks back. About 20 minutes later she says, "You better start thinking of boy names." Matt says, "Shut up are you serious?" I was like are you sure? Wow we were speechless! She was certain it was a boy and there was no denying it! I think we are still in shock though it is setting in a little. We are very happy either way but wow!

When she called me back about changing my due date I even asked her to check the scan again because I was in such shock still. She was certain she said! Now don't get confused like I did. Where she wrote boy is not the whole penis. Yes I was concerned it was that big already! She reminded me things were zoomed in for the scan and it was the size of a fetal penis. HAHAHA!

It is a good thing we have not started on the nursery yet! Thankfully I have only bought a handful of things but I think they can be easily exchanged. I will sure miss these matching moccs I bought though :(.  I need to decide if I can keep that Solly Wrap for a boy. What do you think? And we are back to square one in deciding on a name!

What a fun appointment that was! It will be a great story to tell the little guy some day! Hope you all have a great Friday!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Update Baby Girl #2

Pregnancy #2 Week 17-20 Update:

I seriously have been slacking with these photos and updates with this baby. I feel so bad. I did so good taking photos every week and Matt made almost all the weekly boards when I was pregnant with Kinley. You can see them all here. I had just started the blog so I didn't do any written updates but I loved doing the boards. I am just not into it as much with this one. She is already getting hit with the 2nd child syndrome. Poor girl. I keep telling myself I am going to do better. The days just really get away from me. I didn't even do a 17, 18 or 19 week photo so here is the 20 week photo which is really 20 weeks 2 days because I ran out of time that day. Mom of two fail!

Here is what baby girl is up to these past few weeks
  • From the last update at only about 3-5oz to now she is the size of a melon at about 10oz. We will find out more in about a week and a half when we do the anatomy scan. 
  • Her sensory development has exploded. Her brain is developing specialized areas for all her senses. 
  • Her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding over 7 million primitive eggs (that is amazing to me!)
  • She is starting to move a lot more but the movements are still very subtle. Not very strong at this point. It makes me wonder if my placenta is anterior. I was feeling a lot of movement from Kinley by 20 weeks. I will be sure to ask about this at my anatomy scan. 
  • Her arm and legs are the right proportion to each other and the rest of her body and her kidneys are continuing to make urine. 
What is going on with me:

Sleep: I am still pretty tired. But honestly I think that is just my life and the way things have been going lately. Kinley is back to waking up and ending up in our bed most nights and she is a mover. So it makes my sleep very disturbed. I am also waking up a lot to pee so that is disrupting things as well too. But overall I am still sleeping way better than I was with Kinely at this point. And for the most part there hasn't been too much insomnia, where as with Kinley it was every night and it was horrible! 

How far along: 20 weeks 3 days today

Total Weight Gain: Nothing so far. This is very surprising to me and to be honest I hope by my next appointment, in a week and a half, I have gained something. I can't remember how much I had gained with Kinley at this point but I know it was a decent amount. I gained 40 pounds with her. 

Best Moment of the past few weeks: This is a tough one. There have been a few. Kinley turned 2 and we had the best party ever. See the details here. She had a blast. We also got some family pictures done over the weekend so I will be sharing those soon! You can check out some of the sneak peaks over on IG.

Miss Anything: Being able to eat a full meal. Food still doesn't sound great to me and when I eat I usually eat way less than I use to be able to eat. There have been some nights where I have wanted a glass of wine so I have missed that a bit as well. Weddings and holidays make you want a glass or two of wine, lets be honest. We did have a great time at our friend's wedding a few weeks back.

Cravings: I guess you could say sweets. I have eaten way more sweets than I ate before I was pregnant. Another reason I can't believe I haven't gained any weight yet. There are many nights I enjoy some ice cream. That is not a norm for me not pregnant. 

Gender: It's a GIRL!!! We are super excited to have another girl and for Kinley to have a sister. Sisters are the best! We have decided on a name but as of right now we aren't going to share it :).

Symptoms: I don't have many symptoms. I think my boobs are finally starting to grow a little so they have been sensitive but nothing too major. Oh, frequent peeing! That is really non-stop. Overall though, nothing too major at this point. And I hope it stays that way because when I was pregnant with Kinley I was pretty miserable. I am actually really enjoying being pregnant this time! 

Mood: I am still pretty happy most of the time. I am definitely more emotional. I think I have started tearing up many times when certain songs come on the radio. I could also cry a lot easier thinking of memories. My dad recently has some pretty major surgery and I was a mess! Thankfully he is ok and is back home recovering. 

Looking forward to: Our anatomy scan. When we found out the gender it was just a sneak peak so we didn't get any great pictures. Of course it is always great to see the baby but I am really excited for an in depth ultrasound and some great profile pictures. 

