Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Windows and Accessories

We finally broke down and did some window treatments and accessories in the living room/kitchen and shutters in our master bedroom.

Here is the "before" in the living room/kitchen

And the after pictures...

And the bedroom windows with a little help from Mr and Mrs Claus (aka Ryan's parents)... all nice and covered just in time to get lots of mornings of sleeping in when Claire arrives.  Ha.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

38 Weeks

Here we are... 38 weeks.  Still pregnant.  I guess those shots did their job.  I'm tired, anxious, scared, excited, uncomfortable, in pain sometimes, trying not to complain, etc, etc.

 In case I don't make another week, here's a photo recap of this belly's growth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Both Ryan and I have lots of history with Legos.  They were and still are favorite toys in our families.

My brother and I used to build cities in the hallway, he has passed his love of Legos to his daughter and they spend hours building new things whenever they can.  James love's Legos so much I made him a Lego Belt for Christmas.  James and I both have big boxes of our original Legos that Mom saved for us... which is a good thing since most everything these days is themed/branded Lego sets.

Ryan and his brothers, too, loved Legos and his Mom has a huge bin of them waiting for the kids to get a little older.  I've given Ryan Lego's as gifts on several occasions since we've been married.  Lego race cars, construction vehicles, etc.  We've also given sets to his brothers and last Christmas the boys had races on Christmas day with their Lego Race Cars.  And of course, any kind of building runs in the family!  :)

We got a small set of Duplo blocks for Cason's first birthday and have periodically brought it out for him to play with since then. We also have a couple of big bags of MegaBlocks.  He was mainly just interested in the Lego "Man Man" that were in the set for a while.  In the past couple of months, he really got interested in both kinds of blocks and we noticed he'd sit longer and longer building them without us having to help.  I think it just took him figuring out how to put the blocks together and he was hooked.

We found a great deal on a bigger set of Duplos at Kroger (of all places) right after Christmas so Neanie got it for him.  Best $15 ever spent.  Cason comes in from school most nights and will go straight to his cabinet and pull out his box of blocks.  He'll sit the whole time I'm cooking dinner and build, build, build!

He built this "tower" all by himself the other night... Ryan just sat, watched and supplied more blocks and I just came back for progress pictures.

It's so great to watch him find things he LOVES... especially things we love too.

Now if he'd just learn how to SHOOT the basketball, not just DUNK, Ryan would be one happy Daddy!!!  :)

Bike Trailer

Ryan and I used to ride our bikes a lot back before kids.  We bought them right after we got Admiral and used them all the time to take Admiral for runs since neither one of us are big runners.  Admiral LOVES to run with the bike and I need to get back in the habit after this baby comes.

For some time now, we've been talking about getting a bike seat or trailer so we could all go out for a ride.  Since we have #2 on the way we decided getting a trailer was the better option so that one of us can pull the kids and the other can take Admiral.  Ryan's parents gave us the trailer for Christmas and Ryan put it together a couple of weekends ago so we could take it for a spin.  Yes, I rode my bike alongside Ryan and Cason... 36 weeks pregnant.

Cason LOVED the ride.  Oh my goodness, he started giggling as soon as Ryan started moving.  He kicked and giggled the whole way.  I only made one lap with the boys.  Ryan and Cason went around our street a couple of more times while I waited to catch a little video.  Enjoy the slow-mo at the end to see the happy rider.

Now we get lots of "Bike" when we go in the garage.  I think we'll be going on lots of rides soon!

Cason's other favorite thing to do in the garage is climb in or pull out then climb in the wagon.  These pictures are so bad because they show me letting him monkey around i.e. not sit down safely, but they are too cute.   He thought I was being so funny.
And I just like this picture...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

37 Weeks and Thoughts

I'm 37 weeks (tomorrow).

Regular clothes (I wear the same 5 shirts everyday I feel like)

Nighttime clothes like all my other pictures.

Obviously there are no more comparison pictures from Cason's pregnancy.  My doctor and I are now "joking" that I'll be begging her for an induction at 39 weeks.  I've said all along that I'll be prepared for 35 but will go 41 and be the most miserable, complainy second-time mom ever.  And this is pretty much how it's shaping up.

Ryan and I both have bags packed.  The infant seat is installed in the car.  I have everything I need for the first days home... the bottles and pumps are out of their boxes, newborn and 0-3 clothes are washed, swings and bouncy seats are ready.  I'm READY... but I guess Claire is not.  Keep on cooking.

***Warning, post gets really long now and I don't have the energy to proofread tonight :)  ***

I realized I haven't really done a good job of keeping up with the "feelings" and other details of this pregnancy like I did with Cason.  I don't feel "guilty" about it like you sometimes here people say about their second and thirds but I do realize I wish I'd written more down about this pregnancy.  So, here are a few things I want to remember.

Like with Cason, I was sick for all of the first trimester and into the second.  With this pregnancy, the sickness wore off about 4 weeks sooner and I was able to eat most things a good two months sooner.  And once I started feeling better, I ate... which means I gained weight.  This was new for me since I didn't eat much until about 25 weeks and still never really ate a ton with Cason.  I only gained 17 pounds the entire pregnancy.  For record keeping purposes, I've gained almost 40 pounds with Claire... and I guess there is more to go.

I haven't "enjoyed" being pregnant... it's just not my thing I guess.  I don't know if I really ever want to do it again.  But, I don't think that takes anything away from my excitement about this little girl that is about to join our family.

I'm tired, a lot.  I don't remember being this tired and exhausted with Cason but Ryan says that I was.  I'm sure chasing Cason around has a lot to do with it this time too.

Ryan also tells me that I really don't complain more this time than I did last time... which is really sweet of him.  I think he's lying!  :)  I'm uncomfortable and FEEL huge but when I look at myself in the mirror I don't feel like I look huge.  But, it's funny because I'll be out and one person will say "Oh, you are the cutest thing, there is no way you are that far along" then another person will say "Oh my, you are about to pop".   Ha.  Then, I took this picture for this week and I realized... I do look like I'm about to pop... I look as big as I feel... I guess the mirrors in our house are the skinny kind!  :)  Must be the awesome builder!  

Claire is a very active little girl.  I mostly remember with Cason that he was kicking me in my ribs... ALL.THE.TIME... he just hung out with his feet up in my ribs.  Claire has never made it up to my ribs but she is all over the place.  She's "head down" but man, she can still get some good kicks and jabs and rolls all over the place.  And, they hurt!  I do love feeling her move but sometimes I wish she'd just lay off a little!  :)   At any given time, you could probably put your hand on the side of my belly and feel her foot (or hand or knee or elbow) pushing out.  But you don't even have to feel it... my belly just looks like a rolling ocean most of the time.  It's cool and freaky all at the same time.

The other big part of this pregnancy has been the anxiety.  I'm sure that sounds very dramatic, but I feel that the anxiety of #2 is way worse than #1.  Maybe with #1 there is so much new, so much to figure out, so much to do that I didn't have time to worry about life after baby.  Maybe because my world revolves around Cason now, I realize how challenging things will be with him and Claire to provide for.  I don't know what all the factors are but I feel like I think about the "how am I going to do this???" questions a whole lot more.  I know we'll survive... we aren't the first people to have 2 kids, in diapers, ha.  But it's hard to just let go and know it will be okay... especially when you add in the anxiety of "when's she going to arrive" that I probably would not have had Cason not come so early.

I guess the last thing to document is how Cason is doing with this.  He really doesn't "get it" but then I think he sort of does.  Up until very recently, if you ask him to say "Claire" he would look you straight in the face and say "No".  Now, Cason does say "No" to everything (Me: "Do you want a cookie?"; C: "No"; Me: "Okay, fine"; C: "Coooooookie!!!!"; Me: "Yeah, that's what I thought") but the no in response to "Can you say Claire" had its own special inflection.  But, despite that, he learned about a month ago to point at my belly when you say "Where's Baby Claire?".  And finally yesterday he started to say Claire.   He would previously say "C-C" and sometimes we could get "sister" but that was it.  He knows what a baby is and has been around babies at school so I know it won't be a total shock to him.  But, who knows what he'll think when the baby comes home with him every day???

Friday, January 20, 2012


Well, at least temporarily.

Cason and I (and I guess Claire too) are currently ON A BILLBOARD!  What?!!??  That's right.  We helped out with a photoshoot for the neighborhood a couple of months ago.  We thought we MIGHT end up in some print materials but never imagined we'd be on a real life billboard.  Pretty cool!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Two new posts to check out... from November.  I'm trying to catch up.

And a more recent one...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Mommy Proud!