I can't believe we are on the down slide of this pregnancy. It kinda makes me a little sad so I am soaking up every minute of it. I can't wait until her kicks get stronger and Kinley and Matt can start to feel her move. We talk to Kinley all the time about her sister but she doesn't really have a clue yet. Well maybe she does and I just don't know it. Kids are super smart! I need to start putting together some ideas for the nursery and start to have a plan about things. Things are so much more laid back and I am much more going with the flow this round. They say that happens with the second. Did this happen with any of you?

I hope you all have a great week. We ended up in urgent care last night with this beauty. Kinley has an ear infection. Poor girl! We got some meds so hopefully she will feel better soon. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kinley's 2nd Birthday

Remember that farm themed inspiration post I did a few months back?  If you don't you can read it here. Well it all came together this weekend. Kinley doesn't turn 2 until the 27th but with Thanksgiving we decided to do her party the weekend before.

Things turned out so perfect. My aunt was amazing and did all the animal cutouts, the banner and barns. I put together the signs for the food and placed them with an animal. I also made our matching shirts. I will do a tutorial on the shirts later on because there are so many options with making them and they were pretty easy to do!

My brother in law made the "moo moo" cake, as Kinley called it. For Kinley's 1st birthday he made a princess dress unexpected so now he is always in charge of making the cake. He is pretty talented, don't you think? I sent him a picture of what I wanted and he made it happen. I could not have been happier with how it turned out. Thanks Uncle Danny!

Kinley had a tough morning so I put her down for a power nap but then had to wake her up when everyone came. She was not happy at first and did not want to smile for any photos with mom and dad. Really though, would you be happy if you got woken up out of a deep sleep. I think not! I was determined to get a few pictures whether she smiled or not. Finally she warmed up and I got a few smiles out of her. I have learned if I tell her to show me her pretty smile I will get a decent one out of her. 

She was a little unsure of everyone singing happy birthday to her but did a great job blowing out the candles. She did eat some of her cupcake but she made sure to ask for a spoon first. She hates getting her hands dirty. 

It was too funny watching her open the presents. She is very much the one who checks out a situation and if she is unsure she will ask for help. It was so cute, "mom help pease." Once she understood there were toys inside the bags she was all about it. 

Kinley had a lot of fun and we are very thankful for all our family and friends that came to celebrate with her. She defintiely has a blast with all the balloons. We love her to pieces and will be celebrating her birthday all week long! Happy 2nd birthday Kinley Reese. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Letter to My First Born

To Kinley:

There are many things on my mind as we are approaching the halfway point of the arrival of your best friend. At least that is my hope. Welcoming a baby to the family is going to be an adjustment for everyone but I know most importantly it is going to be a major adjustment for you. You are going to have to share your house, your dog and cat whom you love so much, your toys and maybe the hardest part of adding a sibling is sharing the love, affection and attention of mom and dad. Our love and affection will never change for you. You might get a little less attention but that is ok, you are very independent and we will always spend time with you one on one.You are our world Kinley Reese, and always will be, and I am sure your sister will become a part of that world of ours.

We are so excited for you to be a big sister. I know you are too and you might not even know it yet. You are amazing to watch as you take care of your babies. You love to burp them, feed them and rock them, as well as make sure they are warm with a blanket. If that love you have for your babies, or the cat, is any indication of the love you will have for your sister I am overjoyed and so proud of the little girl you are becoming.

There is no need to be nervous about your sister. You are going to learn what it is like to love another, besides mom and dad of course, unconditionally. Having a sister is the most amazing thing ever! Trust me, mom knows! I have two that are pretty special. Now I know you are not always going to want to hug or kiss your sister and you might want to run away from her at times, but trust me, she is going to be your best friend eventually.

You will always be our first born and the one that stole our hearts. No one can take that away from you, EVER. I wonder how my heart can love someone as much as I love you. Though I know some how my heart will expand and your sister will fit right in. Yours will do the same Kinley.  Mommy promises you.

I promise this adjustment will get easier with time. Don't worry about things. Mommy and daddy will always love you and we will never forget about you. Leave the worrying to us. We will figure it out. We will get through it together like we do everything else.

You are going to make the BEST big sister ever and I am so excited to spend these last 22 weeks with you as our only child. You are my world, your daddy's world and pretty much everyone that has a relationship with you. You are the sweetest thing, well most of the time, and I know you will be the sweetest thing to your little sister as well.

If you are having a hard time, don't forget we love you and we are always here for you. Your sister will come and life will change. But I promise you one thing....We will NEVER stop loving you.