Cason is always pulling out my cookbooks since the shelves in the island are so low.  As his love of books has grown so has the frequency of him pulling out my cookbooks and saying "book" and now "cookbook".  I've tried to stop him and direct him to his own books in his cabinet but despite the casualty of one of my brothers very early pieces of pottery, I've pretty much given up the battle.

Recently, I wasn't paying attention and looked over to find this:

He'd pulled out 4 of my Rachel Ray cookbooks and was flipping through one of them.  I love that it was just the RR books, that he spread them on his table, sat in his chair and started "reading".  I hope this means I'll have a good little kitchen helper on my hands!

Since I snapped several pictures in a row I decided to try out the slideshow feature in iPhoto (I'm still learning all the fun Mac apps).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Handmade Holiday

The Handmade/DIY Holiday started with this idea I saw on Pinterest for a Snowman Wreath.  Ryan and I went down to Houston one weekend to see Kevin and Steph.  The boys went to some beerfest thing... they had a good time, I think. Ha.  Steph and I went to Michaels then did some crafting while Cason napped, then we picked the boys up.  What started as three little cheap wreaths and some yarn...

Ended up this cute guy on my door!  Thanks for helping me wrap the wreaths, Steph.  It was way more time consuming than we though, but a perfect task to sit, chat, eat cookies, and craft.  Very mindless.

Then, Whit, Steph and I decided we'd do a handmade holiday theme for our gifts to each other... we all have a crafty side and with the help of Pinterest, I think our "to do" lists have gotten really long.  I was excited to try some of the things I had pinned.

I started with these necklaces made using Mod Podge Dimensional, scrapbook paper and little pearls.  It took me a couple of tries (you can soak the Mod Podge off and start over) but finally got it right.

Then I added these dishtowel aprons... mainly because I found the super cute black, yellow and white fabric and wanted to use it.  The inspiration was from this blog. I loved the idea of using a dishtowel because you can just wipe your hands right on your apron.  This should be an easy project... just add some trim and a waistband... but it was not as easy as I hoped.  Mainly because dishtowels are not perfectly made... the edges aren't straight.  It wasn't difficult but it wasn't a 30 minute project like I hoped. I never got a picture of the apron on because, well, I'm pregnant and it didn't fit.  Ryan's mom got one too!

I also made these, but forgot to take pictures.

Then, the theme continued with the men in Ryan's family.  I'd seen the idea of a "Year of Yum" on Pinterest and knew Ryan's dad and brothers would appreciate some of my baked treats.  I found these cute tins at Container Store and added the foam scrapbook letters.  We gave the boys a note with the "rules"... essentially they could get unlimited refills all year by returning the tin to one of us... Of course, Ryan's dad had a special rule that he couldn't return it to Ryan at work because, well, that could get out of hand!  :)  I filled the tins the first time with iced sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzels and peppermint bark.

My brother also got in on the handmade holiday... again thanks to Pinterest.  I guess I never saved the idea, but it was for a Lego belt.  Lego's have a deep history in my family.  I have lots of memories of me and James building whole cities in the hall of my parents house.  He still, to this day, LOVES Lego's and has shared that love with my niece.  Ryan loves Lego's too and Cason is falling in love himself.  We are a Lego Family.  I knew, of all the men in my life, James would appreciate and wear this belt.  I just got a basic canvas belt from Target and spruced it up with some of our childhood Lego's, dirt and all!  Ha.  James recognized the pieces as part of my old Hospital set.  He's correct.

And last, I was at a loss for what to get my Mom.  She likes to knit but I know nothing about knitting.  After some suggestions from some knitter friends, I found the idea of a case for her needles... and all the ones I saw I thought "I could do that".  So I started searching for tutorials.  I didn't find anything exactly what I wanted so I just took a few different ones and made it on my own.  Again, with that super cute yellow, black and white fabric that I'd found at Wal-mart of all places.  This project was super easy, a variation of the crayon roll I've made before.  Mom loved it!

Okay... one more... And not necessarily part of Holiday gifts, but I wrapped up my season of sewing with Curtains and Baskets in Claire's room and these fun aprons for my "sprinkle" hostesses... made using this tutorial (minus the pocket because I don't really ever use a pocket on an apron).  I bought three coordinating fabrics and mixed and matched, using muslin for the back side.  After the 3rd one, I had the process down pretty good and can see myself making these again in the future.  It was a fun, not too difficult project with good results.

Whew... now I know why I've been so tired... between Cason, Claire, Work and all these projects... I've been busy.

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